Love, sex and interminable pop-culture references

Month: June 2020

I’ve not been feeling myself lately…

I’m a sucker for good stationery, and that extends to diaries. I used to keep a journal – a paper one, not this newfangled invention of modern technology I’m using now – and did so for three years before largely migrating over to LiveJournal. I don’t have the patience to do so now, but I do have a diary – one for appointments and reminders to pay rent and so forth. I never really thought I’d need one, but here I am, organising my life in a little book. This must be what being an adult is like.

This isn’t the first time I’ve referred back to my diary. My last few spam content posts orgasm counts have all been obtained by looking through it and deciphering the increasingly complicated shorthand I’ve managed to develop, in case my mum starts reading it and somehow works out what the little stars mean.

This is assuming that she overlooks the event I’ve been referring to as ‘con being written out in full as “EROTICON!” in red pen. But there we go.

For the last few days, though, there is a new mark.

I have, effectively, taken a stay of execution from masturbation. This isn’t a strange, quasi-religious judgy NoFap thing, nor is it a sudden volte-face into someone who hates masturbating (I love it – and we all know I do); it isn’t even a “just to see if I can do it” self-denial challenge like Lightsinthesky did in year 12 (although I’m using the same diary mark as he did – NJO – although not in a homework planner, obviously). None of that.

No.

The reason is that, after my last orgasm (which was now over a week ago and counting), I felt a little wrecked. It was beginning to take longer and longer to climax than I remember; I’d also noticed that there had been a decrease in things to which I’ve been used – like morning wood (or wet dreams, but then I never have those in any case) – whereas the ILB of a few years ago was very sexually healthy. Go back a decade and I was channeling Priapus.

Coming to the gradual realisation that I may have been suffering from “iron fist” (if that exists… but I’m fairly certain it may, given my sporadic inability to come during partnered sex), and even seeing masturbation as something of a chore (as which it should never be seen!), I decided to… well… to stop. Not that I have an end goal in mind, really – I haven’t set a date or anything, and I’m not really sexually active with anyone right now so this isn’t really to improve sex – but working on more of a vague idea:

“If I’m really horny and want an orgasm, then I’ll masturbate, but I won’t do it just because I think I ought to. Even if I’m just moderately horny.”

Sounds weird when I write it down. But then I only just came up with that, so.

I mean, I haven’t actually been horny for the past week, but I’m kind of hoping that a wank break might help bring my horny back too. (Of course, if it does, this will become more of a challenge. It isn’t a challenge right now – it just tends to give me blank periods during the day where I wonder what else I’d be doing!)

So yeah. That’s literally the most exciting thing I’m doing right now. And if you’re really lucky, I’ll let you know how amazing my next orgasm is, having not done so for however long beforehand.

If you’re really, really lucky, I won’t.

Can’t we all just get along?

Wow, life is just awful right now, isn’t it?

I’m sorry I just said that, especially if (like me) you are trying to get through what may be a hump in your life or have taken a knock to your already-fragile self-confidence. I didn’t even want to write this post, particularly, but I felt like I kind of had to.

The issues I need to address were things I… well, I needed to address, really. I’ve been a bit slack in getting this post up, admittedly (I originally had a draft going on Blogger), and I wasn’t able to get my thoughts really into order. So, the issues going through my mind at the moment are…

Transphobia in the Sex Blogging Community

Like so many, I’ve found the sex blogging community to be a generally welcoming and accepting place, but with a nasty streak of elitism and self-righteous egocentricity rearing its head every now and again. I shouldn’t, therefore, be overly surprised that there are the odd incident of transphobia here and there… but I still am.

There’s a difference between transphobia and trans* erasure, but the issues that have surfaced within the community are more than just lazy trans* erasure. I don’t really feel as qualified to talk about these issues, not being trans* myself, but MxNillin has a post which covers the issues quite nicely and a Twitter thread you can get lost in, so go and read those if you want the details.

