Thursday, January 28, 2010

HNT



Smalls, Kay and Halo conspired to give me a surprise birthday party. They got me, but good. So many friends attended. I was even presented with two homemade cakes. One cake was shaped like a bottle of bourbon, because I like bourbon. The other was shaped like a penis, because I like bourbon.

To thank my girlfriends for the party, I gave them a boy to share.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fables

Abby Winters



Carly T. and Navah

Chemistry

“Oh my God,” Tilda shouted over the music. “Devo! I haven’t heard this in years.”

“I think I remember how to dance to this,” I shouted back. I punched her upper chest with the flat of my fist. “When a problem comes along . . .”

She threw back her shoulder and lifted her chin. “You must whip it!” We danced, the beat punctuated by my fist against her chest.

We had been meaning to come to Chemistry for a while. We rarely made it to sex parties other than our own and this one had been getting good marks from our friends. Held in a loft in Brooklyn, Chemistry offered the space for three distinct areas: a quiet indoor garden for conversation and massages, a boisterous dance area with a good DJ and a bring-your-own-bottle bar, and, the main attraction, a multi-tiered area reserved for sex. We knew we’d know some people there. Perhaps we’d also prowl for fresh meat.

We took a break from dancing to return to the sex space. We’d earlier enjoyed a spontaneous foursome with a bisexual fellow we knew in the company of a woman who confessed to crushing on Tilda. Now we wandered the room like casual shoppers, holding hands as we looked to see if anything caught our fancy. I saw room on a bench, next to a couple making out. I turned to Tilda. “Care for some cocksucking?”

Tilda put a finger to her cheek. “You know, I think I might like that.”

We walked to the bench. “Excuse me,” I interrupted the couple. “Mind if we join you on the bench?”

The woman looked over her shoulder and sized me up. “No, sure, that’s cool.” She returned to kissing her date. I thanked her, unfastened my belt and dropped my pants. Tilda lowered herself to her knees, smiling as she crawled closer to my lap. She moaned as she took me in her mouth.

“That’s nice, so good,” I said, caressing her hair as I grew hard in her mouth. Sitting back, I surveyed the room. On a raised platform to my left, I could see the shoulders of two men supporting the legs of the women they were fucking. A cluster of people writhed on the large bed below. A diaphanous curtain partly shielded an adjacent area from my view. Rows of couples had sex on the simple beds on the facing wall. My eyes returned to the couple making out next to us. She leaned forward to remove her bra. He stood to pull off his shirt. They were fast getting hot and heavy.

She was a certainly pretty, I thought, and he was a real looker. They were in their early twenties and, given the way they were shedding clothes with ease, as if accustomed to turning in together, night after night, I thought how nice it was that such a young couple was exploring parties like these so early in their relationship. Or perhaps they had been sweethearts for much longer, I conjectured as he went down on her; maybe they had applied to the same college so they could move to New York together.

I looked at Tilda. Her eyes were riveted on the couple as she continued to ride my cock with her face. My eyes turned back to see the couple looking at us. Tilda locked eyes with him as each of their mouths licked and sucked. The woman was staring up at me with a look that I could only answer with a kiss. She sighed into my mouth. I ventured a touch to her face; she turned toward me. I kissed her deeper, my hand moving to a breast, then, to the extent of my reach, to her soft flat belly.

He moved to retrieve a condom. She raised a hand to my neck. My cock grew deeper in Tilda’s mouth.

I kissed and was kissed, touched and was touched, as he fucked her, his eyes on us, watching. His smooth body was small and tightly defined, so that we could see the muscles twitch under his skin as he moved back and forth. A position changed and I could touch her wetness and, daring more, his cock in her. Her slight “oh God” told me to stay.

He came quickly. As he pulled out, Tilda took my cock from her mouth. “That was insanely hot,” she admired.

“Thanks,” the woman said, righting herself on the bench and shaking out her hair. “Thanks for watching. That was really hot.”

I indicated the hard cock in Tilda’s hand. “Would you care to go a little longer?”

She looked at me, confused for a moment before getting my meaning. “Oh no, thanks.” She pulled her bra onto her arms. “I’m good.”

“Happy to offer,” I said. “This is our first time here. How about y’all?”

“It’s my second,” she said.

“First,” he answered, tugging on his shirt.

“Oh,” Tilda said. “You also come separately? So you guys are in an open relationship, or . . .”

“Oh, no,” she said, looking back to him. “We just met.”

He wrested an arm from his shirt to extend a hand. “Yeah, hey. Jeremy.”

She took his hand in hers. “Cyndi.”

We laughed. “Okay,” Tilda said. “Now that was insanely hot.”

Abby Winters



Marianna

Thursday, January 21, 2010

HNT



He wrote me the nicest letter.

I first started reading your blog three or four years ago as a young dumb kid in a far-away place. I suppose you already know that you have a transcontinental as well as a transgender following?

Anyway, as I said, I was a young dumb kid in a fairly small conservative backwater. I wasn't gay, I wasn't straight. I'd heard of the Kinsey scale but it was always lobbed in as some kind of theoretical hand grenade that had no real world application. The idea of violence and power in sexuality I only knew as a limited series of repulsive heteronormative acts or the cartoon-like antics of middle-aged S&M swinger couples. As soon as I read your blog, it made sense. It was great sex, incredible writing—and totally fucking hot.

