Monthly Archives: November 2014

Sex myths II: Misperception – No penetration = no sex.

Massive issue when it comes to sexual assault (“It’s not rape, I did not penetrate her!”) and cheating (“I just gave her head”) but I want to keep it on a much lighter note.

My point is: if you consider having sex only if there is penetration, you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. And frankly, you’re limiting yourself.

I hear some people complain that they just have sex once a month and that’s because they consider having sex when they have physical penetration. However, getting ready for penetration does take a lot of time, not just for gay sex and yes, one doesn’t have always the luxury of time. Morning sex is fantastic but who has the time for a quick cleaning before breakfast, work and everything? Also one has just woken up and rings are tight in the morning so the foreplay tends to last a bit longer than after a wine-filled romantic diner, sure.

So do enlarge your definition of what is sex and you’ll find out you (can) do a lot of it!  Foreplay is sex, blowjob is sex, handjob is sex, masturbation is sex…I would say that anything intended for carnal pleasure is sex.  No having time for penetration does not mean you don’t have time for sex and they can all be as fulfilling and pleasurable as penetration. A good handjob with a bit of cum-control given by your partner in the morning is beyond!

So don’t feel like sex was bad or rare because you did not put it in some hole in the pelvis area or you did not get anything up there. Thank God we consider bondage as sex even without penetration or it would basically be nothing but torture. Which I guess it is for people whose conception of sex is limited to a penis in a vagina.

I know the whole idea of sex=penetration coming from the belief of sex as a sole act of conception and the penis-envy that supposedly comes from it. Thank you Freud! The implication of the penis as the centre of our sex lives are numerous: like as men not being able to fathom that lesbians can have sex without using penis-shaped utensils. Yes, lesbians do not always use dildoes! “What do they do, then?” asked my brother, stunned.

There is also reducing the definition of a couple to the simple act of penetration. I know a gay couple who never had anal sex so people say they are not a real couple or not gay. Yes, they are a couple because they live together and love each other. They have sex because they do other things together. And yes, they are gay because they love men. The definition of gay doesn’t require taking a penis up your anus. It’s just a plus, the definition of being a gay man is just being attracted to men.

Now it’s up to you but look carefully at your sex life and you’ll find it you have sex more often than you think. Also widen your definition of sex will allow you to do more of it in various times, shapes and forms.

PS: You can also have an orgasm without ejaculating. The joy of anal sex!

Everyday anxiety and agoraphobia.

For the first 29 years of my life, I heard people say that I was a very anxious person but I never knew what it meant for I had never known anything else than chronic anxiety. It’s also never really talked about as it has been considered as one of these “women issues”, the psychological problems they pretend to have whereas “real men have real (physical) suffering”.

Throughout the first 29 years of my life, I developed mechanisms to control it but never realised what they were as such. I have been doing many things on a daily basis, things that never feel forced or difficult because I chose to do them, I looked at the situation of discomfort or down right panic and found ways to go around and about them.

It’s by watching a video on Youtube (link below) from someone who is as anxious as I am that I finally became aware of it and it was just last January, three months before my 30th birthday. It took me more than 29 years to put all the pieces of the puzzle together, to understand that all the “weird” things I do, and people never understand or are annoyed by, are all linked to one thing: my anxiety and more precisely what we also call agoraphobia.

People say it’s strange for someone like me to be a teacher, to be the person everyone looks at. Also, when I am with my friend, I quite like to be the centre of attention…as long as I dictate the proceedings. As a teacher, everyone looks at me but I direct everything and I readied myself for it. I don’t mind running the show, I know how to talk, how to act, how to entertain. I can work a crowd because I spent so long looking at myself and others that I know what people expect. I constantly analyse myself to find out how to cope and how to always remain or feel in control, as well as analysing others so I can fit my needs in.

What I can’t deal with, and where I shut down, is when the attention is directed on me when I don’t want it.

