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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Talk (Dirty) to me

This is kindof like the Rejection Show for sex blogs. Since it's not wanted for what I originally wrote it for, I figured I'd post it here. Even though I'm kindof over sex talk and want to write about cute babies. And I do NOT mean that I literally want dirty emails; I get more than enough of those (actually even one from someone I dont' know is way more than enough). Seriously. Michael Malice knows. It's like that "my other car is a broomstick" bumper sticker; I'm kindof a prude. Well, not a prude, I just deal with sex writing day and night and unless a miracle happens and I'm dating someone, I want to talk about other stuff.

I also think it's kindof like yes, I have this public persona, which is not how I think of it, but there it is. Said to me at the Love Hard event, "I could always Google you and get your email address..." and when I heard "I could almost Google you," I kindof foresaw my future as a spinster. Cause that's the thing; it's all there, my random late-night freakouts, my broken heart, my sluttiness. But that's one small part of who I am, it just happens to be the most public. I was thinking about this in relation to that crazy day back in November. I was sitting in a synagogue in Connecticut, listening to a rabbi speak about someone so different from the person I had known. "He was a good person inside and out..." You'd have thought he was Ghandi. I swore to myself that that day was my Yom Kippur. My time to atone for my sins so that should I die suddenly, true words about my person can be spoken and I can be remembered as ultimately a good person. I vowed to be a better person, not a perfect one, but one who is proud of herself first and foremost. The disconnect really scared me; not that I think we should speak ill of the dead, but really, it was all so untrue to my experience.

Then I came home and found out that my outwardly "nice Jewish guy" boyfriend, and if he wants to go all Robert Steinbuch on my ass, be my fucking guest), the one with all the hallmarks of everything I'd want in a boyfriend and potential father of my children, was so not any of those things. It was all a sham; he was really an alcoholic with a sex addiction that manifested itself by hiring hookers, including the night of my birthday party. That was a fun night, let me tell you...and I still haven't totally gotten over it or him because I was so gone on him. Stupidly, foolishly, when everyone was telling me to slow down. But I didn't, and I got hurt, and it's okay. But again, the dichotomy freaks me out. I see all these friends of his and I hope I'm right in trusting that they are good people. I've spent several months now with them and I guess there is a part of me that doesn't understand how he fits in. He's like the black sheep of that social circle and I unfortunately wound up with him, and it threw all my ideas about being a "people person" and "good judge of character" into doubt. But most of all it made me realize that as flawed and fucked up as I am, I try to own that. I don't try to bury it or lie about it or have a secret life. He's welcome to that, welcome to the outward glory of being an Emmy winner, of being "important," of being whatever he can manage to conceive of as being a "good person," but I think he clearly isn't. He could be, I still believe that, because it would break my heart and make me truly hopeless and cynical if I thought people couldn't change. But whether he is or not isn't my problem. I struggle with all of this and sometimes I just want to run away and hide. I've taken on too much and I want to cry even though I love it. I fuck up and worry I'll fuck up even more. I'm much more of a workaholic than a sexaholic, believe me. So yes, you can Google me and find all sorts of things and judge me for them. I get that, and yes, it's a mixed bag. I don't worry about it too much because I can't make those things go away, and for the most part, I'm proud of it, but I see that it comes with a price. The prize, though, is worth way more than the price. The prize is all the secret whispered into my ear, the shared emails, the sense of camaraderie because we are all in it together. Sex is not some mysterious, secret thing the rare few engage in. Sometimes, to be honest, I'm over the topic. I don't care and have more pressing concerns and just want to know when I get to be a SAHM. But I also know that for whatever reason, I wound up on this path rather than the legal one. And even when it's hard, even when I want to quit and give up and the work feels overwhelming, I know there's a reason. But I also know that at the end of the day, it's work. It's my job, and one I love, but that "real life" is out there too, and most of the time, I'd so much rather play Boggle, eat cupcakes, and go to comedy shows than actually talk dirty. And then sometimes I really wish I had someone to talk dirty to; not just for a night or a week or whatever.

