Friday, November 1, 2013

Sex Positive / Negative

I am not a good person.

There are good people in this industry. They are often talked about. She is the nicest writer in Australia. He is the loveliest writer and therefore he deserves this accolade or that. I like them too. I like the nice writers and I try to find time to have dinner with them, breakfast, hang with them at the bar. To be near them is to make myself like them in some way. If I am seen in their company I will become a nice person too.

I am not a nice person.  I am furious. I burn. I can feel my anger eating away at the lining of my stomach, it forms a hard knot in my shoulders and stops the blood flow and gives me a migraine. The anger feeds my flesh and I swell to furious proportions. This is who I am. I look at the shiny happy people and I feel tarnished.

These are the facts: I am from a poor family, from a bad school, from the kind of mad genetic pool that has a tendency to lock themselves away from the rest of the world. I am destined to return to the place I have come from and because of this I am angry.

I have just read Happy Baby by Stephen Elliott and I know that my sex bookclub will hate it.  Here we have a cause and effect. Abuse leads to a longing for self abuse. Abuse as a key to one man's need to be hit, to be told he is nothing. The strong smart women in my bookclub will say that S & M has nothing to do with abuse. Rope play and smacking are a choice, and a positive choice that is all about the line between pain and pleasure. I understand this. I can see how a person from a good home and a good school can lay out their choices and make informed decisions. I am educated. I am married to a man who has always been comfortably middle class. I am protected from my own nature. I am free to chose.

Yet on those nights when my agitation turns to self-loathing, when my natural inclination towards entropy eclipses all the things I have learned since I have been free, I wonder about my decisions, my cravings for sex which suddenly, inexplicably tip over from the pleasurable to the self-destructive. My first reaction is that of suspicion. I think badly of people. I long to lash out. I want to take that person who doesn't want me and force them to look at me naked. Want me. I want to smash their face into my flesh till they know they are mistaken. Want me. Want me. Want me now.

So I let the urge pass because I am educated. Because I know better. Because I am settled and have some of the things that a safe middle-class life can gift to a person. But I do not fit in this life, in this skin, in this class. When I run out of distractions I remember who I am. I remember where I have come from and where I will return to when I let go of my safe nice partner and am reclaimed by the wilderness of my childhood.

I remember the kind of fucking that was meant to unsettle my safe foothold on the world. I remember the drug of sex, the dangerous pit of it filled with joy and poison and harm and the extremes of pleasure. I open that snake pit and peer inside and I wonder if one day I will unbalance again and fall.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read your memoir Affection and was shocked/disturbed by it. Your honesty was almost too much - I had to look away several times. I read about your sexual experiences with your housemate and wondered how those growing up with similar desires today, with the availability of the internet to easily help find partners, would find themselves drowning. I may not have expressed myself as clearly as I would've liked but I hope you understand what I am trying to say and am not offended. Also, I think you are a definately a good person.