*Note: This is a blog I never finished, way back last year in June, 2017. I’m finishing it now!
A lot has happened since I last blogged. I have gone on several trips, including going to see my grandmother right before she died. It was a really intense journey for so many reasons, not the least of which was the travel itself to get there.
I went to Moscow and St. Petersburg (and published the last blog just before I left) and it was truly a dream come true. My friend Ale booked a flight randomly to Beijing and I thought, wow! How brave of her! I’m going to do that to a far off place that has existed only in my imagination for decades now. And so I did. It was absolutely magical! I was so freaking happy! (Unfortunately, I lost my phone since then, or perhaps it was stolen? And I lost all my pictures, but some of them are on Instagram, god bless it!)
I should spend a post on each place I visited, but the goal of this post is to try and recap the last few months. I went to Edinburgh after that, which was such a nice respite after going to Russia. To be in an English-speaking country after so long was very relaxing to say the least. But I fell in love with Edinburgh after only going there on a whim for a day and a half four years ago. It was time I returned. I had originally planned to take a doula course there, but realized that is not at all what I want to do with my life. I want to write. But I’m not writing. So…here I am again. I’ve had to force myself to write today because the temperatures in Madrid just keep climbing! It’s 34C today, which in American is 93. (Just for laughs y’all. I’m making fun of myself!) It’s supposed to get up to 39C (102F!!!) mid-week! I might evaporate.
I was able to go to Lisboa, Portugal after Edinburgh and let me tell you, that city is amazing. Everything is so beautiful. There are colorful tiles on all the buildings, old trams to carry you up the hills, old and new monuments to the bastard colonizers. It has an Old World about to discover the New World feel to it. I could sense the power of the Sea even when I first entered the City Centre. Then two men immediately tried to sell me hashish or cocaine, whichever I preferred, assuring me that it’s perfectly legal to take in Lisboa. I got angry because they don’t take no for an answer. I was approached at least two other times while there. But overall I had a very relaxing time there and went to the beach outside of Lisboa in Cascais. I spent most of the day baking in the sun and swimming with the locals in an inlet from the sea that led to a castle under the bridge.
I originally had all of May booked for trips every weekend, planning to go to Bilboa and Gran Canarias, Spain after that, but then my sister told me that my grandma had taken ill and was nearing the end. I didn’t know what to do. When things like this happen, I often feel so far away (and I very literally am!) that I feel so emotionally removed from the situation and at a loss for what I should do or even want to do. I haven’t lived in Michigan for over 13 years now. When things happen in my family, I am usually the last one to know, or I’m told as an afterthought. When Melanie told me, honestly I had a hard time feeling anything. My grandma was 92 years old. She had lived a long, happy and productive life. But she had also always been there for us growing up. She was always right across the street whenever we needed her, and for my crazy family, we needed her a lot. That was part of the reason we moved to Sand Lake when I was five years old, so we could be near my mother’s parents.
After talking to Melanie and a few other friends, even my friend Hammond at work who had to rush home for his grandmother’s funeral just a few months prior, I decided that I needed to go. I didn’t know how I would feel, I wasn’t sure how I was feeling at all, just a bundle of untapped emotion amidst other things I was going through at the time.
Just a month previously, I had met this person that I quickly became infatuated with. I guess at this point it’s safe to say that I do this easily. I start sleeping with someone and begin tipping inward towards their dark, mesmerizing pool of oxytocin, take a dip, another and another, then I’m all ears up in there, swimming, begging for more, just one more dip, let’s go all the way, can’t get enough! Until reality sets in and I realize I don’t really know them at all. A month or two later, I might find that I don’t know if I even like them. With this person, I thought it felt different, but then perhaps I also say that every time. I felt this intense connection physically, sexually, my belly melting into molten lava and spreading outward at the mere touch of them. Who could say no to that? I couldn’t. Well, that quickly crashed and burned because they don’t want the same things. It’s over before it could even become something. But good sex is good sex. It will fuck with your head. It’s fucked with mine plenty. Also, giving someone a five-minute orgasm is an unfair advantage! Just saying.
