Wednesday, December 24, 2008

HNT: Celebrate!

Two weekends ago was Essin Em's 23rd birthday party. We were to come in costume, as a myth, tall tale or fable. She was looking fine as the White Rabbit, and I managed to create a Megara (yes, from Hercules) costume out of an old pink broomstick skirt.

The night was a fabulous time. There was truth or dare - in which I got to make out with an adorable girl whose number I later got - chocolate body paint - which Em licked off my chest.. yes there are photos, no, you can't see them...hehe - and delicious drinks. There was also a pretty heavy snowstorm that night, so getting home was a bit of an adventure, but things aren't fun without a little adventure.

So here's our first photo of the night, posing shamelessly. I really love this photo, although P has already given me shit for the cut of the dress. But like I told Em, if there was ever a party where it was OK to show up in an outfit that easily showed your underwear, it would be her birthday.

Happy birthday, again, dearest.
And Merry Christmas to those who celebrate.
And Happy Hannukah to those who celebrate.
And Happy Yule to my fellow pagans.
And happymerry wintertime holiday celebration to you and yours.

And, of course, HHNT!

Monday, December 22, 2008

my reputation...

..preceeds me, apparently.


*emotional rant warning*


I've written before about owning my reputation. I really do - I don't make apologies for how I live my life, with the exception being, of course, if I've hurt someone along the way. I have, admittedly, hurt people, and for that I am sorry. But those experiences have allowed me to learn what I need to do to avoid hurting people, at least in that fashion, in the future.

So I will say this: I am a slut.

I know this. I own this. I don't have a problem with this. I am safe, I act with everyone involved's knowledge and consent, and I truly believe that my behavior doesn't take away from the inherent quality of any given relationship I might be in. I don't mind people calling me such names, and while it isn't always with the positive affirming tone I might apply myself, it is for precisesly that reason that I have reclaimed such a title.

But while I don't mind people calling me such, it still stings a little when people imply that I can't control myself. I've written about this one other time, and the basic problem was that it portrays me as predatory. And not in a good, I-go-after-what-I-want kind of way... but instead in a I-destroy-everything-in-my-path sort of way. I don't like thinking of myself like that, I think because it isn't particularly true.

I'm back home. Around old friends, and new ones... re-defining relationships as always seems to be the pattern when I come home. That's all fine and good. And in fact, I've been largely surprised at how willing people have been to move forward with relationships, and finally let old shit be bygone. It's a good thing. But it makes it that much worse when I don't receive the benefit of the doubt that maybe I've grown up, too.

And to the specifics. In being back home, it means I'm back in the same area as nonboyfriend. As you might recall, things with him ended amicably, but not uncertainly. Neither of us had any delusions of staying together (even in our non-relationship relationship) or allegiance to the other or needing to wait for each other or anything of the sort. I did assume, as I understood did he, that when we were both back in town we'd go back to being friends like we've always been. I haven't seen him yet, which is fine. But I have seen several of our mutual friends. Which has also, by and large, been a good thing. And every one of these friends has made sure to point out to me that he's seeing someone now. OK. Harmless enough.

Except that after the fourth or fifth time of hearing it, it gets harder to ignore the tone that makes it sound less like "did you hear he has a girlfriend?" and more like "you know he has a girlfriend now, so you'd better back off. You really shouldn't go in and mess this up for him." As though that were the ONLY possible outcome of my seeing him. Not only can I apparently not control myself around him, but I apparently also have zero respect for the boundaries of his relationship.

I admit, I don't have the greatest track record with other people - although it should be noted that neither nonboyfriend nor I have ever done anything that could remotely be considered cheating or even being in the wrong. But this doesn't matter, I suppose.

And so in my frustration, I was explicit in telling him, when I asked him "if we could hang out," that I actually meant "go grab a drink and catch up" and not, yknow, "I'm going to jump you." Which he only responded to AFTER I made that clarification.

I guess I'm not really angry. I'm not really anything. I guess it's warranted. But it does make it difficult to maintain this sex-positive, healthy self-image when the people you care about think things like this about you. le sigh.

*end of rant.*








Bad blogger, bad!

I'm sorry.

I deserve a slap on the wrists.

At the very least.

I've been strikingly absent from this lovely little world that is the blogosphere for quite some time now. I even missed an HNT. And for that, dear readers, I apologize. I don't like leaving people hanging - It's not my style. So I am sorry for doing that to those of you who so graciously read my blog regularly. (I'm still mildly astonished that I have regular readers... eep!)

On the positive side, my absence has NOT been due to anything terrible or tragic befalling me. The truth of the matter is, I've simply been busy. And stuck with a 56K dial-up connection. Just loading the Blogger homepage takes a solid 10 minutes, and then I can't trust that the connection won't crap out on me and destroy one of my ohsobrilliant compositions.

However, I should have internet for the next week or so, since I'm staying at a different house - I'm kind of doing the couch-surfing thing this break... and I'm going to do my best to catch up on the backlog of posts by those of you I so enjoy reading (expect noting sprees) and, of course, more of the incessant rambling that we all know and love about my ridiculous escapades and crazy thoughts.

In the meantime, though, happy wintertime-we-need-something-to-cheer-us-up-during-the-increasingly-long-dark-hours-festivities. And as of today, we can happily start seeing more sun - gotta love the solstice.

Fiestas felices,

Sasha.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

HNT: Adios a Espana

This is the last of the Spanish HNTs. There's nothing particularly Spanish about it, other than the fact that you can see more of my room than in any other photo, I believe. Granted, you can also see a whole lot of me. Hope you don't mind.





HHNT!

Friday, December 5, 2008

(belated)HNT: The Texan

I wasn't going to post an HNT this week, but after my flight got delayed by three hours in Spain, making it just long enough to force me to miss my flight back home, I find myself alone in a hotel room with reliable, free internet for the first time in months.

And reflecting on a most ridiculous last night in Spain. The Texan insisted I come out with him and, literally, everyone else in the program. Usually this is entirely not my style, but since I didn't know when I'd be seeing The Texan again and we always have a good time together and, well, it WAS my last night in Spain, I went. We started off with a botellon in a random plaza with everyone... Of course The Texan and I were pretty much attached at the hip the whole night. He started tearing up, as he's the only one from his school in the program, which will inevitably make it more difficult (although not impossible) to keep in touch with people. He stepped aside, I followed him to check on him, offer my shoulder for crying. (Which is kind of a funny thing to see as he's got a solid 7-9 inches on me, but we make it work.) The conversation quickly turned to his and my friendship, and I promised him he'd be tired of hearing from me before I'd ever let our friendship fade. He looked at me, tears still in his eyes, and thanked me. Told me that he'd never had a friend who accepted him so unconditionally. I told him anyone who would try to tell him he needed to be something he isn't doesn't deserve him.

And then he pulled me to him and kissed me. It was sweet, friendly, and very much full of love.

The night progressed in that general fashion, both of us continuing to drink, and by the second disco we hit up, dancing exclusively with one another. There was much more making out. I got to make out to some of my favorite songs to dance to - which is always fun, especially because I'm a sap and I like romantic songs... Of course, there's only so innocent such things can be. So, without further adieu, I present The Texan's handiwork:


Not that it's the worst hickey I've ever gotten, but it is a fun little reminder of the night. And the chills I'd get when he was biting me. God I've missed that.

I'm SO ready to be home. Are you ready for me?

HHNT! (Friday, OK, OK.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Apologies..

In place of an HNT.

It is my final 48 hours en Espana. As such, I'm spending them with friends and many, many bottles of wine.

We will return you to your regularly scheduled blogging following the weekend and the dissolution of Jetlag.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

advice from a stranger

Last night the best girlfriend and I went out to our favorite Mexican restaurant (after the Texan bailed on me... for the second night in a row!), where we know the waitstaff and the owner. We always have a good time, the vibe is laid-back and fun, and the free shots and margaritas don't hurt either. (I would feel worse about this did the staffers not also drink with us and did we not hang out outside the restaurant as well.. but they do and we do, so I'm OK with it.) The best girlfriend had called a mutual friend and his roommate to come join us - primarily because she liked the mutual friend and he's been flirting with her all semester long. He's a good-hearted, ridiculously handsome guy, and she asked me to make sure she didn't get in too deep with anything, being so fresh from the breakup, but she wanted some attention. Since I know him so well also, I assumed we would all be OK, and I knew I could call him off if need be. He brought his roommate, making it a kind of funny, awkward psuedo-double date. Of course, his roommate (my "date") has a girlfriend, so we were basically the wingmen... wing-people... Whatever.

Anyway, while my girl and our friend were talking and flirting, I started talking with his roommate, who I don't think I've ever said a word to before, but who struck me as a genuinely nice guy. We were talking about our mutual dislike for giant discotecas here, and I mentioned my particular experience the night before. I had gone out with basically the entire program (some hundred of us) to an overpriced, overcrowded disco. I was sober, and not particularly in the mood to be there, but I was, in fact, making an effort to have a good time. Crush was there, along with a fellow program-mate who has been, of late, hooking up (I've seen them making out, but I hear there is more that goes on as well) with the boy I kind of liked when I first got to Spain. Anyway... This girl and Crush were just all. over. each. other.

