Monday, August 26, 2013

Rapture, Blister, Burn-ed

A couple nights ago, some friends and I saw Gina Gionfriddo’s Rapture, Blister, Burn at the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood… and we haven’t stopped talking about it.

In the play, Catherine, a successful feminist theorist, returns to the small college town where she grew up and reconnects with Don, her college boyfriend, and Gwen, the friend that “stole” him from her, now married with two children. She is smacked in the face with the life she could have had if she hadn’t followed her career, and this dilemma of the road not travelled becomes the central question of the play, the age old crux faced by women everywhere: is it possible to have both a successful career and a well-cultivated marriage/home life? Gwen, too, is disappointed with her life, especially with Don as a husband, and she longs to return to school and pursue the career she gave up to become a mother. When Don and Catherine start having an affair, Gwen gets on board with the idea and decides the two women should essentially switch lives. Don moves in with Catherine and Gwen goes back to school in New York, on Catherine’s dime.

I found myself relating to Catherine to the point of discomfort. When she and Don shack up together, she basks in his sloppy, teen boy lifestyle – they stay up all night watching porn and horror movies, fucking, and eating funyuns. Then, in the morning, she encourages him to write that book he always wanted to write and never did because of his laziness and inertia. An older man I spoke to after the play expressed that he didn’t quite buy that a woman as smart, independent, and put together as Catherine would engage in behavior like this. Clearly, a woman wrote this play. For some reason, I don’t think men can quite comprehend the seeming contradiction of an intellectual, independent woman getting sloppy in a love nest with her “loser” boyfriend. I understand because I am this woman – I will stay up all night with a guy, smoking pot, eating pizza and watching The Devil Inside – then, in the morning, I’ll hop out of bed because I don’t like sleeping in, and I’ll want him to get his act together and live up to his potential.

In the play, this contradiction becomes too much for Don and he inevitably goes back to Gwen, a woman whose expectations are not too high or too low for him to live up to. “Gwen holds me to a grade-C achievable standard,” he explains to a devastated Catherine. She doesn’t allow for his sloth, but she also doesn’t expect him to ever write that book he’ll never write. I found myself sucking back tears at the curtain call because I can see this exact thing happening to me – choosing my career over a man and then being rejected because I wouldn’t do the woman thing and sacrifice for him and because he knows he can’t live up to my expectations.

When Catherine, her mother Alice, and her student Avery reflect on Don’t actions, they reference anti-feminist theorist Phyllis Schlafly who argued that independent career women who are too “easy” will be the end of marriage because, as Alice so eloquently puts it, “No one buys the cow if he can get the milk for free.” Catherine theorizes that this behavior goes back to cave men, because cave men wanted to conquer a woman and keep her by their fire, but if a woman was too easily conquered, she might get bored and go fuck another caveman. As my male friend put it, “Guys don’t want a girl that wants casual sex because they are supposed to be the ones that want casual sex and if the girl is too casual about it they lose control.”

I asked my married friend what she thought was the message of the play. “I think it’s that maybe we have to stop expecting so much from men. We can’t expect them to provide the love and comfort we need. Maybe that’s what our female friends are for.” Tears streamed down her cheeks as she opened up to me in a way I’ve never seen before. “There’s just a lot of disappointment.” I thought a lot about this and, although I have a different perspective and I’m not married, I do think there’s something to be said for this theme of women’s expectations and disappointments in life, and especially in their dealings with men. Because I honestly think we expect more from them than they expect from us, and we’re constantly setting ourselves up for disappointment.

My married friend and I started talking about the upcoming wedding of our engaged friend.
“All this wedding stuff is bullshit.” I was surprised to hear such vehemence coming out of this woman who usually keeps such a constrained demeanor. “It has nothing to do with what marriage is really like.”
I had a Woman’s Studies teacher in college who talked about how a wedding is to marriage what porn is to sex. It’s like a hyper-realistic, fantasy version of the thing itself and the two really don’t have much to do with each other. Again, I think there’s a huge expectation-disappointment cycle going on here, because weddings raise women’s expectations for marriage to Disney movie happily-ever-after extremes that make some level of disappointment inevitable. And weddings are often more a fulfillment of the bride’s fantasy than the groom’s. Because, again, men simply have less expectations. I think they accept their reality much more easily than women do and they don’t spend half their life thinking about the what ifs and the what could’ve beens.

