Monday, August 18, 2014

"ALL Women" blah blah blah.

Today we have a vent-rant-mini rage blog against articles that claim to speak for women.

I'm a woman. I speak from my voice. No one else has the right to claim my gender and speak for all of us any more than I do. Where there are stereotypes there are usually enough people to behave in such a way that a stereotype is created, I get that, but there ARE exceptions.

I read yet ANOTHER article this morning where a woman claimed to speak for my entire gender on what women want in sex, and what women think MEN want in sex. Much like it's an error to speak for all women, it's a bigger one to be a woman and claim to speak for all men. When is this shit going to stop? We are all GLORIOUS individuals with our own quirks and kink.

You know how to find out what your man is into? Ask him. Talk about it. Be willing to set ego aside and REALLY TALK about what makes your partner tick. Otherwise you're applying ideas to an individual. You're assuming. We all know that "Ass out of you and me" thing where assuming is concerned.

And again, I'm just thinking out loud. I've made mistakes as a woman in assuming this and that about men. Most who know me know I have a pretty kick-ass marriage but it didn't start that way. We worked toward it, and in doing so we had to accept truths about each other but more importantly OURSELVES.

I'm going to speak from MY voice about a touchy subject within relationships: Porn.

It was a very specific topic in the article I read, and basically stated that "Men like porn" and made no suggestion that women do, too. The issue of 50 Shades of Gray was briefly touched on to point out the gender hypocrisy that takes place. Men watch it and they're pigs, women read it and it's literature? Uh.... no. Forget how shitty that book is. (I don't even want to debate it, folks. BDSM is a lifestyle based off mutual trust and consent. That book is about a man abusing a naive woman's desire to be loved. SWILL. SHEER FUCKING SWILL. *just my opinion)

Gray's Anatomy? Women are the biggest demographic of viewers, and it's NOT always about whether or not the newborn preemie twins live. It's about who Dr. McDreamy or Dr. McSteamy is gonna shtup next.

What woman, especially one who grew up in the 80's, didn't fantasize that she was "Baby" while watching Dirty Dancing?

Just because porn aimed at women comes in a different package doesn't make it NOT porn.

But I'm talking about ACTUAL PORN. Main stream and freaky shit together, when it's consenting adults and people are, basically, fucking on film. THAT? Does NOT belong to men alone.

I will FULLY admit that once upon a time I was, indeed, a wife that disliked her husband viewing porn. Forget the stark honesty that *I* enjoyed it. The idea of HIM enjoying it bothered me. I felt threatened. I didn't look like the women in those videos. They were thin. Bodies perfect. How could he EVER want ME if that was what he was looking at? Blah blah blah insecurity ego denial blah blah blah.

I had to turn my issue on to myself and pick at the real problem. I didn't like how MY body looked, so naturally HE didn't either, right? I mean, forget that I'd watch porn and get turned on by men that look NOTHING like my husband but still wanted him more than I wanted water or air.

Forget that I didn't "Need" porn to get turned on, but that it heightened my arousal and that I liked it and masturbated to it when I was single.

DO NOT forget that. How about we look at that clearly.
How about we let go of that shame? How about we TALK about it?

That's what we did. Talked about it. Was it comfortable at first? Nope. We had some awkward conversations. We had to take the shame of it all and chuck it out the window. We had to admit there were things we both wanted to try, experiment with, YEARS into a marriage that had what I'd consider an already healthy sex life.

The light that went off was stark and startling. Two people. living together for years, were having certain points of fantasy unfulfilled because "Married people don't do this" or "Porn is a source of shame" or "Women don't LIKE this, or that, so I'll keep my desires to myself".

Had we never opened up about what REALLY turned us on? We'd still be happy. We'd still be sexual. But it wouldn't be where we are now. We had to open up the lines of communication past what was comfortable and get to the nitty gritty of the down and dirty.