Generally, this wouldn't bother me so much, but combined with the shitty situation of the night, I just cracked. I don't even particularly think anything will happen with Crush, nor does it need to, but it's still less than fun to watch someone you're attracted to all over someone you don't like. I left shortly after and went home alone.

So I was telling my fellow wingman about this (including the girl's name, who we had been discussing, but omitting Crush's name intentionally), and he asked me who Crush was. I wouldn't tell him. He insisted. I told him it doesn't matter, since nothing is going to happen, and I leave in a week anyway. He persisted, and shared a secret of his own, and I caved and told him Crush's name. (On a side note, why is it that sharing secrets makes us feel more bonded and trustworthy? I suppose that's mostly rhetorical, as it's pretty obvious, but still...) That sparked a conversation about what a nice guy Crush is, and I mentioned my concern that he's basically out to get everyone to like him. Which there's nothing inherently wrong with, I just as of late have been questioning how genuine he's been with me. (That isn't out of the blue... other things have transpired that I haven't written about.)
Wingman: Well, have you told him?
Me: Who? Crush? That I like him? Of course not.
Wingman: Well, maybe you should.
Me: Yeah, thanks. I think I'll pass. There isn't really a point anyway.
Wingman: But if you don't tell him, then he can't do anything about it. And then you'll go home always wondering what if.
Me: But... but.. I mean... *whimper*
Wingman: He's a really nice guy. He's not going to shoot you down. And you'll be angry at yourself if you don't take the chance.
Me: OK. Hypothetically, were I to do this. What do I even say? I don't want to come off like some love-sick puppy or a clingly stalker. Imagine you're him. What do I say? How would you want someone to tell you they like you?
Wingman: Let's see. I'm Crush. There's a girl that likes me, and how would I want her to tell me she likes me? I'd want her to be honest. Tell me how she feels when she's with me. I'd want to know if I make her smile when we're together. I'd want to know if there was some single moment when she realized she liked me as more than a friend. And I'd want her to tell me how often she thinks about me. Those are the things that matter. That's what I'd want to hear.

And I was a little taken aback. It was so honest, and sweet, and, near as I can tell, spot-on. Applicable in just about any situation. Maybe it was just seeing his expression soften a little, hearing his tone change, but what he said went straight to my heart. It really took hold. I was thinking about it, and I think that's something any person would like to know. Who wouldn't want to hear that? I don't think it comes off crazy or obsessive. I think it comes off as maybe just vulnerable enough to be sincere.

I'm still not sure if I'm actually going to have this conversation with Crush, but I think what wingman said might be the best advice I've ever gotten from a relative stranger. It's something I'd want to hear. It's something I'd like to say someday. I think it's something just about anyone would want to hear.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

HNT: Favorites II

Anyone who's read me for, oh, about a second and a half won't be surprised by this one.

I love my breasts.

If I can be so bold, I've got a great rack. Oddly enough, I use this to justify why I have to buy Large-size shirts and be OK with that. This actually isn't a particularly cleavage-full shot, but I like the color of my skin in this one (and this is the real color, not photoshopped or with camera effects) and I think it offers a nice view of what you might see were your hand at my wrist, about to pull me against you or pin me against a wall...



HHNT - which today I'm counting as happy half-nekkid Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reflections II

Just a short post this evening. There might be one more of these reflection posts in the works... and this one has little to do with sexuality, but I suppose that's what you get when I get rambly and preoccupied with moving back across the ocean.

In other news, I hope everyone is having or had a fantastic Thanksgiving spent with the people you wanted to spend it with and being grateful for all that all of us are lucky enough to have. So here, some things I will miss (and yes, was lucky to enjoy while I was here).

Things I will miss:
The Texan
Professors who swear, drink, and laugh with their students
Gorgeous international men
Gorgeous international women
My favorite Mexicans (at my favorite restaurant here)
Students willing to set aside cliques and make new friends
Hot foreign accents
Legal equality and social acceptance for many queer identities (admittedly not all)
Speaking Spanish daily
Meeting new people daily
Paella, Tortilla Española, y Sangria
Easy access to the rest of Europe
Living in a home where my Señora cares when I come home
Crush
My best girlfriend here
Ireland
Automatically being worldly and different because I'm not European
Worldly, different, European points of view

Things I will NOT miss:
Catty cliques that are apparently an international phenomenon
Not eating a meal between 9am and 10pm
Crappy internet connections
Two-midterm semesters
Different grading standards (while still officially working with an American GPA system)
Speaking Spanish everyday
Being closeted to most of the people around me
Three words: Dollar to Euro.
Settling for digital conversations with real friends
Not having a cell phone
Sharing a bedroom
Automatically being different because I'm not European

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Reflections I

My time in Spain is coming to a close. I have a whopping 10 days left here. Not that I'm counting.

It has, in the end, been a life-changing experience. I think I'm still too close to it to see how much of that was actually a result of Spain, itself, and how much was simply a result of being somewhere else. It's a bittersweet sentiment, because I will miss some of the people I've met here, and more often than not, my closest friends this semester will not be returning to the same campus I will be next semester. It's precisely this pattern in my life that makes me so eager to graduate and settle down in my own place... The idea that I don't have to entirely uproot my life every four months is amazingly appealing. I don't know that I'll set down permanent roots, but I do know where I want to go when I graduate and I have a pretty good idea how to get there.

One of my best friends here (The Texan is the other, this is a girl who is a year younger, but we've very much bonded)... her boyfriend of over a year just broke up with her. Over the internet, and without warning. They had just spent a fabulous weekend together in London, and she didn't see it coming at all, but he's holding firm that he needs his space and time to be alone.

I haven't left her side since she found out. Literally. As soon as she told me, I gave her a hug, and held her as her body shook with sobs. When she made herself reply to his emails, I was there helping her type through the tears. And last night, after I finished with class at 10pm, I went over to her house and spent the night with her, because she didn't want to sleep alone. When she's angry at him, I remind her what an asshole he is for breaking her heart. When she's pining and thinking it's her fault, I tell her of course it's not and to try to focus on the good things that came from the relationship. She keeps apologizing and thanking me for being there and asking why I'm doing all this for her. For one, she's my friend.

Secondly, I know exactly where she's coming from.

The similarities between her and her boyfriend's breakup and mine with Ex are strikingly similar. A semester spent apart. Moving closer together (although not the same city) next semester. Occasional visits have gone smoothly. She didn't suspect anything being wrong. He's being incredibly blase (at least in appearance) about everything this is doing to her. And while Ex told me he didn't love me anymore, her boyfriend said he still loved her, but both her ex and Ex used the exact same phrase: "I'm not going to rule out the future, but I also can't promise you anything."

And watching her hurt so badly, and go through all of the same shit I did two and a half years ago, breaks my heart. For her sake, and mine. I do understand where she's coming from, and maybe that's why the neediness doesn't bother me. I would have killed to have time around friends who DIDN'T know ex when I was processing the breakup. My friends were wonderful, but were all also his friends, which made it more than a little awkward. So I'm sitting by her side, and doing whatever she needs. Trying to convince her to eat, even if it's only a little food. Because I remember what it was like. I do.

And that's an interesting thing to have thrown back into your conscious. I haven't thought about Ex much lately. He's no longer on my buddy list, but I was reminded today that he's still on my Facebook when his name popped up on the chat, and I saw his new girlfriend (well, she's not new, it's the same girl he left me for two years ago) wrote on a mutual friend's profile. But I took a deep breath. And that was it. It wasn't followed by the sting I'd become so accustomed to when thinking about him. I didn't have to stop myself from going to look at his profile, or his latest photos. I haven't been making my holiday plans with an ever-awareness about where and who he might be seeing.

Because it doesn't bother me anymore. I don't care. And that isn't the defiant, angry, I don't care, but instead the passive, it simply doesn't affect me, kind of I don't care.

So, sure, it took me two and a half years. But I'm there. I am officially over it. There's no more animosity, and while there may still be some scar tissue, it's not so ugly and apparent anymore, but rather just one more thing that makes me who I am.

And I'm proud to be able to say that.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

HNT: Favorites I

I'll once again be traveling this weekend - this time to Sevilla and Cordoba in southern Spain. And then, one more weekend in this country, and it's homeward-bound! I'm a little conflicted about what, exactly, going home will be like, but for the most part, I'm terribly excited to get back to things that I'm comfortable with. I know studying abroad is supposed to expose you to new things and experiences, but I feel like I've had more than I bargained for here in Espana.

Anyway, that'll explain the lack of posts this weekend. Although I do have a fantasy I've been writing in my head for several nights now... I'm going to do my best to get that down in print soon.

