Friday, September 30, 2005

Hits & Messes

I get a lot of mail from concerned readers asking me how and why I allow myself to get entrapped in some of the more sticky sexual situations detailed on this blog. You should be more discerning, they chide. You should finetune that man-tennae. Bad sex is for teenagers – you of all people, should know better.

Yes Daddy. (Does it turn you on when I call you that?)

I should know a lot of things, but I don’t. For example, I don’t know which of the men I take home for the first time will be any good in bed. Likewise I don’t know who is going to have a small cock (feet, noses, handspan – I’ve tried looking at everything. I defy anyone who says there is a direct correlation). And I don’t know who is going to wake up the next morning next to me, declare undying love with tears in his eyes and turn into a psychotic stalker.

I try my best to be selective (Bank details and reference checks, please. No relatives) and to be upfront about what I looking for. But ultimately, I’m also the sort of person that believes curiosity to be an admirable trait; and if something looks like fun, just do it. Especially if ‘it’ has broad shoulders, a tight ass and knows the etymology of your real name.

Inevitably, not everyone’s a winner. I’m beginning to think you haven’t truly lived until you count hourlong handjobs, persistent pursuers, banker wankers, fecal fetishists as part of your repertoire.

But for every gobsucking freakshow I’ve fucked, there is always a story of a wild night I spent in a caravan off the coast of Wales with a sensitive trapeze artist. Or a yarn about getting caught in the rain with someone’s fingers up my pussy on a scooter speeding up the mountains of Southern Taiwan. Or an unbelievable one-night sexperiment with a drugged-up Armani model.

The point is: sex, as with life, is not always fluffy daffodils. And the path to sexual nirvana for the single 20something Singaporean never did run smooth. Therefore, the objective of this blog is to give you an unapologetic account of everything in between. Sex in all its pre-masticated glory. If it could happen to Adam and Eve, it could happen to you.

So don’t ask me to provide bodice-ripping soul-satisfying firecracker singleserves all the time. That just isn’t what God intended. Sometimes sex is mindblowing, but sometimes it’s just so-so. Sometimes I feel a lot for the other person (love, affection, vagina-wetting lust), but at other times I’m just bored and need a shag. Sometimes I feel cherished and special right after the experience, but on rare occasions, I feel hurt and used.

I just tell it like it is. And I trust you to be open-minded and forgiving enough to keep reading. Besides, that’s what makes me so goddamned entertaining, right? :)

Monday, September 26, 2005

Welcome to the Circle of Champions

So, Hong Kong. City of Life and newly-christened Home of Mickey.

Lots of people ask me why I moved. And I always reply, “Oh I got sick of Singapore” which is the over-simplistic answer one gives at frivolous dinner parties – accompanied by the careless shrug and toss of the head – to people I intend never to see again. But of course, you faithful reader, don’t fall in that category.

I moved because of a variety of factors – most of them are boring and not worth dwelling on (office politics, professional opportunities etc.). But chiefly, I moved because it was time for a Change. A big 3-60. Up the ass. No lube.

Living in Singapore for the past few years has felt like a bit of a Faustian bargain. An insidious sacrifice of my soul on the altar of casual familiarity, comforting conformity and grand middle-class lucre. Don’t get me wrong. I've enjoyed every minute. And most likely I will return one day, a harried tai tai with 3 squawking children in tow, ready to discuss PSLEs and charity fundraisers with much aplomb.

But for now, there’s Hong Kong. And Ms Sash van Winkle needs to make up for lost time. To feel alive. To reinvent. To live dangerously. And yes, to have better sex. (And more frequently, yes please.)

In that respect, things started off auspiciously. My phone beeped a few hours after I touched down in Hong Kong. It was Matt, one of the most charismatic (and naughtiest) men you would ever meet, and a favourite shag of mine from more than a year ago. He now lived in Switzerland and we kept in touch occasionally.

Matt: “R u in hk?”

Me: “Yes. Sitting in the middle of suitcases and contemplating the meaning of life. Why? What’s up?”

Matt: “My friend Anthony will ph u in 5 mins and invite u for a drink! He’s a champ.”

Me: “Wait, this isn’t the self-same Anthony from our last encounter?”