Been brainstorming about our SXSW panel and it's brought up lots of iffy things about this whole blogging deal. I don't think I'll ever stop entirely but it definitely has its daunting days. It can feel so frustrating to not have a way to encapsulate "me" in internet format, but maybe that's just impossible to do. Any piece of writing inevitably leaves something out, and I guess the risk of sharing things publicly is that they'll be misinterpreted. But better that and being honest than the alternative. That may sound extreme but it feels that way to me sometimes. Like better to be an open book than someone capable of the kinds of deception S. was, or the subtler version of dissonance I felt at the funeral. I would rather the people who matter to me, the ones who just make my heart happy by being them, like Jami (who just shaved off her boyfriend's beard) and Felicia, (whose memoirs is going to be so fucking awesome and intense and dark and real). Sometimes I wish I could click "erase" and erase every preconception about what I do, could shake some sense into the people who only want to see it all as slutty, who dismiss sex writing out of hand. I know I'm not supposed to care what "they" think, but I do. I never stopped. It's been almost a relief, a reprieve, to not be beholden to a deadline for a column, to not freak out that I have no personal stories, to not feel like some sort of sex columnist failure cause I curl up with my Hello Kitty pillow and computer at night. I feel like enough of a failure anyway without that drama added to the mix. But certainly if I thought no longer being a sex columnist might make dating easier, I was dead wrong. The LVHRD event showed me I'm just not really a singles mixer, even a super artsy alternative one, kind of girl. I don't have it in me to approach people and just found it sortof nervewracking and daunting. I only talked to one person I'd never met before, and that was a platonic type of chat. Which is all fine, I'm so drowning in deadlines at the moment, I shouldn't have even gone. I guess I'm a little up in the air about where to go from here, what I want to do with my life. I feel like I've taken easy path after easy path and that's great, it's been fun, but what's next? That's what I'll be trying to figure out, until I do.

And now onto the post...

I once slept with a guy who later told me he doesn't like girls to say his name during sex because it “throws him off.” Whereas I'd been calling out his name as I got more excited, he'd longed for silence. That's right: he doesn't like any talking in bed, which made it mighty awkward the next time I found myself in his. Way to kill the moment! I kept wanting to whisper things to him, but kept my mouth firmly shut, waiting for it to end. For me, sex without talking isn't worth doing.

Now, I don't have to be the one speaking; it's hot when a lover orders me around or whispers in my ear. At a certain point, it doesn't even matter what he’s saying; just hearing his voice adds physical excitement and becomes part of the sex act. For me, a well-time word or simple exclamation can be the difference between good sex and out-of-this-world sex.

We all have our special dirty words, the ones that, if said in the right context, can make us forget about everything else. For me, it’s “cock,” though even typing that and admitting it to all of you makes me blush. It’s true, though; I’m in bed with a guy and he so much as mentions something about his cock, I melt. But everyone’s different. I’m okay with “pussy,” but my friend Julie isn’t: “I can't help it; I immediately get a picture of my sweet little cat in my head when a guy says that and it's just not hot!”

“Talking dirty” isn't so much about saying the “right thing” as saying whatever feels most natural to you. I can tell when someone's parroting a script they've heard in a porn flick. That's not what I'm looking for. I want to hear something authentic and honest, something that's so real and in-the-moment it might surprise even them to have it come out of their lips. Sometimes it’s about foreplay and suggestion, rather than explicitness, such as this scene from Laurel Canyon that I found the hottest thing in the movie. If you don’t know where to start, check out the video Talk to Me, Baby, try reading erotica to your lover, listening to an erotic podcast, or just start with a simple fantasy and see where things go. And remember: a little moaning and genuine passion go a long way!

Then again, maybe I'm just an oddball, so I asked my closest friends whether sex and speaking go together like chocolate and peanut butter:

“Julie”* said: “I dated a psychiatrist who called me ‘mommy’ once. It was too cliched to be a turn-on. But when I called him Daddy, he went nuts because he was obviously into the Freudian thing. And some guys love it when you say stuff like, ‘Hurt me!’ in bed. It's like their rape fantasy come true.”

My friend Cara recently started a long distance relationship, and they have phone sex to tide them over between visits. She says, “Without words, phone sex is a lot of unspecific, albeit sexy, noise. I need to hear what's being done to me and let my imagination run wild.”

* All names have been changed

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