As for the HNT, I've been thinking for a while about doing a series of HNTs revolving around my favorite parts of my body. Granted, you can most likely surmise which parts these are based on my previous HNTs, but this will be an explicit recognition of random body parts I like. It isn't hierarchical, although my favor of parts probably is. In my mind, this is an excercise in making myself actually like my body. Someday I'd love to be able to post a full photo and say THIS is the part of my body I love. I'm not there yet. Maybe someday.

So for this week, here it is:

I really like my collarbone. I love being kissed and bitten there - it's so much more sensitive where the bone is close to skin. I also love the fact that there is some shadow, some definition there. It isn't the crazy-emaciated kind, but I like that my neck doesn't just disappear into my shoulders. Also, I've been told that when I'm breathing heavy, exasperated and flushed, that this area is almost like a centre for all that energy, straining to be held in. Now, what kind of situation might cause something like that?

:)

HHNT.

Monday, November 17, 2008

on love and friendship

...and where and when the two intersect.

I should give some background here. I have a (by some standards terrible) habit of dating, fucking, and/or falling in love with my friends. Not all of them, mind you, but friends who I haven't at least kissed are absolutely in the minority. Everyone I've seriously dated or really fallen for has been a friend first. Well, I guess Ex is sort of the exception, as he and I met when we were first starting high school. It did take us almost a semester of pretending we liked each other just as friends, though, before we started dating. P is without question one of my best friends, and I've never been able to separate how much of that is fueled or complicated by the fact that we're in love with each other. Friend is someone I've known for more than half my life, as is Essin' Em, and both M and nonboyfriend I've known for many years just as friends before anything physical ever happened. The women I've slept with (Essin' Em being the exception), I generally haven't known as long, but I'll go ahead and chalk that up to not embracing my queerness anywhere near as early as I embraced the part of me attracted to men.

There is undoubtedly something subconscious about this habit, I think. I'm sure it has something to do with how comfortable I am with my friends, and the fact that when I become friends with someone, I tend to remain so indefinitely... I would usually include the caveat "barring any major transgressions," but more than one of these friends/FwBs and I have had serious falling-outs and continue to speak and, in some cases, have sex. (Obviously, we've worked through our issues, for better or worse.) Not everyone I've had sex with has been an old friend, but almost all of those I've had sex with more than once or twice have been. It's easier to date/fuck friends. You don't have to worry about the awkward getting-to-know-you stage, because it's already out of the way. I'm generally very open about sexuality with my friends (I'm sure you're shocked), so it isn't taboo to essentially take it to the next level.

There are, of course, some downfalls to this tendency. Most people would say that sleeping with your friends has the potential to ruin the friendship, and theorhetically I agree. But by and large I haven't experienced that. That's not to say that I'm somehow superior to these people who "can't manage" that kind of relationship, but maybe it does say something about the nature of my friendships. Maybe I only establish significant friendships with people I could have feelings for. I don't know. Maybe I confuse the more platonic, friend-based love, for romantic, sexual or physical love. That's a very real possibility. And one I've been starting to question. I can't decide if it's a problem or not. My insticts tell me that if I haven't had a moral problem with it thus far (and neither have the friends involved... this isn't a one-sided equation), then I shouldn't start now. But then I wonder if I'm somehow limiting myself, or protecting myself, by only being with these people I know so well and who know me.

Certainly, I'm less likely to get hurt this way. If we already have some substantial trust established, then it's that much easier to be vulnerable with said partner. But is that really what relationships are about? And what's more, are these even truly romantic relationships? Or have these all simply been friends with benefits situations? And is there anything wrong with that?

This is all sparked by a turn of events over the past few weeks. About two weeks ago, I went to northern Spain on a class field trip to ride horses and hike. It was a great time, especially since I so love riding. As I mentioned in my HNT post from that week, I was going without Crush or anyone else to snuggle up with and keep me warm. I was, however, going with Crush's roommate, who we'll from here on out refer to as The Texan. The Texan and I have a few classes together, and have been bonding as of late. We hang out a lot, and (again, as a consequence of my super-openness about sexuality), he recently came out to me as bisexual. I was excited to have a fellow in the program (which might sound weird, but it's nice to know you're not the only one) and then kind of flabergasted when he told me that he's not out to ANYONE ELSE. On a side-note, he's by no means the first person who's come out to me before anyone else... I'd love to say it's because I'm so open or accepting or something, but I don't know. I do take it pretty seriously, though, and when I'm asked to keep the information quiet, I do so. (Again, the advantages of blogging anonymously. Yay!) Anyway... he and I have been spending quite a bit of time together since he came out to me, and he's been a really amazing friend. We've become ridiculously close in a short amount of time.

So the second night of this class trip in northern Spain, the Texan and I went out to a bar together. He poured out his heart to me about his (non-exclusive) boyfriend back home, we talked about it, he started asking me about my love life. So I talked to him about Crush. (Who is, again, The Texan's roommate here in Spain.) Basically, The Texan let me down easy. Telling me Crush does really like hanging out with me, so on and so forth, but that he doesn't think it goes any farther. And I was surprisingly OK with that. I pushed the issue a little farther, though, and asked about if I just wanted to make out with Crush - pointing out that I wasn't looking for a relationship or anything serious. "Oh, well, yeah, that you could totally do!" The Texan responded emphatically. I thought it was relatively funny at the time, and we went on drinking.

Upon further examination, I decided something, though. (And this was, actually, largely facilitated by The Texan.) I don't want to be someone's backup. I don't want to be just good enough. I want to be worth having. I AM worth having. And I'm tired of settling for people who are settling for me. I don't have to.

So that has kind of changed my perception on Crush. He actually hasn't done anything wrong, and I'm not in the least angry with him. I intend to keep hanging out with him and enjoying his company. I just don't expect anything more. And I think that's a good thing.

Then last week, the night before I left for Denmark, The Texan texted me and asked if I'd come out with him for a few drinks. We always have a blast together, and tend to be similarly lush when it comes to consumption of alcohol, so of course I accepted. Granted, it was a Wednesday night, so the bars were less than hopping. But it was actually a fantastic opportunity to really talk. We went bar-hopping, and spent most of the time talking about our various pasts (the advantage of making new friends is that there's never a shortage of stories to tell), and talking a lot about sexuality. I asked him if it was hard being closeted, he answered with suprising honesty. There was more bar hopping.

And then, I couldn't tell you how, we were kissing. Really kissing. His hands on my chin, pulling me to him, my arms around his shoulders. It was the frenzied (admittedly drunken) passionate kind of kiss that I haven't experienced in quite some time. And, to quote Jay Brannan "his kiss matched mine so perfectly..." After leading my by hand to what was our fourth bar of the night, we took a cab home - which he insisted on taking with me to my place even though it would make it twice as expensive for him. I tried to convince him otherwise, and he looked at me like I was crazy for thinking he'd leave without knowing I was home safely. It was unnecessary, but a nice gesture nonetheless. There was a kiss goodbye in the cab, and then we each went our separate ways.

So here's the catch. I felt incredibly guilty the next morning. The details of the end of the evening are a little fuzzy (hence why they weren't more detailed in my recounting) but the things I remember are quite clear. I don't think the kissing arose from anything particularly romantic, and have a sneaking suspicion it was one of those "let's be those obnoxious people in the bar who seem really happy making out with each other." To the best of my recollection, it was a simple friendly makeout session. I've had countless. So I can't quite figure out why this time is making me feel so guilty.

Well, that's not entirely true. I think I feel like I took advantage of him. And while I don't know whose idea it was to start making out, and I know he was obviously not complaining too much, as he was kissing back, I feel like I have all this information about him, and he's trusted me with it, and what do I do? I jump him. (Well, not exactly. But you all know what I mean.)

I need your help here. I've talked to him about the night and we're both avoiding it and I don't want to make it awkward for either of us. (Our conversation wasn't in the least uncomfortable, though.) So, provided that talking to him about it isn't an option... what do I do about this guilt? Is it warranted in the first place?

*lesigh.*

Thursday, November 13, 2008

quickie

How does one explain why one has sex toys in her carryon luggage... in SPANISH?

This is what I learned today,

Luckily, the security lady was nice and just complimented the quality of the blue glass dildo I had

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

HNT: Bird's eye view

Well, if you're a bird perched precariously atop my cleavage. Or this could just be a Sasha-eye view. Looking straight down at my feet, this is what I see.

Life has been so hectic and negative and serious as of late, I figured I'd post a silly HNT. I actually didn't think I'd post this one, but it seemed oddly appropriate for my life right now.

HHNT, everyone!

*blushes*

The charming Roland Hulme just informed me that he'd given me an award. Eep! Here's the award:
And here's what he wrote about me. (Eep, agian!)

I'm always so surprised when these things happen... Really, I feel so flattered when these people I read and respect bother to comment on my blog, let alone compliment it. And then, awards? Well, that I don't even know how to deal with. So there is MUCH blushing.

