Monday, January 31, 2011


“It’s been quite a while since I’ve been topped…”

Her voice comes soft, breathless, so close to my ear. I have my hips squarely between the inside of her thighs, legs spread open, pushing her up into my headboard, two fingers inside her cunt, so tight I can barely move them. I have long ago lost count of how many times she had come, if I was ever keeping track at all. We are almost still; I’m catching my breath, enjoying the heat between our bodies, barely stroking her g-spot.

I moan deep, almost guttural, the sound I make when puzzling through my thoughts. “I don’t quite see it that way.” I try the word on for size, hesitantly. “Topping...”

“Tell me more about that.”

My thoughts race. It’s a word that didn't enter my vocabulary until I moved to New Orleans, a foreign concept I had equated up until that point only with gay men. I hadn’t come of age in a lesbian culture – I didn’t grow up in the bars, didn’t grow up with elders, didn’t become initiated into an established community. This was new for me, to meet women who identified as tops and bottoms. I had always experienced queer sex as fluid, without roles. It didn’t help that my introduction to the terms, the idea, was not born out of sex-positivity or identity. Instead, these words came to me encased in the crude language of competition and pride, masculinity and femininity, where “to top” was a status of pride and strength, and “to bottom” was an act of submission, a put down, a source of embarrassment and shame. I rejected the terms, outright and immediately, because I didn’t like what that binary implied. Not until I met people who embraced those identities and actions as a source of equal strength, as a yin and yang, did I begin to accept where those words, those identities, could fit.

I try hard to pull myself out of my head, back to the moment, before I get lost and leave her underneath me, waiting.

“I don’t know. I…” I stumble for words, for a way to express what the hell I was trying to say. I find myself burying my head in her neck. “It’s not about putting you down, or asking you to submit. It’s not about…power? Hm. Don’t get me wrong, the power is great. It’s a trip to be in this position, and I enjoy the hell out of it. But… it’s about my wanting to please you. It’s about letting go. It’s born out of a place of deep respect, because I know how hard it is to just let go. But I don’t see it as dominating you, I see it as playing with you, fucking with you.”

It’s a nightmare to navigate those emotional barriers, at times. It’s difficult, if not impossible, to leave control, to leave fear, to leave my own socialization and understanding of gender roles, of strength and weakness, at the bedroom door. I like to dominate, and I like to submit, but, for me, the latter takes significantly more emotional work. To lay out my body, my strength, and let her take me for everything I am worth requires a lot of trust.  To dominate comes almost as a default. Control is heady, easy, disconnected. But I want to approach her differently. I wanted to connect in, to work through this process with her as I work through it myself. I want to give, I want to enjoy receiving, and I want respect and consent and pleasure to guide us instead of letting our own fears and preconceptions hold us back.

I still struggle with my words. I don’t feel like I conveyed what I wanted to say, only touched the tip of the iceberg. Of course, power and submission and domination is a part of this. But those words, outside the context of kink circles, tend to imply strength and weakness, oppression and victimization. I come from a sociology background, so for me, these are buzzwords into analyzing social stratification, hierarchies, and social capital. But I’m in bed, and here, these words imply something different – consent, agency, respect. Asking for what I want, and getting it from someone who earnestly wants to give it... who might even give it to me by denying it, by not allowing me to ask.

“I trust you,” she whispers.

I skip a beat, mentally, emotionally, physically. I lay my head down on her chest, for just a moment, listening to the pacing of her heartbeat, taking in every inch of her body. And then I begin to rock her, slowly, pulling her hips deeper into mine. I love to listen, to pay attention to the very subtle ways her body responds. To feel each contraction of her cunt, to hear each breath, to feel the heat spread slowly across her skin. She reaches up, curling her body tighter around me. With my left hand, I push her back down, deep into the bed, kneeding my other hand deeper and harder into her. She moans, half in mock protest and half in genuine pleasure. I have her pinned to the bed now, arms spread across the pillows.

“Relax, and just let me fuck you.” She takes a long breath, arches her back one last time, and sinks deeper and deeper into me, into the bed, until I can feel her focusing on nothing but herself. 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Is it sex?

Back to that wonderful, always thought provoking, oh-my-god-we-are-having-this-conversation-again (so I must be surrounded by lesbians) question... what is sex? Well, Autostraddle, in their infinite brilliance, has come up with a flowchart. Just for shits and giggles. 

