Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Trying to learn what my needs are.

Running in the morning is awesome now that there is pretty close to full light by six. I didn't cry today. Right now I am flirting hard with hitting 5.5 mph as my average. Not quite there, but close. I have just over five months to the marathon. Eek. I wonder how fast I will be then. Not that speed is the point. But this is really interesting. This running business is several journeys all in one. My body is changing shape again. Still? Other people hit "stable weights" and I never have. I rarely spend more than six months in a given shape. It's different this time because I eat any and everything I want. I haven't tracked in a few days because I haven't been on the computer much. Right now I have other things to think about.

For the past few days we have been choosing to not use any lights. At 6pm I get up and quickly tidy up the house and clean the kitchen so breakfast will be easy to make in a mostly dark kitchen. Noah and I both actively want more sleep and more sex in our lives. This seems to be the easiest way to manage that shift right now. We put the kids to bed at eight and then have the rest of the night to lie in bed and talk until we figure out if it is a sex night or not. That works better than going to bed at ten or eleven. I'm less likely to be hostile to his advances because can't he tell I am fucking exhausted?! I'm just less tired at eight.

Sex is such an interesting journey. I've been having intercourse (by choice) for more than eighteen years now. It has only been fairly recently that I no longer hurt most of the time. I started out thinking it was supposed to hurt. It was supposed to be agonizingly painful and you were supposed to take that in order to please someone else. You have to be a masochist to enjoy sex. I didn't use such language when I was significantly younger, but that is what I was doing. I feel like I am no longer interested in being that kind of masochist. Most people never do it at all so it probably seems weird that it is hard for me to stop. The thing is, I wasn't doing "scenes" with people. I wasn't doing SSC (safe/sane/consensual) bdsm per se. Sex hurt and I didn't know how to deal with that. So I let people hurt me. Mostly they didn't even know because I couldn't tell them. I had no language. I didn't understand what I was doing. I never felt safe saying, "Uhm, this is hurting and I wish it wouldn't". I still have trouble telling Noah. But he has mostly learned the signs. And he has mostly started stopping on his own. I feel such an out pouring of love for Noah that I feel like I will drown in it.

Noah cares if I am in pain. He will take active steps to stop hurting me. That makes me cry. It is probably true that other people have done it as well, but not like Noah. Certainly not with sex. Noah has paid attention to me for years he can tell when his touch is good and when it hurts by watching me. He modifies his behavior based on my reactions. This feels miraculous. This feels like an unlooked-for-gift. I didn't believe anyone would ever give a shit.

As life goes on I hold it close to my heart that I have had sex with significantly more people than average. I have given lots and lots and lots of people the chance to be nice to me. Noah has chosen to learn how to be nice to me. I want to be monogamous because I don't want to go back to believing that sex just hurts and it does with everyone but Noah. For one big thing, condoms suck. That's no one else's fault. And bareback sex with people other than Noah feels really emotionally bad and scary to me. I don't want to feel good that way. It makes me feel disgusting inside. Because no one else is going to bother to pay attention to me the way Noah does. I will always be hiding myself. I don't want to share my body that way with someone I am not genuinely close to. I didn't understand what that meant before I tried it, getting close to someone that is.

Noah treats me like I am actually important. Like my needs and wants matter. Other people want me to meet their needs and wants. .  .  .  .  .  Yeah. Don't care.

It feels like my "to give to" list is full. Shanna and Calli need so much from me that I really just physically can not care what any other adults need. Forget them. I'm busy. They need to deal with their own stuff. They are big kids now. Dating is about filling needs. Seriously ongoing relationships have to involve a balance of meeting needs. I can't do it. I am a giant cavernous hole of need. I don't have a god damn thing to give.

It's interesting figuring out sex with Noah. He has needs. I have needs I didn't know I had. I need to not be in pain. I need to feel physically comfortable. I need to feel respected. I need to feel cared for. I haven't felt these feelings during most of my sexual life. I won't say that I have been in pain every time, because that is hyperbole, but I have probably experienced pain significantly above 50% of the times I have had sex in my life. At least half the time. And it tends to go in batches where it will be just screamingly awful for weeks (I used to get raging yeast infections that have never been treated in my life) and then it will be fine for a couple of weeks.

My diet is radically different from what I ate as a child and young adult. I don't get yeast infections any more. Sex doesn't hurt as much. We will never use condoms again. That has probably played the biggest part in lessoning how much pain sex has caused, honestly. And I am firmly in the camp that says the foreskin is important to sex. Unprotected sex with circumcised men is far more painful to me than sex with an intact man. Yeah, multiple samples of each. I wasn't very smart when I was younger. Or older. Ha.

All of this feels important. Not to anyone but me, of course, but I need to understand how my body works. I need to actually know what it is like to feel good in my body. I have to not mask my body sensations with pills. I don't want to get up every day and take caffeine (I don't drink coffee so instead we have these mints--100 mg of caffeine. That'll wake you up.) and then have a sleeping pill before bed. I don't want to wince every time I sit down because sex tore the hell out of me last night. I want to wake up in the morning glad to be in my body.

I want to be touched in ways that feel good instead of ways that hurt me. I want that to be a fucking priority in the lives of the people around me. I can't believe how intensely I need this. And he just does it. He tries so hard. He pulls back if I wince. He stops. He will stop having sex and just hold me if I stop responding. He doesn't ignore me and get himself off. I am not a hole any more. It's really weird.

The thing is I don't think that any of my former partners would be happy with hearing me say that they treated me that way. Not really. I haven't had that many one night stands. I tend to have sex with people several times. I tend to be friends with them before and after. I don't think they would feel good about treating me that way. Some like to pretend but they don't really think of me that way. Not very many men are comfortable thinking about the fact that they are capable of behaving in a way that will allow a woman to feel that way. Notice the careful language in that sentence? I ain't accusing anyone of anything. So no panties in a twist.

I don't think Dan believes he is a rapist. But if you have sex with an unconscious girl it's rape. Someone cannot consent if they are not awake. Even if they want to have sex with you when they are awake it isn't the kind of thing that is permanently transferable. Consent has to be actively given or it doesn't exist. If I don't have the option of saying "no" then I can't actually say "yes".

That is where a great deal of my problems have happened during sex. I don't feel like I can say no. I was conditioned to sit still and not respond while enduring sexual pain. It's pretty crazy to think about. I watch my daughters now and I think about it. I think very hard about what I want them to experience in this lifetime. What do I want them to be conditioned to expect from life?

I was conditioned to have sex with as many emotionally distant men as possible. Woo.

I want to know in the core of my being that I will never ever let someone who is not close to me emotionally into my body. My body deserves better treatment than it has been given. I want to set the bar so high that Noah really is the only person who will ever be part of me again. I know this is something that other people take for granted.

I'm afraid that I will cheat. I'm afraid that I will be afraid to say "no". I'm afraid that I will hide behind my long-standing excuse of being crazy and impulsive and self-destructive. I'm afraid of being the person I was conditioned to be. I don't want to try to set personal "hit this number" goals in my head. Because I totally would. I'm a tiny tiny bit miffed I didn't get my "triple digit party" like I was promised.   (A close friend I lived with told me she would do it. I actively discouraged it at the time because I felt uncomfortable but now I kind of wish it had happened. I am lame like that.)

Not every person who is nonmonogamous is a slut. But I am. I don't want to model that for my children. What do I want to model?

Ack. The dryer repairman will be here in ten minutes. I've never been the first visit on a day before. Time to go.

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