Saturday, July 25, 2015

One Five Zero: Callers

I found a meme on-line not so long ago that showed a girl sleeping on a couch and clutching an empty liquor bottle. The text was in the voice of a guy sleeping on the floor by the couch. It explained that the girl had drunkenly come by his rooms and wanted to have sex. As much as he wanted to, and as much as she asked, he refused, since she couldn't give actual consent, and enthusiastic, knowing consent was the requirement any decent human being would demand before having sex.

I looked at the meme for a while and thought about something. The last two times young companions have come by my rooms, the scenario was exactly that: a young companion who'd had a few drinks, there at my door with the intention of being taken to bed. The second time, the last time, the girl had very literally climbed a gate to come up and surprise me, bottle of Jameson's in her hand. Did I take them to bed? Yes. It would never have occurred to me not to. 

I do want to be very clear about that. It would never have occurred to me not to. A lovely girl who's put some effort into getting here, who's summoned me down to the gate or actually climbed over? Let's not be ridiculous. I felt...honoured. Amazed, too, that the second one had climbed that gate. I'd done that once myself when I'd misplaced my keys, and it took a bit of real effort. Needless to say, there's also the obvious saying about gift horses. And wouldn't saying No to a girl who'd made the effort to get here be taken as a dismissal, a rejection that she'd remember and hold against me later?

Let's be clear. The mornings-after weren't awkward or filled with recriminations or regrets. Hangovers, yes. There was instant coffee (the instant Cafe Vienna that a bachelor gentleman has in a half-empty pantry) and Tylenol, but nothing awkward. 

In the age of the gender wars, what does it say that I never for a moment considered saying No to either girl? 

I grew up in an era when much (maybe most) sex seemed to involve drink or drugs. From my later high school days through graduate school, sex in my own life usually involved drinks or something like designer psychedelics. For both people involved. Sex in those days was something that happened after parties, after dance club nights. It was part of nights spent in places with drinks and people doing drugs in the bathrooms, part of the progression of the evening. It's hard for me to come up with an exact analogy here, but in those days I'd have thought that separating sex out from the party or club scene was like...separating out a course from a dinner? Why would you want to? 

Sex in those days seemed like something still half-forbidden and all the more exciting because of it. It was connected with adventures, with defying rules and norms. It was connected with losing one's daytime, superego self. It was connected with places and times--- bars, dance clubs, parties, risky locales ---that were about losing control and just seeking out experience. Being drunk or high was a way to do that--- lose control, shut down the hectoring parental voices in your head. 

We're not supposed to do that any more, though. We're never supposed to lose control, and the superego has been rebooted to be about ideology rather than morality--- its voice now warns of power and patriarchy rather than sin. Sex, we were once told, was about carefully-restricted social and religious norms, not something done for excitement and adventures. Now it's that sex is something that has to conform to fears about power and "privilege", something that has to be grudgingly indulged in only after tedious negotiation between robot lawyers. It still can't be something about adventure and excitement, about living in films or novels.

So...where are we? Yes, I let both girls in and took them to bed. That they showed up a bit drunk was...part of the game, part of being inside a film or novel, and part of what made the two nights fun. It made the one girl climbing the gate even more impressive. Was there ever a moment on those two nights when I'd have considered saying No because they'd been drinking? That would never have crossed my mind. I suppose I'm fine if that makes me Evil. That's part of my charm, after all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

One Four Nine: Sad Comedy

There's a truly hilarious, albeit sad, post at for 13 July 15 that's worth reading---- called something like "Anal Sex Destroyed My Relationship". It's worth your consideration. I'm not at all sure what to think of the girl who's the author. Her pose in writing the story is that she's now married and looking back on the awful experiences of her younger days. That's a risky pose, and one that can be both painful and cruel. 

Here's the story. It's New Year's Eve, and the girl is with her boyfriend at a hotel in Manhattan. Girl is expecting (or desperately hoping, it sounds like) a marriage proposal, since it's NYE, but on the night when she expects a ring, her boyfriend instead asks if they can do anal. She's always regarded having sex at all in a relationship as shameful, as something vile she has to do to keep a man around and move things along to marriage. That's what her mother taught her, she writes. Even her more experienced sister agrees. Sex is what you have to do to get men to marry you. Anything more is shameful.

She's been dating her boyfriend for a while, and she does see sex as something that must lead somewhere. I don't necessarily think she thinks of England while enduring it all, but she's certainly horrified at his request. She tells herself, though, that it'll make him want to propose, so...she does it. And...things go bad. 

Neither of them has done this before, it seems, and by her account they both seem to be less than capable of figuring out the procedures. (In their mid/late 20s? Never? That's the saddest part of all.) Anyway, Bad Things ensue. Her boyfriend ends up in shower angrily cleaning himself off and telling her how disgusted he is. He ditches her immediately. You saw that coming, didn't you?

She now loathes herself for submitting to a "degrading" act and is angry and bitter she didn't get a ring out of the deal. It's Bad Comedy all the way round. Though there were a surprising number of comments by female readers who told the author that she was a fool, that no man who ever thought a girl worth marrying would ask her to do...that. Oh, I know--- Never Read The Comments. But still...this is just Bad Comedy. 