When we did, it was a whole new world for us both. There was no more shame. There was no more sneaky behavior. No one had to lie, shine on, or cover up anything. There was a freedom within our union.

I could finally say to my husband, "Sometimes I don't WANT the big seduction. Sometimes I DO want you to toss me on the bed and fuck me like a cheap whore."

My husband could finally say to me, "I want you to seduce me. Men need that attention too."

It went from "How I'm Failing My Partner" to "New Things We're Gonna Do". It took what so many could see as a negative and turned it into a positive. I don't understand, in any way, why some -- men and women both -- see their sexual union as a chore. I've never understood the mentality that having sex with the ONE MAN I found sexier than all other men on the planet was a bother, or a favor, or giving something when I wasn't getting something in return.

We live in a sexually repressed society that tells us lust is wrong. Flirting is wrong. We have placed the value of monogamy on marriage to SUCH an UNHEALTHY degree that people get jealous enough TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE. He looks at the big boob blonde waitress and wife goes into a state of depression even though SHE also noticed the nice rack. He freaks the fuck out because she "liked" a hot photo on Facebook.

It boils down to self and ego. "If they see something in someone else, what aren't they seeing in ME?" A wedding band does not shut down a person's libdo. It is not some magic circle that blocks the rest of the world out. It's not. Everyone wants that. "Oh I want to be the ONLY person they look at that way." Wake up. Grow up. The world is FILLED with sexy people. And when you say "Yep, go ahead and look," because you know YOU LOOK just as much, only you're better at hiding it and lying to them and yourself about it? You're putting a big wet sand bag on the other person's natural human fire of desire and lust.

So, for all the "All Women Think THIS Way!" articles? I say kiss my ass.

I own my own mind. I also own my own desire. I SHARE it with my husband -- freely, openly, willingly -- and in return he shares with me what belongs to HIM. It takes NOTHING from me if I'm not home and he settles in for some porn, or vice versa. It takes nothing from me if he pops a chub when he's at the bar and notices some chick with a rockin' rack and a hot ass. It DOES take something from me if I am constantly nagging, pissing and moaning, and whining about his libido. It takes something from me because every time I'd fire up the bitch siren I was putting that fire in him out.

I do not speak for all women.

I speak as a woman, that sex in a marriage IS vital, and important, and not a chore. It's not a favor. It's not "Part of my job". It's the damn BONUS for having to pick up his dirty socks and wash hair out of my sink after he shaves.

I gotta put up with a hairy man farting in my living room? At least I get to play with his cock.

I gotta listen to that story about the guys at the shop for the fifteenth time this week? Fine. SERVICE ME, stud.

I celebrate my husband's masculine nature and his very existence as a vital, healthy man.
In turn he celebrates my natural nature of being a "sex kitten. (HIS words, NOT mine.)

I don't resent him if he's in the mood and I'm not. I just tell him to smack one out in the shower and think of something dirty and pervy while he's doing it. Chances are? I've done the same.

Lighten up people.

Go forth and be pervy.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Both Sides of The Coin

Tonight I will take the stage in Dayton at a show to honor a friend of mine who passed away in 2012.

Drew and I were on the road together, working a club in Kentucky. I'd brought him in as my middle, because he'd done the same for me a few years before in Dayton. It wasn't JUST that -- friends are one thing, business is another. Drew was funny as hell. As a comedian I don't do references much simply because those lines can become blurred. Someone has to be credible as a comic for me to put my name out there. I've always said I'm more apt to give a comedian a kidney out of love than a referral out of friendship. You have to be funny to merit another performer putting their name on the line for you, and Drew was beyond worthy of this kind of help we can, and often do, extend to one another in this business.

The one thing about Drew was that beyond that strict business criteria is that we were indeed friends. It wasn't an odd occurrence for him to randomly call me so we could talk about comedy, about our kids, and general life topics. The week before our time in Kentucky we spoke several times like two kids who couldn't wait to trot off to Summer Camp.