I didn’t know Anthony. Save that he had a honeyed Aussie-accented voice and loved to talk dirty. Also he must have known Matt reasonably well. Because he wasn’t the least bit surprised when Matt called him mid-shag, switched to speaker phone and then had me describe to Anthony exactly how I was being pleasured in breathy, graphic detail.

Matt: “Yep! He’s in HK and will meet u either at Dragon-I or Carnegies to start!”

I stared at my phone in disbelief. It was that Anthony. And that Anthony wanted to meet me on my first night in Hong Kong. I hadn’t even unpacked a toothbrush and already I was being set up to meet a complete stranger whom I had phone sex with for drinks. Exactly what the doctor ordered, I guess. I figured it was only good fengshui to accept.

Anthony and I met at Dragon-i at about 11 p.m. and hit it off almost immediately. He was tall, wore a well-fitted Paul Smith suit and had an absolutely wicked sense of humour. It was a Wednesday, Dragon-i’s legendary Model’s Night, but we joked that it must have been full of hand or foot models (strange choice of career – but being currently unemployed, I’m in no position to judge) because we hadn’t seen anybody particularly attractive there.

Or maybe we just weren’t paying all that much attention. I was more intent on making Anthony work hard for my favours.

“We’re not leaving here until I say we are. Because I have rave reviews but the jury’s still out on you,” I teased. Anthony raised an eyebrow in reply, as if challenging me to test him. So I did.

First, I asked him how good he was with his fingers and his tongue – and to show me how he intended to use them. He talked me through his intentions. And I was immediately turned on - never underestimate the power of a beautiful turn of phrase and good old fashioned imagination.(“These two fingers go inside you until I hit the spot”, “My thumb stays at the top on your clit until its stiff and peaked for me”) Finally he took the fingers of my right hand, brought them to his mouth and used his tongue to dart in between them, flickering and sucking their length before nibbling softly on the skin between my knuckles. ("And I don't need to explain that one...")

“Not bad…” I murmured. My eyes watching his tongue intently. “What about if I do this?” I reached for my drink and poured a significant amount of it down the front of my low-cut top. “Oops.” I leaned in close and ran my tongue up his earlobe.

He bent his head over and followed the streams of vodka cranberry from the top of my clavicle to the centre of my cleavage, lavishing attention on the upper mounds of my breasts. I arched my back against the pillar. It was then that I decided we would get the bill and leave.

But there was a final test. We reached Anthony’s hotel room and he had with his key-card in his hand. But before he could let us in, I stood in front of him and blocked access to the keyhole. With a cheeky laugh, I unbuckled his belt, unzipped his trousers and slipped a hand inside to grab his cock.

“Show me how much you want me. Right here.” I said. To my surprise, he was completely uninhibited about pinning me to the door and unzipping my satin trousers, pulling them completely to the ground. I wasn’t wearing any underwear (in accordance to my principles) so he bent over and began to lick the mound of my pussy. Right in the hotel corridor. I could feel myself get soaking wet. Convinced, I took the key from his hand and opened the door.

Anthony turned out to be great in bed. One of those men who is just naturally sensual, wild, tender, generous and passionate – and who can apply these qualities together with a healthy knowledge of sexual techniques and unfeigned attentiveness to a woman’s pleasure.

Essentially, any man who instinctively knows to rest my right leg on his shoulder, lick my toes whilst vibrating his thumb on my clitoris is a real keeper.

“I’m thirsty,” I whispered after we had finished our first session of lovemaking (there were to be 3 sessions in total before dawn).

Anthony took out a bottle of minibar-cold Evian, opened it and took a swig before kissing me deeply and pouring it into my throat. He did this a few times. He then took a big mouthful, put his lips over my pussy and shot a stream of cold water into me. As water slowly trickled out of my pussy and onto the bed, I felt him lapping it up with warm, languorous strokes of his tongue. The gesture were unexpectedly and deliciously sensual.

“Now that I’ve licked you clean, we can start all over again,” he said.

The next day, I sent a text to Matt.

Me: “Loved Anthony. Every ounce as good in real life as over the phone. Showed him the town, made sure he had a good time etc. You’ll be glad to know he didn’t let the side down.”

Matt: “Sooo pleased to hear that. Welcome to the circle of champions. 3 of us next time. Hv a great day!”

