Archive for December, 2011
The libido is a funny thing, is it not?
For many women it is cyclical, dependent upon hormonal fluctuations, the amount of chocolate we’ve eaten, the position of that goddamned planet Mercury, how annoying the kids have been that day, or whether or not we’ve been told our ass looks super-fucking-hot in the new jeans we just spent a good chunk of our paycheck on. As well as a host of other factors, of course. Women are a complex species of creatures; there’s almost no telling when we’ll be revved up and ready to go, either for an adventure with a partner or just our very own sexy selves.
I was blessed with a fairly active libido, as a result of either genetics (thanks, Mom!) or luck… or perhaps it was the slut-dust that I was blanketed in at my birth? It’s hard to say, but its prodigiousness was one that presented itself, unawares, at age nine (on a bicycle, no less,) and then ran what I can only assume to be a usual path – cycling to and fro into my adulthood, through marriage and childbirth and then petering out almost entirely before it was once again re-delivered to me (unexpectedly yet ohso happily!) after a two-year battle with an autoimmune disorder. It was then that my sex drive went into full-tilt, and continued almost unceasingly for more than five years. The endorphins all that sexual activity produced served, I believe, an important purpose – I stayed in touch with myself.
Yes, in that way too.
But when my husband and I separated, I lost it. My libido that is (although to be sure my mental stability was not at its utmost peak either; cray cray I have felt on more than singular occasion.) My dear drive had gone away; turned cool-blue, frozen embers of my body’s memory, and I feared that the fire might never be lit again. I worried that to wake it up would require more than I had the energy for, or the capacity to achieve. Would I ever have the desire to desire… desire… once again?
In the haze of my missing libido I also lost myself. I began to wonder if I remembered who the hell I was? Divorce has a way of making a person re-assess everything – what was, what is and what may be. Was I not me anymore without this man who had accompanied my libidinous fluctuations the entire way? Was I still me but now this was just a different me? I shuddered to think that libido and I were so inexorably linked that it would even attempt to define me in such a way.
But I care about sex, you know? I suppose many of us do, and in fact I know we do. Sexuality is my business, it’s where I focus so much of my time and effort, trying to pull sexuality out from under the dark shroud of taboo and into the brilliant light of awareness and understanding. But how does one negotiate such a path when one’s own energies in that realm are tamped down to the extent that the ash left in its wake has blown away?
It turns out I needn’t have worried, nor been afraid. Because I have begun to wake up. To feel the surge of urge – and desire – once again. I could point towards that which sparked the blissful ignition, but I won’t. Best just to say I am happy to discover myself back in a place where there is a warmth and a will and a wish … to whack off.
It appears I am back.
And with that happy revelation (inspired by happy satisfaction,) I am off… to replace all the dead batteries in my vibrators that have been sitting, gathering dust, for far too long.
As well as to say a say a quiet “thank you” to my lovely libido-rouser.
If you ever visited me at my old blog, Sadie’s Open Marriage, then you may know that for some time I participated in the sex-blogging meme turned internet phenom, Half Nekkid Thursday (HNT for short).
HNT was the brainchild of Osbasso, and it served the important function of getting bloggers undressed (to whatever degree they were comfy) in an effort to bring them together as a community. And a community it was. Each week we peeked into each others’ lives through the lenses of our cameras. My own participation in HNT for two years did a few things for me – it increased my blog readership by getting me noticed by people who otherwise might not have seen me (and then eventually read me,) it got me comfortable in front of the camera and therefore comfortable with my body (committing to literally exposing oneself each week has that delicious effect,) and it brought me closer to a ton of other supercool bloggers out there who are sex-positive and open-minded. We all found each other and fell in love with each other through our images.
I stopped doing HNT shoots last year as my marriage began to take a downturn. But because today marks the FINAL HNT in HNT’s six year history, I decided to participate.
One. Last. Time.
The problem with people who have no vices is that generally you can be pretty sure they’re going to have some pretty annoying virtues.
***I LOVE YOU OS! THANK YOU!***
Since my separation, and because I had an open marriage, the most common question I get asked is – Would you have another open relationship?
Ummm… I have no clue.
Part of me wants to just say yes, YES, I will be forever Open. Open to more. Open all the Way!
