I would take them a few times, feel my emotions and sense of reality fuzz, and look at my mother who had been doped up on them since we moved to Chattanooga. I would see her blank, hazel eyes, and her bright, but empty, smile with chronic, artificial, exaggerated cheer, and become scared. I often wondered if she was buried under layers upon layers of southern sugar. I would make bitchy, inappropriate statements and look for her. I would say something, anything to shake her and look into her eyes for something real. I saw it when she was upset or afraid. I saw it when she’d spot me exiting my bathroom, hair tied back, knowing what I’d done. I saw it when she found out I was raped. I saw it when I told her about the drugs I used. I saw flickers of a real person, but she quickly disappeared within herself once she gathered composure. I decided not to be like her. Even if it meant embracing my demons, I wanted to be real. After a couple doses, I would toss the meds in the garbage.
My wakeup call wasn’t some light switch of empowerment. From as early as preschool I feared that if I didn’t grow up to be the pretty princess men fawned over, I was a failure. That mentality was my disease. It got me raped. It made me feel dirty and devalued because my cherry wasn’t popped on a bed of rose petals. It fueled an adolescence juggling starvation and vomiting until my throat bled out and my stomach acid burned through the plumbing. It made me snort coke, smoke meth, and routinely gulp down narcotic petri dishes in hopes of obtaining hallucinogenic intimacy with junkie boyfriends. But most of all, it made me waste my youth chasing, obsessing over, fighting for, worshipping, clinging to, and crying over one after another loser. At some point, I just quit giving a fuck.
My life views on sex, men, dating, and self-worth were sculpted with the unfiltered ramblings of a drunken misogynist.
The prostate might as well have been a mythological creature like a unicorn or Leprechaun only acknowledged through whispery giggles among women brunching with their gay friends.
Anal sex was my least favorite bedroom activity. Even through half a bottle of lube, the whole charade felt like pooping backwards. It was a negotiation token- something I begrudgingly did in exchange for backrubs and switching the television from football to Sex in the City. Anal sex was something I tolerated in order to be a cool girlfriend, because it was and still is common knowledge that that men love shoving their dicks in buttholes. Male buttholes, however, had their own rules and regulations. Everyone knew that men who allowed rectal access were gay. I didn’t question it. I didn’t analyze it. I only knew to treat the male asshole as if it had a grenade buried inside of it that could ignite a deadly explosion of anger, trauma, and sexual confusion.
I milked my typical persona as a gritty, intellectual sex-positive feminist that men loved to conquer, toss aside, and shove into their conquest collection in the dusty backs of their closets.
But time and time again, I saw the change in their eyes once they’d conquered me. Dehumanization always follows penetration.
We long for an intimate connection, but that longing makes us feel vulnerable. Therefore, we guard our hearts for self-preservation, which barricades that intimacy we are longing for. Casual sex is a very sad cat and mouse game. The man is entrapped in his role as the sex-driven predator constantly on the hunt for new conquests, while the woman is the prey that must find her perfect combination of sexual allure and virtue, with the sexual allure being what attracts him and virtue what keeps him.
But penetration was a big deal. They protected their anuses the way girls protected their hymen in high school, believing that allowing anything beyond their holy gates would permanently corrupt them.
I only knew to treat the male asshole as if it had a grenade buried inside of it that could ignite a deadly explosion of anger, trauma, and sexual confusion.
I am done looking for love where it doesn’t exist. I am done coughing up dust in attempts to drink from dry wells.
I became a feminist upon the realization that, whether physical, mental, or emotional, everything involved in obtaining love and approval from men required some form of self-mutilation.
Men,you say you want a strong, intelligent, truly independent woman who wants you rather than needs you, who inspires you, who pushes you towards being yourself, who can stick by you through the hardest times, and who can be your rock through life's obstacles.But you need to know that a truly strong, independent woman does not walk through life with her heart wide open. She has had to put up walls to block toxicity to obtain her strength. She is skeptical and always on alert from a lifetime of defense against predators. She is going to be a bit jaded, a little cynical, and a little scary because those qualities come with the struggle of obtaining that strength that gravitates you. She is going to doubt and question your good intentions because it has become her adaptability instincts that have allowed her to thrive.She is not a ball of sunshine. She has flaws. She has a past. She has her demons. She knows better than to just let down her barriers for you simply because you voice a desire to enter. You have to prove your right of entrance. She will assume the worst of you because the worst has happened. If you want her to see otherwise, prove her wrong.
Adolescence is never graceful or beautiful. Our first steps are wobbly, full of stumbles and spills. Our first words are mispronounced and barely comprehendible. Our first kisses are sloppy and wet. The process of breaking sexual thresholds is far from sexy. It will be a long time until being a penetrator outgrows the feel of a grade school science experiment where I fill my paper mache volcano with vinegar and baking soda, giggling and high-fiving my lab partner once it explodes.
I quickly found the dating/hookup app to be a dangerous addition to my iPhone. A friend recommended it after shit hit the fan with my boyfriend. With enough breakups under my belt, I knew that the healthiest remedy was a solid rebound fuck or two. Tinder made it easy- too easy. Suddenly, I could sit in traffic, on the toilet, or in line at the DMV and carelessly swipe, swipe, swipe my way to dick-on-delivery. Tinder selections are based on proximity via smart phones, so there are tons of tourists, travelers, and young professionals on business trips swiping through new hunting grounds. Its loose, easy-come-easy-go method made hookups as convenient as picking up lunch. Tinder’s nonchalance went both ways. We had nothing to lose.
