Wednesday, November 18, 2009


Last night I had a dream that has me contemplative today. I dreamt that I demanded of a man that his ass was mine, and he agreed. He was scared, and I promised to use my smallest strap-on, but he knew that I wouldn't hurt him. I woke up rather aroused.

Anal penetration is a scary thought to many people. I've only done it to one man, my husband, and I rather enjoy it. I enjoy giving manual and oral stimulation as foreplay, but not so much as an alternative to PIV sex. Then again, it's rare for me to be satisfied by only receiving manual or oral stimulation as well.

I can understand the fear. My first experiences of receiving anal penetration were extremely pleasurable. I will admit that my first time was not a time of full consent, as I was not asked, and lacked the imagination to dream that it was going to happen. Romance novels really don't detail anal sex. It's taboo, and that's where I learned much of what I knew about sex before having it. Truthfully, had I known his intentions, I would have been too squeamish and icked out to consent, and I would not have learned about how good it can feel.

I'm glad I had a pleasurable initiation to anal sex, because JRS and MZ would have completely ruined it for me. They taught me that anal sex hurts. Ramming in through tight muscles only causes pain and injuries. Rather than pleasure, the repeated thrusting causes irritation. It sucks.

Happily, my husband knows how to ease his way in, to ensure that there is adequate foreplay and lubrication to make sure that it only feels good. I used to tense up some, and now I don't. Talking through the initial penetration helps greatly. Anal penetration requires control, gentleness, and slowness.

Unlike that produced by vaginal sex, the anus does not produce its own lubrication. I've noticed throughout my life that fear, irritation, and discomfort can all cause me to produce lubrication. Wetness does not necessarily correlate with desire. Some guys tell themselves that because a woman was wet, that she must have wanted it, no matter how much she otherwise resisted. That idea is completely false. The vagina lubricates itself to prevent injury. Wet does not mean willing.

For example, I notice that my vagina lubricates itself during routine gynecological examinations, which are awkward and uncomfortable. I get no joy from them. I am not turned on by them. They are disconnected from sex. And yet I am wet because of them. It's protection, not desire.

The anus is injured through unwanted penetration (and clumsiness as well), and does not have a built in protective device. In my experience, anal rape is much more physically painful than vaginal rape. Emotionally, not so much.

And so I understand the fear of anal penetration, willing and unwilling. Done wrongly, it hurts like hell. Done wrongly, it can hurt for days.

And, having given anal penetration, I understand the joy of giving. When I'm doing it right, my husband is incapable of speech, can only moan and whimper his pleasure. It gives me a sense of power over him. And I understand that he feels a sense of power over me when I moan and whimper under him, but that power is mutual, because he also receives pleasure from being inside me.

And I'm a little sad that no one else has ever trusted me enough to try it with me.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Today the children have been difficult, refusing to abide by normal boundaries, testing limits, and then suddenly clinging close, needing affection. My patience is at its limit, and it's not even noon. I'm not sure what to do at this point. Sometimes children can be incredibly frustrating.

Somehow, I am supposed to cope, be able to cope, with only a nuclear family. It's too much to ask. I need more. But our culture says that needing more makes you a failure as a mother, a wife, and a woman.

I need more. If things were different, then I wouldn't feel that I have no one to call on for support, though I'm in a better enough place that I'm capable of reaching out today.

The last couple of weeks, my husband and I have admitted to and apologized for mistakes the both of us have made over the past few years. Of course, some mistakes are easier to rectify than others. Some mistakes are easier to admit than others. But confession is supposed to be good for your soul, right?

Writing isn't working so well for me today. I keep getting interrupted in the middle of sentences, and I am spending more time trying to remember which thought I wanted to continue than actually continuing anything. My husband and I are still struggling and still working on it.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Waking Up

Today I'm focusing on another Sark quote:

(page 19) “Choosing Succulence is a deliberate act of personal revolution. It means waking up! Embracing your true self, studying your patterns, and letting out your most alive self. We all have one!”

