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January 7, 2006

Virgin post: What is this site about?

Welcome to the Sexeteria. Let's talk sex. And all things related to it, too--dating, celibacy, marriage, gender issues, lifestyle choices, literature, film, other kinds of entertainment...and anything and everything else unrelated to it, too, come to think of it, because, let's face it, it all comes back around to sex in about 7 minutes or so, anyway. And good conversation is sex for the brain. So. Whatever interests, amuses, informs, or otherwise makes for good conversation around the topic...let's talk about it.

Why empahsize the sex focus at all? Growing up, I was raised to have frank and open discussions about sexuality. As I got older, I realized how unusual an experience that was for most people. I've always been surprised, and a little saddened, by how shocked, and then relieved, and even grateful people are when they realize they can have a frank, open discussion about sex, without having to feel shame or embarrassment. I hate to think of how many people have lived their lives feeling isolated, unable to open up on the topic for fear of being shut down or ridiculed. So I wanted to create a comfortable environment where people can have these conversations in an open, respectful way.

Now, why "sexeteria" you ask?

In trying to figure out a name for this blog that would give an instant mental image of what it was about, I ran through a number of more obvious names, and they all just seemed too obvious or pompously titillating. And that wasn't the vibe I wanted. Sex can be serious, and smoldering, but it can also be friendly, and sometimes funny, too. I wanted the name to cover all the bases. I wanted to evoke a comfortable place where people could sit down, like they would with a good friend they trust, and talk comfortably about sex and sexuality without being embarrassed. A place where they could also have fun with the topic, too; as well as keep up-to-date with, share, and gossip about the latest news, entertainment, and other info on the topic.

So, I wanted to provide a smorgasbord of sex talk, if you will. But "smorgasbord" is not a particularly sexy word. So that was out.

And then, I remembered my favorite quote ever from The Simpsons, courtesy of Mr. H. Simpson himself: "Good things don't end in 'eum,' they end in 'mania' or 'teria.'"

And--voilà!--my little piece of the blogosphere was born.

So, the Sexeteria. Come on in, grab a tray, check out the buffet, and choose what most whets your appetite and interest. I'm cooking up some treats just for you, honey. And because you're special, there's no charge--except that you join us at the table after you've and share your thoughts in a good, mind-stimulating group conversation. (For the rules of respectful posting, please click here.)

Dig in!

Miss Syl.

[Update: I've since discovered that the makers of The Simpsons actually used the word "Sexeteria" in their second animated show, Futurama. I always knew Matt Groening and I were soulmates, since way back in the "Life in Hell" days.

Rules of the 'Teria

  1. Get in line
    This is not a porn or cyber sex chat site. It's a place for clever people who are interested in sex and sexuality to talk, debate, and laugh about issues that interest them.
  2. Enjoy your meal
    I'm going to talk about sex. And obviously, I'm a woman, so it'll be from a woman's point of view. I'll bring you news, debate, opinion, my and others' reviews of books, toys, video, whatever strikes my fancy.
  3. Speak up, honey
    The crowd is noisy, but the lunch lady o' sex wants to hear your opinions, musings, what have you. Give good comment.
  4. No food fights
    Miss Syl don't cook up no hate in her kitchen. If you start flinging yours around, it's detention for you, young man/lady/shemale.
  5. Lunch is served to everyone
    The sexeteria serves people of every background, gender, and orientation. Come on in. Ahem.
  6. Tips are accepted
    Saw an article you think I should check out? A site that's cool, funny, informative? A book, toy, video, or what have you that your company would like me to check out? I'm game. Write to me at the email in my profile. While I can't promise you I'll feature it, I'm always open to new ideas.

    And of course, posted comments or emails filled with slavish praise and admiration are always welcome with open...arms.

Also, please read this "Blogger's Disclaimer".

Also, also, please note:
Creative Commons License
All content in the weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs2.5 License.

January 8, 2006

Buzz Kill: Or, Does "Ugly is as Ugly Does" Also Apply to Vibrators?

Let me begin with a story. A while back, I suggested to this guy I was seeing that he buy me a vibrator. Based on the conversation we'd been having that preceded this request, I thought it would make his day (or night?) to pick one out for me.

He presented it to me all wrapped up. And when I opened the box, it was...

...The ugliest f'ing thing I'd ever seen in my life.

I so wanted to be able to show you a photo of the exact model of this disaster of design, but I just spent a half an hour scouring sex toy sites trying to track it down and I can't find it anywhere. I don't know the brand name anymore because I have since gotten rid of it. The closest idea I can give you of what it looked like is a caucasian-flesh-toned version of this:

Yes, that's right. He gave me what looked suspiciously like a penis covered in genital warts. It's kind of like you suggesting your boyfriend buy you something sexy that he'd like to see you wearing and he comes back with one of those yellow bio-hazard suits. Talk about a mood kill.

Now, TECHNICALLY, the thing was perfectly functional. It could achieve its intended purpose. But in all honesty, it always took me way longer to get to that intended purpose with that ugly-ass thing, because just looking at it always grossed me out. But it was a gift, and you don't want to be mean spirited and look a gift vibe in the...okay, well, I can't really think of a good pun here.

But in any case, it got me thinking about form and function in the vibe category. And let's face it, while we all of us, men and women alike, probably appreciate the function just fine on many, many different types of these handy gadgets, you've got to wonder what vibe manufacturers are thinking about in terms of form.

[And by the way, I want to meet the girl/guy who gets to say "I am a vibrator designer" when people ask her/him what she/he does for a living.]

I mean, who is behind some of these ideas? Let's have a look, shall we? (Note: links are NOT safe for work)

  • First we have the "vibe that I'm too embarrassed to admit IS a vibe" vibe (VTITETAIAVV).
    For instance, a vibrator that looks like a tube of lipstick. No offense to whomever designed this, but honestly, ladies: When was the last time you looked at a REAL tube of lipstick and said, "That is so damn HOT; I NEED that in my hoo-hoo right NOW?" And along with that, I know this scenario has got to have happened more than a few times: someone gets a little drunk, the hotel room is dark...fumbling and overcome with desire, she grabs the wrong tube from her suitcase and...messy, messy situation, people.
  • Next, we have a close cousin to the VTITETAIAVV, the "I secretly want to do an animal" vibe.
    In this category, designers apparently assume we're going to get turned on by dolphins, majorly freaky-lookin' letch penguins, and poisonous cobras. Okay, so aside from the one exception who probably works for the Jim Rose Sideshow, I'm pretty damn sure I know the reaction that any man would have if I were to say, "Hey, how would you feel about sitting there while I aim a cobra at your unprotected penis?" I'm predicting you're NOT going to get an uplifting response, if you catch my drift; which I know you do.
  • Lest we forget, there is also the the frighteningly realistic-looking "serial killer amputated body part" vibe! Woo hoo!
    These little (and not so little) beauties would give any aspiring Jeff of Josephine Dahmer plenty of hot times!
  • And we'd be remiss not to mention the "wtf?!?" category before we conclude.
    Because everyone wants a vibe that looks like a Maglite flashlight, a radioactive penis, or sea-anemone-crossed-with-cactus-thingie inside them, right?

Okay, so I'm poking a little fun. If a lecherous penguin gets you off, more power to you. And yes, I know different styles of vibrators are meant to stimulate in different ways AND that sex doesn't always have to be dead serious, some people want some humor mixed in. But really, you've got to wonder why great function can't meet great design in this arena. It is a SEX toy. Let's make them SEXY. Couldn't the people who design Macs or...I don't know...the your sex toys instead of what seems to be the people who design Beanie Babies or artificial limbs? Sooo not sexy.

In my estimation, it's all about the shame. People are afraid to stand out in the open and say, hey, I use a vibrator. Please, let's get over it. Why not just admit you're using the damn thing just like EVERYONE ELSE on earth (all of whom are also covering it up) and then we'll be able to start getting less libido-squelching designs. Maybe you'll start to get more things that are all sleek and sophisticated and mod, like this.

Not a sermon, just a thought.

For Every Reaction...

Okay, so half a day ago I just went on about good function, bad form. And today, I just came across the opposite example--the height of form with no real function. So, thought I'd share. This one's called "The Senator," heh. It's part of an artist's exhibit that had very beautifully designed, and sometimes whimsical male genital forms. The artist's name (should we believe her?) is Sue Long. Apparently her intent was to "expose and exploit men." But it kind of feels like a wee bit of good old-fashioned penis envy to me (just kidding there, Sue...or am I)? But really, even the ones poking fun feel more like an affectionate joke than the crass exploitation of women's bodies she says she's trying to counteract. And sometimes, they're even quite lovely. See?

You can buy the "Nimrod" and "Main Vein" for the price of about two high-end vibrators. Everything else is pretty expensive. Check out the exhibit site to see more at The Penis Project.

Make sure you check out the title of each piece. Those are priceless.

Thanks to Daze Reader for the original mention.

Hollwood Actors Have Orgasms Surgically Removed to Stay Competetive

So in this post on, the writer catalogues his votes for the "Ten Great Hollywood Orgasms." To his credit, he tried to include men's orgasms in the list, but they're all either joke orgasms ("There's Something About Mary") or just scary weird (Dennis Hopper in "Blue Velvet"). All the reader responses primarily mentioned female orgasms.

Which makes you realize something odd's going on here. There's lots of sex going on in mainstream cinema, but when we're talking serious orgasm moments (as opposed to jokey ones), it seems they turn the mike up on the females and turn it OFF on the males. What's up with that? Can you name five good, realistic male orgasms on the mainstream screen? (And I'm not talking obscure indie here, because yes, I know, "The Brown Bunny," Gregg Araki, blah blah blah. No, I mean the big money stuff people OTHER than us indie freaks go to see.

If you can think of a good, mainstream male orgasm example, post it here.

Although, hm, that orgasm in King Kong was impressive.

January 9, 2006

Et tu, Mama, También?

Also, while we're talking about movies, I have to have a little rant that's been brewing inside for quite a while. WHY is it that for the past few years, whenever you ask someone to name a sexy film, they almost inevitably say, "Y Tu Mama También?"

Don't get me wrong, it was a fine piece of film making. And the actors were nice eye candy. But why do people think it's the uber-sexy film of all time? Was anyone actually watching during the sex scenes that were in that movie? Sure, they hinted at a threesome, but you never saw that. And the two sex scenes that you DID see were both awful, bumbling first-sex attempts by the two virginal young men, and the filmmaker shows that they orgasmed so fast that the woman didn't even get any satisfaction.

One of the things that I find especially funny is that so many macho straight man types say the film is really sexy, when in fact the only really sensual moment is when all three of them are dancing together and then the woman gets the two men to kiss. After the fade out, they wake up and she's not even around. So, WAS it a threesome? We don't really know. And while certainly, if they were able to manage to overcome the premature ejaculation thing with each other, I'm certain they had a nice, sexy time together, it definitely makes you wonder what straight guys are referring to in the film as being hot. Is there some secret, Brokeback Mountain thing going on inside all men, hmmmm? Or maybe they find the whole wham-bam, leave the chick unsatisfied thing sexy. But based on the men I've known, I doubt most men would feel good about that.

Anyway, PLEASE. Let's get over this film already. Everyone can stick to the other two common standards these days instead: Secretary and Amelie. Which at least were more legitimately sexy than Y Tu Mama.

What would be your vote for best on-screen sex (porn excepted)?

Some that I thought were notable that you don't hear about much (though I also liked Secretary, but everyone says that):

Robert Downey, Jr. and Heather Graham in Two Girls and a Guy
David Wenham and Susie Porter in Better than Sex (all of it's good, but I liked the bathtub scene the best)
And a good "sex that wasn't sex scene": The conversation in the car/parking garage in Laurel Canyon

Tell me yours.

January 10, 2006

Beach Blanket Fatwa

According to one religious type, being fully naked during sex annuls a marriage. I can see it now, millions of couples applying for remarriage every single morning. "I'm sorry, I can't help it...I got a little carried away and annulled all over myself." And hey, what an easy out for divorce from someone you secretly despise. Get them all hot and bothered, "accidentally" let the blanket slip, and then...straight to court proceedings.

I Want to Suck Your Bivalves

I've noticed that just about every food listed as an aphrodisiac I just plain out love. Look at this list here. I adore every one of those: Pine nuts, bananas, caviar, cucumbers...The page pretty much lists the menu of my dream meal (paying attention, potential suitors?). And peaches, oh yes. For me, a fragrant, juicy summer peach is more convincing evidence of the existence of a higher being than any religious tract I've ever read.

But more than any of the above I crave oysters. Just the thought of those soft, cold, wet, salty things sliding down my throat sends me to my knees. The mere mention of them, even a passing reference, and I'm instantly craving. I'm craving them now, just writing to you about them. God, first person to offer to take me out for oysters gets...hmmm, to listen to me make some verrry appreciative noises, how about that?

Of course, there's a lot of debate about whether aphrodisiacs really have any effect at all, or if it's simply the power of suggestion. But it seems an interesting coincidence to me at least that I have a healthy libido and a pretty healthy craving for just about every stated aphrodisiacal kind of food out there. And many of them I had a solid love for long before I was old enough to know what the word "aphrodisiac" meant.

It would be an interesting experiment to hear from others out there and see if their sex drives, high, medium, or low, match with the amount of aphrodisiacs they crave.

Also, any votes for foods that ought to be placed on the aphrodisiac list that aren't commonly? I might vote for cashews, and maybe chanterelle and/or morel mushrooms. Mmmm, in fact, why not slice all three of those up, sautee them all together with a little butter and sherry, and slowly drizzle the mixture on...

I'll let you imagine the rest.

Keep Rolling, Dammit! Sex Scenes I Wish They Would Have Filmed

All this talk about films keeps clouding my head this week. The comment in the Y Tu Mama post about "sex that wasn't really sex" got me thinking about which fades-to-blacks I wish I could have lifted up the shade on, and/or which almost-coitus-but-interruptus moments I wish would have turned into full-blown cinema lust fests. Here's what I've got so far:
  • Kate Winslet and Jim Carey in bed under the blanket in that gorgeously emotional scene in "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • The four-Monkees-on-one-girl scene at the beginning of "Head" (come on, you KNOW you'd wanna see it)
  • Mae West and Cary Grant in "She Done Him Wrong"
  • The threesome in the pool or in the hotel bedroom (either/or/both) in "Laurel Canyon"
  • Not a movie, but still: In "Six Feet Under," the scene between Nate and Lisa in the woods where he tells her in great detail what he's about to do to her, before he starts to do it--mm, mm, mm, perfectly crafted dirty-talk scene
  • Really didn't like this movie, but I still would have liked to see Colin Firth act on that one moment at the end of "Bridget Jone's Diary" where he's just gotten into her flat and it looks like it's all he can do to keep from ripping her clothes off. Good acting, there, Colin. I'd have let you.
  • The infamous cutting-room floor scene between the Sleaze Sisters in my favorite grrl cult film of all time, "Times Square"
  • Darryl Hannah and Aidann Quinn in "Reckless" (did anyone ever see that film besides me?)

  • Frank N. Furter with Brad and/or Janet in "The Rocky Horror Picture Show"

I had a lot of more current examples in my head this afternoon, but I'm tired right now. Maybe you can help me add to the list.

January 11, 2006

Great Writing About Bad Sex

It's rare that someone has a real talent for writing about sex. By that I mean, someone who can not just capture the stuff that gets us hot and hard or wet, but who can also make us feel the reality of it all as if you are right in the act with him or her, experiencing the complex web of feelings involved, both positive and sometimes negative. The dizzying pull of desire, the rushing groundswell of victory at the first discovery that, yes, he or she wants me, and he or she is about to..., the anxious persistence of the ticking clock hidden behind the wall of performance anxiety, the moment of "is this the right thing to do?" doubt, the spasm of pleasure that makes you lose all thought for a moment before it all comes flooding back, and it all repeats again and again and again...all the many things that may or may not layer on top of each other in one single moment, or during one single touch.

Anyway, you rarely find something that makes you feel it all. And I came across this short piece by poet and memoirist Nick Flynn in "Nerve," and I have to say, it was one of those rare lit-sex moments where I felt like I was actually in bed with him--not WITH him, as in being the partner in the story, but in his body, behind his eyes and ears and brain and nerve endings. And it felt amazing. Despite the fact that he was supposedly writing about bad sex. (Update: Nerve has switched this story over to premium members only, so if you're not a premium member, you won't be able to read the whole thing. However, I found a little bit more of it excerpted over here at Viviane's Sex Carnival, if you want to get a taste of it.)

If you like it, go check out his website, too. It's here. I hadn't heard of him before but it appears he has a really interesting memoir with a genius title: "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City." Just that alone makes me want to read it. So, go on, support a starving writer.

Another update: I've read "Another Bullshit Night in Suck City" now. It's worth buying.

January 12, 2006

My Name is Sylvie, and I am an Aural Onanist

Okay, I need to come clean. I love phone sex. LOVE it.

This is probably primarily because I just love sound during sex in general. For me, quiet sex is okay, but if you really want to get me crazy, moan into my ear just how good you're feeling and I'll climb the walls; and most likely every inch of you, as well.

I also believe in reciprocating in kind, of course. I'm perfectly happy saying things to men that would make other women blush. In fact, I prefer doing so--and it's especially cute and rewarding if I can say something that will makes the man blush, too (in a good way, of course--maybe "flush" rather than "blush" is the right word).

In general, my phone sex has been restricted to men I've been in relationships with. But I have tried it twice with strangers, as a sort of experiment. And while I still much prefer both real and imagined sex to be with someone I know intimately, I find it interesting that in the physical realm, I generally can't fully enjoy sex or reach a full orgasm unless it's with someone I know and trust. Whereas, I have been able to come while having phone sex with a stranger. I'm not sure why this is, but I'm guessing there are two possibilities:

1) The person on the phone has to make sounds throughout the act, so I know what's going on. In physical sex, many men often try to imitate the male porn star thing where they stay quiet during sex except during the blow job and orgasm stages (so annoying). So during phone sex, I'm getting constant aural stimulation, which is a constant exciter for me.

2) It feels like there is less serious fallout consequence from a one-night phone stand than a one-night real-life stand. There aren't any STDs or potential pregnancies to worry about. The other person doesn't know where you live (assuming you're unlisted or you block caller ID), and you're not going to run into him in Starbucks the next morning. Well, I mean, you could, but you wouldn't know it if you did. So no uncomfortable conversations.

In any case, as I am currently partnerless, I don't have phone sex nearly as often as I would like. And yet, ironically, I'm often told (even by people I am not having the slightest sexually-tinged conversation with) that I was blessed with a voice that instantly stimulates the male libido, particularly over the phone. Not saying this to brag, mind you, it's just something I've been told spontaneously so many times that I figure it must be true--though to me I just sound like...myself. Anyway, here: you be the judge.

this is an audio post - click to play
So, the facts: 1) I love phone sex. 2) I have a phone sex operator voice. 3) I have no one to have phone sex with.

It's enough to get a girl thinking about quitting her respectable day job and going pro. So today, I am especially interested by this post by Katie over at Talking Dirty, about how to be a phone sex operator. Definitely looking forward to part two.

I wonder if I could satisfy my aural fixation AND make more money than I'm currently earning. I suspect not. And I probably would prefer getting it for free where the conditions are more egalitarian. But still, it's an interesting least a good one to fall asleep to after I sign off tonight.

In any case, if you're interested in other types of long-distance sex, too, you might also want to check out another blog link I found via Katie's site: Dante's Guide to Cybersex.

See what I mean about peaches?

Just came across this. I dare you to deny this is the world's most sensual fruit.

I know you're ready to lick it right now. Click to enlarge if you need more inspiration.

Take a bite of peach... Originally uploaded by whatmeworry101.

January 14, 2006

Sugasm #17

I'm very excited--my first Sugasm entry (even if my blog's name falls low on the letter list so I'm not in the first 20...oh well). Can't wait to read everyone else's, too. Have a look.

For those who might read this and don't know, this is the genuis idea of the brilliant Sam Sugar over at SugarBank, a site definitely worth many a visit. AND he's not only a brilliant idea generator; he's also a very good writer, and he has a very hot voice. The trifecta of attraction in my book.

Sugasm #17

The best of the blogs by the bloggers who blog them (this week starting with the letter ‘H’):

January 15, 2006

Men: What Are Your Best Blowjob Tips?

I'm currently reviewing two different sex-themed books that both include tips on fellatio, and it brings up a question I'd like to get more widespread feedback on from the men out there. Mainly, what really makes for a great blowjob.

I was once listening to a sex chat show on the radio where a female called in and said she was worried that she wasn't giving her boyfriend a good enough blow job, and she wanted to know if there were hints she could look out for that would give away whether or not she was doing it well. The male host's advice to her was not to be concerned, because essentially all guys feel that if they're getting a blowjob at all, it's a great blowjob.

But I've always wondered if it's true. And I'm sure it's something that many straight women wonder about.

Being a non-penis-carrying member of the FCLU (Female Contingent of Lust Universal), I can pretty much get a mental sense of what most acts during sex must feel like for a man, except for what it must feel like to have a blowjob. This remains a big question mark for me, because I simply have no frame of reference, and never will. And though I've never had any complaints or requests for anything different from any of my male partners when I ask for feedback, I've always wondered if men are just afraid to tell a woman to change her technique. I suspect men might worry that any constructive criticism could lead to insecurity or resentment on the women's part and--horror!--that might mean the end of all blowjobs for the guy altogether.

Or, maybe, as the DJ said, men think any blowjob is great, so they're just simply satisfied that they're getting one and they don't care about making it SUPER great. But why shouldn't they care?

And anyway, I just plain find it hard to believe any blowjob is good. First of all, when I ask my male friends if the DJ's statement was true, every single one of them will first say yes. But then when questioned further, they will tell me some people are far better at it then others and they are ready to wax poetic about what makes the good ones good.

And further proof to me is that in reverse, there are definitely men that are better and worse at cunnilingus. I can't imagine every woman is naturally great at oral sex. And, just as I'm certain any slightly more clueless or intimidated man facing an expectant pussy is quite grateful for any gentle roadmap directions a woman can give him to help him navigate down there, women would probably be equally as happy to get gently helpful advice.

So, men of the blogosphere, now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their cuntry. Help a sister out.

Please sound off about the best ways to suck you off. Share any secret--or not so secret--tips you wish more women knew about. Or IS any blowjob a good blowjob?

January 21, 2006

Sugasm #18

Lots and lots of excellent reading this week. Enjoy. And thanks to Sam Sugar at Sugarbank for compiling it all.

The best of the blogs by the bloggers who blog them (this week starting with the letter ‘S’):

Sex Type Thing (
Six Girls Skinny-dipping on Abby Winters (

Coach T…..Chapter Two (
Sometimes You Just Miss Having A Penis (
Strapping One On? (
Tangled up (
The Listening Brief (
True Secret: A Night With A Star (
Vixen, In All Her Sultry, Devilish, Glory (
Brett and Hiromi interview themselves (
Hot teen lesbian sex on Sapphic Erotica (
Condom Conversation… (shayssexcolumn)
Cherished (
Dante’s Guide to Cybersex–Part II: Descriptive Writing(
Darkness (
Exactly where I want you… (
Expectations (
Father Knows Best (
Fucking Wifey To Make Me Jealous (

How do you jack-off? (
How to Get a Killer Lapdance (
Hot teen lesbian sex on Sapphic Erotica (
I might like you bettah if we shaved togethah (
KITKAST #1.12 - AVN 1/2, Howard Stern and Porn Battle Kits(
Masturbation (
Mindfucking and Oral Service (
Men: What Are Your Best Blowjob Tips? (
More angie6969 (
My best fuck (
Phone (
My Fun Night at Work (MOCK POST) (
Realizing Mortality (

Join the Sugasm?

February 3, 2006

Women: What Are Your Best Cunnilingus Tips? (Full post, finally.)

Well, based on my hits since I added my post on blowjob tips, hundreds of people are curious about what answers men gave to the blowjob survey. Now if only more people would overcome their shyness and answer, not just lurk!

But I think if that many people would like to know what men think makes for good oral sex, I’m sure there’s a lot of people out there who would appreciate hearing the female point of view on how to give a woman great oral. I would assume that men in particular would love to hear some of this advice straight from “real” women rather than from unrealistic porn videos. I can’t imagine what it must feel like for them when they first come face to face with the mysterious complexity of a new pussy they want to please. I know they say generally men don’t like to be given directions, but my guess is in this particular scenario, they would be more than happy to have a good on-board navigation system.

So, ladies, it’s your turn. Please sound off on the best ways to get you off orally. Share any secret—or not so secret—tips you wish more men knew about. (Note: I’m saying give tips to the boys because, seeing as they don’t own a vulva or a clitoris, they have less of a frame of reference and might want more guidance. But bi and lesbian girls are very welcome to share tips, too. In fact, please do. We all of us want to have better oral.)

Now, unlike in my last post, I am quite familiar with what it feels like to have female genitalia, so I can start the conversation off with a few tips. Here they are. The list is a little long, so click the link below the first tip to get to the full post.

  1. When it comes to women, “any oral is good oral” does NOT apply. Unlike how it is for men, just because you’re willing to go down there and start licking doesn’t mean she’s going to come no matter how it’s done. Orgasm is a very emotional as well as physical thing for women. If you don’t get both her mind and senses engaged, she’s not going to get off. Here are some more tips on how to do both.

  2. Don’t head straight for the pussy like a heat-seeking missile. I know for a lot of guys, nothing is as exciting as having a woman you’re into start touching your package or start unzipping your fly and heading down south as early on as possible in a make-out session. This is because not only does it feel damn good, but it takes away a certain amount of insecurity—if that happens, you know she’s into you and you’re probably going to be getting some.

    This is NOT—I repeat—NOT the case for women. If you go straight for her genitals right after you start kissing, in most cases it will NOT make her feel good, because she hasn’t been turned on enough. Plus, it will not take away her insecurities by making her think you’re into her. Unlike you, she’s going to be pretty sure already that you want to have sex with her, and she’ll be in the process of deciding if she wants to have sex with you. What will make or break that is generally how willing you are to show you’re into her and her physical needs. Going straight for her pussy, either while clothed or even when you first both get naked together (if you do) is not the way to show her you’re into her physical needs. In fact, it might even make her think you don’t care about her at all and just want to get laid, which for most women would be a serious mood kill, and there’s no coming back from that (ahem). Most women need to get very worked up until they’re at the point where there’s no WAY they’re going to be able to want anything except getting you down there, and quick. So, unless you know your partner very, very well and already know she’s into quickies, if you go straight in for the pussy, you’re significantly lessening your chances you’ll even see her genitalia, let alone get her off. Instead, spend some time stimulating her by kissing, stroking, licking, and caressing every other part of her body first, until she is so worked up, there’s no way she’s going to be able to want anything but to have you down there, and quick. Once she’s already a little worked up, don’t underestimate the power of the tease…touch, kiss, or lick the sensitive areas around the pussy, especially the inner thighs, lower stomach, and mons pubis. Make her start thinking about it, but not getting it. The power of suggestion is has a mighty influence.

  3. Forget all that "letters of the alphabet" nonsense.

    To paraphrase Ron Jeremy in “Porn Star,” (and who would know better than the hedgehog), some women like it clockwise, some like it counter clockwise, some like an up and down stroke, etc., etc. You don’t have to spell out the letters of the alphabet. Just try different motions and see what works. Circles around the clit, direct pressure pusing right on the clit, slow up and down licking, fast little flicks of the tounge…try it all and see what has the best effect. I mean, if it helps you to spell out the letters of the alphabet to figure out what motion works best for your woman, so be it. But the point is, when you find a motion that works, STICK WITH IT. If you reach the letter S and she suddenly starts bucking her hips against your face, don’t fucking move on to T, U, and V. Stick with S, damnit. S, S, S!!! Oh god, Ssssss!

  4. Listen up! Pay attention!
    Some women aren’t shy at all about telling you just what to do and what they like, which takes away all the guesswork. But some women are more embarrassed to express themselves so bluntly during sex. In any case, whether she talks a lot or hardly at all, listen and pay close attention to the noises and motions she makes. If you’re down there and you hear something—an intake of breath, a moan, a “yes,” or if you see her starting to move against your toungue or face in even a slightly less controlled way—stick with what you are doing, you’re on the right track. Keep doing it some more. If she starts to get quieter or to calm down, it’s not working anymore; move on to trying something new until you start hearing/seeing a response again, and then stick with that motion. Recognize that if you here “no, “ “not there,” or “ouch!” you must NEVER go back to that approach. Realize that some women are more sensitive than others in that region. Just because your last partner liked to have her clit nibbled on doesn’t mean that your next partner is going to be able to take that direct approach.

    And most importantly, if at any time you hear her say, “right there!“, “I’m almost there! I’m going to cum!”, or “don’t stop!”…well, mister, DON’T STOP WHAT YOU ARE DOING. I recognize it’s hard to continue to keep your motions consistent while she’s thrashing uncontrollably, but you signed up for this job, mate! Do whatever it takes to stay consistent at that moment. There is NOTHING worse than right as you’re about to peak, your partner decides to pause, change his tongue technique, or stop and ask for a blowjob instead. Once the momentum is broken for women, it can take a while to get back up there again. So unless you and your partner are into denial and teasing, stick with it till she’s screaming in ecstasy and tells you she’s done.

  5. Communicate. Ask for tips.
    Since every woman is different, asking how she likes to be given oral doesn’t imply you don’t know what you’re doing. In fact, it shows you DO know something. As you’re getting to know your partner (or even after you know her well), don’t be afraid to ask “do you like that?” It’s pretty sexy to hear a partner ask that anyway, because you know they want you to really feel good. If you’ve got a partner who’s a little less shy, tell her you are going to be her slave for the night—at her total command, there only to give her pleasure, and she needs to tell you exactly what to do to her, when, and how. Step by luscious step. Do this, and she’ll not only be turned on, but she’ll give you a virtual roadmap to how to make her feel good. And, if your partner is even less shy, ask her to demonstrate for you what gets her off. One way to do this is to ask her to masturbate in front of you while you watch. Exciting for you and her! But many women might be very embarrassed to do this, or intimidated by that kind of thing. If you suspect your partner might be, or you don’t know, try this less exhibitionistic alternative. Stand or lay behind her, pressed up against her. After she’s nice and turned on, ask her to take your hand and masturbate herself with it, as if it were her hand. She can bring your hand around the front of her, and use it like a sex toy until she’s overcome with orgasm, but she doesn’t have to see you watching her as she does it. It’s very intimate, and very hot, but less confrontational. Whichever method you use, pay attention to exactly how she touches herself, and then, the next time you go down on her, do the same thing with your tongue. You’ll have her screaming for you in no time.

So, that's a start. Ladies, do all these work for you? If yes, let the guys know. If not, feel free to debate and correct from your point of view. Have more good tips? Please add a comment! Every woman needs to be heard on this one.

February 4, 2006

Sugasm #20

The best of the blogs by the bloggers who blog them. This week starting with "M" for "mmm...."

February 5, 2006


I don't know what's happening, but over the past two days, I've had problems with disappearing posts and dysfunctional comment pages. I think it's all fixed. But let's wait and see how it goes. For now, commenting on the latest post seems to be working. Please share if you've been trying to. Sorry for any frustration. No one is feeling it more than me!

One Month Later: A Note of Thanks to All You Lovely Readers

I just want to say thank you to everyone who's been visiting. I'm amazed every day at this whole blogging world and the amazingly smart and cool people involved in it.

I started writing this blog exactly a month ago. In this first month, I've had over 2,000 visitors, over 3,000 pageloads, and return visits that number in the hundreds. That just amazes and humbles me. When I started, I thought I'd be lucky if 10 people a day found the site and even a few of them responded. Many thanks to all of you who have visited, and for your great comments and kind emails. I look forward to more discussion and meeting more of you who are out there and hearing your thoughts.

It also makes me feel great that there's such a thriving number of intelligent, thoughtful sex bloggers out there keeping the discussion open and interesting. I had no idea when I first signed on this would be the case. Now I find myself overwhelmed with the number of blogs I want to read everyday. How will I ever have the time???

Much xo to you all...I think together, we're all making the world a better, more open, more creative place.

February 7, 2006

An Orgasm is Forever: Want the Perfect V-day Gift?

Well, allow me to help you, possums.

Look what I just found...a gift that solves both couples' "our sex is getting too routine" AND "I'm sick of fighting over the remote control" dilemmas. Couldn't sound more perfect, you say?

Then get yourself over to see the oyster and the octopus. No, I'm not talking about taking your honey to Sea World for Valentine's Day. I'm talking his and hers, remote controlled, low noise, hide-in-plain-sight vibrators. Each is designed differently to stimulate the right parts for the right gender. And the remotes are on key chains so no one out in public need be the wiser. Ingenious. There's also video from some BBC morning show of couples testing both out, if you're curious to see the effects. How could you go wrong with this one--a gift for him/her that is ALSO a gift for you.

And if you're about to say, "Miss Syl, I already BOUGHT him/her a remote control vibrator...that is SO last year," well, how about adding a little something to your bedroom decor that will put your lucky victim in no position to criticize your gift? Mmm, mmm, mmmm, look at that wedge ramp combo (pictured here). Or, check out the more permanent furniture. I'd definitely be willing to show just how grateful I was if someone got me one of these for a present--make sure you check out the whole slide show. Makes your mouth water.

Ah, I'm jealous now of all you people who are going to get one of these on Valentine's day, while I'm left all alone and boyfriendless this year...

Now, if anyone gets any of these based on my suggestion, you know it's only have to give me a full review on exactly how well it "worked" as a present!

February 9, 2006

My First Time

Bet this post is not exactly what you thought it was going to be...

...but maybe it's about something even better, something that will bring you back to a certain feeling...

I was just thinking about how most people's "first time" is really not with a person, but with a piece of media--whether a book, a magazine, a photograph, film, TV show, or website.

Can you remember the first thing that sparked up your mind and body with that hot flame of desire? The very first thing that got you hard, or got you wet, so that you instinctively took your hand or pillow or (fill in the blank) and put it down where it needed to be, and started the motion that would, for the very first time, satisfy the sensations you couldn't even define yet?

I've heard men tell me they masturbated for the first time to women on sitcoms. Women tell me it was their life-size poster of their rock star crush taped to the back of their bedroom door. So innocent, yet so incredibly stirring, when you think back to how little it took to get your mind and desire racing back then.

For me, my first time was with a John Jakes novel called The Bastard. It was the first in a series of historical novels purportedly written for men, but which in reality were little more than masculine versions of romance novels. My dad had collected the series and had them sitting on a shelf, collecting dust in his study. I was a voracious reader and a brainy girl even then, and was already reading adult books, under my parent's supervision. I asked to read these books, and I'm sure my dad thought it was a good idea, as it would teach me things about American history. Little did he realize I'd keep the first book in the series under my bed for years, so I could have easy access to it whenever I needed it.

I can still clearly remember the very first time I read the opening sex scene in that book. In it, the hero, innocent and in his teens in pre-Revolution France, is seduced in the loft of a barn by the teenage-but-NOT-so-innocent serving wench who works in his mother's inn. It is winter and it is cold. She starts out pretending that she just wants to warm him up, but then she slowly starts touching him in different places, and putting his hands on her in different places, until she works him up to the point of no control. And reading that...well, that was the beginning of me learning to work myself up to the point of no control.

Part of me wants to go back and re-read that scene now, years later. But another part of me doesn't want to, because I'm sure to an experienced adult, the passage would probably seem trite and silly. But at the time, for me, a young and innocent kid like the French boy and girl in the story, it was so, soooo hot.

So who--or more specifically, what--were you with your first time?

February 10, 2006

Thank God It's DLF!

Though he'd hoped it would satisfy him, Turned out bondage just frustrated Tim. He put cuffs at the head And the foot of his bed, But he never could lock that fourth limb.

Yes, I wrote it. Yes it's stupid. But admit it, you laughed.

I'm feeling giddy and silly and happy it's the weekend. I want to play! I want you to get silly and play with me. Read on to find out how.

So, on my way home today, I was just thinking about how the "dirty limerick" has become a lost art. Back in the dark ages before everyone could get whatever sexual content they wanted 24 hours a day (i.e., the entire span of human existence until the 1990s), people used to use these little rhymes to pass along sexual humor and, I would guess, they were also often used to pass along sexual knowledgethroughh that humor.

Well, I say, bring back the dirty limerick! We can all use some nudge, nudge, wink, wink silliness these days, even if we can fill our entire hard drive with very serious porn, thank you very much.

I therefore herewith establish (at least for one week) "Dirty Limerick Fridays." (Hell, if there's a Cockblogging Wednesday and a Half Naked Thursday, I've gotta act fast before all the days are taken up).

So play around with me. Email me a dirty limerick and as they come in, I'll post them on Fridays. It's really fun...and much more challenging than you'd think at first. Let's keep up a centuries-long tradition, and have a laugh while we're doing it.


Miss Syl

P.S. Does anyone besides me know both the full dirty and clean versions of "There once was a man from Nantucket?" I challenge you!

February 11, 2006

Sugasm #21

Sugasm's come of age, and he's big, long, and very hot this week. Take full advantage of him.

The best of the blogs by the bloggers who blog them. This week starting with the letter ‘I,' for 'insatiable.'

I Have This Need (…) Is Pussy a Naughty Word? (…)

Jefferson’s Gangbang #24 (…)
Joy Swallows (…)
J.R. Duran (…)
KITKAST #1.15 - The Art of Loving, Jenna’s Video Podcast and the 82nd Airborne Division (…)

Letter to La Minx (…)
Lezzy Lovers (…)
Lost. (…)
Milk Gone Wild (…)

My First Time (…)
My Imaginary Genitals (…)
Nora Marlo pinup model (…)
On Tim Burton and Anal Sex (…)

Parking Lot Sex (…)
Private Appearance (…)
Refracted Pleasure (…)
Relax (…)

Secret Audio Reads: The Slow Shower (…)
Señor Happy (…)
SexNotWork – World’s First/Best/Only Sex-Blog Network (…)
Thoughts of our twilight delight and what it may bring… (…)

Trading Places, or Get Your Freak On Friday (…)
vagueBoy’s Guide to Pretties and Porn (…)
Valentine’s Day is Approaching (…)
Vixen Devil Girl Table: Ready for the Dirty Show! (…)

With a Name Like Zdenka She Has to Be Good! (…)
After Sex (…)
CockCUNTBlogging Wednesday (…)
Condom Queen Quits Classy Company (…)

Disappointment (…)
Explaining Attitude (…)
Full Shift (…)
Happy Nekkid Feet (…)

HNT Exercise — one minute please (…)

Join the Sugasm

Sugasm is lovingly policed by Sabrina Morgan

Is This Really Kosher?

Gummy-candy teeth guards to use as blow job aids? I can't decide if this would actually feel good or painful to a guy. I'd imagine you'd have to lick them and get them wet first, or wouldn't they kind of pull the skin in a not nice way? Or would it be worse wet?

Imagine running a gummy bear on your skin, with a little pressure. Nice? Not nice? What do you think?

And it also says it's good for cunnilingus and I can't sort out how it would help that along at all. People don't tend to bite a woman accidentally during this act, so far as I know.

..but I just love how after they tell you all kinds of dirty things you can do with this candy, they add the afterthought, "It is also certified kosher." Cracked me up. ("I'll put a penis in my mouth any day, but non-kosher blowjob WAY.")

Brassy Dame Quote of the Week

"Tell him I've been too fucking busy - or vice versa." ~Dorothy Parker

Sprinkle generously into conversations throughout the upcoming week. Tell me how people respond.

February 12, 2006

I Need a Neanderthal

That's all I've been able to think about today. I'm overwhelmed with a mood where I want nothing sweet and kissy--just push-me-up-against-a-wall, have-your-way-with-me, primal, screaming lust. Some days are just like that.

Sing it, Ann.

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February 14, 2006

Confessions of a Valentine's Day Virgin

It's time for me to come clean. I have never had Valentine's Day sex. Ever.

Oh, I've had plenty of boyfriends. It's just the breakup or start-up always seemed to happen before or after the month of February. Or, in one case, the first makeout session occurred on a party the evening of February 13, so it was too early and too much pressure to make a big deal out of Valentine's Day yet (I got a rose after midnight, but no plans for THE DAY, and definitely no sex).

I had a two-year, long-term relationship. We lived in different states and visited back and forth at regular intervals. I got Valentine's day presents, cards. But for some reason, he and I could never work our schedules and obligations out to be together for Valentine's Day.

I lived with someone for six years in a committed relationship. You'd THINK I would have gotten lucky on Valentine's Day at least ONCE in that time, right? But no. He worked in the restaurant industry. And as you may or may not know, Valentine's Day is the second biggest profit day of the year for restaurants (after Mother's day; I'm not even gonna get INTO the Oedipal implications of that one). The fancier restaurants (he worked at one) tend to have special Valentine's Day menus, which require extra effort and more hours than usual at work. So, during all those years, while all you people were out having your special Valentine's Day dinners at your chi-chi restaurants, I was at home, alone, thinking of my guy making sure YOUR V-day (or someone's, anyway) was really romantic. Humph. We always had to celebrate on the 13th or 15th, because by the time he came home on the 14th, I was usually asleep and he was usually exhausted.

And this year, I'm single on Valentine's Day. So again, I must go without.

So now, I find myself in my 30s, with not one single Valentine's Day shag under my garter belt. It seems cruel and unfair! I think to make me feel better, all you readers who HAVE had Valentine's Day sex over the years ought to tell me stories about the most horrible and disappointing Valentine's Day sex you've ever had. To make me feel like I'm not missing out, having only had sex on the other 364 days of the year.

Please tell me a bad V-day sex story! Or at least write me sympathy notes or offer your services to defile my innocence, or something...

Note: You can go here to find more amusing Anti-valentine cards like the one above.

I am in love...

..with this site. Too funny.
[Update: link appears to be broken now. I'm hoping it'll come back. Sorry...]

Thanks to the lascivious, leather-clad Karl Elvis by way of the lusty, libidinous Chelsea Girl for the enjoyment.

February 17, 2006

Quote of the Week

Well, on Valentine's Day I went out and listened to people tell stories about sex. If I couldn't have any, well, next best thing, I suppose.

Anyway, the highlight of the night was this amazing slam poet named Sonya Renee. If she comes to your town, I highly recommend you check her out. But anyway, she performed one poem that contains my quote for this week. The poem was about how she was really getting down with this guy, and the moment of "impact" was about to occur and she asks him if he has a condom and he gives her a hard time and says something rude. The rest of the poem is her lambasting him for his stupidity. Uber quote in the midst of the rant:

Put your dick in your pants,
You've just lost your chance,
I've got a date with my dildo at 10.
Thank you and goodnight, ladies and gentlemen. Sonya Renee definitely IS.

Horny: Relieve My Suffering

God, I hate this word. Is there anyone besides me who thinks the sound of it is completely opposite to what it actually FEELS like. Just nothing about it feels sensual in any way. It sounds like the kind of word a little kid would make up to describe an adult feeling.

What it describes I don't hate though. It's an interesting and complex state to be in. It deserves a good word to describe it.

The thing that is frustrating is that there really is no other word that quite has the same meaning as "horny." "Aroused" isn't right. Aroused tends to be used to describe direct and clear physical response to something in particular: "I saw him and became aroused." Whereas "horny" is more of an ongoing state--a quivering sense of need, even if you're not technically, physically showing signs of arousal.

"Excited" is too non-specific. I mean hell, I can get excited about the fact that my landlord lowered my rent, or that my favorite band is playing in town.

"Lustful" is closer to the mark, but doesn't sound quite right when you say it: "God, I'm really lustful right now." Uh-uh. And "lecherous" just sounds like you're thinking about underage kids.

Plus, in general, even if you're not bothered by the sound of the word, it has a distinctly unfeminine sense to it. "Horn" is the penis. I haven't got a horn. So why would I be horny? I want something that reflects the female state of high-pitched sexual need. Or even better, one with unilateral usability.

So, what alternatives would you suggest? Or do we need to make up a new word? And if so, what should the new word be?

February 18, 2006

Sugasm #22

The best of the blogs by the bloggers who blog them, this week starting with the letter “Q”.

Queens and Holy Bitches (…)
Removal Procedures (…)
The Seduction (…)
Sex in Libraries: An Introduction (…)
Shopping Trip (…)
Slave For A Day (…)
Smells Like Vanilla (…)
“St (Censored) Day…” (…)
The Ten Commandments (…)
“This bed is on fire with passionate love.” - Part 1 (…)
What Turns You On - Part 1 (…)
You Own Me (…)
Another Canceled Race (…)
Chocolate Ecstasy (…)
Coach T… Chapter 5 (…)
Confessions of a Valentine’s Day Virgin (…)
Domme Visit Part I (…)
Don’t… (…)
Ex Libris Eroticis (
How To Work With Eastern European Models (…)
Firsts (…)
Free Spankings at the Dirty Show (…)
Flirting (…)
Gaijin (…)
Happy anniversary, virginity. Happy Valentine’s Day too (…)
Happy Valentine’s Day (…)
Her Favorite Color is Red… (…)
Inspiring Sex Dream (…)
Intention (…)
Je Joue Luxury Programmable Vibrator (…)
The Joys of Sex Toys (…)
Kinky Sex with Cake Icing (…)
KITKAST #1.16 - Contraceptive Week, Vivid and Kitkast 2.0 (…)
Lady Olivia Outré (…)
Last Night Jane Got A Pearl Necklace From Dick. (…)
Last Weekend Domination (…)
Let Me Make You Cum… (…)
M and My Cock (…)
Mind Numbing Explosive Sex! (…)
The Night I Found the Exhibitionist in Me (…)
Pansy Division (…)
Pixilated Nudity (…)
Prostitution on Second Life (…)

Join the Sugasm

Thanks, Sabrina, lovely moderatrix.

Lust in Stereo

Have you ever had a song where there is one sound or beat or what have you that hits you so hard, it simply lives and breathes total sexuality in one short moment? I'm not talking about the extended soundtrack you make love to. I'm not even talking about one individual song, or sexy lyrics. I mean just one key moment within a piece of music that when it hits you, it grabs you hard, makes your brain explode with lust, and gets your loins all up in a fire so that you just want to grab the next person who walks by, throw them down on the ground, and throw yourself on top of them?

It's not every song that can accomplish something so intense. But here are a few that do it for me. Now tell me yours.

Top of the charts: PJ Harvey, "Dry"
I can not get through this song without my hips involuntarily starting to grind, no matter where I happen to be. The cracked, roughness of her voice as she's screaming "dry" at the end of the first and second verse and then slams into the most obscene, crude, loud slide guitar riff you've ever heard. God. Amazing.

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Other contenders:

Suede, "The Drowners"
A close second to PJ for me. I like the throbbing guitar in the opening riff, but what really does it for me is the bridge with that long, extended, shivering, undulating wail from Bernard Butler's guitar at the end. Take me right now, Bernard, you guitar god. Plus, the whole damn song around it just seethes and smolders. I highly recommend you fuck to this song right now, at top volume, with whomever you've got around. Don't make love. Fuck. That's what this song exists for.

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The Beatles, "Revolution"
The opening moments. The assault of the guitar. That scream. Yes. Yes. Now. Need I say more?

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More Beatles, "Girl"
That long, sharp intake of breath in the chorus. Pure, wordless, supressed want. When someone makes that sound about you, you know. When you make that sound, well... Either way, it's a very good thing.

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Pixies, "I Bleed"
Kim's pulsing bassline and her thin, beautiful wail, echoing under Black Francis in the opening. Oooh. Behind my smile, it shakes my teeth.

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Ride, "Like A Daydream"
There is a split second about two-thirds of the way into the midst of this incredible layered wall of noise and romantic pining where the song just slams to a halt and is totally silent except for this cymbal noise. And then kicks back in. In that one split second, I'm laid out flat. It's the most perfect break I've ever heard in a song. And the swelling music around it will send you to heaven and back.

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Prince, "When Doves Cry"
That Tuvan-throat-singer thing he does at the start of the song. I don't know what the hell it is, or why it's so stirring. But it just is. Sets up the whole rest of the mood for the song.

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Come on, ya'll. Gimme yours. What isolated musical moment gets you all worked into a tizzy?

February 19, 2006

Torture and Humiliation

Want to really punish me? Make me go into a store and have to do this:
Miss Syl (to CD shop hipster): I'm sorry, can you please tell me where I can find Barry Manilow CDs? I can't find where they are.

RSH (pretending she isn't laughing at me when clearly she is): Oh, sure! Do you want his latest CD?

Miss Syl: Uh, yeah.

RSH: Well, you can get it from the Barry that's standing right behind you.

Miss Syl (turning around to find a life-sized Barry Manilow cut out with an indentation inside his body to hold the CDs): Thanks.

RSH: No problem.

Then, while she watched me, I had to reach into Barry's crotch area and grab a CD.

I feel dirty.

February 22, 2006

A Woman's Only Human

Sigh...I was in the midst of typing up a whole big thing about monogamy and infidelity, but I am just too damn exhausted. Blame it on me worshipping at the feet of the Black Rebel Motorcycle Club last night.

Anyway, my thoughts are all over the place, and at the moment, nothing I'm saying seems lucid. So hopefully I'll figure it out and get it all posted up for you fine people tomorrow.

In the meantime, I'll let Aretha sum it up for me.

'Night, people...

February 24, 2006


Look man, I'm telling you right off the bat I'm high maintenance. So I'm not gonna tip-toe around your marriage or whatever it is ya got goin' on there. If you wanna be with me, you're with me. --Clementine Kruczynski, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I've got monogamy on the brain.

Seems like so many bloggers I'm reading lately are dealing with marriage issues or are pondering infidelity, either actually or theoretically. In a way, it makes coupledom seem pretty hopeless and kind of makes me glad I'm single. It seems so much easier to deal with in some ways (and of course harder in others).

In any case, I've been thinking a lot about monogamy, and if it has a place in the world anymore, and if a girl who's wired for it has any hope of finding a guy who is as well. What are the chances?

My first question is: Is monogamy as rare as it seems? Are humans as a species inherently hardwired to seek out other partners, regardless of their feelings for the person they're with?

The American media is certainly rife with dramas, comedies, books, and news items about people cheating on people. But does a staggeringly higher percentage of print and electronic stimuli focused on infidelity really prove what's going on in the actual world? Probably not. Seems to me the only thing it proves is we have a obsessive fascination with the topic, and the media wants to feed and profit off of it.

Then there's the stat out there that says only about five percent of mammals are monogamous, which is often held up as proof that human monogamy is unnatural. But hey, in the animal kingdom, most males also abandon their kids before or just after they're born, and though we humans have got a few deadbeats out there, I'd hardly say that most human males have the "natural instinct" to abandon their kids. So again, I don't think comparing ourselves to our mammal cousins necessarily proves anything.

