“Again I belong to the night
I’m a mess Pull me over
I can’t forget her name
Slow me down
It’s like you’ve stolen my soul
So far from heaven now…”
-Issues, Slow Me Down
“I was your prized possession and who was your exorcist?
Thought you was heaven-sent
You left for the hell of it…”
The mind spins at the thought of affection. A desire brought forth those bright blue eyes from behind your fringe. Parting it back and basking in the realization of prayer, God-sent and God-fearing. But mostly fearing your own wants, needs, desires that deviate from the established word. You kept that hidden between kindness and kisses and a fringe of fellowship fell over my own eyes. I wanted to be your back rub. I wanted to taste your laughter. I wanted to get closer to the one who wanted me.
But not that close.
A firm grip on my fledgling innocence, milking it away from me with no choice, no exception, and no time to process the pumping. Building up and blowing out, rinsed in instant regret, falling farther away from the fantasy and crashing into a cascade of concern.
The brain braids together bonds of mutual fondness to detract from this indiscretion, forgetting the words that fell off a cliff, the kisses that cushioned before cutting, the tongue that lied before licking it all up in selfish starvation. Overloaded, overboard, and boring a hole into my chest with your iron-hot hands, singeing all the hair and stealing all the hope from within my heart with your uninvited skin.
A first crush. A last time. A lost signal sped up then jammed in the dark. Mixing chemicals, trusting words, crossing lines, lying in your bed and lying about your intentions. Red lips and nipples and hands, tensed from tugging, a tale tired from being told.
Rise and fall. Rise and fall. Singular in sensation, suffocation, and suffering. Alone in this affliction you thrust upon me.
Carefully selective only to be stolen in sweat and promises of partnership. Three decades dashed as you went down, determined to conquer this basketcase. Cold. Callous. Inconsequential.
An AWOL angel. An MIA messiah. Death waiting above to witness the final climax before climbing down to peel back the chambers of my chest. Thick down your throat, coating you in my trust. A simple spasm of the body. A complex thrashing of the mind. Attempting to reconcile the religion and the regret in the midst of two bodies melding. Had my savior sanctioned this person of faith to flay all my fantasies or was this just a disciple of the devil, deposed in prayer before prying the life from my lips, lungs, and limbs?
No ring, knock, or other notice of entrance. Barged in and banged down my door. Death of dignity followed close behind. A pale horse come to trample my misconceptions of your intentions. Naivety and hope hauled away in the revelation of identity. Ghosted, roasted, and toasted, burned down to the backbone, easily cracked in half under the ramifications of rejection, of need, of confirmation of humanity.
But the only true confirmation was that the devil teases while God taunts. In the face of lethargy and loneliness, when temptation chides chastity, when worship won’t wash away desire, when sigils, sermons, and sacrifices can’t cut through a calloused brain, we knew we had both failed our father. And that neither one of us were leading by example.
You know, Biblically-speaking.
I’m a little late to the game but I recently found out that April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month.
A lot of us will be affected by sexual assault at some point in our lives, whether it be through personal experiences or those of friends, family, or other loved ones. This past year I had to endure a nonconsensual sexual experience myself.
Since so many people have different attitudes regarding sexual activity, it’s vital that the intentions, actions, and end results are understood by everyone involved. What one person considers casual fun another might think is an emotionally bonding experience. These differing viewpoints can lead to confusion, resentment, and heartache.
Men and women can be sexually assaulted by either gender. And it’s not always just about the physical assault itself. There is also emotional and mental manipulation that sometimes goes into convincing someone to do something they are not ready to do. Threats of ending relationships or accusations of ruining the fun or being a buzzkill will often be used to weaken the other person’s resolve. These people can spot insecurities and use them to their advantage, gaining trust before pressuring the other person to yield to their desires, essentially wearing them down until they agree, or more aptly, just give in.
There’s shame in feeling like you gave in to someone’s pressure, especially someone you care about. You question your strength and sanity and their disregard for your comfort and safety. But there’s no shame in what happened to you. There’s no shame in changing your mind, resisting advances, or flat out refusing to go any further with someone. It’s your body and only you have the right to choose who gets close to it. A friend who doesn’t take no for an answer does not respect you. They only want to rule you. And that is no friend.
No means no. Hesitance means no. A half-yes means no. No answer means no. Wanting to stop at any time after initiation means no. If consent is not expressly given, then it is not given at all and it is not up for debate or negotiation.
I’ll miss the glow of your cheek when you smiled. The thunder of your voice when you laughed. The rhythm of your moans when you…
The scene sets over me like a picnic blanket gently floating to the ground. Your ocean eyes danced in the light of the television, a hunger haloing your irises. Your grin, so wide and wild, pushed up prescription lenses. Your hand found its way to the underside of my arm, running your finger along the veins at my wrists.
