Tuesday, August 30, 2011

How Not to Charm a Lady

Today I went for a run with a guy in the the French wild. He showed me an ancient sheep herder dwelling and farted loudly while we were both inside. I made like it was fine but was of course totally appalled. We ran up over a ridge and into a clearing where I bounded and rolled in the grass pretending to be a goat. Other times, while we jogged together between the trees, I pretended we were Mammoth Hunters on the great hunt. I kept most of this to myself and tried to do my bounding in secret. It's hard for me to be living in the city center when I come from Hawaii's mountains.

The French guy was Jonas and the French Wild was called Parc de la Combe a la Serpent.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Physical Feelings and the Blast Radius of Heart Ache

Heartache can be a very physical pain, in my experience. In moments of jealously, or insecurity, and certainly when receiving harsh words from someone I'm emotionally vulnerable to, I often experience a pain in my palms. I can actually induce this ache if I think about something terrible. Sort of a burning pulling that can't be ignored, and definitely not imagined. Other times I feel the probably more traditional burst of stinging in my heart, like the muscle just beat a rush of blood the wrong temperature into my veins.

Something amazing happened to me the other night. I might be crazy, but I want to share just in case it was real. I was holding TMI against me and our chests were against one another. I was agonizing over my fear of repeating the B scenario and I needed to tell him. I needed to tell him that I was afraid to believe I was in love, since my senses are obviously insane and I have a history of falling for people that make me sick later in life. So I said "I don't trust myself."

And he said, "you don't trust yourself to be faithful?"

And I said, "I don't trust myself when I say I love you."

And then, with his chest still smashed up against mine, I felt a sudden pain in my heart; like the aftershock from a nearby explosion. TMI tried to wriggle away and was breathing like he might be choking back a sob or a cry of anguish. What I said hurt! Hurt like dropping a bomb and I felt it.

I don't know if I should have told him, as it was likely an unnecessary ouch; and I do certainly feel like I love him, but I can't shake the fear that it's wrong. And he needed to know that. But what I can't stop thinking about was that feeling.. was it real? Did TMI really experience such a heartache that I was within the blast radius? That's incredible.

Does anyone out there have pain in their palms? Burning in their chests? A tingling in their feet? What aches during heartache?

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Number

About a month ago, when TMI and I took a day trip to Beaune, I asked him his number. I'm at 5. Or.. 6, if we allow it to be complicated by a bit of gray area. He surprised me by responding that he had lost count; accredited to the fact that he was often victim to casual tristes and flirtation that got a bit out of hand. I was a little taken aback by this, maybe even a little jealous or concerned, but probably enjoyed thinking my partner was well liked and well in the game.

Last night, however, as it was the night before he leaves for his three week internship, we got in a little tiff about him not trusting me. He seems fairly convinced that in his absence I'm bound to have sex with anything and everything that moves in Dijon before he gets back. (I think I can partially blame IFFTP for this. If you're not in the know, TMI has found it and, as I for the most part REFUSE to be censored, it's often a strain on our relationship.) Anyway, I was eventually driven to protest that he had had a much more devious history than I. And then, face partially smooshed into his pillow, he said, "no, actually, I lied."

"What? Really? Why? ..well give me a number."

"What like, a real number?"

"..Not a fake one."

"Do I have to count you?"

"No. -Yes. I don't care just tell me."

Turns out, the answer was one. And she had come shortly before TMI and I met. Frankly, I'm shocked. But that would explain a lot. Does it matter? Should it matter? It takes a bit of a transition to go from thinking you were dating someone with one lifestyle only to discover it was one totally the opposite. But who's to say this isn't better? -That it doesn't speak to an honorable character or.. something?

All the same, I put him on the train an hour ago and kissed him sincerely on the platform. Time to stretch my muscles of fidelity for the next 3 weeks; despite my rugged past I plan to put my best foot forward at being faithful.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Lasting Things

Several years ago, I adopted a kitten. I was living alone and going to university on the West Coast. The first week, I was unaccustomed to the furry purry in my bed and started to lock her out of my bedroom in the night. Each morning, she would wake me up early crying piteously at the door. I would shout "NO!" and refuse to let her in, leaving her mewing for hours. She was a little kitten and all alone.

