adventure · beauty · courage · intimacy · romance · serenity · sexuality · vulnerability

I want to tell you everything.

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I want to tell you how gently he kissed my forehead, and how
warm his body felt as I shifted in the night. I want to tell you how natural and
serene it felt to twine my fingers into his and lean my body against him as we
waited for the stoplight to change. I want to tell you it was a good thing his
roommates weren’t home most of the time we were, and about quietly resting my
foot on top of his knee while he told me a story over the sunlit kitchen table.
I want to tell you everything. But, it’s not only my story.
And this one is still being written, still has a few more “Choose Your Own
Adventure” plot twists available, and the ending of it could be sooner or
farther than we know.
So, I’ll try my best not to tell you that it was only when I
was finally unpacking my suitcase in Oakland that the tears that had surged and
abated in airports across America finally fell. Or the relief I felt stepping
into the open air of the BART platform and looking around at the hodge-podge of
people I’ve grown so familiar with. I’ll try not to tell you about the dull and
persistent ache of withdrawal.
He’d said, “escaping the world” once when we were planning
this.
I’m sure all vacations have their hangovers. The return to
grim reality, and also to familiarity. The return to my own coffee pot and car
and a toothbrush that doesn’t fold in half. There’s a relief and a longing.
Like finishing a delicious meal and finally placing down your fork, overfull,
yet wishing you could savor it all again.
You remember the small moments. The ones where you took a deep, satiated breath. The angles of the New England homes you drove past on ancient winding
roads, and the spray of the Atlantic, blue today, over the rocks. You remember
playing with his pinkie finger while you waited for your pregnant waitress, looking, still self-consciously, out the window by your table, since it
was only day 2 and you felt new and strange and uncertain.
You try to remember everything. To etch it into
consciousness, since it will certainly fade, the exact tightness of
his arms around you while you lay naked against him; the exact way his chest hair curled while you fiddled with it musingly; the exact timbre of his echoing laughter under the short
kitchen ceiling.
I’d told you before I left that I imagined being held
delicately and protectively and surely by him, and that for once, I wasn’t
frightened of it. Well, friends, it was true. And though we’ve taken fantasy
and pulled it into the realm of reality, with all its attendant Yeses and Finallys
and Contentedness, … we also both took the courageous move to explore the exact
shape of reality’s rough edges and Almosts and Not Quites.
And should it be once again with the man this time was spent
with, and should it be another person completely: I am buoyed to know that I
can rest in the arms of a man, with no thought of escape.

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adulthood · authenticity · fun · intimacy · joy · relationships · sex · sexuality

