Let’s talk about sex

“In the world we live in, what we know and what we don’t know are like Siamese twins, inseparable, existing in a state of confusion.” (Sputnik Sweetheart – Haruki Murakami)

I always talk about love. Today let’s change. Let’s talk about sex. Rough sex. Just kidding. No, no kidding.

A few days ago, I went for lunch at a sushi place, where sushi was displayed on a rail like a train rail, you pick what you like to eat. I was sitting there, waiting for my lemongrass tea and was about to choose my first sushi, when suddenly a young man, sitting next to me started to say hello. I said hello back. He was less than thirty years old with a student style look. I could see that he wanted to start a conversation and not just stop at a hello. It was okay with me to chat a bit. Small talk first for ten minutes. Usual stuff. He looked trustworthy and kind. Like I said, like a student. He could be my student. Then suddenly he asked: “Could I tell you something quite delicate? I just feel the need to tell this to someone I don’t know.” I was like, okay, shoot! “What do you think about sadomasochistic practices?” I looked at him. Quite surprised. “Where are you going from now, young man” I asked myself. I answered: “Never thought about that until today. You bring up the subject so you want to tell me something. Please continue”. As a criminologist with a very brief education of profiling, I was interested to hear more. Of course. Sociologically speaking, it could be an interesting observation. Also because he was kind of sincere and he did not look like he wanted from me anything else than just an ear to listen to him. So the whole story was about he could only get excited with SM practices. Normal sex never turned him on. And he knew that since the age of 24. He had a girlfriend who did not know anything about it. And he could never reveal that to her. He did not suffer about it. Just some guilt he could feel sometimes when he had to satisfy his needs somewhere else.

He said he wanted to tell me his secret because we would never see each other again, and behind my serious appearance with eyeglasses and all, he somehow thought that I could have some dark secrets too.  The conversation was not about me so I did not answer him. We said goodbye and I wished him a great day and always a good sex life. It happened to me a few times already that people confide to me some secrets. Probably because I look really serious.

I thought about that encounter for a few days. It is always strange for me that some people totally need to live in a kind of fantasy to spice up their sex lives. I am so far from that. I have no idea of how that could feel. But I just think even though when one thinks he is free while putting a mask, wearing leather clothes, whipping his partner, how free is he really in that moment? His freedom of wanting to live that fantasy, being another person, playing another role, going through with his fantasies, is all that really liberating? Of course, the excitement is real, is fabulous, I can understand and concur. But is he still kept prisoner in his own fantasy and sex scenarios? New scenarios need to be invented each time, and finally it would be all about the scenarios, the fantasies, the accessories and not about the partner, anymore.

I don’t really know. I just ask questions and think about it. I don’t have any judgments, whatsoever. I don’t know which sensation one could have before, during and after a SM session. Totally an unknown world for me.

But it leads me now to share a small story about fantasies. I once had an affair with a man who was all about fantasies and scenarios. It was a very short affair as we spent more time arguing about me not having any fantasy or desires for fantasies and about him who was too much into it. I remember I commuted sometimes to see him, after a long day of work and he asked me to come to his place, dressing like a nurse. I remember that time, I texted him and said: “No, no way! I come back from 10 hours of work, do you think I would go to a shop now and buy a nurse dress??!!”  I remember I cancelled that date. Another time was about “you let the door open in the night, I will come, you don’t know when and I will be like a stranger”. I was like “come on, drop it, I will know that it was you and really it does nothing to me”.  Yes, it was a short affair.

And yes, maybe because I am a scientist with a rational brain. I am never turned on with scenarios. Wearing no clothes but only sexy lingerie under your coat. Going to a bar. Meeting your partner/husband/boyfriend and pretending not to know him, then hitting on him like a stranger. No, not for me. My only explanation for that is maybe because I have a poor imagination and I am a down-to-earth scientist.

But to end this long post, do you know what really turns me on?

His eyes turn me on. The expression in his eyes when he looks at me. The way he talks to people in front of me. The way he carries humanity in him. That turns me on. So badly. His mails turn me on. His songs turn me on. Our talks about movies, love, life turn me on. The way he laughs, the way he talks, the way he feels free, his witty spirit. Yes, all of that.

My fantasy, yes, it has a name. I just found it. My fantasy is called “HIM”.

