Can’t sleep and some thoughts hit me. Since I’m already up I can either let them spin around for hours and keep me awake, or I can quickly jot them down and then go to bed.
Not sure where to start, but I’ll lead off with this…
I hate people
Okay, I don’t really. I care about people and will try to make someone feel better, help out strangers, protect the weak, etc… It’s just that I really like my quiet time. I like time where there is nobody around me, I’ve got a hot cup of black coffee, some music is playing (or the sounds of Nature is coming through the window), some incense, and a stack of books. I value this a lot. Or a hike in the woods. I can go hiking with people, but rarely is it as good as when I’m alone. When it’s me I can set my own pace. I can stop and watch things that bore other people (ants, slugs, salamanders, ravens, etc…) or I can take random trails and not worry about getting lost.
I’m an introvert. I work shit out in my head. If you ask for my opinion, the harder it is, or more charged it is, or more important it is, the longer my silence. This is excruciating to extraverts that I’ve dated who want to talk and want me to talk. I don’t mind talking, but I can’t rattle off ideas. I’ve got to try to be precise with a meaning. They get silence from me which is me trying to think. When introverts deal with people we have to read body language, tone of voice, conversation points, logic of the overall discussion, and so on. Most of the time we tune out because the world around us is engaged in small talk. We don’t give two shits about small talk. We are fine if nobody talks to us at a party (really) and would rather not talk to someone than engage in dumb small talk. It is draining for us to engage in small talk, or answer queries if we’re okay or depressed, when we just aren’t interested in 99% of the things people are talking about. Give us a deeper conversation and you’ll find that we will talk until the cows get off the graveyard shift and come home. We do, however, engage in small talk and frivolous interactions often because we’ve learned that these are valued by other people, that it communicates interest to them. So we plug in. Connect. Unplug. And continue our day as introverts.
Where’s the sex? I’m getting to it.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been vociferous against the term friendzone. I’ve claimed that to be a friend was itself its own reward. However, the term has a meaning in context, and that context is what I’m thinking about now. Friendzoned is when a male is friends with a female, with whom he would like to have sex with (or a romantic relationship), but where the female does not want sex/romance at all. The male is thus stuck in the friend zone.
This is problematic for a couple of reasons, which I’m not really all that interested in looking at, as I reject a lot of the underlying premises. But, to simply put things, it claims that males are always out for sex and objectify women as such. For the male to objectify his friend as such, he shows himself as the pig that men, or male culture, is said to be.
That’s where I call bullshit. It follows a line of thinking that is out there, perpetuated by a variety of sources. Again. Bullshit.
In working bars you get to have a lot of conversations (as an introvert I deal with it by staying busy if possible). One conversation was from a beautiful woman who said that guys can’t be friends with her because they only want to fuck her. This is a cousin to the question can a man and a woman just be friends, usually asked with taglines of coworkers or the like. What the belief shows is that the woman, and she is not the only one, perpetuates a false dichotomy. A male is either interested in sex with you, or he wants to be your friend, but those are the only reasons he is friendly toward a woman he thinks is attractive.
But why is this the choice? Why must I choose between the two? Of the women that I’ve had sex with, many are my friends. I value their friendships and pursue such with them for that. Some of them I am attracted to and we’ve had sex. The two aren’t mutually exclusive. There have been women that I don’t want to be friends with but with whom I’ve had sex with. Because I have sex with a woman doesn’t mean I don’t want to be friends with her. For me the Venn Diagram is mostly overlap.
Somewhere in this mix is the idea that to be attractive to a woman is to objectify her is to devalue her is to limit what she is. I don’t get that. If you are interacting with a person that devalues you. Stop. But confuse my attraction as nothing but objectifying? Sexual attraction IS objectification at some level. I know a woman that holds advanced degrees, is a warm, caring human being, is funny and witty, has accomplished great things in her career, and more. I value knowing her as a friend. I value having her in my corner. I value our discussions about a variety of things. I’ve also noticed her hips, neckline, breasts, smoothness of skin, pouty lips, corner of her smile, the small of her back, the press of her nipples through a shirt… I notice all these things. I notice this all around me. I see beautiful women everywhere. But I’ve been told by some that to even notice these on women is the same as seeing them as only that, as a collection of body parts. That is an impoverished view, for both the women that believe this, and the men that see only this. My friend is all these things and more. She is a universe unto herself.
Back to hating people. I try to not suffer fools. I don’t go out for the sake of going out. I don’t party just to party. I don’t have friends to fill a void. I have friends because I met them and thought they were amazing. If I make time out of my life to go have coffee with you, it is because I value you and I want to hear what is going on in your life. I’m not interested in the weather. I don’t give a damn about what happened in some gossip circle. I want to talk about your life, my life, our hopes, our dreams, our goals, and so on. These are the friends that I have. It is a connection.
