On Writing A Sex Scene

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So in my post on New Year’s Day I mentioned that I wanted to write a book. In truth, I have been working on this already, and parts have been shared with different people.


The book changes POV, and part of the story involves the changing relationship/dynamic between two of the main characters. As simply as possible, they go from outright shouting matches to what is essentially stress relief/hate fucking. It’s not the main part of the story, but it’s in there. It boils down to using sex as a coping mechanism, and it not necessarily mattering who the other person is, but seeking human contact in the closest warm body you can stand touching you. Is it pretty? No. Does it happen? Sure.

Two people have read these parts relating to their relationship through in their entirety. Others have read chunks here and there. And it’s been quite interesting getting the feedback, because the guys that read it send me back much different interpretations than the girls.

I.e., the guys don’t understand the girl character’s agency.
Or, really, that she has agency. They’ve stated that they believe she’s being used.

I had a discussion about this with one of my very close guy friends – and he said it may have been a matter of experience. Have those reading it experienced sex in this way, even second hand? Is it beyond the purview of their experience and, therefore, it makes little to no sense why a character would behave in that way or make those assumptions or do x then y to get to z?

I don’t believe this is a 50-50 split. I don’t think every girl will immediately get it and every guy will immediately not. It’s simply that I’ve never experienced such a clear gender divide in interpreting writing before.


It’s not that this doesn’t happen. Look at the stigma around romance novels/women’s literature, erotica vs. porn, sci-fi, and some graphic novels.

How do we overcome this? Do we overcome this? It’s experience, and preferences, and choices, and life. There are conversations to be had about the differences between Literary Fiction and Women’s Fiction, but how we interpret the book itself? That’s a person to person case.

And this is not to say that the scene in question does not still need editing. It does. Or that I’m not grateful for the feedback. I am.

But when do you, as a writer, say, I’m listening to those comments more than yours? I can’t address your feedback and this feedback and not make it look like I was of a sound mind when this was being created?

Or maybe I’ll just stare at the computer screen until my eyeballs bleed, because writer’s block is just so, so real.

On Biting

On a hot summer night,
Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?
Will he offer me his mouth?

Yes

Will he offer me his teeth?

Yes

Will he offer me his jaws?

Yes

Will he offer me his hunger?

Yes

Again, will he offer me his hunger?

Yes!

And will he starve without me?

Yes!

And does he love me?

Yes

Yes

On a hot summer night,
Would you offer your throat to the wolf with the red roses?

Yes

I bet you to say that to all the boys.

“Hot Summer Nights” – Jim Steinman

On Something New

Don’t make me open my eyes

Because I’m so close to breaking

And the world is fading

As you weave complex patterns on my skin.

You want my attention

But there’s so much sensation

And I just want it all the blend in.

My face is a demon mask and I hope you don’t mind

No wait, slightly up, to the right

Ah crap, you just had it!

Oh fuck now he’s got it….

Oh, Jesus, now he wants round 3.
__________

I understand I’ve gone a bit AWOL for the past few weeks, and for that, I apologise. It’s not that I’ve had nothing to say, it’s quite the opposite. There have been a bit too many stories, and I’ve needed a bit of time to digest. Between a few new people entering my life, the reminder of someone from the past, a ‘vacation’, and my birthday, it’s been a bit much. What is appropriate to say? What should wait until the dust all settles? What do I want to say in the heat of the moment, and what is actually justified?

Hence a silly little happy, poem-y thing while I sort my head out. I am dedicating myself, in this next year, to write more. I want to take my writing to a new level. I want to publish a book. I want to grow this blog and see where it goes. I want to take my freelancing career…somewhere. I don’t know where.

So I hope you will bear with me, as I try to sort this out. Figure out what works, and what doesn’t. If you have thoughts, want to contribute, want to tell me I suck, shoot me a message.

I hope everyone had a great holiday season, and hope you had a great new year celebration, whether you were out somewhere fabulous, or were, like me, in a blanket burrito on the couch.

On A Child’s Thought

"I want to be an astronaut, president of the United States and ruler of the universe! Chica power!"

I had to visit relatives this weekend. Like many, my family can only be described as “colorful.”

For a very long time, I was the baby of the family. I was delegated to the kid’s table. Even after starting graduate school, it was still the kid’s table. It was an odd contrast, because from the time I was a teenager, I was always asked about boyfriends, what my dating prospects were like, etc etc. So I was being treated like a child while being expected to live up to certain adult expectations.

I thought they’d finally given up, until my cousin asked me a question last night.

Now this cousin, I understand, has not had the best socialization. At family gatherings, there is minimal interactions between mother and daughter. It became very apparent upon entrance that the mother expected my sister and I to essentially babysit her daughter while she got some adult time. My sister and I were having very little of this.