I laughed. And probably inhaled enough carbon monoxide to mess up a few internal functions, but everything was humming from the tip of my toes to the top of the clit. And then somehow I knew - viscerally - that things would be all right for me in my newly adopted home.

So hello Hong Kong, I thought. Here I come.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lending A Hand

“How long can you do this for?” Randall looked down at my rapidly vibrating wrist on his cock.

“I don’t know. How long do you want me to do it for? I’ve never really timed myself. Maybe 10 minutes?”

“Oh, I usually need a lot longer than that,” he said, reaching over to his bedside cabinet for that ever-handy bottle of Johnson & Johnson baby oil and pouring some over my fingers.

(I’m sure if the abovementioned Mr Johnsons – honourable gentlemen and undoubtedly excellent fathers – knew what twisted applications their innocent, baby formula products were being put to, they would turn in their graves. And then turn back – so they could conduct more statistically significant market research.)

“Well, however long you want” I said with a smile, thinking that it would be no real hardship to maintain speed for about 20 minutes.

“I’m thinking an hour of this would be very good…” he crossed his fingers around the back of his head and lay back looking reasonably content.

I tried to keep my lower jaw stuck to my teeth. One WHOLE hour? Good grief. Even the Electronic StrokemasterTM doesn’t last that long, I thought.

But I was stuck. We were both naked on his bed. We had done some very rudimentary shagging (he like a beached whale, me like a starfish – I came once out of courtesy) before he whipped off his condom and lay back requesting to be pleasured. I felt it would have been rude and extremely unsatisfactory to just refuse and walk out abruptly. Even though I should have, on the luxury of hindsight.

In general, men don’t usually ask me for extensive handjobs. I mean that’s something you pay $30 at Orchard Towers for a well-qualified Thai dame (real name Dave) with bad breath and heavy biceps to do. I’m always happy to lend a hand or two as part of foreplay – in the shower, on a balcony overlooking a beautiful skyline or surreptitiously in a bar. I have also helped guys finish off whilst keeping my mouth nearby.

But I’m a real, live, sexy woman, for chrissakes. And I would imagine that after you’ve bought me drinks and attempted to put up at least 2 hours of decent conversation, the last thing you’d want me to do is just sit between your legs and work on perfecting my wrist action for an hour. It’s hardly an efficient use of resources for you. And dead boring for me.

Suck me, fuck me, or take me home to Mom if you must, but there are a ton of other things to do in the realm of lovemaking than having an hourlong assisted wank. Or am I missing something here.

You’d think someone from the entertainment industry would have had a bit more imagination. Randall had relocated from LA a year ago to work with “financing budding Asian talent” (am I the only one that finds that phrase side-splittingly funny?). He name-dropped for a living. (“I’m meeting Jeffrey Katzenberg next week”, “Yea me and Harrison go way back” etc.) He was 38 but mentally he seemed to be still in high-school. I should have known he’d be the sort who would want a one-hour handjob. And maybe a light-sabre fight after.

So 30 minutes in and I was beginning to feel like a professional i.e. I had settled my hands into a somewhat monotonous rhythm and was busy thinking of what to cook for dinner. That was when Randall started to give me instructions, as if he was a director on set:

“Ok now a little bit lower…aah yes, good. That feels verrry comfortable…now if you can just use your thumbs to touch my balls? Ohhh! Great. That’s it…Now long strokes. Right, looooong strokes. Up…and down….Up….and down. Let me see your face. You have a beautiful face, don’t hide behind the hair. Great…”

Admittedly, my handjob skills could have done with a little brushing up, since it’s something I hadn’t really quite bothered to master for long periods of time until now. Every guy likes to be touched a little differently. You can’t go too far wrong with a firm, straight-up pump. But some men also like long, tight strokes down their shafts. Others prefer quick, frantic rubbing around the head. I even met a guy who would vibrate the inside of his wrist directly on his frenulum. But then he also wrote poetry about dead animals – so we can assume he was a bit unorthodox.

Randall seemed to like a combination of techniques. And he let me know it, which made me feel like I was in one big, stinking B-movie. The Curse of the Infernally Pumping Hand Part Deux. A Hand In Need is A Hand Indeed. (Heh) It felt pretentious and just didn’t make up for the fact that I was cramped up in 3 different places. In fact, my right hand might have even lost sensation for a while, close to the 50 minute mark.

