Our collective lack of knowledge is so acute that it seems like a normal state of affairs for young people to be struggling in ignorance, trying to harness sexual energy, the natural force of life. We pay so dearly for unfortunate sexual experiences or uneducated guesses early on in life, carrying them as swirling, dim, unresolved memories that affect us day by day. Sex, love and intimacy can become a nightmare ruled by insecurity and lack of trust (Richardson,D 2003:10)
'Intimacy can seem scary when intimacy *has been scary*' - Marnia.
The theme for this week is harder to call. My first picks were dissonance and turmoil. For the former, its been a week where what i think, know, and feel all seemed so much at odds, and for the latter feeling battered and bruised by a week of ups and downs. It has however been a good deal more up than down, even if the relapses were indeed deep. For that reason i'm going to go tentatively with Buoyancy. Imagine being pulled down to the depths but always bobbing back to the surface.
After two mornings sleeping in, it's back to 4am, and breathing more easily now after a weekend of solid rest.
Last night i had a sequence of three dreams involving geometric shapes, death and killing.
I'm in some kind of computer game, and as players we are trying to broach a heavily patrolled road. When the player's weapons systems are armed and set to kill the four squares around the player to the front, back, left and right, show a symbol.
I'm on a train and on the parallel train there's a bad guy hurting people. He must have moved down the train, and somehow hops over to the carriage behind me, and is hurting people there as well. Only the locked door behind me stands between him and me. But its locked from the other side.
I hear on the radio that a famous rock star was killed in a motor accident travelling south on the freeway. I wonder what someone like her is doing driving at all, then see that she has an armoured formation of 4 metal cubes to the front, back and both sides. In the cube behind and above her was her master protector
The four squares seem like a reference to old thinking, and the road and death to my rubicon. That's all i get for now.
My beloved has also had a recurring dream over several days: Someone is pointing a gun at you and me, and i keep trying to push the gun away.
Of course these dreams have their source in the events of recent days i'm sure. Yesterday was a repeat of saturday, both of us recuperating quietly and separately. I'm feeling a bit healthier and spend the day curled up on the couch with a stack of building books. I notice she's done some dishes, that's a first since reboot. Maybe she's on the mend. I run a bath, and she asks to join me, which she hasn't done the last few days. It's a nice bath, lots and lots of eye contact. Now, I've started reading The Heart of Tantric Sex (THOTS), and about the first keys chapter on the eyes. So I'm enjoying playing with that, aware of my off and on again resistance to it. She seems right there though, probably more than i can manage, until we talk about the building project some, when i lose her. I ask her why and she says little old worries. Her worrisome-ness concerns me, a) because i don't understand it, i lose no sweat over practical things and b) I'm left feeling like she has no faith in me to take care of the technical problems. It doesn't seem major though and we discuss it no further and just let the feeling sit.
While were naked together, I'm mindful of looking at her respectfully, avoiding breasts and genitals, not like how id like to be looked at. That's Marnia's coaching kicking in. Its hard though, i do peek at her breasts and they do have some irrational allure.
Having finished the main part of CPA, I'm aware of feeling some let down, partly the loss of the daily reading, but also not having any real structure now to hold our forward momentum. Where i was hoping for practical tools for moving forward, the book ends with the exchanges. These seem designed for weaning you off the passion cycle. As we are both well past that now, and are already well into the bonding behaviors, i read about half of them, before thinking, well we need to read and do these together. But that will have to wait til she returns from her trip. So what now?
After dinner, the tv stays off (after all its as simple as not turning it on), and i hold her, both of us clothed, stroking her hair and forehead. Then we swap, she again doing her arms wide open, come cuddle gesture. I like that gesture a lot. But she is different somehow, i have to prompt her to remove the scratchy sweater she's wearing, and she touches me roughly. I tell her i like it softer, but it doesn't seem to go down well.
As a lie there, and even though i get no erection, i begin to feel a wanting of her. It seems to come out of nowhere, and grows until I'm feeling twitchy about it. She's not feeling it, and i ponder this for a while saying nothing, wondering how i should respond to such feelings. Should i be masterfully seducing her, as some of the guys would have me do? I'm suspicious, my rubicon is by no means broached, indeed i feel very much still on the water.
