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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to everybody who celebrates it! And happy December 25th to everyone who doesn't!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Now I see it.

Every relationship cools a little eventually. It's just something you have to understand and allow for. But for me, there was a voice in my head saying that as soon as there was a commitment, the love my partner felt for me would fade and vanish. Like it did with both my ex-wives. With my girlfriend, everything that brought us closer freaked me out. I saw superficialities like looks as more lasting than her love. I wish I had seen it sooner. I can't attempt a serious relationship unless/until I fix this.

God I feel so stupid.

I just broke up with the girl with whom I had the enthusiasm gap. Or she broke up with me, because I wanted to see other people. I feel so stupid- I should have felt so much more enthusiasm. She deserved so much more, but my stupid heart wouldn't listen to my head. Now I'm saying "why did you do that you idiot?" But I had to do it. She may have been the one for me, the best chance at happiness I'll ever have, but I didn't feel it and it didn't seem like I was going to. No matter how many great qualities she has, I wasn't reacting to them right. And I felt like a deceiver and a cheat whenever she'd praise me. She deserves better and I hope she finds it, a guy who's better than me and emotionally ready for a relationship on the marriage track.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Glamer Problem

That's not a misspelling; it's one of the ways they spelled 'glamour' when it still meant a magic spell rather than high fashion.

On my birthday, in early July, Sparkly Girl gave me a framed photo of me with four of my female friends around me. She told me it was a reminder of some of the women that adore me. Every girl that has actually gone out for me has fallen for me; the longer it's gone the harder they've fallen. My current girlfriend, and the one before, have both spontaneously called me both 'Mr. Awesome' and 'Mr. Wonderful'. I've realized that I've become one of those people that just has something about them. I've know women who had the same thing; almost every guy loved them, though there were other women around who were just as nice, or prettier.

But this effect made a problem for me when I tried to date around, meet girls. My OKCupid profile said that I wanted to meet lots of people and keep it strictly platonic. My girlfriend, the very first girl that I went on a date with, told me that by the second date, she knew she was jumping with both feet; it might lead to heartbreak, but she thinks I'm worth the risk. Now there's kind of an enthusiasm gap. I like her, there's not a thing wrong with her, but she's not my perfect girl. I don't feel as much enthusiasm as I did meeting my second wife*. And I don't feel as much enthusiasm as she does.

The failure of my platonic plan was my fault, of course. And I contributed to it in lots of ways. One way was that I got carried away by someone who really likes me sexually. At the end of the second date, we were out at our cars, and she was looking at me rather starry-eyed. I said, I'd really like to kiss you now. She said, So kiss me then. I did and she responded hard; ending up leaning bonelessly back against her car, panting and groaning, head back, just from her response to the way I kiss and neck. Those of you who have know what it's like to feel undesirable can imagine the effect on me. I felt ten feet tall and shining.

The glamer seems to work on kids too. She, her six-year-old daughter, and I went to the mountains for a weekend recently. At the end of the trip, her daughter started shouting at her mother, "Marry him! Marry him!" So now I'm in a position to break two hearts instead of one, if it doesn't work out; and I can't see any way out without breaking both hearts. It makes me feel like I'm already committed to marry after only a few months, because I can't see a path out if I decide I want one.

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* Though it turned out a lot of those things I loved about my second wife were only to impress people rather than to actually use for a loved one; like the fancy cooking was only for parties never for home.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Guilt

So the woman from here heard from "a friend" that I was in a relationship a few days ago, and send me a congratulations message at 12:30 at night. Last night she saw me in a restaurant with my girlfriend, and texted me to say she saw me come in. This morning I got this:
Thing is... In the back of my mind I hoped someday I would measure up. I shouldn't have fooled myself on that either. I still have no clue why you bothered to make a show of "picking" me over the other two you were seeing. At least now you're not settling for someone less attractive.
I said,
I'm very sorry. I meant it at the time, and I never meant it to hurt you. I'm just shallower than I thought I was. I hope you find someone better than me who appreciates your looks as well as your heart.
She replied,
Yeah... I should have known better than to think I was good enough in the first place, lesson learned.
I guess I don't know what to say. It was a year ago yesterday that I told her I wasn't attracted enough to her, we dated for about three months, we never had sex and I never met her kids. I feel like she must be trying to make me feel guiltier at this point. What do you think? Is there anything I can say that will make all this better instead of worse?

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dating someone

Sorry for so little posting. I'm dating someone, we really hit it off big. Our first date, we met at 6, closed down the restaurant and moved to a coffee place, closed that down and sat at one of their outdoor tables until after 2 in the morning. Our next two dates were longer, our fourth we set a curfew because we had work. I've been short of sleep almost every day for about a month now, though I'm having a great time. So there's not too much time to post. But, things are happy. One thing I noticed; my dominant side shows far more with a woman who is aggressively interested than with a woman who's more passive. My ex showed little interest and eventually only got my submissive side. With a woman who verbally invited the first kiss (on the second date) and took the initiative to grind up on me on the dance floor on the third date, my dominant side shows up a lot, which she enjoys a whole lot, as she's said clearly. Communication is awesome.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nonverbal but unequivocal in a relationship

I had an idea for something that seems like it would be fun in a marriage or other relationship where at least one partner likes the other to take control without asking sometimes. Get a piece of jewelry that can go with almost anything, like maybe a pin, and make a verbal agreement that you'll wear it only when you want your partner to initiate or take control or take you or use you or whatever variation floats your boat. Seems like a nice compromise between the need for communication and the need for silent acquiescence that some people feel.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Keeping very busy with nice things

I'm keeping very busy with nice things.  Work, dance classes, social stuff with friends.

