So it looks a lot like I’m struggling to write things that are fun or sexy at the moment, so instead here’s a few thoughts on Liam Neeson and the weird privilege of forgiveness.
For anyone who hasn’t heard (nice rock you’ve got there, can I come hide under it for a while too? Please?). Neeson recently gave an interview in which he reported how after a female friend was raped by a black person he took to stalking the streets at night trying to get into a fight with some “black bastard” in order to have an excuse to kill them.
There’s a lot to unpack here. First and most obvious is the horrific racism. In fact there’s very little to deconstruct on that part, or at least little insight that I can offer, it’s just straight up inexcusable; targeting black people for random violence/murder is physically sickening.
Second is that,how can I put this, Liam Neeson is clearly a terrible friend! Of all the things that hsi friend was looking for when she confided in him, I’m pretty sure that vigilante random lynching wasn’t high on the list. I’d probably go so far as to say that that as a possible response probably won’t have occurred to a lot of people. And if you’re in a position where people should be cautious about telling you things in case you straight up go out and randomly murder people then you are an awful person and a really bad friend.
Third, let’s just take a moment to acknowledge the role of toxic masculinity in this tapestry of fail. One of the things that’s most upsetting about modern standards of masculinity is that the only negative emotions that men are encouraged to show are anger and, by extension, violence. I’m not going to seek to write it off as the only factor here or paint it as any less of an individual moral failing, but Neeson’s response is chillingly close to those of the characters he’s portrayed in various revenge/murder films. The connection here is so stark as to be really unsettling.
Last, and coming back around to the racism, there’s also a shocking amount of privilege on display here. Think for a moment if this had been a black actor confessing to looking at killing random white men? Or a woman looking at responding with random violence over a friend’s sexual assault? their career would be over. In a snap. In all likelihood the police might open a retroactive investigation just to be on the safe side.
But Neeson acknowledged that this thing he did was bad. And surely it’s important to have space to let people acknowledge bad things that they have done and s use them as a way of examining what led them there? Ugh, well, hhhnnnn, kinda, but not really no. Because Neeson hasn’t actually risked anything. He admitted this very publicly knowing full well that there are unlikely to be any repercussions for him. Because we’re in a society where still someone like Neeson gets praise for his bravery in saying he nearly straight-up lynched a random innocent person. Where James Dean is back working in the porn industry whereas Bill Cosby is in prison.
I’ve got to the point where I quietly assume that most people I interact with regularly in the kink/writing/sex blogging scenes are probably flirting with me.
I think this is a fairly safe assumption for me to make. Not necessarily because I think it’s actually true, but more because I don’t think it actually makes a huge difference to how I interact with people. Actually, scratch that, it is probably a net positive. Low-key assuming people want to fuck me puts my brain into more of an abundance mindset than a scarcity mindset. Consequently I tend to feel less social anxiety and self-inflicted pressure and, well, I think that helps me be a better version of me.
I’ve tried to put my finger on when I started to feel like this. I think it might have been somewhere around 2016 but I’m not sure. Certainly there were things that year that reflect a growing sense of body confidence (including but not limited to my first appearance in porn), but I’d be hard pressed to say whether that’s the chicken, or the egg, or the preceding chicken.
But I’m also starting to twig that perhaps it doesn’t even really matter that much. Maybe people being interested in me isn’t a result of me feeling more at home with myself, maybe I’m just more aware of something that was always in the background but I just ignored.
I went to a party during the holidays, a fun, kinky, party with a mix of people I hadn’t seen in a while and people I’d never met. I wasn’t at my best. I was low on emotional energy and low on self confidence. Despite chatting with people I knew I was feeling that awful sensation that I didn’t belong, or needed somehow to justify why I was there. It wasn’t the best version of me, it was a me that I thought I’d left behind and it was troubling to feel like I’d somehow regressed.
But nobody else seemed to notice. And by the end of the evening, well, let’s just say much fun was had and I went home glowing.