The play ends with the three generations of women standing together, sans men, raising their martini glasses in a toast.
Alice: “To Phyllis Schlafly! She said you girls would pay for your independence and your whoring. She said men wouldn’t stay with you and she was right. You’re free. You’re free… I think it’s wonderful!”

I left the play feeling exhilarated, energized, and on the verge of tears. I felt empowered, like a dialogue had been started and my values were shared by a group of strong women, and even some men. That progress was possible and imminent. Then, I left the theatre and found myself at a party… with Gaffer Guy. It seemed my newfound feminist strength was being tested. And once again I found myself, involuntarily, with expectations. For what, you might ask? What could I possibly expect from this individual who had proven himself again and again to be nothing but disappointing? We had known each other would be at the party, and he had even said he was going to ask me to go with him. I didn’t want to go with him, or anyone, because I wanted to be a free agent that night, but I did expect there might be a little fun flirting or at least some kind of sexy attention from him. And yes, I know he’s a proven dick, but typical female that I am, I’m riding the expectation-disappointment-expectation merry-go-round like there's no tomorrow, and this guy is like CAT NIP for me. And guess what, he showed up with another girl. She was by his side all night, and he kept walking past me and catching my eye across the room, but never left this girl’s side, and never came to talk to me. Until I ran into him at the bar and I met the girl and a couple of his creepy male friends, and Gaffer Guy looked from me to his date and said excitedly, “I see a wrestling match about to happen.” I shook my head, picked up my drink and walked away.

I think this might be another crutch of being an “easy” independent woman – I feel like my one night stands sometimes don’t think I deserve respect. Because I let them fuck me on the first night and they don’t have to work hard to conquer me and I’m never going to sit by their fire. Or they think because I come across as strong I don’t have feelings. I suddenly felt like Avery, the 21 year old in the play. She is this brassy young woman with all these contemporary views on female empowerment and sexuality, and then her boyfriend dumps her for a Mormon girl who is definitely NOT giving it up on the first date – and Avery is crushed. Despite all my independent woman bravado and my loud vocalization of strong feminist values, I am still human. Underneath it all, I am a vulnerable woman who wants love. And, in the face of men like Gaffer Guy, sometimes it’s really hard to admit that.  

Monday, August 19, 2013

Porno Fantasy

I spent some quality time last weekend masturbating.  This is because I have a new crush.  On someone I don’t really know.  Well, I feel like I know him, in fact I feel like I know him intimately.  Through his work.  Hint: It’s not Ryan Gosling.  Answer: It’s James Deen.  And no, I’m not spelling his name wrong, because I’m not talking about deceased black and white 1950s film star James Dean, I’m talking about the porn star James Deen.  

Maybe James Deen is old news to a lot of you but, believe it or not, I’m not a porn connoisseur.  At least not an up to date one.  I’m quite familiar with the work of Jenna Jameson, Janine with the tats, and that hilarious guy with long blond hair and an enormous upward turned cock who is the star of Pirates and Dreamquest and like every big budget porno movie ever. 

I first heard the name at a dinner party like a week ago when I was gathered in the kitchen with a couple girlfriends (we’ll call them Friend A and Friend B) talking about our sexual fantasies and masturbation preferences.  I couldn’t believe we had never shared this information before, some of it was too good.  Friend A told me she loves masturbating in the car, especially on long road trips when she’s driving!  Talk about multi-tasking!  I guess it’s safer than texting while driving because you don’t have to look down while you’re playing with yourself.  Both friends shared about their ability to give themselves multiple orgasms at a very young age.  I couldn’t believe this – I never had an orgasm until I had sex, and even now they’re not multiple!  They were shocked to learn that I always come from sex alone whereas they need some kind of oral or digital stimulation.  From this we deduced that how a woman orgasms probably has to do with how she learned to orgasm for the first time.  Friend B then gave us a visual demonstration of the position she needs to be in to stimulate the G-spot when she’s getting fucked laying face down on the kitchen table.

We started to talk about fantasy.  I admitted that I fantasize a lot during sex.  If I’m not getting there, I close my eyes and a fantasy plays out in my head in which a man in a corporate office is lusting for his big-titted secretary.  He coerces her into letting him eat her out from behind, but gets a raging boner and has to hurriedly put it in and fuck her fast before his next meeting.  She tells him not to come inside her and he grabs her tits and can’t help himself.  Such a male fantasy, I know.  The hot secretary, I mean COME ON!  My girlfriends also admitted to fantasizing during sex, but we all shared this with guilty expressions on our faces, not meaning to imply we had to fantasize because we didn’t enjoy sex with our partners, quickly covering with “I prefer not to, it takes me out of the moment.” 

