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27 and Sexuality - Transience Divine
September 17th, 2008
11:33 am

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27 and Sexuality
27! Woot! It feels good to be alive!

The rest of this post I wrote Sunday, but I'd been too busy to finish and post it.

Today was Pará Pride! Belém hides its alternative side pretty well, but not for the parade. We took over two of the biggest streets and filled them for over a mile. People overflowed the street and climbed up the fences on either side to dance to four huge sound trucks. The parade ended at a large square which we packed with music, club lights, and discarded beer cups. The designated bathroom was a dark red wall with the words "proibida urina nesta lugar". It was an absolute blast-- but not the subject of this post-- and one of those parties that most people who come alone leave together-- which is.

A nice guy in our group hit on me. I rubbed back to be friendly, but it wasn't going anywhere. I liked him fine, but he didn't excite me. It's a problem I seem to have with men and women all the time. I don't mean to be an asshole, but most of the time I like being single alone.

Brazil is known for the most beautiful women in the world, and I've met some of them. Belém, apparently, is world-renowned for the ease of its women. One-Track Girl berated me for not sleeping around-- "Just kiss them!" she says. Brazilian women only expect about five minutes of talk before you're supposed to get obvious, so it's not a technical problem. It's just my problem.

In heterosexual flirting, it may not be totally the guy's job to progress things, but it mostly is. And I drop that ball all the time. By not pushing the sexual envelop, I know I've made wonderful people feel bad about themselves and spend unwanted nights alone.

I neither want the people I'm with to sleep alone if they don't want to, nor expect them to push the sexual envelop for me. And it's not that I'm not interested. Just not interested enough to push for another half-hearted one-night stand. Sex when I'm making myself interested just isn't that good.

I dance by myself, and enjoy myself, and try not to worry about the people who have said something to suggest that they'd be happier dancing with me. It's not that I don't want to be with someone, but it takes me a while to get interested. Communication is a huge thing for me, and in Brazil, I don't know enough of the language-- neither speech nor body-- to do it.

And I'm in no hurry. I'm sure I'll encounter more fantastic people, at some later time when I can talk to them. In the meantime, I enjoy the friendship. And I'm enjoying myself. It's not that I want them to make all the moves-- I'll always make some of them, and there's no move I'm afraid to make. It's just that things are good already, so why perform?

But maybe I should hurry. Life is zooming by-- will I regret not taking every chance I'm given, like Dean on the road? I can grow pretty well as a brain on my own, but to grow as a person I need people. And a sexual encounter is never just the sex (not so far for me, anyway)-- it's a kind of sharing that lets you learn about someone else and yourself in a totally new way.

And maybe it's selfishly miserly of me. I may be happy alone, but a lot of people aren't, and some of those people have essentially asked me to ask them if they would be happier spending a certain kind of time with me. I can make myself interested, so why don't I?

Is my sexuality doomed, just because I don't need it? Will it become a passive thing waiting for the right stimulus? I don't want it to be!

I wish, wish, wish I knew what to say to let them know what incredible people they are, and that friendship now doesn't exclude something else later. Yeah, I want to learn portuguese now, and I want to learn to dance better now, and to flirt Brazilian-style, and buy them all drinks, and enjoy sharing myself with everyone. But I've got other projects too, and some of them involve just a computer and me. I just wish I knew how to balance it all without hurting others and crippling myself.

My coop plans fell apart this weekend, so I'm leaving Belém! First I take a riverboat for a week into the Amazon-proper (there are no roads there), and then a flight south. I started packing last night, and it felt like a little part of my life was ending. Definitely a little part-- I've only been here seven weeks-- but long enough for my travel gear to get a layer of dust. I learned an awful lot, experienced some wonderful aspects of Brazil, and met a number of fine people I hope to keep in touch with.

(16 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:spacehawk
Date:September 17th, 2008 05:12 pm (UTC)
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/sings/ Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us...
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From:jrising
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:19 pm (UTC)
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Happy birthday!
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From:jdub0014
Date:September 17th, 2008 05:22 pm (UTC)
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Happy Birthday! :)
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From:jrising
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
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From:siderea
Date:September 17th, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
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In heterosexual flirting, it may not be totally the guy's job to progress things, but it mostly is. And I drop that ball all the time. By not pushing the sexual envelop, I know I've made wonderful people feel bad about themselves and spend unwanted nights alone.

