18 June 2008

Small Non-sexual Spoon?

Every once in a while, I just want to be held by someone I care about and who I know cares about me, with no thought of sexuality or arousal. Perhaps my asexual reader...s? can relate. Sometimes, it seems hard to find a good guy-spoon that can just stay a spoon without becoming a spork or more. Damned near impossible, to be honest, among the raging hormones of male youth. But I know it's not impossible, even if it is rare.

It's hard to know who has no ulterior motives, whether sexual, emotional, or otherwise manipulative, for being physically affectionate, other than simply caring about you and wanting to be there for you. Call it lack of trust, but to me, it just seems realistic, based on my experiences. Maybe it shouldn't matter to me so much whether there are mostly or purely sexual motivations for wanting to be close to someone. And maybe I should be less skeptical of people's motives. But for some reason, it does matter, and I just am skeptical, of myself and others.

Sometimes, I think people get the wrong idea when I say things like "I'm skeptical of myself," like I'm a neurotic, conflicted mess who fights with myself all the time and is paralyzed by the fear of my own caged beast. I don't fight myself. Well, I kind of do. But not really. OK, yes I do. No, I don't!

To be honest, when I think about wanting to be held without hearing Barry White (or maybe Elton John?) in the background, there are only two or three friends whom I generally think of in this sense. They are gay, yes, but they are friends with whom there is no sexual interest, as far as I know. Yet, they're fairly attractive guys, I think. What if they weren't? Would they still fit the bill? What about a girl? Would a good female friend do the trick? If not, why? Must be my need for male affirmation, the same need which led me to this awful lack of woman-lust, right? *cough* Sorry, it's hard for me to keep my tongue out of my cheek for long.

Ah well. Sometimes a guy simply could use a good spoon without feeling like he has to put on a figurative chastity belt, that's all.

I wonder how many people I've made feel like they have to put on that chastity belt? Probably at least one that I can think of, dear boy. Love that kid, didn't mean to make him struggle, if he did. There probably are not many, since I feel I'm usually the one putting on the brakes. I'm such a tease. Hey, I've been working on it.

Oh, and though I do like a good spoon, I'm by no means a spoon-slut, and what I'm talking about doesn't have to be a spoon. I mainly mention spooning here because it's more entertaining than just "holding". I haven't gotten (haven't sought) much spoonage since...gosh, last Fall. I've been much more conservative, again, about physical contact with people.

And no thank-you, in advance, to offers to be my "father energy" for therapeutic, "non-sexual" holding. I think I'll hold off on that particular form of intimacy for now. *wink and grin...in a non-flirtatious way, of course*

10 June 2008

The Joys of StatCounter

Thanks to StatCounter (and sometimes Google Analytics), I'm able to entertain my curiosity regarding who visits my blog and where they are located or from whence they arrive at it. Here are a few tidbits of information regarding my readership:

- I seem to have a new reader in...Italy? Go fig. Probably a BYU student on an internship or something, though, which is not nearly as exciting as an ACTUAL Italian. I wonder...

- Somebody in California read through MANY of my posts over the course of an hour and a half or so. I'm curious: what drew them here? Why did they read so much? Were they fascinated? Appalled? Researching? Bored? What is their interest? Are they newly exploring these issues? Seasoned veteran? I may never know.

- I still get visitors who Google "blue shirt green tie" on occasion, maybe every week or two. Some Googled "can I wear a green tie with a blue shirt?" Now they know, they can indeed.

- My top 5 referrers appear to be:
1. Northern Lights
2. Ardent Mormon (-L-)
3. Attempting the Path
4. Matticakes
5. Gay BYU Student

- My most common Google traffic, by far, is searches from people apparently trying to grasp the mystic power of spooning. I never knew there were so many people out there who want to know "what does it mean if I like to be the big spoon" or "what does it mean if a boy like being the little spoon". I hope I've had something to offer in their search for understanding. *smile*

Feeling Like the Tares

Matthew 13: 30 "Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn."