Our week was Wednesday through Sunday. We did our Wednesday show and as always, Drew destroyed that stage. He had a rough crowd, exhausted from the string of newer comics who'd paraded the stage, and brought them around to his side of comedy. They laughed. They loved him. I don't know anyone who didn't love Drew.

That night he left the condo with chest pains, headed to the hospital to get checked out. He called me after he spoke to his family, just to update me that the doctors suspected he'd had a heart attack on stage that night. That fact FLOORED me. It was not anything one could see watching him strum his guitar to his Johnny Cash bit, energy an all time high, entertaining strangers. And a funny thing happened before Drew got off the phone that night. Mind you he'd just talked to his wife and family before me, and did the habitual, "Okay well I'd better go. Love you!" ending to his phone call. He made a slight "oops, er, uh," noise and I laughed, I told him, "That's okay Drew. I love you too" before I hung up.

.....and I was the last person to speak to him. That night he had a major heart attack and went into a coma.
Drew never came out of it.
He died that Saturday.

I found myself reflecting on that last phone call for months, even years now, at first embarrassed and feeling unworthy of BEING the last voice of anyone he knew before he slipped away, but then glad that I let my walls down and said to a friend -- even though we were being silly about it -- that I loved him.

It has been since that time I have been far less reserved in speaking my real feelings to people. There are countless memes floating around about how you never know when it will be the "last time" you speak to someone. That phone call with Drew is the embodiment of that very idea. I could've busted my friend's balls about blurting out a knee-jerk phone conversation ending, especially because we're both comics. I'm glad now that I simply said "I love you, too." It wasn't just the last words he heard from me, but from anyone. Sometimes that still feels too big to be in my hands. It belonged to his wife, or one of his kids, not me.

Later that same year, my biological father died. Before my Dad but after Drew, my friend Tracey's husband Chris died.

2012 was a rough year for grief.

I thought I might escape 2013 without a funeral, but near the end another beloved friend died. Pasquale had been fighting cancer when I met him, and he lost his battle.

This year, my Mother passed away in June. She loved to laugh, and she loved my comedy. She wasn't entirely supportive at first and would ride me to the rails about leaving my kids and going on the road. Just at first. When she saw how happy it made me, that my sons were not worse the wear for it, that Pat was fully behind it, she shifted to the idea of supporting it.

She worried, you see. She worried it would put a strain on my marriage. She worried my sons might act out that Mommy sometimes left for days at a time. She worried about me getting into car accidents on my long drive. She worried about me getting mugged at gas stations or raped at rest areas. She worried with the heart and mind of a Mother.

But she sure loved to laugh. And she managed to make it to a show in August of 2013. It was glorious to have her there in the audience. It was a gift to show her "Mom, this is what I do." The pride that lit off of her that night as she went person to person, post show, saying "I'm Katrina's mother," or "Did you KNOW I'm her mother?" when standing next to me to ANYONE who would listen showed me that even my Mom believed in what I am doing.

Not even a full week after Mom passed, another light in my life was snuffed out. My dear old friend Brian -- my "first love" -- died from cancer. He left behind a wife and five children. He left behind a legacy of kindness, of music, and the 13 year old tucked somewhere in my heart mourned deeper than I thought possible for a friend I only had random contact with through my life.

And now? The world losing Robin Williams? It almost feels like it's all just too much -- this weight of grief. It sticks to you like swimming in a wet t-shirt. It's suffocating and it grabs at you and you can shift that shirt and pull it away from your skin for some relief but it will still manage to suck right back to you and squeeze, chafe, and make you forget the sun is trying to shine and dry it out.

And you know as a comedian you are called to bring joy to people. It IS a calling, for so many of us. You don't just STOP being a comedian. You look across your life and realize you've always been that one person to crack a joke, bring about laughter, do silly shit to get a rise out of people, only now you're getting paid for it which means you do it on command.

