I know, that makes me a lame blogger. But I don't. Just for a week. I want to think about friends and politics and work and fresh food from the farmer's market and the book I'm reading (Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days, 365 Plays) and going out into the sun for a walk and starting my next creative project and watching Sherrybaby and Ugly Betty and basically nothing that I can post in this here fine blog without being way off topic.
So let's call this an open thread, shall we? Talk amongst yourselves. I'll be back with a Friday List and write you lots (or at least, some) about boys next week. Promise.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
I know, that makes me a lame blogger. But I don't. Just for a week. I want to think about friends and politics and work and fresh food from the farmer's market and the book I'm reading (Suzan-Lori Parks' 365 Days, 365 Plays) and going out into the sun for a walk and starting my next creative project and watching Sherrybaby and Ugly Betty and basically nothing that I can post in this here fine blog without being way off topic.
Posted by ladyred at 4:01 PM
Friday, January 26, 2007
So, that's that, I suppose. No Puppy, no Charmer, though I do have a few vague prospects I'll tell you more about if they become more specific.
In the meantime, this seems like a good moment to do a little research, no? Strengthen my theoretical foundation while waiting for my next experience in the field?
Which brings us to this week's Friday List: good books on men & masculinity. Jeff suggested bell hooks' The Will to Change last week, but I know there's lots more out there. Could be essays, theory, memoir, fiction, anthology, poetry - what books have helped you frame a productive and complicated understanding of what it means to be a "man"?
P.S. This may already be clear but I know it's going to come up, so I'll just say this up front: this blog opposes gender essentialism and supports the destruction of the gender binary. Please refrain from asserting that men and/or women "can't help" being a certain way, b/c it's in their "nature." Sorry. It's a blog, not a democracy.
Posted by ladyred at 8:47 AM
[Warm response to your inquiry about a detail of my life.]
[Breezy continuation of an intellectual conversation you mentioned.]
Listen, there's no great way to say this so I'm just going to dive in. I don't think you and I are as well matched as I'd hoped. I'm really glad we had a chance to meet and get to know each other a bit -- you're pretty excellent and it's been a lot of fun. But I've been at this dating thing long enough that I've learned to follow my gut in these matters, and right now that means this isn't something I want to pursue further. I really wish you the best and thank you again for spending some lovely hours with me. I hope you find yourself living in a house with [lyrical detail about your dream house] sometime soon.
Thanks, y'all. Thanks especially to the girl who let Roy down easy -- I hope you don't mind I stole a few phrases.
Posted by ladyred at 8:37 AM
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Oy. Ruby asked in the comments of my last post how I'm going to tell The Charmer that we're through, but honestly I'd hoped not to have to -- it's been a week and still no direct communications (group emails do NOT count). Until just now, when he emailed to see if I want to do something tonight. Dinner and bowling, perhaps, or pool. Or there's always a movie at his house.
It's totally clear from his email that he has no clue anything is less than hunky dory between us. Which makes it totally clear that I now have to tell him. I'm almost always a fan of kindly telling the truth in situations like this, but I'm not sure there is a kind way to say "Sorry, you're hot and smart and occasionally charming and basically a decent person, but you're just too self-absorbed and clueless to risk getting herpes over."
So, via the giant tubes of the interweb, I turn to you, gentle reader. What would you tell The Charmer if you were me?
Posted by ladyred at 1:44 PM
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Can I first tell you how awesome it is having my love life focus-grouped by a group as smart and kind as y'all? If I'd had this blog for longer I might have avoided some pretty heinous romantic disasters. (But then what would I have to write about?)
Anyhow, after reading your thoughts on The Charmer, I was leaning toward cutting my losses and cutting him loose. Truth be told, it became less and less about The Herp (which research and your insight have shown to be a pretty small and manageable risk, given the circumstances), and more and more about the self-absorption, lack of deeper desires, and mediocre sex. But still -- he's a nice guy, sexy as hell, smart, and more honest than most. The temptation of the bird in the hand remained.
And then this afternoon I got an email from him. Mind you this is Tuesday, our date was on Friday, during which we had sex for the first time and it was so rushed he had to apologize afterward. And this is the very first communication I've received from him.
And what was it? A group invitation to go see a burlesque show. Meaning, I was included on a list of his friends. To go as a group to see a burlesque show. One he has not previously mentioned to me. Nor has he any idea of how I feel about burlesque, nor do I have any clue the context in which he enjoys/consumes it.
