Sadness and sadomasochism

I am sad.

Recently, Sofia decided to bring things between her and me to a close, after seven years.

We have paused before. There’s a big part of me that imagines that this, too, will prove to be a pause, rather than a final stop. I sure as hell hope this is a pause, and not a stop. Or maybe, a transformation?

You see, I care about Sofia. A lot.

In recent years, though, our relationship has become somewhat sadomasochistic. Not in the “S&M” sense of sadomasochism. Rather, in the sense that our relationship seems to inflict suffering on each of us. We seem to do it to one another. Not gleefully. Not willfully. But inexorably.

Sofia wants things from me I can’t (or won’t?) give. And inevitably, I disappoint her, I hurt her. Harming her is the last thing I want to do, and my attempts to avoid disappointing, or hurting, her cause suffering in me.

So we march on, hurting, sad, disappointed. Never intentionally. But, as I said, inexorably.

I hope, very much, that Sofia and I can find a path forward that doesn’t involve pain. Not the pain that’s inevitable when two humans have a relationship, but a pain that has a continuous, repetitive, and inevitably familiar feel to it. That particular color of pain is the one we’ve been living in for a bit, and while I’m sad, I’m grateful that Sofia has the maturity and wisdom that I lacked, evidently, to extricate us from it.

All that said, I do hope that we can find a way to remain in contact. Sofia is an important person to me. And some of the ways in which she is important, alas, contribute to some of the ways in which I have caused her pain.

As relationships deepen, as I care for someone, it becomes harder for me to let loose the full-throated sexual aggression necessary to objectify, to write rapaciously; to boast in writing about my aggression.

This is my personal virgin/whore dilemma: love and hate both are necessary for love and sex to co-exist in a relationship. In my relationships, they do coexist, but the hate part, the aggression, the part that fuels fucking, the part that fuels writing, becomes more and more uncomfortable to me, more inaccessible. As love grows, it feels more and more urgent that I protect (who? myself?) from the hatred, from the aggression. And so, I do. Not willfully. Not voluntarily. But inexorably.

Some of this explains my complicated relationship to fucking.

And some of it explains my complicated relationship with Sofia.

I sure do hope that, one day, we figure out how to make one another happy without making one another intolerably unhappy.

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