Not Vanilla

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So you might as well know now, since it’ll come up
eventually: In April, I’m going to Boston for a booty call.
It’s probably one of the most forethought and conscious ones
I’ve ever had, since it requires, you know, plane tickets.
But, my dear friend is a flight attendant based in
Seattle, and invited me to see her for a few days. I have a few days off around
Passover next month, have never yet seen the Pacific Northwest, and said, yes,
oh please, travel yes.
In the meantime, my long-time flirtation with a former SF
resident began to pick up speed—well, as speedy as text or messaging or
emailing can be. There were more “like”s, a few more texts, and not undesired
flirtation.
God. We can flirt!
Holy shit. It’s pretty much what we did together for the half-dozen years or so
we knew one another in SF before he moved to Boston. We went on one date once,
but it didn’t really take off, and we remained a flirtation.
So when the Seattle trip came up, and I saw that it was only
a few bucks more to fly through to Boston, I asked him if he wanted to pull
this flirtation from out of the clouds and onto the ground—or at least, into
bed.
We both had reasons and justifications why this was a bad
idea. For those of you playing along at home, this was my Cupcake Conundrum. It
could be a disaster. Awkward, too much pressure, a lot of time spent with
someone you don’t really know that well, all texting and emailing aside.
And then my friend told me, Life is meant to be lived. And I
believed her.
So, ticket bought, the flirtation has taken on a new edge of
anticipation and intrigue. And holy shit, is it F U N.
One of the wonderful things about this one in particular, is
that we do have a basis for being pretty open and honest and vulnerable with
one another about other stuff. I wouldn’t exactly say we were friends before,
we never called one another up to bitch about stuff or hang as platonic pals,
but we’ve developed a foundation of communication over the years that enables
me, at least, to feel a little more bold in our new iteration.
I get to be sexy. I get to be saucy, and not a
little eye-brow raising in my replies.
And something interesting is happening for me. In the same
way that yesterday’s blog was about music reminding me of a greater part of
myself, and opening me up to something greater, this whole level of sexuality
and sensuality I’m getting to explore in relation to him is doing the same. I
feel radiant, is what I wrote in my morning pages today.
Because the flirtation remains in the realm of words and not
bodies, I get to be and write things I might not otherwise say. I get to push
envelopes, and in doing so, I’m pushing a door open within myself. I love to feel this part of myself in a way that is safe,
connected, supported, and reciprocated.
It hasn’t always been that way. My ex was decidedly vanilla.
I mean, pretty much everything about him was vanilla!, but so to in the bedroom
department. Which is fine. But it’s not
going to change anything, open anything, explore anything. I mentioned some
things to my ex that I wanted to try, and he wasn’t into them. I mean, god bless
him, he tried a few times, but it was obvious he so wasn’t into it, or was so
out of his element that he was more just doing it instead of enjoying it.
Despite my public comportment (which shall remain), I am decidedly NOT vanilla. (Nor am I triple swirl chunky monkey supreme, but.) It’s something I know about
myself, and until this recent flirtation, have not really gotten the chance to
share in a way that feels esteemable before. Sure, I’ve had dalliances where
some of my wantonness was explored, and boy
were those fun. But those were nothing sustainable, and one-offs, unfortunately
(or fortunately).
So getting to express and open and reveal a side of myself
that is rarely unveiled is thrilling. It feels so good to say something out of the box, then follow it up
with, “I feel insecure that I said something out of the box,” and have him
respond in a receptive and reassuring way. It’s novel, man.
I mean, I am a Libra.
(I just felt all your eyes roll!) My sign is ruled by Venus. The planet and
force of sex, sensuality, desire, beauty, luxury, charm. In all my chasteness
and celibacy, there has been something missing. Like all of the parts I’m
struggling and striving to claim and reclaim, all the passions I’m diligently
unearthing and revealing to you, sexuality is a critical piece of that
excavation.
It’s sort of a sex-positive thing, I guess! Which, it is
important (to me) to note, does not mean that I’m going to throw it around or
be “easy” with it – that’s the only reason why I think this is happening in
this organic and esteemable way: because it’s safe. Because I feel heard and held
and reciprocated and appreciated. Because this person knows much of me that
rounds out the view. This isn’t Molly as Sex Kitten (but hey, Yum). This is
Molly as multi-faceted, self-possessed woman. And isn’t that sexy. 

adulthood · authenticity · change · intimacy · sex · sexuality · writing

Eat, Pray, Sex

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“If I understand you correctly,
this whole year is about your search for balance between devotion and pleasure.
I can see where you’ve been doing a lot of devotional practices, but I’m not
sure where the pleasure has come in so far.”
“I ate a lot of pasta in Italy,
Felipe.”
“Pasta, Liz? Pasta?
“Good point.”
Eat
Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
Unless you choose to live a life of asceticism, you are
bound to come to a point when you have to attend to your body’s needs. There
are so many ways to go about this, and we all probably have our own patterns
for doing so.
There’s serial monogamy, adultery, the hands-on approach.
There’s serial hooking up, prostitution, polyamory, and even the somewhat “normal”
approach of having an intentional monogamous relationship.
In this age when sex outside of marriage is often par for
the course, we really do have a buffet of options. And chances are that we’ll eat
from one tray or another at various times and emotional states in our lives.
There is no handbook for this. There really are no rules. As
the saying goes, “You can do anything you want—as long as you’re willing to
accept the consequences.” Sometimes, consequences of actions are marvelous; not
all consequences are negative.
I remember the first time I had sex in adulthood sober. I
honestly hadn’t had sober sex since I was in my teens, if then. God, it was awkward. I
was so aware of everything: the way the
room looked, the sound of our breathing, the exact touches. And also, very
aware of the intimacy of the act.
That is something that drunken sex does not allow for. You
might get off, but you are so far from present; this is not an intimate act.
SURE, it can be and was fun; as Dr. Seuss puts it,
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.
And I’m not sure I ever really knew how. I mean, I lost my
virginity while I was drunk. Which isn’t uncommon in many of the women I
know.
So, to exist, sit, breathe, be in the intimacy of sex with
another person – well, it really is no wonder I was celibate for so long! Though,
I can admit, too, that distanced/detached sex is also very possible sober.
Which is usually how it’s been for me. Like I told you earlier this week about
the two-way mirror: I may offer you entrance, but I’m not giving you anything
in return. Here’s part of another poem I wrote during that celibacy time:
every inch closer you come toward
me is
every inch farther from myself
that I am.
so by the time your cock is pressing
against
the putty of my cervix,
i have found a home inside your
wall.
(And that was with a boyfriend!)

