Sunday, December 14, 2014

Why We Fuck

I was sprawled across my bed, utterly wrecked, one morning many years ago. I'd just had amazing amazing phone sex with someone who, to this day, remains the most attachment-avoidant person I've ever met.

"Holy fuck," I mumbled, made dreamy by ravishment. "Why was that so...good? We were on the phone."

"People need connection," he said simply. To my surprise, even he had known this, deep in some barely accessible part of his poor love-avoidant heart. And it had been a connection, an intense sexual communion that felt like something real had happened, even though no body parts had been touched or even seen.

This private connection between lovers--This is why we fuck each other, even though there are plenty of promiscuous toys, pillows, and shower spouts that can do the job quite well. And, yes, it has to be fucking (of some sort) because other human interactions--a nice chat in the bank line, for example--just won't do it.

Bearing witness to someone surrendering to their instincts--just being with them in the moment they lose themselves--is fucking powerful. And to find someone you trust enough to fall into that void with them, well, it's a rare and beautiful gift.

On a less sublime level, I think it's also about being present in the Now and existing in a state of Flow, where you are wholly consumed with what you are doing. These are purportedly optimal (and often needlessly Capitalized) states for achieving happiness, inner peace and well-being. (See also: Ekhart Tolle's  The Power of Now and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi's  Flow). The orgasm is, like, a bonus to what's really going on.

Caitlin Moran describes this kind of focused-attention-on-another in her book How to Build a Girl about a teenage Brit who transforms herself into a badass music journalist/sexual adventurer:

"Here's the amazing thing about sex:  you get a whole person to yourself, for the first time since you were a baby.  Someone who is looking at you--just you--and thinking about you, and wanting you...You are in a room with a closed door, and no one else can come through it....It seemed to me that this was the real reason people wanted to fuck so much. To get here. To get to this tiny, quiet place where there was nothing else to do but be with each other. Just to be two humans who had--for a short while--stopped wanting."

That idea fits nicely with what I discovered when I looked on PornHub the other day for the Top Rated Video of All Time. It wasn't "Bitch takes cum in her hair" or whatever I was expecting, but a sweet little clip of a sleepy, tousled-haired woman waking her lover up and giving him a blow job. 

This top-rated video--OF ALL TIME!--showed two people portrayed as affectionate, familiar lovers happy to be waking up together in such a nice way. They weren't over-the-top porn excited, but just enjoying the everyday-yet-so-amazing swollen pleasures of taking someone you like in your mouth and/or being taken thus. In the world of porn, this was maybe about the squarest, most vanilla thing ever. And yet it was the most loved...of all time! (For that one day, at least. Today, alas, I can't re-find it. It has been replaced by "Hot blond maid having anal." Top-ratedness is apparently fleeting. )

The point of all this being: sexual connection, in whatever form it takes, is something we all seek, including the millions of surreptitiously wanking users of Porn Hub on that particular day. Even my old friend, dear attachment-avoidant boy, needed this intimacy, albeit from the distance that felt safe to him.

We all need to get this place, however we can--where you get to be two humans who have--for a short while--stopped wanting.

Go find your place.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

How To Please a Woman. Maybe. Well, me, at least.

I'll be here for a bit
I just wrote my first article for Alternet: What Men Raised on Porn Really Need to Know About Pleasing a Women. Whee!

Well...kinda. You'll see.

The idea was that since most porn has little in the way of usable lady-pleasin' info, I would offer some ideas culled from the Sexual Wisdom of the Ages. I nerdishly went back through sex manuals and uncovered common themes from sources both ancient, like Master Tung-hsuan and Ovid, to modern teachers like Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, Ovid, Daniel Bergner, and Naomi Wolf.

I loved what I found and thought, "I am sharing the Deep Wisdom here. The people, they shall rejoice!"

Except "the people"-- oh god, I don't know how to put this but, some of them are not so dear and smart and open-minded like you. The commenters, some who maybe even read the article, did not fawn over me as I was expecting, but instead saw all kinds of nefarious messages in what I thought was a completely benign (and mighty delightful!) article. One guy thought was I calling men "shitty" (what??), another said I was advocating rape (for the record, I am "anti-rape"), another thought that I didn't include enough info on gay an article on how men can please women.