Doc & Cov 86: 3, 6-7 "...the tares choke the wheat and drive the church into the wilderness. [...]
6 But the Lord saith unto them, pluck not up the tares while the blade is yet tender (for verily your faith is weak), lest you destroy the wheat also.
7 Therefore, let the wheat and the tares grow together until the harvest is fully ripe; then ye shall first gather out the wheat from among the tares, and after the gathering of the wheat, behold and lo, the tares are bound in bundles, and the field remaineth to be burned."

Sometimes, I feel like I am more inclined to try to engage more fully in church activity and settle into a ward to start developing friendships with ward members and serving in a focused way, through callings and home teaching. Then other times I think I'm being dishonest with myself and with other church members in engaging in such a way.

For example, when I hear someone report on Elder Scott's visit to California, and his assessment that gay marriage is one of the greatest evils Satan uses today to limit people from the opportunity of having an eternal family and uses that as a reason to encourage legislation banning it, I realize that I simply can't, in good conscience, faithfully and fully support the stance of the brethren on this issue in being involved so heavily in legislating morality of this kind. I'm not prepared to say they're flat-out wrong, but I cannot simply sit back and nod quietly and acknowledge that my reservations are subtle deceptions of the devil, despite the fact that I believe I understand that argument and recognize its feasibility. I stated my opinion on the subject some time ago on my blog, and it garnered some debate. My position remains the same. I consider the church's political activism regarding gay marriage to be very troublesome. My ideas, my interpretation of the role of government and legislation are being called devilish sophistry and false philosophy by the men whom I claim to support as prophets, seers, and revelators, simply because I disagree that the church should get involved in these political measures the way it is. I feel I am left with a choice:

a) Continue to quietly bear the chastisement and believe what I will, even though I disagree with the church's position on this, and either chalk it up to human error (on someone's part, whether mine or theirs) that someone will have to be forgiven for, even if it turns out to be me, and just keep my mouth shut to avoid disciplinary action and focus on the points of doctrine which are more harmonious with what I am more sure of.

b) Try to "humble myself" and "realize" the error of my thinking, which could happen over time and has in the past, for sure.

c) Decide that I am hopelessly at odds with the church on a matter they are making such a big deal out of that the only honest course of action for me, at this point, is to sign out until they or I change.

I'm bothered. Yes, this is one of those more rare "emotional" posts in which I do express some of my more rational analysis but focus more on what I'm feeling. I'm sometimes worn out by the ideological dissonance and occasionally lack the motivation to continue trying to reconcile everything when these debates (at church, among discussion groups, or among some of my closer friends) become front and center and serve as a constant reminder of my own apparent deviance from the one true course. Sometimes, I'd rather just wave it all away, dust myself off, and go about my life in ways I have more personal control over.

On one hand, I feel drawn to simply live a more open, live-and-let-live way. On the other hand, live-and-let-live sometimes amounts to devoid of principle and conviction, and I recognize that I have gone through other times when I've been at odds with authoritative declarations (religious, familial, or professional) that I later recognized as wisdom beyond what I saw from my perspective and was glad I "came around". On the other hand, there have been times I've complied and found no benefit in doing so and wished I hadn't compromised my principles to try to embrace something I knew I didn't really believe. So how do you know the difference? I guess this is where that whole "personal revelation" thing we learned about this week in elders' quorum comes in, but I must say that even to accept a revelation on the matter, I would have to turn a blind eye to the violation of principles I believe to be greatly important in the role and function of government and the abuse of "majority rule" in our country and principles upon which I believe the nation was founded. But then, I'm one of those deceived-by-Satan types, so the faithful should disregard what I say and recognize my apostasy as a misguided--even if "good"--person, especially with the help of the clarion calls from those members who claim to understand the gospel more fully than I do, at least regarding this issue.

I'm tired right now, and I'm sick of the debates and the rhetoric, and yes I'm very wary of the risk of lobotomizing myself to comply with an organization run by humans, inspired or not. I've been in the "100% obedient" camp, and while I felt an abiding peace for knowing I was "on the right side", I always felt a slight, nagging sense of sweeping too much under the rug to be cleaned up at some later time, maybe when my light and knowledge was more full, and not knowing if that would ever happen.