This is what it feels like to wank one’s arm off, I thought to myself gloomily. And then he came. I almost cried with relief and legged it out of there as fast as I could.

So Randall, and all you other would-be marathon wankers, next time you’ll have to content yourselves with talking to my face because the hand…well, it just ain’t listening.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Three's a Crowd (But we love crowds...)

Before I left Singapore, I had just the sweetest threesome to remember our over-manicured Garden City by. Two Qantas stewards (one Italian – Paolo, one Maltese – Mario), too many drinks at Attica and lil’ ole me.

It started off innocently enough, as these things do, with me dirty-dancing with Paolo. Paolo fit the profile of the typical mid-40’s Italian – leather-tanned, slightly oily, shirt half-undone, abundant chest hair, mellifluous accent, oodles of enthusiasm but relatively harmless. I didn’t fancy him, and was quite relieved to have my ass groped by his younger, more well-built, suave friend Mario.

Mario and Paolo had been friends for 17 years and they had just gotten back from holidaying in Italy together. A few sweaty sandwiches on the dancefloor later, they were telling me the most entertaining stories about nude beaches (how to find them), family dinners (how to avoid them) and Italian women (how much unnecessary energy is required to bed them).

It was getting hot on the dancefloor and I pleaded for a drink. Mario led me to the bar, ordered us the perfunctory drinks and then proceeded to ravish the living daylights out of me. We must have taken quite a while because by the time Paolo came looking for us, my lips were flamingly swollen, my hair haphazardly kinked and a small bruise was beginning to form at the bottom of my neck.

“Paolo! You’re just in time to see what I’m doing to our beautiful friend here,” Mario said before breaking into a stream of fluent Italian, most of which I thought sounded highly complimentary. (But then I don’t speak Italian, so this is a highly unjustifiable opinion).

“Oh? Show me again. I want to see everry-ting,” Paolo said, wide-eyed. Mario proceeded to accede to the request, but not before I broke off halfway and eyed Paolo mischievously.

“You like to watch? This is only Chapter 1. There’s so much more that I could do your friend Mario over here. It could go on for hours. But you won’t be around to watch it all. This is only the first act. You might miss…(staged gasp) the climax.”

I cupped Paolo’s chin, and pushed a finger gently past his lips. He sucked on it greedily and I turn my head to bite Mario swiftly on the shoulder. “I think your friend likes me.” We both laughed and Mario dipped his head over the swell of my breast, lapping at it sensuously.

Paolo could hardly contain himself. “Oh show me…that’s right, tease me, tease me. I love to watch. Can I watch, please? You can tie me up so I can’t even touch myself. That way, it will be the ultimate tease. I’ll be good, I promise.”

I pretended to hesitate. “Weee-lll, I guess you can watch a little bit. If Mario is ok with it.” I turn to Mario and say in a loud whisper: “Maybe he can watch up till the part where you fuck me. Then he has to go back to his room”.

The whole scene was turning very B-movie but they seemed like the sort of men who were suckers for over-acting and a cheesy script. God bless Italians (and their neighbours).

“Paolo is like a brother to me. We’re family. Any other guy I wouldn’t be so sure. But Paolo – he gets the best. And you’re the best chick in this club, bella. So let’s all go back.” And with that affirmation, Mario got the bill and left the club.

Once we were all nicely ensconced in the Swissotel, Room 1309, Menudo and Paolo broke out more drinks while I took a shower. By the time I stepped out, they were both naked, knocking back vodka tonics and comfortably chatting. It felt like a big pyjama party (sans pajamas).

They then took a shower - together. Actually, it was rather refreshing to see two men so comfortable with their bodies and each other (even in the unlikely event of any soap-dropping). And that was what made the whole threesome absolutely enjoyable for me. There was no competition, no attempt at one-upmanship, just two men with two not unimpressive cocks, and one combined desire to please me.

We did start off by tying Paolo up with the string of the hotel bathrobe. He was just so happy to watch. But as these things go, it would have been churlish to deny him a little action. So I crawled on all fours over to him and put his cock in my mouth as I was fucked by Mario from behind. Every deep cock-thrust in my pussy was matched by the appropriate audible suck of my mouth.

There was great chemistry in the room – and at some point we couldn't deny Paolo the joy of participating. He so actively wanted to suck, and kiss, and lick every inch of me, even though I’m sure he would have been just as content as a bystander.

