Little Lower Layer

Food is affection. A room is a right. A key is a promise.

The objects in our lives have meaning, whether we want them to or not. They may mean one thing to us, something completely different to someone else. There can be conflict, misinterpretation, manipulation without an outright lie when a symbol comes into play.

It’s so easy to be hurt by them, and so hard to avoid no matter how well we understand, intellectually, that what is symbolized is not inherent to the thing. Objective truth be damned: food is affection. A room is a right. A key is a promise.

Food is affection.

I could say “food is love,” but that’s a word I use with the care and trepidation afforded hazardous materials, and hazardous materials have no place in my kitchen. I’m an excellent cook. I love the building of a meal, the time and energy, the heat and smells and sounds of it coming together. If I offer to send cookies or make dinner, it’s because I value someone. It’s an offer of time and energy and the tangible form of joy, not just a desire to nourish. Food is affection. It seemed so obvious I never thought it needed to be said. But to some, a meal at home is banal. It means the night isn’t special enough to warrant going out, or a desire not to be seen in public together, or simple pragmatism. I once made a decadent three course meal for a woman who said “I never really thought of food as something you like. I eat because I have to, but I’d rather not think about it.” To her, my hours in the kitchen were a waste of a perfectly good afternoon.

A room is a right.

Having a room of one’s own confers the right to use that room however one likes. This is inherently obvious to small children, bafflingly ignored by too many parents. In Texas, Spouse and I had a two-bedroom apartment. We shared one room, and the second was a library. It was also my room: my reading chair lived there, my photography table. It was a place I could play country music, sequester myself with friends or a lover, or just enjoy solitude and a good book.

We moved to a one-bedroom apartment in New Orleans. I don’t have my own space here. It’s affected nerves: my need for solitude and silence is at times profound. I have shut myself in the closet here more than once, just to try to feel that there’s some small space that only I control.

The Techie and Z have a spare room. It’s where I sleep, when I stay at their place. They call it my room, sometimes. It’s a convenience: I stay there once or twice a week, no one else does. But it’s a guest room, not mine. I can’t assume it’s available or that I’m welcome. I don’t keep my things there, or use it as a haven. It is not my space, simply space I am allowed to occupy sometimes.

A key is a promise.

The first time the Techie offered me a key was over a year ago. It frightened me, the implication of trust and commitment. I declined. He mentioned a few times that he’d like me to have one before we fell apart in December. I never took it. Since I’ve been with him and Z, they’ve both offered more than once. It just makes sense, if you get here and we aren’t in, or are in the shower; in case you leave something and need to get it, in case Z locks herself out, etc. We want you to have it. No big deal.

It is a big deal. A key is a promise: this door is never closed to you. You are welcome, now and for the foreseeable future. My home is your home.

It’s a promise they can’t keep. The Techie has already shown he’s perfectly willing to excise me from his life completely rather than risk a difficult conversation. Z I credit with more integrity, but their relationship is hierarchical. An open relationship, not polyamory. Thing about open relationships is that they can close at any time, and secondary partners are unlikely to have any warning, let alone a say.

I don’t want a key. I can’t brush off the little lower layer. It clings like cobwebs in spite of their talk of convenience, in defiance of their insistence that it’s no big deal.

As of yesterday, I have a key. They’re out of town for a week, wanted someone to be able to get in if there’s an emergency. I can deal with this. It’s practical, and temporary.

But it makes me sick to look at my key ring right now. I’m afraid they’ll try to say I should keep it, when they get back; that there’s no reason I shouldn’t have a key. On the face of it, that may be true. But I can’t separate the thing from its meaning. A key is a promise, and this is not one I’m willing to believe or accept.

Pandora’s Box

Spouse got a Twitter account.

I don’t know what it is and I won’t be looking for it or following, but it made my corner of the Internet feel a little smaller anyway. As though there’s suddenly a risk that he’ll stumble across my Twitter and click over here, if only just to peek. If you’re thinking Twitter is a huge community and odds are low, I should add that Spouse has already mentioned following an account I followed.

It’s hard to articulate why this bothers me. It’s personal, what I write here, but not precisely secretive. He knows I blog and tweet about sex. It’s not as though I have secret partners or use this space to cast Spouse in a negative light. In fact, I rarely write about Spouse at all (this is because he’s a fairly private person. He dislikes being tagged when I check in places on Facebook; I don’t think he’d like it if our intimacy were just out there on the Internet for anyone to read).

Partly it is the intimacy. None of my partners reads this. None of them gets that glimpse into what goes through my head when we fuck, or the raw detail of what I do with the others. None of them reads this, so I can write without worrying what they’ll think, without feeling I need to censor myself or owe them an explanation. I can process and articulate ideas based on conversations we’ve had, or use the act of writing to begin articulating for conversations I’d like to have. I don’t have to worry anyone will think I’m using the blog to be passive aggressive with them.

I’m fairly certain Spouse respects this. He also writes about sex on the Internet and would prefer that I not seek out his space for slightly different reasons than mine. I’m not tempted to look for it, but that’s at least partly because the niche he’s writing in holds no interest for me at all. If it were more of a journal, if it were personal thoughts on kink and gender, and his perspectives on sexual experiences, would I be tempted? I don’t know.

It’s a Pandora’s Box situation. Spouse and my other partners know I write about sex on the Internet, but not where. If I told them, or they stumbled across it, would they be able to resist looking inside? Would it even be reasonable to ask them to?

e[lust] #59 (Hey, Look, “10 Things No One Warns You About Nonmonogamy” is Featured!)