After a while we both begin to fall asleep, and she drags us off to bed. This perks me up a bit, and when in bed we are laying facing each other and i look at her. Again she's on a completely different wavelength, and in response to my wanting eyes, closes her own. I lie there pondering this experience. On the one hand I'm aware that if my body had been interested it would have been more convincing. Why after all this time do i suddenly need her?
After all I'm being patient with myself, her and us, allowing some space, letting myself experience needlessness, and what it is to be content. Finding my own source of content. I'm tuning more into her rhythm, letting her recover from illness, waiting to see when she will rejoice in receiving me. Allowing her to find her feminine receptiveness. All those things right? For two weeks I've been completely happy with this. Now suddenly i want her. Odd.
Was this some sort of subconscious attempt to restore the connection that faltered in the bath? Just a random dropout or throwback? Male gene propagation? One thing is for sure it is no loving connection, so as far as I'm concerned the benefit of doubt is hers. But how long will i wait for her, how long until she is ready? The conversations between emerson and daryl on this topic foremost in mind. I seem to have no faith. Or maybe it's just that I'm not attractive to her yet. Maybe that will come as i feel the land south of the rubicon firmly beneath my feet.
I have no idea about how to go about negotiating a schedule, the very thought of it fills me with dread. She will find the whole subject threatening, and that will kill it dead.
Day 36 PM0:0,7,1, Post O Me/her:34 days/36 days, POST PVI/Other: 15 days/9 days
I seem to be well enough to return to 4am starts. Or so my idiot body thinks.
Anyway i woke up filled with the most surprisingly bitter thoughts and feelings of blame. Such nastiness that i refuse to commit to paper. I'm a bit lost in it, and its soooo warm in bed, but i finally prise myself out at 5. Marnia - our ever vigilant life guard - just happens to send at this precise moment a timely reminder to 'stay on my surfboard'. That and rereading the last few days writing calmed me enough that i was able to extract myself from the tangle of mush.
My advice for those hijacked by strong emotions, is to not let it build. Getting up, moving my body, stretching, reading, it all seems to help stall the process, which otherwise just seems to accelerate. Inspired by marnia's inner surfie, there's a certain amount of imbalance you can tolerate, after that you're going for a swim. I feel like i am slowly learning. After 50 years i think i had pretty much given up hope of gaining control over my inner turmoil. Resided myself to staying out of as much trouble as i could, and muddling through life half alive half dead.
0540, she's up, but now she's, like, my sweet pea. Weird, i have never called her that before. I'm looking at her, we are standing about 12 inchs apart not touching. The first thing i notice is that physically she's firing on about half a cylinder, and while i don't know what i did exactly, she transforms suddenly, now beaming from ear to ear and says that I'm incredible, and sooo good to her. Its all a bit of a mystery to me really. All i did was stand there. Smiling i guess. She went from something the cat dragged in, to radiating so much warmth and beauty, like I've never seen in anyone ever. I feel a tingle in my groin. Her head seems to literally glow.
I quietly make her coffee. Maybe i should stop doing that, I'm an accessory to the addiction and she badly needs the bone calcium. She extra efficiently gets herself off to work. And now the house is quiet.
Anyway that's this morning, yesterday now seems, by comparison, a blur. Still a bit croaky, but got lots of work done. Beginning to get in touch with the kinds of food i want to eat soon. I usually crave nutrient dense foods after breaking fast and this is looking to be no different.
Later its tv hour and a half, I'm holding her but to me she doesn't seem to be enjoying it, I'm a pillow pretty much. We talk a little afterwards, as we have been lately, like you would to your best mate. I've semi negotiated, well more like proposed really, limiting tv to every other night. She hasn't signed in blood yet, but i will see if she will agree to it.
It seems like a small step in the right direction toward better karezza habits. We can entertain ourselves on the other nights i say, smiling.
Day 37 PM0:0,7,1, Post O Me/her:35 days/37 days, POST PVI/Other: 16 days/10 days
Two morning erections in a row. Some return of penis body today, which feels nice. Yesterday i was a bit flat, struggling for concentration all day. Worse in the morning as with other times.
This living in the moment is making it harder and harder to recollect the events of yesterday, and it's a struggle to overcome my repellence to it. Maybe though its just old age, and I'm losing my short-term memory, lol.