I've been spending a lot of time writing, because when I meet someone nice through OKCupid or something I like to try to stay friends with them even if we don't think romance is an option.  As people have been added to that list I've ended up with a bunch of emails to write daily.

No dates so far, though.  My OKC profile is pretty open and I'm a peculiar guy, definitely not for everyone, so this is unsurprising.  Also, I'm kind of picky, and intend to stay that way.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

More on the Murre theme.

Saturday night, at my usual steampunk/neovictorian event (unnamed this time because it occurred to me I don't want to appear on a Google search for that), I was talking with one of the vendors for a while.  She was telling me about some performance in Boston she attended where they ripped up a Bible, with the obvious expectation I would approve.

Next morning in church I was telling my pastor how I go to a regular costume event where people wear neovictorian clothing, and he was telling me how weird I was.  But, he said, it's what makes me me, so it's OK.  Later I was arguing with one of my Christian friends about referring to a trans woman as she when she's not there to hear it, me taking the "call her what she wants" approach and him taking the "wrong genitals" approach.

Sometimes I really do feel like an alien everywhere.  As a Christian though, I should be expecting that.  In the end, this world is not my home.

To be fair, I spend most of Saturday night hanging out with two pleasant, nice, beautiful, (married,) belly dancers, one of whom is an Christian.  So that was a very nice evening, and I expect we will continue being friends in the future.  And Sunday, another of my Christian friends was agreeing with me about the use the pronoun the person referred to prefers.  I really shouldn't complain.  It just seems like there have been a whole lot of these episodes recently, like every time I go to a steampunk event.

Also a confession: Saturday night, the vendor had a cold and packed up early, but when she packed up I was enjoying myself chatting with the belly-dancers and it didn't even occur to me that I should have offered to help her schlep her stuff to her car.  It probably would have if I were feeling warmer towards her, which I would have been if not for the Bible-ripping comment.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I love this video

I love this song, and the video even more:


Sia - Clap Your Hands

Sia, unusually, does not seem to care much about coming across as pretty or sexy in her videos, which is especially noticeable in Buttons.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to everyone who celebrates Easter, and happy April 8th to everyone who doesn't!

At War With My Tastes

I'm still at war with my tastes in women's looks. I can't seem to change them. The war has been heating up again as women who do match my tastes show interest.

Part of the problem is that my best women friends do not match where my tastes run, and they already feel bad about their bodies. I feel like by acknowledging what I like, I am betraying them. I feel like by admitting I don't want someone who looks like them, I am devaluing them.

Also, I know if I marry someone I am attracted to and lack of sex becomes a problem again, I will blame myself endlessly for being shallow in choosing her. (It's what I did last time, too.) There is an undercurrent in my mind that is afraid of women who attract me, that thinks if I pick a conventionally unattractive woman and it all goes wrong again at least I'll be less harsh on myself. And also, that a less conventionally attractive woman may at least continue to like my looks even if she doesn't much want to have sex with me.

At least I'm not like this all the time anymore, this is coming from one of my downswings.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Giving dating another try

I think I'm going to give dating another try; though this time I want to keep it on a just friends, not even kissing level for a good long time.

I've found out a number of things about myself and people in general. The primary one, I think, is that it is OK if I keep looking for years for a really remarkable woman. I am an unusual guy and I can look for an unusual girl, and I shouldn't feel like it's being arrogant if I don't think falling for me is enough. I've never had anyone not want to continue after a date; actually except for my two marriages I've yet to be the dumpee instead of the dumper if there was at least one date. So that's both why I want to keep it just friends, and why I think I can be selective. And if I can be selective, I should. Why would it be of net benefit if I took the first instead of the best?

Also, for PerverseCowgirl, I think I meet all your signs.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Unified Theory of Kink

UPDATE: On second thought, too simple and reductionist even with all the 'generally' and 'I think' etc. I still think it's an interesting trend, though.

Apologies to regular readers for going over old ground, I'm trying to make this post more accessible.

I've heard the theory, attributed to Dan Savage, that kinks come from people's fears (though I haven't found a reference). My theory starts with that and takes it a few steps farther. Here it is:

Men generally are taught by the culture to be afraid of being disgusting; men's kinks are mostly oriented around either overcoming that or owning it but saying it's OK.

Women generally are taught by the culture to be afraid of being victimized, and to be afraid of being considered a slut; women's kinks are mostly oriented around either overcoming those or owning them but saying it's OK.

Women and men, of course, both have more fears that impact their sexuality than I list here. These are the ones I see as primarily shaping kink, though.

