Change is hard

If you’ve been paying attention, and you know me (and you have, and you do), you may have noticed a certain… intensity… and bitterness in some recent posts. A level of negativity that’s a little out of character for me.

Over in real life, change is afoot. For the most part, it’s good change, but it’s complicated change, change that brings with it, in addition to hope and promise, loss, pain, sadness. I notice that, in the last week or two, I’ve found myself in spats with those about whom I care, kerfuffles about things over which I’m powerless, or about which I might normally be indifferent. I actually was explicitly, obviously rude to someone for whom I’ve long felt some distaste. But this is way out of character for me.

There’ve been errors in judgment (I sent a very unfortunate e-mail to a large mailing list, rather than to the single recipient for whom it was intended).

And lots has just gone… differently… than I might normally cause stuff to go.

The posts I wrote on are prime examples of this.

It’s not, exactly, that I don’t feel what I wrote. But I wrote intemperately, and in a way tinged with something approaching hostility. Which is notable. I mean, who the fuck is Cindy Gallop? Or Violet and Rye (or, as they would have it, Violet+Rye)? Why do I even care?

If I care, it must be (he says) because they trigger something deeper – something like fear or envy. And I suspect that’s right.

I envy Violet and Rye. They’re in their 20s. And they’re living the sex life (or at least, writing about the sex life) I wish I had been ready to lead in my 20s. (Never mind I wasn’t married yet, and I wasn’t ready.) They’re hot, sexy, good photographers, good self-promoters. Their blog has thousands and thousands of readers, and it’s not particularly thoughtful. It’s just… hotness.

And so I’m envious. Of course, all that I think about them – that they’re a bit self-satisfied, superior – is true enough. I do think it about them, and I’m not alone. But they’ve never done anything to me, I have no reason to care, personally, about them. What’s more, I think they’re very good at what they do, that they succeed almost perfectly at what they’re trying to do.

Ditto Cindy Gallop: why do I care what she thinks about porn, what her “project” is? Why does it so irk me that the web site is almost self-consciously constructed not to be appealing to me, in spite of the smattering of very hot videos therein? Because I think she is very happy with her project. I have the sense that she is very happy with the level of attention it’s getting, and participation. (In fact, see the two comments she submitted in response to what I wrote.)

It’s not so much envy in her case. It’s something else.

It’s the sense that there’s a club, and that I’m not in it, not welcome, not good enough.

This is manifestly not true. I’m 100% capable of producing a superb video featuring superb hotness that would be quite at home on But it’s not what I want to do. It doesn’t turn me on to imagine a video featuring me and anyone, or me alone, up there. My particular form of exhibitionism is very personal. I’d love to send you a cock shot, but the idea that she (or he) might see it is not, in any way, a turn-on for me. Quite the opposite, actually.

But it is what I feel. It’s like a hangover from seventh grade: I felt a lack of confidence then, a sense that I was on the outside, friends with some of the cool kids, but not one of the cool kids. And that’s what this all triggers in me. A sense of… exclusion. Like I don’t belong.

And it does it at a time that I’m confronting change – hard change.


  1. Please, you did us all a favor!
    Making love has to be the cheesiest expression on the lexicon of F. You even imparted some business wisdom to the people at the site.

    As to the “problem” of being 20 no +. Will spare you my good enough answer. Which incidentally I arrived at with your help. Of sorts. But do take a look at this (2006, funnily old) column by Louis Menand “Name that Tone”.

    A less introspective answer is the obvious fact that we were all busy in our twenties with stuff that made a lot of sense at the time. Some of us do in-your-face sex blogs in our twenties, while some of us reflect on sex and sexuality with more, or less, perspective, a little later. Inevitably, and hopefully, the couple you mentioned will be doing something else twenty years from now. Inevitably they will be looking back with some regrets, just like, everybody else?

    And yes, I get that the point of the post was your recent out- of -character disposition/actions. But this is what I ended up reacting to.

    Keep us posted about the changes.

  2. you are good enough. but i think maybe you’re drawn to the seedy side of sex. maybe seedy isn’t the right word. the dirrrtyy side of sex.but you are good enough for that. maybe too good for it.

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