It’s Raining Men

I hear the same thing from my girlfriends all the time. There are not enough men to go around. Where can we meet them, which is the best dating site, and should we try Tinder?

Well, I am here to tell you to go hang out in the small town of Magoebaskloof. That one, up there in Limpopo, five hours out of Johannesburg.

The weather report in Magoebaskloof this weekend? It’s raining.

But it’s raining men.

It’s also five hours out of Johannesburg, off the beaten track, surrounded by the most beautiful mountains and forests, and is especially known for it’s walking and biking trails.

Off I went on this romantic idea – strong, brave Violet – on a journey of self-discovery. I booked myself a small cottage by the lake, took my yoga mat, muesli and fresh orange juice, and planned a retreat. I would rediscover myself, my inner beauty, find my spiritual core, maybe do a bit of writing, try my hand at poetry…

Ha Ha.

I discovered Men.

Men in leather. Men in hiking boots. Men on bicycles. Men who were in good shape. Farming Men. Mining Men. Business Men. Men who were with other Men.

But Men.

And Men in uniform. Firemen and policemen. Strong Men. Handsome Men. Helpful Men.

Next door to my little cottage was a large hotel, and after struggling with the very first line of my would-be poem, I headed to the bar for a whisky.

Whisky is an integral part of the journey of self-discovery.

I sat next to a Fireman. That heavy uniform, big boots, red- hot fire engine outside.

My knees went weak. I dropped my poetry book.

The Policeman sitting nearby picked it up for me. Handcuffs dangling off his leather belt, a truncheon by his side.

I knocked over my whisky.

The bikers nearby ordered me another.

Bikers. Helmets on the floor, in their leathers, mud splashed jeans, drinking beer, very sexy, delicious bikers.

All these men were incredibly polite. And helpful . They helped me with my poetry. They helped me unroll my yoga mat, they helped me light my fire. They helped me find my core, my spiritual well being, and one of them may have even helped me find my g-spot.

I wrote. Reams and reams of poetry. Mostly senseless I think, but hey who cares, I wrote. And when I’d finished writing, I was ready to come home. Inspired.

I stopped at the small coffee shop in the village of Haenatzburg on the way home.

Farmers. In their khaki pants, wearing gumboots, bearing pick-axes.

Mountain climbers. Carrying rope, strong, tanned and muscular.

I had to leave before I got into trouble. I picked up my latte, packed my yoga mat and headed to my car.

Of course it was the policeman who gave me a speeding ticket as I sped off on the windy roads. But he winked as he handed over the R 500 fine. And I winked back.

Magoebaskloof. My new spiritual homeland.

highway patrolman writing ticket

It’s Violet. V – I – O – L – E – T.

My dating profile very clearly says two things.

Please do not contact me if you do not have a photograph.

Please do not contact me if you cannot spell.

The photograph bit is clear. If you don’t have a photograph, it means one of two things:

1. You are an ugly fucker.

2. You have something to hide.

Generally, there is something to hide. Men on dating sites, without photographs, are most often married and looking for a bit of ‘please don’t tell my wife’ sex on the side. I have no time for these men, they are cowards and they should get their cheap thrills elsewhere.

But the bad spelling thing drives me completely nuts. I understand dyslexia and all that, but if you’re online, it means you have a computer. And there is something called spell check. My name is Violet. It’s quite easy to spell.


Yet I receive mails every day:

Dear Vee

Dear Viola

Dear Violate

And even… Dear Violent!

The message is often followed by “I am convinced your the one for me, the luv of my…”

YOUR? Come on, Dear Dater, you surely mean ‘you’re’. Whatever happened to apostrophes? And LUV? What are we, twelve?

I recently decided to play along with one of the guys who called me Violent. His name was John but I chose to call him James. Violet – Violent. John – James. Same difference.

“Violent”, he typed. “I know your the girl for me. Are you wearing panties?”

Again, the apostrophe thing. And so much for foreplay.

“James honey”, I replied, “I was wearing panties. But what you’ve just said there, oh my, it is SUCH a turn on, I’m slipping them off immediately, I can’t wait, oh oh….”

“Good stuff Violent, I’m sending you a photograph of myself now, look how huge I am…”

I did became Violent.

“For gods sake John-James you schmuck; I’m really wearing flannel pajamas and sitting with a bowl of ice cream in front of the television watching Game of Thrones. What do you think, moron? I am not sitting here waiting for a picture of your dick!”

“Your such a bitch!” he typed.

APOSTROPHE, you idiot, apostrophe. I couldn’t help correcting his grammar before I deleted him. That’s why I changed my dating profile: Dear Dater I couldn’t help but crack my computer in half over my knee and throw it out the window. Please understand why my email responses are slow. Please contact me, but only if you can spell. And please, don’t forget the photo.

`Love, Violet V.I.OL.E.T.

