Every Me and Every You
Oct 22, 2017
1. An essay like this works best if we’re all good-looking (reader, writer, critic). This helps with attraction.
2. I am unapologetically shallow.
3. No one ever learns anything, and you won’t learn anything here.
1996. My mother finds a note by going through my drawers, that states I both like girls and want to try LSD. “You can’t just do whatever you want like an animal”, she says. She says it loudly and in Spanish. I just heard the limitations in which those words were formed, and wanted to impose—despite the shame the phrase was intended to cause. I didn’t feel shame then, because I hadn’t worn a dress since I was five. They’re not good for climbing trees.
* * *
The cross-section between what we like, want, think about, and what breeches into action has a lot to do with brain chemistry. I’m not a scientist, but I do masturbate regularly, and anyone who has managed a moment of honest self-reflection after the fact, knows just what it’s like to not be themselves.
A mechanized tentacle medical exam isn’t something that I’m into.
It’s interesting that with this particular intention in mind, what we find desirable changes. It’s the headspace where you’d rather choose a riding crop over a movie, or an insult over a compliment (even though, I’m not much of a talker, myself). However, despite this very specific practical knowledge, that can get you off in t minus x seconds, you will likely never be asked to speak at a podium about your techniques, or receive the respect of your colleagues and peers for sharing your expertise. This is a private proficiency. And it’s very important it remain that way. Everyone knows that civilization balances on the tips of dicks, nips, and clits.
Perhaps the fear is that one day you’ll take it too far. If you keep making that face it’ll stay that way. It’s unsettling to think that we are big, meaty bags of chemicals, one imbalance away from spilling over, to become compulsive gamblers and sex addicts (like that poor French guy who took the wrong medication in 2011). Or that undergoing male menopause might make the idea of legislating women’s bodies irresistible in your old age. Or maybe one day you’ll mash your genitals so furiously that you’ll lobby for another letter to be added to the already untenably long LGBT acronym. You were not yourself then and now you never will be again. After all, a change in hormones and neurotransmitters is as good a way as any to phase between selves.
Perhaps the people we find despicable, disgusting, or puzzling are just those that are wired differently. I know I’m not alone in asking why sex-negative feminists want to ruin everything, why limp-dicked gentlemen who eroticize land deals also treat uteruses like real-estate, why the gays want a monopoly on erotic parades, and why they prefer wedding cakes flavored with Christian tears.
We fail to recognize we are home to latent programs our active selves find reprehensible. These other selves are our selves—This is you too. Given different brain chemistry, you would be unrecognizable to yourself. Not to mention, that if you’d been alive at a different moment in history, you probably wouldn’t be able to stomach that self either. Statistically speaking, you would have cheered at a gallows hanging…if you’d lived in medieval Europe. You would have advocated drowning witches…because that’s how you save immortal souls. You might have even been a Nazi.
Not I, you say. Not today, you say, but humans act out what we don’t understand before we form articulated positions. It is this lack of self-awareness—as well as the narcissism of small differences—that makes people want to control other people. And man, do we love to do that shit.
In an incredible move of psychological jiujutsu, a byproduct of this tendency is that control then turns into sex. Moral reformers work society’s meat grinder to transform pleasure into misery and the mundane into fetish. Horrific campaigns against pleasure have been waged righteously, trying to solve the problems in other people. The moralizing turns them on and gets them off. And because it requires a listener or a viewer, whether they grandstand in front of an audience or just one-on-one with the person they wish to control, it’s also an act of exhibitionism. It is performance—Performance at, not for, someone else.
In other words, he who smelt it, dealt it, and is getting off on it.
So let’s get into this rape fantasy you have. Of course, while the examples above are of groups acting violently upon the unwilling, this one is make-believe. Here, no one is trying to control anyone, and fantasies have no victims. In fact, having a rape fantasy isn’t bad, it’s ordinary to the point of being banal. It’s even ordinary to say it’s ordinary. It’s the latest in cutting edge of faux-naughty discourse to publicly admit this. But one of the functions of doing so is to remind ourselves that everyone is just fine. No crusades need be waged over this, and you’re allowed to like it. Really, you didn’t need permission anyway.
I remember when I first decided to grab a mirror and have a little look at my junk. Just like everyone else, what I saw looked strange to me at first. But even though that feeling of what-the-what went away, an insecurity stayed with me. I had access to some porn, but not very much (It was the mid 90s, and I was in my early teens just discovering the internet.), and mine just didn’t quite look as tidy as the ones I was seeing…..Well, fuck it! I didn’t think there was anything wrong with me. I just thought there must be different types and mine must be the rarer O-negative. (We had figured out our blood types in science class that same year.). Or maybe it was just a Hispanic thing. Later I learned that a lot of images in porn are photoshopped. I believe that this in no small part, caused of the great labiaplasty rush of the early twenty-first century.
Unlike boys, who at minimum can check out each other’s dicks in the locker room, women’s genitals are just not in plain view. And I don’t specifically mean conspiratorially, but just anatomically. Unless you go out of your way to do so, you could go your whole life without even accidentally seeing another vagina in person. In my 20s and 30s I went out of my way. Not until I was 35 though, did I come across another person whose meow resembled mine. We enthusiastically high-fived and called ourselves pussy twins.
In the spirit of I’ll show you mine if you show me yours, I’ll give you a look into what else we keep out of view. By doing this, hopefully we can all chill out that much more, and embrace how truly, wonderfully similar, and boring we all are.