Also, Roland, might I say how much I enjoy the word smexy? It's fabulous. And I very much appreciate the fact that the award talks about brain-power, also. In all honesty, I started this blog because I was kind of tired of being that smart girl who no one realized might be physically attractive until AFTER they got to know her. But I like to think the blog has turned into something a little bit beyond that... and it's touching to see that other people might just agree with me.

I really have no words for this. I'm so flattered. Thank you, Roland!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

playing catch-up.

I have a lot to say.
A lot has happened in the past week.
Some of it has been good.
Some of it has, once again, turned my world upside down.
At least this time, I'm taking solace in friends. It's good to trust people sometimes. Especially when they respond in kind and don't let you down.

I wish I had something coherent to say about the elections. It's a strange experience being so removed here from such an important time in my home country. I am, of course, elated about Obama. I've been playing catch-up watching the speeches and everything, and I agree with Friend, it was a profoundly moving experience.

But then there's Prop 8. I wish I had the right words to say. But speaking of moving speeches, Keith Olbermann summed it up better than I ever could.


You can see him trying to maintain composure. I think it's stunning. I would very much like to meet him some day.


I'm going to Denmark this weekend to spend a long weekend with my family, so I'll once again be out of reach. Don't worry though, as always, there will be an HNT on auto-post. At least I'm reliable about one thing. And for those of you who I read, I'm playing catch-up there, too. Comments are coming, I promise. Just as soon as I have a minute to breathe.

Besos.
Sasha.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

HNT: Warming things up...

I'll be gone this weekend to the north of Spain, where I'll be horseback riding and hiking. Of course, it's currently snowing in the north of Spain. Which means I'll be very cold.

In that spirit, I thought I'd post a picture with the coat I'll be taking along with me. Hopefully it'll keep me warm enough, since I'll be lacking Crush or other interests to offer me warm-up hugs. sadface.


Granted, I suppose I'll wear a little more than this when we're hiking.

(Also, this is the coat I bought in Ireland. I basically live in it. And it's from a store called Sasha. No joke. I couldn't resist, of course.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sugasm.151

The best of this week’s blogs by the bloggers who blog them. Highlighting the top 3 posts as chosen by Sugasm participants. Want in Sugasm #152? Submit a link to your best post of the week by emailing me directly at radicalvixenatgmaildotcom Participants, repost the link list within a week and you’re all set.

This Week’s Picks
Help, My Friend Says I Have an Ugly Vagina!
“Say no to vagina prejudice!”

“Kiss My Boots.”
“One of the more unexpected hairpin turns I navigated in my “Coming Out” into BDSM involved a series of moments that were deceptively simple, perhaps even innocent, in a way.”

Yours, Sir
“I felt and then heard a low rumble of a slightly sadistic chuckle from him.”

Mr. Sugasm Himself
Sugar Bank

Editor’s Choice
Sass And The Sadist

More Sugasm
Join the Sugasm

See also: Fleshbot’s Sex Blog Roundup each Tuesday and Friday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

HNT: Old School

... literally.



This photo is from my freshman year... at my first college. I know, I know HNTs are supposed to be current photos, but I figured I could get away with it if I acknowledge that it's an old photo. And as I've mentioned, right now I'm not feeling overly sexy (thanks to the still-healing bedbug or whatever the hell ate me alive this weekend bites all over my body), so I thought I'd give you all a throwback. I also debated not posting this, since this is undoubtedly the most of my face you've seen, but I (obviously) decided it would be OK.

This was taken towards the end of my second semester freshman year - I was 19. Some friends and I were partying college-style in a dorm room... the theme was "underwear party." Creative, I know. The rules were simple: As soon as you entered the room, you had to strip down to show at least one piece of underwear.

I think this might have been when my love affair with wearing jeans and a bra started. To this day, wearing my favorite jeans and a sexy bra is my favorite outfit... I actually wish this bra still fit, because it was adorable. (Now I have to settle for boring black or tan bras. What genius decided women with tits bigger than a D cup don't need sexy bras? Isn't that kind of counterintuitive, anyway? Weaksauce.)

The photo was a fluke, but was a fantastic confidence-booster. I was a bit smaller then than I am now (hence the bra no longer fitting), but I actually am pretty sure the jeans still fit, although I've worn them to shreds.

So, there you go friends. An old school HNT for you... in every sense of the term!

HHNT!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

she loves me not...

And the "she" I'm referring to is me.

I've just realized recently that right now, I'm not in love with anyone. Maybe that sounds like a strange thing to say, but being neurotic and overly analytical and what not often leads to me thinking I have stronger feelings than I do. Or maybe, it's just that those feelings don't always last. I don't think that necessarily invalidates those feelings, because I certainly believe them when I'm in the midst of whatever obsession it is at the moment, but I suppose it isn't quite the same in hindsight. Which, I know, is always 20/20.

But I was thinking about it today... I miss a lot of people. I miss my friends back home, I miss my family... I know this has been an overarching theme since I've been in Spain, but I'm cutting myself a little slack given the shit that's happened while I've been away. Not that any of it would have been prevented, or even easier, had I been home, but I do believe I wouldn't have felt quite so isolated. And I likely wouldn't be so paranoid about trusting anyone.

But while I miss those people, and I do indeed love many of them (some romantically, some platonically, familially, so on and so forth), I'm not in love with any of them. There aren't even, at the moment, any particular feelings of longing for closure, or missed opportunities. Certainly, things would be different were I home, but that's the whole reason one leaves home, is to change things, right? It's a strange sensation, though... realizing I'm not in love with anyone.

In some ways, it's kind of freeing. Even after he left me, I spent a long time being in love with Ex. He was, after all, my first love. And I do think that's something you never get out of unscathed. But the fact that I'm no longer feeling that longing for him, regretting where things went wrong, wishing I could just have another chance... that's very freeing.

In some ways, it's a little bittersweet. Being in love can be a lot of fun. It's nice to know someone (or someones) feels that way about you, to feel it back. *Insert here more romantic sentiments that sometimes make me uncomfortable and so I tend to avoid them of late.*

While I don't know that I'd call it being in love, I often have loose ends that I haven't tied up. I'm terrible at ending relationships, and combining that with my belief in FwB, it can sometimes lead to uncertainty, or confusion, in my love life. But I'm not even feeling that right now. Don't get me wrong, I've already got plans to get some much-needed-lovin' when I get back home, but besides the desire for company and physical contact (which are not always joined), I'm not feeling like I'm LACKING anyone. I don't NEED to see someone to try to sort out how I feel about them, or to set things straight or right or anything of the sort. Even with the one person who I'm basically ALWAYS doing that with (we can never seem to have the same feelings for one another at the same time, thus I'm pining for them or they're pining for me), it isn't much happening right now. It's like we've reached a stalemate.

But thinking about how I left things back home, maybe this makes sense. Back at school, the woman I was casually dating and I stopped doing so simply because I was leaving. We weren't quite dating, although we did tend to go to dinner/for drinks, and she spent more than a few nights in my bed. I should write about that sometime... I don't know that I really ever have. I'm not even really sure people in my life know about it. But there were no brutally severed ties there. No hard feelings, and we've been in contact on occasion since. I'm sure I'll see her again when I get back to school next year.

Then over the summer, I basically dated two people. One at the beginning of the summer for a few weeks. Pleasant, but he wanted something serious and committed, and I told him that I wasn't looking for that, and he decided to leave. I told him that was fine, and we had the "We'll-still-be-friends" (although we were never more than acquaintances to begin with) conversation. He recently got in touch with me again, asking when I'd be home and if I'd meet him for a drink. I'm considering it. Shortly after that ended, things began with nonboyfriend. I've written a little about that, and won't go into much more detail at his request. But things were good, and he made me feel fantastic about myself - physically, sexually, intellectually. I like to think that we were good for one another, for the most part. Some people might differ (in fact, I know they do, but that has little to do with anything that ever actually happened between nonboyfriend and I), but I was happy and as far as I could tell and he told me, he was too. Again, ending things was made easier since neither of us were planning on pursuing anything particularly long-distance or long-term. Perhaps things would have been different had we both stayed home, but we weren't. So that was the end of that.

I had a little bit of a hard time letting go of him for the first few weeks here. Sometimes he still crosses my mind. I'm looking forward to seeing him again when I get home. But I, honest to god, have no expectations. It's kind of nice, actually. I'm not nervous about seeing him again. We were friends before, I'm sure we still will be. We very much agreed on that part, which was nice.

There's Friend, who I still talk to regularly, and who I am excited to see, but again, have no expectations. Aside from the conversation and company, which I am sorely missing, I'm not hurting there.

And as for Crush, well, he's a fun distraction. I like seeing that his eyes light up when he looks at me, that he finds silly reasons to talk to me, and always lingers a little longer than he needs to at the end of our conversations like he's trying to say something else. If nothing else, because I do the same thing. But in love? I'm not. In like? Sure. With a little lust tossed in, for good measure.