Even though there have been things in my life that have made me cry, or shudder with fear, or rock with laughter, or even scratch my own chest in despair: surely I've wronged people, missed opportunities, lost things, broken things, or cared immensely for things I couldn't have, keeping a kitten locked out of my bedroom is, today, the heaviest weight I bear on my heart. Now, years later, I continue to kick myself and wish I could go back in time and just open the door.

Why is it the little things that come creeping back, years later to wring our hearts with importance, as we steadfastly leave behind the people and events that at one time or another meant the world?

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Can Lovers Love it Rough?

When it comes to sex, there are few who can honestly ignore the undeniable hotness of getting roughed up a bit. Several days ago, in a conversation with one of my closest and best loved ladies, the two of us got to talking about a mutual appreciation for getting a little aggressive in the bedroom. TMI and I, though the sex has always been passionate, spontaneous, and.. high energy, have recently started pushing into the realm of throwing one another down on the mattress, bra ripping, and hair pulling; and, hands down, its been fantastic.

But I can't help but wonder: before sentiments start to sneak into the relationship, a lack of restraint during sex is usually nothing to bat an eyelash at. But once "I love you"s get into the mix I for one start to feel a little conflicted. I want to be frisky, but I also want a relationship based on mutual respect. Is this possible if we allow ourselves to be objectified in the bedroom? Is it dangerous to talk dirty and get rough if you're attempting to build a heathy partnership? Should lovers stick to calling it "making love" or can we cut loose and yell "fuck me!" once in a while?

Disappointingly, previous relationships of mine never dared breach the boundaries of slipping anything less than pious language during sex. Everything had a safe and cutesy nickname and we didn't do anything that could ever feasibly be more "sex" than it was "love making."

What I'm happily discovering, however, is that going over the edge has only strengthened my relationship. Knowing that we love each other makes getting crazy feel safe. Where I might have risked feeling a little victimized with more casual encounters, placing myself in compromising situations with TMI feels exactly like it should: daring, indulgent, and impossibly sexy. ..And I STRONGLY recommend it.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Too Hot for Hot

I've been a little sluggish about posting lately as I've been incapacitated by the heat as well as TMI's insatiable sex drive. I have a moment to myself for the first time in 5 days, and, while I want to write, my brain is BOILING in my head. My computer is so hot each key slightly singes my finger when I hit it to type. This past week I've actually been putting it in the fridge when I'm not using it, just to keep it bearable to touch.

An embarrassing number of French die every year during the heat-waves. Apparently a great number of them have forgotten that the human body is designed to drink water and can't get off the wine long enough to save themselves from the sizzles. Speaking of which I'm brewing some iced hibiscus tea. Caaaaaan't wait.

Next post shall be about respect in relationships: can we keep it between partners if we keep it out of the bedroom? That said yes, my sex life has been heating up- but more on that when the weather cools of :/

bisous mes chéris!!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Giving and Getting: Reciprocity and the BJ

Allow me to get a little down and dirty here. Last night, while suffering through what a large majority of wives, girlfriends and adventurous dates must suffer through in every sexual relationship, I had some disheartening feelings. Blow Jobs. Yes, your partner loves them. Yes, if you're lucky, you may even love your partner, in which case "taking one for the team" isn't so bad: their feeling good makes you feel good, right?

But, last night, after pushing myself through several gags and enduring the very unpleasant taste, complete with encouraging groans of enthusiasm and a loving smile, I started to feel like I was giving a little more than I was getting.

I've heard it said that the only point of doing it is reciprocation, and I partially agree with this, but, as one of the majority of the world's women who find orgasm during sex very elusive, I can't help but start to feel I'm getting the short end of the stick. And I most certainly mean that figuratively.

Don't get me wrong, my current relationship is easily dishing out the best sex I've ever had; and where I'm not having orgasms from actual intercourse or even oral sex, we have been managing to fit them in regularly and TMI is very considerate to my sexual well-being. But still: dang! Giving a blow-job, well, blows! Dealing with teeth placement, jaw stress, gag reflex, all the while moaning while breathing through your nose and bobbing up and down, honestly, "they don't call it a job for nothing!" I have to wonder: Would a man ever suffer to such an extant for their partner's sexual pleasure?

What's the verdict on this? Always worth it? Enjoyable? A fair trade? Or are women just in the habit of giving too much? In fact, forget about BJ's; what I'm talking about here is something more than that. Zorba, my favorite Greek to quote, wags his big gnarled finger and insists, "Never forget boss! A woman gets more out of the pleasure she gives than the pleasure she takes!"