Then, we started talking porn.  I like the “romantic” stuff on YouPorn’s X-Art contingent, where people look like they’re actually couples, and the women have real boobs and apparently real orgasms (who can tell the difference??).  Friend B likes this conference room video where the girl is obviously faking her moans and bored out of her mind and the guy is this big hairy ape-man who groans loudly.  We all agreed that porn in which you see the guys’ faces and they’re making noises and apparently enjoying themselves is the hottest.

At this moment, a cute Southern Boy my friend works with wandered into the kitchen and joined the conversation, looking very pleased and amused to find a bunch of chicks talking about porn and masturbation.  This is when I first heard the name James Deen.  Southern Boy mentioned this “real” movie coming out called The Canyons with Lindsay Lohan.  I had heard of the movie but wasn’t really that interested.  My girlfriends hadn’t heard of James Deen either, and Southern Boy was not very forthcoming with the deets. 

The next day, I was on the phone with a Friend C, again talking about porn and fantasies (my mind is constantly in the gutter).  She was telling me about how she recently realized what she consistently searches for on porn websites and that it’s a little embarrassing and difficult to admit to herself.
“I like gang bangs.  With like one chick and a bunch of dudes.”  I burst out laughing. How have we never talked about this??
“My favorite part is at the end when all the dudes come on her face.”  I’m dying with laughter. 
“I also love squirting.  I think it’s fucking hot.”  I pee a little in my pants.
Then she asks me a life changing question.
“Do you know James Deen?”
“No.  I mean, I’ve heard of him.”
“Dude, check out James Deen.”
I immediately Google Image Search him.  Oh yeah, he’s cute.  Kinda my type.  Beautiful blue eyes, sly smile, nice-looking Jewish boy.  He looks like a guy I’d pick up in a bar.
I want to talk more but I’m meeting another friend for a hike.
She immediately sends me a link to this video entitled Nicole Ray and James Deen: Passionate Fucking.
“Have fun on your hike,” she says.  We hang up.
Well, now all I want to do is watch this video, but I’m due for my other friend, so I decide this will be my treat at the end of the hike.

Later, I sit back down at my computer.  The video is 34 minutes and 38 seconds.  I watch the whole entire thing without stopping.  And by god do I masturbate.  James Deen is the most unbelievable lover I have ever seen.  He is attentive and sensual and decisive.  He makes this girl Nicole Ray come in every single position.  I count 7 orgasms.  A special prize to someone who finds more!  The way he squeezes her breasts and hips and whispers into her mouth, the look on his face as he watches her come, basking in her pleasure, is utterly intoxicating.  I don’t care if they’re acting – if they are, it’s fucking good acting.  James Deen is loving this girl so hard, loving every inch of her body, he is getting so much pleasure out of pleasuring her.  I want some of that.

I am not the only girl who is in love with James Deen, nor the only one who reads his blog or follows him on Twitter.  It’s clear on his blog that he’s like a totally normal guy who just happens to be a porn star.  On Twitter, he likes to talk about his cat.  He also shoots his own porn scenes.  On his website, you can apply to shoot a scene with him.  It looks like he invites a girl over, sets up a camera, fucks her, and edits the footage himself.  Yeah, I thought about it.  90% of the comments on his blog are from women doting on him.  This is interesting to me because I never realized so many women watch porn.  I think more do now that James Deen is a star.  Young women too.  My friend sent me this great profile that Wells Tower did for GQ.  According to Tower, Deen appeals to a similar demographic as Justin Bieber and Justin Timberlake – you might say I’m a little old for this demographic; I say, stop judging me! 

Although some might find it disturbing that 16 year old girls are watching and responding to porn, I find it kind of great that there’s porn like this available to young people on the internet.  Because we all know kids are watching it whether it’s teaching them well or not.  This is where they’re learning about sex, and I’d personally rather they learn from James Deen than, let’s say Ron Jeremy.  I hope young boys are watching him and taking notes. 