First love

There was this guy that I did a lot of stuff with when I was a teenager. We’d bunk school, cycle to the park, share cigarettes and hang out under the trees listening to Jethro Tull.

He was pimply, rough and gawky. I was shy, clumsy and flat chested. We were the perfect pair, this awkward guy and I. Unusual, ungainly friends.

Until he had to leave town. Just as we were growing up and out of our awkwardness, he and his family went to the US. Sad goodbyes, kisses on pimply cheeks, hugs with budding bosoms getting in the way.

We did a whole blood brother thing, promising that we’d still share our first joint together, and our first beer, maybe even our first kiss. Never ever lose contact.

For a while we were okay. Secret phone calls late at night, lazing on our beds. He would play the guitar in New York while I hugged my pillow in Norwood.

Missing him. Feeling things. Suddenly thinking about love.

But time is time. And he started drifting away, and I tried to hold on, but he drifted and I pulled him back but he drifted more and I pulled and he pushed and I pulled some more and then he drifted completely, and I guess I drifted too.

It was more than ten years before we saw each other again.

When we did, there was nothing awkward. His acne had mostly disappeared and my chest measurements had mostly turned magnificent. The boy had turned into a man, I had turned into a woman, cigarettes had turned to pot and the park had turned into a palace.

I fell in love with him, all over again, because really, I’d always loved him.

He’d changed, growing up in New York. He was elegant, sophisticated, handsome, and worldly.

But still pockmarked!

It was good. Great. Until I found out that he was not only good and great with me. There was also a Violet in Amsterdam, and a Violet in London, one in Toronto and another in Tokyo. Violets everwhere – Harare, Malawi and Abu Dhabi.

He was pockmarked but very bloody popular!

I tried to be cool, I tried to be one of many, and I tried to pretend that it didn’t matter. But it did, because goddamnit there should only be one Violet! So I threw him out my house one night, and that it was it. He went.

No more pimples.

I remember crying myself to sleep for days, weeks, maybe even a year, until I was ready to get up and find myself another man.

I got over him.

Until last week. Another ten years later. I was walking through the park, the same park, listening to music, in my own world, dreamy, when suddenly, I walked smash bang boom into this guy.

‘Hey Bud, watch your step’ he said, and I started shaking uncontrollably because my guy used to call me ‘Bud’.

In. That. Exact. Same. Spot.

It wasn’t him. But that ‘Bud’ together with this guy’s pimples, took me all the way back to us. To what we could have been.

I cried myself to sleep that night. Twenty years later. I still cried.

I have no idea where he is today. There’s a huge part of me that wants to find him.

But ‘What If’s’ are holding me back.

What if it isn’t good? What if he’s married with sixteen children? What if there are still a whole lot of Violets?

What if he’s gone bald and fat and ugly and I don’t really care about that, it’s more what if he doesn’t care.

What if, hey?

I don’t think we ever get over our first loves.

Do you?

first love

How to give a decent blow job – and other unusual tales.

Hey Luce, how ya doing’.  I was so excited to hear my best friend on the phone.

‘Oh my god, my neck, I’ve hurt it again, I landed up in the hospital.’

When she didn’t want to tell me how, I knew immediately.


It’s easy when you’re in your twenties to contort your head in a million different directions. In your forties it is just silly and in your fifties it’s just bloody dangerous.

I asked her if she’d given her man pleasure before rushing off to Emergency.

‘Of course’, she said. The look on her husband’s face had been one of ecstasy – there was no way she could stop half way.

I suggested that maybe next time she didn’t look at his face while doing the deed. That may have been the problem.

I gave her a set of rules.

– Put a cushion under your knees.
– Keep your back straight.
– Shoulders down.
– Neck upright.
–  And eyes looking straight ahead.

Do not, under any circumstances, make any sharp movements to the left or the right with your neck.

We both laughed. It’s very hard, in the heat of the moment, to reach out for a cushion, or to worry about your posture.

And it’s almost impossible not to move your neck.

Unless you do yoga where you learn to never move your neck no matter what.

In fact you learn tons of things at Yoga, which are all good for your sex life.  The one thing I learned, that I have never forgotten – open your mouth and stick your tongue out during orgasm. Even if you look ridiculous, it extends your orgasm. Try it but just make sure the guy is taking you from behind and cannot see your face!

Also squeeze your butt muscles. Apart from him loving the feeling, it strengthens your orgasm and makes your butt look pretty damn good.

Sadly, you have to do these things before your partner hurts his neck, puts out his back, bites his tongue, or has a heart attack.

I told Luce about my last sexual exploit.

Claude. Sixty. A very energetic lover.

The last time we’d been together, the sex was fantastic. He knew exactly how to turn me on. I was moaning softly, about to come, when suddenly…

He stopped.

And clutched his chest. Dramatically.

It’s every woman’s nightmare.