Men are Gross


The idea that men are gross, disgusting, and unattractive is one we are trained to constantly from a very young age. "Sugar and spice and everything nice, that's what little girls are made of. Snips and snails and puppy dog tails, that's what little boys are made of." Do a Google search on "boys smell better than girls" and take a look at the results. I did it both ways to compare but since "boys smell better than girls" mostly returns "Why do girls smell better than boys?" that one pretty much makes my point by itself. Lots of those answers are to the effect of "girls care more", which is a self-fufilling prophecy insofar as it is true. Media mostly pictures guys as something girls put up with if and when they want something. I just recently wrote on the way men never show up on Kinky and Popular on Fetlife. Guy's genitalia is represented as being something horrifying that no one could want to see (e.g. Anthony Weiner), primarily due to the bizarre modern form of male homophobia. Seeing other people of the same gender naked was a normal part of life for all of history except in some of the past century, in locker rooms, bathrooms which weren't private unless you were rich, in barracks, in shared rooms at an inn. The obvious reaction of a straight man is indifference. Any man of an earlier time would consider the modern "eww" and avoidance to be unbelievably, suspiciously prissy and prima facie evidence of mental and sexual abnormality.

Really, I'm not sure how much I should bother to belabor this point, I think it's probably pretty obvious if you think about it. But the pervasiveness of it is probably difficult for women to imagine; easy to see though, if you start to look.

What's less obvious is how much this point is pushed by men rather than women. When I remember hearing "sugar and spice" I remember it in my father's voice. Men write most of the scripts and jokes in the mass media that imply women only put up with men when they want something. It is men who are so horrified by the idea of seeing a dick.

Men's kinks mostly seem to be based on the fear that we are gross. There are a few ways I think I see men reacting to that.

We can accept it but say it's OK. The style of submissive kinks I see in men can generally fit that mold. That's how my submissive side works. I may be disgusting, she may even tease about it, but if I serve her she will still touch me, still love me. I think when men go for helplessness, as in bondage, for example, the idea is that he can't do anything but she still wants to do something with him.

We can deny it, shout it down, by having our partner accept our sexuality in an exaggerated way. This is how my dominant side works. For this kind, it's essential that she be seen to be enjoying it. If she's happy about me cumming in her face, I can't really be that gross, can I? Or a play reluctance fantasy in which we agree beforehand that her role is someone who wants me but is ashamed to say because of social convention. Her enjoyment subverts the feelings of rejection. (Obviously the bad version of this is a guy trying to tell himself every woman wants him, or it.)

We can accept it but say it doesn't matter. That's another face of bondage, domination, and rape fantasy that I don't really get into. She may think I'm disgusting but she's tied up, she's my slave, I have the power. So it doesn't matter. I think there's also a revenge element in there. Oh, you think I'm gross, do you? I think this is the one that's active in actual rapists, but of course the kink doesn't make one a rapist. Also, I'd like to note again that the feeling of being gross is largely driven by other men; any revenge element is misplaced.

Women must be Pure


Women's kinks I don't know from the inside, I only know them from reading people's writing and guessing.

I guess if I were faced with slut-shaming aimed at me, one possibility would be to accept it but say it's OK. That seems to me to be what's going on with all the slut-shaming play some women like (the popularity of which was my biggest surprise, I think, in learning about kink.) If you, for example, write "SLUT" and "WHORE" and stuff on my naked body, and nothing bad comes of it, it disarms and conquers that threat.

Another possibility would be avoiding responsibility. If I'm tied up and he fucks me, it's not my fault. If I'm his slave, he's responsible. This one doesn't seem such a good match for the dominant men who want their 'disgusting' sexuality accepted (like my form of dominant), it goes better for the ones who want to feel that whether they're disgusting doesn't matter. I think the common desire for a strong man, who can "drive the bus" as I've heard it put, comes from this one.

I think perhaps women liking male orgasm denial may sometimes come from reversing this one; "I'm not the whore, you are." But orgasm denial in general is the popular kink I understand the least.

Women are Endangered


It seems to me that the main fear driving kink in women is fear of victimization, abuse, rape. Women are raised to be afraid of these things to an extent that is difficult for men, or at least me, to imagine. Women are taught the danger of being alone on a dark street, alone in a parking lot, alone with a strange man; when the danger, which has struck horrifyingly many women, is more from men they do know. Women have to be careful about people getting them a drink and putting rufies in it, for crying out loud. It's crazy that half of us have to live that way.

It seems to me that most women's kink is driven by that fear, in a way analogous to men's kink being fear of being disgusting. If I were a woman, I guess I'd have a similar set of options to the ones men have.

I could accept it but say it's survivable, conquerable, deal-with-able. That's how a large set of women's submissive kinks tend to look to me; all different ways and levels of putting themselves in a victim-like situation, from light bondage to highly realistic play rape. I am helpless, but it's OK because it's actually fun; I am helpless, but it's OK because he deeply loves me.

I could deny it, shout it down, by reversing it. Make him the victim by playing victimizer. That's what I tend most often to see in dominant women, in my very limited experience.