Really, a girl couldn't have asked for much more...

Well technically, she could. But three is such a good number in terms of what fits where at any one time, and who gives head to who, and who sucks on who whilst doing doggy, that personally I wouldn’t mess with the dynamic. I was surprised to see that they both kept their erections reasonably well. For some reason I just expected there to be a lot more cock flogging going on, but maybe I'm just woman enough for two men.

Any more than two would not be quite a turn-on. I don't find it horny to have numerous men line up patiently and flog their cocks desperately just waiting their turn to use me as a spunk-bag. We all know of Singaporeans who have launched famous careers in this fashion. But I am neither bored nor publicity-hungry enough to follow in those footsteps. (If I ever get into the Guinness Book of Records, it’ll be because I was the first woman who inhaled the longest length of string or painted the largest number of bullfrogs on a single canvas. Or something completely eccentric like that.)

Besides, threesomes should be fun, intimate and off-the-charts sensory experiences. There’s nothing desperately dirty or soul-destroying about them if everyone has the right attitude and does what they’re comfortable doing.

Occasionally, they can even feel quite uplifting and dare I say, life-affirming. After we were finished and Mario had shot a load full of cum on my face, we all laid back on the two queen beds, panting.

Paolo turned to Mario and said exultantly: “So we finally shared a woman! Tonight has sealed our 17 years of our friendship! And now no matter where we are in the world, we’ll always have our time in the Swissotel to remember. With the sexiest bella in Singapore. We’re going to talk about this one for a long time. Even when we are old and our dicks don’t work anymore.” Aww.

That old Italian penchant for hyperbole, of course. But still, I was strangely moved by that little speech. I gave them each a massage whilst they continued to regale me with little vignettes that began with “Remember the time we…” until finally we all fell asleep one by one.

And only then, did I discover the one, big drawback to sharing a room with two inebriated men whom you’ve just finished having a mindblowing threesome with – the Snoring. It was like an orchestra of the damned. Winds on the left, brass on the right, and cacophonic madness everywhere. I slipped out early the next morning with a note left at the bathroom mirror to escape from it all.

So got a threesome on the cards? Make sure you’re well prepared. Lose the inhibitions. Bring lots of condoms. And pack earplugs.

Monday, September 05, 2005

A Farewell Kiss...

…that takes me by surprise.

No thrusting tongues, no heated panting, no urgent undressing. Instead, the kiss is gentle, dreamy, questioning. It lingers. My eyes hooded and half-open the whole time. Our foreheads touch and we breathe the same air for a minute, laced with silent regret and muted purpose.

I hate airports if I’m not the one leaving. But I was there to help fulfil a promise. It’s been a long time since he’s made one, even longer since he’s kept one. And we both need the practice. We don’t usually do promises – just random surprises – but maybe we’re growing up. It is important to know that we can hold some things sacred. At least, just this once.

I watch him through immigration. Our eyes search for each other through the unnavigable distance of glass and procedure. A casual wave. Another time, another airport, maybe? I smile and half-shrug my shoulders.

And it is on that note of wistful helplessness, that he is gone. With his rugged t-shirt, travel-beaten bags and 2-day stubble. Back to the world and its unpredictable meanness.

I take the last train home. In my best non-farewell outfit – a bright green sundress with beech-brown wedges and ethnic bangles. Back to my life and its ordered madness.

So it was, my last kiss here, bestowed on its rightful owner. And with it, the close of this babe’s chapter in Singapore. On a whisper. For now. No goodbyes, just a see you later.

P.S. Faithful readers, no need to reach for the Valium. This blog will continue in Hong Kong, which is a complete cesspit (meant in the very best way) I've been told. But first, I have to finish packing. Ugh. And then I have to make extra sure nothing starts ticking or vibrating in my bag.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

So is she...Or isn't she?

I noticed a very lively thread of discussion going on in the Comments sections of my last post. Most of it fevered speculation about whether I am a shameless SPG whoring myself on behalf of Singapore Government. Actually I found this allusion quite funny. I mean, it gives new meaning to the term “public servant”, for one. And then gives rise to a bunch of related questions. Do I have to pay CPF? Can I retire early? And will I at least be amply compensated?