Sex. I may concede that perhaps I’m not the norm, or perhaps I’m an odd duck. But sex is a form of intimacy for me. Occasionally I’ve had sex for the sake of it, a standard run of the mill one night stand. But I can count them on one hand. The other, probably over a hundred, were all some sort of connection for me. I saw someone that I wanted to get closer to, experience, and connect with. Sex for me isn’t about bases, or scores, or conquests, or the like. I want to make a connection.
Listening to people talk around me, either I am a rarity in this, or nobody else talks about this. I’ve turned down lots of sex where I felt the other person was emotionally vulnerable, rebounding from something, not ready to connect to someone, or under the influence of something. I won’t have sex with a drunk woman unless it was clear that we were having sex before intoxication.
One woman I dated (briefly) posed a hypothetical question to me. Would you have sex with someone you just met? I asked some clarifying questions. Is she sober? Is she mentally sane? Is she willing and attracted to me? Is she completely consensual? Is she healthy? Is she someone that I’m attracted to? If so, then yes I would. My gf was shocked, unhappy, and pretty disappointed. I did not understand her discomfort and try as I might, I could not understand her stance. Though she never game me reasons other than it’s wrong.
This is what has appealed to me about polyamory, not to be confused with swinging. I’m more interested in the connection aspect and sex is, for me, a vehicle of connection. Polyamory is explicit in clear communication, sex as not dirty or sinful, but natural and something that consenting adults do that can be powerful aids in connection and bonding. Unfortunately, some people think that if someone is open to polyamory, then they cannot be faithful to someone should they become monogamous, or that such a person cannot really love someone. This is, again, bullshit. It may very well be that having met one person you lose desire for connection with others. I’ve felt that. Who hasn’t? But open yourself up to the possibility and you might be surprised how easy it would be to connect with another person. And love? Yeah, that doesn’t diminish with one person because you express it with another. That’s quite odd thinking to me.
Our discussion about sex has become weird. Sex is dirty. Oppressive. Sinful. Controlling. About power. Abusive. Defaming. Limiting. Want to have some fun? Ask the next group of people you’re with if it should be legal for sex workers to work. Prostitution. Hold on to your hats. The things I just listed are your bingo card. Yell bingo when you get all five. But why can’t sex and be fun? Why can’t someone work in the sex industry as a choice? There is a porn star that I admired for her brains before I ever saw a porn of her. She must be forced into that line of work, or desperate, or the like. But she holds an advanced degree in engineering. She chose to become a porn star. Why not?
This isn’t to say there isn’t abuse, power, control, and more that is found in sex work. I used to work in strip clubs as well. There’s a lot of stupid shit going on in the clubs. But there is a lot of good stuff to. The human body is amazing and I particularly think that the female form is one of the most beautiful things on the planet. Some strip clubs may be dens of drugs and violence. But is this a representation of the sex itself? Or how social norms have pushed it to the fringes? Even though gay men are more accepted now than before, there is still such pressure against them that many men are forced to go to less than desirable places to find a way to meet other men. The emotional strain on them to get to that point is amazing. So many voices around them telling them that they are wrong. What would it look like if nobody really gave a shit who fucked who? What if it were completely acceptable for anyone to express a desire to go out with anyone else?
Hey… wanna go have a coffee? I’m also attracted to you…. would you like to come to my place?
That’s very nice of you. I’m fine with just the coffee, however.
This is where some assholes lose it. You aren’t owed jack shit. If I go to coffee with you twice, you don’t owe it to me to go to coffee a third time. If we go out for 3 times, you don’t owe me sex. That is just stupid shit. Can we do away with this? We have this system because we don’t know how to ask for, or say no to, sexual advances. As I was talking to a guy recently, if he tries to initiate a sexual connection with a friend and she says no, that means they can’t be friends anymore. He assumes this is how she’ll react because this is what everyone is saying is the norm. It isn’t. Women want to have sex. Men want to have sex. Let’s work it out. If you don’t? Fine.
Sex isn’t sinful. I don’t believe in sin. The puritan notions concerning sex have done more harm than good. Time to rip these out of our social norms and begin teaching new ones. Time to teach what consent really means. Hint, it isn’t no means no, because that isn’t the message we’re told. Women operate under double bind where they have to say no at first so they aren’t thought of as a slut. But that’s bullshit. Fuck when you want to fuck. Instead of no means no, I like how some groups practice everything is no, except for an enthusiastic yes. It is really similar, but it enforces a culture against slut shaming.
Okay, that is enough rambling. I’m sure there isn’t any coherent logical structure to this. It was mostly stream of consciousness writing. Maybe now I can go to sleep.