Well, that was four hours of my life I’ll never get back.

My date was a very cute thirty-six year-old English screenwriter, and I was dressed to kill in a tight black dress and the kind of four-inch heels that were meant to be worn horizontally rather than vertically.

After discussing the mechanics of everything from South Park to string theory over two bottles of wine at Les Trois Garcons in east London, he dropped the ‘So, how many people have you slept with?” bomb. I tried to be vague, but he insisted that honesty was very important to him.

“No, really, tell me,” he pleaded, putting his hand on my knee. “I’ll bet I can guess. Six?”

In a moment of temporary insanity, I forgot that for men, the only ‘honest’ answer about sexual history involves the phrase “Yes, you’re the biggest and best I’ve ever had.”

“Add a zero to that number honey, and you’ll be in the ballpark.” I smiled sweetly, involuntarily raising my left eyebrow.

“Are you serious?” He paled visibly. After too much red wine, the looming taxidermy on the wall was beginning to look rather sinister. Even the dead moose appeared to be judgmental.

“I don’t know why you sound so surprised. I mean, you are talking to a girl who just spent the afternoon fellating an aubergine.” I explained that I’d had an oral sex masterclass as part of my research for an upcoming column, and threw in what I thought were a few amusing anecdotes. But he didn’t laugh. Instead he paid the bill and fled into the night.

‘Some people are horrified by women admitting to the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure for its own sake. Yet most of my male friends seem to think they will sleep around and have adventures until the right girl comes along. So why should women be any different?’

Young journalist Catherine Townsend, ‘part slut, part hopeless romantic’, moves to London to start a new life with her amazing British boyfriend. But when he dumps her – via email – before her plane touches down at Heathrow, she finds herself literally kicked to the curb.

Jobless, homeless and on the rebound, Catherine embarks on a series of wild, erotic and often hilarious erotic encounters…and turns them into a cult dating column for The Independent newspaper.

Along the way she learns the difference between US and UK versions of ‘monogamy’, the going rate of male escorts, which dildos are dishwasher friendly, and the etiquette of sex parties (Rule No 1: Don’t Discuss politics. Or plastic surgery.)

Her ‘relationship research’ leads her to the most thrilling adventures of her life. And she writes about them all: The good, the bad and the gnaw-your-arm-off-at-the-elbow ugly.

But can she combine sleeping around with searching for a soul mate?

SLEEPING AROUND & BREAKING THE RULES: What the critics are saying:

‘Sexy, confident and brimming with attitude’Cosmopolitan

‘Sexy … laugh-out-loud funny … very Carrie Bradshaw: witty, bracing, packed with handy advice’ – Observer Woman

‘She’s frank. She’s funny. And she doesn’t mind admitting she’s filthy too.’
The Independent

‘Catherine Townsend is the most brilliant writer of her generation’ –My mom

I don’t care if you write about me being a dick as long as you say I’m hung like a horse.’Random Guy From the Bar

‘A no-holds-barred account of Catherine’s erotic adventures … Lots of fun and very Sex and the City’

Comments (2)

  1. Craig cowling

    Hi Catherine
    How can I get hold of yours books
    I’ve seen you on sex after marriage
    And think you are absolutely intriguing !
    Craig x Adelaide sth Australia

  2. Gemma Harris

    Hi Catherine, i love your book “sleeping around”. I find myself reading for hours and not wanting to put the book down! It’s great to see woman talk frankly about relationships & sex and not worry about judgement! I’m now going to purchase your other book “breaking the rules” . You are a fantastic writer! Gemma xx leicestershire

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