It's not like an office job where you can slink deep into your little cubicle and say to others around you, "Hey, I'm having a bad day. Can I have some alone time while I work?" and let people know you're at your limit and need a breather. I've worked that kind of work life. I know what that's like.

Now, you are charged with a task of reaching into the mixing board of your brain like a DJ's set up and finding the "Sorrow" button and pushing it to low while amping up the hilarity and madness everyone is depending on. You learn to manipulate every emotion you have that at times, yes, it is acting. You do NOT "feel funny" but you do, indeed, have to BE funny because this is one time in life what others EXPECT from you is what you damn well better deliver. Period.

And you realize it's like a phone call from a friend in the hospital. You realize that the norm is not for friends to say "I love you" (and ask yourself why we all fear that so much?) but when you're called to take your walls down to make someone feel less alone, less silly in their own skin, you say clearly "I love you, too" and you do what is expected of you. You don't do it with the sulking weight of a martyr. You don't make the career you've fought for your entire life, even before you knew that's what you wanted to be when you grew up, a burden.

You realize you are Honored.
Honored that you have been given not only the ability, but the chance, to stand before a crowd of people and take some of THEIR pain away. Your magic wand is the mic, your jokes your bits your set, the magic incantations to the soul, to weave a spell of healing.
Especially on nights like tonight.

My heart, heavy with its own weights, will NOT be the heaviest in that room tonight.
As we all gather to raise money for Drew's kids' college funds, you buck up and know that other people are seconds away from tears of grief, too. Grief. Longing. Anger.

Grief. Longing. Anger. You look in your bag of tricks and you say, "I have a cure for that. It might only be temporary, but I'm gonna take the hurt away for a while." ....and in doing it for other people you realize you're also doing it for yourself. The gripping wet shirt dries for a while. The mind and the heart take flight. It doesn't matter they'll crash with the reality that exists: Friends are gone. Your parents are gone.

For a while you get to NOT HURT, and help others NOT HURT.

And yes, it is indeed an Honor to be the person to do it.

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Penile Curiosity Poll: Men Talk To Me About Their Best Friend

As a woman, the relationship a man has with his penis has always fascinated me. I don't have a penis, no matter how much people say I have "Balls". I only get to play with the penises and "borrow" them from time to time as a heterosexual female. Women get pissy all the time when men pretend to know what it's like to have a vagina. I will never pretend to know what it's like to have a dick.

As I've gotten older, I have heard some men discuss to some degree that sex becomes less important as a man ages. Sex isn't as exciting. The desire dwindles. Not seeing any evidence of that in my own house, I decided to pose some questions -- simplistic ones -- to my male friends over 40 on Facebook. I simply asked that anyone who'd like to answer these questions email me. All answers would be kept anonymous.

I was rather shocked that in less than three days over 200 men over 40, not even knowing WHAT I was about to ask, said "Yes, I'll participate!"

While I do not attest that my "findings" are anything more than curiosity, I thought to myself, "Well, this much I have found out: Men are more than willing to talk about their dicks."

I asked the following questions:

1. How old are you?

2. Do you feel the desire for sex has lessened, gotten stronger, or stayed the same since you were 20?

3. Has the intensity of sex lessened since you've gotten older? Meaning the actual sensation/force of release/enjoyment.

4. If you had to live a completely sex-free life from now until age, oh, say 80, meaning no sexual contact with another person or "special alone time" could you be content with that? Accept it as the normal aging process, or would you do something about it.

5. On a scale of 1-10 how important is sexual release for general happiness and good health, in your opinion?

1. Men as young as 40 and as old as 65 replied to my inquiries.

2. When asking about the desire for sex, more than 70% of the men asked said their desires have gotten stronger as they've gotten older. Some did elaborate that having the right partner added fuel to that fire. Others remarked that because of experience, and learning more about how to be sexual, they felt that it made sex more enjoyable and in that made them want it more often than when they were younger and "clueless".