I've been struggling greatly lately, as depression has a hold over me. I think part of my struggle with depression at this point is realizing and recognizing that there are pieces of me that I don't particularly like.

I've recognized that I make excuses for the thoughtlessness of those I care about while condemning people I don't care about for the same mistakes. And when I recognize this trait in other people, it irritates the hell out of me.

I'm not even sure how to awaken and display my most alive self. Right now I have to remember daily that this too shall pass, that I will not be depressed forever, and that I will learn to be happy again.

I was on an anti-depressant, but I had to go off of it because it made the depression worse. It also caused my body to break out in acne, which seems like an insult to me. Now my skin has betrayed me? My skin is something I usually take pride in, but the acne itches and I don't like it. It seems to be going away now, but it's not very quick to leave.

I want my near-flawless skin back. I want to be content with all my pieces, even the ones that aren't very nice. I don't want to have to remind myself daily that things will get better, because I want things to be better now.

Guess I need to learn patience or else make my own miracle.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

A Question of Choice

Responding to “When Pregnancy Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Be Pregnant” by Tiloma Jayasinghe

This week, I plan to expound upon abortion. A friend of mine just found out that she needs one. She feels that she can't tell anyone, because of the stigma involved. She ended up having to tell her boss, and was surprised by how supportive and helpful her boss ended up being. Actually, I'm surprised she told me.

I find that I'm more sympathetic to women who don't want children after having children than I was before I had children. Pregnancy sucks. Chosen pregnancy sucks, because people have rather exacting expectations of pregnant women.

(page 266) “Women are expected to suddenly become paragons of virtue and self-denial during their pregnancies, forgoing sushi, caffeine, nicotine, unpasteurized cheese, tuna, alcohol, cleaning the cat’s litter box, etc. Other members of society feel quite free to censure a woman who breaks any of these taboos.”

I still remember, and resent, the woman who argued with me about the soda I chose to drink. How dare I have caffeine? Didn't I know it wasn't safe? Actually, it's quite safe, and it's MY choice to make. It's my body, my baby, and my choice. I didn't ask for her permission, and she had no right to censure me.

(page 267) “Pregnant women are also affected by the war on abortion. If the fetus is granted rights of personhood, then a woman’s right to choose not to become a mother, for health or personal reasons, will be eliminated; she and the doctor who performs abortions could be charged with murder. When fetal rights are elevated over the right of a woman to choose when she wants to become a mother, to determine the spacing of her children, and to make a private decision about what happens to her body, then she loses her ability to control her own body and her choices are supplanted by those of the state—the state can pretty much tell a woman that she will be forced to carry her pregnancy to term.”

If the state has control over women's bodies because they are pregnant, then pregnant women are denied the liberty that everyone else has.

My experiences in the labor and delivery rooms have left me convinced that most women have at least one unnecessary intervention or something forced upon her, be it electronic fetal monitoring (still not proven safer than non-continuous non-electronic monitoring), rupturing of membranes, or overly-aggressive nurses, or something.

I was pressured into an induction that I wasn't ready for and didn't particularly want. Considering that my baby was born perfectly healthy, I think that over-testing was the true problem. I had to have weekly non-stress tests because the baby's heartbeat did not appear to be normal. My theory is that the baby was asleep for all of them, and that the heartbeat was reflective of that. There was one non-stress test that we had to schedule at a different time, and that heartbeat fit the normal parameters perfectly. The nurse administering the non-stress tests remarked that it was like a whole different baby.

I suppose that I could have refused, but it's difficult to take such a stand. Some doctors even take pregnant women to court to force them to undergo procedures, like Cesarean sections, because it's "in the best interest of the child." But doctors aren't always right, and it's not always in the best interest of the child. But it definitely puts women in their place, now doesn't it?

I have also been prescribed bed rest while pregnant, which I was unable to follow. I did not have the child care necessary to allow me to stay in bed. I had to care for a toddler and was not eligible for disability, having been a stay-at-home mom. Had my inability to follow bed rest resulted in miscarriage, could that have been considered murder if unborn babies had personhood? Was I, by caring for the baby I had already borne, in fact committing child abuse on the one I was carrying by not following orders? It was a risk I had to take. I really didn't have another viable choice.