As an on-the-market single gal in Los Angeles, I’ve had my fair share of experimentation with what’s available on the male market.  And it’s quite frankly dubious.  Apparently a lot of these guys learned about sex from the kind of porn in which girls don’t have orgasms and guys get lots of blow jobs.  I had sex with this guy once who literally came three times while I never came once and kept pushing me down towards his crotch, expecting oodles and oodles of blow jobs.  A legitimate question for you to ask right now would be: why would you go to bed with someone like this?  The answer is a little embarrassing and certainly naïve: I was horny and kept expecting more from him.  James Deen fulfills my fantasy that there’s a guy out there who’s willing and able to have casual sex and make it great for me.  That I can find a nice looking Jewish boy who has the confidence and skill to deliver what I want in the bedroom.  I am apparently not the only girl with this fantasy, because James Deen has a ridiculous fanbase.  So, I hope the next generation of single males are learning how to "love" from porn stars like James Deen, because we deserve better.

I’m trying to convince my ex to do porn.  I know, you’re probably thinking, hasn’t he taken enough abuse?  First you write all this private shit about him in your blog and now this!  Maybe I’m just hoping for more of the James Deen breed of porn star, and I’m taking matters into my own hands.  I mean, according to Tower, a third of the porn audience is now female so there’s certainly a market for it!  Apparently, before James Deen was famous, he heard Jenna Jameson on the radio giving this advice to a man wanting to get into porn: if you can sit in a room with 20 people, jerk off for an hour, stay hard, and come on command, you can do porn.  I called my ex right away.
“You could totally do that!  I think your porn name should be Willy Wanker.”
His retort: “How about Henry Hardon?”

Monday, August 12, 2013

Faking It

“You’re just not a very sexual person.”  My first boyfriend said this to me once.  After three years of us being together.  By this point, I had already cheated on him with a 46 year old bartender who worked with me at this beachside bed and breakfast over the summer.  I was 19; he had a 6 year old son.  I never told my boyfriend and I didn’t feel guilty.  My mom told me it didn’t count as cheating if we didn’t have sex.  We only made out a bunch and I put my tongue on the tip of his penis… then chickened out.

My boyfriend and I were in college and living together, and he had boners 24 hours a day.  There was a time when I enjoyed his sex drive, but after three years with him, it became a chore.  Every day he’d ask if I’d “kiss him” (meaning his cock) and when I couldn’t muster the energy to politely oblige, when I was “too tired” or whatever, he would beat off in the “jerk off rag” he kept under the bed. Sex became more and more unappealing.  Sometimes I felt like a 50s housewife, gritting my teeth and staring at the ceiling until he finished.  When he went down on me, naïve college girl that I was, I would ask if it “tasted bad.”  He would say not if he kept to the outside part and didn’t put his tongue “too deep inside.” 

It hadn’t always been this way.  When we were first together, I couldn’t get enough of him and we would have sex constantly, whenever and wherever we possibly could: in his sportscar parked outside the restaurant where we were headed for dinner, in the women’s locker room at the public pool, in his little sister’s bedroom while the rest of his family watched The Simpsons Movie.  That was before I started faking it.  Not orgasms, mind you.  I didn’t fake those, I simply stopped having them and he stopped caring.  I was faking the fact that I was still in love with him.

I recently found myself in a heated conversation with a couple girlfriends, spurned on by my latest blog posting.  After a lively discussion of orgasms, masturbation, and fantasies, we found ourselves talking about “faking it” (orgasms, that is), and we all lowered our voices.  One friend admitted to faking it fairly frequently.  I asked why.  She smiled sheepishly.
“I don’t know,” she said.

I was surprised by this admission, because I myself never feel the need to fake orgasms.  If I’m not gonna come, I say the words “I’m not going to come,” and that’s that.  I usually know when it’s not happening and I don’t want the guy to bang away all night if I already know he’s wasting his time.  In my experience, most guys are pretty understanding about this.  With one notable exception.  My second boyfriend, the lovely one I’ve mentioned in previous posts.  Yes, he’s my ex and yes we still have sex.  And he absolutely refuses to come if I don’t.  I must have sensed this from the first moment I met him, because the one and only time I can ever remember faking an orgasm was the first night we were together. 