And of course humans themselves will verify the stereotypes for you: males and females alike will say things like "men are dogs," etc. But history is filled with examples of terrible, false stereotypes that have hijacked the human imagination and held it for ransom for years before the truth can be rescued. Just because people believe it doesn't make it true.

No, for real evidence, you'd need some good statistical studies. Well, apparently there's very little of that. In doing some looking around the internet for such studies, you can find hardly anything. However, there seems to be one that is CONSISTENTLY quoted over and over again. Here's a representative excerpt from an article on Discovery Health online

One often-cited expert, Peggy Vaughan, author of 'The Monogamy Myth," estimates that 60 percent of husbands and 40 percent of wives will have an affair at some point in their marriage...
"Oft-cited." Yeah. Well at least that part is verifiable. Ms. Vaughan's stat is everywhere. And yet strangely, no one seems to bother to have looked up where she got her statistics from. No worries, I'll do it for you.

On her own website, Ms. Vaughan has very graciously put up the introduction to her book (scroll way down, past all the miles of promotional stuff). The 60/40 statistical reference appears there, as does her extended analysis of it (any emphasis is the author's).

The reality is that monogamy is not the norm, not by today's standards, anyway. Conservative estimates are that 60 percent of men and 40 percent of women will have an extramarital affair. These figures are even more significant when we consider the total number of marriages involved, since it's unlikely that all the men and women having affairs happen to be married to each other. If even half of the women having affairs (or 20 percent) are married to men not included in the 60 percent having affairs, then at least one partner will have an affair in approximately 80 percent of all marriages.
So according to this, 80 percent of marriages (we presume she means in the US) end up with at least one act of infidelity. Pretty grim, right? But wait, Miss Syl, you ask, did you leave out the part where she says WHERE she got these "conservative" statistics from? Nope. She never says.

So why are so many people--including legitimate news sources--quoting this woman, anyway? Not one of them bothers to verify the claim of this WOMAN WHO IS TRYING TO SELL A BOOK ABOUT HOW INFIDELITY CAN BE STOPPED. Um, HELLO...wouldn't it be in her best interest to build paranoia? If the stats weren't that dire, why would anyone need her book?

Of course, it doesn't mean the statistic ISN'T true, either. But unless Peggykins can cough up some well-researched, unbiased representative sample study that she got this data from, I'm going to assume there's no reliability to her facts. Smacks strongly of the "a woman over 30 (or whatever it was) has a better chance of getting killed by a terrorist than getting married" misinformation/paranoia campaign.

Show me the evidence, Peggy, you oft-cited media ho! Oops, apologies, she isn't a ho. She doesn't like people to sleep around. I forgot.

Shockingly, besides Peggy Vaughan's ubiquitous citation, there is hardly anything out there from a reliable source that I could find in two days of internet searches--and I am the queen of internet research, I'll have you know. All I could find was this site, which lists some research stats they attribute to the Associated Press (which I find unlikely--is AP running a research branch now?). More likely AP was citing someone else, but I can't find the actual AP article this site refers to. Anyway, the site quotes AP as saying:

Twenty-two percent of men and 14 percent of women admitted to having sexual relations outside their marriage sometime in their past.
Twenty-two/fourteen is a far cry from 60/40.

Ironically, the only other numbers I can find are actually from a USA Today article cited on...wait for it...Peggy Vaughan's site! Apparently it was titled "Affairs Rare Despite Rumored Popularity." The article is from 1998 and talks about an as-of-yet incomplete study that so far has found:

In spite of confessed sexual peccadilloes in Congress and the White House, not everybody is doing it.

The latest, still-unpublished research shows that about 24% of men and 14% of women have had sex outside their marriages. A national study of 5,000 men and women who have been married is under way at the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California, San Francisco.

The findings closely match those of a prestigious 1994 study from the University of Chicago.

So again 24/14. Not that high, really. By the way, I'm guessing Vaughn has this contradictory article on her site because farther down in the text, her "oft-cited" unsubstantiated numbers are used to contradict the study by the Center for AIDS Prevention Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. Uh, yeah.

Anyway, so what does it all mean? Could a study ever really measure the truth of infidelity? After all, one person might think simply kissing a person outside the relationship is cheating, whereas another person might define "infidelity" solely as coitus outside of the relationship.

Ugh. Too much to think about.

So, what do you think? Which statistics are correct? Are any of them? Is infidelity the natural state of things? Is monogamy obsolete? Or are we allowing the widespread SUGGESTION that humans--especially men--can't be monogamous to create a world in where it's actually becoming a reality?

Tell me. I really need to know.

Ah wanna tell ya 'bout a girl

Damn Karl Elvis. His own lack of impulse control has triggered mine, and now I find myself drawn down into the dark depths of the Quizilla pit. Pretty much accurate results, though...

you are Nick Cave!

Nick Cave...dark and creepy. You're a bi-polar genius, with equal passion for the most degrading aspects of humanity, as well as the beauty & wonder of God and Heaven.

Which fucked-up genius composer are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

February 25, 2006

Sugasm #23

Sugasm #23

The best of the blogs by the bloggers who blog them, this week starting with the letter S. If you haven’t checked out the new FAQ, give it a look - it takes effect next week.

More Sugasm…
Join the Sugasm

(Sugasm participants should re-post all the links above. The following links may be excluded as long as you include all the above links.)

Ecstatic Seska photo courtesy of Seska For Lovers Fresh Blog.

February 28, 2006

Monogamania 2: In a Chemical World...Or, Where Did the Lust Go?

So, time to finally post the follow up to the, as Anastasia put it, "rip-roaring discussion" on monogamy and polyamory" that started this Friday.

Since I last wrote that post, I've been reading a lot of articles about chemical and neurological reactions related to love, lust, and sex in humans. I thought perhaps science could explain the wide variance on views on single- or multiple-partner sexuality. Did it? Yes and no. As usual, every answer brings up more questions and more things to ponder. While the facts remained relatively similar across different articles, every journalist's interpretation of the facts seemed to differ a bit, skewing the results to support either monogomous or non-monogamous theories. There are billions of articles on the topic, but I'll post and sum up a few key ones that I thought were most useful here.

First, a shorter one, "The Chemistry of Love" from the site How Stuff Works. (Note you have to click through to read the whole article). According to this article:

  • During the initial romantic infatuation stage (let's call it the "lust" stage), the brain is primarily secreting dopamine, norepinephrine and phenylethylamine--chemicals that induce feelings of bliss, excitement, racing heart, sleeplessness, craving--all those things you feel when you're madly attracted to someone. At this time the parts of your brain with dopamine receptors are stimulated at an increased rate. (In most of the articles I read, these chemical responses are likened to cocaine.)

  • During the phase where romantic love kicks in and sex is occurring, different chemicals begin to kick in. These are bonding-influencing chemicals like oxytocin and vasopressin, and are released during orgasm and focus your instinct on being with one particular person (in the prairie vole example explained later, they say these chemicals create a "scent imprint" that makes them recognize and stay with their partners--it's implied we probably do something similar).

  • Interestingly, when oxytocin and vasopressin begin to be released, they actually INTERFERE with your dopamine and norepinephrine pathways--therefore building a stronger bond response (comfortable love) than a continual romantic love "rush" response.

  • At this stage, endorphins show up (both during sex and during physical contact), making you feel all nice and warm and safe. People can become dependent on this.

  • After about 2 to 3 years all of your "lust" chemicals fade out and all the "romantic bonding" chemicals continue to be released, assuming the couple is still having sex. But this is the stage where people "wake up" and realize their partner may not be as constantly enthralling as the "lust" chemicals made them think. The person him/herself hasn't changed, the chemicals that affect your drive toward them have changed.

  • There's a monogamous mammal called the prairie vole. It's believed these mammals mate for life because they have oxytocin and vasopressin receptors. Other types of voles don't have these receptors, and are polyamorous.

Here's another article: "I Get a Kick Out of You," in The Economist online. Highlights:

  • More info on the prairie vole studies, with further explanation of a distinctive feature of both vasopressin and oxytocin--"they are involved in parts of the brain that help to pick out the salient features used to identify individuals." In other words, if you don't have any of these chemicals, you can't differentiate between people. And again, how do prairie voles use these chemicals to identify other voles, and particularly their mates? Smell.

  • It's also environmental: "...animals—people included—learn from their sexual and social experiences...Researchers think humans develop a “love map” as they grow up—a blueprint that contains the many things that they have learnt are attractive. This inner scorecard is something that people use to rate the suitability of mates. Yet the idea that humans are actually born with a particular type of “soul mate” wired into their desires is wrong. Research on the choices of partner made by identical twins suggests that the development of love maps takes time, and has a strong random component."
A final article, and the one which I found most interesting, "Cupid's Comeuppance" in Psychology Today. Quick summary:
  • They define love as having three distinct stages, lust, romantic love, and attachment: "Lust gets us on the hunt for potential mates, and romantic love narrows our focus and energy to just one person, while attachment encourages us to stick with this partner long enough to raise children."
  • Dopamine and norepinephrine, the "lust" chemicals do begin to fade over the course of a romantic love and attachment phases, as the "cuddle chemicals" vasopressin and oxytocin take hold.

  • But wait! Dopamine and norepinephrine levels can be resurrected! According to the article, the level of these chemicals surges every time we're confronted with the unknown. So that means...inject new adventures into the relationship, and lust can rises again.

  • They imply things as simple to attain as humor and sex can raise your dopamine levels. Even more dopamine inducing: separation (you want it but you can't have it), and fights. And overall, the key is to seek out "novel and stimulating experiences" to share together.

  • A glitch: a couple's sense of "novel and stimulating" has to match, or this doesn't work. "People normally differ in the degree to which they seek stimulation. But the most enduring couples, it turns out, are those whose natural levels of sensation seeking, whether high, low or in between, are very closely aligned."

  • The best combination for lasting bliss is apparently two low sensation seekers. Two high sensation seekers are okay but may be too interested in variety to ensure a lasting union. "Still, the worst combination is high-low, because they just don't understand each other's interests." (See the article for a definition of what high and low sensation seekers are like.)

  • Another glitch: A lower sensation seeker might seem higher than he/she is when he/she is experiencing the adrenaline rush of the lust stage. "It's when the sex becomes routine that problems occur. Initially there can be a great attraction between a high [-level] and a low [-level]. And only later may they realize how fundamentally different they are."

  • New topic: SMELL. You've got one. No one else has got yours. Everyone's got their own smell, based on their immune system makeup. So no matter how good someone might look on paper, if they don't smell good to you, you're not gonna be able to bond romantically to them, and vice versa.
  • REALLY interesting: According to this, the birth control pill can make women choose the wrong scented person. Because the pill simulates pregancy, the woman's olfactory system looks for a protective scent, and often goes for a man who has a "father" or "brother" scent. "A few years into marriage, a woman may stop using birth control only to find herself less interested in her mate without knowing why."
SO. What about all this? Have you ever ended a relationship because secretly, you just couldn't stand a person's smell? Women: did you ever go off birth control pills and find you suddenly wanted an entirely different kind of partner (I think I've experienced this)? Are our instincts to mate and bond purely chemical and biological, or is there more to it than all this?
Does all this mean monogamously-oriented people are perhaps just less sensitive to dopamine and the "lust" chemicals and more sensitive to the "romantic love chemicals?" If sex and humor add novelty to a relationship in ways that can boost dopamine, why do long-term couples stop having sex? If we made sure we had sex regularly--EXCITING sex--would we lust after each other forever? (Man, do I want this one to be true.)

And can a reasonably high-sensation girl ever get a friggin' boyfriend that doesn't eventually bore her to death (not that I need to know this one *personally* or anything...look up...whistle...don't be obvious...)?

Please let me know what you think.

Whew. I'm spent. Someone gimme a dopamine injection.

March 2, 2006

Slouching Toward Bethlehem

I'm trying to stay strong, but some days lately, the whole waking nightmare thing is just getting to be too much for me.

In my country, we are now living in times where this is necessary.

I want to cry. And I want to hurt someone.

The most terrifying aspect of democracy is that people can actually be stupid enough to vote to have their freedoms taken away.

I'm begging everyone: please pay attention to what's going on out there, and scream your fucking heads off about it. Not just about this. About all of it--about every insidious little inroad that's being taken to whittle away at your right to speak, think, love, and live freely. We need to act now before it's too late.

(link originally found via Susie Bright's blog)

March 3, 2006

Monogamania 3: And the Hits Keep Coming

Am I monogamous or polyamorous? I just don't know anymore. But I'm certain I'm polyamorous when it comes to sharing the love of a good discussion.

Wanted to point out that there are a number of other people who have picked up the baton of this ongoing post and developed interesting discussions of their own, all of which are worth checking out. Here they are, in order of my discovery of them:

"Too much to say about monogamy, too late at night" over at Figleaf's Real Adult Sex--others share their opinions on the topic.

"ma-nah-ga-me" by birdman over at Doing What Comes Naturally--an interesting list of ways to spice up a monogamous relationship (including developing senility!).

"monogamy as a social construct?" on Livejournal's polyamory community blog (who knew?)

"The Road to Hell" at Always Aroused Girl--a great discussion of what "counts" as "breaking the rules" of monogamy, and just what the rules are, anyway.

"M is for Monogamy" over at Damn Jezebel's diary--explaining how she came to develop a monogamous preference after a non-monogamous lifestyle.

I haven't been able to comment on everyone's--it's been a really busy week. But I've thoroughly enjoyed reading all of them and I'm very glad about the exchange of ideas everyone's having. Seems I've hit a nerve. I wonder if it's always been such a raw one, or if something in recent times has made it moreso...

March 4, 2006

Sugasm #24

Sugasm #24 Good god, ya'll, Sugasm is a BIG, bad mama this week. Are you man/woman enough to handle her?

The best of the blogs by the bloggers who blog them, this week starting with the letter H:

More Sugasm…
Join the Sugasm

Need. Want. Crave.

Yearn. Long. Sehnsucht.
The experience is one of intense longing...This hunger is better than any other fullness; this poverty better than all other wealth. And thus it comes about, that if the desire is long absent, it may itself be desired, and that new desiring becomes a new instance of the original desire...The human soul was made to enjoy some object that is never fully given - nay, cannot even be imagined as given - in our present mode of subjective and spatio-temporal experience. --C.S. Lewis

Some days, you want to be focused, but someone says something to you that gets in your head and pushes all the other stuff out. I can't write today. Just thinking about desire and longing and our need for it, in both directions.

Do you know what I mean?

If you don't (or if you do), here's the soundtrack to illustrate.

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Something more coherent tomorrow, I promise.

March 5, 2006

Some Tech Guy at MSN Wants Me

So, according to my stat counter, if you type "describe a sexy person" into MSN's search engine, it brings you to my blog.

And here I've always hated Microsoft. Guess it's true the less you want 'em, the more they want you.

Monogamania 4: Pussies, Whips, Claws, and Leashes

So, after reading all the discussions that have happened around this original post, I have a few final musings, and then I think I want to let my brain rest on this one for a long while and think about/write about other things.

Thought #1:
I began to notice that most of the polyamorous people who were writing in all seemed to have one person they thought of as their "true mate," and others who they slept with outside of that relationship. I'm wondering if that's the preferred state for most people--to have one love bond, but to have some side action. It's interesting, because you'd think if you wanted to be truly polyamorous, you'd not want ONE of anything, including a marriage or committed one-on-one relationship. Or rather, you'd be single, sleeping with many. And yet that seems not to be the case for most of the polyfolks. What do you all think? Is the ideal a soulmate, with benefits? Or completely open, unbound relationships for all?

Thought #2:
The always insightful Figleaf was pointing out to me in an email:

Since stereotypes say men are sperm-spewing,conscienceless animals we wallpaper over those who have no problem with monogamy. Pussywhipped. No ambition. Maybe a closet homosexual. Scared to have fun. Really religious! All these excuses we make to protect our stereotypes! WTF is that about anyway?
I think this is what has always bothered me the most. Every comedy you see where a guy's about to get married, every bachelor party speech you overhear, every joke that's made to the groom just before a wedding is always, "Oh, she's gotten her claws into you good," or "You can still run while you have the chance!" There is this sense that monogamy--particularly for men--is related to their freedom and masculinity somehow. I suppose I don't understand this whole attitude, seeing as pretty much across the board every study that's done shows that men are far happier and healthier when they're married, and that the sex is not worse. For instance:
Survey responses from the married men painted a positive picture of marriage - 94 percent said they were happier married than single, and 73 percent said their sex life was better. From a story in the Arizona Republic.
According to a large-scale national study, married people have both more and better sex than do their unmarried counterparts. Not only do they have sex more often but they enjoy it more, both physically and emotionally. From Rutgers University's National Marriage Project research center.
And yes, I understand that "married" does not necessarily mean "monogamous," but one would assume that most people in marriages are more steeped in the mainstream and are at least attempting to live out the monogamous lifestyle as a result. And yes, I also know "happier" is a relative term, and as a single person, I have some issues with how these survey questions may have been asked, mitigating factors, etc., but still--the results seem fairly consistent everywhere you look.

So why this prevailing attitude that marriage/monogamy is a "trap" for men?

Thought #3:
In a related thought, I want to hearken back to another discussion that went on at Figleaf's blog a while back, which may have been the initial catalyst for my post, after I let it marinate for a while. You can find the post and responses here. The main post's question was really, "If partners gave each other the permission to have sex outside the relationship, would that quell their desire to do so?" But in reading all the comments and discussion after the question was posed, I remember I really reacted strongly to seeing people referring to the person who wanted a monogamous relationship as "holding the leash," and the suggestion that it might be possible that, "the more exclusivity one demands, the greater the risk [of the person sleeping with someone else without telling you]," or the possibility that "giving each other permission not to be [100% monogamous] makes it [monogamy] less painful."

It's not the actual suppositions people were making, but just the descriptors. Monogamy as being "leashed," "a demand," or "painful." I think it bothered me because I've never really viewed monogamy as any of those things. To me it was a compliment, not a burden. That person wanted me above all others, and I wanted him. We weren't sacrificing, we were WANTING. And what we wanted was each other, most of all. I never felt my partner's belief I would be monogamous was a "demand." I thought it was a mutual understanding, a shared feeling of love and fidelity. I never felt "leashed," or that I was "leashing" my partner--I wanted to be there, and I assumed he did too, or would have spoken up. And while relationships in general are not always easy, and I've had my troubles along with everyone else, I never felt that staying committed to someone was "painful." Well, actually, that's not true. I did ultimately find my long-term committed relationship to be painful (though not because I wanted to sleep with someone else), but when I did find it so, we ended it.

So--as to me...what do I think is right, mono- or -poly? Neither, really. I think it depends on the people, the circumstances, the agreements and guidelines made, etcetera. But I do think there have to be clear guidelines and expectations set up front, which both partners can agree to (assuming it's a two-partner agreement). And it's not fair to change the rules mid-stream and not discuss it. I think most everyone who's talked about it here or on other blogs agrees with these.

And I also think that if anyone is walking into either situation, monogamy or polyamory, thinking it's a "trap," a "leash," or "painful,"--or if they thought they'd be okay with it but then find instead it's any of those things for them, well, I think that they have a responsibility to speak up, be honest, and take themselves elsewhere if ultimately they can't get what they want. If you're feeling trapped in any relationship, it's not right for you. But that's only my opinion, of course. My longest relationship was six years. I probably have no right and not enough understanding of lengthy marriages to lecture to you long-time-marrieds. But to me, on the outside, it looks pretty clear-cut, really.

Which do I think is right for me? I just don't know anymore. I'm at a stage where I'm having to evaluate a whole slew of assumptions that I once held as true in my life. I'm not sure where I'll end up, but I'm sure it'll be interesting finding out. Lately, though, I've been thinking a lot about WHY we want to be with one person. Or why we want marriage and children. I'm not asking this because I think they're bad choices. But I'm just saying, what about this: If you were able to be absolutely sure that you would never catch an STD, you'd always have loving friends, and you had absolute certainty that at the end of your life, you would not end up alone or impoverished, and you would be well cared for-- would you care about getting married? Having kids? Having multiple lovers? Having one special lover? Living alone or in groups?

Right now, to me, that seems to be the most honest litmus test for figuring out what you really want. If you'd answer, "Yes, I'd care if I did/didn't have one monogamous partner," or "Yes, I'd care if I had/never had kids, or "I'd never/still want to get married if I knew that was going to be the case," then you know what you really want. Of course we don't have any guarantees that we won't die alone and friendless if we're not in a monogamous marriage. But we don't have any guarantees that our spouses won't leave us or die either, or that our kids or friends will still be around when we're old.

We just don't know what can happen. Ever. So to choose a lifestyle other than the one you know deep down in your heart you'd want if you weren't scared--that just can't be the right thing to do. Can it?

The tricky part, though, is knowing whether you really know how to answer those questions honestly.

March 7, 2006

Oh boys...may I experiment on you?

So recently, a friend of mine was raving about her favorite sex book, called 203 Ways to Drive a Man Wild in Bed by Olivia St. Claire. So I bought it, and read it. Now, not to brag or anything, but turns out most of the techniques the author describes in the book I've either already tried, or know about but am just not into. (I mean, maybe it's just me, but can banana purée in your vagina really be good for you? To me, just sounds like a petri dish waitin' to happen.) But there were a couple of entries in there I haven't tried and was wondering about; mostly because it seems to me that all three might be more uncomfortable or painful than fun. If any of you boys would like to try these out and weigh in on whether they're actually good or not, it'd really help a girl out.

So here goes:

Technique #118: Knead his penis between both your hands as though it were a piece of dough. (Syl says: That's all she wrote. Note this is NOT rolling it between your palms--that's a different entry.)

Technique #121: Make two rings with the thumb and index finger or each hand. Place them next to each other in the middle of his shaft. Gently pull outward in both directions at once.

Technique #150: Try using a strong mint-flavored mouthwash just before you get into bed. Your tangy tongue and mouth on his delicate penile skin will cause quite a sensation. (Syl says: to me, this sounds akin to eating chilis and then trying to give someone a blowjob--youch--but what do I know?)

Okay, boys--so is it cringe or quiver?

Afterthought: By the way, for those who are interested in a whole-book review, though I'm saying it didn't have a huge amount of new info for me, this *is* actually a good book. I can understand why my friend liked it. It's really the perfect little nightstand companion for women who have not had the opportunity or luck to have experienced a lot of sexual variety with their partners, or may have difficulty talking about sex or are intimidated to ask for suggestions from their lovers. It'd also be good (along with a companion volume on pleasing a woman, of course!) for any slightly more vanilla-tending hetero couple who want to make their sex lives a just little racier, without going into superfreak terrain.

The author understands women's worries and concerns about sex, and addresses them with an open, friendly, and encouraging style. St. Claire never condescends to her (presumably) less-experienced audience, either. Instead, she presents her ideas both gently and with salacious descriptive enthusiasm in a way that is sure to get even the most intimidated women's loins all a tinglin'. She also gives women ego-boosting self-esteem and body-loving pep talks and techniques at the beginning of the book, which of course is a crucial factor in getting a woman to feel confident enough to be more wanton in bed (Hear that boys? Tell her she's hot all the time, especially when she's naked, if you want her to get hotter in bed!). Clearly St. Claire likes sex, and she likes the women she's talking to, and she likes men, and she wants all of us to have hotter, more passionate sex lives.

In terms of information provided: all the basic sex acts are included with detailed instructions, plus a number of non-threatening variations on each of these acts, and then a few techniques are thrown in for each that *just* verge on the freaky, but not so much so that the more timid types would get weirded out. Go Olivia.

Oh and ladies: If you're thinking, "I'd love to have that book, but I just couldn't put it on my bookshelf," no worries. The hardcover is actually designed so that if you take off the paper cover, the book front, back, and spine are entirely unmarked. To the undiscerning eye, it'd just look like a journal or an address book. Very discreet. Smart publishers.

March 8, 2006

"It happens sometimes. People just explode."

So what's with this random weirdness?

Tonight, I asked this guy in Whole Foods if they had any fresh coconut and he insisted on accompanying me to where they were and then he insisted on showing me (actually using one of their coconuts) how to poke it in its soft spot and suck out the juice. I mean, he did this all in front of me, and drank from the coconut and everything. Drained it dry. And then he slammed it on the floor in a very manly way to show me how you could crack it open without a cleaver. And then he gave me a different coconut and wrote "free" on it's sticker with a magic marker and told me I didn't have to pay for it. Two coconuts totally lost from the profit margin.

And then also, about a week ago, I was leaving a Spanish restaurant and my waiter came running up and gave me a bottle of imported olive oil. Just randomly.

Do you think there's something strange conspiracy going on here? Why are men in the service industry giving me fat-laden food products?

And if it's gonna be a trend, I seriously need to consider going somewhere where I can score some free paté or something even pricier.

(No, it's not about sex, but you know, might as well share my latest musing. And it *is* about food, and this *is* a Sexeteria.)


Please, please watch this video. As described on Susie Bright's blog:
This is a quick but revealing TV spot on what the climate is in South Dakota that created the abortion ban. The highlight is about halfway through, when State Senator Bill Napoli describes in pornographic, sadistic detail how "bad" a virgin would have to be raped in order for him to "make an exception."
What Really Goes On In South Dakota

Video sent by susiebright

I haven't been able to fall asleep since I watched this, I am so angry.

There are those out there who think sex bloggers are sick and twisted. Please. This guy, and the people who voted for him, are what the world needs to worry about, not us. Can humans really think this way? Can they be that misguided, ignorant, and hateful?

Dirty Secrets in the Dark

Funny thing about sex blogging. Sometimes it feels very much I'm working a peep show.

I can't see them, but I know there are people there. I'm standing alone in this circular room, surrounded by darkened windows, and I can hear the electric whir of privacy screens as they keep rolling up again and again. They're looking. At me. But I can't look back. There's just a dark, intense presence surrounding me on all sides, that feels like eyes. Watching. Taking in. Staring. Assessing my performance. Many, many hidden pairs of eyes.

I can tell from the daily stats that people are coming into the booths every day, every hour, just watching me, listening to me, waiting for me to whisper all these dirty secrets to them that they want to hear. Saying nothing. I can just about make out their breathing through the intercoms, but only a very few people actually speak up and talk back to me.

I see the numbers. It's been two months I've been working this show, and they tell me certain people keep coming back to watch me, and I wonder who they are. What they think. Why they don't talk. If they like what they see.

It's a bit unnerving, really...sometimes in a good way. But sometimes, you just want to say...

Who are you? Are you out there? Say something. Tell me.

March 9, 2006

Two Words: You. Me.

Someone was encouraging me to put this little game I invented to amuse myself at work today up on my blog, so that you could play along with me. So here goes.

So today, I was thinking of various friends and deciding if I was only allowed one word, ever, to epitomize them, what would that one word would be. Then, when I decided on a word for a particular person, I looked it up on an online dictionary/thesaurus, and sent the link to that friend so they could click and see what word they were to me in my personal emotional dictionary. I encourage you to try it. It's a nice little present you can give people that makes them happy (assuming you don't choose something like "fetid" for them) and it doesn't cost anything. Plus, it keeps your vocabulary and brain active, too.

But now, I put the question out to you, too, so I can get to know you better.

So if you could us ONLY ONE word-to-end-all-words to describe yourself, what would it be?

And just out of sheer egocentric curiosity, if you were to choose one word for me, what would that be?

My word to describe myself: chiaroscuro (Or would it be "chiaroscura," since I'm female?)

"The art or practice of so arranging the light and dark parts as to produce a harmonious effect."

And yes, I know it's not an adjective. That's allowed. Describe yourself as a conjunction, for all I care. Just has to be one word.

P.S. If you want some extra credit: What one word do you think others who know you would choose for you?

March 11, 2006

Sugasm #25

The best of the sex blogs by the bloggers who blog them, this time with new, fancy categories. That Sabrina, all sexy and organized, just like a hot librarian...

Posts with NSFW pics are in italics. Keep in mind NSFW pic labeling is just for photos/layout images on the specific page linked. Pretty much everything here is NSFW, but you like it like that.

The Partistes (…)
Shibaricon: World’s Premiere Annual Pansexual Exhibition 2006 (…)

Stat-Aholic (…)
SugarClick Launched (…)

The Dreaded Scottish Cockblock (…)

The Four of Us (…)
Killing an Afternoon (…)
Losing M (…)
Resistance is Futile (…)

Underground (…)

Eagle (…)
Exhaling (…)

Hot Sugar and Wet Silk (…)
On the Dock (Fiction) (…)
Saturday with Adele (…)

Stormy Night (…)
Tandem Massages (…)
25 Words or Less (contains NSFW pics if you scroll down) (…)

Babysitter (…)
Body Language (…)
Can I Play with it Now? (…)


Jane likes to teeter totter. (…)
Santorum (…)
This is what Happens… (…)

We All Have AIDS (…)
The Cock Interviews: Part Two (…)

Fetish & BDSM
A Long Hot Soak and Burning Candles (…)

Interesting Interactions (…)
New Elena Spanking Pics (…)
On a Power Trip (…)
The Perfect Fetish Photo (…)

“The sweetest thing I ever saw, was you asleep and dreaming.” (…)
Choices - Part Three (…)

House of Babalon (…)

Looking Down (…)
O azul… // The blue one… (…)
Anal Advocate (…)

Aurora Snow, Gauge and a Dildo. Pure Magic. (…)

Sex Advice / Sex Toys / Sexy Reviews
Oh Boys… May I Experiment on You? (…)
One Hefty Dose of Butch, Black, Silicone Bliss (…)

Pretty Dumb Things (…)
Sex Toys Must Have (…)
Tips for Going Bare (…)
The Blind Jockey (…)

Sex Commentary / Sexual Politics
Lara Drops to a C Cup (…)
Porn You Wish They’d Make (…)
Sex in the News - Blog-a-Thon by Blank Noise Project (…)

2257 and Sweet Pink Activist Cunt (…)

More Sugasm…
Join the Sugasm


Last night, when he suggested I might not want to take the subway home alone, so far, so late at night, it was your voice I was hearing. Such a kindly phrased, innocent offer—I’m worried about you, concerned for your safety, that’s all. No expectations. His mouth, moving the words.

But it was your eyes watching for my reaction that gave him away.

It was your eyes that I looked away from shyly, when I said, yes, that might be the wisest thing to do. Pretending to be calm.

As we walked out of the theater lobby, it was his body that held open the door for me, but it was your palm I felt lightly touch the small of my back, guiding me through, onto the dark street.

His arm hailed the cab. And it was his arm that removed itself politely, nervously onto his lap to make room for me on the seat as I moved in, seemingly innocently close. His body language saying, “Trust me” and “I’ll be good.” But it was your outer thigh that I let every dangerous swerve of the cab bring my own thigh closer to, until we were touching, thighs brushing, pressing, just barely, over and over. His hands, kept nervously in his lap. Your arm, skimming against my side, just feeling the hint of the curve of my breast. His eyes, focused on my face as he attempted to make conversation to distract himself. Your eyes, glancing down to see more.

At his studio, his voice nervously offering things. Coffee, water, wine, TV, music, book…a big, chaste, well-worn band t-shirt to sleep in, so I didn’t have to mess up my dress. And then suddenly your voice, sending shivers through all the comfort offerings, suggesting I might be more comfortable with the bed than on the couch.

It was to your voice that I said, yes, that sounded better.

It was he who suggested that he turn off the light before I undressed, so I didn’t have to be embarrassed. So he couldn’t see me change. And it was your eyes I felt watching the outlines of my body in the dark room, taking off my stockings, garter, undoing my dark hair so it fell loose around my shoulders. Your eyes I felt burning on my skin as they watched me unzip my black dress, quickly…letting you see for just a moment what it would be like…a blur of glowing white body, the arch of a back, arms raised, a hint of full breasts lifting, before the t-shirt dropped down to obscure it all.

It was he who was lying motionless in the bed, chest bare, but with boxers on, pretending he hadn’t seen anything. Turned on his side toward me, with his eyes pretending to be closed. It was his body that I got in next to, me wearing his white t-shirt and my black panties—a thin barrier of chastity. Me turning on my side, my back to him, his front to me, but very, very far away. Making him feel he had to be good.

It was you I could feel burning next to me, wanting me, making me wet.

I waited until he fell asleep.

And when he was gone, it was you I started touching.

March 12, 2006

Is She Pretty on the Inside?

sacred mirror, originally uploaded by dubphreek.

I'll be your mirror Reflect what you are, in case you don't know I'll be the wind, the rain and the sunset The light on your door to show that you're home
I was reading an entry on the absolutely stunning Hiromi_X’s blog a few days ago where she mentions, “I only very recently realized that I'm not ugly.” It struck me how common a refrain this seems to be in the blogs I read regularly. Just off the top of my head, I can think people like Hiromi, Figleaf, AlwaysArousedGirl, and Chelsea Girl who have all expressed either shock at the realization that they were actually seen as beautiful or arousing to others, or their fears about other’s criticism of their appearance.

Meanwhile, in both brain and body, these people are scintillating. Do they look like models? No. They’re beautiful in an entirely different way. A better way, as far as I’m concerned. I’m going to come up short in explaining this. But for lack of a better way of expressing it, it’s “inside/out” beauty. The blog lets you see some of their inner selves, the wondrous combination of confidence, intelligence, insecurity, self-protectiveness, talent, silliness, arrogance, sadness, happiness, and wonder about the world. And that, once expressed, then glows through their photographs for us, making them luminous; at times almost painfully lovely to look at.

In a just world, everyone would be able to see everyone else in this way.

That it’s not a just world in this way has been a painful reality for me all my life.

I mean, I get it. I get why they’re all surprised. They thought people couldn’t see them. Or still can’t.

Probably they’ve never had the opportunity to have many people be able to see both parts of them at once. I mean, you really can’t win either way, the way things are in the world in relation to beauty. You’re either physically hot, or you have a nice personality. You don’t get both. It’s like people have this filter--they simply can’t see both at once. Or, when on the rare occasion both seem to manage to come through, you hear stupid things like, “The best thing about her is that she’s gorgeous, but she's so nice/smart/etc.—she has no idea how hot she is.”

As if, because you’re physically beautiful, you have to be empty of positive personality traits. And, of course, conversely, if you have positive personality traits, you can’t be beautiful. They don’t go together.

And no one, no one wants to admit that someone outside the norm of beauty, say someone fat, or scarred, or etc. could actually be beautiful. Even though, if that filter wasn’t there, you’d be able to see it.

I seem to be able to lift that filter for others. But not for myself.

I’ve recognized a weird phenomenon in myself of late. Throughout my life, a good number of people have often told me I’m pretty. Some even called me beautiful. I never believed any of them. I tended (well, still tend) to think of myself as “cute” at best (a word/concept which I hate), but really the kind of darker, more ethnic looking girl who gets completely ignored when the tall, willowy blonde walks in the room. The sidekick. The smart girl who makes the insightful comments while her friend ends up with the romantic lead. You know, the kind of girl who, when you’re setting a friend up on a date with, you mention she has a “nice personality” by way of an apology for her not being hotter.

Meanwhile, I have these weird epiphany moments of looking back at old pictures. In my 20s, I found a photo of myself at about 14 or 15 and was shocked. I mean, I couldn’t believe it. In the photo I looked…well, stunning, really. (As an aside, I’m cringing here. I still feel completely ashamed to say this. I feel like readers will think I think I’m something special, but trust me, I don’t.)

I didn’t recognize myself as that at all when I was 15. And as a 20-something looking at that photo, I remember thinking, “If only I’d realized then how beautiful I was…too bad it’s too late now.” And then I went along in my 20s the same way I did in my teens. I never exactly told myself I was ugly, but I just wouldn’t allow myself to believe I was anything too special or alluring to anyone. Now I’m in my 30s. And I look back at photos of myself when I was in my 20s and have the same shock of recognition. And again, I think, “If only I’d realized...” I think of the power I would have had, feeling confident in both my body and soul. In knowing it wasn’t arrogant to be both beautiful inside and out—of knowing each fed the other—and that it was okay to be proud of it.

My body keeps changing with each decade. And with each change, I continue to think it’s making me less of what I was, and it’s too late to catch up to how I should have felt about myself. And it seems I can only ever appreciate how beautiful I am from a past perspective, not in the present.

Why could I never believe anyone? I found anyone who expressed the opinion that my body or face was beautiful to be highly suspect. Maybe I thought they could only see that, and wouldn’t be interested in the rest. Maybe I worried that if I allowed myself to admit I was physically pretty, it meant no one would believe I had any substance behind it. But then, ironically, when I got myself into relationships with people who could only appreciate the substance part, they ultimately got around to showing me in one way or another that they thought I wasn’t beautiful enough.

Obviously the missing piece is I have to think of myself as inside/out beautiful without reference to anyone else’s opinion, if I want anyone else to see me that way.

So why can’t I catch up? I really don’t want to be 40-something and thinking I wasted my 30s not allowing myself to feel I’m everything I really am. That I’m inside/out beautiful, like everyone else.

I don’t think a lot of people have ever seen me inside/out. I’m not sure even I’ve ever been able to see myself that way, except for in rare split milliseconds of moments, before something or someone makes it disappear again.

But I'm really glad those other bloggers have finally been able to see it in themselves.

Do you see it in yourself? I hope so. Because it's there.

When you think the night has seen your mind
That inside you're twisted and unkind
Let me stand to show that you are blind
Please put down your hands
'Cause I see you

March 13, 2006

White light, white heat

Just 'cause sometimes your mind needs a break.

Even though it's probably a result most people wouldn't think was very nice, I like it. At least no one can claim I'm a fair-weather anything.

You Are Lightning
Beautiful yet dangerous People will stop and watch you when you appear Even though you're capable of random violence

You are best known for: your power
Your dominant state: performing

It's all about meme

I've grown to believe that the thing you're most afraid of or most want to avoid is actually the most important thing you should do or confront. So I'm trying to do everything that scares me most. This leaves me feeling somewhat scared a lot lately, but the end results are usually good.

With that in mind, I'm tackling this meme I found on AlwaysArousedGirl, who got it from Darkneuro, both of whom I should thank for the good idea.

I really don't want to post this. So that's why I'm going to. Feel free to try it yourself, too.

(And also it kind of reminds me of the whole concept behind Postsecret, which I absolutely adore.)

So. here goes.

List ten things you want to say to people you know but you never will, for whatever reason.

Don't say who they are.

Use each person only once.

  1. I think you are a weak man; you didn’t have the stamina to stand up for me when it really mattered. I always felt people thought I was too smart and too intense for you, and I constantly felt like I had to justify you to them. But deep down I agreed with them. You were never enough for me, either sexually or intellectually. That's why we really broke up, not because you lied. I just pretended to myself and to you that that was the real reason so I could feel less shallow.

  2. I've had recurring dreams where you're aggressively hitting on me. I never like it. That freaks me out.

  3. I had a dream where we were having sex. I liked it. That freaks me out.

  4. I know it's not fair, but I don't care. I *do* blame you. I feel like you set me up like a lamb to the slaughter. And then when I was bleeding and needed you most, you left me to take care of myself. Part of me just can't stop hating you for this. Sometimes I feel physical revulsion when I think about you. Stop trying to get me to reassure you it wasn’t your fault. It’s not my job to reassure you or protect you. That was your job, and you failed.

  5. In my whole life, you were the only person who I ever really thought I could feel anything close to real, true, transcendent, unadulterated love for, even though I never told you because I was certain you'd leave me. I yearned for you for a long time after we split up, though I never told you that, either. Some small part of me may still be in love with you even now. I hate that. I wish that part would shrivel up and die.

  6. You were absolutely right. Part of why I moved far away was to get away from you. More than once, I’ve fantasized about what it would be like if you died, because I think that's the only way I'll feel completely free from all your crap.

  7. Talking to you makes me hope for things I’m terrified I’ll never get.
  8. I'm jealous that you have a life I'm not even sure I want.

  9. I'm sorry. I feel like an evil person for what I did to you. I hope you're okay now.

  10. I knew you liked me. I pretended I was clueless because I was afraid. Now I realize what a huge mistake that was.
There now. I only cheated once--someone on there has two entries.

Hm. I feel like this list looks really imbalanced, because it doesn't have a lot of positive things. But I never keep the good things I want to say to people inside. I always share those. So, unfortunately (or maybe fortunately?) it's only the negative things that made the list.

March 16, 2006

In Bloom

I was reading something Anastasia over at Sexualité wrote the other day, and in it she mentioned the term "defloration." And it got me to thinking how I've never really understood or identified with that concept at all.

How anyone can think after the first time a woman has had sex that the "bloom is off the rose?" It makes no sense to me that a girl should be considered to be in "full bloom" before she's had the benefit of mature, satisfying sexual experience. Or, having reached that state of powerful sexual knowledge and expression, that she would be considered a dry, lifeless stalk. Could anything be further from the truth?

To me, growing up, virginity was just a state of being, that I knew eventually I would transition from, into a state of further knowledge and experience. I never thought of the end of virginity as the end of something pure or sacred that I could never get back. Quite the opposite--I saw it as something that would blossom into something else lovely-- a different, but equally as sacred state of being.

It's time for us to drop the whole "deflowering" concept. The imagery behind it is ugly and violent, indicating death or something being purposely destroyed of it's life essence. And that just isn't what happens to women.

Instead, let's take back the whole flower image and make it new. Let's say that in her very early youth, a woman is a delicate, fresh, new, wet bud, just pushing itself up new from the earth, putting its feelers out into the world and getting to know itself. And slightly later on, she's a full, almost-matured bud, bursting with the energy to become something new and dazzling.

And when she has awakened into her sexuality, and holds the knowledge of the full range of her sexual power and allure--when she is fully aware of all the sensations her lush, marvelous body can evoke in herself and others--let's say THAT'S when she's in full, spectacular, alluring bloom.

And, bearing that all of us are growing and blooming in this way, it brings me to a question.

If your sexual being could be represented by a specific flower or plant, what would it be? (Men can answer, too, about themselves--or about the women in their lives.) Go on. Tell us all how pretty you all are.

March 18, 2006

Sugasm #26

The best of the sex blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Posts are cut at N within each category. More new blogs this edition, and some old favorites coming back. Yay! It’s all NSFW - read with caution and happy St. Patrick’s day weekend.

Funny Last Night Jane Was Spoiled (…)

Metal Gear Friday (…)

Pornstar Grandad’s Secret: Topical Garlic (…)
Red Eye (…)

Met Models: Zyta (…)

Pool Party at Abby Winters (…)
Saturday Babes (…)
Sexy Tomiko (…)
Erotica-Obscura (

Film Fridays 15 - Luck O’ The Irish (…)
HNT #8 (…)

Fetish and BDSM
A Morning School Fantasy (…)

Seven Messy Girls on Abby Winters (…)
Commit to Crossing the Threshold (…)
Foot Fetish Photoset (…)
Interview with Sexy Kittens (…)

Sex News and Commentary / Sexual Politics

Lexington Steele Daintily Dips Heterosexual Toes in Not-Gay Water (…)
The New Porn Apartheid - Luke Fords Rebuttal Rebutted (…)
South Dakota Paper Bans Abortion Opinion (…)
Top 5 Disappointments and Surprises While Watching Porn (…)

Body Image and Sexual Risk Taking (…)
Girls Warned Not to ‘Go Wild’ on Spring Break (…)

Miscellanea - Sexy Advice, Reviews, & Announcements
Two Straight Men Doing Anal Together (…)

Dermaphoria Fever (…)
A Game For New (And Old) Lovers (…)
I am Shocked, Amazed, and Bewildered! (…)


The Mind Blowing Blowjob (…)
My 1st Shave by the Teacher… (…)
Niagara Fantasy (…)
Separated Only by Distance (…)

True Secret: Two Firsts in New York (…)
Webcam Solo Sex (…)
Why I Started Liking Math (…)
Coffee, Tea, or… (…)

Deeper, deeper, inside, inside (…)
Diary of a Debauched Man (…)
I Had No Intentions… pt 1 (…)

Fantasies & Fiction

Lecherous (…)
Lesbian Seduction on Sapphic Erotica (…)
My Ache for You (…)
Overwhelmed (…)

Talking Dirty (…)
Threesome (…)
Wake (…)
Fingers (…)

More Sugasm…

Join the Sugasm


Why have we chosen this word to be our euphemism for orgasm?

"Come." Used as a command: Sit. Stay. Come. Being at someone's mercy. You can't help yourself. You're compelled to follow his/her orders.

"I'm coming." The sense of one person moving into another's space. When called from another room, your lover calls back, "I'm coming..." And then he/she is there, with you.

"He came." "She came." The rush of knowing you're desired. You're at the party, hoping he/she will show up. Hoping he/she wants you enough to make an effort. And then someone whispers in your ear, "He came." "She came." And you're suddenly flushed with pleasure and nervous expectation of what will happen next. The air in the space between you crackling with electricity.

"Come for me." The bare exposure of one's need, the desire to not be abandoned or lonely. Yearning for connection. Calling across a distance: I'm alone here. Come for me.

"Come inside me." "I want to come inside you." The sense of giving everything you are to someone. Saying to someone, or having someone say to you: "You don't just get the exterior, the shut door. All the doors and windows fly open at your approach. You get to come inside." Coming in from the cold world, into the warmth of another human being. Two parts becoming whole for the first time, over and over. One ecstatic soul, for one ecstatic moment.

It's a good word.

March 19, 2006

What We Talk About When We Talk About Fantasies

You know how when you're a kid, you assume everyone's family runs like yours, no matter how screwed up your household is, because you have no other basis for comparison? Do you remember the first time you realized that someone else's family dynamic was totally different than yours--which had to mean your family didn't have to operate the way it did?
That came as a shock to me as a kid. I still remember how powerful the impact of that realization was.

I had a similar response when I realized not everyone fantasizes in the same way. I'd always assumed everyone did the same thing as I did when they fantasized.

The "eureka" moment that this was not actually so came while I was in bed with a lover to whom I frequently used to tell my fantasies to get him aroused. One night, I asked him to relate a fantasy to me that he'd always imagined. And he said, "You know, I don't do that the way you do. I don't think up stories. I just think about people I've been with, and things I've done with them, and re-visualize the whole thing, as it happened."

I never do that. My method usually goes one of two ways:

  1. I visualize/make up detailed scenarios involving myself and an imaginary man. Or woman. Or men. Or women. Or men and women. But the largest majority of the time, it's one imaginary man. He may be a stranger, his face unseen to me in the dark as he does things to me, all sensation only. Or he may be fully fleshed out physically and given a name and a role (teacher, virgin, etc.).

  2. I visualize/make up detailed stories about doing things with someone I know. But they are never things I've already done with the person. They're always fantasies about new, uncharted territory. What we could be doing. Things I could tell my lover in bed, or write to him, that are fresh, new, fodder for his and my imagination.
In either case, it seems I always imagine up something that has never happened--my erotic fantasies are always sheer fiction, even if they involve a real person. And while I certainly enjoy thinking back about great sex I've had with current or past partners, I don't use those memories to get myself aroused.

I don't know why this is. But it's interesting, knowing that not everyone's brain works the same way.

How do you fantasize? Do you look forward or back, or both? Do you think about things you've done, or things you haven't done yet? Or both? Do you invent new stories and scenarios? Do you invent imaginary lovers? Are all your fantasy lovers people you know? Are all of them complete strangers? Do you even think of people at all? Do you prefer actual images to stories in your head? Do you even fantasize at all?

I'd like to hear what kinds of variety are out there. (Now that I know not everyone is just like me.)

Remember, you can choose to post anonymously if you feel it's too personal to attach a name to.

(Photo credit:
Dream #32, by ::oscar::)

March 20, 2006

An Unsexy, But Earnest, Cry for Help

As the weather gets warmer, ants are coming up my bathtub drain. I can't seem to figure out how to stop it. Spraying Raid down there only puts them off for a couple days, until the water from my showers washes away the chemical residue. Plus, it's stinky and I hate thiking about what I'm doing to myself, breathing it in inside my home. The exterminator who came to look the problem seemed to have no solution for me, saying ants are attracted to water and there isn't much you can do. He told me to put a mixture of water and bleach down the drain. It didn't work.

Does anyone have ANY clue how to deal with this? I can't have a whole spring and summer of this going on.

I Bet She's Still a Virgin But It's Only Twenty-Five 'Til Nine

The title's a lyric from one of my favorite Tom Waits songs.

But he's right, you know. For most of us (with key exceptions, of course), after a certain amount of time, the loss of our virginity was inevitable.

The whole discussion surrounding the post last week about the term "defloration," particularly the comments about whether loss of virginity is appropriately celebrated and revered in the modern era, got me thinking more about my first time, and about others' experiences that I've heard about.

If there is no formal ritual or celebration for loss of virginity anymore, are most people substituting their own ritual and celebration? I wonder.

For myself, my entree into non-virginity was most certainly planned. But not, I suspect, the way most such planned instances probably are. Though I could be wrong. I always picture the "normal" girl planning it in a very hearts-and-flowers kind of way, like they always show on soap operas and those dreadful WB teenage dramas. Candles, rose petals, lots of declarations of love by your young boyfriend/girlfriend.

I had sex for the first time later than some people did. Strangely, none of my boyfriends in high school ever pushed even slightly to have sex, and though I liked physical contact, I didn't feel any urge at the time to have sex with any of them. As an aside: I wonder sometimes if the widely held belief of both teens and adults that most teenagers are sexually active (or want to be) is actually true. It certainly wasn't my experience. Maybe it's more of a myth than a reality.

I also had (and still have) a stubborn, independent streak. Even as a young teen, nothing disgusted me more than people who just did things because everyone else thought they should--whether those things were mainstream or counter-culture. And I was determined that before I did or tried anything, I would be certain I was doing it because I wanted to, not because someone else thought I should, or because someone else was trying to manipulate me by trying to make me feel bad, guilty, "uncool," or "slutty," or whatever their M.O. was.

Sex fell under this rule, too. I thought it was stupid how people made such a big issue about whether you were a virgin or not. I didn't think virginity OR non-virginity was such a big deal. I fully expected to enjoy sex when I wanted to have it. But I sure as hell wasn't going to do it until I was damn well ready--and no one else was going to convince me I was ready because they thought it was something that "should be done." I wanted someone else like me, for whom it was no big deal, either way.

Obviously, that left pretty much most college guys out. At that stage of the game, whether they could bed you or not was a VERY big deal to them. The vast majority of guys at that age aren't looking for anything more than the ability to improve the stats on their scorecard, so they can wave it around in front of their buddies. There were a lot of guys who wanted to sleep with me when I first started college, but it always felt too much like I was just going to be a notch on their belt. Plus, despite my own inexperience, I could tell based on the other things I was doing with them, that their technique was certainly not polished. Most of them were pretty fumbly and clueless. In short, I sensed they didn't really know what they were doing, or how to proficiently maneuver a woman's body to full arousal, and hence I felt fairly certain that a first time with any of them wouldn't be any too great. So I turned them all down.

