Thursday, May 31, 2012

A Reading List (Part 1) plus, for no good reason at all, Scary Robots

A while back on the IBWMW Facebook page, I capriciously volunteered to compile a list of books referenced on In Bed With Married Women. Once it got down to actually doing it, however, I became acutely aware that the task bore an uncomfortable resemblance to actual work. In private retaliation--fight the power!--I spent a morning on non-reading-list-compiling activities like watching YouTube videos of creepy-ass real-looking robots. Look at this Japanese nurse one:


GAAAhhhhhhhhhh! She's alive!

And look at this one (below) of three robots and their comic resemblance to their human inventors. I totally want the stern-looking Asian middle-aged man robot in the center so he could stare contemptuously at me all day with his downturned mouth and eyebrows knitted in consternation. "Shouldn't you be getting to that reading list you promised over a month ago?" he'd finally say. And, damn it, he'd be right.


For you, stern Asian robot man who I imagine harshly judging me*, Thy Will Be Done. Here goes.

Books I can personally vouch for:

Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships: I wrote a whole big post on this because it kind of made my brain explode. It's about non-monogamy, sperm competition, the societal components of sexual jealousy, penis shapes and all kinds of brain-sparking topics. It's not meant to be hardcore science, but a jumping off point to rethinking all kinds of relationship/sexual things.
 
Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex: I am madly in love with Mary Roach because she is so funny and smart and well, here... I just opened to a random page in which she is touring a sex toy factory and describing the crew of middle-aged Latina women working the assembly line. "Now we have paused to watch a team of women, wearing latex gloves, whose job is to rub a light film of red paint into the testicles and glans of large fleshtone dildos, to pinken them, 'to give them the realism.'....The women are laughing and chatting as they work. Their movements are inadvertently erotic; the hand-staining of a dildo tip could be the efficient caress of a sex worker." See what I mean? (Even better is Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers but that is about dead bodies, not sex, which may well be a dealbreaker for you.)

Anatomy of Love: A Natural History of Mating, Marriage, and Why We Stray or Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love by Helen Fisher: Deliciously passionate writing on the science and anthropology of sexual attraction, crushes, the body language of flirting, brain chemistry and reasons we act like such fucktards when we're "in love." (Is the term "fucktards" offensive? If you are a fucktard, I mean no offense.)

Candy Girl: A Year in the Life of an Unlikely Stripper by Diablo Cody, penner of "Juno." So funny, completely dirty, very fascinating look into her experimental stripper phase. Some parts are so graphic--like the particularly vile (to me) fetish of one repeat customer at her seedy San Francisco peep show booth--that I can't stand even repeating it. Oh, don't worry, you'll know when you get to him.
 
The Art of Love: Ancient Roman poet Ovid offers instructions on conducting oneself before, during and after a love affair. So fascinating to see that the games and subterfuge of passion are pretty much unchanged (except for archaic bits such how to whiten your skin with the ground-up horn of a lusty stag. As we now know in modern times, non-lusty stag horn works just as well.) Here's Ovid on taking your time in love: If you will listen to me you will not be too hasty in attaining the culmination of your happiness. Learn by skillful maneuvering to reach your climax by degrees. When you are safely ensconced in the sanctuary of bliss, let no timid fear arrest your hand. You will be richly rewarded by the love-light trembling in her eyes, even as the rays of the sun fitfully dance upon the waves. Then will follow gentle murmurs, moans and sighs, laden with ecstasy that will sting and lash desire.

A Natural History Of Love: Diane Ackerman writes with a florid (in a good way) style on how the historical and anthropological ideas of love have developed and changed over time.

Anything by Dan Savage. Start with Savage Love: Straight Answers from America's Most Popular Sex Columnist (from 1998!) and move your way forward.

And...I grow weary. Asian robot man, you can glare at me all you want, it's just not gonna happen.

Next post: books other readers have recommended, including their favorite smut and sociological treatises. If you have something to add, do send it along or add it as a comment.

xoxo
jill

*My sudden need for Robot Judgement probably indicates all sorts of psychological things wrong with me, but I'm gonna handle it like I do all such issues. I shall ignore it.

(photo source) 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

True Wife's Tale Update: Dusky, "I am going to see that old lover."

I chose this to illustrate the concept of having two balls in
the air.  However, not quite sure why model has made a
couch fort of those (exceptionally stylish!) throw pillows.
This is a True Wife's Tale update on Dusky. In her original entry ("I Have Had One Love Great Love and One Great Lover, and They Are Not the Same Man"), Dusky eloquently and honestly described the frustration of loving her husband but having little sexual connection with him. Yes, the sex was friendly and loving enough, but she was looking for smoldering and intense.

