Saturday, October 04, 2003

Got Baggage? 

It has now been over two years since my divorce, and I'm still not right. Not that the divorce itself was traumatic, but the marriage certainly was. That's old news, though.

Most of my baggage is sex-related. For example, I have an intense aversion to pornography. We're not talking about the standard female distaste for it, either. Just mentioning porn causes me significant distress. Porn use on the part of an SO = instant dumpage. To me, that's a much worse offense than screwing around.

But I'm not going to rant and rave about porn tonight. That issue, thankfully, isn't a factor in my current relationship at all.

My sexual identity is incredibly broken. Engaging in sex is at once terrifying, disturbing, repulsive, and deeply satisfying. When my sex drive isn't vastly reduced due to medication or artificial hormones, it's also very enjoyable, and the "disturbing and repulsive" parts aren't really noticable.

Steve read my post yesterday about the whole issue with birth control pills causing problems for me. After a brief discussion, we've decided that I'll start practicing NFP. I'm happy about this, because I'd really like to enjoy sex again. So I stopped taking the pill yesterday, and I expect my sex drive back soon.

Well, yesterday we were lying around in bed talking and cuddling, and I was thinking about sex. Steve has this amazing mind-reading ability -- he always seems to detect when that's what I'm thinking, and then initiates. It's cool as hell.

Unfortunately, instead of just going for it, he remembered that post I made and asked me how I currently felt about sex. If I were a simple person, I'd have answered with "I want to have sex." But I'm not. Instead I mumbled something along the lines of, "Don't think about it."

This was remarkably stupid on my part. I did want to have sex, but I interpreted his question to mean, "Is your sex drive back yet?" which it is not. And that means I've got all the unpleasant emotions currently associated with sex to deal with, along with the utter lack of physical pleasure.

So then we had some brief drama due to the fact I'm sexually broken. Steve's response was something like, "Okay, we'll wait," and then suddenly I felt rejected for completely inexplicable reasons. After some silence while I tried to think of a way to avoid telling him this, I admitted it.

His concern was that I'd be angry at him if he tried to get some under the circumstances (see my previous post, "I have a big mouth"). I assured him I wouldn't. So we did.

It went quite well, except that he couldn't uh, finish. This is something I should have expected and been prepared for, but I wasn't. I'd forgotten that in addition to the stress of the situation we were in, he'd also gotten only four hours of sleep the night before.

Normally, when this happens (which is fairly rare), I'm just concerned that there might be something on his mind that's distracting him from the task at hand. If not, and it's just a case of being tired, or some physical problem, then I don't worry about it. After all, he doesn't seem to mind much, and the experience remains almost unchanged for me.

This time, however, it bothered me. I'd endured quite a lot (and in this particular instance, it was QUITE a lot) in my effort to provide Steve with the sexual satisfaction due him, and I still didn't get the job done. I felt very much like I'd martyred myself for nothing. It was as though I'd given up a kidney to save him, and he died anyway. My kidney wasn't good enough.

The martyr mindset is very much a part of my sexual experiences when I've got something breaking my sex drive. I've got this bizarre fear that if I don't put out, something terrible is going to happen. Maybe he'll cheat on me, maybe he'll dump me... at the very least, I am not fulfilling my duties as the female in this relationship.

Rationally, I know this is all a load of shit. I know Steve values me for a lot more than the sex. But I just can't get past the idea that if I'm not putting out regularly, I'm failing him. I'm not meeting his needs.

This is all neatly dodged when I'm not on any kind of prescription that kills my sex drive. My natural sex drive is astoundingly high, for a woman. It's at least as high as a typical teenage boy's. I'd do it three or four times a day, every day, if Steve could keep up with me.

I always figured that sex drive of mine is a major selling point to men. I don't feel like I'm very valuable as an SO without it. That's what makes me unique. It's the one aspect in which I feel I'm better than other women. Take that away, and I'm constantly afraid of losing Steve.

Oh well. Hurrah for NFP. I'll be back to normal soon, with any luck at all.

Meanwhile, condom suggestions are very welcome.

I have a big mouth 

Our sex life is on the decline, and I have a feeling I know why. It's my fault, you see -- I talk too much. This should come as no surprise to anyone who reads my ramblings... after all, this is the third post I've made tonight, and none of them are short.

I have a tendency to talk a hell of a lot about things that are bothering me, even if I don't realize that they are. Sex is a prime example of this. I don't know how many times in the the last few weeks I've gone on and on about all the negative feelings sex inspires in me when talking to Steve. A lot, anyway.

Thinking back on it, I haven't always felt this way about sex. Oh, certainly it's always caused some rather scary emotions for me, but I never noticed so much. These feelings always took a backseat to the fact that I really enjoy sex, and used to have a damned high sex drive.

Medication of various sorts has been interfering with my sex drive for quite some time now. First it was the Prozac, which greatly reduced my desire for sex and nearly eliminated my ability to reach orgasm. Then there was the Risperdal, which had similar effects. I'm not taking either, now, and the culprit is hormones. Specifically, birth control pills.

I don't think I would have realized anything was amiss, except I stopped taking them for a week because I was spotting after about two months of continuous BCP. Then once my period ended, before I resumed taking the pill, we had sex, and I was like, "Holy shit! I actually got turned on! I haven't felt *that* way in a long time..."

