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Metro.co.uk: News, Sport, Showbiz, Celebrities from Metro

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  • 11/02/18--05:00: Can women take Viagra?
  • (Picture: Getty)

    Ever since the episode of Sex and the City where Samantha gets addicted to Viagra, women have been asking the question: could popping a little blue pill work for me, even though I’m not the target audience?

    So in order to answer this question, we’ve got the inside track from MedExpress’s expert Dr Clare Morrison.

    Firstly, what actually is viagra? Dr Clare explains: ‘Viagra is a drug licensed to help men with erectile dysfunction.

    ‘It contains the active ingredient Sildenafil which works by causing particular muscles in the body – the smooth muscles that surround blood vessels – to relax. When this happens, there is more space for the blood vessels to enlarge and allow more blood to pass through.

    ‘Blood flow to the penis is the final and most important step for an erection to occur.

    ‘When a man takes Viagra, the smooth muscles around the blood vessels in the penis relax and more blood passes through the penis. It doesn’t increase sexual desire; but simply increases blood flow to the penis for it to become erect.’

    Given that the pill doesn’t actually boost sexual desire (a common misconception), there’s not a lot of point in a woman taking it.

    ‘Scientific research that has tested the effect of Viagra on women is not very promising,’ explains Dr Clare. ‘While the way the drug works to increase blood flow to the area is useful to increase the physical arousal of the body, the drug does not appear to have any effect whatsoever  on sexual desire.’

    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Taking Viagra might not be helpful for women, but does it do any harm? According to Dr Clare, it might do.

    She explains: ‘The same side effects can be experienced  for both genders taking Viagra, some of which include headaches, indigestion,  flushed skin, dizziness and diarrhea.

    ‘In more serious cases, this medication can cause a heart attack or stroke, the rarer and severe erection-related side effects won’t affect women, however.

    ‘There hasn’t been much scientific research about the negative effects of Viagra for women, for this reason, there may also be other gender-specific effects that target women more than men and the medium/long-term risks are unknown.

    ‘In both men and women, this medication can cause opposing effects when mixed with other erectile dysfunction medications, nitrate medications, and medications used to treat sexually transmitted diseases.’

    So on balance it’s probably not worth popping one just to see what happens. A night of dizziness and diarrhea is bad enough, let alone a heart attack.

    If you’re experiencing issues with sex as a woman, it’s not as simple as popping a pill. Firstly you should consider including lubricant in your sex life, as vaginal dryness can be a major cause of painful sex.

    Additionally, you should try talking to your partner and discussing how and why you are struggling to enjoy sex. Sex therapy might be something to consider.

    If more holistic methods aren’t working, Phizer (who make Viagra) also make a pill called Lovegra, which theoretically boosts sensitivity to the vagina.

    You should talk to your doctor about starting new medications and should never take something that was prescribed for someone else. 

    MORE: These are the dirtiest places on a plane

    MORE: The Sex Resort Diaries: Racing goats, threesome offers, and a swingers’ wedding


    Can women take viagra?Can women take viagra?rebeccacnreidCan women take viagra?Can women take viagra?rebeccacnreid

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    ‘I feel my social development as a teen took place as much in PFC as it did in the classroom.’ (Picture: Getty)

    Tower Hamlets, East London. It would be a regular Friday afternoon and I’d be sat in PFC – Perfect Fried Chicken. My friends and I, a group of lively 14 year olds, would bring the buzz of the playground out with us when it reached half past five and the school was closing up.

    Sat around a table, we’d talk for hours over our £1 pound kids’ meals. The fluorescent lights of the fried chicken shop glaring onto the chips and wings in their cardboard boxes made soggy by the plethora of sauces that drenched our food.

    We would discuss, debate and deliberate anything and everything. But something we didn’t ever question was why we were always there.

    It is only recently, as I’ve reflected on my teenage-hood growing up in East London, that I can see just how essential fried chicken shops were to me. And so many other young people.

    For all those years, without my realising it, they have been providing a service. And it wasn’t the fried chicken.

    It was the space.

    I feel my social development as a teen took place as much in PFC as it did in the classroom.

    A chicken shop culture, with its unique language and familial etiquette, had emerged from the web of outlets dispersed across the capital.

    As a young person growing up in London, it was in these fried chicken shops that I felt most independent.

    Going in with a quid for my three wings and chips, or just being there with my friends who were eating, was a decision I had made.

    We’d stride up to the counter, present our pocket change to ‘Bossman’ or ‘Uncle’ and indulge in a feast of unfiltered conversation.

    But truthfully, what felt like a choice was the precise lack of it.

    As a large, mixed group of young people, often the seemingly obvious places to hang out – homes, libraries, parks, cafés – weren’t always feasible.

    We needed large enough spaces where we weren’t going to feel undermined by our school uniforms, or scrutinised for our loud banter. Places that wouldn’t move us on the moment we’d finished eating.

    Homes may be over crowded and spending money limited. But we were young teenagers with boundless energy for life. We were drawn to the places where we felt we belonged, and where we could exercise our new-found independence and sense of agency.

    In our oblivion, fried chicken shops were stitching a tear in our society, allowing us the space to simply be. To develop into our individual selves, form and shape our young adult views as we navigated the intricate dialogue of our peers.

    In retrospect, I feel my social development as a teen took place as much in PFC as it did in the classroom.

    The communication skills that my peers and I acquired and developed were vital in equipping us for the university degrees we would soon embark on.

    I’m now in my second year studying medicine, and chicken shops have cropped up here and there for reasons far from their achievements in community cohesion or provision of safe social spaces.

    Instead, they’re relevance has been around nutrition, childhood obesity and the fast food industry.

    So it has come full circle really.

    Now, as I study the epidemiology of the lifestyle-related diseases and the effect of obesity on health as part of my degree, I find myself in conflict. Because my reality of fast food outlets does not match the picture painted by the text books.

    For me, the societal health consequences of fried chicken shops has been secondary to their role as a social hub.

    As school students, our lack of choice meant our basic social well-being came at the expense of our physical well-being. It’s now up to us to make choices to ensure no person should ever have to have one without the other.

    Looking back, I wouldn’t change my afternoons in the fried chicken shop. But looking ahead, what we need is new legislation which will force large chains and encourage local food outlets to provide safe, social spaces where we won’t have to pay with our health.

    MORE: Cancer Research’s ‘obesity is a cause of cancer’ campaign ignores the very real issue of medical fatphobia

    MORE: Let’s not blame feminism for the obesity crisis

    MORE: No one is going to aim for obesity because of Tess Holliday


    Men eating fast food, fries chicken and friesMen eating fast food, fries chicken and friesqinxieMen eating fast food, fries chicken and friesMen eating fast food, fries chicken and friesqinxie

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  • 11/02/18--07:14: How do Catholics have sex?
  • (Picture: Getty/ Metro.co.uk)

    Welcome to a new series where we ask the question: how do people from different religions have sex?

    We’ll be finding out about how Jews, Mormons, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs and hopefully Zoroastrians (if we can find one who’ll talk to us) have sex. We’ll be asking the same questions about each religion in an attempt to better understand how your faith can shape your sex life.

    This week we’re starting with the Catholics.

    Can you have sex before marriage?

    Nope. Abstaining from premarital sex is quite a big part of being Catholic. That said, being a virgin is not a stipulation for being allowed to get married in a Catholic church.

    Before marriage Catholics go to confession where they are cleansed of their sins ahead of the wedding and are able to take communion on their wedding day if they’re having a mass as part of their ceremony. During this confession a Catholic would be expected to confess to any premarital sex so as to be forgiven.

    Can you use contraception?

    Another no. Catholics believe that using contraception contravenes the will of God, and that family planning should be down to God, not you.

    Catholics traditionally have large families because they don’t use contraception. Catholic couples who want to control how many kids they have are encouraged to use the rhythm method, which involves having more sex when the woman is not ovulating, and abstaining during ovulation.

    Abortion?

    Big no-no.

    Anal sex?

    The jury is out on this one. The bible doesn’t make it clear whether men and women can indulge in anal sex, though it does take a dim view of sodomy between men.

    Online Catholic forums are split between people saying it’s totally fine as long as you’re married, and others saying it’s sinful because it thwarts God’s plan for procreation.

    Romans 1:24-27 reads: ‘women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women…’ which is sometimes interpreted to condemn anal sex.

    Homosexuality?

    Another big no-no. Catholics suggest that if you are attracted to people of your own gender you should practice abstinence as marriage is only permitted between men and women, and sex outside of marriage is sinful.

    How sex positive are Catholics?

    The Catholic church sees sex as beautiful, as long as it is between two people of different sexes, within a marriage.

    Next week we’ll be asking how Orthodox Jews have sex. 

    MORE: Can women take Viagra?

    MORE: These are the dirtiest places on a plane


    how do catholics have sex? (series)  gettyhow do catholics have sex? (series)  gettyrebeccacnreidhow do catholics have sex? (series) gettyhow do catholics have sex? (series) gettyrebeccacnreid

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    fitness
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Jet lag is arguably the worst part of travelling. There’s nothing worse than returning home on a high after the trip of a lifetime, only to be hit by a brick wall of fatigue.

    The thought of going back to work, doing your chores or even functioning as a human being can seem overwhelming. All you want to do is sleep, but then at 4am, all you want is a bacon sandwich.

    Your rhythms are totally upended, and it can take days to right yourself. Days that most of us don’t have to spare.

    But experts say there could be a simple answer to beating jet lag – all you have to do is get yourself to the gym.

    It probably seems like precisely the last thing you want to do when you’re spaced-out, dazed and exhausted, but exercise could hold the key to alleviating your jet lag and making you feel more human.

    It all comes down to the science.

    Jet lag is basically caused by a lack of oxygen when you fly, which is why it’s worse after a long flight. Of course, switching time zones adds to the effects of disorientation, but the significant symptoms are thought to be caused by your O2 levels.

    ‘In simple terms, there’s less pressure of oxygen (O2) in the air the higher you go,’ Dr. Ian Perry told Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Acclimatisation to this decreased oxygenation of the blood takes on average about three to four weeks. As the human body goes higher, and gets less oxygen, the effects above 10,000ft can be very variable from person to person.

    Does jet lag make your depression worse?
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    ‘You become “anoxic”, short of O2. The first sign can be a loss of colours in your vision. The red cells in your blood carry the oxygen, on becoming deficient, the tissues throughout the body begin to suffer.’

    Cabin pressure during a flight is actually lower than sea level, so your body’s ability to absorb oxygen is reduced. This can lead to the feelings of lethargy, exhaustion and restlessness in the days following a long flight.

    And while there’s no quick fix for re-oxygenating your body, exercising can help you to re-acclimatise to your time zone and reset your circadian rhythms.

    Jet lag symptoms

    The main symptoms are sleep-related. They include:

    • Difficulty sleeping at bedtime and waking up in the morning
    • Tiredness and exhaustion
    • Finding it difficult to stay awake during the day
    • Poor sleep quality
    • Concentration and memory problems
    • Jet lag can also be associated with indigestion, constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.

    NHS

    When struggling with jet lag, your brain is desperately trying to readjust to its new surroundings and timings. Exercise can give your brain a helping hand in a number of ways.

    Firstly, getting the blood pumping releases feel-good endorphins, which will go a long way in tackling the mild nausea and irritability that’s typical after a long flight.

    Secondly, getting outside and soaking up some sunlight will help the body reset and adjust to the natural time patterns. The more time you spend in the sun, the quicker your body will adjust and re-synchronise with the new time zone.

    sleep well
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Jet lag expert and founder of 15th Degree, Papillon Luck, says exercise is a game changer for realigning the body, but it’s not the only thing that helps.

    ‘Exercise plays a major role in helping to prepare and acclimatise across all three stages of pre, during and post travel,’ Papillon explains.

    ‘Exercise helps regulate the body’s temperature, which is another way for our circadian rhythms to re-adjust. A great travel hack is to add in a cold shower post exercise to regulate your core temperature.