I think most women my age didn't really think about that. And I wonder if as a result a lot of them had disappointing first times with their college boyfriends. Don't get me wrong, I understand that it's only natural most guys at that age are somewhat clueless and clumsy, and it's not their fault--they have to start learning somewhere, after all. My hat is off to all those women who were cool with assisting the boys during their practice runs and scorecard years. I just personally wasn't cool with that. (Sorry, college guys.)

Anyway, because I couldn't find my guy with the "no big deal" attitude I wanted, I set off on an alternate course. I was working in New York City in the summer, and through my job I met a now well-known journalist/writer who at that time wrote for a music magazine. He was cool. He was much older than me (12 years). He was funny and smart and smart-arse-ish and a talented writer to boot--a deadly combination for me. I liked him. I didn't ever feel for one minute that I loved him, and I knew I wouldn't ever feel that way. But I really liked him and I was highly attracted to him. We started hanging out together.

And, obviously, unlike the college and high school boys, he knew how to touch a woman. He'd done it a lot, and he made no secret of that. He was a horny bugger. And when we were seeing each other, I knew I wasn't the only woman he was seeing.

The fact that I was a virgin was, of course, endlessly intriguing to him. He'd slept with a lot of women, but never with a virgin. So yes, there was a scorecard element involved with him, too. But the difference for me was, he didn't lie and pretend the scorecard motivation didn't exist. As with all the people I like most in my life, and unlike all the other guys I was dating at that time, he laid it all out on the table for me, unapologetically, and let me decide if that worked for me or not:

1) I want to sleep with you because I think you're hot.
2) I also want to sleep with you because you're virgin, and the thought of teaching you and being someone's first lover turns me on, and I want to see what that will be like.
3) If you want to have sex with me, I'm going to be right on it. But you don't have to sleep with me if you don't want to. I won't be angry at you if you don't, I won't stop talking to you if you don't. I have a lot of other people in my life I can get sex from, if I need or want it. If you don't want to, no big deal. We'll hang out, make out, whatever you want, and I can get sex somewhere else. What happens with us is totally your choice.

So there it was. No big deal. My choice.

I found the fact that he wasn't trying to hide anything from me very appealing. And though many people I've told the story to think that #3 above sounds manipulative, I can tell you it really wasn't. He wasn't threatening, "If you don't give me sex, I'll go somewhere else." I was clear he had other lovers, and I was fine with that--they weren't a threat to me. And I was clear that even if I did have sex with him, he'd still have other lovers besides me. He wasn't a monogamy guy, and I didn't want him to be. At that time and in those particular circumstances, it actually made me far more comfortable to know he could offer me the no pressure option by going elsewhere, rather than me being his only sex option and having him to be totally focused on getting me to go to bed with him. That he could say, "no big deal for me either way," was really what I needed, and knowing that there was absolutely no pressure or hidden motivations (or hidden lovers) was an incredible relief.

It may not sound romantic to many, but I recognized this was the perfect scenario I personally had been waiting for. I wasn't being pushed, it was all my decision, and there would be no whining or resentment if the decision was no. But if I said yes, I would get to have sex with an experienced man who liked women, who could really initiate me knowledgeably into things I wanted to know more about, and who I found sexually and intellectually appealing.

So I said yes. And one night while I was staying over at his place I had sex for the first time. And it was good. I don't think I came that night (I almost never do the very first time I'm with anyone), but it was very pleasurable, and I learned a lot.

There were no rose petals, or mood lighting (unless you count his cigarettes as mood lighting). There were no false (or true) declarations of love. But there was moonlight coming in through the large windows of his East Village studio, and we were surrounded on every side by books and music, and there was no pretense. And best of all, there was no fumbling.

And for me, that was perfect.

In the morning when we woke up, I don't remember much of what was said, but I do remember there was no embarrassment, shame, or immaturity, just friendly, adult affection and camaraderie. I had no regrets. I'd had a good time. But it still didn't seem like people should make such a big deal about the transition. I was perfectly happy I'd had sex, and it had been good sex. But I didn't feel any better or worse than I had the day before, when I was still a virgin.

As the more experienced person (and seeing as he was a music writer), you'd think an extensive review would have taken place. I'm sure I asked for feedback about what he'd enjoyed and any pointers he had, because I'm like that. But it's all rather hazy. My memory only clearly holds two comments of his that morning after my first time: 1) he called me a sex kitten, and 2) he remarked how incredibly pragmatic I seemed to be about the whole thing, which he hadn't expected, given it was all new to me. I remember feeling pleased with both reviews.

So, in the end, not much ritual or celebration. But in a way, there was a certain approach to the event I wanted to create, and I waited until I could make that happen. So maybe in a strange sort of way, it was a little ritualistic (in my weird mind, anyway). In any case, I felt good about the way it (and he, heh heh) went down. I think a more formalized celebration or too many flowers and hearts would have killed my enthusiasm for the event, not enhanced it.

And that, my friends, is all she wrote. For tonight.

So, how about your first time? (And by "first time," I mean the first time you had sex by your choice). Ritual? Celebration? Humiliation? Planned? Spontaneous? One of those classic rose petal moments? A bleah time in the back seat of a car? Someone you liked? Loved? Someone who "would do?" Good, mediocre, just plain awful? Were you pragmatic or romantic, or both? And if you planned/prepared it ahead of time, did it turn out as you'd imagined it would? Gimme the goods.

And as always, remember you can post anonymously if you want to.

(Photo credit: The Morning After by stepha1202.)

March 21, 2006

Cherry Poppin' Pop

While we're on the topic of losing one's virginity, this is kind of fun.

Different hep bands suggest
Songs to lose your virginity to.

The Black Velvets and the Thirteen Senses nabbed two of my would-be suggestions. But those fellas in Goldie Lookin Chain are obviously the kinkiest of the lot--stay away from them.

Hm. How about the Stone's "She Comes in Colors?" Or maybe another Barry White--"Love Serenade?" Rod Stewart's "Tonight's the Night?" Why are all these so old?

Actually, I'd love to lose my virginity to Interpol's "Evil." But too late for that now. Though maybe I can pretend with someone, just for fun. Volunteers?

So. Any suggestions from all you musically-inclined pervs out there? If you were gonna bed a virgin, or if you were going to do it all over again, what would be the best song(s) for losing virginity to?

March 22, 2006

Withholding Allowance?

I was just thinking about Aristophanes's play Lysistrata today.

Y'know, like ya do...heh.

Anyway, for those not familiar with this classic Greek play, the basic plot is this: Athens has been at war with Sparta for a damn long time. It's the Peloponnesian War, to be exact. The women of Athens are sick of it. They advocate for their husbands to end the war and seek a peace agreement. The husbands ignore them. The women gather together and decide on a plan of action. They barricade themselves inside the Acropolis and they deny their men sex until they agree to negotiate peace and end the war. It works.

Well, it turns out that while Lysistrata's story is fictional, there have been a few organized women's sex strikes through the ages, as well as some strikes where women stopped doing "women's work." And you know what? It often resulted in shit getting accomplished.

My favorite women's strike story is the Women's Day Off strike in Iceland in 1975, or as the Icelandic men ended up labeling it, "The Long Friday." While this article doesn't make it clear if all women withheld sex that day, I've heard it implied in other accounts. In any case, if it wasn't a sex strike, it was certainly a gender strike--they withheld a lot of their other traditionally expected roles and duties. Ninety percent of the women in the entire country participated. They also staged a repeat on its anniversary in 2005.

Anyway, it got me to musing if there is ever a good reason to withhold sex.

Let's say, for instance, all the women in South Dakota withheld until they got their abortion rights back. Or all the spouses of Congresspeople withheld until they did something about the war in Iraq. Or all the spouses of Israeli and Palestinian soldiers refused to give head until there was a peace agreement.

Could going on sex strike change the course of world events? Could something like this actually work in the modern day?

March 23, 2006

Are You Obscene?

Don't bother answering that question.

Because, according to the Supreme Court, if you have a blog or website that mentions anything sexual and any community, of any size, anywhere in the United States feels you're obscene, well then, you are. And you can be prosecuted. Under felony charges.

Do you understand what that means? It means your opinion doesn't matter. It means the majority of the American public's opinion DOES NOT MATTER.

It means even if 99.99 percent of the American population agrees you are NOT obscene, but ONE TOWN of, say, 300 people--maybe a town like this one (and by the way, are you STILL buying Domino's Pizza?), decides you are obscene, you, friend, are screwed. Not that you'll be allowed to use that descriptor without more charges being brought against you, of course.

I was reading about this last night and fuming. I was planning to publish a whole diatribe about this, but luckily for me, Steff over at the cunting linguist has already done it for me. Go read it.

March 24, 2006

A Love That Don't Mean a Thing

I want love, but it's impossible A man like me, so irresponsible A man like me is dead in places Other men feel liberated

I can't love, shot full of holes
Don't feel nothing, I just feel cold
Don't feel nothing, just old scars
Toughening up around my heart

This Elton John song was playing in my head when I woke up this morning, and it's been playing over and over in my head all day since.

So often, looking back at my relationships (romantic and otherwise) and at my friends', and even at the relationships described by all these bloggers I read, you just have to wonder why people keep reaching out for each other at all. Love seems to be a far more complex and difficult emotion than we like define it as. It has all the heart throbbing, sure. And after that, the long-time affection, yep. But then, along with that, there also seem to be other things inextricably blended into the mix that no one tells you about. Things like pain, hurt, guilt, misunderstanding, frustration, hidden motives, and even manipulation. Even those in the best relationships say they have to deal with this to some extent.

Often, it seems like love is mostly about overcoming, not...y'know...well...coming (in all the senses described in this post).

It makes me tired. And angry, too, sometimes. I get sick of being made to feel I should want something that's portrayed falsely to begin with. And I get angry that I continue to want it anyway, given what I know, and hear, and see on a regular basis. And I really get pissed when people act like they're sorry for me when I'm not part of a romantic relationship, or ask me if I have a boyfriend and if I say no, ask "Why not?" as if this must imply some inherent defect. I always feel like going, "Why not? Let's turn the spotlight on your relationship for a moment. Any more questions?"

Sometimes, I just wish I could get tough enough to just cut myself off from needing to connect with anyone. I've tried. But I always fail.

I know deep down I fail because it's not really what I want. But I'm just so frustrated that I want anything, when the expectation of what I want is so unrealistic.

I want to be in love, and I want not to feel. That's exactly what I want.

But I want love, just a different kind
I want love, won't break me down
Won't brick me up, won't fence me in
I want a love that don't mean a thing
That's the love I want, I want love.
Does this make sense to anyone out there besides me and Bernie Taupin?

March 25, 2006

Sugasm #27

The best of the sex blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Posts are cut at F within each category. BDSM/Fetish HNT #4 - Assume the Position (

I Don’t Mind it Rough (
Kneeling (
Making Love in the Rain Revisited (
Monde Imaginaire (
The Notorious Bettie Page (
Sadist Taking What is His (

Spanking Site Review: Bars and Stripes (
Thigh High Boots (video) (
Training and Surrender (
Choices - Part Five (
D/s Correspondence (

Erotica/Erotic Experiences
In Three Minds (
My Ultimate Fantasy (
The Slow Fuck (
Teen Lesbians Brittney and Avril on Sapphic Erotica (
The Vixxen Chronicles - Walking Funny, Pt. 3 (

Welcome To My Fantasy (
Coach T… Ch. 5 (
Dear Pussy (

Sex Work
I am now a sex worker (
Half-Nekkid: Topless and Thinking (

Mothers and Prostitutes Don’t Mix (

Going Home (
Single Double (
Women Aren’t the Only Complex Creatures (
Caught Kissing in the Copier Room (


Save the Date! NYC Perverts’ Saloon - Monday, April 3rd (
Twilight + Thebes Podcast Discusses Paddles + Devil Girl Sushi Table (

Gracie on Abby Winters (
My Sister’s Best Friend Review (
I Feel Myself - The Art of Orgasm (

Oops, I forgot. The word of the day is “moisture” (
Sincerely LaRue (
S Spot Hentai Links (

Thoughts on Sex: Sex Commentary, Sex Advice, Blogging
Faking (
Fingering (

Long Ass POST! (
Twats and Knives: Together at Last (
Variety Act (
Advice - Tasting Yourself (
Anatomy Lessons Part 1 (
Come (

Sex News / Grab Bag For the Youthful-Looking Cooter You Deserve ( Mardi Gras Spanking ( Profaning the sacred ( They’ve Went and Bottled the Pussy! ( Tom Cruise’s Cock (

Charges Dropped in Teacher Sex Scandal (
Dress Up Britney Spears (

Killing An Erection (
after a few shots… (

Join the Sugasm

Sexy Haiku Tag

Well, I've been tagged--for the first time ever--by Anastasia over at Sexualité. And because I suspect she is dangerous when denied anything she wants she is far too luscious to turn down, here is some flash-form haikuiness for your feasting pleasure (at least, I hope it'll be pleasure).
"The game is that you write a D/s, kinky or sexy haiku…write one, write a dozen…it's up to you. What is a haiku you ask? It is verse form having three lines of five, seven, and five syllables."
You, forbidden fruit. Your voice, a snake’s tempting hiss, “Ripe. Tassssste.” (Good. Evil.)

Each burn of the cords
Exposing silent assent
To your tongue’s command.

In the dark theater
My hand…there. So light…And then…
You biting your lip.

Who to tag? Well, I'm new to this tagging thing, so I don't know the etiquette. Forgive me if I get it wrong. I picking based on bloggers I read who I know like to play with words, and whose wordplay I admire. If they want to try their hand at this, I'd love to read what they come up with. If not, no expectation or offense taken.

In alphabetical order:

Always Aroused Girl

Chelsea Girl at Pretty Dumb Things


Ellie at Sex In The Smoke

Figleaf at Real Adult Sex

March 26, 2006

Public Service Announcement

I'd fallen behind on reading and answering comments. I think I've gotten to everyone now. Sorry--life gets so busy sometimes. Real post a bit later.

Food Porn

If I had to name my top three most pleasurable things, the things I simply couldn't enjoy life without, I'd have to boil them down to sex, sleep, and food. Not just mediocre sex, sleep, and food, mind you. I'm talking exquisite, luscious, totally satisfying sex, sleep, and food. Give me that, as well as music, writing/poetry, stimulating conversation, film/theater, and the other arts, and I'm pretty much set. (All proof, by the way, of my theory that I was born into the wrong era and really should have been a Renaissance- era courtesan.)

But anyway, food. Over at Hiromi_X's blog, there's a lively discussion about parallels between plain vs. unusual food and plain vs. unusal sex. You should read it here.

To me, whether the food's plain or unusual doesn't matter so much as if it's good--and I mean really good. When food is done right, even the most simply prepared dish can become a symphony of sheer orgiastic ecstasy coursing through every part of your mind, body, and senses.

Which reminds me of this really hysterical little feature called "Pornucopia" I heard on NPR's On The Media program, where a writer for Harper's magazine compares the different kinds of TV food shows to different genres of porn. You must have a listen here. (It should download and play in RealPlayer, but if not, you can click on the "listen now" link on the upper left hand side of the page here. There's also a text transcript of the piece on that page, but trust me, you really need the sound to get the full experience.)

(Photo credit: Ms. Belle G. Pepper Poses for a Photograph by MrPixel)

March 28, 2006

Would You Fuck This Sandwich?

So based on the comments to yesterday's post, it looks like a lot of you out there are passionate about both food and sex. So, it's got me wondering if the two qualities are inextricably linked. Can you tell how good a lover someone is by their relationship to food? If someone is really fussy about their eating habits, does it mean fussiness in the bedroom? If someone is a food glutton, are they a sex addict?


My foodie personality:

  • I love all kinds of food, from basic to exotic.
  • I want dishes that are fresh, inventive, and well-prepared.
  • And yet occasionally, I need to have me some nasty, processed snack cake
  • I think all the fancy presentation in the world ain't worth a damn if it doesn't taste good.
  • I believe a spectacular meal means exquisiteness every step of the way. Don't create a beautiful entree but serve crap wine and forget the dessert. Go all out.
  • I'll try almost anything once. If I haven't tasted it yet, I want it in my mouth.
What does that say about me in bed? I'm gonna leave that to you to figure out. (Go on and speculate in comments if you want. Maybe I'll tell you if you're right.)

So, what's your foodie personality? Would you say it reflects you in the bedroom? Did/do your lovers' eating habits match their bedroom skills?

Should I run screaming if my date orders American cheese with mayo on untoasted white bread? Or does this say absolutely nothing about him?

March 29, 2006

Letting the Days Go By

And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack And you may find yourself in another part of the world And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife And you may ask yourself, "Well... How did I get here?"
Did you ever have one of those moments where you're not doing anything particularly out of the ordinary, just doing what you normally do, like going to pick up a coffee, or taking out your keys as you walk toward your car in a parking lot, and then suddenly, you're just up above yourself, looking down at the physical being that is you, standing there, in that parking lot, and then looking out across everything that surrounds that being for miles and miles and miles? And you just kind of go, "Wow, is that me there? I can't even recognize myself. What the hell am I doing in that place? That's not what it's supposed to look like at all. That's not where I was supposed to be at all."

And then of course, the question is:

Where am I supposed to be?[*]

And you may ask yourself, "What is that beautiful house?" And you may ask yourself, "Where does that highway lead to?" And you may ask yourself,"Am I right? Am I wrong?" And you may tell yourself, "My god!...What have I done?"

[*]And do I actually already know the answer to this, but am I just too afraid of the consequences of trying to make it possible?

But Is It Cheating?

My personal answer to this question has generally been, "If you have to ask yourself the question, then the answer is yes."

But let's examine this for a minute.

In general, "cheating" used to be defined as becoming involved in some kind of a physical sexual act with another person outside of your committed relationship, without your partner's knowledge and approval.

So for instance, looking at porn would not be cheating. While you might get off on seeing a person (or persons) in a photograph or video, that "person" is not "real," in the sense that you can't meet him or her and pursue any kind of human contact. In short, you can not touch that person. You can not "have sex" with that person.

But now, with the advent of the internet, among other things, we have a number of new sexual outlets besides print and video porn, which make the definition above a lot blurrier, and perhaps a lot more questionable.

What do I mean? Well, let's assume for the sake of argument that your spouse or committed lover does not know you are doing any of the following...

Cyber-sex via IM:
No touch here, right? It's strictly textual, no different than reading the Penthouse forum. Except that the text is being created in real time, on a screen. And there is a person on the other end, creating the text, with you. But you can't see, hear, smell, taste, or touch this person. Is it cheating? Is it cheating if you do it once with a complete stranger with no emotional attachment? Is it cheating if you do it multiple times with the same person, who is someone you like or have some affection for?

Video Cam sex chat:
Now you've got text and video. There's a person on the other side, and you can see him or her. You can't have physical sex with them, though. No touch involved. Is it cheating? Is it different than watching a porn video? Again, is there a difference between once, anonymously vs. multiple times, with a connection? Does it "count" more if it's with a real-life, everyday person vs. a professional sex worker?

Phone sex:
No touch. No images. No ability to have real physical sex. But there are two people talking, listening to each other and saying sexual things to each other. Is it cheating? Did you "have sex" if you both got off while talking to each other? Does it count? Again: anonymous vs. regular arrangement? Regular Joe vs. sex worker? Does it matter? Is one better or worse than the other? Is one cheating and one not?

Strip club:
If you're just watching the floor show, there are visuals, but no touch. Is it cheating? Can just watching count as a sexual exchange of some sort? What if you get a lap dance? In that case, touch would be involved, and there is often arousal. There is no technical sex, but there may be an orgasm in some situations. If your partner doesn't know you're at the strip club watching, or that you're getting a lap dance, is it cheating?

Let's say in any of the cases above you don't get overtly sexual. You just flirt an awful lot.

Or maybe, if you're in a strip club, maybe another patron of the gender you're attracted to is a little buzzed and snogs with you a little bit. Nothing heavy, no touching of any "private parts," no official sex of any kind. Just a some stolen kisses, let's say.

Is it cheating? Where is the line drawn?

What do you think?

March 30, 2006

And it Burns, Burns, Burns...

The taste of love is sweet when hearts like ours meet I fell for you like a child oh, but the fire went wild...

I fell in to a burning ring of fire
I went down, down, down
And the flames went higher.

Writing yesterday's post about what non-touch-related internet activity "counts" as cheating has brought an old memory out into the sunlight. Once, years ago, a good friend and I were taking a walk together. She was describing an experience with a particular guy she'd slept with, and I realized that at the time the story had taken place, this guy had been seriously involved with someone. I queried her on it, and she said, "He didn't have a ring on his finger. As far as I'm concerned, if that's the case, anyone is fair game." I let it drop, but her response has always stayed with me. It needled me then, and it still kind of needles me now in a number of ways.

Some thoughts this memory has stirred up, yet again:

I was in a committed relationship for many years. We lived together. We had an understanding that we would be monogamous. We never got married. He never had a ring on his finger, nor did I. With all that being the case, I don't think he should have been considered "fair game" because we decided not to sign a piece of paper or buy matching gold bands. Nor do I think that I should have been anyone else's "fair game," either.

Watch any cheesy reality talk show and you'll see these tawdry episodes titled "He's Sleeping With my Woman!" Or, "I'm Boning my Husband's Best Friend!" What happens every time? The host calls up the unwitting girlfriend, boyfriend, or spouse. The cheating partner makes The Big Announcement. The cheating "other woman/man" walks on to the stage. All hell breaks loose. And who does the cheated-on person run toward to attack? You know the answer. Not their partner. They run at the person sleeping with the partner, fist raised or claws extended, ready to kill.

In more of my relationships than I'd like to admit, I've been cheated on. I know what it's like to be that person, the one who who's been left in the dark while everyone else in the "audience"--whether that's your circle of friends, or just the two people involved in the deception--knows what was going on. I know first hand the emotions you have to deal with: how stupid you feel, how betrayed, how worthless and ugly, how utterly debased and humiliated. You do want to run toward someone--anyone--and hurt, maim, and kill them. I think, however, that in all these cases in my real life, I reserved the majority of the blame for my partner. After all, he was the one who had committed to me, not the person he cheated with. But I didn't think the other person was totally blameless. If any of the women involved in these scenarios had no idea that my partner was seeing someone, I don't think I would have blamed them at all. But the sad truth is that in 100 percent of the cases where someone cheated on me, the woman involved on the other end knew my boyfriend was seriously involved with someone else. And she still chose to do it anyway.

When it happened to me, each time, though I always held my partner ultimately responsible, I always thought about those women. I was angry, sure, especially if she knew me personally. But more than the anger, I would always feel this almost childlike confusion--this deep, abiding hurt and sadness, that would always end up in a question: How could any woman live with doing that to another woman? The only answer I could ever think up for myself was maybe they'd been lucky enough to never have been cheated on, so they didn't know what it was like. How their actions had consequences beyond their own life. I just couldn't imagine if they knew what it felt like that they could bear to even contemplate creating that kind of hell for someone else, even if you'd never have to know or meet them.

Very Christ-like, huh? "Forgive them, for they know not what they do." I guess I'd just like to assign some excuse for an action I don't want to understand, I suppose. But I guess I know deep down what I don't want to know. That's "they don't know what they do" really isn't it. When it comes down to it, they probably knew; they just didn't care. The hurt they caused someone else was less important to them than the hurt they'd feel if they didn't get what (or who) they wanted.

It's hard for me to take. I've known some very good people, my friend included, who have had no qualms about being "the other woman/man," other than that they don't get to spend enough time with their lovers. There are people whom I loved and respected who have cheated on their partners and spouses. I never know how to reconcile those two things.

I don't really know what I'm trying to get at here, exactly. Everything is whirling around in my head...but let me just rattle on and maybe it will come to some conclusion.

It's not that I don't understand the impulse. I'm a single woman. I've been single for a greater portion of my adult life than I have been in relationships. In the percentage of the time that I've been single, there have been a number of men who have wanted me despite being attached to others. And I can't even count the huge number of unhappy married or attached people I've met on the internet, both male and female, who are either looking for a quick cyber situation, or something more romantic, but at a safe distance.

What I'm saying is, I've had a lot of proposals for this kind of thing, both in real life and online. Sometimes the proposals are sleazy and therefore easy to reject. But sometimes, they're not. Sometimes you meet someone who is so wonderful, and exactly what you'd want if only...and it's all you can do to control yourself and keep your wits about you.

But the "if only" IS there. And the girlfriend or spouse, hidden though she may be from my sight, is out there somewhere. I find it impossible to ever fully put these out of my mind, no matter how much I yearn for what I want. And I have major fear of karma. I worry if I "gain" someone through deceptive means, it'll only come back around to mean pain for me in the end of one type of another. How does one win in this kind of a situation? How does the end ever come out happy?

Hemingway once said, "If two people love each other there can be no happy end to it." He was talking about marriage, about the loss of a spouse (because even in the longest, loving marriages, one spouse has to die first and the other will be alone). But how much more does this ring true if you love the person, but can never have the person? And even if you choose to settle for the long-term sad ending in trade for in-the-now happiness, how much more does it still ring true, knowing that choice will mean hurting someone else, not just yourself?

But then I think back to my friend, and her calm, unconcerned statement of her feelings about the whole thing. She didn't think she had any reason to fault her actions. And I think how recently a few people have said that feeling everything is your fault is the ultimate narcissism.

And so I have to ask myself, if I am "the other woman," do I have any responsibility? If I'm single, do I have a moral obligation to respect another's agreement if he is ready and willing to break it?

Or should I just be like everyone else seems to be, and not care about anything except my own needs and my own pleasure?

And if I do that, does it mean I can't say shit when someone eventually does it to me again?

And it burns, burns, burns The ring of fire The ring of fire.
(photo credit: "I see a woman's body in the flames" by Stephan Brauchli)

April 1, 2006

Sugasm #28

The best of the sex blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Now with extra sluttiness!

Thoughts on Sex: Sex Commentary, Sex Advice, Blogging All About Oral: Odor, Etiquette, and Why Some Women Don’t Want It ( Anatomy Lessons Part 2 ( And it Burns, Burns, Burns… ( Classic S Spot - More on Masturbation ( Damn Leeches! (

His Addiction (
Love Conquers Some But Not All (
Pussy on the Loose (

Funny / Sex News / Grab Bag
10 Lies Pornographers Tell (
Angelina Puts Collagen Rumors to Bed (

I Bet You Didn’t Know the Ancient Greeks Had Strap-ons… (
Last Night Dick Slipped… (
Sex in the News - Celebrity Sex Tales (
Shit Week (

Reviews and Interviews
Interview with Sophia (

Sugarjoy Review: Xervious Anime Labs (

BDSM and Fetish
Always Ready… (
Bath Time (
Daddy’s Little Girl (
Edging (

Learning the Ropes (
Missing the Kink (
Put in Place I (
Recurring Springtime Fantasy (
Redemption - Part II (
Tied Down and Spanked (


Ariel X Again and Again… (
Christine Young Review (
Free Pics (
Maddi and Rene on Sapphic Erotica (
Mim shot by Penelope for Abby Winters (
Mirrors (

Misato by Yousoudo for Met-Art (
Naughty, Nasty HNT! (
Sunshine (

Erotica/Erotic Experiences
Between the Biker & the Wall (

Cock Tease (
First Meeting (
Hard Fucking (
I Saw. I Came. I was Conquered. (
Last Night (
Magically Delicious (

Masturbating in the Car (
Masturbation and Memories (
Please, I Would Love A Kiss (
Secret Reads: The Roommate (
Shhh… Do You Hear That? (
Snatched Moments (

Sunday Sweetness (
When He Watches (

From Fantasy to Reality (
Kicking Myself In The Ass (
Life with an Easy Girlfriend (

Sex Work

Packing for a Spanking Shoot (
Wearing Your Inner Vixen (

Announcements and Sex Politics
Britney Spears Pro-Life Statue (
Jorge Rivas (
New Book Review (

More Sugasm…
Join the Sugasm

Put Your Snake in my Pussy

Since the last few posts were kind of heavy, something a little more light-hearted today.

I've been thinking of all the odd euphemisms people come up with for our private parts. And then thinking about the combinations you can make with those nicknames that can really take you out of the moment and make you think, "huh," rather than "ooooohhhh." Terms that don't quite mix right when you put 'em together. Or that sound funny. Or that sound just scary, scary wrong.

For instance:

  • Put your snake in my pussy (yrrooowwwl..."No animals were harmed in the making of this porno; only kitties over the age of 18 with no gag reflex were used.")
  • Wiener in a hair pie (dare you to bring this one to the office potluck)
  • His ding-dong between her chi-chis (Charo lives!)
  • He took his heat-seeking missle and aimed it straight at the man in the boat ("Department of Homeland Security, we're at Code Red")
  • The one-eyed wonder worm invades the Mound of Venus (think I actually saw this one once on "Mystery Science Theater 3000")
So, now it's your turn. Just for fun, tell me the weirdest nicknames you know of for the penis and vagina (and breasts and testicles, if you want to go all out). Or even better, what are the strangest combinations of nicknames you can string together? Extra points for whomever comes up with the longest extended mixed "it's just wrong" metaphor.

Don't be afraid to be creative. Complex sentences full of perverse sexual deviance and freaky nicknames of all varieties are heartily encouraged. Nothing is too bizarre. Wow me.

The challenge is raised! Don't let me down, people. I could use a good laugh.

April 2, 2006

(nice dream)

I've never fully bought into those dream interpretation books. I think a dreamt image is not a consistent thing. It can mean something different to different people, depending on that person's life situation and the associations they've built around that image.

But I do have a personal dream theory. The theory is that I've never really "accepted" something or someone as an integral part of me or my life, or as something I belong to, until I dream it. Often when I move to a new place, I don't dream it at all for quite a while. Instead I dream of other places I've lived. But when that place finally shows up in my dream world, I know I now belong there. When I dream a friend, or a lover, I know they've crossed over the threshold from being just someone I know to being someone who's truly important to me.

(As an aside: I've just suddenly realized I've never dreamed where I live now, despite living here almost six years. That should tell me something, huh?)

Anyway, last night, I had a dream about my blog. A very surreal dream, but clearly about my blog nonetheless. So I guess that means I now feel it's a part of me. I'm a blogger. How odd.

The dream relates to all of you too, though, so I figured I'd share.

In this dream, it was apparently possible to "feel" the essence of a blog. Each blog had a different "environment" or "atmosphere" assigned to it--and instead of reading it, you stepped into that atmosphere and felt it all around you, and that's how you absorbed what the person was saying to you in it.

Turned out in the dream, if you clicked on my blog, its atmosphere was a bed of fresh, green spring grass. You know, that vibrant, new, thick green carpet you just want to throw yourself down on. And as you lay down on it, you feel it crunching underneath you as it gives way, cool, and slightly moist, taking you in, absorbing your shape. Smelling clean, new, full of promise. And you just want to lay there forever. It was actually like a bed of grass, come to think of it. When I woke up in the middle of the night after dreaming this, the first thing it made me think of was that grass bed they had in the film Secretary. It was just like that; both something you've felt before, since you were a kid and therefore comforting, but also something new, not everyday, and very sensual.

So, not too bad, if that's what my blog's atmosphere would be like if it came alive. Nice dream. I've been imagining lying down in my blog grass all day. It's really nice. And I just wanted to say, feel free to come lay down next to me any time.

"...every motion and every spear of grass and the frames and spirits of men and women and all that concerns them are unspeakably perfect miracles all referring to all and each distinct and in its place. It is also not consistent with the reality of the soul to admit that there is anything in the known universe more divine than men and women." --Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass
(And hm, just out of curiosity, it'd be fun to hear what you think your own blog's atmosphere would be. Lemme know.)

April 3, 2006

All That You Can't Leave Behind

A number of years back, well before the turn of the current century, I decided to move across the country. I was excited, and brimming with hope. It was a new adventure. I was putting my life as a slave to the New York City publishing world behind me. I was leaving a lot of other things that had grown tiresome or oppressive to me, too. I had a new significant other. I was starting fresh. Everything felt young, exciting, and full of promise--endless possibility lay ahead of me.

I packed up my car. I wanted to stock it full of everything that had meaning to me, so I would be able to surround myself with the things I loved when I arrived at my new home. Turned out a lot of things had meaning to me. My whole car was filled up, and then I had to attach one of those bubble things to the roof to add more. My family helped me pack. When I was done, I went happily on my way, watching them get smaller and smaller behind me as they waved goodbye.

I drove from daylight into evening, and then when it had been dark for a good number of hours and I'd started to get tired, I pulled into a budget motel for the night, in a place I'd never been before. I'd call it a big town, but the people who live there call it a city. I went to a chain restaurant next door for dinner. I grabbed my travel case and headed in to my room for a good sleep before heading out the next day.

I woke up in the morning, got dressed, and went down to the parking lot. I stood there for a minute, unbelieving. My car was gone. Everything I owned and loved was gone. Everything.

Try to imagine this. You're standing there in an empty parking lot, and all you now own are about four pieces of clothing, a pair of shoes, and a toothbrush.

ALL your clothes are gone. Your photographs. Your favorite music (hundreds and hundreds of cds), and your stereo to go with it. Your favorite books. Your favorite earrings, rings, or what have you.

I lost that, and more. All my favorite clothing, both the comfortable and the sexy. Letters from old friends and lovers. A stuffed animal I'd had since birth, that my family had chosen specially for me while I was still in the womb. Special gifts from friends that meant everything in the world to me. Keepsakes from family members who had passed on. Every single journal I'd written in from grade school through adulthood, documenting every memory and emotion I've ever experienced in my life. Every non-human thing I have ever loved, gone. Things I could never, ever get back or replace.

I couldn't even process it. I went blank. I started shaking uncontrollably. When I got that somewhat under control, I went to the front desk. I told the hotel manager what happened, and he laughed at me. He laughed. And he said, smirking, that he was sorry, but he had no control over what happened in his parking lot. It became more than evident from his attitude and responses that he was probably involved in some way. I suggested the least he could do was refund my money for my night's stay, given my inconvenience and my extreme financial loss which had occurred on his premises. It couldn't have been more than $30. It wouldn't have broken him. He laughed at me again and refused. When I got angry at his behavior, he called the police and had me forcibly removed from his property. When the police came, I told the them what had happened. They didn't care. They made me leave, and didn't say a word to the hotel manager. They protected him, not me. They treated me like I was the criminal.

The police couldn't have cared less about my theft, but they suggested I wait 24 hours in town after that, just in case the car showed up abandoned somewhere in town. I went to another hotel and sat there, with my four pieces of clothing and a toothbrush. I called home to let them know what had happened. And when I finally got someone, I found out my father had just been rushed to the hospital for an emergency quadruple bypass, and no one was sure whether he was going to make it or not.

What was your reaction when you just read that story? If you were going to say something back to me, what would you have said?

I've told this story numerous times over the years. It no longer affects me. It's just a story that's happened in my past. But it affects the people I tell it to, every time. Everyone is always instantly horrified. They tell me it's the worst thing they have ever heard. They tell me they can't imagine how I got through that day. They ask me how I ever got over it. They ask me if it still bothers me now. They often look like they want to hug me, even though I don't look upset anymore when I tell the story. Some do hug me. They shake their heads in disbelief and say they can't figure out how they would ever get over something like that. They spit venom out at whomever the person or people were who stole my belongings, and at that asshole of a hotel manager. They get extreme about it. They call them names, they suggest all kinds of cruel punishment for them. They ask me if I ever got any of my stuff back, if the theives ever got caught. And back when it had just happened, everyone asked me how they could help. They also ask me about my dad's surgery, if he survived (he did), and how I got through dealing with that when I was all alone, with nothing, in a strange state.

Was your imagined response similar to any of the above?

When I was a teenager, I was sexually assaulted.

What was your response to that?

Because it should have been the same. But I bet for some of you it wasn't.

When I tell random people about my car, they react as described above. When I tell people about my assault, they generally act nothing like this. They most often try to run away, or make me shut up about it. It's "too much information"--it's stepping out of the comfort zone. It's letting a dirty secret out into the light. You get the sense the person wants to say, "Why would you tell me this? What can I do about it now? What do you want from me, telling me this?"

I'm going to say this now for myself. And maybe I'll take a little liberty and assume I can say it for all sexual assault survivors. I'm saying it to any of you out there who have had or will have someone tell you they were sexually assaulted.

What do we assault survivors want from you when we tell you this information? Read carefully:

All I want is to be able to talk about my assault openly, the way I can about my car story. All I want is for you to respond to me about it the same way you would about my car story. Show sympathy for me. Show outrage for the crime committed. Ask if I'm okay, and if the crime has been very recent, ask if there's anything you can do to help. Ask how I managed to recover. Ask any of the things I listed above for the car story.

With the car story, people believe me right away. No one ever even stops for a second to wonder if I've possibly made it up. No one asks me pointedly why I stopped at the motel for the night in the first place. No one suggests I'm tellng the story to tarnish the reputation of the motel chain I stayed at. They never suggest that the fact that I walked into that motel of my own choice meant that I was asking to get robbed. They don't ask why I didn't yell a little louder at the hotel manager or the police officer. They don't ask me if I am sure my car was stolen, rather than merely misplaced. They don't ask for in-depth explanations of every item that was stolen and then question whether my theft "counted" as much as other thefts where more expensive cars and belongings had been taken. They don't ask if I had done something to deliberately piss the theives off, so that they stole my car over someone else's. They never push me to describe exactly what inflection the hotel manager used when speaking to me, or exactly how tightly the policeman put his hand around my arm when he escorted me off the property--it doesn't even occur to them that those details were necessary--it's simply enough for them to hear that it happened. They don't wonder if the way the car looked made it my fault that it got stolen. They'd never think to tell me that because I only got robbed once, it wasn't such a big deal, and that I shouldn't make such a big case out of it. They never say because it happened years ago that it shouldn't affect me anymore and I should just get over it and forget about it. They don't suggest that because I wasn't held at gun point when the car was stolen that it didn't count as a theft.

And certainly, whenever I walk up to someone and say, "A while back my car was stolen with all my stuff in it," they never look freaked out and don't want to talk about it. They never say or act like, "Whoa, too much information, there!" They're not at a loss for how to respond. They're not afraid it's something that's "too sensitive" to talk about.

So, again, when I tell you I've been sexually assaulted, let me. And just treat me the same as you would if I told you about the car.

Because when boiled down, they are both the same, you know. Some fucker took advantage of me, and committed a crime while doing so. Period.

So why is it my car story considered appropriate and acceptable to tell any time, anywhere, while my assault story is not? Why should the loss of my car receive more spontaneous expressions of sympathy than my assault? Why should it be so difficult for people to treat both the same way?

***April is National Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

In recognition of that, I'm going to (probably) do a number of posts on the topic this month. I know it's not your standard sex talk, but it's relevant and it's important. I'm only just learning myself how relevant and important it is to have a voice on this issue.

So, despite it not being a "sexy" sex-related topic, I'm going to be talking about it. If that's not your thing, there's plenty of other good reading on my links lists on the right. But I hope some of you will stick around and read it.

If not, well, if it helps just one person who's been assaulted to deal with their own experience, or helps even one person learn how to step up when someone who has been assaulted confides in them, then that's all I care about.

And if you read any of these posts and find it brings up any upsetting memories of your own, please don't struggle with those alone. Go talk to someone--preferably a professional in your local area with expertise in working with assault survivors, but if not, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1.800.656.HOPE. It's free, confidential, and open 24/7. (Sorry, that number is in the US only. I wish I knew ones for other countries, but maybe readers can share hotline numbers for their own countries.)***

April 4, 2006

Getting Testy

I'm feeling really worn out, so no "real" writing today. But soon.

In the meantime, I confess that I'm just too obsessed with personality tests. I blame Artful Dodger for sucking me in to this one (and he blames Evil Minx for sucking him in).

So, according to my PersonalDNA, I'm a "considerate inventor."

And, in case you ever sat around wondering, "Hm, I wonder what Miss Syl would look like if I were to take her, suck out her very life essence and then pack it into little wee boxes" well, stop thinking about sucking my essence and get the hell out of the house, you perv today you're in luck. You can roll over each of the boxes below to reveal all my little secrets. At least, what all my secrets are according to this test.

Heh. It says I have "very high femininity, openness, and empathy." Man, that makes me sound way too girlie, doesn't it? Well, maybe openness makes it a little less so...

Oh, and I got very high spontaneity. Which is both true, and good (in my opinion).

All the rest:

You are a considerate inventor

You are an Inventor

Your imagination, self-reliance, openness to new things, and appreciation for utility combine to make you an INVENTOR. You have the confidence to make your visions into reality, and you are willing to consider many alternatives to get that done. The full spectrum of possibilities in the world intrigues you—you're not limited by pre-conceived notions of how things should be. Problem-solving is a specialty of yours, owing to your persistence, curiosity, and understanding of how things work. Your vision allows you to identify what's missing from a given situation, and your creativity allows you to fill in the gaps. Your awareness of how things function gives you the ability to come up with new uses for common objects. It is more interesting for you to pursue excitement than it is to get caught up in a routine. Although understanding details is not difficult for you, you specialize in seeing the bigger picture and don't get caught up in specifics. You tend to more proactive than reactive—you don't just wait for things to come to you. You're not afraid to let your emotions guide you, and you're generally considerate of others' feelings as well. You tend to do things on the spur of the moment, not sticking to a set schedule. You do your own thing when it comes to clothing, guided more by practical concerns than by other people's notions of style. Generally, you believe that you control your life, and that external forces only play a limited role in determining what happens to you.

You are Considerate

You trust others, care about them, and are slow to judge them, making you CONSIDERATE. You value your close relationships very much, and are more likely to spend time in small, tightly-knit groups of friends than in large crowds. You enjoy exploring the world through observation, quietly watching others. Relating to others so well, and understanding their emotions, leads you to trust people in general, even though you're somewhat shy and reserved at times. Your belief that people are generally well-intentioned contributes to your sympathy regarding their problems. Although you may not vocalize it often, you have an awareness of how society affects individuals, and you understand complex causes of people's behavior. You like to look at all sides of a situation before making a judgment, particularly when that situation involves important things in other people's lives. Your close friends know you as a good listener.

Hm. Does it sound like me?

Minx and Art got different kinds of creator. Somehow that sounds more interesting to me than inventor. Though I suppose the two words aren't all that different, really. Except "inventor" to me sounds like I'm holding a test tube and standing next to a Bunsen burner.

If you want to try it yourself and tell me what you got, you can try it out here.

April 6, 2006

Now You See Her...

Have a look at this picture of model Kate Moss (being Marilyn-ish) from a photo spread for W, a women's magazine.

So let's say you're a woman, the intended readership for this magazine. The model is in lingerie, draped over a bed, staring directly outward.

Now, women, answer this question: When you first looked at the photo, who did you think she was looking at? You? Or someone else?

She's clearly sexy, and in a vulnerable position. She's waiting for something. Did you think she was waiting for you?

The largest audience for women's fashion magazines is made up of straight women under 45 years of age. So why the titillating, submissive images? Does W want to seduce straight women with other women? Is it a plot to subject all women to subordination? Or is there something else going on?

There's a fascinating (and fun) online essay by a semiotics professor at the University of Vermont called "This is Not Sex" that puts these questions and images under the magnifying glass, and his end analysis may be different than you'd think. I'd summarize his conclusions here, but given the nature of how he sets up the essay with photos and text, I'd be ruining a lot of the effect. The points are far more effectively made if you click through the essay from start to finish.

Check it out, and let me know what you think.

(And thanks to Metafilter for turning me on to it.)

April 7, 2006


You know, I was having a day. Walking around, thinking, why the hell am I writing a blog?

There was the usual writer's fear involved. You know that "I reached the end of the Internet" joke? It's like that: what if some day, some week I finish some post and realize, "That's it." I don't have a single original thought left. I got to the core, and the core is empty. You know now that your entire brain and creative being has a shelf life of...(fill in any time frame here).

And then there was the issue of wondering if I really have anything to say that's worthwhile to anyone else. I'd started meaning to make this a discussion group on more theoretical issues related to sexuality. I hadn't meant for this blog to include anything personal, but now sometimes it does. Does that diminish its purpose? I hadn't meant for it to have a post like this, either, but now it does. And I worry about the tightrope I've now stepped out onto--does it mean that the blog is just themeless and unstructured? Am I straddling the line between giving too much of myself to be comfortable and too little of myself to be useful to anyone? Am I just a frigging coward?

I wasn't going to post any of this, even though I was thinking it all day. I wasn't going to post anything. I get kind of annoyed when bloggers post those "maybe I'll just bag it all" entries. It always feels like they're begging for compliments--please, someone, love me. I'm not posting this to beg for compliments or to get you to beg me to continue (if anyone even would do that, which I have no reason to believe, of course).

I'm only posting because it turns out now it makes a good story. There I was, having a day, wondering why don't I just stop, is this thing of any use to me, or to anyone, really, etc., etc. Thinking maybe the wisest thing to do would be to stop hiding in the electronic world behind a pseudonym and just get out there in the trenches and work solely on my outside life, which lately has needed some serious repair work, and which I am doing, though slowly.

So yeah, I was walking around like that, feeling the whole endeavor was useless. And then I looked at my stats and came across this post someone wrote today.

Sometimes timing is everything. Thanks, Amber.


And, for what it's worth (if it's worth anything), here are just some little snippets that are also on my mind, because I can't seem to focus on more serious topics today:

  • I've been blogging for 3 months now. I've had 22,000-plus unique visitors. I am actually so new at this, I have no idea if that's an impressive number or not. I mean, it's impressive to me, but is that a lot for your first three months? Some of you more experienced bloggers might be able to tell me.
  • I took a "restorative yoga" class today and it was...actually restorative. Which is a very good thing. I'm going back.

  • In the food porn category: I've discovered a new cheese passion that I need to proselytize about. Lemon Stilton (it's the one on the lower right). It's white Stilton cheese, with pieces of lemon peel infused into it. White Stilton is not like the more famous Stilton blue cheese (it's immature, and I'm guessing mold-free, and hence not all bluey-tasting). It's creamy and sort of tangy, but has a mild smoothness to its finish. And the lemon rind adds all this pungence and sweetness to the cheese that makes it taste exactly like an amazing piece of lemon cheesecake, but without all the sugar. Mmmmm. You must, must, must try this.

  • Remember how in this post, I chose an orchid for myself? I recant. I was passing a whole bunch of orchids on my way into Whole Foods (where I found the Lemon Stilton, by the way), and man, those things are all flowery stanky. I hate perfume-y flowers. So if I'm still going to be an orchid, it has to be a vanilla orchid. That, I like.
And um, why am I posting all this random nothingness when I should be writing something impressive or responding to all your thoughtful comments from yesterday? Well, in the words of the divine Miss Lili Von Shtupp:

>>Testify, Lili!<<

The woman speaks the truth, people. ("Right, girls?")

So, more significant stuff tomorrow, I think. Happy Friday night, all. Go get some of whatever it is you want, and gimme a little bit of that, too.

(Photo credit: HDR Birdgate from Automatt. And thanks to The Man Himself for the musical hosting bail-out.)

April 8, 2006

Gay Enough for Government Work

So, just a little addendum to my earlier post of marginalia:

According to Scientific American, in the continuum of gayness (and yes, Virginia, there is a continuum of gayness), I am "heterosexual, with homosexual tendencies." Though I will comfort any of my (many, many, oh SO many) disappointed lesbian readers with the fact that I scored a five, which means I am just one tiny point away from being "equally heterosexual and homosexual."

How gay are you?

And thanks to the equally heterosexual/homosexual guy at ThinkNaughty for pointing the way.

I am She as You Are Me and She is Me and We Are All Together

I’m sure all of you have heard at least one news story about a woman who stepped forward years after the fact to accuse some well-known man of having sexually assaulted her. You’ve probably heard more than one such story.

I’m also sure that when those cases come up, you've often heard people ask, “If this really happened to her, why did it take her fifteen years to step forward? Why didn’t she report it right away?” If you’re really honest, maybe a few of you will even admit the thought has at least crossed your own minds from time to time.

This is not a statement of blame. Because I thought the same thing about those women.

It wasn’t that I didn’t necessarily believe their stories. I would defend these women publicly, insisting no one would go through the agony of exposing themselves to court proceedings, having her sexual history become public record, and facing public scorn and ridicule just for financial gain, or to "get some attention." But secretly, I wondered: Why had it taken her so long? And I often got frustrated about how much more of a liability these women were to the getting people to take “real” (read, immediate) sexual assault issues seriously.

Yes, I thought somewhere deep down that an immediate accusation of assault was more “real,” or deserved more merit, than an accusation decades after the fact.

So, again, this is not a statement of blame. It’s an explanation.

Because, I find now that I am one of those women.

I mentioned in this post a few days ago that I was sexually assaulted as a teenager. Would you believe me if I told you I had no idea this was so until almost 20 years later?

It’s true.

For years as an adult, I would go to “Take Back the Night” protests. I did it to support other women who had been raped. That’s what I thought. I would read or hear sexual assault statistics in the news. And I would think, with no sense of discomfort or irony, “I’m just so lucky that has never happened to me.”

You might think it was because I had blocked the memory. Not true. I hadn't forgotten or buried the events of what happened to me in my subconscious. I remembered the entire thing. I just didn’t give it a name. It was a small, gnawing, uneasy spot of memory with no label affixed.

And hence, I was completely, utterly clueless. Even long after I should have known better.

So, now I’m one of those women I wondered about. The one who’s only able to name what happened to her so far after the fact that everyone around her wonders why she's even bothering. And I now understand who that woman is, and why she waited, and why she's even bothering.

But this piece today, I’m writing just to tell you and everyone out there that the woman isn’t lying because she brought it up so late in the game. And she isn't bringing it up "at her convenience" for some kind of dramatic effect or gain.

Like me, she may simply not have realized what happened to her.

Sexual assault is almost never as cut-and-dry as people think. We have our friend Senator Napoli telling us in that now infamous news clip that assault means being "brutally raped, savaged...sodomized as bad as you can possibly make it." Though we'd prefer to vilify him and call his view an aberration, and though he was certainly disturbingly extreme in his description, in truth, his viewpoint is not so far off the mark from what many people unconsciously define "real" assault as. Because despite what we’re told over and over again, that’s what people usually think makes it "real," what counts as proof. If there are marks, if there are bruises and scratches. If there’s an alley, and a stranger, and a weapon, and a struggle, and a penis forced into an orifice, then, and only then, it counts as a "real" assault.

And so if you’re assaulted, and none of these things happen to you, often no one will believe you were really assaulted. And more to my point today, often you won’t even believe it yourself.

