Sunday, September 25, 2011

I am a kindly reptile.

I was recently reading the Wikipedia entry on John Lee's classification of love styles. The short version is:
* Eros - a passionate physical and emotional love based on aesthetic enjoyment; stereotype of romantic love
* Ludus - a love that is played as a game or sport; conquest; may have multiple partners at once
* Storge - an affectionate love that slowly develops from friendship, based on similarity (kindred to Philia)
* Pragma - love that is driven by the head, not the heart; undemonstrative
* Mania - obsessive love; experience great emotional highs and lows; very possessive and often jealous lovers
* Agape - selfless altruistic love; spiritual
I was thinking how I exhibit Eros and Agape but most of all Storge. If not for my religious position, I could, I think, fairly easily suck a bisexual male friend's cock simply because it's not a big deal to me. That's Storge. I would not get off on it, or want the favor returned, because it wouldn't be a favor; it has no appeal. Men do not attract me, many women do; that's Eros.

Reading about it, I hit this bit: "disadvantages [of Storge] may include a lack of passion and potential boredom in the relationship." It hit me then that that was probably what my ex could never explain, and what she's probably looking for now with the consensual nonconsent. Passion; fire; abandon. I am so very polite and careful, almost all the time; I am warm and caring (though I became cooler as the relationship worsened) but never hot and passionate.

I wanted to be hotter and more passionate, but I didn't feel like I could with the lack of communication. What did she like? What was OK? What made her happy? I wanted to let myself go more, but I had no idea where I could go. I was more passionate about submission than anything else, because there I felt letting myself go was safe for both of us. But in general, the less I thought she appreciated me, the more diffident I became. Not hot, not passionate. Cold-blooded. A kindly reptile.

And I imagine that explaining it would have made it not count. If she has to say "take me", then she isn't exactly being taken right? She's still giving herself. If she wants reckless abandon, and she has to say "don't worry if you hurt me a little pinning my wrists, I'll like it," then there isn't really reckless abandon.

But to be perfectly honest, I do not see that the kink as in the above paragraph can be indulged without evil. "Taking", if it is for real, if there is no consent, is rape isn't it? And if it requires telepathy to distinguish it from rape, well, I don't believe in telepathy. I don't want to minimize the difficulty of coming out and saying what you want, and I can't imagine what impact it has on the fantasy. But as far as I can see it just has to be done. After all, when a Christian with my idea of chastity marries, we forsake all other possible future partners. That ain't how our fantasies run either.

I'm no longer sure how into consensual nonconsent my ex is. She has a now-proven tendency to adapt herself to a new guy. Seeing as her previous husband left her over the lack of sex, I think this might seem just perfect for someone who doesn't care about sex much beyond the new romance period but doesn't want to admit to herself that she doesn't. If so, it'll probably lead to a break-up in several years as consensual nonconsent turns gradually to apathetic nonconsent. I'm trying hard to hope it doesn't. To that end, I'm praying that it doesn't.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Addendum to giving vs. having taken.

Thinking about it some more, or more precisely catching myself in a fantasy, if I were caught in the right lonely mood AND if I hadn't already resolved to be abstinent until marriage, I might actually play submissive somewhat casually. Which doesn't sound as cool as what I wrote before did. This doesn't contradict anything I wrote about giving vs. having taken, but under the right circumstances I would give much more casually than one might think just from that post.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Terry Pratchett character

So, last week I was told my wife left me because I'm not rapey enough, and she was probably hurt by me not objectifying her enough.

This weekend, I struck up a conversation with a very nice woman at Dorian's*, and she explained to me why she saw abstinence as not being required of Christians and called me (smilingly) evil when I massaged her shoulders and wicked when I massaged her hands because of the abstinence thing.

Then, yesterday, a close female friend explained to me about how I was too focused and attentive when conversing with a woman and how my failure to look at passing asses robbed the woman I was talking to of the opportunity to check her teeth for spinach and wipe her nose.

