Friday, December 31, 2010

Games People Play

"I am a nice guy, looking for a nice woman to spend time with.  I want it to be simple and fun, NO GAMES."

I hear it all the time.  People say that they are just looking for a simple connection.  They are just looking for a good time.  They are looking for a casual encounter.  They are looking for a relationship and love.  One thing everyone agrees they can do without are "games."  But, when I really think about it, I don't know that people really understand when they are playing games.  And, I am not totally sure that I understand what games are.  I know them when I see them, but defining them for someone is not an easy task.  And with varying definitions for everyone, one person's excitement is another person's game.  For me, a game is any dishonest or backdoor act or message that is meant to accomplish a goal without having the balls to come out and say "This is what I want. You down?"  Cowardice and self-gratification drive people to play.  

A few nights ago, I was on a date and the guy told me a story about how he had dated a woman that moved too fast for him.  He said that she had even gone so far as to show up to his door and propose marriage after only a month of dating.  The funny part of it is, he's the guy that I have been dating that I feel moves a little quickly for me. He wants to see me frequently when I am in town.  There is no question that he likes me.  He even went as far as to give me a hickey.  The question is "What does he want from me?"  It's not a question that eats away at my curiosity.  I don't spend hours or even moments trying to figure out what it is he is thinking or working toward.  But, he talks about his commitment push back just a little something extra.  This is the point when a simple story could become a game.  We haven't dated much, so I don't expect him to know what he wants from me.  I have no idea if he is looking for a relationship or if he just wants to get all the fun he can out of the time we are spending together.  I think it is time to have that talk.  But, I am not sure that he can face or share what he wants.  It's not my goal or my hope to put him on the spot or make him feel uncomfortable, but I don't want him to get the wrong idea.  So, I think I will simply share my goals (again) and give him the space to share his if he wants.

*While some use games to try to trick someone into a relationship, other people use games to keep someone hanging on just enough, without committing. This is a different game. But, they fit together nicely.

There are also times when people have been conditioned to play games by dating player of the game for their whole lives.  I have friends (and have at times been one) that have habitually dated emotional dwarfs and, due to this fact, they are unable to function outside of the world of games.  They try and they want to, but as soon as they are unhappy in their situation, they snap into game mode.  Saying exactly what you feel puts you in a vulnerable place.  As a woman, this task becomes especially daunting.  We are told that we are overly emotional.  We have been conditioned and socialized to think that we talk about our emotions too much and we are overly dramatic.  True, there are women (and men) that fit this bill.  Therefore, talking about your feelings and being honest about your motives could leave you open to ridicule, shut down or alone.  So, instead of sharing their emotions and feelings, people redirect it and attempt to evoke and inspire emotion in their mate.

I remember the "come to Jesus" moment when I realized I used this tactic and when I realized it was taking away any chance I had for happiness. When my ex decided to come clean (after months, maybe years, of suspicion) and tell me that he had been cheating on me, I did all the wrong things.  Fuck him.  I wasn't worried and am not worried about how I might have hurt him.  But, later I would try to make it work.  Due to my actions that night and for the next few months, that would not be possible.  I sabotaged any chance at getting what I wanted.  As I look back (with my 20/20 hindsight) I can think of a million other things that would have been better than what I did.  What I did was pick up my phone, in front of my boyfriend, and call a guy that had been trying to get with me.  I asked him to meet me at my apartment, I asked my boyfriend to get out of my car and I went back to my place and had sex with another man all night.  The next day, I felt horrible.  I had used myself and I hadn't been able to enjoy the sex, because I was shattered.  What I should have done was tell him that he had broken my heart.  I should have said I was sad.  Then, I should have gone to my mama's house, climbed in bed with her and cried out the hurt.  But, I tried to make him jealous.  I tried to get even, to no avail.  Again, another case of games leaving two losers.  The same games I was using in attempt win were leaving me the loser, every round.

In a real adult situation, no one wins and no one loses.  Some get what they want, some get what they need and some get hurt.  But, in the end, truth will leave you able to hold your head up high.  After that horrible night, not only could I never look at my ex without thinking of him with her, but he could never look at me without thinking of me with him.  If there had ever been a chance for me to forgive him and move on, it would now be compounded with the task of him forgiving me or at least forgetting the mental image I had worked so hard to burn into his brain.  So engulfed in The Game, my only goal was to make him feel.  That is what games do.  They make people react.  But, they rarely offer room for reflection, realization or reconciliation.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Houston, We Have A PROBLEM

What's with the hickeys??? I have made it through 30 years without getting one.  Then, all of a sudden, I get two in the course of two weeks?  The Photographer gave me my first hickey and it was an accident, but this last one was a definite "wrench in the spokes" move.  It's got "Intent to Claim" written all over it.

This newest guy... I don't know what we will call him, yet.  He's got motives.  And I don't know what they are.  That's a little scary to me.  What's also scary is that I have shown him the site.  He and I went on a few dates when I was here in Houston during the summer.  At that time, I showed him the site and I am not sure that we ever really talked about it again.  I don't know if he reads it or will see this.  I am not totally sure that he knows what I "do" or am doing.  Nor do I know what he is doing.

Don't get me wrong.  We have had some really nice times together.  He's really sweet and it's very nice to spend time with him.  He's attentive, but sometimes too much so.  I get the feeling that all the attention he shows me is like throwing a boomerang.  He's hoping it will all come back to him.  Of course, we all want someone to reciprocate. But, it's a fine line.  There is a point when someone caring for you and being there for you can start to feel a little draining.  He's not there yet, but I am keeping one eye open at all times, just in case needy starts to creep in.

On the other hand, I also get the idea that he might be looking for sex.  But, he's just one of those guys that will date you for a while, get sex and then chuck a deuce and move on.  He might be a hunter that likes to stalk his pray for a bit.  If that is the case, we will find out soon, because last night, in his car, things got a little steamy.  And, by 'a little steamy,' I mean we had a little sex.  Yes, just a little.  There's no hidden message there.  He brought more than enough to the table, but I was cramped and uncomfortable, so I pulled the plug before anyone could reach the promised land.

I will say that when he touched me, I was really surprised.  I was also surprised by the way his kiss made me feel this time.  The first time we dated, I didn't really feel anything when he kissed me.  I was apprehensive to kiss him again this time.  There was just that same draining feeling the first time he kissed me.  But, from the summer to last night, something had changed and I was really attracted to him. And his touch was amazing.  It made me long for a bed to stretch out on and see what he could really offer, but alas, the passenger seat of his car wasn't really doing it for me.

So, I am left wondering many things about The Mystery Man.  What is his goal?  What is motivating all the attention he gives?  What's he like in bed? And ... Why the hickey?  We are having dinner tonight.  Maybe I'll ask.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Grown Folks Part 2 - His Response


This was his response.  I can honestly say this was the most honest, satisfying response I have ever gotten from a man.  I feel like we are free from the things that make people afraid to say what they want to say.  I was terrified to be honest with him, because I worried he would shut down.  He didn't.  So, this is it.  I copied and pasted, so blame Marlon for the over-use of ellipses and lack of capitalization. But, to his credit, it's a hell of an email and his spelling and humor are spot-on. Oh and he's really beautiful, so imagine a really great-looking, smart, funny guy typing all these periods and lower-case i's. 
_______________________________________________________
well i would first like to say thanks for being honest and i really appreciate it and i know it was hard for you to send this email and put yourself out there. i am glad you did. and i do respect where you are coming from and being guarded due to things that have happened in the past. well you know that i like you and enjoy spending time with you as well so its not like its a one way street... and as far as i know i don’t think anything would change with us because we are honest with each other and have expressed our feelings of relationships and such with each other. and i see nothing wrong with really liking someone... i have told you that even though its not a lot of time we spend together what we do spend is nothing short of awesome and just effortless... i feel very comfortable around you and especially after our last encounter i don’t think we could get any closer unless i bought my own table with stir ups (i think they are called) attached...

but yeah we had this talk about the next step and i think i said something along the lines of just go with it... cause if you set up guidelines and rules then it becomes something that it wasn’t supposed to be... we have fun together knowing that we are both dating/seeing other people and its not something that we hide from each other... but setting a goal is usually setting yourself up for disappointments if you don’t reach it... i don’t have goals in relationship of any sort with people i just take things one day at a time and enjoy every moment of it that i am spending with that person.

i respect and 110% agree with your closing statement.... and i would expect nothing less from you... we have not kept anything from each other thus far so why start now. i know your actively dating and such and you know i am doing the same but if there is anyone that comes along that i feel like i want to be with and would get me to stop talking to seeing or hanging out with you... you would know it well in advance. and believe me you have a lot of qualities that activate the "launch" sequence and its not all bedroom eyes and such... your smart ass comments make me laugh and smile on the inside and that has not happened in quite a long time... and just to be comfortable with you to talk about anything with you and not feel judged is huge in my book... and we do tend to relate to each other very well. after meeting you i was hoping for nothing less than hopefully being at the very least really good friends... i even thought about putting in an application for the "seasonal boyfriend" position that you bloged about a while ago..... :) have fun in H-Town and Plainville.... and for the record i am not counting down the days until you back in *blank* again cause that would make me sound like a hater and want your trip to be over and i don’t want that..... ok maybe kinda... just a little bit... i would even say a minuscule  amount... ok have fun... and again thanks for sharing and being honest with your feelings and i will be honest and not do anything to jeopardize the trust we have...

