I’m slowly trying to get a life again after taking myself out of the equation for years. Looking for people more up than down, more smart than dumb, more communicative than un, more unmarried than married.
That part’s working, it’s fun, but it’s a strange ride, especially since everyone I’ve been meeting is 34 and younger. Even if I am young-at-heart, I tell ya. These “kids” think, “Well, it’s only 10 years.” Yeah. And 220,000 hours. Just shy of 14 billion potentially life-altering anything-can-happen seconds. I’ve changed so much this WINTER, let alone the last decade. Age isn’t just a number, it’s an entity. It’s just not a be-all end-all, but it can’t just be dismissed. That said, I like youth. I’m just bridging some mental gaps, is all. Continue reading →
I’m human and flawed at the best of times, but this week I’ve been plagued with migraines, sleeplessness, and a few other symptoms as a result of an acute sinus infection. I’m beginning to get well, thank god, but it’s made me irritable, angry, unpleasant, and really, really bleak for the last few days, and I think it’s been showing a little too readily in some of my writing, and in this piece in particular.
First off, I’m not doing a 180 here, okay? The reader asked if I thought she was a hypocrite for doing everything but sex. No, not for that reason. I think honesty’s the most important facet of any relationship – be it with a parent, lover, friend…honesty’s EVERYTHING.
If you’re not sleeping with someone because you’re nervous, because you think you want to wait, or whatever your flavour is, then be honest. Say that sex is a really, really huge step for you, and you make no promises, and you may even wait until marriage, but that you really don’t know what your sexual future holds for now, and they can’t have any expectations of it, no matter how much you might be enjoying playing with them as you head down the road together. And if it’s confusing for them, tell them it’s far more confusing for you, because you know that’s the truth.
Don’t take the easy way out, don’t choose some simple pat answer like, “I’m waiting until marriage,” when you know deep down inside that’s not what it’s about.
Besides, you’re selling a lot of guys short. No, they may well not wait until marriage, because marriage is a huge, huge thing, but they might wait one hell of a long time for you, and you’re not giving them that opportunity to honestly consider what it is they would or wouldn’t do for you.
It’s such a hard topic, that of when sex is the right move to make. I have no qualms with abstinence until marriage, but whatever the reasons you’re choosing not to have sex, you need to be honest about them. You need to be honest about every aspect of your life, and I truly believe that.
Honesty shouldn’t be some lost virtue, or something we pull out when it’s convenient to us. It’s hard to be honest about our fears and our emotions, and sometimes being honest about them leads to hard places and difficult roads to travel because it can be so damned confusing to admit what lies behind our poker faces, but the cliché of it being the best policy is true for a reason.
It’s only through that honesty with each other that we can face challenges and adversities. If you’re being dishonest, even about something that’s “kind of” true, like waiting for the right person, you’re setting the groundwork for yourself to tell little white lies when it makes things a little easier for you to process.
I disagree with that to the very core of who I am.
Did I handle the question well? No. I’ve been in a really dark place this week and I’ve not been comfortable facing it. I’ve been dealing with things somewhat passive-aggressively, it turns out, and while I have reasoning for it, it doesn’t really excuse it.
And while you have reasoning for stretching the truth, it never excuses it, either. These are the simple truisms behind living a good life, and you are trying to choose how you want to live. Don’t commit one transgression to stave off another. Clearly, by asking the question as you did, you’re already somewhat uncomfortable with how you’re handling the situation, so maybe it’s time to reconsider.
As for abstinence – feeling guilty about it, questioning it… Abstinence is a hard, hard road to choose. You’ll have weak moments. You’ll feel pressured. You’ll feel like you’re alone in a big, sexy world. And if abstinence is really important to you, then you need to be strong and hold your position. Don’t compromise just because of all those pressures out there in that big, scary world. Do it when it’s right for you, because it’s not something you’ll ever get a chance to revisit.
