Archive for Personal Essay

July

July Mark and I are taking a trip. As part of it, we’re seeing some old friends of ours. It happens that these particular old friends have been through roughly the same situation as Mark and I have struggled with this year. From what I gather, the girl is sexually open and the guy, less so.

Mark ran into the guy over the weekend and they had time to talk. Mark came home wanting to have “the difficult conversations,” whatever that means. As if we haven’t been having difficult conversations for the past 18 months now. He wanted to talk about our plans for July, which may or may not include going to a sex party.

First I refused. I told him that I don’t want to go to a sex party if all I can do is look but not touch and if I constantly have to defer to him about what I can do. It’s the truth. I can look but not touch from home.

Still, I’ve given it some thought. I’ve tried to turn the situation around for the better. So, I say, guys, you have two girls here who are saying they are willing to do pretty much anything. (At least I am. I hesitate to speak for my friend, so if you are her, please chime in yourself.)

This is an opportunity. I say, guys, make some plans. Don’t wait until July 1st, start now. You’re in charge. You make up the rules. Set the agenda. Forget everything you’ve ever learned about being good Jewish boys and let’s have some fun.

My resolution

I got to see an old friend this week. It was nice and it felt just right in a way that it hasn’t in a while.

This friend is special to me. She reads this blog, which means that she knows all of my secrets.

She is a good friend, which means that she didn’t mention this blog when I saw her. I’ll bet that she wanted to, but she didn’t and I’m grateful.

Still. I’m left wishing that we weren’t such good girls.

Next year, let’s have some fun.

My list

Mark promised me that there were no rules, so here goes:

Bruce Willis. There is something sad and mischievous about his face that is just so hot. Plus, he’s bald.

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James Gandolfini. Okay, it is a bit of a downer that he passed away this year, but he still is near the top of my list. As Tony Soprano, he showed that he could be a dirty tough guy and a loving husband, both at once.

James Gandolfini. photo: Barry Wetcher

 

Seth Myers. He made me laugh a contact lens out of my eye when we saw him live earlier this year. I can only imagine what it would be like to be alone with him.

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Dan Savage. He just looks like he would be up for anything. Maybe he’s not all gay.

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Anne Hathaway. But Mark already knew that. I won’t discriminate on her hair. I’d probably mostly want to look at her.

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This guy. He’s a hottie, yes. But there’s more to him than that. He knows what he wants out of life, he goes after it, but he doesn’t get wrapped up in it. That’s sexy.

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Then there’s N. His writing cracked me open. He made me look inside and see what else was there. I don’t have a picture and I don’t even know what he looks like, but he’s lurking here on my list anyway.

And I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the tall, handsome dad in the kindergarten playground, and the mom with the cool tattoos. Don’t worry, Mark. Seriously.

So, you might notice that unlike Mark, I don’t have a type. My attractions are varied, and they pop up unexpectedly, out of nowhere. I’m not attracted to one particular type of body, or one particular type of person. If you make me think, I will probably like you. If you make me laugh, I will definitely like you. And if you make me feel, well, I’m yours.

It does feel good to post again.

 

 

I’m okay

But it’s not good.

See, I was planning a trip. I didn’t get very far. I did not buy plane tickets, did not make hotel reservations. But I wanted to.

I ran it by Mark yesterday morning. I told him I wanted to visit family (true). I did not mention that I wanted to meet a Twitter friend in actual, three-dimensional reality (also true).

Somehow, Mark had a sixth sense. He knows me. He knows that I have a tenuous-at-best relationship with my family. He knows that I don’t schedule visits of my own accord, ever. So he checked around. Read my email? Read my Twitter feed? Read whatever he could find until he had some proof.

Listen, I love Mark. I want to be with him. Without him, all of these other questions that I have about myself and my sexuality are meaningless. Today is our anniversary, and I’d like to make it to celebrate another one. So I’m giving Mark a gift. I’ve shut my Twitter account. I’m going to take a break from being Jenna. I’m only going to be me.

I just can’t do both at once.

Down By The River

I took a trip camping with friends this week. And I had a dream Friday night. Jenna and I shared a kiss. Warm, soft, sweet, it was dream-like. And it was not with my Jenna, but the real one. [I’m going to call her just J to avoid confusion here.]

I am ruined.

For almost two years I worked with J, finding myself oddly attracted to the girl who had almost none of the qualities I thought were my “type”. She’s friendly, but so are lots of people I work with. That’s what I like about my firm. Besides even if she did like me, we’re both married, and I love Jenna far too much to cheat on her with J or anyone else.

Then early this year, Jenna got me to admit to her my affection for J. And Jenna insisted she could tell J felt similar. It made me feel more self-conscious around J; I worried that it would make our working relationship uncomfortable. I held back, not even sure how I would ever approach disclosing my feelings if I even wanted to without making things a mess

Last Sunday, we had dinner with J and her husband. And though I didn’t notice it, Jenna claimed later that J had been checking me out. Which makes me feel both sexy and self-conscious.

Friday afternoon I turned my phone on to send Jenna a text, and a few minutes later one came through from J. She was planning to take her kids to the fall festival in a few weeks, and asked if I had ever been.

Then Friday night I had the dream. And Saturday, all the questions, all my feelings, all Jenna’s ideas this year – they all spun around in my head throughout the day, distracting me, gnawing at me. Maybe Jenna’s desire isn’t so bad?

Then, unrelated, my friend, E tells me some old co-workers we knew were getting divorced. She had been fucking a co-worker, and he finally got tired of being ignored and neglected by her. “Guess an open marriage didn’t work for them” he said.

And I can see that, because, despite the sexual desire I have for J, or even the thought of having both Jenna and J together, the idea of Jenna being with another man still pains me. I know, it’s a complete double standard, and its completely wrong for me to feel that way, right?