There was the awkwardness of initial attraction and cautious approach. It was the pressure of your lips, the warmth of your saliva, the shield of smoke that clung to your hair. It was the fear of moving upstairs and the safety of the dark when we got there. It was the paralyzing adrenaline the first time you put your hand in my underwear and wrapped your fingers around it.
It was my first time with you, with anyone. Scared as all hell until I felt the soft tug, the slow reveal, the gasp of admiration. You ran your finger through the clear liquid and brought it to your mouth. The undulation of your wrist. The waves of nerves that rolled over me like the tide of the ocean until I felt lightheaded.
The fear, shame, tease, and craving for more swirled inside that one concentrated cluster. The heat of your mouth, your two hands working in unison. An onslaught of feeling until shortcircuiting, going numb before climbing higher, swelled with loaded senses and disbelief unfolding before me.
Trusting you with all I had, putting it forward in your palms and feeling assured you would not harm it. Your fingers all over my chest, your mouth at my belly. Gentle kisses, a tickling tongue. Grabbing hold again, your finger running along another series of veins.
Deepened breath, the smell of exertion seasoning our bodies. Moisture rolling off your forehead, me running my hand along your smooth silhouette. Disconnected from thought and apprehension, diving deeper into the realization of occurrence, laughing at awkward changes in position, focusing again on your smile, the purse of your lips, your eyes scanning every emotion, plunging forward with abandon, tongues tap dancing together between two sets of smooth lips, building up layers of pleasure, growing, trembling, cascading.
Learning to coordinate limbs and lungs, scaling to higher planes. Blocking out the world to concentrate on the slippery sounds, the unparalleled sensations, the rush of breath magnified in my ears, the dizzying throb of my heart.
Perspiration perishing fantasy and rebuilding rapturous stimulation in its stead. I did not imagine it would go like this, a tangle of emotions and movement, a buzz of fear weaving between a heaving chest, my body lit up, my limbs uncoordinated but determined. A rustling of hair against smooth sheets, spread out in the open, locked away from the world and locked into each other. It was both unremarkable and exhilarating, everyday hands doing extraordinary things. There was no crescendo of music, no divine revelation. It was grounded in sweat and scraping teeth and muscles that grew tired and all the wonderful explosions in between.
Feeling the rush of pride from making you shudder with my mouth, your body rising and quivering beneath me. I felt strong, powerful, sensual in the moments when you grabbed my hair and pulled me in further. I never knew I could affect a body and bring about a pleasure that bloomed so beautifully. The soft exhalation, the quiet tremors, the goosebumps that spread along your legs and spread a smile across my glossed face. You closed your eyes and let me take you there with my teeth at your back and my salt on your lips, with my brush and your canvas, filling in the lines I’d fantasized about long ago.
I think I’m damn good at this.
I could be naked with you, red marks along transparent skin under an even swirl of hair. You did not turn away but put your hands everywhere with a tender grace. You nurtured my body, put my mind at ease, and took charge of my curvature, making great effort to fit it all in.
We could examine each other without distraction, comparing and contrasting textures and temperatures, playing doctor about twenty years too late. I’d never seen it up close. It was a scientific study, a once forbidden door you allowed me to open whenever I wanted. And I allowed you to touch me wherever and whenever you wanted. My cheeks reddened each time you marveled at it, molding and shaping me with your lithe fingers.
Falling so far into you, reaching nirvana on a firm mattress, sprawled out with no clothes and no more fear of judgment. My head flying away from the moment with only reflection reeling inside me under the covers, covered up with you wrapped around me in a sleepy encore. More lips, more eyes, resting up and failing to resist round 2. And 3.
My body can achieve miracles.
I think I will miss that freedom the most, the permission we both granted each other to lean in for a kiss, to reach over for a handful, to allow each other to have free reign over our vessels. Because for a while, I thought I belonged to you. And I was happy to give you want you wanted.
It wasn’t just your body but the body of work I wrote in my mind, ideas to tease and excite you, planning scenarios where I could place my hand in yours, where you would lean in and rest on my shoulder. Sensual times when I could perfect the flick of my tongue, to get to know your needs and never take you for granted. Simpler times on your couch with pizza and a remote, sleepy times with slow back massages in your bed. Quietly and wholly just sharing each other, relying on the other one to give not only physical pleasure but emotional support. Not only removing clothes but removing walls, pulling back the cloth and the cage and feeling the pulse of partnership penetrating both of us.