    ‘The biggest cause of fatigue is dehydration. Nutritionally, new research suggests fasting adjusts our circadian rhythms faster than light. A recent study suggests a 16-hour “fast” is ideal, timing the end of your fast with breakfast in your arrival destination.

    ‘Airlines are getting on board and no longer wake you for a meal you don’t want. Drinking water and herbal teas also helps feelings of fullness and helps reduce dehydration.

    ‘Optimising rest is another vital travel hack. Enough well-timed snoozes can help top up your body’s reserves making acclimatisation on arrival a quicker process.’

    now that summer is over, it's harder to harness that spring
    (Picture: Ella Byworth)

    There’s no definitive research highlighting which exercises are best for jet lag, so it’s probably best to listen to your body.

    A brisk walk in the sunshine or a light jog might be more preferable than intense cardio if you’re feeling wiped. But if you’re feeling up to it, a weight session can help wake up your muscles and give you a quick fix of energy.

    When should you exercise?

    Before you travel, get any high intensity interval workouts done. During the flight, you need to make effort to move and stretch to alleviate circulation issues that can cause DVT.

    Frequently do squats and lunges at the back of the plane and dynamic stretching movements in your chair every hour.

    Arrival day isn’t the time to smash out a heavy weights session, as your immune system will already be compromised from the long-haul flight and you want to prevent illness.

    Instead it’s cardio time with low-intensity training such as running, swimming, yoga, pilates and body weight exercises (think planks, press ups, burpees). On arrival, try to exercise in the morning, ideally in natural daylight where possible.

    Many hotels have run clubs led by organised coaches, enabling you to get social with other guests or run without worrying about getting lost in a new city. There’s always park bootcamps happening in a city.

    The hotel gym has upped its game and many offer luxury gyms and spas. If you prefer indoor workouts, try to ensure you schedule daylight hours in the morning and lunchtime. A swim in a basement hotel gym, will not be as effective if the light exposure is too dimly lit, as the wrong lighting at the wrong time can affect your energy and performance.

    Remember we’re trying to use exercise to adjust to the new time zone as quickly as possible.

    Papillon Luck

    Jet lag is no joke. For people who travel frequently for work, or to visit relatives, the effects of jet lag can be seriously debilitating.

    Travel expert Susan Parry explains, ‘It’s easy to see jet lag as a minor inconvenience, but the data shows that it is causing Brits to lose literally millions of days of their hard-earned holiday each year – and hitting businesses in their bottom line.’

    A 2015 review found that UK businesses lose 20 million days of work each year because of jet lag. They also found that 77% of long haul flyers said jet lag negatively impacted their concentration, while 49% said it caused them to make errors at work.

    The best way to reverse these effects is to take matters in to your own hands and do everything you can to recover quickly. That means you might have to find space in your hand luggage for your trainers next time you fly.

    MORE: Could ‘Conscious Movement’ be better for you than HIIT?

    MORE: This is why exercise could help ease your PMS

    MORE: Is it worth spending money on expensive yoga kit?


    fitnessfitnessnataliemorris88Does jet lag make your depression worse?sleep wellnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that springfitnessfitnessnataliemorris88Does jet lag make your depression worse?sleep wellnow that summer is over, it's harder to harness that spring

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    Liz, not pictured above, is a gold medal winning swimmer (Picture: Getty Images)

    For over 20 years I was lucky enough to have my dream job as a professional athlete; a job which saw me travel the world and achieve my ultimate goals of winning bronze, silver and gold medals, competing at three ParalympicGames.

    And beyond the medals and accolades, my sporting career also blessed me with things we all aspire towards: autonomy, respect and financial security.

    Being a part of the Paralympics GB was an amazing experience and I’m extremely thankful to the British public for their continued support throughout my career. But like any other athlete, able-bodied or disabled, I always knew one day I’d have to hang up my swimsuit and forge a career outside of the pool.

    As my retirement approached, I found myself face-to-face with the uncomfortable realities of life as a disabled person – who’s not a Paralympian.

    The Games are fantastic in showing that disabled bodies can excel physically and mentally, setting records and defying expectations. Unfortunately, where the Paralympic movement has made gains, the rest of society has failed to keep up, leaving us with the binary view of disabled people as para-athletes in waiting or sympathetic sob-stories.

    My sporting career shielded me from this as I lived in the bright, exciting world of professional sport. My public profile presented my body as my engine and it was recognised for its achievements, not its flaws.

    On retirement, I began to see the world differently. My disability now had the potential to be seen as a burden rather than an asset. I’ve been lucky enough to not have seen a huge shift in how I’ve personally been treated, mainly because I’m fortunate to have a strong network who know me well and the benefits that come from having a public profile.

    But what I have noticed is the impact of not training 30 hours per week: everyday tasks have become more tiring and time consuming as I’m no longer at the absolute peak of fitness compared to when I was swimming competitively. And it’s made me more acutely aware of ‘what could have been’ should my early career have taken a different path.

    ‘Normalising anything takes a concerted amount of time and effort, but it is achievable.’ (Picture: Liz Johnson)

    Society loves to focus on limitations and problems rather than what can be achieved and there’s this idea that disabled people will makes things too difficult to be ‘worth it’.

    Equal opportunities forms may claim to welcome disabled applicants but this means nothing without company adjustments to back it up.

    Disabled people make the able-bodied feel guilty because society is structured to discriminate against them, but instead of making changes in society, like improving access or incorporating adaptive technology, we choose to assuage this guilt by making disabled people less visible.

    One in five people in the UK is disabled but research from Scope shows we account for just 2.5% of media representation, demonstrating how far disabled people are pushed from consideration and the conversation. Out of sight, out of mind – for 14 million of the UK population.

    And it’s not just in the media where we’re missing and misrepresented, but also in the workplace. The UK currently has a disability employment gap of 30%, meaning that disabled people are almost twice as likely to be unemployed as a non-disabled person.

    This rate has been at a stand-still for over a decade. You don’t need me to point out that this needs to change.

    The Paralympics brought us face-to-face with disabilities on a daily basis. Athletes were on our screens, in the news and splashed across the papers. We celebrated their achievements and talked openly about their impairments.

    As a result, the public soon became comfortable with the image of the para-athlete. It’s time to transfer this acceptance across the board into mainstream society: to accept the day-to-day of disability.

    So, what needs to be practically done to achieve equality?

    We need everyone to commit to the cause. There’s already a demand for increased opportunities for disabled people (14 million Brits will contest to this!). Now it’s a matter of meeting them.

    If you’re in a position of power, use it and create more opportunities for disabled people. For those in positions to hire new employees, it’s time to genuinely consider disabled applicants, not just using them as a CSR tick box, but actually hiring them.

    For those in positions to cast, photograph, write a script, or represent those living with disabilities, it’s time to step up your contribution. Consumers will appreciate this diversity and you’ll soon realise impairments don’t have to be burdens, they can be assets.

    By increasing our exposure to disabilities we’ll be able to transfer the acceptance of the para-athlete across the board, helping people realise disabled people are just people. With proper communication and education, we can help normalise disability and create a society that’s truly inclusive instead of one that aspires to be.

    Normalising anything takes a concerted amount of time and effort, but it is achievable. Everyone has a role to play in eliminating the disability binary, so let’s work together to achieve equality for disabled people that sets us on the path for equality for all.

    MORE: Hate crimes against disabled people like me are dismissed. But they exist and they’re terrifying

    MORE: Deaf people face barriers all the time. I’m determined to make sure we can enjoy music too

    MORE: ASOS deciding to show models in wheelchairs means the world to disabled fashionistas like me


    Young female swimmer in competitionYoung female swimmer in competitionjessrubyaustinYoung female swimmer in competitionYoung female swimmer in competitionjessrubyaustin

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    (Picture: Miri Gullbring for Metro.co.uk)

    If you’re struggling with fertility issues, there might be an alternative solution to your problems – and it doesn’t involve doctors’ appointments, expensive tests or lengthy waiting times.

    Instead, to help you along the way to pregnancy, some experts claim that yoga could be the answer.

    Developed in India 5,000 years ago, the practice – which includes various types such as Hatha, Vinyasa and Ashtanga – has in recent years been debated as a natural remedy for women who are struggling to conceive.

    ‘Problems with fertility are often stress-related, where you end up in a vicious cycle of want and frustration, so something like yoga can help,’ Clare Maddalena, a senior yoga teacher and doula, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘It’s about helping women relax, destress and remove anxiety. Generally, when we practice yoga, it helps us access our parasympathetic nervous system, which in turn lets us rest and digest, not just food, but also big experiences that we might have had, as well as improve our immune system, our mood and help us sleep better. All helping set up some conditions in our busy world, to help our overall health.’

    Clare is also the founder of LushTums, a pregnancy yoga and antenatal education company, and has personally worked with over 10,000 women since she started teaching yoga in 2003.

    She explains that although yoga is helpful with fertility, she wouldn’t recommend hot or drying practices, such as Bikram yoga, which is done in a room heated to 40C.

    Another option is medication classes or a gong bath.

    ‘I would avoid hot yoga, but encourage women to look at something more relaxing such as yin or restorative yoga instead, as well as meditation classes and even gong baths,’ said Clare.

    ‘Gong baths are very relaxing and help tune and heal the body at a very deep level – you lie all snuggled up in blankets and relax while stunning gongs and Tibetan bowls are played. The sound waves literally wash over and through you, and it feels amazing.’

    There are certain positions that are said to boost fertility, too, such as the Bee Breath, Resting Pose and Supported Butterfly Pose.

    While yoga could help with fertility issues, most experts express this isn’t a direct physical change, but rather a reduction in mental health stresses such as anxiety, which in turn affects the body.

    ‘Doing yoga will not directly make you pregnant,’ Tim Allardyce, a chartered physiotherapist at Surrey Physio tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘This is not a magic secret, and success is certainly not guaranteed. However, doing yoga can have significant mind and body benefits that will  help you to get pregnant. The body is complex, and when you place the body in a stressful environment the body may naturally try to prevent you from conceiving. This is a survival mechanism.

    ‘Why does yoga help? There are a number of reasons why yoga can be beneficial for fertility. Firstly, yoga teaches you how to deep breathe. Breathing is incredibly important to keep the body in homeostasis or balance and making sure the right amounts of oxygen and carbon dioxide is in your blood.

    ‘But also, deep breathing helps relaxation and when the body is relaxed, it is more likely to provide an environment suitable for growing a baby. Yoga is also good for stabilising the pelvic floor muscles which help can help support the internal organs, such as the bladder.’

    Reduced stress is a recurring theme when discussing the benefits of yoga – and it doesn’t just help women.

    ‘For some women, chronic stress can affect ovulation by alternating signals to the hypthalamus, the centre of the brain that regulates some of the hormones that trigger the ovaries to release eggs each month,’ Dr Andrew Thornber, chief medical officer at Now Patient, tells Metro.co.uk.

    ‘Overly anxious women may ovulate less regularly and for men, stress has also shown to lower sperm counts.

    ‘Stress can play a huge impact on couples trying to conceive and so the practice of yoga to mediate the mind and relax the body could certainly help towards trying to conceive.’

    As they say, the proof is in the pudding.

    Clare explains how one women she worked with was able to conceive because she had let go on the ‘want and need’ for getting pregnant.

    ‘Sometimes in life, we get fixated on what we think we want, however a big part of yoga is connecting to our own personal truth, deep down, whatever that might really be – and sometimes that is actually different to what we think we want,’ she said.

    ‘For instance, it could be that we think we want to have a baby right now, but deep down we might sub-consciously know this is the wrong time for us, we might be with the wrong partner or busy with our careers, or we might just be a little scared of it. Yoga and meditation can help us find acceptance of where we truly are at.

    ‘One lady came to my women’s yoga classes specifically because she was struggling with fertility.

    ‘She was about to embark on her second round of IVF, but something in her shifted. She decided not to do the IVF at this time and instead book tickets to go travelling around the world.’

    ‘Something in her letting go of the wanting and giving herself more space emotionally, mentally and physically, had a huge impact for her. The next time I saw her she was coming to the pregnancy yoga class instead!

