I'm a passionate person on so many levels and about so many things. And one of those areas is that of the people I'm attracted to. Now I'm not just talking about the people I'm attracted to sexually, I'm also talking about the folks that I'd like deeper friendships with, who I simply find amazing and want to get to know better.
The way I feel about people is strong, very strong, so I actually hold a lot of it back so as not to overwhelm them. As I commented in my love post - I feel for strangers as acquaintances, acquaintances as friends, friends as family or lovers.
One of the things I'm passionate about is intimacy and sex, which will be a surprise to many of you, I'm sure.*grin* Intimacy and sex are two different things to me, though they are often inter-related. I will touch on a few things in this post, but a lot of it will be fleshed out properly in other posts.
If I look at my friends list, I can see forty-seven people who I'd like to get to know much, much better. Some of them are people I've known for years, some are folks I've never met.
Of those, twenty-eight are people I'd really like some level of intimacy with. By that I mean emotional intimacy, lounging around talking, deep conversations about personal stuff, etc. With some folks it can also, but does not necessarily, include a range of physical intimacy such as cuddling while talking, being semi-dressed or naked around each other, showering together, etc. Though that will at times lead to sexual tension, I'm not even necessarily talking about intimate touching like foreplay, but the dropping of barriers that comes from being physically close and comfortable together with someone you like/trust.
Of those twenty-eight, fourteen are how many I'd be willing to follow the intimacy further with, if it felt right. By that I mean genuine sexual activity up to and including intercourse. Those are the people who I care about, trust, and like enough to share myself that deeply. I may want to with others, but it wouldn't be likely for all sorts of reasons. For me sex is about giving of, and sharing, myself. I won't go that far with just anyone, nor do I expect them to want to go that far with me. In fact, I assume they don't, usually to the exclusion of all other possibilities.
It may seem very artificial to break up my friends list in this way, but to do so helps me make my point. Of the nearly fifty people I'd like to know better, I've had one or more indepth conversations with thirteen of them. Of the twenty-eight that I'd like more intimacy with, I've had deep talks with six of them, cuddled up with or been more physically intimate around five of those six.
Of the fourteen who I would like to go further with, I've had sex with two.
There are a lot of reasons why so few people have failed to end up being closer to me, even though I'm open to it. Some of it is them, they don't wish to be closer, which is fair enough. Most of it is me - I don't let them know that I would like more closeness, or that some emotional or physical intimacy would be welcome.
From just talk, all the way to full-on sex, I am unable to make a move.
I have seen people pushed into talking about things they were uncomfortable with, I have known far too many women who had someone they considered a good friend, but felt that the friendship was damaged when he made a move. The last thing I wish to do is make someone uncomfortable, so what ends up happening is, I do nothing.
I don't say anything, don't do anything.
So the people that would want more, whether indepth talk, deep soul-searching conversations, cuddles, comfortable/safe nudity, or full-on rumpy-pumpy, miss out, and in many cases, so do I.
This is also not helped by the fact that I have an enormous blindspot when it comes to people fancying me. I have had a woman straddling my lap, holding me close, driving me mad with her scent, say to me "Do you want to come back to my room?"
And I said no.
Not because I didn't want to, but because I was worried she'd think I was only coming back to get it on with her. I liked her a lot and didn't want her to feel that way.
It wasn't until the next day that it sunk in that that was what she'd been hoping for. At the time I was just enjoying being close to this woman I thought of as beautiful and intelligent, and had no idea she wanted more.
I found out through one of her friends that I had crushed her totally by saying no. She took it as a rejection of her, rather than me being thick. Needless to say, the opportunity has never again presented itself, not even as a simple conversation to clear things up. If I had been able to lay fully-clothed with her and talk the night away, I would have been unbelievably happy. To actually get naked with her, let alone do more... It boggles the mind.
And even when I'm wanting them desperately, as in this case, there's absolutely no way in hell I can say it. I simply can't comprehend any woman wanting me, so I completely miss all signals, no matter how unsubtle. Or I can't let them know I'd like to talk in more depth, or do more, because why would they want to, really?
This is where my empathy and caring about people actively works against me. I over-think it to the point where I don't act. I won't make a move because I don't want to be seen or thought of as yet another guy just wanting to get his end away, I really would rather miss out altogether than have that happen. Even when there are huge sparks of sexual tension arcing between us, I'll convince myself I'm misreading the signals, or that they couldn't really be interested in me.
Put it like this, Kali, who over three years has expressed nothing but love and lust in my direction, usually has to make the first move. And I know she wants me.
I joke with people, make slightly salacious comments, that's as close as I can get to chatting them up. As Kali once described it, what I'm saying is a joke, but if I'm making it, there's some level of interest there. It's often hidden because I joke the same way with everyone. It's a safe way for me to hint at more interest. If someone takes it more seriously, then I'm likely to be willing to follow through, at least some of the way.
So long as I don't freak and talk myself out of it.
The poll question asking who would let me see their breasts was like that. When a surprising number of women said in the poll they'd be willing for me to see their breasts, I was filled with quiet horror. On one hand, I like the idea. I like it because of my curiousity, the perve value, and because it shows a certain level of trust which means a lot to me. On the other hand, the thought of an almost cold, artificial flash done out of a sense of commitment, or a mammary-based "Look at my tits!" attack, actually leaves me cold and a rather uncomfortable.
I felt a strong need to try and make this clear. I didn't want anyone feeling they had to do anything or, even worse, worrying that the next time we were alone together that I'd be saying "Well, you said you'd show'em to me..."
Brrr... The thought of someone worrying about that in regards to myself makes my skin crawl.
But someone laughing and joking about, happily flashing, or simple casual nudity that's fine.
