Fear of Flying and Dawn French

I am just going to ease you in. Things will start more hectic-ly next week. I am chilled because I have been reading, in between the children and Hagar driving me nuts, and lying naked on the sunbed. It’s not a pretty sight; but liberating and lovely to do.

We have just spent two weeks at our fab house in the Limousin. We let it out so you too can chillax here

I quickly devoured Dear Fatty by Dawn French. It’s an easy read. She is definitely a heroine of mine. But I felt weirdly connected to her for many reasons. In the end I wrote this email to her agent, in the style of her tome and I said:

Dear Ms Dawn French, Impresario of Magnificent Humour, chocolate and Inter-Galatic Divine Feminine Goddess of Greatness,

Please help me. I am your mother. Well, ok not exactly your actually birth mother, but more a modern incarnation of her. What I am trying to say is this – I am the wife of an RAF pilot (Hagar the horrible), and I have two kids, a boy (The Grenade, aged 7) and a girl, (The Menace, aged 2). As well as being a wife and mother, I am a writer of a blog called:


This blog is tales from the domestic frontline and I write it for all women that are married to the MOD and find themselves frequently, married, single, celibate.

I would lurve you to please read my blog and see if you like it. If you like it, I would love you to become an unpaid, altruistic, kind ambassador for my blog and endorse it saying things like:

“This blog is dead good. You should read it because it says stuff that is important and also sometimes it’s funny.”

If you do then I will buy you one of them new, white chocolate oranges.

Just by the by, here are some tenuous reasons why you and me is weirdly connected:

– I went to Uni in Plymouth so I know what a Janner is
– I grew up in Warminster which is near where you and Mr Henry lived when you was betrothed
– I was born in York, which is where Terry’s make their chocolate oranges
– My mum committed suicide

Please help me for so many reasons but mainly because you can and I need some help. But also because I have always thought you were amazing, since the days of the Tube and I have grown up loving your work, plus you seem nice. You seem like the sort of person, who isn’t too famous to help someone like me, if you felt what I was doing was worth it, which I think it is clearly.

Lots of love,


Dear Fatty, is all about Dawn French’s life written as a series of letters to her dearly, beloved friends. Her father was in the RAF and she had an older brother. It’s warm, funny, engaging and in places deeply tragic. Just like life really. At the end of it I wanted to be one of Dawn French’s friends because she seems lovely. I think it could be known as a girl crush.

Mary Mac at Pajamas and Coffee recommended in her blog, Fear of Flying by Erica Jong. In the 70’s it was seen as the epitomy of sexual liberation and female emancipation. Isadora, the main protaganist, unhappy in her second marriage, is dreaming of the zipless f*ck. It is a poignant read for me but not because of sexual emancipation because it made me realise that I am not honest in my writing. I am giving you my best side. I am not telling you about my fat tummy, my stretch marks, my varicose veins, the ugly things I have done in my life, the things I regret, the people I have hurt and my certain intolerances. I am also not telling you about my true naughtiness and liberation, my genuine freedoms, my soaring mind that is limitless in my thoughts of infinite possibilities. I am not sure if I am really ready to let you know what a twat I can be and those moments that make my toes curl up to the sky. I am not sure if many people in my life are ready for my honesty and absolute truth; so for now I will just tell you about one truth. This is the story of one of my zipless f*cks because to be truthful there have been a few.

According the Urban Dictionary, it can be defined as thus:

“A phrase coined by Erica Jong in the book “Fear of Flying”. As described by her – It is a sexual encounter between strangers that has the swift compression of a dream and is seemingly free of all remorse and guilt. It is absolutely pure, there is no power game and it is free of ulterior motives. It has also been described as the perfect one night stand.