I always thought as myself and other agoraphobics as “cat people” whose aloofness is mistaken for lack of interest, lack of feelings and downright arrogance when it is just a way to deal with the anxiety of social interactions. We are not easy-going and have a lesser social need. However, it doesn’t make us anti-social just more “independent”, like they like to call cats.

We tend to dislike pretence and gushiness more than anything so sometimes we will abide by these odd rules of social interactions and try to please people, but mostly we do things our way or we don’t, and people have to please us. “I am the controlling bitch in the house now shush and submit.”

You’d think it would be easy for people to deal with us then but no. We do have some social needs which makes us very high-maintenance. Like cats who generally like to be left alone, we also have many moments when we are done with standing on the side observing and need attention. We then feel in control and need the control so we go in the middle of the room and from now on, it will have to be about us. We will run the show, pushing the overly sociable “dog people” on the side, sitting in the middle, stopping conversations and genuinely hissing if things are not going our way.

My mother, who is a “dog person”, is deeply gregarious, has a very intense, smothering social need to be with surrounded, to be loved, embraced, talked to, listened to, cared for at all time. She is easy-going, she can fake it easily, is ready to bend over backwards for anyone and she doesn’t understand any of the following mechanisms. She is convinced I am making my life a living nightmare with all these difficult things I am doing when it’s not as it’s nothing that somebody else is forcing me to do. When I tell her I can easily spend a few days without talking to anyone in person, she just dismisses it. “It’s impossible!”

Here are the “weird” mechanisms I have developed over the years:

*I love big open spaces as long as I am alone. I love sitting down and looking at the horizons in the fields, I love being on the top of the Alps and looking ahead. I love astronomy and astrophysics and looking at the infinity of the universe. Weirdly, the bigger the space is, the smaller I feel. And the smaller I feel, the more enclosed I feel, the better I feel. But it’s a feeling I need to have alone, I hate looking at the infinite universe when with people. I will enjoy the scenery but not feel anything.

*When panicking, I need a small, close, dark space or a wide open space. I would just sit in silence or talk out loud about something else, think about the world and its issues…

*I never go to the toilets but always ask where they are when invited somewhere in case I need to pretend to go if I feel discomfort during dinner or a conversation with many people. I usually stay for a couple of minutes and just focus on the silence and the dark.

*In the absence of room, I also have been writing since I was 10-12 and greated a whole alternative universe that helped me escape the extreme bullying I was victim of. It grew with the years because this is where I lock myself into when facing with insecurities outside my house. I never share this world with anyone.

*When crossing the road, if I see a car coming, I stop before the crossing and pretend to be busy so the car does not have to stop and I don’t have to cross in front of it. If there are a lot of cars coming, I will carry on walking until the next crossing then walk back on the pavement across the street.

*I cannot walk in the streets or in the shops or any crowed place, be in the library or the museum alone without listening to music. I need to wear a headset to make obvious to people who always seem to want to talk to me and it needs to be loud enough for me to block the noise from the outside.

*This is also why I loathe cinemas because I cannot isolate myself with music. In the restaurant, I tend to go for the table in the corner or outside.

*I avoid eye contact with strangers during meetings and trainings but always maintain it with the speaker until he/she looks away. They usually like that and think I am the most attentive person in the room.

*In a classroom, a meeting, a training, a festive occasion, when volunteers are encouraged to talk about anything, or give an opinion, I have always been the first one to speak up for the past 15 years. I understood that people who mock are actually trying to hide their deep self-consciousness and feeling of inferiority. I understood that when you’re the first one to go, you’ll be setting the tone. Everyone else will be judged against you when you can now just relax because you had your go already.

*As I said, I never actually go to the toilets because I taught my body to only need the toilets in the morning and the evening when at home because I can never go anywhere else. Even when desperate, it will not…work.

*I am 30 minutes early – at least – everywhere I have an appointment or am invited to in case there is a problem even if it means waiting a few yards away in the nearest bus shelter for the exact time. I don’t mind, I always have a book to read or things to do. That’s because I know I will not be able to deal with being the last one to arrive, having to go to everyone in risk of being rude, and say Hello to everyone who is already here. I need to be the first one so people come to me.

