February 2010

In place of thought or analysis, today I’m posting a few things I found elsewhere on the Internetswebconnection.

First, the warm fuzzy.  Shay (of the s spot) tweeted a link to this really adorable list of the 15 Things You Should Know About Breasts.  It’s a quality list–I only knew 1.5 of the items on it.  For instance, I definitely did not know that “the average female nipple is 3/8″ long when erect.  Slightly taller than 5 stacked quarters.”

Breast graphics by Jason Powers.

Second, the squickily disturbing.  TBK posted two days ago about a porn clip with major editing problems.  The young starlet in it who was fucking and sucking two cocks would stop every few moments to complain about how much pain she was in–and every time she fell “out of character”, the cameras kept rolling.  If all (a significant proportion? any?) porn is like this, then I feel dirty retroactively for all the women I’ve watched fake their enjoyment of sex.

Third, the simply hot.  TroyOrleans is up to her many badass dominatrix tricks, my favorite of which is her use of MEO’s Silentium Tongue Gag.  No matter how many times I see this thing, it still makes me drool with desire.  (Get it?  Drool?  Gag? . . . )

Enjoy the fruits of others’ labors.

I had a fabulous party this weekend, which made me happy.  I’ve finally started to gather a group of friends–some kinky, some not, but all really brilliant and funny.  There were ten of us drinking wine and snacking on a huge, smelly, runny cheese until long past when the party was supposed to end.  And, in the universal sign of a party gone crazy, there were  broken glasses.  (I prefer going Greek and just busting them all, but my chaotic side had to be satisfied with two accidental breakages.)

So this morning I woke up and was traipsing around my house in a robe before plopping myself on the couch, where I had the following thought: “Oh weird, I just stepped on a dried cranberry.”  God’s honest truth, that’s the sentence that crossed my mind as I finally notice that a minute before, I’d stepped on a glass sliver which iwas now in the process of causing a very pretty, cranberry colored drop of blood to pool on the bottom of my big toe.  After a minute of admiring it, I plucked it out, cleaned up my toe, and pondered, not for the first time, that attempting to deny I’m a masochist is really a losing battle.

by Leonard Cohen

I saw you this morning.
You were moving so fast.
Can’t seem to loosen my grip
On the past.
And I miss you so much.
There’s no one in sight.
And we’re still making love
In my secret life.

I smile when I’m angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong,
And I know what is right.
And I’d die for the truth
In my secret life.

Hold on, hold on, my brother.
My sister, hold on tight.
I finally got my orders.
I’ll be marching through the morning,
Marching through the night,
Moving cross the borders
Of my secret life.

Looked through the paper.
Makes you want to cry.
Nobody cares if the people
Live or die.
And the dealer wants you thinking
That it’s either black or white.
Thank God it’s not that simple
In my secret life.

I bite my lip.
I buy what I’m told:
From the latest hit,
To the wisdom of old.
But I’m always alone.
And my heart is like ice.
And it’s crowded and cold
In my secret life.

I’m getting on with my life, and so much is going well.

But I miss him so much, and it seems like half the things that happen haven’t really happened unless he knows about them.

Just the way it goes, I know, and time wounds all heels.

First-rate portraits by Noah Kalina.

(Click on the pic for a less blurry version).

Among my many fetishes are pretty papers, cards, and silly ways to waste time on the internet.  Paperless Post, which I recently discovered, lets me indulge all those twisted desires–and send out party invitations too!  When you sign up, you get 25 electronic stamps free–and buying more starts at $5.00 for 25.  (I thought that was really rather steep until I recalled the price of an actual stamp, which I compulsively buy every time I’m at the P.O., then almost never use.)  A quick, eco-conscious, romantic, and pervertible option for today, or any day.

With the demise of my relationship, it seems, I’m far less interested in writing about the personal and far more interested in the political.  Excuse me if this blog becomes a place for polemic for awhile.

The sex blog community, such as it is, was in a twitterific uproar yesterday over a Facebook page called “Kill a Hooker and Get Your Money Back”.  Like any curious, civic minded person snowbound in the greatest storm of the last century with nothing to do but surf the internet, I visited the webpage that was causing some of my favorite bloggers to bust a 140-character gasket.  It was really quite appalling.  Some idiot had set up a fan page on Facebook recommending that you kill a prostitute?  I couldn’t even imagine what would prompt such a thing, nor why the folks involved were bragging about how awesome it was that their “lesson” was spreading fairly rapidly in the fertile climate that is Facebook, where over a million people have become members of a group called If your name starts with A, C, D, F, H, I, J, K, L, M, S, T…join!!!