I stopped my moaning very quickly when he started his.

My thoughts were not ‘Oh my God he’s having a heart attack, I need to call an ambulance, help, I don’t want him to die’.

My thoughts were ‘Oh my God he’s going to die on top of me, I’m never going to get out, who will find me, how will I explain this, Oh my God, please, please, he cannot die…

He didn’t have a heart attack. But he’d had too much red wine which set off his angina.

It was really scary.

My friend Luce gave me her own set of rules for dating older men.

– Time is of the Essence. Get down to business ASAP.
– Don’t over exert him.
– Always be on top.
– Have his Next of Kin contact details handy at all times.
– Remain semi clothed for a quick getaway, just in case of collapse.
– And whatever you do…


sex tips

The problem with load shedding

Last night I had my phone stolen. I’d had a great evening watching the rugby, waving my flag and feeling fabulously patriotic.

Going home on public transport made me feel passionately South African, and it was only when I sat down on the bus that I realised I’d been pick-pocketed.

My proudly South African moment ended there.

And the night ended with a phone call to my Cellular Service (You are number 3005 in the queue, your call is important to us), another phone call to my Insurance Company (you are oddly enough also number 3005 in the queue, please don’t hang up), and today rushing around to buy a new phone and get a new Sim card.

Of course there’s been load shedding all around the country so my Cellular Service which is always offline, has been even more offline than ever.

So, dodging potholes, I drove to my cellular provider in The Rosebank Mall.

The system was down so they directed me to their store next door to Clicks who were also offline and sent me to Killarney but they were in the midst of a rolling black out and so I came home to do a bit of work and have a drink.

And then the power went out at home so I decided to brave it and went to Campus Square where my provider was under renovation so I had a bacon sandwich at Woolies where the kind man told me there was a new store a bit further out.

I went there and midway through the sim swap the power also crashed BOOM BANG KAPOW and not being able to breathe, I gave up.

So I didn’t get a new phone. And my power at home had still not been restored.

Which meant I had loads of time to sit around and not text anyone, not call my children, not cyber sex, and in fact, do nothing at all but reminisce. And write a story. By hand.

About all my other phones that have been stolen, lost or sadly forgotten.

The Nokia that went through the washing machine. That was a huge trauma. It may have been traumatic for the phone too, but I didn’t have much fun watching it go round and round with soapy bubbles and stained underwear.

The Samsung that I threw into the river when I meant to throw a stick for the dog. The one that the dog refused to fetch, because he cleverly knows the difference between a stick and a phone.

Phones that have been dropped in the loo, splashed free spiritedly into swimming pools, been abandoned in bars, or just mysteriously, disappeared out of bags, or even with bags.

While sitting in the dark, writing this story by candlelight, I had a moment. I stopped thinking about phones. I started thinking it was all quite nice actually. It felt kinda warm, cosy and old-fashioned.

Maybe, I didn’t need to get a new phone. Maybe I could live without electricity. Maybe these were all signs about a life change.

Time to sell my house, relocate and find a small town. One that has no electricity, no phones and no potholes. One where I’ll have solar power and grow my own veggies. Maybe I’ll even meet a man there, live side by side with gas lamps and home grown tomatoes…

Oh hang on. IT’S BACK ON. I HAVE LIGHT. Be right back, rushing off to Rosebank. Thanks Eskom, I love you.


Dating in the suburbs.

I love the idea of meeting men. Slipping on a pretty dress and strappy sandals, a little lipstick and a splash of perfume.

Having my hair washed, smelling like a strawberry, and then, heading out into the big wide world, to hook up with somebody new.


Exciting, but also – such an effort.

The reality of driving to a date, after the waxing, moisturising and perfuming, is a drag. It’s not that easy to change gears in heels. My dress gets crushed and crumpled underneath me in the car and I come close to death every time I take to Johannesburg’s roads. It’s tricky giving the finger, while keeping the window closed for the air conditioning.

And it’s really hard to text and say ‘I may be a little late’ when taxis are pushing in to my lane.

So on my dating profile, I am very clear that men, in this big wide world, must live within a five kilometre radius.

Not only am I a snob and would prefer to meet a man from my area, but I would never dream of driving out to Alberton. Or, even worse, Centurion.

Imagine! The horror.

The long journey.

The moustaches. The paunches. The odd hairstyles.

The conversation. And the sideburns.

Perhaps I’m a little mean. Because there are some nice men from those areas. And men in my area have paunches too.

The truth is, I am just very lazy. And my laziness has led to many a problem.

Laziness has led to the loss of lust.

Laziness has led to the loss of liaisons.

And laziness has led to the loss of many a good lay.

Yesterday morning I met my girlfriends for breakfast. The local coffee shop. It felt like running the gauntlet.

‘Why are you blushing?’ Sara asked me.

