Thursday, November 29, 2012

Sex Menu.

[For those who missed it: I haven't been not-writing, I've been writing elsewhere!  Check out my post at Captain Awkward: Pretty Should Be Optional!]

So, I don't really know how to open this except to say: I made a sex menu!

Check it out here!
(if the font looks terrible, you probably need to zoom in farther.)

There's a reason, though, a reason going beyond "I liked writing all the funny captions."

It's because I'm not good at thinking of things on the spot.  There's all kinds of things I like in bed (as you can see...), but when the conversation comes down to "so, what do you want to do tonight?", I have a terrible habit of answering "Um, sex?"  Some horrible combination of shyness and choice-paralysis comes over me and I literally forget what kinks I have.  It's like holding a pen and staring at a blank page--the endlessness of the possibilities can easily slip from exciting to overwhelming.

This has led to me tragically having unadorned missionary intercourse on far too many occasions.

So I made a menu.  It's dorky--it might be reaching new theoretical limits of dorkiness--but it's also a really nice tool for communication.  It lays out the things we know work for us and it gives us a starting point to think of things that aren't on the menu.  It frees us from the daunting blank page.

I don't know if I can really end this post with "make one for yourself!", because your relationship probably has to work a very specific way for this to be awesome instead of hilariously awkward.  But I will end it with... getting away from the blank page, however you do that, is a very very good thing for keeping sex pervy.

[EDIT: Some people report trouble getting Google Docs to open.  Here's an alternate link to the same file on Dropbox.]

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Cosmocking! December '12!

It's that time again!  Light blue cover!  Taylor Swift!  Wait, that's supposed to be Taylor Swift?!  I know what Taylor Swift looks like!  She doesn't look a damn thing like that!  Also they made one side of her neck longer than the other, and her left collarbone seems to reach well past the midpoint of her chest!  I never thought I'd have to critique the anatomy in a photograph!  "Late Night Sex!" If Cosmo runs headlines on "Early Morning Sex" and "Mid-Morning Sex" and "Elevensies Sex" and so forth, they could get a whole year's worth of content out of this!

(Cosmo has bizarre neck errors on almost every cover.  Apparently they always use the same person for retouching, and this person believes that human heads are set on an infinitely mobile ball-joint located on the front of a foot-long neck.  If we can't convince Cosmo to stop selling crude gender stereotypes as "science" and joyless performance as "sexy," maybe we can at least explain to them how spines work.)
(TW: ED) So You Ate a Cupcake? Fast Moves to Burn It Off!
And then there's this headline.  I just... this is really heinously irresponsible.  I know people get all argumentative about whether beauty standards promote eating disorders, but how is this headline about anything but eating-disorder behaviors?

"So you ate a cupcake?  Great!  That will contribute to the nutrients your body needs each day for healthy functioning!  Plus they're yummy!  On a totally unrelated note, moderate exercise can make you feel good and increase your physical abilities, but really shouldn't be connected to feelings of guilt for enjoying food!"
I'd just started dating this awesome girl who didn't eat meat, so I decided to take her to a sushi restaurant. She ordered a tuna roll and seemed into the place... until the chef came out with a live tuna and chopped its head off at our table. My date was horrified as the beheadings continued at tables around us."
A weirdly racist "true embarrassing story," from a writer who clearly doesn't know how big tuna are.    For reference, here's a video (warning: NOT A PRETTY SIGHT) of someone beheading a (dead) actual tuna.  That would make one hell of a tableside presentation...
Worst Date Ever! He Was Bisexual... With a Girlfriend!
Okay, so the "girlfriend" thing is legitimately terrible, since he was cheating on her.  But the biphobia here is really gross:
We headed to a wine bar, where, over a glass of merlot, my date matter-of-factly informed me that he also hooks up with men. I consider myself pretty open-minded, so that bit of info itself didn't bother me--it was his timing.  At this point in the night, we were supposed to be all flirty and into each other.  I figured he'd mistakenly thought it would impress me, so I politely laid it out for him: "I understand that a guy can picture a girl he's dating making out with one of her girlfriends and get turned on by that. But for me personally, picturing a guy I'm dating going at it with his male bud is not a turn-on." My date seemed confused.
I, too, seem confused.  A guy comes out to you, and your response is, and I'm trying to work this out here: "I'm like totally not biphobic, but this was Designated Flirting Time in my head, so clearly every sentence he said was supposed to turn me on, and men having sex with each other doesn't turn me on, so I'm totally justified in framing his sexuality as EWW MANSEX LOL AMIRIGHT LADIES."
Meanwhile, as if on cue, a man who'd been sitting near us at the bar turned toward my date to ask him a question. My date, without hesitation, flirted back.
Come ON.  What kind of fucking sitcom logic is this?