Thanks guys! I've never seen the show Skins, but the episode two review made me laugh really hard. It's the same writing style as the girl who does Effing Dykes, which is really one of the funniest blogs I've read. Ever. Doesn't hurt that's the author is queer and crazy and loves photos, all of which are endearing traits in my book. 

Gender Me Queer

“You should have come with me.” He sits down and takes off his jacket, placing it gingerly across the back of his desk chair.

“Why? Did everything go ok?”

“Because the manager was a lesbian. I didn’t expect that.”

I’m confused. I’m not sure what he’s getting at. “What did you expect?”

“Well, I was walking over there, thinking that when I asked for the manager, I’d probably be talking to a gay man…maybe a straight man? I don’t know. I didn’t expect for it to be a lesbian.”

I don’t miss a beat. “Sounds like you need to examine your gender assumptions.”

The guy in the desk next to me looks up sharply at me and coughs like he’s choking. He’s got a smirk on his face, and his eyes are dancing. I’ve only known him ten minutes, but I think this is a sign he likes me. Or he just finds this conversation fascinating.

I look back to him. I can see the wheels turning. He’s not sure if that was a challenge, a reprimand, or a simple statement.

I break his silence. “You’re sure she was a lesbian?” I’m curious to see how deep his gender assumptions run.

“I think so…” He looks hesitant now. He doesn’t want to get called out again.

“What was she wearing? What did she look like?”

“Short, cropped hair. She was short, I guess. Shorter than me. Had a nose ring.”

“Did she have on a polo?” I smile. I’m sorta fucking with him now.


“Probably a dyke.” 

He is not at all sure what to do with my use of that word. “Well, I mean, I think so. At least, that was my first impression…” He trails off, but picks back up quickly. “But I try not to assume. I never can tell down here, because people don’t seem to  fit gay or straight when I think they do, and I just mess it up. New Orleans is so confusing.”

I laugh. I don’t find it so difficult, but I like it when people don’t fit in boxes.

“Like you.” He looks down at his desk. “I mean, I never would have thought you were a lesbian. Or queer, whatever you identify as.” His statement is simple, almost exploratory. It’s not an insult. It’s not personal. I’m not going to shoot him down, because I’ve already challenged his understanding twice – once with my own identity, once by calling him out. This is a form of education, and I want to be careful with the lesson.

“Yeah. I know. I’ve heard that at least three times this week.” Eye roll. “Sometimes I just have to tell them. Ask me in a bar, and I'll get vulgar about it. But that's my life. You know, someone told me once that feminine women are often more vocal because they can't be visible, and butch women will always be more visible, because they don't get an option.”

He looks at me, cocks his head to the right side, thinks about this. “I guess that makes sense.”

I want to add, "But that would change if people would stop conflating gender, sex, and sexuality long enough to realize how you look has little to do with whom you fuck,” but instead, I put my headphones back on, pull up my window with fifteen tabs, and go back to work compiling LGBT resources in Louisiana. Must be nice to be skinny and cute and white and male, where all you have to do is flip a pinky and walk in a gay bar and no one questions the legitimacy of your sexuality. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blood and Fire

There's a text message. It's in the middle of brunch. I'm staring down a big mug of coffee, I've conquered it twice, but thankfully, sleep isn't in my near future. I feel the phone vibrate into my thigh.

I wonder if you didn't call me because you didn't have the balls. I wonder if you know that if you were here now, I'd take you down a notch, and it would be pretty fucking ugly. I wonder if you think you're justified. I wonder what the fuck you think I'm going to say, or why the fuck I should wait to say it. I wonder if you remember my looking at you, dead in the eyes, and saying that I always stand to lose in this situation, so at least warn me. It's all I asked. 

I wonder if, as usual, I'm overreacting. I might have been built of fire, and I tame it, stoke it into a work ethic and a drive to finish school and the strength I need to be a rock. But I've got a temper, too. I've got a nasty streak, and it may be hard to turn on, but it's cold and searing. I have to move past the initial explosion, think through my response. I have to decide whether to cry because I lost a friend or scream because I think you pulled an asshole move. It seems like every time I'm losing a good friend, it's because I make an easy target. Because it's easier to blame someone else when you're unhappy. 