Instead of just jettisonning her sexual energy and figuring that this was what "mature love" was or something, she began a torrid email correspondence with Great Lover From the Past. The two exchanged sexy photos and deliciously detailed descriptions about exactly how they would like to wreck each other's bodies.

And, because she wants to live her life openly and authentically, she told her husband about the whole thing.

Several weeks later, I received an email from Dusky.

In just under 3 weeks (eep!) I am flying to London.  It is going to be a little 'me' holiday before hubby and I start trying for our first baby.  I will be catching up with friends and family, but also, I am going to see that old lover.

We will go on a date, and most likely it will lead to sex. He has a girlfriend who has no idea what a cheating bastard he is, so it will all be pretty sordid and clandestine.  It upsets me that I am being open and he is lying, but I will take what I can get.  It feels a little pathetic and anti-feminist, but this man is just too important to me to say no to him.

I now define myself as poly-amorous.  I have acknowledged to close friends, to my lover and to myself that this is not just about sex.  I have a relationship with my London lover, and indeed, we love each other.  We also love our partners.  To me it all makes sense and works.  My husband doesn't like that I have a relationship with this man... he wouldn't mind me just shagging someone else, but the love involved is a problem for him.  But at the same time, he has come to understand that I feel a need for this other person in my life, and he has found his way of meeting my needs.  Our basic arrangement is that he knows I contact this man and will most likely be sleeping with him on my holiday, but he doesn't want to hear about it.  We both have full permission for sex with other people, we just have to avoid it interfering with our life together.


I feel very lucky.  I have a wonderful husband, a wonderful lover, plus some very special and completely understanding friends to talk to about it all.


Anywho, that's where I'm at. Let me know if you'd like a post-London update.


Dusky

Well, I don't know about the rest of y'all, but I completely wanted a post-London update.

So, if you're down with it, too...coming tomorrow (dun-dun-DAH)...Dusky meets The Lover

*True Wife's Tales are an occasional feature of In Bed With Married Women--the idea being when someone (originally it was just wives, but really, it can be anyone) tells the truth about their sex life (or lack thereof), we all Learn and Grow, and can thus scamper unfettered out into the world to have smarter, better--I don't know--somehow truer sex. This also means that as fun as it is to mock and or judge someone else's choices, don't be a judgey asswipe in the comments.

Want to share your story? It's easy!  Just rip your soul out and email me the tattered remains.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Dawn: On Lesbian Bed Death and Lexapro Sex

An email exchange on Lesbian Bed Death with Dawn, who is, indeed, a lesbian. Please, no flash photography.

Dawn: So, I've been irked by the Kurt comment on Glee! about lesbian bed death. [IBWMW: In the scene of which she speaks, Kurt worries that he and Blaine are becoming too familiar with each other (including 'familiar' in the sense of 'family-like') and might be suffering from lesbian bed death.]

Here are some thoughts:
 

I don't remember the last time Lyn and I had sex, but it definitely isn't because I think of Lyn as "a sister" (or a sista' either for that matter), which is how Kurt described it to Rachel. Frankly, I think it is that we are just both exhausted. I guess all couples probably are, so what makes us "special" I don't know. We should be all over it, I suppose, with no risk of an "oops" baby. And we have so much more disposable income to go out on dates not having to pay for birth control. Except we both only make 70 cents on the dollar if Rachel Maddow is to believed - and she is - so crap, there goes that theory. Maybe two vaginas* (today's secret word) is too much subconscious ugly for one room? Perhaps we are still subject to being conditioned not to be sexually assertive so neither of us makes the first move? One of us (OK, me) being on Lexapro doesn't help since that cuts the potential drive by half, or a quarter, or something - math isn't my strong suit so we'll just say diminished. Or is this something that happens to many married couples, but since it is two women, one of the pair can't blame the other for "holding out" and using sex to manipulate? So, they came up with this label. Probably to scare people away from lesbian relationships. "Sure you may double your wardrobe if you choose a partner wisely, but you will die a horrible bed death." I think that's it.

OK, creative juice depleted. Entering refractory period.