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Weekend, and the Story of B

I had the good fortune to spend the weekend yet again in the colorful South with TMI's family in Sauzet.

Between delicious and drawn out meals, we went on walks, runs, bike adventures and gallery visits, plus one outing to a river to swim around in the icy water. We made our usual constant and creative love on every rock, table, park bench, and physically possible place that turned up throughout the weekend.

Despite all this goodness, about half of the time, I was totally plagued by two extremes: A) I really love this guy and am insecure and think he's gonna break my heart and this makes me miserable, or, B) I'm not really in love with this guy, and, if I stay with him, I'm just missing out on something better and this also makes me miserable.

While problem A can be jotted up as typical insecurity and latent desire to keep a little turbulence in the romance, problem B is a little more complicated, and, well, embarrassing.

Last summer, when I first came to France and fell head over heals for the repulsively unattractive, smoking, and foie gras farmer, B, I somehow convinced myself I wanted to marry the guy and invited him to Hawaii to meet my family. I incessantly gushed to my parents about how great he was and how much I loved him. (uuugghghhh this makes me want to puke now) Then, he shows up in Hawaii, and, in the harsh light of my own reality: my family, the island where I grew up, my friends, my language, I saw B for what he really was: a completely wrong for me, stinky, dirty, and dull French guy who I could barely communicate with. I had to break his heart in a drawn out, pathetic, and hugely uncomfortable drama that continues to nauseate me to this day. The man had brought a diamond ring with him which he gifted me in front of the entire family christmas morning. Yeah. Messy. I no longer trust my own eyes, heart, or brain.

The B incident proves that I'm insane. So now, with christmas visible on the horizon and TMI and I discussing love, the prospect of him visiting me in the Pacific has surfaced and filled me with subsequent terror. I want to be in love, but I don't want a repeat!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Taming the Turtle Neck

Every girls night out and after the first glass of wine, the classic question always finds its way to the table. The topic has shifted to love, relationships, and that all time favourite, sex, when someone puts her drink down and says “circumcised or uncircumcised?” The answer is almost always unanimous in support of the former, but, honestly, most American women, myself included before coming to France, had never even met the later. Why so much hostility for the unknown? I admit I was one of the strongest anti-uncut advocates in the group, but I'd have to be honest: I all ready found the penis quite horrendous to behold, so who was to say it was capable of being worse?

My only exposure to the dreaded au natural before coming to France was some frightening looking drawings in an everything-you-need-to-know-about-sex book written and illustrated in the 80’s. They were scary, droopy things that looked like long hanging socks, and my friends and I were fairly convinced we wanted absolutely NOTHING to do with them; nor could we really fathom how the dang things even worked.

Welp, I have been to the other side,(only 14% of the men in France are circumcised) and I have, after several months and several sizes, shapes and temperaments, tamed the turtle neck.

And I think they're great! The little sheath is kind of a protective cover for the sensitive tip. If pulled down, the penis looks exactly like we're accustomed to- but it has a magic trick. Once, I was lying in bed with TMI, and, pretty much like always, he had an erection. We weren't planning on doing anything about it this particular instance, so, while I happened to be watching, TMI reached down, and, casually and carelessly grabbed hold of the skin on his penis and yanked it up to cover the tip. I gasped. “Doesn’t that hurt?!”

He didn’t even realise he had done it as it was apparently second nature. Wow! They can actually put the things away when they're not in use. Something about that is just a little too practical and.. polite for me to not be in support of. Lets be honest: the penis is hardly something enjoyable to look at,(unless you’re a man, as they undoubtedly find them magnificent,) and the sheath sort of hides it; covers up the blunt details. This pleases me! You can actually tell the guy to "put that thing away" and he actually can.

It's really rather amazing how circumcision has become the norm to such an extant that many women of my and even the generation before have never even run into the the natural version. What do you think? Is it really fair that the uncut get the short end of stick?

"Taming the Turtle Neck" is a guest post written for
The Peanut Gallery:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dangerous Daydreams

Despite my efforts over the past few years to become a woman above irrational sentimentality, premature attachment, and above all, devoid of the foolishly romantic and idealistic fantasies of diamond rings, wedding dresses, and dramatic public proposals, I am a girl, after all.