I hate that you closed that door, that I won’t see your bed again, that once I finally found my comfort with you, finally started to feel good about what I could do with you, to you, and for you, you took it all from me. I gave you my body and you only gave me a goodbye. All the plans and excitement and fondness has faded. I can’t imagine giving myself over to another.
I’d easily relinquish each release if it would release you from your own hell. We couldn’t be further away from your bed and I often fear I couldn’t be further from your mind. I’ve waited patiently in hopes that something would change. That maybe you’d see that we could have been good for each other.
But with each passing day, that hope disintegrates and it dawns on me that you don’t want anything to change. You’re perfectly happy not having me in your life. With no explanation. No regret. And no remorse. I want to be strong for you but you must not have realized how weak I always was. I’m too vulnerable, too exposed. I want to cover myself up again but even if I did, I’d still feel utterly and shamefully stripped.
”Sex is the one thing, more than any others, that makes you feel human.”
”Remember, your children can’t praise the Lord if they’ve got genitals in their mouths.”
-Nudist Colony of the Dead
I remember walking into my first college class, looking at my classmates, and thinking, “I’m probably the only virgin in this room.”
That was over 10 years ago and every time I walk into a new room filled with people, I still think the same thing.
Living in a small, religious town, I learned early on that the true “F” word was fornication. Sex before marriage was about the worst thing that could happen to you, besides being gay. That sentiment echoed through the church pews and school halls. But as I grew up, my friends realized other people’s genitals was about the best thing that could happen to you. Even the most devout got dicked eventually and their stringent sexual views began to relax.
Except for the gay thing. That was non-negotiable.
But it’s easy to change your mind with a hand down your pants. I never got that opportunity so I was able to hang onto my shame over sex for much longer than my peers. And the interesting part was I actually didn’t mind it that much. Although preachers and parents warned of the religious ramifications of sex, they also lauded the beauty of intercourse between two married people. And that was the message I chose to hold close.
I actually wanted to wait until marriage. I’ve always thought of myself as a romantic and the notion of me and my future wife saving ourselves for each other sounded pretty special. We’d be the first to have that intimate connection, to reach that milestone in pulsating unison. And so not having sex was not a big deal because, at the time, marriage was not on my mind, therefore sex was not either. But just because I’d made a no-copulation commitment to a stranger didn’t mean I wasn’t affected by sex.
I used to be a great listener and great friend. My classmates came to me for counseling. I heard all about their relationships and through their confessions, I learned that sex not only changed relationships but changed people. And it didn’t necessarily change anyone for better or worse. But it did feel like there was more at stake. Emotions were either heightened or deadened at the point of penetration. Some people could turn off their heads and hearts while others’ only grew heavier.
And just by growing up and living and being interested in people, I learned more about sex without actually ever experiencing it. It came pieced together from conversations, observations, and, thanks to the power of the Internet, research.
Several days ago, I bought a lip balm that made my lips explode.
I hoard lip balms and any time I see a new one, I have to buy it, even if I think it’s going to suck. When I came upon this particular one, the description said it would make my lips “buzz”. I checked the ingredients and noticed it had cinnamon oil in it. I assumed it would work like menthol or peppermint oil and give the lips a nice tingle.
I slathered the balm on my lips and after about a minute, true to the description, they buzzed. There’s no other way to describe it. But this was no Burt’s Bees tingle. I felt like I had just Frenched an electric fence. I had never felt anything like it before. And it wasn’t pleasant.
I eventually wiped off the product but my lips were left feeling numb and beat up. The description said the buzzing is safe and addicting but I couldn’t imagine every using that product again.
One of the draws to the lip balm is how you can transfer the buzz to your partner when you kiss them. It’s a novelty but one that could be interesting. You’d definitely make an impressive if you kissed someone while wearing this lip balm.
But as I put away the cinnamon death stick, I realized I wouldn’t be able to make anyone else’s lips buzz. I had no one to kiss. And as I surveyed my lip balm collection, I wondered if my multiple failed attempts to keep my mouth kiss-ready was in vain. I had no one to pucker up to. All I had were the tiny tube reminders of lonely lips.
Y’all, I’m so behind on my writing. This happened a few months ago and I jotted some notes down but I’m just now getting around to posting this…I mean, I have a book to write but I’ll never get to it if I can’t get all this other mental clutter out first.
A few months ago, I met a high school acquaintance for dinner. We spoke fairly regularly for a few years and then she got married and we drifted apart. I never thought her marriage would last and sure enough, when we started catching up with each other over enchiladas, she told me she had been divorced for about two years.
Ironically, the divorce was the best thing going on in her life. Shortly after she and her husband split, she realized she never loved him the way she should have and wasted nine years of her life with him. But she did get a free house, car, and dog out of the deal so it wasn’t a total bust. But other than that, she felt inadequate and turned to alcohol and random sex partners to ease the hurt of being alive.