I’m not about to ruin my manicure defending myself with guns and cannons blazing because a lot of my other readers have done that for me (thank you) and well, this is my blog after all, I didn’t start it to seek approval from others. What I write is meant to be provocative and I do enjoy people responding strongly to what I post, whether that is derision or delight – as long as it is well-written and reasonably amusing. But there is a fine line between amusing and irritating, so don’t push it.

I suppose though that some sort of moderated response is in order to all this – not as a means of self-justification, but more in terms of giving people additional insight into the way I think about men, sex and this whole incendiary race issue.

Let’s start by reviewing my rather “colourful” sexual history. I’ve had a Singaporean boyfriend for 5 years. (Oh dear, I suppose that had to come out at some point.) I’ve also been with the usual Caucasian suspects i.e. Brits, Americans, Italians, Aussies, Canadians; other Asians i.e. Indians, Malay, Japanese; and the occasional guy from the Middle East i.e. Iranian, Egyptian, Israeli. But South America is still largely unexplored, aside from Brazil.

Suffice to say, it would be a political catastrophe to put all the guys I have shagged into the same room together. But the world is a big place, and there just aren’t enough Singaporeans in it.

If anything, all this just makes me a Slut with a sex addiction. I can live with that. But an SPG who’s a puppet for the Government? (Gosh, now that takes talent.) I’ll leave that for you to decide, I guess. Either way, it’s not about to give me sleepless nights.

Note: For the less well-informed, the Coxford Singlish Dictionary describes SPG as a pejorative term for “sarong party girl” i.e. a Chinese chick that only goes out with Caucasians. God, how I love proper Singlish.

I don’t hold any stereotypical views about the men I shag or where they come from. (Except that all the Japanese men - ok, 2 - I’ve shagged seemed to enjoy jackhammering me to the wall. Is this a particular cultural technique that I don’t know about, someone please enlighten me.) In fact, this blog will attest that I’ve always emphasised what attracts me to a guy is his intelligence, big personality (yup, that's what they're calling it nowadays), sense of humour and how likely he is to be good in bed. These attributes aren’t race-specific.

In my experience, being a terrible lover isn’t race-specific either. And that’s something I try to avoid across the board.

Naturally, I have preferences – not prejudices – in men. For example, I find green-gray-hazel eyes that change in the light completely mesmerising in a man. And I love the look of a thick, black cock. I’m sorry that most Singaporeans I know don’t have these traits, although come to think of it…in the dark (and with the appropriate refractory index i.e. beer goggles) it hasn’t made much of a difference anyway. Heh. I also tend not to be a fan of excessive body hair and my ideal physique on a man is leanly muscled – again, certain races have more of an advantage with this than others.

But I refuse to adopt a blanket view of the world and I defy anyone who tries to force me into any sort of artificial classification borne out of ignorance. One only has to live abroad for a little while – as I have – and meet people who think that anyone Chinese is hardworking, good in Math / Science, doesn’t speak English well and works in a laundry shop to realise how irritating that is.

I know there is a lot of resentment towards the idea that expats come into Singapore to “steal our jobs” and especially, “steal our women”. But please, read a newspaper and get over it already. China’s on its way to taking over the world, or haven’t you been listening. Women of the world swoon at the thought.

People who go around with their holier-than-thou race filters and huge chips on their shoulders don’t do justice to the fact that Singapore’s one of the most integrated, cosmopolitan cities in the world and that Singaporeans (yes, us “natives”) are some of the most friendly, open and welcoming people to external influences. I’m sorry that you see this as something to be ashamed of. But it is you who gives Singapore and Singaporeans a bad name, not me. I’m just the mindless mouthpiece of the government, remember.

So please, give me – and my readers – some credit. Countless people from Singapore and around the world read this blog for a reason. And that reason is not because I’m the sort of simpering, spineless Asian female that literally tries to mate with anyone that lurks around Brix and approximates cowboy accents. And then writes about her adventures using facile, drippy descriptions.

Feel free to disagree, but the Internet is a big place. Nobody is forcing anyone to read anything. And I highly recommend you redirect your browser and any meanspirited aggression to “innocentyounglamb.blogspot.com” or any of the other 2 billion websites that produce literary content worthy of your lofty attention and interests.

I doubt it’s likely to be as riveting a read though. But it’s obvious, we were never meant to be together. Yawn. Now go on, do your worst.