Which is reassuring, the realisation that it’s ok to not be at my best, and my social life won’t suddenly crumble around me.
So I’m fashionably late to comment on the Gillette razors advert that discusses toxic masculinity and generally goes “Hey, can we try not being terrible people?”
It should be a fairly uncontroversia….. Ha ha ha, no of course not because it’s 2019 and the world has collectively lost its bearings.
I’m not going to comment on detail on the advert (a step in the right direction) or the people who are objecting to it (twats) but I do want to talk about one aspect of this that really hits me hard.
A line I’ve seen thrown around is, “let boys be boys; let men be men”. And I fucking hate it. On part because I was a bit (very) shit at being a boy. Not that I object to “boys” being boys or “men” being men (which I guess means the societal norms for those words) but the let boys be boys attitude hurts like fuck because it assumes that this is something fundamental, worse, monolithic.
It can be incredibly isolating when the things you’re expected to like leave you cold. Worse than just being bored it left me feeling broken and numb. The expectation was to like football and heaven help me I tried but I’ve never found the game anything other than tedious, never found the stadiums other than menacing places to be.
As a child the phrase “there’ll be kids your age” would send a chill down my spine. Signalling that otherwise enjoyable family time was going to be abandoned in favour of casting me adrift in a sea of people who weren’t like me. It was embarrassing. For years I lied to my parents about how many friends I had, at times about having friends, because I was failing, I wasn’t doing the things that boys were supposed to do.
So sure, let boys be boys, but first you need to give what you mean by “boys” a radical fucking overhaul.
There’s a meme that goes around every now and then, about how books just end. And you sit there coming back to reality, to find that the world is unchanged despite you having been emotionally traumatised by a bundle of tree slices with squiggles on them.
Reading can be a powerful tool for self exploration. Reading, especially in longer formats, takes time. Fiction never delivers up an idea to be immediately assessed. It’s a technique for examining experiences through a proxy. If you’d asked fourteen year old me about kink I’d have probably pulled faces and made lazy jokes. But a few years later and I’d devoured a sizable chunk of the Nexus Publishing back catalogue, and through it things that wouldn’t appeal if just offered to me were now fully realised thoughts and desires.
I’m certainly not alone in discovering my sexuality through reading, and I’m pretty sure that, as tools of self discovery go, it’s at no risk of dying out. I know numerous people a decade younger than me who discovered and explored their sexuality through fan fics. And contrary to some fears, there’s people in the generation down that read at a rate that I find genuinely disturbing.
Not that anything will ever necessarily sum up exactly how you feel. There’s always a mismatch, a different angle or expression of an idea. A distinction that really really matters and makes the difference between these words and you.
And perhaps that’s why the Venn diagram of voracious readers and writers has such a huge overlap.
It’s one of the landmarks for a breakup, one of the milestones that show you’re gaining distance and perspective, maybe even healing. That moment when you know that you wouldn’t go back to them, even if they asked.
This isn’t to say that all my past relationships are like this. I think I’m on pretty good terms with most of my ex partners. There are some who I know are lovely and would date again at the drop of a hat. But there’s nothing there to escape from. None of those relationships left me confused, disoriented, unsure of who I am. It’s the others where (to quote the Scissor Sisters) you measure distance with tears.
I realised today that I’m out of that zone completely. Actually I’ve been out of it for months, maybe a year. Maybe a year, but probably not. It can be hard to tell sometimes. My abusive ex was cropping up in dreams long after I’d thought I’d moved on (though thankfully these were few, rare, and progressively less troubling as time passed). And lingering at the back of my mind is the thought that maybe I’m not. Maybe there’s still that one, or that one. The person who despite the alarm bells might still be able to pull me back in, like a sinking ship.
It’s one of Newton’s laws (the third of you want specifics) that every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Ok so normally this is used when designing rockets (shooting fumes backwards makes rocket go forwards… see, o really earned my degree!) but I feel like this is one of those things that’s true in more ways than people realise.
