Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Dueling Banjos of my Sexual Awakening

Katie McDonough once told me a professor of hers gave her an intellectual hard-on. At the time I thought, now, why would you mix those concepts? Does being smart make you feel sexy?
I tried it.
During sex I actively thought about being recognized for intellectual achievements instead of whatever I’m supposed to be thinking about during sex to “achieve” an orgasm. Changing a honkey’s mind about Ferguson through pure logic and reasoning check Ooh yeah right there. Having my graduate school application accepted with a full ride check Uunhgh harder! Amy Goodman interviewing me about my book, the one about the murdering indoctrination of villian death in childrens’ stories blast off!! I love you I love you I love you!!!
It used to be, after getting raped during my virginity loss, I thought about how much I hated sex. During sex. Or not during sex. Later I started thinking about how the partners I was choosing were ineffectual and I needed to just find the right dick-haver. As time wore on this theory didn’t hold water (cumwater?) I began to think I was looking up at a dark sky from a deep pit with no escape. I’m ruined. I can’t orgasm no matter what I try or how much I read on the subject. All sex acts weren’t intolerable but the fact that I felt like I was lying to partner after partner, many of whom I loved, was intolerable. Sometimes I faked it. Mostly I didn’t have to because socialized-as-men-men are just as fuckedinthehead as socialized-as-women-women regarding talking about sex, and many of them never asked me if I came, and I’ll never know if it was because they didn’t know or if they didn’t care.
Someone finally appeared before me that I discovered I could trust. Like actually. And a year and a half in, I’m pleased to report that orgasms sometimes happen.
The Dueling Banjos theory I just came up with was feeling what was happening inside my body with no pain attached to it…while actively thinking about something else not to avoid the pain but to elevate it. If that means putting self-worth into a different brain bucket, I guess that’s what happened.
There are worn pathways of worthlessness when my brain considers sex. To untrain that, to get out of the ruts, I put sexthink into another place in my brain, the place where I feel confident and capable. Intellectualizing, indeed…
Go watch the scene in Deliverance* (a movie I generally can’t deal with at all) where Drew plays music with a local kid, it's the perfect metaphor. The kid is pure and visceral, like the feeling of a dick inside, and the dude is making it about friendship and competition. What’s a worse way to view sex than a competition?? But my cerebral fantasies do involve fucking winning. Being smarter and more articulate, and recognized for it, is literally an intellectual hard-on.

*The many ways in which this is a fucked up movie are an entirely separate but necessary post. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

We are not crazy

Pylon was and is a band that transcends any genre. Sure it's punk. Or pop. Or jangly indie guitarbassdrumshauntingvocals music that depending on who is listening speaks to the classifications we all use to help define things, but mostly ourselves. This song tells so many stories at once, about how we perceive ourselves, how we survive, how we help each other out. I've listened to it once or three times a day for over a month now, and it just feels stronger. The single was released in 1981. I don't think I can get sick of it.

Yesterday was his birthday

The Apology
Choppy waves smack the rocks we're standing next to, you against the truck you borrowed, me with just the wind hitting my back. The sound of the cars on the freeway mixed with the choke in your voice confuses me when I try to hear you tell me I don't really remember what happened because I might have rape trauma. I decide to just stop talking. You tell me you can account for hours that I'm missing in my narrative. It's true. I don't remember anything you're telling me. Your mouth just starts flapping like the foam on the rocks below and the fog in my brain creeps in too. I just narrow it down to the part I remember the best; I was rifling through your desk drawer looking for something to stab you with, while you blocked the door so I couldn't get out of the room. 

*this writing was submitted to Zoe Leonard for her art show...stay tuned for details about that