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Month: September 2012

Ask Miss Eva: I am not sure I am straight anymore

“I am not sure I am straight anymore. Since I was 15 I have been having sex with women but sex isn’t as plesurable (sic) as it used to be. I used to enjoy straight porn (I have been watching a lot of it) When I was much younger I used to fantasize about oral sex with my neighbor who is also a guy. I find gay and TV videos to be exciting but I used to have more fantasies about women not men. Now I just want to be alone but I love women. So I feel lost.” P.J., 20

Dear P.J.,

It’s disconcerting to get to the end of your early sexual life. At only 20-21, your body is slowing down as your adolescent growth spurt ends. I do not see an issue with your sexual orientation as primary. First of all it is normal for young people to fantasize about friends or acquaintances of the same gender. Secondly, sexual orientation can be fluid and even though we live in a world where every social network ask us “who we are interested in”, nobody is obligated to announce to the world their sexual orientation and making a huge fuss over it is very ‘déplacé’*. You are still growing and exploring who you are in all aspects of life. Something that could be useful to you in the next little while is putting away the pornography. I am not saying this because pornography is bad… actually it’s kind of magical. Pornography has a way of pushing our brain buttons causing excitement, surprise, awe, excitement, again and again but it is very passive. It is purposefully created to push your buttons and play you like a video game. Increasingly we see this methodology applied to social media sites like Pinterest and Tumblr with their never-ending displays of beautiful topical pictures. It’s like brain crack! However, it tires the buttons after a while causing a lowering of sex drive and sometimes depression and anxiety (or what I like to call restless brain syndrome). A way to override that tiresome effect is changing the porn. Looking at gay porn or transsexual porn is a way to put the spice back in. Again, this is not entirely unusual amongst people who watch porn regularly but it isn’t a solution.

One way to be gay is to continually encounter guys you think are cute but that’s not a guarantee. Another way to be gay is to fall in love with a guy and want to be with him all the time but that’s not a guarantee. Another way to be gay is to want to kiss, cuddle and have sex with guys and spend a considerable amount of time trying to achieve that goal. Alternatively, you could hang out with a group of gay friends and suddenly think: “Holy fuck, I feel exactly in the right place right now!” I am sorry but the simple act of fantasizing about getting a blowjob from a guy doesn’t make you gay or even bi. In order to know who you are, and you are at the exact time in your life where these questions pop up and cause anxiety, you have to explore a social life where you get to meet a lot of people and develop friendships. Try to get to know people as individuals outside of the possibility of them being potential sex partners. You can connect with these people through shared interests, clubs, meetups, etc…

It is not a good idea to seek out sexual or life partners while you are depressed. Attack the source of your depression and anxiety which is likely the regular consumption of pornography. It will cost you nothing to test out this solution with 1 month of mindful living. There might be something that triggers the need to go and watch porn, often it is simply boredom. First, take the porn off the easily accessible devices like your cell phone! One way to counteract boredom is to accomplishing something you have wanted to do for a while. Pick something that needs to be done in many steps so that whenever boredom strikes you can cross off another task on the list. This will lower your anxiety and perhaps get rid of your depression.

I was quite happy to find a support thread on the postmasculine forum called the No-More_porn Thread. Postmasculine is a very straight blog but the support thread probably contains descriptions of life situations that match yours. It also contains several descriptions of the actual benefits enjoyed by those who are taking part in the challenge which include increased libido, decreased anxiety and increased intimacy.

If after a month you still feel awful and conflicted, seek out a counselor who can provide help on a regular basis or suggest a support group. If you seek out a professional, take time finding one who is LGBT or alt friendly.

Be well and do well!,

* Déplacé is the contrary of ‘de rigueur‘ 🙂

Well hello there! I recognized you from my future!

About once a year something strange happens to me. I will see someone and distinctively recognize them as familiar. I have observed this phenomenon more intensely over the past 5 years and now call it ‘recognizing someone from my future’. I used to call this phenomenon ‘falling in love at first sight’ because many times it has resulted in a loving relationship of mutual attraction.

How does it happen?