Update: Another factor is projection. A lot of times we imagine how good something that's our kink would feel to the other person. Or, I guess, perhaps the more empathetic among us do. So we basically treat our partner as if they had our kink, with varying results. When it doesn't work, at least it's among the most well-intentioned of failures. :)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Kinky And Popular

For a while now, I've been keeping an eye on the Kinky And Popular feature on FetLife. It's a list of pictures that some secret algorithm decides are popular, probably based on things like views, comments, people bookmarking it as "loved".

To get on there as a woman, you generally have to be slim, pretty, conventionally attractive, though not necessarily. I'm sure there's lots of diet, exercise, makeup, hairstyling generally involved. And you mostly have to be posing in a sexual way or doing something at least a little kinky; for your best chances, with another woman.

To get on there if you're a man, you have a few choices, listed from commonest to least common.

If there is a man involved in the action at all, you can be a faceless prop, attached to the cock being sucked, or the (invisible) face being peed on, by the woman who is the focus.

You can do all the stuff the women do, plus present as/identify as a woman and (usually) take female hormones to develop breasts.

Or, once, I've seen a cis man as the focus. A pair of cis men, actually. Shirtless men in jeans and striking ballerina poses (I do not believe that pose is typical of a ballerino) using the handrail in a dance studio. Clearly going for comedy by their expressions. Making a joke of themselves aspiring to the beauty or attractiveness the women can. (If you're on Fet, it's this one.) I do think it's good that we joke about it.

It's really difficult for a woman to be the focus; requires good genes, work, and more than anything else, luck. But a man can only do it by all that plus altering his body and gender identity to become a woman, or rarely, mocking his own inadequacy in a woman's domain.

Men don't usually talk about this kind of thing because we don't want to be seen as complaining. We're tough. But I think people should be aware of it because it underlies a lot of the differences in cis male and female behavior; this is just one example of a pervasive phenomenon. Can you name any female supermodels? Any male ones?

This is not the fault of women; it's because it's men doing most of the clicking and commenting. Men write most of the screenplays I see which have the same prejudice built in. Men write the commercials and jokes that mock men who try to be unapologetically sexy.

I've heard people on FetLife complain that so many doms are sociopaths, who care nothing for the feelings of others. Given an environment that says men can't be really sexy, how does one get the confidence to be a dom without being a sociopath, unless one is domming to compensate for feelings of insecurity and inadequacy?

I do not aspire to be on Kinky and Popular, I don't post kinky pics. But there are a lot of cis men who do, and I'd love to see one of them make it someday.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cleaning theory for the worst of us

I've mentioned once or twice before that I am definitely one of the worst of us when it comes to cleaning. You've seen much worse if you've lived in a dorm, but still, not so good. This may be a useless idea for most of you that are more sensible than me, but perhaps you may find some area of life where it applies.

My problem is the one the famous Allie of Hyperbole and a Half expressed so well in This Is Why I'll Never Be An Adult:



When I started to clean, I've always picked a room and then tried to make it spotless. Note the room was always starting from a state of layers of greasy dog dander dust and dust & fur rhinos. Using a bagless vacuum I would end up emptying the cannister two or three times, in piles of dusty hair the size of a small cat each time. Starting from there and trying to end with all tchotchkies shining was usually impractical, especially with all the time I spent running around the house with objects trying to put them all in their proper place. So it was intimidating and depressing and left me thinking I'd failed whenever I cleaned.



Reflecting on Allie's "Why I'll Never Be An Adult," suddenly I connected this way of thinking with something Dennis Prager's wife says: "It's better than it was." Also, with "Perfect is the enemy of good enough."

I hit upon a new plan: Every night before I go to bed, I try to make the house cleaner than it was last night when I went to bed. This has been working well for a week, with a modification suggested by a friend: build days off into the schedule. E.g., Tomorrow night I want to go to a ballroom dance class that will leave me with no time for cleaning after work.

The big thing is, it leaves me feeling good about the cleaning I did instead of feeling bad about the cleaning I didn't do. And if I keep it up, someday, my house will be clean.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Tragedy of an Unwanted Sub

Longtime readers may remember how I was dating a woman, who I'm going to call N. here, then realized although I had imagined I was attracted to her because I could enjoy doing things for her (that were within my no-sex boundaries), yet I just didn't feel desire for her to do anything for me. Not having caught that from the beginning still feels like one of my worst mistakes. But, the way attraction works for me is the opposite of the way I'd imagined it. I was perfectly happy touching N.; but I felt no excitement at the idea of her touching me. I didn't fully understand it until I tried fantasizing about a possible married future. I am, for example, happy with the idea of giving cunnilingus to any woman, but I only get excited about the thought of fellatio from a woman I think is pretty.

Sometimes N. still texts me to say she misses me. (I always respond that I miss her too, which is true.) After I told her that the romantic relationship was over, we tried to remain friends. There were problems, but I thought it might be OK overall, until one evening when I friended another woman on FetLife, and N. flooded me with distraught text messages about it. I was at dinner with a third woman, who is a friend only, at the time; but I felt like I had to hide that, or hurt her more. So I told her I thought this was no good for her or me and we couldn't keep hanging out together.