Sure, plenty of people got it, like the 1000+ people who are sharing it on Facebook or readers like this chick who wrote: "This is possibly the best article on the subject that I have had the pleasure to read." (btw, another complaint:  calling female humans "chicks." Because I AM THE OPPRESSOR!) 

Of course I gave the negative comments a billion times more of my attention. How was my message and intention so so misheard? I mean, how did anyone end up interpreting it as some sort of criticism against men? (Also for the record: Yay, men!)

I was completely disappointed and thrown and was gonna write this big ol' sad, pissed-off, point-by-point refutation of each gripe. I was even going to cite Erica Jong from Fear of Fifty about the backlash when women talk honestly about sex. ("We need to unlock the staggering power of Eros in the female psyche. We must demand the right to depict women's lives as we know them, not as we might like them to be." Go Erica!)

But....then I looked at comments on other articles and realized:  They are all like that.  Angry, off-topic, defensive.


Internet people just like bitchin,' I guess. Crisis averted.

In the meantime, the article is among the site's "most read."  Just hope some people are actually reading it.

Go ahead and have a look yourself.  I still really like it, dammit, and agree with practically all of my points. Let me know what you think.*


*Be gentle. I'm still a little raw.

Update 12/15/14:  The article is the number #1 most read piece on Alternet and is now on Salon.  So suck my non-gender specific dick, haters.

Friday, December 5, 2014

On the Mystifying Continued Existence of "Love is..."

I was shocked to learn--shocked, I tell you!--that "love is...", the heinously bad 70s cartoon, still runs every day. And not in some Shopper's Weekly in Huntville, Alabama, but in the freakin' Los Angeles Times! I discovered this the other morning and went on a little rant at the breakfast table while my daughters, aged 10 and 11, looked on.

Because I am their parent and, thus, the person they trust to provide them with authoritative information about the world around them, my girls nodded solemnly, taking mental notes on the Important Life Wisdom I was sharing with them. "Love is....," they recorded in their sweet little impressionable brains, "Worst comic ever, someone gets paid for this=totally unfair, running for 41 years=insanity!, continued appeal=completely mystifying."

Actually, "love is..." is completely mystifying in many, many ways. This is why, if you must know, the three of us have become kind of obsessed with it. Sort of in an ironic way, but also sort of not. (My husband, quite reasonably, thinks our "love is..." love is wack and will have nothing to do with it.)

I mean, it's just so fucking weird. There is a male and female, and they sort of look like kids, but maybe they're adults. It is not clear if they are married, or dating, or just neighbors. And they are always naked. Always. The whole always naked thing gives the comic exactly the right surrealistic touch that adds an extra dimension of fuckupedness to each panel.

The other day, the panel read, "love is... when he invites you to come to his place." It was illustrated with the naked guy opening the door of his apartment to the naked girl who was standing in the hall. That a man would eagerly let a naked girl come into his apartment seemed self-explanatory enough, but why was this chick just wandering the halls of the apartment building with no clothes on? She looked clear-headed enough and didn't appear, at least on initial inspection, to be in the midst of a fugue state. And why did this dude think he should answer the door all naked? Did he peek out, see she was naked, then strip? Or does he just greet all visitors in his nude glory? (I use the word "nude" here because it's just so so 70s. Maybe, if you're lucky, I'll use the word "unisex" for you as well.)

And yesterday, the strip read "love is...gazing longingly at each other across a crowded room." The illustration was the guy and girl gazing longingly at each other across a crowded room full of other naked kid/adult people. "There are MORE of them," my 10 year old intoned ominously. Everyone in the drawing looked happy, as I guess people tend to look when they are at a naked party. I, tragically, am never invited to naked parties, so I wouldn't know. Just what kind of free love, public nudity, mushroom-decorated world do these kid/adults live in?

Maybe he'd have better luck if he wore clothes to the Job Center

Oh, so many questions!  And the "love is..." Wikipedia entry just fuels the mystique. Whoever wrote the entry seemed to have closely studied the strip, searching desperately for clues.