The fact is, I understand the attraction of wondering if someday the church might change its stance on gay partnerships or glossing over the teachings of the prophets over the years regarding the issue because the church is still growing in understanding, and who knows how far it will "progress" in time? But then I read people writing that even if we can love people in gay relationships, they're surely, undeniably damned by that choice in the sense that, doctrinally speaking, there ends their eternal progression, and I'm reminded: that's all there is to it! It's simply NOT in the picture, according to the proclamation on the family, or the general conference talks over the years (and I'm not talking about isolated statements but official, consistent declarations over decades), and official church policy is quite plain: man and woman complement each other and were created for each other to procreate and raise children in the gospel, creating a posterity for countless generations through all time and eternity, consecrating their whole lives to the kingdom of God.

And it's a simple and complex and beautiful picture of one huge eternal round and intricately interwoven family of God dedicated to so much more than themselves that the selfish desires of the flesh are swallowed up in the vastness of eternal glory and joy and...anything else is an unfortunate deviance or consequence of living in a fallen world. So I'd better just hunker down and start going to all the counseling and experiential weekends I can and focusing all of my energy on working towards finding a wife because otherwise, "the adversary" has already won by damning my progression by deceiving me into believing that's not what I want. So what in hell am I still doing loitering about the kingdom of God if I'm not in it to win it? I'm just baggage and a distraction and a detriment to the health and growth of the wheat, or I serve as an example of "don't let this happen to you", or I'm an "opportunity" for more faithful members to show forth their great love and charity towards my wandering soul in the hopes of helping me one day see the light more fully and join them on the path to eternal glory.

OK, so AGAIN I digressed. It's all related, I guess. It's just that this debate about the whole California gay marriage decision has brought to the forefront some ideas and reminders of my own reservations and conflicts. More than that, even if I were to be dating a hot girl and ready to marry, I just don't see my perspective on the church's political activism changing. And to be at odds with the brethren on one point is to descend down the slippery slope of the piece-mail gospel. If you don't support them in all things, you simply don't support them. It's a doctrinal fact, right?

So maybe this is what it feels like to be the tares, sifted from the wheat: to have doctrine thrust into my face with the forced realization that I'm simply not sure I buy it and certainly am not able to commit to it in good conscience. That I don't feel the need to pray until I believe it because someone told me it's so. Oh my stubbornness and stiff-neckedness and the foolishness viewed as wisdom, and the wisdom of God regarded as foolishness by those who are learned but not wise. Well, perhaps this is a warning realization, and I should focus on humbling myself more and being more teachable. (Thank-you in advance to those of you who will single out lines like this and quote them back to me with a comment like, "Yes, I think you know this is the right choice, deep down," but please save those kinds of comments for someone else who puts stock in them.) Or perhaps I shouldn't wait around among the wheat just to be bundled and burned at the harvest. Maybe I should pick myself up, gather my roots, whatever there may be, and get myself out to allow the wheat to grow as they need to without my hindrance and go wither in unbelief on my own without polluting the flock with my philosophies of men mingled with scripture.

To most latter-day saints, this is a much darker and more sinister confession than, "I often find men to be very attractive and women only occasionally, mildly so."

No, I'm not generally angry or sullen, so I'd suggest holding off with the reactions like, "See? He's not truly happy because he's questioning the brethren." But I just spent some time reading some of the rhetoric floating around out there about this, and I am sick of the debate, and it's the middle of the night, and I'm crabby. I'm not out to make enemies. I'm just stating how I feel sometimes. You're just getting a bit of O-Mo unfiltered. I know one or two of you who relish in that sort of thing, so here's to you. *wink*

09 June 2008

Keeping It Real

I was recently hanging out with someone for the first time since meeting him, and I felt the urge to kiss him. I felt the urge pretty strongly. To be frank, I was having quite a horny week. I also felt the urge to pull his shirt off and appreciate his beauty with my eyes, my hands... I'm inclined to think, judging from body language and what was said, that it could have happened. Wondering whether he would reciprocate was not the issue. We were very close on the couch; a kiss was a matter of inches. Body language was indicating openness.

