Sex is NOT a performance (though everyone seems to think it is).

Every time I see Peter I am surprised.

“You and your underwear never cease to amaze me,” I laughed one day as he stood in my office with his neatly pressed khakis around his thighs.  “Are you wearing any??  I can’t tell!”

We fell into each others arms in a fit of laughter, his camouflaged briefs pressed against my belly.

Moments later we were on the floor careful not to make any noise.  His sock-clad naked body pushing into my clothed one, his mouth on mine until we both came in muffled cries.

We’ve been able to get together roughly once a week for weeks now.  A serendipitous run-in at the grocery store one afternoon reminded us both of our mutual admiration for one another and we’ve been going steady ever since.

He tirelessly listens to my rambling stories.  “I like them,” he says simply when I apologize for going on too long yet again.

He’s devastatingly good-looking and I can’t seem to stop myself from telling him how damn pretty he is.  He works a blue-collar job that requires him to roam about the city and it’s not lost on the women whose homes he has to visit.  He has at least a handful of Penthouse Letter quality stories of his own.

“This one time a college-aged girl answers the door completely topless,” one story began.

“So yeah, I banged her on her couch before I left,” it ended.

Age has no effect on diminishing his appeal to the fairer sex, either.  “Aren’t you a tall drink of water!” a wrinkled little old lady once said.

He listens to my escapades, my feminist rants, all the lessons I’ve learned about sex and dating, my philosophies and outlooks on life.  He takes care of his father and is friends with his mother.  His guilty (and secret) pleasure is cooking shows of all kinds.  We share a culinary vocabulary and interest not commonly found.  He’s home every night by 6 or 7 like his girlfriend expects, but he is open to any and all adventures before the clock strikes.

When Peter and I first began fooling around 3 years ago his erections were rarely a part of our experience.  Simply put, like so many other men, condoms made him wilt.

What made him different, though, was that without missing a beat he put his hands and mouth on me from stem to stern until I could take no more.  Then we’d cuddle and talk as if time stood still, sweaty and his face reeking of me.  I basked in his attention and freedom from toxic masculine expectations.

Orgasm is fun.  Penetration is fun.  But what’s even better is a pleasurable experience.  Pleasure from being seen, pleasure in being devoured, pleasure in being tangled and touched and tantalized.

When sex is about rushing blood to a piece of flesh it’s diminished – literally – into a sum of its parts.

We fuck during the day, sober as church mice.  There’s no hiding or obscuring each other, no soft candlelight to hide my rolls or dimples, my little brown asshole.  I am exposed to his hungry gaze in every way. And I am blessed with consuming every inch of his long, lithe body.

I get lost in watching the muscles along his rib cage shimmer with each  thrust, the cuts and shadows down along his arms and shoulders braced above me.  And what I’ve learned is that when he sees my eyes, dark blue and true, his pleasure seems to spike.

I can sense it in my body, see it on his face.  When I show up below him and allow him in to my person with open eyes it’s the single hottest thing I can do.  And it has nothing to do with his penis.  It has to do with me enjoying myself.

There is a cultural belief that men are simple, that all they need is a willing partner and he’ll be good to go.  Gay, straight, bi, it doesn’t matter.  The trope is that men are “red-blooded” and therefore “easy” to turn on.  Nothing could be further from the truth.

Men are complicated, magical creatures.  Sensitive, complex, afraid.  They carry a tremendous burden to be expected to know everything about sex for both themselves and their partners, and those partners erroneously rely on his hardon as proof that they’re attractive or “doing it right.”

I cannot imagine the weight of that expectation.  It would cripple me.

Sex isn’t a performance, it’s a partnership, an experience.  No one is putting on a fucking show – no pun intended.  We are doing it together, to one another for our own personal gains.  That’s the way it should be.  I use you to get me off and you use me, all tied together, as one, willing our bodies to be conduits of pleasure for the other.

I have never thought men were simple, but I have certainly relied on their belief that they were.

I’ve silently demanded a stud in my bed and been disappointed when they couldn’t deliver.  They expected to perform for me and I let them think that’s what they needed to do.

I wonder how my sex life may have been different had I stepped in and said, “Honey, I’m part of this, too.”  Would they have listened to me?  Would they have even heard me??  Enough men have yelled at their limp dicks or left in a shameful rush for me to wonder if that were true.  I promise you, I’ve tried a handful of times.

These days I’m approaching each liaison I have with the intent to connect and be present for a whole person, not just his erection.  It’s enabled me to have much better sex than I had been having.  My young friend, Walker, for example.  The Aussie, The Doctor, Peterrrrrr, the true definition of a friend with benefits.

It’s amazing what can happen when two people actually treat each other as more than only a vagina or penis.

 

 

 

Seeing if anything is left.

I have to make this quick because I’m headed to Elliot’s for the first time since meeting his wife.  This will only be the second time I’ve seen him since then.  Exactly a week ago I was ready to end it because I don’t want to be in a relationship with someone who pushes me away and shuts down when shit hits the fan, but I couldn’t get him to call me to do it.  The irony.

