new housemates like new lovers

i just really like this picture we'll pretend it's my joyful growth

as we’ve been searching for housing for lesley, she’s been super hesitant to move into a situation with people she doesn’t know.  after two sets of housemates she did know and trust burning her on the process of community building, it’s hard to get excited about jumping right back into that adventure.  especially with people she doesn’t know well.  she starts from a place of expecting to get hurt.

and as she was talking about it, it felt like the same loss of trust that makes pursuing new sexual partners particularly difficult for me.  recently i had a boy i barely knew–but had danced the night away with at the aforementioned mexican club–tell me he wanted to kiss me, and i cringed a little, falling back into a self that doesn’t trust sexual advances.  after an experience of sexual assault where my “no” was disregarded, i flew through a period of numbed sexuality, with no expectation that the men i was involved with cared about me, let alone my experience.  it all felt a little perfunctory and, i thought, normal.

and really it wasn’t as if i was cultivating my sexuality in a hospitable environment prior to tasting the disregard of my no.  i’m not ready to say that all guys from high school to college age are selfish and oblivious lovers, but i feel like my experience is not unique.  and it is pretty distressing to me that generations of women are molded and shaped to perpetuate a distaste for sexuality that comes from male centric experiences.  as i write this i think of my sisters and hope that their exploration has less dismal beginnings than mine.

currently i’m lucky to have lovers eager to make my experience as ecstatic as theirs is, and i feel myself healing into a more powerful and honest lover.  able to set boundaries and trust that they’ll be respected; able to ask for what it is i want and not worry it will be distasteful; and almost able to step away if it feels unsafe.  i know that i don’t want to start from a place of expecting to get hurt.  that instead i want to make myself more confident, more transparent and clear in my desires.

like with all relationships we have to build trust, lean into each other, into our discomfort and grow together.  and when we are hurt, we have to be held.  we have to be nurtured by relationships that offer us honesty, that are willing to face themselves even when what they see is ugly, that respect us as peers.  we have to grow back in that nourishment, back into the people we want to be.

ps.  if you’re commenting, i don’t want your sympathy for my share.  because i dont need it.  but thank you.

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4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. paxus
    Feb 20, 2011 @ 13:03:07

    no sympathy, because i get to see you close up and know that none is needed.

    choosing roomates is a lot like choosing lovers, only it has to be done with less information and generally with less courting and information. i dont envy Lesley’s situation.

    what comes to my mind when you talk about high school and college guys being selfish and poor lovers is that we need to train them. just like we need to reclaim seduction so it is not manipulation centric, we need to reclaim love making so it is not driven by locker room conquest models and male centric pornographic formulas.

    Reply

  2. Sara Tansey
    Feb 23, 2011 @ 17:57:19

    @paxus. you get to see me up close and have much contributed to my healing. i feel lucky to be lovers with you and appreciate how you hold me. and we do need to be training them, the young and selfish and poorly educated male lovers who dont think they have to consider their partner’s experience. so how do we do it?

    Reply

  3. paxus
    Feb 24, 2011 @ 05:46:02

    well a class in love making seems both preposterous and appropriate. What about the handmaidens of the goddess who trained young males ? Of course we can do it with fingerbooks and blogs if we have to, but it would seem a hands on approach is more appropriate.

    Reply

    • Sara Tansey
      Mar 02, 2011 @ 23:05:09

      omg i love this idea. i want to be a handmaiden of the goddess! blogs and fingerbooks are a wildly ineffective tool for this kind of education. i will have to ponder the idea of interactive education. yum yum!

      Reply

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