Sex on the Mind

I can’t really remember how old I was when I became truly conscious of sex and sexuality. There are few memories of mine that stand out, but they don’t really focus in on a particular age. I remember watching Time Trax with my parents and being super embarrassed because one of the characters said something like, “Do you always think about sex? Are you a 13-year old boy?” and I was 13 at the time. I remember crying all night long when I was 15 or so because I had an orgasm and had now betrayed Christ and my future wife. I remember at the age 12 thinking a “wet dream” was when you peed the bed (something I did until I was 13) and having no idea what a “boner” was.

My formal sex education was pretty abysmal. I had a couple courses in school throughout the years, but my parents never even mentioned sex. I just knew that being gay was bad, sex was only for married people, and even having sexual thoughts were evil. This prohibitionist approach left me both ignorant to healthy sexuality and obsessed with it. The more I tried to not think about sex the more it came to my mind, and my relationship with others (particularly women) suffered because of it.

During my school and military years, I viewed women primarily through a sexual lens. Even after I had sex for the first time at 23 I was still kind of obsessed. I went from sexuality being completely taboo to a grand desire to “make up for lost time”. I really didn’t start to have a healthier view of relationships until late in my college career. My relationships with women stopped being exclusively sexual, but they still had a sexual component. But I don’t think that is a bad thing.

We all have a sexual side that I find interesting, but my relationships with other people are much more well-rounded. I used to see a person and through them into one of two categories: want to have sex with and don’t want to have sex with. People in the first category got more of my attention and interest. I realize this was pretty shitty of me. I had a lot of growing up to do and very little exposure to healthy sexuality or alternative points of view.

It really wasn’t until I went to Burning Man and had some deep conversations (thanks, MDMA) that I got a healthier view of sexuality. Now, when I see a person I recognize that they have a sexual side but it isn’t my primary driver for getting to know them. This has opened the door for me to have stronger bonds with people that I find sexually attractive because I see them as complete individuals. I want to know about their sexual interests, but I also want to know about their philosophical views, artistic passions, life aspirations, and favorite type of ice cream.

Seeing people as more than just “would bang” or “wouldn’t bang” has also given me opportunities to grow closer to people that I am not initially sexually attracted to. As those relationships grow I learn about their sexuality too. Guess what, “unattractive” people have a sexual side that is just as fascinating and passionate as “attractive” people.

I think there is a danger if you view the world from the two extremes. We shouldn’t view people as primarily sexual beings, but we also shouldn’t ignore the fact that people are sexual. Sexuality is natural and beautiful and we should be comfortable discussing it openly. We can easily talk about our favorite food, movies, or Continental philosopher (note: I don’t know what a continental philosopher is but I have some well-read friends that I hate them… I think, maybe they love them), why can’t we discuss sex just as easily? When someone tells me about how they love rock climbing I don’t assume they want to go rock climbing with me, and I shouldn’t assume they want to bump uglies with me just because we are talking about sex. I think life would be better if every subject was open for conversation and we agreed to be explicit about our desires and interests. Oh, and maybe view every person as a deep and complex individual who can teach us something.

PS: Dearest friends who I viewed primarily as a potential sex partner. I’m sorry about that. I am glad you stuck with me and overlooked that side of me. Some of us have had some great sex in the past, some of us might in the future, and some of us probably never will. And that’s okay. Just like it is okay that some of us have a history/future/no future of cooking together, discussing our favorite X-Men, skinny-dipping, and hiking together. I value you each in my life for the beautifully diverse tapestry that you present. You aren’t just genitalia, a brain, a body, etc to me, you are all those things combined. I still struggle with this, it is still a knee-jerk mental reaction when I see an attractive man or woman to think “damn, I’d like to get up in that”, but I catch myself and try to correct my mental course. It is a struggle, but with the struggle comes improvement. I love you.

How would your daily life change if you had $100 million?