Take sexting. Or rather my favourite subset, sensing teasing/arousing messages to someone who’s powerless to do anything to relieve their horniness. Their predicament can arise from a few options including circumstance (“oh, I’m sorry I didn’t realise that you were out for dinner/in a meeting/on a protest march”) or the ever delightful mutually agreed torment (“but you know deep down that you want this, that’s why you asked me to do this to you”). The common thread being the idea that while you’re lazily basking in hedonistic glee, they are reduced to a distracted ball of embarrassed frustration.
Except it’s rarely so easy. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt frustration the way I have when I’m teasing someone. When a conversation ends and I’m left with a rock hard cock that’s been straining for release for hours. Post teasing wanks have produced some of the most powerful orgasms I’ve experienced. But it’s not the same, it’s not the firm, solid physicality that I’m longing for at times like that.
And I also feel compelled to tell them. Yes there’s logical reasons to tell them, knowing that their suffering is bringing pleasure is a big part of submission for so many people, but it’s more than that. Maybe it’s just a universal law of balance of that means I can’t not let them know. A law that demands my satisfaction and frustration balance out theirs.
Or maybe I just like telling people that I’m turned on?
The old wisdom goes that beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
There’s a few different ways of interpreting that, but by far my favourite is that others can see beauty in us that we struggle to perceive for ourselves.
This weekend was mostly spent in a cold and dim shed in the garden. A thoroughly impractical workshop that’s sweltering in the summer and freezing in winter. However I needed to make use of it despite the temperature and the rain because Christmas is coming, and my goose has utterly failed to get fat. So many people close to me will be getting hand crafted gifts this year. And in this case, that means metalwork (or more accurately silversmithing).
I ran an extension reel out the kitchen window which meant I was able to plug in a small heater and a precariously balanced light, so whilst not exactly comfortable, I could spend a few hours in there without dying of exposure.
Truly I expect this photo to rival Alberto Korda’s portrait of Che Guevara
Crafting is a fascinating microcosm of life. Beginning with overconfidence and clumsiness, too much book learning and not enough experience to make your hands do what they’re supposed to. Gradually giving way to the inarguable tutelage of physical experience. Instinctively you get better at doing things the “right” way. Until you find yourself making bold, confident strikes that achieve more than half an hour of cautious tapping.
And at the end of the weekend, I had achieved… almost nothing. I have precisely zero gifts completed, a stiff shoulder and some fascinatingly shaped pieces of scrap. Actually that’s not quite true. I had mentioned to a couple of people what I’d planned for the weekend and they responded with rather more enthusiasm than I’d expected.
I’m not sure quite what it was that intrigued them, the skillful manipulation, the focused intent, maybe just that I look damn sexy in a woolly jumper. But I guess that’s kind of my point. on some level it doesn’t matter, what I did had an effect whether I intended it or not.
And it kind of makes my mind boggle to think of all the possibilities that are out there, how many brilliant qualities people have that they aren’t really even aware of?
One of the issues I have with monogamy… No, scratch that. One of the reasons I don’t think giving myself entirely to one person is a great idea is that, well, there’s rather a lot of me.
Let’s start with the obvious. I have numerous hobbies and have a bit of a tendency to pick up new ones at a rate of knots (this year alone has seen me get into numismatics, silversmithing, cigars and bagpipes) and I’ve long since despaired of anyone being able to match my enthusiasm for each and every new thing.
Then there’s emotional support. Obviously this is a two way street, but there are times in life where some need more than others. Truth be told there were times this year where I was giving far more than I got, and had I been in a monogamous relationship probably wouldn’t have had as much support as I did (but that’s also my fault for not seeking that balance more).
Then it gets more complicated on the kink side of things. I’m a switch and both sides of that are deeply important to me. I very rarely switch with an individual (I usually just sort of feel a dynamic with them, one way or the other) so it’s not possible for me to be all the things that I can be with any one person.