Grown Folks

I decided to go all in with Marlon and tell him exactly how I felt.  I have been playing push/pull with him. (And not in the good way.)  It's got to be too much for both of us.  I was not handling it well, so I decided to put it all out there and open up instead of shutting down. *Note ... I don't send guys emails.  They can read the blog if they want to know how I feel, but he asked me to explain my feelings in an email.  So, this is what I sent. 
____________________________________________________
Dear Marlon,

Preface:

It took me a while to figure it out.  I say I am "fickle" about Marlon in order to guard myself.  It's easier than saying "I am emotionally stunted and it is going to take me a few tries to figure out how to handle my feelings."  I have been talking to this guy.  He surprised me.  I am not sure what it is that hits someone ... what jumps out of one person and strikes another, but it hit me.  I have feelings for Marlon that extend beyond any I have had in a long time.  Being emotionally stunted, I jumped from thought to thought.  Possibility to possibility. All or nothing kinda stuff. But, in the end, I just really like him.  And I don't know what that means.

In the past, a structured monogamous relationship or a "commitment" were the ways I dealt with feelings.  There was a place that it went. Instead of just feeling something and enjoying it, I was always looking for the next step.  Liking someone was like climbing stairs with a goal, a destination to reach at the top.  Trouble was, that was grueling.  It was a lot of hard work and I never reached that goal.  I never came to that fictional promised land everyone had told me existed.

What I did get from my relationships was a skill-set that would come to haunt me. 
_______________________________________________

This does apply to you.  This is how.  My only dating goal right now is to be open and to see how life works without seeking a relationship.  This thing with you has been my first challenge.  Of course it's not hard to fight the urge to be in a relationship with guys you don't want to be in a relationship with, but with you it's different.  You are the first person I would actually like spending lots of time with.  You are the first guy I have met in years that I would want to be with if I were not clear on where I stand.

I have dealt with bouts of loneliness.  I have thought about relationships, out of shear want to not be alone.  But, I haven't met anyone that I wanted. But, I want you. 

The last time I was in a situation where the man I wanted was dating and sleeping with other people, I was being cheated on.  It was all negative and full of lies.  It was a symptom of a greater problem.  It was a sign that he had grown tired of me and that he wanted to explore things without me.  His exploration with other women was the beginning of the end of "us."

So, I am primed and conditioned to feel a sense of loss when I think of a guy I care about being with other people.  I am working against years of hurt.  Years of pain and deceit that left me the loser in the end.  I think of you dating other people and I think that it will eventually mean and end to whatever we are doing.   I think you will inevitably fall for someone and you will want to be with them only.  When this happens, you will be callus.  It's just the way things go.  All is fair.  And I am hurt again. 

So, it's not fickle.  It's quite deliberate.  I go back and forth with this battle.  I just stop talking to you and then it goes away.  Or, I challenge myself to deal with the feelings and try to scrape away the residue that has been left on my psyche.  I know this seems like a lot of thought for such a casual relationship.  But, once you have taken enough punches, you learn how to block.  The thing that we have working for us is the honesty.  That sets all this apart. 

So, I am trying.  And I am starting with respecting you and not putting shit from my past on this situation we have here. 

This part is really tough.  I will fight the urge to be a smart ass or make tough-girl jokes. ***Here goes: You are not something/one I can or will be fickle about.  I respect you and I want you in my life as long as it makes us both happy.  If one of us is made unhappy by the situation we both knowingly created, we will cease.  But, I will not take this lightly and I won't pull the bullshit I have been pulling.  I am sorry.  All I ask is that you understand and respect how important honesty is to me.  My trust is vulnerable.

-Jehn

*I'll let you know what he says.

Power Slut

This is a repost of the feature article I wrote for the Sex Issue of Hater Magazine.  Check them out.  Hater Magazine is my second home.
____________________________________________________________________

Over the summer, I embarked on a mission. I was going to bend the gender roles that had made me ashamed to be a highly sexually charged woman. I was going to “out” myself. I am a dater. I am a woman and I love sex. This is the story of how I came to grips with being a great woman and stopped struggling to fit into societal pigeonholes. This is the tale of how one woman figured out that she was neither The Madonna nor The Whore and how she shared it with the world.

 As a woman, I have spent most of my adult life trying to fit into a premade mold. This is the mold for, The Nice Girl. She’s the marry-able girl. The one a man wants to bring home to his mother. She’s got a pleasant job. Perhaps, she’s a schoolteacher. She’s pretty and smart. She’s had 1–2 sexual partners and she is looking to settle down and have 2.5 children. The number of sexual partners is important here. If she has had more than a handful, she needs to be willing to lie about it. She should actually be willing to lie about anything, including her shoe size in order to fit the mold.

I am not the only one that has been trying to squeeze a size 9 into The Nice Girl’s size 7. All of my friends have been doing it as well. Actually, the better part of my generation has been struggling with the glass slipper. The closer we get to 30, the more the desperation for a relationship becomes almost palpable. It’s all around us. Striving to be “marriage material” we put our sexuality on a shelf and struggle to be more pleasant. The trouble is the struggle isn’t fun and a lot of the time it doesn’t have an equal pay off. It would be nice if at the end of the dating rainbow there was a well-hung Prince Charming waiting with a pot of orgasms, but that’s not usually the case. My theory is that the dating rainbow itself is where the orgasms are. If you should happen to stumble upon Prince Charming and his loot, more power to you. But, happiness shouldn’t be set aside in search of him.

My single cohorts are looking to get married. My married friends are struggling to regain excitement. And I am just confused. I don’t know where I fit. I am a sexually charged woman that can have an orgasm at the drop of a hat and I feel like I am a good person. I am kind, but I love sex. So, where does that leave me? We all realized early in life that we only have certain molds in which we can spend life attempting to fit. Those molds come with ground rules.
  • Women can fall into one of two categories: either the Madonna or the Whore. So you can be the mother and the wife, or you can be sexually liberated. You can spend your days ironing and cooking or you can spend them on the streets making money. These are very extreme cases of the Madonna and the Whore, but they are roles that are prevalent in our society nonetheless. You see it in television and in movies and, yes, in real life. The pressures are there. You have two options. Pick one.
  • You can be a freak in the sheets, but you have to be a lady in the streets. This is another option: live a double life. This way you can act like one thing and be another. Best of both worlds, right? Wrong. It just makes you a hypocrite and a liar. I don’t blame you. I know society has forced it upon you. You need to be able to satisfy your man and still be able to hold your head up at Sunday dinner. So, here’s what you do: If you are sexually active and ‘promiscuous’ you had better do your best to cover it up. Hide your sexuality until it’s time to let it out for the person that should get enjoyment from it: your man.
  • Those are the options but this is the golden rule: You can’t turn a hoe into a housewife. If you have ever been promiscuous, you can’t possibly ever be someone’s mother or wife. Silly woman. Aren’t these the main things that women aspire to: The Hoe or the Housewife, the Madonna or the Whore, or the life of dual citizenship in both?


So, in light of my options I said, “Fuck that,” and I meant it. I am never going to be able to take away my number of sex partners nor do I want to. I will never be able to fit any premade molds, so I abandoned the search for a relationship. I set out to strive for happiness, discover my sexuality, and just relax. I broke out of my comfort zone and openly started dating multiple men. I broke away from the goal of finding that special someone and I worked on finding what was special about me. I wanted to find myself and my sexuality. It took some soul searching but I quieted my mind and I turned off my relationship radar. The only relationship I would hone in on would be the one with myself.

I swore honesty but I didn’t stop there. I decided that I would create a social contract that could not be broken. I created a blog. In it I revealed everything that society had once taught me to be ashamed of. I wrote about my sexual exploration and about my ability to feel love and lust for multiple people at the same time. I shared my emotions and my vulnerability. I took my dirty laundry from the laundry basket that had been passed down by the women in my family for generations and I hung it right in the front lawn for all to see. It was meant to be cathartic. I never thought anyone would have any interest. I was wrong. My mental masturbation became a small movement amongst women (and men) of my generation.

I got letters from women that had never had an orgasm. I got letters from women that got married young and had wondered what they might have missed. Women sent letters and stories of their own sexual liberation. Men sent letters about their insecurities. I heard tale of couples that were working on changing their roles within their relationship. I got praise and I got cussed the fuck out. I was told that I was a Goddess and I was told that I was dirty, that I was a virtual hooker and a whore.
There it was again. There was that role: The Whore. I couldn’t shake it. The truth was: I still believed I was a whore. Society had infused the notion into my brain. It wasn’t that people regularly called me that directly but with sayings like “He won’t want the cow if he can get the milk for free,” what was I to think? I had been giving the milk away for years. Did this make me unworthy of love? No. First of all, I am not a cow and my vagina is not milk. I am not a commodity. I am a person.

I battled this deep inside. I wrote about the things I did and I put myself out there to be totally open to ridicule. I stepped to the edge of the cliff. I took the step over, closed my eyes and prayed to God that my chute would open. I prayed that my self-confidence would come through in the final hour and I would be able to shed this cloak that had been tossed over all sexually ambitious women. I hoped the Whore Cloak would detach mid-fall or that it would shatter upon impact. A big part of me still wanted to be The Nice Girl and now the world knew I wasn’t. It was too late to turn back. I buried my head in a pillow and cried. The next day I woke up and wrote more.

