I went out. To a munch at a bar. It was made clear to me that I could have gone home with at least three people. Apparently folks missed me. I was offered beatings and cuddles and kisses and bondage. I could really have an ego if I wanted one. It’s kind of mind boggling how I maintain such low self esteem.
I’ve been having a rabid argument on my ptsd support site today. Can someone “heal” while using drugs or must they be completely sober before the journey can begin. Discuss. I have strong views. I am not on AAs side.
I have been reading a lot more about men hating women. You know, stuff written by men. It’s like visiting crazy town. I think I understand a bit more about why they don’t like me though.
I’ve been reading about consensual incest because it occurs to me that if I am going to try and collect real stories and serious data I will have to be completely accepting of whatever I get. And people are going to have a very serious range of backgrounds.
Tonight, at the munch, as I was on my way out a woman asked me for advice on how to handle advances from men. How do you deflect attention you don’t want? What things do you say? How do you deal with them? I told her I have a nasty history of sexual assault so I’m not sure my advice is the best. And then I told the story about being humiliated on the beach.
So, years ago I was brought into an extended part of the Burning Man community. I participated in a particular local burn every month. I never went out to the playa–I’m not a dusty girl. The one year I bought a ticket I gave it to my friend Mo and ran off to marry Noah instead. That was the right choice.
Long before I married Noah, right after I left my Owner (I literally moved my stuff from my Owner’s house on a Thursday and left on Friday for my first camp out with the group) I went on my first date with someone and spent the weekend doing ecstasy and nitrous for the first time and drinking a rather lot of alcohol. In the first weekend I fucked six people. I liked that group a lot.
After I had been part of that group for a year or so there started to be increasing problems with men being overly aggressive with women. The burns had gotten more popular and it was held at a nude beach so things got heated. This was in the height of the tribe.net days. Oh I miss tribe. It was decided that there would be a workshop on how to deal with sexual advances.
The woman who ran it pulled me out in front of the group and identified me by name. In the next few minutes she said explicitly that it was possible to have boundaries without being a bitch like me.
So tonight when I was asked for advice on how to handle unwanted advances I had feelings. Mostly how I handle them now is by holding up my big shiny ring and saying, “Monogamous!”
But before that. What did I do?
First, think about it from the male point of view. He is experiencing chemistry with you. He is in an at least mildly heightened arousal. And men are socialized to know that if they don’t push aggressively for sex they probably won’t get any. Any sign of equivocation or hesitation is a signal that you are just hoping that he’ll try harder.
So you need to be very clear. Never apologize. Acknowledge and be polite. “I’m not hunting. I’m really not looking for anything but friends.” You don’t need to feel responsible if he gets butt-hurt. That’s part of his growing process. Everyone gets rejected sometimes. I have kind of a ridiculous success rate (err, historically) and I get rejected tons.
It’s ok for guys to ask. It’s ok to not be interested and just say no. Don’t apologize. Never apologize for not wanting to have sex with someone. It is not their right. It is not something they have a basic set of permissions to access.
It was hard tonight to figure out the right mix of behavior. I flirted. I flirted with people I have a very long history with (my wonderful Daddy was there or I wouldn’t have gone) and I felt safe. I felt pretty and fun. I don’t feel fun very often. Usually I feel boring or bad. I kind of alternate between them.
I feel like my stories are all sad and full of woe. I feel like I am pathetic and uninteresting. When people ask me what I have been up to I know they only want the highlights so I go with: “Gardening and home schooling my kids and painting murals in my house.” That certainly isn’t lying. I don’t mention the book much. That’s a downer. WHICH IS WHY IT DOESN’T SELL. Silly girl. Ack.
But it was nice going out to the munch. It reminded me that there is a critical lack of mentor-like people who are without agendas in my community. My community is primarily a place where people go to hunt and hunt hard. There are monogamous people but they are kind of weird.
I think we are good for the community. I think it is good to understand that you can have boundaries and closeness. You don’t have to fuck everyone you love.
That’s kind of a weirdly intense thing for me. You don’t have to fuck everyone you love. I was supposed to fuck my brother. I was supposed to fuck my dad. But you don’t have to fuck everyone you love.
It’s ok to leave doors closed. I know this shouldn’t be epiphany territory. Maybe you aren’t compulsively sexual.