Personally, I thought I waited for the right guy. In the end, we stayed together too long because I didn’t want to admit he wasn’t the right one after all. You need to be aware that waiting for rightness doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve made the right choice, and it may still go wrong, and you may eventually realize you made a mistake, and if/when that should happen, you can’t hold it against yourself. The majority of our relationships are bound to end, and many of those will end badly, and that’s why they say that all is fair in love and war; because sometimes love is war. Sometimes it’s wrong. So, if you’re holding out, be realistic, and know that your intentions are what counts, not the end result of your actions… if that makes any sense.
Anyhow. I wanted to edit that piece as soon as I posted it, but my mindset had gone to a darker place and I couldn’t conjure the genuine sentiment I needed to do the job right. I hope I have now. For whatever it’s worth, sorry it was harsh. I still agree with some of what I said, but I wish I’d said it better.
I was sent the following question in a comment this morning, and yes, they were right, it is an interesting topic to write about. Time’s not on my side today, so this is a quick take on the question… a question that could unleash some interesting discussion, and I hope it does.
I decided that I want to wait until marriage to have sex, but I’m still a chronic masturbator and ok with doing stuff with guys that doesn’t involve penis-in-vagina sex. I guess I just don’t really trust anyone enough to go “all the way” with them. Do you think I’m a hypocrite?
You want the short answer? Yep, I do think you’re a hypocrite, more or less. Thanks for putting words in my mouth.
There is nothing that makes me snicker more than religious types (which I don’t know if you are one or not) who tell me they’re abstaining from sex until marriage, but that they’ve done nearly everything except things involving penetration.
It’s the same reason why Bill Clinton was lambasted for claiming he “did not have sexual relations with that woman!” I mean, come on. You’ll get them off, they’ll get you off, but when it comes to insertion, you’re gonna play the morality card? What the fuck is that?
Oral sex, manually-induced orgasms, it’s all intimacy, and it’s all banned off primetime TV, all right? It ain’t for the kiddies and the after-school special, y’know?
If you’re not comfortable having sex for one reason or another, fine, but be honest about why you’re not. Don’t claim you’re some sanctimonious person waiting for the right person or whatever. Admit that you’re scared. Admit you have trust issues (which you have done here).
It’s all right be to scared, but don’t cover it up with some vow of chastity. Don’t run from the situation just because you haven’t got the sack to ante up and face it. I think it’s dishonest to be chronically masturbating, allowing men to get you off, trading favours, but then claiming you’re “abstaining” from sex. Why? What’s the point? You’re already doing all the intimate things a person can do. You’re already investing in carnal pleasures. You’re already sinning in the eyes of most religions.
It’s the sexual equivalent of someone being issued a restraining order for not going within 100 metres of X person/place, and instead of just staying the fuck away, they stand day in and day out at a distance of 101 metres, toying with the allowed limits. How is that possibly honouring the spirit of the situation? It’s not. It’s a crock, is what it is.
I could be all nice and say, “Oh, I understand the ambivalence of not having sex,” and all that, but honestly, you’re already feeling guilty and like you’re breaking some code, or else YOU wouldn’t have asked if you’re being a hypocrite. If you have to ask, then you are. Pretty simple.
If you were abstaining from sex and not letting men finger you, not masturbating, not exploring oral, then you would not be a hypocrite.
But, you, honey, are a hypocrite, any way you slice it. I’m sorry if the truth hurts, but it is what it is.
You’re scared of intimacy, you’re hoping like hell you’re being Just Good Enough to be virtuous, and you know, deep down inside, that you wish you could be fucked silly, but you don’t have the courage or the backbone to go there, because you’re scared that once you give them what they’re really wanting, that they’ll walk right on out on you.
And maybe, just maybe, they will. And maybe, just maybe, those fears are valid.
When it comes to morality, religion doesn’t tend to offer shades of grey. Things are sins, or they are not, and you don’t get to have the decoder ring to decide just how much of one particular action equates a sin. It doesn’t work that way. So, if you’re toying with it anyhow, why not just fucking buy the full-meal deal and get on with it? You’ve not started to go up in flames with the fires of Hell licking all around you yet, so what are you so scared of?