For the record, I feel about burlesque the same way I feel about most kinds of commercialized sexual expression, which is that some of it is hot and powerful and some of it is misogynist and exploitative and some of it is somewhere inbetween. It depends on a lot of factors. Which is why you don't just casually mass email some chick you just slept with for the first time an invitation to go see it with your buddies. Especially when you haven't spoken or written a word to her in the four days since you kissed her goodnight. No matter how pretty your penis is.
In other words: NEXT.
Posted by ladyred at 10:33 PM
Monday, January 22, 2007
So, it's Blog For Choice day, and as a girl newly reacquainted with penises, I couldn't help but chime in. But before I get to my personal views on the matter, I have to lodge an official complaint against the language of "choice."
Everyone is pro "choice." Some people believe they should be able to choose whether or not they themselves give birth, and others believe they should be able to choose whether or not other people give birth. The second type of people are in favor of forced birth, which is my preferred term, not only because it's more accurate and specific but also because it makes you sound like an asshole if you support it. Which you are.
Now, I've always been against forced birth on principle, because women's bodies are not machines or property and women are not slaves. Or, perhaps I should say, because women should not be enslaved. Even in the decade and a half I've spent on vacation from the threat of sperm, I've done what I could to protect women from forced birth. In the aftermath of the Salvi shootings, I even volunteered for a while as an escort at my local Planned Parenthood clinic, helping women navigate their way through the gauntlet of forced birth advocates and the pro-choicers who'd come to "defend" the clinic.
But now that I'm sleeping with men again, and once again know what it feels like to be relieved to see my period, the issue has come back into full focus. It's terrifying to imagine sleeping with men in a world where abortion is illegal. I honestly think I wouldn't be doing it -- why would I risk having my life turned upside down and my body hijacked when I can just sleep with women and transmen and avoid the risk? (Think about that, forced birth advocates. Think of all the bisexual women who'd turn lesbian if you had your way. The horror.)
Many moons ago, back when I was an undergraduate, I had a pregnancy scare. I had fallen hard for this guy who had dumped me a month and a half later in order to return to his ex. A day or two after the breakup, I started spotting, and I was nowhere near due for my period. This had never happened to me before. As it was summer and the campus health center was closed, I called a gynecologist's office in town to ask what it could mean. I described my symptoms to the woman who answered the phone, who said, "It sounds like you might be pregnant. Can you hold on a minute?" She then left me on hold for what felt like eternity (seriously, it may well have been three to five minutes, which is a long time), and then she got back on to say that since my period wasn't due for like two weeks, there was nothing they could do for me until it came or I was late.
Which is all to say that I've stared abortion in the eye, personally, while believing that a new life was growing in my uterus. I know it's not an easy answer to anything. But forcing women to give birth against their will is not an answer to anything at all.
I'm against forced birth because why would anyone want to be brought into the world that way?
I'm against forced birth because it prevents women (and disproportionately women of color) from finding a way out of poverty (not clear on this one? Do your homework on the Hyde Amendment).
I'm against forced birth because in America my religious beliefs are none of your business, and your religious beliefs should be none of my concern.
I'm against forced birth because I like sex and I refuse to be punished for that in ways men never are.
I'm against forced birth because I relinquish control of my body to no one.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
...the next time you hear me worrying about whether I'm good enough for someone.
The first thing I'll say is that, sadly, that exclamation point is an overstatement.
The second thing I'll say is that I'm unclear on the laws governing blog content, but I suspect you must be 18 or over to read this post.
Um, yeah. We pretty much got down to it as soon as I arrived, making out in the living room and then, as things heated up, deciding to postpone dinner and adjourn to the bedroom. Where he sits on the bed and says, "I have to tell you something first. I have herpes."
[insert sound of screeching brakes]
Many props to him for telling me upfront. Good sign in the honesty & communication department. He patiently answers all my questions: He got it from his ex-fiance, is taking medication for it, rarely has "outbreaks" and has no symptoms right now. Still, it is possible to transmit it skin-to-skin even without symptoms, though that risk is minimized by the meds. [How much? I don't know. Does anyone know?]
Properly juiced on hormones & anticipation, I decide to take my chances, but not before taking the opportunity to drop my own little infobomb about my dyketastic sexual history, which he is so completely fine about. Asks me a few questions, listens to what I say, and then, midsentence, just as I start to descend into insecurity about how it might all sound, he jumps my bones.
And that's when it all went downhill.