I just think it's interesting, and surprisingly validating for me that the ties pulling me back home are relationship-based. It helps me realize that I really do just WANT to be there. For me, and for the people around me, sure, but more than anything, it's where I feel like I should be. And that's nice to know.

Goodnight, dears.

Monday, October 27, 2008

I can has banner?

So. Here I am, at 1:30 am, my roommate is sleeping restlessly about five feet away from me, and I'm not the littlest bit tired. So, in addition to sending rapid-fire emails back with a fellow blogger, I've updated my blogroll, written my O lessthanthree your blog post, and have been contemplating my next post. I'm thinking it'll be about hypocrisy. Regarding relationships and sexuality, specifically. Shocking, I know. But it's been getting to me lately. I'm trying to give it a day so that it isn't just an angry rant directed primarily at my roommate. Somehow, I'm upon midterms again (what genius decided to give TWO midterms AND a final in this program? NOT. COOL.), and am up against a deadline for the magazine here, so I'm a little bit extra-high stressed. So what am I doing? Messing around on blogger.

Anyway, in updating my blogroll and just generally stalking all of you awesome, awesome bloggers, I noticed the particular presence of sweet banners. I started writing this blog as basically an extension of my sex column, but it's become so much more important to me, that I'd like the layout to reflect that, at least to some degree.

And I've been having some shitty body-confidence issues as of late, in no small part due to some unknown bugs that feasted on my body a few nights back, making me feel all... yucky and covered in red spots. So (in addition to more hydrocortisone than any person should ever use) this is what I've decided to do. I'd love to make a banner with some lovely photo of my body as the background for my blog title. Think something along the lines of Jake and Marianne.

Here's the catch... I don't have any kind of photo-editing software on my computer or here in Spain. Also, as a writer and less of a designer, I'm not overly savvy in said programs. (Proficient, sure, but that's about it.) So since you all have been so wonderful, I'm asking for your help. I need a new banner. I'm open to it saying/having just about anything on it... You all read me, you know what I like.

While I don't have cool sex toys to give away like Essin' Em does (dammit), I can offer you my undying appreciation, shameless linkage here on my blog... oh, and pictures. I mean, you gotta have something to work with, right? Just like HNT, they won't exactly give me away, but past and future (and some unpublished) HNT photos are all full-game. Maybe even taking requests?

So all this boils down to: Do you like reading my blog? Do you know how to work some kind of photoediting software? Do you have too much time on your hands? And do you want to see more of me?

Then comment here or send me an email at sashasappho at gmail dot com and let's get this thing going.

Besos y suenos dulces.

I (lessthanthree) your blog.



I'm making a concerted effort to get OUT of the habit of saying I "heart" things by the time I leave Spain, so I've resorted to using lessthanthree. Also, it's a phrase rather dear to me as it's an affectionate greeting between P and I. Depending on how much less than three we write, that's how much we love/miss the other. It's silly, but fun. But I'm digressing.

My dearest Essin' Em was gracious enough to list little ol' me in her I <3 your blog entry, and I figured it's time I return the favor.

First off, the rules:
1. Link to the giver.
2. Nominate up to seven other fabulous blogs and link to them.
3. Leave comments announcing their rise to greatness.
**Note - You may have been given this already, so that means you are a GREAT blogger.

And so here they are, in no particular order.

Essin' Em, I lessthanthree your blog! My dear, where could I even begin? I love that we've known each other basically forever, lost and regained touch so many times, and still we've ended up so close in our identities and intellectualism and lives. You are, absolutely, my inspiration in so many things, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little proud to tout you as one of my real-world friends. I can't wait for more Mexican food and sex chat as soon as I'm back. And maybe some hottubbing, too... Sans awkward friends this time? :)

Amalthea, I lessthanthree your blog! Darling, we've gone over this so many times in comments and emails back and forth, but I absolutely love what kindred spirits we are, even though we've yet to meet in person. (I say yet because I fully plan on remedying that one of these days!) I love how your voice comes through in your writing - I know you think it's scattered, but I just think it's fabulous. I also love reading as you see how blogging can be so beneficial for you and your life and your self-esteem. You most certainly deserve it. (Also, I should let you know that as a child, The Last Unicorn scared me shitless. You have very nearly changed my perception on that.) Also, I'm loving you participating in HNT... gives me more to look forward to. :)

Fat Controller, I lessthanthree your blog! Your words are beautiful, you and Heather are beautiful, and I love being able to be a fly on the wall (well, with a more comfortable seat, I feel like a pampered voeuyer) in reading about your relationship. You are so real, and honest, and talented - more than a few times, your words have had physically affected me. I love that you're just vague enough to leave us wanting more, without once leaving us wanting. You and Heather are another pair of bloggers I hope to meet in person someday.

Roland Hulme, I lessthanthree your blog! I just got done commenting this on your latest post, but truly, I love the intellectualism and wit I get with each entry. I'll admit that I still can't quite wrap my head around your political positions, but that's part of the fun. You're one of the few non-sex bloggers I read regularly (quiet in the peanut gallery, thank you), because I'm so hungry for the snarky, smart commentary I miss so much since coming abroad. Also, the photos of your son are just ridiculously adorable. And I love your comments on my HNT posts, even if I suspect that those are sometimes the only posts I can count on you to read. ;)

Jake of Facts and Friction, I lessthanthree your blog! Of course, it goes without saying that I LOVE your HNT photos, Jake. *sigh.* But you knew that. Aside from the obvious hotness (seriously, dude, those abs? Not even fair...I'm digressing.), I love your not-quite-sarcastic tone. I get the impression you know more than your 19 years let on. And I've told you that your writing reminds me of Friend, which is always a good thing. I get the impression you and I would be good friends - and I always look forward to your emails. I know University keeps you busy, but I do so enjoy hearing about your escapades and conquests. And remember, it should always be a walk of fame.

Merlin, I lessthanthree your blog! Your words are poignant, stunning, and incredibly powerful. I can feel the connection you and Nimue have for one other through your words and both your recounts of your time together. If I ever had any doubt that an affair could be as loving, fulfilling and important as a "traditional relationship" (which is questionable if I've thought that since I started having sex), you have banished every trace. You are both so eloquent and I so admire your writing that I am always genuinely flattered when you comment here. Here's hoping there are more reunions (and reading material for us!) in the near future.

Wilhelmina Wang (of Heartbreak Nymphomania), I lessthanthree your blog! Wilhelmina, you are another kindred spirit in the blogosphere that makes existing here so much more fun and exciting. I love seeing you exploring everything that accompanies blogging, and it's genuinely fascinating to see parallels in your experience abroad and mine. It does help me feel not so alone. Also, I must admit I'm sufficiently jealous of your sexploits of late. Damn living out my top fantasy. I'm always looking forward to the next post. And I should add, I adore that your HNT posts always reveal something more than your body, as well.

*pants* That's a lot of love. Of course, I couldn't include everyone I read regularly, especially considering how many of you I do read on a very regular basis. But do know that each of you has made this whole blogging experience something so much more than, and have added to the addiction that this thing has become. (Don't worry, it's a good thing.) Perhaps it's because I'm away in a strange place, but it really is nice to know there is such good, smart, sex-positive energy floating around in literally every corner of the world.

Besos.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

HNT: Chilly weather...

..has arrived in Spain.
Which means I have to retire my much-favored tank tops and strapless dresses for long-sleeved shirts and heavy coats. I don't much like the cold. I think it's partially because I don't feel anywhere near as sexy in the kind of clothes I have to wear. Nevertheless, here's one of my standard tops for this time of year...



I think it almost looks OK.

HHNT!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

everything.

I apologize for my absence of late. I've been busy making up missed midterms, trying not to discount people before I even give them a chance, stressing over the rest of my life, visiting Ireland, then debating whether to ever come back. Somewhere in there, sex kind of fell by the wayside.

Sex in every context, really. I haven't been doing much thinking about sexuality lately... I haven't been to my sexuality class in two weeks as I missed one while I was in Ireland (it's a once-weekly, three-hour long class). And Crush has been hot and cold, and I don't know what to make of it. Sometimes I think I simply overanalyze every interaction he and I have (which is very much like me) and sometimes I think he's just as shy as I am, because I catch him stealing glances at me and making silly excuses to talk to me. Which makes me feel a little less silly for doing the same, but doesn't help me in deciphering what the hell I should do about it. I know how to seduce people, for the most part. I know how to take friends to the FwB level. But starting this all blind, with someone new? I'm lost. And my self-confidence issues won't let me believe that maybe he is interested.

Even so, I don't know what I'd want out of it. I've already written that I don't think I'll be having sex before I leave Spain, because I don't think the one-night stand is what I need right now. Granted, someone to cuddle with, and be obnoxiously adorable on the Metro with, and to make sure I got home at night would be wonderful, but I don't even know if that's an option. Do people even do that anymore? Have my standards just deteriorated to the point that I don't bother considering things like that, let alone requesting or expecting them? Does that make me.... I don't know. Something? Anything? Nothing?

