Friday, October 30, 2009

An Aborted Relationship: Trying Too Damned Hard

We had such an awesome, fun, invigorating first date. This doesn't happen on first dates. Like, ever. Connections on levels of mind and humor and openness and affection--heady stuff!

Then follow-up texts and IMs and e-mails in a massive flurry. Not talking on the phone, I don't like phone conversations much. Something about the lack of body language makes the diembodied voice less comfortable than words on a screen, for one who writes easily.

I zoomed down pathways of thought that didn't jibe with her. Not seeing the widening disconnect--no moment-to-moment dialogue for course correction. Then, a collision and instant sudden fatigue from the stress of what bewilderingly turned into instant, distasteful drama.

Damn. damndamndamndamndamndamn.

I feel sad and guilty and ashamed. Not that I did anything malicious or hurtful or even rude. But I'd stumbled headlong into being tedious and distasteful, and completely spoiled the promise of a remarkable, lovely relationship. Trying too damned hard. Way too hard.

Shit. shitshitshitshitshitshitshitshtishitshit.

It's sad. Because I know how hard it can be to face life's challenges alone, how much easier and happier life is with a good life partner. I know from experience that a good life partner can help me be a happier, healthier, more effective person. I know from experience that I can help a partner in the same way.

Failed beginnings are common. There wouldn't be anything special in this failure except the start seemed so great. And "great" doesn't mean "fall instantly and insanely in love." No, it means seeing myself and another in a realistic vision of shared joy and laughter and personal growth--likely with a lot less pain and grief than most relationships. An exceptional match that not only felt right with the heart, but looked right with the mind.

This, an aborted beginning of a hugely promising relationship, for the second time in a year. Sigh. I'd give up on trying and join a monastery, except I'm virtually already in one. I'm well-versed in making lemonade when life throws lemons. But what to do with bitter ashes?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Supernatural Efforts

                            Supernatural Efforts

She had to make a supernatural effort
not to meet him again.
And she failed in that effort.
Betrayed by her own passions,
Seduced by his desire for her.
"Screw the cats," he exclaimed.
"Screw next month or next year,
for that matter."
The interred spirits in the graveyard
feigned outrage at the disruption,
as scents evoked memories of passions past.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sexuality, sexual minorities, BDSM, relationships, and neural science

Sexual minorities are forced to think about sex, applying reason to an area of human experience that most people seem unable to discuss with maturity. That is, if what I do and what I like is very different from what most people seem to do and like, then I'm constantly challenged by myself and others to explain "why?"  

If you think about what's important to humans deep down inside, sex would probably average priority #3 or #4, at least from puberty to late middle age. But if you think about the greatest pinnacles of human achievement and advances in understanding, they lie in areas that would rank in the bottom 1% of any normal person's priorities: science, technology, physics, mathematics, engineering, information technology.

In 5,000 years of civilization, we went from invention of the wheel to walking on the moon. It took those same 5,000 years of civilization to reach a rough consensus that women have a G-spot. Un-freakin'-believable. Try to examine these two contrasting facts from the perspective of an alien being studying humanity. It's not that human's don't spend time, money, and effort on what's important to them; sexuality is the foundation of most industries in one way or another. Apart from watching TV, sexuality is surely is what drives much of our leisure interests, directly or indirectly. We just seem to be, as a species, incapable of applying our reasoning abilities to one of our top personal priorities:  sexuality.  

You see this in day-to-day life all the time. Take a group of the smartest, most mature, most respected persons, bring the topic to anything frankly sexual, and everyone generally blushes and giggles and turns into 12 year-olds.

My interpretation, coming from a medical/scientific/biological mindset, is to explain this on the basis of complex neural mechanisms. One set of our brain parts is the primitive brain and "limbic system" which drive emotions and drives of hunger, fear, anger, sexuality, sleep, etc. A different area of the brain (frontal lobes mostly) drive reason, thought, logic, abstract thinking. No neurologist has found connections or mechanisms between limbic system and frontal lobes that inhibit each other's activity (as far as I know), but our brains seem to act as if there are.