Compulsions are behaviors a person performs in order to reduce feelings of anxiety or tension. According to this explanation of hypersexuality, persons engage in whatever sexual behavior in order to reduce feelings of tension, instead of to express sexual desire. Because engaging in the behavior can worsen the situation causing the tension, the person experiences a longer-term increase in tension, despite the shorter-term relief, resulting in a self-perpetuating cycle.”
Yeah, that’s me.
Part of the reason that I “rape easy” is because I have a lot of compassion specifically for men who are very frustrated by sexual rejection. I find the sex addicts. I understand why they feel like someone like me should exist. It was really intense for me when I read the Kushiel series. I have felt like I was required to take in the pain of other people since I was a small child. For a long time I felt like it was more or less my duty to make their lives better.
It doesn’t hurt me to have sex with lonely, frustrated men. And it makes them so happy. Don’t I owe them that happiness since it is so easy for me to give and they want it so badly?
It feels weird when people ask me for advice on how to handle men. What the fuck do I know? How to get raped over and over. Because I am stupid and I keep standing near dangerous people. I stand near them because they understand the game and for most of my life I needed to have someone acknowledge to me that the game existed. (I don’t mean you lost the game. That’s different.)
Life presents you with teachers in the right times and in the right places. I have learned from prostitutes and drag queens. I have learned from old leather fags and rednecks. I have learned from WASPs and the projects.
One of the most important bits is stay away from anyone who makes you nervous. That’s where I get hosed. The ones who make me nervous intrigue me. I’m stupid. Let me tell you the rapes were uninventive enough that I mourn for their other partners. They wouldn’t be fun to stand next to for long.
But I feel bad for them. Because they so obviously feel pain. I want to help. Codependent dumbass. I want to be liked. That was what was on offer.
It is nice knowing that I don’t have to hope anyone else will like me every again. I get to just exist. But how am I going to deal with advances? You don’t have to be a perfect ten in my community in order to be considered interesting–it’s an awesome community.
It is all so complicated. How does one develop an actual clear way of managing oneself? I can’t pretend I’m not hot (I totally am) just because not every person on the whole planet wants to have sex with me. But I have self esteem issues. (Not body issues exactly.)
I will say that it was kind of weird having people plot porn out on the table in front of me. Other than my recent foray into tumblr I don’t look at a lot of visual porn anymore. I stopped that when I stopped having partners who were aggressively interested in porn. I presume that Noah looks at porn occasionally but I know for a fact he doesn’t have time to do much of it.
I was reminded what world I was in. I was repulsed and comforted simultaneously. I will note that the people in the pictures represented a fabulous array of sizes, shapes, and skin tones.
Oh yeah. I forgot. People are really beautiful. I haven’t looked at them like this in a long time.
I think I will go out wearing red lipstick again. I liked the reaction. It was really nice not feeling invisible. And it was nice being with friends. And, let’s be honest, it was nice feeling like I could crook my little finger and disappear with any number of people.
Ok. I think my libido is starting to reappear. This life business is going to be interesting. Monogamy is a conscious choice for me. It is a decision I make over and over and over like I make the decision to stay married and I make the decision to not run away from home and take my kids and start over somewhere new. Not because Noah has done anything wrong–I’m just crazy.
Being in love is, in my opinion, largely a choice. I could choose to nurture resentment. Instead I choose to be grateful that I have an exceptionally giving partner and I know I won’t find better. Sure, I could find someone to fuck me or hit me… Noah loves me. Noah loves me enough to give me his name and his babies and all of his spare time and mountains of money and all of the property he didn’t have to share because it was from an inheritance.
Should money matter? Enh, it’s not the money. If I left I would leave with little more than the clothes on my back and I would laugh at his attempts to give me money. I wouldn’t starve my kids but I’d get independent real fast and I’d stop cashing checks. I’m like that.
It’s the trust. It’s the commitment to making me safe. It’s the commitment for seriously investing in me.
Whoa. Holy fucking shit. How did I inspire that? I know that people get married all the time. I’ve spent enough time on the internet reading about dysfunctional relationships to understand how good I have it. Noah is probably glad that I no longer troll single parenting forums obsessively reading threads like “What do you wish you had known before you negotiated for custody?”
Ok, I think the caffeine has worn off. I wanted to make sure I could drive home safely. Woof. Tomorrow will be interesting.
Usually when I get this little sleep it isn’t because I was having fun. I think I will be able to smile tomorrow. I will remember watching the very pretty women doing terrible things to one another and I’ll smile. No one will need to know why.