The more we talked, the more I realized we were basically the same person, Siamese twins conjoined at our crippling insecurities. I felt bad for her and felt even worse when I had no advice to offer up. Usually I can dole out a few words of wisdom and guidance that soothes whatever aches the person I talk to but with her, I had nothing because I’m going through the same problems.
She doesn’t have a job and lies in bed all day and drinks. She said she stays, at a minimum, buzzed, and at maximum, blacked out drunk. She has one night stands. She has no purpose, no guidance, no one to love her. She thinks she’s disgusting, which she’s not. She’s a very pretty girl but all she can see is the “big girl she used to be.” I also understood that. No matter how much weight I’ve lost or will lose, I’ll always feel like the fat guy.
I wanted to both hug and throttle her but couldn’t because 1) I don’t like touching people and 2) I know I wouldn’t have gotten through to her. I think she’s just going to have to go through whatever she’s going through and either become numb to the whole thing or finally snap out of it somehow. I didn’t think there was a cure for what ailed her. There was only control. She can control her symptoms. She can minimize the hurt but if she’s anything like me, and I believe she is, the pain will never go away.
Trace the thump thump thump with your finger, feeling tiny reverberations beneath the marsh and marrow. Pulled together with cotton and cool breezes. This bed is our island, this room our country, this house our world. Pay no mind to the comets crashing against our atmosphere. You’re safe now, secluded from the screams and secure in the handcuff of my arms. We are perfect, lying in the inky black of bundled silk, lip petals and onyx eyes. We are supple cannibals, one body nourished by the other, fragrant skin and warm throats.
And we are disgusting.
But only by other people’s standards, of course. We’re an aberration born from texts and timid minds. We were an alignment or accident or maybe a divine delegation. We don’t know and we don’t care. Our lips come together the way the clouds kiss the sky and that’s all that’s ever made sense to us, all we ever needed to know. Bursting suns and burning rays of need. Undulating heat and hunger.
Ignore the bang bang bang at the door and keep focus on the fullness, this bed, this rhythmic flow. Mind this medicine, unlocked and measured out in mouthfuls. This is not unholy. This is ethereal and beautiful and above us all, this gift, this flesh, these nerves and electrical currents teasing transcendence. I’m inserting the key to God’s house, opening the door for us to enter and evolve. Together. This is us, pulled apart from the masses and cast into the cosmos. Mute out the mouths on the other side that tell us we are wrong. They don’t know love, only lassitude. We are not filth.
But yes, we can still be dirty.
Feel the scratch scratch scratch along my back, marking territory on pale skin. Red lines of belonging, parallel to past scars. No one can breach these barriers but you, switching over with soft words and gentle moves. Waves and waves and waves, blood rushing through my eyelids, feeling fuller and falling deeper in love. Ignore anything but the bustle of breath, the tension in your tendons, the quickening flood of chemicals. Snapshot the stars spiraling behind your eyelids. Revel in the release of fluid and fear, shuddering in sameness. Now we are one. I am all you’ve ever been and you have become all I’ve ever aimed to be. My love, lower your lashes to the noise at the threshold of death. When the fire dies outside, we’ll have our day.
At the behest of my work girlfriend (who I will refer to as WG for short), I read Fifty Shades of Grey. I didn’t really want to but she kept insisting and I thought it could be something new we could discuss. We’ve never talked about books before so I was looking forward to an intellectual exchange regarding fictional characters and their motivations.
But as I read, I kept pointing out problems I had with the book. Christian Grey was too perfect, too mysterious. Anastasia Steele was too innocent, too inexperienced. Early on in the book, she said she didn’t know why she was falling for him.
“That doesn’t make any sense,” I mentioned to WG. “He’s super rich. He’s super handsome. He’s graceful and just distant enough to leave her wanting more. That’s reason enough to fall in love with him. Any girl would. Heck, I think I’d fall in love with him, too.”
WG laughed. “Well, he does have some physical flaws, though. He’s not perfect.”
“Oh, yeah? What? Is his penis so large he can’t find comfortable underwear? What a tortured soul!’
She laughed again. Ah, such a nice sound.
“So, what is so appealing about him?”
“I don’t know,” she said, her kohl-lined eyes wandering off to the ceiling, pondering. “I guess I just like that he’s dark.”
“I’m dark,” I said. Hello, I was dead for three years.
“No you’re not,” she said with a smirk. “You’re just emo. And you choose to be that way.”
Ah, not such a nice sound. She really knows how to stab a guy right in the face.
“He had a really dark childhood,” she added.