I neither want the people I'm with to sleep alone if they don't want to, nor expect them to push the sexual envelop for me. And it's not that I'm not interested. Just not interested enough to push for another half-hearted one-night stand. Sex when I'm making myself interested just isn't that good.


Dude? If you're not interested enough, that's the moral equivalent of not interested. Don't be leading on the nice boys and girls. If you don't wanna, you don't wanna, and that's OK, but sending the message, "I wanna, only I don't wanna with you" is gonna bruise other people.

Is it that you would wanna if it would be more than a half-hearted ONS? That is, is the problem that you don't know how to move a potential hook-up into that modality in the culture/language you're in?

And maybe it's selfishly miserly of me. I may be happy alone, but a lot of people aren't, and some of those people have essentially asked me to ask them if they would be happier spending a certain kind of time with me. I can make myself interested, so why don't I?

Isn't that a pity fuck? I don't think you owe other people your body.

(Can't you hook some of these people up with one another? :)

This is the introvert problem, you recognize that, yes?

But I've got other projects too, and some of them involve just a computer and me.

I'm reminded of the old joke:

A banker, an artist, and an engineer are at a bar, drinking, and arguing on the comparative merits of marrying or having a mistress.

The banker says marrying is superior, because then you have someone to come home to, someone to take care of you, someone to raise children with, etc.

The artist says that a mistress is superior, because marriage kills passion. With a mistress, none of the mundanities of money, status, house keeping, etc. come in the way of the rocking sex and concomitant artistic inspiration.

The engineers says, "You totally need to have one of each."

"Mon dieu!" exclaims the painter, "I didn't realize you had it in you."

"Gracious!" exclaims the banker. "Old chap, why do you need one of each?"

"Oh," says the engineer, "that way my wife thinks I'm with my mistress, my mistress thinks I'm with my wife, and I can get into the lab to actually get some work done!"

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From:jrising
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:17 pm (UTC)
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Is it that you would wanna if it would be more than a half-hearted ONS? That is, is the problem that you don't know how to move a potential hook-up into that modality in the culture/language you're in?

No. At least the cases which I'm talking about (which are the vast majority, but not all of them), a half-hearted hookup could turn into a half-hearted relationship, and either could be fun but isn't sufficiently appealing to try to maneuver my way into.

This is the introvert problem, you recognize that, yes?

Absolutely. And one big question for me is whether it's just a personality characteristic or a problem-- where it's a problem if it doesn't get me what I ultimately want or hurts other people. I'm pretty sure that it (rather, my behavior given it) has done both, in small ways. On my side, it causes my friendships to grow in non-sexually-charged ways, which feedsback to my friend giving up on developing a non-platonic relation, and to me feeling less of the sexual potential that might be there to be developed.
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From:richenza
Date:September 17th, 2008 07:43 pm (UTC)
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Life is zooming by-- will I regret not taking every chance I'm given...

Generally, my answer has been "no". Looking for a partner is like shopping for anything else - if he/she/it doesn't really grab you with the "I need this" vibe, then you probably don't need him/her/it. "Impulse buys" tend just end up abandoned in a drawer, like an alien-shaped ice-cream scooper which isn't very good at scooping ice cream.

Your mileage, of course, will vary.
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From:jrising
Date:September 17th, 2008 08:58 pm (UTC)
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A good point. I feel bad about not knowing because I'm not trying, but at least I have done a share of impulse buys. And generally, they haven't been so fulfilling.
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From:g_w_s
Date:September 17th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC)
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At least you can sell that ice cream scoop at a garage sale for $.50..... ;-)
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From:stars_gone_nova
Date:September 18th, 2008 04:56 am (UTC)
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That's a really great metaphor. I like it.
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From:sighlence
Date:September 17th, 2008 08:38 pm (UTC)
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Happy birthday :]
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From:jrising
Date:September 17th, 2008 08:51 pm (UTC)
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Thanks!
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From:jrising
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:18 pm (UTC)
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Haha, and you too!
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From:sighlence
Date:September 17th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC)
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Gracias~
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From:stars_gone_nova
Date:September 18th, 2008 04:57 am (UTC)
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Happy birthday, Mr. Rising :)
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From:mals13
Date:September 18th, 2008 12:18 pm (UTC)
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happy birthday!!!
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