This weekend, I feel less like ending it, though, and more like just accepting it for what it is: a very pale smear to the bright and vivid thing I believed it to be.  Besides, I haven’t been lacking in male companionship, so what does it matter?

Peter filled me up 14 ways to Tuesday the afternoon before I met Eleanor.  Our trysts have been filled with passion and cuddles and his long limbs entwined with my mine.  And last night a stunning young man whose dark skin burned against mine drove several hours just to come see me.  He filled up all my holes with his giant cock and made sure I could see what was happening between us contorting my body in ways I didn’t know it could bend while he drilled into me.

I lay in his nook and he played with my hair and we laughed at how when the drugstore clerk automatically asked me how my night was going he didn’t realize he was ringing up a box of extra extra large Magnum condoms.

“Well…” I hesitated.  It was then he saw what was in his hands and he laughed out loud.

“Sorry,” he smiled mirthfully.  “I tried to keep a straight face.”

“It’s ok and my night is going really well!”

I slept fitfully in his hotel room and only just now grabbed a short nap.  I can still feel the effects of our date – both on the toilet and in my alertness – but Elliot surprised me with a text around 3 pm asking me over for pizza and gelato.

He’s alone tonight and so off I go to see what’s left between us.  The only other time I’ve seen him was a chaste and disappointing breakfast a week after the meet and greet with his lovely wife.  I don’t think you serve gelato to someone you’re about to dump, so I’m curious to hear what he has to say.

Wish me luck.

 

 

I’m so confused.

Elliot is a long list of things.  Miles of arms and legs and words and mysteries.  Endless lines of communication and jokes and texts.  Long stretches of deep, soft kisses and fingers in holes with toasted brown eyes and endless gazes.

He also claims to not be sexually motivated.

“Sex isn’t my driving force,” he has said on multiple occasions.  And then I twitch.

My exhusband once told me he could live the rest of his life without sex.  I didn’t believe him and I ended up strapped down into a world of loneliness and neglect.  Should I believe Elliot’s claims about himself when I feel so engulfed in all of him?

He is amorous and loving, sweet and sexy, but I wouldn’t call the energy potent or pressing.  It’s gentle and fog-like, achingly tender.  In the moment it’s white hot, but any time before – during the long days apart – it’s chaste.  My bids to flirt and get dirty are largely ignored.  He claims to have felt less of an urge in general over the years and he shrugged it off as no big deal.  I’m not sure what it means for a relationship with him.

Could this be part of why they opened up all those years ago?  That there was a mismatch between drives and styles?  Perhaps they needed different intensities from their lovers.  There’s so much I don’t quite understand.  And tomorrow I meet his other half.

Perhaps the pieces will fall together when I see her and hug her hello, lay my eyes on her chestnut locks and quirky frames.  They’ve invited me to their house for snacks and booze, their little one will be around in some capacity I imagine, but perhaps my access will be post-bedtime.  I don’t know.

I ordered him a t-shirt with floating Scully and Mulder heads on it – I must be falling for him; I used to buy The Neighbor shirts, my exhusband, too.  Can I fall for another woman’s husband whose libido is by his own admission not a big part of his life?  And is that even true?  Is it not??  I’m so confused.

I want to swim in a sea of passion with him, deep as the ocean, as expansive of the sky and all his long limbs.  I don’t want to wade in knee-deep waters, but perhaps that’s the unique benefit of an open relationship.  Perhaps Elliot will capture and have my heart and I will be left to search for that furor with someone else.  Someone elses.

I reread some posts tonight about TN and me from January and March of 2013.  We were so overwhelmed by our lust for one another.  He played my body like a fiddle and he was always ready for me, hungry for more.  Of course he also rejected me with equal measure.  Elliot invites me closer, to open up, to trust.  My head is spinning.

And did I mention that I’m meeting his wife?

WTF.

I think there is a silent hope among them that I might fit into their marriage, too.  Not just for him, but for her, too.  Could she woo me as he has?  Would I find myself lost in her soft embrace with his lips on my neck?  Their hands all over me?  Does a man with a lower libido fantasize about such things??  Could I date a couple?

Each question I have raises more questions, nesting eggs of curiosity and uncertainty, when all I really want is to be wrapped up in his long arms tracing the lines of his beautiful face with my fingertips and time standing still with him inside of all of me.

 

 

 

 

 

Sex is everywhere if you care to see.

Perhaps I’m unique, but my eye is drawn to sexual energy and potential. A stranger’s vibe can be discovered if I look closely and focus. It takes only moments to decode the hidden signals.

What would the driver’s stubbly jaw taste like on my lips? His black jean-clad thighs make me wonder about the force of his thrusts.

The older woman with an ample bosom saunters by and I wonder what beauty lies between her legs, if her gray husband beside her buries his face in the mounds of flesh on her chest and smiles.

If that teenage couple have discovered the glory of their own touch between them, the sunbeams that can blast out of their souls if only they tried.

I think about how driven we are to lay beside another. Always. Whether love is involved or not, most of us crave that inexplicable, universal thing that may only be achieved through our bodies.

