Shadows

[content note: assault]

I don’t want to write this. It’s an ugliness that needs to be acknowledged, but it’s damn uncomfortable.

I am used to seeing threats where there are none. Hypervigilance is constant. It keeps me awake nights, tells me everywhere a danger is, everywhere it might be. I see things in shadows when nothing is there.

One night last week I rolled over in bed and saw a shadow. Just a dark shape in a dark room at three thirty in the morning when there’s nothing else to see.

A shadow. At three thirty in the morning. The familiar split: rational brain saying “hush, it’s nothing.” Anxiety brain saying “That is a man. Hurt him. Hurt him and run.” I held them both, believed them both. A shadow is nothing. A shadow could be anything. I should reach for a weapon, or turn on a light. It’s probably nothing, but just in case.

A shadow covered my face with his hand. I shrieked and kicked. He ran. I kept screaming for my roommate. She let the dog out and came running. Turned on lights. Took a moment to dress, get through a rushed explanation, arm ourselves, and search the house. A door was unlocked (no, there is no possibility that either of us failed to lock it, or failed to check the locks. Hypervigilance means checking, over and over, no matter how sure).

We called the police. Waited. Waited. Waited. Talked to a detective (who took us seriously, thank God), and our landlord (who did not). I didn’t want to wait for an undetermined “later” for an unknown handyman to change our locks. We did it ourselves and added more security.

We’re fine. No one hurt, nothing taken. In daytime, I’m alright. Just tired. At night, there are shapes in shadows and I can’t keep my eyes closed. And I’m angry. Because I know I’m not any less safe now than a week ago, but I feel it. Because how dare anyone or anything make me feel afraid in my own home.

Oblivious male responses have been hurtful, some even panic-inducing. Predictably, they don’t take it well when called out. To them, this incident was anomalous, shocking, damn near unbelievable. I’ve gotten “you don’t know there was any kind of malicious intent.” (Uh. A man invaded a home and put his hands on a naked woman in her sleep. There is no possible intent that isn’t malicious. He’s literally already committed a burglary and assault by getting to that point.) One worst-possible-attempt-at-reassurance “If he’d really wanted to rape you, you wouldn’t have been able to stop him.” (What. The. Fuck. Dear men: stop thinking about how easy or difficult it would be to overpower women. What is wrong with you.)

Everyone else knows it’s not anomalous, not even uncommon. Women aren’t safe, because men do this. We sit in a circle around a collection of weapons, install alarms, set up safe calls for each other, discuss taking martial arts classes or getting a bigger dog. It’s not okay. We shouldn’t have to. And it won’t make us safe, but what else can we do?

So I’m getting back to normal. We all are. But normal is seeing shapes in the shadows. Normal is being told it’s probably nothing (you know, statistically) by people who have not lived in fear. (By men.) Normal is fear, and the worst part is that it’s rational. I’m tired. I haven’t slept substantially for days, but that’s not it. I’m tired of being afraid all the time.

[I’m disabling comments. I realize folks feel the need to provide their insight and commentary, or ask incredibly invasive questions. It’s not wanted, thanks.]

[e]Lust #70

exposing 40
Photo courtesy of Exposing 40

Welcome to Elust #70

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 #71? Start with the rules, come back June 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Exposed! My Mom Knows!

Flash Fiction: “A Taste”

I am a Sex Blogger & I Reject Pseudonymity

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

‘X’ is for X…
Give my guilt an erotic payoff? Tell me more.

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

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

Dis-moi…

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!

 

Blogging

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Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

The Great Outdoors (Or Why I Trust Him)
I’m Reminded You Can’t Force an Orgasm
Yes I am Sexy
Why Choose Monogamy When You Can Choose Every
Would you? Could you?
On Being Haunted

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

A Horse Among Unicorns: Embracing my Straight
Being a Disabled Top in Kink Community
And here I thought kink was all about consent
10 Signs You Don’t Understand Submission
The Answer

Writing About Writing

Sex in Real Life vs Fiction
Terms of Use

Poetry

Six Nine – A Happy Horny Haiku

Erotic Fiction

One Saturday Evening
Cerulean
Stolen Minutes
Taste
Haunting you
Woken
Q is for Quenched
A schoolgirl spanking story 10
Sit Here Please
My Prize

Sex News, Opinion, Interviews, Politics & Humor

Fat-Shaming
Spanking, Brits, and what if we didn’t?
“V” is for Virgin

Erotic Non-Fiction

My first date with Lexy – Part 2
Goodnight kiss
How To Kiss Me Like You Mean It
running cold and hot
His cum came out my nose.
Going Down. Honey, Coconut Oil and Cum.