*The only moment where I never panic or feel anxious is when I suck my thumb.

*Up to 14, I never fell asleep without listening to music or recorded radio and rocking myself in my bed. Today, I never go to sleep without my laptop where I have a selection of random videos I leave to play hushly so I can fall asleep because once in bed, my brain seems to be wanting to review every single thing I said and did wrong on my life, every conversation where I could not say what I wanted, and develop endless theories and ideologies to make the world a better place. The voices on the videos are helping distract him – so I like t think.

*I cannot stand people who do not pay attention and make others wait because I always look at and notice and prepare everything in advance. When the underground comes to my station, I stand up at the announcement because I know that if I wait, I will be getting off against the tide of getting in. Also through the windows, I already look at the signs to know where to go so I don’t just stand there in the middle.

*Public transport, I am always 30 to 60 minutes early anywhere so I can set up properly because:

If I arrived on the platform at the same time of any kind of rail transport or any new station, I will not go in it, although I could. Rather I will stand back, observe where most people are going and position myself where the emptiest coach was.

In stations I know, I have learnt where the emptiest coaches are and the ones closer to the exit so I don’t have to be in the crowd so I always position myself at the same place everytime. I also have back-up in case there are too many people.

For the buses, I do the same and observe where the bus is stopping so I can wait exactly where the doors are opening and choose a seat where I have to interact with strangers the least.

I need to settle down so I am ready to get the bus where I can sit for once, even if the journey is 1 hour longer, than having to change trains three times.

If I feel I cannot deal with the public transport for whatever reasons, I am prepared to spent money in a taxi, not matter how expensive it may be. Again, I don’t mind, I read the seven Harry Potter books in two months in the bus.

All of the above are good news, it shows it gets better because, as I cannot afford the £80/hour psychiatrist at the moment, there are mechanisms I have developed that help me to cope. And since they are mechanism, I don’t think about them anymore. They have become as natural as tying my laces.

It used to be really bad. In highschool, I was so anxious about going to the canteen that I spent three years eating only when coming back home. That’s three years of having to work hard between 8.15am and 5:30 or even 6:30pm without having eaten or drunk anything. Also I was so anxious about public transport that I was walking more than 3 kilometres morning and night instead of taking the bus for 5-10 minutes.

The first year, people kept asking me why I would not go to the canteen , thought I was poor and started buying me food. I couldn’t take it anymore so I left the school at lunch, sat in the nearby cemetery for the whole lunchbreak and would come back after, saying I went home. I chose the cemetery because I knew it was the only place the students, the ones who actually went home for lunch, would never wander in.

It took me almost three decades to understand that all of it was linked to the same disorder. It gets better.

Now that I know, I am also starting to understand many things as to why I am like this. The extreme bullying I have had to go through between 10 and 16 is one the main reason, I know now. It gets better.

The video that helped me: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ty74fmcNUFE

Just Sayin’ – Double standards for animals

The Western countries have no problem with the horrendous condition in their slaughterhouses (the name says it all…); the Western states have no problem setting up official culls of badgers, all types of birds, squirrels, foxes, hedgehogs, wolves, bears…because they are seen as pest; their ministers for Health have no problem whatsoever defending the industry when it comes to using live animals as disposable objects for tests and experiences.

However, we should all rise and condemn Nepal for its traditional cull. We justify the double standards by saying that what we do is necessary for human survival whereas they are just “having fun”.

In French, we say that we are quick to see the hay in other people’s eye despite the wooden beam in our own.

PS: I am against all the above. Even slaughterhouses. Human survival does not depend on everyday mass slaughtering of hundreds of thousands of hormones- and antibiotics-filled animals in terrible conditions.

Things I hate: The “Baby on board” sign.