So, it struck me this morning: I am a living Terry Pratchett character. My narrative purpose is to illustrate the chasm between what polite society says women want from male romantic interests, and the, er, more varied and colorful reality. I think I may change my name on FetLife to Carrot Ironfounderssen or something.


* Every few months when I'm feeling down I do a sort of dry run at picking up women; partly because I just like talking to new people and tend to like them and find them interesting, and partly because it cheers me up a lot to check that I'm abstinent by choice rather than social incompetence. As you can tell I explain the abstinence thing very soon. [UPDATE] Oh, also I explained the not-mentally-ready-for-more-than-friends thing even sooner.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Given vs. having taken

[Edited this post because I got cranky about my ex's attitude in the original.]

Seems to me there are two general attitudes toward submission to be found out there. Either you prefer to give submission or have it taken, have it given or take it. It seems to me that the desire to have it taken is a bit more common in women and the desire to give it is a bit more common in men.

I think my attitude is rather unusual. I read a submissive once say that her submission was too valuable to be given away, it had to be earned by being taken.
Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils. -- Major General John Stark, the Hero of Bennington
My submission is far to valuable to be taken; if you try one of us will die first. (And I don't think it will be me, but if it is that's OK.)

The paradox is that I will give (and have given) it freely, casually, and commonly to my wife. If you marry me, it is yours, that is part of the covenant between us. And another part is that your submission is likewise mine. I want us both to likewise regard yours as far to valuable to be taken; but I want you to give yours as freely, casually, and commonly as I.

This isn't to say I don't have fun playing having my submission forced sometimes, but that's play. The way I voluntarily submit to someone I love has reality behind it.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

A few anecdotes about objectification and consent

I'm going to give a few stories to help define what I mean when I say I don't objectify and don't kink on rape; I don't want to sound like I'm claiming more that I fulfil and also I want to narrow it down a bit.

I played a rape scene once, where I told my ex beforehand that I wanted her to pretend to want the sex but require the excuse of force to escape cultural mores. Medieval setting with me as highwayman; words like "no", "stop", "don't" were all to be taken at face value. I very much enjoyed that, particularly the feeling of being in charge, and would love to repeat it. But it did not make me want anything harder.

I've told this story before but, I had sex with her once, without getting affirmative consent first. After about seven years of marriage, after she'd orgasmed from the common morning cunnilingus and was laying back naked on the bed, I got on top of her, kissing her neck, and penetrated her, without waiting for affirmation. She seemed to enjoy it; though in retrospect it may have been much too little too late for her unexpressed preference, mostly a reminder of the consensual nonconsent she wasn't enjoying. (Those morning cunnilingus sessions, with no release for me, tended to leave me very frustrated. But I still miss them very much; that was when I felt closest to her, and most useful.) Given that part of our marriage arrangement was the verbal agreement that we'd be each other's whore and love slave, I don't feel like this was wrong. But I'd appreciate comments on whether others see it the same way; am I being ridiculous to ask or does that story seem uncomfortable?

My ex suffered juvenile-onset Type 1 diabetes and often got loopy from insulin reaction; she was at her most forward at those times. (Her reaction was very like drunkeness). Once, during an insulin reaction, she pointed out that I'd never had her when her sugar was low. I told her I was uncomfortable with the idea of sex when she was not her normal self; I didn't feel like it was proper consent.

I do enjoy looking at women, but definitely not as much as most guys (or most bisexual girls I know for that matter). I do not tend to look very long; I get uncomfortable. This has a little bit to do with not wanting to objectify but a lot more to do with not wanting to make the person being looked at uncomfortable, feeling like it's wrong to stare at someone if I don't know for sure that they are into me. I absolutely know that I take this one to a ridiculous level because I feel uncomfortable watching burlesque acts on stage. Especially at a venue like a small stage at Wicked Faire or Dorian's where there isn't a lot of money in it; her motive for being up there stripping isn't because she wants people to modestly look away.