Yes indeed, I have a bit of a stalwart inclination to announce, loudly, that the plurality of openness (meaning my opportunity to experience sex and intimacy -of varying degrees- with different people while having a primary partner) suits me perfectly.
But maybe it doesn’t.
Or maybe it suited me then but not now. Or maybe the practice of non-monogamy is something that, like sexuality itself, is fluid and ever-changing. There are aspects of it that make great sense, or at least did to me and my husband at the time. There were parts of it that were extremely challenging, and then there were times when it seemed easy. Almost too easy. But yeah, I’ve always had an inclination towards non-monogamy ever since I started dating way back in High School. But now? The idea of finding a partner (or partners) with whom non-monogamy could actually work?
Seems like a daunting task.
Especially since I was pretty sure it was working when I was practicing it. Well, when it was working, I guess. Because it didn’t always. But nothing is seamless, is it? Every puzzle has the outline of each of its pieces, visible even to the naked eye. It’s the same with relationships; especially non-monogamous ones, where the seams are prone to magnification of such extent that ignoring them is impossible. Recognizing the breaks forces examination of the relationships.
All of them.
The hope is that they can be put back together, but that just isn’t always the case.
I don’t know what sort of shape my intimate life or future relationships will take. I can’t know that and I guess I will have to be okay with the not knowing. Since no one else is privy to such things either (dammit!) Even if we think we know… we don’t really. I once thought I knew – forever was the goal – but I was wrong. And while plural relationships have their advantages – like teaching us how to love deeply and form important bonds with others besides our primary partner and access compersion for all involved, and helping us recognize that relationships aren’t proprietary endeavors – for now, I think I quite like the idea of monogamy.
Monogamy of the self, that is.
A commitment to Me and only Me.
Singularly … single.
I don’t have anything to confess!
I hear this sentiment regularly -often delivered with a whimper, a shrug or a shy smile- on the nights I ask people to share their anonymous secrets at the show I co-produce, BedPost Confessions, where we read the audience confessions onstage. I always reply, Oh, I bet you do! We all have something to confess, even if we think we don’t.
It is a hard thing to ask people to do, confess. And I imagine it’s even more difficult for people who are generally private folks to agree to doing so. But we ask regardless because it spurs people to consider their past experiences and ultimately allows them a space to let their secrets go, gives them a momentary release of memory, after we’ve brought it alive once again in front of an audience and the confessor himself. The confessions we tell might procure the nodding of collective heads in mutual understanding, or a burst of laughter for it’s seemingly outlandish detail meaning that it must be true! And what is more important than the truth… anyone’s truth?
A confession, too, may spark a discussion from those of us onstage. The other night we did a mini-show for a fundraising event for ABC Vagina Supply (which launches next summer) and one of the confessions intimated that the confessor had their first sexual experience with a group, and now, years later, they can only get off to images involving gang bangs and other group-sex practices. This person also confessed that they sometimes wonder if this predilection means they are asexual. After reading this confession I looked keenly at the audience and addressed the person who wrote it, whoever he or she was – You are most certainly sexual. You are simply… kinky.
Our kinks live -sometimes deeply- inside of us where we may not even know they exist. They are wired within; programmed by experience some may say but truly we don’t know. It’s helpful to give them credence, allow them a comfortable place within our psyches and our lives where they may flourish – without shame or guilt. The problem with shame and guilt? They make us believe shit about ourselves that are just not true. There are loads of people who get off to images of gang-bangs and group sex.
I confess that I am one of them. I also confess to belonging to the school of thought that says, If it’s in your mind and it gets you off, it ain’t hurtin’ nobody and since it helps you get off, might as well roll with it.
There is so much more I could say on the subject of kink, but I’ve got a brand new, not even out of the box dildo and strap-on harness that I’ve been dying to make sure fits, so back for now to the subject of confessing so that I can get to trying it on ….
I do a lot of confessing. It’s what I do. I am certain it puts some people off, unnerves them perhaps, or causes discomfort for them in some way, especially if the confessing is of a sexual nature. But confessing is self-disclosure, and isn’t that how connections are formed, how bonds are built? There are numerous theories on disclosure (and I won’t get too academic here, because well, I don’t have the capacity to – I am blonde after all,) but one of my favorites is the Johari Window~
The open pane (Arena) is what we know about ourselves and what others know, too (for instance y’all know I like gay black gangster porn, I know I like gay black gangster porn). The Facade pane is what we know about ourselves but hide from others (okay, I am a pretty full disclosure girl but I am sure I have something I keep to myself. Let me think about that for a moment). The Blind Spot pane is what others know about us that we don’t know about ourselves (Hehe, we don’t like thinking about that one much, do we?) The Unknown pane is what no one knows about us, not even ourselves. And it is inside that window where the opportunity for growth lies – in finding out what we didn’t know we knew.