But if Facebook is increasingly the stomping grounds of inanity, Twitter is increasingly the forum for urgent action.  So, at the prompting of the people I follow, I dutifully reported the offending Facebook page for violation of Facebook’s terms of use.  I really couldn’t see how advocating killing women was anything besides hateful, malicious, and threatening .  I patted myself on the back for my righteous leftist piece of political action accomplished for the day, and went on my way.  As it happened, my way on this particularly depressive, snowbound day involved hours of playing a video game that involved killing aliens (and occasional humans and humanoids) in order to save the galaxy, a fact that might become relevant in a moment.

This morning I woke and checked first my email and then my twitter feed, as is my morning routine.  (I know.  I need to get a job.  Shaddup.)  The sex bloggers were now sending out alarming “RETWEETS” urging us all to “REPORT” the new version of the “Kill the Hooker” page, which, I was informed, had simply renamed itself and moved after being shut down by FB. What was worse, according to the exclamatory tweet, was that the page had called the excellent bloggers over at Feministing “worthless cunts”.

So I dutifully went to the new Facebook page.  Only, it wasn’t the same as the old facebook page.  This time, it was called, “GTA Taught Me That If You Kill Your Hooker, You Get Your Money Back”.  Verbally, the difference is that the title reports information received rather than advocating an action.  Culturally, the difference is that I now had context for what the whole thing was about in the first place.  Grand Theft Auto is, of course, one of the most notorious and controversial video games of all time.  I didn’t know that it rewarded you for killing a hooker, but I wouldn’t be surprised.  The moral universe of video games is a dark, disturbing place, where you rarely get penalized for anything but dying.

I read most of the posts in what passed for this group’s “discussion”, and they were, in fact, about the video game, which gave me pause.  I may not like the premise of GTA, but I don’t have a problem with a bunch of gamers discussing what they did like about it.  And you know what?  Anger about the content of GTA is misdirected, if directed at the gamers themselves.  It might be warranted, but as politics and activism, it’s not effective.  It’s like going after smokers and gun-owners instead of cigarette companies and hand gun manufacturers.  You have a problem with getting rewards for virtual murders of prostitutes, take your complaint to where it really belongs and where it could really make a difference: Rockstar Games, the developer.  (I’m not kidding.  This is a technically excellent and proficient game developer, and they’re only going to make more of this stuff.  If you don’t like it, here‘s how to contact them.)

More: if we’re going to complain about what other groups do, let’s at least get our facts right.  No one in the new Facebook group called the Feministing bloggers “worthless cunts”.  That was a member of the new group.  If you think the term is malicious, hateful, or threatening, I suppose you could report that specific user–not the group.

But perhaps we could have a sense of proportion here, and look to our own glass houses.  As a recent book whose author I don’t know but whom I will locate soon argues, the Internet is probably the primary source of the atmosphere of incivility and nastiness that plagues our society and our politics right now.  A decade ago, the most idealistic among us believed that the internet would breed democracy, openness, and connection.  Instead, it’s let us connect with only those we choose to–only those, for example, who also like to kill hookers for money while playing video games.

It’s tempting to get angry at people who would do this, who would call women worthless cunts, and to shut them up for good.  But there are two problems with doing so.

First, it’s hypocritical.  I did a quick search on Feministing this morning and found at least half a dozen examples where the authors called men with whom they disagreed assholes (here, here, and here) or dickheads (here, here, and here).  If I could search the comments, God knows what I’d find.  So let’s look to our own glass houses: if we don’t want others to reduce us to body parts, we shouldn’t either.  If we want to elevate the discourse, the place to start is with ourselves.

Second, it’s the wrong approach–morally and practically speaking.  It’s an old chestnut (well, as old as John Stuart Mill, which is pretty old) that the remedy for bad speech is more speech.  And that’s not always true; the proverbial cry of “fire” in a crowded theater really doesn’t brook an eloquent reply.  But in this case, when there’s no direct, imminent threat–when it’s a small group of misguided folk talking about a video game, for example–there is time for measured reply.  And I’ve increasingly noticed as I’ve spent more time in the trenches of those who write and speak about sexual politics that responses aren’t measured.  I’ve noticed that they are knee-jerk, that they “follow the news cycle”, as the President would say, that they tap into anger, outrage, and an impulse for feel-good “activist” solutions (boycott!!!) rather than thoughtful prioritizing of problems and approaches at solutions.