So, against my better judgment, I went to see this person just before I left to see my grandma. Because I don’t like to leave things. I need to clear the air, tidy up loose ends. I just needed to know where we stood. And of course, as my intuition is strong, I already knew what was coming, though hoping for different results. I felt crushed. I just wanted them to want me how I want them, which is all the time, let me swim in your luxurious waters! I’m a glutton, a hedonist. I don’t understand people with self-control, especially when it comes to sex. Unless they just don’t want it with someone anymore. I think the problem with me is, I confuse love and lust so very easily. I can’t seem to separate them. I want to be able to have sex, to enjoy myself and have fun, but without all the other feelings and commitments that come with it. Which is why I’ve been (at least mentally) trying on the concept of solo polyamory. Also the idea of non-heirarchical relationships such as in Relationship Anarchy. I could spend time explaining but that’s not what I want to talk about.
I guess what I’m struggling with right now is how do I have sexual relationships that don’t end like this? In grief and longing and pain. Wanting someone like this who clearly doesn’t want me back. How do I protect myself?
I was trying to back way up, not go there in my head where I was going, with relationships, the infamous relationship escalator, etc. but it didn’t seem to matter. They said I was so sad the last time we met (granted, it was right before going home) that they didn’t think it was a good idea to see me. They didn’t want to hurt me, etc.
But the truth is, this rejection hurts much worse. Actually, I don’t know. I was trying not to want more than they could give, but I guess that’s just the reality of the situation. I do, and they don’t. The end.
So how to get past this? People always say you just need time. But it’s been a fucking long time.
Last night I met this girl from Tinder at a club. I just wanted to meet up, that’s all. But she was coming on strong. I just wasn’t sure I was even attracted to her. I thought she was cute, she even had mermaid hair. And I gave her a peck, then we made out on the stage of all places. I pulled her down to the dance floor and far away from my friends. She said, “You’re not taking me somewhere!” As if scared, or offended. I said, “No! I just wanted to get off that stage!” I didn’t particularly feel like making out with a total stranger under the spotlight. A girl I don’t even know if I like. Making out is fun, especially when you’re in love, and honestly I wouldn’t mind if it was the love of my life or something, but she wasn’t.
Then she got really aggressive, apparently I turned her up and on and she was expecting something. She began telling me all sorts of things, that she’s kinky, she likes tying people up and she’s into BDSM. I think it was supposed to turn me on. It didn’t. I just kept thinking about this other person, the way they make me feel, the feel of their mouth on mine, so different from this sloppy drunk horny girl that wants to play dominatrix with me like a rag doll.
A week later, I get on a plane to Belgium to see an old friend/lover, unsure of what I want, but needing something. By the time I get to the airport, I’m having fantasies of him and I text him to get latex-free condoms and lube. By the time I get to our shared hotel room, I’m ready, eager, excited. And he comes through for me as I shout my anger and grief and pleasure out the open window. Nothing like a good fuck to hit reset, even if it doesn’t still the grief of losing one of the most magical kisses of your life. Oh well, it’s better than nothing. As Peaches says, “Fuck the pain away.”
When I get back to Madrid, I’m on all of the dating apps, texting up a storm, til I find a cute, bisexual anarchist kid and we agree to meet up. I meet him at the Metro near my place and we walk the streets of Chueca, glancing at each other and nervously talking about nothing in particular. I ask him about the kinds of boys he’s into and he tells me that he’s not really out to all of his friends in the small town he grew up in outside of Madrid. His parents are from Mexico so he’s a bit of a third-culture kid. I feel immediately comfortable with this boy ten years my junior, so after just 10-15 minutes, I say, “Ok, let’s do this.” And I invite him up. It’s awesome! I’ve never done this before! A total stranger I just met on the internet, no drinks, no dinner, just invite him up to fuck. I am visibly shaking as he comes near me, kissing my lips, my neck, my chest. I push him away to catch my breath and he asks what’s wrong and I say, Just slow down. I want to breath in this excitement. He is the hair-pulling kind, aggressive yet tender, and it works. And he’s ready to please, and that works, too. I tell him his accent is sexy and he seems surprised. I even try a little Spanish and he tells me it’s great.