Of course, real truth is that that list of conditions above is RARELY the case in most sexual assaults. Only a tiny percentage of assault survivors sustain serious physical injuries. Weapons are rarely present. The assaulter is rarely a stranger in an alley. Far more frequently the assaulter is someone the person knows, making the victim less guarded, and more confused about how to respond when things suddenly turn ugly. The situation is rarely 100 percent spontaneous. It's often deliberately set up ahead of time, so the person who is assaulted is less likely to be believed.

But these details, while not completely unknown, still don't loom large in the public consciousness. In the end, it's only the victim who's been beaten mercilessly by a stranger and reports it immediately that gets our full, unquestioned belief.

And then there are those who are assaulted not only by people they know, but by people in roles that most others have difficulty believing could be capable of perpetrating such an act. A priest, for instance, or a parent, or a lover, husband, or wife. Or, in my case, a well-respected doctor.

If, for instance, a parent tells you what he or she is doing to you is a good thing, that he or she loves you for doing it—well, is it any wonder that the person who’s being assaulted may not be able to put a label on what has happened to her or him until many, many years later? Or let's use an example of a sexually active adult. Let's say you're getting physical with someone you actually like—someone you’ve chosen to be with, maybe even someone you’ve had sex with before--and suddenly a boundary is crossed before you had time to figure out what was going on. Might you not possibly convince yourself what happened to you wasn’t what it actually was? Might you not put a blank spot on the event, the way I did?

In all these cases, might it not take you years before you realized what had really happened? Might it not take even longer for you to get brave enough to stand up and tell it to the world, knowing you are going to face the same doubt, denial, confusion, and even anger that you've used against yourself for all this time?

Something to think about the next time those questions at the beginning of this post come up, in any context.

More another day.

(Photo credit: day goes by by Simon Pais)

April 10, 2006

Hey Baby...$25 for a Blow Job, $10 for Fair Governance

Just came across this fabulous concept and thought I'd share.

Pornocracy: Government by harlots/prostitutes.

Yes, it's real. And yes, there's actually a historical precedent to the term, though it's somewhat misleading.

But I mean, hell...who couldn't get behind that kind of government? And under it, and over it, and...

And then there's also strumpetocracy. Rule by strumpets.

I'm dying to make a joke about the Whorehouse of Representatives, but that's just too damn awful, isn't it?

By the way, if you're looking to figure out what government you're going to have when you rule the universe, you can pick from a handy selection here.

I'm torn between whether the US is currently a diabolocracy or a foolocracy. Hm.


Update: And speaking of harlots--

Your Lucky Underwear Is Red

You're confident and bold, and your lucky red underwear will only make you more sure of yourself.

You have a great zest for life, and you tend to take on impossible goals - and succeed.

When it comes to love, it's hard for you to take the time to open up. You're too busy conquering the world.

So if you're looking for a little more romance, put on your red underpants. And see where their passion takes you!

Brought to my strumpet's eye by that brazen hussy Blue Gal. I must stop falling prey to these damn test-taking impulses! (As if that's going to happen.)

April 12, 2006

A Little Info...and Sugasm #29

I'm getting ready to go on a little trip later this week, so apologies for my posting and comment responses having gotten a little slow. I'm going to try to get at least one more post in before leaving town, but in the meantime, here's a lot of other fabulous reading to occupy your time.


The best of the sex blogs by the bloggers who blog them.

Sex Toy Reviews/Sex Advice
Featured Article - Hit Me With Your Best Shot (part 2) (
How To Ejaculate - For Women (

XTC Pleasure Curve (


Solo Girl
The Incomparable Beauty Of Marketa Belonoha By The Sea (
Kele Ward Sexy Cowgirl (
Kyla shot by Abby Winters (
Oh My - What has Annie done (


Bridgete, Darlene and a strap-on on Sapphic Erotica (

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Join the Sugasm

The Pressure to Come: Does it Work Both Ways?

So a few days back, I was reading something the always very readable Steff from the cunting linguist wrote called "Erectile Problems: Bent Outta Shape When Not Takin' Shape." The basic gist of her message can be summed up in one of her opening paragraphs:
It enrages me when I hear about women whining that a man couldn’t get it up. It happens, honey. Get the fuck over yourself.
Anyway, the discussion of women's presssure on men to stay hard and orgasm started me thinking about the situation in reverse. It somehow brought up a memory of some comedian's routine I saw once (maybe Denis Leary...I'm no longer sure), where he talks about how back in the day, men could have cared less if they brought their women to orgasm, but now that people are more aware of the female orgasm, men simply can't feel "like a man" if they don't get their female partners to come at least once. He went on to imply the general sentiment had become that making a woman come had become a competitive sport for men--the more orgasms you scored, the more of a man you were. I remember the phrase "I won the orgasm cup!" being thrown around somewhere toward the end of the routine.

You may want to weigh in on whether this theory is in fact true, though in my personal experience, it seems to be so. Men feel they haven't succeeded unless you've come.

Contrast that against the many studies that show that a large percentage of women have trouble orgasming all the time, and some can't orgasm at all, ever. It makes you wonder if, similar to men, women also feel a lot of pressure, and if this is the reason why a "2000 Orgasm Survey" (cited in this article) found that 72 percent of women said they fake orgasms.

Obviously, it's easier for women to fake their arousal than it is for men. Men can't "cover" to avoid hurting the women's feelings. I wonder if they would if they could. And also, it makes me wonder about the pressure to orgasm in the reverse of Steff's discussion. Things like:

  • Do straight women these days feel a significant amount of pressure from their men to orgasm during sex? Do they feel guilty if they don't?

  • Is this the primary reason orgasms are faked?

  • Do men feel a lot of pressure to bring a woman to orgasm? Do they feel a sense of failure if they do not? Do they secretly (or not secretly) feel disappointed, resentful, or less manly if they don't? Do they take it personally?
  • Have any women out there experienced a lot of pressure or had the moment totally ruined by a guy's insistence on her having an orgasm, and his pouting and taking it personally if she did not?
Overall, I don't have a lot of experience with which to answer this question, because I've somehow been lucky enough have been blessed with a highly orgasmic biological makeup, something which has continued to developed and increase as I get older. But I suspect, based on the clear focus every one of my lovers has had on making sure that I came, and came often, that perhaps they might have felt bummed out if I hadn't. Whether they'd make that evident or not, I'm not sure.

What do you think? Is the pressure on both ways now?

April 13, 2006

On the Road and Customer Service Survey

Hi all,

For the next few days (until Tuesday), I will be out of town visiting with family and friends. There's pretty much no guarantee of consistent internet connectivity; and even if there is, I may decided to take a rest for a few days anyway. This will probably mean few to no posts. My guess is that I will mostly log in to check email and comments, but won't be writing much on the blog...but you never know. I might surprise you. You'll just have to check back and see.

In the meantime...

1) There are lots of fabulous people in the blogrolls on the right who I encourage you to check out.

2) I'd love to get your opinion on something. The lovely, talented, and always brainy Artful Dodger has generously offered to help me update my blog template if I want to. He's designed a number of blogs lately and does some amazing work.

I think it would be nice to get out of standard blogger template purgatory, but I'm not sure what direction I want to go, exactly. I often admire the fresh, clean look of blogs that are primarily white in background, but I also often think they don't quite "feel" like me. So I'd like some opinions. I tend to gravitate toward the color black. I kind of like the dark, telling secrets kind of mood it gives the blog. And I like the burst of color effect the photos have against the background. But sometimes I think the whole white-on-black thing is too hard on the eyes. What do you think? If I changed color scheme radically, would you feel you weren't "home" anymore? If not, any ideas what you think would make for a nice change? Given my content, what colors do you think I am? Would you like to see a fancy-schmancy banner? Any ideas for the banner? What image reflects a "sexeteria," anyway? How do you embody "food, sex, and spectacle" in a template?

Right now where I live there are loads of magnolias, cherry blossoms, and wisteria in bloom, and it keeps making me think I want a cherry tree on my blog. Pink and white against sky blue, like I see out my window every morning. But that's just SO not like me most of the time. Must have spring fever. And really, thematically, it has nothing to do with this blog. But do I care?

So anyway--ideas and suggestions for either the design or the blog in general? What about the current design do you like/not like?

And if you feel like it, in terms of what you're reading/seeing here every day, what could I be doing better?

In other words, fill in the blank(s):

When I look at your blog, I wish _________________.


This blog could use more ______________________.


Miss Syl, please, please, please give me _______________________.

April 15, 2006

Should I Be Annoyed By This?

Because I kind of am...but I'll get to that in a second.

I'm still on the road. Things are good (if you don't count the usual annoying things that crop up when part of your visit involves interacting with family). Of interest:

I WON a raffle for two orchestra seats to see Avenue Q last night. At least 100 people's names in a bucket, and they pulled out mine (and five other people's).

I DID NOT WIN the $220 mil Mega Millions jackpot last night. However, no one else won either, so I have decided not to take it personally.

Anyway, on to my question.

Turn out my access to the 'Net is even less than I'd expected, but I found myself just now with a very short pocket of time to check my email, and also peek at my Technorati results, where I found this. Now, she's copied my entire post, word for word, including the graphic AND some of your comments. She's even titled her post my post's title. However, before she did this massive copy-and-paste, she does at least mention my blog, and link to the original post.

Because of that last thing, and because I'm kind of new to blogging, I don't know if this would really "count" as a breach of etiquette or not. Maybe some of you more experienced bloggers can tell me what you think? I mean, it's not plagiarism. She hasn't claimed it's her work, like that chick who was stealing AlwaysArousedGirl's and others' stuff. But is it generally considered okay to copy an entire article AND comments and post it on your own blog? Seems to me I've only seen people take a small excerpt at most and then link to the original post.

Mind you, I'm always pleased to have someone refer to something I wrote as interesting, and to link to it. That's not what's bothering me. But this feels like it's crossing some kind of line to me. Am I overreacting?

April 18, 2006

Bodies, Rest & Motion

Estimated time of arrival 9:30 a.m. Been up before the sun and now I'm tired before I even begin. (Now you're flying)

I got so much work in front of me,
(Really flying)
It stretches out far as the eye can see.
I can see.

Spend half my life in airports doing crosswords and attempting to sleep,
And when the bar is open then you'll often find me warming a seat.
(Now you're flying)
I never find a place where I can stay

(Really flying)
I'd rather be a thousand miles away.
A thousand miles away.

I’m back from my trip. Thanks to all you darling people for the comments and emails while I was out of commission. I was able to occasionally take quick peeks at them while I was away, but not much more than that. I’ve got me some catching up to do.

So, yesterday I spent most of my day driving back to where I currently live. Driving away from people from my past.

I do a lot of that.

I moved to the city I’m in now about five-and-a-half years ago. That’s a record for me—it’s the longest I’ve lived in any one locale since I was 18. But even so, I've moved house three times. And even now, I think about moving away from this place entirely at least once a day.

When some people want a change after a few years, they get a new haircut. Me, I move.

There are benefits to having a strong tendency toward wanderlust. You see things others never even knew existed. You learn new ways of seeing, speaking, tasting. Your personal lexicon continues to grow. You gather good stories. You meet people who make your life more than it once was. You grow more open, more sensitive to the world around you, and to its needs.

And you get to start over, again and again.

I’m the queen of beginnings. I love the start of everything. Opening a hardcover book and smelling that new book smell. Hearing the opening strains to your favorite song as it comes on the radio at just the right time. The first swell of the orchestra as it hits you at the in a theater. The feel of getting into a bed made with fresh, crisp, new sheets. Staring at a beautiful, mouth-watering dish that’s been placed in front of you, placing that fork into it for that first cut, raising it to your mouth, waiting for how good it’s going to taste. A new notebook, full of clean, blank pages to fill. The first rush of attraction to someone. The first time he touches you in a way that’s more than just a touch. The first time he moves toward you and you know that, after all the imagining, in only miliseconds you’re going to know exactly what his mouth feels like against yours.

And of course, I love moving. There’s something so amazing about packing up everything you want to keep, getting rid of all the crap you don’t need, and moving toward something new, light and hopeful, with new things to look forward to.

My family have never been big movers. When my parents chose to move an hour and 15 minutes away from the city of their (and my) birth, the rest of my extended family responded to the news like they’d announced they were moving to Siberia. Needless to say, my own mobility around the country and the globe is not genetically programmed. And most of my friends, though many were travelers at one point, have now decided to settle down and have families, and stay in one place. I don’t see this as a bad choice at all. Just not a choice I’ve been able to make myself so far.

Why do I keep moving? I’m not sure. Maybe I’m just into change, and as I’ve always told others, “I have a high stagnation rate.” I get bored quickly. I want new things, new sensations.

Or maybe I keep looking for the perfect place where I “fit.” I’ve not really found that place yet. I’ve found places where I fit with the people, but not the surroundings or my job. Places where I fit with my job and my surroundings but hate the people. Places where I fit in the spring and summer, but not in the fall and winter.

When I’m in a small town, I want a big city. When I’m in a big city, I want a small university town. When I’m in America for too long, I miss the rush of living in a new country and learning the culture. When I’m in a new country, I eventually feel I need to go home to be not so far away from other friends and family.

So I keep moving, and leaving places and people behind. I wonder if my friends who have chosen the long, long middle instead of the many beginnings are happier or feel more settled than I do. I wonder if I’d just decided to bite the bullet and stay still in a place that wasn’t perfect, but wasn’t horrible, if I’d be more or less happy than I am now. I honestly can’t say. The people I know who have stayed in place don’t seem unhappy, necessarily. They certainly have more sense of permanence and security, at least in terms of accruing property and possessions, than I do. But most don’t seem to be decidedly happier than I am, either.

The irony is, of course, this: You might travel to find that place you “fit.” And yet, as you’re doing that, you’re continually leaving all that is familiar to you. And while you’re away, those familiar places and those people change, too, even though they’re staying in place. So when you get back, nothing is exactly the way you left it, or exactly the person you remember. Which means you don’t quite “fit” there or with them anymore, either.

But still, even when you know this; even when it’s become perfectly clear to you that you’re exponentially increasing the list of people and places you will love and miss; and that when you go back to visit those people and places, you’ll end up missing the memory of them that you thought you were missing…even then, you will still yearn for the new beginning. Something new, something that won’t stagnate.

So you keep moving.

And sometimes you’re sure your life will be richer for it.

And sometimes you think maybe you’re just not built to fit anywhere, and that’s your fate.

(Now you're flying) I'm told I'm going places - who can say ? (Really flying) I might arrive but I'll be gone the very next day.

I must be on my way.
A thousand miles away.

Promised to myself someday I'd take the time and try to make sense
Out of all those opportunities I've lost from trying to sit on the fence
(Now you're flying)
But right now I've got no time for yesterday
(Really flying)
Yesterday's a thousand miles away.

A thousand miles away.

(Photo credit: trainspotting by addie_reiss)

April 19, 2006

Maenads' Mantra

The tiny, dark, dive of a club is filled, even though it’s a Wednesday night. No one knows it exists, except for everyone who matters. It exists only for us. It is our home away from home. We know every corner of it, every doorman, bouncer, bartender, DJ, musician, artist, writer, eccentric. We know the taste of every bottle glowing out at us from the bar. We know who to talk to to get certain things that will lift us up in certain ways. We know who to avoid to keep us from getting down in certain ways. We know every record and CD that can spin in this world, and we know every emotion that lies behind ever live guitar riff. We feel every opening note, every shake of the bass, every swell of a bridge with our very souls. This place, it’s our escape, our true family. Our refuge of freaks, our inner landscape made corporeal, full of sound and desire and madness and movement. And in it, we are safe. Safe from the outside world, the stares, the disappointments, the normalcy, the mundanity, the cruelty.

Dina and I walk up to the bar, which is three-deep in people waiting for drinks, but which somehow parts for us as the bartender gestures. Men shift their bodies to let us through. And they watch us, the men. And we know. We can feel it, all the eyes, pressing in, but we’re choosing not to acknowledge it. We know they’re watching as the bartender walks past others with their $20s fully extended and waving, watching as he ignores them all in order to bring us two free glasses full of expensive, hard something-or-other. They’re watching as we look knowingly at each other and lift our chins up to the sky, extend our sleek throats and pour the fire into us. They watch as we look back down, faces flushed, smiling radiantly—but never at them, only at each other—as the bartender comes back with two pints of something-or-other else to let us smooth it all out inside.

And then the song starts up. We hear the first little-girl/grown-woman wail, like we’ve heard it so many times before.

And Dina grabs me and we run, following the girl’s voice to the dance floor. We push into our little spot, the one that always is there for us, and the girl/woman is singing:

feel it burn you stick in the knife and i feel it turn but i will laugh sooner or later it’ll pass


oh it makes
it makes no difference to me.

feel nothing at all

We sing with her, in our heads. We close our eyes and move our hips in sultry circles during the quieter verse parts. We don’t have to watch each other to know we’re there, to know what we’re doing. We’ve sung this song, done this dance, many, many times before.
how many times
do I have to say

this is not for you
i push and i shove
without a hint of love,
this is not for you.

We ready ourselves as the tension builds…

it. makes. no.

oh it makes
it makes no difference to me.


We start moving faster, our hips keeping up with the increasing rhythm as the chorus kicks in as the girl moans, the music gets louder, keeps building, keeps pushing toward the pause as the girl whisper/screams:
feel nothing at all.
And then we gyrate insanely, our hair flying around us as the music begins to thrash and wail. Raise our hands to the ceiling as it ends and gets quiet again and the boys watch, waiting to see what we’ll do next as we sway in time with the girl, saying:
i’m watching you

there’s good and bad in everyone
and what I see
it makes no difference to me

And it builds again and I can see through the spaces between my hair whipping around my face that Dina has become a beautiful madwoman, and she can see that I have, too. And we both have secrets, we both have problems, we’ve both been hurt, and we know that somewhere inside. It’s what brought us together. But we never talk about that. What we do is dance together, madly, temptingly, daring anyone to enter our little circle of understanding.

What we do is pretend the eyes aren’t there. What we do is pretend we’re safe and that the whole world is like it is in here, where if anyone tries to hurt us, an enormous bouncer will be at our side in an instant, throwing that asshole across the room and banning them from our lives forever.

In here the staring, the cruelty, the status quo, the things that have made us into the freaks we think we are…in here, none of it matters. In here, we burn and shine so hot, no one can look at us for long. In here, we are Maenads, beautiful and dangerous, the drink and the music and the dance filling our bodies with an ecstasy so fierce that any man who crosses our path will be ripped to shreds.

And so they watch; they can’t look away. But they dare not approach. And as long as we are in here, as long as we keep dancing and the music keeps going, we know we are untouchable. We are fierce and formidable, we love no one and no one can get in, get under, or get inside. We are safe here, and strong, in the dark.

And we are mouthing the words together as the singer chants with us…

feel nothing
feel nothing
feel nothing
feel nothing…
We dance like our souls depend on it. And we pretend we don’t hear the shouts for last call. We pretend we don’t know they’re going to turn the harsh overhead bulbs on sometime very soon.

(Photo credit: The Melody, by DanCentury)


Though this one may not be as immediately obvious as the others, this is post #3 in an ongoing series I'm writing during National Sexual Assault Awareness Month. For those interested in reading the other installments:

Post #1: All That You Can't Leave Behind

Post #2: I am She as You Are Me and She is Me and We Are All Together

For those who have survived a sexual assault, or think they may have, and need someone to talk to:

In the US:
National Sexual Assault Hotline - 1.800.656.HOPE. Free, confidential, and open 24/7.

In the UK:
Rape/Indecent Assault Crisis Counselling - 0800 735 0567

Samaritins - 08457 909090

Man2man (for male victims of abuse) - 0208 698 9649

Victim Supportline (Nationwide lo-call service, 9am–9pm Mon–Fri, 9am–7pm weekends and bank holidays from 9am–5pm; Provides information and support to victims of all reported and unreported crime, including sexual crimes, racial harassment and domestic violence) - 0845 30 30 900

Thanks to Jules for the UK hotline numbers. If people would like to share hotline numbers for other countries, please add to the comments on this post and I'll add them next time. Thanks.

April 21, 2006

A Petty Relationship is Like a Melody

So, I was messing about with my iPod today, and a particular song came on and it got me to thinking.

Now there are loads of love songs out there. And there are a lot of good breakup songs, too. But what about "I'm stuck in a miserable relationship" songs? You just don't see a lot of those. Guess it's not something that inspires most people to sing. Go figure.

But there actually are a few excellent examples of this rare and elusive musical genre. For instance:

Luna's "Slash Your Tires"

No point in screamin'
Cause I'm only dreamin'
That you came to pieces
And I came in peace
And in my dreams I slash your tires
And in my dreams I set these fires
And all your fears, it's nothing new
And all your tears, they won't help you

Dynamite Hack's "Anyway"

So here we are stuck in hell
Same old game we know it well
I don't mind...anyway
Spark it up and numb me on and off again

Oh what the hell
I don't mind...anyway

Been sittin' here have another beer
I'm drunk but I want some anyway
I just don't care enough about you
So fuck you anyway

[...leading up to the brilliant line...]

I just don't care enough about this to make the effort to show you that I care enough to try to get you back in bed with me

Blur's "Fool"

But I'm not really listening
I've got my mind

On something else
And sometimes I wonder if I'm here
If I'm here at all
I know that you want me to go
Don't you
But it's not as easy as it seems

I know that you think I'm not here at all
But I'm just as fed up as you

And the absolute, stunning topper of all "miserable fucking relationship" songs:
The Mountain Goat's "No Children"

I hope I cut myself shaving tomorrow
I hope it bleeds all day long

Our friends say it's darkest before the sun rises
We're pretty sure they're all wrong
I hope it stays dark forever
I hope the worst isn't over
And I hope you blink before I do
Yeah I hope I never get sober
And I hope when you think of me years down the line
You can't find one good thing to say
And I'd hope that if I found the strength to walk out

You'd stay the hell out of my way
I am drowning
There is no sign of land
You are coming down with me
Hand in unlovable hand
And I hope you die
I hope we both die

Ah, sweet, eternal love...

But that's about all I could come up with. Any others you can think of?

April 22, 2006

Miss Freelove '69

I've always meant to do one of these "100 facts about me" thingies to link to my "about me" section and now, given that my mind has been so restless that it's not allowing me to write anything heavier, and Hiromi's post yesterday reminding me, well, now seemed as good a time as any. But I'm too tired to do 100 right now, so a more apt number for a sex blogger instead...

Sixty-nine facts about me:

1. I’m a book junkie. If you were to walk into my home, you’d be hard pressed to say which I have more of at this point: books or sense. (Certainly, though, if I had any financial sense I wouldn’t have bought all those books.)

2. Some favorite authors: Don Delillo, Dostoyevski, Jane Austen, James Joyce, Irvine Welsh, early Tom Robbins, Margaret Atwood, Francesa Lia Block, Roddy Doyle

3. I also like graphic novelists/cartoonists. Some of my favorites: Daniel Clowes, Adrien Tomine, Neil Gaiman, Jessica Abel, Andrew Martin & Jaime Hewlett, and Art Spiegelman.

4. When I feel like things in my life (or my home) are getting too messy or too out of control, the first thing I do is cut my nails. I have no idea why.

5. I have the world’s greatest bed, and the best bedding in the universe. And no, you can’t have proof of this unless you earn it…and that is no easy task.

6. I’ve had a drag queen straddle me, press my face into her false bosom, and sing Prince’s “Sexy Motherfucker” to me in front of a live audience.

7. I am also a film junkie. I tend toward indie films, but not exclusively. It’s almost impossible to pick favorites but here are a few I never tire of: Trust (Hal Hartlely), Magnolia, Withnail and I, Harold and Maude, When the Cat’s Away (Chacun cherche son chat), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Head, just about everything Jim Jarmusch has ever made (until Coffee and Cigarettes), a bunch of early stuff by Mike Leigh and John Waters, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (the original with the Ramones), London Kills Me, Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

8. At a show of his I was at, Iggy Pop once randomly stopped singing in the middle of a song and said, “Hey, how ya doin’?” to me and waited for me to answer before he started up again.

9. I like my wit like I like my vodka martinis: dry, dirty, and with a whole hell of a lot of olives.

10. There is no predictable rule for who I'll find sexy. In general, the more I like what you've got going on inside, the hotter I'll find you on the outside. Brains, quick wit, passion, a good heart, and a slightly mad-genius glint in the eye beat out stereotypical magazine good looks with none of the above every time. A tiny little dash of well-directed sarcasm and/or irony never hurt, either.

11. So, obviously, I would date Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka in a heartbeat. Assuming he wasn’t fictional.

12. I also have a thing for cool geek boys with glasses.

13. I could read books by the time I was four. Before that, I used to memorize the content on each page of my books and then recite it back exactly page by page, so people thought I was reading when I was much younger.

14. Before I could read, I thought “elemeno” was a letter of the alphabet. You know, sing it: H, I, J, K, Elemeno, P.

15. I also thought that in that old TV show Wild Kingdom the host’s name (Marlin Perkins) was “Mutual of Omaha,” because the voiceover always said “It's Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom,” and immediately Marlin Perkins came on the screen.

16. And, when they started saying “safe for the ozone layer” in deodorant commercials, I thought “the ozone layer” was that animated, pulsing layer of stank lining your underarm that they always showed the aerosol bottle spraying into oblivion.

17. For years I was terrified to drive through graveyards at night because of a scene I saw in the movie version of Fiddler on the Roof.

18. I read Salem’s Lot as a teenager and still have trouble keeping the shades up at night as a result.

19. I’ve run into three people from the original “Real World” series; one of whom seemed to have been really traumatized by the experience.

20. My secret shame: I love lame '80s and '90s teen flicks. I can quote just about every line from Sixteen Candles and The Sure Thing.

21. I am at least partially responsible for helping a now relatively famous comedian-turned-actor get his start at a nationally-recognized level.

22. At one point, I used to believe that long-term passion was not critical to (or even possible in) a mature, very long-term relationship, as long as continual, comfortable affection and respect was there. I now think that’s bullshit. And I also think it is possible to have all three.

23. I’m reasonably relaxed about misspellings over IM and email, but for some reason can not STAND how many people seem to be unable to spell “definitely” (Defanitely?!?!? Argh!), or who don’t know the difference between “loose” and “lose.”

24. This one never used to get to me, but now somehow it now makes me insane when people misuse “literally.” No, your head wasn’t going to literally explode, though if you say “literally” one more time, I’m going to wish it had. And it isn’t necessary for you to literally want to slap me for my snide attitude about your incorrect usage of "literally." Just want to slap me, period.

25. If it’s really true that when you have sex with someone, you are having sex with anyone he or she has ever had sex with, then I have had sex with Sinead O’Connor.

26. I have only one sibling, but a very large extended family.

27. I can’t stand really perfume-y flowers, or really flowery perfume. If I wear a scent at all (and I rarely do), I only like things that smell subtly spicy (vanilla, cinnamon/clove) or really fresh and clean (cucumber, grass, linen).

28. I see no need for a man to wear cologne, but I simply can not get into him if he doesn’t smell right to me. And that includes his saliva odor, not just his body odor. I've got a sensitive nose, and if I'm going to be smelling him on me all day after a good session, I want to enjoy what I'm smelling. On the other hand, if I really like your smell, I'm done for. You can pretty much make me your sex slave.

29. I have lived in seven states and one other country, and have traveled to 11 other countries outside of the US (not counting a one-hour transportation switch in Brussels), and visited a huge number of US states--but never Hawaii or Alaska, both of which I'd like to see.

30. My toes are really flexible. I can pick stuff up with my feet.

31. I actually like the sound of bagpipes.

32. I can sing the entire score of just about any successful Broadway musical from the 1940s-1970s, making me the perfect gay man’s companion to the theatre.

33. I like hard liquor better than I like wine or beer. I also would rather have single malt scotch or a martini over a frou-frou girlie umbrella drink. Alcohol and fruit don’t mix, as far as I’m concerned. The girliest I usually get is vanilla vodka on the rocks.

34. If you’re the entirely shy or silent type during sex, we’re not going to get along.

35. Of all the animals lovers have compared me to, the most frequent one is a cat.

36. The next places on the top of my travel list are Iceland, New Zealand, Japan, the Czech Republic, and pretty much all of Central and South America.

37. I have a goal to have set foot at least once on every continent except Antarctica before I die.

38. I spoke to Maya Angelou on the phone once. She was genuinely as nice as she appears to be only pretending to be in the media. I wanted to hug her in two minutes.

39. Most embarrassing concert confession: Chicago (dragged by friends), followed closely by Flock of Seagulls (an opening band for another, cooler band I really wanted to see).

40. I’m often more attracted to the sidekick than the leading man in films.

41. I’m a good cook, and can make all kinds of dishes, from fancy to plain, but in terms of my simple best: I make some wickedly good Indian food, amazing omelettes, and a kick-ass lemon cheesecake.

42. But it’s my guacamole that has made grown men fall to their knees and beg for more.

43. Oh and for all you MOTs (Members of the Tribe) out there, my mother’s noodle kugel (and now mine) will kick your mother or grandmother’s noodle kugel’s ASS. Don’t challenge me on this one. Others have and have been humiliated.

44. My name is on the acknowledgements page of several books.

45. I’ve listened to the Howard Stern show for over a decade and a half. Everyone I mention this to seems to be entirely shocked by this.

46. My all-time favorite children’s book growing up was Miss Twiggley’s Tree, a story told in rhyme about an eccentric recluse who lived in a tree house and was snubbed by the townspeople for her nonconformity until she saved all their asses in a flood. (No, it wasn’t strangely prescient. Ahem.)

47. I think of all TV couples ever, the most exemplary model of a functional marriage was that of Gomez and Morticia Addams.

48. I’ve actually been called "Morticia" as a nickname (see #52). Which is cool with me, because she’s been one of my role models since I was a kid (along with the Julie Newmar version of Catwoman). On the non-fictional front, I also admire Mae West (read up on her, she was amazing), and work every day to achieve Maevanna.

49. If I could be any female literary character, it would be Molly Bloom. (Or, on a slightly less literary bent, Death from the Sandman series.)

50. Fictional film/book character I’ve been compared to most by friends: Enid from Ghostworld.

51. TV character I think seemed most like me growing up: Lindsey from Freaks and Geeks.

52. I wear black far, far more than the average person, and have been doing so since I was a teenager.

53. I played piano from grade school through high school and then haven’t played it since.

54. As an adult, I’ve experienced what it’s like to be both small- and large-breasted (due to natural means, not surgery). And ladies, neither is better than the other.

55. I’ve always thought Santa was an asshole in Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, and I could never understand why everyone wanted to work for him so badly. I thought Hermey had the right idea. But then I've always been a squeaky cog in the corporate machinery.

56. Though I'd read the book and been fine, I was so terrified of the animated Grinch the first time I saw The Grinch Who Stole Christmas on TV at age six that I never watched the cartoon again until I was 22 years old. And that old NBC retro Christmas special intro jingle they put on before the cartoons every year still gives me the creeps when I hear it.

57. Chocolate is my heroin.

58. Joey Ramone stood next to me at a bar once. I was too intimidated to say anything to him.

59. My voice has been recorded for radio and video.

60. Unusual things I’ve eaten: frog, alligator, snake, buffalo, chicken’s feet/heart/neck/gizzard, sweet breads, uni (not so unusual these days), emu, ostrich, some kind of animal testicle (I’m not sure which, it was in a country where the translation wasn’t clear, although the testicle part was made quite clear), cicada, squab, venison, various kinds of liver, haggis, snails, shad roe.

61. I liked all of the above better than I like green peas, the only vegetable I find repulsive.

62. I also don’t like beef. Not for any health or polticial reasons. I just don’t like the taste or texture of it.

63. I’m also a music junkie. Some favorite bands (though the list could go on forever): Bright Eyes, Radiohead, Pixies, Blur, Ride, Stone Roses, Suede, Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine, lots of other britpop, Ramones, Sigur Ros, Clash, Magnetic Fields, NY Dolls, Tom Waits, The Beatles, Patti Smith, Spiritualized, Luna

64. I’ve lived in a convent, though I was never even close to Catholic, and most of my housemates were male.

65. I’ve worked in a castle. It was less glamorous than it sounds.

66. Beatles ranked by preference, from most favorite to least: John, George, Ringo, Paul. Some days lately Ringo and George switch around.

67. Songs that always cheer me up: “She’s Got a New Spell” and “Sexuality” by Billy Bragg, “She’s Tight” and “Surrender” by Cheap Trick, and “Starfish and Coffee” by Prince.

68. The only song I’d be willing to sing karaoke to: “Papa Was a Rodeo” by the Magnetic Fields.

69. Song I’m most ashamed to admit I like: “Who’s Your Daddy?” by Toby Keith. (Yeah, the man’s a stupid, reactionary, right-wing asshole. But damn, does he have the whole unapologetic, come-hither, honky-tonk, alpha-male, mating call croon down. I can’t help myself. And hell, it’s just a damn catchy tune…stop looking at me! Okay, fine, fine…kill me now.)

April 23, 2006

To the person in Singapore...

...who just got to my blog by searching, "What would it feel like to have a bullet in your brain?"--whatever reason you're googling that for, trust me, it isn't worth it. Redirect your energies somewhere else. You'll be glad about it later.

Just a little scary.

And I mean, I'm clear on how all these googlers get to me from searching things like "cunnilingus tips" and "blowjob techniques," but how the hell does my blog get referenced as the eighth highest google hit for that?

Back to more regular posting later today.

When Talking Dirty Turns Ugly: Where's Your Line in the Sand?

Just as an aside...

It is absolutely stunning where I live today--the perfect spring day--sunny, not too warm, not to hot. It rained all day yesterday, so the grass smells fresh and moist, but everything is dry enough to walk and sit on, and everything is temperate and green and scented and full of vibrancy.

I live near a river, in a very old the part the city that can only be described as “Quaint,” with a BIG-ass capital Q. I'm sure the word "Charming" gets thrown around a lot, too. It's the kind of Quaint and Charming tourists flock to in great numbers. And to pander to the tourism, the town council has also generously decided to make the main tourist centre a free and open wifi hotspot.

So picture if you will:

Your bloganatrix, sitting on a park bench with her very sleek silver laptop, surrounded by low hanging leaves, tour boats, red colonial brick, and sluggish, smiling, overfed and overcharged tourists. They walk by her, encouraging her to smile at their precocious progeny as they run around her, while she types a piece about the foulest, most disgusting thing anyone has ever said to her in bed.

Bad, evil, woman, me.

The things I do for you people.

Anyway, just setting the scene. Here's the real post now.

Today's topic reminded me of an old cartoon from the brilliant book "Love is Hell," an early collection of comics from Matt Groening's Life in Hell comic (his day job before he became a bazillionaire by creating The Simpsons). I give you said cartoon to open the discussion:

(Click the image to get a larger, clearer version.)

Some things you just don't want to hear in bed. Which brings me to my point--talking dirty. Where's your line? What could someone say to you in bed that would turn you right off?

For me, well, it would be a very sizeable understatement to say I’m comfortable with dirty talk in bed. In fact, I don’t think sex is nearly as good without it.

Okay fine, I love dirty talk.

And there's very little you can say to me that would freak me out or that wouldn't turn me on. I love the basic, affectionate dirty talk (“I love how wet you are,” “You’re making me so fucking hard,” “Just hearing your voice in my ear makes me want to come,” “I can’t wait to be inside you,” “Oooh, yeah, just like that, that’s so gooood,” etc.) And given the right person and the right circumstance, I love something a little more hardcore, too. Want to tell me (or have me tell you) that I’m such a bad (or good) little girl? That you’re going to fuck me so hard the only word I’m going to be able to remember is your name? That you want me to swallow every inch of your hard cock? That I’m your dirty little slave-whore, and you’re going to show me what happens when your will is disregarded?

Please do.

You don't need me to go on, do you? You get the picture—you can say just about anything to me, and if I’m into you, it’s going to get me hot. And I’ll have no problem talking dirty to you, either.

But even an aurally fixated person like me has her (or his) limits. There’s going to be something someone says to you in bed that just grosses you out, or stops you cold and makes your libido come crashing down faster than the Bush administration’s credibility polls.

So I put the question out to all of you. What has been said to you in bed that made you cringe? Or, if it's easier or more fun, take it out of the personal context and just answer theoretically. What words or kinds of sex talk drive you up the wall and turn you off immediately? What would be the worst thing anyone could say to you during the act that would make it nearly impossible for you to recover and get back into it?

I’m going to tell you mine. But I’m still so cringingly embarrassed by it that I’m too shy to even say it in my main post. So I’ll do the equivalent of blushing and hiding behind my hair as I tell you by hiding the story in my own comments window. Click the comments link below if you want to expose me.

But if you do read it, you’d better to share your worst-ever sex talk stories/opinions with me!

April 24, 2006

Fact #70: My Wedding Fantasy

So, I'm adding one more fact about me to the list here, in the spirit of my other post here.

It's my personal wedding fantasy.

They say every woman fantasizes about her wedding. I suppose this confession lumps me into that stereotype. And yet...

I've never been especially marriage-centric. I'm not against it; I'd do it if I found someone I wanted to do it with. But I was never one of those little girls who wanted to play bride. I was one of those little girls who wanted to be Catwoman. My Barbies never went bridal--they went out for spins in their convertible, wore funky vintage clothing, had lengthy make-out sessions with Ken (sometimes in a threesome), and then killed Ken off when he got boring (a cliff was usually involved).

And as I got older, things didn't change much. "A diamond is forever" ads tend to fill me with rolling-eyed, sarcastic disdain rather than make me sentimental or wistful the way they're supposed to. I've never even had a passing thought about flower arrangements, or coordinated tablecloths, or china and silver patterns. I've never once dreamed about my perfect wedding dress, or what kind of setting the ceremony would be in. To tell you the truth, I've never even really fantasized what the guy would be like.

But there's one thing I've dreamt about for years, and if I ever get married, I want it, dammit, and no one had better tell me no.

It's my wedding song.

I have the whole scene in my head. The wedding ceremony is done, there's some kind of party just getting started, and then some guy with a microphone announces the entrance of the bride and groom to great applause, the way they always do. And then we go on to the dance floor, the way brides and grooms always do. And then the guy with the mic announces very meaningfully and sentimentally, like those guys always do, that the bride and groom are going to dance their first dance together as a married couple, they way they always do. And then everyone hushes up and waits for the moment of ultimate romance to begin, the way they always do.

And then they play our song.

(Lyrics here)

(Photo credit: Francis & Angie by kieron)

(Update: Apologies if the music link above isn't working right--will someone let me know if they're having any problems with it? If so, you can try the castpost link below as an also not great alternate. I really need some better hosting for audio. Any ideas?)

April 25, 2006

Sugasm #31

The best of the sex blogs by the bloggers who blog them.

This is one of the few online spaces where people from all aspects of the sexual spectrum, vanilla or kinky, amateur or erotic artist or adult professional, can come together and grow, network, and explore sexuality.

Erotic Writing

Back to the Beach (

Bliss (

Closings and Openings (

The Delight Of Sexual Tension (

The Driver (

First Time - Steaming the Windows in the Backseat of a Car (

Five Minutes (

How Would It Be? (

Illicit Liason (

Low-Carb Foreplay (

masculine/Feminine (

Stairs (

Tara’s Private Diary: Sucking Him Dry (

Taxi Cab Confessions (

Thoughts on Sex: Sex Advice, Sex Commentary, Sex News, Reviews, Interviews, Sexual Politics

Burning Rubber Interview (

CockBlogging Wednesday 22 + A Guest Review (

The Future’s So AdBrite, I Gotta Get Paid (

Hand-Jobs: Things You Need To Know, Part One (

High-Frequency Masturbation (

Maenads’ Mantra (

Sex in the News - Holla Back at Street Harassers (

BDSM and Fetish

All Tied Up (

C is for Cookie (

Dire Caning Technique (

Identity Crisis for a slave (

Tease and Denial with pastorpaul (


Allie Sin, Naughty Nati Dichotomy Exposed. Plus nekkid pics. (

Crystal Klein (

Cute Spring Babe Cody Milo in Full Bloom (

Exclusive - Justine Joli, Ball (

Front Seat Sexy (

Hair Goof (

Marathon Progressive House Party… revisited in pictoral (

A Saucer of Cream Please (

Experiences (and a Funny)
Cock & Dumplings (

Dick’s Sauce (

My first wank (

Sean luvs goths: Part 2 (

Join the Sugasm

Photo of dreamy Jessica Daguerre from talented photographer (and longtime Sugasmer) Eddie Ostrowski.

Territorial Pissings

Just because you're paranoid
Don’t mean they're not after you...
I've had a shit day. Which I wasn't expecting to happen.

Despite having written some fairly serious posts this month which may have led some of you to think otherwise, I'd been feeling fairly optimistic for quite a number of weeks. Call it spring fever, call it naiveté flashback, I don't know. But it resulted in me being restless, hopeful, smiley, ready to forge ahead...once I figured out what the hell to forge ahead into. Things seemed on a constant upswing; getting a little higher each day.

Anyway, whatever it was, I could feel it going into a flaming nosedive today, leaving me in a whirring blender of doubt, frustrated helplessness, and repressed anger. Not that there was any one, big event that caused this to happen. More just a collection of little, petty things that I let get to me. With the little, petty thing that frustrates me the most being--I don't know what to do about any of it. It's all there, I can delineate the problems, but the actions to resolve them are so fucking unclear.

I'm not going to get into any of the more personal stuff that contributed to this feeling of frustration, but I will get into a whole bunch of media-influenced stuff that got me there. The below all fell into my lap in the last 24 hours, and so, I present it all to you now, and I will let you look at it all yourself, and then, at the end, I'm gong to ask you a question. And I want anyone who's reading to start talking together until we figure out some kind of answer.

So now, in the case of Syl vs. Universe, I give you:

Exhibit A (click all exhibits to read in full)
The Bush Administration, its allies on Capitol Hill, and the religious base of the Republican Party are opposed to mandatory HPV vaccinations. They prefer to rely on education programs that promote abstinence from sexual activity, and see the HPV vaccine as a threat to that policy.

"I never thought that now, in the twenty-first century, we could have a debate about what to do with a vaccine that prevents cancer," David Baltimore [a scientist who has spent much of his life studying the relationship between viruses and cancer] said. "...this is religious zealotry masked as politics, and it runs against everything that I as a scientist believe in, that I have devoted my life to. We are talking about basic public health now. What moral precepts allow us to think that the risk of death is a price worth paying to encourage abstinence as the only approach to sex?"

Exhibit B
(with thanks to Bitch Ph.D. for the heads up; and note--pic with article shows naked woman's backside, if that will freak out anyone sitting around you)


"...religiously based social conservatives have direct lines to the powers that be within the U.S. government, the administration, Congress, and are influencing public-health policy, practice and research in ways that are unprecedented and very dangerous," says Judith Auerbach, Ph.D., a former NIH official who is now a vice president at the nonprofit American Foundation for AIDS Research. In fact, Glamour has found that on issues ranging from STDs to birth control, some radical conservative activists have used fudged and sometimes flatly false data to persuade the government to promote their agenda of abstinence until marriage. The fallout: Young women now read false data on government websites, learn bogus information in federally funded sex-education programs and struggle to get safe, legal contraceptives—all of which, critics argue, may put them at greater risk for unplanned pregnancies and STDs.

Exhibit C
(Extracted from an email from Planned Parenthood that landed in my inbox today)

An Indiana mother recently accompanied her daughter and her daughter's boyfriend to one of Indiana's Planned Parenthood clinics, but they unwittingly walked into a so-called "crisis pregnancy center" run by an anti-abortion group, one that shared a parking lot with the real Planned Parenthood clinic and was designed expressly to lure Planned Parenthood patients and deceive them.

The group took down the girl's confidential personal information and told her to come back for her appointment, which they said would be in their "other office" (the real Planned Parenthood
office nearby). When she arrived for her appointment, not only did the Planned Parenthood staff have no record of her, but the police were there. The "crisis pregnancy center" had called them, claiming that a minor was being forced to have an abortion against her will.

The "crisis pregnancy center" staff then proceeded to wage a campaign of intimidation and harassment over the following days, showing up at the girl's home and calling her father's workplace. Our clinic director reports that the girl was "scared to death to leave her house." They even went to her school and urged classmates to pressure her not to have an abortion.

The anti-choice movement is setting up these "crisis pregnancy centers" across the country. Some of them have neutral-sounding names and run ads that falsely promise the full range of reproductive health services, but they dispense anti-choice propaganda and intimidation instead. And according to a recent article in The New York Times, there are currently more of these centers in the U.S. than there are actual abortion providers. What's more, these centers have received $60 million in government grants. They're being funded by our tax dollars. (emphasis blogger's)

(This example seems particularly extreme, but even the more regular "crisis pregnancy centers'" practices would still be labeled extreme in their deceptiveness. Click here and here to read other details and what one Congresswoman is trying to do to stop such "clinics.")

Exhibit D[Update: The article is now archived and inaccessible. Here's a blog post that summarizes it.]


The South Carolina bill, proposed by Republican Rep. Ralph Davenport, would make it a felony to sell devices used primarily for sexual stimulation and allow law enforcement to seize sex toys from raided businesses.


Other states that ban the sell of sex toys include Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Texas...

Exhibit E (otherwise known as "the imbecilic icing on the piece-of-shit cake")


Pick one day, (Saturdays are best) and go to the abortion clinic of your choice. Just stand there 1 or 2 hours as a silent witness for yourself, your country and God[...]

The alternative if you don't is...watching more girls riding in limos, wearing high heels and short skirts marching into abortion clinics killing the next generation of our America. Tea anyone?


And that's just a 24-hour smattering of stuff that's been coming my way for many months now. And so, my questions:

Is it not clear yet we're in crisis territory in this country? How many more examples do we need? Glamour magazine is writing about it, for christ's sake.

It's been incremental, sure. You might not even feel the water's temperature rising on a daily basis. But do the math. Add it all together: There are zealots in the government, controlling policy, sending out false and dangerous propaganda that will harm a portion (if not all) of our population, posing threats to public health, scientific advancement, sexual freedom, and privacy rights.

Is this description starting to sound familiar? Does it remind you of anything?

Call me paranoid. I don't care. You know, last week, a whole bunch of bloggers were doing one of those meme quizzes called "The Would You Have Been a Nazi Test." I have my doubts about the validity of measuring your tendency toward fascism on, but the test supposedly showed whether you would fight, leave the country, stay and do nothing, or actively support the Nazi regime.

No, I don't think any of you reading would be a Nazi. On all the blogs I was reading where people did it, almost everyone came out "the expatriate." (Perhaps not surprising for bloggers, who tend to be outsider types.)

Well, I'll tell you what. Getting my papers in order and lining up a few potential single guys I know in other countries, just in case, sounds mighty appealing some days, and far easier than figuring out a plan to stop what's going down. But here's the thing:

I don't want to become the expatriate. It's my fucking country. I shouldn't have to leave in order to get to wear any fucking thing I want when I buy my birth control pills. I shouldn't have to leave to get factual health information from my government. I shouldn't have to leave to protect myself from dying of cancer.

And I don't want to leave this country just before the axe falls and leave all the people behind me to suffer who, unlike me, aren't privileged enough to have the funds or the resources to get out. I don't want to watch from a distance as people I know and love have their civil and human rights trampled on.

What I want is to do something to make this country change course from its current trajectory before it's too late.

So here's the big question. What do we do?

Yeah, yeah, I've been writing to my congresspeople. I've been volunteering for Planned Parenthood and anti-right-wing organizations. I've been marching. I've been calling people to get them out to vote. I've been posting stuff on my blog to raise awareness. I'm sending in my donation to the ACLU this week, damnit.

But I've got to tell you, none of that feels like very much. And you look back on history, and you think, when the water started rising, was there anything that those people could have done before it was over their heads? What could they have done?

The Nazi era and other repressive regimes have been studied ad nauseum. We all know what happened, how it escalated, how no one "did anything" until it was too late. But has anyone, anywhere, actually analyzed what "anything" could have been done to stop the wave of an extremely oppressive regime from crashing over the everypeople's heads?

Speaking out individually seems not enough. I feel something more concerted, something more powerful (and I'm not talking violence here) needs to happen.

But I don't know what. And I feel so fucking helpless. And pissed off.

Help me find ideas. What can be done?

(And don't think you can't answer this if you live in other countries. Ideas from anywhere are useful for troubleshooting solutions.)

April 29, 2006

Answer Lady/Ranter Lady

Okay, I've been fairly quiet because I wanted some time to recover from my cranky mood. Said mood is not perfect even still, but it better than it was on Tuesday.

Anyway, I was in the midst of writing responses to the very thoughtful people and mischievous scalawags (yes, Tory darlin', that means you) who left me responses to Tuesday's post. But my response was getting too ridiculously long to fit into that little box, so I'm making it a new post.

Disclaimer: I'm still a bit cranky, so in the end, my writing went a little rant-y. Note in advance that nothing I say, or no tone you might read in, is personally related to anyone's specific comment, but just expresses frustration with things in the world in general. All of you who commented rock my universe, and I'll give each of you a full-on tongue bath if I ever see you. So, now, be a dear and put up with this big ol' rant from little ol' me. Kisses all 'round.
I'm going to respond to general themes from the comments, not respond to specific people ('cept in one case, heh heh), since a few people said similar things, or talked on a variety of the same issues. So, on to my commentary.

Comment 1, on "just keep speaking out/using your blog as a forum/voting":

Many of you have said the only thing to do is to keep speaking out, using our blogs, etc. As this is the only solution I currently have, I do continue to do that. However, this doesn't feel like very much anymore. I've been speaking up for years, and things are getting worse. My ability to make my own, informed health (and other) decisions based on medical fact and scientific development are waning, despite myself and even large organizations screaming for people to pay attention.

As I said in my post, identifying the problem is not the same as creating a venue for change, or even a concerted attempt at one. The vast apathy of those who know these things are happening and say, "Just wait it out" or even those who, like me, just keep saying to others "Isn't this awful? Look how awful!" Simply isn't enough. It's a sad but true fact about humans that most people will not act simply because they heard a disquieting fact, even if they disagree strongly with it. Most people are lazy and don't want to think up a solution on their own to combat the problem. They want someone to say, "HERE is the fact, and HERE is what you have to do to change that fact." They wait for their Gandhi, or Martin Luther King, or whom- or whatever. Until then, they all talk to each other about how awful it is and sit around wondering who's going to do something about it. A bunch of us running around just saying "HERE is the problem, LOOK!" may build paranoia and less positive opinion polls, but it doesn't do shit in terms of change.

Ergh, I know my tone sounds like I'm angry at the people who said "just keep talking." I'm not. I'm just frustrated at the general malaise of the people in this country (and everywhere). And frustrated that the only solution that's ever given to me is to write my congressperson.

Comment 2, on religion/conservative religious convictions:
Though not particularly religious myself, I do align myself with a religious group--I am Jewish. I have absolutely no problem with people holding whatever religious convictions they have, and exercising those convictions for THEMSELVES in THEIR daily life, so long as they don't try to put them on me or into my government. This expectation I have for others is the same one I have for myself. I am able to understand my faith is not appropriate governance for others.