At Wicked Faire, at breakfast on the last day, I was staring at the Pretty Librarian without realizing I was doing it. This was after the night when she'd had a migraine and I stayed with her in the darkened hotel room holding her hand. I was feeling pretty sexually wrought up. She wondered why I was looking at her and I apologized and explained it was because she was really pretty, then made much more effort to look away.

At my birthday party one of my friends made a joke about nibbling on a woman's neck; she indicated that the reality would be unwelcome and he pursued it verbally a bit. I said if he nibbled on hers, I would nibble on his (he's quite straight). He walked over to me and kind of craned his neck, so I did. (His wife complains that she was doing something else and missed most of it; he complains that my beard tickled.) Note: Not wanting your neck nibbled by a man when you're a straight man isn't homophobia, it's simply not being into that person or situation the same as the woman not wanting it was.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Terrible Secret

So, I think I finally have a handle on the horrible secret I've been feeling I have that will never allow me to have a fulfilling marriage. And it's the only thing that makes me feel unmanly; not necking with a guy (long story), not that I like to cook or sew sometimes, not that I've gone folk dancing purely of my own accord. Ready for it?

I don't like lack of enthusiasm.

Regular readers already know a lot about this. I don't like rape. I don't fantasize about it. There is no secret forbidden thrill of "what if I could do this for real" when acting it out.

It goes further though. The real killer from my perspective is that if a woman isn't interested in me I likewise have no interest in her at all. I don't care what she looks like, it's irrelevant. You could line up every star of stage and screen and porn flick in a huge room and tell me "You can do whatever you want with them, they won't care a bit" and I wouldn't pay a dime to enter. If they were all perfectly conscious and capable of saying no but simply wouldn't because they thought it was just body mechanics, and they wouldn't regret anything that happened, and somehow there was nothing shady about the whole deal? I have no interest at all.

Words like "girly" or "gay" tend to be used to indicate unmanliness. I wouldn't associate this attitude with either group. But it feels profoundly unmanly to me. Men are supposed to want attractive women regardless of what the women want; we are just supposed to hold ourselves in check and be polite. I don't HAVE to hold myself in check, I don't want that at all.

There might be a temptation to think that I'm bragging about being the perfect guy, what every woman wants. I would have thought that once; not for a long time now. How much of women's fantasy is based on the woman being wanted despite her attitude? Why do the bodices get ripped in a bodice-ripper? So many of the women I know in meatspace have rape fantasies; actually every one of them that's told me one way or the other. They don't want to have them with a guy who would have zero sexual interest in them if they played hard-to-get. And in popular culture; when is the last time you saw a rom-com featuring a guy who doesn't fall for the girl until she shows interest?

That's why this makes me feel unmanly where nothing else does. There seriously aren't a lot of women who would object to me cooking or sewing or folk-dancing for a split second. There are a fucking metric buttload who would never feel like a woman with a man who didn't want their body as an object at all.

My question at this point is how many women would really, deep down, want a man who felt like I do?

Monday, September 5, 2011

My ex is into consensual non-consent

Rook is one of the people who have stayed close to me, my ex, and her new guy the Saturnine Thespian. After she and her husband finished telling me about the 6-person orgy they were involved in recently [which I mention so you'll know why Rook hears more about people's kinks than most people do], I brought up my theory of lack of objectification being part of the problem with my ex. Rook confirmed it strongly and told me that my ex was really into consensual non-consent; something I'd been suspecting for a while now since she left. While I never asked "Are you into consensual non-consent?", I asked so many times what my ex wanted, what she was into, and she never answered.

How much misery and (on my part) suicidal depression could have been avoided if she'd just had the guts to answer honestly? How much joy could have resulted? Ain't my favorite thing, but if she had told me JUST ONCE, I could have started acting the part and reading the nonverbal signals at least some of the time. But as a comedian I'm too lazy to look up said, "I'm not going to fucking rape you on the off chance you're into that shit." [UPDATE: PerverseCowgirl points out it was Louis CK.]

Fuck. Years of mutual heartache over some embarrassment. How the hell can it be more embarrassing to say it than to play it, anyway?