Although if you view it not as "and then he did gross bisexual stuff right in front of me, OMG" thing, but as the other man overhearing that bullshit and heroically rescuing him from his biphobic date, that's kind of sweet actually.
The High-Maintenance BFF: Even the best of friends can come with baggage. 
"We went on vacation together, and on the first morning, she broke her leg jumping on the hotel bed (don't even ask). I ended up pushing her in a wheelchair all over Paris. At times, I'd be so exhausted that I'd end up crying at night. But I didn't want to make her feel worse, so I stayed quiet."
Wow, what a jerk, inconveniencing her friend by, um, not walking on a broken leg! Talk about inconsiderate!
Does Your Coworker Want to Sleep With You?
If he writes something like the note on the right, it's 99.99999 percent likely that he's already pictured you in the nude.
Yeah, I... I don't even know anymore.
You're on a second date with a guy when he asks about your previous relationship. You say: 
A. "He deserves to be in jail. Know a good lawyer?" 
B. "You would love him. We should all go out!" 
C. "Solid guy. We just weren't good together."
If you answer A (or B), the quiz reports you aren't over your ex.  C means you're over him.  Now, I can sort of see the logic here, but... shouldn't the actual events of your previous relationship have some bearing on this?

Not every "he deserves to be in jail" is poorly sublimated grieving, destined to turn to "solid guy" once you get ahold of your tempestuous lady-emotions.  Sometimes it's because dude committed a bunch of crimes.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All in the mind.

Pic unrelated; I just wanted to show off
what an amazing pumpkin carver I am.
One of my grandmother's favorite platitudes when I was a little kid was "it's all in the mind."  Cut yourself? You shouldn't feel bad, because "pain is all in the mind."  Hunger, heat, cold, fear, social rejection, and all kinds of assorted suffering were, to my grandmother, "all in the mind."

I'm sure that processing things that way gave her great strength, and she's lived through a hell of a lot, so I don't begrudge her the fact that that's kind of a jerk thing to say to a crying six-year-old.

But here's how I process things: yeah, technically very true Grandma, suffering is all in the mind.  But the mind is where I live!

So I've been away for a while.  I've been sick.  Sick all in the mind.

Long story short, I've been mildly depressed for a long time, in the last month I had a full-on major depressive episode, I went to a doctor, now I'm on antidepressants and feeling much better.

Long story slightly longer--the horrible Catch-22 of depression is that it makes you hate yourself, but you have to have tremendous faith in yourself to seek treatment for depression.

Because what you have to do, basically, is make a doctor's appointment for "I have sad feelings." And shit, I have enough mental blocks against complaining about anything to the doctor.  I get all "probably it's nothing, why waste money and look like a hypochondriac" when I am actively bleeding.  Making an appointment for my sad widdle feelings, at the same time as the depression was filling my brain with "NOBODY CARES ABOUT YOUR STUPID PROBLEMS"... that was tough.*

Tough, and worth it.  Because the doctor didn't say "you called a doctor for feelings?".  He said "I'm glad you came here.  I know it's difficult."**  He wrote me a prescription for Wellbutrin*** and a referral for therapy.

It's a week later, I haven't even been to my first therapy appointment yet, and oh my God do I feel better.  Chemically better, but still with a lot of recovery to do in the getting-life-and-thinking-unscrambled department.  Which is okay.  It took the chemicals for me to even realize that these were two separate issues.  Damn those are some good chemicals.

The real take-home lesson here, besides "oh my god the Pervocracy is back, I thought Cliff had fallen into the sun or something," is that when you feel bad and you don't know quite why, it's all in your head.

And your head is very real and the most important part of you.  Take care of your head!  A feeling doesn't have to be somehow proven "real" before you're allowed to acknowledge it.  Feelings are real.   (That's not a warmfuzzy affirmation.  That's neurophysiology.)  Finding the causes and solutions for suffering that's "all in your head" is as important--as real a need--as bandaging a wound.

Cosmocking next!  Oh how I have missed the Cosmocking.

*Rowdy helped a lot.  When I needed a push to get help, he was there pushing.  Thanks, Rowdy.  I love you big.  I love you robot servant army.

**I have a pretty good doctor. I realize some are "you're just complaining, it's normal to feel down sometimes" jerks about depression.  If you get one, please remember that the problem is located in the doctor, not in you.  A good doctor might make a different prescription/diagnosis decision than you expected, but if the doctor brushes you off without seriously investigating your symptoms, try and get a second opinion.

***Sex on Wellbutrin?  DAAAMN.  (That's a good daaamn.  Or more specifically, a "oh my god, I think I just tore a hole in the mattress, or possibly in space-time itself" daaamn.)  Hell of a side effect.