I'll try not to ramble and be too fanboyish about it all. I’ll soon be in New York for the first time, and while images from Woody Allen, Spike Lee,
Mad Men and Jack Kerouac all tousled in my head, I thought I'd finally get around to writing. I just wanted to offer my sincere thanks for everything you've written about. You and your blog are an ongoing source of comfort and inspiration, not to mention the fact that sharing your writing can be directly credited with having got me laid on more than one occasion. I wasn't able to help financially when you were having troubles with your family—and I hope for your sake that I never get that chance again—but I'll happily buy you a bourbon some time in gratitude.

As it happened, this time it was his own writing that got him laid.

Monday, January 18, 2010

A Certain Age

Yesterday was my forty-sixth birthday. I had a great, great day with my family. I’m told to expect a great, great week with friends, loaded with surprises.

Now and then, in my content present and optimistic future, I reflect on how it happens there are so many ways one’s past can come back to haunt. Especially when one reaches what is politely referred to as a certain age.

My vanilla Facebook is a good example of that. Like most people new to a social networking site, I was initially struck by the accumulation of resurfaced contacts from people representing various stages of my life. My every update is read by my parents, brothers, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews; my first kiss, first love, first child, first boss; classmates from middle school, high school, college, graduate school; colleagues and competitors from every job I’ve ever held.

The other day, someone wrote to me, responding to a photograph I had posted from my participation in Improv Everywhere’s No Pants Subway Ride. I replied:

Wow, howdy! Funny that after all this time, you catch me with my trousers down.

She answered:

Especially when perhaps the last time I saw you I woke up in your bed with more than your trousers down . . . remember???

I didn’t remember. Not at all. Given the friends we knew in common, I surmised it would’ve been twenty years or more since we last met. I honestly didn’t recognize her name, which confounded me all the more. It was an unusual name. I looked at her photographs. She was very pretty.

Slutty as I was as a teenager, I wasn’t one to forget a girlfriend, let alone a very pretty one with an unusual name. Her claim was vague but suggestive. Had we had sex? Had we dated? Had I done something that somehow stuck in her mind? I cautiously replied.

Oh dear: tales of my slutty past trailing me to my slutty present.

We don't have any children I don't know about, do we?


She set my mind at ease.

Ha ha! No children. Basically some of us were hanging out in your apartment. I got tired and went to take a nap on your bed. Nobody bothered to wake me when they left, and I woke up around four in the morning to find myself next to a naked you. I thought: WTF! It was I who was worried about what I'd done in some altered state. You explained that that was how you always slept, and that you were the one who was due an explanation!

That put the mystery to rest. I now recalled our acquaintance and we were cool. According to her profile, she’s still close with many of our mutual friends and still an artist. She’s raising her kids as musicians. She’s still the cutest of buttons.

I assume we’ll stay in touch, flirtatiously, as we parent and live our lives, states apart. It’s been a million years since she napped on my bed and woke up with me, naked and unfamiliar, but, apparently, memorable.

Given how my life is now, I’m glad that, even then, I had the presence of mind to assert: if you wake up in my bed, honey, you wake up with me as I am. Tell me your story.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Shores of California



Dresden Dolls


Twitter is all a-tweet tonight with the announcement that Neil Gaiman and Amanda Fucking Palmer are to wed. Cheers to that fickle little bitch, romance.

While you've got your champagne flutes raised, enjoy this video send-up of David Lee Roth by the future Mrs. Amanda Fucking Gaiman Palmer.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

HNT



She assured me she could keep the marks hidden from her boyfriend. That’s how badly she wanted her first caning.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Feverish, Sad Drama

Everyone seemed to have an opinion about my custody case. In managing her smear campaign, Tess modified her gossip to be sure it resonated in receptive ears. Above all, she wanted to impress the women whom she felt could further the reach of her new “secret sex blog cabal.”

On the day after I learned that my ex had filed a motion against me, Tess huddled over lunch with Dee and Rachel, a sex writer with a popular blog. Tess had been pressing Dee to end our relationship. Now, she encouraged her to complain about me in detail, hoping to influence Rachel against me.

A few days later, I posted some details about my case. The Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund had set up a legal defense fund to support my case and I needed to get out word about that. I took care not to reveal anything that could impact the case; just to be safe, I ran the text by my attorney. She encouraged me to point out the free speech ramifications in the filing, as this was fairly unique in a custody case. I did as she suggested.

Reading my post, Rachel was confused. How could a custody case have anything to do with the First Amendment? A former law student, she could not imagine any circumstance in which that could apply. Although I had asked my friends not to comment on the case as it was before the court, Rachel felt moved to blog “if you've ever studied anything about the First Amendment, you should know that it applies to the government dictating what you can and can't say, not your vindictive ex-wife. Nobody ever said he didn't have the legal right to post anything he damn well wanted.”

Rachel had never read my ex’s motion against me. She didn’t discuss it with me before blogging about it. Small wonder, then, that her uninformed conjecture was simply wrong. I had never claimed that free speech issues were involved because my ex wife was upset by my writing. My attorney informed me that First Amendment rights were involved because my ex-wife’s attorneys sought to have the State of New York shut down or curtail my blog. My attorney’s research showed that this was a case of first impression, meaning that if the court ruled against me, we would be able to appeal, perhaps so far as the United States Supreme Court.

Thankfully, the court did not rule against me. But in the court of blog opinion, Rachel had established a critical fact: I was either misinformed or lying.

Tess added this to her gossip.