    ‘She went on to have two babies.’

    While it seems yoga can definitely help you on your way, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll get pregnant. But, it might just improve your odds.

    Namaste.

    Top 7 yoga poses to boost fertility

    The Standing Forward Bending Pose
    Uttanasana (or the Gorilla Pose/Padahastasana for a similar effect)
    This pose is a fantastic one to jump into, especially because it targets the pelvic region. It increases blood flow to this area, as well as to the nervous system. It relieves the abdominal area of stress and allows for more flexibility in the spine, which is a good start to increasing fertility.

    The Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana)
    Due to being seated rather than in a standing position for this pose, it can add an alternative method for increasing fertility. The ovaries and the uterus are stimulated, as well as stress being relieved from the lower back and hips.

    Bee Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)
    This pose is centred around relaxing the body and mind, rather than targeting a specific body part. However, it shouldn’t be disregarded, as eliminating anxiety and stress can in turn aid the improvement of fertility. The Bee Breath targets the pituitary gland and aids it in stimulating the production of sex hormones needed to increase chances of fertilisation.

    Balasana (Resting Pose)
    The Resting Pose contributes to the pelvis being aligned more healthily, as well ensuring that the thigh, hip, and ankle muscles are properly stretched. Like the Bee Breath, it is also useful for relieving the mind of anxiety and stress, making it a well-rounded choice to encourage fertility.

    Butterfly Pose (Baddha Konasana)
    Whilst actively improving the suppleness of the hip and pelvic regions, the Butterfly Pose also ensures that the muscles of the genitals and inner thighs are stretched properly. Blood flow is also increased to the abdomen, pelvis and lower back, and sperm count can be increased for men due to the motion of the thighs.

    Janu Sirsasana (Head to Knee Bend)
    The Head to Knee Bend stretches the hamstrings and calves in the legs and removes tension from the abdomen and lower back, as well as strengthening the muscles. It is a great option when looking to eliminate tension, stress, or anxiety when working towards fertilisation, and can also be executed during pregnancy.

    Setu Bandhasana (Supported Bridge Pose)
    The main benefit of the Supported Bridge Pose is improved blood flow around the body, which relaxes the mind as well as the body. Having a similar effect to the Resting Pose, it soothes the brain and the central nervous system during its execution, creating the calmness needed for fertilisation. It also aids the expansion of the pelvic region, and the improved function of the thyroid due to increased blood flow.

    Source: Luke Hughes, qualified personal trainer at Origym

    If you have your own story about fertility you’d like to tell, a topic you would like discussed, or a question you would like answered, please do get in touch at fertilitystories@metro.co.uk.

    You can find all our Fertility Month stories here.

    MORE: How to get into yoga if you’re not flexible

    MORE: Meet the mum who freebleeds and breastfeeds while doing yoga

    MORE: I feel like my fertility issues are forcing me to have a child before I am ready


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    Caption: METRO ILLUSTRATIONS (Picture: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uk) Social infertility is very real and very shit Is there a word for when you find out there???s a name for something you???ve been feeling or experiencing? Because if there???s not, there should be. You see I recently found out (via this wonderful piece my friend Emily Maddick wrote for Grazia magazine) that there???s a snappy term for the fact that I desperately want children but might not be able to have them because I???m still fucking single. It???s called social infertility. While plain old medical infertility is something you hear about all the time, social infertility is so rarely spoken about I only just came across the phrase a couple of weeks ago and I???m afflicted by it. Like mental illness - which is only now starting to be treated as seriously as physical health issues ??? social infertility is seen as something that???s either made up or totally avoidable if only the person concerned would just pull their socks up and bloody get on with it. But I???d like to make it very clear here and now; I am not being too picky, I am not playing fast and loose with biology because I???m a spoilt brat who thinks she can always get her own way, and I am certainly not prioritising my career and purposely putting procreating on-hold to climb the greasy pole - I simply haven???t met anyone I could possibly, under any reasonable standards, have children with. And believe me, no one???s more disappointed or upset about this fact than me. To give you some background, I???m 35 and have been single for all of my 30s and a decent chunk of my 20s. Yes, I???ve dated. Yes, there have been people I???ve liked and others who have liked me (although, unfortunately, rarely the twain have met). I???m the product of a stable, loving, two-parent family, and have always envisioned creating my own equally traditional family unit with marriage and kids. And yet, despite my long-held hopes, dreams, and many, many dates, it hasn Copyright: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uk
    ‘I am not too picky, I am not playing fast and loose with biology. I just haven’t met anyone I could possibly, under any reasonable circumstances, have children with’ (Picture: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uk)

    Is there a word for when you find out there’s a name for something you’ve been feeling or experiencing? Because if there’s not, there should be.

    You see, I recently found out (via this wonderful piece my friend Emily Maddick wrote for Grazia) that there’s a snappy term for the fact that I desperately want children but might not be able to have them because I’m still fucking single.

    It’s called social infertility.

    While plain old medical infertility is something you hear about all the time, social infertility is so rarely spoken about I only just came across the phrase a couple of weeks ago and I’m afflicted by it.

    Like mental illness – which is only now starting to be treated as seriously as physical health issues – social infertility is seen as something that’s either made up or totally avoidable if only the person concerned would just pull their socks up and bloody get on with it.

    But I’d like to make it very clear here and now: I am not being too picky, I am not playing fast and loose with biology because I’m a spoilt brat who thinks she can always get her own way, and I am certainly not prioritising my career and purposely putting procreating on hold to climb the greasy pole.

    I simply haven’t met anyone I could possibly, under any reasonable standards, have children with.

    siam goorwich-4fe3 (Picture: Siam Goorwich)
    ‘Barely a day goes by where I don’t think about my desire to have children – but with every day that goes by, it gets less likely’ (Picture: Siam Goorwich)

    And believe me, no one’s more disappointed or upset about this fact than me.

    To give you some background, I’m 35 and have been single for all of my 30s and a decent chunk of my 20s.

    Yes, I’ve dated. Yes, there have been people I’ve liked and others who have liked me (although, unfortunately, rarely the twain have met).

    I’m the product of a stable, loving, two-parent family, and have always envisioned creating my own equally traditional family unit with marriage and kids.

    And yet, despite my long-held hopes, dreams, and many, many dates, it hasn’t happened.

    Barely a day goes by where I don’t think about my desire to have children and the fact that, with each passing day, it’s getting ever so slightly less likely.

    It’s such an awful, hackneyed cliché, but in recent years I’ve genuinely begun to feel like there’s a ticking time bomb hanging over my head, counting down the minutes and seconds until my reproducing time is up.

    I used to read articles about women who’d ‘left it too late’ to have children and think what idiots they were.

    HOW could they not realise they were getting a bit past it? HOW had they got their priorities so wrong? WHY didn’t they just get out there, grab the nearest bloke, and get right to it?

    Now I realise how incredibly stupid and naïve I was.

    My other socially infertile friends and I now regularly talk about the prospect of going it alone (either through adoption or with the help of a sperm donor).

    But while some of my mates are adamant they’ll do whatever it takes to be a mum, the concept of purposely having a child on my own is so far removed from anything I ever hoped for or expected, I’m not sure I could go through with it.

    But then am I really willing to surrender to the alternative – a life without children of my own?

    Aside from that terrifying prospect, the worst thing about social infertility is how it makes you feel about other people.

    I nearly wrote this piece anonymously, because some of the feelings of jealousy I’ve experienced in the past few years are so ugly and unseemly, I wasn’t sure I wanted to admit them in public.

    Lots of my friends now have children – children I love and genuinely enjoy hanging out with – but when it comes to strangers, things get a little more messy.

    Sometimes, when the women file in for the pregnancy yoga class that follows my Saturday morning Pilates session, I’m filled with a bitter rage at the unfairness of it all, and there are certain parts of my local area I avoid going to alone because it’s so full of smug young families that it sends me into spirals of despair.

    These feelings aren’t pretty, but I know for a fact I’m not alone in experiencing them.

    So, if you too are in this complete shitter of a boat, please let it be known. We may not have the families we hoped for (yet), but we are far from alone.

    Fertility Month

    This story is part of Fertility Month, a month-long series covering all aspects of fertility, from trying to conceive and coping when you can’t to practical advice on fertility and the ins and outs of IVF.

    We will be talking to people at all stages of the fertility journey, whether they are part of a couple or going it alone, and we will be speaking to doctors, midwives and fertility experts on the way.

    If you have a question you would like answered or a story you would like us to tell, please get in touch at fertilitystories@metro.co.uk.

    You can find all Fertility Month content here.


    Social infertility is very real and very shitSocial infertility is very real and very shitsiamg1Caption: METRO ILLUSTRATIONS (Picture: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uk) Social infertility is very real and very shit Is there a word for when you find out there???s a name for something you???ve been feeling or experiencing? Because if there???s not, there should be. You see I recently found out (via this wonderful piece my friend Emily Maddick wrote for Grazia magazine) that there???s a snappy term for the fact that I desperately want children but might not be able to have them because I???m still fucking single. It???s called social infertility. While plain old medical infertility is something you hear about all the time, social infertility is so rarely spoken about I only just came across the phrase a couple of weeks ago and I???m afflicted by it. Like mental illness - which is only now starting to be treated as seriously as physical health issues ??? social infertility is seen as something that???s either made up or totally avoidable if only the person concerned would just pull their socks up and bloody get on with it. But I???d like to make it very clear here and now; I am not being too picky, I am not playing fast and loose with biology because I???m a spoilt brat who thinks she can always get her own way, and I am certainly not prioritising my career and purposely putting procreating on-hold to climb the greasy pole - I simply haven???t met anyone I could possibly, under any reasonable standards, have children with. And believe me, no one???s more disappointed or upset about this fact than me. To give you some background, I???m 35 and have been single for all of my 30s and a decent chunk of my 20s. Yes, I???ve dated. Yes, there have been people I???ve liked and others who have liked me (although, unfortunately, rarely the twain have met). I???m the product of a stable, loving, two-parent family, and have always envisioned creating my own equally traditional family unit with marriage and kids. And yet, despite my long-held hopes, dreams, and many, many dates, it hasn Copyright: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uksiam goorwich-4fe3 (Picture: Siam Goorwich)Social infertility is very real and very shitSocial infertility is very real and very shitsiamg1Caption: METRO ILLUSTRATIONS (Picture: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uk) Social infertility is very real and very shit Is there a word for when you find out there???s a name for something you???ve been feeling or experiencing? Because if there???s not, there should be. You see I recently found out (via this wonderful piece my friend Emily Maddick wrote for Grazia magazine) that there???s a snappy term for the fact that I desperately want children but might not be able to have them because I???m still fucking single. It???s called social infertility. While plain old medical infertility is something you hear about all the time, social infertility is so rarely spoken about I only just came across the phrase a couple of weeks ago and I???m afflicted by it. Like mental illness - which is only now starting to be treated as seriously as physical health issues ??? social infertility is seen as something that???s either made up or totally avoidable if only the person concerned would just pull their socks up and bloody get on with it. But I???d like to make it very clear here and now; I am not being too picky, I am not playing fast and loose with biology because I???m a spoilt brat who thinks she can always get her own way, and I am certainly not prioritising my career and purposely putting procreating on-hold to climb the greasy pole - I simply haven???t met anyone I could possibly, under any reasonable standards, have children with. And believe me, no one???s more disappointed or upset about this fact than me. To give you some background, I???m 35 and have been single for all of my 30s and a decent chunk of my 20s. Yes, I???ve dated. Yes, there have been people I???ve liked and others who have liked me (although, unfortunately, rarely the twain have met). I???m the product of a stable, loving, two-parent family, and have always envisioned creating my own equally traditional family unit with marriage and kids. And yet, despite my long-held hopes, dreams, and many, many dates, it hasn Copyright: Virgin Miri/ Metro.co.uksiam goorwich-4fe3 (Picture: Siam Goorwich)

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    ?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all?
    Saul is a very grumpy looking cat (Picture: RSPCA)

    If there’s one thing we’ve learned from years on the internet, it’s that people bloody love a grumpy-looking cat.