“You don’t know about my upbringing. It could have been dark, too.” It wasn’t.
“Not like his,” she countered.
“You don’t know what I’ve been through!” Nothing.
I just wasn’t that impressed with the book. I’ll admit I jump on literally bandwagons. I read the Twilight series and The Hunger Games series and I always tried to enjoy the books for what they were instead of what they were hyped to be. And they were both all right. But this one I just couldn’t seem to get into like the others. I guess I can understand it’s popularity because it’s so provocative but honestly, it wasn’t as filthy as I imagined, which was admittedly another reason I wanted to read it. I wanted to see how raunchy it really got. Maybe I’m just a sick mofo but it seemed a little tame to me. It’s possible things get more extreme in the other two books but I think the first one walked the fine line between kinky sex and all out smut, just enough to titillate and not alienate, which is why it worked so well. So I give her props for that but the writing is pretty amateur.
Ana uses way too many phrases like Oh crap, double crap, and triple crap. She’s also always flushed and blushing. At least every other page she’s blushing and flushing and with all that blood going to her face, you’d wonder how she got any to her vagina. People on the street probably thought she had a nasty case of Rosacea. She also says delicious way too much and Christian is constantly scolding her for biting her lip and I wonder if she has a chapped mouth all the time. Between her chewed up lips and the red face, she’s probably looks like she’s running around with a constant cold. I mean, do people even really bite their lip that much? I know people say Kristen Stewart does it a lot in the Twilight movies and as we all know, the books were inspired by the Twilight books. I think they were also inspired by the films as well because Christian runs his fingers through his hair, much like Robert Pattinson does. The author seemed to have gathered the actors’ ticks and put them in her books.
I also have a problem with how Ana is so easily turned on by all the kink. Everything Christian does is hot. His feet are hot. His stubble is hot. The way he wears his pajama bottoms are hot. At one point, she uses his toothbrush and thinks it’s hot! To me, that’s pretty gross. Yes, I know, I understand, they French kiss and have sex and swap bodily fluids on the regular but…a toothbrush is a cleaning device, something you use to remove food and grime from your teeth. It’s not the same as swapping spit. You’re swapping tarter. How is that hot? I was waiting for her to dig through his trash and take the cotton swabs he used to clean his ears and slide them up her snatch.
How convenient that she’s magically turned on by leather whips and balls inserted into her cooter. I wonder if she really likes it or if it’s just because she doesn’t know any other way of having sex, since she was a virgin when she met him. Can someone really be so sexy and sexual that everything they do is a turn on? Am I just so in the dark about sexuality that I don’t know these things? I mean, if he farted was she gonna stick her nose in his butthole and inhale?
I talked to WG about this and she shared with me that your first sexual experiences do influence your future inclinations. At least, that was the way it was for her. It makes sense. I do suppose your first sexual partner can shape your sexuality but that seems most likely in regards to “vanilla” sex, as Christian likes to call anything that doesn’t involve a ball gag. But what happens when you do introduce a ball gag? When you get your novice partner involved with sexual acts that deviate from “vanilla”, does that also influence future deviations with other partners? If Ana hadn’t ended up with Christian in the end, would she have desired such submission with other lovers?
And can we talked about how she lost her virginity? If I remember correctly, he just plunged into her like a he was throwing a javelin and I’m pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to work.
And she cimaxes like crazy! From what I’ve heard and read and discussed with female acquaintances, including WG, it’s not as easy as it’s portrayed in the book. Girls don’t just climax so easily. Well, some do, some don’t. But mostly, it takes some work. Ladies, I’d love to get your opinion on this! Also, the sex scenes did nothing for me. Most of them felt like quickies than actual articulate sessions of full bodied sex, from foreplay to penetration to the eventual release and afterglow. It was more like wham, bam (literally), and thank you ma’am.
I was also creeped out by how immature Ana sounded with her oh craps and such talk. She’s 22 so I’m not criticizing the immaturity, just pointing it out. She’s kind of childish and with that being said, Christian calls her baby a lot and spanks her like a baby and the whole thing felt really creepy. I wasn’t turned on by reading these sex scenes but felt uncomfortable like it was slightly statutory, ya know what I’m saying? Fifty shades of Peder-ass, much?
I just feel like people such as Christian (and Edward from Twilight) set up this impossible ideal for girls and women. Guys just aren’t that perfect. They don’t glow and make you orgasm with the slightest touch. We all have imperfections other than a few (hardly noticeable) scars on our chests.
