Talk is Cheap

I had the wonderful opportunity to tell a story with the subject matter of “Orgasms” for the Miss Spoken story series this past Wednesday.  It was a lot of fun despite the fact that it had me out of my element for a couple reasons:

1. I have never performed my work before.

2. I don’t typically write abut my sex life.

My best friend and I have had many long conversations about why I don’t talk about my sex life. Her argument is that I have A LOT of stories, and that people would really gear towards them. With the rise of Amy Schumer’s brand of humor, it’s clear that the masses seem to want a confident female that can “fuck like a guy,” and bring to light on a global level how messed up modern womanhood is. As a sometimes crass and sexually driven woman, I adore Schumer, if not, idolize her.

But I’m not her. And if I’m honest, from my one moderately successful experience, I found that talking about sex to a large group of people, like the sex itself, it’s quite easy.

Why? Because everyone fucking hates feelings and therefore nobody wants to hear about them. But most people like sex.

If you think I’m lying, go to your nearest Google machine and type in “modern dating” in the search box. You will quickly see a list of articles like this one, saying more or less that dating has become insufferable due to everyone liking the benefits of intimacy but not the vulnerability part.

So when I get up on stage and I talk about sex, even if that’s the theme of the night, I feel like I’m giving the people what they want and not what they need.  I feel like I’m cheating myself and the audience.

People need to realize that vulnerability is a gift that separates us from 99% of the species on this planet. While it does bring the potential to get hurt, it gives us the opportunity to experience life on more than a surface level. When it does hurt, it teaches you something, even if that something is just how to handle it when it happens again. I wouldn’t be lying if I said the grief from losing my longest relationship helped me to some degree 7 months later when my mom died, because it became almost a biological blueprint for how to deal.

Also, the things that are the hardest to talk about, are often times the things that unite us. Denying that you have feelings doesn’t make them go away, just like how denying you’re sick doesn’t make you feel better.

I know I’ve been wrapping up these posts lately with a Full House style moral of the story but I’ve been trying to break my addiction to tangents. My point is, I don’t believe that people are as shallow as they claim to be, and if that’s the case, than instead of being the girl that talks sex, I’ll be the one that talks emotions. I’ll be the Amy Schumer of feelings.

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In The Event Of

He gets up to the podium at the front of the class and asks us,

“What are you?”

“Don’t you mean WHO are you?” One of my classmates asks.

“No,” replied Mr. Paulson*, “What are you?”

A chorus of answers erupts from the classroom.

“I’m a person!” One of my friends exclaims.”I’m a student!” Calls out another. Before long the responses come in such frequency, they turn into white nose.

Mr. Paulson slams a ruler on his podium indicating the request of silence.

“No! No! No! Those are all things. You are not things! You are events!”

We all got quiet. I don’t quite remember where we were in the semester, but I know at this point we were used to our teacher stretching our brains a bit. As our high school Semantics teacher, “Paulson” as  we called him, was on a mission to get us to think differently before the world taught us to think the same, or worse, not at all.
He continued.

“Think about it. You are happening all the time. Even when you think you’re doing nothing, you’re still doing something. You are breathing. You are sitting. You are thinking. You are looking at me asking yourselves, ‘What kind of drugs is this guy on and where can I get some?’ You are doing, and you only stop doing when you die. So instead of treating yourselves like things, treat yourselves like the verbs you are!”

I can’t remember what happened after that, as it’s been a decade since, but that portion of the lecture always stuck with me, and I reference it on a frequent basis. Whenever I am complacent, tired, spent, or feel stagnant or stuck, I remind myself that only objects get stuck and only money gets spent. Events happen to things, but if you are the event, you don’t have to wait for something to happen to you because you are literally always happening.

So keep happening, because only death can stop you.

10 Reasons for Declining an Orgy at a Truck Stop Motel

1.

My dad closed out my sex talk by saying that no man would ever want to buy the cow if I gave the milk away for free. At 14, I couldn’t help but feel a little unsettled with how he could equate me to a commodity though I was still very much his baby. Instead of speaking up, I just sat there longing for my mother who left a long time ago.

In later years, I would reflect on that line, feeling guilty for finding novelty in sex without reason or attachment. During those times, I actually enjoyed not wanting someone to stick around, and became enamored with not letting someone get close enough to make me miss them when the inevitably left me. Only when the shame subsided, did I stop comparing myself to meat.

2.

At 18, I woke up to my first college roommate having sex with one of my art school’s token gay dudes. I left as quietly as possible and went over to the guys’ next door who offered me an air mattress for sleeping and a bowl for getting by. As they lined up against our mutual wall to hear the Amber’s bed shake, I decided that I would be only down for sex going on in my room if I was apart of it.

3.

My first threesome occurred at 3AM in the showers of my new school’s dorm building. There were two girls giggling behind one of the curtains as I grabbed a drink of water to ease pot smoker’s throat. They stopped when the heard me come in. One of them peaked her head out from between the curtains and after giving me the up/ down, asked if I wanted to join.