    So we reckon Saul – or Grumpy Cat 2.0, as he’s been nicknamed – will find a loving home in no time.

    Saul has gained a reputation for looking entirely unimpressed after he landed himself in the RSPCA’s animal hospital.

    The poor ginger kitty was found on 15 October in Peckham High Street, where he’d been hit by a car. He was taken into the hospital with injuries to his jaw, teeth, and one of his eyes.

    No wonder he’s not that cheery.

    ?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalSaul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a carSaul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all?
    (Picture: RSPCA)

    Thankfully staff at the Putney animal hospital were able to give Saul the treatment he needed

    RSPCA London Veterinary Director Caroline Allen, said: ‘Saul was brought in by one of our animal collection officers after a gentleman found him wandering along the High Street in Peckham in the rain.

    ?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all?
    (Picture: RSPCA)

    ‘He was in a very sorry state with and had discharge coming from his eyes and nose and looked very poorly indeed.

    ‘We believe he was involved in a road traffic accident as we found he had injured his jaw, teeth and one eye – all leading to his rather unique look!

    ‘He’s had to have his jaw wired so it’s no surprise he’s a little grumpy!’

    ?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all?
    (Picture: RSPCA)

    Saul’s unusually unimpressed expression earned him the name Grumpy Cat 2.0, as well as plenty of love and fuss from the staff.

    The cat is actually very happy and affectionate… he just has resting grumpy face.

    ?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalSaul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a carSaul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all?
    (Picture: RSPCA)

    Saul is not microchipped and staff reckon he has been living as a stray, so he’ll soon move to the RSPCA’s cattery in Southall to find a new home.

    Caroline said: ‘Despite his constant scowl, Saul’s actually really sweet and friendly.

    ‘We’re sure someone will fall in love with this glum-looking puss! In fact, we think he could be a bit of a star.’

    MORE: Chunky cat Doughnut finds loving home after landlord forces owner to give him away

    MORE: Can yoga help with fertility issues?


    ?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalellencscott?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalSaul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a carSaul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalSaul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a carSaul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalellencscott?Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalSaul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a carSaul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospital Saul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a car Saul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all??Grumpy Cat 2.0? displeased with injuries that land him in RSPCA hospitalSaul - or Grumpy Cat 2.0 as he?s been nicknamed - was rushed to the RSPCA?s animal hospital with injuries having been hit by a carSaul the cat is very unhappy that he?s ended up in hospital after being hit by a car. Although staff at the RSPCA?s London hospital are ensuring the ginger puss is happy and comfortable, he?s very displeased at being there at all?

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    Day five at a sex resort: Sea, spanking, and titty shots
    We’re starting to feel a bit vanilla (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    We’re Ellen and Chris, two classic Brits uncomfortable being naked and talking openly about sex stuff.

    So when we were offered a holiday to Hedonism II, ‘the sexiest place on earth’, ‘an all-inclusive paradise’, and an ‘iconic adult playground’, we had to say yes.

    Hedonism II is, essentially, a sex resort. There are nude beaches, classes on fetishes, and necklaces that declare your sexual interests to other guests.

    While we’re here, we’ll be writing daily diary posts about what it’s like at Hedonism II’s Young Swingers Week, culminating in a final article about what we discovered at the end of the week.

    Here’s our recap of day five.

    Ellen

    I feel like the biggest party-pooper on the planet.

    An hour into our third go at the nude pool’s swingers party I’m suddenly struck with a buttload of anxiety. It’s nothing to do with the nudity, or the man doing lines of coke off a naked woman’s pubic bone, but the mass of people packed into the pool trying to chat, flirt, and pick which couples they’d like to invite to the playroom.

    Turns out a fear of crowds isn’t quelled by adding water.

    It’s that overwhelm of people combined with something else that makes me ask Chris if I can go back to our room and hide under the covers. I feel like I’m letting down the Young Swingers squad by, well, not swinging.

    Am I letting down the Young Swingers by not swinging? (Picture: Ellen Scott/Metro.co.uk)

    How dare I jump in the nude pool, chat with wonderfully friendly people, but only have sex with the person I came with? I feel like a traitor to the spirit of the party, a deeply vanilla fuddy-duddy who’s worried about crossing a conversational line into an orgy.

    Thankfully I’m not alone in this. Chris repeatedly turns down a woman’s numerous offers of ‘titty shots’ (yes, that is indeed the act of pouring a shot on a woman’s large bosom and letting the lucky shot-taker slurp the booze off the nipples).

    When experienced swingers advise us that any woman with a pink bead on their necklace will be up for making out, Chris reacts just as I do: the kind of terrified enthusiasm you muster when a group of cool kids want to go and see a film above your age rating.

    I’m endlessly thankful that everyone here is deeply respectful of consent and comfort levels, and that my monogamous guilt is entirely self-inflicted. No one has seemed put out or pissed off that Chris and I aren’t sucking and f***ing with wild abandon. They just genuinely want us to have a good time.

    Which we are having, promise.

    Chris

    They say that the average human has 22 square feet of skin, which is enough to fill the space of a standard doorway, and between full body baby wipe washes at Glastonbury to putting sun cream on EVERYWHERE at a nudist resort I’m genuinely surprised that there isn’t more.

    Unbeknownst to me, the sun isn’t the only thing I need to protect myself from.

    We’re one of few who attend a Playroom Etiquette seminar after breakfast. We’re told about a 30+ person ‘mega orgy’ back in March, that required mattresses being delivered in like aid in war, while I’m still brushing croissant flakes off my lap.

    In absolute truth, the seminar scares the bejeebers out of me. It’s seven levels of spice above my Mango & Lime version of swinging. The playroom is a place to act out your wildest fantasies, but to share that experience with every other Tom, Dick, and Sally in there.

    It’s a place where a shoulder touch or eye contact can have you in a conga line of thrusting, or be an invitation for others to infiltrate and join your own sexual relationship with your partner.

    I came on this expedition to dip my toes in the lifestyle, but this is a full, knees-next-to-ears divebomb into fluids.

    Swinging isn’t all fun and f***ing – people have gone through real challenges for being part of the community (Picture: Ellen Scott/Metro.co.uk)

    But I completely respect the people who do choose to take the leap and enter those doors. These are people who have crafted air-tight, loving relationships, but have got there in complex routes and with huge potential roadblocks to navigate.

    People who could lose their jobs, friends and family for, what still is to many, an underground lifestyle faced with extreme prejudices.

    But why? We all know somebody who has been cheated on, or cheated. Isn’t that betrayal more morally unambiguous than a relationship that’s completely consensual by at least three other parties?

    It’s a thought that carries me into our next seminar; Erotic Spanking and Impact Play.

    The first demonstration sees our instructors strike a furry racket on the edge of a leather table in a deafening thunderclap that would erase me from this Earth if it made any contact whatsoever with my tush.

    The next 60 minutes are dedicated to how you make that safe in practice, physically and mentally, before culminating in a do-it-yourself spank-a-thon with the latest and greatest whips and paddles.

    I’ve seen things while I’ve been here, man.

    Things I never thought I would.

    But it’s at this moment I’m told that everything I’ve accumulatively experienced so far has been part of a wider ‘slow start’, and that things will really start getting freaky on Wednesday and Thursday…

    The Sex Resort Diaries will be running all week. You can read day one, day two, day three, and day four here and check back tomorrow to read tales of Chris’s experience with Jamaican weed and forced orgasms. 

    MORE: Winter vagina might not be a thing, but winter penis is

    MORE: How to make sure you have enthusiastic consent for sex

    MORE: Why do people cheat?

     


    Day five at a sex resort: Sea, spanking, and titty shotsDay five at a sex resort: Sea, spanking, and titty shotsellencscottDay five at a sex resort: Sea, spanking, and titty shotsDay five at a sex resort: Sea, spanking, and titty shotsDay five at a sex resort: Sea, spanking, and titty shotsellencscottDay five at a sex resort: Sea, spanking, and titty shots

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    Metro Illustrations Metro Illustration How to survive a girl's holiday Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk
    (Picture: Dave Anderson/Metro.co.uk)

    The girls’ holiday is something most of us will do in our lives. Whether it’s for a birthday, a hen do or a school reunion, it’s a rite of passage and can build lifelong memories for your friendship groups.

    As we get older and life gets in the way, annual holidays can be one of the only times you get to spend any real, extended quality time with your close group of friends. A trip away can be an invaluable source of bonding, helping you reform connections and remember the fun of your childhood or university days.

    But female friendships are complex. Throw that complexity on a plane, with a million obstacles over money, planning and adapting to foreign cultures – and your dream trip could easily turn into stressful nightmare.

    Operating in a large group can be challenging. When you’ve spent a lot of money on a trip, and everyone has different agendas, tempers can flare and arguments can spark. If you leave it unchecked, the tone of the holiday could easily turn sour, resentful or passive aggressive.

    I just returned from a trip of a lifetime to Las Vegas. Ten of my closest pals and I packed our bags full of sequins, glitter and perspex heels, and jumped on a plane. The holiday was in honour of a few of us celebrating a birthday… let’s just say it was a big birthday.

    In the run up, I was nervous. The trip had been my idea and everyone was paying hundreds to be there – I wanted it to be perfect, and I had no idea what to expect.

    I had never travelled with a group of that size before and I was worried about how we would all get on. In smaller groups, I have the best time with all of them, but all together – for five days – I didn’t know how everyone would interact.

    Obviously we had to wear sequins to the Bellagio (Picture: Natalie Morris/Metro.co.uk)

    It turns out my fears were completely unfounded. We had the time of our lives. Ridiculous nights out, fantastic days by the pool, endless laughter – I feel closer to all of them than ever before.

    But it could have so easily gone the other way. The perfect girls trip takes planning, flexibility and some seriously chilled out attitudes. Here are our top tips to avoid the drama and create a girls trip you’ll remember for all the right reasons:

    Choose wisely

    If you’re planning the trip, don’t forget that you have an element of choice. Choosing carefully who’s going to come along can make a world of difference.

    For example, don’t invite the girl from uni who fell out with all your home friends that Christmas.

    It might be wise not to invite someone who doesn’t know anyone else who’s coming on the trip – they could end up clinging to you, or feeling totally isolated.

    It’s also probably a good idea to avoid those really fiery personalities. If you’ve got a mate who always starts a fight after two glasses of prosecco – leave her at home.

    These are our ‘Vegas faces’ (Picture: Natalie Morris/Metro.co.uk)

    Delegate tasks

    Planning a trip for a big group of people takes some serious work. And the bigger the group, the more admin you’ll have to do. Booking dinners, day trips, hotels, flights and everything else, is a huge job and can’t fall to one person. Otherwise they will likely get over-stressed and start feeling resentful.

    Share the load when it comes to organising. Make it one person’s job to make restaurant reservations, another could book the day trips and someone else could be in charge of printing all the documents.

    Splitting up these tasks gives everyone a chance to feel involved in planning and makes sure it doesn’t become overwhelming for any one person.

    Don’t over-plan

    There’s nothing worse than feeling like you have no time for yourself. If you forget to schedule in down-time, your trip can quickly start to feel more like a boot camp than a relaxing vacation.

    Obviously all groups are different, some will want to see all the sites and others with want to sit by the pool. It’s important to feel like you have a choice and that not every second of the trip has already been allocated.

    Holidays are expensive and leave from work is scarce, when people actually get to go on holiday they want to have some choice in what they do with that time. Having an afternoon with nothing planned can be the perfect time to relax and let people do exactly what they want.

    How to avoid arguments

    Listen to each other

    Nothing is more of a turn off than talking to someone who refuses to hear what you have to say, trust me there is always one in a group holiday.

    My advice is make sure you are not guilty of this by listening to what your friends have to say, after all they are wanting to share this holiday with you.

    You don’t have to like their choices and you don’t need to agree on everything. However, both parties can learn a lot if they remain civil and are willing to consider what the other is saying.