Tess lobbied Dacia to come out against me and to discourage contributions to my legal defense fund. Persuaded that “this is a big and important thing for the sex blogging community to talk about,” Dacia wrote a blog post in which she questioned my revelation that my ex’s motion was concerned with my sexuality as discussed in my blog. “The bisexuality and the blogging is just a piece of the puzzle,” she ungrammatically opined. “Anyone who reads his blog knows Jefferson’s affinity for bourbon—and though he has a flip way of writing about it, his drinking is a real problem that I personally have seen unfold in embarrassing and fucked up ways.”

Substance abuse was very much on Dacia’s mind. She was then breaking up with her boyfriend of several years due to his inability to kick his cocaine addiction. Of all the subjects covered by Tess’s gossip, my drinking resonated most for Dacia. If the motion was not about my bisexuality and blogging, my former drinking buddy could certainly imagine that it might have to do with alcohol.

Dacia had never read my ex’s motion against me. She didn’t discuss it with me before blogging about it. Small wonder, then, that her uninformed conjecture was simply wrong. The motion, which was the size of a phone book, made no mention of my drinking. Dacia had originally noted that her post was based on her six-year relationship with me; she would eventually revise that to say that she had not spent any time with me in the previous three years and therefore, she wasn’t speaking with any direct knowledge. “Much of what I know about Jefferson in the here and now is admittedly second hand information,” Dacia confessed. She was repeating gossip, much of it proffered by Tess. Neither Tess nor Dee had witnessed me drinking to excess, so Tess sent Dee in search of evidence to support Dacia's claim.

As comments flowed into Dacia’s blog, people alluded to their own lives with alcoholics and shared stories of abuse and neglect. One commenter, attracted by the drama, offered to start a blog outing me and other bloggers. Anyone contacting the commenter was given our names and told how they were discovered. This was brought to Dacia’s attention, but she declined to remove the comment. In fact, she did little to moderate what another commenter aptly characterized as her blog’s “witch trial.” Dacia let the flame war burn, impressed that her betrayal of those who had trusted her proved so beneficial to her ratings.

In the court of blog opinion, Dacia had established a critical fact: my ex-wife was suing for custody of our children because I was an alcoholic.

Tess added this to her gossip.

On the day Dacia posted her attack against me, Tess added a post to her own blog. Dacia’s post had given Tess the grounding to take a public stand against me. Tess made a point of discouraging contributions to my legal defense fund. In subsequent posts, Tess turned her attention to the women she courted for her “secret sex blog cabal.” In order to impress them, Tess felt it was important to maintain an air of indifference to me in her blog, even as her gossip about me provided her with the material with which to keep them entertained. Still, she encouraged Dee to post about me frequently. Tess and Dee knew my ex read Dee’s blog—Dee had provided me with my ex’s IP address—so it was the site most likely to do damage to my case. The strategy had the added advantage of making Tess appear far less obsessed than Dee, at least publicly.

Tess and Dee added their own negative comments to Dacia’s blog, both under their own names and under pseudonyms. Tess continued this practice on other blogs as well, repeating common refrains under a variety of identities. People were dissuaded from donating to my legal defense fund; indeed, its very legality was questioned. Bloggers were encouraged to remove links to my blog from their blogrolls. If enough followed suit, Tess felt, she would succeed in erasing me from the blogosphere.

It satisfied Tess to believe that so many people were thinking ill of me, but she was frustrated that my case garnered support from Lambda Legal, the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom and the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund. The latter had set up the legal defense fund Tess was working hard to downplay. If the organization was made aware of the online controversy Tess had helped to create, she felt, surely they would not be willing to continue supporting my case. As she fanned Dacia’s flame war, Tess became impatient to put the controversy to use in destroying me. It was time, she felt, to cut off my support.

A month after Dacia's initial attack, comments to her post continued to come in daily. By this time, the comments reached into the hundreds. The flame war had deteriorated to such an extent that commenters referred to my addictions to alcohol and sex as established facts and my real identity was routinely outed. Dacia dug in to assert, “I think that most readers of this post and others that have been scattered around the Internet have enough information to realize that this is not a clear-cut case of being persecuted for sexual orientation.” It was no longer conjectured that perhaps my ex wife’s motion against me was not based solely on my sexuality as described in my blog; Dacia now stated with confidence that the motion she had never read was not “clear cut.”

Dacia’s confidence emboldened Tess and Dee. The day after Dacia’s assertion, Dee wrote an appeal to the members of the Friends of Jefferson, beseeching each to abandon her support of me and my custody case. That same day, an email was sent to Valerie White, Director of the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund. “His custody case is not based upon his bisexuality,” the writer categorically stated. “His wife has known about his bisexuality for a long time. The case is based upon his reckless conduct which is not in keeping with responsible or even barely adequate parenting.” The writer repeated allegations that I was an alcoholic and added new claims that I was a gigolo and other suppositions that had surfaced in the unmoderated comments on Dacia’s post. The writer offered a link to Dee’s blog in order to detail “the ugly truth about Jefferson's life,” and concluded by urging the organization to “please reconsider lending your good names and influence to this cause.”

Valerie White forwarded the note to my attorney. Valerie knew that my ex’s motion against me was, in fact, entirely concerned with my sexuality as described in this blog. She knew it made no mention of alcoholism, prostitution or other awful suppositions. Valerie and the Board of Directors of the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund had reviewed the motion before agreeing to establish a legal defense fund, as was standard procedure for the organization. She recognized that the writer of the email was uninformed about the motion. My attorney dismissed the note as a poor attempt to adversely influence a case before the court.