Now, he did not lack enthusiasm, nor was he selfish. He was just... in a really big hurry, I think. He paid only the most rudimentary attention to my breasts (which I'm just going to say is not something that happens to me that often), and then went down on me with great energy but not nearly as much skill. He also used his hand some. He did not seem familiar with Spider Man. Don't get me wrong -- it was hot, but it was sort of all over the place, like he was just manically trying a bunch of things instead of taking his time to see what I liked best.
After a few minutes he came up for air and then I wrangled his jeans off him to reveal, I kid you not, the most beautiful penis I have ever seen. In fact, until I saw his penis, I didn't know that they could be differentially beautiful. It's definitely on the large size, and just the perfect ration of length to girth -- the Platonic Ideal of a penis, curving up regally in the most graceful arc and sporting a very masculine cowl at the top (my very first encounter with an uncircumcised cock). It was also an astonishingly beautiful color, the redness of the erection glowing through his coffee-brown skin like the embers of a fire. (Am I embarrassing myself here?)
I immediately put my mouth on it, remembering all your fantastic advice: taking my time, special attention to the underside, hands roaming, exploring with my lips and tongue as though it was the most mouthwatering delicacy. (It was.) He made some fantastic noises, which for me is the best part. Honestly, I have to say I think I was pretty damn good at it, and it was definitely the highlight of our sexual encounter for me. So thanks for all the tips and encouragement!
After a few minutes he just couldn't wait anymore (and I was eager enough, too) so he got a condom (again, points to him) and climbed on. (Actually, he tried at first to maneuver me into a face to face kneeling/sitting up position, but he was so much taller than me that I couldn't find my balance and kept falling over.) He started off slow, more grinding than thrusting, which is not what I prefer, especially now that I can get off with PIV intercourse (see comments section here). But I figured he was just getting started, so I didn't say anything - it sure felt good, and I was in no hurry. And then he came.
After some awkward silence he apologized and confessed that it had been a really long time for him (which surprised the hell out of me). He started pretty immediately kissing my face and touching his hands all over me, clearly intent on making sure I got some more attention, but I stopped him because I had just had enough of the manic pace and wanted us to catch our breath. We talked about why it had been so long (he thinks American women just don't get him) and some other stuff, and then we started kissing again but by then we were getting hungry and decide to put a bookmark in it and go for dinner.
The rest of the date was fine, though not mindblowing. Dinner was fabulous and as last time, we couldn't stop talking about culture and food and politics and our jobs and he told me some about his family. There were even some goofy moments that could be categorized as sweet and dorky. Then we picked up a movie and went back to his house to watch it. Unfortunately, the movie we picked was too serious for making out, though there was some nice cuddling on the couch and handholding (the kind where your fingers are lazily active), and at one point during the film he spontaneously gave me a really great head massage.
On the flip side, I noticed a couple of things that have really been bugging me:
1) When I asked him what he would do with his life if money were no object, he said he would basically be like the main character in About a Boy. In other words, he'd read, watch movies, hang out, do nothing in particular. Not exactly inspiring or deep, and as much as I regret saying this, I think it's a dealbreaker when it comes to getting involved with him in any long-term way.
2) He doesn't really complement me. It's not like I need to hear a steady stream of how great I am, but aren't you supposed to tell someone you're trying to seduce that she's beautiful or a great kisser or fascinating or something along the way? I can't remember him saying anything like that to me, even once. I realized it when we were having the conversation about why he hasn't been dating in the U.S. and I was going on about what a catch he was, handsome and smart and worldly and suave. From him: crickets.
By the end of the film it was late and we were both yawning tired. He asked me if I wanted to stay over but I just opted to go home and sleep. We left it in the "we should do this again sometime" place.
Basically, the date was far from a disaster, but coming on the heels of Date #1, it was a serious letdown and pretty confusing. It comes down to this:
1) I don't want herpes.
2) I don't think we're well matched for the long term.
If either one of those two things were not a factor, I'd be unequivocally wanting to see him again. I'm pretty sure we can learn to have much better sex with a little practice and communication, and we have a really nice time together generally. He's a nice guy, hot (I'm sorry, did I mention that he is built like a GREEK GOD?), and still pretty fascinating. Plus, he's the opposite of clingy.
But what's the risk of me getting The Herp from him? I need to know. Because sadly, he's just not worth me getting a lifelong disease that is going to seriously complicate my sex life and force me to take a pharmaceutical drug every day forever. Anyone know what "low" risk means? 1%? 25%? Anyone?