The main characters are a male and a female. Their names may be Roberto and Kim, respectively, since in a 1974 episode which says "Love is... your name pronounced by him while sleeping" the male pronounces the name "Kim", the strip's creator's name, and in a 1971 panel the female writes the letter 'R' in the beach sand (the creator's husband's name is Roberto). The male has dark black, short hair while the female has light, waist-length hair. The characters have been featured in various stages of romance: just meeting, boyfriend/girlfriend and husband/wife. They appear to be quite young, looking like toddlers, however, they are apparently supposed to represent adults.

Sometimes, the male is seen to be part of the Army, Marines, etc.
When featured as husband and wife, at times a child/children will appear who are much smaller than them, but never more than two children, a boy and a girl. The boy and girl have the hair coloring of their opposite gender parent (i.e., the girl has her father's black hair, while the boy has his mother's light hair). The children have been featured both as infants and as elementary school age; they have not been featured as teenagers.
I love it, it's so... tentative and unsure. I mean, searching for clues in a letter scratched into the beach sand? It's madness! "They appear to be quite young, looking like toddlers, however, they are apparently supposed to represent adults," the entry's writer notes, flummoxed and completely losing the usual authoritative Wikipedia tone.

However, I can judge all I want, but that fact is, at the height of the strip's popularity in the 70s, creator Kim Casali made between £4-5 million a year. I don't know the exact exchange rate into U.S. dollars, but I'm pretty sure it's a fuck of a lot of money. By contrast, this month, on Amazon referrals alone, I have made...let's see here....carry the one...exactly 52¢. Right. So I'll just shut my damn trap now.


(note 12/14): this is a re-run.  this would explain why an oddly high amount of commenters mention cock rings. I was having a contest--now edited out--partially so that anyone who decided to search for "Love is..." and "cock ring" would find somewhere to land.
Also, Love is... is still going strong.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

"For purposes of example, this is the best fuck of my life"--Nicole Daedone in "On Fucking"

"Rule number one. You are not going to enter her until her pussy is dripping, until the walls have caved in because they are so swollen and fat. Until you can no longer hold your body away, where it feels like there is this undertow so strong that you cannot resist."

So advises Nicole Daedone in On Fucking, a piece on how, exactly, to enflame a woman's desire. (Note: "pussy is dripping" = you're probably doin' okay.)

Daedone, author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm, is a proponent, instigator and teacher of OM, or Orgasmic Meditation. Here's the Wikipedia entry, but basically, OM is a practice in which clarity, mindfulness, in-touchness with the universe and all that is reached through extremely focused touch. Specifically, the touch of a partner's hand slowly and rhythmically stroking a woman's clitoris in a particular way. Sessions last 15 minutes and the goal is not orgasm, but rather heightened sexual awareness. And, as it turns out, having someone lavish attention on this particular body part for 15 minutes is extremely effective at heightening sexual awareness.

Daedone seeks to whip up the kind of desire that's not just "Sure, a quickie sounds good," but rather, "I want you so bad I can't see straight and if you don't fuck me this very instant I might possibly die."

OM practitioners can experience intense, deeper, more fuckier fucks, with fat, swollen body parts (see above) coupled with equally fat, swollen desire, a finely tuned awareness damn good it all is, plus your general transcendence and whatnot.

"I can fuck and have it feel like not only is his cock moving inside of me, but something deeper, like this magnetic cock is fucking me. Ultimately that is what I am looking for. Anything less is disappointing," writes Daedone.

Magnetic cock, eh? That sounds pretty good....I think. If nothing else, it would certainly come in handy were I to be vacuuming in the nude, trip and accidentally lose something metal up the wang.