After dinner, its a no tv day, and she's pleading for it. Its actually more fun than tv to watch her as she tries every angle in the book, and i just calmly explain my reasoning behind the proposal. When you've experienced one addiction at such close hand others seem so much more obvious. The blobness that we seek from tv, is so just much passivity, that fills our minds with nonsense, and ultimately, takes us away from each other.
Its more like a pillow fight than an argument. At one point I almost relent, shes like 'just one, just one episode'. At another point she says 'but what will we possibly do with ourselves instead' and at that I'm, warning, warning, addiction alert. So i toughen up and she finally relents.
We sit facing each other at each end of the couch our legs intertwined, i want to be able to look at her. This is new. Everything about this is new. I start by telling her that we cant possibly build a house together without first building our relationship. I also say that without the book our relationship would never have made it to the end of the year. This pricks her ears up, as i know she fears abandonment. It was a risky shot, but by telling her in a warm moment in as non threatening a way as possible, i want her to really really get that I'm really really serious about this program. We cover a lot of ground, our fears, her worrisomeness, getting a perspective on how little intimacy there has actually been in our relationship and how little vitality in each of us. Part way she admits to enjoying the conversation, and that life didn't end without the box. She talks about the crafts and other creative things she'd like to be doing. We look into each others eyes at length, throughout really, and i tell her how present and sturdy she feels to me.
At one point she drags the conversation back to the house building, and we can both feel the tension level rise up several notches, eyes averted. After a few minutes i catch myself going to argue, then drag the conversation back to us again. Lucky catch. She starts to talk at length about her childhood, and kind of gets a bit lost in thinking about it. I listen or try to but i discover how boring listening to analysing is (yes i can hear you all out there, touche, note to self). I tell her that I've tried to think my way out of inner turmoil my whole life long. The book is offering an alternative, that if we trust the framework it offers, maybe try it for a few months, to see if the turmoil doesn't just melt away. After all throughout my entire reboot it has proved reliable so far. What have we got to lose?
To wind up, i read out loud the first half of chapter 9, but I'm still a bit croaky and she's again falling asleep. And she again is not into the cuddle. Suddenly the situation between us is crystal clear to me. The more i see my own fear of intimacy the more i see hers. Not in a judgemental way, but a matter of fact way. It just is, and its helpful to really see that in a sympathetic way. Among other things it means that far from her not loving me, it's just her fear that prevents her expressing her love. Therefore it isn't her that is rejecting me. Thus i don't feel rejected.
The falling asleep thing is a tool for mitigating fear. And, while we don't talk about it, we're up to 17 days without PVI, and she doesn't even notice. Oblivious. She's taken the space I've given her, and just eaten it up. If it was up to our collective fear we would probably never have sex again. That's how powerful a magic the couple of karezza-esque experiences we had evidently were. To those with fear, its pure 100% rocket propellent. Eeeks get me out of here. Intimacy alert. Warning, warning will robinson.
As for me 17 days, its nothing, i feel more in love with her now, than i ever have. I say to myself just wait, you'll want me, you'll see.
Broke my ten day fast in the evening with a light salad and a smoothie filled with all sorts of goodys. I wasn't really ready to break it, still not quite 100%, but probably time for some nutrients.
5am, same time, same place. I'm standing tall this morning. We are talking about our conversation of yesterday, over coffee (which i didn't make, and i did tell her i would no longer). To me it was fascinating, fertile even, to observe the pair of us in discussion, sometimes listening sometimes talking, mostly respectful, sometimes borderline, watching how the thread pulls this way and that, useful to observe yourself in dialog, kind of like martial arts. She agreed. I share the quote above from Marnia about intimacy and fear, and as she leaves the house, i hold her apart from me, send her my love, and remind her to love herself throughout the day, that's what its all about. So now I'm a bloody sage it feels like. This is all taking some getting used to... one day a hedonist, the next a sage. Next i'll be seeing beams of light. Woo.