But I had prepared for this possibility. I knew I found him physically attractive and that we would likely end up close while watching a movie. I kept friends around to "keep it real" and keep me accountable. I reminded myself that I only just met the guy and that to breach certain physical boundaries too quickly would be to entertain physical attractions that were more intense than the emotional attractions or rationale. I kept boundaries enough to not lose my brain about things as I had done to some degree in the past. There's something to be said for not stifling life with excessive reservation, but there's something to be said for not stifling life with excessive abandon.

Maybe it was the horniness, or maybe I was just recently "over" certain feelings/reservations enough, but I was feeling very flirtatious for the first time in a long time. I knew that I needed to be "wise" about this because my hormones surely would be urging me along. I knew that when the hormones took back burner again, reason would set in and remind me that I'm not ready to decide, in my more sober moments, to pursue a gay relationship, so I'm certainly not ready to snatch the benefits of one without actually having one, as if that's some sort of compromise for being unfairly denied such a relationship. Really, the way I see it, whether or not I was to remain active in the church, I'd want to maintain caution and deliberation in physical matters because I think too many people go about relationships bass-ackwards, especially among gay circles. Call me nutty, but I think guys often stink at developing real, genuine relationships because they're too busy thinking with their crotches. But I'm digressing, as I so often do.

I talked to the guy that night and the next day about various things, and among other conversation topics, I addressed a few things:

a) My holding back was not for lack of impulse or rejection of him but was done simply to maintain boundaries I feel the need to keep right now.

b) I don't think cuddling equals having a relationship, but I also am not interested in using anyone for my own gratification because they're attractive and available and am not interested in being used that way, not that I thought that was his intention. I'd just like to build friendships without any confusion potentially caused by physical affection, and I acknowledged that it may seem weird or prudish, but that's where I am right now, take it or leave it.

c) I find him interesting and am open to getting to know him better, regardless.

d) I'm not ready to act against the doctrines and practices of the church (of which, by the way, he is not a member) by pursuing a same-sex partnership, so I have to be honest with myself and others about that fact and try to avoid sending or getting mixed signals or "toying" with the idea without intending to follow through if anything DID develop.

That is one of the harder things to get the gumption to say. It's so much more fun when I can flirt and cuddle and wonder where this might go but then put the breaks on as needed when things start to speed a little too fast. It's blissful keeping things ambiguous and tense, teasing and enticing just to see what might happen. It's much less fun to come out in the open with the fact that my flirtations are not intended to go anywhere and to dispel any hopes the flirt-partner might have of having a little tumble, as bad or arrogant as that may sound. Believe me, I don't think all every guy I meet wants is a piece of this. It's just something I'm more aware of and cautious about than I used to be for various reasons.

Keeping the curiosity alive is very fun and very effective when it comes to maintaining a male's interest, I think. But I've had a couple of friends actually get burned out by my persistent flirtation that never really went anywhere. They "didn't know what to do with me". I thought lots of people flirt that way, just for fun with no intention of follow-through. I guess I was wrong--there's most often a little expectation of follow-through. There's my naivety. And aside from that, I am generally not interested in friendships based on that kind of flirtation anymore.

After getting everything more in the open, the fantasy, day-dreamy quality of the crush went away, which is always interesting to me because it feels somewhat like being released from a spell you were rather enjoying. Part of me thinks I'm just really fickle to be crushing on a guy one day and then done crushing two days later, but another part of me thinks I'm just more proactive in making decisions with both my heart and my head and less with just my penis.

You know, some people might say you shouldn't over-think things when there's an attraction involved and should just enjoy the ride life offers you. But as I see it, I for one am not in danger of my penis not having a fair say in any decision-making process. That ol' boy is gonna make his opinion known whether anyone likes it or not. Seriously, guys, most of us do NOT have to worry about our nads sitting quietly by and being ignored. I can't remember a time when I've looked back and thought, "Oh, hm...yup, my mind got carried away, and I ignored the good advice my penis was trying to tell me all along."

Now, the heart is another matter and is more easily ignored by heady folks such as myself, and I'm trying to ignore it less. I think there's a balance to be struck between the heart and the mind, as both have their blind spots, and both truly matter. So maybe there's a trick in recognizing the difference between matters of the heart and matters of "let's get it on".