Weddings drive me crazy. They absolutely do. In my opinion, a wedding should be a small intimate ceremony sans all the hubbub, and then, after the couple discovers they're still in love after ten years, comes the 100 guests, expensive catering, floral arrangements and enormous cake. Now that's something worth celebrating!

And yet, I remain a lover of romance novels and sappy love songs. Today, I actually caught myself day dreaming up a romantic marriage proposal while I washed the dishes. I dropped the cup I was so ashamed. It was TMI, on the beach at home in Hawaii, down on one knee and in front of my family. He was shamelessly singing devotion and my praises in a very long and unlikely speech.

What does this mean? I'll tell ya what this means. The fact that I was day dreaming about praise just proves that I'm in love with someone loving me and not the someone. I tried to warn the world (and myself) about this type of love in a previous post. Listen up, you can bet your buttons that if what makes you happiest is them telling you or showing you how much you mean to them, you're not in love with the right entity.

It be a dangerous and tricky world out there!

Monday, August 8, 2011

How I kissed a Girl in Macon

This weekend I had the good fortune to go on adventure with TMI to visit a friend and fellow wine student in Macon.

These kind of connections and company can all be jotted up as incredibly good luck, because these kids tend to be the sons of wine makers and owners of vineyards and tasty labels; the result being that I frequently get to indulge while visiting breathtaking countryside and staying in beautiful, old, and very French, homes.

The first night, I helped to cook an enormous pasta in a pot the size of a bathtub for a sudden influx of 20 something guests; each arriving with two or three bottles of their families label under their arm. We had arranged a large table outside under some wine trellises and the whole thing was covered in a staggering assortment of reds and whites- more wine than I'd ever seen in once place at one time.

While smashed up against TMI and I trying to eat my miniscule portion after the pasta had been divided up, I noticed two girls sitting across from me and, delusional from hunger and obvious other intoxicants, somehow fell under the impression they were flirting with me. I leaned in and asked TMI if they were lesbians. He looked horrified and responded firmly "no."

After the pasta, more wine, and a shameful amount of chocolate cake, I was dancing like crazy and started bumping up against one of the girls. She leaned in and told me in a thick French accent and nasally voice "Your husband is very beautiful! Have you meet him tonight?" pointing to TMI. I just laughed and returned the compliment.

Finally, after everyone was too breathless to dance another step, the whole party tore off their clothes and, in panties, bikinis, swim trunks and a lot of whitey tighties, threw one another into the pool. After a lot of wrestling and squealing and even an intimate moment with TMI, I somehow found myself in a dark corner with the French girl. She said "tu est magnifique." I figured this was the time and inexplicably grabbed hold of her and kissed her.. well, savagely.

TMI of course soon had wind of this and got me out of the pool and in to bed where I promptly passed out for 10 hours. I was vaguely aware of him coming in sporadically to check on me and then join me in the wee hours of the morning. I was never born with the party hardy gene, so after a few glasses of wine and the hour of 3 I'm usually looking for bed, so this all suited me fine.

The next morning I had the anguish of sharing an awkward coffee with the French girl. We winced through our hangovers and politely asked one another from where we hailed and what we studied.

Looking back on it I think I may have finally gotten the girl out of my system, but only time will tell. The comforting discovery is that TMI's mouth, later in a warm bed, felt much, much nicer.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Awkward, Painful, but Admittedly Delicious, Day Trip to Nuit St. Georges

Alive: Yes. Having recently bore witness to another beautiful country village in France: Yes. Mentally unscathed: No.

Yes, I just spent the entire day with my English student "Scratchy" after agreeing to go on a motorcycle adventure with him. I stuffed my head in a sweaty, stinky helmet, clung to his back, and endured an hour of thinking I was near death due to heatstroke as we blazed along en route to Nuit St. Georges. I'll admit, travel, France, and the little villages of Burgandy have a habbit of tossing my heart above my head and tugging dramatic tears of happiness from my eyes, so I savored this joy as much as I could wile trying to ignore my less than comfortable company. It is really hard to be friendly, casual, and personable with a guy if you're desperate to keep from giving the wrong impression. This difficulty only increases with alchoholic intake.

