Sunday, November 22, 2009

Blank screen.

Sitting on my bed, black sheets.

I bought this bed when Darkeyes and I broke up. We broke up at night, slept in the same bed, the next day I popped on Craigslist and found a new queen-sized pillow-top mattress and box spring for $350. Drove up to Beverly Hills with a friend and loaded it into her truck.

The two of us struggled up to my third floor apartment, with the multiple switchbacks on the stairs, and I dropped it in my new room.

The dresser to my right is from my grandmother's house. Cedar, or something resembling it. They kept it in one of their guestrooms, the one intended for her wheelchair-bound mother, they designed that whole back half of the house for her visits. Handicapped toilet, shower they could put a chair into.

Matching lamps, art-deco, industrial-looking desk, $900 office chair, all for free from a friend that was moving back to Detroit.

Bookcase, bought by Darkeyes to hold my mounds of books after a fight with my father that involved me rapidly needed to have a storage space for them. It was one of four that was carted from my parents' house to Burbank, where the back went flying off on the freeway and my best friend stopped traffic to get it, running across the cement.

Glass-fronted cabinet, from my mother's mother. She collected seashells and displayed them in this cabinet in her condo in the Valley. She later lost her marbles to age and had to be put in a mental facility for like-minded seniors.

A white dresser, another from my father's mother's house. Belonged in the guestroom that was built for my father's sister, who killed herself a few months ago. Gun to the head.

Wooden filecabinet and matching bookcase, from my father's father. Died when I was 13. Multiple strokes, diabetes, I remember kicking my family out of the hospital, telling them to get food and get out of that place for a few hours. I remember feeding him vegetables, him not recognizing me. I remember when he did recognize us, look at the plastic band encircling his wrist, realizing his life was over, even if he wasn't dead.

The majority of my furniture comes from the dead, it seems.

Two of the blankets on my bed are from my father's parents. One was on the couch in my grandfather's office. An atrocious, uncomfortable thing. Brown and orange knit monstrosity. I love it. The other, a red and black plaid that was kept in my grandmother's trunk, we'd curl up in the backseat of her car under it when it got chilly. I remember looking at Christmas lights, driving around her neighborhood, under that blanket, but that memory could be constructed.

I spent last night with Pseudonym Pending.

The poor guy was exhausted and stressed as hell. I walked into his living room, saw him sprawled across the couch, and was amazed he was still awake.

We were planning on having a night of frisky frolic, but he wasn't up for it. Understandable. He was going to cut out on me, but I don't keep lovers for the sex, I keep lovers for the contact, the humanity, and to help me keep my mind off the crater that becomes so defined in winter.

I needed that touch. I needed the skin to skin.

I did not need the sex.

An Entourage marathon was on. I've never seen the show.

I got out the grapeseed oil and spent nearly two hours rubbing him down, hands to feet, front and back. My ex-lover down in San Diego, the masseuse who taught me more technique than what came naturally, would be proud. Finished him, of course, with a stellar handjob. Ever since GV8 taught me how to do that well, I really can't get enough of it. It feels wonderful in my hands, the movements, the oil, the slickness and heat. I never thought I would enjoy handjobs anywhere near as much as giving head, but there you go.

In the morning, we showered and grabbed coffee at a Starbucks I used to frequent when I went to community college just a mile or two from his house. Hadn't been there in a few years.

There's always that awkwardness for me, when you're first establishing a physical relationship and then you step into a public sphere.

Some men don't like PDA, even with their girlfriends. They feel uncomfortable even when holding hands. So if you get one of those guys as a regular lover and you even think about touching them in public, they'll freak.

Others are like me. I hold hands, I kiss, I grind, I grope, I hug, I sit in laps, I launch, I suck fingers, etc. I cannot get enough of touching someone I'm having sex with. But I refrain when it makes them uncomfortable.

Some guys don't like giving the impression that they are "with" a girl, because it eliminates their chances with someone they've been flirting with, someone they want to be flirting with. I understand this completely.

So you get that awkward, this-is-the-first-time-we're-going-out-in-public-together, what-the-hell-are-the-physical-boundaries? I don't initiate contact, so if the guy doesn't, I refrain. Follow his lead, never go further than he does.

