first, a confessional: my embarrassing revelation, which came before the quoted segment of the IM conversation in the last blog entry was that i had wanted to kiss "HER:" during a previous evening together, but had been uncertain how it'd be received and so had refrained. i got a small ration of shit for posting her "embarrassing bits" but not mine. personally, i thought i did plenty of self-embarrassment by posting the conversation in the first place, but now, hopefully, we're even.
second, to put too fine a point on this ramble about "all that matters", here goes:
ME: that's by far the least embarrassing course of action. :) but sometimes you have to hang it out there and embarrass yourself to get what you want.
you do, sometimes, have to embarrass yourself to get what you want. as the old saying goes: nothing ventured, nothing gained. at some point, at some level, in order to get anywhere in a romantic encounter, you have to make a move. you have to start a gambit, and that gambit has to leave your defenses down somewhere, and that makes you vulnerable to embarrassment at best, pain at worst. vulnerability has its cost, but its reward is that it creates the possibility of a truly open and soulful connection. you have to risk the pain and embarrassment to reap the reward, no way around it. as i once told a dear friend: "i know you've developed a really good suit of armor, but sometimes you have to stick your nose out there and look around. if it gets chopped off, you can find a plastic surgeon. if it doesn't, you might get kissed." i later chopped his nose off, but he found a plastic surgeon and we managed to stay friends.
ME: i'm so much more flustered by women than i am by men, and i think it's largely because i care more about the women. if it doesn't work out with a guy, or if we get our signals crossed, i can drop him like a dirty kleenex, and not be bothered overmuch by the loss.
this isn't entirely accurate. i don't want any men who find themselves reading this to think i'm heartless or that i don't care or that i equate them with snotty, germy disposable paper products. i was trying to make a point, so i exaggerated to emphasize it. now, with that said, the point still stands. i'm just more interested in women at this point in my life than i am in men. i care more about the outcome of my interactions with women, so i get more flustered, more worried. the infamous, anonymous "HER:" was more concerned about how the women would react and whether or not she'd hurt them. that's really not something i spend much time worrying about. i have a plan for dealing with it in any given situation, which is to communicate clearly and openly about what i want and what i'm willing to give. if i feel like the other person isn't reading my communication correctly, or if i feel like they're not capable of working with the want/need/willing scenario, i avoid getting entangled. that's a longtime operating procedure for me, so i don't spend time worrying about it at this point.
HER: well just look at us biologically (if that's even a word) and it makes complete sense...sex for men is OUTSIDE of them, it is external. for women it is literally letting someone inside you - that has to affect your emotions about it in some way.
ME: it does. i think it's hormonal, too, at some level. <-- this is a new theory based on discussions with one of my trans friends.
i don't have a whole lot more to say about this, because it's a raw theory and i only have a tiny bit of anecdotal evidence behind it. i think the hormones have something to do with it, more than i gave them credit for before. testosterone has a powerful differentiating force. society and physiognomy play a role, too, in people's feelings about sex and certainly one can't generalize for the population as a whole or for either sex in particular. however, the stereotypes about how personally men and women take sex exist for a reason and they serve as a good starting point for a discussion.
HER: i joke that i wish i could take sex more casually but in truth i'm glad i don't.
ME: yeah? i get that. on the one hand, it would be nice from the "frequently satisfied" perspective. but, on the other hand, you risk a slutty reputation and leaving yourself open to bad experiences and lesbian drama.
seriously, yo. i'm not going to go into my ideas about why people gossip or what they get out of it, but i've certainly learned to keep my private stuff private. i'm not embarrassed, ashamed, bothered, worried, or shy about being a sexually active adult. i take care of my health and safety, i aim for quality over quantity, and i am responsible with other people's feelings. that said, i don't need everybody to know who's on my "list", because i know the way the rumor mill works, and i know what i've seen happen to women who didn't keep their DL on the DL. word gets around, and stuff that should NEVER EVER get you in trouble is suddenly getting you into either trouble or drama or both. so i strive to keep my shiznit to myself (yea, journaling!), certain lapses in judgment notwithstanding. i don't think anyone really gets to live a drama-free live, unless maybe they're a hermit. keeping things to myself certainly doesn't keep me from getting caught up in the drama on occasion, but NOT keeping it to myself has proven to be a certain invitation to front-center-stage-drama, which is the worst kind.
ME: nope. me, either. at one level, sex is just sex for me, it's a physical thing and that's fun and i'm glad to have it as long as it's good. on another, it can be an emotional, soulful connection with somebody, and i don't want to go spreading that around too thinly.
this is the very heart of my outlook on sex. i have two very different types of sex, and they do different things for me emotionally. physically, they're identical. i may have to come back to this topic later, because i feel like i have a lot more to say about it, but for now that's all i can articulate clearly.
i've got a very good compartmentalizer in my emotional makeup, so i can keep those two things separated, but i find it's hard for me to have both kinds of sex with the same person. if it's sex, it's just sex. if we make love, we make love, but i can't go back and forth.
this was the true gem of self-discovery from this conversation. i had already defined for myself the separation between sex and lovemaking (i know that's a slightly cheesy, heavily loaded term, but it conveys the idea as well as i know how. i hope the distinction is apparent.) and how they work differently for me. i had never thought about the possibility that i could have both kinds of sex with a single partner. i have and i'm sure will again go from physical sex to emotionally-involved sex with one person. i've never gone the other way, and don't think i could.
that's why i'm completely baffled by the people who have booty calls with their exes. once i've severed that sort of emotional bond with someone, i can't go back and have a purely physical experience with them.
i need to revise this significantly. i DO TOTALLY UNDERSTAND how people go back to their exes for booty calls. the kernel of physical attraction that was a part of the relationship doesn't always end when the emotional entanglement ends. (don't ask me how i know that!) if i were to let my zipper make the decision, i could certainly end up in the sack with an ex. however, it would be a HUGE strain on my compartmentalizer and i think at some point (probably after some mugging and heavy petting) i'd bow out. the reason i haven't/don't/won't end up banging an ex is that i don't let my zipper make my decisions for me. so, that said, i UNDERSTAND it, i just don't DO it.