I have no idea what to make of the story or of the comments. I can't imagine that two educated, middle-class Americans in the teens of the century haven't done that before. I can't imagine that two educated, intelligent people couldn't work out what to do with a little joint planning--- or at least do some quick research on their smartphones. 

I certainly can't comprehend the attitudes here. She's angry that he'd ask for such a vile thing, and angry at how he treated her afterwards. I can follow her halfway on that--- the second half. She had every right to be angry at what he did afterwards. But being angry at him for asking? That leaves me blank. He behaved very badly afterwards; no question about that. A gentleman tries to live by old, old advice: function in disaster, finish with grace. Part of that is never, never treating a young lady who's offered up her favours with anything other than politeness and gratitude. Especially if things hadn't worked well.

I have nothing but contempt for the commenters who claimed that no man ever wants to marry a girl who'll do anal sex. The comments about how a man who cares for a girl would never ask her to do something so degrading and disgusting are just...beyond my ken. I'm baffled, too at her own self-loathing about having sex and at her belief that doing this with him would lead to marriage. Of course, she was already crushed and angry even before his request, since she'd gone out with him that NYE fully expecting a ring. I don't see anywhere in her story that he'd been hinting that he was planning a proposal that night. That's delusional, and it is sad.

I've never had a problem with doing that. I knew the act existed long before I had any chance to try it. It was something filed away from the French s/m novels I'd read--- something I always wanted to try with a lovely girl, and something I assumed would be part of any affair between two over-bookish people who wanted to be daring and decadent. It's something I asked girls to do in my lost youth and my undergraduate days, and they almost inevitably agreed. Part of that was the desire to be transgressive, part of it was a very simple desire to explore new things, part of it was (I suppose) a generational thing where when you did sex, you tried everything on the smorgasbord of possibilities. I can recall girls laughing about trying it and shrugging and saying sure, why not? I can recall girls pointing a warning finger at me and reminding me to go slow. But I can't remember anyone ever panicking about how it was a degrading act or a way of humiliating her. I don't recall it as having some huge emotional fraught-ness about it.  

Would I have laughed at the couple if they'd been on reality TV? Yes, I'd have laughed. It's Bad Comedy--- the inept fumbling, the boy frantically soaping himself in the shower, the girl bitterly wondering where her engagement ring was. But it's sad, too. Sad that she was taught that sex was disgusting except as a way to get a man to marry you. Sad that so late in life she still felt that way and that by her mid/late 20s she hadn't tried perfectly ordinary variations. Sad that the boyfriend was a jerk about it all--- and that they couldn't laugh about it, order room service champagne, and try again later, or at least try what they liked later. 

Oh, and it's no less sad that the author is writing a couple of years later from a place where she boasts that she now has a good man who married her and expects nothing sexual from her that might be...vile. (Yes, I wonder what he must think about when he reads that) 

The commenters are less sad than appalling, mind you. Their own attitudes about men and sex are alien to me. I don't find the act disgusting or an assertion of power over some helpless girl. I can't imagine looking down on someone who's done that with me. Reject a girl because she's had some particular kind of sex with me? That's an attitude that I can't begin to deal with. The girls I've loved in my life have all been willing to explore things, to take risks in bed, to regard exploration as good for its own sake. 

Well, Bad Comedy. Though I'd be interested to hear what you think of it all. If you're reading this, tell me what you think. Are there acts and variations you find inherently disgusting? What are your own thoughts on exploration? there ever any reason to be disgusted simply by exploration? 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

One Four Eight: The Forest Of Dean

Let me call your attention to a piece at the Telegraph website--- a piece dated 07 July 15 by Rowan Pelling called "When It Comes To Group Sex, We British Have No Style". It's reasonably funny, and it does make a lot of the points I've been making here. It doesn't focus on the KK parties or any other putatively high-end venues; it talks about some kind of lower-middle-pretending-to-be-upmarket wife-swapping festival called "Swingfields":

After 19 years gentle study of the erotic habits of the British, I can safely say one thing: we are hopeless at orgies. Parisians have upmarket échangiste clubs, with suited doormen, trompe l’oeil murals and velvet banquettes . North Americans have the vitality of San Francisco bath houses to cherish, as well as the touchy-feely excesses of certain jewel-hued marquees at Burning Man. Venetians have their masked revels with a backdrop of medieval splendour. Meanwhile, back here in Blighty, we have Swingfields: a motley collection of caravans, tents and portaloos in a field in Gloucestershire.

Pelling's take on life amongst the swingers is horrifying:

The residents of the nearby village of Flaxey, in the Forest of Dean, have complained bitterly about the noise. As well they might. Anyone who ever had to endure a day wandering around the now defunct Erotica fair at Olympia will know that the alternative sexual lifestyle brigade have a mysterious fondness for the sort of pump-and-grind techno-beat that makes a lap-dance at Stringfellow’s look subtle.