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Handle with care

…That night we barely closed our eyes. We kissed through the night, and the bitterness of our saliva filled the room. Our bed drifted in the boundless sea like a lonely island in imminent danger. We took refuge in each other’s love. When the heart breaks there’s a crackling sound, very light and very fine, like the splintering of wood fibers… (Wei Hui – Shanghai Baby)

Probably what she appreciates most when they are together is the uncertainty of their physical relationship. Each time they meet each other, it seems as if there was a wall between them. Not that they consciously want this barrier to be there, it is just natural. They keep a certain distance between them. A kind of decency, timidity. Not fake, not invented. It is not because they are beyond desires or mutual attraction, they always start the evening with conversations about new books, new movies. Not small talks either. They don’t want to rush each other into some kind of awkward behaviors. Yet they are not prude or shy. They are just calm and serene. They seem to enjoy these moments and to catch up with the time which has kept them apart. Real time however is suspended. The air is peaceful and benign, yet something enigmatic and beyond comprehension is there. If one looks at the scene from the outside, like a movie, one probably would think that the physical part could never happen. The probability that they would kiss or even hold hands is almost none. Their instincts might be animal, they could hardly guess their own feelings and desires in front of each other acting the way they act. The woman seems to be intrigued by it. She never knows what is going on in his head. He never says something sexually provocative or ambiguous, they don’t seek to seduce each other. He smiles from time to time and speaks to her in a slow rhythm, with a gentle voice. Calm he is, as usual. When is this icy wall between them going to break? Nobody knows. Only they have the key to the enigma.

Sometimes when she stands up, grabs a book at the bookshelves, shows it to him, then he kisses her hand, the one holding the book.

Sometimes when she goes to the kitchen, boiling water for a pot of tea, then he kisses her, from behind, in her neck.

Sometimes they kiss each other goodbye, late at night, then they decide to spend the night together.

They seem to manage their ardor differently. That’s all. And they never know why.

I have changed too

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:

where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep. ”

Pablo Neruda

I have been longing, waiting for you.

I have let you live, be free, be YOU.

I have never asked for anything.

For the first time I have loved someone for who he is and not for what he gives.

I have loved our story from the beginning because you have embodied fineness.

Your thoughts were delicate.

Your words were dainty.

You have had a touch of a lost samourai in everything you did and said.

But lately you lost it. And I don’t know why. And I did not see it coming.

Suddenly you have become trivial.

You love vulgar things and creatures.

Your ideas primitive.

Your words hurt my ears.

I could not find ourselves in what we have exchanged lately.

On my screen: the website of the local airport.

Your flight AF 191 – Status: landed.

I will not be there.

I have changed too my love.

How I understood “The Little Prince”

Golden grains remind the fox of the colour of gold

Of the Little Prince’s hair

You are pretty as a heart

Arrogant as a gladiator

As the rose of the Prince

I don’t need grain-fields

I don’t need sun and sunflowers

I don’t need to be tamed

To remember your blond hair

You don’t need to be unique

There could be thousands of you

You are beautiful and full

You don’t belong to me

I am not responsible for you

The essential is visible to the eyes

And the heart

There is no secret:

I love you.

Immenseness is not all

Before you fall in love with someone, you usually have a list of quality requirements that the other person should meet. You check the list and he/she has it all (or almost). It is love but it is rational because you can explain why you love the person. But sometimes you fall in love before being able to make the list. And no, I don’t talk about love at first sight because in this process, there will be a moment after the “first sight”, you will start to make the list as well and try to see if he/she would match it. At some point you would end up to be rational and explicative.

Then comes another part of the process where love, I believe, is tricky and is a twofold issue. That is when he/she has nothing to do with your list and you still love him/her, in spite of everything. Or worse, when the “maybe once there” required qualities have all gone and you are still there, in the throw of love for this person. That part is, for me, intricate and a bit troublesome. That is when people around you start to tell you to let it go, to break up, to find someone else who fits you better. Yes, all these things which are supposed to make you think and be reasonable. But if you passed through this process, you would then be sure that your love is true. True but not necessarily real (“real” is another debate).

A week ago, I met a friend and we philosophized about love, as usual.

My friend asked: “Would you still  love him if he was in a wheelchair after an accident, if he turned blind for example, would you stay?”

