Meta (May 5th, 2013)
Today you get a behind-the-scenes look at my sex life. Time to break down the fourth wall. See what happens when the actors become the audience. With sex, boundaries are often blurry anyway.
Fair readers, it isn’t often that I address you directly. Implicitly, you are part of my story, as my story is a reflection (an abstraction?) of my life. I view the whole business of intercourse as a discourse; not a fleeting, sensory experience to be washed off in the shower and flushed down the toilet with well tended to sperm. When semen is left in the open, it liquefies and becomes a different substance. Once a sexual encounter is over, it hasn’t necessarily reached its final destination. Memory is malleable. My blog reads as an instruction manual: how to spoil (metaphorical) semen.
CONSEQUENCES. A word most often thought of in terms of the physical realities of sex (diseases, pregnancy: things were are warned about in sex ed). Seldom in relation to the interpersonal fallout that can result from revelation (with thought process as a mediating factor, obviously). Weird considering sex writing is essentially exposure of that which already tacitly exists, semen settled in its presumed resting place. But there is something about cementing ephemeral experiences in words, confrontation. It is like, it is fine that we rub our bodies together, but speaking of it (verbally acknowledging it) after the fact is another thing entirely. Bodies break boundaries; words cross the line. Handling semen after it has liquefied constitutes interpretation. Consent only applies to the sexual act itself and not what one makes of it, how it fits into her narrative. Committing memories to text is an ownership of sorts. Ideally, what you own is your own sexuality. Obviously everyone involved is implicated, though. It is self-centered, no doubt. Re-centering the experience.
The problem is, secrecy about sex maintains taboos. Silence is the status quo. It gives sex a phantom power that other activities performed in private don’t yield. I believe in destigmatizing through exposure. Demystifying. Lines between personal and public consumption are so blurred nowadays, anyway; it would be arbitrary at best and meaningless at worse to draw a distinction between intended and incidental recipients of a story. I’d rather sex be a shared experience than a self-conscious one. Better not to worry at the moment of creation about the processing and packaging. Exposure is synonymous with liberation from self. And often entails endless entanglement with others. My main concern is that parties who aren’t involved (in my real life) can’t ID the person (character?) about whom they are reading. Also, I try to fictionalize the situations as little as possible, and make myself as culpable and mockable as my partners. Ultimately, though, the following (line from a dating profile) applies: “I can laugh at myself but prefer to laugh at others.”
It would be absurd and self-defeating to obtain consent to publish. Or even to decide ahead of time that you will write about a particular experience. Authenticity is essential to confessional writing. Ever heard of the Hawthorne effect? It is impossible to document an experience without changing its course of nature, if you approach it with an agenda. I don’t script my life (any more than lives are scripted by social expectations). My stories write themselves. As expressed in this Tracie Egan Morrissey article, if you do it for the story, you are a real writer but not a real slut.
Legit, I did super embarrassing things way before I wrote about them. Slut cred, represent! Oh, and in case it isn’t apparent, I fuck a lot of dudes. I write about like 1/10th of them. Call my life curated, not scripted. My vaginal integrity may not be intact, but my artistic integrity sure is!
Me: Please respect discretion
Hans: haha you call me Hans.
Hans: I thought you were being mean cuz you were mad at me, now i think it’s because you are a sadist, true?
Me: Do you think sex blogging is cruel?
Hans: haha, no, i dont mean that in a bad way necessarily, I feel exposed for sure, and humiliated to see such a brutally honest critique of my self in public, but it’s ok I guess
Hans: ok, finished reading part 4
Hans: ur right I didn’t know what my endgame was and was just thinking about it the other day and being lonely has something to do with it too
Hans: ok a lot to do with it. reading the entries about our interactions is pretty eye-opening since I’m trying to be less self-centered and understand how my actions effect other people, though, sure some of it is hurtful, and yeah, it would be nice if everyone you ever met respected you. I’m sorry for putting ur comments on my profile in an attempt to help me get laid, and sorry I didn’t cum on ur face.