In any case, regardless of where such a friendship were to go in the future or if anything should ever develop, it felt good to feel I'd been deliberate and accountable in my decisions without pretending like I didn't want what I wanted. I think that's what "keeping it real" means to me.

08 June 2008

Looking Around Dismayed, Trying to Look Inward

The local moho community has woven a seriously tangled web of secretive and not-so-secretive dating and NCMO. It's pretty hard to find someone who's not a part of the web, and I cringe a little when I see new guys moving in who will likely become part of it, themselves.

There's an attitude of entitlement and nonchalance. Straight people make out all over the place, so why should we feel like we can't? Not everyone ascribes such "meaning" to a little fun kissing, groping, and penis-petting--it just feels nice and is fun and isn't sex, so what's the big deal?

I'm a little embarrassed to have been a part of that web in any way, or even a part of that social circle in any integral way. I want no part of the thoughtless adolescence. It's cheap and slutty. It's inconsiderate. It's selfish. It's... It's...

I guess it's just a real struggle for me to see past those behaviors right now, try as I might. Maybe it's to be expected of any limited or tight-knit community in which options are few and hormones are bursting. Maybe I am simply going through a process of learning to forgive indiscretion in others as well as in myself. Or maybe I simply am yet to come to terms with a truth that this is perfectly normal (perhaps even acceptable) human behavior among most communities, and I'm naive to think maturity demands different behavior. Perhaps ONLY Mormons or ONLY Utahns are so prudish about sexual matters and most people in the world are so sexual that they don't consider it a big deal to fool around here and there as long as they're "safe" about it, and there's no need to attach emotional connection with sexual intimacy (including BYU's ever-prevalent NCMO, which you simply can't persuade me to see as something other than sexual, even though it's not sex).

If that's true, I can only think I live in a world of sluts, or I am the one with the skewed perspective. It's taking a lot of energy for me to confront the prevalence of blatantly self-serving sexuality rampant all around me, like a pathetic throwback to the mindless, animalistic "free love" of the sixties. I simply am not grasping this. I am either really missing something and have a lot of understanding and "sexual enlightenment" left to gain, or there are a whole lot of disgustingly slutty people in our society. Obviously, I'm not sexually experienced, so I have to admit that my philosophy is not based on the experience of intercourse itself, but I think I know a thing or two about relationships and affection and the relationship between physicality and emotional connection.

Maybe I'm making it personal. Maybe I'm taking my own hurtful experiences and projecting them all over the place. Maybe I'm jealous of what's going on and wish I felt free to participate. Maybe I'm loathing the sluttiness within myself and projecting the blame onto everyone else for exhibiting openly what I have felt inside but kept reined in for the most part.

I have certainly known what it's like to feel the desire for abandon in physical expression of affection AKA wanting some hot make-out. I've wanted to just let it all go. I've thought, in moments, "what's the big deal? This could be fun, and it would certainly feel good, and it would be an expression of affection and attraction, and it's not some random guy I met tonight but someone I've known for a while." Looking back, I remember fairly clearly how I was thinking in those moments. How I wondered what the big deal was anyway? What makes one kind of touch so drastically worse than another? What makes one part of the body so off limits? But now, maybe I'm back to a different perspective.

Maybe looking back and realizing I had my phases and such questions, I should try to be more understanding. And maybe I'll go through more phases, and I'll need people not to judge me as a hopeless whore but to see past my lapses in judgement. But I also hope people, even in their forgiveness, would not view it as perfectly acceptable behavior. When looking back at times when I've acted childishly or selfishly, I have trouble respecting those people who affirmed the very choices I now consider foolish.

Which brings up the topic of the difference between being fully forgiving and exhibiting a lack of principle, and the potentially delicate balance between the two...but that's another post for another night.

06 June 2008

Pride and Lumberjacks

Oh, this is just too beautiful. In Utah this weekend, a beautiful juxtaposition of two events: the Stihl Timbersports lumberjack competition and Utah Pride Festival. Odd coincidence? Orchestrated confluence? It raises my eyebrow...and makes me laugh out loud.