For what it’s worth, I read the post by Inigo More when it was still live, and I just thought it was pointless. A lazy attempt at satire that completely missed its mark and ended up being offensive, all tied up with a metaphor which had absolutely no relation to what his message – whatever it was – was.

I shouldn’t need to say trans* lives matter, or that transphobia and trans* erasure have no place in our modern, outwardly-looking sex blogging community in 2020, but I have to. It’s a sad fact that I have to, but I do.

The J. K. Rowling Problem

A bit of history here. I grew up in a secondary school full of rowdy boys and snipey girls, very few of whom liked me. For most of year 7, before I had any friends, the only place I could escape was into my imagination, and I built up incredibly complex fantasy worlds which masked most of the pain, even if I did get thrown through doors and hit in the face.

In year 8, I discovered Harry Potter. My mum bought the first book on a whim, and the second immediately after reading it. Azkaban came out when I was in year 9, and for the rest of my education, I had a world not too dissimilar to the one I had initially created. Deathly Hallows was released one year after I finished university (and I was working in bookshops at the time, so I had a front-row seat to its release), and I’d been following the series religiously up until that final book. I’ve even taken a liking to the Strike series more recently.

JKR’s transphobic comments, whether she made them knowingly or not, are disappointing. JKR herself is clearly a very intelligent person, so why she made the now-infamous “people who menstruate” tweet is beyond me. It’s dumbfounding; it makes no sense. Clearly the tweet she replied to didn’t want to equate “people who menstruate” to “women” (and quite right, too), so why did she contradict them with a joke?

Her attempt to rationalise seems less like an apology and more like an excuse. She bravely speaks about her experience with abusive relationships, but that’s not really what this issue is about. This is about trans* visibility, and JKR appears to have forgotten that. Her quote (from the article):

“If you didn’t already know [what TERF stands for] – and why should you? – …”

Really says it all. Yes, I do think the level of vitriol and hate directed at her is too much – of course it is – but this sort of ‘la la la I’m not listening’ approach from a much-admired author whose work I love and respect is confusing, baffling, and antagonising. Once again, trans* rights matter.

The Harry Potter Race Debate

Where I differ from some commentators on the JKR issue is the fact that they have taken this opportunity to look hack on the Potter canon and pick holes in it, with accusations of racism, sexism, discrimination and homophobia. Some of these issues seem valid when looked at critically; a few of them have come from people who clearly haven’t read the books and are just going by the films.

In my opinion, of of the greatest things about literature (and the main reason who I didn’t want the Potter series to be committed to film in the first place) is that you build up an image of the world in your head, with nothing to guide you but the words on the page. The way JKR writes is incredibly visual, but there are some things she left out. Her attempts to fuck with the canon post-Deathly Hallows genuinely haven’t helped with this. The fact remains, however, that the reader visualises the characters as they see fit in their head (my mother has never envisioned Harry wearing glasses).

A couple of character pointers I take issue with (note: this doesn’t mean that you are wrong if you disagree; this is just my opinion!):

(i) Hermione’s race isn’t stated in the books. What’s canon with her is that she has frizzy brown hair and slightly large front teeth (later corrected by magic during Goblet), and that she’s intelligent. In the films, she’s white; in the stage production, she’s black. That doesn’t actually mean that either race is canon – both work (both are different continuities anyway; the books are a third). Reading the books, the reader is left to make up their own mind. I envisioned her as white, but that’s just my interpretation.

(ii) Gay Dumbledore. This was added by JKR after publication as an attempt to… what? Diversify? I have no idea. In any case, a gay friend of mine worked this one out after first reading Stone and was finally proved right. I repeated his theory to some fellow Potter fans throughout the series and they slowly came round to the idea, as well. Whether JKR ever actually planned to have Dumbledore be gay is something I’m doubtful about, but it’s not like it came out of the blue. Fuck off with your “intense sexual relationship with Grindelwald”, though.