Why are people putting it up? Why are they actually spending money to buy that crap when they have a baby? Haven’t they got better ways of spending money?

And what are they saying exactly? That it’s fine to drive-murder every other car  on the road as long as there isn’t a baby inside. “You’re not a baby? You don’t have a baby? Your life is worthless, you don’t deserve to be treated with car, you deserve to be crushed between two lorries.”

Are they really expecting people to care? To suddenly change their driving because of their spawn drooling and crying at the back of their car? The usual bullying twats to suddenly get a brain? You know, the boorish boy-of-a-mans speeding right on your tail, so close that you can’t even see their bonnet and part of their windshield anymore, so close that their flashing headlights are basically shagging your brake lights…Are they really expecting them to suddenly slow down and learn how to drive carefully?

People who drive like this bought the road along with their car, that’s their thinking. And nothing will make them drive better and in a more considerate manner, certainly not the thought of the sleep-eat-shit-all-day mix of your genetics.

Then I remembered the “Princess on board”, “Little angel on board”, “Piece of Heaven on board” and you realise that the sign has nothing to do with road safety. They don’t buy the sign to ask people to be careful but to show off.

“We have a baby!”, that’s the message of these signs so that even when you finally manage to escape the restaurant, the pub, the shops, the cinema, the park, the streets, the waiting room, the supermarket….when you are finally free of the outdoors of any kind and the indoors of every kind with the usual brat screaming his head out, when you think you’re finally free of the parents and their overbearing need to force their kids on you, you are proven wrong.

Even in your car when you are alone, they are here with their baby telling you to worship it, love it, agree to say it’s the most precious thing on the roads of the world even it just shat and barfed on itself. You have to admire the parents, congratulate the parents, be happy for the parents, praise the parents who have just saved humanity from extinction. You have to acknowledge that they have joined the realm of “better people” who will now make the life of everybody a fucking nightmare!

Because let’s be honest, people who feel like they have constantly advertise the product of their sexual encounters and push it in the face of everyone all the way to the inside of the car windows always end up being the worst kind: the ones who bully the world into agreeing that it’s time for their child to be given 12 apostles.

20 years on. It gets better. Let’s carry on.

“I would like to dedicate this Oscar to the heroism and the courage of women. And to the hope that it inspires the creation of more true screen heroins to represent them”

Emma Thompson winning the Oscar for Best Actress, 1993
“…those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the centre are niche experiences. They are not, audience want to see them and in fact they earn money. The world is round, people.”

Cate Blanchett winning the Oscar for Best Actress, 2014

Culture shock: Kids on leash

There are numerous things I found weird when living in England. Things that could amount to some cultural shock, things I have never been able to adapt to and that helped realise how French I was on many aspects, in spite of my rejection of France.

Kids on leash.

Couple going for a walk, the man walks the dog, the woman walks the kid. Both on a leash. Couples, single parents, families at the supermarket, in the park, with kids wearing a harness and a leash tethered to the pushchair or their parent’s wrist. I did not get it. I never understood it and I will never do.

I ended up asking my students because I assumed this trend appeared after years of terrible statistics regarding the number of children casualties when having a walk or straying a bit too far from their too-busy-chatting-to-look-after-them parents. I could not find such statistics. The UK has a higher child mortality rate but it is due to dismal health service and it has not improved just because the parents feel they need to have their child on a leash.

The kids confirmed what I thought: general psychoses. Everyone in England has a story of a friend who has a friend whose sister’s bestfriend’s cousin saw someone else across the street where their kid, not on a leash unlike all the others, almost got run over by a car who drove three meters away. Actual story from a colleague, by the way. That’s the adults being completely unreasonable there.

The kids don’t care for these “he was very close to almost be probably possibly seen getting run over by a car parked across the street” so let’s have a leash on us. What they told me is that paedophiles were everywhere and having your kid on a leash help keeping them safe. “Everywhere”?! So even the kids are reading the Daily Mail then…

We don’t have kids on leash in France. It’s coming but it’s being very frowned upon. No, French children are not being run over on an industrial scale or being kidnapped by paedophiles because it takes nothing but one thing from the parents: to look after them.