I'm flashing back two years, next month, and I can't even tell if I'm pissed at you or still pissed at her. I don't know why I still carry that scar, why it still hurts, why I even still think about her. But I do. I wonder how she is. I wonder if she's happy. I wonder how things could have gone down differently. I wonder how someone could have burned me so badly -- she wasn't a lover, wasn't even someone who had been in my life for that long, relatively. 

I wonder what the underside of this bus is going to look like. I wonder if I'm angry because I feel like you've set me back six months emotionally, but the truth is, I won't give that to you. I won't give that to anyone. It's easy to say that I'm still hurting. It's easy to say that I'm still unsteady. It's easy to give all the answers that sound good on the tip of my tongue, and it's hard to explain how the complexity really plays out. 

I remember what Maggie said, wrapped up in the bed at Easton, when I was talking about you. She liked to talk about people who are "in integrity" or "out of integrity" in their relationship, in themselves, in their lives. It was a phrase I'd never heard before, yet it stuck with me. I remember riding on the train home, watching the autumn leaves whipping by, with her head in my lap. I thought about you. I thought about New York. I thought about the pain I had carried all the way to Albany, and I did what I had been doing all weekend -- I took a breath. A really deep one. I came back from Easton with a very different resolve, and though I went with many, many questions, I came back with the concrete answer to only one -- what to do with you. 

I've made a lot of mistakes when I was single and a lot more when I was in relationships. I stayed when I shouldn't have, I left when I shouldn't have, I gave up agency and acted like an asshole and picked a stupid fight and walked out. I shut off. I should have yelled back. So many moments. But the big decisions -- the breakups, moving cities, school, jobs, moving in together -- I can say I always made with a clear conscience. I always made them with my girlfriend and her needs in mind, but I made them knowing that only I would have to live with the choice. Only I had to be at peace. She wouldn't wonder "what if," and I wouldn't resent her for whatever I chose. Somehow, it's only the little, everyday things I fucked up. Yet they add up, I suppose, building into walls. Building into unnecessary bullshit. It shouldn't have taken me this long to learn, but I realize now, I have learned. I won't make this mistake again. 

I don't resent you. I think your choices were, at times, poor. In all honesty, so were mine. I should have kept my mouth shut. I think you can't have your cake and eat it, too. I get what it means to be confused. I get what it means to be lost. I get what it means to struggle. At the end of the day, it's your heart, and you've got to learn to listen to it. Fuck it. I'm done. I hope you find what you're looking for. And hopefully, I'll run into you in a few months, or a year. But right now, I just need to walk away.

Oh, and I'm sorry. I'm sorry I didn't think first. I'm sorry someone else had to get hurt. I'm sorry for my complicity. But I'm not sorry you don't know what you want -- because no one can give that to you. I don't know much else, but I definitely know that. 

That's all I have to say. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Mornings

This week has been a test of my strength, a test of my patience, a test of my heart. It's been amazing and uplifting and overwhelming. I'm grateful for the chance to grow so quickly and accomplish so much in such a short time, but I'm also grateful every week isn't as tough as this.

I'm grateful that I have more strength than I can imagine, and even when it's hard, I have the power to heal myself, especially with the support of others.

I'm still coalescing my thoughts in a lot of ways, and I'm just not ready to write extensively. But I heard this song in the car today and started crying, because it just hit at the right time. I lost a lot and gained a lot this week, and when I say that, I see your image of the pendulum. I hope to find some balance. I hope I won't always be living out my mistakes. I hope I give more than I take, I love more than I cry, and I find peace in the chaos. And I hope that for the many  people who have come to me this week, in crisis, in healing, in pain. I hope that for the people I've hurt, because that's haunting me right now.


Monday, January 17, 2011

e[lust] #22

One of my posts from last month has been included in e[lust] #22! There's plenty of great erotica to read if you're looking for something to get your blood flowing this week. 
Photo courtesy of Lady Grinning Soul
Welcome to e[lust] - Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #23? Start with the rules, check out the schedule and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates! ~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~ Erotic asphyxiation: treatments of kink in therapy and the media - Kink and BDSM practitioners often come to an enhanced understanding of their own desires through the emphasis on personal boundaries and communicative consent which arises from a responsible approach to power and pain play. Mirror, mirror - I found myself back there again, perched on the edge of the white expanse, spreading myself shamelessly in front of the glass Worry - I’ve been thinking about rape culture more than ever before. On the outside, much of K’s and my play looks like sexual abuse. It’s not, because consent is always central. ~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~ gender and misogyny: responsibility and erotic writing - I spent a good portion of my adult life being gender fluid myself ..., and have partnered with several gender fluid folks as a top. Creating representation of us and our eroticism feels so vital to me, so important. ~ e[lust] Editress ~ Help End the Backlog - Speaking out works. Taking action works. Silence doesn’t. Politicians on every level need to hear your voice saying “this is unacceptable”. 76%. 3/4. That’s how many rapists get away with it on a national level. See also: Pleasurists #111 and #112 for all your sex toy review needs All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