I am highly suspicious of any public official (or candidate) who feels the need to emphasize how his or her faith influences his or her political views--whether that person is of another faith than mine, or shares a similar religious faith to mine. This is why I would have never voted for George W. Bush. It is also one of many reasons why I didn't vote for Joseph Lieberman in the Democratic primary he ran in, and was very disappointed when Al Gore chose him as a running mate.

(And just for the record, despite having voted in the Democratic primary, I do not consider myself a Democrat. The state I live in does not require you to register with a particular party and also allows you to vote in any party primary if you want to.)

This country's founders, despite being both religious and mostly all of the same religious faith, understood the vast importance of the need for separation of church and state, and why emphasizing that couldn't just be lip service, but needed to be written in as a basic tenet of our constitution. If they could see it, at a time when religion played a far greater role in daily life than it does for most people now, and when they really didn't have any motivation to notice or be considerate of the needs of the tiny minority of people of other religions that existed in their world, it really ought to be even more evident to people in the modern day, with a greater amount of religious diversity in greater numbers around them.

Comment 3, on Tory:
Tory is a naughty, naughty little scamp of a troublemaker who is quite aware of what he was doing and the reactions he would get when he used the specific words he used, and for this he needs a good spanking. ;-P

Yes, Tory, I could feel you laughing when you wrote the first post. Be cognizant, though, that often for many people tone doesn't come across in print. Though I suspect you're well aware of that, and this is exactly why you wrote it the way you did. Now bend over and drop 'em.

Comment 4, on deceivers and the deceived:
However, Tory's point is well taken about the example I chose to excerpt from the Planned Parenthood action alert. This example was an extreme case, and whether you want to argue that the people who went in the wrong door were "stupid," "naive," "confused," or whatever, the more important point I wanted to make got lost by using that particular example. The real point is that these clinics do use more insidious, less obvious confusion tactics to lure women in, and which would make it hard for anyone to understand the center's agenda walking in the door. The names of the clinics imply they are health care centers, when in fact there are no health care professionals there. They often list themselves in phone books and other resources under faulty headings, like "women's health services" or "abortion services." They often claim to provide a full list of medical services that they do not provide. So, if, for example, you are a young woman with not a lot of experience or money who doesn't want her parents to know she's considering getting birth control or having an abortion or whatever, and you look in the phone book under "women's health" and see a center called something innocuous like "The Women's Center" that says it offers free medical and contraceptive services to women, you might just call that place and think it's legit.

The point is not who got fooled, and if they deserved to be fooled, but the deliberate use of behavior designed to mislead and get women to hear their point of view under false pretenses. If these people want to label themselves as an "abortion alternative center" or whatever, then I have no problem with them existing. Okay, I have a problem with them existing, but I recognize their right to exist. I just don't think they have a right to try to deliberately TRY to fool people with completely false information, even if those people happen to be the types naive enough to fall for it. That's like saying the mastermind behind a pyramid scheme, due to his/her brilliant ability to deceive, and despite breaking the law, shouldn't be prosecuted if he/she gets caught because he/she was smart enough to fool enough people. If being smart enough to fool or harm people invalidates crime, than there is no crime.

There's just simply no validity ever to saying if the person is a GOOD enough liar that someone believes him/her, that this then renders the lie acceptable.

Comment 5, on HPV:
Commenters made a number of both correct and incorrect assertions about HPV. I think I'll do an individual post on this topic, so won't go into great detail now. However, I will point out a couple of misconceptions or unclarified points that were made:

  • The only widely used method for detecting the strains of HPV that cause cervical cancer is the PAP test; however, this test does not always effectively detect HPV in women, as HPV can be latent for many years. Any woman who goes for a gynecological appointment gets a Pap. So they would not be "stupidly not asking for the test"--everyone gets one.
  • There is another test that has come out recently that in some cases can confirm pre-cancerous HPV infection. It is not regularly used in examinations. Doctors will usually not conduct this test unless the Pap results come back as irregular, indicating there is a need for further confirmation. See above re effectiveness of Pap as detection. Most women would not ask for this test, because doctors tell them that if the Pap looks okay, there is no need for follow up. Asking for this test would be like randomly asking for a chlamydia test, "just because." Of course, sometimes people will ask for random STD testing, but in general most women--and men--don't ask for it unless they are experiencing symptoms or, if they're responsible types, are about to begin having sex with a new partner. And even if they do take the latter preemptive approach, they certainly don't ask for a new round of testing every time they go to the doctor.
  • Both of these tests for women can only test for infection--the tests can not be used to proactively prevent HPV infection. So whether the woman was "smart" enough to ask for a test or not, all that test can confirm for her is whether she doesn't, may possibly be on the way to having, or has cervical cancer. So, therefore, though many strains of HPV do not cause cancer and may go away on their own, IF a woman takes the test and finds a particular strain of HPV has created cancer in her body, the test is not of much help. Therefore, a vaccination would be the only proactive way to successfully prevent infection. Right now the only potential vaccination that could be available for women is one that must be given pre-infection for it to be effective. In short: the pre-infection vaccination, as of now, would be the ONLY "cure" available--if it were available. Which it is not. Because religious lobbys are affecting the ability of the vaccination to get quickly tested and approved by the FDA.
  • Even if a man wants to be responsible in STD testing, there is no publicly used test for detecting HPV in men. The only way HPV is diagnosed in men is if their lesions or warts are visible to the human eye. Many strains of HPV are not visible to the human eye. As such, many, many men are infected with HPV and have no idea, no symptoms, and no visible signs. Therefore, in most cases there is no reliable way for a woman to verify if her male partner might transmit HPV to her until after the fact. It's a total crapshoot.
  • Penile cancer as a result of HPV is extremely rare. Men are more likely to get anal cancer as a result of HPV. But overall, the dangers of contracting cancer via HPV are far higher for women than for men. (Which, in this blogger's personal, paranoid opinion is one signficant reason that fuck all gets done about this STD in the medical community, and when something does get done that can help, it's so easy for certain groups to try to get it suppressed. If men were getting penile cancer from it in ANY percentage, even a tiny percentage, I think the response to preventing it and finding cures for it would be FAR different, financial pluses or minuses be damned.)
Comment 6, on money, hippies, and voting

  • Money is certainly a prime motivator for policy. But as another commenter pointed out, it is not the only one. Along with Kochanie, I also would like to see the evidence that abortion is a "billion dollar industry." (I have heard other rationales for why it is beneficial for the right-wing to NOT de-legislate abortion, despite always pretending to want to, but I'm not sure I've ever heard that one as being one of them.)
  • I am not a hippie, and I will bitch slap the living daylights out of whomever calls me one (so much for your "peace-and-love" theory, Mr. T)
  • You don't have to be a hippie to hate hypocrisy, stupidity, and extremism
  • I voted
Comment 7, on playing the Nazi card I knew referring to the "Would you have been a Nazi" test was a danger of diluting my point; I was not specifically trying to call the current administration Nazis, because I also agree that gets people's backs up and nothing gets done. You'll not find anywhere in my post a phrase that in any way says the Bush administration, or right-wing fundamentalists who are trying to control the government are Nazis. You will, however, see me saying that I think right-wing fundamentalists ARE trying to control the government, and that the Bush administration seems disturbingly non-averse to this, which I think is an extremely dangerous thing, and indicative of things that have happened prior to the inception of other scary government regimes.

However, I realize that mentioning the "Would you have been a Nazi" test may have implied that I was saying these people were Nazis. This is not why I mentioned the test. That test was mentioned specifically to make my point about people who might choose to leave the country rather than fight the measures that were being used to change their country and limit their freedom.

And though I will not call anyone a Nazi, I DO feel perfectly fine in pointing out things that are happening that are similar to the political developments, legislative control, and disinformation campaigns that happened at the early stages of (to quote myself) "the Nazi era and other repressive regimes." If the word Nazi is the issue, well then, fine, delete that word. Replace it with fascist or totalitarian or just "other repressive." The one thing we've learned from historical analysis of the rise of these regimes is what the early warning signs were, and the importance of putting those early warning signs together and noticing what is happening EARLY, before it is too late to do anything. I see my civil liberties being taken away in a slow, quiet stream. I see my right to informed, unbiased medical information being taken away. I see my right to have control over my own body, health, choices, and voice to be in grave danger of being taken away. And, though I know this was not implied in the comments, I am not going to be concilliatory about having those things taken from me in any degree.

I don't believe in name-calling. I do believe in the power of calm, rational discussion. But I also believe in saying something when I see extremism beginning to get dangerously indistinguishable from government policy.

It may be true the "other side" sees me as an extremist. They are wrong. An extremist tries to block people's right to express any view or take any action that disagrees with theirs. An extremist tries to legally deny others personal choices and options that do not affect the extremist in any way, except for offending his/her personal religious or moral grounds. An extremist believes in limiting options.

I am not an extremist. My belief is that options, wherever possible, should be as open as possible, for people to exercise as their own lives dictate. I fully support an anti-abortionists right not to have an abortion, and to practice AND preach whatever religion she (or he) feels the need to practice or preach. I expect anti-abortionists to respect my right to have an abortion if I want or need one, and to practice AND preach whatever I feel the need to. And I expect ALL of us to not deliberately subvert and distribute deliberately erroneous public health or education information to serve our own personal agendas.

Comment 8, on Democrats, Republicans, whatever...they're all the same anyway
Okay, first let me indulge myself for a minute, as this thought reminds me of a joke that I heard Jon Stewart say once when I saw him doing the standup in his pre-Daily Show days:

You know, there's really no point in voting anymore. I mean, let's face it, the Democrats and the Republicans are pretty much the same these days.

...Except for the Republicans are evil.

...But other than that, eh, not much difference.

DISCLAIMER: Note this is a JOKE that once made me laugh (and still does), not my personal opinion. No one write me emails or comments saying the problem with the world is people like me who throw around words like "evil" in a political debate. If you need to get that off your chest, by all means, write to Jon Stewart.

Now, onto our regularly scheduled rant.

I understand the impulse that inspires people to make this comment. I hear it all the time. In recent years, the lines on both sides have certainly gotten blurred. Old-school Republicanism is no longer the prime directive of the Republican party. Old-school Democratic liberalism is disappearing from the Democratic party in support of more middle-ground candidates who won't seem "too extreme" to the moderates out there on both sides, and who might pull in more mainstream voters (good god, how I hate that rationale; show some fucking backbone--despite how much I hate the Bush administration, you can never say they don't have some major cojones.)

However, I don't think the statement is quite true. There are certain policy platforms you can still be certain one or the other party is going to keep solidly in their court.

Nonetheless, I don't think when people say this comment they REALLY mean there's no difference between the parties. What they're really saying is they're both letting us down. We're unhappy with how little they are paying attention to the REAL needs of the REAL person-on-the-street. We're sick of how incredibly partisan they've become so that nothing constructive can ever be accomplished. We're tired of all the corruption getting exposed all the time. We're tired of hearing the same old spin bullshit to cover for what's really going on. I think both parties are guilty of all these things. And I think it's no wonder that people are bitter and want to throw up their hands and say, "Who cares? They all suck, anyway."

Which brings me right on back to my original comment in the original post. If we think this is true--that our political options are so limited as to not guarantee us any satisfaction either way, why do we keep saying it and not DOING anything about it. And what should we be doing?

Comment 9, on my brilliant, gorgeous, sexy, luscious readers:
I adore you all. Reading your comments, and watching you engage in discussion with each other instead of only talking straight to me, makes my day. Thanks for being the, smart, expressive, thoughtful, opinionated, exceptional individuals you are. May we always live in a country that allows us to remain so

With all the evol in my heart,


Rant over. Someone c'mere and gimme a massage.

April 30, 2006

The Final Cut

Please note: The following is posted for entirely personal and selfish reasons. I'm not going to explain what they are. Not one word of it has anything to do with sex. It doesn't fit with the "theme" of this blog. If any of that will bug you, don't read it.

For the same personal and selfish reasons, I am turning off comments on this post. It is what it is. It wasn't written to foster group discussion, to garner sympathy, or provide anyone with any personal gain except myself. If it happens that you get something out of it or relate to it on an personal level, that's cool, but that's not what it was put here for.

If you feel compelled to share something with me in relation to this, you can use the email address. However, I don't want to hear any potential solutions, negations, or expressions of concern or sympathy related anything I wrote below. The only thing I'd really be interested in hearing is if any of it looks similar to the stuff you keep in your own "secret room." If it's anything else, please don't bother to write. Thanks.


...I don't really want to talk about it. If we go out drinking after work, if I end up spending the night with her, maybe I’ll say more, as we talk afterward, as a way to explain something about myself, why I'm the way I am…

I don’t know you at all, she will say, a few months into our affair, but if you ever want to talk...and I’ll smile a skull’s smile and one by one the lights will go off inside me.
--Nick Flynn, Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

What is to give light must endure the burning.
--Viktor E. Frankl


Things that are true about me


...all the time

Things that are not true about me


...but that I believe anyway

Every weapon you can use to wound me with

Things that I secretly believe render me unlovable

Things I don’t want you to know

Things I am ashamed of

The one room you'll never see

Everything ugly inside, now outside

In no particular order:
• I think I am inherently flawed and unlovable.

• At the same time, I’m incredibly narcissistic.

• My body is imperfect.
--I am fat
--I’m not pretty enough
--I am getting gray hair
--I am too hairy in general
--My skin is all wrong. It’s marked and scarred, but not in a sexy way—in ways I think everyone thinks are disgusting. When I was an adolescent, and not anywhere near pregnant, and a size 0, my skin gave me white stretch mark scars that will never go away, and now look like thin rivers embedded in the skin of my hips, stomach and breasts. And then to counterbalance, as an adult, my skin began to break out as if I were an adolescent.
--My breasts are big and have never defied gravity the way they’re “supposed” to
--No matter how skinny I’ve been, or how much I exercise, my stomach has never been totally flat.
--My feet are really big.

• I think too much.
Here’s how it will go. When you first meet me, I’ll tell you this; and you will tell me that’s impossible, that how intensely I think is what’s great about me. And then you will know me for a while, and then you will tell me I think too much, and that it’s bad and I should stop it. I won’t be able to. You won’t be able to keep up. If you manage to stick it out a little longer, you’ll get to see how I deliberately entrap myself with my own mind. You’ll see how I can deliberately trap you with it. You’ll hate it. You’ll probably grow to resent it. You’ll give up trying to “help” me with this. You’ll get tired and leave.

• I will verbally agree with you when you tell me that I think too much, and that this is a bad thing. But I won’t really agree with you. What I’ll really be confirming is you’re right to think there’s something—anything—wrong with me. But I won’t really think that thinking less is a good thing.

• I can’t accept a compliment graciously. Even when I pretend to, I don’t really believe it.

• Whenever someone tells me they like me, are fascinated by me, or love me, the first thing I think to myself is, “Just wait.” (Interpreted as, “Once you really know me, you’ll see.”) The second thing I think is, “What are they trying to get from me/get me to do by saying this?”

• I tell people I like them, am fascinated by them, or love them, and though it’s never completely a lie, it also somehow always feels like a lie, or that I mean it but only “to a point.” I say these things because I want to feel these things. And because I like how it makes the other person feel good. In other words, I’m saying it to get something from them. Generally affection. Sometimes other things.

• Therefore, I am selfish and manipulative.

• I’ve told people I was in love with them. But in truth, I have no idea what really being in love feels like.

• I worry I’m kind of dead inside.

• I can never fully give myself to anyone. Fear makes that impossible. I’ll only give you so much of myself, no matter how much I like you. I believe if I give you everything, it means you will use it to destroy me.

• I want to find someone who will push me to give everything to them and who won't destroy me afterwards. I'm too afraid to take the chance to find that person.

• In my public life, people tell me I seem completely together and almost intimidatingly competent. That’s because I’m terrified they’re going to hurt me or my feelings. I’d rather scare you away with my fake competence than take the chance you discover my real vulnerabilities.

• I secretly believe (suspect?) all men take at least some pleasure in hurting or manipulating women, particularly emotionally. I think it makes them feel powerful and sexy, even though they don’t like to admit it.

• I secretly believe no one—especially a man—can love (or even see) ME (whomever “me” is). At best, I think they can only love my love of them.

• I secretly believe all men think I am the “good enough” type one bides his time with until the “real” or "someone better" woman comes along.

• I am too selfless. I put everyone’s needs in front of my own. This may make you happy for a time. Then, you will find I am giving you so much of what you need that it will be overwhelming. You’ll never be able to match it in its intensity. This will make you feel guilty. It will eventually make you resent me, or just not want to deal with me.

• I am too selfish. I want everyone to give me too much of what I need. And even then, it won’t be enough. I’ll want more.

• I will resent you because you can’t match my level of giving. Even though I know it’s unfair.

• I think anything I do that is solely for me is bad and selfish.

• I’ll do things solely for me anyway.

• You can easily manipulate me and completely fuck with my head by telling me that my words or actions are hurting you, even if I know it’s irrational that you feel that way.

• I have an uncanny ability to intuit what you’re really thinking or feeling underneath what you’re saying or doing up front, without you telling me. Even when you don’t want me to know. This will bug the shit out of you. Sometimes I will tell you I know what’s going on. Sometimes I won’t, but will use it to my (or your) advantage, anyway.

• I’ll want you to intuit what I’m thinking even when I don’t tell you. I’ll know you can’t do that, but I’ll be disappointed and let down every time that you can’t.

• I’ll also think it means you don’t care to know.

• I will be able to tell when you’re lying most of the time. I will call you on it, question you on it. This may tempt you to lie to me just for the challenge of seeing if you can get away with it.

• I believe you will lie to me. I will always be on the lookout for when it will happen.

• Even though I will never say it, I secretly believe people lie to me not because there is anything inherently wrong with them, but because they think I’m not worth being honest to.

• I’m too proud to ask for help. I would rather suffer alone than ask for help. If I ask for help, I’m really, really far gone.

• I’m proud that I’d rather suffer alone than ask for help.

• I’m ashamed that I’m proud that I’d rather suffer alone than ask for help.

• If I hint around that I need help and you don’t pick up on it, I will think it means you don’t care about me. I won’t ever ask you again.

• I will never fully believe any compliment you give me, but I will want you to compliment me constantly anyway. I will fish for them in a way that makes me feel ashamed and disgusted with myself.

• I will fully believe any insult or criticism you ever say to me, big or small. I will pretend it didn’t hurt me, or that it didn’t matter. And it will hurt me and it will matter to me forever, and the rawness of its first sting will never decrease.

• I’m completely brimming over with love and emotion that I desperately want to give someone, but have no outlet for, and that I can't seem to let out even if an outlet shows up, for fear of overwhelming the person. It's a painful way to live.

• I’m terrified of being boring. I suspect I am.

• I’m terrified of being mainstream. I suspect I am.

• I’m terrified of being an untalented writer. I suspect I am.

• I’m terrified of being weak. I know I am.

• Even though I like solitude, I’m also terrified of being lonely. I fear this makes me come across as desperate.

• Because I’m terrified of being lonely, I keep people at bay so I don’t have to end up watching them abandon me.

• I’m certain I’ll always be alone.

• If you want me, and I like you, I will try to make you go away. Repeatedly. To see if you will come back. I don’t expect you will. If you do, I will be pleased for a spell, and then will get insecure again and will try to test you again. I have absolutely no idea how long it would take for me to feel there were enough tests. No one’s ever stuck around long enough to find out.

• I’m terrified of being manipulated by people.

• I was too stupid to understand that I was being sexually assaulted when it happened.

• I have had an STD.

• I think I’m beautiful, and that makes me ashamed of myself.

• I also think that I’m the only one who can see, or who will ever see, that I’m beautiful.

• I believe anyone who tells me I'm beautiful has an agenda.

• I deliberately uglify myself so no one will see me. And so I don't have to feel like someone's only paying attention to me because of only my looks or my body. And so that I can continue to confirm for myself that I truly am disgusting and unlovable. I may even be using this post right now to do this.

• I think any positive statement I make about myself in public, even if actually true, will be perceived as arrogance.

• I have not had sex with another person for somewhere around three years. This started out as a self-imposed choice. Now I don't know if it's still because it's my choice or because no one would want to ask me.

• But I have had phone sex occasionally in the past three years. Some of it with complete strangers, some of it with an ex-boyfriend who I know I won't get emotionally attached to again. I know that's probably not constructive. But I've done it, anyway. (See next item.)

• I am attracted to (I deliberately choose?) men who will leave me, cheat on me, or who can’t fully be there for me, whether emotionally, geographically, or both.

• I find men who are completely, overwhelmingly into me to be frightening, stalkerish, unattractive, and/or clearly lacking in judgment. (As in, I would never be a member of a club who would have me. As in, if you really like me, there must be something wrong with you.)

• I choose men who are unmotivated or emotional pushovers because I’m afraid of being controlled.

• What I really, really crave is someone powerful who can take control, who can call me out, and who is smart enough to see through my bullshit and diversionary tactics so that I am forced to break down and surrender myself in trust. Someone who has the power to break me, but chooses not to anyway. I’m dying for this person. I’m also terrified of this person.

• I’m jealous and needy. Not in the “I want to know where you are every minute of the day” way, or the “you can’t have any other friends” way. In the “I want you to tell me I’m the one you like best and I want you to show and tell me that constantly” way.

• Obviously, re the above, I’m totally insecure and often feel out of control of my emotions in relationships.

• Whereas, I’m rarely insecure or out of control of my emotions when I’m alone.

• Therefore, I choose to go through long stretches of “recuperative” aloneness.

• They never feel particularly recuperative.

• In the words of another woman of around my age: “I was punk; now I’m just stupid. I’m so awful.”

• I was born with a particular talent that I’m letting rot and go to waste because I’m too afraid to use it and fail.

• A good majority of the time, I feel like I’m playacting. Or faking somehow. Saying what I know people need to hear. Taking on roles and responsibilities that will make others feel comfortable, while I feel completely detached from them.

• I care way too much about what other people think about me.

• I can only judge my relevance or importance in the world based on how I affect other people, or what other people think about me.

• Other people’s responses dictate my actions and behaviors, rather than my own needs or any true sense of self.

• I’m not sure I have any true sense of self.

• I think you knowing these things will be the end of you wanting to know me.

• I'm terrified that maybe these things are all I am, or all I ever will be.

You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, "I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along." You must do the thing you think you cannot do. --Eleanor Roosevelt

Update: When this post was first written, I had faulty information and mistakenly attributed the second opening quote to the wrong person. It's been corrected now. Sorry about that.

May 4, 2006

Counting Backwards

Well, my mind doesn't seem to be able to write on heavier topics at all this week, so I guess I'm just going to have to stick with something a little lighter and less brain-watt burning. So I will take my cue from the always cue-worthy Hiromi (who took hers from El Diablo, who I don't know, but assume is also cue-worthy) and will get a little meme-istic on your asses.

Note that I actually wrote this at about 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, but got busy so didn't post 'til now. Which means that a couple of the "today" ones are now outdated; but I'm too lazy to re-do them.

So, for your reading pleasure (or displeasure, if you have a thing against memes--or me--in which case, move on people, there's nothing to see here):

9 lasts
1. Last place you were: A corporate coffee chain. Yeah, that corporate coffee chain. So sue me. Coffee sucks where I live. It’s the best I can do. (I got a decaf skim latte, if that is of interest to anyone.)
2. Last soda: I don’t drink soda. I don’t like carbonation--it hurts me. Burns my throat and tongue. I’ll force myself to work through the pain for good beer or a very good mixed drink, but otherwise, never. 

3. Last kiss: a real one, or a “friend on the cheek" one? They probably mean a real one. In that case: too, too long.
4. Last movie seen: On DVD--Breakfast on Pluto. In the theater—Thank You For Not Smoking (both were only so-so)
5. Last CD you listened to: I haven’t been listening to whole CDs lately, as I’ve got my satellite radio and iTunes hooked up to my stereo, and tend to just listen to random stations or random shuffle. My iTunes is playing right now, so the last song I’ve listened to is the brilliant “If I Can’t Sell it, I’ll Keep Sittin’ On It” by Ruth Brown. Which, ironically, if you listen to or look up the lyrics, gives some insight into the rationale for #3 above.
6. Last bubble bath: not since I was a kid. My skin, as well as other things, are too sensitive for perfume-y, chemical-ish stuff. 

7. Last time you cried: I welled up for a second yesterday when I was talking about something emotional, but I didn’t really cry. I don’t remember exactly when I had a “real” cry. A couple of months ago or more, probably.
8. Last alcoholic beverage: Joh. Jos. Prüm Wehlener Kabinett 2003 Riesling. So delicious.

9. Have you ever gotten drunk and thrown up: I have gotten drunk many times (back when I was younger), even once or twice enough to induce some memory loss the next day. I have felt ill from drinking. But I have never, never thrown up from it.

8 "Have you evers"

1. Have you ever dated someone twice: In a row? Uh, yeah. After a period of non-dating? Don’t think so.
2. Have you ever been cheated on: Yes.
3. Have you ever kissed somebody and regretted it: Only once, when the person got stalker-ish after it happened. I’ve also been taken by surprise and kissed by people who I didn’t ask to be kissed by and not been happy about that. But I don’t think that counts as me having kissed them.
4. Have you ever fallen in love: Maybe. I’m not sure. Once I thought I was in love, but now I don’t know if I really was. Another time I thought I wasn’t, but now I think I might have been.
5. Have you ever been depressed: Clinically, no. Have I ever had a low moment? Yes.

6. Have you ever hit another person: My sister and I would go for an occasional slap at each other when we were growing up. Other than that, once when I was in a city in Portugal, I punched a guy who kept following me everywhere, saying sexually threatening things to me. However, hitting him had the opposite effect to the one I had hoped for.
7. Have you ever skinny dipped: If an indoor Jacuzzi on my own counts, then yes. If not, the closest I’ve ever come is swimming in my bra and panties in someone’s outdoor pool.

7 states you’ve been to
I’ve been to (or at least through) many of them. Seven states I’ve never been to would be easier to list. So I’ll do that: Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, Maine, Oklahoma, Utah.

6 things you’ve done today
1. Woke up way too early, for no reason.
2. Went to a gourmet market, and discovered a weird food coincidence.
3. Watched the end of a film on DVD (Breakfast on Pluto, in fact). 

4. Received a present in the mail! :-)
5. Got an email from an old boyfriend.
6. Learned a new phrase in Latin (Quod me nutrit me destruit).

5 favorite things in no particular order

1. Massages (anywhere) and scratches (back and head). Pet me and I melt, every time.
2. Passionate intercourse with someone I dig beyond belief (And yes, I mean “intercourse” in every meaning of the word. Otherwise, I’d have just said “sex.”)
3. Hearing the sounds a man makes when he’s incredibly turned on

4. Always learning and discovering new things: whether that’s ideas, items, places, cool people, etc.
5a. (Yeah, I’m cheating, but I’m glad I have trouble nailing it down to five.) Books, food, music, intellectual debate, thought-provoking conversation
5b. Dancing my ass off to incredibly loud, good music
5c. The ocean.
5d. The smell and feel and rush of spring.

4 favorite colors
I dunno. I like a lot of colors. I wear black a lot. So, black (though that’s technically absence of color, right?). Red. Orange. Royal blue. All the other brightest, most obnoxious, luminous, gerbera-type colors. Except YELLOW, ugh. And If it’s light pastel you can forget it. Except sometimes I’ll be caught in some variants of pink. But no one who’s seen that has ever lived to tell about it. Um, that was a completely disorderly answer. Deal.

3 people you can tell anything to
I have one. She already knows who she is, and she doesn’t read this blog.

I have a few others who almost qualify, with some minor exceptions.

I have maybe one other person who I suspect could end up in the top category eventually, but the jury’s still out.

2 things you want to do before you die
My god, only two? I have a zillion. The two that are on my mind most lately:
1. Really start writing the novel that’s in my head, and start publishing what I’ve already written that’s just sitting around collecting dust.
2. Stop being afraid

1 thing you regret:

I’m not big on regret. What’s the point? You can’t do things over. I tend to think everything happens to get you where you need to be, and if it didn’t happen, you’d never get there. Even your mistakes are important to who you become. So no major regrets for anything I’ve chosen to do. But if I have to list one where choice wasn’t really the operative factor:
1. I regret circumstance ended up putting me in that room.

May 6, 2006

Forever in Memes

Money talks, people, but it don't sing and dance, and it don't blog.

I have been TAGGED, like a desperate elk on Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom, tackled and trapped via helicopter leap by the insane Jim Fowler (click on the roll-over that says, "Are You Insane?"), most likely while Marlin Perkins sat on his lazy ass back at the lodge, drinking hot chocolate.

In this modern-day scenario, however, spcknght is Jim Fowler. And HE can tackle me in the snow any day (oooh er, missus!).

I thought I was gonna get away from this one, folks, I really did. I was sneaky. I deliberately didn' t leave a comment on Hiromi's blog the day she did it and tagged "...every motherfucker who reads this. Mwaaahahahahahahaha!" I just looked the other way and whistled innocently...nope, I didn' t see nothin'. And I overcame my persistent guilt by employing convenient semantic logic to rationalize..."Well, um, technically, I have never fucked my mother. So..."

But no, the NEIL DIAMOND MEME has found me anyway and wrapped itself around me like a sparkly, open collar 70's shirt and way-too-tight black knit trousers.

I know this week has been nothing but lists about me. And though I know I'm just sooo fascinating to all of you (ahem), I don't blame you if you feel it's a little much all in a row like this. But the truth of the matter is, I love memes and stupid personality quizzes. I love reading other people's. I love doing my own. No, it's not deep. It's not important. But it's fun. And I sure haven't had a lot of that lately, so I'll do whatever I get even small enjoyment from, thank you very much. Think it doesn't count as "real" blogging? Well, to quote a certain wise and eloquent man, "Bite me." (Those who do so in a very sexy way, though, get brownie points.) I'll get back to the real blogging soon enough.

So, y'know, "cracklin' reader, get on board," and all of that...

I AM: More than I probably appear to be on this blog. (And also: currently trying to write a description of what a "good kiss" is and getting all hot and bothered by it, yet still thinking it's not nearly good enough to post.)
I SAID: “No pillow!”
I WANT: The above quote to mean the more interesting thing you probably began imagining it meant, rather than what it actually did mean.
I WISH: That all the people I wish I could hang out with weren’t all living so far away from me.
I HATE: Liars and poseurs and blowhards, oh my.
I MISS: Feeling like I and my life are cool and interesting.

I FEAR: I won’t get to feel like that again.
I HEAR: Birds (especially one very insistent mourning dove). Airplanes in the distance. A car driving past. Clicking of the keyboard. Wind blowing through a tree. Farther in the distance: lapping water (though that may only be my imagination).
I WONDER: Where I’ll end up. And what the origin of the expression “all that and a bag of chips” is.
I REGRET: That I’m probably boring you to death with this meme.
I AM NOT: a pushover.
I DANCE: really well, so I’m told--and not nearly enough lately.
I SING: Loudly in the car by myself to stuff on my iPod or the radio. Softly to myself when I dance.
I CRY: More than I ever imagined I would the older I get, at things I never imagined I’d cry at…like sappy TV commercials or deliberately emotionally-manipulative movies. Grrrr, hate that. But I still don’t cry at Lifetime TV shows! Kill me if that starts happening!
I AM NOT ALWAYS: As strong as I appear to be.

I MADE: Myself go to yoga class yesterday.
I WRITE: Every. Fucking. Minute. Of. The. Day. (Or at least it feels like that sometimes.)
I CONFUSE: Other people’s needs (and sometimes interests) with mine.
I NEED: A patron so I never have to worry about money and can just focus on doing the writing I want to do. Or a sugar daddy. Or a generous old lady who likes my blog and leaves me all her money and her fabulous city brownstone in her will.
I SHOULD: Get out of bed.
I START: To imagine staying in bed all day instead.
I FINISH: This slightly dull attempt at a meme.
I TAG: YOU (and let me know you did it so I can go read it).

Disclaimer: Mind you now, I said I loved memes, but that doesn't mean I want to get tagged every day of the week. Too much of a good thing and all of that. Be gentle and sparing, you lot. There are plenty of others who you can share the wealth with, too.

May 13, 2006

Reviewing the Situation--Early Morning Musings And Late Night Conundrums

Well, so I'm back. Sorry for the unannounced absence. No dramatic reason for it--I just suddenly decided I needed a break for a day or two. And then each day turned into another day that I didn't feel like writing (on the blog at least--reserving whatever writing energy I had for what I had to do for work). And it turned into a week. Anyway, sometimes you just want to live without having to offer anything up to the gods or to an audience for having done it.

Interestingly, I've noticed my reticence to write of late seems to not be exclusive to me. A great many of my favorite bloggers seem to have gone almost, if not totally, quiet. Maybe we're all suffering from a similar virus--mindwillnottransmittokeyboardistitis, for instance. Or lifeistooverwhelmingtoarticulatitosis. Maybe it's seasonal--Spring fever. Or maybe we're making it look like we've all gone quiet because in reality we've all been together for one of our tri-annual meetings at a secret country mansion in Colorado known only as "The Meadows," where we have all been whispering our secrets only to each other and bonding in an orgiastic confluence of minds, words, and lickable body parts, along with the queen, the vatican, the Gettys, the Rothschilds, and Colonel Sanders before he went tits up. And we're just not telling you.

I'm not going to say which it is--but damn, people, am I tired.

(And how the hell did that Rod of Equity and Mercy get in there? Owie.)

Anyway, I've been thinking about some stuff while I've been away. Some of which will come up in future posts. But some of which is about the blog, and what next.

I don't know. I think I had a clear idea when I started with this thing. But it's been morphing into something else. And now I keep thinking of making changes. I already talked about redesign, and I'm pretty certain now that I want to do it. But I'm thinking about other things, too.

Okay, first. I've got to recognize that this blog just simply isn't going to be just about sex. That's what I thought it was going to be--that I wasn't going to share anything about myself, and it was just going to be a forum for discussing sexuality and issues related to it in the news and entertainment media, period. But it turns out I'm feeling too limited by that. I want to talk about what I feel like talking about--whatever, whenever it hits me. A great deal of that will probably still be about sex, because I like to think and talk about it. But it will veer off into other things quite regularly, I'm sure.

So, conundrum #1: Is it fair to keep calling this a sex blog? Is it fair to keep calling it Sexeteria?

I'm a bit sorry now I gave it a name that would imply such limitations. I wonder if I should change it. To be honest, I've kind of grown attached to the name. I don't really feel like changing it (or only kinda-sorta). But if only a certain amount of the talk is sex-related, is it too misleading? And if I change it now, is it too confusing? Should I just start totally over and leave this as a blogging elephant's graveyard? (I don't really want to do the last one--I see what I've written so far as an important part of the evolution into the blog being whatever it's going to be. It's more the name that's at issue, and whether you--or more importantly, I--think it's a bad idea to keep it or change it.)

And then there's this:

I made a quick and rash choice to go with Blogger when I first decided to make a blog. It was due to a total lack of knowledge. I had an urge one day to blog. Why? I have no idea. Before that I had pretty much never read a blog, unless you count non-personal, community blogs like Metafilter and Fark. It was a completely spontaneous choice, and I just googled "blogging" and came up with Word Press and Blogger, and Blogger just seemed easier and faster to figure out. I could be writing in minutes. And that was what I wanted to do.

But after that, I started looking around and reading and looking at other people's blogs. And I realized that all the blogs that had functions I really admired most were Movable Type blogs. For months now, I've been coveting these functions. I WANT them. And as I may have mentioned before on this blog, I have no impulse control.

Well, I sent my wish out to the universe, and shockingly, the universe sent me back someone very generous who has offered to give me exactly what I want. I can move my blog over to a Movable Type one. So now another fun fact about me--I get scared when someone offers me what I want. And even as I'm reaching for it, or sometimes am already up to my elbows in it and it is far too late to turn back, I am wont to think, "Is it really what I want?"

And then the trouble starts.

So now, I present to you conundrum #2. I can switch my blog over to Movable Type. I will get all kinds of cool functions that I will be far, far happier with. And I'd be part of a community of bloggers whose work I admire and relate to greatly. That would be good.

It would mean I'd have to learn a slightly more difficult interface, but I can handle that, because I think the benefits are worth it. There's a slight question about whether I can deal with the commenting interface there, given how my daily life works. I can't log on to the blog from work. So that's something to sort out--if it's possible to not be flooded with spam if I don't monitor comments or have word verification. But I'm sure there's probably a workaround for that.

BUT, here are some things I wonder about. It would also mean having to change my blog's URL. Which would mean lots of broken links on people's blogs that I would have to try to get fixed. And it might mean a that my stats would go back down to zero (does anyone know if there's a way to transfer over one's stats easily?). It might also mean some confusion or frustration on readers' parts, which means I might lose some readers, too.

I suppose all these last issues are totally ego related. But I like all the people who comment. I like that people are reading. And I don't really want that to go away.

So what do you think? Would it be too disconcerting if I kept the name, but varied my content a little? If I changed the name? If I moved urls? Would you follow me over? Would it be too much of a pain in the ass for you to update your blogrolls (if you have me on yours)?

Please feel free to weigh in on this; I'd really like to hear opinions.

May 14, 2006


I am the second-highest Google search for "I may not be the norm." (In quotes)

Sure, You Love Your Mom...

But do you like her?

Not to throw cold buckets of water on Mother's Day or anything...parenting is an important responsibility that ought to be lauded and respected--assuming, of course, that the parent in question actually parents responsibly, in a way that is good for the specific, individual child or children they are raising. But I suspect for many people this assumption isn't always the case. Or may only be partially the case.

Most people I know have some ambivalence around their feelings about their parents. I suppose I do, too. My parents are Good People. They live a Respectable Life. They loved me the best way they knew how. They gave me a relatively safe and definitely financially secure childhood. There are qualities about them I respect, and some I even admire. There are other things about them I don't like at all.

As a result, I love them (or at least, I've been raised to believe I do--ha!). But I've often wondered, if I were not their daughter, and I met either of them randomly out in the world, with no reference or connection--say, I was introduced to them by an acquaintance at a cocktail hour--would I have any interest in knowing them further than a quick, "Hi, nice to meet you?" I honestly don't know. I often suspect maybe not.

And my case is mild. My parents and I may not have a lot of things in common as adults, but they were not extremely terrible parents. I have friends whose parents were horrible people in most every way to them throughout their childhoods, aside from managing to keep them from starving. And yet these parents expect their children to provide them with the same filial love they believe every parent is due. They don't assess how well or poorly they did their job. They were parents, and so therefore, the child must be involved in their emotional--or sometimes physical or mental health--care for the rest of their lives. That is one weighty, and possibly undeserved, expectation. But you know what? Every single one of my friends can't help themselves. They keep trying to create that filial love they so desperately want to give (and have given back) from their parents.

Love of one's parents is a complex emotion, which can be a straight-forward, freely-given kind of love at times, but in all honesty (though I know most would hate to admit this) is also often at times tied up with a sense of obligation and latent childhood dependency instinct that we learned early on. As a child, to be outcast or abandoned by a parent is a threat to our very survival--that instinct gets burned into us, and I don't think it ever really goes away. And--perhaps because of this very message burned into all of us--as an adult, the horror of being rejected by family (or you rejecting them) puts a stigma on you, not just in your own mind, but out there in the world. I notice people who have decided they don't want to be in contact with their family or openly admit they don't like their family are often looked at with suspicion. There is a sense that the person must have done something wrong to put him or herself in that position--he or she must be the one with the problem. I think this is why you see so many victims of incest choosing to continue to go to the family Thanksgiving when the family member/s who perpetrated the abuse is/are sitting right there, surrounded by all the other family members who chose to ignore (and continue to choose to ignore) the abuse as it was going on so as not to rock the family boat.

Of course, that's an extreme example. It's not always about abuse. In some cases, maybe it's just as simple as some people just can not get along with their parents as human beings. Their minds, philosophies, politics, beliefs, ways of living, whatever are just too different. And yet, most of us feel obligated to our families just the same.

Does the fact that someone raised you mean they deserve your care, attention, and loyalty no matter what? Does your parent deserve to demand your life-long respect and devotion simply because they had the ability to successfully get an egg and sperm to smack together or sign those adoption papers, regardless of how they treated you as a human being after that moment? If you wouldn't have been friends with the person your parent is, or even liked her or him if you'd met outside of a family unit, does it mean it's okay to let that relationship go once you're a fully realized adult individual?

I guess all I'm saying is that in every society, motherhood is given the big, conceptual capital letters. MOTHERHOOD. And in Christian-founded societies, there's a lot of Madonna-ization that goes on surrounding mothers. In the US, that Madonna-ization reaches its fever pitch today, on Mother's Day. Just look at the image up top there--it's not a religious painting, but it's damn near religious in its connotation. And yet, it feels like so much conceptual stereotype and not enough reality. If you are a mother, your role is elevated. You are the Great Caretaker, the Great Sacrificer--even if you really aren't. You are to be adored, worshipped. You are to be given a Day, like a saint, or a president, or a person who changed the world.

To be a mother is to be given holy stature. I won't even get into here what that makes adult women who have not become mothers, either by choice or not, in the eyes of this society--that's fodder for another post. But I will say this: mothers are not holy. Yours wasn't; mine wasn't. They are human. They fuck up. Some of them not so much. Some of them royally. Some of them were bad mothers. Some were bad mothers accidentally. Some were bad mothers on purpose. It's okay to admit any of that, even as we may feel whatever level of love we do feel for our mothers, great or small, conflicted or not.

I can only imagine for the people out there today who have mothers who have violated the conceptualization of MOTHERHOOD with all too much human reality, that Mother's Day is a pretty awful holiday to have to deal with. And for any of the rest of you out there, who might not feel horrible about their moms, but might feel at least a little ambivalence about them, or around this holiday, I just want to say to you that there's at least one other person out there who feels like that, too.

We're not bad people for feeling like that. We're just human, just like our mothers (and fathers) were/are.

And I'm pretty damn sure that you and I are not alone in our ambivalence, even if no one else wants to come out and admit it.

Note: this was a fairly serious post that derived out of a humorous origin, believe it or not. It all originated out of this very amusing, tongue-in-cheek top 12 list of "Gifts you should never give your mom for mother's day" over at AmericanInventorSpot. Note that as bizarre as these gifts are, they all actually seem to be for real--but can the #1 gift in the coundown really be legal?

Also, thanks to Davezilla for pointing the way.

May 18, 2006

This one knows, she comes and goes...

There are only two times where I can completely let go of myself and feel I am entirely whole, perfect, and beautiful, and close to whatever there is that is divine in this world. The first is in the midst of really good, really intense, really mind-blowing sex with someone who has won his way into my heart and my soul.

The second is when I'm surrounded by loud, swirling waves of music--music that is so perfect and all-encompassing that it makes my whole essence rise up out of me, taking me higher somehow, and each perfect riff, each flawless break, each exquisite lyric, just pours more and more joy into me and my body can do nothing but move, and I dance until exhaustion. And then past it. I never want to stop.

During those moments, I entirely lose awareness of what's around me--and yet I'm also hyper aware of every sensation lifting me higher and higher...That may sound contradictory, but that's how it is.

At these times, I no longer care about anything except connecting to the sheer perfection of sensation, and that sheer perfection, pulled into me, makes me feel perfect, holy, and unbreakable. I don't care who's watching me, I don't care how I look, I don't care what is going to happen later on--I'm just there, and nothing else matters.

I wish I could be there all the time. It's a state of almost religious ecstasy. Or actually, religious ecstasy seems mundane compared to it. It's a state beyond even that--ecstasy with no definition, no guidelines, no bounds. If I could escape into it forever, I happily would.

It's quarter to three in the morning, and I've just gotten home from hearing the most marvelous live band. They were so good I couldn't stop smiling. They were so good I wanted someone to rub against. They were so good that I wanted to grab the stranger next to me and kiss him passionately, just to share with him how perfect it all was. They were so good I got there.

My ears are buzzing. My head's a little dizzy. My right hand is stamped. And I don't. Want. To. Come. Down.

Please, please, just keep me there just a little bit longer...

(photo credit: charlatans by St Steve)

Ask me. I won't say could I?

Coyness is nice, and
Coyness can stop you
From saying all the things in
Life you'd like to.

So, if there's something you'd like to try,
If there's something you'd like to try,
Ask me--I won't say no, how could I?

Since this morning, I've had something in my head to write that would be more of a "real" post. But for some reason, I don't feel like it. I don't want to tell people things today. Instead, all day I've just been sitting here wanting someone to ASK me something. Anything. I have no idea why. Maybe I'm just really overwhelmed with the amount of people in my outside life lately who have been calling me up to talk about their troubles or celebratory moments and forgetting to ask how I am or what's going on in my life.

I don't know. But all day I just keep saying to myself, "I wish someone would ASK me something good."

So I'm putting the offer out to any one out there who might read this. For the next twenty-four hours, write in the comments below or email me [sexeteria at that gmail place] any question you want, and I'll promise to answer it on the blog. It can be about anything--me, sex, the meaning of life, whatever. Every question (if anyone sends me one) will get an answer--though, I reserve the right for my answer to be, "I'm not going to answer that one" if I feel it's necessary. In other words, I won't guarantee an answer will be the exact one you want, but I can guarantee none of them will be untruthful. But I'll do my best to give good answer.

So. Have at it.

Ask me, ask me, ask me
Ask me, ask me, ask me,
If it's not love
Then it's the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb, the bomb
That will bring us together.

[Though the above wasn't inspired directly by this, I do want to give a nod to the fabulous Darkneuro, who did some kind of "send me a question" meme a while ago and some residue of it may have stuck in my brainpan. I know hers had guidelines, and I don't remember what they were, exactly...but there are no guidelines here.]

May 19, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

Okay, so five questions sent in so far, and the first two from Circe and Spcknght are REALLY hard! Which is good--it's good for me to be challenged. Somehow, I think I imagined myself having instant answers to everything, but instead I was kinda floored by both of these.

Here's Circe's:

It's always interesting to me to have someone write about something sexually pivotal. Not necessarily the best, the worst, the funniest... but a sexual something that sticks in your mind for some stubborn, indelible, possibly unknown reason.

This one was hard because though I've hand many experiences, nothing felt pivotal. Everything to me has felt kind of like a progression or continuum or something. I tried running through the mental file cabinet for memories/images that are stuck in my brain in a coupling sense, and came up with a bunch of stuff, nothing of which seemed pivotal...a couple of guys I'd really lusted after when I was younger who turned out to be disappointing in the "getting physical" department...what my first lover said to me the morning after I'd had sex for the first time...what I wrote in my journal about how I felt after I'd had sex for the first time...discovering a person I was dating was notably small in the endowment department and how I processed that...a lover and I breaking a bed frame when we were really going at it...or me waking up in his bed for the first time, naked under the sheets, on a sunny morning after a night full of amazing lovemaking and finding myself alone--and then him proudly walking in with half an avocado and a spoon to surprise me with "breakfast in bed"...the best oral sex I ever had...

Just a catalogue of some of the weird random memories that stick. But none of those felt particularly pivotal. And then it hit me that my most pivotal stuff had nothing to do with when I was with another partner. It's more about the images that sparked the initial flames of my sexual imagination when I was young, well before I was sexually active. You know, those written or movie moments that you come across and suddenly realize, "This is making me hot. This is what arousal feels like." And that starts a lifetime of fantasizing and (in my case) erotic storytelling and in some ways, forges your own sexual personality.

Anyway, thinking back, it's clear that my most formative arousal moments were all related to scenes of sexual seduction. Not nonconsent, exactly, though that theme skews off the seduction theme. But rather, situations where there is one experienced partner, and one innocent and slightly nervous but secretly curious/aroused/attracted novice who, finds that despite her/his better judgment ("Oh, but this would be so bad/so secret/so dirty/so wrong"), she/he finds her/himself slowly drawn in by the more experienced partner's erotically suggestive behavior, until she/he can't stop her/himself from surrendering her/himself to the seducer's (and his/her own) desire.

Mmmm, even writing about it and remembering all those images as a kid still gets me going. The whole, "It's wrong, but I can't help myself" thing, combined with the experienced partner's overwhelming desire for the person, and to get what he/she wants, yet the carefully calculated moves he/she takes to make it happen...hunter and hunted, but the hunter makes it so the prey wants to be consumed--willingly, swooningly offers its own throat up in the end, knowing that the pain will be goooood...

Here's a shortlist of these pivotal pieces of writing/imagery that made me realize what turned me on before I was even clear what really having sex would be like (in no particular order). Grouped together, they're my pivotal thing:

1) The two seduction scenes in John Jake's The Bastard (pulled off my dad's bookshelf). Experienced French serving wench seduces inexperienced son of the woman she works for in the loft of a barn. Later on, more experienced, but poor, French son moves to the American colonies and seduces rich society virgin--though she is promised to another! (gasp!)--outdoors in a hidden spot on her intended's estate grounds. I wrote more about this book here.

2) All the "first time" stories in the Penthouse "Forum." A couple I used to babysit for had copies of Penthouse all over their house. And a huge stash of them in their bedroom closet, too. (Yeah, I looked in their closet. I know, it was wrong. But listen, all of you out there, if you've got a pre-teen or teenaged babysitter, well folks, you'd better just resign yourself to the fact that she/he is probably rifling through your smut). After I'd put the kids to bed and was sure they were asleep, I'd pull the magazines out and read and read and...well, you know, do other stuff. Thank god it was the era before those hidden-camera clocks. Anyway--any teacher and naughty schoolgirl type fantasy was sure to get lots of re-reads. As did any story about the clueless delivery boy who walked in on the brunette and redhead sunning by the pool... And um, sure, the babysitter stories were good, too. Not that the couple I was sitting for had any idea I thought so.

3) Another babysitting moment: Found an anthology of Victorian erotica in a different couple's house. Can't remember the title. A lot of it was pretty bad. But there was this one voyeur story about two wealthy young siblings (of the opposite sex) secretly watching their father seduce and have sex with the maid. (And then the siblings had sex while they watched--but the master of the house/maid/"sir" thing was what really got to me).

4) The glass elevator scene in Class. MILF Jacqueline Bisset talks to Andrew McCarthy about whether he prefers "going up or down." He says he likes going up. She decides to show him how wrong his choice is, literally, and his eyes roll to the back of his head, as they sink to the floor in plain view of everyone else using the adjoining elevators.

5) Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon in The Hunger. Need I say more? Okay I will. Late at night, my parents in bed, me in the dark watching after-hours HBO. Deneuve's a vampire. Sarandon's human, a virgin, and as far as she knows, straight. Afterwards, she's none of the above. Highly erotic scene. Many people I know of my age seem to have good memories of this one...

