If you grow up in a dysfunctional family, you will learn silence. Anything less exposes you to attack. Vulnerability is not a path towards intimacy, but an opportunity for abuse. And so you will spend your life hiding in corners digging through shadows in search of all the nameless things you lost years ago. You will learn that you are unlovable, not because you were rejected for exposing your authentic self, but because you never have. This is how isolation begets isolation.
If you grow up in a dysfunctional family, you will learn that mistakes are punishable by cruelty. This is how you will find shame; an emotion you will carry with you every time you forget to buy milk or oversleep on a weekday. You will never get this living thing right, so for fucksakes, stop thinking of yourself as good enough. You will never be good enough. You are imperfect, and that makes you depraved.
I once knew a man who thought the entire world would fall in love with me if they knew what he did. To him, I was not just his universe, but every star, so how could anyone feel differently? He didn’t love me despite, but because of all I was. A man like that ruins a woman like me. After you’ve been treasured that much, the mediocre feelings of lesser men stop mattering. That’s what bachelorettes and serial monogamists are made of sometimes, I guess: all the love stories of our histories, which few men can emulate.
It’s why I rarely last beyond a few dates with indifferent men. If you stand me up once, I won’t cover you with tar and glitter, but thrice? Sorry, guy, I can’t come out after all because I can’t seem to get my hair dry. I’ve had it under a dryer for two hours and somehow, it just keeps dripping. Oh, no, it won’t be dry next Tuesday either. Sorry.
A year ago, all that intolerance for apathetic men evaporated when I got involved with someone who devalued me utterly. I accepted every shard of hatefulness he had. I’ve got nothing but question marks about that one, but in many ways, the men who treasured me a decade ago protected me from my Machiavellian ex. I could bear being mistreated, but I couldn’t accept it, so I got out sooner than most do.
In a way, exquisite romances never end because their lessons are infinite. They become icons of the kind of relationship you deserve. The people I’ve loved have given me more in this tiny lifetime than I ever imagined I’d receive. I carry so many astonishing people with me.
Maybe they carry me with them, too.
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)
-1) Set your alarm for 4 am.
-2) I said actually set the damn thing. Don’t pretend you forgot the button that will make all hell break loose in your ear tomorrow.
-3) I saw you turn that thing off again. I’ll just stand here until you get this right. I have alllll day.
-4) Now go to sleep otherwise you’ll be a nightmare in the morning.
-5) I didn’t say give your boyfriend a blowjob. I said go to sleep.
-6) Do you always look like Maude from the Golden Girls when you wake up? Damn! If I look like that without my makeup on, I’ll never let another man spend the night. What am I talking about? What man?
-7) Now go brush your tee – nope, leave your boyfriend’s cock alone. There’s no time for that. Go brush your teeth.
-8) That’s not the bathroom. That’s the balcony.
-9) Still the balcony, but if you do that sexy drunk walk over the railing with your robe on inside out like that, you’ll die in a totally hot way.
-10) That was a pretty pirouette, but when I said, “brush your teeth,” I meant with a toothbrush, not your boyfriend’s cock.
-11) Congratulations for getting your teeth done, but maybe don’t wear that dustbin as a hat. It’s not a hot look.
-12) Put down the lube and step. Away. From. The. Cock.
-13) Breakfast time. Bright-and-early people get bacon. That should wake you up.
-14) Not that kind of bacon you slut.
-15) You were not made for waking up early.
In this week’s news, submission is laziness. Yep. Subs do little more than stand in front of St Andrews crosses behaving like perpetually inert, brainless sex dolls. “Submissive” is a synonym for “passive”, so dominants would get more return on their time investment with one of these eerily realistic love dolls. </sarcasm>
If you’re too
to spend one meagre minute understanding what submission involves, you’re too ignorant to call yourself a dominant. You, Mister, are in the market for a toy, not a sub, and there are about 100 million sites on the internet selling fleshlights, so you’re in luck. We subs don’t have much time for D-types like you. We have to put 16 hours of our days into lying around sighing like whimsical bowls of jelly, and that doesn’t leave much left for sitting in corners with our ankles behind our ears pretending to understand The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
How direly are you wrong? Let me count the ways… There are, for a start, approximately seventy gazillion different kinds of sub, and most of them would have a lot to say about the “submission is laziness” trope. ShayBlondie would no doubt laugh at you if you told her you could handle suspensions with those wobbly “abs” of yours. RaindeGrey demonstrates a level of courage that ignorant dominants like yourself could never muster, and I’ll be damned if there’s a slut skill Nexxi hasn’t mastered. Do you think all these talents happen by themselves?