Another moment of awkward is the first time you sleep over. I tend not to, because I feel it's violating the physical territory and morning routine of my partner. Most men, I've found, don't really know what to do with themselves in the morning, when a girl is over. Cuddle, kiss, dress quickly? Shower together? Brush teeth together? Eat and run? Quickie?

Adding a new person in is... disconcerting for some.

And I know me. My boundaries are... lacking. If I'm sleeping with someone, I have no body boundaries, I have no personal space boundaries. They've been in me, they've passed all other limits, there's no point in going back. There's a lack of emotional connection for me, I know this well, so if I'm holding a guy's hand, it means nothing other than I feel like touching them in that way. But then they sometimes get worried.

You know, because I'm female.

I've ranted about that more than once in here. About my male friends getting worried, having that talk, disclosing that they had been very concerned, that I was getting too close to them.

Falling in love.

And no matter how many men I've been with in the past, no matter how long I've had some of my lovers without more than friendly emotional involvement, it doesn't seem to matter.

Somehow they're more special.

The only lover I've had that I've ever come close to falling in love with was GV8.

And as soon as I realized that was not going to work out, I bailed.

It's tricky, being me.

Sounds a little egocentric.

But it's true. The balancing act between making guys feel special and cared for, but not too much. And none of them are the same. One will be perfectly comfortable introducing me to his friends, family, meeting my friends, my family, holding hands, kissing, seeing movies, going out to events and meals. Another will only want to see me when we're having sex. Yet another will be okay with holding hands and kissing in public, will be fine with curling up and watching a movie, but no friends, no family.

So if I'm sleeping with, say, three guys at one time, I have to keep track of which is comfortable with what. And none of them want to know about the others, even the ones that just want the pure-sex, bare-minimum friendship set-up, where knowing about the others would make them worry less, but they can't bear the thought of it.

Which makes sense. I don't begrudge them that at all.

Last winter I was cycling through five men and dating a lot, with the occasional one night stand.

Zat was in Studio City, sound engineer. I could call him, text him IM him, to talk about personal problems. He loved to cook, so I'd go over there, we'd kiss, cuddle, watch Iron Chef all afternoon, not even always have sex. Wouldn't hold hands or kiss in public. Really didn't want to know about the other guys. I never spent the night there.

VG was in Playa del Ray. Video game producer. Loved to hear my torrid tales. Never held hands, kissed, anything, in public. My choice on that one, oddly. Just felt odd. Hung out, bullshitted, talked video games and books. Mildly worried, I think, that I would fall for him. Later went to ask me out, relationship-style. Verbally cockblocked him before he could get it out and imbalance our friendship.

Hardwood Floors, Hollywood, poet, server, bartender. Hot. Beyond hot. Rarely talked on the phone, rarely emailed, no IM. Would meet up, do dinner, breakfast, lunch, hold hands, kiss, hug, screw our brains out. He didn't seem to care or worry about others, or about me falling for him. He understood the game.

Blond and Studly, unemployed hotbody in Orange County. He could have been professionally hot. Beautiful man. Hung perfectly. His whole body was art. Meet up, cuddle, kiss, would never go out in public. He knew my reputation, wasn't worried about any emotional developments on my end. Could not understand why I wasn't pursuing him. The only reason I ever spent the night there was because sex would end up lasting until 5AM and I'd need to crash before driving anywhere.

SFPlayboy, nutritionist, occasional accountant, San Fran resident, PUA. We do not see each other enough. Can't believe it's been almost a year. He is comfortable enough to play the boyfriend role. Complete access, complete comfortability, complete faith in my ice-princess being. Well, now. He wasn't always. Grocery shopping, meeting friends, cuddling, teasing, cooking together.

Five different men. Five very different levels of comfortability.

And me. With my lack of boundaries, and constantly needing to remember that others have them.

It's work. It's a hell of a lot of work.

It wasn't work with GV8. I asked him, PDAs? And he basically required them, needed them. No boundaries. No worries. Relaxation. Physical enjoyment. Mutual understanding.

So we woke up this morning to the alarm on his cellphone going off. Sounded like Jamaica was trying to wake him. Curled up into his body, softly rolling my hips, running my hands over his torso, up his neck, cresting the back of his skull, lips against his brow. Thirty minutes of touching while he dozed in and out.

In the shower, he scrubbed my back. Suprising, but good.