We twist and touch, moan and mangle our limbs to smash so close we slide into a sea of sex.

Pure, religious, hedonistic, transgressive. It doesn’t matter. We want it. We need it.

And so I follow the lines of his bulging veins on the steering wheel, the dark smattering of hair and I imagine how his hands would feel on me – this Brazilian driver with a Swedish name – and I smile.

Sex is everywhere.

Want to join in on writing Every Damn Day in June?:



I thought of Girl on the Net while fucking.

It’s true.

She strutted into my thoughts all English and lovely and long-legged and stupidly smart late yesterday afternoon while a 6′ tall Australian man was doing his best to kill me with his giant cock.

I lay beneath him with my eyes tightly shut and thrashed about – as per normal – and thought about a tweet I’d seen of hers a few days before.

I’m not much of a Twitter user – it overwhelms me – but I caught one of her tweets last week about a post she’d written.  I hadn’t even read it when she came bursting into my thoughts, but the title and her comments in the tweet were more than enough: Eye contact challenge: can you keep your eyes open for an entire fuck?

Well, my answer is a resounding NO and it has always been NO.  I could probably count on one hand – 2/5 of my hand actually -the number of times I’ve gazed into a lover’s eyes longer than .75 seconds at a time from beneath passion fluttered lids.  It makes me want to die.

Like the kind of cringey, never show your face again, humiliating, you can’t look at that it’s too much information about me kind of dying.

So imagine my surprise when GotN’s challenge creeped into my grunts of More!, Deeper, Yes, I love that huge Aussie cock!

I looked up and he was staring at me grinning from ear to ear.  “I love your smile when I’m inside of you.  Just love it.”  His pale blue eyes were crinkled, his face red and brows furrowed.  He was devouring me.  I shut my eyes.  Was I supposed to look back at him like I was going to conquer him, too??  wouldn’t I look ridiculous?

We fucked like animals for a good 20 minutes, deep and punishingly.  He folded me up and turned me this way and that and I was relieved when he turned me around for a spell.  I could finally NOT look at him in peace.

But the final move was with me half hanging off the mattress with him on his knees.  I’d suggested he put on his bright blue sneakers for traction on the wooden floors and laughed at the preposterous image.  A Nike ad, but with sex.

I was going to really do it this time.  I was going to look longer than it took for him to complete a sentence.  “Do you want me to keep fucking you or do you want me to cum all inside of you?”

It was an easy choice.

“Fill me up,” I panted.

I watched him look down at me as his orgasm passed across his features like a wave.  He looked so lost in himself but still with me, comfortable with it all.  I thought, I kinda did that. 

I still failed miserably at GotN’s challenge, but I am now wondering why the fuck I have this aversion to allow someone to look into my eyes.  I know he’s already staring at me – the joy of being male with his sex organ placed on the front of his body, I suppose – so why can’t I look back?

I avoided looking at TN, too, so it’s not just FWBs.  I couldn’t bear to look in my exhusband’s eyes, either, though I may have tried a time or two.  I don’t deny wanting to keep people away from me even while they’re buried balls deep between my legs.  My body, my rules. It’s just odd that even after all these years I continue to employ these little tricks to not connect with people.

So, ok, challenge accepted, GotN.  I’ll look into his fucking eyes next time whoever it is.  I hope you’re happy.

 


The dark side of the moon.

Look at my body. What do you see? You read my words, but do you hear me? My face, my form. Blessings and curses. Ready-made excuses to use and dismiss. I get out ahead of it. Here I am! My mind and my heart!  It’s still for nought. I am still just a face and a form.

I feel things.  Lots and lots of things.  I’m what you’d call a sensitive person, but not in the pejorative sense, in the objective sense.  I am sensitive.

I smell the sunshine and hear the leaves, I taste a whisper and see the music.  My entire being is made to filter every atom of this universe and it is hard.  It is hard to feel this way and be a normal person when every raindrop might burn like a wildfire.

This is not a disorder, it is a state of being, a movement.  It is my muse and my soul.

I know I’m not like other people – that much is clear – but I am not wrong.  I am just different.  I think ahead and I listen, I peel off my own skin and put on yours and flex my fingers and wriggle my toes.  How does it feel to be you? 

But how does it feel to be me?  How does it feel to be this pulsing mass of cells that cannot switch off save for that liquid vice that gently dulls the world and turns down the volume?  How does it feel to need to connect and relate, but abhor intimacy?

It feels like Hy, I suppose.

Hy is out there and sharing and she is bold.  She is sexy and powerful and quick and kind.  She holds her space here and elsewhere, but she is also alone.  Hy is misunderstood and vilified.  She is assaulted because of her looks and her swagger, devalued because she “is asking for it,” or “too quick to give it away.”

Hy fights the good fight every day, blocking and talking, trying so hard to put on that skin, but she is tired.  I am tired.

I am tired of the sadness which falls about me like mist.  It’s not a downpour, I am not depressed, I am sad.

Sad because I am fucked up, sad because I am alone, sad because I cannot trust, sad because no one wants to put on my skin and flex their fingers and wriggle their toes.

