Dita Parker

Friday, January 27, 2012

Undisclosed desires

Sex with a stranger/celebrity/friend. Sex with two or more partners. Sex with another woman (if you're a woman). Sex with another man (if you're a man). Roleplay. Dominating/being dominated by your partner. Light BDSM. Voyeurism. Exhibitionism. Exotic locations. The stuff erotic novels and sexual fantasies are made of.

Some dream factories churn out produce on an industrial scale (hello author friends!), some are more moderate in their output, but everyone fantasizes about something at some point. Psychologist Brett Kahr anonymously surveyed 18,000 Brits and Americans about their sexual fantasies and found that nine out of ten people have them. The remaining tenth person? Probably too embarrassed to fess up.

Sexual fantasies have to be the most common expression and form of experiencing sexuality. They're also a highly personal and individual thing and thus one of the most hush-hush. The shame and guilt they arouse in some is unnecessary albeit understandable. Any situation or object can be eroticized, turned into a fetish, but for the longest time any "kinky" or "strange" fantasies were considered pathologic, especially in women. (Remember our discussion about Hysteria, vibrators and masturbation? Yeah.)

Free sexual expression and enjoyment is not a universal idea or ideal. In too many parts of the world, sexual fantasies are for historical, cultural, religious, heteronormative, erotophobic and what have you reasons still strictly taboo, corruptive thoughts brought to you if not by Beelzebub himself then something abnormal and twisted in you. Is it any wonder that's what your brain may scream when certain thoughts cross your mind: This is wrong. I'm wrong, right? No, you're curious and imaginative and tapping into the positive life force that is your sexuality. Not fantasizing is the aberration.

I want to address one popular theme, being dominated/forced seduction, because it's so baffling to the Average Joe. I'm befuddled as to why because Joe fantasizes about being dominated, too. An independent, strong modern woman wants to be dominated. Well Joe, when you carry your own weight alongside caring for others, when you are sensible and responsible and dependable 24/7, giving up all control is a very tempting, titillating fantasy. That is not where we'd like to end up, but that's where we sometimes go to take a break from the demands of daily life. And Joe, even in a forced seduction scenario, it's not about you. It's not about getting hurt or being humiliated. It's about safely handing over control, submitting while being in total control. I know. It's complicated. People are complex. Tastes, themes and motivations vary. So Joe, above all, respectfulness. Always, okay?

Where were we? Yes. Popular themes. Just as you fantasize about the naughty and nice things you'd love to do with your partner, one of your partner's favorite fantasies is you. Things you've done in the past and they like to revisit, things they dream of doing to you, with you, in the future. If you've fallen into a rut, if you feel your sex life is lacking in variety, sharing a fantasy is a great way to spice up things.

But first you have to open your mouth and put it out there, and that's a scary prospect. It's one of those moments when you realize you don't know everything there is to know about your partner, and they don't know all about you. You face rejection and/or ridicule. What if what you find stimulating turns them off? What if their favorite fantasy is your worst nightmare? "You want (me) to do what?" I think the most important thing to remember when introducing a fantasy is to treat your partner as a full participant, not a prop. Make it about what you could experience and enjoy together, a mutual fantasy, not just what you want. Of course you can agree to try out something only because your partner asked. Who knows? You may be happily surprised, find a new favorite.

But I wouldn't want anyone to do anything against their will, especially if it involves inviting other people into the bedroom. If it disturbs you, scares you or makes you uncomfortable, do not do it. If your partner says no, don't push it. If you agree to try out something you're not one hundred percent sure about, reserve the right to stop at any point and make sure everyone is on the same page. It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, physically or emotionally.

Also, if your fantasies are becoming compulsive in nature, if fantasizing is the only way you get aroused/off with your partner, if your mind is always somewhere else with someone else, do stop to think about what's going on. If your partner has no role in certain fantasies, I don't see the point of sharing them. Hmmm. Unless it's a particular brand of verbal foreplay you both enjoy. Anyhow, it's the difference between your partner telling you s/he fantasizes about watching you having sex with X and you telling them you fantasize about sex with X. You know what I mean?

Certain fantasies may have to remain in the realm of erotic films, fiction and your imagination, perfectly fine and safe substitutes and outlets, mind you. Some fantasies may get lost in translation and disappoint. You gave it a try, it was okay but not great, moving on. Let's face it, you can do pretty much anything you like in a fantasy, things you would never manage/dare in real life. That's the whole point, so there are apt to be disappointments. S'okay. It happens.