An Offering

Such a tremendously lazy Sunday, but yet, it’s a good place to be in preparing for the coming week. School starts, my friend is moving to Texas, and I’ve scheduled more meetings than I can remember. There won’t be much wiggle room. But somehow I feel ready. Last week, I felt so trepidatious about the onslaught this semester will be. But the truth is that my anxiety will eat me before the actual work will, so conquering it is the key to survival. And remembering to breathe. Often.


On my trip to New York this November, I found myself wandering the first day, carrying a thirty pound backpack and more emotional baggage than I could measure. It was cold, bitterly cold, and the sky was the color of concrete. After nearly five hours of walking, I stumbled upon St. Peter’s Cathedral.

I haven’t been religious in years, if ever. I remember, very clearly, questioning the concept of God and the church as a child. I spent so many late nights, lying awake with my best friend on Saturday sleepovers, contemplating the size of the universe and the omnipotence of any being. I balked at being confirmed Episcopalian, but went through the process at my mother’s insistence. I’ve never been able to reconcile my sexuality and a religion, though my fall out with the church happened long before I came out. But I’ve always been fascinated by the church, by the power of shared belief, by hierarchy and the history of religious oppression, and by the power of sacred spaces.

I forget castles and palaces I’ve seen; they blend together in my memories. But the Cathedrals have stayed, imprinted for some reason I can’t explain. The National Cathedral in D.C. was, by far, my favorite of all the monuments and places I visited (way back in 1998! I so need to visit again). Notre Dame was the first place I visited in Paris, and I found myself returning, constantly, drawn to the strength and history and power.  I saw her in misty midnight rain, in the glow of the sunset, in the harsh light of noon, inside and out, back and front, top to bottom. I love the way ancient buildings whisper. I love the stories that lodge in between stones, in the cracks of hardwood floors, in the melted window panes. I love feeling small, miniscule even, under domed ceilings and winged buttresses. I love the echo, the silence.

I remember, strongly, each of the Cathedrals we visited in Paris. Severin, with the gorgeous, brightly colored stained glass windows which resembled modern art. Sacre Coeur, the Cathedral on the hill overlooking the city, which reminded me more of a Mosque than a Catholic church. Saint Chapelle, which I called the “baby Cathedral,” with the magnificent twin, white marble spiral staircases leading to the pulpit. St. Sulpice, with the meridian line, made famous by Dan Brown.

I remember St. Stephen’s in Vienna, the tiny church in the center of Eisenstadt, the Dohany Street Synagogue in Budapest.

It was in Vienna, in 2004, that I began a tradition. I wasn’t raised Catholic, but I find the simple act of lighting a candle and saying a prayer to be immensely powerful. I always light at least one, often two or three offering candles. The first in memory of friends, family members, and others who have passed away and for those I know who are suffering. The second for hope – for tomorrow, for a better year, a better future. I love the physical sense of prayer, the light, the warmth. The third for anyone or anything specificI’ll never know what the other candles are for, but I like to see them, aligned, collected, aglow.

In St. Peter’s, in New York, I stumbled upon a new tradition. I felt drawn to New York, in need of strength and guidance and so many things I couldn’t articulate. I pulled the backpack off in the pew, set it down gingerly, so as not to disturb the individuals bowed in prayer around me. I knelt down, and the soreness of my shoulders and feet set in. In the silence my thoughts raced. What was I here for? What was I looking for? Could I find it in a Cathedral, in the wild mountains around Easton, in a group of women talking about erotic energy? Could I find it wandering the crowded streets of New York? Could I find it in the history of Stonewall, in the open galleries of the Met?

I prayed for two things, first. I prayed for those who had come before me, their steps and guidance, their strength, their history. I prayed for those who come after me – for whatever I could give them, for the lives I wouldn’t witness, for a world that treated them better.  Those prayers have become a mantra in my life; I find them lodged in my brain, in my heart, often. I say them often when I feel strong enough to have something to give.