‘Because Parkhurst is sitting outside.’ I said.

‘Who’s Parkhurst?’

‘The guy I had dinner with last Saturday. It didn’t go so well.’

‘And the guy who just called you over, the one you tripped over and pretended not to see?’

‘He’s Blairgowrie. Check out the facial hair…’

‘Ah’, she said. ‘What about him, in the white shirt, you stopped to chat to him ?’

‘I think he’s Saxonwold’, I said. ‘I’m not sure. I’m not even sure if I dated him. They all look the same’.

I was very clear about the guy who was sipping tea at the corner table. He was my ex husband.

He was not alone. And he was smiling.

Behind him, nursing a cappuccino, sat my ex lover.

At least he looked miserable.

I was so uncomfortable I asked my girlfriends if they minded moving to the next door coffee shop.

No problem. Because they felt uncomfortable too. They’d also gone through most of the men.

Next door was no better.

I saw Rosebank, Delta Park and Westcliff. All together at one cosy table.

Sara had slept with Rosebank, Lucy had dated Delta Park and well, I’d kind of done Westcliff.

So much for the five kilometre radius.

It was a disaster.

I have no choice but to extend my low mileage rule.

I’m going to have to put on flat shoes, wear a dress that doesn’t crease, wind down the windows of my car, and put the music on full blast.


Hello Alberton, hello…

driving in heels

Dating – just like The Hunger Games.

Dating Games are a lot like the Hunger Games. Except that the Hunger Games are much simpler. They always end in death.

Which is not to say that dating does not end the same way. It’s just drawn out and much more painful. And it usually ends with one party feeling a lot like ‘argh, fuck this’.

I’ve met men in different ways. Sometimes, it’s through a friend of a friend. Other times, online dating sites.
There’ve been chance encounters in coffee shops and bars, and I’ve even tried Tinder.

Each has its difficulties, but hey, we should be open to them all. Because it’s not so much about how we meet the man, it’s about the man himself.

There are several profiles.

The Serious Dater – not to be confused with the Serial Dater. The Serious Dater is looking for a life partner.
This is a good thing. He wants commitment. The Serious Dater usually falls in love with you on Date Number One. He tells you everything about himself in the first hour and keeps no secrets.

He talks about his divorce, his house, his children, his finances, his fondness for walks in the park, even his shirt size. He is kind, caring and always pays for the first date.

But it’s in his eyes. Those puppy dog eyes. The way he looks at you. The way he wants you to care for him. Swaddle him. Coddle him. Nurse him.

Stay away from the Serious Dater. He’s needy.

The Serial Dater – The signs of a Serial Dater are there from the start. Be vigilant. I dated one of these guys recently, and missed every bloody sign.

The eyes that glazed over when-ever I spoke about myself. The click of his fingers, every time he spoke about himself.

The late night phone calls from other women that were explained as work. What I didn’t miss was when he got disgustingly drunk and told me how many dates he’d sat with at the very same table that I was sitting at. Not surprisingly that offended me.

He was offended that I was offended. We ended up offending each other a lot.

Personally, I wouldn’t go near the Serial Dater. He’s offensive.

The Quick Fix Dater – oh my, he is so exquisitely exciting! He’ll meet you, woo you, bombard you with messages, make you feel fantastic, flirt like crazy, seduce you and get you to do things that you never thought you would do.

‘Don’t wear underwear’. He’ll suggest.‘Wear this kind of underwear’. He’ll smile.‘Wear my underwear’. He’ll insist.
He’ll have a great time with you, then drop you as soon as he’s had his fix. He’s the adrenalin junkie. He’s mad.
He’s fun. He’s edgy. But he’s terrified of anyone really getting to know him. He fears rejection. He’ll make you be fearful every time the wind blows and your panties are on show. Be careful. He’s an easy one to fall in love with, he’s the one who’ll break your heart.

Back away from the Quick Fixer. And his underpants.

There’s The Online Dater – He’s the guy you meet online but never offline. He’s intense. He’s intelligent. And he’s devastatingly handsome.

Of course he’s handsome, he’s been photo-shopped. If you suggest meeting him offline, he makes an excuse. I say, if you have more than three good online conversations without a meeting being set up, avoid him. He has something to hide.

Delete the Online Dater.

The Tinder Dater – I tried this once. Tinder is a phone app which picks out your nearby possible matches. It showed me my neighbour. My neighbour, who was recently arrested for having sex with his dog. I took myself off Tinder. I never went back.

I think there shouldn’t be a Tinder.

My last resort is The Twitter Dater – I’ve met a really lovely guy on Twitter, and we’re going out this weekend. He sounds cool. Genuinely. He sent me flowers before the date.

I loved that, and thought I should send him something too. I sent him this story to read. He really liked the story. And I know, I just know, we’re going to fall in love.

The Twitter Dater – try him. He may be your last resort.