6) A number of Eric Jong books. I never actually read any of the books all the way through. The overall writing and plots seemed pretty crap to me even then. But there were loads of seduction scenes, of all combinations. That lady had one good 'n' dirty mind.

7) The Thorn Birds (the book, not the made-for-TV movie). Two scenes: one was kind of a mutual seduction--priest is seduced by pure, beautiful young girl/girl is seduced by reticent, hot priest. They both draw each other in, even though they know it's wrong. And then I remember in contrast to that more gentle love scene, a scene with the girl being "taken" in a very masterful way by her eventual manly-man husband, which added a very nice contrast.

8) A whole bunch of teen sex flicks, forgettable except for the seduction scenes. It was pretty much standard to most of these in the early 80s that there was always some guy or girl character trying to lose it, and some salacious, more experienced person willing to help them figure it out...

9) Dangerous Liaisons. I was already more experienced by then, but Malkovitch does a damn fine job luring any number of pure young ladies into the flames in this one. (Valmont did it even better, but it was years later).

Okay, so there you have it: My pivotal sexual thing--the seduction scene. This kind of theme still fuels my adult fantasies quite a bit.

Anyone want to share a favorite seduction scene of their own? I love collecting good ones, even now.

More later. And the booth is still open for questions if anyone wants to send them.

Oh NO. I forgot a hugely pivotal one!

10) The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Frank N. Furter sedces Janet. And then Brad. Oh Tim Curry, you hot piece of alien transvestite ass, you...

You tricked me. I wouldn't have - I've never - never!

I know, but it wasn't all bad was it? I think you found it quite pleasurable.
(He caresses Janet/Brad)
Oh so soft. So sensual.

Ohhhhh - no - stop...

(and of course neither of them really means it)

This is a post about a whale! NO! This is a post about being happy!

Don't get the title above? Click on the picture. (Audio of it if you scroll.)

So. Question number two (only a few hours left for this special offer) comes from Spcknght (whose name I always seem to want to misspell):

What do you mean "IF anyone sends you one" (and that is NOT my question!)? OF COURSE we're going to write in! Who wouldn't want to know more about our wonderful Sexeteria lady?

Ok, my question's somewhat like Circe's...I'd like to know the most intensely happy moment you've experienced in your life--with the wish-rider attached to my question that you experience just as much joy tenfold after answering this.

Now see, this totally confirms Spcknght's claim the other day that he's a snow angel with a slightly tilted halo. Because aw, just read that--isn't he the nicest guy? And yet, his question really bothered me immediately after I read it. Because, dammit, I actually don't think I know if I've every had a moment that was SO intensely happy that it stands out above all others. And dammit, that just seems wrong, wrong, wrong. (I won't say it made me sad, because that would bum poor Spcknght out.)

I mean, I get happy. I laugh a lot more than you probably think I do from reading this blog. I swear to you people, I'm a goddamned delight to know!

Ergh. Before I protest too much...I'll just answer the question as best I can. Spck, I can't think of an overriding moment. I'm not happy about that. But looked at another way, let's just say it means I still get to have my supremely happy moment sometime in the future. I do have some moments I remember where I felt really good, though, most of which involve music, dancing, and travel--some of my favorite things. Here are a few:

1) I was living overseas (in Scotland). I had a passle of roommates from all over the UK and we all loved the hell out of each other (take L'Auberge Espagnole and make it an all English-speaking household, and that's a good comparison). I also had my ideal boyfriend (my ideal at the time anyway), a tall, lanky, smart-as-all-getout, socialist, literary, grungy, demi-alcoholic English prettyboy. And he had a bunch of similar friends who I also loved. And all of us converged on a ceilidh held in the city I lived in, where my one roomate's band was playing. (For those who need a definition: celtic music+square dancing+copious amounts of alcohol, whooping, and stomping=Ceilidh. In other words, ceilidhs are marvelous.) The band was spectacular, the place was packed, and the dances were romantic (waltzes) AND crazy wild (steps where men literally turned around so fast that the women's feet lifted off the ground, propeller style). There was even danceable bagpiping. I was in a country I liked better than my own, in a culture that seemed to be far more "me" than anything I had experienced in America at the time. I was away from all the crap back home I didn't want to be involved in, feeling great and adventurous, knowing that I'd managed to get out and get there and have my own life, surrounded by cool, fun, smart people who I adored. I felt I fit. And I was also feeling a bit like a coveted, exotic treat (British and Irish boys like American girls the way American girls here like their Brits and Irishmen). I never got to sit down the whole night--there was always someone who needed to dance with me (and as we know from previous posts, dancing is heaven for me--and so is getting propositioned to dance by men I like who insist romantically that they will die if I won't dance with them). All of us were together and we were sweaty and drunk and all a little bit in love with each other. And then of course, there was someone who I knew at the end of the night I'd be going home to have spectacular sex with.

In short, it was a good time. I won't bother to use superlatives to describe it--it's was beyond any form of "good" you could use, so why bother. And in that goodness, I was happy and beaming every single minute.

You know, my housemates and I actually took a camera with us and we filled up an entire roll full of film with photos documenting the night--and, then, in the last minutes, some drunken person accidentally opened the shutter and totally ruined the film. But though we were all disappointed, the next day, hanging out in our kitchen slightly hung over and cooking breakfast (probably at 2 pm), we all decided it was really the best thing. Some events, some feelings get lessened by a still photo. We all said, and I still agree, some things you just can't capture--sometimes the memory alone is better to have than the photos.

You know what, Spck, forget it. I don't need to give any more examples. I do have a happiest moment so far. That was it. That night and those people will have a place in my heart for the rest of my life, and I'll always be happy whenever I think about it and them. Thanks for reminding me. :)

Well, yay. Now I feel good and want to share. So, if you're reading this, here's a little chaser of happy you can share with me--my little gift to anyone else who might be having a hard day or week or month or year.

During my difficult last year or two, I've been happy to take any tiny perk of joyous relief I can get. And a few months ago, I heard this, and it made my day. I downloaded it immediately afterwards. Whenever I hear it, I can't help but get happy. Bless that adorable, silly, cheesy, clever Ringo Starr. He's got the right perspective--it probably IS as easy as 1-2-3. Having a bad day? Click to play and dance with me, people. Sing it loud.

To be or not to be,
I don't care...

"Let me sleep. It's my favorite sleep."

A favorite line from the movie "Mystery Train." May not make so much sense if you can't see it in context--a cute, sleeping, naked girl saying it in grumpily in Japanese as her boyfriend tries to wake her up. But I love the moment because it says it all. I love sleeping. It's my favorite thing. (Well, my almost favorite thing. But the other thing also can involve bed, too, so let's call it even.)

So, now some answers for the (apparently) very tired Tory, all about one of my favorite pastimes. (But I'm changing his "u"s to "you"s, because I've got a pet peeve about that.

1. On which side of the bed do you sleep?

It depends on where the bed is situated. I'm not tied to one side. I prefer not to sleep right next to a wall, so whichever side of the bed isn't, I'm usually there. Right now I'm sleeping on the right-hand side of the bed, sometimes in the middle-ish. But often, in the quest for perfect mattress alignment, after a period of time I'll be known to switch to the other side, just to even things out. I'd probably be using the whole bed more wide-rangingly instead of having one side, except for my damn cat is an enormous bed hog and I don't want to crush her in my sleep. I swear she takes up as much room as any human who's been in the bed.

2. How much can you stand clothes on your body when you sleep?

Well, I don't actually have any starch in the house, so I can't stand very much clothing on my body at all. It all just kinda flops over whenever I try--it's never stiff enough. (See below for more serious answer.)

3. What's your fav sleeping attire?

I don't favor sleeping attire at all, other than a sheet, blanket, or duvet. Sleeping feels best clothing-free, I think. But if it's exceptionally cold, I'll usually throw on a t-shirt. And, because whenever I say that someone always asks this: Yes, I do mean just a t-shirt. On a rare occasion I've worn a man's pajama top, or the top and bottom. But I have to be really cold, or I have to think I'm lookin' really cute in it.

I have other things I've worn in bed, but not to sleep in.

4. Have you been told you snore? Sleepwalk? Or talk in your sleep?

I've been told I snore and that person didn't live to tell me again. Ha. Actually I've been told, "You don't snore, you breathe heavy." Whatever that means. Other people have said they haven't heard me make any noise when I'm sleeping at all. So I guess it depends.

I've never been told I sleepwalk, though once I did have a waking dream, which was very creepy. No one has ever told me I've talked in my sleep.

5. Do you sleep with the lights on or off?

Off. I like things as dark as possible when I sleep. I HATE it when I accidentally fall asleep with the lights on and wake up a few hours later with bright lights in my eyes.

6. How many hours do you sleep on average?...And how many hours CAN you sleep?

I try to aim for 7-8ish hours of sleep. I rarely get it, though, because I'm a total night owl and hate going to bed early. If I had my way, all work would begin at about 2 pm. I usually clock somewhere between 6-7 hours.

Since mid-childhood, I've always been able to sleep a frighteningly long amount of time, and would every day if I could. Ten hours would be a cinch for me, and left to my own devices, I'd sleep that much every day. That's when I feel best, if I have at least 10. I could probably sleep 12 or 13 on a good day--though I rarely indulge myself in that anymore. Used to, though.

When I say that amount of time I mean in one, uncut length of time. I'm not really big on naps unless I'm really, seriously exhausted.

And I hate when I can't just sleep until I wake up naturally. When I was a teenager, my family would fight about who would be the one to have to wake me up if they needed to for some reason, because I'd always be in such a raging fury at whomever the unlucky culprit was who dared to disturb me. Now I just get angry at my alarm.

7. Can you share a bed? Or not comfortable? What size bed do you have?

I don't like sharing a bed unless I really, really like a person. If I've been getting close to someone but don't feel 100% intimate with them yet, I'd rather they went home (or I did) than slept over, because I get hyper sensitive to every sound and movement and feel all out of place. Even their breathing will bother me and keep me weirded out and awake.

However, if I'm really into someone, I have none of these problems when they're sleeping next to me, even from early on. It's weird how that is. But it's actually a good gauge for me of what I really feel about someone if I'm not quite sure, or am trying to talk myself into feeling something different. In any case, there have been a very few select people who I've been totally comfortable sleeping with in bed.

I also don't like cuddling when I'm trying to fall asleep. I like it fine before I'm ready for sleep, but when it's time to drop off, I don't need or want you to be draped all over me. I like some breathing room. I think most guys appreciate this. Saves them the pins-and-needles she-fell-asleep-on-my-arm thing.

8. Nightly rituals before getting under the sheets..what are they?

Um...well...I don't think of them as ritualistic, but here's some basic things I usually do:
1) Feed the cat her dinner.
2) Wash face, brush teeth.
3) Set alarm (which is currently my satellite radio attached to go of on my stereo).
4) Either:

    a) go to bed with a book and read 'til I'm ready to drop
    b) go to bed with the laptop and catch up on blogs until I'm ready to drop
    c) put on the radio to a talk show or music I like on sleep mode, so it will shut off automatically in about 20 minutes
    d) put on a cd I like on sleep mode
    e) go straight to step five
5) Turn out the lights.
6) Pet the cat who always instantly crawls up on top of me after step 5, as she knows she has a captive audience and demands her five minutes of affection nightly.
7) Get the cat off the top of me. At this point she'll leave the room to go eat dinner.
8) Sigh. Enjoy the silence. Snuggle up into the covers.
9) Sleep.

There are other things I tend often to do or think about somewhere in between steps 5-9, but at the moment I don't feel like sharing them.

Thanks for the question, Tory-ador.

All of this sleep talk has made me tired. Think I'm gonna curl up for a while and rest. I'll answer the remaining ones tomorrow. Thanks for the questions, all. This is fun, and keeps my brain percolating along...

May 20, 2006

She comes in absence of colors

Time to answer Darkneuro's question--whose name, by the way, for my first couple of months of blogging, I stupidly used to think meant "dark 'n' Euro," but who in fact is a lovely, golden-haired American vixen who can cook up some mean recipes and write the hell outa a blog post. But despite her blondiness, she's still dark in her own lovely way.

And lovely darkness brings me to the answer to her questions:

What's your favorite color and why? How does that color make you feel, and how often do you use that color in your day-to-day life?

I kinda/sorta started answering this question in an older meme here, but not the follow-up questions. So, let me start ovah and bettah.

What's your favorite color?

In my head, I haven't deemed anything a "favorite color" since I was a little girl. When I was a little girl, my favorite color was pink. Or at least that's what I told everyone. I wonder now if I did that because I knew "good girls" were supposed to say they liked pink.

But in reality, the color I have always been most attracted to, and have surrounded myself with most often since I first left home for college, has been black. My parents never dressed me in black as a kid. And in fact, it was impossible to find black clothing in the lame suburb I lived in during the neon and pastel '80s. But at age 17, when I tried on my first black dress, every person in the store I tried it on in stopped what they were doing, looked, and said it was perfect. And I knew it was true, even if they hadn't. I could feel it the minute I put it on--I had come home. Black and I just go together.

So, despite what I might be telling myself, it's clear (or perhaps, more aptly, opaque) that my favorite color is black.

And why?

My childhood icons of ultimate female beauty:

1. Morticia Addams

2. Miss Scarlet from the 1970s version of Clue

3. Catwoman (Julie Newmar version), 1970s TV Batman series

Notice the clothing color of all three. Notice the attitude with it. Sexuality, confidence, power. It was appealing to me even at five. These women were slinky, mysterious, confident in who they were. They had the freedom to make their own choices. They weren't mere objects for men--they had their own thing going on. And yet they were exceptionally alluring to men...but also a little scary to them. Men respected them, couldn't quite figure them out, wanted to get close--they knew they could possibly fuck them, but that they couldn't fuck with them or they might end up tangled up in man-eating flora, scratched within an inch of their lives, or getting the candlestick in the conservatory.

(Plus, I'm naturally gothic in coloring. Pale skin, dark hair, dark eyes, high-pigment lips. So black just looks good on me.)

How does that color make you feel?

Safe. Protected. Dark. Mysterious. Alluring. Untouchable. Powerful. Sexy. Noticeable. Hidden. Stylish. Scary. Come hither-y. Venus fly trappy. Thinner. Curvy/slinky. Confident. Secret. Right. How I am, inside. How I want to be seen, outside.

And how often do you use that color in your day-to-day life?

HA! I have probably worn at least SOMETHING black every day of my life since I was 17. There was a time it was all I would wear. So much so that in college, I made some crack about trying to avoid someone and how maybe I should walk around like "the unknown comic" with a bag over my head, and my good friend and housemate instantly, sarcily retorted, "But it would have to be a black bag."

Black has felt like who I am since I can remember. It might always be that way, I don't know. But lately, I feel like maybe I'm done with that. Maybe I want more color. Maybe I'm sick of hiding and feeling dark and protected. I've been trying to add more color into my wardrobe. I look kick-ass in red and royal blue, for instance. I've been really into Tiffany blue/green, though I haven't hazarded wearing it yet. I love the color of leaves (in all seasons). I like orange. I want more brightness, boldness. That's what I've been craving. So I'm trying to um...retrain myself out of all black, all the time.

Right now, as I said once a few moons ago on Karl Elvis's blog, even when I try to wear pink, it still looks like black. Or at least it feels that way to me. Like I'm pretending--covering up the black, but it's still there. I'll probably always be a little gothy at the core. But who knows, maybe someday I'll wear aqua and silver and only look and feel all shimmery aqua and silver. (But underneath, I bet I'll still be wearing black lingerie.)

Easy Peasy

From Shon, the kind of terrorist we could all use to be attacked by, comes my easiest response. Didn't even have to think half a split second for this one, and that feels mighty nice for a change.

He asks:

What's your comfort food book? The book you have read so many times you know it by heart but you keep coming back to it?
First off, I love the idea of a "comfort food book." I never would have thought of that phrase, but it's perfect.

So, what I read when the world is too much with me and I just want to escape and just enjoy and not think to much. I've got two definites, and then a runner up:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Never fails. Love everything about it. The flawless writing, the subtle sarcasm, the plot twists, the period feel, the romantic yearning, the desperate misunderstandings, the everything-rights-itself-in-the-end conclusion. And especially the mental and verbal sparring between the two main characters that substitutes as massive sexual tension in today's world.

Not to mention I pretty much am Elizabeth Bennett incarnate. Stubborn, too smart for my own good, guarded, clever, and desperately romantic underneath it all. Tend to not always know what's good for me in terms of men. Tend to assume I'll never find the love I want. Tend to keep hoping I will. That sort of thing.

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4 and The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole by Sue Townsend. The first two (and best) books in what eventually became a small series following the title character into adulthood. Adrian's (a boy, by the way) diary entries through his thirteenth and fourteenth year. Just absolutely hysterical. They still make me laugh every time I read them, and you can get through one in a single sitting if you have a little time. The books actually cover some really serious topics that were taking place in the '80s when they were written, both in America and in England (where the story takes place). Divorce, parental infidelity, political upheaval, the Falklands, welfare, social security, changing gender roles in the family, punk, teen sexuality...but it's all portrayed through the eyes of this incredibly precocious teenager (who has no idea he's precocious--he thinks he's a genius), so that it makes even the hardest things seem amusing and deal-able. They're just a delight to read, and though they can be considered "young adult books" on one level, they works equally well on an adult level due to the author's incredibly subtle, dry, well-honed wit. You can practically see the author waiting for your double-take so she can take the piss out of you for not being quicker. If you were a teenager in the 80s, or if you know anything about English politics at the time, it's a must-read. But I think anyone would find it funny. Coming of age has commonalities across every era, and these books are my favorite coming-of-age novels. It's nice to have a C.O.A. book where it's not all angst and darkness, even when there are angsty things happening. Sometimes you just want to look back on your angsty teenager self and just laugh at how dopey all your earnestness and presumed "depth" was. This book lets you do it without being too hard on yourself, or without making it seem like too bad a time.

If you want to read a little excerpt of them, you can here and here.

Those are my main two.

And the runner up would be...

The Harry Potter series. I love it to death. Every time a new one is about to be released, I read through the entire series again from start to finish. And sometimes, if the wait is too long, I grab one and read it just to relax. I love her writing, I love the stories, and I love the way they remind me of some of my favorite children's lit writers growing up.

I wonder--was anyone surprised these were my picks?

I bet you guys all thought it would be something darker, right?

May 21, 2006

And last, but certainly not least...

Answers for the Eeeevil (in a good way) Minx. Who deserves many strokes of her cat-suited back for being so patient.

1. If you were an animal (non-human) what animal would you be?

I have been told by many ex-boyfriends, and I tend to agree, that I'm very cat-like. Love lounging in bed/sleeping. Love having my back (well, whole body, really) rubbed/head scratched. Initially suspicious--you have to lure me to you through kindness and trustworthiness (and treats and other temptations). Once won over, though, I will be incredibly purry and affectionate. Like to rest my head on people I like. Have been known to give an occasional love bite. Am hyper-sensitive to changes in the emotional air. Seem harmless and warm and pretty-soft-soft, but get my back up and the claws come out and I'll fight to the death.

Funny thing is, I used to hate cats growing up. One attacked me when I was a kid and I was scared of them after that. I thought they were unpredictable, mean creatures. Then my housemate had one and I realized they were just misunderstood. Once you get them, they're the coolest. And I realized they think instinctively much like I do. Now cats lurrrrve me, and I love them. But I've sworn to own only one at a time--I do NOT want to become crazy cat lady in my old age, alone with 20 cats.

Hm, though you're not asking what animal am I like, you're asking what animal would I be.

Being a cat is appealing, actually, but I'd rather not be a domestic cat. If I could choose, I'd choose to be a lioness. I've had a number of dreams about lounging with or encountering female lions, and I always feel comfortable in the dreams--I'm never scared. (I'm also a Leo, so I guess it all makes sense, if you believe astrology--which I only do when it suits my purpose).

Other than that, I sometimes think it would be great to be a bird--one of the kinds who can really soar and dip up there--a hawk, for instance. Or one of the types who can both fly and swim underwater. That would be cool.

2. What 7 songs/albums would you want to have with you if you were shipwrecked on a desert island (that happened to have a very good sound system in full working order)?

This is an incredibly hard question. I love music and have too much of it to narrow it down, and what I want to listen to changes all the time with my mood. Sigh...if this were really true, I'd probably burn 7 CDs of my own full of hundreds of songs. Or I'd go for greatest hits CDs of my favorite bands, so I could have a little of everything they've done. But let me try to do this, thinking about which CDs/bands get most play for me over my lifetime.

Um, it turns out I'm gonna have to cheat a little. I'll do 7 bands, but multiple CDs.

    1. The Stone Roses, The Stone Roses. I love this band. LOVE them. And they remind me of a particular time in my life that I like to reminisce about.

    2. The Pixies, Surfer Rosa and Doolittle. Actually, I'd want the whole catalogue, but then I'd have used up my whole 7. Another of my all-time favorite bands. You should see me tear up the dancefloor to Debaser. In fact, I almost named my blog "girliesogroovie," but then I didn't.

    3. Ride, Smile and Nowhere. This band was genius in its heyday. These were there two most perfect CDs.

    4. Luna, Lunapark and Bewitched and Penthouse. Arghhh, I can't choose.

    5. Radiohead, The Bends and OK Computer.

    6. Ramones, Ramones Mania (I'd take all the CDs, but I can't, so one good comprehensive one)

    7. The Beatles. You can't really be serious about me choosing just one of theirs, right? Sigh. ...thinking...thinking...No, I can't name one. I have to have all of them.

This feels entirely not enough! Seven? Seven? No way. Um, other bands I'd want to bring something of: Blur, James, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Bright Eyes, Pulp, Verve, Nina Simone, Bjork, Beck, The Waterboys, The Pogues, The Rolling Stones (pre--1985 only), The Frank & Walters, Lush, Jesus & Mary Chain, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, The Smiths, The Cure...

Oh god, forget it. I'm about to launch into my whole music collection. Note to self: never get stranded on a desert island. You'll be useless.

3. Which is/are your favourite piece(s) of underwear?

My favorite piece of underwear is the one I'm sliding my hand in under and then taking off of him, if he was foolish enough to have it on in the first place. Or, alternately the one I'm wearing that he's doing the same thing to, in reverse.

Thanks, a Clarification, and Goodnight.

Thanks to everyone who sent in a question and kept me typing rigorously through the weekend. It was fun, but I think it'll be a while before I do that again. It was way more labor-intensive than I thought it would be, and I didn't even have *that* many questions...

In any case, it's back to sex, relationships, and other life stuff for the next little while. (I know, what a relief, right? There's only so much "Dear Abby" shit you can take. Thanks for bearing with me.)

I also need to make a correction, and wanted to note it here. In my "The Final Cut" post a while back, I credited two quotes to Eleanor Roosevelt. I've since found my initial source was wrong and one of the quotes ("What is to give light must endure burning") was not from Eleanor, but from Dr. Viktor Emil Frankl, who was a neurologist, psychiatrist, and Holocaust survivor. It's still a great quote, but credit needs to be given where credit's due. I've corrected it in the original post, and sorry for the misinformation.

Today has not been a great day. Lately, as I've been working through some stuff, I have finally had some days of real optimism--which I'm grateful for, as it's been a while since I've felt like that. But I'm finding patterns are hard to break, and the non-optimism, no-way-out thing has become my pattern for way too many months of late. I guess it's easier to stay where you are, with what you've accustomed yourself to, than to suffer the exhaustion that comes with struggling every day to get yourself out of that. The result of this: it seems the minute I find anything optimistic, I then immediately find or do things to smash down and obliterate that thing. I think I'm afraid to hope for too much, so I'd rather destroy hope early than see it destroyed after I've actually begun to believe it's a reality.

I know this won't be the case forever. I *will* walk out into the light and open air eventually. And I'm committed to fighting until I punch my way through whatever wall I have to. But some days, you're just damn tired of bloodying your fists, y'know? Today, I felt like Beatrix waking up in that coffin in Kill Bill: Volume 2. She knows what she has to do, and she's going to do it, but man, is it going to be hard to get out above ground.

Let me tell you, I sure am waiting for the day I can walk on over to that empty diner and ask for my glass of water.

For the time being, though, I'll sleep on it and build my strength for another day's fight.

Until then...keep a glass out on the counter for me.

May 22, 2006

Oral Exam: Dam-med if You Do, Damned if You Don't?

As someone who will probably be re-emerging back on the dating scene some week or other after a long hiatus, I've been doing some thinking and reevaluating how I want to handle sexual encounters in the future. And this brings up the issue of protection.

In general, I have been careful about picking sexual partners (as in, I would not be the kind of person you'd be able to term "promiscuous," unless you were an extremely conservative person). I've also been relatively careful about condom use when it came to sex. But what I mean by "sex" in that last sentence is coitus. Which I think most people have defined it as up until recently.

Now, oral, that's been a different story. With all my sexual partners, whether giving or receiving, I never used any form of protection. And I don't know, because I haven't been in other people's beds, but from what I hear out there in the world, this seems to be the norm for many other people, too.

And yet you read that really, we should all be protected during oral sex, too--that we should be using dental dams, flavored, unlubricated condoms, plastic wrap with lube, etc. while engaging in cunnilingus, fellatio, or rimming.

You hear all the time now that you can contract diseases through oral sex. But how likely are you to? It's nearly impossible to find useful statistics. In general, you mostly read that the percentage of risk is far lower, but still present. Here's a good site that tries to balance theory with actual documented cases of AIDS transmission--but of course AIDS isn't the only STD. It's much more difficult to find any fast data on other STD transmission through oral sex.

In any case, though perhaps extremely low, the risk is there. And I'm wondering in light of that, what are people doing out there these days? Particularly those of you who are sexually active but not in long-term relationships, or who are in a serious relationship but aren't sure if it will be your last and only sexual relationship--or if you are polyamorous, or in any other kind of multiple-partner situation.

Are most of you playing the odds when it comes to oral sex? Or have things changed and are many of you using safe sex alternatives during oral contact?

And if you are using safe sex alternatives, how are they to use? I've got to be honest, just the thought of giving oral to a banana-flavored-condom-encased cock sounds gag-worthy to me. And I wonder how it would feel to receive oral or a rim job through a dental dam (or to give it). I mean, I know I'm capable of coming with a barrier between my clit and whatever is stimulating it, but it's certainly not the same as direct tongue contact. Is a dental dam thin enough to feel not much different? And does it taste gross? Smell strongly of plastic?

If anyone out there has any information or experience with this, please do share; I'd really like to get some input (heh). (And remember, you can always leave an anonymous comment if the info is too personal and you don't want to identify yourself.)

Oh...and also...
Let's say you normally don't use protection during oral. If your next partner felt it was important to him/her, would you be willing to have protected oral sex every time? Or would you think that was just too sterile and decide to look elsewhere?

Do tell.

P.S. Though I know this is petty and probably unwise, I'll fess up that the thought of barrier-protected oral sounds entirely unsexy and unappealing to me. I like the intimacy and feel and taste of full-on mouth-to-skin contact. But I suppose that's rather short-sighted and obnoxious of me to say. I'd be really annoyed if a guy gave me the "a condom isn't natural, therefore I should get to have sex with you without it" speech. It really isn't any different for oral sex. And honestly, I really don't want to contract an STD of any sort, through any means. So maybe I just need to heave a big sigh and kiss my carefree, barrier-free oral days goodbye...

In any case, there might be a difference between what you're DOING and what you think is the right thing to do; so if this is the case, that would be good to know, too.

(photo credit: Bike Kill 2005 no105 (K kiss no1) by beigeinside)

May 23, 2006

Okay, so has ANYONE ever used a dental dam?

If so, please 'fess up and read the post below and let me know what it's like.

I've been asking around since yesterday's post. No one I know has ever used them, so far as I can tell.

Really, is this just something people say you should do and NO ONE uses them? Surely there must be someone out there who has experienced sex with them?

Or is going down on a woman simply too delicious to give up, even if there is risk involved?

And speaking of which...had the iPod on random shuffle today and heard one of my favorite bands, singing what must be the singularly best song about oral sex, and one that surely should win some kind of award for best use of double-entendre. It's the kind of song where people who don't want to know will just think it's just a love song about a guy eager to see his girlfriend after having been away from her. The kind of song my Doris-Day-meets-Gidget mother would insist I was reading things into. But she doesn't read enough.

You can also go here to read the lyrics if you want.

Figured given the recent discussion, I'd share. Click the link two paragraphs above and enjoy (and let me know if you did). Ring-a-ding-ding-ding...

Hm, while I'm at it, ARE there any other songs specifically about oral sex? The only other one that comes immediately to mind is "Some Candy Talking" by Jesus & Mary Chain--and that one's fairly vague. (Lyrics to that one on this page, if you scroll down a ways.)

May 24, 2006

25 Words or Less

There’s want. And there’s need. And there’s love. And then there’s you.

You figure it out.

May 25, 2006

Words and Magic

"Disbelief in magic can force a poor soul into believing in government and business."
--Tom Robbins

Would you believe me if I told you that I could make things happen with my writing?

Don't worry, I wouldn't believe me either. But believable or not, logical or not, it's happened to me, many, many times. When I take the time to actually shape a particular need or want or hope into a fully crafted, styled piece of writing I can feel so close to me that I can hear it breathing and alive, shortly afterwards that thing just suddenly shows up in my real life.

Case in point:

Lately, I've been yearning for long-lost friends who I used to have my most intimate understandings with. In particular, I've been thinking about an old friend who, over a decade ago, was a huge part of my life--so much so that even now, I still can't hear certain songs or experience certain things without equating them with her and what we were doing together at that time.

Things happened. We both moved repeatedly all over the country, and touch was lost. I never thought I'd see her again, or ever find out what happened to her. But in the midst of everything that's been going on for me lately, I've thought about her. It made me sad, and nostalgic. And it resulted in me writing one of my favorite posts so far. It may not seem that great a post to anyone else, but for me, it had deep personal meaning, and captured just what she meant to me (and I hope I meant to her).

So I wrote that, wrote her up in a way that made her live for me again after years of her being just a ghost in my memory.

And today, she walked past me on my street.

Almost thirteen years since I last saw her, or knew anything about her. She lives in my fucking neighborhood.

(photo credit: ghost girl by jeffmclennan)

May 26, 2006

Reasons for living

Sleepless at 3 a.m., everything begins to make sense in this strange and beautiful way. Or begins to lose all sense in this strange and beautiful way. Either way, hosanna and namaste.

Thanks, Metafilter.

May 27, 2006

I Speak the Truth

Just in case any of you people ever wonder if I'm creating a fake blog "persona" rather than giving you the real lowdown...

Thus speaketh the blogger:

...I pretty much am Elizabeth Bennett incarnate.
Thus speaketh the meme:
Which Classic Female Literary Character Are you?
You're Elizabeth Bennett of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen! Take this quiz!
I'm just sayin'. As is my co-Elizabeth, Bitch PhD.

And yes, I *do* think if she was written today, she'd undoubtedly be a single girl with a sex blog. Ahem. Or at least, she wouldn't be Bridget Jones, for god's sake.

A real post later on (I think, unless I get waylaid).

May 28, 2006

"And then Mommy puts her finger in Daddy's..."

A little while back, Steff at the Cunting Linguist wrote an interesting post about kids and sex education, related to how schools tend to focus strictly on the biological facts of sex rather than also include education on all the important emotional issues and other relationship skills that surround sexuality.

She certainly has a good point—maybe if we stopped teaching kids that sex was just about insertion, pregnancy (avoidance of), and STDs, and taught them how to actually have healthy relationships with people, there would actually BE less inappropriate insertion, pregnancy, STDs, and who knows—even fewer bad marriages/relationships and/or divorces later on.

But the point of this post is not about that, actually. Steff also stressed that these relationship skills also don’t get taught outside of school; and often, in fact, even the biological stuff doesn’t get touched by most family members and other responsible adults in kids’ life.

Right around the time she wrote this, I ended up in a group discussion where people were all sharing their childhood models of intimacy and their parents’ attitudes about sexuality when they were growing up. It's not the first time I've been in such a scenario, and it’s always weird for me. I sit there, and everyone talks about how they rarely ever saw their parents kiss or hug or tell each other they loved each other. They talk about how their parents never told them anything about sex, or one of their parents told them sex was terrible and at best just something to be endured until it was over. They talk about how they never even WANTED to see their parents as sexual beings, that it was too weird. They talk about the funny (but on another level, sad) myths they learned through friends or other faulty sources. They talk about some of the damaging mistakes they made because no one gave them any information.

And then it comes around to me and I have to share my experience. And I tell them how my parents taught me about sex before I’d entered kindergarten. How they’d read me this very comforting and age-appropriate book called “How Babies are Made” that showed how flowers, and chickens, and doggies, and humans have sex and reproduce (with images of paper cut-out art—hard to describe, but this allowed for the depiction of nudity without too much in-your-face detail). I explain how at every stage of my childhood, my parents were open to questions about sexuality and had reading material prepared and at the ready for when I would ask those questions. About how they didn’t make nudity a big deal or anything to feel ashamed about, and so I actually sometimes saw my parents naked when I was a kid. How saying "I love you" was standard at my house. How my dad used to grab my mom and kiss her in the middle of cleaning up after dinner. How as a teenager, when we were on vacations, my parents would ask me to watch my younger sister so they could go back to the hotel room and “have some privacy together” (“...And if you come back, don't knock or come in unless you see the shades are back up”). How when I was getting older, my mom told me that she thought I shouldn’t have sex until I was married, but if I ever decided I was going to, I should come to her so she could help me get good birth control. How I knew what kind of birth control my parents used, and that my dad actually showed me what my mom’s diaphragm looked like when I asked to see it. That my mom bought my dad a subscription to Playboy for a birthday gift--and they let us kids look at the magazines if we wanted to, because “the human body is nothing to be ashamed of.” How my parents insisted I take a full semester of sex education as an elective in high school.

All this is true. And when I tell this story, I usually get one of two reactions:

  1. Horror (“You saw your parents NAKED? You knew when your parents were having SEX? Your mom bought your dad a subscription to PLAYBOY?”) -OR-
  2. Envy (“I wish my parents had been able to be so straightforward about sexuality—that sounds so healthy.”)
In either case, before these verbal responses, it usually results in people staring at me like I’m a freak. Which shows me my experience is pretty damn rare.

I was always comfortable and proud of my parent’s age-appropriate openness about sexuality. I feel in many ways it saved me from a number of sex-related mistakes many of my friends made growing up.

Of course, in other ways, it’s created other problems. Being someone raised with healthy sexual/relationship models in a world of people raised with dysfunctional ones still creates clashes for me. People don’t have my experience, so they can’t relate to me on that level.

But anyway, more to the point: In reading Steff’s post, I got to thinking. My parents certainly did better than most, if my discussions with others on the topic have been any guideline. I’m happy about that, and I give them real kudos for this. Most especialy, I give them kudos for letting me know I could ask them about anything and actually meaning it. They never made me feel ashamed or embarassed when I did ask them something.

From them, I learned about intercourse and love and menstruation and reproduction and birth control and shame-free desire. And for this, I truly thank them.

But after reading Steff's post, I thought about it some more. And after thinking about it, I realize that despite all of the above, there was still a lot of stuff they left out, or never said specifically, which I had to absorb for myself. For instance, they never told me specifically that:

  1. People had sex for other reasons than having babies. As the title of the book they read to me at five pretty much implies, they taught me sex was something that “mommies and daddies” do when they “are in love with each other” and want to create a baby. This made sense at the time they read it to me--my mother was pregnant, and they wanted me to understand what was going on with her. They did make me understand that they had sex together as an expression of their love for each other. But there was never any clear discussion of the fact that people had sex all the time, whether they wanted babies or not. This became clear as I got older, and there was the implication my parents had sex and enjoyed it a lot despite being past wanting more kids, but it was never “taught” to me as a truism early on that sex was, well...just plain fun.

  2. People had sex when they weren’t married. My parents didn’t believe in sex before marriage. I’m fairly certain based on things I’ve heard them say that they were both virgins themselves when they got married. Of course, through media I absorbed fairly quickly that people did it even when they weren’t married, but my parents always explained this to me as being a “not-the-best-choice” scenario. I could tell they thought the people who did that were devaluing what they saw as the sacredness of loving sex. And there was some sense they gave off, though they never said it out loud exactly, that people who chose to engage in pre-marital sex were stupid, misguided, and asking for trouble—and that the sex was meaningless and probably not as good.
  3. There were sensations involved with sex besides feeling love for each other. I had no idea that the word “orgasm” existed was until I was a pre-teen and read the phrase “I came, and then he came” in a book (Judy Blume’s Forever) and asked about it. To my mom’s credit, when I asked her what that meant, she told me immediately. But I remember how surprised I was that she hadn’t told me this kind of thing before. And I also remember asking her to describe to me what an orgasm felt like (poor Mom, what an impossible question to answer!) and her floundering around for a few minutes without words, and then just blurting out “Good!” in this frustrated, I-can’t-do-better-than-that way. Heh.

  4. People had other kinds of sex other than coitus. I can’t even remember when I discovered people had oral, anal, etc. sex, but it wasn’t via my parents. I can’t remember asking them about it, either, once I knew.

  5. People you knew could possibly attempt to sexually assault you, and how to recognize the signs of that, and what to do when faced with such a situaton. Obviously, given some of my previous posts, this would have been a good thing to be educated on.

  6. That homosexuality existed. Sex was presented to me as a straight hetero thing. And at some point growing up, after I discovered homosexuality existed and then asked my mother about it, I remember her telling me it was a psychological condition, and implying “those people” were confused and messed up. It was a fairly common belief at the time, and even presented as "fact" in contemporary adult sex books back then, so I guess it’s not surprising she said this, though it’s disappointing. Nowadays, she swears up and down she NEVER said that, but I remember it very clearly. And in truth, even now, though they try their best to be open and nonjudgmental about the topic these days, my parents are at least to some degree closet homophobes.

  7. Adults masturbated, and how. It’s funny. I remember learning fairly early on (before grade school was out) about boys having "wet dreams." But when teaching me about that, no one actually told me that boys could induce the same effect when NOT dreaming. My parents never denied the existence of masturbation, and as I got older I’m fairly sure they acknowledged its existence to me and never implied it was unhealthy, but they never taught me anything specific about it, either. Learning to masturbate was a self-taught thing for me, and I remember being concerned as a kid that I might not be doing it the “right way,” because I didn’t know what the “right way” was, and I was too embarrassed to ask anyone to check.
So there were a few things left off the plate when I was getting taught the facts of life.

Honestly, none of this ever occurred to me before, because in comparison to everyone I knew, I’d always had the most information about sexuality, and my family had always been the most open. I guess I felt I couldn’t expect more if my parents’ level of openness already put me in the “freaky” category in a lot of people’s eyes. But looking at this list…well, yeah, even they could have done an even better job.

The one thing I will say is that they were always open for discussion of these things, which was great. But their way of judging age-appropriateness in many situations was to wait until the child had questions, and then be well prepared to answer them responsibly. It was a good method, but not foolproof, because some things you don’t know to ask until someone else tells you. And if no one tells you…well…

Most of the topics listed above I eventually got information on in that high school sex ed class my parents made me take. The teacher of that course was great and very open, and in retrospect I have to give her a lot of credit for what a terrific job she did. But even she didn't answer everything.

And Steff is right; though I had a fairly good model of a working relationship in my parents, no one at school OR at home gave me specific instruction on what makes for a healthy relationship. And that’s important information.

So now…what did your parents teach you? What did they leave out? Do you think parents should talk to kids, or is that just too uncomfortable a situation for kids, to be discussing sex with a parent? Did anyone have any good instruction beyond the biological aspects on things like how to build healthy relationships and handle the emotional aspects of sexuality? What do you think should be discussed with children when it comes to sex and relationships? At what age? Should you bring it up, or should they? How much information is too much? Too little?

And if you have kids, what do they think about/want from you in this arena? Have you ever asked?

Share and share alike.

May 30, 2006

Ebb Tide

People. I'm exhausted. Bone tired. "Why are you telling us this," you ask? Just to say though the spirit is willing, I'm just too wiped out tonight to answer all of your great comments from over the weekend. Thanks for all of them--they were terrific. I apologize for the lack of energy, responses, and a more interesting post. I'll get to it soon. But tonight, I'm just closing my eyes and that's gotta be it.

I'll match your three Kates and raise you an Amélie

Okay, so I lied, but this is a mindless post, so it doesn't count. But it's just too fun a toy not to share.

Want to know what I look like? Well, according to this genealogical site's funky, free face recognition demo thingie that scans a photo of your face and compares it against a database of famous people, I look most closely like:

(Photo scan #1)

Kate Bush
followed in close second by...

Amélie Nothomb---author of Fear and Trembling, which I've never read. Didn't know anything about her until today, though have heard vague mention of her book.


(photo scan #2)

Catherine Zeta-Jones

with a Kate Winslet chaser

But before you get all excited and I get a flood of proposal emails (and I get too much of an ego), realize that a few clicks down the line after Kate there, at some point I also inexplicably got Colin Powell. (?)

I guess all four of these women all kind of have similar faces, though I'd have never thought to put them together before. And I actually do see some similarities to me in coloring, hair, face shape, mouth, etc., though none of them are my clone by any means. I have to say, though, I've never once thought I looked anything like Kate Bush, but in the photo they were using to compare (above), I actually kind of do.

Anyway, go play, and let me know who it says you look like. Even if it's wrong, it's kind of cool to see the scan at work, and it only takes two seconds to upload and get the results.

June 1, 2006


First, just a quick note to say I'll be on the road for the next few days, and am not sure what my 'net access will be like. So things may progress as normal, or they may go quiet--we'll just have to wait and see.

Second, I've been wanting to point out that Playboy has created a list of "The 25 Sexiest Novels Ever Written." Go check it out and let me know what you think. Are these nominees valid? Should there have been others instead?

Personally, I think the title of the list is problematic. "Sexy" is defined as "arousing or tending to arouse sexual desire." I would agree with that definition; so I posit that a number of these books, while they talk about sex, are not sex-y. There's a difference, you know.

Actually, I often think the problem with most people is they don't know there's a difference. A frank discussion about sexuality is not the same as having sex or creating arousal--and yet many people treat it like it is; as if mere discussion of sex is taboo ("Sex education is condoning sex."), or embarassing ("How could you say that in PUBLIC?!?"), or meant to be deliberately stimulating when that is far from the point ("She's not embarassed to talk about sex, therefore she must be easy."), among other things.

Anyway, I have to say I'm surprised Playboy wouldn't differentiate. Portnoy's Complaint is a sexy book? Come ON. They say they chose it because it was the first book to talk about masturbation. But just look at the excerpt--there are plenty of ways to talk about masturbation that are FAR from sexy. Portnoy's Complaint is frank, yes. But sexy? No.

And of course, my all-time erotic lit axe to grind: Lolita. The book no one actually reads, but everyone insists is sexy. Lolita isn't sexy. Now please understand, I have nothing against seduction erotica, or May/September pairings (yes, I meant September, not December), but that is NOT what Lolita is. Read the book, people. It's about a pedophile who marries a woman in order to attain guardianship of the child he wants to fuck, then kills her mother so the child has no recourse but to rely on him and submit to his whims in order not to be entirely abandoned. It's a fascinating literary study of mental illness, but it's not sexy, and in fact hardly has any sex in it--it's primarily just Humbert's obsessive ramblings, with no actual action. In fact, even Playboy's write up of it says:

This novel has a reputation as a "dirty book" that it doesn't really deserve; its storied buzz is hotter than the text itself, which is why it doesn't even make our top 10.
So, they're naming it one of the 25 sexiest novels of all time because it's got a reputation of being dirty even though it's not actually very hot? What kind of crap logic is that? Come on Playboy editors, show a little literary cojones. Break the mold; call a non-sexy book what it is, and put an actual sexy book on the list.

I'd agree some others are certainly stimulating. I haven't read them all, so I can't judge the entire list; but Lawrence, Jong, Miller...these people made grand and often successful attempts at sexiness. And I can see how the Story of O could get some people all stirred up based on its subject matter, though personally I find the prose to be pretty simplistic and dull. No matter how many times I try, I can never finish it, and not because I need to go pleasure myself; I just get bored. And again, I love me a good non-consent story; but I need more than just a "...and then he did this and she did that and then this thing happened and then someone else said let's do that next, and they did."

So anyway, I say either change the list's name to "The 25 Best Sexually-Themed Novels Ever Written," or replace some of the non-sexy titles with ones that are sexy in the truest sense of the word (and I vote for #2). I wonder if the problem is there just aren't enough well-written, truly sexy novels out there?

Food for thought. Discuss at will.

June 6, 2006


Love. What is it? What does it mean?

Really, I think I have absolutely no idea.

You’ll note back in my “Final Cut” post, this is something I struggle with. I’m not sure I’ve ever loved anyone, exactly. Or that I can ever feel anyone really loves me.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ve cared for a good number of people. I’ve had great friends who I adore and think are wonderful. I have family members who I share common bonds with and feel attached to. I’ve often felt a great deal of affection toward certain people. Many people have told and do tell me that they love me. I tell and have told people I love them.

And I guess on some level I do love them—to the extent I’m capable of loving. But for me, there always feels to be this---I don’t know what to call it—this cut-off point. The point at which if I begin to feel too strongly, it crosses over some line and I shut down; go numb. It’s not that I feel nothing, exactly, but that I can’t reach the end that I feel MUST be there to feel, though I have no evidence it is. Some final, my-cup-runneth-over sensation is just blocked off and inaccessible to me.

The best way I can get across what it feels like is to use a sexual metaphor. Imagine you can be stimulated, and it feels nice, and you can even feel the stimulation building to something, but you just can never, ever reach the orgasm. You can get really close--but then just at that key moment when you’re supposed to explode, you deflate instead. Over and over again—and no matter who you’re with, no matter what kind of a lover they are, you never, ever get to peak.

That’s what it feels like. I can’t orgasm on love. I can get close to people. I can enjoy the exchange. I can feel moved by them. But I can’t let myself go and love them without limit.

Most people I choose to love never seem to realize this. To keep the sexual metaphor going, maybe I’m making so much noise enjoying the sex, they don’t even realize I’m not orgasming. I go out of my way to make people feel fully loved—to make up for the small part that I think is dead inside me. Essentially, making the love experience SO good for them on their end that they can’t believe that I’m not orgasming. Or that it's so good and they are so overwhelmed with their own sensation that that they never even notice if I’m orgasming or not. Or if they do notice, that it’s so good for them that they don’t care if I am.

The problem is, at the same time this is going on, it hurts me deeply that no one notices or cares that I’m not orgasming while they are. I want to fucking orgasm. And I think, how can I really love this person if I'm incapable of coming for them? And, just like it is for people sexually, the fact that I'm hurt that they didn't notice only makes it more difficult for me to come. Once the person shows me what I believe is proof that he or she doesn't really notice or care all that much, it becomes even more difficult for me to ever trust them enough to let myself go to the extreme of giving all my love to them. Why? Fear, probably. Fear of what would happen to me if I did. Fear of having an orgasm and it meaning nothing to the other person. What could be worse? How empty, how foolish, to allow yourself to love someone fully who couldn't give a shit about you.

So I opt for no orgasm rather than having one that the person will then devalue, I guess.

But honestly, I don't know if this is a conscious choice, or it's just part of my makeup. I've never been any other way, that I can remember.

Sexually speaking, there are plenty of people who are non-orgasmic, and we’re told this is okay and that people can have fulfilling sex lives without orgasm being a part of it. Maybe. But, and apologies to the people out there who have not yet capable of having orgasms, but I’ve experienced partnered sex both without and with orgasms, and I’m gonna take with the orgasm every time, if I get a choice. I’d rather be alone and make myself orgasm than be with a partner who I could never orgasm with. I suppose I feel the same about love. I've been in a "non-orgasmic love" relationship more than once. It's just not enough for me. I feel lonely. I find flaws. I want more.

But I wonder if there are a lot of people out there who are non-orgasmic in love when it comes to romantic relationships. I suspect, based on some friends’ marriages and LTRs that I know of, that this is far more common a situation than the movies would have you believe. Could this be the rule more than the exception? Are most relationships only halfhearted (or seven-eighths-hearted, or whatever)? Is love just simply NOT like an orgasm at all, and my current state of not quite being able to love without limits is actually as close to full-hearted love as anyone gets? Am I expecting too much to think that I deserve to be able to access the full, boundless sensation of loving and being loved? Are you expecting too little if you think you don’t?

And how can you be sure that you love someone, really, anyway?

[This above mostly discusses my feelings of being unable to fully love others, but doesn't address the other part I mentioned--being unable to believe others fully love me. This is getting long, though, so look for a second part to this post sometime soon.]

(Photo credit: Half-Hearted - Fleet Week Airshow 2005 by remid0d0s0)

June 7, 2006

Halfhearted, the Second Half

So this is a continuation of yesterday’s post, examining my detachment from fully being able to feel the sensation of love, as I assume others feel it. I likened my experience of trying to fully connect to love to having sex but never reaching orgasm. It’s nice; you can have fun, you can feel good, you can connect, but you never fully get ALL the way there, exactly.

And I mentioned that I often work hard in relationships to make up for what I’m not feeling, so much so that the person on the receiving end is certain I must be feeling something strongly. In short, I fake my “love orgasm.” Why do I do this? It may be because I don’t want the other person to feel bad or inadequate, or to feel like I’m not doing enough for them. It may be because I want to feel the orgasm so much, I desperately need to pretend to myself that I do feel it.

I wonder about that last one. Some days, I think maybe the way I feel love IS the way everyone feels it, and I just think there must be more to it. But we all know what we think when someone inexperienced says, “Well, maybe I did have an orgasm, and I just didn’t realize.” No, darlin’, if you only think you had one, you didn’t. If you had one, you would know.

I’m guessing it’s the same with the love thing. I’m not really feeling it. If I were, I would know. Or would I? I wish someone would tell me. Getting people to describe what love feels like, what makes them certain they love someone, is--again--like trying to get someone to describe what an orgasm feels like.

Anyway, this whole faking it thing is ironic, because during sex, I absolutely refuse to fake an orgasm. I don’t believe in it. I think it’s unfair to both sides involved. One person thinks they’re having a better connection than they are, and the other person gets cheated. Resentment builds. And then think of the crushing blow your partner receives when they finally are told, or finally come to realize on their own that they’ve never made you come and you’ve been faking for the whole time. It’s crushing, it’s demeaning, it’s relationship ending.

And yet, what I just described above is a pattern I repeat over and over again in romantic relationships. In friend and family relationships, the pattern isn’t quite as obvious—but that feeling of slight disconnectedness is almost always there. And I fake it for as long as I can convince myself and the other person that everything’s okay. Until it’s not, and everything falls apart, and we’re both angry and disappointed, and I get to reinforce to myself one more time that I don’t know how to love anyone, and I am incapable of being loved.