(page 269) “He could not see that the idea of someone else’s paternalistically taking away her choice to have sex, or to forgo birth control, or to become a mother, renders her not mentally sound, less than human.”

In the essay, this refers to a lawyer who cuts deals for women that include agreeing not to have children. Parole can be contingent on regular pregnancy tests, and becoming pregnant can result in parole being revoked. Women can go to jail simply because they're pregnant. That's a scary thought.

(page 270) “Anytime you try to limit the procreative rights of a class of people because its progeny are considered doomed, or a burden, or generally unwanted, it results in a slow genocide of the poor.”

My own mother thinks that all girls should be fit with something like an IUD or hormonal implants to prevent pregnancy until they can be licensed to have kids. If I had waited until I was ready or could afford to have children, I may still not be a mother. I'm not sure I would ever have felt truly ready. Even now, I sometimes feel inadequate as a mother.

(page 270) “It is really about controlling who reproduces, prohibiting women from having sex, and starting with the easy targets—the vulnerable and the marginalized.”

Some people would say that my friend who needs an abortion is wrong. That she had sex and now needs to pay the piper. That she got pregnant, and to not carry to term is murder. That if she wasn't willing to have a baby, then she shouldn't have had sex to begin with.

I've been luck enough not to need an abortion. The one time that I would have (I hope) chosen to have an abortion, to not tie myself to the man who raped me repeatedly by the bond of blood, nature took care of the problem for me. I did not feel remorse. I felt relief. I was shaken by my close-call, but I was thrilled not to have to deal with the problem.

My friend is in a much better relationship than I had been in. She recently changed birth control methods, and statistically there is a much, much greater chance of getting pregnant when you change birth control. But having sex should not ever be contingent upon wanting to have a baby. I currently do not want to have a baby, and I have sex. Sex is about pleasure, about connecting with another person intimately, about passion, and sometimes about love. Sometimes it results in conception, but that should not be followed by forced birth.

(page 271) “Sexuality is a form of power, so if women own their sexuality and their ability to be sexual creatures, then they are empowered in ways that society does not want them to be. Punishing women for certain outcomes of sexuality (pregnancy and giving birth) is in effect punishing them for having sex.”

In some ways, I don't own my sexuality. I am not public about enjoying multiple partners at once because I fear the consequences. I fear being named slut. I fear that if I ever experience sexual violence again, that I will be told it's my fault. I fear that my children will be shunned or ridiculed.

(page 271) “Women are just as human as everyone else, and simply because women become pregnant or have the capacity to become pregnant does not mean that we lose our humanity or our right to fundamental human rights, which include the right to say yes, I want to have sex, without fear, without punishment, without judgment.”

I have nothing but sympathy for my friend. She is making a difficult decision, and she already recognizes that some people will see her in a negative light should they find out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009


Today a Sark quote:

(page 17) “I am not always a positive person….Being ‘positive’ is a choice. I am flooded with the same doubts, terrors, insecurities, rages, incessant worries, and critical inner voices as everyone else—maybe more!”

I choose to be positive today, but first I have to figure out how to get out of my way. Hopefully it won't take long. Realistically, it'll probably take all day.

I'm struggling.

I thought I'd start the day building a puzzle, but making sense of the pieces spread out on my dining room table is too overwhelming right now.

So I answered email, and found myself overwhelmed at the task I gave myself, of revealing that a friend's actions (more accurately, lack thereof) were rather hurtful. It took me over half an hour to write approximately 6 sentences.

Maybe now that confronting unpleasantness has been taken care of, I'll be able to face the challenge of a jigsaw puzzle.

For now, I'm listening to music and doing my best to put my emotions into words.

I have decided to open an account on one of the web pages I visit and invite strangers to read my words. The thought is nearly overwhelming, as I worry that I'll be dismissed as self-indulgent. And then I realize, I have often not shared for similar reasons. I talk myself out of sharing all the time.