Again, I don’t know if religion plays a part in your decision, so the “you” in regards to anything religious is rhetorical, not specifically YOU.
I just wish people were more honest about their actions, and this duplicitous “well, you can get me off, but you can’t come inside of me” behaviour is symptomatic of all the hypocrisy that surrounds us. I grow tired of it, that’s all.
(Feeling that I may have sounded a little harsh in this post, I decided to revisit it, as I know there are some “virgins” out there who are trepidatious about their sexuality, and I don’t want to add too much fuel to that fire. Check out my second take here.)
Had I actually been a guest on Sex with Emily last Saturday night as planned, question number one from them was, “Why is your blog so popular?” Why, indeed?
If I had to say why I wish my blog was as popular as it’s proving to be, I’d say it’s because I’d like to think I’m real. But that’s a pat little answer, isn’t it?
The thing about sex writing is, it’s so easy, in theory, to write about dripping, hard cocks, about the fury and the fumbling of two people coming together in sexual union – the passion, the intensity, the fun, the excitement. The pulsing of hearts, the throbbing of members, the vaginal swelling… we’ve all experienced these things, we’ve all been on both the receiving and giving ends of pleasure, and so it’s easy to relate to when we read about others’ experiences. And if it’s not something we actually can relate to, then it’s something we live vicariously through.
Not a lot of sex writers try to tackle the emotional content under it all, though, and the ones who do tend to inspire more loyalty from their readers. I tend to focus more on the emotional aspect of it – not just the emotions we show, but those we hide. Perhaps this is why y’all dig me. Or maybe it’s my irreverence, or my honesty about my own insecurities and desires and fears and dreams. Who knows. But these are the reasons I would like to believe my blog is popular.
And it’s something I thought about when I saw this “breaking” news on the BBC site. Apparently kids find sex education classes too biological. Gee. Really?
They’re right. It is far too biological. Everything about sex originates in one place: the brain. The brain powers our emotional response, spurs our physical response, and then our juices flow, action proceeds to happen (or not), and the rest is messy history.
Funny enough, in England, the biology of sex is a mandatory class, but “personal social and health education” is optional at the institutions doing the teaching. This latter course brings education about relationship and emotional health into play.
I must have missed the memo where relationships and emotional health were optional in my own life.
In a time when divorce is the norm, moreso than happy marriages, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the ways in which we approach relationships. Maybe it’s time to acknowledge that the psychology/self-help departments of bookstores are the most popular non-fiction sections for a very good reason: We’re all so fucking clueless about how to deal not only with our own problems but any of the problems that might arise in our relationships.
I have a history of running from relationships when things get tough, which is why I’m stunned I’m even hanging around my present relationship at all, considering all the life-induced chaos within it. My first running-from-adversity relationship happened with a young guy named “JH,” my first real boyfriend. He fell, and he fell hard. He wrote me songs, played his guitar for me, and felt like the king of the town whenever I was around. I dumped him as soon as I saw that a divorce was imminent with my parents. I never told him why I was fucked up because I was too ashamed to admit my parents’ failure, and more ashamed to admit that I was weak emotionally.
I pulled the “but we can still be friends” bullshit and instead learned what it felt like to break someone’s heart. The guy fell apart and wrote a “you tore my heart to shreds” song for me, handed it to a friend to deliver to me, and within the week, stole a car, got arrested, and then never, ever spoke to me again.
Maybe if I’d had a better emotional upbringing I wouldn’t have fucked JH up as much as I apparently had. Who knows. I do know that I didn’t have a clue how to open up, how to trust, or how to react when the fit hit the shan. Instead, I’ve spent the better part of two decades slowly learning these lessons through bump-in-the-night, daytime talk shows, and brief flirtations with both self-help books and actual therapy.