I suppose part of my reason for sharing these poems with you
recently is to normalize the experience for me, as I think I’m bringing these poems
to my Writer’s Group today – my all male
Writer’s Group. Though there’s absolutely a titillation factor to my work, the
reality is, this is my writing, this is what I’m working on, was working on
when I wrote them, and I guess, if there is feedback on how to improve my
craft, I want it. But, I also know it may be hard (forgive me) for people to look
past the word “cock” and get toward the structure and craft.

We’ll see. I haven’t decided yet if I’m bringing these poems
there. It feels exposing, but then again, sharing any of my writing feels exposing.
And I guess that’s what I’m getting at – showing up without
retreating. To know that I am safe and thereby be able to show up with vulnerable work, to show up physically and
emotionally during sex. To let myself be present with the cacophonous
heartbeat of it all.
I have little experience being present in flagrante delicto; but, by
escaping it, I do think I’m missing out on some of the fun.

adulthood · change · intimacy · sex · sexuality

Sex Ed.

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There is more right with you than wrong.
I had a therapist once who used to tell me, “As long as you
can take a full, deep breath into your lungs, there is more right with you than
wrong.”
Today, on the most gorgeous day we’ve seen in the Bay, I finally succumbed to the pseudo-strep throat thing
that’s been passing around work, and this afternoon, I’m performing a preview scene of
the play I’m in that opens at the end of the month.
So, I take homeopathics, vitamin Cs, a heavy dose of
over-the-counter Western, and The Show Must Go On.
And I’ve been thinking about sex. Because, who hasn’t?
I’ve been thinking about the unintentional self-imposed
celibacy I was in from August of 2011 through October of 2013. You can do math,
and understand that’s more than two years
without sex.
And, it’s not like there were some clandestine, but
ultimately PG-13 moments in there, either. It was pretty much a white-out
period.
Granted, about 8 of those months I was bald and a sallow
shade of green, but, the year prior to cancer was not a wanton, robust one.
It was sort of intentional. I’d broken up with my ex in the
early months of 2011, had two rounds of rebound sex that left me feeling more
empty than fulfilled, and a few months later, found myself back in bed with my
ex in a misguided attempt to see if we could pump (pun intended) life back into
our relationship.
We couldn’t. And I finally realized that giving the milk for
free was wearing me down.
And so began the Great Celibacy of my 30th Year. The year
women are purported to have the greatest libido. Probably because our bodies
are sending Morse Code messages through our hormones, stating, Get on with the
baby-making thing, lady, Time’s a marching.
I began sending texts to two girl friends as each month
passed: Two months, no sex. Six months, no sex. A YEAR, no sex. It was
appalling but also, I wasn’t about to jump into the sack with anyone just to
get my rocks off – because, honestly, you can’t ever be sure that your rocks
will get off with someone you don’t know that way. It’s a crap shoot, and is it
worth it to have lackluster sex with someone who you know you’re not that into?
Hm.
It’s not as if I denied myself the pleasures of carnality; I took
matters amply in hand. But it wasn’t the same. It’s never the same—as good sex, at least. Sure, you’re pretty sure you’re gonna
get your happy ending, and don’t have to think about what you do afterward, how
long you wait for him to leave, or if you cuddle or not. But, part of a poem I
wrote during the celibacy goes:
i only ever imagine the weight of
you
when i’m alone with myself at
night
i can find folds that you can’t
and pace myself as you won’t
but alone, i can never press
myself into the
evaporating softness
                                 or grip the muscles of your back
as if you were my life preserver
I once read a story that included the line, “At night, she
masturbated herself to an unsmiling orgasm.” What a waste.
I broke the celibacy last Fall with a very pointed and mutually
understood bootie call with someone I’d been on a internet date with twice, but
who wanted to just hook up, and though there was certainly physical chemistry,
I didn’t want that and we parted amicably. A year and a half after that date, my hair grown back to something I could pass as feminine, I
asked him if he was still interested in something “casual,” and he was, and I
was, and we were, and it was…Awesome.
But, that poem of mine concludes:
how does this alchemy work?
lead returns to lead as
i bolt the door behind you
the moment gimped
by an awkward exchange of
‘see you’s
what tangle the sheets are in,
still warm,
i climb back into them as if
i could coax them into being
you
and you were something else
So sometimes, celibacy is the better answer, isn’t it?
“Life is meant to be lived,” has been going through my head, though. And my body is still one of a woman in her early thirties receiving and
extending messages that say, Virile and Viable. And sometimes, it’s worth the
awkward exchange, and sometimes it’s not. Sometimes you eat the cupcake, and
sometimes you don’t. And sometimes you take a full, deep breath and remember
that there is more right with you than wrong. And perfection is an illusion,
“really.”