But perhaps we should hear some more. Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Ms. Nicole Daedone and this excerpt from "On Fucking":
I am going to tell you a story about a perfect storm of sex.
Remember I am a crazy immersive kind of person, you do not need to try this at home, but my teachers suggested that I just om. No sucking, fucking or stroking cock.
There grew to be this attraction with this guy that was like iron shards to a magnet. When he entered a room my body just moved to him. It had reached the level where it was chemical. He was actually fairly what at the time I considered cruel. He would do things like sit down to stroke my genitals and then say, nope you aren’t turned on enough. What? Yep. Just not feeling it. First I wanted to kill him. Then I wanted to eat him.
At the same time when I really was turned on he would walk up to me and say now, lie down.  And he would stroke me into the deepest places I had ever been in my life.
He had this kind of attention that was so attuned that – whereas I normally would be yelling at a guy, no a little to the left, to the right! – with him I would think it and he would move there, or exceed my expectations and go to a place I hadn’t even realized existed. And all he did were these little strokes and I was like a ducking, are you my boyfriend.
For two and a half of those three and a half years I was dying for it. I needed to have sex.  He’d say, I am sure we will…but only when you have made it irresistible. Irresistable? Irresistable? So I would beg and plead and demand and cry and every time he would say…almost. I’d threaten to have sex with someone else and he would say I wish you the best.
I hated him. I wanted him.
At the same time, it was funny, there was this background chatter. It’s embarrassing to admit. He was not the right guy. I was totally ambivalent when I would be rational.
And so my mind screamed no, my head screamed yes.
And there was this element of power. I was always accustomed to being in control. I would put out the “sex is in” sign and they would line up. Not him. I felt oddly at his mercy. I would find myself actually begging him.
I would lie in bed and yearn for him.
And then one day, something overtook me. It overthrew my rational mind. I didn’t care how tall he was, I didn’t care that I would be breaking the rules, I didn’t fear that it might not be as good as I dreamed, I didn’t care that I felt like a desperate animal.
This thing inside me was going to fuck him and that was that.
At the moment I realized it he entered the room. I simply said “now” and he took off his pants.
My body was a live wire. His hand brushed my stomach it I felt like 10,000 nerve endings fired. When he kissed me, it felt like the end of two wires came together and sparked. Everything was heightened. I could smell the detergent on the sheets, the Casablanca lilies, his saliva had this sweet salty taste, the sound of his breath sounded like an ocean.
And then he entered me and it was like he was entering every single cell of my body. I could feel him in the tips of my fingers, in my hair follicles there was no part of me that was not being penetrated by him.
Prior to oming, to having all this blood rush down to my pussy, my pussy had been sort of concave. It was like this. But having this much blood pushing down on the walls made it convex. The walls were rubbing up against themselves. Where it had felt quite honestly like a man was kind of batting around in there beating up against this cave it now felt like my pussy had become this velvet glove that wrapped around his cock. My clit had also dropped down from the weight, so that however he stroked, wherever he stroked with his cock, my clit rubbed up against it. It felt like there was no part of me that was not being fucked. And because of this, this feeling of what I can only call orgasm wrapped around both of us like we were in this honey blanket. Like I could lick this feeling off his face like nectar. It was that thick.
That was my first totally surrendered fuck. After that there was a line permanently drawn in the sand between what I had thought fucking was and what I  discovered what sex really is.
Well, gentle reader, have you have lickable honey blanket sex like this? Whole mind/body fuckery, magnetic cocks and so forth? Any other general thoughts? (And for further learnin', you can check out Daedone's TED video, Orgasm, the Cure for Hunger in the Western Woman.)


* p.s. It gives me undue pleasure that my computer has a file labeled "On Fucking."

~~yeah, it's a rerun. just cuz. 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

On "disturbingly fuckable" elves

The worst part isn't that I spent hours and hours on this Cosmo article trudging through the backwaters of weird-ass holiday erotica (Santas with boners, Ebenezer Scrooge getting head...elf ass, for fuck's sake.)

No, the worst part is that after all reading so so much about teasing mouths, hardening cocks and the like, I started getting kinda turned on. Yeah. So that happened.

If you want to see what I dredged up, here's the link for  14 Insane Erotica Stories to Get You Through the Winter.  Head over and leave a comment or like or share or something if you're feeling brave. Go on, I'll hold your hand.

And in case you're curious, the one that finally made me realize what was going on with my body was gay erotica in which a mall elf was suggesting sucking a candy cane to tease/torment a mall Santa.  Yes, a mall Santa.  Please don't tell anyone about this.


Friday, November 14, 2014

On Exactly The Wrong Person For You

I've been pondering an email from Pamela Madsen, author of Shameless: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, and Found True Pleasure

I'm not sure if it's kinda genius or the Worst Advice Ever. What do you think?