In 4-Hour Workweek Tim Ferriss asks, “What would you do, day to day, if you had $100 million in the bank?”. I never have an answer to this type of question. I have no idea what I’d do. I wish I could claim a passion for art or even travel, but I really have no clue. This type of question is supposed to direct me towards goals, but I can never come up with a satisfactory answer that differs much from what I do now.

I like to read, but I do that now. I like to exercise, but time and money aren’t restricting that. Money isn’t really a travel restriction and right now I like being stable. So I don’t know. It sucks not knowing. I can’t imagine a big bank account would change my life much. There aren’t really any “things” that I want and can’t afford, and major trips I can save up for pretty easily. I’m not a wealthy person, I just have limited desires and my income covers it (mostly because of my choices like not having children and not owning a car).

So what the hell would I do if I didn’t have to work for a living? I’d probably just keep working the way I am now. I’d put in 30ish hours of work because it is flexible, I like my co-workers and the job is a good mixture of challenging and steady. I’d keep reading, working out, and trying new things. I’d go to festivals (like I do now) and spend too much time on Facebook (like I do now).

Basically, the status quo is good and that scares the hell out of me. The only thing I can think of to do with a full bank account is donate the money to charity or start a charity here in Wilmington that is focused on harm prevention (free birth control and condoms, clean needles, housing and support for the homeless, etc). Maybe that should be my goal, get rich to take care of others.

In one of Isaac Morehouse’s recent podcast, he discussed what areas of our economy that are ripe for innovation. Basically, if the government is involved then it is probably run inefficiently and needs to be improved. The state is heavily involved with taking care of the needy (partially because churches have decided to spend their resources elsewhere and have mostly abandoned Christ), so maybe it is time for the market to try and provide that. I’m sure most of what I’d like to do is illegal, but I guess if I was rich that is what I’d do. I’d help those in need and maybe set up a basic income guarantee for those in my community. The state won’t take care of us, and when they try they will fuck it up.

Trade Off

Every moment of my life involves a trade-off. My life is a fixed pie (sort of) and whenever I decide to do something with my finite time I am also deciding not to do other things. I often don’t think about it in these terms, but maybe I should.

When I spend ten minutes on Facebook I am choosing not to read one of the dozens of unread books on my shelf.

When I watch The Office for the hundredth time I am choosing not to go for a run or exercise.

When I play Civilization IV I am choosing not to write my book or blog posts.

(Or I’m choosing not to create art, generate income, further my education, meditate, practice martial arts, rake the yard, cook dinner, call my siblings, volunteer around town, donate blood)

Every minute I choose to do something I am also choosing not to do a thousand things. So, are my choices in line with my goals and values? Are they pushing me towards the person and places I want to be, or encouraging me to be static? Are they good for my health (mentally, physically, socially)?

Maybe I should try and evaluate my choices a little more explicitly instead of being on auto-pilot. My life needs constant examination as myself and my circumstances change. I don’t want my time to be wasted, even if I’m the only one affected by the waste.

Fuzzy Wuzzy

Another day with a fuzzy brain. I’m not sure what my deal is right now. Blargh. Anyway, here are random things popping into my head that I keep trying to write about but can’t get past the first sentence:

  • Went to a Socialism vs Capitalism debate recently and Dr. Horwitz handled a question from the audience about welfare perfectly
  • I used to be a really shitty partner when I was in college… I think I encountered heartbreak, economics, libertarianism, and Ayn Rand at a bad time and it hurt my empathy and ability to maintain an adult relationship. I’m glad I outgrew that.
  • Vegans remind me of libertarians a lot, and not necessarily in a good way, maybe it is a natural dynamic of small minorities to spend all their time fighting each other over purity instead of trying to come up with realistic ways to improve the world
  • I’m re-reading “4-Hour Workweek” and implementing the steps, if I made $452 a day I would accomplish everything on my 6-month dream list. That would require me to work 15 hours a day at my current job, which is ridiculous even if that much work was available, so I need to develop better revenue streams. Also, I’m irrationally terrified to dream that big and I keep justifying smaller goals.
  • I’ve been thinking a lot about trying to proactively arrange a threesome or a foursome relatively soon
  • Facebook is becoming a drain again and I may try and shift further away from regular use of it
  • I’m really excited for season 3 of Black Mirror, but I am also frustrated about how pessimistic all shows about the future tend to be. I wish we had another Star Trek that had an optimistic view of how technology would impact our lives instead of everything being so damn dystopian. I know we are going to have some very difficult ethical issues to deal with soon, but it isn’t all bad