The problem isn't that she wants me to love her; I do, like I love all my friends. It's that she wants me to love her romantically and exclusively. And I just am not offering that.

The tragedy, that really makes me want to cry about this, is that N. is a giving sort of sub, with such a good heart. She would have done anything I wanted, but I didn't want her to do anything. It doesn't seem fair, or right, that a person could offer so much and then not have it wanted. I feel that so much, I guess, because that's how my sub side works too; I want to increase my value by being willing to do anything, and when no one seems to want you even then, it cuts really deep.

For me this is OK now. I am wanted, though only for my dom side or vanilla side, so far never for my sub side. For N. and so many subs I see on FetLife making wistful posts about their future forever dom, it's really sad.

It's also sad for the lonely doms, who have to pretend to be iron and don't get to make wistful posts.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New name, UncommonMurre

I eventually picked UncommonMurre as the new name, which I'm planning to keep.  Also I have a new email address, which is as you would guess, new name at gmail dot com, but will continue to check the old one.

I like the way a murre can be found in water, on land, and in the air.  (So can a duck or gull or several other birds, of course, but murres seem cooler to me.)  I sort of feel that way myself sometimes.  A murre isn't adapted to the water like a swordfish, the air like a swallow, or the land like a deer; but it has it's own niche between them all.  Likewise, I'm not really church guy, or kinkster guy, or programmer guy, but my life is in all of them.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Small world.

The Internet is definitely making the world smaller. One of the acts I most enjoyed at Wicked Faire was Coveilance Dance Project, a creative bellydancing troupe; they did one number to dubstep that I particularly enjoyed. So I looked up Coveilance on YouTube, and one of the first things I found was a video of that number with the back of my head in the way. (I'm the brunette not the blonde.)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fishing for name suggestions again.

So, I don't really want to keep going by the old name, because I'm trying to make various web identities a little harder to associate. But people LIKE the old name, and AndrewVanbergen isn't catching on so well.

I didn't get any feedback on Megatherium. It begins with M, too, which is good; though I don't really like the "Mega" beginning, sounds a little too much along the "XTREME" lines. Here are some other ideas, perhaps even geekier:

Glyptodon, for similar reasons. And it's another xenarthran! Yes, I am a paleontology geek.

Therizinosaurus: Another giant-clawed semi-herbivore, this time a dinosaur, sometimes theorized as similar to Megatherium in lifestyle.

Opabinia: One of my favorites ever, it had five eyes on stalks and a sort of a trunk or flexible proboscis with a claw on the end and a set of sort of leafy fins along the sides to swim with and is probably sort of related to the arthropods and sort of to the velvet worms but is not really all that close to anything as normal as a bug. And I do tend to feel anything but normal, whether as a churchgoer at Wicked Faire or a Wicked Faire-goer at church.

Among more modern animals, there's the Pangolin. It's a scaly anteater than can hang from trees by its tail. Like everything on the list, it tickles my appreciation of the odd. (Manis crassicaudata? Kind of long and awkward.)

Then there's the Auk. Auks are one of the groups of birds that can walk, swim, and fly. I rather like the "many worlds" symbolism. One group of auks is the Murres, which begins with M like my old name.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

What to do on the spur of a bad moment?

This weekend was Wicked Faire; I had a great time like last year. More about that later, also someday there will be pictures of my costume, which turned out nice if I do say so as shouldn't.

But, there was an ugly incident I heard about. Some guy bit at least two women on the face (not hard enough to leave marks) without consent. The first one kind of froze, didn't know how to react. The second one was Sparkly Girl, who slapped him. He said "More" so she slapped him again harder. He started to grab a crop he was carrying and she held up a finger and said "No. You do not have permission." He backed down at that point.

I heard about it the next day. It was after a very short night after a string of short-sleep nights, and I was thinking really slowly. I voiced my disapproval of his actions, but since then it's gotten me thinking. The best way to make the right decision in a situation where thinking is difficult is to think it out as far as possible before hand. What should I have done?

The very unfortunate fact is from what I've heard, security and event organizers tend to try to cover these things up to protect the event rather than the attenders. I have no real reason to think this would be anything different; though I'd like to think better of the volunteer security guy I know by name, I don't REALLY know him. So if event security wouldn't want to do anything and the police wouldn't want to do anything, who does do something?

Should I have asked her to identify him to me, and challenged him to a fight outside? Should I have encouraged her to tell event security? If I were actually present, what should I do? Pretend I don't notice? Scold him? Take him down, put him in a pain compliance hold, and take him to security? (Pain compliance is super unreliable.) Given him a couple good, nauseating hits to remember? (wouldn't want to risk that it could be fun) Should I have asked Sparkly Girl if she would back me up by bringing sexual assault charges if he brought assault charges against me?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Forever.

