When I tell people my travelling-for-five-years plan, they’re generally really excited to hear about it, but they also question the safety. Not just of a woman travelling alone throughout all kinds of countries, but of the lack of security that comes from giving up a home.
Another thing they commonly obsess on is how my entire life is becoming an unknown. Folks seem to think is very unsettling.
I’ll confess, I’ve had a lot of these concerns myself in the last couple years as I’ve worked through confronting ‘em and screwing up my nerve to go anyhow. I’ve also been lucky to have a lot of weird little instances occur over the last two years, where I’ve had doubts washed away.
The idea that you travel “alone” is a misnomer. Some of the greatest friendships of my life have lasted less than 48 hours. For a day, we’d live and die for each other. There’s a kinship and connection that develops on the road, when you know this fleeting moment is all you got and maybe it’ll never happen again. I doubt this sense is as strong as it was in the pre-Facebook era, when the odds of staying connected were very low.
At 1:27 am I turned the television off and found myself alone in the dark. It had been a long time since I’d last just sat there in that darkness, that silence. The day had been long, frenetic, and while good as a whole, was the kind of day that prevents you from getting the shit that needs doing done.
Suddenly, silence. Calm. Through my large sliding glass doors, the clouds have that murky coral-tinted charcoal look of a dreary winter night. But the city behind that glass is absolutely silent.
Know that old joke, why do you keep hitting yourself in the head with a hammer? Because it feels so good when it stops, the guy responds. This was one of those moments. The throbbing concussive pain that has been my life of late had momentarily ceased to be.
My head-hitting has all been of the cerebral sort, though, of late. My mind’s been in overdrive and I’ve had no outlet for it. I’ve actually been writing some of late, I should confess. It’s been the literary equivalent of the quickie. Fast’n’dirty, when time permits. Stolen moments, hoarded words.
I’ve yet to go back and read any of it. Tomorrow, today rather, is a day off. My plans include laziness and self-indulgence, perhaps self-pleasure. That’s a double-entendre, kids, since sitting around and reading your own work is about as intellectually masturbatory as anything can get.
I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching about this sex writing gig of late, folks. I’ve had cause to do so. A recent opportunity arose in which I could try to do a certain quantity of writing in a certain form for certain people who happened to be of a certain religious persuasion. The opportunity would essentially mean I would receive a stipend weekly, with guidance provided in order to aid me in being completely self-sufficient (read: no more corporate whoring) over the next year. The only stipulation? Certain envelopes being pushed would constitute my possibly being uninvited from the party, and the cash cow going bye-bye. (IE: Big Brother and censorship rear their ugly heads once again.)
For a few days, I held off on writing or posting on here, the very politically incorrect “Cunt,” because I wanted to toe that line. I wasn’t sure whether it was in search of simply getting money for doing what I wanted to do, or simply “holding back” with the same goal in mind. Holding back, I can handle that, I thought. It’s not like I really take it all that far, I thought.
Or do I?
But in the last couple days, I’ve woken the fuck up. I can’t toe a line. It’s hypocritical. Shit, man, I can’t even get within a sidewalk’s breadth of that line, dude. How ass-backward would that be?
Pretty goddamned, I’d say.
I think the biggest thing wrong in North American relationships today is our almost Puritanical approach to talking about anything sexual. We have so many hang-ups and inhibitions when it comes to sex. We got to get past this, people.
We refuse to talk about it. Or most people do, that is. It’s shunned. We talk about things surrounding sex — the flirtation, the outfits, the seduction, the wining’n’dining, the commitment, the logistics — but never the nitty gritty, the real stuff that affects us on an individual level.
Face it, the whole notion of sex conversation tends to be along the lines of the boring and uninvestigative, like, “Do you like that?” You know what rule number one in the world of journalism is? Never, ever ask a question which can be answered with a simple “Yes” or “No.” If you want to know your interview subject, you always, always investigate for long, thorough answers.
You’re trying to bring your partner the best pleasure they can possibly experience, and all you’ll ask is “Do you like that?” Jesus. And people wonder what’s wrong with sex today? Worse yet, even today there are a lot of women who will NOT even ask their man if they’re likin’ it. That’s a whole other issue that I just won’t address right now.
The human body isn’t one-size-fits-all. It’s complicated. We need to talk to each other. You wanna improve your sex life? TALK to your partner. Get to know what’s working and what’s not. Asking’s the only way to do it.
Be a scientist. Gather evidence. Learn. Study the subject in as many conditions as you can. Experiment. Document your findings. Verify. Rinse. And repeat.
So, then, I ask you: How could I possibly live with myself if I began to censor myself just for a meagre stipend so early in this game?
Throw a few more digits at me, though, and maybe we’ll talk. For now, no whoring’s good enough for me. Hand me that megaphone, will you? And go talk to your lover.
I’ll have a few more things to say about conversations regarding sex in the near future, a couple examples of ways to go about doing that, for those who are a little awkward on just how to find out what’s really working. It’s so damned important.