Like the confessions we don’t know we have. They are there, we just don’t know they are. The more information we disclose about ourselves rather than hiding them from the world or even ourselves, the bigger our Arena window gets and the smaller our Facade window becomes. Likewise, the more we come to understand how others perceive us, the bigger the Arena pane becomes and our Blind Spot window shrinks. It is through our openness that encourages mutual self-disclosure.
For example, I might tell you this – I had so many mind-blowing orgasms the other night that I thought I might need resuscitating afterward!
And you tell me something - I pegged my boyfriend for the first time and now he’s an official ass-play convert!
Bonding ensues. Connections are formed.
And I become jealous as hell that you have a boyfriend to peg, because, see? I have this strap-on that I just got…
Oh right… confessions.
Of course, there is the possibility of causing discomfort to the recipient of the confession, or of betrayal of the secret and even ostracism as a result. So confessing is more than a feel-good remedy, untethered to consequence; it requires trust and a relinquishment of any fear attached to its disclosure. But releasing that fear and bequeathing trust can be wonderfully cathartic in its own way.
Trust me. I know.
I don’t press anyone to confess with us unless I can tell that they really want to but they are simply feeling shy. I judge this by reading their facial expressions, noting the tone of their voice and analyzing their body language. I have walked away from many a person who said, I got nothin’ with a warm smile and friendly appeal to enjoy the show. And more than a few have come up to me afterward and said, Oh, I remembered something! and proceeded to tell me to my happy little face exactly what their confession, the one that they previously didn’t know they knew, was.
And isn’t it always good to remember, re-learn, or discover for the first time what we didn’t know we knew?
And with that, it is my turn. Time to go discover if that strap-on fits.
And no, there will be no pics!
Looks like there’s something behind that Facade window after all.
If you really love me, then let’s make a vow…right here, together… right now. Okay? Okay. All right. Repeat after me—I’m gonna be free. I’m gonna be free. And I’m gonna be brave. I’m gonna be brave. Good. And the next one is— I’m gonna live each day as if it were my last. Oh, that’s good. You like that? Yeah. Say it. I’m gonna live each day as if it were my last. Fantastically. Fantastically. Courageously. Courageously. With grace.
And so begins Miranda July’s movie, Me and You and Everyone we Know, based on her book of the same name.
Grace. It’s something I have been practicing for, I dunno, years now? How does one successfully embrace and embody grace continually? I haven’t figured out the formula for that. Grace and I are touch and go these days. She shows up when she feels like it but has abandoned me during those times when it seems I needed her the most.
I cried all the way through July’s movie last night while I sat alone on my couch with my cat and ordered-in garlic shrimp, pork egg-roll dangling out of my mouth while tears streamed down my face. The movie was described by Netflix as an examination of people’s idiosyncrasies. I think they should have called it Hey you, yeah you, crazy, gettin’ divorced lady, you are gonna cry your heart out tonight while you sit alone in your home and eat Chinese food that you paid way too much for. See, if they had just said something along those lines, maybe, just maybe I would have been somewhat prepared for the heart-bruising about to be inflicted upon me. But I wasn’t. I kept watching anyway.
Sometimes a girl just needs to sit home alone on a Friday night and weep over wontons.
Alone. I am learning to be alone. It hurts sometimes – being alone – because it’s so damned confronting. There are these expectations that we should be doing something, anything, with another person; fill the voids of time when we aren’t at work, or doing homework or housework or other worky work. Those expectations especially apply to a newly single person who is unencumbered for the weekend – no kid, just a couple of cats and some shitty Chinese food, including cheese wontons. I mean, what is up with cheese wontons?
There is just nothing right about cheese wontons. Nothing.