Christian is rich and semi-famous and a total stud muffin but he’s got a messed up past. That makes him less than perfect, right? WRONG. It makes him more perfect for women because there’s an aspect to him that is fractured, something women can gravitate toward because women love to fix men. His past and issues stemming from such a past is like a wet dream for females. His imperfections make him more attainable. His jagged emotional scars act like an invisible line that ground him to Earth, keep him from touching heaven where he belongs, thus allowing mere mortals to interact with him, touch him, love him, fix him. Oh, women, you’re so silly.
I don’t mean to be critical of this book. As an aspiring author, I know it’s not easy to write a book. I say God bless for her being able to get her writing out there and for being able to touch (pun intended) so many lives. But for me, personally, it just didn’t do much. Of course, I don’t begrudge her any of her success or wealth. She did what she wanted to do and made a ton of dough off of it so can you really hate on her? Not everyone is going to be impressed with everyone’s writing style. If it works for some people, then she’s done her job.
I don’t know the details but did she ever really intend to publish these books? I know she posted them online and they kind of took off from there but if she never expected all this publicity over her stories, then can you really blame her if they aren’t perfectly written? If she just did them for fun and they exploded, then that’s great. If only we could all be so fortunate.
I couldn’t help but to keep thinking about what WG said about me choosing to be emo. Somehow, my darkness wasn’t as enticing as Christian’s and I wondered why. Or did it have more to do with the package instead of the contents? Isn’t that just the way it goes?
I spoke to another coworker who had also read the book (and loved it) and brought my quandary up with her.
“I don’t get it,” I said. “I get why women are so into Christian. He’s dark. He’s damaged. And he’s a challenge. But, I’m challenging, too, without trying at it. Girls always say they want the good guys but gravitate toward the bad. I’m good and bad! And even some bad guys aren’t good enough for them. Where do I fit in the mix?”
She must have sensed the confusion/desperation in my eyes because she leaned in, the line of her cleavage stretching for miles, and looked at me with all sincerity and said, “Honey. Here’s the secret.”
I leaned in, my eyes expanded. Here it was, what I’ve been searching for years: the answer to what women really want. And from a woman. Straight from the source.
“Women don’t know what they want.”
We both leaned back as I took in the information. It was simple, really.
“Wow,” I said. “That was probably one of the most honest, succinct answers I’ve been given.”
She smiled and nodded and walked away.
Maybe WG sees me as something of an anomaly. We get along really well but maybe she only sees me as a friend or maybe she would like me more if I were more attractive (or of she didn’t already have a boyfriend). Where did I belong in the realm of her desires? Was I just a friend she reached out to for a good laugh? Was I a penis placeholder, a guy she turned to when her boyfriend was away at work, then placed on the side when he came back around? How did she really feel about me? And why was I so interested in knowing? What did it matter to me? Nothing would come of it, no matter how hard I desired it or how hard I tried to make it happen. It just wouldn’t.
I never even intended to get so deep into it. I’ve exhausted my musings regarding love and relationships and I had gotten to a point where I didn’t understand human connection and I accepted it and tried to move along but her offhand comment about being emo really shook me. Is that really how she sees me? Do I seem pathetic to her? I keep getting these mixed signals and as much as I’d like to figure out what it all means, what she means, what she means to me, it’s too much of a hassle and I don’t know if it’s worth pursuing, if she’s worth pursuing. Stupid books. Stupid girls. Stupid hearts.
“I want to learn how you save yourself
for someone who loves you for you
So many times we just give it away
to someone who couldn’t even remember your name…”
-Sense Field, Save Yourself
“We’re under the sheets
and you’re killing me…”
-Ellie Goulding, Under the Sheets
One day in my art history class, I sat at my desk and looked around me as my professor droned on about Duchamp’s “Fountain” and surmised I was probably the only virgin in the room. I was not interested in a urinal as a piece of art so my mind wandered and landed in sexland.
Because art history was a foundation class, the students were not separated by major and it was a mixed crowd. Everyone from the trust fund valley girl fashion student to the animation student who doodled bunnies with manga eyes in his notebook to the chunky girl who wore pajamas to class every day sat among me. And they had all probably been laid before. So, why hadn’t I?
“Well, look at me,” I thought to myself. Although I was the most attractive I had been in my young adult life, I still felt chubby and untouchable and I thought my physical appearance was why I hadn’t yet had sex.
But I knew a lot of trolls who had engaged in sexual activity so that couldn’t be it. Just about anyone can find someone to sleep with. People are so horny these days that being picky isn’t always an option when the possibility of orgasm is within reach. And it wasn’t so much the fact that I thought I wasn’t good-looking enough to be touched, but my looks caused a crippling insecurity that made me feel unworthy of intimacy.
I had enough trouble feeling good about the way I looked clothed, with all of my biggest flaws completely covered. I couldn’t imagine stripping away all the layers of protection and revealing everything to a partner. Nakedness and intimacy opened up a whole new world of insecurity.
