(I’ve been told all my life I am a very sexual person; to whatever extent that is true, this writing reflects that truth, that perspective. I mean no disrespect to people who identify as asexual. This is my reality, and though I think it applies beyond me, I know its applications are not universal.)
Okay, first of all, while I was writing this I realized that the perfect name for a blog carnival for sex writing would be The Carnal Carnival. If anyone happens to be thinking of starting such a tradition, please do it, and please use that name. I will help.
Moving on. If we’re to have halfway happy lives, each of us must grapple, in one way or another, with the train-wreck that is sexuality in this culture. I’ve been doing this lately. It happens in a lot of little ways and is mostly in my head. I’ve got a few separate ideas to explore about it, so I think it will be a series. This is part one, or something of an introduction. It begins in the middle of the story.
I don’t think I could have done this — the grappling — until now. Unfortunately I don’t think it’s something that can be done until you’ve steeped in the realness of sex for awhile. This makes for a lot of fumbling, a lot of anxiety.
When my girlfriend and I were first fooling around, she would frequently stop kissing me to smile. She would smile like babies smile, with complete and uncomplicated happiness. I would stare at her with complete confusion. She was feeling sweetness, love, joy. I had unconsciously shifted gears out of Love Mode and into Sex Mode; these were two totally unrelated frames of mind. The latter was my yearning covered over in harshness, in toughness, a massive shield of stone and anger blocking everything tender in me.
After weeks and months of steady exposure to a potent cocktail of love, this wall thinned and crumbled. Sex and love could flow into and out of and through each other, or they became one force, a many-headed goddess. Sex the extrapolation of love and love the extension of sex. This was sort of the first solid step out into the water. I have gone much farther from there.
An idea (not a very original one): sex is overwhelming and nearly unstoppable, and in that way, it is terrifying. Many of the cultural myths and lies, the cruelty and slander, about sex, are misguided attempts at making sex less horrifying, less uncontrollable. They are attempts at making it understandable (but it is not understandable), making it rational (but it is absolutely irrational), making it manageable (but it is not). They are attempts to mechanize sex, to simplify it, to reduce it to the sum of its parts. (And these ideas would be very applicable here.)
They are attempts to demystify it when all its power is in its mystery. They are attempts to understand it when its beauty is that it cannot be logically understood. They are attempts to make sex as rusted and predictable as factory machines, to tame and crush and rape and batter it as we have done to animals and nature.
They are, in effect, attempts to kill it, though it is life itself, if anything is.
We are left the remains of this attempted murder. We are given selves with parts cut out, with parts cut off. Some of experience this evisceration literally, bodily. I think that all of us experience it psychically, emotionally. We feel it in our brains and in our guts and in our groins.
So I will be trying to unravel the damage this has wrought within myself. I know that others have tried to do this, and have done this, and are doing this everyday. If anyone would care to join me, here in comments or on your own blog or in your own mind, please do so.
Two links that made me think along these lines, for anyone looking to do more reading: Blackamazon on sex; Richard Jeffrey Newman’s complicated essay, My Daughter’s Vagina (you can find all the segments he’s posted so far there; start at #1).
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