(Mentioning the blindness was a touchy point. When I was young, I read at least three times “Jane Eyre” of one of the sisters Brontë. When Jane Eyre came back to look for Mr. Rochester, he was broke and blind and she never left him. Happy, beautiful and very “19th century” ending. I was about to say:  “of course”, just because of the novel. But it seemed a bit premature and trivial so I kept myself silent).

For days, I kept thinking about that question. HE did not meet any of my usual criteria. That – I knew a long time ago. It hasn’t changed anything. I would say “yes”. Rationally/or irrationally speaking. I WOULD STAY. That was my final answer.

Then, I realized, for the first time that my love is something else too. This potent magnitude of feelings.

My love is scary and self-surrendered.

Yesterday I broke up.

Sometimes having one is enough

The only person who has a spare key to my apartment is M.D, my young friend. I introduced him to you a few days ago in a post “Matt Damon – a coffee with a star”. Here I am, writing about him again.

It has been raining for 48 hours, non-stop. My day ends. My mind is wondering around. When I watch the rain, all kinds of thoughts come to me. I think of how hard it is to make friends in this city. And when I think of friendship, I think of M.D. Especially because I haven’t seen him for a while.

He lives with a roommate in a very small flat. Last year I was away for two weeks. I told him to feel free to come by and play piano when I was not there. That was why I gave him my keys in the first place.

The last time I saw him was two months ago. He has gotten exams all year long. Seeing each other on a regular basis is not easy. That day I came back from work and when trying to pick up something on the floor, I somehow made a wrong move and blocked my back. I usually have some painkillers for that as it happens to me once in a while, this back pain. Not that day. I could not move and had no medicine left. But I had a prescription. I decided to call M.D. Who else could come, pick up the prescription and go to the pharmacy?

So, I called him. He came, picked up the prescription and went to the pharmacy. He did exactly what he was told to do. From the drugstore, he called me and asked: “Are you sure you don’t need anything else?” – “No, sure, just the pills please.”

He came back with what I needed. And a bonus: a Mc Flurry topping with M&Ms, a dessert from one kid to another.

He put me in bed. He smiled at me, quoted Gandhi – “Whenever you are confronted with an opponent. Conquer him with love.”, then closed the door and left.

Having him as a friend is a blessing. Keeping him is my job.

Measuring the distance

The most difficult thing to live with when you are apart is silence in between communications.

We don’t write to each other every day. We don’t skype either. I never like Skype, I think our faces are deformed by this laptop- incorporated camera and I don’t want to look unattractive to him when I am far away. Also if we fix a time for Skype, usually it is during night time when I am already in pajamas and I am not excited about putting on something decent for the camera.  It’s not comfortable either to sit at my desk and talk. Ok, you can lie on your bed and be comfortable, but then THIS position in bed, depending on how you place your laptop, would definitely distort your face. But this is me being a bit girly and full of principles. So, no, I don’t like Skype. Not to mention the long recovery from daydreaming and missing him with every part of my body after a few hours of virtual “skypy” happiness. No thanks.

I usually go through some disorderly states of mind with the distance/communication thing. How we proceed: I write, he answers. Or he writes, I answer.

Day 1: the day I receive his mail. I am great. I am euphoric. I sing in the shower in the morning. I feel powerful. I am productive. I walk in the streets with a smiling stupid face. I am nice to my colleagues.

Day 2: I am great. Still sing in the shower. Still smile a lot. I am still a nice person to my environment.

Day 3: In the shower I said to myself: “Two days ago, he said he were…”. I know his mail by heart. Details in the mail are all swallowed and digested. I feel ok.

Day 4: First thing in the morning is not singing in the shower but staying a bit longer in bed and wondering: “Where were you the last three days?”. I am a bit slower in any activity.

Day 5: I still know his last mail by heart but I don’t try to recite it to myself anymore. I never go back to my mailbox and read the mail again. Things become  impalpable. I try to relativize the notion of time. Five days are nothing. I am grumpy at work.

Day 6: I don’t show up at work. I kill myself. No, I am just kidding. Yes, I become very silent. I have a “leave me alone” face. I act like a robot. But usually that is when he writes again. And then the “Day 1- feeling/state of mind” starts all over again. My mood switches in a snap.

I simply wish that the effect of his mails could last longer than the distance between us – 4537 miles – 7301 km.