What if I wasn’t good? What if I wasn’t well equipped or satisfying enough? What if I jiggled too much or had no coordination? I can’t even pat my head and rub my stomach at the same time so how can I be expected to kiss and thrust and massage all at once? Did I have the capability to cause pleasure? Could my tongue tantalize? Could I cause another to shudder with satisfaction? It was something I hadn’t thought much about. It was a foreign concept to think I could put my body next to another.
When I was younger, I was fascinated with the concept of kissing. I never understood how people could be bad kissers. It seemed pretty simple. Press your lips together and voila, nerve endings react and fire and pleasure pervade the body. But when I actually had my first kiss, I understood. I was so nervous and focused on not landing on her nose that all pleasure drained from the activity. I tried to navigate my lips around hers without mashing my face into her mouth and the whole thing felt too hard and mechanical. The thought of tongue usage terrified me so I cut our kissing short.
So with that taste of intimacy, I realized I was either done with it all or simply just not ready. Through the years, thoughts of kissing progressed to thoughts of sexual intercourse and how much more involved it seemed than kissing but I still wondered how anyone could be bad at that, either. I guessed it was possible but when you get down to it, don’t the same basic mechanics as kissing apply? Aren’t you still just pressing parts together and waiting for the slippery friction to send waves of calm across the body?
I feel like some of you are giggling right now, thinking I have a lot to learn about how bad it can be. But who will I trust enough to teach me?
Do I even want to know?
My insecurity about my weight and face have played an important role in preserving my virginity. But I wonder if that’s all. If the desire for sex is there, it probably doesn’t fade away because of insecurity. You can be ugly and still want to have sex but I was ugly and didn’t want to have sex. I never thought sex was vital to my life. But was that because I thought I was too gross for grinding and simply put the thought out of my mind or was I just a guy who simply didn’t walk around with a lump in his pants all the time?
I used to think I wasn’t a sexual person because I was never sexually attracted to anyone. I didn’t see tits and ass, only temperament and attitude. I was more intrigued by people’s minds instead of bodies and when everyone around me discovered sex, I discovered Doritos. But in time I realized I was sexual. Just not with other people. And it’s served me well so far. There are times, however, when I do wonder what it would be like not to have to do all the work. I wonder what I’m missing out on. I wonder what the difference is, how someone else can bring out certain sensations I cannot reach. What could they do that righty can’t?
But it hasn’t always been about hiding my body away like I was a hunchback locked in a bell tower. My Christianity has cock blocked me as well. When I was younger, I was all about waiting until marriage to have sex. And so were my peers. But that certainly didn’t last long. Puberty hit us all and the hormones replaced hymnals. Girls got boobs. Boys got balls. Bran got acne. Maybe it was a good thing. Maybe the pustules and prayer helped preserve my purity. Or something like that.
As I grew older, my uptight views on sex loosened a bit. I saw classmates and coworkers relating and mating in the real world and realized the real world is full of real sex. And in a lot of instances, it almost feels like we are hardwired for it. It’s easy to forget that Christians are people first. As much as you may love God and be a follower of Jesus and that’s how you identify yourself, you’re a human being first with a clean slate of skin and then religion is placed on top of that.
I felt waiting until marriage was ideal, that it was probable but not quite practical. I also didn’t understand why Christians hand picked sexuality to convert and condemn others. Isn’t it a sin no greater than any other?
But the humanity always bubbles up with temptations and lust and feelings of longing. Your natural impulses constantly fight your faith and sometimes you mess up and that’s okay. I can’t see premarital sex, or sex in general, as a graveled path that leads to hell. We all fall short of the glory of God, right? So why should we be punished for breaking a rule no one expected us to obey in the first place?
Admittedly, it’s easy to say you can wait until marriage when there’s no one trying to get in your pants but when you’re put in that position (pun intended), it’s harder (pun intended) to say no.
Perfect example: an acquaintance recently revealed to me that one of our classmates from high school, an ultra religious and straight-laced girl, had sex before she got married. You’d have to really know the girl to understand the full impact of the shock I was in when I heard this juicy bit of news. She was practically a nun in high school. Granted, she was engaged to this guy and they were only months away from their wedding, but still.
The funniest part was when the acquaintance said she and her fiance prayed right after! I just imagined them, naked and hunched over on the floor, covered in tears and semen, praying for forgiveness. Hysterical.
But the point is, if she can’t hold out, I don’t have much hope for myself.
So, for me, for now, it’s easy to stay virginal because I don’t have anyone trying to tear off my drawers.