It’s the worst thing you can say at the end of a relationship, isn’t it? You see it in movies. The last, cruel line no one has a comeback for—“You never made me come! I faked every orgasm!” It’s a power play. We all recognize the explosive significance when the actor throws out that line. It means, “You never really got all of me. I never really loved you. You never made me FEEL. No matter what you’re doing to me now, no matter if you have the upper hand in this breakup, walk away knowing that you were the failure—not me. You were the one who couldn’t perform, not me. You can’t hurt me, because you never really made me feel in the first place.” And the person is defenseless against this. They can’t prove you wrong. They can’t win. They lose the upper hand.

So maybe that’s why I do it. If someone leaves, or disappoints, I have the ability to say, well I never cared that much, anyway.

You know, I have to stop mid-post and say I’m writing this, and it’s true, and yet I also realize it’s total bullshit. This whole thing is total bullshit. It’s all so conveniently neat and tidy, all spelled out for you, isn’t it?

Faking it is total bullshit. It’s true. I mean, faking it is acting. And then continuing to reenact the pattern itself is bullshit—I know what I’m doing on some level, and I’m doing it anyway. Why? Clearly, because it serves some purpose for me. I’m getting something out of it. God knows what. I’m sure as hell not getting anything good. What could I possibly stand to gain by perpetuating this kind of thing? My ability to continue to feel victimized? To believe everyone is ultimately out to hurt me? To get to continue to play the role of the romantically sad, fucked-up girl, so I’m more interesting than my boring, suburban, Beaver Cleaver roots?

Even explaining the pattern to you is yet another level of bullshit. Putting all these metaphors together, making it all pretty and make sense and match up. All of it…it’s all this giant put-on, this cover up for some other, bigger, more important fact or truth that, in some really nasty irony, has been shrunken down and hidden inside a pill encasing so microscopic I just can’t even see it, so I can’t pick it up and break it open. And I am both so afraid and SO ready to break it open and find out what that more important truth is, and I have no fucking idea how to make that happen.

So. In the meantime, the pattern stays deeply ingrained, and the bullshit remains. And I have to wonder where it’s all originating from. I need to really figure out what creates this impulse in me to keep playing out this act, this blocking myself from feeling.

What I really need to do is go look at the roots of what I was taught about love, and what those messages were.

But I think the above is more than enough for me to process right now. I guess there will be a part three. Didn’t expect that one.

June 8, 2006

Yoko and Me

Yesterday, I received an email from a reader chastising me for not having been able to answer every comment that was made on my blog. Though I was already intending to address the particular post the reader was referring to in my own time and in my own way, now is as good a time as any to clarify a few things for anyone who reads this blog. Note I say this is a clarification, not an apology.

The main point: I like my readers. I'm glad you comment. But. I can not and will not always be able to answer every comment, no matter how good or erroneous or insightful or personal or etc. that comment may be. I have never promised to do so, nor should you expect that I will.

Your choice to comment on anything here, or to share any personal experiences, is just that—a choice. I am grateful for those of you who do make that choice, and for each and every comment, but that doesn’t mean I “owe” you or any other commenter anything for you having made that choice—in the same way I don’t think just because you’ve read a post of mine that you “owe” me a comment on it. I’m pleased when you do. I hope you will, if you feel you have something you want to share, and if you have the time and inclination. If you don’t, I understand and I don’t take it personally. Feel free to feel the same about me in reverse. But don’t expect I’m here to take care of you or that there are “rules” I have to follow on my own blog.

A second important point: I want to make one thing very clear. I sometimes choose to share personal, and sometimes difficult, emotional experiences here. This often results in others choosing to share personal experiences of their own. When anyone who comments make this choice, understand that what you are doing is the same as what I am doing when I write my posts—you are sharing it with ALL the readers of this blog including myself—you are not sharing it one-on-one with me. I am NOT a therapist and it is NOT my job to take care of anyone’s emotional health. If you have written something here and you feel upset that it has not been addressed, recognize this means the issue is bigger than something I am capable of addressing for you anyway, and please go find someone qualified who can help you address it. If you see someone ELSE has written something you feel needs to be addressed and you feel I haven’t addressed it the way YOU would like to, by all means, respond to it yourself and say what you feel needs to be said.

This blog was created for three reasons:
1) To encourage me to get in the practice of writing for me more regularly
2) To talk about issues of sexuality and other things that are important or interesting to me
3) To foster group (not one-on-one, blogger-to-reader) discussion.

I never intended this blog to be one where I talk to each individual reader, but one where we all talk to each other. The whole point was for this to be a community discussion, so whether or not I answered, discussion was happening. I happen to enjoy answering comments, so when I can, I do it. But I refuse to make this an exchange where either side is obligated to the other.

There are many reasons why I may not be able to respond to a discussion, which should be obvious. If I don’t, it’s not due to any disinterest, but things like the fact that I have a life outside of this blog that needs to be taken care of, that I feel you are all doing a good enough job on your own, or even that for personal or emotional reasons, I don’t feel like joining in the discussion that’s happening. Maybe I haven’t solidified my thoughts yet. Whatever the reason is, it is, and that’s that. I may give you an explanation. I may not. Please don't think you're owed one--I don't ask you for an explanation of why you don't comment on a post if I know you've read it. And in line with that, in the same way that when you read something I write and aren't inspired to comment you mean nothing personal by it, be aware my not reponding to any comment isn’t a personal commentary on you, any other person, or the quality or importance of comments made.

And if you find that annoying, please look around at other blogs. It’s extremely rare to have any blogger respond to every single reader. Most do not respond anywhere NEAR the level, or at the length, that I do. So again, I ask you to be happy I’ve been able to do it as much as I have, and leave it at that. And realize that as time goes on, it will probably be that I’ll have LESS time to do individual one-to-one responses instead of more. My hope is that even if this becomes the case, you will be able to carry on the discussion as a group. However, if you simply can’t accept that you or others may not always get a personal response from me, of course your other option is to stop reading the blog (or stop commenting). I hope that won’t be your choice, but everyone must do what works best for them.

And finally, please don’t send me emails telling me how I “should” write, manage, etc. my blog. “Should” is a very judgmental concept, and it says more about your own needs and issues than anything about me and my actions. This blog is for me, and I’m running it in the way that’s right for me. If you think I am--or this blog is--doing something wrong, by all means, start a blog of your own and write and run it the way that’s right for you. And I can promise you this: I may read it, and I may comment on it, but I won’t expect you to be me, and I won’t expect that you are responsible for me, or owe me or anyone else anything.

Thanks and affection to all,


P.S. I'm keeping comments open as a matter of habit, but the above is not up for debate. And though you never know if I will be able to respond or not to any comment, I can tell you for certain that I will definitely not be responding to anyone who tries to make it a debate. I may even choose to delete such comments, though I generally don't like to do that.

June 9, 2006


In the real world, I tend toward monadoramy. It's my new phrase, to substitute for monogamy. I want to adore someone and be adored by him, and I don't want to share. Mine, mine, mine. In the blogging world, however, I'm polyadoramous. And I've come across a few new bloggers recently (new to ME, that is) who I've been selfishly enjoying all to myself; and now I feel it's time to reveal my secret trysts and share the love.

(Stands up nervously in front of the room, straightens skirt, pats hair, adjusts sexy librarian glasses, opens mouth and says:)

I am the goddess of hellfire, and I bring you:


Let's say the "B" in the acronym stands for "blogs," but y'know, if any of the people I'm writing about prefer to substitute the word "blogger," who am I to object? A shortlist of all my current blog-reading obsessions, each of which is pretty much a daily read of late, but which I've been too damn lazy to move up to my "daily sustenance" list yet.

None of these are "sex blogs," by the way. Reading only sex-themed blogs can get a little boring and repetitive, don't you think? I like people who mix it up and branch out.

So, they may not be sex bloggers, but all of them are smart, funny, lovely, talented, and built for pleasure, regardless. I'd do each and every one of 'em. And let you watch.

1) Neil Kramer at Citizen of the Month. Reasons why:

  • Because he makes me laugh almost every damn day, and on the days he doesn't, he makes me think. And then some days he makes me laugh AND think, and then I laugh to think of how surely, he must be destroyed, because to be able to unleash a firestorm of thoughtful-funny is the most dangerous power on earth. Isn't it? Well, it slays me, at least.
  • Because he is a MOTWA (Member Of the Tribe With Attitude).
  • Because he's the kind of guy who likes his women to have real bodies, and his goats to have full rights under the constitution.
  • Because he lives in LA and yet isn't an asshole (I'm beginning to discover this is more common than I once thought).
  • Because he didn't get insulted when I suggested his penis should be part of a roadshow.
  • Because he writes things like this:
Babies are like homeless
They beg and beg for more
They don't pay any taxes
They puke all over the floor.

2) The Communicatrix (aka Colleen Wainwright). Reasons why:

  • Because I wish I had thought up such a cool alter-ego.
  • Because she can do irony without doing bitter
  • Because she's another woman who understands how to do sexy librarian glasses right
  • Because she thinks about how to get to happy, and seems, despite some occasional setbacks, to be actually accomplishing it, which I find heartening.
  • Because she has a "Cheering the Hell Up" series, and she couldn't be more right. It'll slap you into perspective. In a very sweet slapping kind of way, dontcha know.
  • Because she writes things like this:
Anyone who doubts the multiculturalism and quick wit of small town America has not worn pigtails, walked down a main street and had two brothers in a bright yellow TransAm yell "Pippi Longstocking!" at her out the window.

3) Schmutzie at milkmoney or not, here I come. Reasons why:
  • Because when I read her I just, y'know, like her. She's cool. She's the kind of person I'd hang out with in real life. If anyone like her lived where I live now, that is, dammit.
  • Because in just one post (yesterday), she: 1) said she had an "inner goth teen," 2) used the word "ginormous," 3) included the phrase "proof that the world is not solely populated with trolls in human clothing," and 4) admitted one of her favorite things to do is to respond to people with, "Twat? I didn't hear you." I mean, really. How can you not love this girl?
  • Because she is yet another woman who knows how to wear her some sexy glasses, and she collects others who do.
  • Because I like the way she does photography, and the way she designed her blog.
  • Because she seems to have found an actual good relationship, with a cool guy who has a blog of his own and knows who Chris Ware is, all of which gives me hope that my quirky indie-girl-mixed-with-"nice"-girl-mixed-with-secret-sex-kitten ass will eventually be able to do the same. Plus, she's not annoyingly kiss-kiss, lovey-love, rub-it-in-your-face, protests too much about the fact she has a Happy Relationship™. Which leads me to believe she actually does have one, rather than is pretending she has one, like I sometimes suspect is going on with some bloggers.

  • Because she writes things like this:
People are not always sociopathic robots with crossed wires. Sometimes they are thoughtful and sweet and remind me that I, too, can be thoughtful and sweet. We can spread this shit around, people.
4) Ducky (aka Brando, aka Brandon) at One Child Left Behind. Reasons why:
  • Because the blog's name is enough of a reason alone
  • Because he's got a Journey boxed set, and he's not afraid to use it. Or ashamed to admit it.
  • Because he has a fine quarter of a face and has only one interest: wicked awesomeness.
  • Because he's been published in McSweeney's, making me insanely jealous...and yet the same time. Oooh, McSweeney's. Oooh.
  • Because it's mysteriously difficult to figure out where his archives are, and this makes me want him more.
  • Because he can write beautiful shit that's sentimental without being sappy, like this post yesterday.
  • Because he can write other fucking amazing, too-damn-clever shit like this:
I would like to burn in hell for a little while (NOT VERY LONG), so that I might arrive in Heaven refreshed and appreciative. Like cooking with whiskey. You boil off the alcohol and what remains is evocative. I would like to smell ever so slightly of my horrid deeds.
(Ed.: Though "beautiful shit" maybe sounds not-so-nice to some, rest assured that when I resort to calling out obscenities to say how good something is, it's good.)

5) Brooke at The Babbling Brooke. Reasons why:
Brooke's newest to me, so I don't have a whole list for her, but I keep finding myself back at her blog lately. She's a teacher, and she cares about being one, and I find that encouraging. She's also a good writer, and clever-smart. And most importantly, Google sends you to her blog when you search "tattoos, bitches, and bikes." 'Nuff said. I'll be back at her place again.

Finally, I'd feel remiss somehow if I didn't mention two other blogs. I'm separating these two out because one's quiet at the moment and the other's in flux, and though they are more recent obsessions of mine than some, neither is a "new find" the way all those listed above are. But regardless, I just want to give them a nod, because I love them and read them constantly, and I don't think I've ever articulated that.

So, continuing my adoration of all clan Moronosphere:

First, I want to point everyone toward Buck Daruma, my ass, which has LONG been a daily read but which I am heartily ashamed to say I've taken far too long to switch over on my blog list. Buck's a fabulous writer and thinker, and he's all Zen and stuff, too. Buck's ass puts my over-effusive ass to shame. He may or may not be continuing the blog at this point (I'm rooting for "may"), but in any case the archives are muy interesante and give you plenty to hold onto, and I'd encourage you to check 'em out so long as he keeps them up.

Second, I want to point ya'll to The C Word, the blog of that smouldering avianatrix Circe. She, like me, runs on the effusive rather than Zen side, and so she helps me overcome my shame after reading Buck. And she writes about what it's like to be a freaky indie girl/woman in a conservative place, and to feel really damn alone as a result--and boy do I know how that feels. Another femme too smart for her own damn good, and yet, if the world were fair, that phrase would never even exist. When I am queen of the universe, I will change all of this, of course. Her writing style is light, fun, funny, and somehow not depressing even when it's sad. Not sure how she does that. Breezy. That's her word; that's what she writes like.

WELL. That's enough BILF worship for one day. Enjoy yourselves. And of course, avail yourselves of all the other wonderful people listed to the right. The blog world is an odd and beautiful place, full of odd and beautiful people. Go get you some BILFs of your own and send 'em my lustful way.

June 11, 2006

Exercise: Connecting to the Evolved Observer

(View larger)

This is less of a post and more of a marker--a reminder to myself of something I need to keep with me. Something I want to try. Feel free to try it too, if you like.

Look at a space in the room where you're sitting where a person might stand and be able to observe you.

Now imagine yourself standing in front of you as the fully evolved person you've imagined you could be. Not the person who you think (or have been told) you "should" be. I mean the real, ultimate ideal for you--the dream person, who you imagine, in the deepest parts of your soul, you could be. The true person you know yourself as, if you could get past all the crap and negativity. The you who would exist if your world were without fears, worries, any of the outside or inside motivations or needs that hold you back or push you forward.

Imagine it all, what your ultimately evolved self looks like, feels like, is wearing, does with her or his days, all of it. Imagine that person as if she or he is corporeal, standing in front of you. Imagine she or he is looking right at you--calmly, affectionately, and without judgment--just looking at you, connecting with you, as you look back. Imagine this person taking you in visually as you are RIGHT NOW in this moment, whatever you are doing, wherever you are sitting, whatever you look like, wherever you are in your life; absorbing you so you are each sharing the other's thoughts and feelings.

Now connect to what the evolved observer version of you is seeing and feeling towards you as she or he is looking at you, and what, right now, in this moment that version of you would say to you, and/or do. How would that evolved person communicate or interact with you, looking at you at exactly this moment, with only affection and the desire to make the best, warmest connection with you possible as you are right now?

Whatever message that person has for you, whatever they feel compelled to do for you or tell you right now, do that for yourself or tell yourself that for the rest of the day.

When you wake up tomorrow, do this exercise again. Do it every day. Hourly, if you want. Until you are both the same person.

A connected reminder: You are not bad; or good. There IS no good or bad. There's only you, as you are, working toward your vision of the fully evolved you. There are no good choices, action or thoughts; there are no bad choices, actions, or thoughts. There are only choices, actions, or thoughts that will or won't get you closer toward being that evolved version of you who you dream of. When a thought goes through your mind or a choice comes up, don't think about if the thought is good or bad; don't think about what other people will think or say, or if they'll be critical of if you make that choice; don't think about if that choice is smart or stupid, possible or impossible. Ask yourself simply, "Will this help me evolve to where I want to go/who I want to be?" Then respond accordingly.

And if a choice turns out to not help you evolve as expected, don't spend time beating yourself up that you made "a bad choice" or "always make bad choices." Simply recognize that choice turned out not to help you evolve, and now you know. That's all. And then go on and try a new choice. Keep trying. Don't hurt yourself because every choice won't always bring you forward as hoped. You didn't do bad. You didn't do good. There is no score; there is no judgment or evaluation. There's only you, evolving as you go.

(Photo credit: Evolving Planet by sgtpepperzl)

June 14, 2006

Just. Right.

Every morning, in the first moment of waking, I turn my face to the other pillow…and you are lying there next to me.

And I get to reach over, warm and still sleepy, languorous and cat-eyed, and lightly cup my hand against the roughness of your cheek, run my thumb against your always surprisingly soft lips. And the white, clean light of morning spills all around us like the fire from some sacred halo, and I can feel how any moment, you’re going to open your eyes and look at me. A look that says, “Baby, everything is just. right.’

And then you’re gone.

I want you to stay. I want what comes after.

Abre los ojos.

(photo credit: In bed by Xena B)

June 15, 2006

Horror Head

Disclaimer: If you're not a fan of self-pity (and you'd be smart not to be), stay the fuck away from this post.

I don't even know how to write what I want to say.

I want to talk about being completely alone in struggling with something, and how hard that is. I want to talk about shame, and what it feels like when it's eating you alive, from the inside out.

I have no words for these things, which is only making me feel worse, because it means I'm an utter failure at even the one thing I'm supposed to do well.

I'm not good at allowing myself to be vulnerable. My greatest fear is I'll let someone know my weak spots, and they'll use the knowledge to destroy me. That they'll treat me like a subhuman speck of filth.

I revealed something today, said something out loud in the presence of others, that I'd never said to anyone, and that I thought would help me. I think I thought it would free me, bring me release. And maybe, as a secondary impulse, I thought sharing it would somehow make me feel less alone in struggling with it. Maybe I also secretly thought my bravery in revealing it was going to get me points and draw people to me out of admiration. I don't know.

It didn't work. Instead, what it ended up doing was make me feel even more utterly alone than I'd felt before I'd said it.

And then I had to walk away from this group, alone on my little path of shame and humiliation. Or rather, they absorbed themselves with each other so they conveniently didn't have to notice what I was doing, so I had no choice but to walk away, or stand there alone and ignored, like an idiot. So I walked. No one said goodbye. I was avoided. I felt like a big, hulking monster. Quasimoda. The Elephant Girl. Repulsive.

I went home, completely mortified, and cried the way you do when you're four. That loud, wave-after-wave body-wracking kind of crying--the way you do before you've learned it's not okay to cry like that anymore. That kind where every time you stop, you can't catch your breath before another wave is smacking you. I haven't cried like that in years. I thought maybe that would give me some kind of release. But it doesn't.

And I thought, I need to talk to someone; call someone. I just need one person out there to let me give them the full-on blast of my humiliated misery, the depth of who I am with all my flaws and disgustingness (and goodness), and have them love me anyway. Tell me I'm good and pure and that I light up their life.

And I just had no one to call who'd be able to do that for me. I mean there are people, but none of them can give me what I need in this particular situation. Or, I just can't bring myself to subject them to what I need. And anyway, if I tell them what I need, then it won't count. They'll be saying it to make me feel better, but they won't mean it. They'll just be doing it because I asked.

I don't know.

I've never been in this situation before. What do you do when there's no one you can turn to?

I guess you write a sorry-ass, non-specific, completely loserish post like this one. Because at this point, this is all I've got left.

Which makes me feel ashamed in and of itself.

If anyone out there has anything genuinely positive to say opinion-wise that would help me to see that this whole enterprise I call myself isn't completely useless, now would be the time to say it. As ashamed as I am to ask for this, again, it's all I've got.

But for god's sake, no pity comments.

June 17, 2006

Now, That's My Kind of Ambivalence

To lighten up the mood and divert attention away from the "post'o'gloom"--which I can't stand seeing at the top of the blog anymore--I bring you:

Dr. Rajkumar.

Come, friends. Join me! All you can say is "Aaahhhh"! [sic]

Very sic, in fact. Hit play and jam like the fruit is in season, people. Listen to the brilliant chorus; and then let me know which of the four options you're voting for.

P.S. I will "do" the first person who memorizes this song, takes me on a dinner cruise, and sings it to me in front of a crowd of frighteningly anemic looking white people.

Thanks to Screenhead for the heads up.

Halfhearted, the Third Half

So this is the third (and for the time being, final) part of the posts I began here and here, in which I’ve been thinking about why I always feel slightly cut off from fully being able to experience the feeling of love. As in, not be able to quite. get. there. “There” being a place where I’m overwhelmingly sure I love the person beyond any reasonable doubt, or, in the case of romantic relationships, be able to say to myself with full certainty that I am “in love.”

I wrote at the end of the second post that I think in order to understand this, I really need to look back at the roots of how “love” was taught to me. And of course, as with everything, that starts with childhood and family upbringing.

Since some of the below may end up sounding pretty harsh, I will preface all of this by saying I wasn’t constantly miserable growing up (perhaps because at the time I didn’t know there was any alternative, so just went with what I had). I had a nice, comfortable childhood that many people on the outisde would envy. I laughed. I had good times with my family. I wasn’t abused by a long shot, and my family has done some wonderful, supportive things for me. In short: I do think my parents loved me, in the best way they knew how. I just think they had some faulty messaging about love, themselves, which it’s become evident they transmitted to me, much as I thought all these years that I was fighting it.

Okay, on with it.

I once went to a seminar where they were explaining how to utilize one of those personality assessment tools they often use in corporations. The presenter there said there were generally two types of messages people got from their families: 1) “You help the family by learning how to help yourself,” (be independent) or 2) “You help the family by learning help everyone else in the family” (be interdependent).

In general, I hate when things are boiled down to two options. (I like to say, “The world has two kinds of people: those who think the world can be divided into two kinds of people, and those who don’t. Heh.) But in this case, my family falls solidly into category #2.

In my family, “love” meant (and still means) giving. You were expected to think about what those around you needed, and how to give it to them. And if your individual need meant that you were inconveniencing someone else or everyone else, you were supposed to give up that need for the betterment of group unity. If you insisted on seeing your need met despite the other’s inconvenience or discomfort (whether actual or merely imagined), you were “selfish,” “ungrateful,” or were subjected to hearing things like, “We do so much for you, and you can’t do this one thing to make us happy?” The fact that my parents “lived first for their children” was pointed out fairly often in word and deed. We kids were expected to give recompense for this sacrifice by making my parents happy via behaving “well” (as defined by them). In essence, we were supposed to be model children.

Love was most freely given out when you achieved something toward this goal--when you performed well, and according to expectation. Though it was clear my parents never stopped loving me or my sister regardless of what we did, there was nothing that was rewarded with as much affection in my home as excelling publicly in the areas that my parents felt would raise the worth of the family “profile” in the eyes of those around them. Doing well in school. Having neighbors praise my parents for us girls being so smart or responsible or pretty or “good” or “nice.” Having lots of “appropriate,” "nice" friends. Getting into a "good" colelge. Getting a “respectable” career, that paid appropriately. Getting a “respectable” boyfriend, who also had a respectable career, and who would eventually ensure you ended up respectably married. Having children. You get the picture.

When we followed the path of what my parents had defined as the “right way” to be, and succeeded at some marker of significance they’d set up in their minds, we were rewarded with much affection and celebration. We were publicly praised and held up for admiration. When we deviated from their idea of the norm (a.k.a., “did poorly”), the information was hidden from others as if it was shameful if at all possible, and if it was too obvious to hide, it was presented to others with, "Of course I don't think it's right, look at how misguided she is/how she's hurting us" eyerolling or sadness, depending. We'd also be questioned incessantly about our "bad" choice and why we'd made it/continued to do it, and were often criticized incessantly about it as well. We were told about others’ children who were doing better by taking the other route. In general, we were made to feel guilty, until we felt entirely miserable. And then, once that was achieved, we were told, “See, the way you’re choosing to live your life is making you unhappy. We just want you to be happy.” (And yes, at times both my sister and I have given in to this on some significant decisions, because it got to the point where it did feel as if just to have the pressure stop would be easier than the constant judgement and guilt.)

So, lots of love and affection for being the perfect, 1950s-style clever but obedient, sweet, pure, blandly attractive, compliant, perfect middle-class girl. For anything else, "Well, you know we love you no mater what you do, could you do that? What is wrong with you? How could you do this to us? Do you know what people will say about you? used to be so pretty; why did you do that to yourself?" Etc., etc. So no, they never said, "bad choice = no love," but you see how subliminally, a kid might start to think deviation from the mold meant blame and witholding of love. And how these kinds of judgmental questions could be used as manipulative methods of getting the person to leave behind the choice they made and get back on the "right track."

Along with that, there was a weird inequity going on in that we as kids were told (primarily by my mother, who was very emotionally needy) that love meant having no secrets. My mother set it up from early on that she was The Family Confidant who everyone had to come to to get their emotional needs met. Every emotion we ever felt needed to be shared with and processed through her. She stressed how important it was for families to help each other, and to tell each other everything. She was hyper aware of everything we were doing at all times, so that in a sense, even if we were in a closed room in the house, we never really had any privacy. She knew where we were and who with all the time when we were out of the home. And the minute an emotion crossed our face, it was leapt on and we were asked what we were feeling.

From the outside, this seemed nice to a lot of my friends, who often felt their parents didn’t really notice them and their needs all that much. And it was nice to have a mother who cared. To an extent. But in my mother's case, it just went way over the line. For me, and I’m only beginning to realize the depth of this, it was often sheer torture. I had no mental privacy. At all.

(I feel both guilty and selfish having said that. "My mother tortured me by loving me too much." I know it sounds bizarre, and that some people who are reading this who had inattentive or emotionally absent mothers will say I'm a whiner and I don't know how good I had it. And I also know hearing this would hurt my mother and make her cry; and she'd be horrified I was saying this in public. But I'm sorry, it's true. Sometimes loving too much is damaging, too.)

And yet, even as I was always getting this constant message that people who love each other share everything, my mother certainly didn’t do the same in return. She kept plenty of her emotional stuff to herself--which was appropriate, seeing as she was an adult and I was a child. But nonetheless, you see the inequity here. "Share everything" meant my brain and heart were up for ownership; hers were not. And as such, she knew exactly what made me happy, sad, insecure, willing to help, unwilling to participate, etc. And, when she deemed it necessary (when I stepped out of line), she would use that knowledge to get me to do what she or my parents needed or wanted; or, as I got older, to at least make me feel horrible for doing it so that I couldn't enjoy it. And, it being imbalanced, I could never get enough ammunition to fight back in kind.

So you see what I was left with in terms of messages about love, moving into adulthood. Love meant:

  • Meeting or exceeding expectation; if you aren’t perfect, you’ll never be fully loved.
  • Always thinking of the other person before yourself.
  • Giving up everything to that person should they need it, whether or not they requested it, and without expectation I could get full return.
  • Giving up all secrets and vulnerabilities, which could then be used to manipulate emotions and behavior.
None of these definitions of love were EXPLICITLY stated during my childhood, of course. They were just instilled through learned behavior. Punishment and reward.

It’s really quite shocking how deeply such messages can get wired into you, even when you think you’re negating them.

These days, I’m asking myself, given this list above, is it any wonder, that I can only see people's behavior toward me in relationships as either punishment or reward--confirmation or negation of my loveability and value? Is it really all that surprising that I’m suspicious of ever letting myself be fully vulnerable to anyone? The whole mythology of giving all of yourself—sacrificing the core of your being—to the one (or ones) you love is very romantic, very noble. But is it actually really a loving act? I mean, in a way it’s a bit like emotional terrorism. If you want the kind of love that means each person must surrender themselves to the other; give up all that they are to make some kind of holy, spiritual fire-bond…well, isn’t that asking your lover, child, or friend to erase him or herself from being for you? Aren’t you in essence dehumanizing them?

In any case, that list sure as hell seems like one reason why I might have a pattern of picking out people who will fuck up, lie, cheat, or be unavailable to me. Choosing those people allows me to always be a little unsure, a little suspicious or worried; and that gives me a reason why I can keep a little distance; why they can't demand I surrender myself because they have. Oh, I'll still feel sad that I can’t fully connect, too. But I think secretly maybe I don’t want to fully connect, because that would mean surrendering myself to someone; and disappearing.

I’ve often said I’m far happier and saner out of a relationship than in it.

Now I realize why (I think). It’s because I don’t know how to fully love emotionally without loving sacrificially. And I don’t know how to accept emotional love from others without expecting sacrificial love from them to prove the emotional love.

Because, yes, despite having thought I’d beat the pattern, I see now it’s beaten me.

I did things I thought would stop it. I eschewed the kind of traditional relationship my parents had, in both type of partner and in setup. I made friends with people completely outside of the types my family thinks are the “right” people. I’ve made choices for me alone that they still give me shit for even now, and I stuck to them.

BUT. Now I’m looking closely at what I do. And what I see is shocking and disappointing. Even after all that running away and trying to change, after years of hating how love had been defined in my household, after telling myself I'd never be like them, it’s suddenly obvious that I’m still playing out the roles I’ve learned. When I’m in relationships, and even to some extent friendships, I over-give. It makes me ashamed to acknowledge this, by the way, because it seems so base and manipulative, and makes me seem so fucking needy and I HATE that. And I didn’t realize all this time, and that makes me feel stupid.

I don’t consciously over-give to manipulate or fill a need. In my head, I'm doing it simply to show the person I like and value them. But often, people tell me I give so much that they feel overwhelmed and can’t possibly keep up or match my level of giving. They feel guilty; as if they OWE me, though I've never SAID they did. And yet, this sounds all too familiary to what I described above. I'm doing something that my parents did to get something in return. Am I subconciously doing it for the same reason? To be able to say, or MAKE the person to say to him or herself, "She does so much for me, how could I not do for her?"

So I may be doing it to get someone to give me something.

Looking back to how I was raised, I see this over-giving stuff is a dual-edged sword: I give because I’m afraid the person won’t give me the full measure of their love if I don't. And I give because I want to manipulate the person into giving me the full measure of their love. And yet it's a trap, because I’m making it so they CAN never equal up—which of course, once again, is also what was done to me. Ask for everything from the person, but never be satisfied with what they give, because it doesn’t meet your vision of how it “should” be given, or because there's always another thing that needs to be met. Appear to sacrifice everything, but don’t share all of your emotional information, lest the balance be toppled and you lose power and lose yourself.

I’m thoroughly ashamed I’ve been so blind. In love, I’ve become my parents; and the people I love, I’ve made the child me. I felt so confined as a kid; so trapped. Trapped by fucking love. Smothered. Unable to breathe. Unable to relax and be myself. Not even time to think about who "myself" was; because the other person needed me so badly. And this is what I’m doing to other people. It make me want to hurt myself, it’s so awful to recognize. And it’s no wonder I’m such a fuckup at relationships. What rational adult would put up with that kind thing for long, regardless of how charming I may be on some levels?

So I'm playing the parent love role to others. And then, on the flip side, I choose men who will keep playing out the parent love role for me. I find men who will tell me they love me, will move the moon and stars for me, think I'm the hottest thing on the planet, whatever, but when it comes down to it, they just…can’t…commit. Too scared, too far away, too already involved with someone else. Or they tell me it’s been the best relationship they’ve ever had, but they’ve decided they really need to be with this other woman, who they always assumed was “out of their league” and they’d never thought they could ever get, and by the way did they mention they’d been fucking her already? Or they need huge amounts of help or nurturing or emotional support, and they suck all that out of me, so I’m so busy helping them fix their lives and succeed at their dreams, I can ignore ever dealing with my own—and they never notice I’m doing that, or that I even have any dreams they ought to be supporting. And then once they’re “fixed,” they realize they're more "marketable and need to go out there and see if they can find someone who is, in their minds, more socially exciting and validating than even I am.

I’ll choose anyone who I have to give and care for until I disappear, and/or who will validate that I didn’t come up to standard, wasn't quite perfect enough to win his full measure of love and admiration.

Does all this feel like a trap inside a trap inside a trap, and I’m doomed no matter which direction I turn? Oh yes, it sure as hell does.


How to love emotionally without loving sacrificially, and how to be able to accept the same in return, and believe that is love. That seems to be the solution.

I have no idea how to get there. Yet.

I am going to try to figure it out. But it feels so late to be realizing all of this. I’ve been holding off on getting involved with anyone until I feel more clear on how to love more healthily and more completely. But all these messages have been so deeply woven into my being. Looking at it all, everything I’ve been doing to's so twisted and complicated. It just looks like there's this huge knotted mass of yarn where my heart should be. It looks exhausting to take on and unravel. It feels like it will take ages to undo all the knots until the yarn runs smoothly. And I don’t want to wait that long to have some emotional connection with someone. It’s already too fucking lonely. Much longer, and I'm afraid I'll forget how to feel altogether.

I hope to god there’s someone out there who IS emotionally, physically, and logistically available to me AND who has enough patience and affection for me that they might take me on before I'm done. And who might stick around and love me for who I am, even if I sometimes slip. So far, I’ve not had much evidence that person exists. But you never know.

I have no idea if anyone's going to get anything out of this morass of verbage. But if you do, comments most welcome.

June 18, 2006


Pre-college, I had two best friends. Let’s call them Aiko and Marcy.

When we were just beginning high school, Marcy’s father suddenly came down with very aggressive spinal cancer, which quickly spread to other parts of his body. His chances for survival were not good, but Marcy’s family pulled out all the stops and did everything they could to try to keep him alive. They moved him out of state and into Sloan-Kettering in New York City, probably the best cancer research hospital in the country.

Unfortunately, however, despite all the doctor’s best efforts, Marcy’s father died. It was a horrible time for my friend, but she and her family did get through it, and in time they recovered, as families do.

For years, that was pretty much the basic summary I carried around in my head regarding this time in my friend’s life. That is, until years later Marcy and I were talking, and she mentioned something additional, which she’d assumed I’d known about, but which came as a complete surprise to me.

My father used to work in New York City, and he took the train in to work every day. When Marcy’s dad got sick, Marcy's mother sometimes used to catch the same train to go in to the hospital to be with Marcy’s dad. Marcy told me that often when her mother was taking the train, my father would see her and sit down with her to keep her company for the ride. It was a nice gesture, because although Marcy’s parents and my parents were friendly to each other due to their daughters’ friendship, they really didn’t hang out together socially, and my father didn’t know Marcy’s mom (or dad) very well.

At the time this was going on, my father occasionally mentioned to me that he’d seen Marcy’s mom on the train, so that wasn’t really a surprise to me. But what came next was.

Marcy told me that at some point during those rides, her mom explained to my dad that things were looking bleak for Marcy’s father, because due to whatever procedure he was going through, he needed some sort of transfusion (I can’t remember if it was blood or tissue), but he had some kind of extremely rare blood or tissue type that needed to be an 100 percent match or it could cause major harm. This blood/tissue type was extremely hard to find and Sloan-Kettering did't have any available and didn’t know when or where they’d be able to get any. Needless to say, Marcy’s mother was despairing of hope. My father couldn't do much but just listen and offer sympathy. When they got to New York, they parted ways.

Marcy told me that suddenly, two days later, Sloan-Kettering was informed randomly via their computer system that there was a blood/tissue bank somewhere that had collected a donation of the exact type of blood/tissue that matched Marcy’s dad’s type, and they were going to ship it to the hospital for her father’s procedure. The procedure was done, and her father was able to live for a few more months before he ultimately passed away. The family felt it was a miracle.

After the fact, Marcy’s family eventually looked into how this blood/tissue donation was found. And they discovered that my father had found it for them. My dad was a computer/IT-type guy, and he did systems support for a medical college/hospital. He used the college’s computer network to do a search of the entire country’s teaching hospitals to see if a donor for or reserve of the blood/tissue could be found. He found one place in the entire country that could help, he contacted them, and then sent the information to Sloan-Kettering. He never said a word about it to Marcy’s family, to me, or to anyone. The only reason they found out was because they asked the hospital. The only reason I ever found out was because Marcy told me years later.

It was only for a short while, it's true, but I can say this about my father: he saved my friend’s father’s life. And he never even thought it was worth mentioning to anyone. He didn’t need thanks or praise or recognition of any sort; he just knew he could help, and he did. It was an act motivated solely out of kindness and good will.

I love that story about my father. It’s probably the best story I could tell about who he is at the core, under all the complexities of his humanness (which we all have).

I talked about some of the negative aspects of my upbringing yesterday. I was in the mood to share one of the good stories today, on Father’s Day.

And it does make me think…what if the world had been less traditional back in my parent’s day, and my father could have stayed home and raised me and my sister, and my mother could have worked? It’s a situation my parents couldn’t have even imagined for themselves and one that I know they would have never chosen—it just “wasn’t done,” and my parents are big on following what’s “done.” But I wonder.

My dad was involved in our upbringing, but he deferred to my mother’s opinion as the primary caretaker. When he took care of us without her, though, he tended to be slightly less clued in to our every emotion. He assumed if we needed him, we would come to him. He also sometimes let us get away with things that my mother never would. And as a person who needed a lot of privacy himself, he wasn’t over concerned if we weren’t being constantly social. Clearly, the story above shows he wouldn't have needed the constant feedback, recognition, and gratitude my mother needed from us for every thing he ever did. My dad never had the impulse to play martyr, much.

My dad has a master’s degree. My mother, on the other hand, never got to go to college, something that I think she's always had a little bit of an inferiority complex about. I think perhaps to make up for what she saw as a “lack” that other women around her had, she may have decided to make motherhood her “profession”--something she had to excel at. She put all her time and energy into proving she could be the ultimate mother and wife--someone who everyone would acknowledge was much better at what she did than anyone else. She needed to show she was the most concerned, the most aware, the most involved.

That was hard on me, because to me it felt over concerned, aware, and involved. But it’s clear that really what it boils down to is that my mother wanted—desperately needed—praise and recognition. And we, her family, her kids, were the only source through which she could gain that praise or recognition; and so she used that source passionately to get what she needed. I wonder if she’d had another outlet for that passion, what she might have accomplished; if it would have allowed her to get the real societal recognition and respect and admiration she desired, and that unfortunately she had to use her kids as tools and conduits to get.

My mother and father shared many of the same values, and they both were pretty solid on thinking there was a “right” and “wrong” way to live, so I don’t know…but I wonder if my father (the low maintenance parent) had stayed at home and my mother (the high maintenance parent) had been able to have the career, if we would have all been able to maintain a more healthy in-between balance that would have made it so the post I wrote yesterday wouldn’t need to exist.

Probably not. But it’s an interesting thought, anyway.

Anyway, a good Dada Day to those who wish to celebrate it. To those who aren't, can't, or don't wish to, as an alternative, happy Dada Day. Either way, certainly lots to celebrate.

June 19, 2006

It's Just Wrong

And yet, so totally right.

June 22, 2006

Beautiful Ferocity

It’s not that the world is full of pain, or that it’s unjust. It’s not that timing and fate and biology often make us feel as if we were created to be the universe’s personal in-joke. Or worse, its whipping boy or girl.

It’s that there are sometimes these people in it. So many more of them than you realize.

Born with minds quick and clever and delightfully odd, hearts purer and more perfect than the most rarified air. Good beyond even the limits of even their own imaginations. Beacons of light, born into a world of dark mirrors and hulking shadows.

They start out, innocently, openly displaying all that they are, unaware of their own magnetically attractive qualities, of how darkness is drawn to envelop light. They’re not given a warning, a lesson; they’re put out there, untrained, unprepared for the desire and jealousy, the angry neglect and disregard their perfection can inspire.

And so it begins. They stand there, gleaming china figurines in a bull shop. Feeling the ground shake beneath them as hulking, brutish figures stomp by, reach out, handle them far too roughly, until the cracking begins. The chipping, the breaking in half and gluing back together. The shattering into many pieces and left alone to reassemble on one’s own. So hard to do, near impossible—resulting in their putting back their own pieces all mixed up, confused, so that they’re still there, showing some kind of resemblance to a whole, but one so jumbled and confused and so apparently unlike where they started that they begin to not even recognize themselves.

They forget where they began, who they are, truly, at the core. They begin to believe that they are ugly. And that it’s their ugliness that continues to allow them to be crushed and broken. They begin to believe their definition has only ever been ugly and broken.

So they revel in that. They glue themselves back together each time, a little more en mass, a little more confused and disordered, but in a way that appears to be more solid, less likely to allow for major damage. They deliberately make themselves more dense, more grotesque, to perhaps make it so no one will see anything good anymore; no one will pick them up again, call them beautiful, and then smash them into the ground. It becomes a matter of pride. Who can be the most grotesquely damaged? Who can be the hardest? Who gives a fuck? You can’t make me worse than I already am. Bring it on. Throw me. Break me. Just try. If you do, if you don’t…it means nothing.

And behind all of this, this callousness, anger, bravado, deliberate ugliness, pride, challenge…behind it all, only two real things: the fear of yet another rough, unlovely hand leading to rough, hard floor; and the painfully strong longing, despite it all, to be picked up, caressed, valued as the thing they started as, still hidden down there somewhere at the core. To have some observer hold them, look closely, gently, and say, “I see you. Love.” And lay them back down again, gently, like the rare, precious thing they are. To not let them fall.

Those people. The way they fight, despite only lingering memories of what was good and right in them, to not give that old, vague hint of their own perfection and worth up. That tiny glowing nucleus of intense power inside them, that makes them keep building themselves back up, despite the odds, just in case…maybe, maybe. That un-nameable thing that ensures, even should they be smashed into powder and stomped into the ground, that they push themselves back up from under the earth again, as something new, pale, wet, and green…always rising up.

That beautiful ferocity, the refusal to give up hope of recognizing themselves again; of being recognized. This, for me, is the closest evidence that the word “miracle” has meaning.

These people are all around you. You’re one of them. You’re that fucking beautiful.

And I guess by default, that means I am, too.

(Photo credit: Sapling, by scragz)

June 25, 2006

Blow Hard: A (Somewhat) Detached Assessment of the Great Cocksucking Debate of 2006

[On opening: Thanks to the lovely and talented AlwaysArousedGirl for guilting me into writing this, and for sending me all this extra traffic. Here's the post, finally. Hope everyone who visits, both regulars and newbies, enjoys and can manage to slog through it. I seem to have gone for broke on this one.]

Okay, so should you be completely out of touch lately, there's been this huge blogtroversy going on that began on I Blame the Patriarchy. It's related to blowjobs and if this act is...well, let me allow the always opinionated Twisty to speak for herself:

Flame me if you will, but I posit nevertheless that no woman, since the dawn of the patriarchal co-option of human sexuality, has ever actually enjoyed this submissive sexbot drudgery. There’s a reason that deep-throating a funk-filled bratwurst makes a person retch.*

How dare I presume to impugn the sanctity of a woman’s right to the blow job? I do so mostly on accounta I will get a big bang out of the impassioned arguments defending it.

*Reason: It’s fucking gross.

WELL. The furor this set off! Which I'm sure delighted the author. Actually, I don't have to postulate, she says it herself.

Initially, though I did read all Twisty's posts and others comments on them, as well as many other reaction posts around the Web, I didn't weigh in.

I would have spoken up. But you see, unfortunately my mouth was too full of penis at the time.

Yuk, yuk, yuk. Okay, you gotta allow me one sarcastic, pseudo-grumpy joke (after all, Twisty got to have loads of them), and now I'll get all sincere and serious. Stick with me folks, and I promise another bad cock joke at the end.

Okay, seriously now, I decided I wasn't even going to bother to weigh in on the initial debate for a couple of reasons. First and foremost was because my response would merely be nothing more than an amusement to the author of the post. People, pay attention--despite whether at root the author believed her statements to be true or not, the tone screamed out "this is not a serious assertion" and therefore it didn't deserve a serious debate.

Credit where credit's due. Ya gotta hand it to Twisty for knowing how to tweak people's figurative nipples and get them all in a huff so they forget what they're about and just start screaming. It appears very few others managed to do this before reacting, but I actually read and paid attention to the whole original post. Twisty's sarcasm from the start shows it's not an issue she considers worth serious debate. I mean, hell, she SAYS it at the end of the post--she's only saying it because she wants to get a "big bang" out of the controversy she knows she'll stir up. Why other people have risen to this kind of baiting is beyond me. And also, it's amazing to me that no one noticed that the post itself is--I will assume deliberately, since Twisty is no idiot and a stickler for good writing--faulty in the structure of its argument. It's designed intentionally to lead people down the wrong path. I won't get into the mechanics of composition and rhetoric right now; but trust me on this one. Look closer and you can see for yourselves.

So. My primary reason for not weighing in was that I didn't see the use of contributing to a trumped-up debate designed to get women defensive and angry at each other so they start thumping their tits and yelling, "Me good feminist!" "You bad feminist!" at all the others around them. I've seen this kind of crap before, and I don't appreciate that type of holier-than-thou, divisive shit that can go on within the community--or those who delight in instigating it. Haven't we got outside problems enough to battle without deliberately trying to piss each other off and creating a whole bunch of in-fighting? We need to be fighting the inequities of a patriarchal system, not each other over stupid issues like blowjobs. If people would show HALF this much passion about what's been going on lately related to abortion or women's reproductive rights, we might actually be getting somewhere.

And by the way, no, Twisty, if you actually have the time to read the billions of response posts you've gotten at this point and are actually reading this, I'm not saying you should "shut the fuck up." I'm saying you should say whatever the fuck you want, but don't call bear baiting "radical feminism."

My other reason for not bothering with the original debate was that I'm a feminist who's straight--and also a sex blogger. It should be pretty obvious where I stand on the issue of heterosexual oral sex. I think oral sex is a wonderful part of any sex life, gay, straight, or other, so long as it is done with consent and done equitably. And personally, I see no need to defend that stance. Particularly to someone who states right in her post that she's only writing this to get a rise out of those who would defend it. However, if you want to know how I feel, Amber Rhea's discussion here pretty well matches my overall view on this, so I don't even have to do the work. Thanks for rocking the house, Amber. Update: Also check out O's great post here about the concept of calling any act "perverse" or "degrading." Her thoughts are also very much in line with my own.

So I ignored the brou-ha-ha. But--sigh--nobody else did. And since the first post there's been a second one, and a third, and people have been throwing around a lot of bile in the comments sections of all three, and writing about it around the blogosphere--and those people were taking it seriously. And I saw a lot of fallacious logic out there that wasn't intended just as an incitement to argument, so now I have a few things I want to comment on.

But before I begin, I'd like to state for the record that none of the following is an "impassioned argument defending my right to suck cock"--or anyone else's right to, for that matter. Twisty wasn't even debating someone's right to suck cock, so I sure as hell am not going to. Suck cock, don't suck cock, I care not. If you think keeping a penis out of your mouth is going to save the world, be my guest--keep your mouth cock free.

So again, this is not a defense, it's about getting the facts straight, and defining feminism appropriately. In short: I'm not angry; I'm just right. Read on.

1) A real feminist does not discriminate based on sexual orientation. ANY sexual orientation.

A number of people expressed sarcastic bemusement that women who do engage in oral sex with men would defend themselves so adamantly. Is this such a surprise? I'm guessing not, but just in case anyone is a little slow, here we go. If you talk about women who engage in oral sex with men, and then imply that this is "submissive sexbot drudgery," we all know which group we're condemning the actions of here, and it ain't lesbians. Whether overtly stated or not, the context of those statements implies heterosexual women are doomed to oppression by their own basic biology--and not only that, but their sorry asses are too damn stupid to even realize it. Or, stated more succinctly: Straight women's sexual orientation empowers the patriarchy, and is therefore wrong.

Unless you're generally surprised when GLBT folks take issue with being told their basic sexuality is a bane to society, I don't see how you can be surprised by the same response from a heterosexual woman when she's told the same thing.

2) Heterosexuality is not slavery; the overthrow of the patriarchy begins at home.

Some commenters compared straight women who said they got pleasure out of giving pleasure to their men to antebellum slaves who sang songs and told stories in praise of their masters. Ignoring the sheer insulting nature of such claims to those in healthy, egalitarian heterosexual relationships, let's move on to why such a claim is based on entirely shaky, pedantic logic.

We live in a patriarchal society, yes. This means, as Twisty says here:

We all know that in a patriarchy, (and by ‘patriarchy’ I mean a social order in which all women are subject, by universal agreement, to all men), on accounta the power differential, all relationships with men are inherently inequitable.
Yes, patriarchy means men (as a group) are more empowered than women (as a group) in toto. Including in the area of sex. Therefore, by this logic, any sexual act a woman performs on a man that gives the man pleasure, blowjob or otherwise, would be interpreted as being subservient and therefore contributing to her own oppression. Therefore, to be sexual or have a relationship with a man at all, regardless of how that particular man interacts with her as a human being, is invalid.

Ideologically, yes. In theory. It all sounds nice and tidy.

However, ideology is not based in reality. In reality, this theory is simply ridiculous. Here's why.

Assuming we want to combat patriarchy (and we do) and assuming the above statements are true (which they are in the abstract), there is only one solution. We must ask heterosexual women to all give up their basic biology and stop having heterosexual sex/relationships. Unless you're living in a dream world, it's pretty damn obvious this is never going to fly. People have been telling gays and lesbians to change their sexuality and/or just stop having sex for eons--it's never happened. It's not going to happen in reverse either.

So, in reality, we have to look for another solution, that accepts the continuing existence of heterosexuality. The solution is an obvious one: heterosexual women forge egalitarian relationships with men who don't agree with the current system, therefore subverting the system at the grassroots level.

There has never been a human or civil rights movement that has been advanced solely by the oppressed group itself without a percentage of other concerned, enlightened people who happened to have been born into the dominant oppressor's group contributing and supporting the oppressed group's goals. In every case, both such groups always work together at the grassroots level to forge change. This is exactly how slavery was repealed and how the civil rights movement gained the advances it has to date. And, yes, though some of us radical feminists may hate to admit it, it's also how the suffrage and early feminist movements advanced--by the work of both dedicated women and men. (And yes, I know the men were a much, much smaller percentage. That doesn't entirely negate their contribution.)

Saying that heterosexual women are enslaved by the men in their personal lives who love them and support their feminist principles, merely because those men were born men, is like saying William H. Baldwin and Booker T. Washington should have refused to work with Julius Rosenwald to set up African-American educational institutions across America, because Rosenwald was white and therefore of the oppressive race, and therefore an oppressor to all African-Americans--despite his full ideological and philanthropic support of their cause.

At first glance, shouting "enslavement" and "oppression" at any feminist-friendly heterosexual couple may sound logical. In fact, it's the direct opposite of logical. A heterosexual feminist doesn't choose an oppressive relationship. She chooses one with a man who, despite being part of the overriding patriarchy by default, rejects the suppositions that patriarchy was built upon, acts as such in his home and community, and serves, along with the feminists in his community, as a supporter of the cause and as a model of the way things should be.