Coffee, sitting in the shade under an oversized umbrella, talking. Me, trying to determine where our public boundaries were set. Failing to do so.

See, I have this issue. If I'm regularly or semi-regularly sleeping with someone, I generally like them. Okay, I always like them. Otherwise, I wouldn't be sleeping with them. So I like to spend time with them, show them things I think they'll like.

But then, more often than not, they think I'm doing more than that.

Which leaves me sitting there going, "Uh... no. You like X. This is like X. So I wanted to show you this. Because I like you. Because I like it when you're happy. Because this will make you happy. This logic thing... it's working out for you, right?"

Anyhow, back to our broadcast.

Unexpected kiss goodbye. Wasn't the smashed-up-against-one-of-our-vehicles-grinding-the-morning-away kiss, but it was still good. Helping with the boundaries.

And, right now, I can hear GV8 in my head. Telling me to be who I am, do what I want to do, and stop trying to please everyone around me by conforming to their boundaries instead of asserting my own. Do what I want to do. But I hate making other people uncomfortable. And I know that how I am, sexually, is something uncommon enough to cause concern in the male populace. And I know I have more control than the male populace. And more experience. Which means I know that some guys get incredibly unnerved if you grab their hand in public. Or go to kiss them. They wig.

Because so many of them cannot combine a female they're fucking with a female that enjoys the affectionate things.

Example A: After the DP, Pseudonym Pending and I curled up in bed, cuddling, while The Broken Prince used the restroom. He came back, walked into the bedroom, took one look at us and said, "Oh no, no cuddling. DP is fine, but no cuddling. That's just weird."

He was genuinely disturbed by the idea. Pseudonym and I just looked at each other, with this kinda "WTF?" expression. You know the one. The one that someone would give you if a blue deer bounded through their living room being chased by a pack of baby pixies.

For some, it's probably a respect thing. Cuddling is for girlfriends, or for girls that you've had to seduce into your bed. Girls that require effort to get into their pants. They've earned the cuddling. If you're like me and you see someone you want, so you take, you don't usually get respect, at least until they get to know you. I suppose it's like cuddling with a prostitute. You're laying in bed going, "Why the hell does this chick have her head on my chest? Doesn't she know I'm here for the sex? Isn't she supposed to be without emotions or need for non-sexual physical contact?"

It is what it is.

I am what I am.

It's not a lack of respect for myself. It's a lack of respect for the social rules defined by insitutions that I don't agree with and a love for sex and physical contact.

I don't know where Pseudonym's boundaries are.

And maybe I should do what GV8 advised: assert my own boundaries. Be who I want to be. Stop molding myself to the desires of whichever man I'm with at the time. I am not going to spend the rest of my twenties as a single girl conforming to other people's desires, taking lovers that only satisfy me in one way. I only have so much time. I'm a pleaser, true, but others can please in return.

Anyhow, it's nearly ten. I need to be up at six or so. Eight hours is my minimum and this week, with the holiday, is going to be killer. My industry is going to be insane for the next three days, so I better be functional.

Also, completely unrelated sidenote, MAC Cosmetics' holiday collection, the pigment set "Sexpot" is an absolute dream. I love that company's products so much. I might get a second one, just in case. Beautiful.


  1. I had an ex- who did nothing but try and please me, to do what I wanted.

    I found it uncomfortable because I never knew where I stood with her. Was she doing things because she wanted to, or because she liked me?

    It was very difficult to trust her because I never knew if the things she was saying or doing was because she wanted them or because they were what I wanted to hear.

    As a pleaser myself, I've also been on the other end.

    The problem I've found is either a) they person falls in love with the person they think you are or b) mistrust you because they aren't sure where you're coming from.

    I also found when I was in the pleasing role, it was really easy to either slip into resentment or a vague disrespect because they were so easily 'played' (don't know if that's the word I want to use, but it's the one that's coming out).

    It's very difficult to make good choices in a relationship when you don't know who the other person is, let alone where they stand.

  2. Dan,

    You're exactly right. One of the reasons C makes me so comfortable is that she is always exactly herself and is always willing to say when something bothers her. Others... not so much.

    It's the fear of rejection, ultimately. Showing someone you love and respect who you are and knowing that they may reject you for it, and how that will make you feel about yourself.

    But, talking with GV8, it looks like I'm really going to have to work on being myself.