When I read the note, I saw Tess’s gossip neatly surmised in one text, articulated in her distinctively melodramatic idiolect. It was clear to me that gossip had displaced reality in Tess’s mind. Anonymous blog comments and slanderous attacks were now the truth as she wanted it represented. It was the truth that that Tess could use to destroy me and deny me my family.  Nearly a year later, after the custody case had been settled and the blog drama laid to rest, the allegations and language used in the letter to Valerie were reiterated in an anonymous online attack outing me. Tess's obsession continued to seethe.

Flame wars come and go in the blogosphere. Dacia’s flame war against me burned brilliantly, but eventually, it died down as others flared up. Looking back, Dacia would later describe her destruction of our relationship as a “feverish and sad drama” largely of her own creation. Perhaps from the experience, Dacia learned that attacking people feels awful, particularly when attacking people who care about you.

Recently, another blog drama reminded me of Tess’s obsession. Some unidentified person had started a blog revealing the identities of sex workers, echoing the use of Dacia’s blog to out sex bloggers. As Tess had since come to care about sex worker rights, she addressed the controversy in her blog. First, she advised others to talk about the blogger offline but not in tweets or on blogs, as that only gave more attention to the blogger. Evidently, she felt the strategy of back-channel gossip had worked well in her campaign against me. “The best way, the only way, to make people like [ . . . ] go away is to starve them of any attention,” she intoned. Gossip is good, she suggested. Direct confrontation was to be avoided.

Tess decried the blogger’s effort as “mired in vindictiveness, in pettiness, in meanness and its intent is solely to cause harm. Let me repeat that because it's that important—its intent is solely to cause harm.” She concluded by shaming the blogger’s “goal of harming individuals by disseminating private information.”
Tess couldn’t have done a better job of describing her campaign against me. In fact, Tess’s behavior just a few months earlier presaged actions she now decried.

In the days after her break up with her lover Victor, Tess dealt with her despondency by anonymously attacking me online. Creating an account at a website designed to be used by women complaining about bad dates, Tess described “Jefferson Blogger” as follows:

“He's known for being charming when you meet him and he's seduced countless young, inexperienced women. He keeps a blog onelifetaketwo.blogspot.com where he makes his life sound wonderful and glamorous. But he seeks out mentally unstable or naive women and he uses them for his benefit. He's an alcoholic and has been accused of sexual assault. He is also known for getting his young girlfriends into sex work.”

To this profile she added a photograph of me that is readily available online.

When I revealed Tess’s anonymous attack in post entitled “Tess’s Obsession” she quickly made revisions:
“He keeps a blog onelifetaketwo.blogspot.com where he makes his life sound wonderful and glamorous. He's an alcoholic and has been accused of sexual assault. He recently fabricated a long post about who he thinks posted this profile. However, he's wrong. I've decided to snip out the things that are hearsay, but include only the bits that I've witnessed myself to be fair.”

Not surprisingly, Tess claimed I was wrong in identifying her as my attacker. As she knew I was not wrong, she dissembled into damage control. She backpedaled, admitting that her claims against me were hearsay, merely gossip she had concocted and spent a year honing through constant circulation.

Tellingly, the hearsay that Tess omitted in the revision concerned the countless “mentally unstable or naive women” I had allegedly seduced into sex work. When Tess began her smear campaign against me in the summer of two thousand and eight, she and Dee were quick to condemn me as a “whore.” They were called aside by Dacia, who discouraged them from using that word as an epithet against me or, indeed, anyone. Dacia began to educate the two women about sex worker rights, a cause of great concern to her. Many strong women make the choice to become sex workers, Dacia instructed, and archaic myths of white slavery insult their intelligence. Certainly, no one should out the identities of sex workers.

Tess and Dee were impressed by Dacia’s lessons and guidance in their assaults against me; so much so that they began to style themselves in her mold as activists for sex worker rights. Dee was charged as, in middle age, she began to acquire a political consciousness. Tess saw the advantage of impressing Dacia in achieving her own ambitions. Just as she wooed Rachel in hope of participating in readings, Tess knew that associating with Dacia could suggest an intellectual credibility she otherwise lacked.

Still, her lesser demons could not rest. A full year after Dacia’s lessons—a year spent forging a new activist identity, a year in which she neither saw nor spoke with me—Tess couldn’t resist decrying me as a Svengali who forced feeble-minded women into the horrors of sex work. What’s more, in posting a photograph of me, she was outing me, using precisely the same tactics of the blogger she would soon self-righteously decry.
Embarrassed by my exposure of her anonymous attacks, Tess revised her language. Minus the admitted hearsay, all that was left was her claim that I was an alcoholic and an allegation that I had been accused of assault. She claimed that she was, in fact, an eyewitness to these claims.

Tess had seen me drink; as recently as fourteen months prior to this attack, she had invited herself to drinks and dinner with mutual friends. From what Tess could recall of the night, before she staggered home, she had seen me imbibing alcohol. She clung to this claim as Dacia had made it central to her own online attack against me: Dacia alleged that as recently as two thousand and five, three years prior to her own post, she had seen me drink alcohol. Tess needed to align herself with Dacia’s authority, and so sent Dee in search of proof of my alcoholism. During our eight-month relationship, Dee had never seen me drunk. Dee’s entreaties to Avah provided further frustration, for in our two-year relationship, which included countless parties, my teetotalling kinky girlfriend could only recall seeing me drunk on one occasion. Evidence be damned, Tess clung to her claim. Apparently, by her reckoning, alcoholism was a moral failing that should bring me down in the eyes of others.

