Saturday, April 7, 2012

How I Found Out I’m Kinky Part Six: Love in a Time of Erectile Dysfunction




Odds are that before too long, I’ll be headed back towards submissiontown, and that’s got  me thinking fondly/confusedly of Bill. I’m still winning the Not Googling Him Award and I fight the urge to forward him these posts mostly because I know Sweetie’d be superworried if I got in touch with him. As much as I would like to reach out to him, I don’t think I could risk the progress I’ve made in the months since Christmas.

This next part of the story is for the most part something I’ve already posted. I added in some details I originally left out. Whenever I get frustrated that I haven’t gotten over him fast enough, I remember what he meant to me, and that I really did love him.


Love in a Time of Erectile Dysfunction

All of my adult life, I’ve been afraid of men. Because they could hurt me, sure, but mostly because I’ve always felt at their mercy, desperate for their attention, angry and resentful that they had something I needed. But it is, they are, something I need. So when I recently returned to men after more than a decade, I was determined to confront and master these fears. I sort of regret that the fears took the form of a person, not because of what happened, but because I would’ve liked to have known who he was outside of the role I/we created for him.

I need someone to push me past my fears, and push he did. His phone’s wallpaper was Ganesh, Remover of Obstacles, and that’s how I saw him. Before our first date, I drew a tarot card, and got the Devil card reversed: “Release from bondage, throwing off shackles…the first step towards enlightenment.” I told him about the card and he said, “Oh, like a catalyst.”

I wanted someone I couldn’t control, and that is what I got. He was intractable and unreadable and definitely incorrigible. At every turn, he pushed me further than I would’ve thought to go. He called me names I’d always been afraid of, and it was always a relief. One day at work we were watching “Spirit, Stallion of the Cimarron,” about a horse that couldn’t be broken; I blushed because the lines all kept reminding me of him.

After a little while, I started to feel uncomfortable with the way things were going. When I first started dating men again, I’d begun to see myself as hot in a way I never had before, but that eroded. He kept breaking dates to go places and only wanted to see me if nakedness was involved, emailed me songs that implied I was fat, old, worn out. He called me “Dummy” and I’d happily agree that he turned my brain into a test pattern, but of course that didn’t sit right. I didn’t complain because I didn’t want to control him, and also because I didn’t want him to get frustrated and go away.

And I still wanted to know what rough sex felt like. I have been having sweet, wonderful adorable sex for all of these years and I can’t complain too much about that, but I’ve always wanted to be taken, it’s both my worse fear and my strongest fantasy. Since he generally seemed to want me so much that I sometimes thought he might eat me, he seemed like the guy for that. So even though things weren’t sitting right with me, I wanted to keep him around for at least until that happened. Well, I really wanted to keep him around forever and ever, but I think I knew that wasn’t possible.

The day that it was supposed to happen was a revelation I didn’t expect. I expected the angry-hot guy who’d so expertly and emphatically ripped off my jeans on the third date, the one who sometimes pounded my arms down onto the couch when I tried to hold him. I expected to feel the way I’d asked to feel, like I had no choice, but instead he was tentative. His façade dropped. He still made plays at ordering me around, but he became self-conscious in a way that I took for tenderness. The guy who’d grabbed and shoved and hair-pulled his way through bases one to three was gone and here was this…friend of mine.

It was hard to find a place to be since we could only ever get together at my apartment and Sweetie has a strict (and very reasonable) no-boys-in-the-bed-policy, we had the choice of either the couch or the floor. He pulled me on top of him on the couch and I pouted a little but climbed on and gave it a go. He wilted soon after I started. I sat on the floor beside the couch and tried for some combination of soothing but not emasculating.

Next we tried the floor—I spread out a Care Bears blanket and down we went. After an awkward moment of “Is it in?” in it went and it felt great, but he lost his erection again after a few minutes. He climbed off and lay beside me, apologetic, and I have to say that’s the moment when I knew I loved him. He was clearly mortified and frustrated, but I couldn’t resist petting his hair and telling him what I believed in that moment, which was that he was perfect. He wasn’t any of my fears or the scary guy he tried to be, he was just a boy trying to do a good job for me. He lay there claiming my body as he liked to do, talked dirty and told me to come until I did.

After that, I thought I could really trust him, and I got up and reached behind the Christmas tree for his present. It was a stylish black gift bag with some pretty Christmassy ribbons to tie me up with. Some said things on them like “naughty or nice” and others were just nice bright colors that could be used any time of year. It was too early to be giving presents, but I am what I am. He never got to use the ribbons, and in fact I’m still looking for my Ribbon Guy.


I was so happy that day because it really felt like we meant something to each other, like we truly were friends. He told me he’d find room for me in his life even when another woman comes along, which is kind of what a poly girl hopes to hear from a single, not-poly guy. We snuggled and played and kissed and watched a whole bunch of Party Down episodes, and I was happy.

His interpretation of events was different from mine, and he was gone from my life by the following week. I’m not sure that I can see him as a remover of obstacles, since the experience brings up more questions than it answers. But I am trying to take the lesson of that day to heart—I am not at the mercy of men. We are all at the mercy of each other, and beneath even the snarliest of us there is a sweet vulnerable human being just trying to do his best. I can’t take back the role I placed him in or the way things turned out, but I can learn to open myself up a little more to men. I can admit that I love him and hopefully find a way to let him go. The song I most associate with him is “Close to Me” by The Cure, and the thing I most want to remember is that aside from all the fetishes, fantasies and fears, closeness is my dearest wish, the thing I truly hope to find again.


Next: The long goodbye.


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