We had literally just met.  We were watching a play and talking through the entire thing, much to the chagrin of the entire cast and audience, I’m sure.  But we just couldn’t help ourselves.  We were enthralled, there was all this amazing chemistry going on, and I’m sure we both couldn’t wait to get the F out of the theatre to somewhere private where we could consummate our lust.  He asked me for a ride home (smooth move), and I gave it to him.  Before I knew it, we were smoking a joint and making out in my car.  And then we were parked in his mother’s garage, making out and getting under each other’s clothing.  When he started lowering the seat down and was headed face-first into my crotch, I was like whoa whoa whoa, why don’t we go inside?  We made it this far.  Reluctantly, he took me into his mother’s apartment and back into what appeared to be a guest bedroom with a sofa-bed that he pulled out.  Did he live there?  At this moment, I wasn’t sure.  Nor did I care.  Things were getting hot and heavy and I was ready to go. 
“Do you have a condom?”
“We can do other stuff,” he said, pushing me down on the bed.
He started kissing down my body.  I’m thinking, oh fuck, I definitely have not shaved in at least three months.  This is not good.  I’m also thinking about my first boyfriend’s obvious not-thrilled-ness with going down there.  So I’m nervous.  I don’t have a lot of experience at this moment in time.  I’ve had a couple rebound fucks, but like 3 ½ guys have gone down on me ever, and never to completion, so I’m not holding out much hope. 
“Mmm.  You taste so good.”  He’s slurping away, groaning enthusiastically, apparently just enjoying the heck out of himself.  I actually believe him too.  I start to relax, start to enjoy myself too.  I lay back and allow a couple soft groans to escape.  He comes up for air to hand me a pillow, giving me a cocky wink.
“In case you need to be loud.”
I already know I’m not going to need to be loud.  Because I know there’s no fucking way he’s going to make me come this way.  No matter how good he is (and he’s gooooooood), no matter how much I’m into him and how much I want to, I’m just not comfortable with this, or myself, in this way yet.  So, I fake it.  Don’t get me wrong, we both give it a valiant effort, I’m sure his tongue gets sore, we’re there for awhile, and then I take the pillow, shove it over my face, and build my moans to a satisfying (and convincing) crescendo.   

Why did I do it?  Because I wanted to reward him for working so hard and for being such a good guy, because I was young and naïve and didn’t know how to express myself sexually, and because I knew he would never stop unless I did.

When I was done faking it, he emerged, wiping his mouth and smiling at me. 
“Have you ever come from that before?”
I smiled coyly, shaking my head.  I could see the pride and pleasure in his eyes.  He kissed me.  I pushed him back on the bed.
“Now I wanna do that for you.”
And I went to work.  But it didn’t feel like work, like it always did with my first boyfriend.  I felt really happy giving pleasure to this sweet boy who made me feel delicious.  My first boyfriend was a fan of saying that giving someone an orgasm was a kind of control, like it was a bad thing.  I think this was his big excuse for not doling out his fair share.  God knows I doled out plenty for him, and I didn’t feel that in control.

I had never told my second boyfriend that I faked it that first time we were together.  Because I never have since and I knew it would hurt him, and he took so much pride in giving me my first oral sex-induced orgasm that night.  It doesn’t matter to me but I knew it would matter to him.  I had to tell him recently because I knew I wanted to write this blog and I knew he would read it.  The disappointment in his voice was palpable.  Even now, 5 years later, he feels terrible about that lost orgasm.  Why does he care so much?  I don’t know, because he did give me my first orgasm-via-oral-sex, and he was the guy that taught me I didn’t need to have sex three times in order to come once.  He got me down to a 1-to-1 ratio.  And he made me feel like my vagina was beautiful and delicious.  So, not to be a sappy asshole, but he really is the last person who should feel bad about how he treats the ladies.

And it seems like a lot of girls are faking it a lot more than I am.  I actually am starting tounderstand why guys are so afraid of/intimidated by the female orgasm.  Because it’s fucking tricky!  And it’s different for everyone.  And, in my experience, most guys don’t have the balls to be like “So, can you come from sex alone or do you need oral or what’s the deal?”  And most girls are too timid to be like “I can’t come from sex so you’re gonna have to eat me out for awhile.”  So we all need to man-up here people (side note: why isn’t “woman-up” an expression??).  Actually, let’s make it one.  It’s time to woman-up here people.  And learn to communicate.  Otherwise, we’re destined to constantly be in a battle of the sexes that goes something like this: “He can’t make me come!” versus “Why won't she come?”

Monday, August 5, 2013

My First...

“Do you want me to buy you a vibrator?”
My mom is holding up the Good Vibrations catalogue.  The year is 1998.  I am 12.
I know what a vibrator is from watching Slums of Beverly Hills – I especially love the scene in which Marisa Tomei and Natasha Lyonne toss the buzzing sex toy back and forth while gyrating to Parliament’s Give Up the Funk.
“Sure!” I exclaim.
We sit down at the kitchen table and go through the catalogue together, pens at the ready to mark the toys that look most promising.  We pick one that’s thick and short, clear and curved to “stimulate the G-spot.”  I have no idea what the G-spot is or how this device is supposed to stimulate it, but Mom thinks it’s a good, simple choice for my first time, and I trust her judgment on these matters.