We were starving when we arrived in the village center and I was completely ecstatic when we sat down in a little cafe. Have I mentioned that I love eating? Honestly I think it may be my favorite thing to do in life. I happily ordered an amazing salad with toasted chevre and easily the best sun-dried tomatoes that have ever existed EVER. They were soft and sweet, (not chewy or tough) and frankly sent me into a coma of pleasure that allowed me, for the moment, to completely forget about Scratchy's increasingly annoying advances.

I managed to sustain my bliss until he started trying to feed me with his fingers, which I kinda suspected would happen since he all ready tried once with a chocolate almond during a lesson. This time it was little green olives. After the first glass of wine I was like "no way!" and after the second I was like "dude, seriously, no way," and after the third glass I was like "...yeah ok whatever."

So I let myself be sensually fed and stupidly let all my worries of platonic-ness melt away. After the food we walked around the village center; I managed to avoid hand holding but stupidly, out of guilt and a liquored mentality, consented to holding his arm as we wandered about. Yes, I'm an idiot. When the evening came we went to a wine bar and I was treated to yet another delicious glass of Côte de Nuits. It was nice, but I was seriously aching to get away from this guy before I did anything else retarded. 7 hours + of flirtatious, hopeful glances from a guy you like increasingly less but are helplessly leading on because you're dumb and eating up his money as time goes by can really start to turn a stomach after a while.

Finally I expressed that my feet were tired and insisted that he put me back on his bike and get me home. Another hour of noise and speeding, and we were at the dreaded doorstep good-bye and thank you. Here's where things get hairy. I started planning the escape maneuver when we entered Dijon: I was going to jump off the bike, act as much like a guy-pal as possible, offer a power fist bump, and turn on my heels. A normal guy would just sulk and motor off, right?

I don't even know how this happened by here's what I remember: He rolls the bike up on to the sidewalk and leans it on the kick stand. I'm completely exhausted and dehydrated from all the wine and feel like I'm going to die; I swing my leg over, hop off the bike and then- my thoughtful, presumably non-agresive, semi timid English student, GRABS HOLD OF MY SHOULDERS and totally face plants me with a kiss like he knew I was going to run away. Despite my misery and schock I'm evidently too nice a person to utter a cry of disgust, push him away and initiate a slap like anyone in the movies would, so I sorta just, stiffened and waited... trying to be... unresponsive, but in a... friendly way?? ..against his mouth.

Finally, what I seriously hope was only a few seconds later because it FELT like an eternity, he gave up and I sort of issued an unsure "sorry I don't like it" kind of ..grunt. He looked awkwardly at the sidewalk and I hurriedly added a "thank you! It was amazing and really fun!" While digging, as obviously I could, for my keys in my pocket.

A few more awkward words were exchanged and I finally felt sufficiently liberated to turn, stick my keys in my door, and escape into my corridor. Wow, it feels good to be alone. Wow, my next lesson with him is going to be awkward. Wow. Now I crash.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Delicate Details

So I think I may owe a little elaboration. I wanted to get into the delicate details in the last post, but, seeing as the topic was confessions of love, I didn't feel it was well placed and highlighted and deleted what I thought didn't meet the sentimental milieu.

What I meant by "unbelievable sex in every sense of the word: literal, suggestive, and up for interpretation:"

Many will remember when I deemed myself a hopeless wistful without. Lately, however, I'm fairly confident that my current sex life could leave Anakin and Padme trembling with jealously from their distant planet paradise. Sex no longer needs SEX: we've discovered that we can make love by rubbing, grinding, squeezing, nipping, tugging, licking, caressing, talking, and breathing; sitting or standing, outside, inside or in a stairwell, clothed or unclothed.

The loudest lesson coming from all of this is that sexual pleasure and, particularly, orgasm, is easily over 70% mental. TMI's savory French urging me along breathily in my ear can nearly push me over the edge sans physical contact. It's otherworldly.

What it got me thinking about today is how truly good sex, and, listen up here, relationships, come with a powerful degree of egoism. A necessity to put yourself first. Thinking too much about your partner leads to a lot of "I dunno, what do you want to do?" and "I only did it because I thought you liked it," which frankly doesn't get anyone anywhere. If you mean something to one another, your well-being is collective. The better you feel the better they feel: applicable inversely, backwards, and all over the place.


I spent the day today working in a fair-trade coffee shop, pulling espressos, toasting waffles with powdered sugar, and speaking French like a champ. RAD.
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