My small world was abuzz with tensions. I could feel that my presence and honesty were refreshing for some and challenging for others. I learned that there was nothing easy about being a sexually liberated woman in our society. Showing that I was an openly active woman was like a call for sideways glances. Even my gynecologist found herself one patient short after a routine STD screening, where she refused a herpes test. She swore I was being paranoid until I told her that I was sexually active with multiple partners. After that, the question of no symptoms was not the issue. Multiple partners made my request for a full STD screen more valid. Any request for a full STD screening should be met. The fact of the matter is women lie about their sex partners because we are taught to be ashamed of how many men we have been with. There were derogatory terms created especially for women like us: whore, slut, tramp, jezebel, hoe, skank, cum sponge, etc. In order to deny the mental image of being one of these things, women lie. Even to their doctors. When I was honest with my doctor, she made the statement, “Oh, sounds like you are a gambling woman.” Medical records stamped: WHORE. A lot of the time, people prefer if you lie to them; Even your gynecologist.

People are more comfortable when you lie. So, women lie about sex. We don’t do it because we are bad people or because we are deceitful. We do it because we are tired of the sideways glances and the endless dishes of judgment. It has nothing to do with an apple or a garden. The lies aren’t our punishment. They are our sacrifice. We do it because we have been taught that we should. We should be ashamed of our sexuality. We do it because it makes others comfortable. As women, that is our job, to make others comfortable at our own expense. We act like we aren’t just as sexual as men and we accept the lies as a part of life.

My blog and my honesty became more than a cleanse for me. If my shame was rooted in Eve’s disobedience, then I had removed the fig leaf. There I was. Me. I am a best friend to all my long-term lovers. I give emotional support and comic relief. I am a great person to call if you need anything. I am resourceful. I can change the oil in your car, change a flat tire, and still look fly as hell when I go out. I have a foul mouth, but your mother still loves me because I’m sharp witted. Your dad loves me because I am funny and charming. All your friends think I’m dope but you don’t ever have to worry about me flirting with any of them. Though, don’t even think of trying to flirt with my girls because I make friendships with bonds that no man can break. I have an amazing relationship with my family and I am a responsible loving daughter. I am great at math and I am better in bed. I love sex and I am a good person.

The journey was not easy. It wasn’t glamorous. It was grueling at times. Opening yourself up for judgment is horrible. Defying the roles society has created for you is hard work laced in tears but it’s worth it. I wouldn’t turn back for anything. I didn’t become a new me. I just let the real me be seen in the purest form. I am not shut off to love but am able to feel it and see it in its best light: free from jealousy, shame and desperation.

In the end, I don’t fit into those categories. I don’t fit into any mold that society has prescribed. I’m not a hoe, nor a housewife. I am not The Madonna or The Whore. I am The Good Woman. Actually, I am The Great Woman. That’s not even the big news. The big news is there are Great Women around every corner. We are not of a rare breed. We’re all just confused and still trying to fit into that damned glass slipper. We can’t really be seen for what we are. I’m done trying to fit the mold. I am a size or two too big. So, I may not be The Nice Girl, but from here on out, I am just going to be The Great Woman that I am.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Houston, Again.

This trip to Houston has been interesting.  Mostly, because while my body has been in Houston, my mind has been in New England.  I can't win.  When I'm there, I want to be here and when I'm here, I want to be there.  So, I have to meet myself in the middle.  When I fly back, I am not flying into my town.  I am flying into Boston to be with a man.  I don't know what I am doing.

We have been texting and talking all day for days.  The conversations are interesting.  They are very future-geared and not the kind of talk in which I normally engage. But, I am enjoying it.  I am not in love with him and he is not in love with me.  We are just playing house at this point.  Joking and talking about the way things could be if we discovered that we were compatible.  We are delving into possibilities that I have not explored with anyone in a very long time.

The trouble is, I am following a situation where I had immense feelings for someone that I would not open up to, Marlon.  He was unattainable for monogamy, and I was too scared to explore having feelings for someone while knowing they are sleeping with someone else.  I can have feelings for a person and date other people, and I can be perfectly fine with that.  I can date and have sex with people that have different partners.  I don't get jealous.  I don't frequently find myself thinking about their other partners or what it is like when they are together.  I don't care. Normally.

But, I don't think I can do that and be in love with someone, yet.  This is not to say that I don't think it can work, or that it won't work for anyone.  But, I have to think of things in the context of my little brain.  The last time I loved someone that was sleeping with other people, it was laced with lies and pain.  It wasn't a healthy situation that I had entered into willingly.  So, attempts to enter into the healthy willing version of this scenario now are tainted by jealousy, bad memories, pain and hurt feelings.  It was becoming hard to differentiate and I could see myself falling into a situation that I couldn't handle, at this point.  So, I backed off and I told Marlon that I wanted to stop talking to him.  I am not ready to feel that much for a person and I didn't like the person I became when I thought about him.  I saved myself and Marlon from some messiness.  It was hard and I didn't like it, but it's done and once I do something, I stick with it.

Then, out of nowhere, enter John.  What the hell??? I can't even go into this right now.  Let's just say I left to one complicated, feeling and emotion-wrought situation and immediately, there was another.  I bailed out of the first just in time to fall into another.  For someone who doesn't have structured relationships and monogamy, I sure am having a lot of emotion.  I don't think this is what I signed up for.

This Is Not An Experiment

So, there has been a cycle of lulls in posting.  I have discovered that there is not only a seasonal variation in my dating, but a monthly cycle that applies as well. I expected my trip back to Houston to yield many subjects.  However, I am in a place in life where I am just bored with dating.  I get here occasionally.  I just don't think I realized how much it is like clockwork until I started chronicling my ... well, my everything.

I recently started talking to a new guy.  Last night, we were discussing a fantasy future of "us."  We started talking about the blog and he matter-of-factly gave me a reason why I started the blog.  It was something about learning male tendencies and comfort.  I forget exactly.  But, I do remember that it was off the mark. When he said it, I just remember thinking, "Wait. What?"

He wasn't the first person to attempt to find my reason for starting the blog.  The truth is, the only reason I started writing, was because funny and interesting things were already happening.  I never thought "oh, this will be an experiment." or "I'm going to emulate or imitate the actions of men."  I simply decided to chronicle my actions.  This is me.  These are the things I was doing before the blog ever existed.  I haven't decided to change myself. The only decision that was made was one that I had made before starting the blog; the decision to stop looking for a relationship.  The only decision I made was the one to enjoy free-dating without the confines of love and relationships guiding my every move.

The product (so far) is one that I didn't expect.  But, I didn't really expect anything, at all.  The fact is, it's possible to abandon monogamy.  It's possible to abandon the confines of structured relationships.  However, it is not possible (for me) to abandon love. This was a silly goal to have.  Being guided by love is fine.  Since starting this blog, I have realized what it means to love yourself in a way I hadn't really known before.  I suppose it is a place I would have come to whether I had started the blog or not, but I will never know that for sure.

When I started the blog, another well-known sex/lifestyle blogger said my experience would be cathartic.  It was.  But, it was not merely a way to purge.  This hasn't just been a release of feelings and weight.  I haven't just shed old feelings.  I have found new feelings.  I have discovered new things about myself.  I have realized that certain things are more important to me at certain times.  I am not the same exact person every day.  My wants and desires shift and wane day-by-day.

The things I wanted when I started this blog are not the same things I want today.  I am happy about this.  When I started this blog, I brought a hard exterior into sexual experiences.  I thought I could separate sex from warmth and from love.  This is true to a certain degree.  I don't have to be in love to enjoy sex.  I have actually had some pretty amazing sex.  But, in order to have a pleasurable life, I need both great sex and I need love.  I need warmth and I need compassion.  I need a shoulder to cry on.  I need someone that cares about me.

As I navigate my way through my dating life, I still look to monogamy as a way to feel validated.  My mind keeps saying that I am not looking for another person.  My mind knows that this is the time when I get to know the person I have, the person I am. The only problem is in knowing the difference between time needed to grow and just being shut off because I have been hurt in the past.  I know I need to grow, but I also know that I am scared to get close to anyone again.  So, the question that keeps lurking is, "How do I know when I'm ready to let someone in?"

Friday, December 24, 2010

Strip Clubs

I am a lot of things.  During this journey, I have realized that I am all over the place.  I am strong.  I am weak.  I am empowered by my sexuality and I am vulnerable, at times. Life is multifaceted and I just try to go with the flow.  This requires me to keep judgment at bay and to accept things as they come.  As much as possible, I avoid judging others and I avoid putting stock in the judgments others pass.  I am at a crossroads right now.

Last night, that crossroad had me thinking about a guy that I just met.  A guy that, if things go a certain way, would want me to stop dating other people.  I talked to him on the phone and thought about what that would mean in my life, as I drove to meet another guy that I had been chatting it up with on FB.  This guy was a friend of a friend.  I met him and he was interesting.  He's not like most of the guys I talk to.  He is all about talking business and he's covered in tattoos.  He was extremely sexy.  I might write about that experience another time.  For now, I will just say that he and I hung out for a while and then I left to meet up with some friends for a birthday gathering.  I met them at a bar that would have cost me twenty dollars to get into, but a gentleman outside was kind enough to pay my entry.  I thanked him and I went to join my friends. 