My cousin, at one point, asked my sister and I if we had boyfriends/husbands. My sister said no. The cousin, who is 9, patted us each on the head and said, “That’s okay. You’ll find someone someday.”

Oh, hell no.

What has this girl been learning.

What has this girl been told about us.

What has this girl been told about single women.

What has this girl been told about her goals for her life.

What has this girl been told that she thinks it is okay for her to pat 20-somethings on the head and say, oh, that’s okay sweetie, you’re still of breeding and marriageable age? You could still find somebody…

Fuck.
That.
Shit.

I like men. Obviously. This blog is proof. Dicks can be really good. Can be terrible, but can be really good.

But I have never *needed* to date. Wanting and needing are fundamentally different things.
I will never need a man.  

And isn’t about fucking time we taught our daughters that? That they can stand up on their own two feet and be their own person without someone else by their side hogging their spotlight?

I want to hope that my cousin will figure this out herself, and I want to hope that she will learn it’s not okay to pat single women on the head like a lost puppy. It’s not a lot of hope, but it’s there.


Regardless, I’m currently sitting in the airport, by myself, eating a meringue, enjoying the last rays of sunlight. And I will sleep in my own bed and and enjoy all the space and the blankets myself, because I can and will.  

On Storytelling

 

I want you to tell me a story.

I’m not sure if it needs to be true, or fabricated, or long, or short.

But I want you to tell me a story.

I want you to tell me a story that transports me, that focuses my mind on the characters and the places, on their emotions and their motivations, on what might be coming next.

I want you to bury your head into my hair, kiss up my jaw, as you tell a part that’s particularly enthralling.

I want you to trace patterns with your fingers, and tease me that I’m not focusing on your words.

I want it told in completion, from beginning to end, even if it’s a fantastical fairy tale with a ‘happily ever after’ at the end that you know will make me pull faces and mime gagging.



Because right now I’m being told bits and pieces, with holes and inconsistencies, and I hate every second of it.

The truth will suck. For you, admitting it will be so difficult. But, it needs to happen, doesn’t it?

I need to know. I need to know what is happening in its entirety.

I don’t know how to ask this, I don’t know how to call you out on this.


I’ve asked you questions you don’t want to answer, or answer in full. And you’re so far away I can’t do much when you don’t.

You’ve put me between people, used me as a buffer. I know this and don’t know this. I know things and don’t know things. My head is a swirling mess.


I needed one last thing from you, and I’ve asked for it, and now there’s really nothing left to tie me to you. So now, I could say That’s me done.

I think I need to be done.
I don’t know if that’s fair, or not.

I need this horrible feeling to be gone – of not knowing, of being pulled in the middle, of not understanding, and not having a claim to demand understanding.

Give me peace. Give me answers. Give me something.

I can’t give you my attention. Every moment you get from me takes away from something else, something else that needs my focus so much more.

 

I’m so, so tired. And I want to be free of this.

 

So I’ll tell you the story of how two people drove along a highway, in the sunshine, under a bright blue sky.

On Words

(Special thank you to the friend mentioned in On Dirty Minds for helping in the editing of this.) 

The alphabet will affect me far more than kisses and bites and fingers ever will.

Or is it the tongue that wraps around the letters, that forms sentences that travel through me, making my mind turn to mush, melting me into a puddle that no longer wishes to move, to think, to feel anything but that person wrapped around me.

Or is it the timing, things said as I’m already floating up in space, words that send me higher, which feel like a jolt of electricity down my spine, sending shivers straight through to my toes.

Or is it the person themselves, that have read each reaction so carefully, that have cracked through exterior walls, that understand which things will have more of an effect than their body ever could, or make me more than willing to accept what their body could offer.

There are times I crave the silence. Because some people need to stay silent so I can fly above the atmosphere, so I can be somewhere else in that moment, or get through the moment, and then come back to be present with the person beside me.

Sometimes silence is our language, growls and sighs whispered in ears, and it’s more than enough. It can be positive, negative, or neutral. In whatever case, human language is unnecessary.

But there are those that have understood the power of words, in the most intricate of manners.

That can ruin with a sentence.
Melt with a whisper.
Destroy sanity with syllables.

And I can only reply with a yes, no, or sigh. I will paint landscapes with a mouth that never utters a sound, but I will come undone under the power of words.

But only for those who know how to properly wield this power.

On The Bad Stuff

I’ve been running into this problem lately, of only remembering those stupid ass moments.

When I fucked up.

When I got too drunk.

When I said something stupid.

When you had to deal with my incompetence and idiocy.

And I don’t want to only remember these moments, because for one, it makes it sound like you’re perfect, and no one is, and two, I want to remember the other moments.

When we lay on your couch doing nothing all day.