Many years ago I walked into a concert venue and saw a gorgeous guy in full Scottish regalia. I stood 5 feet away from him as he did his final rehearsal in a 8 by 8 dressing room. Those bagpipes really belch out the tingly sound waves! Here is someone I do not know, never officially met but was distinctly attracted to in that same way I described before. A few years later he called me, out of the blue. I did help him with his project and that is how I got to spend a little bit of time with him. He promptly moved far, far, far away 🙁

This experience, spanning two years, was the first inkling that this intense feeling of familiarity I have with supposedly new people is not necessarily a cheesy romantic notion. I have put that to the test three or four times since. When I saw a strikingly familiar co-worker I had never met before at an office Christmas party, I simply asked his name and what he did. In the months that followed, co-workers organized lunches inviting both of us, made a point to put us on the same projects (a totally inexplicable diagonal move) and within 6 months, I was sitting across from him. Now that we have both gone on to greener professional pastures, it remains highly likely that we will work together in the future as key team leaders on a huge project… a project of our own making. As it stands he has been a fixture in my recent past and should continue to be a super important fixture in my future!

I prefer my sci-fi route of explaining intense initial connection as ‘recognizing someone from my future’ because in that and a few other cases, the attraction is not initially based on romantic notions. Perhaps it is because my dance card has been already quite full in the past few years but I am much more interested in changing the world a bit with someone rather than hooking up with them. While my interpretation has drawn some critique or chuckles, it’s not any crazier than saying ‘falling in love at first sight’ (which has so many strange implications if you are like me and feel that love is different from lust and lives at the sustainable convergence of intense attraction and prolonged attachment.)

I have become so intrigued by this phenomenon that the last time it happened to me, about a month ago, I was frozen in fear, looked away and made myself sparse when I recognized this lovely chap at a garden party in Europe. The recognizee managed to find me, sit next to me and sweep me off my feet in less than 30 minutes! He captured my entire attention for 2 unbelievably amazing days! That was the most instantaneous application of the word ‘future’ I had ever experienced…

Now imagine if I was in a monogamous relationship and experienced this once a year. In a zero sum relationship world where one is only allowed to love or have sex with ONE person, meeting someone excitingly new tends to throw monos in a tailspin of questioning. And that is an issue all to itself. I do not have to live by any other rules than the ones I make with those who are very close to me and I really enjoy getting super excited about someone new. I can’t get too caught up into this though because my ability to have multiple stable relationships spanning decades with a few men comes from being careful and stable when it comes to romance. I cannot and do not want to change my whole life on a dime to be with someone I barely know even if I ‘recognized them from my future’! When I spent two lovely days with the European cutie, it constantly amazed me how he seemed like he had spontaneously manifested from my fantasies. I mean that in a holistic way because I attend to fantasize about people with skills and character, not so much in terms of looks or physical fetishes. Please do not send me messages about ‘The Secret’, I already know what that is.

The tales of my impromptu meeting and adventures with the European cutie have become a source of giggles for my principal partner and I. He is the one who paid for my trip to Europe last month. I give him 100% credit for creating this amazing experience after seeing me cooped up, starving, coding a startup for a year while also taking care of him and my daughter.

As a consummate life hacker, I am trying to see how this incredibly entertaining phenomenon will change in the future. I cannot create this experience, I can only react to it. As I make an effort to get out more, it’s a mathematical fact that I will meet more people who could become fixtures in my future. If that is the case then, that means I would mysteriously recognize more than ONE person per year (my steady average for about 10 years). Would that be hard to manage? I already lament how I do not have enough time to spend with the half-dozen keepers in my life.

The future will tell 🙂

On the topic of slut shaming

This video is clear and to-the-point.

Slut shaming has got to go. I encounter some strange reactions when people find out that I am happily non-monogamous and have more than one partner. For me that means that it is a lot of work to manage 3-5 relationships at a time (scheduling!) but I have gotten better at it in the past 8 years. Because some people have a weird love/hate/shame relationship with sex they feel the need to distance themselves from anyone who has a life that is different from their own, especially if they embrace the default zero sum relationship game. That causes some people to respond in a ‘that’s bad (morally)’ and then, as if the previous moment never happened, come the onslaught of sexually specific questions complete with explicit assumptions! Through these questions about my sex life I get to know what kind of sex people are afraid of, interested in and curious about. I don’t mind respectful question but I don’t necessarily answer them. It’s none of anybody’s business and nobody needs to justify their sexual choices. Still, I try to maintain a certain amount of discretion about my specific life with each partner for the sake of their privacy not mine.

What I can tell young people though is that when people react in a shaming way about someone else’s sexuality it is simply because they are insecure, ignorant and scared of sex and this is based in their own shame. Dealing with someone who is afraid of sexuality or has sexual shame is not really worth it.

Sexual shaming is a great way for someone to remove themselves from ever being considered a friend or a lover of mine.

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