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Semiformalishmaybe

Whoa NSFW

The following content has content that (lightly) touches on sexual preferences and sexual acts, and is stuff that's NSFW and quite possibly stuff you don't want to know.

Ok, I was reading an article on Politico that featured John Kerry and Mitt Romney, and it popped into my head that they're like an urRu-Skeksi pair (they kind of look like each other, have some similarities, and are theoretically on opposite sides of a great political divide. If you haven't seen the Dark Crystal, this won't at all make sense.

Dark Crystal was a great (and very dark) film that I saw when I was very young (many times, actually, possibly with-parents when it was initially in theatres in 1982 but I was too young to remember, then many times later on). I remember finding the torture scene (and maybe the bondage part immediately before it? My memory is very fuzzy) deeply and oddly erotic even though I didn't really understand much about sex until much later in life. It's actually the first memory I have of finding something sexually interesting (maybe reminiscent of the whipping scene in Starship Troopers?). I've never explored much the idea of pain in sex, either getting or giving; if it does have any appeal to me, it's not one I've ever uncovered, but there's still a vague, sexually charged memory in my head of that barely-remembered scene from the Dark Crystal.

I guess while we're behind that strong you-probably-don't-want-to-know curtain, I should mention that there's some oddness about pegging remaining in my psyche. It is a practice I like. There's also some psychological content in my head remaining from the tension between who-I-would-be-without-philosophy and who I am now. The self-hating homophobe is still part of me, and there is still a part of me that is heteronormative that sees gay sex as being "less gay" for the giver than the receiver, and pegging is weird on that front. That perspective doesn't have traction anymore now that I am comfortable with being categorically/sexually bi (and have a mild identity as such). I am glad that Dan Savage gave it a name (I think he's a jerk in a lot of ways, even as he's a jerk that I generally consider "on my side"; he has done some useful things like providing this term and some wonderful things like the "It gets better" project). Pegging is something I hope will eventually be part of my sex life (if/when I have one again), but I still feel a bit weird looking for it, and I am worried that the norms of society mean that it's not something a lot of people would be interested in providing. Like a lot of things in sex, it's something I'd just consider a plus; as I'm relationship-oriented (and pretty lonely) and have a laundry list of things more important to me that are more intellectual-and-general-body-things, I can't be that picky. I suspect that for a lot of women it falls outside of what they expect for men, maybe partly due to culture and partly due to instinct (relationships, I'm sure, are a mix of each).

More generally, there's a number of places in my mental battleground:

  • Active parts of the way I would be without philosophy that struggle with the way I am and are pushed down through habits, arguments, and equally active "new me" parts.
  • Parts of the way I was before philosophy that have become pretty much silent and forgotten
  • The way I broadly am, significantly maintained and defended as a set of changed values, perspectives, and intuitions that sit on top of who I was brought up to be. Eventually these parts can soundly win and the tension decreases, but there are many areas where I doubt my inner tensions will ever disappear
Things get more complicated on topics where there have been more solid positions I've held over the years than "original-me" and "me-now". Things also sometimes get weird when I can feel my inner struggles in a situation and imagine what I might say if one of the other sides of me got a voice. Such is life, I suppose. It's not like I could ever lessen the internal pressure by letting go and "being myself", because there are probably a number of stable configurations of values that I might return to, each of which would find itself in similar tensions. It might be nice if the volume on all this were lower, at times.

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