So, when you're hungry, cold, or angry, you have a very hard time calculating the square root of 8. Or translating the Declaration of Independence into Latin. On the other hand, when you're immersed in an intense game of poker or engrossed in a page-turner novel, you might not notice that you haven't eaten in 12 hours. Activity on one side of this thought/drive divide suppresses the other.

Now, me, my brain seems to be wired a little differently than most. I think about everything, all the time, in ways that seem to strike others as unusual. Viva la difference. We all bring different strengths, weaknesses, and gifts to the world. When in the heat of passion, no, I'm not likelty to be thinking about the tissue pressure inside the corpora cavernosum, but I'm probably a heck of a lot quicker to have that thought cross my mind than most people. Or how the surge of prolactin in the brain is likely to affect emotional experiences.

So I've gotten interested in the people and behviors of minority sexual groups, like BDSM. In part, because less-common behaviors and perspectives are still an important part of this poorly-understood realm of human sexuality. But also because people in it are more likely to have something intelligent and interesting to say about sexuality and their own experiences than people whose preferences and experiences are more narrowly average or typical.

I don't get turned on by specific activities or roles. But as a prospective partner to a woman, I am very interested in what different kinds of approaches, roles, techniques, or mindsets might be desired or needed to please her and enrich the relationship. Personally, what turns me on is turning my partner on. If her being blindfolded and in four-point restraints allows her a fuller experience, I'm eager to go there. If being severely spanked turns her on, then I need to get my head around the paradox of lovinginly inflicting pain on a loved one to please her by inflicting a kind of violence. That's not easy for me to get into, but I know that for some individuals, that kind of experience *can* please, can satisfy, can give joy, and can enrich a relationship. So depriving a loved one of experiences like that is unkind.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Worrisome Correspondence

A reader forwarded a very disturbing e-mail from a BDSM site.  The sender's profile describes a woman, but the sender is clearly a disturbed male.  See profile of  "needhelp2" :

The e-mail sent was as a novice sadist seeking advice from an experienced dominant.  Disturbing:

From: needhelp2 
Dated: 9/27/09 2:54 AM   (GMT -5)

Hi there. I have a cousin who is extremely hot. She is a female model. For over 5 years now, i have had an obsession with her, to the point of where i have had to quit my job. I have found that every single day i obsess about tying, enslaving and torturing her. I feel due to her looks, that she is 100% perfect for bondage and bdsm and should spend the rest of her life enslaved. She is extremely hot, and it has come to the point where i do not know what to do anymore. She has no personal interest in bondage at all, but in my mind, i dont care about that, and i feel she should be forced into it whether she likes it or not. I am looking for some advice on what to do. I am male, and my cousin is a 24 year old female model. I have blackmail information on herself and her manager which could be used to blackmail her manager into letting her go and helping, as he has her on strict contracts and basically controls all her actions currently, but i know blackmail is illegal. If you saw a few pictures of her i think you would understand my obsession and see what i mean. I am happy to provide some on yahoo messenger photoshare if you want to see a few.

I appreciate any advice anyone may offer. Thanks." 

That author's profile on the site would seem to describe the intended victim:
Description:             Female Submissive
Country:                   UK
Height:                      5'7"
Age:                           24
Orientation:              Straight
Ethnicity:                  Caucasian
Last Online:              09/30/09
My sane (if slightly kinky) reader reported this message to the site and responded to the sick guy:

BDSM is either consensual or a serious crime. You must see a psychiatrist for your obessive disorder. This is very, very dangerous for everyone.  

The site replied with only a canned response suggesting that posts describing illegal activities should be reported by the recipient to the authorities.  Of course, only the site itself can determine where the sicko lives, and thus which police to contact.  A response to the site administration pointing this out received no reply.

So, if anyone knows a hot 24 year-old UK model with an extremely disturbed male cousin, you might want to pass this information on to warn her--her life is in danger.