As for the quote: exactly! Bless the woman, she keeps finding different ways to explain things, until eventually we get it. CPA's writing style at first struck me as repetitive and overly illustrative, but now i see why that was so. They say that you can't solve a problem using the same kind of thinking that created the problem. Hence asking us to manage our own brains is like asking us to override the human brains own impulses. In order to develop the motivation to commit to the program, we have to understand the need to do it, and that requires us to bypass those layers of the brain that have driven us to work so long and persistently in its usual gene propagative ways, since not only all of our lives, but since the beginning of time.
Now i pick the book up and every sentence is a gem, every one apt. My brain gets it. It's amazing how when we are ready the words appear and make sense.
Day 38 PM0:0,7,1, Post O Me/her:36 days/38 days, POST PVI/Other: 17 days/11 days
Quite a powerful morning erection and increased penile body continues this week. More tears yesterday when listening to music. I even find myself singing along to songs, and that is definitely a first. My newfound sense of calmness and dispassion, or neutrality continues to build in spite of her seemingly increasing distance. The disjunct between these two things is quite remarkable, going on bizarre... surreal even
With her pet collection of aches and pains we don't really ever cuddle in bed, just a limb here and there. But we do cuddle every evening. But this week i find her often out of her body, for her its nice but yawn. I've decided to continue the talking, facing each other on the couch so we can engage our eyes, and hopefully conscious minds. And to compensate on the touch side I've been 'cuddling myself' with walking, dancing, singing and staying positive.
Then morning reading:
'You might want to grasp the reality: it's *you* that you can work on, not *him* '
'You are the one who thinks this is a problem and you are the only one who can do anything about it.'
'I came to this place of Karezza because I was very unhappy with our sex life and wanted a change. I at first blamed my partner in a way. Not blamed exactly, but placed responsibility on her. She had little sex drive, etc. etc.'
'Then I realized it was me. It always was me.' - emerson
'Have you ever been hooked on something? Sugary treats? Something else? When you stop, there's a longing...a gap. The things that actually fill the gap are things that balance the brain: meditation, exercise, inspiring reading, creativity, socializing, deep connection (bonding behaviors), yoga, time in nature, etc. Trouble is...at first those things will seem a bit dull, because of the way the brain works. Stick with them, however, because on the other side of this "grayness" lies deeper satisfaction' - Marnia
'In the case of our ancestors, daily rewards probably included not only friendly interaction, and feelings of support, but also exercise, closer contact with nature, and the satisfaction of mastering skills and crafts.' (Robinson, M 2009:244)
This morning our coffee slash ginger tea twenty minute talk is about the three quotes above, i can see this stuff is starting to reach her, slowly but surely. I really am blessed by the most wonderful people online. I feel lucky, prosperous, hopeful and positive about life.
Oh and I'm excited about my plan for this evenings talk! You'll have to wait and see. It'll be fun, that's all I'm saying right now.
Day 39 PM0:0,7,1, Post O Me/her:37 days/39 days, POST PVI/Other: 18 days/12 days
Well. Talk about will robinson. After 6 weeks of my most loving behavior, we are now having sex even less than we were before. Shes even started leaving all her clothes on during our cuddles. All of them. I have to literally nag to just get the scratchy outer layer off, even though the house is as warm as ever. Honey, um, is there an elephant romping around our house?
During the day I found myself rehearsing what i wanted to say to her: So honey, here we are, presented for the first time with this new and compelling evidence that frequent touch and gentle sex regulates and stabilises dopamine, increases oxytocin and endorphins, lowers cortisol, reduces stress, fortifies the immune system, increases health, stabilises emotional well being, heals old wounds, reduces food and other obsessions, and partially compensates for loss of tribe and more evolutionaryly natural living. And here we are, here i am, what exactly is it that you are waiting for? I planned to say it with a big grin.
But as the allotted time drew nearer i found myself getting nervous about it, and of course predictably she didn't think it was funny at all. No, silly me. And while i was busy planning all this, not living in the moment, i neglected to prepare properly for a client task that required my attention later in the evening, and what would have been a 5 min task turned into a 90 minute ordeal as a consequence.
The truth is, no sooner had i said it, than i regretted it. All it did was make her defensive. It's clear now that, me becoming more loving, is not the issue. The issue is one of safety. Precisely because Karezza is so obviously shepherding us towards more frequent touch and sex, that her need for reassurance is now more than ever required. And did i not just say that i have no idea how to love a woman. That is the fact of the matter. Neither of us know enough about how to make love in a way that's respectful and loving. Everything Dianne says in the video. So fortunately i recover enough sense to see that watching the video is timely, and put it on. I can feel her relaxing into it. She looks and feels like Dianne understands her. And actually i feel much the same about it.