I want forever in a marriage; well until death do us part. That isn't really forever, especially to someone who thinks he's got an immortal soul, but I think it's what is usually meant in romantic references such as songs. A lot of people think that wanting forever is the mark of a hopeless romantic yearning for the impossible. I'm going to be a little blunter than usual; they are wrong, there is plenty of clear evidence to the contrary. Marriage for life is still the norm in many parts of the world, was the norm in this part up until recently, and is still not all that uncommon here. And the people who engage in it, and the way married parents in those places/situations encourage their kids to marry, say they think it works pretty well.

Now, in some of the cases like marriage in India, where about 90% of marriages are arranged and there is almost no divorce, there are factors that help with that. One is clearly defined and socially enforced gender roles. A closely related one is limited expectations. The man does X, the woman does Y, and if both X and Y are kept up divorce is unthinkable; if they are not kept up the man or woman who doesn't keep them up is deeply shamed. X and Y are both quite doable and both viewed as sufficient. These two factors (enforced gender roles and limited expectations) obviously have their own cost; the cost of the first is basically the central point of many of the blogs I read.

One of the costs I guess at is a male-initiated sex life. In an Indian marriage, I suspect the man gets as much sex as he is willing to demand and argue for, and the woman gets as much sex as the man asks for. I have the impression that if she wants more she's basically expected to dress up and act sexy and try to get him to ask. I did agree to always be the one who initiated when my ex requested/demanded that after we were already married. But it's absolutely not something I would agree to from the beginning. It's a cost I'm not willing to pay, but I don't think it's required.

Another cost I guess at is that adultery is both fairly common and hypocritically vilified; winked at sometimes in private, loudly denounced in public. One of my coworkers apparently went to bars to pick up girls regularly while he was living here and his wife was living on the other side of the country. Cultural rules differ vastly on body language but another coworker, who spent the week near work without her husband and the weekend with her husband in another state, tended to look at me in a way that if she were American I would have considered an invitation to ask her out. (And boy, was she cute, so being eyed like that was kind of fun.) Another cost I wouldn't agree to from the outset, though not as bad as the "always-initiating" one in my mind.

I think there are things we can learn from other cultures, both in terms of what to do and what not to do. The thing I think we can particularly learn from in terms of what to do is limited expectations. There's a lot in forever that I would agree is impossible. It is impossible to keep the same kind of romantic feelings that sweep us off our feet in the first few years. Your spouse is only human; there will be mistakes and failures. And the main summary one is, your spouse will not, cannot, and is not responsible to, make you happy. Your spouse can and should be expected to do lots of predetermined things for you; but it's up to you to be happy with them.

I guess what I want is someone who will always love me the way I intend to always love her; love as an action, a decision. The earth from which all kinds of romantic emotion can spring. I have some record now of loving my exes despite poor treatment, and always trying to make it better. I want someone who will treat me the same way; who will always listen and try. Who I can be confident will keep trying to love me as I keep trying to love her, all our lives. And I don't think that's impossible; and I think that is love forever.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Self-Sabotaging Tastes

I have a (clean, safe for work) photo of a pretty young* blonde woman. She and a friend were selling pictures of themselves at the last Dorian's** to raise money for a cat charity. I think in conventional terms, probably prettier than this woman (NSFW), who happens to be a bit more to my taste because I like the black hair, somewhat darker skin, and the shape of her nose.

I chatted with both young ladies a while, they seemed happy to chat. They introduced themselves, and asked if they'd see me at other Dorian's. I asked the young lady to hold onto the photo, which is 8-1/2" x 11", until she was leaving, as I found it awkward to carry around. Later in the evening she came and found me as they were starting to pack their table, and said she wanted to be sure I got the pictures, and touched me on the arm and chest a few times while talking to me. She strongly gave me the impression that she considered me attractive, which as usual surprises me in such a pretty woman.

After admiring the picture of the black-haired girl (wishing she were more my age and that Mjukhet had more pictures near my age), I turned to get up, thinking there was no way someone who looked like that would be interested, and saw the picture of the blonde girl, and realized I was probably selling myself short again. And this would carry over into any social interaction. If I were to meet a woman my age who looked like the black-haired girl would, I would probably be especially reserved, eager not to show the hubris of thinking she might be interested, and I would come across as very cold and uninterested myself. I've noticed that I often encounter that kind of reserve in women I approach, and that the women who more approach me are much more attractive in conventional terms than the ones I approach; so I think I'm seeing the same phenomenon.

I know a couple that are a considerable mismatch in terms of looks; the husband, while by no means ugly, doesn't exactly stand out; the wife is quite beautiful (especially to my tastes, long black hair and olive skin). One time the subject of preferences came up, and I related mine, and she sighed and said to her husband (in a somewhat joking way), "I'm every man's dream except yours." I don't remember his tastes except that he likes blondes. I think that one of the reasons they ended up together was that he was the guy who was not intimidated by her looks, because they don't work so well for him.

So, I'm thinking not just league thinking but even our individual tastes sometimes sabotage us, entirely unnecessarily.


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* My friends tell me I look about 32, not my actual age of 42. Women who approach me are usually in their early 20s; that's too much of an age gap for me, thinking of marriage. Not sure what to do about that.