When I made your coffee in the morning, and wafted the scent towards your nose to breathe life into you.

When you put your hand on my knee.

When you made me talk about things without a hint of uncomfortability, pushing past my layers of shyness, so you knew exactly how to to pull me to you, hands around my wrists, holding me steady as your tongue made earthquakes travel through my spine.

 

I want to hold on to you as a whole. I want to be able to look you in the eyes, and know that we are on equal ground. I want to know that one day you will crush me into a hug again and I will not dwell on this, that, or the other but only on that moment, on your arms and skin and feel of you around me.

I never expected to feel an intensity with you, and you still don’t know all of these feelings rattling around in my head. Because when we talk it’s about something related to a previous conversation. It’s me sending you a TV show release date. It’s not us talking about the intricate details of our lives, our thoughts, our feelings. It’s not those kinds of conversations anymore.

Maybe it’s just the unsettled-ness of my life right now, but it’s so easy to dwell on the negative, to focus on my faults and my derp moments, that which makes my brain say – well you had fun, but do you really expect them to stick around when you’re such a dumbass?

But I know this isn’t fair, or true. People come in and out or your life for such a variety of reasons. Maybe you’ve got a blog somewhere writing about the depths of my ineptitude, but I don’t think so. (Others on here, maybe. But not you.)

 

You sent me three words the other day, and it helped far more than you know.

 

I miss you, too.

 

On Leicester Square

2015-10-14-tgag_614_feminist

Headphones in ears, giant fuckoff bag beside me, and a book open in my lap – all the telltale signs of leave me the hell alone. And yet, I could feel hipster fuckboy’s eyes on me for two stops before he crossed over to sit next to me. It should be noted that my entire end of this conversation was said almost completely deadpan.

“What are you reading?” He asked brightly.

I held up the book. It was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s We Should All Be Feminists.

“Oh, so you’re a feminist?”

“Yes.”

“Yeah, I wasn’t until last year. I thought they were just all feminazis who hated men, but then my ex got me on it. I know it’s about equality now.” His smile still in place, nodding at his own innate genius for figuring out that 2 + 2 = 4.

“Good for you.”

“Yeah, like, we’re all equal right? Just makes sense.”

I nod, and turn back to the book.

Yes, well done for understanding that women are, indeed, equal to you, and those fighting for said equality are not the same as actual Nazis. Excuse me while I swoon over your unwashed beard and immediately drop my pants here on the train. Who said a little vibration ever hurt anyone?

“I didn’t think I should come over here, but, there was just, something about you.”

I raised my eyebrows.

“Something about me?”

“Yeah, you just have that vibe about you.”

“What vibe?”

“I don’t know, but that vibe.”

I know what he’s talking about. It’s the ‘you’re different from the others’, vibe. The, ‘you’re not like other girls’, vibe. The, ‘you’re a challenge and therefore I must prove my manhood and make you want me’, vibe.

It’s the vibe that says I’m calling you on your bullshit and you don’t want me to, you’re not used to it, or you want to convince me to stop, that you’re different, you’re different than the other fuckboys.

“Maybe you’re a party girl?”

He takes stock of the eyebrows creeping up into my hairline and tries again.

“So, you’re a student?”

“Sure.”

“Can you help me?”

He doesn’t know what stop he needs to get out at. It’s with a sinking feeling in my gut I realise we’re getting out at the same station.

“So you’re like, far out of town?”

“Why do you say that?” 

“All the students have to live far away to afford to live here, so you’re far away?”

Yes I will definitely tell you where exactly to bury the body.

“What are you studying?”

“Politics.”

“Ah wow.”

“Yeah.”

“I’m just visiting here for a couple days.”

“Cool.”

“Can you guess my country?”

“Probably not.”

“Oh, come on. It’s shaped like Africa!”

Fkdajfkladsjf;lkasdjfladsf

“What?”

“It’s in Europe and shaped like Africa!”

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.”

“You study politics and you can’t guess that country?”

>.>

“No.”

I don’t remember the country, but it sure as fuck is not shaped like an entire continent. Side note, you reckon that was a good imperialist sentiment? Sure, we can take it over. Our country is a mini version of it. We’re *supposed* to expand there, just like God intended….

“So what are you doing now?”

“Meeting friends.”

“We should hang out.”

“No.”

“What are you doing tomorrow?”

“I have a date.”

“Ah really?”

“Yes.”

“Can I come?”

“What? No.”

“Please?”
“You want to come to come along with me to my date?”

“Just tell him I’m gay.”

Can we take another moment to consider just how many groups of people he’s insulted at this point?

“No.”

“It would be so fun.”

“No.”

We’re approaching the stop. I grab my bag and sprint out the door. He’s left with a bemused expression on his face, twirling in a circle trying to find the right exit.