The moment I entered, I felt higher. They began unraveling me with their mouths and limbs like I was some big celestial knot and I needed so desperately to come undone. I felt the tectonic plates of my history move with each, drunk, exaggerated, touch. They finished me with my soul breathing and my body gasping for air.

My second threesome was a present given to me by two of my friends for my 26th birthday. I fell asleep on my bed 5 minutes in. They then moved to my couch.

4.

The first time I had sex with my first and last, real, love- we were in his childhood bedroom at his parents’ house, and he apologized for having huge balls, but lacking the dick to match. I told him I didn’t care with such exaltation, it was like his cock was the Declaration of Independence and I was about to sign it with my vagina. At twenty years old that’s what love meant to me. Loving for sake of loving. Loving because you had the audacity to have your hearts open at the same time. Loving because when you believe the best thing you have to give anyone is your love, nothing else matters. We spent 4 years loving like that, until time told us love meant other things like giving up when you’ve stopped being right for each other a long time ago.

5.

He finishes up inside me, sluggishly takes off the condom, rolls over and asks me what number he is. When I ask him why he wants to know, he tells me he wants to feel special.

I tell him that if you only want me for a night, you do not get that luxury.

6.

If your heart is hungry, do not lead with your genitals, it will only leave you starving.

7.

I found myself at this truck stop motel in Milford, Pennsylvania, stranded on route back to Chicago. I had been driving half of forever. I made friends with a 35-year-old contractor, and a young couple from Ohio. After several rounds of drinks at the motel’s bar, we headed back to the couple’s suite where they ended up fucking in the hot tub. They motioned over for us to join.

I looked at the girl who just cleared 21 years hopping happily on her boyfriend’s cock and I couldn’t help but think she deserved better than me after the same song playing for 500 miles and an empty kiss still on my breath.

8.

I invite the contractor upstairs. Upon arriving back to my room, the he rips off my clothes, moves me onto the bed, flips me over and goes straight for my sphincter. When I protest, he looks confused like he expected more out of the evening than joint masturbation and a fake alcohol induced orgasm. He says to me, “You’ve never done this before, have you?” I ignore the question amused that he confused lack of inspiration for innocence. I am grateful for having lack of condoms as an excuse for not letting him inside me.

9.

When I called out one of my literature professors for reading too far between the lines, he said to me sternly, “Child, everything is intentional. You will see that, once you start living with a purpose. You will understand that once you start writing well.”

I stopped doing things for the hell of it just to see if he was right.

10.

You know, it’s been roughed up some, but I still believe the best thing I have to give anyone in this world is my heart.

Nix’s Mate

One of the things I love about Boston is it’s endless nautical folklore dating back as early as the 1600’s. One of my favorite tales is the story of Nix’s Mate.

Nixes-Mate-3

Legend has it, that Captain Nix was a pirate killed at sea on his way into Boston Harbor, and the crew believed his first mate did it. The pirate was hung on an island inside the harbor, and the words he said on his last breath were,

“If I am innocent, this island will sink.”

And it did-in the shape of a question mark that is now only visible during low tide. During high tide, all you see is the monument pictured above, put there to warn boatsmen of shallow water.

Was Nix really killed by his mate? Nobody knows. There is no historical significance to the story. It is more or less the Bostonian version of a fairy tale. I love the concept though. In the story, Nix’s mate’s parting words are said with such certainty, the “legend” has been perpetuated for centuries, with generations of people falling in love with the gusto of a hanged pirate that never existed.

And what for? Maybe it’s the mystery of it all, but I think it’s something more than that. I loosely relate it back to this quote from Huck Finn where Mark Twain writes,

“I was a-trembling, because I’d got to decide, forever, betwixt two things, and I knowed it. I studied a minute, sort of holding my breath, and then says to myself: “All right then, I’ll go to hell”—and tore it up. ”

I recognize it’s not the same thing, but in both instances, there is an incredible amount of personal conviction. Both characters know to some degree they’re right, one way or the other. The mate will not be around to see the outcome. Huck has made peace with it could be.

And to tie it back to me, I think I’m finally starting to believe in myself that way-enough where I could sink an island, and walk myself through another hell if I had to. Knowing, that it’ll somehow be okay, even if I don’t make it out shining, or don’t make it out at all.

shit-i-caught

I’m mildly wine drunk and have been on an emo-punk kick for maybe 10 days now. Currently on my radar? Dashboard Confessional. I’ve had so many contradicting emotions lately, it’s good to be reminded that other people feel things that often suck pretty hard.

I had something profound to say, but I think the picture says it all. I met a dude, we hung out for a couple months. I caught feelings. He didn’t. I ended things. (Though it was pretty mutual I think.) It sucks. Such is the story of modern romance.

I don’t really know what else to say other than that. I had a good day today. I was able to plan out some stuff for my team at work, and I finalized the logistics of my trip to Toronto. I smiled at strangers walking down the street, and treated myself to sushi for lunch. I have a lot of things that I’m looking forward to this month and next month.

And that is really all it is. I care enough to write a blog post about obviously, but I don’t want to cry and stress about it anymore than I have to.

Sometimes that’s the way it goes. Sometimes you give your heart accidentally to people who don’t want it and your best bet is to take it back and soldier on.