After about 10 minutes in the club, we decided that the party would move to the strip club.  I had known this is where the night would take us.  The guy who's birthday it was, was the brother of a friend of a friend.  And he was also a dj at a strip club.  Oh how I've missed Houston.  Aside from the fact that I have no problem going to a strip club, I was in Houston and I was out to celebrate the birthday of a guy that I had never met.  Who was I to protest?  Why would I want to?  So, to the strip club we went.  

Upon arriving and walking through the doors, it was just how I remembered it.  It's been a short while since I have been to a strip club, but the feeling never changes.  The looks you get as you cross the floor to find your seat are always the same.  The funny thing about walking into a strip club is that you have a whole different marketability in a strip club than you do in the world.  As a woman that attracts and is attracted to the other sex, you pick up one additional check mark.

In the world, you might have a list of things that make you a great catch: 
  • Funny
  • Smart
  • Pretty
  • Nice Body
  • Motivated
  • Educated
  • Good Career
  • Nice Family
There are many more.  But, when you walk into a strip club, you can possess all of these things.  You can be a beautiful brain surgeon or a political analyst.  If you are an attractive woman, once you are in a strip club, you gain one quality that tops all the others.  

When in a strip club, your number one quality that set you apart becomes:
  • Not a stripper
That's all you need.  A woman in a strip club that is not actually a stripper takes on a whole different mystique.  She has a whole new allure.  I am not totally sure what does it.  Maybe it's the fact that you are attractive?  Maybe it's that you allow them to use more imagination?  Maybe they are curious about why you are there?  Or, maybe it's just that you are free.  But, it is definitely a different sort of attraction.  It's not something you experience every day.  Rarely when you meet someone say at an event or a bookstore, does he throw in "and she's not a stripper" when he describes you to his friends.  It's just not a plus in the regular dating world.  But somehow, it never fails that in a sea of naked women, the one with clothes on can steal the attention, ever so briefly ... Before the men remember that there are asses shaking behind you.  

So, that was my revelation of the evening.  While the world buzzes around me and the future of my dating life hangs in the balance, I am glad that I can still enjoy the simple things in life.  It's nice to know that when home, I can take a time-out to sit back with friends and enjoy the view.  Some things never change.  Happy Holidays. 

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Value

Everyone knows it.  We have all heard it.  Your value lies within you, not in what others think of you.  Your value is the value that you put on yourself.  It's what you have made of yourself and what you see in yourself.  So, if I let a relationship change the view I have of myself, I have let that relationship devalue me.  

Well, that is just what I did. Somewhere along the way, I allowed my views of myself to change.  Some of it was negative.  Being cheated on can really do things to your perception of self.  I didn't handle things in a way I would like to have thought I would.  I would also like to think that if it happened now, I would handle it differently.  But, putting a face or action on heart break is a big, lofty and probably useless task. So, instead of worrying about what I would do if it happened again...  Instead of playing out how I would act if my heart were being broken right now, I am going to try to forget.  I can't forget it all.  But, holding on to the pain and regret forces me keep reliving it.  And thinking about what I should have done differently keeps the feeling alive in my tissues.  Occasionally, I think about it and tears swell in my eyes.

The tears normally don't come out of a longing.  I don't think about my ex and get sad from missing him very often.  I have to admit, that is what I am thinking about now.  Remembering the good times is hard.  But, like I said, I don't do that often.  Mostly, I cry because I am realizing that I never valued myself in a way that I should have.  I didn't do it before my relationship.  I didn't do it during.  And, though I am getting better, I don't do it enough now.  I hold back my feelings and I bite my tongue for fear of playing into a characterization or stereotype of an over-emotional, over-feeling woman.  Men get to value themselves and not be considered emotional.  This is my hang up.  I hold my feelings back because of my fear.  I hold back, because I don't value my thoughts and wants enough.

So, sometimes the tears come because I am growing.  And, growing hurts.  In order to grow, you have to step up face-to-face with your fears, insecurities and flaws.  You have to get a good look at them.  You have to acknowledge and memorize your faults, so that you can take them down.  Right now, I am staring down the part of me that wants to be loved.  I am considering it a flaw, because it's consuming me.  So, I have to look at myself and I have to say ... "Maybe he did love you and maybe he didn't.  Maybe you are right; maybe he cheated because he didn't love you."  I will never know.  And as cliche as it sounds, I have to figure out why knowing whether he loved me or not is more important than figuring out how to love myself as best I can.  I work on my masturbation form all the time, because I know no-one can love me like I do.  Why has it taken this long to translate and transport that message from my vagina to my brain?

Lately, I have been getting upset when a guy rejects me or when I feel rejected.   But, I pay little mind to the fact that I reject myself daily.  In paying so much attention to the longing for love and affection, I am ignoring the fat that I can give myself the greatest love of all.  The way a person feels about me can change from day to day.  I know this, because the way I feel about others changes just that often.  My goal now is to stop looking for that affection.  I know what I want and I know what I need.  And, the love I need is not going to shine on me in one great moment from the eyes of some tall handsome lover.  It isn't going to knock me off of my feet in a grand romantic gesture.  It is going to slowly trickle into my life.  It's already started, actually.  It is expanding my muscles and making my sides ache as I type this.  My self-value is growing more and more every day, with the realization that I deserve to have what I want, but even more-so, I deserve to get what I need.  Even if it hurts like hell.  I just have to remember why it hurts.  I have to remember that the pain I'm feeling isn't a result of the bad things that I have allowed to happen in my life.  It's not the pain of a stomach full of past sorrows.  It's the gut wrenching pain of purging all of those sorrows.  It's not a pain that will sit stagnant in my gut.  It's not passive.  It's very active pain.  It's pain in motion and unlike the weight of being full, it won't move into other areas, creating fat.  One way or another, this weight will pass.  The fullness will empty and where self-awareness creates room and space, self-love will fill the void.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

New Boys, Exes, Hickeys And Marriage

Yesterday was my first official day in Houston.  It was fabulous.  I went to the mall with my mama, and prepared for the evening ahead.  I came back to town a little earlier than scheduled to attend a good friend's engagement party.

This was not to be just any engagement party.  There was a twist.  My ex would be there with his new girlfriend.  I recently deleted him from my instant messengers and told him we couldn't talk anymore.  I haven't gone more than a day without talking to him in years.  But, it was time to sever that.  He had started texting me more lately and it was just time to end that nonsense.  So, about a week ago, I deleted him and asked him to stop texting me.  He said "ok."  So, that was that.  But, I still had to embark on the face to face, real world mission of sharing a very cold space with someone, with which I you used to share so much more. 

I had no plan.  I had talked about going to the party with my best friend, Lynn.  But, she had some twists of fate in her romantic life and she was thinking she wanted to spend the whole day with her new romance.  Far be it for me to stand in the way of love.  I am happy to see her happy and in a good place.  I encourage it, so I texted The Photographer.  

The Photographer is a guy that I connected with through Facebook.  I sent him a message about his photos and asked about what kind of work he does.  We had kept it pseudo-professional for a bit, then after a day of texting, things just slowly drifted into flirtation.  I think I sealed the deal by having a few drinks one night and taking requests from him via webcam.  That's all I am going to say about that.  Let's just say I won't ever be running for office.

I texted fully ready and willing to explain exactly what I needed from him.  I needed him to go to the party with me and just be natural.  I told him my ex would be there and promised him it would be drama free.  But, we both thought it would be a fun time and so he agreed to go.  I was a little surprised.  I mean I was sort of ready to beg him, but there was no need.  He just agreed.  He also said it would be a good opportunity for him to feel on my booty and kiss on my neck.  We kept that toned down... for the most part.

So, we met up before the party and we went to a small bar down the street from the bar where the party would take place.  He was kind of awesome.  We joked and he picked on me.  We flirted and the chemistry was fun and playful.  I was a bit nervous for the first 10 minutes or so, so he tickled me and it actually worked.  I felt like a kid, but we had a blast.  Even though we got into a face licking contest.

We went to the party and I still had no plan.  I knew I didn't want to chill with or be friendly with my ex and his new gal, but I didn't want any drama or awkwardness either.  So, my date and I grabbed a table near by and we laughed it up.  He was hilarious.  I was really having fun with him.  I was happy that I had a cute date with me, but I was quickly distracted from thinking about my ex at all and all of my attention went to the new cute boy that was making my jaws and sides ache. (From laughter.)

It was great.  Lynn and her guy came up and we all had a great time.  Just as it had happened in my mind and heart, at some point, my ex boyfriend had slipped away, but I didn't see him go.  There was just a point when he was gone.  I had kept my eyes off of him and his girlfriend, because I knew that seeing him with her might stir some old emotions.  I am not into self-inflicted pain, so I just let them be.  And, in my small black dress and 5 inch heels, I enjoyed life, instead of embracing pain.  It took me a long time to get here.  But, I made it.  There were painful times along the road, but I battled through.