 

 

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Would You? Could You?

So this is a first: a question from a reader! I’m twitterpated, truly.
Even though you are poly..If you found an absolutely amazing person who wants to be monogamous with you, could you or would you consider being monogamous? Do you think that being poly is such a huge part of you that you couldn’t possibly ever consider being monogamous with someone or it’s a possibility? Why or why not?
[Necessary disclaimer: this is my personal reaction and my personal interaction with monogamous norms and expectations. Nothing here can be extrapolated to other people or other paradigms.]

The short answer? My gut reaction? No. I do not like this, Sam-I-Am.

I’ve never tried it.

I’m not going to.

I used to feel the need to justify nonmonogamy. I was asked to justify it every time I told anyone I was married and also dating. Every time the first thing anyone had to say (after they asked if I was cheating) was “Your spouse lets you get away with that?”

Lets me. Like it was more their call than mine. Like I was getting away with something. Like I needed special dispensation. What upsets me most about this is that I used to feel that way, too. That it was unreasonable of me to ask for independent relationships. That I should feel grateful to be allowed, that I had to be on my best behavior to earn the privilege of making my own decisions on my own time.

I am viscerally disgusted by the idea that a relationship somehow grants a person the right to some part of another person’s autonomy. The way it creeps. The way monogamy is normal, the idea that if I really cared about someone, I’d sacrifice the right to care about anyone else. How careful I have to be, saying this, because I know it’s going to be read as “monogamy is bad” when what I mean is “coercing a partner to be monogamous is bad.” I have NO objection to monogamous pairings in which both partners value and desire to practice romantic and sexual exclusivity. What I object to is the pressure, the normalization, the idea that if it is good and healthy for some then it must be the rule for all. I can be happy for monogamous couples without being monogamous.

I do not like green eggs and ham. I’m failing a kindergarten lesson about prejudgment in saying it, and I’m quite honestly okay with that. I’m a grown adult perfectly capable of making my own decisions. Maybe green eggs and ham are delicious. Maybe I’m really missing out on this amazing thing Sam-I-Am has to offer. But you know what? Sam-I-Am is a dick for pushing. I can like Sam-I-Am without liking green eggs and ham. I can like Sam-I-Am if he eats green eggs and ham three times a day while I have lamb tagine one day and spinach alfredo pasta the next. But if Sam-I-Am can’t respect my choices, or believes my feelings about his breakfast reflect my feelings about him, we’re just not going to be a good fit. (Also, I’m Jewish. Stop pushing your ham, Sam!)

If I met an absolutely amazing person who wanted a mutual agreement of monogamy…they wouldn’t be an absolutely amazing person for me.

Finally, people have asked me this before, and I’ve always wondered: would they ever ask the same question of a monogamous person? Would you, could you have a relationship that wasn’t exclusive? Why, or why not?

Being Single Sucks

My housemate is gently offering to set me up with approximately every guy she knows because “no one wants to be single.”

People used to tell me it must be a perk of polyamory: “At least if you have a breakup you still have someone else!” At the time, this irked me because it implied people are interchangeable, that as long as there’s some relationship in the tank, life goes on, and if there’s none, you’re stalled on the side of the road.  And then you can’t afford to be picky. You do what magazines say is attractive to “men”/”women” as a whole and the very first person who’ll stop for you is worth traveling with. The standard becomes “probably not a serial killer” because even obvious incompatibility is worth it for now, just to get on the road again.

Now, I’m single (Hey non-poly people: we can have All The Breakups at the same time, and end up single! How’s that for a perk?). And yeah, it’s not fun. I miss kissing. I miss the text messages that put a Cheshire-cat grin on my face. I miss having someone special. I miss being someone special. And dear God do I miss kissing.

But not enough to accept advances from a myriad of straight male friends I feel pretty much unexcited by. And what gets me is that this shocks people. I’ve heard “beggars can’t be choosers,” “but he’s not bad,” and “but isn’t it better than being alone?” Thing is, I’m not begging. “Not bad” isn’t the world’s most stellar recommendation. And if I couldn’t stand my own company, I don’t see how it’d be any good to inflict it on someone else.

I stayed in my last several relationships too long, for a lot of not-very-good reasons. They weren’t healthy. I wasn’t stable in them. Right now, aside from leveling up in the crazy cat lady class, I am stable. I can say, definitively, that alone is better than the wrong relationship and that pressure not to be alone makes leaving the wrong relationship that much harder. For the moment, single works.

Life goes on. I’m not stranded and I’m not particularly worried about it. I figure if my motivation for starting a relationship is to avoid being single rather than to create a good connection, it’s already failed.

That said, a delivery service for kissing would be nice.