3. As far as the intensity of their sexual feelings -- sensation and force of release, answers were all over the board. I feel that might have been MY fault in the wording of the question. Most men said that the intensity had grown stronger over the years. Those who had medical issues -- diabetes, issues with substance abuse -- owned that their medical issues probably had a lot to do with the lessening of sensation.

There were men who reported that casual sex was less intense because of the lack of knowledge of their partner(s). There were men who reported an extreme INCREASE in sensation and satisfaction that came with age.

4. Almost EVERY MAN, and I mean EVERY ONE, except one, said they would take steps to ensure they did NOT live a sex-void life. The attitude was damn near the same across the board: Sex is too important to them to live without. Period. There were outcries that some would consider suicide if their dicks didn't work. Others said they'd try drugs, no matter how experimental or dangerous, to hold on to their ability to function sexually. The unwillingness to take it lying down was, save one, universal.

5. On this question I did add up all the answers to find an average. The average to this answer as a whole was an '8'. I had one man rank this as low as '1', with the explanation that he is suffering from a medical condition that inhibits sex. He can't do it any more, and stated that his life is still happy without sex.

There were a LOT of men who felt as long as they had "alone time", they were fine. Sex with another person? Not so important any more. Sex with themselves? Ranking at "10" -- most of which stated they believed it was for "good prostate health" and not at all to do with the desire TO masturbate. YOU, reader, take that to mean what ever you wish. I'm only here to report, not judge.

Some men broke the "Scale of 1-10" answer boundaries with proclaiming "20!". Some put it at a 15. Rarely did anyone dip under 7 or 8. Some flat out said, "I'm answering at a 5 so you don't think I'm a total perv." (Like I've ever disliked perverts?)

What I learned, in speaking openly with these men, is that most opened up to me to speak honestly and frankly about their pork 'n beans. I was saddened by those who said I showed more interest in a casual curiosity poll than their partners show them in their daily lives.

There were men who felt that their part in their relationships went from a man a woman desired to a paycheck and little more.

I had men confess longings that went unfulfilled because they felt they were no longer sexy enough to merit sexual attention being over 50.

Most were clear, and understood, that a healthy libido and an active one made for better health and a more fulfilled life.

We women stress, worry, attempt to stop, the aging process. We do Zumba and we buy miracle face creams. We worry about crow's feet and saddle bags. Some lose sleep over losing their youthful appearance. What I have found in opening the line of communication with men about their most private of parts is this: They worry, too. They worry that some day their Soldier won't salute any more. Some feel very alienated from the woman they share a bed with. Some desire more desire, some desire the ability to openly speak with their wife/girlfriend/lover about their needs and DON'T do it for fear they'll be perceived as a pig, a dog, a pervert.

Over all, my OPINION (and it is nothing more than that) is that men over 40 are still VERY MUCH vital sexual beings. Sex IS still important, and it doesn't die off with age like some might have suggested.

Are the 200-ish men I spoke to a FULL representation of men as a whole? I don't know. Some will argue it's too small of a section of the world's population. Duh. Of course it is. Still, you have to wonder.... If in just under a few day's time 200+ men willingly JUMPED to the occasion of speaking out? How many are sitting in silence wishing their voice could be heard?

As one who started comedy doing "Mommy" jokes, I've morphed over the years to a comedian who speaks openly, and frankly, about sex and the relationships between men and women. I am SURE to announce on stage I'm not a marriage or couples counselor. Comedy is one person's view of the world shared through their voice. My voice on stage is one that declares people don't have ENOUGH sex. Some agree. Some are offended. I find those offended are usually those not getting what they feel they need. Reading about some of these men's struggles with acceptance for their desires confirms I might be on the right track for some of what I say on stage. I'd say it ANYWAY, but it's good to hear that I'm not that far off base, and disheartening at the same time to know there are men who feel almost castrated by age and the assumption that as they get older they desire or deserve less.

Thank you, to the men who trusted me with your voices. Thank you for being open, honest, blunt, and NOT attaching photos for reference to the email exchanges we had.