But back to confronting the empty, the lonely, the void. I have never done much of it before, so this has been somewhat … challenging to approach. I am an expert void-filler. I even wrote a book about how I filled the void – with plenty of booze, with drugs to some extent, with relationships that were toxic, with sex and with people. Using people (and sex with those people) as void fillers is the worst of such transgressions, I think, because it pulls them into your subconscious misery, invites them to dance around with you on your shit-stained floor and kick it up with you. The whole, I may be sad, but at least I am not sad alone, stuff. Everyone does it. I am trying not to do it these days.
Mainly because it’s not very graceful.
So, yeah, I am attempting to practice that grace thing. Figure out how to fill the void that exists inside of myself, by myself. Alone. Does it make me lonely, being alone? It’s diaphanous, that line between lonely and alone – I almost miss it. But, yes, I feel lonely sometimes. Not always, but enough so that my inclination to reach out to people just to make myself feel better is almost uncontrollable, defiant even. But one thing I’ve noticed? The desire to do so is proving to be -like that line between lonely and alone- just transparent enough so that I can see it.
And when I can see the inclination? I can cut it the fuck out. Stop the urge to void-fill in its shit-kicking tracks.
So I guess this is me learning how to be gracefully alone. It will take practice, of that I am certain. Hopefully I will achieve it at some point before I die.
If not, I will at least go understanding one very important thing - I never, ever needed to have another cheese wonton.
This is a little matted image that sits on my window sill in front of my computer ~
I received it as a gift from Rosie Q. last year and I allow it to tease me daily about the fact that I haven’t had the decadent pleasure of a nooner in I don’t know how long.
But in my active, pervy little mind I occasionally recall the afternoon delights of my past, and hope against hope that in my nearest of futures I might be graced with the opportunity for another mid-day treat.
I had a date last week. It was one of those dates that made me feel both like a grown up and a teenager in the span of a small handful of hours. Dinner and drinks? Grownup. Emotionally intelligent, lively yet circumspect discussions about sex and relationships? Very grownup. Later finding myself on a couch making out full-fucking-tilt with a guy whose eyes when only half open scream sexy because he is so very aroused and perhaps even a little tipsy, and how they almost glow, glow for god’s sake, after he’s just said something to me in a whisper about Consuming. Me. Up?
I was transported to that time long ago when I cared about my makeup being kissed off my face, about the transparency the result would allow. But that night I didn’t give a shit. See me, I asked him soundlessly. I wanted nothing more than to be witnessed. And I was. Together we observed with frantic, frenetic, seeking hands. Hands that searched the smalls of backs and napes of necks and strands of hair. Lips found noses and chins and shoulders, fingers and collarbones and tummies and chests. For hours they searched.
Little treasures we discovered all along the way. Every bit of shell plucked from the sand as if from the hands of children. Teenagers. Until it was time for me to go home, clothes still on. Eroticism at its peak.
So really? Who needs nooners when there’s the innocence of that new discovery?
Well, me. But I am sure I will get back there eventually. No rush.
Growing up? It’s a process, after all.
She walked out the door and into her new skin, a tougher one that somehow seemed softer in the folds, inside the creases where she kept her sweetest memories.
The kid and I watched a documentary tonight on origami and the essence of what it is – the art of folding. The most delicately intricate designs can be made from just one piece of uncut paper by simply folding it over and over and over again. Sometimes the origami artist has first created, mathematically, a map of how he will proceed, while at other times he just begins folding and sees what he comes up with organically. And after what may sometimes be hours of tedious work, he just might get to the end of his design, feel perfectly pleased by it, and then unfold the entire thing in order to see exactly how he got there.
It occurred to me how life is sort of like that. We are constantly folding over pieces of ourselves, like a rubber spatula cutting through thick, rich cake batter, as we arc forward into what our next experience will be, toward the next moment that always finds us folding into the next and then the next… until we decide to take a look back at where we’ve been. Surfaces smoothed over, finished out. Lines of connectivity along the way.
And then we just keep going.
It’s been weeks since I’ve written. I realized the other night that I felt empty. What was it? I wondered. Was it the quiet house or was it just my lowish energy level? Could it be the fact I haven’t had sex in weeks and weeks? Or maybe it was because I had forgotten, once again, to eat dinner? Empty. Something that by its very essences is nothing can be so very consuming, can’t it?
I need to write. It doesn’t feel right not to write. And so I shall.
I’ll fill the empty. Fold along the lines.
And look back just to see how I got here.