Yesterday my shrink gazed at me shrewdly, gathered her thoughts.  “You of all people know what this is about, Hy.  You have got to figure out a way to separate this out.  Other people aren’t like you and you know this, yet the pain you feel is enormous.  There has got to be a better way for you to do this, to enjoy what you do for what it is.”

We talked about my anxious, insecure attachment, the unknown, unmemorable, yet tattooed trauma of my early life which drives me to connect and leaves me in emotional darkness the next day because I feel rejected for any numerous reasons – real or imagined.  My dark side of the moon.

I am reluctant to open up to a man sitting across from me, but I welcome his cock into my body.  This has long been my pattern to achieve intimacy and I am unapologetic about it; it feels good.  It has also been a long-time pattern to choose unavailable men.  Men across the world, too young, too busy, too whatever so that they may never ask for more than what’s between my legs.

It’s in that space between, that place where I know exactly what I’m doing and what to expect, that I yearn and keen and cry for my loneliness despite being the designer of it all.  And so to control for it I present to you this woman who is fearless and potent, desperate to believe that others can and will see past it, though rarely any do.

I am treated as less than, cast aside in so many ways by both those who matter and those who don’t at all.  Strangers on the internet calling me a fucking moron for defending myself and setting boundaries, men I’ve slept with disappearing from corresponding for days without a word.  Sometimes they can all get caught up in the same gust of emotional spinning, though they are not remotely the same.

The men who are quiet have done nothing wrong – they owe me nothing, as I owe them nothing – but my sad little lizard brain sinks its teeth into that expanse and I hurt.  I roll around in it and soak it in like sun upon a rock.

As I breathe each breath and walk through this life I am sensitive – far too sensitive for what I do to myself.  I ride too hard and expect the utterly wrong things.  A penis in my vagina triggers panic, a system reboot to the little girl who only wants to be seen and acknowledged just as the wanton woman the night before was so very clearly seen.

It’s that little piece between me and what I know to be reasonable that squirrels under my skin and festers like so many maggots until I am rotten and sobbing for attention.  I know that’s my hurdle.  It’s not the men themselves, it’s how I react to them waking up well-fucked, sleeping in, playing football with friends, finally checking their phone at 8 pm and maybe saying Hey, how’d you sleep?  It’s how I react to touching the stars with them one night and being back on Earth the following day.

I know my feet are firmly planted, I can feel the blades of grass on my bare skin, but my heart is still at the theater, center stage with roses at her feet smelling the sunshine.

 

I’m scared.

I’m scared of being whole with someone, being my own everything in front of an audience. I tell myself that rejection isn’t actually rejection, it’s just a selection process. We’re a bad match; I am not being turned away.

But it never feels like that. It feels worse than being picked last: it’s not being chosen at all. It’s exactly why dating is so brutal. Every date, every attempt is a layer of skin gone.

In therapy yesterday we ruminated on a new attitude I seem to have about men and dating, this odd, detached air where sometimes I completely forget the existence of whole men for days on days until some random thing jars my memory. Oh riiight. He exists!

And then when he renters my radar I become nervous that he’s forgotten me too. Is it a sign? If it is it can’t be a good one. Who forgets about someone??

I try to let it go, but it unnerves me, this forgetting, because when I remember I also remember how much I long for a person who’d never be able to forget me. Sometimes I think there are glimmers in the men I’m exploring (this time a batch of Steves) but then I’m afraid to even hope such a thing.

I feel twisted and blindfolded, utterly stagnant and vibrating with inertia to move, but move where??

Maybe I should masturbate and let the stars behind my lids whisper the Universe’s secrets about love and connection. Maybe I should just be brave and let the crush happen.

February Photofest

The first thing I knew was sexual assault.

My first sexual experience with a boy – a man of 19 when I was a summer shy of 16 – was rooted in assault.  Every touch, kiss, and fondle was coerced from me.

His breath smelled, he sat too close, his fingers hurt my tender skin as he dug his way down into my jeans and then into my body.  He reeked of Obsession.  I refused to let him look at me naked, never took off my clothes, but he managed to snake his hands onto my flesh and they explored my virgin body instead.  In broad daylight all over his parents’ house, exposed and helpless.

He called me every night long past a decent calling time and kept me up until 3 and 4 in the morning.  I dragged myself to work at the pool where we both taught swim lessons and lifeguarded; I shied away from him in public.  I didn’t want anyone to know about us.

I can still taste the kiss he planted on me after his lunch of a big Dairy Queen burger with onions.

One warm summer night my friends and I all dipped into the Everclear stash of Tammy’s drunken, passed out father.  My friends were vaguely aware that this 19 yo man and I were dating, but they didn’t press.  He and Tammy had dated for several months and every night he’d sneak in her bedroom window and fuck her while her father lay passed out on the couch in the living room.

By all accounts, despite being a year younger than me, she had wanted it and him and thus everyone assumed I did, too. Not wanting to appear less sophisticated than her I didn’t correct them.