And why can't I find someone I can just DATE for a little while? This is the third person I've slept with since the end of my relationship last May, and, if I decide the risk of herpes is greater than my desire to see him again, I'll have slept with each of those three people exactly ONCE. Is it really that hard to meet someone I can get to a third date with?
Posted by ladyred at 11:18 AM
Friday, January 19, 2007
Well. Now we're talking aren't we? (Don't know what I mean? Obviously you haven't read the comments thread for the last post.)
Inspired by your collective skillz & desire to talk about 'em, as well as my performance anxiety about tonight's rendezvous, today's Friday List asks the question: what's your best move?
Specifically, what's your favorite technique for sex or seduction? This could be a technique you enjoy doing or receiving. It could be completely physically technical (I put my finger in X place and do Y with it in a Z manner) or it could be social or emotional. Basically, it just has to be goooooooooooooooooooood...
(Bonus challenge: give me something I can try out tonight and I promise to report back in detail about how it worked with The Charmer.)
As is only fair, I'll go first:
Some of you may know that one of the effect of testosterone on the nominally "female" body is that the clit becomes enlarged. Many FTMs and their lovers call this the "trannycock." My ex's grew to be about the size and thickness of the top of my index finger (above the highest knuckle). Maybe a little longer and a smidge less thick. (There used to be a very helpful website showing pictures of trannycock but I can't find it anymore, sorry. You'll just have to imagine.) The best thing I've done in bed possibly ever is to stop stroking & swirling it and instead take it firmly between my thumb & forefinger and stroke it like the shaft we both imagined it to be. Not particularly tricky, but let me tell you, it WORKED. The perfect storm of physical and emotional gratification. My fingers are tingling just thinking about it. Plus, I love anything you can do and kiss the person at the same time.
Er, hold on a second, I need to take care of something...
OK. I'm back. Your turn.
Posted by ladyred at 8:45 AM
Wednesday, January 17, 2007
...I have Date #2 with The Charmer on Friday night. At his house. Ahem.
I'm completely psyched, and more than a little nervous. There's the normal early-dating jitters, as well as the likely-first-sex jitters, plus, because of my life being as it is, the still-totally-awkward- around-the-penis jitters. Which are of course compounded by the how-should-I-bring-up-the-dyke-thing jitters. And let's not forget the dating-has-been-pretty-brutal-to-my-ego-so-this-better-go-well- because-I-can't-take-more-bullshit-or-rejection jitters (or is that just part of the aforementioned early-dating jitters?).
But under all that I've been catching a whiff of the men-frighten-me jitters. I'm sorry to smell them, that's for sure. I hate being frightened by a whole gender of people. It's ridiculous and reductive. Most men are safe and some women are scary (and the same holds true of trannies, etc.). But there it is. Men frighten me.
To be sure, I've got my reasons. Yes, I was sexually assaulted by a man in college, but also my father abandoned us when I was very small, and boys were my primary torturers on the playground and in the hallway. The ones who spat on me and made games out of sneaking up on me and knocking me over without anyone seeing.
Sure, there was also plenty of Mean Girls aggression, but here's the catch -- I've since gotten much better at getting "girls" to like me. Not just sexually; generally. Socially. But boys? I dropped out of "boys" altogether. It's my clearest memory of coming out. One night I was kissing a girl for the first time during a gender-blind game of spin the bottle, and the next day I was leaving my office in my department building (where I shared space with another student researcher, whom I had been flirting with for months and who would soon become my first girlfriend), thinking "Do you know what this means? This means I don't need men for anything!" and floating off to fetch my nearly-girlfriend a diet coke.
That was a little more than fourteen years ago, and I only started dating boys again this summer. In total, since dipping my toe back in the world of factory-direct men, I've had dates or date-esque encounters with 5 of them, only one of whom I saw twice. And that, my friends? Was The Man/Child.
Which is all to say that I haven't had a chance to work through my fears about men the way I have about women. They're stuck back in 1993. I don't know what men want from me, but I do expect it's something bad. (Which again, is ridiculous, because men as a whole entity don't want anything from me, b/c they're not a monolith. And also: I'm a big girl and have agency now. Whatever "they" want, if I don't like it, I don't have to do it. I know this stuff. I really do. Sort of.)