Last night at work, I dealt with a racist prank caller. The manager was ineffective in dealing with the jerk, and wanted to have a Black person answer the phone and deal with the bigot who claimed to be allergic to African Americans. So I took charge.

I answered the second phone call. I told the person that they were not to call again or that I would call the police, then politely but firmly got off the phone. That wasn't enough. They called back, so I told the person that they were incredibly offensive, to dunk their head in a toilet, and that I was going to call the police as soon as I got off the phone. I hung up as they scrambled, demanding that I not hang up.

I didn't call the police. We don't have caller ID, so it would have been pointless, but the bigot stopped calling after that.

I have trouble reconciling the thought that the target of someone's racist drivel should take care of the problem. I was plenty effective enough at getting the phone calls to stop, white girl that I am. Why add to my Black coworker's experience with racism, if I can step in and say enough is enough myself?

There is plenty of misery to go around, and I don't need to add to anyone else's misery by not taking care of a problem myself.

Now I'm going to work on a giant jigsaw puzzle and hope I'm no longer overwhelmed.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Truth, Consent, and Betrayal

Today I'm not responding to anyone else's work, instead I'm working on understanding pieces of the non-monogamous relationship I've been part of.

Not every aspect of our relationship was fully consensual. My husband and I agreed that unless we were in an otherwise exclusive relationship, a barrier method was necessary in order ensure that sex was as safe as possible. After all, not everyone who has an STD knows it, and it would be terrible to pass along an STD to the other.

My husband kept to that agreement. I didn't.

Early on, my lover asked that we forgo condoms, and despite my husband's protests to the both of us, I agreed. I could try to justify myself, but really I betrayed his trust and our agreement, and that is that.

There have been some pretty dire consequences to that decision. I switched birth control a couple of times, settled on the pill because I knew my husband and I would be trying for a baby soon, and, after several abrupt schedule changes/holidays, was unable to be as consistent as necessary to prevent pregnancy. I got pregnant at roughly the time my lover left town for an extended time, a couple of weeks before my husband and I planned trying.

I was pregnant, and paternity was in question. That was NOT supposed to happen. I felt like a whore.

Because of the uncertainty and because I had drank heavily the first few weeks of pregnancy, before we officially started trying, my husband and I discussed abortion. We quickly rejected that option.

The uncertainty took a toll on our relationship, and the baby's birth did not answer the paternity question with absolute certainty. The baby was slightly overdue, which we kind of expected, and was darker than previous babies. Of course the person the baby most resembles is me. Blood type was no help either, as my husband and my lover share the same one.

Eventually, because the uncertainty continued taking a toll on our relationship, we got a paternity test. It was unable to exclude my husband as the father, which in DNA test parameters meant that unless my lover shared the same genetic markers as my husband, then my husband was indeed the father.

A couple of years later, a routine PAP smear came back irregular, revealing that at some point in my life I contracted HPV. I felt incredibly dirty.

Because HPV can take years to result in an abnormal PAP and can be passed without symptoms, I will never know for certain when I contracted it, or from whom.

A simple apology is not enough in cases like these.

I fully accepted the blame for my part in betraying my husband. My lover and I did not have his consent for forgoing condoms.

My counselor has revealed that I have a pattern of taking on too much responsibility, and that I should trust others to take on their share too. So now the question remains: how much responsibility for this betrayal has my lover taken? I'm not the only one who did wrong.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Responding to “The Buried Yes” by Minnie Bruce Pratt.

If this is disjointed, filled with strange or abrupt transitions, so be it. I don't care about that.

(page 409) “Now she and I dance one dance, no spark with her except the thrill of asking for that dance by choice, not by default.”

Today I'm dancing with myself. I keep having images of child-me curled up in a corner. Most of the time, I see child-me backstage, and I proceed to have her leap and bound, nearly flying, in the spotlight. It's how I manage to replace my mask, no matter what's bothering me.

But last night, when I didn't have to deal with anyone else, when I didn't need my mask, mommy-me hugged child-me close, murmuring that everything is going to be all right. Everything is going to be fine. Lean on me and rest; I'll carry you while you're tired.