The liquor stoked a restlessness within me.  He knew I was there and what I was doing and he’d told me to sneak out and come see him.  To do what, exactly, I never considered.  My innocent 15 yo brain could only explore so far before my imagination gave out, romance novels notwithstanding.

With enough alcohol to embolden me I called him and shared my plan: I would steal one of the 16 year old’s cars who was too drunk to notice and drive across town to see him.  But just for a little while.  “Don’t take advantage of me,” I said.

Underage, without a license, I traversed my little bedroom town and parked in front of his house.  He was waiting for me in the dark awning of his converted garage bedroom.

I don’t remember what we said to each other except that I said those magical, protective words again: Please.  Don’t take advantage of me.  I felt light and hot and like a grown up.  Wild and free.  I’d told him not to hurt me so therefore he wouldn’t.

I knew he wanted me – whatever that meant – and that felt like power.

We kissed in the dark, alone and in his bedroom, a place we had never spent time before.  He walked me backwards towards his bed.  His room smelled foreign and faintly like dirty laundry.  Like a musky boy.

The backs of my legs hit the bed and we stopped.  I stopped.  This was enough.  I was done.  But how??

He was not done.

He pulled off my shirt and I crossed my arms over my bra.  He pulled my hands apart and took off my bra.  I had never been topless in front of him and I shivered with embarrassment, a vague sense of wrong washed over me, but… I had put myself here.

He pushed me back on the bed, pulled down my pants and I shuddered with humiliation thinking he could see in the dim porch light that I was wearing my mother’s high-waisted underwear.  He didn’t notice that I was wearing my mother’s panties.

He only wanted them off.

I froze as he slipped them past my straight little hips and off my foot, pushed my knees apart and put his face between my legs.  There.  Where no one had ever been before, where I had not asked, where he had no right to be.

His tongue was hot and wet and acid.  Mortification, horror, fear pressed me deep into the mattress.  I was disgusted that he seemed to be enjoying it.

I pulled him up, told him to stop, and he kissed me as if it were a lovers moment, my first experience ever of tasting myself on a man’s lips and I pressed mine shut and turned away.

He pulled me into his arms to lay on his bed.  I thought it was over.  That he’d gotten what he wanted and I was safe again.  Stiffly I lay against his bare chest.  He was in only underpants.  I didn’t know what to say.

Then he took my hand – I thought he wanted to hold it – but instead forced it down to his groin, to his hot, hard skin.  I snatched my hand away as if it were burned, sat up and couldn’t stop the verbal outpouring.

“I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go, I’ve got to go,” I said.  “No, no, no,” spilled out to nothing as he helplessly watched me find my clothing in the dark.  Retroactive words that couldn’t turn back time.

I was sober now.

He continued to treat it like it was a tender moment between us and hugged my stiff body goodbye.  I walked to the little red Pontiac Le Mans 5-speed and drove back to my friend’s house and cried.

I cried because it was my fault.  I cried because I was supposed to feel differently than this, this despondence, this hurled into space feeling.

I had called him, flirted with him, went to him.

I hadn’t fought or slapped or kicked or said even one word to him to make him stop.

But none of what had happened had felt right — nothing about our entire “relationship” had felt right — but I was raised on dysfunctional interactions with men – you must be so beautiful you stop traffic, so desirable you make him reckless and irrational, so lovely you make him weep.  Not listening to how I felt with him was what I’d been bred to do: what I needed never mattered.

He shipped out the following fall and married a sad creature from our high school.  He occasionally wrote me letters telling me how special I was.  By then I didn’t care.  I no longer wanted to impress him.

A decade or so later, with a divorce and two children under his belt – including a daughter – he apologized for that night.  He avoided calling it assault, but he acknowledged that if I never wanted to speak to him again he deserved it.  My reply was gracious, but lackluster.  I had shrunken it down: It was just a bad night.

I wish I could remember when I named that night for what it was.  It wasn’t right away, I know that.  For years I considered that just another really bad sexual experience, a bad start. “Sexual assault” was too hard to swallow.

I didn’t date another boy until I was in college and those fumbling attempts at sex were consensual, though I was barely present.  I would drink too much and throw myself at these boys and descend upon them fearlessly, my tender heart a million miles away.

I fucked like that throughout my 20s, through serious boyfriends who’d paw at me and beg and wear me down until I finally said yes, through drunken liaisons with hot, willing men in bars whose names I barely knew.

Close to 30 I began to try to marry sex with emotion and embarked on sober sex with a lover or two before I met my exhusband – who was so not sexually charged that I considered him safe enough to open up with.  I had missed the mark again.

Another decade and I left our sexless marriage and was back to heartless fucking and a lot more “bad sex.”

Sex when I didn’t want to have it after a wonderful date.

Oral sex when I had said I didn’t want it.

Being abused by a “so-called dominant.”

Being fondled in public on a first date without my consent.

Being completely ignored when I said “No, not tonight.”

Maybe having sex with the bastard who dragged me across a room filled with people into a dark bedroom, but I can’t remember because I was so fucked up or maybe I just blocked that part out.