And I’m not an exception, I’m the norm. Isn’t it time we change that?
As for “sex education,” it’s really a misnomer. I know that nothing I’ve ever had to deal with was taught to me by anyone with any authority. I learned through necessity.
I’ve had the fear of a condom breaking with a boyfriend before the age of 20, having to stroll self-consciously into a Free Clinic in order to get a morning-after pill, something I’ve had to take three times in my life. I once was so freaked out I was pregnant that I remember doing a pregnancy test ASAP after purchasing it – in the bathroom of a Subway sandwich shop. I never learned about the possible negatives of birth control pills until the last few years, because I was already so fucked up in so many ways that it just never dawned on me that my depression must have been exasperated by pill usage.
In short, everything I’ve ever learned about sex has come as a result of a need-to-know, and-now education, not before-the-fact. It has been a hard road getting to the place I’m at now, considering I was raised by sexually ignorant parents who weren’t comfortable talking about sex, and schooled by a high school that didn’t teach sex ed. Of my friends, I was one of the first to get laid, even though I was 17, and none of us ever talked about sex. When I lost my cherry, my only education was that provided by television and movies. I had no idea why the hell there was a wet spot, and it scared the crap out of me.
I didn’t understand all the emotions that came with sex, and I didn’t understand that a kiss was just a kiss, not an undying declaration of love. I wasn’t hurt by love; I was destroyed by it, and all because I was ignorant of the power relationships could have over us.
Teaching us the biology of sex does little to prepare us for the emotional overload that comes from relationships. Teaching us about human relationships and the dynamics of emotional response would far better prepare us for life and love, and it’s damned well time schools began to embrace that reality.
In the final paragraph of the article I’ve cited, some talking head spouts this sentiment:
“We trust teachers to use their professional judgement to decide which organisations can support teaching and learning in the classroom and which resources best support schools’ sex and relationship programmes.”
Jesus. Let’s not trust the teachers, okay? Let’s convene some people in-the-know to talk about what needs to be learned by kids today, and then create a program that includes all those essential facets, so as to stem relationship problems, improve self-esteem, and build emotional resilience. Violence in schools is greater than ever, bullying is at an all-time high, and divorces are skyrocketing.
Isn’t it time we learn about emotional health as part of our curriculum? ‘Cos we’re clearly fucked without it.
One of the all-time fave sex conversations I had with my mother transpired when I was about eight years old.
We were watching a video of Steve Martin’s “The Jerk” one day, and there was a joke about a blowjob. Mom howled with laughter, wiping tears from her eyes. She was a sucker for Steve. I didn’t get the joke. I furrowed my little blond brows and turned to scrutinize her.
“Mom, what’s a blowjob?”
“A blowjob, what is it?”
“Oh, that’s when a woman sucks on a man’s penis, dear.”
“Ew! Why would she want to do that?”
She shrugged and said, “Ah, you got me, sweetie. You got me.”
This casual dismissal of blowjobs made me think they were insane. “She sucks on his pee-pee?” was the thought running through my head. “How icky. EW.”
She rewound the segment, played the joke again, and this time I giggled, too, with a hint of revulsion.
Creativity’s an organic process; I know what I want to write for y’all, but I can’t help it if something flicks the switch and something else comes out. This morning, I was sweeping the kitchen, dancing around, listening to cheesy ’80s music, when this posting occurred to me. Remembering some of this fodder made me laugh out loud, and I’ve still got a grin on my face. So, hopefully you find the diversion fun. I’ll deliver on the Vixen thing.
When I was in Grade 4/5, Wham! took the world by storm. As always, I was a latebloomer, and I fell for them in Grade 7. George Michael made me swoon. Those lips, those eyes, and oh, my god, that ass.
