Friday, July 4, 2008

Guest Blogger: Bruno.

Hello. Bruno here. I seem to be the token straight vanilla guy around the Pervocracy, but I’ve been asked a few times to write something. So when Tommy set the example, I decided to follow it.

No, Holly’s not blowing me as I write this. I’m fully clothed and alone, actually, and nowhere near the Northwest. And this post is about stuff that happens while the clothes are still on. It’s decidedly non-filthy.

You’ve been warned.

I’m sometimes asked why I’m single. I try to take it as a compliment – it has to be better than obviously deserving to be single – but of course I would prefer not to be single at all. So I’ve given the question a fair amount of thought.

A complete answer would take an entire blog of its own to provide, and in the process would risk collapsing upon itself into a sphincter-shaped, snot-drenched pit of delusional adolescent wankery from which not even Internet hyperbole could escape. I’ll spare everyone.

Instead, I want to focus on one of the reasons I may not try harder not to be single.

The short version.

The long version:

At a school function years ago – a cocktail reception in an airy glassed-in pavilion just before sunset – I noticed a classmate. I’d seen her before in the hall. I’d thought she was kind of pretty, in an unusual way. She reminded me of royalty from a medieval tapestry. But something about the way I experienced her at that moment hit me in the chest like lightning.

It was intoxicating. It resonated in my head like turbulent flame. It hurt.

And I was hooked. I watched for her everywhere I went, tried to learn about her, and sought opportunities to interact with her. But I was shy, and she was shy, and our schedules didn’t match up well, so it took months before I even knew her name. Until I did, I referred to her as “cattle prod girl.”

Nothing ever happened between us. One drunken night not long before we all packed up and moved away from campus, I managed, in humiliatingly adolescent fashion, to tell her she was beautiful. I suppose I must have at least embarrassed her, because she walked away.

I never saw her again.

That electricity is the sensation I’m always hoping to recapture. Cattle prod girl isn’t the only woman who’s ever given it to me, and I can be attracted to a woman without it – otherwise I could never flirt, date, or have sex (thankfully Little Bruno’s not as picky as I am) – but it seems that even if I want to, I can’t fully commit unless I get that incapacitating, almost painful validation of my attraction.

Rationally, I understand that’s foolish. I also worry that it’s cruel, and that it proves I’m an insecure asswad. There are many, many wonderful women in the world. I even meet some of them from time to time, and not all of them are married/gay/incarcerated/etc. Sometimes I’ll even try to date them, but I’m usually unsuccessful. Maybe I give off insecure asswad vibes.

Of the handful of other women who’ve given me similar sensations – though none has ever been so strong – none has come any closer than cattle prod girl to dating me. I’ve never so much as kissed one of them. Some have rejected me and others have ultimately proven not to be anyone I’d want to date. Others disappeared before anything happened.

Remember that I’d seen cattle prod girl a few times before she gave me a heart attack. She was only one of the hundreds of attractive women around, and not even one who was heavily pursued or gossiped about. My experience seems to show that there’s no predicting which woman I’ve thought was attractive will suddenly electrocute me.

I suppose that leaves some hope that I can find it within a relationship rather than from a stranger.

But I can’t know which are the cattle prod girls or whether I’ll ever meet another one, and compatibility with cattle prod girls may be no more likely than with anyone else. It’s a recipe either for serial monogamy or for inaction, loneliness, and celibacy. I’ve taken the latter path: It’s no accident that I recently ended a two-year drought or that I’ve been single for over four years.

Those periods could, and perhaps should, have been longer. Despite being an insecure asswad (among other failings), I somehow seem to be able to attract women. And, perhaps because I’m an asswad, I don’t always reject them. I don’t know whether I’ve ever inspired anything near the same electricity, but of the five women who’ve gotten naked with me, only one was someone I pursued. The other four all pursued me, up to and including propositioning sex.

To be fair, I’ve tried to maintain relationships in most cases, and I’ve always been a generous lover. Yet knowing that I have experienced paralyzing magnetism – knowing that with no warning I might experience it again – makes long-term commitment feel impossible. Having to settle for a more mundane sense of attraction seems unfair.


  1. You know, the only reason I'm happily in love with a most wonderful man, is because I gave up my hunt for the kind of man that could...incapacitate me with desire for them.

    It took me longer than it really aught to have, to realise that the kind of men that made me weak in the knees were, charming, sure, but also self-centred, inconsiderate, asswhips.

    So I swore them off, and instead looked for a decent man I could enjoy, and nothing more.

    By some insanely good stroke of luck, I met (online, if you can beleive it), my man, he was nice, smart, sarcastic, and liked sex they way I do. So we met, had a lovely date at the Museum, and went to his place for some sex. Good sex. Which is why I kept seeing him. Until, suddenly, one day, I realised I loved him, very much. It snuck up on me it did.

    He can't incapacitate me the way other men have, but I don't think that was healthy - it was all consuming, and like a fire all it did was burn. But he sure as hellfire CAN make me weak in the knees, whenever he chooses, and I love him all the more for it.

    So the moral to my story is... Just because a woman doesn't give you an electirc shock, doesn't mean she can't fullfill your real needs as a partner, sexually or otherwise.

    Sometimes - sometimes - taking a chance, and just letting things happen as they will, is all ya need to find yourself a little (or a lot) of happiness. :)

  2. Gotta go with Maja on this. Being suddenly and unexpectedly stricken by an inexplicable attraction happens to everyone, including people who are in happy relationships. The sad fact is that even if it does turn out to be someone you can get along with in the more mundane, conventional sense, that won't last.

    Decent relationships aren't glamorous, which is something that an astonishingly large number of people don't seem to get.

  3. Ok. First off, you are NOT the only "vanilla" guy around here. Although I AM polyamorous, I'm a little different (even for a poly).

    And I know that electric feeling intimatley: I get it from Spoon regularly. Sarah used to cause it: haven't seen or talked to her recently, so she may still. Julie causes it (even though she's now another's). And a couple ladies I've only really talked on the phone with can cause it...

    Sometimes, It comes around because of knowing the person, in a truly intimate fashion. Don't worry, you'll find it!

    And I've been pursued: thankfully, the "hunters" had to leave the site, and I didn't...