Maybe I should have left it there, but we see each other twice more before I leave Spain Again, that mix up between lust and luv that I like to call luv-lust. And again I did it because I was sad about this other person, stuck on them, unable to move on. So rather than wallowing, I choose to transfer, or distract myself. It worked, I think.
But during this time, I’m also so stuck on this idea of love/lust, so very confused by it, so sick of the fallout of it, feeling raw and vulnerable and unable to put my heart back into my chest. How the fuck did this happen? And I begin trying to convince myself again, that maybe I can’t just have sex with anyone, that I can’t expect to be casual with someone, that I’m not a casual person. I can’t play with myself like this, but also, can’t I? What about my friend in Belgium? I left wanting more, like leaving a feast only picked at lightly, not sated, even after the silly threesome we attempted on Tinder.
I don’t feel that I can make definitive statements about love and sex. It feels different for each person I’m with and at different times. But I do know that on a consistent basis, if I have good sex with someone, or at least it feels exciting, then I want to do it again and usually again. I get excited, I start to crush on them, and I begin to believe that yes, in fact, I do like them, maybe even love them. I can’t say definitively that I won’t have casual sex ever again, that would be silly. But I do often question, What does casual sex even mean? I don’t do anything casually. Or maybe I do but I have forgotten because it was so casual it didn’t seem to count for me. What I’m saying is, I’m a big ball of feelings-time, and feelings are so unpredictable. At the time that I wrote (most of) this post, I was dealing with really raw, hurt feelings because I felt like I had experienced some of the most intense, exciting and magical sex and even kissing of my entire life with a certain magical creature (I even bought them a unicorn), perhaps–ok, yes definitely–rushing headlong into that feeling and I suppose in the process, scaring off the object of that headlong-rush-of-reckless-feeling. It also mingled with the grief of my grandmother passing, to all come down in a big not-fair-feeling.
At this same time, I was also introduced to the idea of solo polyamory which I mentioned above. This was a whole new concept for me and I realized that I had in fact tried to do this very thing way back in grad school but without the language or the boundaries to implement it in my life. Instead, I demanded, avoided, threw fits, hurt people’s feelings (mostly men I was dating) and in general, behaved very badly. In retrospect, I was deeply ashamed of the way I acted and later apologized profusely for how I treated certain people. I still feel that way. I explored the idea of solo polyamory at least in a theoretical way, and attempted to try it on. I told my (then and now) partner back in Seattle about it and he freaked out and told me I was throwing him under the bus. I didn’t say that I was breaking up with him, I just said I couldn’t be his number one. The subtext was also that I had met this other person that I felt crazy, even bordering on manic, about and I just couldn’t imagine dividing my time between this hot, sexy babe who was the object of my current obsession/fantasy to a person over 5,000 miles away that I had vague plans to see someday. I hurt his feelings terribly. I took all of this to an online Facebook group for fellow solo poly people and the founder and moderator of the group enlightened me by telling me that I am emotionally irresponsible and need to learn emotional management skills. Thanks a lot. That’s nice to know, but how do I actually do that?!?!
The new vocabulary I’ve learned now with attachment theory, is that I can be extremely avoidant, especially when in relationships with highly anxious people, whom I seem to attract like a sick plague. I’ve had so many romantic relationships and deep friendships with people with anxious attachment styles. It’s a curious thing. And I’m learning how my avoidant tendencies affect them and are also triggered by their anxious attachment. At times I feel like I want to crawl out of my skin, leaving a shell that is the shape of me behind, so I can retain my sense of self. It’s a real fear and panic. I’m terrified of being controlled. It goes back to the dark umbrella of control I wrote about in my last post.
Well, that was a long, drawn out “update” if you can call it that. A long, rambling post about all kinds of things. Just trying to write more!