Some time after my ex left, my friend and her fiance sprung a surprise on all of us.  They called us over, and with all of our friends looking on, in a small ice house in the Heights, my friend married the man she loves.  It was hilarious, ridiculous and beautiful.  In the middle of the ceremony, I leaned over to The Photographer and I asked him how he felt about me bringing him to a wedding on our first date.  He replied, "Ambushed."  We both smiled.

We left soon after the ceremony and found a quiet dark place to park and talk.  I know what you're thinking. "Talk?"  Especially since I have covered all things mentioned in the title except the hickeys.  But, that is just what we did.  We talked for about 3 hours.  We talked about art and racism.  We talked about sex and relationships.  We talked about our families and our friends.  Then, we (sort of) made out for 30 minutes or so.  I say sort of, because it started with him tickling me again and then admitting that he enjoyed tickling me because it made my body writhe.  Even though I was laughing and grasping at his hands, my body was moving in a way that said I liked it and it slithered in a way similar to arousal.  He was right.  I was turned on.

I also say, "sort of," because he never once kissed me on the lips.  He kissed my neck and moved down to my breasts.  He would let his lips hover over mine for extended periods, but he never attempted to lay them against mine and allow for that closer intimacy. I am not sure why he decided to, or if he decided to, give me a hickey.  But, when I returned home, my mother informed me that he had left his mark on my neck.  Opps.  Anyway, back to the passion-filled car in the park.  I had been very honest with him when talking about sex and warmth and my feelings, so I decided not to stop there.

I pulled our bodies apart and returned to the driver's seat.  Then I told him, with apprehension (and some small amount of bravery) that I didn't want to be a throw away anymore.  It was simple and to the point.  I love sex, but that doesn't mean that I want to be the woman that doesn't get kissed on the lips or called after one night of passion.  Somewhere along the way, that reality had been quieted and lost.  I want affection and I want a connection.  I might not be ready for a relationship, but that doesn't mean I want to be a step above masturbation.  I want to be sexually gratified, but I also want to be wanted and I want to be handled delicately.

I didn't explain all of this.  I didn't feel that I needed to.  Instead, I simply said I didn't want to be a throw-away anymore.  He told me I should never be apprehensive to share my thoughts or feelings.  He was right.  I had kept quiet in the past, because I didn't want to scare men off.  But, as sat there with his arm around me, on our first and (probably) last date, I remembered that I started this blog for me.  I started this adventure to do what I want.  And yet, I have still been allowing for things I don't want. If something is "sort-of" what I am looking for, or "sort-of" what I want, then it's not it.  I will be sleeping with less men, inevitably.  But, the experiences I have will be more fulfilling.

After experiencing the things I did with Marlon, Lewis, James, and even Todd, I realize that sex can be passionate and meaningful, without being a commitment to a lifetime together.  Time spent can be wonderful without a title.  Should the urge strike me to knock one out of the park in the restaurant restroom with a first date, or perhaps even a handsome waiter, I will. But, allowing someone I care about to pump passionately away at my entire body, kissing all of me but my lips, will not happen anymore.  I am not trying to say that was The Photographer's motivation.  I have no idea what was going through his mind.  But, I know what was going through mine.  I was wondering why he was kissing my breasts and why I had a hickey on my neck, but we had never actually kissed.


Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Death Of My Life As An Online Dater

No.  Not the blog.  That will be around for a while.  I am, however, calling it quits with the online dating.  This might just be temporary.  I am willing to admit that I am fickle.  I make resolutions and break them regularly.  I fall in lust at the drop of a dime and it's gone just as fast.  That's not to say I am not in touch with me or self aware.  I just enjoy the moment.  Sometimes, I enjoy it a little too much.  And, since I like to do enjoyable things, I am going to end my online dating life, for now.  It's just not for me.  As with all things, I really liked it at first.  It was exciting and it was nice to be able to cast a large net, but I think I reached the bottom of the pond.  I think, for the time being, I have met everyone there is to meet online.

When I started my online dating profile, it was like striking gold.  I felt like the pretty girl at the club.  I got hit up by good looking interesting men.  I went on tons of dates.  I had lots of sex.  I formed interesting, exciting relationships.  Then, like a once delicious loaf of bread that has sat on the counter too long, other (not-so-delicious) things started popping up.  You guys have heard some stories. But, we are going to go through it again.  This is going to be a look back at My Online Dating Life: The Good, The Bad, The Rude and The Certifiable.

In the beginning, there were The Beautiful One and Todd.  You remember them, right?  They were both cool at first.  The Beautiful One stayed cool, but Todd slipped into strange.  TBO falls into the category of The Good.  Todd has to go in a mix of The Bad, The Rude and The Certifiable. I don't really know what his story was.  He told me that his parents had never met anyone he dated.  He was turned off that I didn't immediately stop dating other guys and fall madly in love with him, but he was sleeping with other people the whole time we dated.  I don't know.  I never understood that one.  That was the beginning.

Then there was The Player.  God bless him.  He goes in The Good.  He was a one time thing that I occasionally still talk to and he was wonderful.  He was fun.  He was great in bed.  I give him 4 stars.  After The Player, we had The Soldier.  He was okay.  He was nice.  His bedroom skills were nothing to write home about, but he was a good time and he had funny stories.  He goes in The Good.

Then, there was The Powerful One.  He quite possibly falls in The Certifiable.  At the very least, he makes The Rude category.  But, after our night together, I cannot with a clear conscience say he was Bad.  He was great in bed and the conversation was interesting.  After that is when things slipped into The Twilight Zone.  After he shared his misogynist side with me, he was ousted.  He hates the blog or the fact that I write it.  Thinks its abnormal.  I have to agree.  It's out of the norm.  But, my question is, Why keep reading it and telling me your gripes about my lifestyle? If you don't like, don't read it.  That's what put him over the edge for me.

Here's a quick list of The Bad/Rude/Certifiable (I'll let you decide which is which):

  1. The guy that threw his beer can in my lawn, got too drunk to drive and had to camp out on my floor.
  2. The guy that asked if I had a medical condition and that's why I shaved my head.
  3. The guy that put mixed-race and 5'11" on his profile and put a pic that looked nothing like the 5'7" white dude that showed up at my house.
  4. The Repeat Offender - I'm just salty about that one. 
  5. The guy that came over and talked about the Illuminati and celebrity conspiracies all night.
  6. The guy that messaged me and knew about the blog and other personal things that were mentioned no where in my online dating profile... Remember him? He was the one that said I possessed "sexual agency." We'll call him The Stalker. Needless to say, I never met The Stalker. 
  7. The guy that drove two hours to sleep for two hours, freak out and pace in my room for an hour and then drive two hours back home. 
  8. The guy with the handle "Orgasmtime."
Then there is the guy that goes to school near me.  He is good.  We had sex once and we talk occasionally.  He's 28 or 29, but he reminds me of a guy that is used to dating much younger women.  His communication is a bit off and he seems to need more than he can give.  But, he's nice. He's far from bad or certifiable and he's never been rude to me.  

There's also the guy that asked me to spit in his mouth.  I am not sure where I would categorize this guy. He was mad cool aside from this one odd request in the heat of a passionate moment.  I mean, it's enough to really throw you, but I can roll with the punches.  I just don't think I want to investigate where that may lead.  I am not really one for walking into a possible ass-to-mouth request. (I stole this from my homeboy that told me another visit from this guy and I was on the road to Ass-to-mouth.)  I like to explore sex, but I am all for leaving hard-core fetish porn on the internet and not bringing it into my bed.  

Finally, we come to the close.  This is where I leave my online dating life.  The only two guys that I am currently talking to, Marlon and James, are my best finds yet.  They are both still in my life, but should they go, I am sure it will be in a fashion that leaves me with good feelings for them.  Unilke The Beautiful One, both of these guys care about me.  I will never be in love with or IN relationships with either of them, but the relationships I have with each of them are quite wonderful right now.  But, two out of a million is not reason enough for me to continue my online dating life, so with this post, I am pressing delete on my two profiles.  Msjehn30 is no more.  Now, it's just Jehn. 

The Beautiful One Takes His Bow

*Exits stage left.

So, another story comes to an end.  The Beautiful One will no longer be gracing the posts on this blog or my vagina with his presence.  It isn't a bad ending.  It's one full of truth and honesty and devoid of feelings.  Here goes ... One last tale of The Beautiful One.

He and I had batted around the idea of seeing each other when I got back to Houston.  I wanted to see him, but I have to admit, the lust that I have for him is not all that strong.  I mean his body is beautiful and he is a nice, smart guy.  Get me in a room with him in his underwear and I am instantly ready.  But, I don't think about him much when I am not naked, lying next to him.  I would say hello when I saw him online.  Every once in a while, he would ask for advice or vent about his love life.  It was nothing special.

I did have feelings for him and by that I mean I felt things for him.  When I was around him, I liked him.  He was warm and kind.  I thought he was a good guy and I would have definitely considered him a friend if we had known each other more.  I would have liked to have explored more intimacy with him.  He seemed to be a passionate guy, somewhere inside.  But, I didn't see it when we were together.  I got this strange feeling from him.

Sometimes when I hit him up to say hello, he would ask me about my most recent sexual experiences.  I didn't mind sharing, but at some point, it started to make me feel strange.  The last time we talked, it happened again.  I hit him up to tell him to pick a good date for us to see each other and to tell him when I would be in town.

