Coming Home: Day 2 – opening the throat

graffiti of human heart

1.21.12 (from my journal)

Expose this old wound, this hot hound of anger, all this ache that has fitted itself to gnaw at what I imagined we would be when I thought I had the stamina to fold myself for you forever. Expose all the lost girls in me, the ones who didn’t fit, boot-wearing drama queens, the unnice, let the mean girls put their mouths around the back of my throat – I am tired of being a clammy handed yesterday, yes slipping too weary from all of my wrong lips, these wounds are picked too hard and my planting hands have been itchy for years– I could put a spade into the wrong part of your planter but really what I think this trowel is meant for is my own back forty.

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my dictionary says orgasm comes from the Greek word orgasmos, to grow ripe, be lustful; and probably is akin to the Sanskrit ūrjā: sap, strength.  (My copy of Roget’s has nothing between the entries for organize and orgy; we can have orgy, I guess, because it’s so often used synonymously– is that what makes it safe?) 

The online etymology dictionary says (in part), of the word, masturbateThe long-standing speculation is that this Latin word is altered (probably by influence of turbare “to stir up”) from *manstuprare, from manu, ablative of manus “hand” + stuprare “defile” (oneself), from stuprum “defilement, dishonor,” related to stupere “to be stunned, stupefied.” 

to grow ripe. strength. stunned. hold these words today; let them frame a new possibility.

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This morning I wake up early and can barely move — was up until after midnight dealing with the psychic blast zone I became after a particularly difficult conversation with my mother. How can I masturbate after that? I think, wanting nothing more than to stay under the covers and nestle in deeper to the warm covers and quiet. Sophie was still sleeping; no one wanted anything from me. Couldn’t I just sleep? How could I get up, journal, come, then blog?

Here’s how. 

Today I did it the new way, me in my shower, back bent against the porcelain, shower head switched to massage and held between my legs, the water hot as I can stand it. I say, Good morning, body. This is for us today. I say, thank you. I float into the conversation with my mother, then pull myself back. That was last night, that was another moment, that is not what I’m here for now. Now I’m in the bliss of your mouth (the water is so much easier to make into a mouth than the vibrator — a new development for my fantasy life), maybe we’re at a fancy bathroom at a fancy party and you shift aside my long skirt to find stockings, garter belt — and nothing else. Then you are asking me to sing, and I moan into the white quiet of my bathroom. I get loud, breathe hard, cry out, oh my god oh my god oh my god. This is a new way, too.

The water pounds hard onto me, harder now that I no longer allow the tub to fill while I am masturbating; that’s how I did it in high school. I’d be so long in the water that my whole body would prune, and I’d have to empty the tub down once or twice, so as to avoid drenching the kitchen with overspill — that’s how long it took me to come. (Feel the perforative there. Don’t consider what a tremendous piece of self-care it was for me even to soak in a bath for an hour or so, to allow any self-given pleasure during those years of trauma. This is where reframing begins.)

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I’m a bit frantic today, and my heart pounds hard behind my fingers. There’s rage roaming around in my ribcage, and coming doesn’t settle that ire: just feeds the other parts of me that need tending to, and maybe even offers some sweetness to that long-held-down animal of my anger, some oxygen, a little breathing room.

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These are the pieces I want to offer today, that I want to explore more over this month: 
  • Today I came relatively quick, which means in about twenty minutes; often I will take half an hour, even sometimes closer to an hour, when the watcher that lives just outside my brain won’t let us pitch over the edge into coming. Quick often feels better to me, more normal — I want to take apart these words, want to unhook fast from good–and slow from bad! –want to love my orgasms exactly as they come to me.
  • And here’s the other thing: I want to be able to come faster. I want to be able to come different. I want more kinds of orgasms ready in my repertoire. I want to come hard and slow sometimes, and fast and light other times (or even fast and hard. Could I sometimes come fast and hard?) I have had other kinds of orgasms in my life, unmediated by my own fingers (or vibrator, or shower head) even (although one of those was when my stepfather was in the middle of an assault, and so I wonder if it’s one I should even count, except for this: I understood, in that moment, that my body had this capacity, that I could come that way, even if I didn’t want to be doing so with him. This was important information for me to tuck away inside of me.) I’ve also come during dreams, and woken up mid-contraction. This means my body can do it: and I want to know how to allow those different kinds of orgasms all the way into my sex.
  • Today there were tears living just behind the small laugh that pushed out of me after I came; they didn’t pour out of me, though that’s happened after I come (both with a partner and alone), and I was a little disappointed not to feel that additional release, too.
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In the Survivors Guide to Sex, Staci Hanes gives some great tips about how to masturbate, especially for those of us who didn’t start masturbating until later, sometimes not even until after our experiences of trauma were over. One of the pieces that she tells us is to breathe: “When you breathe and relax your body while you masturbate, you are communicating something new to your body– that it is safe to feel sexually turned on, that it is fine to get off and to enjoy pleasure. Relaxation communicates safety to your body on a very deep level. (pp 93-94.) 

She also writes, in the section about making noise:

Groaning and moaning is good for you! Your voice is an integral part of your sexuality and your pleasure. Opening your throat and making noise helps keep your body open and relaxed. it keeps you breathing. If you are concerned about roommates or neighbors listening in, soundproof your room as best you can. Play music. A towel at the base of the door can help to absorb sound. Masturbating in the shower can give you the privacy to use your voice freely.
(pp. 94, emphasis mine. ahem.)

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Now I’m off into my day, off to a staff meeting, off to notice how the swell of this early morning coming continues to open, yes, to unfurl in me — and how it will curl around and into the anger freed beneath my skin, what songs they will sing to each other.

Be easy with you and your body today. Thanks for reading — come again tomorrow!

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