    Discuss what you want to do on the holiday, and what everyone else wants to do. Don’t make the whole conversation about you, remember its a group holiday.

    Remain calm

    Don’t act like a child and throw a temper tantrum if something annoys you, it’s not an effective way to make your point as an adult, no matter how angry or hurt you may be. And it’s a quick way to ruin a great holiday.

    If you feel your blood pressure rising, or tears about to escape, excuse yourself and go somewhere quiet to compose yourself. This doesn’t mean you have to be made of stone, or not express your emotions, but there is a time and place for everything, and under the influence of alcohol is not a good time.

    Pay attention

    These people are your friends and you want to treat them with the same respect you would hope for in return. As a group, discuss the holiday rules; bringing people back to the apartment, how you are going to split costs, sleeping arrangements etc. If this is done before you leave then the holiday will go a lot more smoothly.

    Talking about saftey is of high priority – you need to look out for one another and try to avoid anyone being left on their own. Talk about the importance of communication and letting others know your whereabouts if you choose to go off.

    And remember – you’ll never be able to please everyone, so give up trying. Let people who don’t like your choices have their own opinion, its their view point not a fact, and it doesn’t need to ruin the trip.

    Lianne Young, Relationship expert

    Have alternative options

    In any friendship group you’re always going to have the party-animal and the home-bird, the thrill-seeker and the introvert – there are no activities that are going to please everyone all the time.

    To get around this, it’s useful to provide different options, such as this afternoon we an either try the bungee jump, or read quietly on the beach. Making it clear to people that nothing is mandatory is a great way to remove anxiety and tension.

    Most people are flexible and willing to compromise to an extent, but if there’s something that people just don’t want to do, there has to be an alternative. That can be key in helping to maintain a positive vibe.

    The stories about girls getting free drinks in Vegas are 100% true (Picture: Natalie Morris/Metro.co.uk)

    Spend time with each other

    Although time to yourself is really important, the whole point of the girls holiday is to spend time with your best friends. Make sure you’re spending time all together – even if it’s just sitting in each other’s hotel rooms, or eating dinner as a group.

    Inevitably, bigger groups will break down into smaller ones, and this can be really useful for the trip, but spending time with everyone can be really fun – and how often do you get to sit around the table with all of your best mates at the same time? It’s the perfect way to bond and solidify your friendship.

    Do a tester trip

    Before committing to flying halfway around the world with each other, why not try a smaller trip to test the water?

    A day trip to Paris or a weekend staycaytion in the countryside could be just the thing you need to spot any potential problems or tensions.

    It could be that it goes so well you book your flights to Australia then and there. Or you could dissolve into fights and tears after three hours. That would suck – but at least you would only be in Devon and not stranded 26 hours from home.

    Perfect planning tips

    • As a group, roughly agree on what you’re looking for – dates and budget are key as they have the potential to dictate who can and can’t go, then other things like possible destination, type of board and accommodation.
    • Remember that the whole group is paying for the holiday – giving everyone a stake in how it’s put together will set things off on the right foot. That said, once there’s a general consensus, nominate a group leader. Ideally it will be someone with experience of the intricacies of group travel. Not having a clear group leader really drags out the process and decreases the likelihood that the group will find something that they all agree on.
    • A sure-fire way of racking up the excitement levels, building a strong consensus and increasing the likelihood of a successful holiday is by giving the party options to choose from. But remember, clearly defined options are more likely to promote a positive outcome than badly researched ones!
    • Choose a travel company that will allow you to split the bill between the group – payment pains are the cause of most issues in groups. Nobody wants to chase their friends for money!
    • The planning doesn’t stop when the travel and accommodation is booked, for a truly successful group trip, do some research on the destination. The group will love you if you can fall straight into a great bar or restaurant after a long journey.

    Tom Pain, Travel expert, CEO, My Swft

    Introduce friends who don’t know each other

    Different friendship groups can always be a bit tricky to combine. You have your school friends, your uni friends, your work friends and a load of other random mates – all with different in-jokes and personalities.

    If you’re the glue holding all the groups together it can be a bit of a strain – you might not even realise how different you are with different friends until your worlds collide.

    The best thing to do is introduce these different groups before you go away. If possible, organise a dinner or a night out with the different groups – that way, when you get on holiday everyone will already have met each other and it takes the pressure of the linchpin of the groups.

    Dancing through the Venetian after a night out (Picture: Natalie Morris/Metro.co.uk)

    Holidays can be make or break. The total escapism of being abroad and away from the normality of life can be the perfect environment for relationships to flourish, or it can heighten tensions and push people to the limit.

    Ultimately, if your core friendship group is solid, you’re probably going to have an amazing time. Sunshine, frozen margaritas and tequila shots are the perfect recipe for a good time.

    If your holiday ended in fraught conversations, fights and drama – maybe the friendship was already in trouble to begin with.

    MORE: How to cope when you are stuck between two friends who have broken up

    MORE: Could a breakup holiday with your ex be the perfect way to get closure?

    MORE: Can you be a feminist and still want a fairy tale wedding?


    SEI_37918343-d171SEI_37918343-d171nataliemorris88Metro Illustrations Metro Illustration How to survive a girl's holiday Dave Anderson for Metro.co.ukSEI_37918343-d171SEI_37918343-d171nataliemorris88Metro Illustrations Metro Illustration How to survive a girl's holiday Dave Anderson for Metro.co.uk

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    I became distant from other people, and felt exposed when the opposite sex showed interest (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    In the early 2000s, I was prescribed anti-depressants and anti-psychotics as a 10-year-old; they were meant to help with the symptoms of my OCD and Tourette’s Sydrome.

    They never stopped my tics, or the repetitive behaviour that’s part of my OCD, but not taking them was never considered.

    I never imagined the treatments I had as a child would have the effect it did though – essentially making part of my body numb and cease to work.

    After all, I was too young to know what ‘impotence’ was.

    I hadn’t heard of the word ‘drugs’ either, but I was very familiar with medications – I had to take them every day.

    It wasn’t until I was 21 that my genitals began to feel numb, like a piece of meat hanging between my legs.

    People with mental health issues deserve more than this.

    My penis stopped rising and tingling in the presence of attractive women, and my girlfriend at the time pointed out that my erections weren’t working properly.

    I gradually began to feel like I had lost a significant part of myself; any genuine enthusiasm had gone, like I was no more than a shell.

    My girlfriend didn’t understand and became angry, and it wasn’t long before we broke up.

    Reluctantly, I accepted that this was real; I went to the doctors and, with their advice, stopped taking the drugs.

    Shortly after, there was a slightly overwhelming counter-surge of uncontrollable arousal, ejaculation and orgasm spells called Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder (PGAD), but after that subsided, I found myself with even less sexual arousal response than before.

    I knew that the impotence was being caused by the drugs and began doing the humiliating rounds of erectile dysfunction diagnostic clinics.

    I was always the only man without grey hair and a walking stick.

    I remember one harrowing occasion, when I was in a clinic being injected in the penis with Viagra, I wondered what the other young people my age were doing and how they were enjoying their freedom.

    I became distant from other people, and felt exposed when the opposite sex showed interest.

    One rare time I went to a party, a girl was staring at my genitals seductively and, for what seemed like an eternity, absolutely nothing happened.

    Another friend used to put her feet teasingly on my genitals. I think she guessed somehow, and we stopped being affectionate soon after.

    I’d feel particularly terrible around my male peers with whom I played football.

    I’d have no desire to go on holiday, and even now I tend not to hug people, and this has probably gotten worse over the seven years I’ve lived with this condition.

    It is an odd torture to go through at such a young age.

    Eventually, I was referred to a uro-neurology team at a central London hospital and the doctor there told me: ‘You would be surprised, I actually get a lot of people that are referred to me with this’.

    He confirmed that I had Post-SSRI Sexual Dysfunction (PSSD), and said that I would not necessarily go back to normal as there is no cure.

    I am now ashamed that my response to hearing this news was to storm out of this doctor’s office in anger. I blamed the drug companies, feeling that I hadn’t been sufficiently protected.

    I have spent a lot of my life wishing I could die, especially in my early 20s.

    But my desire to live my adult life free from impotence was enough for me to venture through the unknowns of antidepressant withdrawal and persevere through months of horrible symptoms, such as full-body electric shock sensations, sometimes referred to as ‘brain zaps’.

    I have been living in shame and silence, but somewhere deep inside I know that I cannot be alone.

    I have done my own research on long-term PSSD and was shocked to see that there are thousands of others reporting it on the Internet.

    My aim now is to raise awareness about this condition, because people are just not being given enough information when they are advised to take medications for life.

    It is an absolute outrage that drug leaflets do not mention this possible outcome in detail.

    Even now, for the drugs I was prescribed, while sexual dysfunction is mentioned as a symptom during treatment, no mention is made of permanent harm.

    The advice given to my mum then, and to other vulnerable and desperate people suffering with mental illness, is that, ‘there is nothing to lose – if there are any side effects, they will be completely resolved as soon as you stop taking the drugs’.

    But we now know that is not always the case.

    Mind, a prominent UK mental health charity, actually states, ‘Certain sexual problems are a potential negative side effect of all SSRI and SNRI antidepressants… Sometimes these side effects persist after you’ve come off the drug, and might continue indefinitely.’

    My mum has since said that if she had been given more information about PSSD when I was a child, she would not have agreed to me taking the pills.

    Of course, I live in hope that one day there might be a cure for my symptoms, and I can feel like a human being again – I hope a cure is found for everyone living with this condition.

    People with mental health issues deserve more than this.

    MORE: Becoming a mother has meant accepting a lifetime of anxiety

    MORE: It’s unrealistic to think students will not take drugs so our university is explaining how to do it safely

    MORE: Girl Guides should welcome trans people as members – it’s not up for debate


    over-eating-at-christmas metro illustrationsover-eating-at-christmas metro illustrationssirenabergmanukover-eating-at-christmas metro illustrationsover-eating-at-christmas metro illustrationssirenabergmanuk

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    ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: The xx kinds of mum you find on parenting forums (Emily-Jane Clark)
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Baby name trends move fast.

    Back when you were a teen there were a tonne of Kates and Rachels. Now you’ll spot loads of kiddos called Amelia and Poppy.

    So it’s hard to predict what the big baby names will be in ten years time. Who knows if a new TV character called Olive will suddenly send that name rocketing up the list? What if an awful president kills off another boy’s name?

    The experts over at Nameberry can’t predict that bit, but they can use the trajectory of every name that’s been used over the last decade to chart which baby names will be popular in a decade.

    They’ve looked at the movement of all the baby names up and down the trend list over the years to bring out a list of names they reckon will be huge in 2028.

    ‘In general, popularity patterns follow regular patterns, rising and falling with the same precipitousness,’ said Pam Satran, co-creator and CEO of Nameberry.

    ‘Names that get popular fast, usually thanks to a celebrity or a pop culture event, tend to fall just as fast. Beyonce, used for 105 baby girls in 2008, was used for no baby girls last year.

    ‘And names that are popular over several years tend to stay that way for several more before starting a very gradual slide.

    ‘Emma entered the Top 10 in 2002, for instance, moving in and out of the Number 1 spot but lingering in the Top 5, and we project it will still be in the Top 5 in a decade.’

    Take a look at their forecast of popular names ahead, and do feel free to take inspiration if you’re expecting a sprog any time soon.

    Girls’ names that Nameberry says will be popular in 2028

    Girls' names that Nameberry says will be popular in 2028

    1. Charlotte
    2. Amelia
    3. Harper
    4. Emma
    5. Olivia
    6. Evelyn
    7. Mia
    8. Aria
    9. Ava
    10. Sofia
    11. Avery
    12. Penelope
    13. Mila
    14. Scarlett
    15. Kinsley
    16. Camila
    17. Paisley
    18. Nora
    19. Emilia
    20. Eleanor

    Boys' names that Nameberry says will be popular in 2028

    1. Liam
    2. Mateo
    3. Maverick
    4. Noah
    5. Lincoln
    6. Lucas
    7. Henry
    8. Theodore
    9. Jaxon
    10. Oliver
    11. Carter
    12. Benjamin
    13. Wyatt
    14. Leo
    15. James
    16. Easton
    17. Greyson
    18. Elija
    19. Jackson
    20. William

    We’re looking forward to predictions further in the future, like for 3018. Here’s hoping something edgy like Zorp comes into fashion.