Even more serious was Tess’s claim to have witnessed an assault. On the one hand, this allegation avoided the problem of giving offense to those she sought to impress. Some may be concerned with protecting the rights of sex workers, but who would defend assaulters? Still, as the revision settled in her mind, the limitations of her allegation became clear. If Tess had witnessed an assault, what action did she take? Did she report it to authorities? Isn’t that what anyone would do? Or was her reaction limited to making anonymous allegations online?

Tess knew there had been no assault for her to witness, nothing on which to take action. Now that attention was on her anonymous attack, she found herself in a bind. She could dig deeper into her trench, hurling mud at me with the increased audience I had brought to her forum. There could be some satisfaction in that; attacking me enflamed her passions, and now the dickhead that obsessed her had provided a new opportunity to scratch that itch.

However, Tess was no longer in the heated throws of anger at Victor. She had made her attack in the summer, when the break-up was days old. Now it was autumn and Tess was basking in another kind of attention: there was soon to be a launch party for the sex blogger calendar she had helped to create. Her anonymous attack, taken in an impetuous fit of misandrist pique, had been revealed at a most inopportune time. Everyone was talking to Tess about me. Attention was once again drawn to her obsession. Despite her weak defense—“he’s wrong”—she recognized that my discussion of her actions would ring true to those she wanted to impress. She had, after all, gossiped the narrative of her anonymous attack for well over a year.

The letter written to the Sexual Freedom Legal Defense and Education Fund had asserted, as fact, gossip that the recipient, Valerie White, recognized as false. The letter made claims about a legal motion that Valerie had read and the letter writer had not. The writer of the letter was simply wrong.

Tess’s gossip consumed her thinking. If words fell from her lips and flew across her keyboard with enough repetition and frequency, they took root as fact in her mind. She could not let go. Everyone must see, as she did, what a dickhead I am. Establishing that meant all. It allowed her to push me aside in her urge to take what she coveted.

Now, in revealing her attack, I had exposed the fissures in the fa├žade of her new persona. Continuing her attack was too risky. If she appeared consumed by attacking me, those she sought to impress may see her as no better than Dee. And, as Tess enjoyed repeating, Dee’s most useful function was in making her look good.

A few days after the attack had been revised, I was contacted by the administrator of the website on which it had appeared. The anonymous post had been removed. Now, no one would have further access to this evidence of Tess’s obsession.

The anonymous attack was removed just days before the sex blogger calendar launch party.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

HNT



No one is allowed to smoke in my home. No one. Unless that someone is dead cute, in which case I’m all like, “Ash tray is on the nightstand, sweetie.”

When little sister Laken comes calling from the Delta, ain’t nothing we won’t do in our little corner of the trailer park. No sir. Nothing t'all.

This photo may be familiar to those who follow me on Twitter, as Laken adopted one like it as her avatar. Want to keep up with my minutia? Pursue my trivia by following my tweets. You're already all up in my sex life; you may as well know what I had for lunch.

(Spoiler alert: I had sex for lunch.)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Back

Sometimes in life, you just have to get back on the horse. Eden knew this, though she was understandably cautious about climbing back in the saddle. She had been thrown hard.

Figuratively, it hadn’t been that hard a landing. She had met a guy. They had played video games and fooled around before she realized it wasn’t working for her. She cut out before the red circles of death came crashing.

But literally, she had taken a serious spill. While working as a summer camp counselor, Eden had been thrown into a tree when her horse stopped suddenly. Her leg was damaged and she was laid up, having learned, she told me, never again to bottom to a pine.

Her recuperation lasted into the fall and she found herself with little time for anything other than convalescence and building her portfolio. We corresponded to stay in touch but she rarely had free time in the city. It had been a while since we had last seen one another when we were able to make a date to catch up.

Looking forward to seeing Eden again, I reflected on the time we had spent together in the few years since our kinks first brought us together via mutual friends. Some of our relationship had played out in public. She kept a blog in which she wrote about our dates, my parties and her turn as a demo bottom for classes I taught. In one class at Floating World, I had pursued her recalcitrant orgasm before a large expectant audience. When finally it came thundering, her screams echoing through a vast dungeon, we were loudly applauded, as though those watching had needed to share in her release.

But much of our relationship was private. I wrote about it now and then, alluding to our kinks as well as our intimacies. When we met, I realized that we had been involved in BDSM for roughly the same amount of time, though she had started at a much younger age and been involved with much heavier play. I respected her experience and appreciated her guidance as she submitted to me. I knew I was lucky to learn dominance with someone who would forgive my mistakes while encouraging me to go further. For my part, I hoped to expand upon her sexual pleasure; in this, I had the advantage of being the more experienced partner.

Our friendship offered comfort even when we weren’t together. A couple of years ago, while I was researching properties in advance of a move, I stumbled across a large isolated house located upstate that could be had for half the price of apartments I was seeing in the city. Wouldn’t it be nice, I thought, to be able to afford both? My family could use the house as a wooded retreat. On weekends without my children, I could tie nude Eden to trees and hit her with whips. Oh, I mused, for such a country idyll.