After writing the above in the morning, I share how im feeling with her on the edge of the bath, and im still feeling battered by my own inability to see the whole picture at once. It really is like peeling an onion, one eye watering layer at a time.
We talk about finding home in ourselves, the outer traveller and the inner traveller. Self discovery. I'm in my element when faced with things that i know that i dont know, can easily learn skills, access resources to accomplish tasks. I could put a man on the moon no worrys. But when the terrain is so mysterious and only partially revealed, and with other bits revealed at seemingly random moments, i feel quite powerless, and just stumble along like a drunken idiot.
Neither of us slept well. We talk about how it's just such a pity that here we are 50 years old that we have never learned to make love, never been taught. Its just seems so tragic. She says that she's been thinking about the breast thing a bit. She seems to be tuning into Dianne as she wants to take the book away with her. She says that Dianne seems like a wise old women, and she feels drawn to wise women right now. I know how she feels.
And here i was pitching this whole thing at her rational mind. She actually works in science. Silly, silly, me, what was i thinking. It has certainly been the key to opening the screen door, but the door itself, that lies elsewhere. At least now we can both see the door, get a sense of it.
As she flies out of the house she says that i look sad.
Day 40 PM0:0,7,1, Post O Me/her:38 days/40 days, POST PVI/Other: 19 days/13 days
Friday was my worst day ever since reboot. She said i looked sad, and it just went down hill from there. I lost faith. In her, in me, and in the process. I just felt beaten by it all.
In spite of her interest in the video and her semi offer of a date on saturday, I'm holding onto the negatives. The fact that after six weeks work instead of bringing us closer we feel farther apart than ever. The fact that she describes her experience of my reboot as a spectator. Quote unquote.
I manage my morning routine, but I'm forcing it more than loving it. Then i decide to shave my pubic hair as a way of nurturing my wounded ego. Well that probably wasn't the best idea. But i hate my body hair with a passion, its been slowly creeping northward for years now, and even sprouting here and there on my chest and back, shudder. I remove the most offensive bits from time to time, and today its just penis and balls. I leave the rest be. Somewhere on the site there's an article about how by doing such things maybe we are trying to return to childhood or something.
But the attention serves only to encourage it, like egging on a naughty boy. By mid afternoon i start snacking between meals, and also for the first time since reboot actually start to masturbate. Old style. Urgent. After about 10 seconds i look myself in the mirror, and say no! this is going to set you back 6 weeks. It just came from nowhere with such incredible force, it shocked me. Shortly after i phone her at work, ostensibly to arrange dinner, but hearing her voice grounds me.
I know i need to move my body, so dance for an hour or more. Of course its not long before i'm crying, and it starts with the most sudden explosion of anger, a fireburst that then turns as fast into sobs. That's new, the anger. I dance til the pads of my feet are sore. Then get some work done at last.
Of course dinner gets mightily confused due to a communication mix-up. And i remain low for the rest of the evening, catatonic almost. She flops my head onto her lap, where not long later I'm asleep, or at least 90% asleep. I'm aware of feeling soothed, and like crying but don't. Its like a trance, i can hear the tv and her voice from time to time, but i cant move and my vision is blurred. If there is one thing about me its that i never sleep anywhere but bed, never. Dark and quiet are absolutes in my world. So this is all pretty surreal.
After a nights sleep, I appear to have regained much needed perspective on my nightmare day. Writing helps, it's like by tidying the words up i can tidy the experience. Put it in a box. I conclude that challenging her the last days is no pathway to nirvana, or at least its unrealistic to expect it to create closeness between us. It may be making her think, but that's all.
I'm just going to strike yesterday from the record. A backwater on the journey. And I'm not even going to count that as sex other, there was nothing sexual or loving about it. Mere mechanical nonsense.
