Still Sorting Out those Marys

Jules Joseph Lefebvre’s “Mary Magdalene in the Cave” (1876)

I was raised Catholic, and within that faith, really only had two female role models – Mary the Virgin Mother of Christ, or Mary the Magdalene, who at the time, we were taught was a whore who repented her evil ways, to be accepted by Jesus and his posse.
Though I loved the idea of the nurturing mother figure with the first, I always thought the latter was kind of a bad ass, and her story really resonated with me. I especially like the mental picture of her washing Christ’s feet with her inky ribbons of hair. Yum.
I love sex. I have since my very first and inappropriately older boyfriend showed me the ropes. I love it, and crave it, but I won’t just have it for the sake of having it. I’m selective about my partners, and they are usually the types of people I feel really relaxed around. The types I can just cut loose with and be myself with, and not worry about the fact that I’m not in perfect shape, and am sometimes really goofy and clumsy. When I find someone like that, and we’re physically compatible (which I equate to great kissing, and a love of their personal scent, and that desire to be in close proximity) it’s on. It’s a safe assumption that if we’re together, that’s what I’m thinking about, and that’s where I’d like things to lead. I’m not subtle about that either.
Now, I feel like I’m constantly reading about how women don’t initiate sex enough, and men always feel like they have to fight, or beg, and it’s discouraging and frustrating and so I figure my enthusiastic approach is probably a welcome change of pace, but in discussing sex and sexuality with a friend, I discovered this can be off-putting.
Really. Really?
Do I have a seriously over-inflated ego? Perhaps a warped idea of the dynamic between men and women? Do I maybe have a problem that I’m in denial about?
Is it unrealistic for me to want to be devoured, and really have to fight off the enthusiasm of a lover? (And yes, I DO know this won’t happen every day.)
I was told that “sometimes a guy likes to work for it”.
As we know, my brain has been switched off, but now it appears to be in overdrive because I’ve been ruminating over that one all day long.
I can only guess it means that a man likes to feel like he’s inspired the desire for sex in a woman because of something he’s said or done, and that it took some effort to make that happen. I suppose it means that knowing a woman is ready to get into it more or less from the time she sees you isn’t as exciting.
It still takes work though. Just because I’d like to get naked and twisted up together doesn’t mean I don’t want to go through the motions of getting to “that place”.
Should we pretend shyness? Innocence? Indifference? Do you want to convince us that we should let you have at us? Do you want to coax us into relinquishing power? Do you want me to bat my eyelashes and smile up at you coyly?
Sometimes I really feel I need to own my sexuality and be proud to embrace it since so many women haven’t been able to throughout history.
Perhaps it’s a better idea to enjoy the physical, and be grateful for it. Perhaps it’s better to be glad that I’m grinning at you like the Cheshire cat because I’ve wanted to be alone with you all day long. If you want to work, you can work at getting to know me, getting into my heart and soul, because at this point, that’s going to be a hell of a lot harder I think.

Rule number 4 for the Fortress: Every corner will be awash in sensuality.

A Special Thanks to the Friends of Dorothy

Yesterday I was carried along on a sea of drunken, happy, sexy, reveling bodies to a Tiki party that turned out to be just what I needed. I had on my Hawaiian print dress, a little bit of sparkle, and some red lipstick, and off I went into the throng. It was delightful. People were dancing, kissing, singing, showing each other their breasts, and whole families were wandering through to witness the spectacle.
I felt incredibly happy, and proud that I live in a city where people are encouraged to celebrate their sexual orientation. Pride doesn’t seem to be just for the gays anymore. There were lots of hetero couples out holding hands and strolling along. In fact, I met one very tall, very beautiful couple on my way. He was leading her around on an elegant leash. She kissed me on the cheek and told me I looked like a movie star. Okay, maybe they were a little bit gay.
The leather and the painted bodies and the naked men and the ridiculous drag queens nearly brought a tear to my eye. It was so much good old-fashioned hedonism, that my tender pagan heart half-expected to see a huge bonfire in the centre of it all.
The gay teens really touched me. When I think of all the friends I had in high school who were so deeply closeted because of our soccer-loving, hard-core Euro alma matter, it makes me wonder how much better their lives might be now if they had spent their formative years in a more supportive environment.
Sometimes I think I’d be the perfect parent to a gay child. Universe, if you’ve got one you want to send this way when the timing is right, I’d be okay with that.
Of course, my gay son would probably end up being a super straight-laced investment banker. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Swan Song

That’s it. I’m not dating anymore.
My heart is too soft and squishy still, and I just can’t deal. I don’t know what I need to do to get myself back in the head space I need to be in to play the game, but offering myself up like this is sure as hell not it.
Maybe focusing on my home improvement projects, my friends, and my family is a good start.
Quality time with my dog, who just wants to run around and be happy, could go a long way towards keeping me content, and keeping the world in perspective.
I’m supposed to be at a party right now, and eventually I will have to tear myself away due to obligation, but I am so not in that space. Despite all sense of reason, I just want to be spooning, and pouring out waves of love where they are needed most, and feeling like I can make a positive impact.
This is the exact impulse that keeps getting me into trouble. I want to fix it, and love it, and take care of it all, and then there isn’t much left for me.
Theoretically, it’s early enough that this should be easy, but it feels pretty shitty all the same.