Hypocrite alert: Although I just mentioned how sex shouldn’t be such a huge deal when it comes to Christianity, I have to admit maintaining my virginity has had a lot to do with trying to hold onto my faith. Although I’m a bitter guy with a lot of hurt and anger in my heart, and although I don’t pray as much as I used to or love my neighbor or attend church or spread love like a good little Christian, I’ve at least remained pure. Sometimes I think it’s the only semblance of obedience to God I have left. But if having sex isn’t a hell sentence, I don’t think abstaining is going to guarantee salvation, either.
So why exactly am I still clinging to my cherry?
I definitely get curious about sex sometimes. Or actually all the time. There are days when I’m perfectly fine going without and then there are days when I want it but I wonder why I want it. I think it’s partly out of curiosity. Sex is a part of life I have yet to experience, and at my age, most have by now. I feel slightly left out of the loop. I have nothing to add to a group’s conversation of sordid sex stories. I can’t trade sex tips or get or offer advice when it comes to intercourse.
And then I think I partly want to do it just to get it over with so I won’t have to think about it so much. It’s not that it even takes up too much of my thinking processes but it does swirl around in my noggin from time to time. It’s just one of those things I’d like to cross off the list, just to say I did it, just to have a new experience to ruminate over and help influence me when it comes to writing or reflecting and connecting with others.
And when it comes to connecting, there’s that need for a physical connection. I’ve rarely felt connected to people in my life. I’ve had intellectual connections and have come close to emotional connections but nothing deep enough (no pun intended) to satisfy me. Believe me, I’ve tried. One of the only close connections I have yet to attempt to form is a physical one.
The majority of the time, I feel I can’t relate to people. The separation is so strong that I don’t even feel human. I’ve heard nice things about sex. It helps connect. Is a little penetration what it will take to feel like I can actually be a person who can form bonds with someone else? Isn’t it just one of the many healing powers of sex? Doesn’t it also reduce stress and boost confidence? Those are areas I certainly need help in. I can’t tell you how many times people have told me to just get a blowjob to relax. I usually prefer a Snickers but they might be on to something.
But Bran and blowjobs just don’t go together. I’ve been so separated from people for so long that I can’t see myself linking up with a lover. I actually feels unnatural. Alone is where I find my comfort. It’s also where I find my depression. What’s a horny boy with social anxiety to do?
I even had someone tell me they started to feel more confident when they started having sex. I can see this being reasonable. Knowing you aren’t as gross as you thought is nice. Being able to bare it all to someone without fear of rejection and even being embraced for all that you are is a wonderful feeling. It’s also probably nice to know you can rock someone else’s world with your sexual prowess.
I’ve also abstained because I still have some standards. As I said, just about anyone can find someone to have sex with. It might not be an ideal partner but there are willing participants out there. And I’ve run into my fair share. I’ve been propositioned on more than one occasion and have always politely declined.
And although I’m not as religious as I used to be, there’s a part of me that still wants to wait for someone special, even if I don’t marry them. As charred and black as my heart has turned, I still think there’s something romantic and special about waiting for someone you love, to share an intimate part of yourself with a carefully selected individual instead of anyone willing to open up wide.
But that special someone is nowhere to be found around here. Everyone around is already married or has a child or is pregnant or wants babies. None of that is for me. It’s another reason I need to leave this town. I’d like to go somewhere new where I was appreciated and longed for. I’d like to find someone to pull me out of my half-death and make me come alive. Maybe new limbs in new locations will help the heart beat again.
There are days when I want nothing more than to cuddle, to have someone just grab my face and kiss me. But then I realize I don’t like people and don’t actually want that. It’s just the inexperience, the hormones, the need to see what it feels like talking. But I kind of do want it and the whole thing is confusing.
I’ve just encountered so many terrible people that I often want to pull myself from the population. In some ways, I think I already have. And since I’ve ostracized myself, it’s not so easy to try to jump back into the barrage of bodies. Just like with Christians. Although I think of myself as an outcast, as a guy barely revived from a three year death, I’m still a human with needs. I’d like to love and be loved and get it in every once in a while. I’d like to know what it’s like to have someone’s arms wrapped around me. I’d like to feel safe and make someone else feel safe as well. Sometimes I think something as simple as a long hug would be beneficial to my body.
We all want it. We all don’t get it. And I don’t get why I haven’t gotten it yet.
Have I really been saving myself or have I just been blowing myself off?
When exactly does sexual attraction start? And once you’ve had sex with one person, does it change the way you see other people? Do you find yourself being sexually attracted to more people after that initial intimate encounter because now you know what it’s like and you want to see how other people are in an intimate way? What are your thoughts? How do you feel about virginity and sex? How did you feel about losing your virginity? If you’re still a virgin, what are your reasons?