So here we have me, with no physical desire for sex at all, going through the motions for the emotional and relationship benefits. And then going on and on to Steve about all the odd and unpleasant feelings I get from doing it, which has undoubtably made him less enthusiastic about initiating. I'm certainly not initiating at all, because these days the best I can hope for is that he has a good time, and I get some cuddling in afterwards.

I don't like birth control pills, but my options are limited. Depo-Provera, Norplant, and the mini-pill all make me horribly, horribly depressed. Diaphragms won't work with my anatomy. There's no way in hell I'd get a *fourth* IUD after the problems I had with #1, 2, and 3. Plain old spermicides cause significant irritation for me. Sterilization of either of us isn't an option because we both want a child/children together someday.

Natural Family Planning occurred to me as a possibility last night. It sucks, in that there's something like nine days you either can't have sex or have to use a backup method. Add another five days for my period, and we get to have unprotected sex for a whopping 50% of the time. There's failure rate to consider, too.


You know, I have a weird feeling that this is much of why I have such a short fuse lately. Try this on for size: Sex is currently physically unenjoyable, emotionally uncomfortable, and basically all I'm getting from it is the "satisfaction of a job well done". Steve knows all this, I think, or has a pretty good idea of it. He still wants to have sex. Am I subconscious angry at him because of this?

Well, of course he still wants to have sex. Even if you ignore the fact he's eighteen years old, and male, I keep saying over and over, "Don't worry about what I said, sex is still a net positive, I still want to do it."

Then I don't initiate. I dodge it. I talk incessantly about how unpleasant it is. I've become such a passive-aggressive bitch, it's not even funny. Gah.

Autism isn't all bad 

So I got to work tonight and walked into the guard shack to relieve one of my newer co-workers. He's a Hispanic man I'd classify as mildly retarded, which means he probably has an average IQ. The guy's name is Flavio, but I refer to him as "Floppio", because I don't like him much. (This has nothing to do with the fact he's Hispanic -- it's because he's an annoying little dipshit.)

Anyway, I walked in and Floppio was arguing loudly in Spanish on his cell phone. This continued for about ten minutes, past time for him to leave and go home, without his acknowledging my presence. Well, whatever, the guy's too stupid to have any tact. I wish I could've understood what he was saying though, because I'm sure it was amusing as hell.

So Floppio hung up, then gave me this conspiratorial look and said, "I'm in big trouble... I have to go meet this chick now. Hey, if my wife calls, tell her I had to stay late and I'm on patrol, okay?"

I didn't respond, and he took that for agreement I'm sure. "This is the first time I've ever done this," he added, apparently thinking that made it alright to screw around on his wife. "Man, I'm glad she [his wife] doesn't have a cell phone, cause she'd be calling me all the time to ask where I am..."

I ignored Floppio until he went home. I secretly hoped his wife would call, because I was itching to inform her that no, he wasn't staying late tonight, he'd left at 10:00pm as usual. I'd rather just tell her what he said to me, but that probably would cause more trouble than it was worth.

I'm a hardcore monogamist. There is nothing that pisses me off more than listening to someone brag about cheating on their spouse. It makes me want to remove their private bits with a rusty knife... which leads me to the main reason I'm actually quite glad that Steve is autistic.

I mentioned at one point in another post that Steve had never so much as been on a date before me. Considering the fact he's really hot, funny as hell, extremely intelligent, and all around a great guy, that's amazing. I'm quite certain he could have just about any woman he wanted.

But he's atypically autistic, and his social skills are practically non-existant. Even if he wanted to cheat on me, which he doesn't, he has no clue how to go about it. Some woman would literally have to walk up to him and say, "Let's have sex."

Today we were talking about some totally unrelated subject, which led to my joking that I was going to start charging him $15 for blow jobs. "That is," I said, "until I realize Tommy [a coworker] will pay $25."

So Steve said something along the lines that since I'm a woman, I can threaten to cheat and it actually makes sense. "It wouldn't be hard for you to cheat on me," I said.

His response was, to me, hilariously funny, but I think he was actually quite serious. He said, and I quote: "What am I going to do, stare at a woman until she magically decides to have sex with me?"

I used to read a message board called ASPartners. It's a support group for people who have spouses on the autistic spectrum, particularly those with the mildest form (Asperger's). IOW, it's a bunch of bitter women complaining about their socially inept husbands and talking about how they're going to kick their asses to the curb. There are hundreds of posts there about all of the awful things these husbands have done, but not a single woman mentions infidelity.

Even supposing Steve figured out how to pick up women, I still don't think he'd screw around. I don't honestly think he wants to, which places him in the minority of men. See, another aspect of autism is resistance to change. Having sex with someone else would probably make him so nervous he wouldn't be able to get it up.

This also means he's most comfortable with "regular sex" (which means following the basic routine we've been using these last five months), and that's just fine with me. I'm just not a kinky person. I don't get bored with having sex with the same person, in the same way, for years on end. In fact, it's pretty damn appealing to me, and apparently to him as well.

It's certainly a lot better than being married to one of those guys who are like, "I only cheated on my wife because she wouldn't let me hang her upside down from the ceiling while I banged her up the ass with a Coke bottle, and a group of monkeys stood around us having a circle jerk! Our sex life is boring! Hell, she won't even dress up like Clint Eastwood and diaper me!"

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