And to top off the non-sex, I haven't even been horny lately. I usually operate at a somewhat elevated level, arousal-wise. (Somehow, talking and writing and thinking about sex all the time will do that to a person. Who knew?) That hasn't been the case as of late. I haven't even wanted any me-time. I don't know what's going on with me. I feel like my body is acting separate from my head. And I don't like it.

In unrelated news, I spent five days in Ireland last week. It was, without question, one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I hope to write another post about it soon... But I did get myself a new peacoat. From a store called Sasha. No joke. And this coat replaced the since-discarded heavy black wool coat from Ex. This is the exact opposite. I'm thinking it will be the subject of a future HNT post. I also found the rest of my next tattoo in Ireland. That sounds strange, I know, but when I get inked back home, I'm sure that will be an HNT picture, as well.

Travel-wise, I've also just booked a flight to Denmark. I'm excited about it, as it will be my first time back to my native homeland (well, my father's - Far's - native homeland) since I was four years old. It should be a good trip, although likely really damn cold, as I'm going in mid-November. *shiver.* My Danish relatives are taking me to Tivoli (which I have numerous ties to anyway), and around Copenhagen... my cousin has an old 1940's truck that apparently is a popular thing to rent out for high school graduations and drive around the city, and they promised to tour the city with me in that. If anyone else has been slash lives in Denmark and has suggestions... I'll be there for four or five days, so there is plenty of time to check things out... and I'd love the suggestions!

I suppose that's all I have for now. Today was a hard day. I have those a lot. Granted, there are also days where everything is glorious and perfect. It seems to be one extreme or the other these days.

Besos,

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

HNT: Letting go

As I accept a challenge to quit bitching that no one would jump into the ice-cold Tajo river unless I'm willing to do it myself.






On a side-note, I think I look kind of like one of those Troll dolls. With the hair that stands straight up? Anyone?

HHNT!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

hotsexyloveness

I spent a LONG time talking to an old friend online a day or so ago. We're talking multiple hours here. I've written about him before, but he doesn't have a nickname here. Perhaps he'll get one, although this post isn't so much about him as it is the conversation we had. And how it got me thinking. (Not that that's something unusual for our conversations.) He and I have discussed in the past our mutual tendency away from monogamy and our dislike of the automatically supposed imposition of the concept.

Through the course of our conversation, we started talking about three-way relationships. Not necessarily threesomes, sexually. (Although there was some sufficiently hot verbal visualization of such encounters, which will absolutely be fodder for the next time I get some me-time. God, I'm a sucker for well-written words.) Instead, the conversation focused on establishing a long-term, three-way relationship. We both agreed that the idea of having TWO people to give and recieve that love, affection, and attention from and for sounds like an genuinely appealing idea. Obviously, this can only work in very specific scenarios, and we differed a little on what kind of things we would each expect from such a relationship. I said I think I'd want two people who knew me as well as he or some of my other dear friends do, whereas he pointed out that some learning and exploration can be a good thing. I'm fascinated by the idea of really making such a relationship work.

I think it could remove the stress that I've felt in other open relationships, where, even with permission, there can still be a nagging feeling that I'm doing something dishonest. In my experience, more traditionally open relationships are generally on a "don't ask, don't tell" basis - in that neither partner wants to hear details of the other's extra-relational affairs, but needs to know that they're going on, and that everyone is being safe, etc., etc. But I think, were there three people involved in the relationship, mutually, that would, on the one front, satisfy the desire to have sex with more than one person (which, who are we kidding, is something I most definitely have to consider with myself), while still build the kind of connection that I think is increasingly difficult to establish outside of some kind of emotional relationship. Not everything would have to be done together - people could pair off for events, take nights off, basically do whatever they wanted, of course. I do think it gets a little sticky there, though, because that's the point I start worrying about jealousy. If boy and girl (he's straight, so we were discussing FMF scenarios, but I'm open to other combinations as well, of course. Granted, there seems to be a shortage of bisexual men in my life. Which makes me sad sometimes. Anyway, back on track...) want to go out to dinner, but I have other plans, well, then, no big deal. By the same token, if I'm really feeling that I need a woman's touch that night, well, then girl and I take some time to ourselves sans boy.


But, Sasha, how do you know they wouldn't establish a stronger connection and eventually push you out? I don't, of course. At the same time, I tend to not get particularly jealous once I know how someone feels about me. It's the time before I'm sure that I'm fiercely protective of my time with someone. Take the current obsession, for example - I'm not sure how he feels about me, but when he invites me out with him, and then some drunken trip-mate steals him for an hour to ramble at him and dance with him, my face flushes and my eyes get greener. (A sure sign I'm angry, upset, or, as those of you who've been with me know, turned on. In that case, it was the former, obviously.) At the same time, the idea (or reality) of non-boyfriend being with other girls, talking to other women, spending time on other people, didn't bother me. I knew he liked me, I knew he wanted to spend (at least some of his) time with me, and so it didn't matter what else he did.


Of course, all this was discussed with Friend. We talked about how people go about avoiding jealousy, and about what jealousy actually is. Here was his idea: "Jealousy is a result of a breach of contract, but in this case, there's no breach, and therefore, no jealousy." Yes, I realize it's never that simple, but it is a strikingly reasonable way to look at it. And I think there's some merit to it. Because, yes, I get most angry and hurt when someone doesn't do what they've promised me they would. When they go back on their word. But in this scenario, if their word involved loving me AND someone else, as it would for me and for the third person, well, then there really isn't much to be jealous of.


There was more exploring of the idea. (Literally, we spent an ENTIRE night discussing this.) Trying to figure out if this would be any harder, or easier than a "traditional" relationship. And came to this conclusion: Relationships are inherently hard. It doesn't matter who is involved, or how many people, or how queer or straight or kinky or vanilla any of the participants are, relationships of any kind, and certainly those of value, take work, maintenance and compromise. So I don't know that I'd believe that this kind of relationship would be any harder than any other. Granted, it might not be any easier, either, but Friend and I both acknowledged that it might be more honest to ourselves than trying to make our trangularness fit into the round hole, so to speak.

Basically, I don't think there is necessarily some natural human tendency towards pairings of two. I do believe that humans are social creatures, and that we desire love, affection, companionship. But I don't see why that precludes getting those things from more than one other person. It's a founding reason of my views on monogamy, and since I embraced that, I've had generally better relationships. I just hadn't thought to apply it in a broader sense until this conversation.


Of course, there's the public perception. Every once in a while, I've stumbled across stories about or from people in triads, and they've mentioned that society at large isn't used to seeing three people walk down the street holding hands, or snuggling together at a movie. I suppose that's true. At the same time, I've kind of stopped trying to live my life making other people happy. Nevertheless, I think people tend to get particularly nervous about group sex (which, I feel, is almost always considered more prominently than group relationships). Friend said it best. Upon asking him if he could teleport himself across the Atlantic to come hang out with me, this was his response:


Friend: suborbital rocket could get me there in 25 minutes, no new physics required
Sasha: oh! That'll work.
Sasha: so I'll see you in a half hour?
Friend: if only I had an ICBM lying around
Sasha: icbm?
Friend: intercontinental ballistic missile. the aforementioned rocket
Friend: sans nuclear warheads
Sasha: ah. yeah, probably a good plan to leave those in the garage.
Friend: they do make people nervous
Friend: like, again, group sex


But sometimes it's fun to make people nervous. Especially if it's by doing something that makes you happy. Or something that might be what you've been looking for.

By the end of the conversation (at 3am my time), we were both very seriously considering this as a viable relationship option. Of course, we were still stuck on how to go about bringing this up to potential partners. Hey, I like you, he likes you, and we're pretty sure you like us... whatcha think? just doesn't quite cut it for me. At the same time, I don't know that it would happen without some provocation... I said perhaps as the consequence of a goodthreesome (as opposed to a badthreesome where someone feels like an outside intruder on an existing relationship), but those seem equally rare. I even wracked my brain for hypothetical matches among those people I knew, and had a hard time finding two people who I'd want, who also might want each other, who might also want me. (Not that I'm about to run to any of you and propose this, I promise. Just trying to see how feasible finding something like this might be.) Obviously, there are other avenues to look for this if it's something I actually pursue. I don't know that I will, for sure.
But I do know, for now, that I'm very much enjoying the idea of having two people to love, and touch, and laugh with... two bodies to lay down with each night, that many more hands and fingers and lips and tongues...

on NOT having sex.

EDIT: Re-reading this, it's terribly scatter-brained. Ah well. I assume you've all come to expect nothing less from me, right?