Well, almost. It takes me a while to relax with casual nudity, in that I really don't want my eyes drifting straight to boobs or anything else in case it gives an impression that that's all I'm interested in. I'm often very interested, but don't want them to be uncomfortable. Of course, if they were uncomfortable, they wouldn't be undressing around me in the first place.
See, cerebral cortex like a spiral staircase, I can't help but over-think! The fact that I care so much about making a mistake with someone means I get nowhere, and potentially we both miss out. Of course it also means I don't make mistakes in this area. Except to accidently crush the spirits of women I really like. I know of a few other examples like the girl-on-the-lap one.
I have tried to change, and am still trying. My life is always a work-in-progress. There are a number of folks who have expressed an interest in talking to me in more depth about things... please do! Because chances are, even if you've said you want to talk with me about this stuff in LJ or a poll, I won't bring it up, in case it's the wrong time...
Yes, my dears, I truly am fucked in the head.
Problems of others
Was having a conversation today with a friend. In it another person whom I've met and like was brought up, but unfortunately I'm at a point where anytime they are brought up, I get insanely angry at them.
The simple version is, there was a good chance they had chlamydia, so they went to the doctor, took the two pills to deal with it... but they still haven't told their ex nearly two months since they saw the doc. And it's been somewhere between six and eight months since the split.
Now, it's plausible that they got the chlamydia from the ex. It's also plausible that they got the chlamydia from their previous partner two years back and may have infected the more recent ex. Regardless, the ex should be told. Part of what makes me angry is that the person in question is an otherwise smart, sensitive, caring individual, someone I actually like. Given that the ex was somewhat highly strung and a little unpredictable, I can fully understand being reluctant to ring them to say "You may wish to get tested for STD's."
Sex is great fun, but also a responsibility to yourself and your partners. You don't want the responsibility, then don't have the sex. Chlamydia often goes undetected, it can also eventually leave you sterile.
I told the friend I was talking to that I can't hear about the other person without getting angry and mentioned why. They said "Dude, it's not your problem." And they are 100% right, it's not my problem. I get too caught up in this sort of thing.
But I can't not care.
I can't help but imagine how I'd feel if I was in a situation where I discovered I couldn't have children because some ex of mine was too gutless to ring and say I should get tested. Yes, it may be a stressful or embarrassing phone call, but to look after your own health needs and not call smacks of selfishness and thoughtlessness.
If it were any of my friends in the position of the ex, I would care deeply, even though it's not my problem either.
I don't watch the news because I care too much. I care about about nameless strangers dying in distant lands. I care about the people who get robbed or hurt. I care about every house that burns down, taking with it the memories and home of someone.
I care about nameless winos on the street, and dearly wish I could 'fix' their life, get them help, a home, a job. I stop the car to go back and get a turtle off the road because I care. I catch spiders and put them outside (most of the time) because I care, even though trying to catch the spider will often freak me out.
The reason I'm not a counselor is because I care too much. I'd bring work home with me. The reason I don't offer to massage people even though I'm trained is because I'm no good at walling myself off from the person I'm working on, so I end up completely drained and exhausted.
No conventions running in Melbourne. That wasn't my problem.
I occasionally pick up rubbish I see on the street and pop it into the nearest bin. The rubbish isn't my problem.
A small inactive bisexual group in Melbourne. Not my problem, my life was doing great and I was comfortable with my sexuality. But I helped get Bisexual Awareness Melbourne on track and by the time I left there was a weekly helpline on Tuesday nights, and a bi-monthly newsletter.
When I saw two lambs out at the roadside, I decided to chase them down and put them back over the fence. If some unknown farmer lost a couple of lambs, that wasn't my problem. Except I know how I'd feel. And I'd hate for the lambs to end up on the road and get injured or killed. And I'd hate for someone to be upset by accidentally running over one. Or for them to swerve to miss a lamb and maybe end up hurt themselves.
Not my problem. But I can't not care.
There have been times when I needed a lift and someone picked me up. Times when I needed someone to talk to, and had a friend. Times when I needed advice, help or encouragement. And many times it came from people where my problem certainly wasn't theirs. Sometimes these things came from complete strangers.
And there have been times when I needed a friend and there hasn't been one there, and I never felt more lonely and wretched.
I've had two different people seek me out to talk about highly personal issues as a result of 100 Days. Their problems weren't mine, but I cared and gave them someone to talk to when they needed to, and I was happy to. I'd do it again in a second. They are much on my mind and whether things are good or bad, I care. After the 'tell me your secrets post' I've spoken to a third friend about another highly personal issue. Again, not my problem, but I was able and willing to offer some assistance. And there's at least two people from that post who I want to take in my arms and hold for an hour or two, even though one of them I don't know.
Big corporations continuing to pollute and destroy the environment. They don't see it as their problem, their problem is to turn a profit. But it's alien to me that they could be so willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this. Do none of these people have children or grandchildren? I don't understand, I genuinely, sincerely don't get, how they cannot care.
That it would be way healthier for me not to care, not to feel so much for the problems that have nothing to do with me, isn't in dispute. My life would be much easier that way. I would almost certainly be happier if I could create that distance.
And I can and do, from time to time. I think it's where my hermit tendancies come from.
But it's not who I am.
Who I am is a person that cares so much, I have to find ways to keep my mind distracted from worrying about others, be they human, animal or even plant. It causes me endless grief, anger and despair, sometimes at others, sometimes at my own inability to act. But still, when I see so many wrapped up in their comfortable little cocoons, caring only for their little worlds, I get to see so much of what is wrong with the world in an instant.
So don't fucking tell me it's not my problem. Because if maybe a few more people made things their problem, the world would be slightly better off.
I care too much, it hurts a lot and I hope I never stop. Because it will always be better than caring too little.