Day 41 PM0:0,8,1, Post O Me/her:39 days/41 days, POST PVI/Other: 20 days/14 days
4am, a bit bleary eyed, but my mind very much awake. First off, on second thoughts, and this is entirely my prerogative, i'm now going to unstrike friday. It may have been a shitty day to define shitty days, but it was part of the journey. And i accept it is such. Yesterday as i reflected upon it and finally emerged more completely from under its spell, it seemed to me that the depth of despair far outweighed it's ostensible triggers. Hence probably it was yet another random neurochemical crash as much as anything. Having had a run of upbeat days perhaps i let my guard down. But all the signs were certainly there.
After writing and morning chores, and feeling so unclean inside and out, i take a long long bath. Then we go into town to get some food items that i want, some fresh flowers and have breakfast. On our return I'm still hurting some, but settle into some light work for the rest of the day. She's rushing now to get stuff done before leaving on tuesday, so i give her some space to do that.
However it being the weekend and all, its pleasant to work at my own pace, working only on the jobs that i feel like doing, and strangely by the end of the day i feel satisfied in a way that my work doesn't normally. For one thing i feel like I've produced quality work, even though i know that i wont be able to bill for all of the time. For another, by the time I'm done there is no trace whatsoever of the previous day's nightmare.
She asked me in the morning did we still have a date. I say yes. Ok so that helped. Ok, maybe a lot. lol. She doesn't want to have sex, i can tell, but she wants to try to want to. That's my beloved. After a light dinner, we bath, and i ask her how she's feeling about it: nervous she says. I'm excited but maybe a little nervous too, i don't want to hurt her any more. I tell her about the boat and pilot thing, and that maybe that could help to relieve any anxiety about losing control.
We stand by the fire dripping and she's studying my penis again. It starts to respond a little to her. We then talk logistics, where we want to be. We are trying to avoid the bed with all its past associations, but cant immediately think of a better place to be comfortable for a longer period, so the bed it is. Although we do lights lots of candles, and i start on the other side of the bed just to be safe.
We, the pair of us both are now nervous as all hell, and this is a surprise to me. Its partly about performance anxiety, how will this go, but at its root, we are just simply afraid. I kind of coach her with what little i know, about breathing through the polarities, as much for my own benefit as hers. We spend a long time gazing into each other's eyes, and breathing, or rather trying to breath! Feeling just incredibly self-conscious really like kids, making love for the first time. I joke that seeing that she is taking THOTS with her she'll soon be the expert.
I know to keep moving, so after maybe 20 minutes of this, and even though neither of us are in the least turned on, i suggest scissors, with our floppy genitals just lightly meeting. After lots more time and including changing sides, there's still less arousal than water in the sahara. But i tell her that we will wait for it no matter what, and that maybe her inner lover just wants to be sure that we are both serious about listening to her.
Eventually it becomes clear that no amount of just being is going to turn either of us on today. I become aware that we are talking on and off, and that when we do, it takes the focus off our bodies and onto things. But while we are as present as we can be, and this with the usual mind wandering and returning, wandering and returning, what i get most is a sense that her eyes soften, and melt to a kind of sadness. I tell her so, but she says that she doesn't feel sad, so whose sadness it is remains a mystery.
I ask if she wants to rub some oil on me, which she does, and she really concentrates on the root of the penis, and her touch feels masterful i tell her that she learns so fast. When she touches the head though, it feels strange, almost like a hurt, and i say so. I'm now erect, and keeping moving, we go to yab yum. I want to get our heads and spines aligned. She's slowly rocking, with my still firm penis between us. I suspect she's trying to awaken herself through her clitoris, as i had done by asking her to rub some oil on me. It seems our various crutches are all that we are capable of right now. But she still doesn't arouse, and after changing positions a few more times, and still not connected, she ends up laying on top of me, with me massaging her scalp, shoulders and back, her getting stiller and stiller.
I guess all told maybe an hour and a half. Not unsuccessful i guess considering how new this all is to us, how little we know, both in our minds and bodies. We move to scissors, and that's the last she or i remember. Zonk.
Very much heaven and hell in one 48 hour period.
After writing we share a delightful second attempt, but as that's technically day 43, that'll be something to look forward to next week. But i will say this much, we are no longer karezza virgins :)
Day 42 PM0:0,8,1, Post O Me/her:40 days/42 days, POST PVI/Other: 21 days/1 days