The zipless f*ck is the purest thing there is, rarer than the unicorn and I have never had one. – “Fear of Flying”

It was only after reading the Fear of Flying that I understood that I had in fact already experienced the zipless f*ck and that it had happened some 15 years ago before I knew that I was feminist. I have always thought I was free and I always have exercised my freedoms without guilt. Even today I don’t feel guilty that I am incarcerated by marriage and children. I just feel trapped like a caged bear looking for the key and working out how to unlock the door and release myself. So this zipless f*ck happened when I was a student, at The College of St Mark and St John, or Marjons, as it was known. I was in my third year, and one day on campus I spied a fine looking specimen. He was young, handsome, lean and trendy, like a young David Beckham before tattoos; not quite Michelangelo’s David – he wasn’t perfection but he was beautiful, sculptured, young, dumb and full of cum. But I could see see inside his soul and it was clear that he had no depth. (Yes, I judged him and he was probably a young incarnation of Freud, but that is highly unlikely as most students at Marjons were studying to be PE teachers and I believe him to be one of those, so not that sharpest tool in the tin – no offence meant). He was what I would define as a man ‘who is just for Christmas and not for life’. All of the best zipless f*cks I have had are mute – the men don’t speak. I can’t engage in dialogue with them as it ruins the perfection. The first bodged zipless f*ck, I did try conversation but it just revealed how wholly incompatible we were really were.

“Ssh, sssh, ssh!” No speaking; just primitive, carnal, mutual consenting, protected f*cking please.

Thursday night was JFK’s student night and it was dominated by Marjons. Later on in the night, I was leaning across the bar ordering cheap poison when the specimen stood next to me looking as hot as ever. In my drunkeness and without a care in the world, I leaned across and said;
“How about you and me go back to my place for a no strings attached f*ck?”

He looked at me and without hesitation he said,

So we left the club, jumped in a taxi and headed back to my shared house.

What ensued was a night of animal passion and rampant humping. Safe sex, of course, welly boots and wetsuits. It was a great night, which resulted in carpet burns on my shoulders.

In the morning we both woke up and I looked across him and said;

“and your name is?”

He said, “didn’t we do this last night?”

“Just refresh my memory.”

He did reply, but I still can’t remember his name. All I can remember is that he was a deckchair attendant from Bridlington. There you have one of my zipless f*cks. The perfect one night stand. I didn’t care that I didn’t see him again and I didn’t want to see him again. He felt the same. We had agreed it from the start. All I wanted from him was that one great night. I don’t regret it one bit. He was hotter than a snakes ass and I even thought that in the morning. Is this the act of true emancipation? Or do you think I am a floozy? I don’t consider this to be the act of a floozy because I was single and I assume he was single, although I didn’t ask as it would have ruined the moment – I wasn’t interested in exploring his personality. We were both consenting and we were sexually responsible, irresponsibly together. This is the freedom of the emancipated women to make these choices and to live with the consequences without judgement.

In the Fear of Flying is that Erica Jong main protagonist is still Cinderella – men hold the answer to a woman’s happiness. She is still seeking their protection and permission to be loved. I think true emancipation is that the secret to happiness is found within ourselves and not from others. I am looking for the balance between men and women so that we are equally appreciated for our contribution and we are not slaves to each other.

The serious business of blogging starts this week. This is just a light interlude while we unpack and do the washing…..and in the meantime I would like to know – Zipless F*ck – feminist or floozy? And I am asking the following:

1.) Heather @ Notes From Lapland
2.) Vegimitevix
3.) Very Bored In Catalunya
4.) Missy M
5.) Readily A Parent
6.) Coolwhipmum
7.) Bloggertropolis
8.) Mary Mac Pajamas and Coffee

You have been tagged.


  1. My last one night stand (and as it happens my only one night stand!) was with…. my husband. So as “ONE” night goes not very successful, though otherwise bloody fantastic. For this reason I am disgustingly unqualified to answer the question but have to say…. cracking post! Holiday clearly agrees with you.
    (And who doesn’t love Dawn French!)

  2. Feminist definitely. Emancipated certainly. Wise? beyond your years. I had a zipless f*ck – or what should have been a zipless f*ck – with a woman I met online about 7 years ago. All very whirlwind and up front about what we both wanted. And if we’d parted and never saw each other again it would have stayed perfect and unhurtful. But no… the lure of the sex drew us back together again and again and the zipless f*ck became a relationship and we soon found we were like two halves of different jackets desperately trying to zip ourselves together. It was messy and agony and the zipper broke big time. Sometimes one night is the right thing and the best thing. Superb post.