He asked why I wanted to see him.  I told him I wanted to have sex with him and he asked why I chose him.  He had asked this a few times recently.  Either he had a genuine confusion about why I wanted him as a lover or he was fishing for me to tell him how much and why I wanted him.  I think it was the latter.  I think he wanted to hear me say why I wanted to be with him.  If you don't remember, The Beautiful One was one of my first blog entries.  He liked the idea of me writing about our encounters.  He liked reading the posts.  It is clear now that the blog was a big part of why I ever heard from him anymore.

So, while I was hoping we would talk about the possibilities of things we could do when I saw him again, he asked about my other experiences.  This time I answered, but it felt strange.  After I told him when I last had sex, he told me about how he was sleeping with a woman that he had feelings for.  He told me that if she had wanted kids, she could have been the one for him.  He really liked her.  This wasn't the first time he had told me a story like this.  He frequently told me about the women he loved or had feelings for.

Let me preface the rest of this story by saying I was already overly emotional when the conversation started and I am not even sure where it went.  I know at one point I told him I thought he was crazy and then he corrected me: I was the crazy one.  The truth is, I didn't understand why he always felt it necessary to let me know that he didn't have feelings for me at all.  And why he chose to do it in such a passive way.  So, I asked if he cared about me.  He said he did not.

I, personally, do not understand how or why you would continue to have sex with someone that you didn't care about.  I don't think you have to love a person or have strong feelings for them, but care about them.  Caring about someone is a very basic thing to me.  I like to sleep around and I can have a one time encounter without caring about the person.  I don't have to know them that well.  But, if I am talking to someone weekly and have slept with them more than once, then I have to have a modicum of feeling and respect for them.  I want the people I sleep with to be friends and he was not.

So, my ego hastily signed out and deleted him from my cell phone and my instant messenger.  I was heated for all of 20 minutes.  The conversation was not well articulated.  I wasn't clear on what upset me, but the truth is, I am not upset now.  I don't want to sleep with him again and I don't see that I will ever miss him, but there are no hard feelings.  It's quite the opposite.  I almost wish I had kept his number or kept him on my IM, because I would like to thank him.  He was honest.  He was always honest and I respect that.  It's all I have asked for from the beginning.  Sure my ego was hurt, but I would be an asshole to hold his honesty against him or think he was an asshole for it.  I liked him and I still do.  This might have even made me like him more.  I just don't want to sleep with someone that doesn't have warmth in their heart for me.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Seasons

So, Marlon is the guy I write about being smitten with.  Best sex ever and all that jazz.  But, he's also kind of a genius and pretty witty.   He and I are very like-minded and he frequently says things that take me to my note pad.  This is just one of the brilliant revelations to which Marlon has brought me.  I suppose I knew it all along, but I just hadn't thought to apply it to my life.  I guess I frequently do that.

I started this blog in the summer.  As I have said, I didn't date for two years.  My sexuality and I were calm and dormant in an attempt to heal and replenish.  Then, something happened.  Last spring, I became restless.  I felt like a bear coming out of hibernation.  Something in me awoke and I was ready to move forward.  It had been a long time and I needed to experience something new.

So, I immediately started planning for summer.  This would be the summer.  I was going to get back out there.  I had no idea what that meant, but I was going to date.  I was going to date and I was going to have sex.  So, I wrapped up the semester and I booked a train trip to see the country.  My sexuality wasn't the only thing waking up.  I felt alive and I wanted to travel and take pictures and write.  But, I wanted to do it alone.  Then, I wanted to descend upon Houston revived, eyes open and ready to get laid.  It didn't take quite that long.  I had sex on the train, somewhere between Chicago and Texas.

As the summer progressed, I found my sexuality growing and flourishing.  I was happy dating and meeting new people.  Nothing could contain me.  I was the life of the party and I wanted to spend every day with a new person.  I fell in love with everyone and I dated.  All things were beautiful and life was good.

Then, came the fall.  The leaves started to turn and I started to long for someone to talk to.  I thought it was just leaving Houston and missing Lewis.  But, I stayed in and started having thoughts of romance.  My party had turned into a quiet stroll.  I was still meeting people, but not as frequently.  I was quick to blame New England for the lull, but the truth was, I didn't have the motivation to try.  The green grass was turning brown and the leaves were falling.

As winter approaches, I feel myself wishing that I had someone to spend the long, cold nights with.  Going out and meeting people is far from my mind.  I want to bundle up in bed and watch a movie in someone's arms.  If I go into town to go to dinner, I want to stroll slowly with an arm around me to keep me warm.  At first, this scared the shit out of me.  I started worrying that I was going to start wanting a partner more and more and that before I knew it I would be desperately searching for a mate or changing my online dating profile to "Actively seeking a relationship."  How could this be?  How could Poly Amory so quickly go from fun time free spirit to actively seeking a relationship.  I took a deep breath and just held tight.  There had to be a good explanation.

Then, one day, Marlon and I were talking and he stumbled upon a topic that made my heart sing.  He said that he wished he could have a partner that he could settle in with in the winter and would be understanding enough to allow for a spreading of the wings when spring and summer came.  It made so much sense.  This is what I need!  I need to find someone that can hold my hand in the fall and watch movies with me in the winter.  They can stay around during spring and summer, but they can't try to hold me back.

We don't really have seasons in Houston, so I had never thought to compare my dating cycle to them.  But this analogy was brilliant and it was spot on.  This is what I have been going through.  I suppose my situation is more precarious than the normal situation, since I will be moving back to Houston in May.  But that might be perfect.  I just need a winter coat.  I need a temporary boyfriend.  He just needs to be devoid of attachment and jealousy, but full of warmth, compassion and understanding.  Does Okcupid have an "actively seeking a temporary boyfriend stand-in to offer warmth and emotional support for my winter hibernation period" option in their drop-down menu?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Breasts

This was prompted by a discussion with my friends.  It was an off-the-cuff post for my female readers.  Just go with it...
_____________________________________________________

I love my breasts, but it took a while to get there.  I used to hate them.  I thought they weren't perky enough.  I thought my nipples were a strange color, then I thought they might be too big.  I thought they were too big at times.  I didn't like the way they always had tan lines.  But, when I decided to go to a tanning bed to tan them, I didn't like the color they turned.  They were either too small, too big, too white or too tan.

They hurt at different times of the month.  I hate for them to touch each other.  They sweat and feel bound when in a sports bra and they fall into my face when I do the corkscrew in Pilates.  Their weight make running more difficult and they put strain on my back.  I get embarrassed when I am in a conversation and I realize my nipples are hard.  I try to shield them when a cold breeze blows.

I hear a lot of women speak of their breasts with shame or disdain.  If they are too big, they hate them for that.  If they are too small, they wish or make them bigger.  They complain of stretch marks and of stray hairs.  They hate that they have small, large, protruding or pale nipples.

Breasts swell and retain water.  They cause pain and discomfort.  But, they also bring me extreme pleasure.  I have a new found love for my breasts.  The love started a long time ago, but now it is in full bloom.  I have sensitive nipples, so my love for the sensations they brought started with my sex life.  My breasts are an integral part of my sex life and my sexual pleasure.  

But now, I love their appearance.  They are full and the perfect shade of brown.  I don't know how I ever thought they were saggy, unless time has worked backward.  I think I must have thought that the natural weight of breasts was the same as sag.  It isn't.  Real, natural breasts fall, they hang.  This doesn't mean that they aren't round.  But they are soft and they yield to the touch.

Bras are uncomfortable.  I escape mine as soon as I am given the chance.  I, like most women can remove a bra without removing any other article of clothing.  It can be unfastened and slipped out of my sleeve before I have even slipped a shoe off.  I love the way my breasts look right after I take my bra off.  My nipples are happy to be free and become visible through whatever shirt I am wearing.  The flesh fills with chill bumps and the indentions left from the straps feel freed against my shirt, sheet or pillow.

So, with all the love I have for my breasts, I am not amazed when women express disdain or dislike for their breasts.  But, I always want to say, just give them time.  I always want to suggest honoring them and realizing what you like about them.  I understand if they are causing physical pain.  Sometimes they can put a damper on a pain free back.  But, breasts all look different.  And they are beautiful in all their different forms.  So, if you haven't already, get to know your breasts.  Stop hiding them away or feeling shame.  Whether they are big, small, round or saggy, pale or dark, they are yours and no one else's are any better.  Breasts are in a category with a lot of life's ups and downs.  Like love, food, laughter and sex, breasts bring life, comfort, pleasure and pain.  But, in the end, they are one of life's gifts to women ... not one of it's curses.

Run Away - Pt 2

I am sort of a hopeless romantic.  I think it's why I am a serial dater.  I won't settle.  I want to be excited and I want to be adored.  There is always a man that will do it, it just turns out the man exciting me is rarely ever the man adoring me.  I don't know what that says about me.  Maybe romantic situations are always lopsided.  In any case, here is another lopsided tale from your favorite serial dater ...