The date with the Frenchman who coerced me into his car, into his apartment, and into letting him jam his disgusting, fat tongue down my throat.

The same Frenchman who insisted on pawing me and trying to sneak his hand up my skirt despite my many firm NOs.

The light-weight chef who blamed the whiskey or two he’d consumed on his boorish sexual advances.

I literally cannot count the number of times I have been physically assaulted in my life —  Twenty-five?  Fifty? — let alone count the number of times I have been assaulted by unsolicited dick pics and disgusting “erotic” messages online.  If I had to guess at that combined number it’d have to be in the thousands.

After a couple of winter assaults in 2016 I began 2017 with a date at a swanky restaurant with Rex, a feminist and bleeding heart liberal.  Imagine my surprise when I registered the shock on his face as I told him, “Literally every woman you know has been sexually assaulted.  Every. Woman.”  He should know this already, right??  But, no.

He wanted to know more, why hadn’t I reported anything ever? A bad thing happened to me at the hands of someone else and I should report such bad things. “Because it wouldn’t have held up in court; I know what kind of world I live in. I did X, Y, Z and a jury would find me at fault.”

He had no idea that No didn’t actually mean No to a whole lot of men out there, that women felt compelled to follow through with a situation because she felt responsible, that some women — myself included — did things with her body because it might mitigate potential violence should she try to fully stop her date, that all women understand she bears the burden of proof and if one signal were mixed she has no legal leg to stand on.

I began to feel responsible for the mixed signals I had given.  How would he know if I didn’t say No?  If I didn’t fight?  If I ended up just going along with it because my body responded to his touch?  I was a part of the problem, too, then right?  I was actively contributing to misinformation about sex and women and the miseducation of men.  Wasn’t I?

It wasn’t until this fall, right as the Harvey Weinstein news was crashing down upon us all, that I wondered this aloud to a young man who wanted to connect with me before we embarked on a sexual relationship.

Nate and I sat in his dark Volvo outside my building and he listened to my concerns and he became incensed at my logic.  Incensed.

I could hear the horror in his voice as he realized I was owning the revolting behavior of the men who had hurt me over the years.  “NO, HY.  NO.  MEN KNOW WHEN A WOMAN DOESN’T WANT IT.

“But what if I didn’t want him to know??”

“NO.”

“But what if I went along with it?”

“NO.”

“But what if eventually I just stopped saying No??”

“NO NO NO NO NO.  WE ALWAYS KNOW.”

The windows steamed up from his shouting.  I felt like I had been punched.  Not by him — no, I was in awe of his emotion about this — but by a new reality: those incidents hadn’t just been “bad dates” with ignorant, stupid men, they had been sexual assaults by men who knew better.

They knew they were hurting me.

They knew they were pressuring and pushing me.

They knew I didn’t want to.

They knew.

Just like that 19 yo boyfriend always knew.

I don’t think that this makes every man who assaulted me a bad man and a predator.  It makes him irresponsible, possibly an opportunist, certainly a jerk, but not an automatic menace to society.  That would require more data if we are to be fair.

And a man is as much a product of his socializing to conquer and take sex as I have been socialized to please and give it.  Imagine how different our world would be if we raised our men to give sex rather than take or get it.

Honestly, how the fuck are any of us to know when No is a real-No and a No is an I’m-Supposed-to-Say-This-So-You-Don’t-Think-I’m-Easy-No.  Aziz Ansari is a numbnut dipshit and a perfect example of this and that date personifies my guilt about my role in all of this.

He [willfully] believed all her dodging and eventual capitulations were part of a consensual chase, that it was his role to pursue, but those two poor souls were definitely not on the same date.  She was in hell, he was the romantic hero of his own romance novel.  But he still knew, he just assigned a different meaning to her behaviors.

She was being coy, playing hard to get, and if he could somehow convince her to say Yes then it was consensual.  Score 1 for the good guy!

And she’s thinking, “If I say Yes, then maybe it’ll stop.”  Or, “Maybe it won’t be that bad.”  Or, “Maybe he really doesn’t know and I won’t die if I just do it.”  Or, “I did invite him back to my apartment/go to his apartment/a secluded area/his car so I’ve given the signal I’m interested and I can’t stop now.”

This issue does not lay at the feet of only women to solve.  It is not about us saying No louder or avoiding situations or running away or “just leaving.”  It’s about men understanding that it lays equally at their feet to be honest, present, and responsible.

Men need to question the model of masculinity handed to them, the Patriarchy which tells them once turned on it is their duty and right to satiate their need by any means necessary.

Women must reject what’s been handed to them, as well, this belief that they are solely responsible for what happens to them.  If only she hadn’t worn that skirt, had that drink, said Yes the last date/hour/minute then this wouldn’t have happened to her.

What we’re taught is breathtakingly fucked up.

Once we realize what we’ve been spoon fed we all – both men and women – need a path to redemption.  Men need an avenue to a safe place for growth and forgiveness and women need a route to believe in her inherent human value and her rights to safety with men.