anger · fear · growth · recovery · sex · sexuality · the middle way · vulnerability

Discovering The Third Thing

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A or B, Molly? Your life depends on it. Is it black or
white, Molly? Your life depends on it. Is Dad coming home right now, your life
depends on it. Is he in a temper-FIGURE IT OUT-your life depends on it. Is Mom
crying? Is she still alive-LISTEN HARD-your life
depends on it. Is it black or is it white, Molly, YOUR LIFE DEPENDS ON IT.
A woman I met once and have never seen or sought out again asked me, What if there’s a “third thing?”
Much of what I hear is about how we break things into black
and white, but that life is not that way. There is an indoctrination, as above
italicized, that makes us learn and perceive that life is and must be black and
white as a way of survival. And in adulthood, that must be unlearned.
What folks have suggested as remedy to this, however, is
“life is gray,” shades of grey (no allusion intended). That it’s somewhere in
the middle.
Years ago, I decided that “grey” didn’t work for me in this
metaphor, too bland; that instead, “not black and white” could be interpreted as “in
color.” Life isn’t “black and white;” it’s in color.
But, this woman told me something else entirely. That it’s
something I haven’t even conceived of before.
We were not talking about life. We were talking about sex.
I was telling her how I’ve vacillated in my life between the
icons I have named Betty Crocker and The Vixen. How I swing the pendulum of
myself from one to the other; bored by the first, burned by the second.
I was emailing with a friend yesterday about how some of situations I find myself in at the moment are reminiscent of something that happened in my early twenties,
a situation I got myself in as a result of swinging from Betty Crocker to the
Vixen, to disastrous results. She pointed out a few places where things are different now, that I’m
sober, older, and it was just plain different.
But there is a rubber band that pulls this circumstance
back to then, a sense memory that lashes out, OH! UH-UH we’ve done this, lady!
Remember!! Remember the outcome, the consequences, the disaster! Warning,
warning!
She tells me it’s not the same. I remind myself of the year;
I look around myself at who and where I am. And it’s very freaking hard to
separate the past from the present.
Which brings us back to the trust I’ve been working on. To
trust that I am different, that I am safe, that I can allow myself to
experience life in a different way today. That I am able to be the third thing.
It only occurred to me today that perhaps the person I’m
becoming as I sort all this out is the
third thing, neither the puritanical Betty Crocker (who avoids all human
contact in search of the unicorn idea of a risk-less relationship), nor The
Vixen (who overrides all hesitance toward prurient wantonness).
I had my first initial phone call yesterday with a woman who
works somatically with trauma. We’re scheduled to meet next Wednesday, the one
day I have off rehearsal during “tech week.” As helpful and warm and not really “getting into anything” as our
conversation went, my body closed up tighter than an asshole over a flame. And, this is why I want to see her! (duh.)
I used the words “ingress” and “egress” a lot in my morning
pages today, the allowance of things to enter and to exit. Currently, I allow some of
myself out, but I refuse anything entry. Or, if I allow entry of someone or some
emotion, then I refuse them anything in return.
The two-way mirror of my skin. One side can look in, the
other cannot look out.
The third thing, here, would be a window, instead. (Don’t
even suggest something without a pane; I might deck you.)

change · fear · perseverance · sex · sexuality

Nightmares / However…

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Nightmares
I have noticed over the last several years that I only get
nightmares when I’m about to change something really big. When something really
big is changing. I never had nightmares growing up, or none to really take note
of, but in the last near-decade, I’ve had about 3 or 4, plus last night’s.
The first time it happened, I was still in therapy, and was
able to process with her. I came to realize that, for me, my nightmares were
like big boogeymen waving me away from the work I was doing. However, instead of
being something that frightens me away from the path I’m on, I realized that if my subconscious
is going to pull out all the stops and create a massive ‘hell dimension’ for
me, then I must be doing something right. I must be on the right track toward
health, and the scared part of my ego, my habits, my core fears must be truly
shaking in their boots that I’m about to abandon or walk through a pattern that
doesn’t serve me. I am about to shed whatever it is that’s blocking me from my highest
good, and, altruistic though the nightmares’ goal is (to “keep me safe” by
holding me back in a stagnant pattern), that pattern I’m working on is about to go.
For me, nightmares are actually a guidepost that I’m on the
right path. And desperately terrifying though they are in the moment, and in
the moments after I wake in a panic, like last night, I do know they are simply
showing me that the work I’m doing is poignant and positive.
My brain can be a bit of a dick sometimes.
However…
To continue the thoughts from yesterday about discovering
the necessity of wearing or having some kind of buffer between me and the
untoward thoughts that come toward me as I walk in the world, there is a
rub—and not the good kind.
The rub is that I also want to be seen, I also want to be
attractive, I also want to be asked out. So, if I conclude that in order to be
“safe” in the world, I have to put up a boundary between me and you, then that
means that I’m deterring positive as well as negative attention.
And then I’m back to the thought of being “the undefended
self,” a book I’ve heard the title of, and am loathe to pick up (yet).
How to walk in the world with enough self-ownership that I
don’t feel corroded by the lascivious thoughts of some, but attract the
interest of others?
I mean, surely, we all know, (well, for me this is true) –
physical attraction means a lot on first impression. But, if I’m walking with
some kind of “you can’t touch me” attitude, then the guys who I may want to touch me will get that message too.
I don’t know the answer yet. I think much of it will lie in
the work I’m doing and starting to do that caused my nightmare in the first
place—around healing my relationship with sex, sexuality, and trust. I probably
don’t know the answer yet, because I’m trying to divine it out of the same
information and pattern I’ve always had and used. 
There’s a phrase I’ve heard: “You can’t fix a broken brain
with a broken brain.” And extreme and diagnostically critical as that notion
may be…
My brain can be a bit of a dick sometimes. 