Being a rapist on Fetlife is easy. If you’re caught, start a new profile. Stay away from events until we forget your real name. It won’t take long. We are willing to forget. Called out in public? Call it stalking. Call it libel. Call it jealousy or call your accuser insane. A constant stream of predators flows through our communities like water: unstoppable and corrosive.
Being a rape survivor on Fetlife is not quite as easy. We, the community, will double down on your efforts to warn and protect us. We’ll blame you, accuse you of lying, and ask you why you let a man that questionable tie you on the first play date. Slut. Liar. Perpetual victim. Why are you creating so much drama?
If you name your rapist, 200 people will queue outside your inbox clasping their outrage to their sweaty chests. If you rape, 200 people will still queue outside your victim’s inbox clasping their outrage because we do not blame rape on rapists. Don’t be so damned irrational. Rape is the responsibility of the victim. We will urge you to stop ruining your abuser’s reputation approximately three seconds before we demand that you go to the police.
I know one thing about predators: they put more work into defending their reputations than any of us puts into expelling them from our events. They have the strength of their dishonesty on their sides. All we have is a self-doubt and a generous dose of “it-won’t-happen-to-me”, so we ultimately let them win.
And so we begin to slowly pick good people out of our communities and unwittingly fill our parties with abusers. This makes us feel good about ourselves…
… until that rapist we defended breaks through our door.
Everything we are is wrapped up in a meagre three pounds of organ. Our brains are our personalities, our lives, and our relationships. We filter it all through something small enough to fit into a basin—a paltry bunch of cells. I learned about the brain’s capacity to lie when I woke up being hauled out of a car at the emergency room. All I knew was that I was on my way home from a visit, and then I was magicked into a hospital parking lot. That was my first convulsive seizure. My epilepsy diagnosis changed the way the world looked irrevocably because I learned that all I’d known and seen wasn’t necessarily true.
A glitch in the brain can turn your life into a trip through Fantasia. Colours become more exquisite. Love is the firmament, and everything has profound meaning. This is the temporal lobe at its most enchanting, but it will also teach you that emotions are nothing more than brain hiccups. Suicidal ideation can transform into backbreaking joy in the space of seconds, so your entire identity becomes a passing phase. As they say in Buddhism, the only permanence is impermanence, even as it relates to your very soul.
What is a soul anyway? The same three pounds I mentioned a minute ago. Cut into it, starve it of oxygen, or expose it to toxins and you can lose every talent you have. Even the simplest abilities—recognising a face, having the ability to use words or tell if you are hot or cold—can be eradicated in one stroke of bad luck. I have watched myself change my entire adult life, slowly from seizure damage and suddenly from brain shocks that have turned me into something new for a short while. I’ve seen magic, and it seemed as real as the monitor you’re looking at right now. That’s how I learned that perceptions were as unreliable as emotions.
Rape happens in one stagnant moment, but its backwash seems infinite. Survivors are shunted between deniers, apologists, police, vilifiers, and lawyers for as long as they’re in pain. It creates a kind of psychic homelessness, leaving no foundation from which to scramble towards healing. Those who need sanctuary most are shoved out in the dark by the side of a road that nobody ever uses. If trauma isn’t enough, society is only too willing to revictimise them.
Many recover and create a tolerable life, but apologists and deniers are always ready to deport them back to ‘trauma country’. They’re spat back into isolation in a constantly moving cycle of communal abuse and homelessness.
Sexual assault is not merely a rapist’s crime, but one society perpetuates years afterwards. Instead of offering compassion to victims, we assign blame. On the rare occasion that we hold the rapist culpable, we make the survivor defend their own rapists by threatening to attack and destroy them.