Obviously, I spend a lot of time talking, thinking, and writing about sex. It's something I enjoy doing - Foucault would most certainly peg me as one of those people convinced that discussing sex is taboo and by doing so I'm being subversive, though I don't necessarily think that. (Maybe because I've spent too much time reading Foucault...) But I haven't gotten laid recently. Which, I actually believe, given everything that's happened lately, is a good thing. Although it does make it a little difficult to maintain a sex blog. Or so it would seem through my lack of posts with any kind of substance. I'm reminded of a scene in the final season of Sex and the City, when Carrie thinks her column is being cancelled:

(To Samantha) These are troubled times, my friend... People with REAL jobs are unemployed - this is not a good time to be whipped cream!... I'm not getting laid, so I'm getting laid off!

But here's the thing. By NOT having sex as of late, I've actually had a little more time to clear my head and, ironically, think about sex. Perhaps more in the relationship sense. I suppose it's an unintentional consequence, but I think, for the time being, I'm done with one-night stands. I'm not about to say that I've suddenly become monogamous or anything like that, but I think I'm going to stick to sleeping with people I know. I've been talking/emailing with friends, and especially those at home have expressed some really serious concern that I'm going to get hurt if I open myself up right now, being vulnerable and what not.

I've received emails and messages from a few friends, and recently had a conversation with P about all this. I have a hard time trusting people, especially here. I'm hesitant to do so, because I first assume that everyone doesn't like me. I know, that doesn't speak well of my self-esteem, but that's my default. I either assume that people actively dislike me or simply don't notice me. Which, yes, is why I was so taken aback when this happened. But as I was talking to P about it, he mentioned that it sounded like my pessimism was starting to border on paranoia. And I think he has a point. I always feel like I need to prove to people that I'm not a bitch, that I'm actually smart and worth spending time with. The paranoia aspect is perhaps most prevalent in regards to my fellow program-mates here. I went out this weekend and ended up running into most of them who were on the pre-semester seminar with me. I ended up talking to one of the guys, who reminds me of an old friend who royally fucked me over, emotionally, and he asked me several times why I don't come out with he and his friends (the seminar-mates). I told him, first and foremost, that it's because they don't invite me. But I also pointed out that more importantly, I feel out of place in the group. I feel like they don't like me and that I'm the weird, quiet, "curvy" girl who everyone thinks is kind of a bitch. He insisted that he's never heard anyone speak badly about me. That people, when they found out about Kirsten through the grapevine, were amazed at how well I was handling it, felt bad for not knowing... And that even before, though, they wanted me to come out with them on the weekends and didn't know why I didn't.

I'm hesitant to believe him, because I think it all sounds like just telling me what I want to hear (or what he assumes I want to hear). But talking with P about it the next day, I was able to step away a little bit and analyze that thought process. I'm actually incapable of believing he was being honest. I have so convinced myself that people here hate me that I can't even fathom any other option. I think that's officially paranoid. And I don't think I like it much.

So I'm going to try to do something about it. I still don't think I'll be going out with giant groups of Americans, but this weekend, I experimented with letting people in, just a little bit, and I was incredibly richly rewarded. In fact, there's a chance I'm crushing on someone here in the program (woah!) a little bit... But I'm holding off on writing about it because I really, really don't want to jinx anything. But hopefully expect a post soon gushing about how all that is going and how calm I feel around him and who he reminds me of and how he's different at the same time.

And now, in an effort to bring this full-circle... I think the crushing might have a little bit to do with this renewed drive to NOT have sex. It's a strange effect, in my opinion, because usually when I start liking someone, the first thing I want to do is jump their bones. The idea that I just want to spend time with this guy, want more hugs, want more late-night conversations, is something new for me. At least in recent memory. It's not exactly that I'm saving myself for him or anything like that, but maybe I'm realizing THAT is what I need right now more than a quick lay. Which is also kind of a mindfuck. My mind is getting fucked a lot lately. But basically, to those of you who were/are/have been worried... I promise, I'm proceeding with caution. Maybe a little too much, sometimes - something even P agreed with me on. (And, of course, I trust P more than just about anyone in the world and he knows me, in all seriousness, better than I know myself.)

In closing, and in an effort to put people's concerns at ease, I smiled this weekend. A lot. I wasn't quite so up in my head. I still find it rather difficult to get images of Kirsten out of my head, and I'm absolutely still processing, but I think I might have really realized that I am allowed to be happy, even while mourning. And maybe it's sinking in that I KNOW she would want me to make the best of this experience. As a good friend back in New York (and my only outside friend who personally knew Kirsten) told me, Kirsten would kick my ass if I went home now.

"Sometimes it all still feels like a mass of dots. But more and more these days, I feel like we're all connected. And it's beautiful... and funny... and good."
(Bonus points to anyone who can name where that quote is from. WITHOUT imdb'ing it!)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

HNT: Shut me up...

...if you can.


Yeah, that might do the trick.

HHNT!

all up in my space

I've had more than a few problems with personal space while I've been abroad. I know I'm in a vastly different culture, where people kiss upon first introductions, where you push through people on the Metro, regardless of whether they're actually in your way or not, and where the private and public spheres are very much blurred. For the most part, I try to go with the flow. But as of late, I've been incredibly cautious - frightened, really - of anyone getting in my personal space. Physically or emotionally.

I purposefully didn't tell anyone about Kirsten's death. Well, I told my professors, so they could understand why I wasn't in class or in case I had to leave to take a call, but I really only told my roommate and my one other friend in this program. Until I went on this damn field trip. My one friend, who came on the trip as well, reminded me that on Friday night, I had a little too much wine to drink and told several classmates about what had happened. I called for a toast "a mi prima," and then answered questions about why we were toasting to the memory of my cousin. I regretted doing so as soon as I got back to school.

I love and very much need my friends. I'm a highly social creature, bordering on codependent. I want nothing more these past few days than to see my old friends, feel their embrace, curl up in bed and watch a movie with a certain person or other. But none of them are here, of course. And since I haven't really connected with anyone here in such a significant way, I haven't wanted anyone to touch me. At all. That was my primary motivation for not telling people. I don't want pity hugs. I don't want people who spend most of their time making an effort to ignore me to suddenly pretend they're concerned with my well-being. I don't need that kind of attention. I don't want that insincerity in my life, now or ever. So I've simply been going without. I literally hadn't touched anyone for a week and a half. Until today.

Here's the backstory. I'm the editor in chief of our program's bi-semester...ly newspaper/magazine. I organize articles, edit them, and, of course, keep on top of writers (students) to make sure they're on deadline. One of those deadlines was last night for the first round of copy. Writers were to have sent their completed stories to my personal email by midnight. I got about half the stories, and the majority of the others featured elaborate explanations about why this story or that story would be late. (Usually, this would drive me crazy, but unsurpisingly with my recent re-prioritization, it doesn't matter much.) Among these emails from writers was one from a fellow program student who attends a university back in Colorado. He and I have talked twice perhaps, since I'm from Colorado and he goes to school there (while I go to school in his home state, ironically), and he's on the paper, and we have a class together. We're facebook friends, but have never had a conversation outside the school building or academic subject matter.

There was an email from him. Here's how it started:

Sasha,

How are you? I was so terribly sorry to hear about your loss. I can't imagine what you're going through right now, and that such an awful thing has happened to you and your family. I've been wanting to tell you in person, and I will, but please, if there's anything I can do to make this easier on you, don't hesitate to ask. Really, anything at all...


And it made me smile, partially because it seemed sincere, and partially because it was unsolicited. I didn't tell him what happened, he wasn't on the trip... he just heard what had happened and was writing to check in.

Then, this morning, he pulled me aside in the hallway. Touched my arm, (I don't know if I was visibly taken aback by the physical contact), asked if I got his email. I said I did, and thanked him for it. He asked me how I was holding up. Told me he was impressed that I was at school, and about how strong I was being. Then he told me he'd read some of the things posted online about Kirsten, and mentioned specifics about the work she was doing. Said I should be proud to call such an incredible person my relative. Asked if I was really doing OK. I confessed that I'm a mess, and he asked, again, if there was anything at all he could do to help. I politely declined. We chatted for another moment or two, me avoiding his blue eyes which weren't moving from their focus on mine. Shuffling a little awkwardly as he placed a hand on my arm, and stayed there, less than an arm's length from my body. It was the closest I've been to anyone in a long time. As I looked down at the ground one more time, he asked me if I was really sure there was nothing he could do. I met his eyes, and stumbled over my words.

"Maybe this is weird, cause I know you don't me very well or anything, but, I mean, can I... can I have a hug?"

He smiled warmly, without a hint of irony or mockery. He hadn't finished saying "of course" before his arms were wrapped around me. I buried my face in his shoulder and neck as he tightened his grip. I took a deep breath in, for the most part of him.

As I pulled away, I felt a smile at the corners of my lips. "Thank you," I managed.

"Anytime," he said. "Really, I have an unlimited supply of hugs. If you need more, or someone to talk to..."

"You'll be the first to know," I finished his sentence.