When I was 10, my parents and I traveled to Hawaii and stayed in this amazing resort with a bar in the swimming pool.  One day I was innocently floating around, getting ready to order another Shirley Temple with extra cherries, when I decided to take a little break on the side of the pool.  As I hung on to the edge, I found myself strategically positioned with a jet shooting between my legs.  Suddenly, I was overcome by the most incredible sensation my body had ever known.  I had no idea what was happening, but I knew I had to share my discovery.  I quickly scrambled out of the pool.
“Mom!  I just found the most incredible thing!”
My mom smiled knowingly.  “The jets?”
“Yes!  How did you-”
“I know.”
She seemed completely nonplussed.  I wanted to shout, why didn’t you tell me?!  It wasn’t until later that I realized this had anything to do with sex and was probably not the kind of thing most girls would immediately share with their mothers, but this was our relationship.

Growing up, I was very used to seeing my parents’ bodies.  They have been walking around the house naked for as long as I can remember, and still do to this day.  I mean, they’re a couple of fit 60-somethings, but still.  These days I’m used to it, but also acutely aware of trying to avert my eyes from certain key parts of their anatomy.  When I was little, my mom kept her diaphragm on the edge of the bathtub and, although I’m sure she explained to me what it was used for, I didn’t realize this was something weird that didn’t happen in every household until years later.

So, when Mom offers to buy me a vibrator at age 12, I really think nothing of it.  I’m not even that excited about using it (because honestly, I have no idea how), but what I’m SUPER excited about is telling all the kids at school.  Because I know for a fact that not even the sluttiest, meaniest girl in town has a vibrator!  Not even her mom is that cool.

When my vibrator finally arrives in the mail, I just stare at it.  It’s short and fat and I’m thinking there’s no way that is fitting inside my vagina.  I haven’t even tried putting in a tampon, and when I finally do, I get such anxiety that I practically throw up and pass out at the same time. 

The day my vibrator arrives, I can’t wait to get to school.  At recess, I sit on the bleachers and hold forth about my new toy – how awesome it is and how awesome my mom is for getting it for me.  In a less liberal environment, I might have been ridiculed; in this hippie beach town, the kids are jealous and awe-struck. 

That night, I try out my vibrator for the first time.  I lie in bed and put it down there, not aiming per se, but in the general area.  It doesn’t really occur to me that I’m supposed to put it inside (I mean, the thing is HUGE), so I just sort of place it between my legs and let the vibration do its thing.  It doesn’t blow my head off but it’s pretty good.  Maybe not the fireworks display I was expecting, but it feels faintly reminiscent of the jets.  I mean, the jets were my first time so naturally they made quite an impression. 

Truth be told, I don’t use my vibrator much.  The kids at school ask about it very occasionally throughout the school year, and when they do I pretend that it’s the best thing ever and that I use it a lot.  The truth is, I want the real thing.  I am a tightly wound ball of sexual frustration and I have epically painful, fantasy-filled crushes.  For some reason it doesn’t occur to me that my vibrator is meant to relieve some of this tension.  I don’t actually equate the vibrator with sex – it feels disconnected, and I don’t see it ever satisfying me the way I imagine real sex will.

So I put my vibrator into early retirement.   It’s not until I’m 17 and start having sex, and then orgasms, with my first boyfriend that I finally understand what to do with this device.  This is also when I begin putting certain scenes in certain movies to good use.  My porn: the scene in Boogie Nights when they’re shooting a sex scene and Julianne Mooretells Marky Mark to come inside her; the scene in Fear when Marky Mark fingers Reese Witherspoon on the rollercoaster with Wild Horses playing inthe background (Marky Mark is featured in some great jerk off material, what can I say?); the scene in Cruel Intentions when Sarah Michelle Gellar gives Ryan Phillippe a hand job; the list goes on.  I had these scenes cued up on VHS tapes (remember those?) I would record at my Grandparents’ house when I visited them in Jersey for 3 months every summer.  I would record at the lowest possible quality so I could fit 3 movies on each tape, and I loaded them up with as much sexy material as possible.  These parts of the tapes were well-worn and would often skip around, making masturbating and trying to come very challenging indeed, but well worth the effort.