Dry Heave

I have been staring at this screen for a while and I can’t think of anything of substance to write. My mind isn’t really blank, it is more “fuzzy”. Random shit keeps bouncing around that I can’t really focus on or expand upon. I’ve tried going for a walk, meditating, and exercising, but everything is mushy.

Oh well. Sometimes instead of vomiting out words it is nothing but a dry heave.

I’m gonna go watch Luke Cage and call it a day.

Planning Kills Productivity

Planning is often a form of procrastination for me. Instead of accomplishing my goals I will use all the resources available to me to plan how I will get things done. I’ll pour over maps for future runs instead of getting outside and running. I’ll prep complex budgeting spreadsheets instead of focusing on work. I’ll fill out paperwork to start a business instead of creating value. I’ll make lists of all the things I want to try (yoga, martial arts, rock climbing, surfing, etc) instead of going out and doing them. The planning process will never end because perfection is unattainable. The time for action will never be perfect or, as Tim Ferriss’ says in 4-Hour Workweek:

“Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you.

I prep and I prep and I prep because it gives me the illusion of progress. But really, all the preparation is taking me further from my goals. Time and energy are wasted. Moments of my life are gone that I will never get back because I was planning instead of doing. The most amazing experiences of my life happened because I took action, not because I was prepared for it. Even when I did fully prepare for something the plans disintegrated almost instantly. It is like we used to say in the Army, “the enemy gets a vote”. There are outside, unforeseen forces that will throw a wrench into any plan, and the more specific the plan the more likely something will fuck it up and discourage you.

If I want to train for a marathon I am much more likely to hit my goals if I have “Run or bike every day” in my daily plan than if I have “Monday: 0845-0930hrs-Run 4 miles, Tuesday: 0810-0910hrs-Run 4.5 miles, Wednesday:….” because all it takes is one late morning or missed day and the house of cards falls. It is too precise, too fragile. General action is more powerful than specific plans.

I recognize this about me and I am striving to improve, and I think I have a system that is working pretty well for me. Hopefully, it will move me closer to my dream life.

 

Fun Run

It has been a couple weeks since I finished “Born to Run” but running is still on my mind. In fact, I think a triathlon would be  a lot of fun. Unfortunately, it seems like “fun” isn’t what people have in mind at these events. Our current Couchsurfing guest is in town for an Iron Man race and he told me that everyone takes it really seriously, they don’t allow you to listen to music, and his bike is worth about $5,000.

Geez.

Where is the fun in that?

I think stuff like this is why I’ve avoided running in the past. It is just so competitive, everyone takes it so seriously and is so focused on their time and the other people. Instead of enjoying the shared moment with hundreds of other amazing people, the focus is on beating a time or beating a person. I somehow doubt I would be accepted into the group if I showed up with my Surly Long Haul Trucker and wore a t-shirt and basketball shorts.

Or maybe I’m being too hard on the athletes. After all, this is just my perception from looking at photos and few conversations. Maybe when you run a triathlon everyone does celebrate together and cheer each other on.

Or maybe not. Maybe it is more like what is discussed in “Born to Run”, that you need to get out into the non-competitive trail running to get that feeling of play and camaraderie. When there is nothing at stake you can sit back and enjoy yourself and be happy for other athletes. So maybe I’ll focus on that.

I don’t really know, I’m just happy that I am enjoying being active. I’ve got a half marathon in February and am looking for a full marathon or triathlon next fall. And hopefully, I can find some running trail and/or hiking areas nearby to explore. Oh, and maybe some rock climbing.

The world is our playground, it would be a shame if we didn’t get out and play.