Tag Archives: Fear

Fear Is The Difference Between Poly And Scaredy Cat

27 Mar

Polyamory.

Fun times.

Some people function best living a polyamorous life.

However, some people use it as a crutch.

Someone recently told me that he chose to lose someone he loved rather than give her the closed relationship she wanted. When I asked him why he did it he said he was scared.

What are you scared of?

I don’t know.

He never could answer the question.

After talking with each of them here is what I think he is scared of:

You are so afraid of not being sufficiently loved that you’re spreading the responsibility of loving you among multiple people in the hopes that losing just one won’t hurt too badly. You’re so afraid of someone taking your entire heart when they leave that you’re willing to inflict that pain on everyone you date by hurting them before they hurt you. You will push these partners away one by one, and this coping mechanism of yours will turn the fear into a self-fulfilling prophecy.

I’ve solved the mystery.

Trust But Verify

25 Mar

I give men the benefit of the doubt. Not every woman is lucky enough to be able to do this. Your mileage may vary. Your ability to do this is usually inversely related to the amount of trust-breaching from the men in your life.

But for now I’m lucky to say that I can even have a well-lubricated evening with a male coworker without concern.

I work in a male dominated industry (most of the good ones are) and sometimes the line between flirting and networking can look a bit blurry from the outside. So when I get asked to hang out and get drinks one on one I’m reminded of my mothers compliment, “You could be a bimbo…if you wanted to.”

The idea that he might try something funny enters my head and I push it aside. I tell myself I can tell the good ones from the bad ones. That I’m better than that. That living in fear let’s the terrorists win.

Some days I’m not sure if I’m winning. But I know I haven’t had a major loss yet. And I’m just grateful for that borrowed time.

But people surprise you.

Do You Think I’m Not Afraid?

22 Apr

Do you really think I’m not afraid of men? Why? Because I speak as loudly as you do? Because I took the train up and walked here alone at midnight? Because I’m sleeping at your house tonight?

None of these things mean I don’t fear men. I spend time every day being afraid of men. Inside, outside, I make choices about where I go and what I do based on it. I loathe myself a little bit every day based on it. I write a blog because of all the feelings surrounding it. And you think that just because I’m brazen none of that exists?

Loving and being afraid of men in this world is like cleaning wax off this candle. You want the pleasure of it but you know that you’re playing with fire. The heat is always there, sometimes it’s a draw but you never forget how quickly it can turn on you, not even in it’s warmest moments do you forget the damage you’ve seen it cause. So you touch it because the pleasures are great, but you watch it carefully because the fear is great too.

If no woman in your life has ever talked to you about how she lives her life with an undercurrent of fear of men, consider the possibility that it may be because she sees you as one of those men she cannot really trust.
-Chris Clarke, How Not To Be An Asshole: A Guide For Men

Ready Or Not Here I Come

15 Jan

It’s been a long time since I’ve been in love.

I spend all my time in puddles.  I miss the ocean.

And I really want to do it again.  I’m really ready to do it again.

I am a lover without a lover. I am lovely and lonely and I belong deeply to myself.
– Warsan Shire

And yet, just that much is SO HARD for me to admit.

Does my desire to be in love come hell or whoever mean that I’m not in the right headspace to be in any relationship?  Does the fact that the statement “I want to be in love” makes me nauseous mean that I’m some sort of commitment-phobe?  And, also, I’m afraid that I’ll make myself do this relationship even when it’s a wrong fit, just because I want to be in a relationship.

Just as my lack of peanut allergy has no bearing on whether I’ll like Snickers, my readiness to be in a relationship has no bearing on whether this guy is good for me.

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.
– Rumi

street harassment

14 Dec

 

I’ve been thinking a lot about street harassment lately.  I’ve been getting a lot of it lately.  So much so that I started keeping a log of every encounter.  For the first two days I wrote down locations, times of day, what I was wearing and the specifics of what was said.  On the third and fourth days no one said anything to me and I couldn’t really write down “gawked at at 4pm.”

On the fifth day it was a Friday night and walking past the bars gave me such anxiety that I started tuning out everything that was said instead of mentally trying to jot it all down for later.  I considered taking a side street but the side streets were darker than the main street with all the bars on it, making my choice a)walk on this street which will make you incredibly uncomfortable but probably keep you physically safer or b)walk on the other street which will probably have fewer drunk guys but also fewer people to notice if anyone should touch you.

I walk fast.  I’m fine.  I always am.  But if you’re a man who is still under the misapprehension that street harassment is a compliment I’d just like to tell you that you are very very wrong.

Even Stoya Needs A Tourettes Break

4 Nov

The other day a friend referred me to an article that made me cry.  I would copy/paste the whole thing here but I won’t.

It’s written by adult performer Stoya about how the treatment she receives as a porn star tends to be less cruel than the hostility of common street harassers.

First she counts off the times she’s been harassed at a trade show.  The harassment is creepy but sounds not much worse than Bridget Jones’s family reunions.