  3. Great post. You’re braver than I. Leave it with me for a while and let me summon up enough courage to spill all knowing the inlaws are looking over my shoulder. Oh dear, there was this time at band camp…

  4. Might I be as bold as to suggest that we might guest post our replies to this on each others blog anonymously. Not to mention giving the blogosphere a lovely new guessing game to play?

    I think we’d all answer more candidly if we could hide our blushes a little?

    Just a thought. Great post though. x

  5. freaking LOVE it. am so glad you were inspired to read the book- and i DEFINITELY recommend her book “Seducing the Demon” the writing memoir- it is amazing and inspirational and talks all about honesty in writing. THANKS for the shout out and the tag and how can I resist? so i ill run a post next week. BRAVO!!


  6. Hi AMMM, welcome back from your frollicking in the sun.

    So, would Fear of Flying be a good book for a man to read? If yes… why?

    BTW I finally introduced you on the Mona Lisa Million Project today. 🙂

  7. Well I, for one, think you are a shameless hussy. This is not how a mommy blogger behaves, my dear.
    Either that or I’m insanely jealous that you had the balls to go for a zipless f*ck and are probably therefore more emancipated than I.
    Although, honestly, sex for me has never been about feminism or even religion, just personal belief.

  8. Holidaying obviously agrees with you hun!!! Zipless f*ck definitely feminist! I had several such interludes in my young single days and miss them an awful lot now i’m a responsible Mother!!!

  9. Hello! So glad you had a great time & are easing us back in gently! I’m also VERY glad you did’t tag me for this one! At my age I’m not sure I remember that far back!! I agree with Dara – you are bordering on a trollope – but we love you!

    PS I’m ahead of you in the ‘be my friend Dawn’ queue!!

  10. Wonderful read yet again! so blisteringly honest. I also may have to wait until my ENTIRE family have passed over before I could ever divulge my sordid past! and me an ex convent girl!! Sister Mary-Oliver is a’spinning!!
    As for whether or not we will ever be free from the judgement of others……… I doubt it. I have three sons and would find it so very hard NOT to judge a young lady in their lives who I knew had been “round the block” even though me myself and I have driven round it ! how hypercritical is that!!

  11. interesting post indeed! i am reading backwards as i had the vegimitevix and Vbored on my reader 🙂
    so I really have to read that book from Dawn French, it sounds great and i liked your letter to her too. I could imagine she will answer, just give it a bit (or a lot) of time, I have gotten a very personal answer from an author once when i just HAD to write to her about a book i could (unfortunately) totally relate to myself.
    As for your view and the so openly shared story of the zipless F, i totally agree that the perfect one night stand is the one consciously initiated by yourself with a few words to the point – and after that, let the bodies do the talking. very true!
    ah..good memories here.. !

  12. Bridlington? Bloody hell – really??Can’t recall any Brid boys looking quite as fine as your description!! “What I will say is….” is all I can remember the Brid boys always using to start every sentence… segway – anyways = great post! Hussy – you? Never! Honest woman – absolutely! Thanks Vegemitevix for the link(-*

  13. So via Heather @ Notes From Lapland, I find myself here. And feeling distinctly jealous. God, how I wish I’d had the confidence, personality, looks and lack of certain mysterious physical encumbrances to have done all this in my teens/20s. I’d like to think that, happily ensconced in my 19th year of monogamy that all those missed (non)opportunities are of no account but I’d be lying.

    Great post, by the way.

    1. A friend once said to me that “no man lies on his deathbed wishing he hadn’t slept with so many women.” Thanks, you are always welcome, physical encumbrances as all – I am just saying that because you did by the way. I didn’t notice any on the MADs pics I saw 😉

    1. That is soooo funnny!! I am so sorry. I thought you won the MADS best picture top banana blogger award – it was a dad who won it. *shakes head in shame* I think 19 years of monogamy by the way is bloody brilliant!!!!

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