authenticity · sex · sexuality

grubby fantasy paws

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I was watching Louis C.K. on Netflix the other day when he had Parker Posey on as the love
interest. She was the cutesie shop girl, helping him find a book for a made-up
reason so he could talk to her.
When he finally works up the guts to ask her out, he goes on
a long cute/awkward monologue about how it must be hard to be a cute girl in
the city, because you just want to do your job and help someone out, and then
they end up asking you out, and you just wanted to be helpful.
It cuts (like the show is wont to do) to a clip of him doing
stand-up, and he talks about how being a pretty girl in the world means that
you have to be every guy’s walking cum fantasy. That as soon as a guy looks at
you, you feel shot in the eye with cum. You walk down the street, and have
buckets of cum thrown at you.
Now, granted, this is hyperbole and intended for comedic
effect, but. C’est vrai, non?
You know I’ve been working on how to walk authentically –
how to carry myself authentically in the
world, without feeling usurped by other people’s impressions and thoughts about
me, particularly about my appearance, and therefore without hiding myself,
internally or externally.
I’ve written about how when I notice you noticing me, I stand
a little straighter, walk a little more precisely, and also stop breathing. I
withdraw a part, an authentic part, of myself when I know you’re watching.
How, then, be an actor, eh?
And they’re related, but we’re talking more about beauty
here, because one hopes that people see more than visage while I’m in
performance. And that I offer more than visage, too.
But I was chiding myself, or simply noticing with intention
to “change it,” that I withdraw, or protect a part of myself when I notice you
noticing. I thought that if put up a shield around myself when I notice leers
or glances or lolling tongues, that I was doing something inauthentic, that I
was hiding myself, which is what I’m attempting not to do in this lifetime.
But, then I heard Louis C.K.’s joke, and I thought, Not
everyone’s thoughts are benevolent. Not everyone who looks is looking with
kindness. And I don’t want to be a target for cum-buckets.
So, in effect, I do
have to put up some kind of armor or protection (or, erm, prophylactic) in the world of men. Sorry,
guys. But, I can’t expose the all of me, because that lays it out to be
perverted, literally. There
is
some kind of a way that I need to be able to walk with a bit of a buffer
between me and you so that I don’t get thrown by all the lustful thoughts. 
And, perhaps, you think I’m conceited and self-centered and
believe I’m hot shit. But, a) if you read this for any period of time, you know
that’s not true, and b) so what. I know that I am not the most hideous thing to
walk the planet, and I know I garner unwanted attention that is purely
physical.
This weekend at the call-back (for the role I didn’t
get; c’est la vie), the practice was over, and I was walking to the play
house’s kitchen to throw away my tea. One of the men who’d been auditioning was
milling around the entrance to the kitchen. He said he needed to use the
bathroom which was why he was in that section of the house, but he never
actually went. He made small talk, and then asked if he could give me his
number.
Automatically, since I assume people are being benevolent
and kind human beings, I said yeah, sure. And then he tried to get me to
remember his phone number, to recite it, and when that was obviously not working, and I’d
realized enough that this was an “advancement,” I made no significant effort to
get a piece of paper or take out my phone, and the whole thing just faded and I
said, maybe I’d see you at rehearsal sometime.
I want to be a person engaged in the world. I want to be
authentic, and show up, and be present. And I don’t want your grubby fantasy paws on
me, either.
Trust me: if I want your cum on me, I’ll ask for it.