January 4, 2009

"The Talk" and What I Found There

This week has been decidedly...strange. Pretty much from New Year's on, and it's all revolved around that fabled of subjects: sex. In places you'd never expect, from playing Monopoly (fucking Monopoly dude) to helping mom with her socks (she has a back problem and can't bend far). And, you know, I'm still juvenile enough that I can giggle like a 4 year old at the "birds & the bees" talk but frankly, I'm really disturbed at some shit that came up.

Ooh, subheadings!

I. The Talk

So mom just comes up one day and, after hearing Michael Baisden on the radio, decides she wants to have a go at giving me "the talk" again. She's tried this every odd year since I was a child, with varying degrees of success. This year went fairly well but I think it was more because I didn't let up once she started. No embarrassment, no giggling, no hiding--if you're going to start something, don't bring it up and get shy.

...And okay, maybe I was laughing my ass off at the awkwardness, but I was actually very happy. It's not that I know everything there is to know about sex, but I was so happy to be able to engage in conversation with her. I reminded her about the Female Orgasm seminar I went to a few months back (well, technically last year ain't it?) and I got her to stop vilifying sex.

Now, my mother's had some pretty awful experiences with sex that I'm not going to get into because she'd psychically kick my ass. I'll just say that after some of the shit she's gone through, I can understand her perspective on trying to explain sex to me her way. But I had to tell her that if she wanted to try this again next year she was going to have to:

1) Stop trying to give me that "abstinence is best" bollocks after having 2 kids (me and my bro) out of wedlock herself *side eye* Come on mom
2) Sex isn't bad. It isn't. There's bad consequences if you don't protect yourself and/or find yourself doing it for the wrong reasons, but on a whole I believe sex & having sex isn't really a bad thing

After those "ground rules" so to speak, things went pretty well. We essentially had a 2 day conversation and I just kinda forced her to be frank with me. I may have been a little harsh but...really that's just how I roll when it comes to my mom sometimes :P

Unfortunately what DID come up is my extreme aversion to people touching me. There's two reasons for this, actually

1) Previous abuse
2) I'm extremely ticklish everywhere. I am not even kidding

II. Would you, Could you, Should you...

I don't mind hugs, kisses, being affectionate, handshakes & shit like that. But frankly I don't like being touched by strangers--strange doctors, strange people, strange family members. If I don't know you/like you, you may not get so much as a handshake. I've never really thought there was something wrong with that, am I to just throw myself at every person I meet? Noooo.

The second reason is easy. I am ticklish as hell and I'd really rather not ever be tickled. I got tickled an awful lot as a child but no one really seemed to get that IT FUCKING HURTS for me to be tickled.

I remember feeling the most extreme alarm when I got tickled by my mom or her boyfriend (not my dad, he didn't hurt me or anything he just tickled me because he figured it was funny). I still don't know if that's really normal, but I never had the giggly reaction to tickling, I usually screamed and ran. My dad's never tickled me because he's more or less the same way--super sensitive I guess we are. Tickling is not fun for either of us and I really don't know what's so hard about respecting my fucking boundaries and not running up for a tickle because that's what you do to kids--not this kid.

Oh, the first reason. Previous abuse. And by that, I suppose, I mean sexual.

What to say about that. That actually happened a little later on in my life and it's difficult to explain. It my brain it's a bit Hitchcockian--jumbled up, confused, tied in psychology and over analysis. Some days I can remember it quite fine and other days I wonder if it happened at all. For years I wondered, "Was that really abuse?"

I don't really want to say much about it other than it was a female & male member of my non-blood family (as in, not related to me by blood) that I actually get along with pretty well now. I mean, it's come up between us once before and it's usually just waved off--hell, I don't know if I'd even consider it actual "sexual abuse", the only reason I can say that is because she's a few years older (he is a quite a few years older) than me and at the time I was too young to have any clue what I was doing and I didn't want to say "no". That kinda throws it in the grey area of "experimentation" and "abuse" I think.

I've only brought this up to my mother once before and, uh, it seems she conveniently doesn't remember which kinda throws me in that dream-like state once again of "did that really just happen?" Who the fuck dreams that vividly? Or maybe...I don't know...

I didn't mention it this time though, I just gave the reason that I'm tired of repeating over and over, I. Am. Ticklish. I think the scary part of that is, the ticklish is actually the bigger reason that I don't much like to be touched than the abuse. You know, the emotional & verbal abuse I've suffered over the years, that's tangible. Everyone knows that happened and I don't need to do much to prove it. The sexual aspect? Not so much. It's strangely intangible, just floating in the memory of my mind like something loose. In a way it is a little frightening that such a damaging experience (or experiences) could just be set aside for a moment like that. I don't know why...

I hope one day soon I'll be able to talk about that in detail again--make someone remember, make it more tangible to myself. Hopefully around our next "talk"...

If you're still wondering about how one talk about sex over Monopoly, I'll try to get into that tomorrow. That is even more disturbing and truly deserves its own post.


  1. Hello.

    I was just stopping by after you commented on my post at Female Impersonator.

    I must say, you are a brave blogger. I admire you for it. This particular post is really interesting - how your mom talks to you about sex and how you dealt with your abuse.

    I only have one thing to offer: Even if you thought that your abuse was abuse for only a moment, you are right. I know that for me, at least, when bad things happen to me I subconsciously try to forget about them so that they are not clear in my mind. I suspect the same might be the case for you.

    Just saying this because sometimes, naming a problem is the beginning for dealing with it.

    And the tickling...well, I wish I could help you there, but I'm also really ticklish.

  2. What the above poster said... in fact, everything she said. Woo, I'm superfluous!

    I can relate to this bit, though:

    "It my brain it's a bit Hitchcockian--jumbled up, confused, tied in psychology and over analysis. Some days I can remember it quite fine and other days I wonder if it happened at all. For years I wondered, "Was that really abuse?""

    I have no idea how to deal with it, but there's no way I'm telling a mental health professional: I bet that suddenly everything I do now that's out of the ordinary would be attributed to it!

    Also, hmm... if someone was preaching abstinence despite having children out of wedlock, that's just slightly silly. But when YOU'RE ONE OF THE CHILDREN - I can imagine that it didn't make you feel great.

  3. Oliver,

    Yeah, mom has a couple of stories surrounding my birth that don't make me feel great at all. I'm still surprised both my parents wonder what's wrong with me ~_~


    Thanks for your comment. I actually float around your blog quite a bit...

    when bad things happen to me I subconsciously try to forget about them so that they are not clear in my mind. I suspect the same might be the case for you.

    Honestly I think you're right. A little after I wrote this post I found myself talking to a friend of mine and he made a random sex joke...it was more self-deprecating than anything, but I was so upset I all but stopped talking to him completely. I couldn't even tell him why. It's been dawning on me that other than this post and some mental coaching I haven't dealt with this issue at all and it messes with me a lot more than I'd like to think it does. I think, hopefully, I may be getting closer to the point that I can actually start dealing with it rather than constantly sitting here in this dream state.


Please share some knowledge. Or amuse me at least :O