And, it kinda makes me sad. Not least because some forms of kink dynamic just aren’t really viable. Or rather going into them would mean losing so much of the rest of me that I’m not sure any one person could be enough to make it worthwhile ?
Nude: adj, naked for the purpose of being observed. Often for purposes of arousal
In my world view, one of the reasons why privacy is a fundamental human desire is not because what people do in private is necessarily embarrassing, shameful, evil or even unusual. Rather, I see privacy as a crucial enabling component for intimacy.
Privacy lets you choose what you share, when, and with whom. For many people, myself included, that sharing of something others don’t get is also a potent expression of affection and trust.
This is also part of why, in the right context, sending someone nude pictures can be really fucking hot.
There’s also a whole heap of nuance that I’m still getting to grips with in terms of sharing nudes. I post occasional ones on my blog or Instagram (oh, I’m on Instagram now, btw). But I don’t feel it would be the same if I sent a pic to a partner that was already out there for all to see.
Then again, what happens when one has multiple partners that you share pics with? Is it ok for a nude selfie to do double duty? Do you let people know if they are/aren’t the sole recipient of an image? I feel like there should be an etiquette manual for this!
At the moment I’m also thinking about my dick. It occasionally creeps into nudes I post online, but is fairly unobtrusive (I was appalled when Instagram pulled down one of my posts that barely had any penis at all in it). It’s also pretty much always flaccid in these pictures which (and I’m not meaning to humble brag) makes a really noticeable difference in my case.
For the time being at least I’m reserving firm, proud, tumescent throbbing shots for people I’m in a dynamic with. But even then there’s a part of me hopes they appreciate that a picture of a stiffy can represent more than just the excitement of that moment.
“when your room trembles when a carriage goes past. I however am sitting in the carriage, and often I am the carriage itself.” Friedrich Nietzsche
Orgasms are great. Through my life I’ve had thousands of them and am well aquatinted with the smorgasbord of different strengths, sensations, after effects available to the male anatomy.
Sometimes if drained or hurried they can be barely enough to break one’s stride, others can be enough to leave me non-verbal and mumbly. I remember the fantastic discovery in my twenties that, for myself at least, who I’m with can have vastly more impact on how an orgasm feels than the precise mechanics used to reach it.
I am also giddily aware that there is a whole world of undiscovered orgasms still out there (indeed, one film at the Berlin porn festival opened my eyes to an entire category of male orgasm that I hadn’t thought possible). I’ve yet to climax from prostate stimulation alone, nor recreated some people’s experiences of ejaculating through sheer power of thought. But it’s still possible for even a common or garden wank to turn into something… singular.
It had turned into a rather fun morning. I shan’t go into details but basically I ended up having three near-simultaneous rather hot text discussions (I am genuinely not trying to brag, I’m clearly just shit at scheduling things). When these wrapped up I settled down to let off a little tension.
It wasn’t a particularly dramatic wank, sort of the masturbatory equivalent of missionary, comfortable, familiar and unadventurous. The benefit of sexting is that I also had a fantastic bit of hyper tailored smut to read too.
All was normal until I approached the climax. It hadn’t taken long before I felt the familiar tightening and that bolt of liquid fire that seems to run suddenly from my arse to the tip of my cock. There was something almost like a rumbling, a feeling that something bigger was happening, that I’d loosed something and was now just a passenger. It came fast, hot, wet and plentiful. I was startled not so much by the sheer volume but more the sensation that pleasure had been shoved onto the back burner. Yes it was powerfully pleasurable, but more than that it felt like my body was taking care of something important, and to hell if it left me feeling sore afterwards.
I hadn’t wanked as frequently as usual in the last week and that might go some way to explaining why it was so… voluminous? But I’m sure other factors were at play, the two hours of exciting conversation, it being a Saturday morning free from the stresses of the week. It’s the kind of thing that would take a lifetime of careful observation to understand.
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