(iii) Cho Chang isn’t, in fact, the only Asian character in the books – Parvati and Padma Patil have Asian names as well. Plus, she isn’t actually explicitly said to be Asian at all! She has a East Asian-sounding name, of course, but all that’s said about her in the books is that she is shorter than Harry, one year older, and very pretty. In A Very Potter Musical (by StarKid), she’s from the American Deep South… and I never imagined her as being Asian… I was picturing Lisa Boyle!

It’s hard to separate art from artist

And this is the kicker (that’s a Russ Meyer quote – someone I also have an issue with). It’s difficult to enjoy Potter or Strike with the knowledge of JKR’s transphobia, the same as enjoying Father Ted with what you know now about Graham Linehan or Glee with what’s come out about Mark Salling and Naya Rivera. But I like all of those.

Zounds, I play Mario games for hours on end, and apparently Shigeru Miyamoto’s terrible to work with.

I’ve always, always, always tried to see art as what it is: art. If you previously enjoyed something that you now can’t enjoy because you take an issue with its creator then you are completely within your right to do that. I don’t have much of problem with enjoying art for art’s sake, but that is another thing about art: it is entirely down to the consumer how much you put into it.

I don’t know where things are going to go from here

And nobody does. We didn’t expect a global pandemic to hit this time last year. The lasting effects of this period of isolation, coupled with resurgent #BlackLivesMatter protests, greater challenges against transphobia (including within our own community!), a progressively weaker and ineffective Conservative government and ‘ordinary’ proles taking the helm, I’d like to think that we’ll all come out of this well: stronger, more woke, more united, and looking to the future.

I’d like to think that.

I don’t, but that’s just one more reason to try to make it a reality.

Archaeology

I know I’m in my thirties. I’ve been in my thirties for a while now (so says the blogger with the word “boy” in his sobriquet), and will be for a while yet. I just don’t feel like it.

Admittedly, I don’t really know what I’m expecting being in one’s thirties to feel like. Part of me feels old, very old… old enough that most people at work, and what feels like half of my family too, is younger than me (my friendly colleague who did my annual review last year was 22!). I wasn’t really expecting to be anywhere by this age… but then again, I never thought I’d live this long to begin with.

But then sometimes I completely forget that I’m in my thirties. I accidentally told someone the other day that I was twenty-five, not that I look it. At some points, it feels as if I haven’t even left my late teens, which (considering that was now two decades ago) is a thought both terrifying and a little sad.

I sometimes feel like I didn’t age too well because I never really had a “wild period”. I was a good kid, and while I wasn’t the world’s greatest teenager – because who is? – I could have been a lot worse. I wasn’t overly confrontational, nor did I overindulge in any of the adolescent vices, avoiding as I did smoking, drinking, drugs, and even masturbation (until I was 17). I didn’t go out a lot (or at all, really, unless you count Woodcraft); I did all my schoolwork (often at school, so I didn’t need to do it at home); I was relatively civil to everyone.

For most of my teenage years, though, I was battling quite severe depression, of the type that most people misconstrue as “attention-seeking”. I didn’t have much energy after all the crying and self-harming and nights spent lying awake wondering if my life was a failed one and I should just give up.

I’m not sure what my twenties was supposed to feel like, either. I didn’t really do anything at university (all my escapades were outside thereof – again, mostly Woodcraft). Despite all the stories one hears about students – wistful nostalgia about having “come alive” while there and so forth – nothing happened to me. I didn’t particularly enjoy university as it is, and the fact that after my finals the celebrations consisted entirely of a hot chocolate in a coffee shop with a bunch of mature students, themselves in their thirties, should probably tell you all you need to know.

The bits after my university life were just as sedate. Going out now consisted of being in a friend’s house watching DVDs with a pizza from Domino’s. Social media wasn’t a thing (MySpace was around, but I wasn’t really using it), so I didn’t really have any way of contacting people I didn’t have the numbers of to text.

I also didn’t date, nor did I sleep around. Or sleep with anyone. Or come close. I’m not hot enough, nor am I bold enough. 20-year-old me would have been all over hookup apps, had they been a thing. Still.