I am not anti-capitalist, I’m pro alternatives.

I am not anti-capitalist. The same that I am not anti-communist. There are good and bad things on both theories. I am anti-definite solutions.

I am anti-black-or-white vision of the world, where two poles have to fight against each other to win over the other because as someone born in the early 1980s, I have been have living through this very situation and what we have been witnessing since is the radicalisation of each poles and the disappearance of alternatives.

I am against what I called “anglo-saxon capitalism” as much as I was against the “Stalinist communism”. I am against that type of extreme, objectivist capitalism that claimed to have been leading the Western World against the Eastern Block, that has created “World organisations” to serve its purposes (like the IMF or the World Bank), the one that has always disregarded and ridiculed the Third World as disposable resources, the one that claimed victory over the USSR in 1991, the one that saw the fall of the USSR as a confirmation of its own perfection, the one that has radicalised to such an extent that it has declared itself inseparable from the idea of democracy, that it doesn’t understand why the world still hasn’t fully embraced its objectivist vision and has declared all its critics as socialist terrorists.

The problem I have with this neo-classical capitalism is that it’s as corrupted and deceiving as the idea of communism and socialism promoted by the USSR. We are today, the “Western countries” – it’s quite revealing that we actually never stopped calling ourselves like this – we are in the same dysfunctional situation the USSR was 20 to 30 years before it collapsed, with a system that profits only a fraction of its elite and an increasingly policing and prohibiting State at the mercy of that very elite, a State that has forsaken its citizens it began to see as potential threats to the survival of its own establishment. The only difference is that this capitalism is giving us the illusion of choiceless plenty whereas that communism led to choiceless empty.

My problem with this type of capitalism is that it has declared its world domination, effective from 1991 to infinity so it should be applied to every aspect of everyone’s life across the world regardless of culture differences.

You will find out that the main actors of “anglo-saxon capitalism” shrug away the idea of culture difference, they are as intolerant and violent towards this idea as the Nazis were. It’s a chick thing…culture…nobody actually got time for that French philosophers crap. How European to be talking about culture instead of focusing on real issues, isn’t it?!

Culture is a major part of the problem because, although it is made to move and evolve, although it can change, discard bad aspects of itself and take the good ones of another culture, it takes time. It works on a time scale that has become foreign to the capitalism championed by the English-speaking world.

Everything is culture and the resistance that frustrates London, Washington and Canberra, the resistance they like to drag in the dirt, ridicule and humiliate is nothing but people looking at the alternatives, trying things out, leaving the negative on the side and embracing the positive of everything, anglo-saxon capitalism included. We hear sometimes the English economic establishment saying that it is childish from people to pick and choose when the economy is concerned, we either take or leave it, we either are on their sides or not. The world is a playground for the bullies. “You’re either with us or against us”. What a choice!

The issue today in the world is that London and Washington understand and define globalisation as “Do exactly what we do. Live like we live. Work like we work. Love like we love. Eat like we eat. And everything will perfect”. This is not globalisation, this is standardisation.

Globalisation has always existed. The movement of men, goods and economy have always been a human activity. To say that it is new is a mistake, goods have always been exchanged throughout the world despite languages and cultural differences, we always traded with our friends and foes, economic actors have always been moving around, especially in a world of constant war.

What is new is the standardisation, the idea that we all have to do, to be, to think the same and the model we are told we have to follow is the American way of life. This is the will for the whole of mankind to be fashioned to the WASP model and unfortunately, people are not ready to just do it. What we do, and what the Americans and British find very frustrating, is take what we like from the WASP way of life but refuse to embrace what we dislike. It’s not childish, it’s not condemnable, it’s not to be ridiculed, this is normal cultural behaviour. Forcing a culture on another one is the best to antagonise everyone.

