‘I wanted to explore my own pleasure’ how I rebooted my sex life

At 35, I realised I had no idea what I really wanted in bed or how to ask for it. So I went on a sex odyssey, one orgasm at a time My story, like all the greats, starts with a disappointing wank. I was on one of the big free porn sites and I saw something that disturbed me. Now, I was used to porn; I had been using/watching/waiting for it to buffer for years. It was just what you did, if you were feeling aroused and alone, wasnt it? But on this night, I found myself thinking about a young woman in a thumbnail picture, hoping she was all right. I turned my computer off and thought about …

Baby with spina bifida receives pioneering keyhole surgery

Jaxson Sharp has spine repaired while in the womb, in first for UK surgeons For the first time in the UK, doctors have performed pioneering keyhole surgery to repair the spine of a baby with spina bifida while still in the womb. Surgeons from Kings College hospital in London used the cutting-edge technique to successfully close a hole in the spine of Jaxson Sharp 27 weeks into the pregnancy. His mother, Sherrie, from Horsham, West Sussex, had the operation after a routine 20-week scan revealed that his spine and spinal cord had not developed normally. The condition can lead to substantial physical and cognitive developmental problems, including paralysis. In the three-hour procedure, surgeons inserted a thin camera and small surgical …

One step ahead: how walking opens new horizons

Whether its to the North Pole or across LA, walking is the fastest way to make more time for life As a child growing up in 1970s Norway, with parents who didnt own a car and loved to hike, Erling Kagge believes one of his first full sentences was: How much further is it? By his late teens, though, hed begun to embrace his parents ethos. By then, for me, walking wasnt just getting from A to B, he says. It had a value in itself. So much so that at 27, he walked to the North Pole and, less than three years later, became the first person to walk to the South Pole alone a 50-day trek with no …

Britney Spears and a civilised response to her mental health | Rebecca Nicholson

The support of fans and the restraint of paparazzi show how attitudes to celebrity distress have changed When Britneys New Look, offered a surprisingly furious satirical riposte: famous young women become sacrifices for a baying crowd, who nitpick at every flaw, literally hounding their target to death. What a difference a decade can make. Last week, Spears posted a quote ondocumentary about Amy Winehouse, one of the moments that remained with me was how much the singers struggles had become a punchline, an excuse for a gag, even a fancy dress costume. To watch people wisecracking about her troubles, through the awful lens of hindsight, is terrible and tragic. Perhaps its too generous, but I find it hard to imagine …

The best form of self-help is a healthy dose of unhappiness | Tim Lott

Were more likely to find solace by accepting reality rather than in positive thinking, says author Tim Lott Booksellers have announced that sales of self-help books are at Blink, or The Power of Now, or A Course in Miracles)? Or a combination of both (The Road Less Travelled)? Is it about success (The Seven Secrets of Successful People) or accumulating money (Mindful Money, or Think and Grow Rich)? Is Caitlin Morans The Secret, You Can Heal Your Life and Robin Skynner in the 1980s, and Depression: The Way out of Your Prison by How to Win Friends and Influence People through to The Power of Positive Thinking and Who Moved My Cheese?, positive thinking seems to be the unifying principle …

Feminism with no human warmth leaves me cold | Zoe Williams

Im a fan of the acclaimed young writer known as the Slumflower. But her sexual creed of exploitation appals me, says Guardian columnist Zoe Williams A couple of years ago, the feminist society of Deptford Green secondary school convened a conference. It was there that I met Chidera Eggerue: aka the Slumflower, author of #saggyboobsmatter movement. She was a remarkable woman. I dont want to call her a remarkable young woman, even though she was 23 at the time: young is such a modifier and she would have been remarkable at any age. Her broad message was one of body positivity: if you love yourself and your shape, nobody can shame you. She built what I thought was a brisk, …

Our goal is to halve the male suicide rate: why no-frills therapy works for men

Every week, around the country, groups of men meet for some straight-talking therapy. Could this be the answer to the male mental health crisis? A stranger has just thrown a ball at me and asked me how my week has been. Its Monday night, and Im sitting in a circle of a dozen men in a chilly community centre. This ball obliges me to tell the gang about my current emotional state. I have spent my entire adult life carefully avoiding situations like this. I came to Andys Man Club with my eyes open, thinking I was ready to share. But thats because I expected a different sort of group therapy session; a place where normal blokes could open up …