So, Marlon returned.  It was a lot more relaxed this time.  He came up and we hung out in my room for a bit.  His wit and charm are a double edged sword.  The same thing in it that turns me on, also serves to repel me.  His sarcasm and his charm are endearing and they are evidence of all the practice that has gone into being charming.  Everything he says makes me smile and none of it is to be taken to heart.  It gets tiring being aware of this all the time.  Most of the time, it's easy.  I just let the wall down temporarily and I flirt and have a good time for the evening and then after a day to get over the great sex, I am as good as new and ready to move on.  But, this is a different situation and it requires a different level of concentration.

But, I was able to thoroughly enjoy his company.  We had a few drinks, watched a marathon of United States of Tera, took a walk to the liquor store and ordered dinner.  After dinner, we put on a movie and some time after Indiana Jones saved the day, yet again, Marlon's body and my body found each other.

From the moment he enters me, I feel like I am on drugs.  It's not good for my mental state.  Like I've said, I don't know if it is a combination of how attracted I am to him, the fact that I have a crush on him, the fact that is not lacking in the size area or the way he moves, but my vagina has never felt that way.  There are no major tricks.  It's like he doesn't even have to work that hard.  Neither of us do.  A little part of me feels silly saying it, because I am sure it's him.  I am sure that he has this effect on many women and that he doesn't feel the same way about the sex that I do.  But, I don't care.  The man is good at what he does.  Okay, that's not true.  I do care.  I wish that he felt the way I do.  I am just going to be honest. But, I can live with the fact that he (most likely) does not.  These situations are always lopsided and it doesn't work if he feels the same.

He says the sex is great for him too.  We talked about it and he said it was amazing.  I don't buy it.  (Trust issues, remember?)  But, I also know enough about people to know that they want to hear that the sex they just had was good for the other person and I know enough to know that not everyone can be as brutally honest as I can.  If I told everyone that the sex with them was amazing, it wouldn't really matter to the people that actually were amazing.  And in the end, it's just sex.  Either get better at it, or be okay with the fact that you are mediocre.  So, in his moment of telling me that the sex was good, he said that it was not sex he could have every day.  He said sex with me was like his favorite candy bar and that you have to only have it once a month or so or you grow tired of it.  As I am moving back to Houston in 4 months, I informed him that his favorite candy bar was going out of manufacture in a few months.  To which, he posed the question do you then take the next few months to stock up?  The trouble is you can't stock up on a person that is moving to a different part of the country.

But, that wasn't the point.  What I got from the whole candy bar analogy was another reality check.  Even when I get back from my vacation in a month, I shouldn't expect to see Marlon very often.  The candy bar analogy was just a sugar-coated way of saying that.  (I make no apologies for the pun... it was a good one.)  He also compared me to Crystal Pepsi, saying that you still think about it even though it's been discontinued.  The trouble is, I want to be more than a memory.  I don't want to be a shitty product that couldn't compete with Sprite.  Then, he made the comment that it was our last time together.  So, I guess I will have some good memories and I don't have to worry about when I might see him again.  This was relieving in a way.  The words were right there.  He took out the guess work.

In my last relationship and in other shorter experiences, I have been in situations where a person said one thing and meant another.  I was lied to by someone else. But, Marlon is being honest and the only person that can lie to me now is me.  So, this is a moment I want to share with all of those out there that can relate.  When a message is coming across loud and clear, listen to it and move on.  I didn't want to marry Marlon, I didn't want him to be my boyfriend, but I definitely don't want to like someone more than they like me again.  I am too tired.  So, I am going to be smart on this one.

A part of me wishes that I could get to know Marlon.  That part wishes that we could be friends or that I could see what things I have misjudged, but I am the candy bar and the discontinued Crystal Pepsi, so I don't get to know people much at this time in my life.  I definitely don't get to get close to anyone.  At a time in life when I could really stand to know someone and have someone that knows me, I am in a transitory place and I have to rely on self along with passing encounters to keep me warm at night.  I know this and I accept it.  But, it still kinda sucks.  On the bright side, if I just happened upon someone that could make me feel the way Marlon did, after not feeling that way for years, there is still hope ... Right?

Run Away

After much back and forth, I saw Marlon again this weekend.  He came out on Friday afternoon and stayed until Saturday morning.  I didn't have any faith that he was going to come back after our first visit.  I had no reason to get my hopes up and I avoid disappointment like the plague, so I had all but written him off in my mind.  We would text back and forth and we even Skyped a few times since we met.  But, in my mind, he was a one time thing.  A one time thing that I liked a lot, but a one time thing, nonetheless.

I have discovered, in my old age, that liking someone is a very small part of what might come to be and is rather inconsequential.  I have to be smarter about who I get my hopes up over or who I even expect to see again.  Unlike in bed, I generally lay back and let them do all the work when it comes to a second date.  If New England and dating, in general, have taught me anything, it's that you can burn a lot of energy and time following up with men.  I have grown rather lethargic in that area.  But, all that having been said, I liked Marlon.  

The first/last time I saw Marlon, I was all kinds of conflicted.  I hadn't expected to like him.  We had video chatted and I thought he was cute and funny, but I didn't really expect to have a connection.  I was curious about what kind of lover he would be.  He was sarcastic and witty and I wondered how that would translate over in the bedroom.  So, he visited and he was funny.  He was kind of exactly what I had expected.  He was cuter in person, but he was pretty much the person I had expected to spend my evening with.  But after we had sex, I was so confused.  Everything changed.  He was, he is the best partner I have ever had.  Train Guy comes in second and I would have to think about it from there on... But Marlon is definitely numero uno in bed.

Of course, this means that for the first couple of days after our initial meeting, I was smitten.  I smiled when I thought about him.  I got flush when I thought deeper.  He would come into my mind at random points throughout the day.  This is normal for me after good sex.  I get smitten.  It generally fades and is gone within a week.  With Lewis, we continued to have good sex every week, so the glitter didn't fade for a while.  But, it's gone now.  We are just friends.

Back to Marlon.  So, I gave it a week.  But it didn't fade.  He still periodically entered my mind.  He was texting me every morning, which I didn't particularly like.  I like for contact to be organic.  That has been one of the themes I have talked about regularly here.  I like romance, sex and all things related to be organic.  I don't want anything forced.  His morning texts felt forced and they felt like they were probably part of a bulk text that went out to more women than just me.  As I have said, I don't mind that he dates other people, but I don't want to be part of a responsibility.  If he didn't think about me specifically, I would prefer he didn't text or call.  I am not that woman that needs to hear from a man every day, anyway.  All that aside, the feelings didn't fade.  Three weeks passed and even though we hadn't seen each other again and I was sure we wouldn't, I was still smitten.

Then, he came back.  I wasn't ready.  But, somewhere during that 20 hours of amazing, the spell was broken and the sun went down and I returned to reality.  From here on out, I am going to stay focused on remembering that liking someone is not the only factor at play.  I need to be smarter than I have been.  I let myself fall too deep into like for someone that will never return the feelings.

I was in a relationship for 6 years with someone that I liked more than they liked me and I won't ever even come close to that feeling again.  Not even in a situation as casual as this is with Marlon.  At some point in a conversation about a guy staying with me for two days, Marlon made the statement, "I don't get that.  I couldn't stay with someone for two days.  I would have to really like them."  Just as I typed it I got a little ping in my stomach.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  He might like me okay.  But, I am not a two days kinda like.  I am more of an overnight, once a month kinda like.  That is perfectly fine, but I needed to put some things into check for myself.  I am not 19 anymore and falling for the sake of falling is no fun anymore.  I am not into self deprecation and so whatever I am to Marlon, an interesting read or a good time, he's not someone I should think about and smile multiple times a day.  And he's not someone I should be thinking about when I am lying in bed with another man.  I needed to pull it together and so that is what I did.

More details of the date and more amazing sex to follow ... stay tuned ...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Want To Be Wanted

James asked me a good question on our date.  He asked if there are guys that want to be "The One."  Are there guys that want to conquer or tame me.  It was actually something I had been thinking about a lot lately.  My mind had been asking the same question in different forms: "Why do men (that don't want you) want you to want them?"

When I initially posed this question to myself, it wasn't so clear.  It was muddled with specifics.  Men were giving me lines and asking if I wanted more from them faster than I could process any of it.  I was spinning around wondering why having an interest in seeing someone more than once meant that you wanted a relationship and why so many guys refused to believe me when I said I did not want to be monogamous.  Are people really such commitment-phobes that the shear possibility that someone wants to see them more than once sends them running for the hills?  Or, are they too afraid to admit that, occasionally, they just want a single serving sexual encounter?

If the former is the case, that's absurd.  You should be able to enjoy a persons company more than once without falling into a relationship.  And, everyone controls their own relationship status.  You can't be coaxed, coerced or forced into anything you don't want.  If you want to be single, just be honest and if the person says they want the same thing, then it's on them if they change their mind and step out on a limb to see if you might have had a change of heart.  And, if you haven't, all is fair in love and war.  It doesn't make you the bad guy to say that you haven't changed your mind.  Being ready for a relationship is a very personal thing.  If you don't want one, you just don't want one.  If you aren't ready, you aren't ready.  And, if you just don't want one with that particular person, that is okay too.  I don't mind hearing that a man doesn't want a relationship or monogamy.  I just wish they would believe me when I tell them the same thing.