The following bit is what made me tear up.  It’s too familiar.

They say I have a sweet ass, nice tits, a real pretty dress. They say I’m their future wife, or I’d look good with their dick in my mouth. They try (and probably succeed at times) to take pictures down my shirt. They ask if they can get my number, they ask where I live, why I’m not smiling, why my boyfriend lets me walk around by myself. Then they ask why I’m such a bitch, if my pussy is made of ice. They say that they never do this, as though I’ve somehow driven them to inappropriate behavior and deserve it. They say they’re just having fun, trying to pay me a compliment. Pretty frequently they get mean, slipping into a loud tourettes — like chant of bitch-whore-cunt-slut.

Street harassment is not a rare or isolated occurrence. It does not only happen in America. It does not only happen to young or traditionally-considered-“beautiful” women. It does not only happen on public transit or in low income areas.

We shouldn’t have to have a big angry dog named Funster to protect us. We shouldn’t have to carry Mace or a knife, hoping that we’ll be able to use it properly if necessary or investing hours of our lives in self defense courses (something a lot of women have neither the time nor disposable income to do). We shouldn’t have to travel in packs to feel safe (again, something that isn’t really feasible).

I don’t know what more I can say about this other than it makes me want to die.

They say that 1 in 6 women will be raped in her lifetime.  And based on the number of friends who have told me about their rapes I’d say that’s a conservative estimate.  Well, then I would say that at least 5 in 6 women “has at least one truly terrifying story of street harassment and a whole bunch of other stories that are merely insulting or annoying.”

Can you imagine if 5 in 6 men had a story of being harassed in the streets for being a man?

What if all women were bigger and stronger than you? And thought they were smarter? What if women were the ones who started wars? What if too many of your friends had been raped by women wielding giant dildos and no K-Y Jelly? What if the state trooper who pulled you over on the New Jersey Turnpike was a woman and carried a gun? What if the ability to menstruate was the prerequisite for most high-paying jobs? What if your attractiveness to women depended on the size of your penis? What if every time women saw you they’d hoot and make jerking motions with their hands? What if women were always making jokes about how ugly penises are and how bad sperm tastes? What if you had to explain what’s wrong with your car to big sweaty women with greasy hands who stared at your crotch in a garage where you are surrounded by posters of naked men with hard-ons? What if men’s magazines featured cover photos of 14-year-old boys with socks tucked into the front of their jeans and articles like: “How to tell if your wife is unfaithful” or “What your doctor won’t tell you about your prostate” or “The truth about impotence”? What if the doctor who examined your prostate was a woman and called you “Honey”? What if you had to inhale your boss’ stale cigar breath as she insisted that sleeping with her was part of the job? What if you couldn’t get away because the company dress code required you wear shoes designed to keep you from running? And what if after all that women still wanted you to love them?”

– For the Men Who Still Don’t Get It, Carol Diehl. (via theseasonofthewitch) [x]

I just don’t believe so few people would care.

We are not asking for a right to the streets, we are taking them; we are not asking for advertisements that do not objectify women, we’re destroying the commercial mechanisms that objectify women; we are not appealing to male power for an end to rape, but threatening: ‘If you touch me, I will fucking kill you.’

For once, the mechanisms that create and maintain identities of womanhood were refused, and our desires were our own, our bodies were our own, and our violence was our own.

– We’ll Show You Crazy Bitches (via trill-wave-feminism) [x]

What Lies Beneath

8 Mar

Love is scary, no?

It’s scary to trust someone else’s feelings.  I can barely trust my own feelings most of the time.

Sometimes I wish people wore signs around their necks with how they felt and that the signs were magical and couldn’t lie.  I guess it would hurt sometimes and acting would be impossible, but we anxious control freaks would probably call it worth it to always know.

Though I guess it would go against the point of… you know… trust and all.  But…

“What about little microphones? What if everyone swallowed them, and they played the sounds of our hearts through little speakers, which could be in the pouches of our overalls? When you skateboarded down the street at night you could hear everyone’s heartbeat, and they could hear yours, sort of like sonar. One weird thing is, I wonder if everyone’s hearts would start to beat at the same time, like how women who live together have their menstrual periods at the same time, which I know about, but don’t really want to know about. That would be so weird, except that the place in the hospital where babies are born would sound like a crystal chandelier in a houseboat, because the babies wouldn’t have had time to match up their heartbeats yet. And at the finish line at the end of the New York City Marathon it would sound like war.”

— Jonathon Safran Foer- Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

What if you jump in and care and then find out that the other person didn’t feel like you thought they did?  Wouldn’t that be dreadful?

You trusted.  You did what you were supposed to do…right?  And it went horribly.

And then what are you left with?

“Every little girl knows about love. It is only her capacity to suffer because of it that increases.”

— Francoise Sagan

But then I look at my friends and the wonderful experiences they’re having in far away lands and I know that one day I’ll be as dreadfully happy as they are right now.  And until then I can laugh myself silly reading The Hairpin’s Ask A Dude.