I would dance around my pink bedroom with Freedom playing on full blast. I dreamed of nothing more than somehow encountering my idol and having an affair. Surely he liked 13-year-old girls, I thought. I mean, eight more months and I, too, would be 13. We would kiss. Madly. Sex wasn’t something I’d be considering much for at least another four or five years, but kissing…
A year or two after that, I saw him walking down the street in Vancouver with this Asian woman on his arms. A few months down the road, she’d come to fame as his lover from the video I Want Your Sex, the famed torso upon which the pop star would write, in lipstick, “Explore monogamy.” I clued in pretty fast, guys like exotic chicks, not 13 year olds, and they liked sex, not kissing, and they liked flat little torsos, it seemed.
But that didn’t faze me. I still loved my George. When I discovered masturbation, George was there with me, that sexy bare chest in those little shorts he used to wear. I didn’t even have to imagine George doing anything to me. The fantasy was an album signing. He looked up. Our eyes locked. I creamed my pants. One glance from George, it seemed, was enough to do me in. Oh, George! (gush) Naturally, masturbation then consisted of dry-humping an interesting pile of teddy bears and pillows contoured in, frankly, very strange places, while holding a little teen magazine with the latest male hottie with a perfect smile on the cover. (Oh, GEORGE!)
Honestly, when I was young, I missed the bus to Hipville. It took me a while to grow out of dorkness. My mom was a bit of a hippy, and my clothes were often homemade and things like that, or just badly chosen. It wasn’t until I left private school (Catholic… think kilts and knee-highs, boys… ooh, tartan) and did public school that I finally found a clue.
George kept me company in those dark years. Corey Hart kinda helped, too, and Michael J. Fox. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve been a Johnny Depp girl since 1991.
The best thing I ever did for my sex life in my teens, though, was to buy a pair of Doc Martens. My first weekend in them, Josh. Oh, Joshie, Joshie, Joshie. German and Japanese. What a fucking studmuffin. (I always remember my friend having to explain what a studmuffin was to her confused father. “Why, Daddy, it’s a stud you can really sink your teeth into.”) Josh was built for lovin’ – he was 6’4, broad shoulders, and lips that made for smothering, baby.
Yep. One kiss from Josh and I figured, huh, these boots are something. See, he spots me at a party with all our mutual friends, me and my 13-hole docs, and beelines over, commenting that cherry was always the sexiest colour for him. “Oxblood,” I corrected him. Our lips locked shortly after that for the ultimate in gropefests on the back steps. It was the first time a boy ever grabbed my boobs and squeezed and groped, the first time I knew what it felt like for a boy to fumble as to tried to get under the bra and over the breast, and the first time I ever had the distinct feeling of being moist in public.
Naturally, Josh told the world that it had been us who was making the camper a-rockin’, and a classic teen “But I’m not a slut, that was SUZY!” drama unfolded. But I learned something important then. Image was everything, and George wasn’t doing me no favours. I started experimenting with music and quickly found U2 and Front 242, and learned that bad was good, and haven’t looked back since. These days, I’m a punk rock poser-girl some of the time, but usually just a nitty-gritty indie rock kinda gal. No, no Docs these days, but my Skechers are kinda cute.
Funny thing, though. A while back, I had this guy I was sorta wooin’ after dinner. We were interacting, on the cusp of sex, but the nerves were in the way, so instead we were standing too far apart, with that invisible awkwardness barrier repelling us. My iPOD developed a mind of its own and suddenly Wham! spun on.
“Wake me up, before you go-go
Don’t leave me hangin’ on like a yo-yo”
Next thing you know, the boy and I were bouncing around the kitchen, laughing and singing, washing dishes, cleaning up, and naturally, a spot of water on the floor yielded a well-placed slip, and we collided into each other, against the counter, collectively gasped, locked lips, fumbled about, and the rest unfolded exactly as it should, upon my bed.
I guess our liabilities aren’t always what they seem, and the past is never as far away as we’d like to think. But is that so bad? That night, it wasn’t.
PS: Incidentally, of all my teen idols, GM’s the only one I still find sexy. Not my type per se anymore, but still has “it”.