All this leaves me with weird worries. Not of physical violence - I'd like to think I'm a better judge of character than that, and if I'm not, I'm quite capable of defending myself. It comes out more sideways, like how I keep steeling myself for what I'm going to say when he refuses to wear a condom, even though I know in my head that he seriously probably won't and even if he did it would be such a totally asshole thing to do as to be doing me a favor. Alternately, I keep wondering if somehow this is all a joke he's playing on me, like the time The Popular Boy in school not only came to my birthday party, but asked me to go into the basement with him. And then told me he'd bet his friend he couldn't get my bra, a la Sixteen Candles. Like all The Charmer's attention to date is the setup for some elaborate joke of which I am the punchline.
The good news: none of this is keeping me from freshening up my pedicure and shopping for some very sexy panties. After all, we must prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. And I suspect the best in this case may be very, very good, indeed...
Posted by ladyred at 8:08 PM
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
The question: do you, gentle reader, not want a Feminist Hanky Code, or do you just not have ideas to contribute toward the creation of it? Ruby and I were a bit discouraged by the lack of interest in Friday's conversation, but will forge ahead on our own and share our creation with you and the wider feminist blogosphere -- but only if you tell us you'll use it. We've already established (ruby & I, that is) that we're not going to date each other.
In other news, you'll notice that I've spiffed the place up a bit, the better to foster conversation and find new readers. (I've also added stats tracking, and discovered that in the last 24 hours, I've had not one but two readers in New Zealand! Welcome! Can I come visit you?)
I've also added a few folks to my wee blogroll, some of whom I found when they had the good sense to link to PFG. Welcome to The B List (home of the fab performance poet Cheryl B.), Feminist Allies (a lovely blog for feminist men), Chaos Theory, and The Hathor Legacy, two most excellent feminist-leaning pop culture blogs.
In completely unrelated news, did anyone watch the Golden Globes last night? I was so pleased to see so many of the female awards won by women who were, in at least one but sometimes two ways, not young, white and skinny. America Ferrara, Jennifer Hudson, Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep all beat out their more conventionally starlet-y competition. Plus, Grey's Anatomy & Ugly Betty both won in their categories, both shows with diverse casts created and produced by women of color (Shonda Rhimes & Salma Hayek, respectively)! It's enough to give a girl a glimmer of hope for the world.
Posted by ladyred at 9:40 AM
Sunday, January 14, 2007
So, The Charmer and I texted some on Friday (nicely flirty & friendly) and the sitch at the mo is that he's away visiting friends this weekend and will call when he gets back. Which has left the weekend for the post-date glow to wear off and all my insecurities to kick in.
Which is why I was lying in bed this morning wondering what this smart gorgeous worldly sophisticated guy is doing with short chubby awkward pedestrian dilettante me? What will be the detail he discovers that finally horrifies him? That I know more about American Idol than I do about [fill-in-the-blank canonical author]? That I'm kinda a slob? That the weight I'm at right now is the low end of my range? That my passport has expired? That I like to spend a lot of time alone? That I really am too radical a feminist for him? That I'm a total amateur in the ways of the penis?
Or does he already suspect all these things and is just using me until he gets bored b/c he thinks I'm an easy target?
Posted by ladyred at 10:37 AM
Friday, January 12, 2007
Well, it really could if it helps you meet a potential love(r). As suggested by the brilliant ruby in response to last week's Friday List, today we are creating our very own feminist version of the Hanky Code, the purpose of which will to be to signal that we are feminists looking for some sort of love, sex, or romance, thereby encouraging other feminists or feminist allies to flirt us up even if we're at a Very Important Rally or Talk or somewhere else where you wouldn't want to just randomly flirt up a feminist b/c you don't want to suggest that you don't take her political commitments seriously.
Some thoughts before we dive in:
-What should the base signifier be? I personally think we should use something other than hankies, so our code doesn't get mistaken for the original Hanky Code. It should be something wearable on the person which can be worn easily by people who like to dress feminine, masculine and inbetween/neither/blur/whatever.
-Consider attributing meaning not only to color but also to where and how the object is worn. But don't be limited by left/right/top/bottom -- our code doesn't have to address that dynamic (or it can).
-Should the code indicate the gender(s) of the type of date/mate you're looking for?
-We should probably keep it simple to start with, to make it easier for it to catch on. We don't need twenty or thirty submeanings.
Once y'all contribute your excellent ideas, ruby has offered to synthesize them and present The Code right here at PFG. THEN we'll hit up the feminist blogosphere to help us spread the word.
Then we get our flirt on...
So: Ready, Set, GO TO THE COMMENTS!
P.S. The Goths seem to have already developed a code of their own...