Being violent is only the most obvious assault, but it’s not the only way men force their sexual will on women.  They also intimidate, beg, cajole, plead, manipulate, wear down, corner, argue, and insist upon.

And because he didn’t raise a hand against her he believes he did nothing wrong and the woman who just went against her instincts to survive the encounter is left with a jagged empty space in her heart and a truckload of guilt for bringing it upon herself.

But he knew.

And now we know, too.

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Post inspired by Katie’s, “Not that bad.”

I’m not going to want to marry you.

Or, “You and I will never date.”

Or, “We’ll never be a ‘thing’.”

Or, “We won’t ever be serious.”

Words that never fail to fall upon my ears like long, whispering razors that snake to my bare and beating heart.

Did I ask you to marry me?  To date me, to be a thing?  Have I seemed serious about us???  I thought I was already clear before we ever met that I was not looking for a relationship.

An open woman – one who relies not upon traditional trappings of commitment or even time – is open to all things, not just the few things she actually wants in her life.

There are also uninvited guests in the form of nervous men who think her attitude must be a self-serving [female] plot to entrap him in an unwanted relationship and therefore must be headed off at the pass with a preemptive THIS IS ONLY TEMPORARY I DONT WANT YOU.

I have had countless conversations with these men over the years and struggle to not sound defensive or hurt or some combination of the two, and not because I am either of those things, but how do you respond to someone who says that to you without sounding brittle?

When you’ve learned that after a date or two, possibly a handful, after having had sex that he has already – and unilaterally – decided he must remind you that there is no future together.  That you have not made the cut?

So I say, calmly and with some mirth, “Well of course not.  I don’t want to marry/date/be serious either.”

He* exhales breath he didn’t know he was holding.  “Good, because most women end up falling in love with me.  It’s such a problem.

I laugh, pour him some more wine.  Poor guy.

“You and I lead very different lives, Mr. Man.  You see, when you are kind and decent and the sex is good you have to fight women off; they fall in love and they pursue you with vigor and adoration.  If the sex is good, they think it must be love!  Am I right?”

He emphatically nods and appears relieved that I “get it,” this terrible thing that happens to him because he is a tender, intuitive lover and thoughtfully checks in via text every day despite not wanting a “serious” relationship.

Inside I turn black and pieces of my heart flake off and disintegrate.

“Let me tell you my experience, friend.  When I have great sex with someone and feel a connection I treat him with respect and I want to see him again, naturally, right?”

He nods with complete understanding.

“I make this known to my lover and I am then inevitably seen as one of those women who have fallen in love and must be pushed away.  I can neither pursue a connection nor admit I want one lest I turn into some lovesick idiot who confuses sex with love.”

We sit quietly.  Me uncertain he believes me and he probably thinking I might have the most elaborate trap of all.

I want to deny that I could fall in love, but I no longer bother; it’s absolutely possible that feelings could develop for one of these men because I can both fuck and love* – Sunday to Sunday – but what I can’t seem to do is find anyone who wants to do both with me so I cauterise the flow and keep it discrete.

The only difference between me and one of those “other” women he is so intent on avoiding is that I know in no uncertain terms that when a man says he doesn’t want a relationship he is not worth my energy beyond our tangled limbs and his fat, hot meat deep inside my body.

If he doesn’t see a future with me, then neither will I.

Troy seemed to like to tell me all the reasons why he would never date me, then The Neighbor felt similarly inclined.  Never mind I didn’t want to date either of them – Troy was an asshole and TN made it clear he wasn’t into me – yet they each felt it necessary to ward me off, to draw an X between us, a Protego totalum spell against me.  Fuckers.

I broke up with TN 4 separate times based on his heartless prophecy and yet the bastard just wouldn’t leave me alone.  I allowed him to lead me into a relationship he ultimately never wanted and then one cold January day in 2015 he abruptly left me.  The lies he’d lived having crushed us both to smithereens, me to oblivion.

I will never do that again.

If he says he doesn’t want me I believe him.  I heard his sultry voice, I saw the white teeth which shone while the words flowed out of his smile.  Our knees touched on my couch, wine in hands.  He had come over just to hang out and see me.  Sex wasn’t expected, just talk.  He likes me, after all.

But not that much, Hy.  Don’t be a silly girl and fall in love.  He only wants your pussy, your energy, your you.

Well, I only want his* submission.  And I only want his dick.  Two can play at that game, gentlemen, but don’t cry to me about all the women who fall in love with you.  They’re more human than me, they’re normal people with hopes and warm, beating hearts.  They’re lovely and pure and you’re ruining them with your fantastic expectations of connection without any commitment and feelings.  How lazy and entitled can you be?  Shall we love ourselves for you, too?

I don’t love hearing the words they insist on sharing – it makes me feel sideways and miscategorized – but I appreciate the insight because now I know what to do with him.

In the past I was hopeful that he might be wrong about his feelings about me.  He’d wake up one day with me nestled in his nook, our evening sex perfuming the room and another long lazy weekend planned ahead and realize he was in love despite his best efforts to avoid it because I am just that lovable.