TTYL

* You use this "*" thing all the time, so I wanted to use it too. How fun! OK, focus. Spell check doesn't like vaginas. Its first recommendation is singular "vagina" - so I think it is probably homophobic. Except that penises is somehow OK, so they are women haters. "Vaginae" does make the suggestion list - but that reminds me of alumnae, which makes me think we are all graduates. In a way we are, I suppose, of the vaginae of mothers everywhere. What does it take to graduate summa cum laude? Get an APGAR score of 10?


In Bed With Married Women: So to clarify, you are irked because everyone has bed death and it unfairly makes it look like a lesbian thing? Yes?

Btw, I too am on Lexapro and although the negative sexual effect (in my case, more difficult to come, TMI of all times) appear to be lessening (oh, please let it be!) my shrink once advised that you can take drug holiday over the weekend if you decide you want to get it on. Not sure how long you can be off safety and to get results. If one of us is brave enough to do it, let's report back on our results. Because that's the scientific thing to do. [Note: Readers? Any of you tried this? Oh, c'mon, surely you aren't all happy and well-adjusted, like, naturally...]

Dawn: I think I'm irked because this may have been the first time a lot of people have heard of LBD and now think that lesbian relationships are even more weird than they thought. Interestingly, Lyn and I have been out places and have been asked if we are sisters. We don't look much alike, really, but I think people must pick up on a degree of closeness beyond friends, so they guess sisters because thinking about two women in bed together bothers them. Guys *say* they like to think about it, but they really mean 2 straight porn stars with breast enhancements and shaved cunts, not the real deal. Watch some lesbian porn for lesbians sometime - the comparison is comical. Anyway, the sister comparison makes the sex part go away, like some soothing ointment for an oversexed imagination or something. Who the fuck knows, but I don't like it. So there.

For the Lexapro, I can only go about a day and a half and I'm off my titer. I get nauseous and dizzy, and not in a cute school-girl way, both coming off and going back on. Not so great for setting the mood. I do have a similar side effect to what you describe, but it isn't too bad since it has throttled back my drive to nearly nothing. The up shot is that Lyn and I used to have a lot of conflict about our different drives, so now it is all harmonious. Harmonious like, like, I don't know, sisters?


(photo: Giulio Aristide Sartorio - Nus FĂ©minins, n.d.) 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Okay, ONE more thing about vaginas. Then I'm done. Possibly.

Today I'll tell you a quick story from the book I just read which is--this will come as no surprise to you--The Vagina Monologues
I'm telling you the story because it's just so fucking heartbreaking but also to remind us (me) why it's important to talk about this $%$# even though some people (well, this one dude on reddit who said I'm like a 12 year old boy) think it's unladylike. (Motherfucker calling me unladylike! What the fuckity fuck?....oh...yeah...I see.)

In the story, Eve Ensler interviews an old lady from Queens who was extremely hesitant about talking about her "down-there." "What's a smart girl like you talking to old ladies about their down-theres for?" she barks. After much prodding, she finally tells about the last time she ventured down there, in 1953. The woman--let's call her, oh, Agnes--tells about a date she had with Andy Leftkov, a real catch, a cute tall boy who asked her to take a drive in his new Chevy.

She and Andy were sitting in the car, recalled Agnes when "he just kissed me in this surprisingly 'Take me by control like they do in the movies' kind of way. And I got excited, so excited, and, well, there was a flood down there. I couldn't control it. It was like this force of passion, this river of life just flooded out of me, right through my panties, right onto the car seat of his new white Chevy BelAir."

Instead of realizing he'd found himself one hot little number, Andy was horrified. He said she'd stained the car seat and that she was a "weird, smelly girl." Agnes tried to explain that the kiss had caught her off guard and that she normally wasn't like this, but Andy drove her home in silence and never spoke to her again. "When I got out and closed his car door, I closed the whole store. Locked it. Never opened for business again. I dated some after that, but the idea of flooding made me too nervous. I never even got close again," said Agnes.

Years later Agnes got cancer and the surgeons pretty much cleared out her reproductive system, thus ending any worries about flooding ever again.

When Ensler asks Agnes a typically squirm-inducing Vagina Monologues-esque question, "If your vagina wore something, what would it wear?" Agnes replies, "It would wear a big sign: 'Closed Due to Flooding.'"

As the interview ends, Agnes says, "You happy? You made me talk--you got it out of me. You got an old lady to talk about her down-there. You feel better now?" [Turns away; turns back.] "You know, actually, you're the first person I ever talked to about this, and I feel a little better."

Knowledge is power, brothers and sisters.

xoxox
jill

(photo source)
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