If I were a Flaxey local, however, I would complain to the parish council about Swingfields’ lack of style. A quick look at the website yields one unappetising photo of small garish rugs dotted around an exceptionally grubby striped tent, like yoga mats for wife-swapping exercises. In the site’s midst stands a forlorn-looking Routemaster bus, acting as temporary bar. The effect is disconcerting, like catching sight of Dame Judi Dench in a brothel.

Browsing through the Frequently Asked Questions section meanwhile, I found that, in answer to the perennial conundrum, “How can I identify people’s preferences?”, the organisers had replied: “This year at The Lodge stall you can pick up plastic coloured wristbands that indicate preferences.”  

The phrase yoga mats for wife-swapping exercises is as depressing as anything you'll ever find. And the techno music idea is just...appalling. 

I suppose it could be worse. There might be "erotica" festivals in Frankfort KY or Texarkana. Country-western erotica and wife-swapping. That's...dear God. And it could be in Berlin, I suppose. Can we just note that naked Germans engaged in group sex would be...a singularly cheerless and graceless occasion? 

Germans, like Americans and Brits, really have no competence at group sex. (The Japanese, on the other hand, would be hyper-competent, but in some really, really disturbing and micromanaged way.) The Pelling article describes the Swingfields event as "more Benny Hill than Fanny Hill", which is almost--- almost ---funny. The event is noted as: Instead of off-duty naked supermodels, it was all portly men displaying button mushrooms round the indoor pool....  [I]t was like, “a cheese and wine party from hell, only naked”.

No. We will not even begin to imagine Australian group sex. There are images that even I won't consider. 

Once again, of course, this puts me off from ever pursuing erotica parties in real life--- even if, arguendo, I'd be allowed in such places. I know I'd never be allowed in a KK party If sex isn't class-aspirational and literary, then it's nothing. I'm not dealing with anything that isn't, well, literary. Or anything that's aesthetically displeasing. 

I have a friend in London Town I must ask about these things. She's been to high-end sex parties as both staff and guest, and I'd like her opinion on such things as "Swingfields"--- an event that seems to combine the worst features of both rock festivals and mass-tourism erotica. 

Perhaps there won't be any sort of sex parties that will ever live up to literary expectations. But I regard that as a failure of the concrete world and its inhabitants, not as a failure of the imagination.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

One Four Seven: Hypochondria

There are fears that I've been developing. I'm not sure where they've come from, really, but they're there.

This is a summer when I wish there were new and intriguing things in the realms of romance and sex to write about. I haven't found any new issues to consider, and that does bother me. Am I running out of energy and interest in sex and romance, or is it just that this summer is a lull? In a better world, there would be lovely young girls asking me questions or suggesting topics for me to write about. In this world, though, I seem to be left on my own.

I seem to be developing fears I haven't experienced before, and they are paralyzing. I've been afraid of things before. That much is true. I went through a phase of being afraid to fly that kept me trapped in a single city for a long time.  I got over that, of course.  I overcame that fear the simplest way in the world--- a lovely young girl summoned me to another city, and she told me we had a room booked in a hip hotel. What else could I do but pack a weekend bag and drive to the airport?

The new fears are as paralyzing as my old fear of flying, though. I'm now deeply, deeply afraid of my own body. I'm afraid of my body betraying me, of the flesh itself betraying me and leaving me open to derision and revulsion.

I'm afraid to go out to dinner. Let's start there. I won't go out with a girl if dinner is involved. I'm terrified that I'll be stricken with some kind of gastric upset--- the most humiliating and disgusting of all fleshly failures. I'm afraid of all the things that my body can do to drive away a girl I might be with.

There are failures that the Blue Pill might overcome. I recognize those, and I recognize my age.  But those aren't the failures that leave me paralyzed.

I'm afraid of flesh right now. I'm afraid of all the gastric problems and upsets that would leave me no choice but to flee any girl I might be with. I'm afraid of anything that symbolizes bodily decay, that symbolizes the failures of the body. I can imagine myself before a rendezvous--- scrubbing my skin over and over, using any chemical means I could find to make sure that my internal processes are tamed, controlled, silenced, halted.

I remain terrified of what my body could do to humiliate me in front of a lovely girl. If I had a date tonight, I'd be taking pills to put it back under my control. No, again, not the Blue Pill. Other things, other issues. The things the Blue Pill is designed to correct don't leave me that afraid, really. I have other skills that could make up for that--- I do tell myself that.

I can see myself scrubbing my skin 'til it bleeds. I can see myself taking pills and using chemical treatments to keep my body from betraying me. But I can't see those things working. I can't see those things making my body anything I'd trust to be seen or touched by a lovely girl. I could never ask a lovely girl to touch anything as contemptible as my flesh.

This is hypochondria; I know that. But that knowledge doesn't stop me from wanting to scrub and cleanse and use whatever chemicals I can find to make sure that my body isn't something that will betray me, that will make girls turn away in disgust.

So--- let's say that we're trapped inside by fear of gastric upset and decaying, putrefying flesh, by fear of being found...unclean. Let's say that we can't go out, that we can't risk being seen or touched. Let's say that these are fears that aren't going away.