I tacked on a third prayer in St. Peter’s, simply because I didn’t know how not to. I’ve always felt guilty asking for anything. It feels self-indulgent, scary. But I asked for guidance. I asked for strength. I asked for love, not romantic love, but love as life force, as support, as hope.

I remember, on my knees that day, thinking that I had no idea what the weekend would bring, much less the next month and the next year. I wish, sometimes, that I could record these moments in some more finite way to glance back on as a point of reference. I feel so strong today, so very at peace. It’s a culmination of a lot of factors, and looking back, I’m amazed at how much has changed in two very sort months. I had a long conversation with a friend this weekend about religion…what it meant to us, what had changed in the last few years, what we believed, what we looked for, what we couldn’t stand. I find that my faith is not in a God or a church or a creed. My faith is in community, in possibility, in change. My faith is in karma, in finding balance, in struggle, in confusion. My faith is, like me, wandering and unpredictable, sacred and profane. It does not belong in spaces or in individuals, but in connections, in moments. I don’t think there is anything more powerful than hope, and I’m not sure if there’s anything more detrimental than blind faith – and the line between them, so very thin, simply depends on the context. I try to err on the side of caution, usually, but not always.

Tonight, I light a different candle with the same wish, the same prayer. I ask for peace, for possibility, for more days like this weekend. For the unpredictable and the sane, for change, for stability. For love, for laughter, for sarcasm. For the beginning of a new week, a new semester, a new feeling. To breathing in. To heartbeats and moments and everything in between. 

(St. Peter's, November 2010)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Parts and Pieces


Your skin radiates warmth, and my first thought is that I’m glad I let you sleep over, simply for this sensation. The morning light is flooding in, and I’m fighting the obligation to get out of bed and stumble into the shower. You’re still breathing, heavy, uneven. I want to curl up to you, bury in your skin, but strangely, cuddling is one of the few things I’m unsure about with you. It's not an emotional activity for me, but for some people, cuddling is intensely personal in a way sex simply isn't. I find myself mulling over how we've discussed and navigated so much, and yet, never this. I roll up against you, instead, pull the comforter back over my head, and shut out the light. I’m lulled back to sleep before I can even count to ten.


The heat of the water almost burns as I step in. Having a heated pool at a gay bar, in the middle of the city, in the middle of the night? Only in New Orleans. I slip underwater, pulling myself forward, deeper, and though the Chlorine burns my eyes, I want to be swallowed into the water, I want to float weightless, I want to escape. As I child, I used to pretend I was a mermaid, a whale, a fish, or some combination… swimming deep into the depths, holding the air in my lungs until the pressure rose, expanding, forcing me upward. I feel free in water, unencumbered by the parts of my body that are awkward, heavy, uneven. I feel graceful.

When I come up for air, fifteen feet away, I can hear the echo of voices and laughter from the other end of the pool. The sounds bring life to the cold January night air. There’s no one here but us, and it’s the perfect place to be at two in the morning – a bit of familiar and a bit of unexpected, but mostly just a whole lot of ridiculous antics, bad inside jokes, and easy conversation. Behind me, our beer cans line the edge of the pool, and nipples rise and fall above the water line. It’s my first time being topless in public since Pensacola Pride in May 2007, and the water is beautiful against my skin.


I can feel the weight of your head falling on my shoulder, cushioned by my hoodie. I want to pull you in. I want to bury in you. You make me want to be vulnerable, in a way no one has in a very long time. But I can’t. I won’t. I… I have a million reasons, and while sometimes they sound like excuses, at other times they’re perfectly valid.

“That one, there,” I’m pointing up into the night sky, “is that the big dipper?”

“Yep. And look across, there,” You point to the left of the constellation, “It’s the north star. It’s like it fell out 
of the dipper. You can always find them together.”

I have a vague recollection of my father telling me this same fact, as I stood on our driveway in Mississippi on a summer night, a thousand years ago. The Pontchartrain stretches out into the darkness, watercolor waves for as far as I can see. Fog is still rising from the surface of the water, eclipsing the horizon so that the starry sky and the lake almost blend together. I sink into the bench, looking up across the bowl of sky. I feel infinitely small, and yet full to the brim.