I had that vibrator for a long, long time.  It finally died a couple years ago and I was forced to upgrade – to a rabbit, which I have to say is a far superior piece of machinery.  But I do have fond memories of my first vibrator, because it was old school and my mom picked it out, and it taught me at an early age to have no shame about my sexuality, that you’re supposed to be horny as fuck when you’re 12 and it’s not unnatural.  So, thanks Mom, for so many things, but namely for buying me my first vibrator.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sticky, Sweaty, Salty, Sour: Sex and Marriage on Caye Caulker

I count the turns as I ride into town – 2nd left, 3rd right – watching for the telltale signs that guide my way.  Lazy Iguana B&B, Cocoplum… there are no street signs and the locals won’t give me a map.  They say I couldn’t possibly get lost on an island as small as Caye Caulker.  Try me. 

“Hey baby, where you going?” The friendly and leering Belizean boys reach out their arms to catch me as I pass.  I avoid them and the potholes in the white sand road as I try to keep my skirt from flying up.  I just showered and I’m already sticky from sweat, my skin burning after 6 hours spent in the relentless sun.  I feel good, clean and alive, and ready for anything.

My ex-boyfriend Henry told me before I left on my solo adventure to Central America that I was going to “fall in love with some Belizean guy.”  This is part of our relationship now – we tell each other the stories of our sexcapades and laugh at each other’s sluttiness.  I would classify him as a fellow Slutty Feminist.  We broke up when things were still good between us, just because we wanted to explore ourselves and other people.  We still have sex and spend whole days together.  No one understands that we’re no longer “in a relationship”; we seem more in love than a lot of couples I know.

“I’m gonna get you drunk tonight,” James beams, placing another grapefruit rum cocktail down in front of me.  He’s a local.  This is his place, his nickname’s on the wall.
Anita, his Norwegian wife, smiles coolly and looks away.  James’s expression hardens as he turns to her.
“You want something?”
Anita points to my drink. “Yeah, I’ll take one of those.”  Instantly, the energy shifts.
“What the fuck?”  James is pissed.
I turn my attention to the local woman working the grill.  The smell of fresh charred lobster pours over me in a smoky wave.
“Well, you didn’t ask me before so…” Anita laughs it off, biting her lip.  I shouldn’t be here, I think.  The third wheel to their marital spat.

I had a relationship like this once.  The hateful little jabs, the undercurrent of sarcasm and frustration, the inability to keep a lid on it even in public.  I ended up cheating on that boyfriend.  And then I broke up with him, albeit months and possibly years after I should have.  And I had thought about marrying him.  I thought we were soul mates and would have a baby and be together forever, even though a lot of the time I wasn’t happy. 
It seems like all the local guys on Caye Caulker cheat on their wives.  At least that’s what one of them told me.  By day, they are tour guides taking American and European tourists out on fishing/snorkeling/diving trips; by night, they fuck white women.  And their local wives stay South of the island in the ramshackle huts where tourists don’t go, and take care of their children.  It seems like a pretty shitty arrangement to me and it makes me ask myself once again the question I’m constantly asking myself: why are these people married?  Because I understand very well the human impulse to fuck different people, but I don’t understand at all the impulse to commit to fucking the same person for the rest of your life.  I don’t actually believe this is a human impulse; I think it’s an antiquated tradition that has no place in the ever-changing world of today.

Take Anita for example.  Anita is this cool, independent woman who used to work some serious, business-y job in Norway before one day finding herself in Caye Caulker where she fell in love with local man James and decided to completely change her life.  Now she spends her days cleaning the rooms they rent to tourists, hanging out with their two dogs, and turning the other cheek when her husband hits on 20-something white women.  But Anita is clearly not meant for this lifestyle.  She’s tall and serious and strong and smart.  She’s intellectual, and now that the honeymoon’s over, I can see that she’s fucking bored.  I don’t blame her.  In fact, I feel a certain kindred connection with Anita – a mutual strong woman/ tall-blondeness that makes us inherently understand one another, and we talk freely.  Except about the one thing I’m really curious about: her marriage.  This is the subject we don’t broach.  Because she and James are not happy together and James obviously wants to fuck me.