Posted by ladyred at 10:41 AM
Thursday, January 11, 2007
These seem to work best with bullet points:
-Lasted 6 hours. Covered three venues (bar, restaurant, second bar). Alcohol units: ummm... hard to say b/c we ordered sparkling wine (NOT Champagne, that's a region in France, got the whole speech which I mostly forgive him for b/c he's actually French, and also b/c he's actually HOT) and he kept refilling my glass while I wasn't looking. But let's just say I was nursing a lovely little buzz the whole night without crossing over into drunk. Over 6 hours, that's an accomplishment I think.
-Topics discussed included: The relative merits of Vancouver vs. Seattle and NYC vs. LA. The oppressive way masculinity is policed in the U.S., esp. through the use of homophobia (he brought this one up). My complex relationship with my dad. Why American women love soccer. Our mutual skepticism about marriage. His called-off engagement. The strategic fear culture underlying people's lack of willingness to challenge authority or get into political debates with people who disagree with them. The merits of Clint Eastwood's directorial ouvre (what do you think?). What the people sitting across from us were celebrating and what exactly was their relationship to each other...
-He seemed fully unfazed by the feminist stuff, agreeing with me at several points when I added a gender analysis to whatever we were discussing and sometimes adding his own. He also did this impressive thing where he rattled off numbers of countries who are way ahead of the U.S. and Europe when it comes to women in political power -- something I couldn't have done as well as he did. He did say at one point that sometimes he has a problem with "extreme feminism," though when I pressed him for an example of what that looked like he couldn't quite form one, though he mentioned a French group which translates to "The Guard Dogs" that he considers extreme -- anyone know anything about them? [UPDATE: They're called Les Chiennes de Garde and their site is in French, of course -- can anyone parse it? I see some defense of Andrea Dworkin, something about "the porn war" and something about lesbianism, but I can't really get the tone. The English site is sparse and old and certainly doesn't seem overly radical, but is clearly not the whole story) I told him we'd have to find out as we go along if I fall in his "extreme" category, but I definitely didn't seem to last night and I wasn't holding my tongue. Quite the contrary -- he was an excellent sparring partner with a lot of strongly held and well-thought-out opinions, so I brought it on and he really liked my directness. I suspect the "extreme" thing is a product of the media environment (beware of the scary, irrational feminists!) and not a reality he actually comes up against very often if ever.
-I did manage to work in that my ex is trans, as part of another conversation about trouble crossing the US border, and he really had no reaction to that at all, at least none that was visible. I didn't manage to tell him that, aside from a couple of one-night experiences this past year, I haven't interacted with penises since college.
-Oh, you want the good stuff? Here's what I'm willing to tell you: We're sitting in the post-dinner bar, knees touching, talking about how I can love the romance of weddings but not the realities of marriage, when he runs his forefinger through the salt on my margarita and holds it up to my lips. After I lick it off, he offers me some on his thumb. And before I've even finished with that he is kissing me and kissing me. In the middle of the bar. He tastes surprisingly sweet and clean, like soap and musk and iron, and smells faintly of good cologne. He does come on too fast with the tonguethrusting, but manages to tone it down a bit on my cue. And then we're talking again, and then we're full-on making out at the bar, and then talking and then making out and at some point he undoes my bra, one-handed and with one quick motion (this is a four-hook bra, people) and in the middle of everything, and I am stunned and pleased and also a little mortified and I start to hook it back up again and he does it again and I tell him he really has to stop b/c it's making me uncomfortable and he doesn't understand why so I explain and I'm not sure he got it but he did stop. [UPDATE: For more on the bra thing, check the comments]
-Basically, he's smart and interesting and beautiful and political and sexy and pretty damn suave. I'm not sure if he isn't a tad more arrogant than I like people to be, though it's a fine line with me since I really do prefer someone with confidence and strong opinions who'll test me a little bit. I'd like to see more of a sweet, dorky side, though. I can't do without a sweet, dorky side.
-After I convinced him that I really, really wasn't going home with him last night, I drove him home and told him he should ask me out again, and that specifically he should invite me over to his place, make me dinner, and show me a movie (he's a big movie buff). And that he had much better odds of seducing me on date #2. We shall see...
Posted by ladyred at 10:52 AM
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
That's probably very bad advice if you have a pet. But I think it's the right thing to do with my pretty young trannypunk.
As if the month of silence weren't enough (which: it wasn't, since I recently learned that The (Ex)Girlfriend isn't moving out until the 15th, inspiring new hope that he might still get in touch when she finally does amscray), he recently posted an entry to his livejournal about how he's realized that casual sex makes him feel like the person just thinks of him as a sex object. Considering that I basically offered him no-strings-attached-sex on a platter, well... ouch.
