A few times since I started this blog, I’ve written something that really pissed people off. Ironically – given that this blog features so much discussion of transgressive behavior – what my most controversial posts share in common is that in none of them did I actually do anything. Each of these posts concerns not my behavior, but my thoughts.
And man, have I upset people.
On a couple of occasions, readers have suggested I get help. (For the record, I’m a big-time consumer of “help.”) Some of those same readers have said I’m not “healthy” (whatever that means), that I’m a “pervert,” that I’m “creepy,” “invasive.”
I started writing this blog in large part because I wanted to speak aloud the fact that I was doing some things, having some experiences, thinking some thoughts, that I couldn’t discuss in my normal day-to-day life with more than one or four people. I knew from my time in 12-step-land, and therapy, that the experience of speaking truths aloud is healing, radically, particularly when it comes to shame.
The readers who react most strongly to the things I write tend to believe that I should be ashamed of my thoughts – that I should be ashamed that I noticed that sexually mature 13-year-old girls look in many ways a lot like sexually mature 25-year-old women, and that my body didn’t distinguish between the two nearly as clearly as my mind does; that I should be ashamed that I imagined taking advantage of a crowded train to molest, unnoticed, a woman; that I should be ashamed that I routinely objectify women in my mind.
But here’s the thing:
I don’t choose my thoughts.
Do you? Does anyone?
I think part of the problem is the way you put your thoughts forward. Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish your morals, like with the train post. Your heart was in the right place but it was hard to tell from what you wrote. Sometimes a woman reading what you’ve written will automatically react with a strong emotion, disgust, fear, hate etc… It’s like your thoughts, an uncontrollable reaction, and they will feel the need to express those reactions as you have expressed yours. Having said that, I still believe that you should keep doing what you’re doing and forget the rest. Do what’s healthy for you.
As someone who consistently gets hate mail of all kinds and… especially lately, phone numbers to various domestic abuse hotlines from people who probably mean well, but just don’t… get it… I’ve seen a lot of people overreact to your blog. I think a lot of people assume that thoughts mean actions, that fantasy is always reality. That one can control one’s mind and the dark places it wanders from time to time. Upon reading your latest post, I was very interested to see that no one had pounced all over you. I’m still waiting for it, not with any kind of gleeful anticipation, more like a resigned understanding to how many people just don’t get it.
But I feel like having an outlet is what keeps us sane. Having the ability to openly fantasize and even act out fantasies with partners keeps our darker urges in check. I doubt you’d let anyone deter you, but my hope is that you don’t, either way.