|Image bears no resemblance to my actual life. Which is not ideal.|
What I am getting at is: feed your soul, motherfuckers. This is not negotiable.
At least I've been been feeding my literary soul and tearing through Philip Rothas well as a stack of vaguely smutty books I got at the library. (With no mishaps. True: My friend K checked out the Jenna Jameson book How to Make Love Like a Porn Star: A Cautionary Tale which she of course has every right to do, and the librarian quickly wrapped it in a plain brown bag for her. Unasked.)
Here's what I'm thinking on:
--According to Debra Ollivier's What French Women Know: About Love, Sex, and Other Matters of the Heart and Mind little girls in France don't say "He loves me, he loves me not" when pulling off flower petals. (Which is sort of cruel, now that I think about it, but perhaps such cruelty is appropriate for matters of love.) Instead they say: "Il m'aine un peu, beaucoup, passionnement, a la folie, pas du tout" which means: "He loves me a little, a lot, passionately, madly, not at all."
"How unfair," writes Olliviers. "While we American girls are stuck in the absolutes of total love or utter rejection, the French girl is already primed to think in nuances and in an infinite gamut of romance. While we lust after happy endings and closure, they're comfortable with emotional subtleties and ambiguity."
--Esther Perel has talked a lot about marriage and passion and the struggle between the strong desire for intimacy, comfort and stability with the equally strong drive for excitement, passion and unpredictability. (Here's her TED talk and a link to her book Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence)
In Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy Shmuley Boteach, offers a Jewish spin on how to work the comfort/passion balance. "Every month, there must be two weeks devoted to physical love, and two weeks devoted to intellectual communication and emotional intimacy," he writes. When the women starts her period, you abstain for two weeks. The original idea was probably about women being "unclean" during that time (bosh!), but the on/off plan does neatly correspond with most women's monthly swings of desire. Plus you get to build up lust during the abstinence weeks.
Maybe it would be kind of hot. What do you think? Has anyone tried this? Or are you willing to try it and write about it?
--A Billion Wicked Thoughts: What the Internet Tells Us About Sexual Relationships by Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam examines internet searches to figure out what men and women are actually into. It's all completely fascinating--Why men want to see other men fucking their wives! Why men like to look at other dude's penises in porn in a totally not-gay way! Why the hell women flash their boobs in "Girls Gone Wild" videos! It's all very scientific and smart.
Women, for example, tend to have an arousal cue for "competent" men. In romance novels (i.e. female porn, for some), the hero is always some dude at the top of his game. "Men who don't know what to do with their life, who are midlevel bureaucrats, or who sit around the house watching TV are never heroes," they write. (Problematic since that also = most men.) Men, by contrast, don't seem to have the competence cue. What a woman can do (aside from presenting their various holes, "fuckyeah"ing and such) is totally irrelevant to their arousal.
The very different drives and desires between men and women (in general--relax) makes me wonder yet again, how we manage to ever find ourselves in bed together in the first place.
--And finally, in Emily Southwood's memoir Prude: Lessons I Learned When My Fiance Filmed Porn Emily--as the title kinda spells out there--has a fiance working as a camera man on porn reality show. She was not especially a porn watcher in the first place, and becomes a bit unhinged by a comment Fiance makes about a porn star named Cytherea and her prowess at squirting. It is real? Fake? What the hell? She gets one of C's films and watches it. Then watches it again. And again.
"By viewing number five I'm turned on, despite myself. I decide to tire myself out with some angry masturbation. Five orgasms later, I've discovered that it's entirely possible to hate-fuck yourself, all the while mentally reapplying someone's eye make-up," she writes in an incredibly beautiful sequences of sentences.
Fuck, I feel so much better now. Now go do your thing that you do. This is an order.
P.S. If you want to see a wee compendium of my stuff, do see my new page on Contently.
P.P. S. Thank you, thank you (!) for your orders via the Amazon link. Though I an now needing to know--and am possibly concerned about--the back story with the following purchases. Sequential? Cause and effect? What do you make of it?
1. Sex at Dawn: How We Mate, Why We Stray, and What It Means for Modern Relationships
2. How to Help Your Spouse Heal From Your Affair: A Compact Manual for the Unfaithful
3. All American Whopper Vibe 8"
(image via Lady Cheeky, just cuz)