So I wrote him an email. Which went thusly:
Read your post. I'm not narcissistic enough to think it was actually about me in any way, but it did make me think, shit, did I make him feel like that too? So I thought I'd just take a minute to tell you that as much as I did try very hard (in my pathetic way) to seduce you, I figured out early on that you're more than a pretty boy I sometimes can't avoid.
Actually, the fact that you're smart and talented and radical and a little crazy and surprising and sweet and thoughtful and actually kinda grounded and self-aware for someone whose life is as chaotic and confusing as yours, is all part of why I made my pathetic attempts to seduce you in the first place. If all it took was pretty to get my panties damp I'd be having a lot more sex than I am. A lot. (Seriously. You might be surprised at how much sex I'm not having.)
Which is all to say, I very genuinely like you, as a person, even if you suddenly had a hot-ectomy or whatever. And I want good things to happen for you. And I'm glad you're getting some time to slow down and think about shit. And I hope you do whatever you need for your own self. And I've got no agenda in writing this, btw. I'm no longer trying to get in your pants. (Which isn't to say I wouldn't still welcome an invitation to your pants, but I get that I'm not going to get one anytime in the predictable future.) Just wanted you to know.
Not Shakespeare, but I feel much lighter. Like I can now just bookend the whole experience and file it under "Ones That Got Away (Subcategory: Bad Timing)" Which isn't to say that I'm not nursing a tiny hope that the email itself will inspire him to call me up and rekindle things. I'm not superwoman. I'm just no longer giving that more than a 5% chance of happening.
Meanwhile: date with The Charmer tomorrow night! Wish me luck...
Posted by ladyred at 11:05 PM
Friday, January 05, 2007
So The Charmer finally called yesterday, and I must say he was kinda adorable, rambling to my voicemail about how sorry he is it's taken so long and he's been sick and we could do coffee or drinks or how about this film fest tomorrow night if I'm free and generally being transparently nervous and interested and lovely. And then texting me two minutes later because he forgot to ask for my email so he could send me the film fest info.
I called him back later in the day (he called while I was swamped at work, not sure what he does during the day), and got HIS voicemail, and told him the film fest sounded great but I was busy tomorrow night (which is now tonight) and drinks next week might be the best option for me. Which is all to say that it's looking increasingly likely that we may actually have a date-like encounter. Which is further to say that now I am really starting to worry.
If we do manage to meet, and I'm not reading the tea-leaves completely wrong, it'll be my first date since college with a "bio" guy I didn't meet through the personals. I'm not splitting hairs here in order to create another "first" -- the personals, while often hateful, have some real advantages for a girl like me. By the time I actually meet someone in the flesh, they already know I'm an opinionated feminist progressive whose exes have vaginas. And I know how they've reacted to that information.
Instead, The Charmer and I will have to tiptoe through that territory tete-a-tete, and that has the potential of going wrong seventeen different ways at least. And before you point out that he's the friend of my friend and therefore can't be that far off, let me remind you that I don't really even know the friend at whose party we met very well. She's more of an acquaintance I'm starting to become friendlier with.
Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled he called and I'm up for the adventure. But that doesn't mean it doesn't make me want to throw up a little bit, too.
In honor of this tiny drama, I hereby proclaim today's Friday List: The Best Ways To Meet Feminist or Feminist-Friendly Men Who Are Available and Appealing for Dating. Spill it, everyone! Enquiring minds want to know. I want to know.
Posted by ladyred at 8:32 AM
Wednesday, January 03, 2007
-I told an entire room of (mostly) queers tonight that I sleep with "bio" men. I haven't really talked about being in the closet to my queer community about the guy thing, but I have been. And tonight I decided to start 2007 off right by trying to just be myself and let the chips fall where they may. Obviously there was no collective gasp or mass fainting spell, but it'll be interesting to see what the gossip mill in our very small, insular community does with the news. I'm trying not to care, but falling short. Still, it felt powerful and I'm glad I did it.
-I wound up with the perfect opportunity to invite The Puppy along to a social plan that's developing tomorrow night with some mutual friends and discovered that I really didn't want to anymore! Not that I wouldn't be psyched if he came on his own (if someone else invited him) or if he texted me or otherwise showed some kind of initiative. Because I'm pretty sure I would. But I've finally crossed over into Can't Try Anymore territory, and it is a sweet, sweet relief.