    MORE: Social infertility is very real and very shit

    MORE: I found the perfect sperm donor – but I never got my happy ending


    ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: The xx kinds of mum you find on parenting forums (Emily-Jane Clark)ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: The xx kinds of mum you find on parenting forums (Emily-Jane Clark)ellencscottILLUSTRATION REQUEST: The xx kinds of mum you find on parenting forums (Emily-Jane Clark)ILLUSTRATION REQUEST: The xx kinds of mum you find on parenting forums (Emily-Jane Clark)ellencscott

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    ‘I forced myself to make memories knowing that there was a possibility they might be all I was left with.’ (Picture: Elena Davies)

    When I first heard the term ‘rainbow baby’ and ‘there is a rainbow of hope after every storm’ to describe a child born after baby loss, I hated it.

    It made me clench my jaw in defence of my beautiful first born son who was anything but the cloudy storm the phrase implied he was.

    He was rays of sunlight bursting through the clouds and comforting warmth; there has never been anything negative or dark about him.

    However, as time passed and my grief moved between stages, I realised he was not the storm, his death was.

    The aftermath of hearing the earth shattering words ‘your baby has died’ and learning to somehow put one foot in front of the other without him was the loudest, most terrifying storm I’ve ever sat through.

    The darkness of his loss was all-consuming.

    There is such a physicality to baby loss. My body felt empty; quite literally after I had birthed all 5lbs 11oz of my beautiful boy and in a hundred other ways I never could have imagined.

    My arms twitched with their futility, my heart physically ached with grief and every inch of my body was silently screaming with the wrongness it felt. Something was missing and my body knew it as much as my brain did.

    The only part of me that was blissfully unaware were my breasts, which cruelly leaked their liquid gold none the wiser.

    I felt as though I had lost all purpose. I didn’t just want another baby, I needed one. Which is why we so desperately needed that tiny glimmer of hope that came in the form of our rainbow baby.

    Elena’s daughter, Lilian (Picture: Elena Davies)

    When I said it out loud, the words ‘another baby’ felt so flippant. I was terrified that the world around me would think I couldn’t wait to replace our son and move on.

    But moving on implies leaving something behind and we knew from day one that our son would always be at the centre of our family.

    His name is spoken regularly and he is very much a part of our lives, but in that desperate phase of grasping for hope with one hand and clinging onto him for dear life with the other, I felt ashamed to be thinking about our next child.

    I didn’t have to think for long though as I, very unexpectedly, fell pregnant a mere five months later.

    Pregnancy was so different this time. The little spark of excitement tried so hard to burn only to be squashed by crippling fear.

    For weeks I hated talking about the fact that I was pregnant. When the people closest to me let their glimmers of hope for us grow I took a step back.

    Off the cuff comments about who this baby might be, what they might look like or what traits they would inherit made me angry. I couldn’t allow myself to indulge in those much needed and necessary moments of optimism.

    That little speck of hope continued flickering away though, getting brighter and brighter. Some days I could see it clearly and those were the days I took advantage of and used to spur myself ahead.

    ‘When our daughter arrived safely I truly understood why they’re called rainbow babies.’ (Picture: Elena Davies)

    I forced myself to make memories knowing that there was a possibility they might be all I was left with. I wanted to know I had made the most of my time with my baby in case pregnancy was all the time I had.

    People were keen to focus on the end goal rather than the present, which I found challenging sometimes.

    Well intended comments about becoming first time parents felt careless but I learnt very quickly that people didn’t mean to be dismissive of our son.

    They hadn’t forgotten his existence but it is far easier to nudge someone forwards towards the light than sit in the darkness with them even for a moment. Gentle, careful optimism was our focus and fortunately that carried us through.

    When our daughter arrived safely I truly understood why they’re called rainbow babies.

    She burst through the clouds, a bright force of nature, to give us hope. She turned the lights back on (and up another notch!).

    Our son is the beautiful sunlight that gave way to the storm and our daughter is the little slice of magic that appeared through it.

    On the darkest days when I feel like I am drowning in my grief for her big brother, she is the little spark of light that helps guide me to the surface.

    You can find Elena on her blog, or on Instagram.

    Fertility Month

    This story is part of Fertility Month, a month-long series covering all aspects of fertility.

    For the next four weeks, we will be speaking to people at all stages of the fertility journey as well as doctors, lawyers and fertility experts who can shed light on the most important issues.

    If you have a story to tell or a question to ask, please do get in touch at fertilitystories@metro.co.uk.

    Here is a selection of the stories from Fertility Month so far - and you can find all Fertility Month content here.

    MORE: Fertility Month: Why we are talking about fertility this month

    MORE: I found the perfect sperm donor - but I never got my happy ending

    MORE: Plastic could be affecting your fertility – here’s how and why

     

    MORE: What is a rainbow baby?

    MORE: Rainbow babies: Are you carrying a child after a miscarriage? I know exactly how you feel

    MORE: Fathers feel the impact of baby loss, just like mums. Please don’t forget about us


    Elena 1-4291Elena 1-4291jessrubyaustinElena 1-4291Elena 1-4291jessrubyaustin

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    ‘In the throes of loneliness of trauma I discovered pole dancing after a friend recommended it.’ (Picture: Blogger on an pole)

    In my early 20s I felt lonely and lost. Some of my best friends were leaving London, and I had no idea what to do with my future.

    When I met a man who seemed to love me madly from day one, I fell for it.

    Fast forward a few months, and he had hit me and abused me, leaving me broken, with anxiety, PTSD and depression that I still fight to this day.

    In the throes of loneliness of trauma I discovered pole dancing after a friend recommended it.

    As a child, I used to do gymnastics. I missed the thrill and danger of being upside down and the rush of adrenaline it gave me. I was instantly tempted by the opportunity to reclaim those feelings.

    Besides, running or going swimming wasn’t an option for me anymore. Those activities left me alone with my thoughts and I desperately wanted to be outside of my head.

    I fell in love with pole after my first lesson. The studio near my campus looked like a boudoir and got me in the mood for dancing.

    The teachers were welcoming and accepting of all shapes, sizes, genders, sexual identities and ages. There was no judgment.

    In no time I learned how nurturing the pole dancing community can be, and how rewarding the sport is. Because, regardless of what people may think, it is a sport.

    Unlike what stereotypes seem to portray, baring it all is far from easy.

    Instagram Photo

    People who frowned at me for taking it up saw pole dancers as easy women looking for attention, while people who encouraged me pictured us as hyper-feminine, uber-confident, slinky goddesses.

    While the first view stems from the idea that women couldn’t possibly want to dance for something other than male attention (which is obviously stupid), it’s the second one that I felt at odds with.

    I had never been a dancer. I had never felt graceful, or sexy, before I started pole. I alternated periods of being ok with my body with hatred for it, happy only at my skinniest, not at my strongest.

    At my first showcase I was so terrified that I did my bit and left. I didn’t want people to tell me how bad I was or criticise that I wasn’t wearing sexy underwear. I wore a crop top and denim shorts instead.

    But after a while, I got more confident. I started wearing less and less.

    Part of this is because the more advanced you become, the more bits of your body you need for friction to stay up on the pole.

    However, for me, it had to do with enjoyment. I started to accept my body. I’ll never get rid of my cellulite – and that’s fine – but my I am strong and I love dancing in heels.

    I was finally doing something for myself because I enjoyed it, and there was no pressure to look or act a certain way.

    Instagram Photo

    I started to love and value myself for me.

    Coming from a place of trauma, I was allowed to grieve for what happened to me. I learned that the abuse I experienced wasn’t my fault and it didn’t make me less of a person.

    Since taking up pole I have become a staunch believer that women – and everyone else – have the right to do whatever they want with their bodies.

    No one has any right to police someone’s clothes – whether they are fully dressed or wearing a bikini.

    Pole celebrates women – in a safe environment.

    I am now a full-time PhD student, a writer, a blogger and a pole performer. I am working to become the woman I have always dreamed to be since I was a teenager, before life derailed me.

    And I am happier than I had been for a long time, because I have nothing to hide: all these conflicting aspects of my life feed into and nurture each other.

    You can find Carolia at bloggeronpole.com. Her novel, Bad/Tender, was published this year.

    MORE: Meet the wheelchair user who’s on her way to the pole dancing championships

    MORE: After taking part in Naked Attraction, I went celibate for a year

    MORE: Plus-size pole dancer hits back at online trolls who called her a ‘pig’


    Carolina picture-82feCarolina picture-82fejessrubyaustinCarolina picture-82feCarolina picture-82fejessrubyaustin

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    (Picture: PA Real Life)

    Mum Erin Christy dotes on her dog, two-year-old Boxador Dexter.

    A cross between a Labrador and Boxer, Erin loves him so much she is willing to spend up to £300 each month on feeding him raw meat.

    Shunning the average tin or packet of doggie grub, Erin feeds Dexter an exclusive diet of duck heads, rabbit feet, innards and bone.

    The 37-year-old from Birmingham, New York, insists Dexter is far healthier as a result.

    ‘Dogs are natural carnivores,’ she said. ‘It makes no sense to feed them on the processed dog food you get in the shops that mostly consists of grains and synthetic vitamins.

    Erin feeds Dexter a daily assortment of raw meats (Collect/PA Real Life)
    (Picture: PA Real Life)
    Beef grind with a quail's egg and a whole mouse on top (Collect/PA Real Life)
    (Picture: PA Real Life)

    ‘As humans, most of us accept that processed food isn’t good for us – so why would you give it to an animal?

    ‘I want my dog to be healthy and most of all to enjoy his food, getting the same pleasure from it as a human would.

    ‘People say that feeding a dog raw animal parts is dangerous and I get a lot of idiots online telling me: “You’re going to kill your dog”.’

    ‘But they’re just ignorant and don’t understand that it’s so much more natural than normal pet food.’

    Dexter tucks in to a whole quail (Collect/PA Real Life)
    (Picture: PA Real Life)
    Turkey and vegetable grind, a duck's head and smelt fish (Collect/PA Real Life)
    (Picture: PA Real Life)

    After spending $100 (around £78) a week on normal dog food, Erin decided to buy off-cuts from local farms and meat producers, which they would usually throw away – saving her $300 (£235) each month.

    To get the most from animal carcasses she buys, Erin prepares dishes that include beef lung, turkey gizzards, bone dust, duck heads, pork heart and rabbit feet, garnished with parsley or dried dandelion greens for Dexter.

    Erin said the vet has noted his good health, insisting Dexter loves the grisly dinners she prepares – measuring the nutritional composition of every meal, to give him 85% muscle for protein, 10% bone-in meat for calcium, 5% liver and 5% of another secreting organ, like a kidney or pancreas.

    Dexter wasn’t always fed raw meat, he had been given kibble at first and then introduced to a carnivorous diet, but showed more enthusiasm for the latter, said Erin.

    A doggy ice lolly made from blood, kefir and mashed blueberries (Collect/PA Real Life)
    A doggy ice lolly made from blood, kefir and mashed blueberries (Picture: PA Real Life)

    ‘He had been pretty unimpressed by the dog food I’d been giving him but his enthusiasm for the steaks was immediately clear.

    ‘At first, I’d mix it in with the kibble, but he’d always pick the meat out.’

    Erin, who was once given an entire lamb carcass and let Dexter eat a leg with the skin and wool still on, has no problem with grinding up bones and handling bloodied animal heads.

    ‘It does get a bit messy sometimes though. But it’s worth it. I love my dog and I want him to enjoy life.’