When Eden heard that my ex-wife had discovered my blog and sued for custody, she offered her sympathies and asked if she could help in some way. I needed to close my blog, so while I focused on researching attorneys, she took on the tedious administrative task of taking down my blog, post by post. I didn’t hesitate in providing access to her. I knew I could trust Eden.

All of these experiences—kinky and vanilla, public and private, online and off—combined with our correspondence, conversation and the simple enjoyment of one another’s company to build between us a solid, loving friendship. Even after some time apart, neither of us questioned the trust we had established.

Eden buzzed from the street when she arrived for our reunion. Ringing her in, I suddenly recalled our old standing rule: she was to undress on arrival, as her clothes were not welcome in my home. We hadn’t revisited that requirement in planning to get together—catching up was our only agenda item—so I decided not to bring it up now. She could do as she pleased. We could talk whether or not she was dressed.

We smiled and hugged our hellos, chatting as she dropped her bag and peeled away outer layers of coat and hoodie. She fell still when she was down to a short-sleeve pullover and looked at me expectantly. Was she waiting for me to undress her or to offer her a seat? I opted for the latter. I kissed her and said how great it was to see her again. We settled in to talk.

I asked Eden about her accident and recovery. She asked me about my custody case and its aftermath. She told me about her new job and the workload at school. I filled her in on my various writing projects. The discussion led to conversation about blogging.

“I stopped blogging a while ago,” Eden said. “It didn’t really seem to matter anymore. I may do it again someday—I still write about life and school and stuff in my Livejournal, sometimes—but the fun kind of died when the drama started.”

“I have to say, my sabbatical from sex blogging last year was enforced by circumstances more than preference,” I nodded. “But even before the custody case, I was feeling worn out by it. It can be pretty wearying to deal with people conflating me with my online persona. It can be fun doing things and meeting folks as Jefferson, but when people get upset or act out online, it’s like . . . I dunno.” I searched for the right words before going on. “When people fail to distinguish between reality and its representation, it’s harder to be excited about making art. Being targeted in Dacia’s flame war that summer was a little like finding a mob storming the gates of Warner Brothers, angry that Bugs Bunny shot Daffy Duck. It was a cartoon universe, having little to do with the real world. And even in cartoons, a mob takes on a mentality of its own.”

“That was really sick,” Eden said. “Weren’t you and Dacia friends?”

“Dacia and a lot of people were once friends. But we were especially close, even while I was still married. When my marriage ended, she was one of the few people I felt I could talk to openly. That was before she took on the Dacia persona, though, and by now, that seems long ago.” I thought for a moment. “Her flame war about my custody situation got out of hand and people were being hurt and even outed as a result. Dacia allowed that to happen and, in fact, she seemed to encourage it for the sheer drama of it all. A lot of people backed away from her then. I still don’t know why she turned on me as she did.” I pursed my lips. “Why she turned on any of us, really.”

“She never talked to you about it?”

“Nope.” I shook my head. “But that’s not atypical. She tends to burn bridges, particularly in her relationships with men. I remained friendly with four of her former boyfriends after she broke up with them. There's often confusion about just how she felt affronted by them. When this all went down, one wrote to welcome me to the club.”

“At least you’ve got company.” She blew out a puff. “That’s fucked up.”

“Yeah, I suppose it is.” I paused, thinking. “Dacia was one of the first people I called when I was served papers on the custody case. We didn’t hang out then as we once had—she had her life, I had mine—but I trusted her advice and knew I could count on her. As we hung up, she said, ‘I’m so sorry this is happening to you.’ Then, next thing I knew, she wrote what she wrote in her blog. It wasn’t accurate and it was potentially damaging, and I wrote to tell her so. She replied, essentially, that I could go fuck myself.”

“Damn.”

“We had never had a fight or a falling out, so I didn’t know what this was about. I suppose I must have disappointed her in some way, or maybe even angered her. Or maybe she was dealing with her own feelings about something else; she had just broken up with her boyfriend due to his addiction, and then, maybe by transference, she conjectured that my drinking might be the reason for the custody case. It had nothing to do with it, actually, and as she later noted in her blog, we hadn’t hung out in, I dunno, three years or so. She hadn’t read my ex’s motion, and she basically admitted she had no idea what she was talking about. But whatever it was that motivated Dacia to attack me, you know as much about that as I do. The only indication I have of her feelings about me is what she’s blogged. She hasn’t spoken to me since telling me she was sorry this was happening to me and I could go fuck myself.”

Eden scratched her head. “Doesn’t sound like much of a loss, really.”

“It’s always sad to lose a friend,” I said. “But you’re right. I was involved in a fight for my family. Dacia wrote something rash knowing it could interfere with my real life, and she didn’t give a fuck.” I looked up. “You know, with some people—not many people, but like with you and me, Eden—I feel that no matter what, you’ve got their back and they’ve got yours. You know? I felt that way about Dacia. Right up until she put a knife in my back.”

“I wouldn’t do that,” Eden said. “Real friends wouldn’t.”

“I can’t imagine you would,” I smiled. I pushed aside her sandy blond hair and kissed her cheek. She smiled back, her green eyes on mine.

“That’s all such a weird story. I read what you wrote about those two old ladies . . . ,” Eden began.

Tess and Dee? Well, they’re just six or seven years older than me, so I don’t consider them such ‘old ladies.’”

“Sorry, I just forgot their names,” Eden replied. “I hadn’t heard of them before you wrote about them.”

“Yeah well, they were pretty peripheral to my life, so there was never any reason to bring them up with you. Especially Tess. I barely knew her.”