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Photo courtesy of Frisky in the 916

Welcome to Elust #59

The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at Elust. Want to be included in Elust #60? Start with the rules, come back July 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Considering Cocks
I Love Interrogation, or Diabolical Genius
Yes all Women but Not All Men Rant

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

I Kissed A Girl (& Her Man) And I Liked It

10 Things No One Warns You About Nonmonogamy

 

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

*You really should consider adding your popular posts here too*

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Sex News,Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Trigger Warnings from a Girl with PTSD
To Cheat or Not To Cheat
Why Trigger Warnings Are Important
On women in the world
Pillow Talk Secrets — We Have Lift Off!

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

Boundaries
Daddy doesn’t want to have sex with a virgin
Female Masturbation…Healthy, Not Sinful.
Partner Play – Dealing with Dildophobia
Tired Of Being Alone Some Relationship Advice
On Hang Ups
How to (almost) pick up women
Sex Smell

Erotic Fiction

Dark Fantasy
Exhibit ‘O’, Pt. 1
Her cock vs his cock
The Leopard Girl
Excerpt Two from “Legacy of Desire and Blood”
The Bachelor’s Prayer
Behind the bar

Writing About Writing

I’m Sheri and I Have a Shitty Author Persona

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Navigating The Waters of BDSM
Kink’s transgressions: breaking the rules
Edges, Limits and Boundaries
Feminist Beliefs vs Bedroom Preferences—help!
No Stupid (Kink) Questions: Identification
CollarMe – Return to Sender

Poetry

Facebook Fixation – a Lusty Limerick

Erotic Non-Fiction

A Pain From Long Ago
I Just Need to Fuck You!
Meet the Amazon
When I Am Laid in Earth
Undressing
Twice
The Night Club

Events

Yes, the G-Spot is Real

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Words, Words, Words

People feel vulnerable talking about sex.

They’ll make all sorts of excuses: It’s taboo. It’s shameful. It ruins the mood.

They’re all bullshit. People don’t like to talk about sex because they’re scared. Of being laughed at, of putting pressure on partners, of being rejected, called a freak, any number of things.

The sad part is that it’s such a common fear that it is a taboo. Talking about desire and turn-ons and experiences does carry that risk of rejection, of judgment.

People feel vulnerable talking about sex because it’s a vulnerable thing to do.

And I don’t care. I think you should do it anyway.

I’m always floored when friends say sex “just happened.” “The first time we had sex, it wasn’t planned. I gave him a massage, he turned over, he had an erection, so we just sort of…” “Well no, we never talked about it, but I kissed her and we started undressing each other and one thing led to another, you know how it is.”

No, I don’t know how it is. I mean yes, I know sexual contact escalates, but silently? I can’t imagine.

It’s a taboo. It’s shameful. It ruins the mood.

Really?

It’s a taboo?

Let me explain taboo. Taboo is about the sacred. A taboo is an act forbidden because of a religious or (in wider use) moral principle. It’s about the act itself, not discussion thereof. Granted, taboo leads us to euphemisms about those acts which are forbidden, but if the act itself is acceptable then so must be the discussion of it.

I grew up Jewish. Word and deed are closely knit. We have a lot of taboos. Around sex, menstruation, food. And it is always–always!–more okay to discuss the taboo, even to challenge it, than it is to simply break it and hope no one notices.

Sex is a taboo? You can’t talk about it? I’m guessing you’re working from a system that prohibits having it as well.

It’s shameful?

If someone can’t jump in and respond to sexy texts with sexy texts (or say “sorry, now’s not the time”), if they can’t so much as allude to the content of their fantasies or say they want me…I’m out. I want completely filthy hot dear-lord-did-that-just-happen amazing sex, and that can’t happen with a partner who’s too ashamed of desire (or lack thereof) to express it. We’re none of us mind readers. There’s no way to know exactly what our partners are thinking or for them to know what we’re thinking without communication. Not all of that is verbal. Body language is a powerful tool. But if a question is asked, or if you want something and body language is not getting it across, you’ve got to use your words.

It ruins the mood?

It doesn’t. Doing something your partner does not want ruins the mood. Violating consent ruins the mood. “what the fuck were you thinking? I hate having my hair pulled!” ruins the mood. Talking about sex is fucking sexy.

Look:


 

I’m straddling his lap, his lip between my teeth. He’s a great kisser, so much so that I hate to stop, ever, but it’s not what I’m craving.

“God, I want your cock in my mouth. Right now.”

“I’m surprised it took you this long.” I’m sliding down his body, he’s unfastening his belt, before we even finish speaking.


 

My spouse and his walk out the door. He looks at me. I laugh, and look at the floor. “Well, this isn’t awkward at all.”

“I feel like a goddamn panda. Like, we have to fuck now, you know?”

“We don’t have to.”

“I’d like to.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah. You’re probably going to have to make me shut up first though.”

He grabs my throat, hard, an instant before he covers my mouth with his. I pull him closer. When the kiss breaks we’re both out of breath. “Still awkward?”

“Mm. Will be if I talk. I suggest more choking.”

“Can do…let me grab a condom first.”


 

I couldn’t move my head if I wanted to. She’s holding me down with her thighs, making soft noises somewhere above me. She tilts her hips, makes it suddenly difficult to breathe.

“Can you–just–a little bit slower?”

I can’t speak. I slow my tongue, change rhythm and firmness and pressure slowly until she gasps “just like that” and grabs me by the hair.


 

Talking about sex is sexy. Really, really sexy.