-In (possibly related?) other other news, two friends have already offered to set me up with two different guys this year! And it's only the 2nd. Looks like the pool may be expanding after all, but I'm not going to count my dates until they DATE ME (I'm looking at you, The Charmer, who still hasn't called two days later...).
Posted by ladyred at 12:04 AM
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
As in, tonight. So hard to explain how it happened, because it has turned my head incredibly fuzzy. But I will try.
We were at this thing, this public social thing which I can't say too much about for the sake of both of our anonymity, but suffice it to say that we both were involved in making the event happen, and it went really well, and afterwards we wound up alone together debriefing and I told him how much our working well together made me want to kiss him.
Now you will at this point surmise that this statement caused the kissing which followed, but in honesty, I say something like that to him practically every time we see each other. There just remains this crackling chemistry between us and it winds up feeling like the elephant in the room and I just can't stand there being an elephant in the room and not speaking of it. So I do. I don't expect anything to happen, I just have to acknowledge it. I find it actually often makes whatever the thing is feel less charged. Ha.
So tonight I said what I said and we wound up discussing what would have to happen for us to get back together. We had very different visions of this. He imagined we would return to our couples counselor and do a ton of processing and discussion at the end of which we'd decide whether or not to re-commit. I figured we'd have to go on a few tentative, no-strings dates and see if that made us want to see each other more or less.
The topics then progressed thusly: why we broke up (him: communication issues. me: not enough intellectual challenge) and whether those factors can change (both of us: erm, maybe?). Who's more optimistic about us getting back together in the forseeable future (both of us: him) and why that makes me want to sleep with him now more than he does me (because he thinks there's more to lose if the sex messes things up between us).
It was around then, though I couldn't tell you exactly what we were talking about right when it happened, but somewhere around then he leaned over and kissed me, softly, with closed lips. Twice. At first I almost pulled away because I didn't think he would really kiss me and I didn't want to pucker up and feel foolish when he veered to my cheek at the last moment but he didn't and I breathed one of those jagged, hitched breaths you do when the thing you've wanted for so long seems to be actually happening, and especially when that thing involves kissing. Twice.
Then he backed off a little and we talked more (don't ask me what about) and later I leaned in and we kissed a little more, and a little more open-mouthed. And then we talked a little more and then he left.
And now I feel so fluxy that I don't know how I feel, but it's not how I would have predicted if you'd told me I'd kiss Bob tonight and then not sleep with him. I feel like some emotional ice floe is breaking up and moving all around and I don't know where it'll end up. I feel more in touch with how much I love Bob as a person and want to be gentle with his feelings (and with mine, too) and less urgent about fucking him. Which is not because the kissing was a turn-off. Far from it. It was more a turn-on, in the turning on the emotional spigot kinda way. I didn't even know I'd closed it up so tight.
Posted by ladyred at 11:23 PM
Monday, January 01, 2007
Three things happened this weekend to make it a good Shiny New Year Transition:
1) I listened to This American Life's Christmas Spectacular episode (finally, considering it first aired a year ago, and it's already a week after Christmas this year), and heard David Rakoff's transformative "Twas The Morning After", the most beautiful and realistic ode to going it alone during the holidays that I've heard in a very long time, if ever. You can hear it here. (It's the first "Act" of the show. Hang in with it -- it sounds at first like it's going to be sad & pathetic, but I promise, it's totally worth it.)
2) Thus inspired, I decided that I wasn't in the mood to go to the party I'd been invited to, since I'd likely know no one there but the host, and I just wasn't in the mood for a bunch of strangers. Instead, I realized I'd much prefer to rent a movie and stay home with my knitting and my self. (Dear Host Of That Party: um, sorry, I should've called. Hope it was fun!)
3) En route to the video store, I received a text from The Charmer, which I'll quote in its entirety: "Hi [LadyRed], just back from a trip out west, on my way from airport. Got your msg, will call soon to meet sometime this week. Have a great new year's eve! [The Charmer]" My friend (and legendary wingwoman) H. and I agree that either he is wonderfully unafraid of letting me know he's into me (texting en route from the airport?) or the biggest playa evah. It should be fun to find out which (remind me I said that, 'kay?).
As for the moment itself, I'll admit that while I had a lovely evening avec moi seulment, I was a little sad as the clock approached midnight. I decided to meditate through it, which proved a good thing to do, but didn't keep me from wanting to call my ex as my first act of 2007. I can at least report that I successfully resisted.
How were your festivities?
Posted by ladyred at 1:50 PM