Should you feel guilty you fantasize about sex with X even when you really really love your partner and would never in a million years have sex with X even if the opportunity offered itself? I don't see why. I don't believe there's a soul out there whose mind's eye hasn't wandered at least once. After all, fantasies are a great way to fire desire. So you had a fleeting thought about X. If you're going home with Y and gladly so, why worry?

For a deeper understanding of this Extremely Private & Incredibly Common phenomenon, consult e.g.
Michael Bader: Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies
Nancy Friday: Beyond My Control: Forbidden Fantasies in an Uncensored Age; Forbidden Flowers; My Secret Garden
Brett Kahr: Who’s Been Sleeping in Your Head: The Secret World of Sexual Fantasies
Stanley Siegel: Your Brain on Sex
Your partner
Your psyche

Have fun, dearest denizens, and keep thinking sexy thoughts. Everyone else is.

Friday, January 20, 2012

In the works

Undisclosed desires, or, where did a nice girl like you get a naughty idea like that, aka my Frisky Friday post on sexual fantasies.

Postponed due to a conglomeration of adverse weather conditions, logistical challenges and a meniscus on the mend, aka yours truly madly deeply playing mom, dad, chauffeur, cook, janitor, nurse, and anything else you'd care to imagine but can't help with.

Going live Friday the 27th, aka a week from now, same time, same bat-crazy channel. Until then, think sexy thoughts. (And don't you dare deny you have them because I've done my homework; I just have to get my notes and thoughts in order.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Proof of life

How was your weekend, dearest denizens? I know, it's Tuesday, but it feels like a Monday. So how was it, le weekend? I had a festive, family one. My sister turned thirty and my niece was baptized and we all got together and it was such a perfect day.

We now have an Amelie in the family and she looks just like my brother, which makes her a very handsome girl (as Austenites know, the height of beauty, so stop cringing, she's the cutest!). 

As long as there are babies and books and brothers and sisters and music and dance and bubbly, I don't care about the vitriol being projectile vomited through the nostrils of social media sites and news media alike. It's exactly what it seems: bad jokes in bad taste not to be taken seriously or to heart. (No, seriously. What gives? You need a hug? What is it?)

Have a great week, sweetie darlings, wherever you are.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Risky Friday

[With regards and apologies from the proprietor, a topical rerun.]

Run! Run for your lives, it's Friday 13th!! Just make sure you don't step on any cracks or run under a ladder, especially if there's a black cat in the vicinity, or pass anyone running for dear life, at least not on the stairs, on your way to the safe haven that is your home, where most accidents happen, by the way, making sure you leave your umbrella outside to dry, or, come to think of it, don't touch it all day, a change into dry clothing will have to do, kick off your shoes taking care they don't land on your bed or the table or anywhere else for that matter, so why not leave them outside with that cursed, cursed! umbrella, feed the parakeet or better yet throw it out just to be on the safe side, I mean, birds in the house and all that, you're really asking for it, aren't you, settle for a nice quiet evening at home, maybe invite some friends over as long as it's not a party of thirteen, and don't bother changing your bed, stupendously stupid idea, and do not even dream of going away to get away, not gonna work, I tells ya, steer clear of mirrors and salt shakers but keep one handy anyway, and you'll be all set.

And secondly, as Fidel Castro used to say two hours into a speech, carefree Friday, sweetie darlings!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A design for life

The poet Juvenal urged his fellow Romans to pray for a sound mind in a healthy body. His first century prompt still stands. Whether you're an author or an athlete, both the mind and the body need to be in shape if you want to go the distance, rep after rep, mile after mile, page after page, reach the finish line. First, last, doesn't matter. You finish, you win.

I read about a guy who ran a marathon without a mile or minute of training, in denim shorts. He didn't do it to prove that it was easy. (In denim shorts, I suspect it was rather uncomfortable). He set out to show there's no secret, no mystery, that it's possible.

Now before you take to the streets in your cut-offs, a) consult a physician, b) learn technique, c) set a realistic goal and commit to it, d) be regular and be relentless, e) accept the fact there will be days when you won't feel like it, at all, and when that happens, f) be honest: do you need a break or just a kick in the butt?

The lessons I've taken away from physical exercise have helped me immensely in writing and life. They've helped me get over rough patches and disappointments, they've given me pause and perspective, a sense of proportion; they've generated a certain kind of confidence and a calm not many things can bring.

So what have I learned? Perseverance, self-motivation and self-discipline for one. Talent, inspiration and a general feeling of that-looks-like-fun-I-could-do-that only takes you so far. The rest involves facing and battling with the usual suspects: fear, doubt, inner demons, things beyond your control, lethargy (real fatigue or sheer laziness), and things that in no way stand in your way but you use as an excuse when you're just not feeling it. It's working diligently without any promise of reward. Most of the time, the work itself, the pleasure of doing, is your only reward. Still up for it? Get cracking.