** Yes that's where I get most of my blog fodder, also the highlight of my social life.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I don't hate getting the Frederick's of Hollywood catalog anymore.

I don't hate getting the Frederick's of Hollywood catalog anymore. For a long time I hated getting it, because it reminded me that I was now alone; for a long time before that I hated getting it, because it reminded me of the box of lingerie that my now-ex had worn one or twice. Now, I don't care.

Eventually, I'll get around to emailing all the companies that send women's clothing catalogs here and tell them to stop. I get a lot more of them than men's clothing catalogs.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Found in the attic

When I was with my ex, I controlled my sexuality in two ways:

1) I saved it entirely for her. Her last husband cheated on her so I always acted as if she might be extra sensitive about that.

2) As I've mentioned here before, with her lack of openness about sex I controlled, or repressed, everything that I thought she might feel was too demanding. (with the opposite result that I'd intended.)

Last week involved a lot of thinking how to politely and kindly deflect some offers. It seems, logically enough, that as my confidence comes back I get more attention, which boosts my confidence. Now, with the attention I've been getting lately, to which I'm quite unaccustomed, I no longer feel like my kinks are too demanding; I'm feeling more like they are what they are, you have to mostly accept them if you happen to want me. (Don't worry, I'm not going to get egotistical; I'll never forget for example that most women prefer skinny pretty guys to my type.)

I feel like so much of my sexuality was boxed up and stuck in the attic, and I'm only now taking the box down and looking through it. Sure, I remembered it, but it wasn't present and active. To choose a fairly vanilla example, I've barely looked at softcore porn based on photographs of naked women posing. I always got too hung up on the idea that they couldn't concieveably be interested. Now I still don't think any porn stars would be interested, but I don't get so hung up on that as to be unable to fantasize. And the kinks; it used to be that hentai (unreal and so less unattainable) of footjobs was what I went too almost all the time. Now I'm enjoying some of the other stuff I really haven't got anything from in years.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Self-righteousness and aversion fads

Over at NSWATM, there's an open thread regarding what people think is hot. I was struck by the number of comments saying things like "never a Republican" and "never a Christian". Those negative comments are pretty much always aimed at people like me; there are few negative comments aimed at looks (which is good that people are mostly sticking to the positive). But that kind of attitude is why I stay away from NSWATM most of the time despite being an Ozy fan.

I am turned off by the kind of self-righteousness and ignorant, prejudiced, insular groupthink it takes to make that kind of comment. One of the women I dated gave me a vibe of possibly being that way about people who are different in the sexual area, like LGBT/poly. So when I took her to Dorian's Parlor, I emailed some poly/bi friends and asked them specifically NOT to tone anything down around her or any other date I had. If she can't accept my friends, I'm not going to date her; and that goes for my friends with different politics or religion too.

I was thinking about commenting on this there, but I think it's probably a "never wrestle with a pig" situation.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Political post/bragging on my people.

I read two sets of blogs; basically sex/gender issues blogs, mostly kinda liberal, and gun issues blogs, mostly kinda libertarian/conservative. Many of the sex/gender issues blogs mentioned opposition to SOPA/PIPA. The gun blogs all did, and Republicans have been moving more on the issue.

And then just recently I came across this: An Open Letter To The Anti-Gun Folks

And I noticed that one of the sex blogs that did mention SOPA also mentioned the right to defend oneself.

And I thought about how I've never heard a bad word about Pink Pistols from my community of "bitter clingers", and all the good ones I've heard.

You know what? You want to find a straight, cis, vanilla person who will stand for all freedoms, including sexual ones? Your best first step is to find someone with a permit to carry a gun.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Craving

After nearly two years, generally craving sex is much more manageable for me than it was early on. But some days are worse than others. This is a bad day.

It's probably because of a combination of things; friends lent me Secretary and Shortbus to watch, pointed out the huge gap between my actual rules (no causing orgasms) and behavior (almost totally asexual), there was the ego hit from finding out the poly girl New Year's Eve had been prompted and then there was the contrary emotion when another friend (who has told me she's had a crush on me for a decade) confided she'd dreamed about me following a massage with anal sex on the massage table.

Sometimes celibacy is really tough.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Back to zero

Rook put in a good word for me about my New Year's Eve kiss thing with the pretty poly girl mentioned previously here and here. So that brings me back to zero cases in my life where a woman has done anything sexual in nature with me just based on my looks. Except maybe when a girl slapped my ass in passing in college. I am grateful that Rook did this because otherwise it just would have been the girl who rode with me, and since I was going for "anyone interested in the whole building" that would have been sad. But still, I'm feeling a bit like Charlie Brown trying to kick the football.

The zero number, really, is the fault of my behavior. I am so focused on being nice, nonthreatening, not a tease, that I come off as extremely reserved. Nobody's going to try anything at all, given my attitude. And I'll try to remember that, rather than focusing on zero.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Name Thrash

So, I'm pondering another name change. AndrewVanbergen was something I came up with on the spur of the moment just because I wanted different names on my different accounts. Now I'm thinking MrMegatherium. Because in a world full of people trying to sort themselves into Alpha Wolf: "type A", "Dominant", "leader" and Omega Wolf: "type B", "submissive", "follower", Megatherium is what I feel like.

