Feb 172012
 

If you’ve been following this blog, you know that a key concern of mine is my likability. I want you to like me, not just to come here for the prurient bits (which I do hope you like as much as I do), but also for the more introspective and/or thoughtful bits. Both Liza and L have recently weighed in (as has T, a bit, even further behind the scenes) on a key issue: my emotional availability and vulnerability.

L pointed out to me recently that, whereas in Liza’s blog, and Violet’s and Rye’s, and Guy New York’s, there is affect and emotion and tenderness shown between the various participants in escapades, here, there is little or none.  (Guy New York, in particular, almost always ends his posts with a moment of tenderness and connection.)

I think this a good point, and one that gets at some interesting questions. I’ve been writing a bit about jealousy lately, here and elsewhere, and I think that there’s something important, to me, going on in my studious withholding of affect from my reports of the sex I have.

I would be jealous (as I have described in several places) were I to read accounts by T, or L (or even Liza, with whom I have hardly even a slightly flirtatious relationship) that were anything other than physical, logistical, mechanical. And so,to spare my wife, and to a lesser extent, L, I leave it all out.  Or rather, to model that from which I hope they’ll spare me….

Which leaves me seeming, as Liza said, “aloof.” I’m sorry to my readers for this, and it pains me, not least because I think it’s just wrong. I think I’m the opposite: accessible, revealing, disclosing.

That’s a little self-serving: I’m sure I’m also protecting myself. I’d rather believe that L can’t “hurt” me, because it’s my cock, not my heart, that she has a grip on. But that’s not true, and I’ve gestured in that direction. I feel genuine warmth, affection, caring not just for L, but for her whole family. But it is interesting that I keep any such feelings out of – far away from – my depictions of our sex.

I don’t know exactly what to do with this insight, but I will work on it. Not because I “want to be more sympathetic,” as Liza put it (and I winced at the suggestion of performance, of inauthenticity), but because I want to be more honest and accurate and complete.

  13 Responses to “Tenderness”

  1. To be fair, the times I think you have tried to write of emotion, the fluidity of the words just isn't quite there, in this reader's opinion. You do sexy well, and that is what I love about this blog.  There are certainly times I've gotten wet reading your words of dominance.  Everyone needs to strive to be better in all walks of their life, and learning to be honest and accurate and complete (as you so eloquently put) is a valid and worthy goal… I just beg that you don't let it weaken your physical descriptions.

  2. N. Likes,I just want to ask a question here.  This all makes sense to me.  But if you are doing something and have to put blinders on to feel ok about it, is that good, is that right?  This is not a judgement.  I know I myself cannot live that way, but am curious about you.

  3. That's interesting to me, and I'd love it if you'd point me to an example, either in public or privately.  (And thanks for your compliment on sexy….)  Don't worry, I think I couldn't possibly change how I do physical descriptions, for better or worse.

  4. I agree that you don't seem to sPeak about the deeper emotions in your posts, other than concern for yourself. That is part of the issue. If you are holding back because it would hurt you to hear it from them, then that should be examined. If you can't look at the whole truth of something and be comfortable, should you be doing it? Or in order to be comfortable doing it, you have to put blinders on, is that right??? Just some questions to ponder. Good luck.

  5. I'm not sure I understand your question. I don't think of myself as "having to put on blinders." To what are you referring?

  6. Please don't take this the wrong way and you can completely ignore me is you like since I may be imagining things.It appears to me that if you are truly completely and utterly ok with T or L fucking other men, then you would be able to hear all the details and not just in a physical, logistical, mechanical way.  You seem to be disconnection the emotional or connection portion of sex which is pretty much inevitable.  If you cannot look at that part without being hurt, then are you truly ok with them having sex with others?What I mean by blinders is that you are not allow yourself to look at or examine the emotional aspects of your sex with other or L or T's.Again, I am just asking questions that are really none of my business.There is no disrespect or judgement intended.  I am just trying to put myself in your shoes and that is what it would feel like to me.Take care,Sss