“They may not be super old, but damn, they’re old enough to know better. That kind of shit went out with middle school.”

“Yeah, though you know, I only had nice friends in middle school.” I tapped a finger on my jeans. “Speaking of them, here, get this. I was talking the other day with this friend I first met in May, at a conference called Sex 2.0. Another friend of mine had organized it, and a lot of friends were going, so I went to be a part of it. I’m interested in the topic, of course: it was primarily about the intersections of feminism and technology.”

“Sounds interesting.”

“Sure, right? Now, Dacia was going and by this time, Dee was following her around. Dee had never in her life been to such a conference, or even thought about feminism or women’s issues or gender or any of that prior to meeting Dacia, so she took to parroting anything Dacia said with the fervor of an acolyte. I mean, right down to the way Dacia says things are ‘awesome.’”

Eden grinned.

“So word gets out that I’m going and Dee starts to write me frantic emails. We had broken up, oh, eight or nine months before and I hadn’t heard from her since. Now, she wrote me several times a day. She told me I had a lot of nerve going to this conference because everyone there hated me, and I knew nothing about the plight of women, and so on and so on. I didn’t reply to her, so she kept writing with more and more reasons why I shouldn’t go, and threatening that she was going to tell people what a dickhead I am.”

“Dickhead! Now, that’s middle school.” Eden laughed. “Yeah, you know nothing about feminism.”

“How could I? I’m a man. But seriously, you know, I wrote letters to newspapers supporting the Equal Rights Amendment when I was in middle school. I got hate mail in reply. When I was sixteen, I held Pro-Choice signs at a Reagan campaign stop as jeering adults held pictures of bloody fetuses in my face. I’ve marched for gay rights, women’s rights, reproductive rights; volunteered for a year at a shelter for homeless women and children and for three years at a drop-in center for GLBT youth; written more than a few articles and a book about sexuality, and let’s not forget my blog. I don’t really need feminist credentials from Dee or anyone else to attend a conference.”

Eden nodded.

“Okay, I don’t mean to sound defensive, but Jesus, right?” I took a breath and exhaled. “Now, where was I? Oh, so this friend of mine. She went to Sex 2.0 and ran into Dacia. My friend was immediately ushered into a hotel room with Dee and one or two others, sat down and told—told!—that she should shun me at the conference. She sat there, listening. She had never met Dee, who was now giving her an earful of my supposed awfulness. At the time, my friend had heard of me, but never met me. So naturally, with all this negative energy being directed at me, what did she think?”

Eden shrugged. “That you’re awful?”

“That was certainly the intent. Instead, being a thinking person, she realized this was an awful lot of effort spent to make someone look awful. So she decided to do some research. She asked around about me, talking to people we know in common. She introduced herself to me. She read my blog and looked into the flame war. She found it all pretty fascinating.”

“So now she’s your friend?”

“Yeah, we met. She’s smart. She thought this all seemed over the top. She decided to get to know me a bit and whattya know? Turns out that I’m a real person. The thing of it is, most grown ups do not appreciate being told who they are allowed to be friends with. Sitting someone down to give such a directive is a presumption of influence that speaks to a skewed sense of power. Did Pope Dacia believe she had the authority to excommunicate me? Did celebrity-seeking Tess and embittered Dee believe that gossip should displace an individual’s reality? If so, what kind of community do the three of them imagine they are part of?”

Eden was quiet for a moment. “You’ve been thinking about this, haven’t you?”

I laughed. “Now and then. It’s all fodder for a memoir, I suppose. Sometimes it interests me just because it happened to me, but other times, I see a bigger picture in it. The ways people behave online becomes more interesting to me the longer I have an online persona. And I have a long-held aversion to the notion that communities should coalesce around ostracization and scapegoating.”

“Yeah. All of that makes me angry. When I hear about bullies, I want to gut them like fish.” Eden grinned at the unexpected violence of her imagery. “But then I’m from Jersey, and that’s what we do in Jersey.”

“The swamps are full enough of bodies,” I replied. “Look, I’m tired of hearing myself talk. Thanks for letting me vent. Now, tell me more about what you’ve been up to.”

Eden settled back and returned to talking about her portfolio. After all the pettiness of my conversation, it was a relief to hear her talk so positively about her enthusiasm for her work, like a bracing dose of reality thrown after the narrow confines of gossip and meanness I had described. I realized that I was actually pleased that Eden didn’t seem all that interested in the story I had told. She didn’t know the people involved and it had nothing to do with the things in life that mattered to her. She listened because she cared about me, and as I talked, I found myself moving more and more in the direction of what I found interesting in the story I told. It wasn’t that the actions of these others had much impact in my life—after the conclusion of the custody case they had failed to influence, I was rather content in my life, actually—but rather that they seemed so intent on having a negative impact on my life. These people seemed to find power in attacking me, whether or not these attacks had significance for me, and did so from the cowardly bunkers of gossip and keyboards. None had the bravery to deal with me directly as a real person. Eden had called them “bullies,” and that seemed a good word.

Eden had returned to talking about her recent boyfriend, saying, “So, that’s where that ended. I haven’t had sex in six months.”

“Six months? That’s a long time.” I tilted my head. “Eden, is that one reason you wanted to get together today?”

“Oh, no . . well, not really . . .” she stammered. She caught her breath. “I mean, that’s not the only reason I wanted to see you. I really did want to see how you’re doing.” She was quiet for a moment. “I don’t want to be one of those women who just uses you for sex.”