I think the search is for that perfect wrong person. The one whose scars you want to lick and kiss and love. This person who is wrong in all the right ways. That person who has horns on his or her head that fit into the holes in your head. You want to know that they are a problem that you want to have in your life. That wrong person should inspire you to gaze at them with love. To make your body yearn to touch them. And yes, you will shake your head at it all. This wild wrong person! You know, that person who is wrong for you in all the right ways.

The advice sounded a little screwy, not at all sensible or wise, but then she threw me this line: 

You have got to be willing to not only dance with your demons you have to be willing to fuck them.

So. Fucking your demons. What could be more alluring, really?

And yet.

Is succumbing to what (or who) you actually want to do--damn the wisdom or lack thereof--the key to living life fully and passionately? Or is it a complete rationalization for being in a screwed-up relationship?

Anjelica Huston, who dredged up memories of her turbulent years with Jack Nicholson in  Watch Me: A Memoir describes the relationship as having "that kind of faint uncertainty" of being with someone who is never truly yours: "But that doesn't stop one from loving somebody; it just makes it a different kind of negotiation. You can have a hard time with somebody and say, 'That's it,' but you have to be able to leave the room, and I was never able to do that."

Was she wrong to spend 17 non-consecutive, non-monogamous years in a semi-compromised position? Or was that exactly what she was into, and on a very basic level, what she wanted/needed? Is it possible--or even advisable--to avoid someone when they offer compelling mental fuckery, personalized to your exact flavor of vulnerability?

You can make a decent argument for either side, I think. On the one hand, viva life, jump into the fire, go where the passion is. On the other, well, the tension/wrongness aspect can easily veer into much, much darker territory.  A reader once wrote me to say her (ex-, thankfully) husband constantly told her how "ugly" her vagina was so she was looking into surgery so as not to subject some future beau to the supposed horror between her legs.*

I usually think of Wanting the Wrong Person as a gender issue but it's probably a universal condition for any slightly-harmed human. That is, pretty much everyone. Consider this exchange between Marc Maron and Dr. Drew on WTF, on falling for people who put you in a position of repeating traumatic patterns from childhood.
Dr. Drew: "You can't really ever cure this--you're going to be attracted to people that put you in that position. And you just love them. That's just how you're wired. It's your love map. The way to mitigate it is to go after people you're not that excited about--but then you're sort of withholding something from yourself.

Marc Maron: But you can't do that because it's sort of like a phantom limb.

Drew: It's hard. You can also go for people who are very exciting but realize it's going to be traumatic.

Maron: My therapist said that that's they way it's gonna be and the best you can hope for is that [the other person is] willing to do the work.

Drew: Yes. I absolutely agree with that. Because that's life. We're not perfect. We're not healthy all the time. It makes life interesting.

Maron: You can't be with someone that you're not going to connect with on that level.

Drew: You can, but...

Maron: You've got to be very disciplined not to go out and fuck the lunatic!  
Drew: Correct. A lot of people do not understand this and it's where a lot of the craziness comes from. The things that were traumatic in our childhood are the sources of attraction.

Maron: Not only the sources of attraction, but you want to recreate it.

Drew: Well, that's the conscious experience of it. But I think there's something far more profound. When people start talking about it in therapy, they always go, "I guess I want to master it. I guess I want to make it right this time." No, that's your brain trying to make sense of bullshit motivation.

Maron: It's comfortable. It's what you grew up with.

Drew: It's your map. It's love. It's where you find love.

Maron: Is it love?  
Drew: Yes. That's your version of love. It's not the healthiest version. But I've got the same one [he's been with his wife 23 years] so it's all good. I have found in the craziness, passion and renewal.
"I have found in the craziness, passion and renewal." Who knew? Square ol' Dr. Drew embroiled in a crazy passion-based relationship? And advising, basically, "fuck the lunatic"(!)

What do you make of all this? It is wise to seek health and balance (with accompanying possible tepidness) in relationships? Or do you go for the great passion/great trauma combo? And how has that worked out for you?


*Obviously there's a continuum between the delightful frisson of senseless ardor and someone truly hurting you physically and/or mentally and you want to be way way more toward the "delightful" end of it. (If you're not and you're ready, The National Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-7233.)
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