Today I know that’s Hollywood bullshit written by writers whose love lives were arrested while reading either romance or fantasy novels due to their bad acne, overbite, and social anxiety.  The little guy always wins!  Except that is truly fiction.

I believe him now, these men.  He sees nothing with me other than the next hot sexual encounter.  I believe him.

But don’t worry about me.  He is safely sorted in the Do Not Pursue file, to be then neatly refiled into the one called Do Not Maintain.  Should I feel a glimmer of feeling – even the slightest flicker of affection – he will be moved to the Must Remove From Life folder immediately.

And I must admit that satisfaction rolled through me like a drug as those very words spilled out of my smile to land on his ears, wine in hands.

*”He” and “his” is not one man, but many.

**A timely tweet by one of my wives, Girl on the Net, a few days after my smile landed on his ears.

 

 

 

She was poisoned by your utter indifference and lack of human decency.

I’ve been hanging out with a man from my past lately, Chase.  He was one of the first men I went out with after The Neighbor dumped me in 2015 and also one of the few men who was able to weave affectionate play with hardcore fucking.  After 2 or 3 hot, naked dates he faded away in a fog of love with another woman.  Two months ago he reappeared and wanted to reconnect.  He and the woman had just broken up.

I called Chase my sexual brother at the time because his attitude was so open, yet caring.  He flung himself in bed with me as quickly as I did, but also maintained a thread of communication and friendship afterwards.  We went to a movie, we smoked weed on his balcony, we cuddled.  And we fucked.

Upside down and sideways, with spanks and splashes and lots of laughter.  He didn’t judge me, just went along for the ride.

It was over quickly, but he left a good taste in my mouth for the existence of a man who could be like me: wanton, but sensitive.

This past Friday he told me how different I am today from 3 years ago.  “You’re less… hungry,” he said.

And he’s right.  I am far less hungry.

In fact, I border on the disinterested altogether.  My sex drive is alive and well, but my hunger is gone.  I have finally been beaten into submission: I am no longer so eager to spread my legs hoping that this man might be like me only to be cast aside the next day.

My good IG friend, Mrs. XO, said this when I told her his new take on me:

“… I’ve had men say the same thing to me as well.  Like, what happened to that horny af milf?  Ummm, idk.  She was poisoned by your utter indifference and lack of human decency?

I couldn’t have said it better.

I am talking to a handful of other old lovers, as well, ghosts from my past who for whatever reason are back knocking on my door with their hardons.  A date here, a fuck there, a hug like old friends.  I’m enjoying the process, my heart safely cordoned off.  With each of them we’ve already left each other and we survived.  I survived.

I had a reader once, a bright woman who spent much of her precious time reading me and writing to me, beg me to stop hurting myself via men.  She wanted me to take responsibility for what was happening to me – all the hurt and rejection, she said, were my fault because I moved too fast with men and expected too much.

I didn’t agree and we locked horns.  I insisted I wanted to be accepted for who I am.  I wanted to do as I pleased and not be hurt.  She maintained that wasn’t how the world works.

Finally, years after our long email debates part of what she said to me has soaked in: I cannot trust those who have not earned it.  Merely existing in my world is not sufficient proof that you are trustworthy.

And so I am having very little sex.

Chase and I have spent 4 nights together and I have only recently touched his cock while my friend Jack blew him and Jack’s [new] fiancée fingerbanged me to climax.  I could have fucked all three, but my heart wasn’t in it.  Wednesday my date with Lance, a man I met 7 years ago, ended with a peck in his car despite past dates ending with a puddle beneath my bottom.

I wonder what it’d be like to meet someone and wait weeks before having sex, actually make it mean something as a pair with a serious relationship in mind.  The last time I did that, however, I ended up married to the wrong man.  All that “meaning” having clouded my better judgment.  Surely I wouldn’t make the same mistake…

I’ve waited weeks before having sex several times this year, but a relationship was never the end goal, just a D/s dynamic.  And while trust was integral I’ve realized yet again that promises are worthless and even agreed upon patience can’t protect me from abandonment.  Nothing can protect me.

So if nothing can protect me then I need to walk into the flames and accept what comes with truly no regrets.  I’ve said this so many times, each iteration closer to a mindfulness about people and myself.

I don’t regret anyone I’ve ever slept with – I was hopeful with each and every one of them and I was completely myself – but my hope was misguided.  It was based in the belief that they were truthful and like myself – open and eager to connect.  My reader-friend was desperate for me to realize that’s not how the world works, but I was stubborn.

Now I can still be myself, but accept more truly that people are not like me and that things have the high probability of going awry.  Men have hangups and baggage and plans unknown to me.  They have fears and hopes and shame.  Perhaps the timing was colossally wrong, whatever.  The end result to this realization has been this reticence to sex… and an incredible sense of calm.

I’m just chillin’ in my corner of the internet making ends meet, mothering, focusing on my health and fitness, listening to 90’s Hip Hop and rap like it’s my job.  To borrow and tweak Linda Evangelista’s famous “I don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day,” quote, I don’t get out of bed for less than being treated like a person.

Which means, not surprisingly, I go out a lot less often.