For most of my twenties, and all of my thirties so far, I’ve been attached. I had about half a year of being single around the age of 25/26, and about a month again in 2012. As much as being attached is pleasant (I work best in relationships), I do feel sometimes like there’s been the occasional missed opportunity. I wasn’t ready for my third relationship – I was still suffering from being broken up with – and I spent subsequent years meeting hot people at Erotic Meet, Eroticon, etc. being completely unavailable.

I know, it’s all the kind of “what-if?” situations that are completely unknowable, but it’s the not knowing that’s killing me.

Why am I saying all this?

Because last night I remembered someone. A real person, too, not an unreal girl. I spent most of the morning trying to find her, and when I finally did (I had to follow links through a huge number of Facebook profiles to do so), I barely recognised her. She was there, but she was different – married, a mother, having a stable job and wearing sensible clothes, taking holidays in sunny destinations. She looked like, well, like a parent.

This is the girl who used to chat to me for hours. She’s the girl who openly talked about how much sex she was having and how much she was enjoying porn. She’s the one who advised me to watch the Paris Hilton video (I did watch it, but only once… and I’ll never do that again!), the one who counselled me after my first relationship ended, and teased me mercilessly about touching herself while we talked.

I don’t recognise her.

So what’s the lesson here? Maybe my good memory is starting to play games with me. Or maybe I just remember things so vividly that they seem much more recent than they actually are.

But we age. We all do. And perhaps, just perhaps, we change as we do so.

Canal

If I could have sex tonight, I would.

To be perfectly frank, I had been thinking the same thing for a fair while. Every night, really. But this specific night felt a little different. There was more hope in the air… or, at least, that’s what I felt, as I stood there on the bridge, feeling m way along the LEDs lighting it up.

Of course, I wasn’t going to be having sex. There was a huge, raucous-sounding bar at the far end of the bridge (which I suppose is what I was subconsciously heading towards), but I wouldn’t be going in – for a start, I was 17 so wouldn’t be allowed in anyway. Also, what would I do if the impossible did happen and I randomly chanced upon someone who found this idiot sexually irresistable?

“So, do you want to come back with me to the room in the YHA I’m sharing with three other guys?”

I’d already called my parents, and I didn’t have anyone to text. I stood there on the middle of the bridge, staring down at the canal; I even considered walking off into Manchester on my own, before mentally shaking myself into the realisation that walking through Manchester, a city I didn’t know, on my own at the age of 17 probably wasn’t smart.

A giggle came from what I assumed to be the beautiful people who populated the first floor of the bar. A short while later, a happy-looking couple walked down the bridge, past me, arm in arm and enjoying the balmy spring air.

“Le sigh,” I said, and that’s right, I did say that out loud. “If I could have sex tonight, I would.” Perhaps I thought that saying it out loud would have made it come true. I wasn’t telling anyone except the Mancunian air, so it wouldn’t have had much of an effect.

I also probably wasn’t the only 17-year-old in Manchester to have been thinking that at that point. But then I didn’t know how to find them.

I hunched my shoulders and traipsed back to the YHA where I found my travelling companion and his dad watching Titanic in the lounge and discussing how it wouldn’t have won any awards had it come out a few years later.

I allowed myself a rueful smile at the assumption from half my sixth form that I was going to Manchester for Easter to meet someone for sex. As far as I was aware, that couldn’t have been further from the truth.

As I was saying…

Welcome (back) to Innocent Loverboy!

I’m not quite sure why I’m doing this, so bear with me. After twelve years of sex blogging, I’ve migrated from Blogger to this here space.

My old blog isn’t going anywhere – because of its huge amount of cyclical backlinks, embedded images and the like, I’m leaving it up and will continue to link to it. If you’re new here and have hours to kill, then have a look through it. I dare you.

The content here will be largely the same – flailing, disjointed nonsense, with a healthy amount of sex blended into the mix. As with everything else I’ve written, this isn’t really suitable for minors, so if you are under the age of 18, you probably shouldn’t be reading this.

Follow me on Twitter for more randomness that doesn’t make any sense.

– ILB

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