  7. I think I understand what you're saying, and no, I don't think I agree. You're establishing a straw man – some sort of absolute test – whether I'm "truly completely and utterly ok" with my wife's having sex with others, and then using the fact of my confessing certain types of discomfort and pain as evidence that I'm not "truly completely and utterly ok."But who ever said I was "truly completely and utterly ok"? What would that even mean? My experience of marriage, of friendship, of any relationship, is that every relationship is punctuated by moments when I realize that the person I'm in relation to isn't me, that they want certain things different than what I want. Similarly, that happens to my partners in relationships, whether they're platonic or sexual, romantic or otherwise. It just turns out that love brings some pain with it: the pain of incomplete, imperfect union.So: no, I'm not "truly completely and utterly ok" with T sleeping with others. I'm also not truly completely and utterly ok with the fact that she tends to make a bit of a mess with the coffee grounds when she makes coffee. And she's not truly completely and utterly ok with my tendency to leave clothes strewn around my side of our bedroom.That's just how it goes. I don't think we get to be truly completely and utterly ok with much, especially not with anything that's remotely complex. And on the blinders question, here, too, I think I now understand whatyou're saying, but I think I disagree. You seem to think that the fact offeeling pain, of being hurt, MEANS I'm not ok with it. But that's not myexperience. And, I don't think it's correct that I don't allow myself tolook at the emotional content either of my wife's sex with others or ofmine. I think what's more accurate is that I don't allow YOU to look atit, that I find it threatening to imagine her sharing it with YOU.I think you're making the understandable mistake of imagining that you havea perfect view of what I think and feel. But the truth is, I'm constantlycensoring myself, editing myself, for a variety of reasons.ALL that said: thank you for your comments – I appreciate them very much,and the seriousness and attentiveness with which you evidently are readingme. I really do mean that.

  8.  I am sorry N.Likes.I makes no judgements and do not presume to understand how you feel.  I am just trying to understand things the only way I know how which is to put myself in your place and imigine how I would feel.I truly apologize if I offended you in any way or form.All the best,Sss

  9. Please – no worries. No offense taken.

  10. Hello, N.,   I'm a new reader/commenter; I'm not sure what daisy chain of blog links led me here, but I'm really glad it did.  And that L. suggested it!   On my first reading of this post, I was a bit dismissive of the issue.  It seemed to me to be merely a stylistic question.  Obviously, you like to write, and you write very well, so the possibility that your writing gives the impression of personal aloofness while that of someone like Guy New York does not, seemed to me to be a distinction without a difference.     The more I pulled at it the idea, though, the more I realized that, while the tenderness/aloofness in a story question is a manifestation of style, the style is (or at least can be) an indicator of how emotions are handled.  It's not at all a lack of emotion; sometimes, it's even the reverse.     Sometimes, or maybe all the time for some of us, distance is required from emotion to be able to integrate it fully, and then recount it – the writer as observer as well as participant.  The emotion, then, becomes a part of the story, but it's more like the action is offstage: you know it happens, it's just not happening right in front of your face.   For others, it's different.  They don't separate themselves from the emotional moment, and they prefer all the action onstage, and their stories reflect this.    Both approaches are equally valid, but definitely different, and whether a reader prefers one to the other is a matter of taste.  I like Guy New York – a lot – but my preference is for your flavor of story.     Some of this is down to the fact that it's the way emotions work for me, in life and in writing.  But some of it is that, when I stumbled across sex blogs several years ago, the first one I came of across that was of any literary merit was by a brilliant and sexy author who writes very much like you, and I guess he imprinted.  :-).    And, of course, I could be extrapolating from the single data point of my own experience in a wildly incorrect direction… (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg3XU6CMUJc&feature=player_embedded)   Best, b.e.g.   

  11. Wow – what a thoughtful, and interesting, and flattering, take on all this. I really appreciate all that you write, and think you're very much on to something. I think that one of my frustrations has been that people seem to conclude from reading my writing that I am a certain way emotionally, when I feel, in fact, I'm almost the opposite. And of course, there's a problem of representation: as you point out, how we *are* and how we *present *ourselves do not bear a 1:1 relationship to one another – they may, in fact, be inversely correlated, or uncorrelated. And so I'm grateful for that somewhat liberating reminder. I'm not who you think I am, or who I write I am. These are just shadows on a wall…..Thanks, and enjoy your stay – keep writing. You write well, and think well. I'd love to hear more from you. And though I'm no fan of the Muppets, I like how you think.