If a woman has an egalitarian relationship with a man in the microcosm of her own home, or her own bedroom, that is not slavery. That is an important grassroots step toward the overthrow of the overriding, problematic macrocosm.

3) The rules keep changing as to what is "okay" sexually for women, on both sides of the political spectrum. Limiting choice and assigning blame and guilt on women for their chosen sexuality is a patriarchal behavior. It is not a feminist behavior.

All the derision and "it's disgusting" commentary that is being thrown at those women who enjoy oral sex with their male partners in this debate is decidedly anti-feminist. And we feminists need to be supremely careful of not falling into the patriarchal trap of instilling the same nonsensical, morally-based arguments to limit women's sexual choices. Feminists have always had a difficult time in this area.

Back in the even more extreme days of the patriarchy, women were considered sluts if they engaged in any sexual act besides the missionary position. Women were made to feel guilty and dirty and "wrong" if they enjoyed sex too much with a man, or enjoyed sex at all with a woman. When the second wave of feminism hit, women were told they were "wrong" if they weren't enjoying sex enough and/or if their sexual repertoire was too narrow, and they were told they "should" branch out. They branched out, grew braver, allowed themselves to try and enjoy new things. The result? Now being told they're "wrong" for having done so and having come to enjoy it so much that the heterosexual women among them might actually enjoy creating an environment of mutual pleasure with the man they're having sex with.

In short: Feminism should never offer "shoulds" when it comes to sex. It should offer openness, choice, and options--stressing the need for those qualities within an equal, supportive sexual environment (regardless of the sexual orientation involved). And we should be working to show all people how to create that sexually supportive, egalitarian environment where choice and open communication--not shame or guilt politics--is the operative factor. That's where our focus should be, not on who's blowing who, or rimming who, or 69'ing who, or who's sticking to nothing but missionary, or what have you.

4) "Pleasure" has been ill defined in this debate. Pleasurable sexuality is about choice, respect, and balance, not the particular acts involved.

Not everyone has to like giving head. Those who don't shouldn't do it. However, that you as a woman personally don't feel good about the act doesn't mean others can't.

Let's look at the concept of pleasure as it's being thrown around in this debate. If you assume that sensation due to physical contact/stimulation is the only definition of pleasure during sex, then yes, bestowing oral sex on another would not usually be defined as a pleasurable act for the person giving it. It would be done strictly to please the one who is receiving it. However, without trying to sound too judgmental, those whose definition of pleasure is based strictly on physical sensation have had a limited experience of sexuality AND a basic lack of understanding of the actual definition of the word "pleasure." Please look the word up in the dictionary. You'll see that the definition says nothing about physical sensation at all. It's all about mental/emotional states.

With this actual definition in mind, it is entirely possible for one partner to get pleasure out of giving another partner pleasure. It is a shared "happiness, delight, joy, glee...etc." And that, my friends, is not oppressive. It is powerful---a shared power--regardless of which gender is doing the giving and/or receiving.

The only time this would be untrue is if there is some inequity or lack of choice involved. If, for instance, one partner insists on receiving head, but refuses to give it to the other partner (assuming the other partner wants to receive it). This would be an oppressive and inequitable situation. And in a heterosexual relationship, if the woman was the one expected to give without return, it would be patriarchal.

And obviously, when any woman is forced to perform any sexual act, oral sex included, without her express consent, this is not just patriarchal subjugation, it's also rape.

Well now! I think that's about all I can manage at the moment, and probably more than enough for all of you to chew on. Thanks to anyone who made it through.

Again, my last comment on all this is that while I am all for open and honest debate on all topics, be wary of those who are more concerned with rabble-rousing that awareness-building. We women have got more important goals to achieve together than wasting time fighting over who puts what in who's mouth.

But then again, Twisty, blow 'em if they can't take a joke, eh?

(See, I told you all I'd get one more in.)

With love and cocksucking to all (even those who have a thing about bratwurst),


June 26, 2006

Learning to Cope With the Emotionless Mediocracy of Day-to-Day Living

Love love love love love love love


Just about everything I am is a contradiction. Case in point:

As you know, I'm an only half-hearted girl, afraid of intimacy and sentimentality.

And yet I'm also passionately, poisonously romantic.

It's a dangerous and possibly lethal combination to have roiling in my blood every day.

Oh, last night, and's at a boiling point, and the fumes are curling all around me like vines of purple and red smoke, overwhelming me and making me swoon.

And it's at want want need need times like this, that I have no alternative but to pull out the big guns to help cope. I must conjur up the soul and spirit of the inimitable Daniel Johnston.

Oh baby, I need it bad. Do you need it, too? Daniel and I are gonna give it to you.

Need a girl singing you the most stunnigly simple, perfect love song ever written? Yes, I do. Yes, you do. It's here, covered by Kathy McCarty.

Need a boy singing you a song about how you'll find true love if you don't have it now? Yes, I do. Yes, you do. It's here, covered by Beck.

Now, c'mere and kiss me. Hard.

(Note: You can buy stuff by all three of these artists on iTunes. Or, you can get Daniel Johnston's art--like the piece "Voila!" pictured above--and music, books, posters, shirts, etc. directly from his website. Go do it.)

June 29, 2006

Different for Girls

When I was a high-school-aged teenager, I was vacationing at the beach with my family. Though I didn't know this then, I do now, and so I'm not ashamed to say it: At the time, I looked pretty damn hot, especially in a bathing suit. As a result, a swarm of teenage boys from my hotel would hover around me wherever I went. I was clueless, of course. I thought we were all just buddies.

Anyway, all of this is really neither here nor there. It's just a preface to set the scene for the memory I'm about to describe. I remember I was sitting on the patio that housed the hotel pool, me the only girl, surrounded by about seven teenaged boys. It was that time just before it's really sunset, where the sun's still up, but you can feel its heat getting weaker and the tourists have all left the beach for the night to clean up and you know soon that dusk will be there and the boardwalk rides will light up in the distance, luring you there.

But it was not quite that time yet. And so we were lazily waiting on the patio, me and all those boys, our legs hanging over a wall that dropped down to the mostly abandoned beach below, listening to the waves hit the sand.

Not surprisingly, considering my company and their age, the conversation gravitated over to girls vs. guys and how they were different, dating, and broad jokey teenage hints at sexual topics, and what have you. And suddenly, prompted by nothing specific in the conversation, one of the guys sitting closest to me said in this very solicitous, I'm-your-friend-and-I'm-just-trying-to-help-you kind of tone, "You know, Syl, rape is really bad. But I have to say that best advice I can give you if a guy ever attacks you is to not try to fight. Just let it happen and get it over with. Then at least he won't hurt you or kill you."

The boys around him all nodded seriously at this sage advice.

I'm sure I must have looked at him like he was insane, because he then said, "No, really, if I had a sister, I'd tell her the same thing. It could end up so much worse for you if you fought back."

I said, "Oh really? Okay, let's say a man was about to rape you. Would you stay there and just take it and get it over with?"

This prompted many protestations from the boys about how they'd never be in that situation. Not them. No. Still, I pressed the issue. I wanted an answer. Finally, the guy who'd initiated the discussion said, "Are you kidding? I'd do whatever it took not to have a guy rape me. I'd beat the hell out of him."

I said, "What if you ended up hurt or killed?"

He said, "I'd rather end up dead than have a guy stick something in my ass!"

I said, "So for me it's better to be raped, but for you it isn't?"

To which he said, "Come on, Syl, no guy could live with knowing that happened to him. It's totally different for guys. It's way worse for a guy."

And all the boys nodded again.

I know you're all reading that and thinking, "Idiots." And maybe, "They were just too young to know any better."

But you know what? Those teenage boys, they didn't spontaneously come up with that belief; they were getting it from somewhere. And those teenage boys, they're now grown men. And you have to wonder how many of them ever changed their minds. My guess is probably not many. They may have learned not to say it so stupidly, sure. But most of them probably still think rape is far more awful of a prospect for a man than it is for a woman.

You know it's true; because they're far from alone in this belief. You can see it in the way it's discussed in the media. In the reactions you get from people when talking about a male versus a female rape. In the comments about "how hard it must have been" for a man to come out and "admit" he'd been raped.

Admit it. Some of you out there probably still think that yourself. Measure the reaction you have when you hear a man's been raped on the news against your reaction when you hear a woman was raped.

It's time to lay this fallacious logic to rest.

This post and the memory I described above cropped up because I was just reading an excellent post on myths and misconceptions about rape called "Natural Victims" on Pinko Feminist Hellcat. PFH so simply and clearly sums the whole fucked-up logic behind this phenomenon, it's almost breathtaking:

"I have seen in the comments of different blogs and articles, and heard in conversation, that rape and sexual assault is worse for men because they are men. Men aren't supposed to be raped or victimized; being raped and sexually humiliated makes them feel like women..."
And I just want to say, brava. The woman is right.

And I want to stress what a fucking double insult that is to women. Not only does it minimize our own assaults, but it also minimizes us as a gender.

It's worse for men because being assaulted equates them with women. Read: it lowers them, lessens them; makes them less valuable, more the kind of thing that should "stay there and take it" than a full-fledged human being with feelings and worth who doesn't deserve that sort of treatment. A human being who has the right to value himself enough to feel he is worth fighting for.

Now, please don't misunderstand. I am in NO WAY minimizing the horror of a man being assaulted. That is indeed a horrible and reprehensible thing, and my heart and all my empathy (and I do mean empathy, because I've been there), goes out to each and every man who's been raped or assaulted.

But don't anyone tell me any man's assault is worth more consideration and sympathy, or is more horrible than any woman's. We are not lesser human beings, and we don't feel the terrible impact of assault any less than any man.

And don't tell me that social stigmatization of male rape makes it that much harder for the man than it does for a woman. Yes, stigmatization makes it hard for a man to admit to or talk about his rape. But stigmatization for having been raped is not the sole domain of men. Ask any woman who's been raped. Ask her how comfortable and unstigmatized she felt in trying to tell people what happened to her. Ask her how easy it was for her to admit to herself, let alone others, what happened to her.

Female rape is reported more than male rape because there are more female rapes than male rapes. It's not because it's easier for one than the other. Many, many, MANY women do not report their rapes. Ever. Why? Fear of stigmatization.

Just about every rape victim is subjected to the worst kind of behavior not only during their rape, but after. The blaming responses, the faulty assumptions (many described in PFH's post, so I won't go into them here). It doesn't matter if women hear them MORE OFTEN. They're equally as damaging to either gender. As a result, many vicitims choose to stay silent about it. Both male and female. It's for the same reason. The impact is the same.

And please don't tell me male assaults have more impact exactly because percentage-wise they're less common. That doesn't matter. As with a man, when you're one woman, alone, being assaulted, the percentages aren't there. You're a percentage of one. And percentages don't minimize the post-traumatic stress disorder you will personally experience after the assault. Percentages don't hold you and comfort you and make it all better.

The horror of rape is the horror of rape. Period. For any person, of any gender, of any sexual orientation.

Don't tell me to stay still and take it, you fucker. Don't you dare tell me your violation counts more.

June 30, 2006

"At Least Rocks Don't Taste Like DESPAIR."

I have a new god. And it is this guy.

The three best videos in that link, IMHO, are "muffins," "love letters," and the absolutely brilliant "shoes," which I've been singing constantly to myself since hearing it last night.

Those of you who live in LA, I say get the hell out of the house and go see this guy perform. And give him a TV show.


Found through a twisted path initiated by schmutzie and jaschu. Thanks, y'all.

Please Help! Last-Minute Appeal from Planned Parenthood to Help with Legal Funds for Supreme Court Case

For those of you who haven't heard, the Supreme Court has just recently agreed to hear a Planned Parenthood case against the federal abortion ban, which Planned Parenthood has been fighting in the lower courts for a couple of years.

However, to afford the legal funds and expenses they need for the case, they need to raise a certain amount of money BEFORE MIDNIGHT TONIGHT, when their fiscal year ends. I encourage anyone out there who believes there should be no federal restrictions on abortion and who has the wherewithal to donate to please do so.

Their costs for the case are about $150,000, according to a recent email I received from them. They put out a call on Wednesday and have already received more than $50,000 and are doing a last-minute push to reach a goal of $100,000 from individual donations by midnight.

Even if you can't donate personally, if you want to help, please post this information on your blog or email it to people you know so we can make as many people aware of the issues and get as many donations as possible before the deadline.

To make a donation online, go here.

To learn more about the case, go here.

Thanks for listening, and for helping where you can.

Is anyone who reads this blog single?

As in not married or seriously attached?

I just thought I'd ask. Seems to me sometimes the blogging world is overrun with married or LTR people.

Or is it just me?

(photo credit: Half Empty or Half Full by Justin/Leslie Shearer)

July 2, 2006

An Inconvenient Meme

It's Fourth of July weekend. I'm sure readership will be abysmal, at least coming from the US, which is where a big percentage of my readers seem to come from. So I may just do some posts of light whimsy instead of anything that requires vast concentration. Stuff I've found online that's amusing to me, memes, etc.

With that in mind, two things for you.

First, a movie. Then, a meme.

I just saw the documentary An Inconvenient Truth. If you haven't seen it, I really encourage you to. It was really good--and thought provoking. If you've ever wondered what "all this global warming stuff " actually means for you, this film helps you "get it" fast, explains the immediate and projected consequences based on hard science, and gets you to begin thinking about ways to start resolving the problem. Kudos to Al Gore for a job well done.

Even though it would seem a film on such a serious topic might be a bit heavy and dull, or alarmist in a reactionary way, it wasn't at all. Unlike Fahrenheit 911, which I was sorely disappointed in, this film didn't rely on a higher percentage of emotional manipulation and cheap shots at the current administration than it did on hardcore facts to make its point. In fact, while very occasionally there was a subtle, tongue-in-cheek comment targeted at past and current US governmental disinterest in environmental policy, An Inconvenient Truth's tone overall is very measured, and focuses on the issue at the global, not just national, level. It was clear that Al Gore wanted to make sure any point he made that represented US policy in a bad light (or any other country's) was based on fact, not personal vendetta. This approach, in my opinion, is the strongest one of all for an issues-based film: build your argument with facts, not name calling. This film certainly does that.

And even though it was clearly done on a shoestring budget, it wasn't boring at all. In fact, I and the person who went to see it with me both wished it had gone on a little longer, and that even more things were discussed, so obviously we weren't bored. The film is interesting, it dispels a lot of spin around the issue, and it's very easy to watch and comprehend, even if you don't have a scientific background. And there's a cartoon by the Simpsons creators in it. How can you go wrong?

Go see it.

I found this on the splendiferous Brooke's site, and the questions seemed a little more unusual than the norm, so thought I'd give it a go. If you're desirous of being tagged, then YOU'RE IT. Let me know if you did it on your site so I can check it out.

Also note, as every meme I do makes obvious, I can't seem to EVER follow the rules. Forgive me. It's just my way. The girl can't help it.

1.You are in the Witness Protection Program and must invent a new first, last, and middle name. What is it?

Pret A Porté

2.You are in a threesome with two famous people, alive or dead. Who are they?

Captain Will Kidd and his somewhat lesser-known brother Mad Jack.

Heh. Just a joke to make a friend laugh.

Okay, seriously now:

Vātsyāyana and Mae West.

Although, actually, a pirate/girl/biker threesome sounds pretty damn good, too. Can I have both choices?

3.You are in charge of naming your new band. What's the name of the band?

Vermiscious Knid

4. You are going to get a free tattoo. What would it be?

A cherry blossom branch, just starting to bloom. Either around my arm or on one side of my back near my shoulder. But kind of abstract. More like these than a literal depiction:

5. You are being forced to listen to one song over and over, ad infinitum, as a form of torture. What song is it?

This one.

6. You are leaving your state/province. What state do you move to?

Upstate NY (specifically Ithaca) for the summer. And maybe Hawaii the rest of the year--but only if it’s combined with lengthy visits to lots of hipster cities I like (Portland, LA, NYC, San Francisco…). I can’t sit still. Obviously.

7. You are leaving your country, where would you move?

I’d split time between Scotland (warmer months), and Italy (Florence or Cinque Terra) or maybe France (Paris). Close runner-ups would be Portugal, Spain, Japan, and Iceland in the summer (I’ve never been to the last two but I have the feeling I’d really like both).

8. You get to choose one book as the best ever written. What book do you choose?

Toss up: Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky or Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

9. You get to choose one movie as the best ever made. What movie do you choose?

Christ, I can’t answer this. WizardofOzEternalSunshineoftheSpotlessMindAnimal CrackersWillieWonkaWestSideStoryMagnoliaTrust

10. You get to spend one day each as a bird, an insect, and a mammal. What bird would you be? What insect? What mammal?

Bird: One of those black water birds that can fly AND swim on top of and under the water. I don’t know the name, but I see them all the time around here. I want it all.

Insect: Tarantula.

Mammal: Dolphin. (Yeah those last two conflict in every way. Welcome to my brain.)

Why no reptile? I want to be a reptile! I’d be a Gravid " Edelbrock " longtail boa constrictor.

11. You must relive one year of your life. Which would you like to relive?

Either September 1989 - September 1990 or 1991.

12. Which year(s) would you least like to relive?

The year in which I was assaulted (I can’t remember exactly which one it was).

Of course, that’s just one moment I’d like to erase in an otherwise okay year. If it was a whole YEAR of moments to erase, maybe any year between 2001 and 2005.

13. You have a time machine that will take you backwards anywhere from 1800 to the present. What decade do you most want to visit?

Only to 1800? That sucks. I want to visit eras way before that.

Um, the 1920s sounded cool. I’d like to be in Paris in the 1920s.

Second choice: NYC or London during the early years of punk. So, 1970s. (I was actually alive then, but nowhere near old enough to be able to be a scenester.)

14. You must choose to go skydiving or very-deep-sea diving.

Deep-sea diving. Love the ocean. Hate drops.

15. You get to return to the past (using that handy dandy time machine we were talking about before) and have a sexual encounter with a rock star who is no longer alive. Who do you pick?

Up until recently, it would have been John Lennon. But then I carefully watched a video of him and Yoko making out, and he seemed like kind of a bad kisser.

He’s not dead, but I’d like to fuck the memory of Jimmy Page from when he looked like this.

I don’t even like Led Zeppelin (yes, I know, I'm the only person on earth who doesn't appreciate them). But I just always thought JP was hot. I like his face.

16. You get to be a contestant on any game show, airing today or in the past. What show do you want to be on?

None. I want to be on Iron Chef, but as a judge. (And the original show, NOT the American version)

17. You are given $1 million dollars but you must give it all to one charity. What charity do you choose?

I'd set up a grant program for unpublished writers so that those selected would be able to have the funds to write for a year without financial worry.

18. You must ban one word from the dictionary and all usage, to be no longer uttered or written. What word do you ban?

This isn’t actually in the dictionary, but I would like to ban anyone--ESPECIALLY any adult--from ever calling vegetables “veggies.” Gets on my last nerve.

19. You can have 100 million dollars tax-free but if you take it, you'll die at the age of fifty. Do you take it?

Nope. I no longer accept gifts with conditions. Ever.

20. There is no number 20.

Well, all numbers are really 42, anyway.

July 4, 2006

The Perfect Dessert for a Holiday Picnic

Miss Syl --


An erotic popsicle

'How will you be defined in the sexual dictionary?'

Hot out, isn't it?

Thanks to Artful Dodger, that steamy, steamy shower of a man, for the heads up.

The Internet is Not a Truck. It's a Series of Tubes. (And Some Stuff About My Ass.)

My ass is deeply bruised and aching.

No, I didn't get a spanking because I was a bad, bad girl. Sorry. I know that first line was so promising. But you sex-crazed folk will need to check out Sugasm to find some spanking erotica today. The reason my ass hurts is because I had a massage yesterday, and it turned out I had all kinds of knots there that I didn't know about, and the masseuse attacked the problem with gusto. It was painful, but in a good way.

(Okay, maybe the sex-crazed among you can get a good mental image out of that, come to think of it.)

But now my muscles are complaining. In a big way.

Anyway, while the masseuse was working me over, she started talking to me about some mind-body-healing theory called "somatics" or "body psychology." It's all about how pain in certain areas of the body refer to certain kinds of emotional/mental struggles. So she tells me the buttock region usually relates to dealing with intense frustration, and disappointment, especially with relationships (of all kinds--including family and friends). Check. And the abdomen (front and back), where I had most of my other tension, generally related to repressed anger and creative/emotional block--to have had one's voice silenced, or been blocked from being oneself or expressing oneself as one needs to, leading to self-esteem issues. Check.

I should also mention that this masseuse had never met me before, so these "diagnoses" were based on nothing, and yet were incredibly accurate. It's all very interesting. I came home and tried to do some light research on the topic, hoping to find a simple corollary chart (your ear hurts, you're struggling with abandonment issues), but alas, no go. Anyone else ever heard of this school of thought?

Anyway, I should have asked which needed to be fixed for the other to go away. If the masseuse works all the kinks out of my ass, do my relationship frustrations go away? Or is my ass doomed to continue to hurt until I work out my emotional issues related to relationships?

My guess is it's the latter, but wouldn't it be great if we could just pay someone to work on our body and it would suddenly open up our bodily "flow" and make us see things in a new light, so that all our problems go away? One can only dream.

And now for something completely different...

Did you ever try to get your grandfather or father or some post-aged-sixty person to understand some new piece of technology? Remember how well that went? (Ahem.)

It's always heartening to once again have it brought to your attention that these older dads and grandpas are also running our US government. And they're trying to regulate new technology. The result? This. Be very, very afraid.

And listen to the audio, it's even worse than the transcript, if you can believe that. AND the audio gets cut off, which means there was more, which is also very frightening. AND it seems to me like he's basing his opinion on the whole matter based on his frustration with having not received an email (a.k.a. "an internet") on time (apparently because Netflicks and the iTunes streaming media store is fucking up the whole "tube system").

Thanks to the always lusciously snarky Bitch PhD for pointing the way.

(Oh, and yes, the Bad Ass Cafe is for real, and you can eat in it when you go to Dublin. Pretty good pizza--for Ireland.)

July 10, 2006

The Pursuit of Happiness On Thunder Road

Over the July 4th weekend, I heard a rebroadcast of a This American Life show called "The Pursuit of Happiness." As with all TAL shows, it's great, and you can listen to the whole thing here. But I'm going to talk specifically about some things that came up in the introduction to the hour.

In the introduction, the host talks to a historian who's written a book about the Declaration of Independence. They talk about the phrase "the pursuit of happiness." They comment on how extraordinary it is that one of a country's founding documents seems to "care about how we feel about things in some way."

The show's host suggests this promise of an "unalienable right" to pursue our own happiness is almost "like the promise you hear contained in a rock 'n' roll song." I get this. For some reason, early Bruce Springsteen songs came to mind immediately when he said that. Basically, it's the political equivalent of declaring, "Someday, girl/I don't know when/We're gonna get to that place (life)/Where we really want to go (liberty)/And we'll walk in the sun (happiness)."

It really is quite extraordinary in its way. That one small, unusual statement somehow implies that we have the right to optimism, despite the odds. It's like the Declaration itself is asserting it believes in us--that it believes we have a good chance to actually become happy, if we pursue it, and there's no shame in our actively believing that, either, or in involving ourselves in that pursuit.

And yet...

The historian also explains how, of all the many things stated in the Declaration, and of the many things she has written about it in her book, these four words are the only ones most people ever remember or want to discuss. They actively puzzle over its meaning. After all, as she says, being told you have the right to a trial by jury is pretty clear cut--you know exactly what you're getting there, what you should be "allowed." But the right to pursue happiness? What that "allows" you to do or have is simply not concrete.

The historian said she believed that Jefferson "left it to people to decide what gave them happiness." She says happiness is a very private and personal thing, and Jefferson probably felt every person had to define it for him or herself.

But if you look at the sentiments in the two paragraphs above, you notice something funny's going on. In an incredible display of respect for the right to individual freedom, Jefferson left it open and limitless for us--we can define our happiness and the pursuit of it as anything we want. And yet this isn't what people want to hear. Instead, the historian says that people want to know what this phrase, this right, means exactly.

It's interesting, this need we have to understand the boundaries of what we're "allowed" to pursue in terms of our own happiness. (I'm including myself in that "we" in a big way.)

We're not comfortable hearing, "It means anything YOU want it to." We're afraid of hearing, "You can have it all (whatever "it" decide)." We don't want such vast openness--such opportunity for diving into the chasm of the unknown with just our own inner compass for a guide. So instead of "it means anything you want it to," we beg to hear "I'm telling you what it will mean for you." And instead of "you can have it all," we demand to be told "here's exactly how much you can have, and no more."

Why? Why? We are told, we can pursue our happiness with absolutely no limits put on it. And we assume there must be limits. In fact, we demand them. We insist we haven't the right to limitless opportunity for optimism, for trying again, for believing in our vision of personal happiness and peace. We want Jefferson to come back and draw our little line in the define the limits of our hopes and dreams. And when he won't, we use the nearest substitute--teacher, parent, sibling, friend, lover, husband, wife, etc.--anyone who will tell us we can't go beyond a certain point and see our vision grow to fruition. Anyone who will stunt our growth, who will save us from our own pursuit before we do damage to ourselves.

Because as we know, to stand up and say, "I believe I can have it all," is the ultimate act of hubris. We're challenging the universe to knock us down.

Aren't we?

Or has someone (teacher, parent,...) sold us a bill of goods? Or even worse, have we sold it to ourselves--voluntarily stepped into cages built by our own fear of the unknown, and drawn in the appropriate people to serve as our jailers?

We let the voices in; and with them, the doubt and shame. As the host astutely points out toward the introduction's end, "...for a lot of us, the notion that we're just going to pursue seems frivolous; it lacks dignity; it lacks moral seriousness."

That's definitely what we've been told. It certainly accounts for the shame and embarrassment I feel when I contemplate telling someone I belive in happiness.

But is it true? Where is the factual evidence?

I grew up in an environment where I was told there were definite limits on what defined happiness. And I was taught it was more or less indecent to go after what made you happy if it pushed the boundaries of those limits.

I wasn't told I couldn't have dreams. Instead, I was told you could pursue your happiness to a point. You could have the dream and find some path that sort of approximated that dream. Say you wanted to be an artist, for example--a painter. Well, you could paint houses. You could become a graphic designer. You could become an art therapist.

So, you could have your dream...sort of. But not really.

And that was life, and you accepted it. You took your dreams with limits, and you were happy. (Sort of. But not really.)

I'm so fucking done with that.

I'm ready to stand up, shoulders back, chin up, and look straight in your face, and say, "I can have it all."

Yeah, I'm nervous as hell about doing it. I'm scared shitless.

I realize when I stand up and say that confidently; when I assert my right to say it and believe it, some of you are going to say (or at least think) I'm arrogant, or stupid, or selfish, or misguided. And that will hurt me.

I realize some of you, who have a vested interest in not having to question your own limits, will try very hard to hold me back, shut me down, or shut me up. I realize some of you will make fun of me either to my face or behind my back, and will try to make me feel or look foolish and ashamed. And I realize, whether consciously or un-, some of you will be angry at me and hope I fail. And all that will hurt me, too.

And I realize if I accept that "the right to pursue happiness" means anything I, and I alone, want it to, then it means I have to make all my own choices, without regard to others' input. (For the record, this DOES NOT mean I won't consider others, just that they don't get to tell me how to consider them.) And that is very chancy, because if I ask others to help set my limits, when (NOT IF) I fail to reach my dreams, I will be able to blame it on someone else. But if I make all my own choices, and pursue my definition of happiness, and I fail, I have no one else to blame for the failure except myself. And that, my friends, will hurt most of, most of, most. of. all.

But if I do this. If I say, "I can have it all," and instead of all of the above, I turn out to be right?

What then? (Think of the it all opens all that stuff you're agonizing over now becomes miniscule, ant-like, just a distant speck in the rear view as you're speeding away, and the night's bustin' open and those two lanes'll take you eh...nee...where...)

Please ask yourself the same thing, too. Is not taking the chance worth it? Can you afford NOT to stand up and declare your right to pursue your happiness?

Because as Jefferson said:

"I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal enmity against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."

Or, in the words of his as his rock 'n' roll interpreter:
"Together we could break this trap
We'll run till we drop, baby we'll never go back
Will you walk with me out on the wire
'Cause baby, I'm just a scared and lonely rider
But I gotta find out how it feels
I want to know if love is wild, girl, I want to know if love is real"

Whaddya say? Are you with me?

(Hey, I know it's late, but we can make it if we run.)

July 12, 2006

The Way Things Add Up

Two brilliant photos I found in different places, at around the same time. Sometimes life's just like that. (Click them to really see them well).

#1, from Postsecret, anonymous.
#2, Hope by Mark Burdett, is a shot of street art done by the mysterious, brilliant, and beautiful graffitti artist Banksy.

July 13, 2006

Uzis and Memes and Blog Proms, Oh My

I've been really tired for the last week. Between puzzling over how to switch this blog over to an MT format (and realizing for all my skills I seem to know fuck all and it's taking me FOREVER) and dealing with some personal life stuff I'll not get into here, the energy is just low. So I'm walking around a bit zombie-like, and yet I can't seem to fall asleep before 2 a.m. on any given night.

I need to find someone who's a night owl like me who'd be willing to talk to me late at night and help lull me into sleep. Volunteers?

Not speaking of which, I came across some lame article today (too tired to find it again) on Blogger about how to use your blog as a dating tool. Can this stuff really be used for that? I've seen no evidence. I mean, not ONE person who reads this blog has ever tried to woo me. I think I must come across as un-woo-able. Do I appear to be sans woo?

Hey, I've got woo. I've got lots and LOTS of woo. Come see for yourself. It's stored right here in this trunk at the foot of my bed, just under the Big, Fat Uzi I was issued by Gail when I moved here to be one of the Old Town girls.

Hm. You think maybe the Uzi's putting the guys off?

Hey, a girl needs her defenses. Doesn't mean she doesn't have some stellar woo tucked into her bustier that's just under her ammo belt.


I'd started a post I think is a great idea (though maybe it's just lack of sleep that makes me think that). But I'm too tired to actually have the creative energy to finish it right now. Still, though, I feel like writing something, just to keep my writing brain somewhat active. So instead of the "real" post, today you get the ramblings above, and a meme that I swiped from Karl Elvis's blog. You can go to his place to read who he swiped it from.

Read on, and comment at will.

1. If you could be doing what you really want to be doing for a living, what would it be?

I wouldn’t want to be “doing something for a living” at all—I’d want to be just living, with no regard to earning. Which for me would mean things like travel, music, reading, living in a really cool place (or places) in a house (or houses/flats) I love, having elaborate, excessive dinner parties and late night drinking and conversation with smart, interesting, creative, funny friends, film, art, dancing, writing all sorts of things—novels, screenplays, poetry, erotica, radio essays, children’s books, whatever I like, and having people read it and connect to it. It would be even more excellent if they paid me well for it. Being near water. Spending lots of time listening to and watching the ocean hit the beach. Never having to worry about money. And having time to volunteer for any cause I wanted to support. (And if this was attained via having lots of money, I would add “donate to” to the last sentence.)

If I have to "do something for a living," as in a JOB, I’d like to make a living with my writing as described above. If I can’t, the kind of writing work I do right now for a living isn’t too bad, really.

I’ve also always wanted to try voice over work. Lots of people have said I should, and I think I would like it, but I have no idea how to break into it. Anyone out there who has any tips for how to do it, or who wants to hire me, email me.

2. If you could slap the shit out of any famous person, alive or dead, who would it be?


3. What’s the dumbest decision you’ve made in the past 5 years?

Um…I actually can’t think of any. I’m not big on regret. I just tend to absorb and move on.

4. Give up one for a year: (good) sex or (good) music.

Music, I guess. But really these two are the same to me, and inextricable. I can’t picture them as separate. Sex feels like music to me. And good music feels like sex. They need to be together.

5. Dudes, would you rather have a big dick or a great sense of humor?

I don’t respond comments that begin with “dude.” Ever.

6. So you’ve been invited to an all expense paid Blogger Prom in The Bahamas. You’re sitting at the bar on the beach. Which blogger do you want to join you for hours of good convo?

Why the hell would they have a Blogger Prom on the beach? Like, there’d be no wireless access, man. People would lose their minds.

If I have to be at a Blogger Prom Convention (and I’d ONLY be there due to the “all expense paid” thing), I would probably go someplace darker and more dive-bar like and hang out with Hiromi, exchanging snide comments about all of the people who actually paid to go to a “Blogger Prom.” Suckers.

7. Which blogger would you most like to cuddle with on the beach? (and don’t defer to your current signif other either. Infidelity won’t count against you. Duh.)

Grrr. I don’t cuddle. I own an Uzi, dammit!

IF there was a blogger who was powerful enough to be able to sweet talk me into lowering my very sexy and metaphorical submachine gun so that he could then disarm me in my moment of weakness, leaving me so overcome by with his quickness and skill that I'd suddenly feel compelled to purr and rub up against him like a little cuddly kitten (which would never, NEVER happen, EVER, I tell you), you’d never see it out on the beach. It’d be like a WMD in Iraq--there might be rumors of its existence, but you’d never have the evidence. No one would ever know what didn’t happen with the blogger whom I never cuddled with in that secret location that doesn’t exist. Because most likely this nonexistent blogger would keep mum about it, too, if he knew what was good for him (and his future sexual happiness).

(But then again, I’ve never really found men who knew what was good for them to be particularly appealing.)

Of course, I’d also never let that blogger know if I thought he was powerful enough to disarm me. Either he’d know his own power or he wouldn’t. I’m not gonna surrender before the battle even begins. What’s the fun in that?

Wondering if I’m “not talking” about you, hm? As well you should.

8. You’re going on a 5 hour road trip: which 5 CDs do you bring?

This changes every single day. But today:
Two new CDs I’m listening to--Wig in a Box (a Hedwig covers compilation) and Giant Drag's Hearts and Unicorns. And three perfect driving CDs that I take on every road trip, regardless of what else I bring: The Best of Blur, Ramones Mania, and…wait for it…South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (Best. Driving. CD. Ever.)

9. Would you rather bury your children young or have your children bury you young?

Seeing as I don’t have kids, I’ll choose to bury the spawn. Then no one’s actually buried at all.

10. What’s your biggest insecurity?

That I’m not enough.

And also, letting people see that I’m insecure about that.

11.What’s the first blog you read every day, or however often you read them?

I don’t have a “first.” I kind of just go through the favorites on my blogroll. I usually start with all the Moronosphere folks first (Circe, Buck, Ray, Hiromi, Karl Elvis, in no particular order), then go through the others on my daily reads list, as well as those mentioned in my BILFs post (who should be on the daily reads list by now but I’ve just been too lazy to redo the code).

12. When’s the last time you peed your pants?

What the hell kind of question is this? Do most people pee their pants beyond early childhood?

Um, I think it was 2nd grade. Because some bitch friend of my mother’s who I was staying with while my parents were on vacation wouldn’t let me go to the bathroom before she made me walk to school.

13. Which was better, your first kiss or your first pay check?

Neither is particularly memorable to me. Both weren’t nearly enough.

14. Do you have kids? Want kids?

No. Define “want.”

15. You get dropped off at home after the office holiday party by your bitch azz boss that you can’t effing stand… you exit the car and he peels out, runs a red light at your corner and rolls up an unsuspecting midget. The next day the midget watch groups are on TV outraged at the heartless hit and run, and are calling for any witnesses to please come fwd: that half dead midget has a family at home waiting on C-mas presents. Would you take $1000 hush money? $500? $100? A six pack?

So this question is assuming after I witnessed my “bitch azz” (ugh) boss hit a human being in the street, I wouldn’t call an ambulance right away to report it, but would instead wait till the next morning and only think about whether I should report it after I listened to the news?

Please. I would be on the phone to an ambulance the moment I saw a person got hit. So the question is totally moot.

But IF I am going to entertain this “stupid azz” question, no, I wouldn’t take hush money of any amount.

For the record, and because I’m difficult like this: I also wonder why the example uses a midget. Why not just any person? And why is the midget “unsuspecting?” Isn’t that kind of redundant? How many people suspect they’re going to get hit by a car?

16. Live the rest of your life without your eyebrows or your fingernails?

No fingernails sounds painful, so eyebrows. And then I’d have them permanently tattooed on like this lady I know down the street.

17. What makes you angry?

Dishonesty. Deception. Lying, both blatantly and by omission. Fake people. Poseurs. People who won’t own up to their own mistakes and always blame someone else to cover their own asses. Lack of integrity and honor. Infidelity. Snobbishness. Xenophobia. Racism/bigotry/prejudice. Willful ignorance. Blatant stupidity. Narrow-mindedness. Judgmental pricks. Bullies. Crooked politicians. Zealots of any sort. Bullshit. Bullshit excuses. People who make up their mind about something without ever trying to experience that thing first.

18. What makes you horny?

Hearing the sounds a man makes when I’ve made him feel so good he’s gone non-verbal.

Reading really good erotica; especially erotica that someone I desire wrote specifically for me.

Writing good erotica (yes, I admit it, my own writing can get me very hot as it’s coming out of me); especially writing erotica aimed at someone I want to turn on and imagining his reaction when he first opens it, and as he reads it, and…

Dirty talk, moaning, and/or growling in my ear. During actual sex, AND over the phone. You can make me explode on the spot if you do this right.

Listening to the sound of hetero or male/male or male masturbatory porn. (I like this even better than watching porn—you get to imagine more).

Kissing my neck. Running the tips of your fingers lightly over my skin so I can only barely feel it (makes me want to scream for more).

Should I go on? A lot of things make me horny.

19. What makes you nervous?

Infants holding balloons (*shudder*). My 1984 torture would be me sitting in a room surrounded by toddlers squishing balloons.

Being aggressively flirted with by someone who I secretly want to flirt with me. I blush, lose the ability to speak or be clever, feel completely off balance, hide behind my hair, and in general have no idea what to do with myself. (But secretly I like it.)

Loud, sudden noises. The suspense of knowing a gun or cannon is going to go off (for instance, in a play or memorial service). Really loud thunder. Being woken up by gunshots outside my window in the middle of the night (hey, I told you I was an Old Town chick).

And Karl Elvis and I share the same one in this category. I HATE when people sneakily try to peek over my shoulder to see what I’m writing on paper or when I’m doing ANYTHING on the computer (unless I’ve invited them to look at something).

20. What makes you smile?

Being flirted with by someone I like (even though it also scares me). I try to keep a cool poker face and not to show they’re getting to me, but if you do it right I can’t keep hold of my cool and end up all pink and smiling like a total schoolgirl goofball.

Getting a cool present from a friend that shows they really “get” me.

Random absurdity.

My nephews, just being who they are.

Thinking about something he said to me the night before while I’m sitting in a meeting at work.

That moment after you’ve both just come and your bodies move from the stiff pulsing of orgasm into release and you’re both still feeling the waves as your bodies let go and come down though you’re still a little out of breath; and your bodies are separating, coming down, but you’re both still wanting to hold onto it a little bit longer, so you reach out to touch in some way…and when you feel that touch and you look right in that person’s face for the first time since your orgasm and see that person looking back at you…yeah. That’s when you’ll see the biggest ass smile you’ll ever see on my face.


This song

This song

This song

This song


This song

Okay, there's that done. Now I really must be off to bed. I don't know how I'm making it through this week at work, given the hours I'm keeping lately.

Somebody tell me sumthin'.

July 15, 2006

In Defense of the Honest Lie

I'm surprised that you've never been told before That you're lovely And you're perfect And that somebody wants you I'm surprised that you've never been told before That you're priceless Yeah, you're precious Even when you are not new
Before I begin this post, look at the sentence below, and tell me your INSTANT reaction to what you filled in the blanks with. Don't think about it. Just your gut reaction. Okay, go:

Who ____ you think you ____?

Okay, hold on to that. Now:

In my last post I answered a question about what makes me angry, and many of the words I responded with can be boiled down to "dishonesty."

I hate lies. I hate lying to people, and I hate being lied to, whether blatantly, by omission, or by a disingenuous ass kiss, designed to "get" something from you via false flattery.

And yet, in the last 24 hours, after reading posts by two incredibly smart and talented bloggers, I was reminded of something that is going to make me qualify that statement. I think there is one kind of "lie," which both is and isn't really a lie, which is completely acceptable, and in fact should be told as often as possible. It's what I'll call the "honest lie." And here's why I think everyone should start telling this lie to everyone they care about.

This world is designed to grind people down and make them feel unspecial. From the moment you enter this world, someone is evaluating your behavior and "grading" it on some level; often comparing it against others. "Judy doesn't misbehave at the table/at school/etc. Why can't you be good like Judy?"

We learn it early. We're not enough. Someone is always better at it--whatever "it" is. And we carry this message with us, and tell ourselves it even when no one else is around to tell us. And then we even start telling it to (or thinking it about) other people, too. It's a kind of cyclic trap--one person is made to feel less special, and then starts replicating that pattern on someone else. This was the reason for the fill-in-the blank exercise above. Did you fill the sentence in with some version of "Who do you think you are?" This is what I mean. The world pounds this into our heads. We carry this message around, without even realizing it. It's instant, and it's always there, in the back of our heads, playing in an endless loop: "Who do you think you are? You're not special. You're not cool. You're not good enough." And then we see someone who attempts to act as if s/he doesn't believe that about her/himself and we think, "Who the hell does s/he think s/he is?"

It gets into your bones. Because on one level, you know it's true. No matter who you are (or who s/he is), you WILL never be the most beautiful, the most masculine, the most interesting, the sexiest, the smartest, the coolest, the most desired, the most respected.

Why? Because it's all relative, of course. You could strive all your life to be the coolest person in some sort of scene, and to another person in another scene, you're just an idiot. But sadly we spend more time thinking about all the scenes where we aren't cool/pretty/manly/smart than the scenes where we are.

So, you know, it's nice to be reminded when in someone's scene, we are those things, even if in the greater world at large, we may not be. And even if in the greater world, the person reminding us knows we might not be all those things.

What I'm saying is, we all need a nice ego stroke from time to time. And we're ashamed to admit it, or accept it. And we're also loath to give it to someone else, for fear of being called full of shit. And that's sad.

Which brings me to the point of the honest lie: subjectivity. If I tell you, for example, you are the hottest, most desirable man in the universe, knowing full well you don't look like Brad Pitt (or whomever wins those "hottest man alive" polls these days) and don't get laid like Casanova, does that make me a liar? If you tell me I'm fucking gorgeous and the most whip-smart woman on earth, knowing full well my body isn't anything near Angelina Jolie's and I can't do quantum physics to save my life, are you a liar?

Sure. And yet, no. Not if you feel it. Not if "to me" is added into the equation of your statement.

We all want some adoration. We all NEED some adoration. Just to get through this fucking chore of a life. Or rather, to make this fucking life not a chore.

So please, go on and give people the honest lie. And feel okay about asking for and accepting the honest lie from people. You deserve it. It's okay to need an ego stroke.

So what if it's a little unrealistic? Do you know how good it feels for that average Joe to come home from his mind-numbing job and be told he's an adonis? Do you know how good it feels for the average woman who's just left a party to be told she was the hottest woman there and you couldn't keep your eyes off her all night? I'm not talking about saying it to the guy or woman you just met and haven't fucked yet but really, really want to--everyone says it to that person. I'm talking about saying it to the one you have fucked, many times. Or saying it to the friend you adore. Or the family member you love. The people all around you, who you see or connect with regularly. The one who isn't jumping out at you. The one who probably thinks everyone looks at him and says, "Oh, yeah, that's just Joe over there."

Which, by the way, is everyone. We all think on some level we're "just Joe over there."

So give someone the honest lie. And NOT just when they're down. Randomly. Apropos of nothing. Because it's a lie, sure. But the lie is honest. Start looking at the people in your life. The people you see all the time, but don't really SEE. The people without whom things would be just a little duller, or harder, or less bearable. And then think about what you could say--an honest lie--to make their day. Let them know they're the best--TO YOU.

Tell that woman when she asks "Do I look fat in this?" that she never looks fat to you. Tell that man to you he's incredible and deserves everything he wants. Tell that kid s/he's super talented to you. Go on, exaggerate a little. Just to let that person you value have one moment where s/he gets to turn off that "Who do you think you are?" voice for just one fucking minute. To feel that for even just one split second that someone SEES them, and that they are special--a shining light in this world of dullish mediocrity.

Because, on some level everyone is that. And even if the brain, the eye, the tongue of the outside world would tell you what you're saying isn't true, if you feel it in your heart, it's true.

We don't get much in this world. But we can get this; we can give this. We can do it for each other. And we can break this trap. We really can. We don't have to replicate the "Who the fuck do you think you are?" pattern. ALL patterns are replicable, not just the bad ones. If we did the opposite, people would start copying that instead. We just need to get enough people behind it, and make a little bit of effort to get the ball rolling.

Think. If we stopped. If we just walked around and randomly said, "Have I told you today how _______ you are?" (fill in the blank with whatever your heart feels), and kept doing it, until others got so used to it they started imitating it themselves? Think of how much lighter life would be. Think about how much better everyone would feel about themselves, and how loved they'd feel. Think about what they might be able to BE and DO if they walked around feeling that special all the time.

That's what I want. I want everyone to walk around feeling like this, me included:

So, my darling readers, let's get started.

I think you are the most interesting, smart, sexy group of people on earth. And have I told you lately:

I'm surprised that you've never been told before
That you're lovely
And you're perfect
And that somebody wants you
I'm surprised that you've never been told before
That you're priceless
Yeah, you're precious
Even when you are not new

(Video is "The First Day of my Life" by Bright Eyes. Lyrics above from F.N.T. by Semisonic.)

July 16, 2006

Nothing Much...?

I'm having a "nothing much" day. As in, I'm down; thinking I'm nothing all that much. I feel invisible. It's sort of that "that's just Joe over there" feeling I mentioned yesterday. And along with that, also feeling as if no one will ever find me attractive, and I will never feel in love, or that someone wants me ever, ever again.

I've always kind of done this. Even in the best of times, I've always thought no one saw me as anything particularly special. I've written about it before, here. I'm not sure what I've been basing this on. I guess on some level of mistreatment/devaluation that I've experienced with certain boyfriends/lovers. I make a list: this one cheated, this one lied...put it all together, and it all leads up to proof of "not good enough; not exciting enough; not pretty or interesting or cool or artistic or (fill in the blank here) enough."

And I was driving around today feeling sorry for myself in this way. And then for some reason, I remembered a story I was telling a friend earlier this week about a guy I once kissed in a weak moment, and then I started making up another list around that, and it really just jolted me. Here is this list.

Over the course of my life (in no particular order):

  • I have received a series of anonymous love letters in the mail.
  • I have had two men travel across oceans just to meet me.
  • I have had one man I only knew marginally when I lived overseas (friend of a friend) track down my number once I moved back to the US and then call me regularly from another country just so he could talk to me.
  • I was once told by an ex-boyfriend that if I didn't do him a favor and go out with a friend of his, he was going to be forced to go insane listening to the guy go on and on and on about my eyes and how beautiful I was.
  • Actually, similar events to the last item above have happened several times with other male friends
  • When I suddenly had to switch universities mid-undergrad degree, one man who had lived in the same dorm as me my freshman year (and whom I didn't know well and barely saw through sophomore year, except at a few parties), somehow tracked down my new address and started sending me long letters and gifts.
  • Along with the above situation, I have had other men who were not old friends or current lovers (and some who were) buy me presents, sometimes sent over long distances, just to make me smile.
  • I have had male friends of roommates phone our house when they specifically knew my roommates were out and I was in, in hopes that I'd stay on the phone and talk to them (they didn't tell me this, I found out through the roommates later).
  • In a moment of weakness, in a dark, hidden location, I kissed a man I shouldn't have. And he called me constantly for a year after that, saying he had never experienced such a passionate kiss before and he just couldn't stop thinking about it or let it go without having more (which never happened).
  • I have had rock stars (and slightly lesser known indie musicians) choose me out of a crowd to talk to
  • For more than two years, a man traveled regularly across the entire country so that he could see me.
  • A different man moved across the country when I moved, just so that he could be near me.

  • I have had at least two adult men mobilize their friends to perform massive public relations campaigns for them in hopes I would go out with them ("Do you know how much ________ likes you? He's a great guy. You should go out with him. Are you interested?")
  • I have had someone call me as a result of merely having a conversation with me in an elevator
  • I have been asked out by men while we're filling up our cars at gas stations.
  • I have had multiple men tell me that they've dreamed (and daydreamed) about me
  • I have had men write me poetry and erotica.
  • I have had men I was not with tell me they longed for me.
  • I have had men call me beautiful to my face (as opposed to it being shouted at me on the street, which doesn't count).
  • I have had men I was with tell me that I have no idea how beautiful and/or hot I am/
  • I have had men tell me that being with me was the best time in their lives and that they don't expect anything in future to match up.
  • I have been told by men (in retrospect, when they stood to gain nothing anymore by the info) that I was the best sexual experience they ever had.
This next reaction is going to sound fake, because most of you don't know me. But those of you who do will know I'm being genuine.

I have just put this together for the first time. I've never seen it in a list. And I am genuinely shocked. If some other woman showed me this list, even if she gave me all the disclaimers I could give to counterbalance each item, I wouldn't be able to come to any other conclusion except one.

So, it's freaking me out, but I'm looking at this for the first time and I think this may actually mean that I'm...god, I can't even say it...(covering my face)...

hot. (?!?)

Or is this kind of list above the norm for most women? I really have no fucking idea. Somebody tell me.

Update: NotCarrie's comment below made me realize I should probably qualify. I didn't solely mean "hot" in terms of physical appearance, though I did mean that, too. I more meant hot in *all* aspects of the word, put together.

July 20, 2006

Violent Fucking: A Survey

Just a fun little survey where we can amuse each other with stories (and/or gain bragging rights).

They say it's never a party until something gets broken. I posit it's never a sex life until something does, either.

In an ideal world, sex would always be perfectly executed. But sometimes in our enthusiasm, things go awry. You accidentally stumble over stuff, you fall on top of something you left on the couch, your makeshift toy can't stand the pressure, you pound very hard on a very un-sturdy surface.

The result? Sexual collateral damage.

So, let's tell some good stories about what's gotten destroyed at YOUR personal parties. Ever get so enthusiastic (or at least so distracted) during sex that you broke, damaged, or totally obliterated something beyond repair? Do tell. The more extreme or amusing, the better. But little things count, too (china, a stuffed animal, a thesis's all good).

And note: I'm talking damage to material stuff in the surrounding environment, not to humans.

I'll start, in the comments. And remember, you can post anonymously if you don't want to tell the world that you broke your rafters when you were yanking too hard on the hanging restraints.


July 24, 2006

Come Together