Comments? Suggestions?

Also, at least one person is having trouble posting comments. Anyone else having trouble? If so, please email me at mousie seven six two at gmail dot com.

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Note: the "alpha-omega" thing seems to give hives to people who know what wolf pack structure is like.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

My Line and perceptions of availability of sex

Last time I was single, between my first and second marriages, there were a number of women who expressed interest in me. (well, to be specific, ten). One time one of these women had expressed interest in what I'd look like naked. I mentioned that to my ex, at the time still just (I thought) a friend, and she exclaimed "Get in line!" After that we referred to the phenomenon as my line.

Now that I've been single for a while, that's forming again. A lot of it is women who are notably unattractive by conventional (also, unfortunately, by my) standards. (I wish I had better standards.) I think the attraction to me shows a bit of the often-noted phenomenon that women who are not conventionally attractive are invisible in a way.

I try to be nice to everybody, hot girl or not. Just a few days ago the Progressive Gun Fan noted that since his surgery I'd been one of his most frequent vistors, despite living over an hour away and being allergic to his cats. I'm interested in people, I like to listen. I'll give backrubs and massages to just about anybody. If you're a woman, I still rush to open doors for you, offer to carry things, etc, regardless of whether I want you or not. And I think a lot of women are not used to being treated that way, and they like it. Combined with the lack of pressure for sex, I suppose it makes me kind of look like a knight in shining armor.

But there's still something different in these 'invisible women' than 'invisible men'. Every woman who doesn't already know me has been on guard against sexual interest at first; their chief worry starts out that I want us to be friends with benefits or fuckbuddies. So while certainly women can have trouble getting sex when they want, generally they seem to perceive it differently.

I think there is probably a difference in expectations that shapes the difference in perception. Kissing the pretty poly girl New Year's Eve was a really big deal for me, and I've been trying to figure out why her rather than the other girls I've kissed. It wasn't just her looks. What I figured out is that that was the first time I've done anything sex-related where the woman had no conceivable motivation besides "he's hot". She doesn't know me, she'd only exchanged a few sentences with me before. It was enough to know that I am not some PUA who only wants sex from women. But, it can't have anything thing to do with me being nice or doing things for her or her feeling sorry for lonely me. I have been so steeped in the idea that sex is something women do because they want something else, like affection or security or marriage, that combined with my poor self-image it's always my assumption. The fact that I can't make this assumption is huge for me. As I wrote this I realized that I started out by explaining away "my line" in terms of that assumption; ironic, I'll leave it as is.

Women, I can tell, tend have their perceptions shaped by the inverse expectation. The women I meet normally suspect at first that I am nice because I want into their pants; ESPECIALLY where backrubs or massage are concerned. Not that I'm saying that's generally an unjustified assumption in cases other than mine. But I think probably there are a lot of women who think they have more sex available than they really do, and there is less kindness in the world than there really is, just because they are steeped in the idea that male kindness or politeness is a mask for desire.

Update: My friend Rook put in a good word for me with the pretty poly girl who kissed me, before the event. Which was very nice of her, she was trying to arrange more but most of her friends did not go that night. So, that brings me back from 1 to 0 cases of a woman doing anything sexual at all with me just based on looks.

Update: My rewrite of this was published at Role/Reboot!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Request for encouragement and/or prayer

At this point, I'm feeling a little angry and betrayed by the way my ex treated me. A few days before I looked her up on FetLife, I was dropping off something she wanted from the house. She said she'd be there all day, then when I asked if she'd like to have lunch with me, she said she was going to visit family that afternoon. She mentioned that maybe she'd like to have lunch with me two weekends later, if she wasn't needed for some moonlighting work. Those struck me as so much of her pattern; you are very important to me, maybe I will have time for you later if something more important to me doesn't intervene. I felt that I was done with her at that point, I just had enough. Since then I have not felt inclined to contact her, though I still respond when she contacts me.

Saturday, she will be having a party celebrating a super-important career step she recently made. I will be attending for a short time, probably less than an hour because of her cats, which I am allergic to.

I want to show nothing but love and encouragement to her, but I'm not feeling it like I usually do for the people around me. I'm mostly feeling done with her, and unfortunately there's even some resentment of the achievement (I was deeply looking forward to that in the marriage because that removes much of the pressure from her career.) Please send encouragement that I will show enthusiasm and detached love for my ex who is pretty much out of my life at this point, for the sake of this celebration; if you're the praying kind, please pray that I will feel and convey the love of Christ.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everybody that celebrates changing the numbers on the Gregorian calendar!

As an event, the Christmas bow-kissing plan did not take off, not enough advertisement I think. There were three bows in evidence including the one I was wearing.

As an evening out for me, it was pretty great. I kissed two women, both of whom told me I'm a good kisser and kept coming back for more, one of whom is a very conventionally attractive young poly woman who has lots of kissing experience. So apparently I am a good kisser, which is a lovely thing to know.