It’s really easy to trawl the internet looking for the outrageous things people say about your kink, about your gender, about your politics, and to get angry.  It’s much harder to spend time articulating what you think kink, gender, or politics today should look like–but it’s much more useful.  And, unfortunately, it’s not the sort of action that lends itself to 140 characters.

Perhaps too much on a topic of only marginal interest, but that’s what struck me this morning, as the snow melts and the temperature rises.

Photograph by Anthony Koeslag on Flickr.

Edit: The book I mentioned is Jared Lanier’s You Are Not a Gadget.

Things between Robbie and me have finally come to what seems like a genuine end, right in time for the most ridiculously hyped romantic holiday of the year.  But I’m not feeling sad now.  Instead, I’m feeling like I ought to give thanks.

When Robbie was here over Thanksgiving, we broke up.  We had agreed to spend the week he was here being good to each other and talking, lovingly, about whether we could see ourselves sorting out the major obstacles to our being a couple.  And we did that.  We had a wonderful time, the best time we’d had in months.  We were affectionate and good to each other.  We identified our problems and for many of them, we found solutions.  But by the end of the trip, we’d both started to feel glum about our prospects, and finally, Robbie decided that it was time for us to part.  We said goodbye at the airport, lovingly and well.  And he asked me to spend the next few weeks thinking about all the things between us that were good, rather than recalling all our problems.

I did that then, to some extent, but mainly I put my energies into talking him into getting back together.  We did make up enough for the New Year’s visit, which was pretty disastrous.  And now I find us broken up, again because of Robbie’s decisiveness.  (I think he is probably doing the correct thing for both of us, for which I am not-so-secretly grateful to him.)  This time has been harder, with much more nastiness and hurt than we had at Thanksgiving.

But while we haven’t had the loving conversations, the laughter, the bittersweet tears, and the breathtaking breakup sex that we had over Thanksgiving, I am still trying to think of the good things about us.  It’s actually pretty easy to do.  There are many things I regret about our relationship–including my behavior for much of it–but there are things I will always cherish, and it’s worth putting some of them down, so I don’t forget them.

1.  We laughed, so very much.  I look back at the pages of this blog and I see so many things that were funny, and I realize I’ve captured perhaps .00001% of Robbie’s humor.  When he wanted to be, which was very often, he was lightness and whimsy and joy.  As I’ve said before, his smile was like the sun to me and being part of his circle of laughter was just golden.

2.  I learned what it means to open up to someone, to really share your whole self with him, and to dare to show him all of you.  It took well over a year, but I finally gave Robbie a chance to see the real me, and vice versa.  And that was a wonderful feeling.

3.  I learned what it meant to be loved.  Robbie loved me more than anyone else has.  He not only told me but showed me, again and again.  He followed through on his words at considerable cost to himself, repeatedly.  What was better was that I loved him back as fiercely and as loyally, to the extent that I could.  We helped each other through  many extraordinarily crappy events–some self-inflicted, others wildly and utterly unpredictable.  I was there when his father died, and I took care of two horses, two dogs, and a very rickety house while he and his family buried their dad.  I poured my heart and soul (and a whole lot of sweat) into his garden.  I gave him endless back rubs.  He moved me across the country, packing my boxes himself, and waited for me in hospitals after two life-threatening accidents.  He petted me and held me and cooked for me and pleased me.  We were partners, and we did for each other, and that was good.

4.  I dealt with boatloads of my own crap.  I am a rotten, flawed, imperfect human, as most of us are.  Robbie used to joke that I thought of myself as “Priscilla Perfect,” and it was true.  When we met, I thought I could do no relationship wrong.  After four years, I have the dubious honor of being thankful for the fact that I know I can be a royal bitch: temperamental, reactive, angry, and sometimes punitive.  I don’t want to treat loved ones this way for the rest of my life, and I have miles to go.  At least I’ve started.

5.  I learned about being a good parent from him.  Robbie has kids, and despite what he fears at times, he has been a good father to his kids.  I want kids, and want to be a good parent.  He never refused my many and endless requests to talk about kids or what the right thing to do for kids would be in a given situation; never withheld the benefit of his experience; and never, ever acted like the answers were pat or simple.

