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. :)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

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.