Anita and James close down the restaurant and we head to the karaoke bar, the only joint still serving booze after midnight.  At the bar I stand uncomfortably sandwiched between the unhappy couple.  James keeps buying me drinks and I wonder what his plan is – take me back to their place and tell Anita to wait outside while we have sex?  I’m acutely aware of the awkward symmetry in the situation.  I’m the 20 years younger version of his 40-something wife, and James, in the primal tradition of men everywhere, wants to feel young again by fucking me.  I also don’t know how to diffuse the energy because I’m really bad at not flirting.

This is why I’m down on marriage.  Because I constantly find myself in the position of the Other Woman.  And it’s true, I don’t always diffuse the tension and, to be honest, I have no qualms about sleeping with a married/unavailable man because I don’t think it’s my responsibility to save his relationship and, if he wants to cheat, he’s going to cheat whether he does it with me or not.  Also, it shouldn’t be discounted that sexually I have very little self control – when I want it, I want it, and no one can stand in my way. 

But it just so happens that I don’t want James, and I really like Anita, so I choose to walk away.  Literally.  We are standing there in the bar and, without saying a word, I walk over to this cute local guy wearing a cap that says LA.  He’s been eyeing me all night.  This is the same guy that later tells me about how all the local men like to fuck white women.  I can feel James watching me as we talk, his disappointment is palpable.  Man, your wife is standing right there – why don’t you try to fuck her for a change?  It’s so totally depressing I can hardly stand it.

LA Cap Guy speaks Creole, Garifuna, and broken English.  I ask him to say something in Creole, a language that sounds a lot like English but is virtually impossible for me to understand.  He says he will if we can walk out to the end of the pier.  I know this is a ploy but at this point I’m into it, and I’d like to escape James’ penetrating gaze.  The pier is overpopulated with couples looking for privacy so we head back and walk along the dark shore.  I suggest a night swim.  He says it’s going to be cold but, thinking he might get laid, starts to take off his shoes.  I pull my dress over my head and wade in.  He’s right, it is cold, and shallow and mucky.  We sit in the muck and he pulls me into his lap – I can feel his huge erection poking into my back.  He kisses my neck and paws at my breasts and asks if I’m “enjoying” myself.  I know this is his hospitality training and I wonder if he asks the same during sex.  I decide I don’t want to find out.  I pull away and head for shore. 
“I’m cold.”  I actually am.  My teeth are chattering, I’m ready to go home.
After he’s done meticulously getting dressed, he pulls me in close and asks if he’s the only local boy I’ve ever “dated.”  I explain that we’re not dating, that I’m single.
“Why are you single?”
“Uh, because I want to be.”
He can’t believe this.  Actually, no one here can believe that I’m single by choice. 
His dream is to marry a white woman and move to LA.  I hope this isn’t a hint-hint.  He admits he’s got a bet on me with one of the other locals.  $30 Belize ($15 US) he’ll fuck me.  I tell him he shouldn’t have told me that, but I also find it hilarious that he did.
“I bet your lips are sweet.”
“They’re not,” I tell him.
He laughs and asks for a kiss.  I let him because his boxers are wet underneath his jeans and that can’t be comfortable.  His tongue tastes like sand paper and cigarettes.  His lips are squishy and sucking on mine.
I retrieve my bike and ride beside him as he walks back to the hotel room he keeps next to the dive shop where he works.  He talks about how he’s a dive master and a “boss” because they gave him his own hotel room.  He’s proud, he loves his life, he’s not married and he gets to fuck white women.  Don’t move to LA, I pray for him.  He wants another kiss.
“I really love you,” he says.
I hope this is a language barrier thing.
“Goodnight!” I shout, and scoot off.

The next morning, I run into James in the street.  For some reason, I find myself expecting to be scolded by him.  For running off with another guy.  Why I feel I owe him anything is totally beyond me.  But he seems cool and gives me a high-five.
He had said he’d come by the cabana to take me out on his boat this morning, but he never showed.  I ask him why. 
“Oh, I didn’t know if you’d still want to.”  I feel like we’re in high school.
I was actually totally relieved when he didn’t show up this morning.  I realize now if I find myself alone on a boat with him, it’s anyone’s guess what he’ll do, and I don’t want to make the situation any more awkward and depressing by rejecting him.
But as I watch him now coolly surveying the spill of tourists walking along the road, I realize that I’m just another blonde woman from the States to him, and there will be another boatload of us coming in by noon.  I feel better, because I didn’t really hurt his feelings.  He won’t miss me when I’m gone.  I’ll just be another white woman he didn’t get to fuck.