“I can barely see the horizon. It’s such a thin line.” I can barely see your face in the dark, but I know you’re squinting, trying to decide which line.

“If I were painting it, I probably wouldn’t paint a horizon line.” I can picture the paintbrush in my hand, bleeding black onto the canvas.

I hear the surprise in your voice when you respond. “If I were painting it, I would make the horizon line thick.” 

For a moment I’m tempted to analyze what this says about us. Not that I haven’t already thought about our differences, in so many other situations. But I put that thought away. Instead I lean back toward you, take a really deep breath, and let the night sky overwhelm me.


I roll over again, restless, unsure of what I want. I see your eyes start to peek open. Outside my bedroom door, I hear my roommate talking to her friend who is crashing in the guest room for the night. I hold my breath as their footsteps echo in the hall. You stumble out, pulling my bathrobe around you, heading for the bathroom. “Good morning,” I hear from the hallway. Mass giggling ensues. I can’t help but smile.


It’s three in the afternoon on a Tuesday, and I’m not really sure what I’m doing with my life right now, but damn, it feels right. There’s a half-empty Abita in front of me, and outside the late sun is bouncing off the exposed brick of a French Quarter home.


I'm trying to think of a 1940's actress, but no one is coming to mind. Too late for Mae West (my favorite), too early for Audrey Hepburn or Marilyn Monroe. Hell, I can't even think of a 1940's movie. I stumble, my heel catching into the uneven brick, and you reach out to catch me. You put your arm out for me to hold as I walk, and I brush away the thousand memories that simple gesture brings to my mind. You weren't around for those moments, and I don't wish to burden you, or the night, with them. Seconds later my passing thoughts are silenced as you pull an arm around my waist and kiss me. I lean back, lean it, letting go. Momentarily. You smile (or is it a smirk?) and I push against you, resisting, flexing. You catch my wrists and pin me to my car, but I'm still reaching forward to kiss you, letting my lips beg without words. Your lips travel down my neck, around the heavy black cross, a relic that somehow always ends up around my neck when I'm in compromising positions. I gasp, and when the air leaves my lips, there's a smoky outline of my breath under the streetlight. You've let go by now, never dominant for long, and I push my hips forward, swinging to catch you by surprise. I want to pin you, but you've got a couple pounds and more muscle than me. We struggle as you fight back, pushing me deeper against the car, and you're laughing at me. I'm defiant, as always. Stubborn. I lift my leg and curl it around your thigh, bringing the heel between the back of your legs. 

Your hand slides up the inside of my thigh, bare under my black dress, but seconds later, you're pulling away. You're serious. Well, as serious as drunkenly possible. "You're better than this."

"Better than what?" I mentally note to ask you later, when you're more sober. 

"This." You gesture down the street, pulling me into you as a car's headlights fall on us, climb closer, speed by.

Having sex in a public place? Hardly, I've been there. Having a quick fuck when I'd rather take you to bed for a few hours? Yes, probably, but sometimes I'm willing to settle. Sleeping with someone who is drunk? Well, no, as long as you're capable of giving and withdrawing consent, and I know you well enough to know that neither of us takes that lightly. Nor would you say something only to please me. 

I table it. I want to argue; it's bubbling up in me. I feel like you've made a judgment call on what I should and shouldn't do with my body, and though I doubt that's what you mean, I'm drunk enough to take it that way and put up a defensive wall. Not worth it. 

You're still staring at me. Something else is coming. "I don't know how I feel about fucking my friends. I don't want anyone to get hurt."

And God knows, I respect you so much for that, probably more than you'll ever know. "I understand." I reach up to kiss you on the cheek, because I'm going to walk away now. But you turn, and my lips find yours instead. 

"Not that you've given me any reason not think that you can't handle it." You're right, I haven't.

"That's true. But still. If you hesitate, I respect that. I'll back off." 

No matter what I say, you can't see my heart. 


“I like the idea of control. But the truth, as a friend so vividly pointed out to me today, is that's an illusion. Not having control makes me vulnerable. And while I do really enjoy that place, it can be hard to let go. It can be hard not to plan.”