It's been a long time since I went dancing with anyone else, and I kind of miss it. But right now, I don't have the defenses. When I've gone dancing, I've danced for myself. I'm usually the one who asks, the one wades out onto the floor alone, not caring for anything but the music. Do I look good? Do I look stupid? I don't care. The point is the music, feeling it, letting it flow through me. I ask both people I truly want to dance with and random standers-by. Next time around, I need to give myself permission to ask women too.

(page 409) “I don’t know how to articulate what I can see, an enticing vista, what it might be like to talk among ourselves without always having to answer the men, or reassure them.”

The last time I started having an interesting conversation with another woman in a taxi-cab, the male cab driver felt completely free to butt in. It offended me to the point that I doubt I'll use that cab company again. It completely derailed the conversation.

Right now, I'm spending so much time maintaining the masks I need to wear to function in this world, that I don't have the energy to reassure anyone else. I can respond as reassuring mommy to my children, but that's about it.

My vision last night was of free falling into a cloudbank. At first I didn't have a parachute, but then I had a bright pink one. I knew it'd deploy before I got hurt. I knew that it would lift me high once again, that I wouldn't crash land. I can't see rock bottom, but I have faith that I'll land safely.

I'm not sure how I got in the sky. I guess it really doesn't matter. Maybe I followed the butterflies. Maybe I jumped out of the tower. I don't know.

(page 411) “Later a NOW member reprimands me: it’s unnecessary to push lesbians on the audience. A year before she had been upset when she learned I was a lesbian; she was offended that I had not trusted her enough to tell her. She’d said abruptly, ‘Being afraid to tell me is your problem, not mine.’”

I've been debating coming out to those less close to me as depressed, but haven't yet. My husband openly worries about me. It's not helpful. I'm big enough, strong enough, stubborn enough to hold on to myself. I can't deal with the worries of others right now. I have to function with all my worries, while mothering my children and fulfilling work responsibilities.

At the same time, I understand where the worry comes from. Will I be strong enough if I have suicidal ideations or urges? Will I, like my mother's brother whom I never met, take my own life, not thinking of my children in the next room? But I am a MOTHER, and I overcame many many urges to drive off bridges or cut myself while growing up. I learned the trick of holding on just another second, just another minute, just another hour, just another day.

I don't want to see that worry on anyone else's face. I will get through this, because I'm too damned stubborn not to.

I've realized that people who think that they're easy to talk to or who think that anyone's fear of talking about certain subjects is completely unjustified are delusional. Communication takes community. Communication takes trust. Rather than be offended that the trust isn't there, what would be helpful is to question the bigger picture. Why would someone hesitate to trust, just in general? Is there a pattern of failed trusts? Have you, intentionally or not, betrayed a trust already?

The woman in the quote above, claiming that the lack of trust was not her problem, was not worthy of trust.

(page 411) “I say, ‘We don’t know you; we don’t want to talk to you.’ Put barbed wire up between me and the intrusive hand that fondles, that rips, that pats and then slaps. Wrap my body in barbed wire when I go out in public, unwind it at night to be with my lover, both of us drinking to numb the pain that tracks across our arms, our breasts, our thighs. When we fight, sometimes she mocks me. ‘You are so queer.’ I wonder what kind of woman I would be past these boundaries. Maybe someone naked in a silk robe. The contours of my body shift as fluid as the fabric, skin flexible as silk. How much of a man would I be, how much of a woman? Who would I lie naked with, slipping off the robe of my skin?”

I wear air. I wear aloofness. I wear broken glass. I wear the promise of not putting up with it.

I don't want to be approached or talked to most of the time, especially when I'm in the midst of my customer service job.

And when I'm out enjoying myself, it doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk to random people, especially men. It's my choice if I respond to you, and I may very well not.

But when I do want to be approached, I wear velvet. But it's not always the same velvet. Sometimes it's thick and heavy, reinforced with bone. Sometimes its clingy and warm. Sometimes it wraps around you and pulls you closer. Sometimes it pushes you away.