I left him to his confusion. For all I know, he’s still wandering around down there.

On A Good Quote

But snakes are smart creatures,” his aunt said. “In ancient legends, they often help guide people. You find this in legends from different cultures all over the world. But when a snake leads you, you don’t know whether it’s taking you in a good direction or a bad one. In most cases, it’s a combination of good and evil.”

“It’s ambiguous,” Kino said.

“Exactly. Snakes are essentially ambiguous creatures. In these legends, the biggest, smartest snake hides its heart somewhere outside its body, so that it doesn’t get killed. If you want to kill that snake, you need to go to its hideout when it’s not there, locate the beating heart, and cut it in two. Not an easy task, for sure.”

From the story “Kino” in Men Without Women – Haruki Murakami

On Humanity and Memories

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I’m unpacking boxes, suitcases, and storage containers, and keep finding little bits of you.
The blanket you got me, so we could keep my place a temperature we could both survive.
The whisky glass, because I had none.
The signed comic from my favorite series.
The stuffed dog, to soothe the ice around my heart.
The letter you wrote, and left on my coffee table while I was still asleep.
And every piece is a precious memory, and every piece makes me smile, and every piece makes me sad, because you’re no longer in my life.

We met so long ago now, pushed together by familial interference. I don’t think either of us cared too much, but I should’ve seen the warning signs back then. On New Year’s, when you said in no uncertain terms you were not okay with the fact that I was leaving the city so soon, and then said the same thing over text a couple days later. We’d just met. It freaked me out a bit. I was told that was just how you were. I didn’t dwell too much on it. We exchanged birthday messages, talked a couple times. We’d gotten along well, & I viewed you as a friend that could maybe develop into something more. I, one, didn’t want to get my hopes up, but more importantly, didn’t want to get your hopes up. I knew you were a serial monogamist, and I was even less of a letssettledownletscommitthisisathing type of person than I am now. Didn’t exactly spell great prospects in my head.

I was kept somewhat up to date on what you were doing by our mutual friends. I was worried, but as a friend. I was told about your girlfriend, and understood the story was being told by biased parties, but knew there had to be some truth to it. When I moved to your city, you kept your distance, and I kept mine. You’d hurt those closest to me, and at that point, you needed to come to us, not the other way around.

And come you did. But, in ways we didn’t expect. You & me – suddenly we were joking about sex and whisky and movies and before I knew what was happening you were kissing me goodbye. You felt so good to me. You made me feel human. You made me feel like I was worthwhile. It scared the shit out of me. It scared me that I wanted to talk to you every day. It scared me that every particle of my body kept telling me to run away, and I stayed put.

But we never talked, did we? We never talked about what we wanted, what we expected. Did you want to see other people? Did I? Did we see a future together?
I can guess your answers.
No, and yes.
Whereas mine were yes, you are my only partner right now, but in the future, probably yes and no, I’m not planning beyond next Tuesday.

Which is why, when you were once again drunk on New Years, and I was half dragging, half carrying you back to mine, and you told me how you felt, my body froze. My mind went on lock. And I knew it wasn’t fair, to either of us. Because you were honest from day 1. I may have felt like we tumbled into a thing, that there was no ‘right time’ to tell you how I felt about monogamy and love and long term commitment – how, at that point, I couldn’t envision myself having a serious relationship.
But, in that moment, we’d reached a point of jump, or leave.

You would say jump. You’d jumped from the beginning. You wanted this. And I was still wading in the shallow water, unwilling to dunk my head all the way under and start to swim.

So I told you that I needed to take steps back, that I needed us to just be friends. And you said you couldn’t do that. I didn’t want to understand, but I did. I respected it. And we haven’t talked in almost a year.

On some days, when I’m feeling okay about everything, I’d like to think I gave you a few months of breathing space, where you had someone who was cool with basically whatever it was you wanted to do. We had no fights, we had no tension. We could relax around each other and just be. On other days, I wonder if you think of the the time we had as a lie of sorts, that you felt betrayed and hate every part of me. That you saw me as aloof and unresponsive and cold.


I assume that the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I hope that you’ve forgiven me, if you haven’t already. I hope that you find someone amazing, who gives you everything you need and treats you with respect and wants the same things out of love, if you haven’t already.

Because you gave me so much I could never tell you. You saw me at my most vulnerable night in some time and took care of me. You always let me know you cared. You compromised. You treated me like I was a human being and worthy of respect, and I know that sounds like an obvious thing, something that shouldn’t come and go, but it does.

 

You were not the right one for me, and I was most certainly not the right one for you. But you taught me things, you gave me lovely memories.

So I still have your blanket on my chair, the stuffed dog on my bed. Because they matter to me, and will for some time to come.