I really want to go take a picture of a bunch of queens taking a break from pride events to cheer for their favorite burly lumberjack.

But then, something tells me neither event will distract much attendance from the other...

05 June 2008

Lofty Ambitions

I had another dream involving Max Power. What is this?! He haunts me. But this time, he was incidental to the central plot, not the main character making unwanted advances.

In this one, I was outside of a high school with Tito, Max Power, and Max Power's straight friend who had no name but had a beautiful face with an excellent jaw line and a tall, tanned, lean, California-boy body with perfect skin. It was a hot day, so of course MP's friend was shirtless. Thank-you, Max Power, for sharing the glory with us. We were there with a tow truck to tow a car that had broken down. I think it was Danish Boy's car, and he came out of the high school to join us as we rigged it up. Whether he was a student there or not, I don't really know. I mean, he's young, but he's not THAT young.

We all hopped in the tow truck, Tito driving with MP and DB in the front seat. Apparently, the front seat was wide enough to seat three. I mention this as noteworthy because wouldn't you know it--the back seat was only wide enough for one. Gee. That's too bad for hottie California boy and me.

Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. I straddled Cali-boy from behind. We started driving, and it was, as I already mentioned, a really hot day. I was sweating, so it became expedient for me to remove my shirt. Yes, with hottie straighty leaning back against my torso. The sacrifices we make for comfort...

Pause. In reality, if someone who looked like me straddled me and took off his shirt, I would probably snicker and think, "dude, go hit the weights for a year and come back and try that again, and I'll still scoff at the lameness but at least be semi-impressed by the physique. Who do you think you are?" But this was my dream, and in my dream, I get to be as hot and as tempting as I want. OK, resume...

At first, straighty Cali-boy sort of leaned aside and forward a little to keep a healthy distance from my scantily clad, homoerotic self. But as we rode further on, he feigned oblivion as he pretended to forget about it and gradually became more relaxed and less distant. Before long, he still carried a hint of readiness to explain away his actions at the first accusation but was resting his head on my shoulder and very much enjoying the experience as my arms gradually wrapped around him.

I had only semi-intentionally wooed the hot straighty. Not an unpleasant surprise, to say the least. This was going well...and then I think my roommate made a noise, and I watched the scene dissolve away from me. Grasp as I might, it was not coming back. Dang. I need my own room.

Who knew I was into nabbing straighties? I certainly didn't. But hey, we all have our hidden goals and ambitions, I guess.

...and is it unusual that my hot dreams are almost always about nobody I actually know or have seen? Why is that? They're, at best, conglomerates of bits and pieces of people I know or have seen around. I mean, it saves me a lot of potentially awkward mornings after, so I won't complain. I'm just sayin'...

02 June 2008

Fruits Everywhere

So I enjoyed another monthly jaunt to the Matises' home tonight. Saw the old familiar faces I generally see only at these monthly gatherings, minus a few. Reflected on some thoughts on the sacrament and the atonement. Had some good conversation. And as usual, the refreshments were plentiful and delicious. Tonight, there was a spread of several kinds of fruit, more fruit than I've seen in one place in a long time.

...yes, let the wordplay roll. The fruity buffet provided excellent fodder for all kinds of witty comments. One of the highlights was when my friend, "Danish Boy" (oh great, now I'm going to get even MORE hits on my blog from random Googlers looking for Danish boys), was raving about how much he loves cantaloupe, and I said the watermelon was really good, too, and the strawberries, and all of the fruit there. He then piped in, quite innocently, "Yeah, Marilyn sure knows how to pick her fruits." I paused and smirked, then looked at Danish Boy, who had not yet realized the comedy of his statement, then looked back at Sister Matis, who had a funny close-lipped smile on her face too. Then Danish Boy realized what he'd said, and we had a good laugh, and she loved it. She shared his unintentional double entendre with several other guests before we all filtered out. I enjoy her.

A benefit of lingering late: I got to take a bunch of fruit home. And yes, the fruit I was taking home was the edible, food kind. The other kind I don't take home without at least going out to dinner first.