I know what I want, but I hesitate. All of the circumstances are shaky: we’re sober, it’s morning, we both have places to be and things to do. The harsh sunlight is bouncing around my room; a part of me becomes shy, embarrassed of the imperfections of my body which are so easy to find in the light. But you’re in my bed, in my house, in my morning, naked. I pull closer, kissing the nape of your neck very softly. I begin to trace my fingers down your back, slowly, carefully, dancing across your curves. Oh. so. very. slowly. My touch is exploratory at first, gentle. You’re not responding, but not pulling away, either. I slide my hand down, across your hip bone, circling, my palm across the inside of your thigh. I’m waiting for you to let me in, asking the question with my hands. You shift inches, rolling from your side, putting the weight of your thigh onto me. I can feel the arch in your back, involuntary, almost imperceptible to the eye. My fingers wander up, around, across, and I find your nipple, circle the areola, and twist the ring softly between my thumb and forefinger. A gasp escapes from your lips. That’s the answer I’m looking for.  I bite hard into your neck, and your hips roll toward me, opening, and you pull me in for a kiss.


“I don't want promises. I don't want guarantees, and if you hurt me -- or I put myself in a place to be hurt, which is always a possibility, too -- then it happens, and I'll deal then. I want your honesty, and I want you to know why I hesitate in talking, sometimes, and why there will be things you can't push or pull out of me at this point. Past that, I don't expect you to do anything but be you.”



Monday, January 3, 2011

Both Hands

and both hands 
now use both hands 
oh, no don't close your eyes 
I am writing 
graffitti on your body 
I am drawing the story of 
how hard we tried 

Almost a year ago, I saw Ani play at Tipitina's. I remember hearing this song and feeling like I had been hit by a brick -- it was as if she was singing about me and my girlfriend. I felt like I was hearing this song for the first time. It was an illuminating moment, and for me, a really important step in recognizing a failing relationship and starting to let go. It was months before I was at peace with that decision, and sadly, over those months I lost a lot financially and emotionally that probably could have been avoided. But sometimes, you just have to hit rock bottom to start to rise again. 

2010 was, in a lot of ways, a miserable year. It started out amazing with the Saints winning the Superbowl, but so quickly that became overshadowed by my girlfriend's bullshit, the BP oil spill, and my own inability to exorcise myself from a really bad relationship. I cried almost every day for the first five months of the year. Sometimes, it felt like I was doing nothing but crying for days straight. There were a few moments that shine through that darkness -- my first day at Jazz Fest, visiting family in Mississippi, a few great conversations with new people in my life, a mess of amazing festivals and food, and more. Summer was, for me, a saving grace in a lot of ways. It's always a great reprieve after winter ~ I always treasure warmth and sunlight, long evenings outside, summer dresses, and being barefoot. But this summer was unique -- I quit a job that had been weighing heavily on me, I found a new energy in 3am beers and late night conversations, I got the nerve to save up and start traveling out of my comfort zone, and I got a therapist. I found myself facing a lot of what made me unhappy, and I started the upward climb into a post-relationship renaissance. I realized that by not investing in many of my friendships, I had missed out on a lot. So I cut that shit. I started, slowly, to analyze and exorcise everything in my life that wasn't making me happy. And by December, I had done a whole lot of cutting and cleaning. 

December has been such a whirlwind of travel and spending time with friends. It's been exhausting and rejuvenating at the same time. But more on that later. In the last month, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what I want from myself in 2011. Of course, the year will bring a thousand things that I can't predict. It will be drastically different from the last year, simply because I am starting this year in a totally different place. I don't want guidelines or hard and fast rules. But I want a list (I love lists!), a beginning point. So, this is more about hopes and dreams than resolutions and rules. 

1) The older I get, the more I find the edges of my personality are filed down -- I become slower to anger, faster to understand and empathize, more accepting, less stressed and reactive. I want that. I want to learn to center myself when I most need it. I want to take a breath first, not after. 

2) I want positivity in my life. I want to surround myself by people who don't talk shit about others. I want people in my life who spread compassion and love. I want to do so, myself. I want to look for the good in everything. I don't want to ignore the rest, but I want to learn to acknowledge it and respond accordingly. 

3) I want to work on my own honesty. I have a tendency to run or shy away from questions and truths that make me uncomfortable. I tend to gloss over talking about my emotions. I have to force myself to be emotionally honest and open, and I think that process will become easier as I work through it. 

4) I want to encourage my creativity.

5) I want to take time to enjoy where I am, every day, as much as possible. I want to spend more time in the moment than looking back or looking forward. 

I want 2011 to be a year I look back on fondly, not one I wish would go by faster. :)