If the latter is the case, this is bullshit too.  Sometimes I just want to hit and quit.  So, I either tell the guy, or I stop returning texts and phone calls.  I do it immediately after the encounter.  They just don't hear from me again.  If they ask if I want to chill again, I say no.  It's not nice.  It's not sugar coated.  But, it's honest.  I might tell them that I am sure they are great, but I am not interested. The rejection might be tough, but everyone isn't right for everyone.  I don't always want to see a guy again after the first date or after we have hooked up.  It's just the way things are.  So, I don't mind if a guy tells me that he just wanted to hook up or that he didn't really dig me.

However, this is generally not the case.  Men will continue to text you and say "Wassup" every now and then, knowing good and well they aren't trying to see you again.  Why is this?   Maybe they are just being nice, but I see this as a waste of time and energy.  We are dating here.  Rejection is part of it.  If you don't get rejected and you don't ever reject anyone, then no one is special.  You find yourself floating in a pool of mediocrity.  So, I have no problem telling a man that I am not interested.  If he keeps texting, I will ignore him.  We don't have to be friends after one date.  I don't think it's nice to keep a guy thinking I am interested in seeing him again if I have no interest.

There is one other possibility that just occurred to me.  The Reserves List.  A guy might keep talking to you just in case he needs to call on you in a pinch at a later date.  This is kind of a cop out, but it is valid. The thing is, I have a reserve list too.  The trouble with this list is that it requires impeccable timing, a prearrangement or one party has to be a bit more desperate.  Impeccable timing: One party hits the other up and it just so happens to be a time when the other person is in need of a quick fix, as well.  Desperation: One party has been waiting on reserve for that call.  This is a lopsided situation.  Prearrangement is just that.  You have both agreed to be "on-call" for the other in times of need.

Then there is the final possibility.  Everyone wants to be wanted.  We all want someone to pine for us.  We want to feel cherished and adored.  Some are even willing to accept such adoration from someone they don't particularly want to be with.  So, some people keep you on a string even though they don't want you.  They just want you to want them.  If they do want to spend time with you, then they want you to want them and want time with them a little more than they want it with you and some want you to fall in love with them, knowing good and well, they won't be falling in love with you.

So again, I end with the one golden rule that I have been screaming since jump street.  Honesty is the best policy.  If you want it, give it.  If a person isn't being honest about what they want, that's their bad.  But don't think a possibility of dishonesty gives you the right to a preemptive lie.  If everyone keeps trying to beat each other to the lie, then honesty is lost.  If I tell you I liked you and want to see you again, but I don't want a boyfriend, just believe me.  I promise I don't have a boyfriend dungeon I am waiting to toss you into.  I just liked your company.

The Good Date Gets A Name

I had another date with The Good Date.  We are going to call him James.  After spending the past month talking every day and confiding in each other, I would say that James is a true friend.  He is sweet and encouraging.  I show him all of my photo projects waiting for praise and positivity.  I have some that I go to for real criticisms and critiques.  That's not James.  James and I play the role of putting each other in good moods and making jokes all day.  And yet, when I wake up feeling sad or lonely, I can text James and get a simple response, "I get it, Belle."  He calls me Belle.

So, James and I had our second date.  It was great.  He came bearing gifts.  He brought a bottle of whipped cream flavored vodka - Win.  And, he brought me boxing wraps and quick wraps, so I'll stop tearing up my knuckles when I do heavy bag work.  These gifts, especially the wraps were more about the gesture than the gift.  I mean, sure I will enjoy not having bruised and bloody knuckles.  Who wouldn't?  But, the gesture says that at some point when I wasn't around and we weren't in mid-conversation, he thought about me and made the effort to bring me something that he thought I needed.  The gloves, not the vodka.  But, I probably needed the vodka as well.  It is finals time.

So, he came over, we had a couple drinks, then we walked into town to have sushi.  It was was lovely.  We have the best conversations.  I don't even know where it gets started, but we talk about everything.  We mostly talk about relationships, but the conversations tend to jump all over the place.

When I first met James, I thought I might really like him.  The chemistry was great and we had a lot of funny conversations.  As things progressed, I didn't know where he was going to fall on the dating spectrum.  Turns out, I was right.  I do really like him.  But, it's not what I expected at all.  James is a constant.  He won't fade in and out.  I could see us being friends for a long time.  You hear about those friends that dated, but didn't really ever make anything of it. That is me and James. We will be those friends.

Lewis is another one of those.  The sex is great.  There is definitely love there, but it's not fully equipped with the passion and the magnetism that attracts and eventually repels.  Both of these guys will just be there.  I care for them and I want them to be a part of my life in the long run.

That having been said, the date was great, the sushi was delicious.  The drinks did their job and at the end of the evening, we had a fiery moment, had sex and and he let me take photos of his extremely sexy naked body.  It was great.  But, as I was drifting off, I had this feeling.  I was happy to have James in my bed.  I was happy to have had good sex with a friend.  It wasn't empty sex, but it wasn't full sex either.  So, as I drifted off, my mind was pulled toward someone that I didn't want to think about and I fell asleep wondering why I always want something other than what is sleeping peacefully by my side.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

I Am Not Ready To Love

As promised, I am going to explain why I am not ready to love and per request, I am also going to explain why I have nothing to offer a relationship.

First and foremost, I will start by telling you something very personal.  I lost a sister almost exactly a year ago.  It was sudden and it was traumatic.  Grieving the death of a sibling is gut wrenching and it pretty much takes you over.  In my lowest moments, while crying on the floor, in a ball, alone, I wish I had someone to hold me.  I wish I had someone to hold my hand and just be there.  But, being far away from home, I have done most of my grieving alone.  I don't suggest this.  This is the one thing I have done alone because there was no other choice.  This was not the choice I made.

That having been said, I am not ready to be in a relationship, because I am sad.  Some days I am a joy to be around and some days I am just sad.  While I could use someone to hold my hand on those days when I am sad, I do not know what I can give back yet.  I am still closed off and emotionally scarred from my last relationship and the grief piled on top does not help.

I am not the person I want to bring into a relationship.  A year ago, maybe even six months ago, I would have jumped into another relationship head first.  It would have been the easy thing to do at the time and it would have bitten me in the ass in the long run.  It always has.  So, I decided to take a break.  Then I decided to continue with my relationship break, but add men back into the picture.  So, I started dating.  I can date.  I can barely date.  I find myself wanting more of an emotional attachment from men that I start off just having sex with.  (Not all of them, mind you.)  But, some of the men I date, I look for a friendship from.

Some offer friendship readily. We'll call this type "Guy A."  Some are just like that.  Others want nothing to do with friendship.  This is "Guy B."  They are just there for the sex, and you know that from day one.  Then, there are those that want to keep having sex with you, want to talk to you about their relationship woes or their lives, but the moment you are in need, they are short with you and they flee, as soon as possible.  This gem is "Guy C."  There are also variations of all three and midpoints between each.  I am just now figuring this out, but I am always on guard and wondering when Guy A is going to turn into Guy C.

So, I keep my guard up. As I have said, I have trust issues.  In a conversation with Marlon last night, he mentioned that I noted that I have trust issues.  He made a sarcastic joke about not noticing.  But, it is true.  I have put him through the ringer.  I think he is a nice guy.  But, even typing the words, I feel like a sucker.  If he feels like he is having to prove himself to me just as a lover and friend, can you imagine what I will put a prospective partner through?

I am a nice person and I don't want to do that to a man.  So, I won't let myself fall for one.  I will just keep my guard up until I have had some time to heal.  Or, until a man comes along and we can walk through trust together.  This guy doesn't necessarily have to be a boyfriend, just a kind hearted and patient soul.  But, until one of those things happens, I will be single and I am perfectly happy with that ... most of the time.  

The reason I am not ready to love is pretty much the same.  I can't let my guard down and I can't get close to anyone in that way again for a while.  My last relationship was 6 years and that is a long time to be with one person.  If I were younger, I would allow myself to fall for Marlon.  He doesn't want a relationship either, but that wouldn't have mattered.  I would have had fun being smitten with him regardless of how he felt.  I don't really do that anymore ... or at least I'm not doing it right now.  I'm just playing everything safe.  While it's not as much fun to play it safe, my emotions aren't up for any roller coasters right now.  So, I will sit here, with my feet firmly planted, waiting for this Guy A to jump to Guy C, at which point, I will turn and walk away with my head held high.  There will be no need to pick myself up, because I won't allow myself to fall.

About Me

My photo
I am the product-child of the Women's Lib movement. I have a grade A education, a promising career and no immediate goal for children or a spouse. I will be 30 this year and I have spent many years in monogamous relationships. In and out of 1 to 2 year relationships, I always dated with the goal of meeting someone special. Most of the time I didn't date. Most of the time I found myself falling into relationship after relationship. These relationships were doomed to fail. They were all built on expectations that were, for me, unattainable. I love meeting new people. I find sex enjoyable and empowering and I am not happy when I am monogamous. So, after my last break-up, after taking some time to grieve, I decided to cut my societal puppet strings and get back in the game. I set out on a mission to spend the Summer of 2010 dating as many men as possible. My only initial criteria was attraction. My only limitation was - no love and no structured relationships. This is my date by date tale of what life can be like outside of the goals of relationships and love.
There was an error in this gadget