The anglo-saxon capitalism has been mainly defined by Adam Smith and British or American philosophers. The neo-classical capitalists are saying that we should go back to the “birth of capitalism”, to capitalism in its genuine form. What they willfully ignore is that capitalism existed before, Adam Smith just defined it, he put some rules on it. The same way some people said that we needed to rationalise Nature. Evolution did not start with Darwin, he just explained it then we went from there. At the time of Adam Smith, there was also a need  to rationalise a normal human behaviour of making money and trading.

What we overlook is the fact that he defined it in catholic Scotland and protestant England, in the mid-1700s where people were desperately pushing the case for industrialisation. This was a world strongly dominated by single-minded ideas and censorship, a world where slavery and colonialism were considered normal, even a force for good, a world where Europe, divided and fratricidal, was ruled by absolute monarchs chosen by God with the right of life and death over anyone and everyone, and a wider world of which we knew almost nothing about. He put some ideas in his definition of capitalism that would be pleasing enough at the time so he was not imprisoned, exiled or censored and ideas that were current 300 years ago.

The same fashion the laws of Nature have been written by men to suit their understanding and justify their dominance, capitalism have been defined by the British and the Americans who have made it evolve into a diktat everyone should follow because they won over their natural enemies, socialism and communism. These laws of Nature and laws of capitalism are extremely restrictive and definite because they had to serve a purpose at the time and had to be as unnegotiable as a religious dogma.

Thankfully, we have moved on from these so-called laws of Nature which were supposed to support the fact that the white man is the acme of evolution and that everything is nature is about fight for power and domination. We have sorted the good and the bad, we have understood that these laws were in fact bad reading of Nature made to justify our crimes, intolerance and present the powerful’s march to greater power as the way things are supposed to be, therefore fighting against it would be “naturally unlawful”.

Science has brought enough proof and evidence to show the complexity of Nature, a complexity we are still discovering and that makes writing ‘its laws’ virtually impossible. We could have stopped at Darwin and the ones who have badly interpreted some of its rushed work to understand nature and evolution, or Linnaeus to explain the human race but we did not. We scientifically looked for alternatives in the face of the atrocities committed in the name of their theory.

We have discovered that unlike what neo-classical capitalism is saying, not everything in Nature is about being the most powerful, that there is no such thing as the “jungle law” or “the rule of the most powerful” in Nature. Lions don’t kill everything, destroy and pillage everything in the savannah. There are rather endless expressions and mechanisms of solidarity between species, races and kinds because everything is about balance to ensure its own survival.

Only fire is eating until it dies. An apparent domination but Nature grows back after. Humans are fire. A fire who, in 18th and 19th century industrialist Britain, looked and defined an economy theory that would justify slavery, colonialism and the destruction of its own environment and today this theory is as obscurantist and deaf as it can be.

The failure of communism does not mean the victory of its strictly opposite vision. It means we should look at something else now, something less extreme, more including. Marx’s vision was just as aggressive and narrow-minded as the ideology he was trying to counter. It was: let’s see what capitalism do and let’s do the exact opposite. Its failure should have been a wake-up call for this type of capitalism.

It’s time we look at alternatives now. Not to capitalism as such because I believe it is inherent to human nature. We have to look at alternatives within capitalism, in the face of all the atrocities and suffering brought by the very narrow-minded, fossilised, aggressive, domineering and over-bearing anglo-saxon version of capitalism. We need cool heads to be able to see objectively what is good and bad in that vision of capitalism that is ruling the world, putting entire countries to their knees, sealing the fate of millions of innocent people for the profit of the very few, and reducing democratically elected heads of state and parliaments to irrelevance.

The fact that a single judge far away in the US forced into default Argentina, an entire, democratic country with 42 millions inhabitants, to the profit of American hedge funds without a flinch for the Western countries, the IMF or the World Bank shows how destructive this type of capitalism is. It’s 42 millions people facing unemployment, poverty, insecurity, for the profit of a hundred or so rich Americans. Baffling.