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  1. My Penis-Free Era

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012

    Part Two - During the 2-Year Separation

    (Mindy Matijasevic - guest blogger)

    I don’t mean to make penis sound like a drug because, while it might be costly in ways, be a gateway to harder things (like babies and diseases), and take up a lot of one’s time, it does not get me high. Nor do I crave more and more of it. I didn’t have any complaints about the quality of the sex in my marriage when we had sex. It was the one area I could count on to be good. The complaints cover all of the other minutes of the marriage -- the minutes that made the idea of having sex with him seem like a bad idea.

    Of course after the first three penis-free years, and definitely during those three years, I missed being caressed and held close, skin on skin, the heat. I am a mammal, after all. But I wouldn’t cheat on my husband. I didn’t want to go as low as he, and we have a child whose face I can look into without that guilt. I needed my husband to leave before I considered myself available. There was one day when my dog and another dog (one neutered, one spayed) had some humping action outside, and I called my best friend on my cell phone and said, “I can’t take this anymore. Even my old neutered dog has more going on than I do.”

    For a while, that animal need would have landed me in places I shouldn’t be. It is like food shopping when I am very hungry. Bound to come home with junk I shouldn’t have let in my house. I do believe in Divine intervention, and after the first two years of being single, I thanked God very often for repeatedly not giving me what I thought I wanted. I was grateful that Someone/Something wiser and more skilled in loving me took over.

    I was spared from involvement with a number of people that I later realized were far too much like my ex in that narcissistic way. The outside may have looked different – average height, white, and overweight or muscular, black, and tall, or flabby and female – but the inside screamed, “Mindy, you better go hide somewhere because you STILL don’t know how to pick ‘em.” Truthfully, I didn’t feel like I was picking anyone. I still felt like I was being picked. And I had a lot of screening out to do.

    It was more important that I felt desirable than actually do anything with anyone. So sometimes, just being flirted with satisfied me. The actual person was typically more problematic than I needed. Many life patterns were beginning to change. I would firmly tell myself that I was the only project I needed to be working on and to keep walking. I really like when I obey myself.

    There was the man who cut me loose after I wouldn’t guarantee him sex when we’d meet. At that point it was all still on line. We hadn’t even smelled each other yet. I understand insecurity, but damn. I had already been with a very insecure man who needed guarantees from others but couldn’t commit to his own words and promises. I already knew there’d be no joy for me.

    There was the man who presented himself as separated and only staying at his ex’s house because he couldn’t afford a separate place anymore. I wanted to just have sex with him when he’d come to New York. I knew we weren’t real relationship-suited for each other. He didn’t want it to be so one-night-ish. He wanted a relationship. I told him when I think of it as a relationship, it hurts because it isn’t what I consider a relationship. It was very casual, and I didn’t even have his phone number. He yelled (in writing) that his feelings for me were never casual. At the time, it felt badly, but I am so grateful that never materialized.

    A very nice respectable man substituted for an absent teacher at my job. The second time he did, he greeted me with a surprisingly strong hug that made my eyebrows go up and the adult students giggle. I had no idea he liked me or that he was that affectionate. There was some event where we got a chance to talk, and I gathered he was deep into his religion and a rather solemn person. I was going nuts at the time needing a lawyer and not having money. My ex got a free lawyer from his job. This solemn man was very sympathetic to me and supportive. Somehow, it didn’t feel free.

    When I took the comedy stage, it reminded me there was life after all this mess -- that there was a future waiting to be had. The nice but solemn man came to a comedy show I was in. I couldn’t imagine how he was going to sit through it. I really thought he was going to feel like a sinner for being there near the rest of us. After the show was over, I felt almost apologetic that he was subjected to all that was said on that stage. He did not look like he had laughed at all. I imagined he had been praying for my soul while I spoke about pussy. What he actually said was, “How often do you have to do this?”

    In contrast, there was a man in my neighborhood who wanted us to get to know each other. When he told me that he smokes weed, his tone sounded like he was inviting me over but warning me that he lives with an alligator. I laughed and said, “Yeah?” It didn’t take much hanging out to see that he didn’t have a book, a piece of paper, or a pen in his place. I soon realized smoking weed isn’t just something he does; it is all he does. Oh, and lie. He does that too.

    There’s a very talented poet with a wonderfully deep voice who asked me out several times but never made an actual plan. At first I said okay. Then he said he would think of some things and get back to me. He called when the weekend was almost over and as if he wasn’t supposed to get back to me with plans. My ex was echoing once again. I gave this man hell for the disappointment. I had to ask myself why I reacted so strongly. I had no more room inside for anything that was or resembled bullshit. An old friend once said that I had high standards. She actually wasn’t joking though when I look at my life so far, they were far from high or even high enough, and her comment makes me laugh. Such high fuckin’ standards.

    I did meet a man, the brother of an adult student of mine, who I felt so instantly attracted to, I was slightly dizzy. My body was screaming to me. My pants were practically steaming. I don’t remember when I ever had such an instant physical sexual attraction. He was a muscular, handsome, smart, courteous, generous man. Of course, I didn’t know all that at that moment – just the physical appeal and the good vibe. It was as if he didn’t know how desirable he was. He could’ve carried me off, and I’d have gone. By the end of the night, I asked his sister if she and he live together. No. He lives with his wife in a miserable marriage because he doesn’t want his children to have a stepfather. I obsessed over him for many months before I let go and simply felt glad I had the opportunity to see my libido is alive and well.

    Then there was a woman whose poetry I had heard of for years. I finally got to a reading of hers, and I believed a friendship was born. She is very smart and funny and a talented poet. She described herself as a dyke. I don’t typically describe myself. I just try to be myself. I feel bigger in my heart and in my thoughts than most categories. However, I didn’t want to be misleading, so I felt compelled to let her know I am straight. (I remember when “straight” meant the opposite of cool and free-thinking, as in straight-laced, so it’s not a word that fits me well.) It didn’t matter. She had her own agenda whether I’d just spent over twenty years in a heterosexual relationship or not. When I learned she played Scrabble, which is a favorite of mine, I was all excited to play her a game. She refused, saying, “I’m not going to play Scrabble with you!” The emphasis on “you” made it so clear. There were people with whom she talked, enjoyed their company, and played board games. And there were people she wanted to fuck. As time went on, I found her more unappealing than many men. She was defensive and pushy and controlling and very self-centered. I also sadly did not feel she honored the feminine any more than many insecure straight men do. She and they all seem to worry way too much about being a “faggot.” This wasn’t someone who could be my friend. It was a power relationship. She fought to be on top. I’d have to fight not to be smothered. I could’ve stayed married for that. If I ever do hook up with a woman in my lifetime, and the dyke poet finds out, I hope that after her tantrum, she will realize that the problem was not her lack of a penis. The problem was the size of her balls.

    Mindy is a writer, actress, and comedian.

    Mindy on YouTube

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