He stayed standing close to me, still very much in my personal space. But for the first time in two weeks, I didn't feel nervous, being so close. I didn't mind him being there. Nor did I mind when he touched my shoulder as we walked down the stairs together after another class.

I'd very much like to think he was/is sincere. The hug felt real. It was warm, and comforting, and like what I'd expect from a real friend. And the fact that he took the time to not only write me, or find me in the building, or talk to me, but also to (maybe via Facebook stalking? I'd posted a link) read what's been written about Kirsten, to absorb it, to be able to talk to me about it... I hardly know what to make of it. I'm not used to people, especially here, being so compassionate.

And maybe that means I'm jaded. I wouldn't be surprised. But it also, thus far, has kept me from getting hurt. Or so I've felt. But now, well, I hate to prove my teachers right, but maybe I should let people here surprise me. Cautiously.

And who knows, maybe I'll take him up on his offer to talk. And for more hugs. It can't be a bad thing, right?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My apologies

But I can't make myself write. I can't do much of anything. I'm trying desperately hard to be productive with school, and to stuff my emotions down deep inside me until a more convenient time... a time when I'm not tens of thousands of miles from home (ok, tens of thousands of kilometres, maybe), a time when I don't have midterms to take, a time when I'm not so utterly alone. A time when I don't have a feature article due in two days.

I still can't make myself write. Nothing I have to say seems important. Or relevant.

At the same time, I can't pull my eyes away from the computer. I'm clinging desperately to the messages I've received from friends - old, new, and yet-to-meet. Family and I are exchanging daily messages reminding that we love one another. The remaining cousins (god that sounds awful), along with Kirsten's fiancee/boyfriend/partner, who we're calling our newest cousin, are all coming to visit Colorado in the winter, when I'll be back.

But that doesn't help for right now. And virtual hugs can only go so far. Although I very much appreciate them, and all the support I've gotten from you, the blogosphere as well.

And even though I may return
To empty places on my own
Where I remember everything you want me to forget
And you provide the parachute
When I am falling like a stone
But I remember there's a life that I have not lived yet
-
OceanLab, Breaking Ties

I just want to be able to function again. But I can't make myself do anything. Except sleep and cry. Eating isn't appealing, and everywhere I look reminds me of her. Reminds me of how far away I am.

I'm trying not to miserable. I really am. I went on a field trip this weekend. I had fun for a few minutes. I jumped off another cliff. But I didn't speak to anyone on the trip. Not about anything of consequence. Then again, nothing seems of consequence to begin with. But I solidified my position as the weirdly quiet loner girl in this program. Which is ironic, because any of you who know me in person know that while I'm weird, quiet and loner are not words generally used to describe me. If anything, I'm usually overly chatty and I hate being alone. I'm hyper-social with my friends. But not here. I don't belong here. I don't want to be here right now.

I'm trying not to think about that. I know she wouldn't want me coming back, giving up this opportunity... but I'm really not sure I can keep going here. I really don't know. I don't think I'm strong enough.

Because, shit, when there are no words left, what do I have? Where does that leave me?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

HNT: Your shirt


I still have it.
I didn't mean to keep it this long.
I just needed something to wear to work.
And now it's across the ocean
Like I am.
I really meant to give it back
But somehow never found the time.
That happens a lot
With you and I.
So for the time being
Can we pretend
You didn't know I kept it
Or brought it with me
Or noticed that it
doesn't smell like you any more?
Or that I wear it
When I want to feel like something
Anything
From home still embraces me.
Then I can bring it back to you
With me, as well.
If you want it back,
that is.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Real pain.

Unlike anything I've ever felt before.

I just found out my cousin, 25, brilliant and beautiful and selfless and unique and every other superlative I could possibly think of, was murdered. While she was in New Orleans studying and volunteering. She was shot several times in the head.

There are no words.

I miss you, Kirsten.

Closure.

Preface: Last night I had a dream about my ex. (With a little e. You'll see why shortly.) Those of you who know me personally know which one I'm talking about. The dream, which would have, had it involved anyone else, been a pleasant memory, was genuinely disconcerting. It wasn't a nightmare - in fact, in this dream, he was being sweet. I woke up with fond memories of him. Which is a problem. A SERIOUS problem. I tried to deal with this all morning, but while I was sitting at my BS office job (ah the joys of work study), it was all I could think about. And I needed to study for my midterms tomorrow, but I could not, for the life of me, process what was going through my head. So I wrote a letter. I won't be sending it to him, but here's what it said. (Be prepared... it's long. There are a lot of things I wish I'd said to him.)

Maybe you can tell me why the hell I'm thinking about you right now. You should be the furthest fucking thing from my mind. What's worse is that I'm thinking of you fondly. That's not OK with me. Under normal circumstances, I wouldn't mind. But I shouldn't have fond memories of you. Not because there never were any good times, but rather because it's important that I not remember them. Because if I remember that, for a time at least, I really believed you loved me, if I remember how good we were together, sexually at least, if I remember how every once in a while, you'd do incredibly romantic or loving things, then I might not hate you any more. And if I don't hate you anymore, I might want to to talk to you again. Just for closure, I'll tell myself. And then I'll do something stupid like call you when I'm home and ask you to meet me for coffee. Which would be probably the stupidest thing I could possibly do.

I don't make a habit of hating my exes. Even those I don't speak with anymore, well, I don't hate them. I know it's healthier for both of us if we don't speak, so that's how we operate. But you. I have to hate you. It's important. Because if I don't, I risk bringing you back into my life when I've spent so much time and effort making sure you're removed from the same. So I can't think about any of those good things that happened while we were together. I just can't.

Instead, I need to think about how shitty you treated me. I need to remember that for every night you'd do something romantic, there were five where you would get drunk and scream at me. For every time we'd have great sex, there would be three where we could only have the kind of sex YOU wanted. You refused to indulge me, even a little, no matter how much I indulged you. And, for the record, yes, the anal sex fucking hurt. Didn't you notice I was only "willing" when I was drunk? No, of course you didn't. And also, for the record, I know now that it doesn't have to hurt. In fact, it can be a hell of a lot of fun. And I owe someone else for showing me that. And you're the reason he laughed when I asked, flabergasted, "you mean it isn't supposed to hurt?!"

I never felt sexy standing next to you, or laying with you. Not because I wasn't sexy, but because you told me I wasn't. You never let me forget that you were better-looking than I was. You told me every fucking week. You'd tell me how lucky I was that you would (condescend) to be with someone who looked like me. You didn't like me wearing high heels because it made me taller than you, and that made you insecure. It was bad enough I was heavier than you, you'd say. I didn't need to be taller than you, too. "I know I'm more attractive than you are," you'd say, implying that you were some kind of saint for being with me anyway. And then, the next person I was with? Well, he was better-looking than you are. Fucking gorgeous, actually (a generally accepted fact among those who've met him). And in actuality, he isn't much taller than you. But here's the catch: he made me feel, as cliche as it sounds, like the most beautiful woman in the world. He'd find things to compliment about me. Little things, like how I kissed him or how I sang or how I looked waking up next to him. And he made me feel sexy because he was sexy. And he'd tell me I was. And, the real kicker? He and I were better together than I could have ever dreamed you and I would be. It was, without question, the best sex I've had. For any variety of reasons.

And where you would get drunk (off the booze you'd buy with my money while living in my house where I paid rent,) and insult me and throw things at me and hold me down when you didn't want me running away from you; he would invite me over, share a drink or two, and talk with me about literature and art and music. And then he'd take my face in his hands and kiss me softly, then gently lead me to the bedroom.

I want to tell you all this because I want you to know. I want you to know that I realize how awful you were to and for me, and I want you to know that you didn't break me. You made me feel so fucking worthless. And I realize now it was all a strategy to keep me down so I'd be too scared and too weak to leave you. And when you were worried that I might be getting ideas in my head to leave, you'd invent a problem. You'd violate my privacy, and read my personal (paper) journal, then wake me up to fight with me about it. And when I didn't shrink then, because I wouldn't apologize for writing something down instead of saying it to you and because I refused to censor myself simply for fear you'd find out, you reacted like a petulant child. With a drinking problem. You channeled Stanley Kowalski and showed up at my work, drunk off godknowshowmuch whiskey at 5pm, screaming at me and banging on the glass. In addition to being angry at you, you fucking embarassed me. Not that that was something new for you. You know precisely why I wouldn't bring you around my friends and your fucking jealousy was literally tangible. Tangible in the bruises you'd leave only in places you knew no one would look.

So I don't owe you a goddamn thing. This letter will serve as all the closure I could possibly need. I don't need to go to coffee with you. I don't need to see you again. Because you don't deserve that. You don't deserve to have me in your life. You gave up that right the moment you laid a hand on me. The moment you spoke to me like that. The moment you used me. I'm sorry for myself that it took me so long to get you out of my life, but now that you are, that's exactly where you will stay.