An old story, told (perhaps?) differently

I’ve written so many times about the sense of “deadness” with which I struggle. I suspect, on some level, it’s a function of the death of my mother at a young age that left me with a sense of deadness inside – somewhere between a consequence of her death and a longing to be with her.

I have been thinking, lately, about my relationship to sex, my relationship to women, my relationship to fucking. I’ve written before that I prefer all sorts of sexual activities – especially oral sex – to fucking. One of the stories I’ve long told myself? There’s an aggression necessary in fucking that scares me on some level, a fear that, if my aggression goes unchecked, I might just kill the woman on the other side of (wrapped around, enveloping) my cock. And maybe that’s true.

But there may be some other things going on, some things involving my father.

Here are some facts:

  • My dad – today, a wonderful, kind, generous, loving, thoughtful, open, vulnerable man and father – abused me emotionally when I was young. His temper was ferocious. He yelled at me, terrorizing me. He hit me – slapped, spanked – until I was 9 or 10. Well into adulthood, I feared disappointing him.
  • Notwithstanding my dad’s abuse, my mom’s misattunement and abandonment, I love my parents deeply, and while, of course, I feel anger toward them, mostly, I feel sadness at all they and I both lost – as a result of the endowments they brought to the table, their own childhoods, the generations of trauma that preceded and followed their births – and appreciation for how far they traveled to overcome those endowments, how good they managed to be as parents when they might have been so much worse.
  • I wrote, above, that I feared disappointing my father. This manifested in all sorts of ways. I would tell little lies hoping not to get caught. (“I don’t know how the table got chipped, but it wasn’t me!” “We haven’t gotten our report cards yet.” “I didn’t steal the candy bar I was caught stealing.” “I didn’t cut school.” “Yes, I bought Chanukah gifts for my cousins.”) The lies were ridiculous – I had no realistic hope of not getting caught, ever. But the lie itself? It offered me a moment of sanctuary, of control, of hope. Sure, when he found out, his wrath might have rained down somewhat more ferociously on me, I suppose, but until then? I lived in a (rare) space of power and optimism. I learned to savor the delicious space between now and then in ways that I continue to notice, to make meaning of, to this day.
  • I’ve written many times about my preternatural control over my orgasm: I have spent, literally, thousands of hours of my adult life on massage tables with women stroking my cock, not ejaculating until the clock ran out; I’ve spent, literally, hundreds of hours of my adult life with women sucking my cock, not ejaculating until I exhausted either their patience or mine, or both. I paid for many of these encounters (nearly all of the handjobs; very few of the blowjobs). Only in recent days have I come to notice how elegantly these scenarios represent a triumphant reworking of my relationship to disappointing my father: if, as a kid, I engaged in a fantastical deception that, inevitably, would come crashing down in a torrent of his temper, as a (sexual) adult, I’ve created a triumphant scenario in which I replace the torrent of temper with an orgasm, in which I control the moment of the denouement. That’s pretty fucking clever.
  • And if all that’s true, I wonder if there’s not something about fucking – an act in which I have far less control over my cock, far less control over my orgasm – that threatens me in the way my father’s wrath threatened me. Maybe, just maybe, fucking isn’t my cup of tea because it scares the shit out of me, just like my dad did.

Who knows?

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