    MORE: British animal lovers are giving cannabis oil to their pets – even though it is illegal

    MORE: Finally a vegan cook we can all relate to – meet your new BFF, Rachel Ama


    Doting dog owner prepared to spend ?300 a month on feeding her pet a feast of just raw meatDoting dog owner prepared to spend ?300 a month on feeding her pet a feast of just raw meatfaimabakar1Erin feeds Dexter a daily assortment of raw meats (Collect/PA Real Life)Beef grind with a quail's egg and a whole mouse on top (Collect/PA Real Life)Dexter tucks in to a whole quail (Collect/PA Real Life)Turkey and vegetable grind, a duck's head and smelt fish (Collect/PA Real Life)A doggy ice lolly made from blood, kefir and mashed blueberries (Collect/PA Real Life)Doting dog owner prepared to spend ?300 a month on feeding her pet a feast of just raw meatDoting dog owner prepared to spend ?300 a month on feeding her pet a feast of just raw meatfaimabakar1Erin feeds Dexter a daily assortment of raw meats (Collect/PA Real Life)Beef grind with a quail's egg and a whole mouse on top (Collect/PA Real Life)Dexter tucks in to a whole quail (Collect/PA Real Life)Turkey and vegetable grind, a duck's head and smelt fish (Collect/PA Real Life)A doggy ice lolly made from blood, kefir and mashed blueberries (Collect/PA Real Life)

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    (Picture: Caters News Agency)

    Bill Mitchell has to be one of Britain’s toughest pensioners – the 73-year-old has run 23 ultra marathons.

    And the former merchant navy officer from Turnditch, Derbyshire, might give you some hope – because he only began running in his sixties.

    Always up for an adventure, the fitness fanatic granddad now has his sights on South America’s famous Atacama desert, west of the Andes mountains.

    Claiming he is the fittest he’s ever been – running an astonishing 18 marathons last year – Bill puts all his athletic success down to his diet.

    And a lot of it includes hot chocolate and wine gums.

    Finally, a diet we can understand.

    Pic by JAMES WARD/CATERS NEWS (Pictured: Bill Mitchell, 73, Turnditch, Derbyshire.23/10/2018) Britains toughest pensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathons says hes set his sights on running through the infamous Atacama desert. Bill Mitchell, 73, only began running in his early 60s and says that hes now the fittest hes ever been.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: James Ward: Caters News Agency)

    Bill has run the Marathon des Sables – a six-day, 250km endurance test where temperatures often exceed 50C –  an impressive three times.

    ‘I want to try and do tougher races. I’m looking at a high altitude marathon in Chile across the Atacama as well as one in the arctic circle,’ he said.

    ‘I’ve always liked doing things with an edge to them.

    ‘In April 2018 I had hot chocolate every day. It was delicious. I also carried a small bag of wine gums with me.’

    ‘My first competitive race was in October of that year. Up until that race I’d just been out running on my own. I wasn’t a massive runner beforehand, it wasn’t a big hobby. Now I’m a lot fitter than most people my age.

    ‘I can run all over the place and be quite comfortable for long periods of time.

    When you get fit you don’t notice you’re getting fit, it’s quite a gradual thing.

    Pic by JAMES WARD/CATERS NEWS (Pictured: Bill Mitchell, 73, Turnditch, Derbyshire.23/10/2018) Britains toughest pensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathons says hes set his sights on running through the infamous Atacama desert. Bill Mitchell, 73, only began running in his early 60s and says that hes now the fittest hes ever been.SEE CATERS COPY
    (Picture: James Ward: Caters News Agency)

    ‘You need to start upping your mileage and start running with a weighted bag on your bag so you’re used to the weight and the distance.

    ‘It’s not about speed, it’s about time on your legs so they’re used to running for six and seven hours.’

    Apart from hot chocolate and wine gums, Bill follows a strict diet to ensure he stays healthy and fit.

    He doesn’t eat meat but eats oily fish, and doesn’t drink alcohol. He also said he doesn’t touch cream or butter or anything with a lot of fat in.

    ‘A lot of people resign themselves to old age. I always say to people “you’re never too old to do anything”.’

    ‘The bottom line is anyone can do it as long as they’ve got the desire.’

    MORE: 70-year-old woman smashes world record with a ludicrously fast marathon time

    MORE: Pole dancing taught me to love and value myself

    MORE: How exercise can help you beat jet lag


    Pensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathonsPensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathonsfaimabakar1Pic by JAMES WARD/CATERS NEWS (Pictured: Bill Mitchell, 73, Turnditch, Derbyshire.23/10/2018) Britains toughest pensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathons says hes set his sights on running through the infamous Atacama desert. Bill Mitchell, 73, only began running in his early 60s and says that hes now the fittest hes ever been.SEE CATERS COPYPic by JAMES WARD/CATERS NEWS (Pictured: Bill Mitchell, 73, Turnditch, Derbyshire.23/10/2018) Britains toughest pensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathons says hes set his sights on running through the infamous Atacama desert. Bill Mitchell, 73, only began running in his early 60s and says that hes now the fittest hes ever been.SEE CATERS COPYPensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathonsPensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathonsfaimabakar1Pic by JAMES WARD/CATERS NEWS (Pictured: Bill Mitchell, 73, Turnditch, Derbyshire.23/10/2018) Britains toughest pensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathons says hes set his sights on running through the infamous Atacama desert. Bill Mitchell, 73, only began running in his early 60s and says that hes now the fittest hes ever been.SEE CATERS COPYPic by JAMES WARD/CATERS NEWS (Pictured: Bill Mitchell, 73, Turnditch, Derbyshire.23/10/2018) Britains toughest pensioner whos run 23 ultra-marathons says hes set his sights on running through the infamous Atacama desert. Bill Mitchell, 73, only began running in his early 60s and says that hes now the fittest hes ever been.SEE CATERS COPY

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    Day six at a sex resort: A live forced orgasm demo and strong Jamaican weed
    (Picture: Ella Byworth for Metro.co.uk)

    Oh, hey. We’re Ellen and Chris, two classic Brits uncomfortable being naked and talking openly about sex stuff.

    So when we were offered a holiday to Hedonism II, ‘the sexiest place on earth’, ‘an all-inclusive paradise’, and an ‘iconic adult playground’, we had to say yes.

    Hedonism II is, essentially, a sex resort. There are nude beaches, classes on fetishes, and necklaces that declare your sexual interests to other guests.

    While we’re here, we’ll be writing daily diary posts about what it’s like at Hedonism II’s Young Swingers Week, culminating in a final article about what we discovered at the end of the week.

    Here’s our recap of day five.

    Ellen

    Today I watch three women whose names I do not know have multiple orgasms while restrained spread-eagled on beds.

    I’m not into team sports, but I imagine watching is a lot like how Chris feels when he watches a QPR game. I find myself rooting for each woman to moan and feel like applauding as they do, while experiencing my own vicarious adrenaline rush as one of the women is spanked and told she can’t climax just yet.

    Chris is besides me drinking the orange juice I fetched him, as he smoked a sizeable amount of Jamaican weed this morning. He was a bit giggly at first but seems to have quietened down as the sex toys are brought out, his face settling into absolute wonder as he beholds women writhing.

    I have to say, staying in a sex resort does make you feel, well, sexy, even if you don’t fancy swapping partners with that nice couple you met by the French toast station at breakfast.

    (Picture: Ellen Scott/Metro.co.uk)

    Post-seminar we head back to the room and enjoy the sort of sex you can only have on holiday, free of buzzing phones, time restraints, and the knowledge that your upstairs neighbours can hear everything that’s going on.

    We might not have joined in on any orgies while we’ve been here, but staying at Hedonism II has been a sex-packed holiday. We’ve been doing it multiple times a day, sticky with sea salt and suncream.

    Then it’s time to watch the sunset, relax in hammocks, read our books while floating in the sea, and dust the sand off our feet so we can have dinner by the shore.

    It’s easy to forget we’re in a swingers sex resort. Until we see a group of Playful Pussycats kitted out in leather bondage gear and steampunk masks.

    Chris

    A chance encounter with a Kansas City Chiefs fan in the lobby means I enter a seminar on Edging and Forced Orgasm extremely baked.

    Edging is a practice where you build your way up to the brink of an orgasm, and then withdraw. Then repeat. It’s thought to bolster sexual stamina and make other muscles in the body join in on the party of your eventual climax.

    Forced orgasm is the tug-of-war between working to give your partner an orgasm, and your partner, consensually, fighting it back. It is not to be confused with an involuntary orgasm i.e without consent.

    Extremely baked is underestimating how strong Jamaican weed is. It is one of the few external influences that can somehow make what I’m seeing any more intense.

    There are three mattresses equipped with restraints on the floor at the front of the room. Three rows of chairs surround the demonstration in a crescent moon shape.

    Despite being in the second row, I’m still jokingly told I’m in the ‘splash zone’.

    Three couples volunteer to try edging and forced orgasm in front of a live audience. The Tops strap their Bottoms into a starfish position by tying guards around their wrists and ankles with two fingers’ leeway.

    Picture: Ellen Scott/Metro.co.uk)

    They then go to town on their partner’s genitalia from a wide menu of sex toys.

    There are the usual suspects, like the ever-popular Hitachi Magic Wand.

    Then there’s The Womanizer, a toy that concentrates solely on clitoral stimulation through suction, vibration and pulsation.

    There’s also a ‘toy’ that has to be plugged into the mains with a thick cable and that I can only describe as looking like high stakes Bop It attached to a pressure washer.

    Soft moans soon amass into shouting and later exasperated screaming as I melt into the chair.

    In the evening, it’s steampunk and fetish night, where day job professionals trade in white collars for dog collars.

    From this perspective, Fifty Shades is to BDSM what Pixar’s Ratatouille is to fine dining and I suddenly miss the days when Dick and Dom were an appointment Sunday morning watch rather than a legitimate proposition from Leather Daddies.

    But when this crowd of sexually-free creatures flock to the beach for a bonfire party, the animal masks and crouching submissives make the congregation look like a bona fide cult.

    One that we’re entirely welcome to join.

    The Sex Resort Diaries will be running all week. Check back tomorrow to read about our final day at Hedonism II. 

    MORE: Pole dancing taught me to love and value myself

    MORE: The Sex Resort Diaries: Racing goats, threesome offers, and a swingers’ wedding


    Day six at a sex resort: A live forced orgasm demo and strong Jamaican weedDay six at a sex resort: A live forced orgasm demo and strong Jamaican weedellencscottDay six at a sex resort: A live forced orgasm demo and strong Jamaican weedDay six at a sex resort: A live forced orgasm demo and strong Jamaican weedellencscott

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    Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.
    (Picture: Russell Lewis / SWNS.com)

    Albinism is the condition where people or animals are born without pigmentation in their skin and hair. This usually results in having pale hair, eyes, and skin.

    For people of colour it can mean being visibly different to the rest of their families which can be a difficult experience to navigate.

    Nolan and Savannah Lewis are two-year-old black twins born with the condition who clearly look different from their parents.

    That has meant mum Christin and dad Russell have been subject to a torrent of hurtful comments ranging from whether the twins are really theirs, if they used a surrogate, and the most offensive – whether Christin had an affair.

    Christin, Russell and the twins. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.
    (Picture: Russell Lewis / SWNS.com)
    Russell and Christin when she was expecting the twins See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.
    (Picture: Russell Lewis / SWNS.com)

    Christin, 37, a travel agent from New Jersey, USA, said: ‘People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies.

    ‘An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: “Did you have the babies with a white woman?”‘

    ‘I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates.

    ‘I carried these babies for nine months.’

    As a result of their albinism – which affects only one in 18,000 Americans and is even rarer in twins – Nolan and Savannah both have rapid eye movement and are sensitive to sunlight.

    Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.
    (Picture: Russell Lewis / SWNS.com)

    Christin covers the twins with sunblock every time they leave the house as well as ensuring they wear sunglasses whenever they go outside.

    The hurtful comments are made by well-intentioned people as well as ‘rude strangers’, Christin says, which has left the parents wanting to homeschool the youngsters.

    ‘We probably won’t put them in the system with regular children,’ she said.

    ‘We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street.

    ‘We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.’

    Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.
    (Picture: Russell Lewis / SWNS.com)

    Though the parents are used to the unwanted attention, Nolan and Savannah are completely unaware.

    The couple is determined their children will love themselves just as they are.

    Zippy the zonkey in South Barrow, Somerset. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.This is what you get when a zebra and a donkey have a baby

    Dad Russell added: ‘In the beginning, I felt afraid for them and I worried that they would be bullied.

    ‘But even though they are just two years old, I have developed a tough skin already.

    ‘People look at them and they can’t believe they are black kids with white skin. But I shrug my shoulders.

    ‘I think they are beautiful and I wouldn’t change them in any way. I want them to embrace their differences, not shy away from them.’

    MORE: Falling pregnant after the death of my son saved me from grief. His sister was the light in the darkness

    MORE: Apparently these are the names we’ll be giving our babies in 2028

    MORE: What happens if you’re disappointed about your baby’s gender?


    Black albino twinsBlack albino twinsfaimabakar1Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Christin, Russell and the twins. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Russell and Christin when she was expecting the twins See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Black albino twinsBlack albino twinsfaimabakar1Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Christin, Russell and the twins. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Russell and Christin when she was expecting the twins See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.Savannah and Nolan. See SWNS story SWNYalbino; The parents of rare albino twins have revealed that strangers accuse them of having affairs as they cannot believe the pale-skinned tots are their biological kids. Christin and Russell Lewis get hurtful comments from passersby who do not realise that their two-year-old twins Nolan and Savannah were born with the genetic condition. Christin, 37, a travel agent, said: ?People think that I cheated on my husband to have white babies. ?An agent who was interested in the twins modelling said to my husband: ?Did you have the babies with a white woman???I want to make a public service announcement: we are faithful, we did not cheat on each other and we did not use surrogates. I carried these babies for nine months.? The couple, who are black, plan on homeschooling their adorable kids because they worry that their unusual appearance may mean they get teased and bullied. Christin, of Newark, New Jersey, US, said: ?We probably won?t put them in the system with regular children. ?We think that they are very sensitive and people do stare at them on the street. ?We want to shield them from that and let them know they are beautiful and can do anything they set their minds to.? Christin and Russell, 33, a concierge and part-time photographer, were shocked when the twins were born with light skin and pale eyes at Wyckoff Heights Medical Centre in Brooklyn, New York, on July 23 2016. Nolan?s hair is now platinum blonde while Savannah is ginger.

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    (Picture: Caters News/Jamie Innes)

    When you’re in the throes of passion, you might forget one very crucial thing. But, without meaning to sound like your parents, protection is super important.

    Unfortunately, University of Manchester student Jamie Innes found himself without any condoms one night and did what anyone would do in the same situation – asked his followers on Facebook to help him out.

    The 21-year-old posted on an official student group account for his uni, begging someone to pop over and supply him with the protection.

    Pic by Caters News - (PICTURED: Jamie Innes, 21, with a condom. ) - A cheeky student was left stunned after begging for a condom online in a moment of desperation - and receiving one from a stranger within minutes. University of Manchester student Jamie Innes, 21, was so desperate for a condom after a night out earlier this month he resorted to posting to a student Facebook page asking if anybody could spare him one during his time of need. The IT student, from Coventry, posted online Does anyone have a condom I am f***ing desperate This is not a joke I have less than an hour [sic]. And he was amazed when just 20 minutes later a contraceptive hero had obliged - dropping the contraception direct to him in Fallowfield, Manchester.
    The condom came in the end (Picture: Caters News/Jamie Innes)
    ‘I am f***ing desperate,’ he wrote. ‘Please, this is not a joke. I have less than an hour, serious replies only.’

    The second-year business management student later explained: ‘When I posted online, it was a genuine request.

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    ‘I knew somebody would respond as everybody has banter in that group.

    ‘I was at the girl’s house and she was the one who had run out of condoms. She messaged her house group chat, but nobody ended up replying.

    ‘I told her I was posting it on Facebook but she laughed, she found it hilarious. She didn’t think anybody would actually respond to it.’

    This could be you (Picture: Getty)

    But she was wrong, as fellow Manchester uni student and kind stranger Matthew saw the post on the Facebook page on his way home.

    He told the Manchester Tab: ‘I was already going in that direction and I thought we’ve all been in a similar situation so may as well help a guy out.

    ‘You’ve always got to carry spares, never know when you’ll need them… like this time.’

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    Unfortunately, Jamie admitted the request took too long to be processed and by the time his condom arrived, it seems the moment had passed.

    But like a true pro, he said ‘we recouped and got down to business’.

    It’s like the saying goes, where there’s a will(y) there’s a way.

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    Pic by Caters News - (PICTURED: Jamie Innes, 21, with a condom. ) - A cheeky student was left stunned after begging for a condom online in a moment of desperation - and receiving one from a stranger within minutes. University of Manchester student Jamie Innes, 21, was so desperate for a condom after a night out earlier this month he resorted to posting to a student Facebook page asking if anybody could spare him one during his time of need. The IT student, from Coventry, posted online Does anyone have a condom I am f***ing desperate This is not a joke I have less than an hour [sic]. And he was amazed when just 20 minutes later a contraceptive hero had obliged - dropping the contraception direct to him in Fallowfield, Manchester.Pic by Caters News - (PICTURED: Jamie Innes, 21, with a condom. ) - A cheeky student was left stunned after begging for a condom online in a moment of desperation - and receiving one from a stranger within minutes. University of Manchester student Jamie Innes, 21, was so desperate for a condom after a night out earlier this month he resorted to posting to a student Facebook page asking if anybody could spare him one during his time of need. The IT student, from Coventry, posted online Does anyone have a condom I am f***ing desperate This is not a joke I have less than an hour [sic]. And he was amazed when just 20 minutes later a contraceptive hero had obliged - dropping the contraception direct to him in Fallowfield, Manchester.faimabakar1Pic by Caters News - (PICTURED: Jamie Innes, 21, with a condom. ) - A cheeky student was left stunned after begging for a condom online in a moment of desperation - and receiving one from a stranger within minutes. University of Manchester student Jamie Innes, 21, was so desperate for a condom after a night out earlier this month he resorted to posting to a student Facebook page asking if anybody could spare him one during his time of need. The IT student, from Coventry, posted online Does anyone have a condom I am f***ing desperate This is not a joke I have less than an hour [sic]. And he was amazed when just 20 minutes later a contraceptive hero had obliged - dropping the contraception direct to him in Fallowfield, Manchester.Pic by Caters News - (PICTURED: Jamie Innes, 21, with a condom. ) - A cheeky student was left stunned after begging for a condom online in a moment of desperation - and receiving one from a stranger within minutes. University of Manchester student Jamie Innes, 21, was so desperate for a condom after a night out earlier this month he resorted to posting to a student Facebook page asking if anybody could spare him one during his time of need. The IT student, from Coventry, posted online Does anyone have a condom I am f***ing desperate This is not a joke I have less than an hour [sic]. And he was amazed when just 20 minutes later a contraceptive hero had obliged - dropping the contraception direct to him in Fallowfield, Manchester.Pic by Caters News - (PICTURED: Jamie Innes, 21, with a condom. ) - A cheeky student was left stunned after begging for a condom online in a moment of desperation - and receiving one from a stranger within minutes. University of Manchester student Jamie Innes, 21, was so desperate for a condom after a night out earlier this month he resorted to posting to a student Facebook page asking if anybody could spare him one during his time of need. The IT student, from Coventry, posted online Does anyone have a condom I am f***ing desperate This is not a joke I have less than an hour [sic]. And he was amazed when just 20 minutes later a contraceptive hero had obliged - dropping the contraception direct to him in Fallowfield, Manchester.faimabakar1Pic by Caters News - (PICTURED: Jamie Innes, 21, with a condom. ) - A cheeky student was left stunned after begging for a condom online in a moment of desperation - and receiving one from a stranger within minutes. University of Manchester student Jamie Innes, 21, was so desperate for a condom after a night out earlier this month he resorted to posting to a student Facebook page asking if anybody could spare him one during his time of need. The IT student, from Coventry, posted online Does anyone have a condom I am f***ing desperate This is not a joke I have less than an hour [sic]. And he was amazed when just 20 minutes later a contraceptive hero had obliged - dropping the contraception direct to him in Fallowfield, Manchester.

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    Zippy the zonkey in South Barrow, Somerset. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.
    (Picture: SWNS.com)

    You might be familiar with a mule (a cross between a horse and a donkey) but have you ever seen a mix between a donkey and zebra?

    If not, then meet Zippy, Britain’s second ‘zonkey’ an ultra-rare zebra-donkey crossbreed born on a Somerset farm.

    His mother, Ziggy, a six-year-old zebra was bought for £10,000 from Germany and shares the fields with nine donkeys so the match isn’t too much of a surprise.

    She went for an unorthodox choice with Rag, a four-year-old donkey who made the first move on her.

    The happy couple welcomed Zippy, whose stripes went to his legs, in their home at a 55-acre farm in South Barrow, owned by farmer Kristine Turner.

    Zippy the zonkey with his mother Ziggy in South Barrow, Somerset. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.
    Zippy the zonkey with his mother Ziggy in South Barrow, Somerset (Picture: SWNS.com)

    Zippyy is thought to be the second zonkey in the UK as the other, called Zambi, lives on a donkey sanctuary in Shropshire.

    Zippy’s arrival was even more of a surprise to Kristen who didn’t know Ziggy was even pregnant.

    ‘Ziggy has always been a bit porky so I didn’t notice she was getting any bigger. It was a complete surprise,’ she said.

    ‘Last month I opened my bedroom curtains, which look onto the farm and I just saw this little foal sitting up staring my way.

    ‘I was in complete shock.’

    Kristine Turner at her farm in South Barrow, Somerset, with Zippy the zonkey. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.
    Kristine Turner at her farm in South Barrow, Somerset, with Zippy the zonkey (Picture: SWNS.com)

    She added: ‘I ran downstairs in my PJs, put a coat on and went over to see him.

    ‘He seemed like a right little character and has had a personality from day one.

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    ‘He’s half a wild animal so he’ll nip and kick me a tiny bit but in a cheeky way. Then he’ll dash off. He has quite a fitting name really.

    ‘He’s calmed down a bit now as he lets me brush him.

    ‘Ziggy has really taken to motherhood and she’s a great mum.

    ‘He’s never out of her sight. They wander around the farm and do everything together. Rag tends to keep out the way.

    Kristine Turner at her farm in South Barrow, Somerset, with Ziggy the zebra. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.
    (Picture: SWNS.com)

    ‘It was a completely natural process. It wasn’t as if I forced them together and was trying to engineer it.

    ‘I bred Rag on the farm four years ago so I had years thinking it was never going to happen – despite really wanting it too.

    ‘I’m just so happy. Zippy is just a little miracle.’

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    Zippy, the cross between a zebra and a donkeyZippy, the cross between a zebra and a donkeyfaimabakar1Zippy the zonkey in South Barrow, Somerset. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.Zippy the zonkey with his mother Ziggy in South Barrow, Somerset. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.Kristine Turner at her farm in South Barrow, Somerset, with Zippy the zonkey. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.Kristine Turner at her farm in South Barrow, Somerset, with Ziggy the zebra. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.Zippy, the cross between a zebra and a donkeyZippy, the cross between a zebra and a donkeyfaimabakar1Zippy the zonkey in South Barrow, Somerset. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.Zippy the zonkey with his mother Ziggy in South Barrow, Somerset. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.Kristine Turner at her farm in South Barrow, Somerset, with Zippy the zonkey. Zippy is a cross between a zebra and a donkey and was born on October the 2nd. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.Kristine Turner at her farm in South Barrow, Somerset, with Ziggy the zebra. 04/11/2018 See SWNS story SWBRzonkey Meet Zippy the 'zonkey' - a rare zebra-donkey crossbreed from Somerset. The little cross breed was born on October 2 at Kristine Turner???s 25 acre farm in South Barrow, Somerset. Ziggy shares the fields with his mum and nine other donkeys.

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