Monday, November 25, 2013

In Praise of Expectations and Other Human Things

If I’m in a facebook argument, you know something isn’t right. I usually am very careful about avoiding them—Sweetie loves them, but they make me feel stressy and gross. A friend of a friend, a young, adorable queer guy, posted that having expectations had caused every problem his heart had ever had, and he was making the virtuous pledge never to anticipate anything or have hopes about anyone. Reading this status tapped into a deep well of anger I only vaguely knew I had. I wanted to avoid the anger so it wouldn’t tarnish the nice memories, but I’m gonna have to slog back to Steampunk Guy for a few paragraphs. If you’re someone who gets squeamish about the less-attractive emotions, consider yourself warned.

I wish I hadn’t taken down the posts about our falling-out, but it came down to him saying this:

“You seem more excited about me than about trying anal.”

This felt like rejection on such a fundamental level. How LOW was I in his estimation that he thought I didn’t even deserve to have a PREFERENCE about which partner fucked me in the ass for the first time? How deeply inhumane is the expectation that I think only of the act and not of the person doing it. This fucking-a-fetish-instead-of-a-person cruelty is the root of everything ugly that I’ve seen in the alternative sex community, all of the post-consent-world mindset that the Scary Party crowd walks around with, it’s the deepest, starkest sexualization and I will never and should never open my mind to it. In order to be acceptable to him, I had to be literally nothing but a hole, and he had to be just a dick, too. How easy it would be if I saw the world that way, I’d be just the belle of the horror-themed fetish ball.

I didn’t say any of that at the time, just broke off the planning, said I was disappointed, and gave him some (admittedly somewhat tragic) background on why I’d been wanting to make it a nice experience.

He wrote back “Personal drama! Expectations! Shame! Apologies!”

At the time, I felt bad for being all of those things instead of just a simple, fun partner the way I assumed the other girls managed to be. But a month later, those four exclamations make me livid, so let’s take them one by one:

“Personal drama!”

Dude. You were going to be the first person (that I know of) to put his penis in my asshole. It seems reasonable that a person might have some emotions emerge around that, even in a casual situation. If you aren’t up for complicated emotions, you aren’t up for fucking me as a human being. (I know. We already established he wasn’t. It still makes me mad.) Yes, I have personal drama. I’m divorcing my wife of ten years and I was somewhat inconveniently in love with you. You saw those things as flaws, but  I’m relieved to find that I don’t.


I am sick and tired of hearing expectations vilified. We mustn’t hope, envision, or anticipate, lest we create some unnecessary strain on things. But you know what? Those things are only a problem if THE PERSON ALREADY DOESN’T LIKE YOU. It’s not the expectations’ fault; it’s the match’s, or rather, the lack of one.

Moreover, you had expectations too. You expected me to plan around your schedule, not mine, to somehow intuit exactly how much you could offer and not ask for one milliliter more. You expected me to put on a pretty outfit and be absolutely no one to you, to squelch every human emotion so much that I’d be an absolutely absent nothing.

And yes, this was my idea, I’ll admit. Denial is a tenacious thing.


Is a feeling that many people have, especially when it comes to their assholes. Given the amount that I panicked after our last exchange, I’m guessing my shame runs pretty deep. That doesn’t somehow make me a bad player or a bad partner; it just makes me a person whose body has a lot of stories in it, just like everybody’s.


Yes, there were many. I shouldn’t have tried to stay friends with someone who made me so sorry all the time, but I did. Because I’m in a weird place, because I loved you and felt like I should learn you, because I wanted to get laid in the midst of my mess of a life.

I started this post angry but something about answering those exclamations helped. Here’s what I think: For any given encounter, I think we all deserve to value each other as whole beings. I deserve to have wishes and hopes both dashed and realized, because that’s what it is to be a real live girl. I deserve to dream and plan and fantasize, and to let go of anyone who makes me feel like those dreams are way too far away.

Steampunk Girl told me the story of her first time having anal sex, a process that took months because her partner was so loving and thorough and gentle. I loved that story but honestly didn’t picture myself finding someone who’d have that much time for me. Something in me must’ve believed it was possible, though, and I love her for getting that story stuck in my head, for giving me better expectations, for (eventually) making me admit I wanted nothing less. Not more expectations, or fewer, just better ones.

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