Me: I didn’t actually want you to cum directly on my face. I’ve had plenty of positive sexual interactions that didn’t involve cum. But, yeah, I’d probably eventually get bored with someone if they couldn’t cum on me on command.
Me: I appreciate your apologizing for the profile gaffe, although I think you already apologized for it.
Hans: just making sure, couldn’t remember if I had
Me: Are you upset that I don’t think your penis is that small?
Me: Also I think sex is inherently kinda self-centered, so can’t really blame you for that.
Hans: lol, nah, I know it’s sorta average. but quite small when soft, I’m happy you noted
Me: Ha ha, feel validated?
Hans: eh, I guess
Me: Well which parts did you find hurtful?
Hans: i’m more preoccupied by some of it feeling pretty harsh, but what are ya gunna do
Me: You mean too harsh of a critique considering how little time we spent interacting, or do you think it is inaccurate?
Me: I found your initial comment about feeling exposed and humiliated kind of funny, because what could be more humiliating than having such a personal blog? Exposure eventually feels good, to me at least.
Hans: you mean what could be more humiliating to you?
Me: Yeah, I mean my blog started out as a small-scale thing for a few close friends, and it naturally grew. Before each post I’m pretty plagued with self-doubt, like is this too extreme even for me? The weird thing is, at the pinnacle of my blogging I received more positive social feedback than I ever did before.
Me: It’s still sometimes hard for me to tell whether people read it because it’s like a car crash they can’t look away from. Or whether they actually respect me.
Me: Ironically no one acknowledges they read it except to my face.
Me: I didn’t even really know the extent to which it permeated my social circle until I stopped writing and people started asking for it.
Hans: you mean no comments? how many friends read it, do you think? at least you have the choice to put it up there, I have no choice, which is ok because you don’t identify me, but somewhat irksome nonetheless
Me: Yeah, no one comments; they just lurk.
Hans: ok, you call me a trainwreck and a loser, that’s hurtful
Me: You’re welcome to comment if you feel it gives you more agency.
Hans: thanks a bunch
Me: I guess we never have a choice in how people treat us, but I understand why it feels more irksome when it is cemented in words.
Me: Yeah, obviously that part is hurtful but hardly unexpected. How do you think people are gonna percieve you when you tell them your job is going to therapy?
Hans: that is what i expect some people to say. it’s one thing to call someone a trainwreck and another to detail how they are one, publicly, including transcripts of conversations you know will be made public but they do not.
Me: I didn’t intend to make them public at the time we were having the conversations. It never even occured to me until you disposed of me.
Me: I wanted it to be a positive experience. It was fine until afterwards when I grew disgusted with you.
Me: I’m sorry if you feel violated by my making those conversations public. That’s really not the purpose of my blog.
Me: It’s hard for me to even tell what you would find mean. Thought some of the posts might turn you on.
Me: Let me say this in the most immature way possible: even though I call you a trainwreck, you sorta win the situation because you didn’t like me as a person. That’s one reason the blog is more humiliating for me.
Hans: I wanted it to be a positive experience as well. I know it’s not the purpose, I think there is an idealistic purpose behind the blog, which I think partly is to hold people accountable for their actions, but it does seem that sometimes it can sink into some sadistic violation
Me: There is an idealistic purpose. Part of it is holding myself accountable for my actions. There is a distinction between writing and sending it to past partners.
Me: I felt very demeaned by your dumping me then texting me sexy things at 2am. If it weren’t for that, I might have been nicer.
Me: I would like to have sexual experiences with people who actually like me. I don’t think that’s too much to ask.
Hans: nope. yeah, I’m sorry about that.
Me: I guess one of the things I should apologize for is complaining about your lack of sexual assertion. Obviously it is a positive thing that I felt safe with you.
2 ½ hour transpired and I felt a little bummed out. I think that’s what you call having a conscience?