Is The Whole World Sleeping In?

Sundays have a particularly solitary quality. It might be because I’m an early riser, and when I’m padding around the neighbourhood with whichever dog happens to be in my life this week, thinking about coffee, and trying to guess how the weather will unfold, there is never anyone else around.
Not in my High Park haven. Not here in glorious Yorkville. Especially not in Paris, and certainly not at King and River street. Even the homeless were sleeping in.
I imagine people in their beds. Lovers enjoying the first few rays of sun, wound up and naked between crisp, white sheets. People who have partied too much, marinating in beer-scented sweat, with their heads shoved under a pillow to keep out the light, families with little ones who have piled in for an early morning snuggle before cartoons and French toast.
Me, I woke up in a borrowed bed to the urgent nudging of a cold, wet nose. I blinked, and the liquid brown eyes of a pretty blonde blinked back. A kiss. Sloppy. Then a paw, strong and insistent on my arm. Any dreams I would try to remember have now slipped away. I stretch and feel the empty space beside me, and wonder for a moment why I keep myself tucked away on one side of the bed when I have so much room to sprawl. Old habits…
I throw on a loose-fitting dress, and my glasses. Out we go for our morning constitutional. I’m very naked beneath the dress, but there’s nobody else to worry about. It’s just me and my always-smiling, sweet-smelling girl dog.
I’m confused today, and more than a little sad. Brain is fighting hard to come back, but we are vigilant. Heart is a bit sore, and has created an interesting reaction in throat. A tightness. Gut feels empty and a bit raw. It’s going to be another hot day, but I crave an over-sized, holy sweater, a cottage surrounded by trees, and a stack of good books.
Brain is our protector. We’re a little worried that we’ve sent her away now, because sometimes she’s right. There’s no going back, so we’ll have to rely on Gut, but sometimes Gut gets confused by Heart. Brain is always able to pick things apart to the point of annihilation, which every now and then is a good thing.
I bought it hook, line, and sinker. When something arrives in a whirlwind, it often spins off the same way, with the same velocity. If people seem like they are saying things out loud to hear what those words sound like when they dance in the world, it’s because that is exactly what they are doing.
If Brain were here, she would remind us that we had given up putting stock into words, and point out (gently) that we rely now on action and follow through. We’ve been that way for years.
A little bit of heartbreak is a set-back, but we have to dust off and get back into the game.
Today is Tiki day. Despite the encroaching rain, I’m taking out my Hawaiian dress, my fake hibiscus hair flower, and my red lipstick to once again promote and raise funds for the Burlesque Festival I’ve helped to organize. I will smile and flirt and hand out flyers, sell beer, invite people to come and celebrate with us, make conversation, weave in and out of crowds of happy gay people celebrating their gay-ness. I will flaunt my freckles, laugh like I mean it, and probably come home drunk.
First I will brunch with a lovely gal who makes me feel warm and happy all over.
Brunch is the greatest weekend pleasure. I will know that it’s time to invite Brain back home when I find the perfect brunch companion, who isn’t a sister friend, and who loves that ritual just as much as I do.
I always think of it as a sleepy, public celebration of the love that was made the night before. Look at us. Look at our rumpled hair and our sleepy eyes, and the way we can’t stop reaching across the table to touch each other a little bit. Look at how even though the sports (world, life) section of the paper is dividing us, you can still see the rays of love shooting from one to the other. After we eat your bacon, and drink your coffee, and listen to your kids squealing and screaming, we’re going home to get tangled in the sheets one more time before venturing forth into the world of weekend goodness.

I like my eggs over easy, and I don’t care who knows it.

Reading You Loud and Clear

I don’t need to have a functioning brain to understand what’s going on. Sometimes, things are clear enough that a person who is only functioning with the heart can sort it all out.
People, it’s important to take your cues off those around you, and respond accordingly, remembering always that we teach people how to treat us.

If I re-assess my summer goals, they look something like this:

1. Have fun
2. Refuel the love tank
3. Rediscover “me” time
4. Build a beautiful home

I need to remember rule number one. If it feels bad, slap some aloe vera on it. If that doesn’t work, cover up and head indoors. Easy as pie.

When I was a little girl, I used to spend hours listening to music, sprawled out on a pile of cushions, with my dad’s giant headphones on. I ordered a futon today for a quirky little corner in the Fortress which will now become my nap/reading/music/guest nook. I’m going to pile it with pillows and make it a very appealing place to curl up for an afternoon nap, because the space is otherwise un-usable.

Fortress of Solitude Rule #2: Music is key

To survive the next week I’m going to need some twine, garbage bags, cold beer, flowers to plant, friends to drop in, Thai take-out, and a lot of spare time. By this time next week, we’re drinking on my terrace.

This evening was hard because I was craving the domestic. It would have been perfect to curl up on the couch with someone I love, a cold beer, some home-made popcorn, and a stack of movies.

I’ll get there again. All in good time.