And the only way I could feel worse about it would be if I acted on this and hurt Jenna or J, or was somehow the catalyst for ending either marriage.

I am so confused.

So after a few days away, I’m heading back to be with Jenna and my kids. And I’ll honestly be thrilled to kiss Jenna, to hold her in my arms again tonight, even as thoughts of J tug at my conscious occasionally this week.

Honesty

When I was a kid, I a relative of mine happened to be way into kinky sex. Don’t worry, this relative never did anything even vaguely inappropriate to me or in my presence.

I was about 10 years old when I picked up on my mom talking about this relative’s sex habits. I didn’t understand the specifics, but like any kid, I wanted to be in on the gossip. Now, my mom had a strict honesty policy. She was honest to a fault. She loved to tell a secret. So, after my prodding, she told me all about this relative’s sex life. I was 10 years old.

Parents, do not tell your 10-year olds about bondage. Just resist the urge, okay?

So, for years, possibly decades, after my mom filled me in, I was terrified of sex. No, not sex, just dirty sex. My mom did not judge the stuff she told me, she only gave me the basics. But the simple fact of getting too much too soon built a wall inside me.

The fact is, we adults sometimes do things that make no sense to kids. We break the rules, our own rules. We’ve learned enough to know that we can fuck up without ruining ourselves. To us adults, this can be exhilarating and life-affirming. But trust me, kids are not prepared for the truth.

When my kids come to me for information, I want to be truthful. I want them to know the facts. But I will keep it simple. Start with the easy facts, let those sink in until sexual exploration is a real part of their lives. Don’t crush them with too much too soon.

And when the time comes? Let them know that sex can be very, very fun. And complicated. Let them know where to find out more, and then give them the space to figure it out.

Mark, do you agree?

Thoughts on the real Jenna

We had dinner with the real Jenna tonight. (Her husband and her kids, too.)

Her house was beautiful, the food delicious. Her kids stress her out a little, especially the little ones.

She does like Mark. I caught her looking at him. Well, he is hot.

Mark, on the other hand, hides his feelings really well. If I didn’t know, I’d never suspect anything. He’s good.

In any case, I like her. You would, too.

So my question is, is it working? I mean, befriending Mark’s crush. At first I thought it would somehow protect us, stop things from going too far. Then I thought it might be hot to be around her, knowing how Mark feels about her. Now I wonder if my presence changes everything, makes the situation somehow less sexy. I don’t know.

 

You know what’s hot?

Knowing what you like.

It hardly makes any difference what it is specifically. But when you know what you want, when you’re certain, and you can tell me, or show me, that is hot.

Trust me, it’s not that I’m lazy or that I don’t feel like being in charge. It’s the energy that you produce by knowing. It’s irresistible.

I know it’s not always easy. Sometimes you know exactly what you want, but you only hint at it. Hints don’t work for me. Hints put the ball in my court, and what turns me on is the ball being in your court. Make me come and get it.

Maybe you are nervous about this idea. I’ll bet you think that it won’t work, that I’ll change my mind at the last second.

I won’t.

Try it. Tell me in advance: I want you to suck my cock tonight as soon as the kids are in bed. Or, I want you to ride me on the sofa in the playroom. Or you could send me a picture. Whatever. As soon as you plant the idea in my mind, I want it.

It becomes all that I can think about.

And that is really hot.

I dreamed he kissed her

I had another nightmare this morning.

I dreamed that I visited Mark at work, alone. For some reason, we had a meeting with a coworker of his. In the dream she was not the real Jenna, but another woman, a gorgeous woman. She was way prettier than me.

In the dream, I turned my back for a moment, or stepped outside the office for some reason. I was only gone for a second. When I returned, he was kissing her. She smiled when he stopped. Then they saw me watching.

At this point, Mark disappeared from the dream. All of a sudden, I was alone with the beautiful woman. She apologized profusely. I could tell that she felt really bad.

I felt bad too. I couldn’t tell much about their relationship. Were they having an affair? She didn’t tell me. I think that I told her that she was beautiful. I asked her if I could kiss her too. She declined.

Seeing Mark kiss another woman, a woman more beautiful than me, filled me with jealousy. I woke up with the most profound feeling of sadness, so deep that it made the dream feel real. Again, I clung to Mark needing to be held. But I felt something else, too. It wasn’t just extreme jealousy, but also happiness. I have no idea why.

Nightmare

I had an awful nightmare a few nights ago.

Let me back up for a minute. I just finished reading Jung to Live By, by Eugene Pascal. It’s a guide to the theories of Carl Jung. Jungian psychology is enlightening, and if you are not familiar with it, I recommend the book. If you have studied Jung, then you know that he believed that dreams are valuable windows into our psyches.

Jung actually advised against dream interpretation, so perhaps I’m way off base here. It’s also more than likely that my dream arose not out of my psychic unconscious, but rather from watching too many episodes of Breaking Bad. It’s possible.

So, in the dream Mark was trying to bomb the nursery wing of a hospital. And I was helping him. No, I had to help him. He couldn’t do it without me. There were certain things that were my responsibility. I remember hiding evidence in a backpack. I did not want any part of it. Somehow I felt responsible for making him want to bomb the nursery, and I also hated him for doing it. I knew that we would be caught, and that whatever his reason for doing it, the outcome wouldn’t be worth it.

I know that Mark would never bomb anything, let alone a hospital nursery. But that dream shook me deeply. I awoke shaking, scared, and needing to be held. For days since, the dream has returned to me dark and strangely meaningful.

Jung taught that we all have a dark, shadow side. Some of us accept that part of ourselves. Some of us hide it. Some of us never know it at all.