Thursday, April 30, 2009

adult content?

When I had the option to label this as "adult content" or not, I chose to label it as adult. Why? Because of the "next blog" button on the top of the screen. Anyone who hits that button can be landed on some random blog or other. I saw some random blog with pictures of a kid's birthday party, and I thought, "gosh I don't want some kid looking at pics from his party to suddenly end up on this site!" 

Fair enough. 

But I've also seen lots of explicit discussions out there of all kinds of things with no warnings. 

I've also understand that some people come to this site's "adult content warning" page and then immediately leave. 

Am I giving the false impression that this blog is full of explicit images and anatomical discussions? 

I wonder if the "adult content warning" is warranted. (Bearing in mind that I did publish one rather racy post!) 

Any thoughts out there on this one? 

To wish without hoping

So, I was reminded today that abstinence is easy. Until I begin to hope that something will change. It was hard, of course, for the first few weeks and months. Almost unbearably hard at times! To have her right next to me in bed, to breathe her scent, to feel her warmth and yet not to be able to reach out to her, to hold her... 

Yeah. That sure wasn't easy. 

But after a few months it got easier. 

The next hurdle was the special occasions, when I thought she might want to come to me. Christmas. My birthday. Valentine's day. 

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. 

But, since then, I have been clever enough not to hope. I've realised that this is how it's going to work -- or, rather, not work. 

And then the lovely Sungold at Kittywampus asked me what was going to happen at the end of the year. 

It was something that I had considered, but only vaguely. I realised then that I didn't want moving forward to START to happen at the end of my year of abstinence. I really hoped that it would somehow FINISH at the end of that year. That somehow Susan would magically come to me because 365 days of my asexuality was exactly what she needed to get her libido back. And all would be back to normal, or at least moving in that direction apace. 

But of course, six months in, not much had changed, so there was little reason to think that another six months later things would be suddenly different. 

So for that and other reasons, I began to engage her about our relationship. Not about sex, mind you. Just our relationship. 

She hated it. She was willing to talk -- just, but I had to really push her into it. 

Long story short, things have greatly improved between us in all kinds of (non sexual) ways. 

I still have to push her to talk about relationship stuff, but almost every time I do (once every week or two), I feel we make great strides as a couple. 

And this lead me to think tonight that there might be... well, not sex, certainly, but perhaps some spreading of the detante from emotional issues further into sexual ones. 

And there wasn't. She was polite. Friendly. Very good natured. But clearly uninterested in taking any of the opportunities I presented her on a platter to discuss (sexual) things further. 

And there was a bit of that old feeling. A bit of hope that was raised and therefore dashed. 

So, gentle reader, that is my conundrum. How to wish for spring, plan for spring, prepare for spring, but never to hope for it. 

Pulling back is easy, but putting yourself out there without, at the same time, any emotional attachment. Hmm. That's the skill of top salesmen. Buddhist monks. And, perhaps, exceptionally nice young men who are on the dating scene. 

I used to be just such a young man. Perhaps that's a mindset I need to revisit. 

Or perhaps I need to accept that to really put myself out there without hope is perhaps dishonest. And perhaps impossible. 

Perhaps part of my learning for this year is not to learn a buddhist-like skill of wishing without hoping, but rather to learn the resilience of dustimg myself off when hopes have been . . . let's not say "dashed", but rather, "postponed." 

Monday, April 20, 2009

getting better

I'm pleased to say that things are getting better between Susan and me. I got her to talk to me and I felt we made some headway. We didn't talk about sex and all that -- more about general issues in our relationship. Reversing your normal stereotype, she doesn't like to talk much -- least of all about relationship stuff. When she does, she wants it to be quick, efficient, goal oriented, transactional, and finished -- not to be repeated unless for necessary clarification. 

That probably makes her sound quite severe, which she is not. But nor is she the sort of girl who wears her heart on her sleave. 

My intuition seems to have been right. She senses that her sexual abuse as a child might be one of our relationship roadblocks. 

She also seems open to the idea that she is currently suffering from the "wall of fear" that survivors of sexual abuse have when they are worried that old wounds might come up. 

It seems that that is part, or even all, of the reason she doesn't like to talk much. 

So I am trying to coax her along. Not to talk about her sexual abuse, but to open up to me a bit more. I could live (as I've discovered!) without sex. I could (ALMOST) live without cuddles. But living without emotional intimacy too? That's a bridge too far. So I am trying to coax her along. 

It will be a long road. But we will get there. 
One step at a time. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

I'm so embarassed...

So... I woke up the morning after my last post and was struck with waves of embarassment and cringing. Maybe I should edit it? Or delete the whole thing? 

And the odd thing is... this is an anonymous blog! Ok, I haven't chosen a traditional anonymous name, but, let's face it, my name is not REALLY "Mark Faulkner" (surprise!) and my wife's name is not REALLY Susan. 

So... I'm left wondering... why am I embarassed? 
Not sure. The feeling went away after a day.

But it begs another question... why am I doing this at all? 
The irony is, this is a topic I can't talk to friends about. Nor family. A counsellor is a bit inconvenient and expensive for me at the moment. 

So, because this topic -- sex, effectively -- is too racey, too awkward, too uncomfortable to talk about with my very best friends in the world, the only safe answer is to broadcast it to everybody! And somehow that's safer! 

How bizarre! 

Not unfamiliar, though. I once told a complete stranger in a bar something that was highly personal and highly troubling. I think it's often easier that way. 

The paradox, though, is that as I put more of myself into this blog, it becomes more "me". And then I read other people's blogs talking about things of interest. I read them and comment, and I become more invested in this blog and in my identity in the blogosphere. 

I've always been a very WYSIWYG kind of a guy. I don't really have the energy for pretense, game-playing, showmanship, brinkmanship, or any other kind of -ship! The unkind way of saying it is that I wear my heart on my sleeve. Perhaps the nice way is to say that I am in touch with my feelings, and I am an open, straight-forward guy. 

But if I try to bifurcate myself into "real me" and "Mark Faulkner, born again virgin and blogger" then pretense almost inevitably comes into it. 

I think to myself, "what if Sue somehow finds this and reads it?" So I try to change little facts. Things that aren't relevant to the core issues. Enough so that I hope Sue wouldn't immediately recognise herself if she came across this blog. (Not that she would come across it randomly while searching the net... but I did accidentally leave it open on my computer once! Oooops!) 

But then... how far do you go? Should I avoid turns of phrase that I normally use? Should I strip out all the interesting, memorable parts of an anecdote? 

More troubling to me is the thought that I could see myself really getting into this blogging thing. I'd really like to put all sorts of thoughts, feelings, experiences and ideas out there. I'd like to connect with people who've read my blog and whose blogs I've read -- people I've emailed and who have emailed me, people with whom I've carried on a conversation via posting comments on a blog. 

And all of that's fine except that... it all sounds like it's starting to be a double life. Clark Kent and his secret identity: Blogosphere Boy! 

As Blogosphere Boy, will I never be able to tell Lois Lane of all the interesting blogs I've read, and all the blogging conversations I've had? 
As Clark Kent, will I never be able to tell the good citizens of Blogosphere anything that might reveal my "true" identity? 

Hmmm. It's late. I'm tired. A problem to further contemplate another time.