There's, of course, poetry
Plus, watch me tell a story about sex parties and hearing loss!
Beauty makes me hopeless. I don’t care why anymore. I just want to get away. When I look at the city of Paris I long to wrap my legs around it. When I watch you dancing there is a heartless immensity like a sailor in a dead calm sea. Desires as round as peaches bloom in me all night, I no longer gather what falls.—Anne Carson
I’m telling a story on Saturday, December 12, for Bawdy Storytelling (7pm PST. $10! JOIN IN.)
I’ve written before about being bad at sex parties, and part of that has to do with social anxiety and how quickly you’re expected to go from stranger to fucking.
But the biggest reason I’m “bad” at sex parties, the one I don’t really talk or write much about, is because I can’t hear people. Deafness isolates. You can’t make small talk, let alone negotiate a sex scene, if you can only hear every 4th word the other person is saying.
(Well, you can try, and I certainly have, but it leads to a lot of confusion, frustration, and unnecessary laundry.)
But instead of, you know, not going to sex parties, I just keep going to them! Because I refuse to let my hearing loss, which causes me a tremendous amount of sadness and frustration, stop me from having sex, occasionally in public.
So one such experiment involved me going to a femme domme party at the Citadel with different voice-to-text apps on my phone. I wanted to see if technology could help me have conversations and negotiate and actually participate in these parties.
How’d it go?
You’ll have to tune in to find out. (Or wait until the next newsletter, where I’ll share the audio recording.)
I was having one of those days recently.
The kind where one thing after another goes wrong, and eventually a small, seemingly innocuous fumble sets you on a horrid spiral of everything-is-terrible and my life is a series of uninteresting failures and why bother trying!
And then I stopped to read Cheryl Strayed’s newsletter—which you should subscribe to, as she’s bringing back Dear Sugar in written form and it’s excellent, as always—and in her newsletter, she talked about how reading is a salve, and so I started reading Anne Carson and Adrienne Rich and it did make me feel better.
Beauty has that effect.
I guess you’re not alone I fear
There’s, of course poetry:
awful bridge rising over naked air… — Rich
It’s been raining here. The air is cold and pure and soft enough to choke on.
Sometimes when I’m sad I recite happy facts like rosary beads: Hot laundry. Beautiful girlfriend. Loving friends. Female VP. The ability to consume unlimited Olive Garden breadsticks.
It’s gratitude, yes, but also perspective. How often do we ignore everything that’s going right in our lives? How often are you overjoyed that you turn your shower on and hot water comes out? That someone comes and takes your trash away? That your computer connects you to humans all over the world and only sometimes crashes when you’re working on something important that you haven’t saved? That your water is drinkable? Did your toilet flush today?
I try to take note of these things, which are, of course, too numerable to count, and remember that that is a kind of happiness, too.
Try it. Say thank you to the rightness that tumbles out of our lives every day. Even if you feel ridiculous.
…the rowboat ice-fast on the shore
in the last red light of the year
that knows what it is, that knows it’s neither
ice nor mud nor winter light
but wood, with a gift for burning… —Rich
When should you meet your partner’s children? (A lot of strong opinions on this!)
From the Vault
Insanely bad advice geared toward men—never thought I’d be anti-Nutella during sex, but well even I have my limits
I tried Cosmo’s weird tips so you don’t have to—snorting pepper, fellating pastries, forking your lover—yes, I tried them all!
This was originally written to impress a woman who worked in HR. (It worked.) Link to PDF here. New installments with these two gals forthcumming…