6.  I grew up.  This was partly because we spent four years together, and partly because Robbie is older than I am.  When I met Robbie, I was working at a job that had me spending most of my day with teenagers.  I felt very young–I was in my mid-30s but had the mindset of a teen myself.  Now, I feel like an adult, in a good way.  I know I’m not going to live forever and that that means there are opportunities I need to seize now.  I also understand that the one driving the bus of my life is me; no one else is making the decisions, and I’m the only one responsible for the direction I take.  That’s a pretty good thing to know when pushing 40.

7.  Together, we found kink.  Robbie and I had the most deviant, most satisfying, most intimate, wildest, most passionate, most transcendent sex I’ve had in my life.  And he always did tongue-fuck better than anyone else I’ve known.

My take on us, for now, is this: We didn’t break up because we didn’t love each other.  We broke up because we are 600 miles away from each other with no way to relocate right now and different priorities in our respective lives.  That is a tough thing to have happen.  If I could feel it fully it would hurt terribly, and I know it will before it gets better.

But it is good to remember all the good things, all these things and more.  Thank you, my dear, for them.  Always–until the wheel turns round again for us.

(Check it out. This is actually an Oreo.)

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here before, but I’m going to Dark Odyssey’s Winter Fire in a few weeks.  Squee. I could not be more excited.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, Dark Odyssey is “a wholly unique experience which brings together sexuality, spirituality, education, and play in a fun, supportive, non-judgmental, diverse environment where fantasy becomes reality.”  Basically, it’s a three-day sex-conference with workshops during the day and play at night.

The whole event is so well-organized that there’s a private web-page for those who are attending to post little profiles, FetLife style, to introduce themselves.  I finally got around to doing this the other day and listed myself as bisexual.  This gave me pause, and I’ve been thinking about it since.

I don’t really identify as bi.  As I mentioned, I’ve been to bed with women before; the problem isn’t that I’m not attracted to them, or that I wouldn’t consider a relationship with a woman.  The problem is political; if I identify as anything, I identify increasingly as queer because of my sexual politics.  But Robbie and I went to hear Sarah Sloane speak about polyamory earlier this year, and her quick-and-dirty take on listing yourself as “bi” v. “queer” was that, “If you’re trying to attract mostly men, put bi; if you want to date mostly women, put queer.”  I’m mostly trying to attract men, but it pisses me off that in putting “bi”, the sexist ones will think I’m going to fuck girls for their benefit.  I suppose the last thing I should think about is what the jerks I am not going to date might think . . . but that still leaves me with the question of what I actually think.

Perhaps “feel” is a better word than “think”.  Robbie and I met a woman he’s been interested in during this last visit, and I expected myself, from pictures and emails and descriptions, to be incredibly drawn to her as well.  (If you’re reading this, hi hon!)  But I wasn’t.  I just didn’t feel sexual tension there on first meet.  For awhile, I was thinking, “well, it’s just because  you really don’t feel that pull to women”.  But that’s not true either.

Today, I was thinking that I just feel drawn to some people.  It sounds like that cliche–“Oh, it’s the person, not the gender, that I love.”  But that’s not true either.  I’m not talking love.  I’m talking raw desire.  Most men I meet I have pretty much zero desire to touch, much less fuck.  So when Robbie used to tell me that he could tell that I “loved cock”, I was befuddled.  Mostly when I contemplate a new cock–and the person attached to it–my overriding thought is, “Is it going to be ugly or smell bad?”  Because I hate finding out that someone is mangled and stinky when he’s six inches from my mouth.

But every so often when contemplating that new cock and its owner, my overriding thought is, “I WANT.”  I want to tear the person apart, shove him into the nearest piece of furniture, get my hands up inside his shirt, and feel him pin my arms as payback for my enthusiasm.  This is a relatively rare feeling for me–rare in proportion to the actual numbers of men in the universe, frequent enough that I’ve managed to get laid more than the average number of times for an American woman (last time I checked the stats).  And it’s an even rarer feeling when it comes to women.  But when I find it, it’s magic.

So whatever the label is for people who get electrically turned on by some individuals in ways they can’t always predict but always enjoy–that’s what I am.

Clever photographs by Kevin Van Aelst, via Feature Shoot.