Augustine

I am watching (through radar, and pictures from friends and family) as storms hit my hometown almost daily. It’s the kind of weather I miss, and missed over my last visit (a rare summer week without much rain). It’s making me miss home, being on or in the water even when there is no storm. Even though the sun is dire threat to someone whiter than sand, I spend every moment of a visit I can spare soaking up the beach.

2015-06-11 11.00.56
Augustine the floating langoustine is not impressed with the view.

 

Sinful Sunday

More Isn’t Enough

Sent e-mail, a long time ago:

What do you think it means, when I say I want to hurt you? Biting, scratching, pulling hair? I want those things (God, I do). But that isn’t what I mean by it. I want to push harder, to slap you, to hit you until you’re bruised and shaking. I want to see how much pain you can take before you stop wanting to get closer. I want to hurt you until you say to stop, and I would stop (of course) and then refuse to touch you at all until you begged to be hurt again.

I don’t want to be gentle. I want to crash into you as hard as I can and see which of us breaks first. You make me feel drawn back like a bow, and it was so hard to let that tension out slowly, to hurt you only a little, to kiss you and pull away again when I feel a feral need to bite and choke, to grab and pull your limbs into strange contortions. I am greedy and unfair. I want to keep you talking. I want your mouth on mine. And of course you can’t do both–no one could–but the point is that I want more, impossibly more. I suspect you’d try to give me more, to try to please me. But more isn’t enough and you can’t please me. I want to taste flesh and fear, to curl my bloody fingers around your liver, scrape my tendons over your bones like a bow across a violin. I want to make you scream and I want to cover your mouth with mine to keep it silent. I want you whimpering and pleading and desperate, if only to get some measure of revenge for the fact that I can’t get you out of my head.

The only thing that possibly mitigates this at all is that it’s unsustainable, that eventually I’d be satiated and calm and want to snuggle and put back the pieces. But all the rest of it? If that doesn’t scare you, at least a little bit, it should. I know it scares me.

I’m missing this, these days. I was missing it then, too, with the particular frustrating delight of having someone to send an e-mail like this to, but not within reach. I’m craving violence, prowling like a predator in a cage. There is nothing to hunt, here. Nothing but lizards and little birds that aren’t any kind of game. The truth is with no one in sight I lose focus. I miss the wanting as much as the violence, the feedback that leaves me needing more and more on top of more until exhaustion hits and I’m still not sated.

Body Play

It’s not improv, but almost. We write the script as we go. A text, from eight hundred miles away: “slow…lazy…lingering…that’s how I would start, were my hands on your body now.”

“Like this?”

We play with bodies like this, in stop motion, in the gaps between snapshots and words.

Sinful Sunday

Questioning

I had a date yesterday. It was unusual in a lot of ways: he asked for my number at work (this happens often), and I gave it to him (this is unprecedented). He’s tall–much too tall. He frequents coffee shops, which mostly bore me. He is yet another straight white man. I enjoyed his company, enough to make a second date, but I’m questioning.

I’m questioning my own judgment. To a lesser extent (all but drowned out by the thunderous wrath of my own queerness), I’m questioning my own values and identity. For all that I will fight and rage when people say “bisexuals are just confused,” I am looking at myself right now with the same dismissiveness and disdain that gay men and lesbians display when they note my history of “straight” relationships.

I’ve always trampled down the second Q of LGBTQQIA. I want to treat it with a sort of ruthlessness, because “questioning” can so easily be used to call all of us into question, because its very framing is tenuous and uncertain and I am afraid of any hint of uncertainty. Because bisexuality specifically has so much added scrutiny, beyond other forms of queerness, that I don’t dare add my own questioning to the questioning I’m bombarded with so often. But yes, it’s there.

The truth is I feel like I am failing at bisexual praxis. I’ve had three partners in the last six months. All casual. All straight white men. They’re mentally and psychologically exhausting in a way no other people are, even the most progressive of them. And the truth is that exhaustion leaves me vulnerable to questioning. To wondering if all the women and genderqueer folk I’ve dated or fucked or just lusted over for all these years were just a fever dream, or a delusion, or a phase.

The truth is that choosing a radical expression of bisexuality leaves me, by definition, rootless, and it is inefficient to gather nutrients without soil.

I am not sure what to do about this. I am questioning my options and my choices and myself. It is exhausting.

Lazy Summer Day

I’m trying out sinful Sunday for the first time. I sit outside as often as I can get away with it: the warm weather is much of what I love about the South, and I intend to enjoy as much of it as I can soak in.

The deck at my new house is considerably more private than the last one. I can’t really see a good reason not to take advantage of it, a little.

deck august 15

Sinful Sunday

Playing at Poly

Ferns brings up (as she so often does) a good question, about how it comes across when someone identifies as poly “until they find the right person.”

What this says to me is, “I want to be with you, and I want to have all the trappings of a relationship that make me feel fulfilled and secure, but I want to be able to sever those ties at a moment’s notice when I find The One. But no, I absolutely care about you, how could you say otherwise?”

To me that doesn’t look like polyamory. It looks like play-acting relationships for practice until picking a real one. It looks like fear of being alone meeting fear of commitment. It looks like scatter-planting seeds, waiting to see which seedling sprouts tallest, straightest, most resilient before thinning the rest away like weeds.

It’s the lie that gets to me. Even if it’s not quite a lie, even when they say “I am only doing this until I find The One,” that promise is being dangled. That nurturing is being offered, and that intimacy, and it carries with it a terrible blame. After all, they told you they were only poly for now. That you might be what they were looking for, and really, whose fault is it if you’re not the one they keep, in the end? They did nurture you, after all. Gave you a chance. You’re the one who failed to be perfect.

This creates something sinister, even toxic. A relationship in constant threat of pruning breeds a fear of imperfection, of humanity, even of creative growth. You’re not one partner of several, building something either cooperative or independent: you’re in competition for a limited resource. It’s stifling. You’re reduced, finally, to trying only to be enough, and there’s nothing about that state that doesn’t breed resentment.

It also sets up an untenable situation. Poly-until-The-One people typically expect their ultimate partner-in-monogamy to also be monogamous once their soulmate-status is established. This means rejecting the possibility of compatibility with people who would not choose monogamy (like me).

Oddly enough, I take far less issue with people whose behavior is nearly identical to this but who don’t call it poly. I’ve had fuck-buddies and friends-with-benefits with the understanding that once these partners were not-single, sexual contact would end. Aside from a little sadness over knowing the sexual component of a relationship with me is, for these partners, disposable in a way that it would not be with someone they were dating, it’s fine. And I don’t resent the sexual component being disposable when it isn’t connected to intimacy.

“I’m poly until I find the right person” seems to forget that one’s partners in polyamorous relationships are people. They aren’t to be used and thrown away. They aren’t to be manipulated. And that’s what I see happening. Maybe I misinterpret, and maybe it means I’m missing out, but I wouldn’t date a person who said this at all.