  12. This is the first time I comment on a blog. And N. : your blog is the first sexblog I’ve visited in my life (since reading yours there have been more, I’m on a journey of discovery). In my experience, and being a woman (!), the seemingly inevitable connection between sex and emotions is complicated and daunting. I didn’t read above part of your blog until today and before reading this, I simply thought you were one of the men that are able to separate ‘raw’ ‘mechanical’ sex from feelings. And that that was the reason feelings did not come into the picture….. Every day again I realize how often in our thoughts we make assumptions on what we see, read, experience (nice ‘proof’ of that in the kermit-columbo youtube). I really like how you are conscious of that and try to avoid them where possible (or so I read…..;-)). And reading that you do experience emotional depth in the act of sex (while choosing not to share this with the reader) is sort of a relief to me.
    Recently I have been in email contact with a man who claims he is able to separate having sex from having feeling. I try to believe him, I didn’t succeed just yet. We live thousands of miles apart and have never seen each other. We’ve been emailing since about half a year, in a friendly way. And also mixed with sex: telling about sexual experiences and having cybersex in shared fantasies. It is exciting, arousing, fun. But as we are not equally able to show vulnerability and be open on what goes on emotionally, it is not working well, as far as I’m concerned. I have not shared this with him yet, as he tends to be dismissive of emotional openness and/or being willing to be vulnerable. I expect and can see signals already of our emailexchange ‘going south’ because of this. Him keeping this emotional distance in sex gives me a feeling of alienation, and I don’t know if the fun of sex will counterbalance that in the long run.
    To communicate with him on this is a challenge, I feel vulnerable under his dismissive-ness.
    I don’t know if you talk with the women you have sex with about what goes on in them emotionally. On how they guard themselves (or not) against the chance of falling in love with you. Or the other way around.
    I don’t know if I explained myself in a clear way, if not, ask me for clarification.
    Your blog is very interesting. And hot! Your experiences give my horniness a boost, and the mix of sex, intelligence and emotional maturity you show is rare and precious. I admire that.

  13. This is the first time I comment on a blog. And N. : your blog is the first sexblog I’ve visited in my life (since reading yours there have been more, I’m on a journey of discovery). In my experience, and being a woman (!), the seemingly inevitable connection between sex and emotions is complicated and daunting. I didn’t read above part of your blog until today and before reading this, I simply thought you were one of the men that are able to separate ‘raw’ ‘mechanical’ sex from feelings. And that that was the reason feelings did not come into the picture….. Every day again I realize how often in our thoughts we make assumptions on what we see, read, experience (nice ‘proof’ of that in the kermit-columbo youtube). I really like how you are conscious of that and try to avoid them where possible (or so I read…..;-)). And reading that you do experience emotional depth in the act of sex (while choosing not to share this with the reader) is sort of a relief to me.
    Recently I have been in email contact with a man who claims he is able to separate having sex from having feeling. I try to believe him, I didn’t succeed just yet. We live thousands of miles apart and have never seen each other. We’ve been emailing since about half a year, in a friendly way. And also mixed with sex: telling about sexual experiences and having cybersex in shared fantasies. It is exciting, arousing, fun. But as we are not equally able to show vulnerability and be open on what goes on emotionally, it is not working well, as far as I’m concerned. I have not shared this with him yet, as he tends to be dismissive of emotional openness and/or being willing to be vulnerable. I expect and can see signals already of our emailexchange ‘going south’ because of this. Him keeping this emotional distance in sex gives me a feeling of alienation, and I don’t know if the fun of sex will counterbalance that in the long run.
    To communicate with him on this is a challenge, I feel vulnerable under his dismissive-ness.
    I don’t know if you talk with the women you have sex with about what goes on in them emotionally. On how they guard themselves (or not) against the chance of falling in love with you. Or the other way around.
    I don’t know if I explained myself in a clear way, if not, ask me for clarification.
    Your blog is very interesting. And hot! Your experiences give my horniness a boost, and the mix of sex, intelligence and emotional maturity you show is rare and precious. I admire that.

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