The ability to concentrate on the here and now and the task at hand while shutting out everything else. And I do mean talk to the hand because the rest of me isn't listening. Come to think of it, the hand is otherwise occupied as well.

There is such a thing as Flow. And it's all it's cranked up to be. A state where you could write, run, insert your favorite pastime, effortlessly, until the end of time. It's a beautiful thing.

There is such a thing as The Wall. It's debilitating, yes, but not paralyzing. There are ways out and around. Always. You just have to find out what works for you.

You learn through repetition but practice does make you if not perfect, better. The boring necessary evil part, I guess. It takes thousands of repetitions to perfect a move, to make a response an automatic one, to get rid of bad habits and/or instill new and better ways of doing things.

Good habits are just as hard to kick as bad ones. So get addicted. Adrenaline, endorphin and the flow thingy are just as much of a high as cake, cigarettes and candy are.

Overtraining happens. You get excited, carried away even, overdo it and before you know it, you stop making progress. Actually, you're taking one step up and two steps back. Then again...

Keep doing what you're doing and you'll keep getting what you're getting. If that's where you were headed all along, congratulations, you've arrived. Or hit a plateau. Time to reassess those goals.

Rest and replenishment. An essential need, not a weakness. Absolutely vital if you want to keep growing. I've taken a break, or I've been forced to take one, only to come back stronger or just as strong as I was before the break.

Confidence, Jedi style. This is hard to teach and even harder to fake. You need to feel it to be able to project it. But when you have it, you walk through a crowd that would have sent you running in the past and the crowd parts like the Red Sea. You don't scowl or growl. You don't do your best Dirty Harry at all. You just... Okay. Hard to teach, fake and explain.

You can't win them all. Not every race, not every competitor. Play the game long enough and you will come across someone faster, stronger. There will be setbacks, moments of frustration, doubt and utter despair when you question the sanity of what it is you're doing. Time to quit or commit anew. And that's just the way it is.

You can't outsource this stuff. There's no pill that has quite the same effect. Above all, it's fun and it's energizing and it's life-affirming. It's such an adventure, finding out what the body can and can't do. What a design. What an instrument. Take care of it and it will take care of you. That's all I'm saying.

Spoken like a true fitness fascist, you say? No. No no no. I'm a hedonist. I love sensual pleasures. I love food and tipple. I love planning a meal. I love cooking and eating. Ooh, and baking. But I really really like my exercise, too. (And I repeat: Not. A. Fascist. It's the health/feel-good thing that drives me, not weight loss. Weight loss is a byproduct, not the goal. But if it's your goal, consider this: when you do exercise, regularly, you don't have to watch every bite, you can go all-out hedonist on occasion and still respect yourself the next day.)

Bottom line: No exercise makes Dita a very cranky, restless girl. I crave a physical outlet just as much as I do an intellectual one. It doesn't have to be choreographed or complicated, it just has to get me moving, and right now, the mind is willing but the body isn't able and doesn't that just suck and blow. The flu has been raging through the family since January first, the holidays being the perfect time to exchange not only gifts but germs as well, so I've been out of sorts all year. I bet I can think of ten more lessons the second I press Publish. Because my mind isn't functioning properly since my body isn't. Oh well. Such is life.

[One more thing. I suspect one of the reasons some aren't moving at all is that getting and keeping fit looks like a choreographed and complicated affair where if you don't have the right gear or don't know the latest fitness fad, if you don't go to a certain gym or if you think the equipment look like something Monsieur Guillotine must have devised, you need not bother at all. Nothing could be further from the truth, sweetie darlings! Nothing!! Don't believe the hype!!! You don't need money to get fit. You don't need product X, brand Y, or gym Z. You can walk yourself fit. Dance in your own living room. You can do loads of things with your own bodyweight and nothing but. Look it up. Carrying your own weight. Literally and figuratively. I guess that's what it's all about.]

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The winner takes it all

Everybody accounted for? Hair not hurting too much, I hope? I started the year with a very sore throat and a slight fever, and I wish I could say it's because I rocked harder than a love swing all night long. Then again, the only way is up! The year can only get better.

Yeah yeah yeah, yakety yak, hey lady, where's that gift card? I wish I could have given everyone something, so let's do this again sometime. But for now, boy am I glad I didn't have to decide who to give it to. I asked the Oracle known as random.org to choose and the Oracle said... 

Jennifer L.

Jennifer, stand by for a message from yours truly madly deeply. 

Thank you all for stopping by and taking part, don't be strangers, you hear! 

Wishing everyone a most awesome year 2012,