The other night, I had a dream. In it, I found myself trying, hard, to reach my grandmother’s house. First, by car. Then, on foot. Finally, on a bike. Each time, I faced seemingly insurmountable obstacles, though I was only a short distance from my destination. I was blocked – by snow, slush, traffic, detours, and other impediments.
I’ve been blocked in a variety of ways, for a while now. I’ve written occasionally of the impact of the Trump fiasco on me, on my sex drive, on my ability to think. I know I’m not alone in saying that the last few weeks have been about the worst since November 2016 for me in this regard. The other worst weeks (and there’s sadly lots of competition) for me have been the week of the initial travel ban and the week it became apparent that the Trump Regime was separating families on a large scale. But this last stretch affected me personally, in a sort of fractal way, that I’ve found debilitating.
For one, as I’ve written, it happened coincident to my learning that I likely bear responsibility for saddling at least one, and possibly two, women with memories of sexual assault. Never mind what it looked like to my 12-year-old self at the time. Never mind the relative innocence with which I inflicted that memory, those memories. At least one woman, and possibly two, have carried around a memory all their adult lives for which I bear responsibility.
Second, the last few weeks have exacted a toll on any number of people I care about, from those closest to me to more distant friends, colleagues, acquaintances, etc. I may be a narcissist, but I’m a narcissist with a pretty deep well of empathy. As hard as the last stretch has been for me, I have no illusion that it’s been anywhere near as hard for me as for some of those others. And that affects me, too.
Third, and, for the purposes of this blog, most salient: I feel a bit blocked when it comes to writing about sex and desire. About two months ago, I had a phenomenal sexual experience about which I’ve not (yet?) written, other than gesturally. Last week, I had a different kind of phenomenal sexual experience, my first in which talking about the whole Kavanaugh thing was a sort of foreplay, perversely: before we retreated to a private space, Hope and I firmly grounded ourselves in the world. I can’t say what she was doing, but I’ll say that I, for one, needed to feel well and truly connected to a human being before I felt I possibly could objectify her, could use her to satisfy my most carnal hungers.
But that points to the difficulty I have here: a big part of what I do here is to give voice to my id, to speak (write) aloud some of my most challenging thoughts, feelings, desires. But in the current moment, I’m particularly acutely aware that every word I write has an impact on every person who reads it. I don’t worry particularly about shame: I feel very little. I don’t apologize for the objectification I do in my mind. Nor for the desires, vanilla or perverse, that crowd my body. But when I write, when I expose those thoughts, feelings, desires, to the air, there’s a chemical reaction between them and the eyes, the minds, and the bodies of the people who read my words. In the past, I’ve taken comfort in the knowledge that my readers are volunteers. That I am unfailingly honest about who I am, about what I have to offer. And that, therefore, no one need be “triggered” (to use a word I hate) or affected painfully in a way that induces pain and/or dissociation (a more communicative concept) by those words.
In the current moment, the ground sways beneath my writing feet. I teeter as I try to find the words to communicate the effect my body felt this morning in the presence of a woman who didn’t ask to be objectified by me, who simply wanted to have a day. But my body responded to her, to her hair, her eyes, her breasts, her clothing, her carriage. I am, after all human. And animal. As a human, I behave appropriately. I don’t ogle. My eyes don’t follow people. But as an animal, I feel a sexual urge. And then, as a human, I, often, write about it.
I sway unsteadily as I think about writing about the sex for which I traveled. It was with someone with whom I enjoy a real, honest, connection. But what makes our sex so hot is our ability to switch seamlessly from the human to the animal mode of interaction. I can, unapologetically, use her. And, crucially, she derives pleasure from giving me the gift of the use of her body for my pleasure.
Similarly, with Hope, how do I communicate the excitement, the visceral, raw fulfillment I feel from her simply doing as I say? How do I communicate that, for me, as hard as her compliance makes my cock, her consent, her desire, catalyzes the whole process?
I often recoil against the word “Dom.” People have so many associations with that word. One of my problems with it is that it puts me at the center of the action – I’m a “Dom.” But really, really, for me, what makes domination compelling is submission. I think of a woman who submits to me as the center of the action. “Dom” sounds active, powerful; it implies agency. But in my dominance, there’s a sense in which what I am is the nearly passive recipient of submission. Sure, I have to earn it. But the gift of submission is the headline of any satisfying encounter in which I’m dominant.
I think I’m struggling to write because of the tensions in all this, the interaction between fantasy and reality, thought and action, the bedroom and the public sphere. If the personal is political (and it surely is), how do I reconcile in words my ego – my sense of self – with my id – my base desires? How do I reconcile it with all the creative games I play to indulge my id in ways that don’t offend my ego?
I’ve been thinking about some of these questions, and my thought about them has something to do with my struggle to write here.