As a woman, I’ve had to choose between ignoring the full effect of my carnal instincts and exploring them with a man who will abandon me. Both result in emotional isolation. It wasn’t until tapping into the forbidden grounds of the male anatomy that I realized that men are locked in their own prison. Their vulnerability frightens them as much as my confidence.
It only takes a tenth grade course on evolution to know that the prostate g-spot’s existence alone is proof that ass play has been done for a very, very long time.
Abusive relationships exist because they provide enough rations of warmth, laughter, and affection to clutch onto like a security blanket in the heap of degradation. The good times are the initial euphoria that keeps addicts draining their wallets for toxic substances to inject into their veins. Scraps of love are food for an abusive relationship.
Number 23 had plenty of redeeming qualities that made falling for him a justifiable accident. But our connection had nothing to do with our similarities, our differences, our aesthetic attractions, or our emotional and physical needs. When we spoke, he was truly with me. Our egos, our personas, expected social cues, the facades that everyone builds around them that are supposed to sculpt the way the world sees us, were stripped with Number 23 and I. He was immediately my best friend, familiar and safe - an epiphany that I had been spending my life alone in crowded rooms. Our souls were naked. We initially curled into the warmth of that connection. But once we knew how real it was, we felt exposed, vulnerable, and raw. While his defense was his fearful recoil, mine was dictation.
Children are often like hostages under the care of authority, with spankings and groundings nudging them like guns pointed at their skulls, threatening to shoot if the wrong words are uttered.
Southerners have mastered picking, choosing, and rationalizing religious texts to fit their social agenda better than their own mother’s fried chicken recipe.
Males were expected to be ready to fuck any hole they could slip their dicks into. Boys weren’t considered men unless they were influenced by their carnal instincts to spread their seed.
It wasn’t really a loud-mouthed, hyperactive little pig-tailed blonde that made Carl cringe. It was what I represented. While his upbringing was battered humiliation, I was spoiled, doted on, and spoon-fed by the world. I don’t think he was even aware of his intentions to reduce that child to his own state of self-loathing, but he was truly brilliant at it.
Millennials: We lost the genetic lottery. We graduated high school into terrorist attacks and wars. We graduated college into a recession and mounds of debt. We will never acquire the financial cushion, employment stability, and material possessions of our parents. We are often more educated, experienced, informed, and digitally fluent than prior generations, yet are constantly haunted by the trauma of coming of age during the detonation of the societal structure we were born into. But perhaps we are overlooking the silver lining. We will have less money to buy the material possessions that entrap us. We will have more compassion and empathy because our struggles have taught us that even the most privileged can fall from grace. We will have the courage to pursue our dreams because we have absolutely nothing to lose. We will experience the world through backpacking, couch surfing, and carrying on interesting conversations with adventurers in hostels because our bank accounts can't supply the Americanized resorts. Our hardships will obligate us to develop spiritual and intellectual substance. Maybe having roommates and buying our clothes at thrift stores isn't so horrible as long as we are making a point to pursue genuine happiness.
Seasoned digital daters are like lions who have had their prey killed, butchered, and served to them on a tray in their artificial habitat for so long that they’ve forgotten how to hunt.
My shipmates and I only grasped our roles on the very superficial level we were taught. We were fighting the bad guys. They were the bad guys because we were told that they were the bad guys. We had to control, infiltrate, and shove our authority around the world because we were its greatest nation. We had the shiniest ships, the biggest guns, the deadliest weapons, and the cockiest egos. And if we thought otherwise, we were vicious traitors. The military condemns rebels, thinkers, and doubt. The military loves obedience, loyalty, and oblivion. Its core values are, after all, “Honor, Courage, and Commitment.
I’m pretty sure Number 1 wasn’t even aware that he was using a man’s deadliest weapon against women. He exposed his vulnerability. Over the years, I would repeat a pattern of chronically caving to that same behavior. It didn’t matter whether or not I liked or respected him. Every time he dared to let his guard down and unveil some of his ugliest, grittiest faces, I whole-heartedly believed I was the only person on earth being let in on a secret. It was a mirage of a connection. Despite his faults and my prior resistance, I felt an obligation to uphold that bond. No matter what kind of person he was or how toxic he could have been, I saw beauty in that fleeting defenselessness as if he were an infant, innocent and untainted by the evils of the world. I always fell in love with that face in every man. I clutched that memory tightly, despite the fact that its weight wore my arms and drug my pace. I was so focused on remembering their moment of weakness that I was blind to who they normally were.
From my first stab at second base, I became obsessively concerned for my vaginal upkeep. I began shaving the day after I felt my first tongue down my throat. The first buzz was a disaster, causing horrifically itchy dull razor breakout that made me look like I made love to a poison ivy bush. Whenever I thought there was a chance of unveiling my privates, I smothered every breakout with the same foundation I used for the occasional teenage acne face breakouts.
The idea of giving a man a rim job provoked the squeamishness I felt at thirteen when I accidentally stumbled upon my first porn, Women Who Love Big White Cocks. I was repulsed that a woman would put her mouth on a man’s penis. After all, that’s where he pees. I got older. I discovered my sexuality and on countless occasions, put my mouth where a boy peed. He put his mouth where I peed, put his fingers where I pooped, put where he peed where I pooped, and we swapped saliva the entire time. Men forgot that the female breasts that ignited their hard-ons fed them as infants. We didn’t realize that although the meaning changed, our “dirty places” remained the same.