I smiled. “For reals? Honey, you don’t use me.” I leaned forward to kiss her. Her lips parted slightly. I held close, touching her lips with my tongue. I sat back and smiled. She looked relieved to have her desire out in the open. “You,” I said, standing. I parted my legs and lowered myself onto her lap, facing her. “You, Eden.” I took her head in both hands and lowered myself to kiss her again. “You, Eden,” I whispered. “You are nothing but good and kind to me. I trust you.” I turned her head slightly and lowered my lips to hers. Her mouth opened to mine. I grabbed her hair more firmly in my hands. We kissed slowly, languidly, two long-time lovers getting reacquainted with the taste of one after too long apart. Memories loosened in my mind. I recalled the longing that had once led me to imagine slow weekends, alone in the woods with Eden in my hands, in my bed, at the end of my flogs.

I gripped her hair tighter, pressing her face into mine. “I want you in my bed,” I said gruffly. “Now.” I released her and stood, holding out my hand. “Now, Eden.” She took my hand and stood. I took her kiss again, forgetting my own command and wanting to keep her where she stood, my hands roaming her clothes. The cotton was soft and Eden’s smell was filling my lungs. I pulled the shirt over her head, grabbed her shoulder to turn her and unfastened her bra. As it fell forward, I reached around to take her breasts in my hands. I squeezed hard. “I said bedroom. Now.” I turned her roughly, pulling her forward by her breasts, my body following, pressed close against her back.

I turned her to push her back on my bed and yanked off her jeans and panties. I kept my eyes on her body as my own clothes fell to the floor, taking in her familiarity. Our former understanding that she should always be undressed in my home had ensured that Eden was far more familiar to me nude than clothed. To see her again was like revisiting something as ingrained in memory as a childhood walk to school. I could find my way around her body with my eyes closed.

I lowered myself over her, barely allowing our skin to touch. When did I learn this about her? That barest touch sends the light hair on her flesh up in search of me. When did I learn to crave this scent? Infused in her hair, her skin, her sweat, her scent is from no bottle or tube, but pure and clear and carnal.

I kissed, I bit, I chewed my way down her body, settling my mouth onto her clit. Her back arched, prepared. I knew it would. She would come in my mouth in moments. No one, she has told me, can cause her to orgasm like this. But I can. I learned how.

I knew I should fuck her for a long time before I made her come, but I was greedy.

When she did come—loud, hard, thrashing—I had what I needed. Inside her, I knew I would come soon. I wouldn’t try holding out, I wouldn’t push for longer. Not this time. I needed to give back to her what she had given to me. As I came, I turned to see her eyes watching, her lips smiling. She shared with me the power we each have, the power we earned from all our time together, of the moments much like this one preceding this one, the moments that made this one possible and inevitable. Our shared power, our gift to one another, is the pleasure we give to one another, and the pleasure we derive in doing so.

I held her in the crook of my arm, both of us on our backs, talking low and gently, for a very long time. We dressed, agreeing to another date that would—barring riding accidents or custody battles—lead us back to our routine. We look out for one another, Eden and I. We have each other’s backs.

A few days later, a friend sent me an article in which Dacia was among sex workers and former sex workers who blog about their experiences. “Initially I didn't really care about what the people I wrote about thought about it and that applied to my personal life, too,” Dacia said. “I didn't consider their feelings at all. That was a very different time in my life . . . I did not feel limited though maybe I should have.” My friend attached a note, wondering if perhaps Dacia’s treatment of me—and her cavalier destruction of our relationship, like so many relationships in her life—now weighed heavily on her mind.

I shrugged it off at first. If Dacia has something to say to me, I thought, she’s always known where to find me. I don’t need to dope out her feelings from blog posts or online interviews. I left my desk to start preparing dinner.

Still, as I assembled ingredients and cookware, I thought: what if I reached out to her? Not in the interest of renewing our friendship—I can’t trust her as I once did—nor to gain anything, as she has nothing I want. But if she had regrets, and if these regrets dogged her conscience, I could let Dacia know that she can be forgiven. If I had somehow disappointed or angered her, perhaps she could forgive me.

After reading it over a few times, I sent this note to Dacia.

A friend sent me the article in which you expressed regret about having previously been inconsiderate of the feelings of others in your blog. The friend wondered if, reading between the lines, this indicated remorse about your treatment of me.

I’m not great at reading between lines. Maybe you feel remorse, or maybe that’s all a bridge you consider well burned. But if you do revisit your actions with regret and ever want to talk about it, I’m here. We used to be very close and loved one another. For those reasons if no other, I prefer forgiveness to rancor.

Hope all is well.


I haven’t heard back from her, but perhaps, one day, I will.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Orgasm Giveaway

The turn of the new year means the return of my annual birthday gift to you. Each January, I celebrate my birthday by giving away an orgasm for each year of my life, plus one to grow on. I turn forty-six on January seventeenth, which means I’ll dole out forty-seven orgasms between now and the end of the month. I should say at least forty-seven, because it ain’t like I’ll stop just because that goal is reached.

I’ve installed a counter on the sidebar at right to track progress.

The rules are simple. The orgasms will be given in person. Tell me what you want to do and let’s see if we can make it happen. This is a good chance for lurkers to come forward, as getting you off is a fine way for me to get to know you.

If you’re itching to be scratched, email me at onelifetaketwo@gmail.com.