(a vent post about sex aversion. not very graphic about sex, but may be triggering wrt self harm and self hatred and associated junk? & ableism mention and general unpalatability)
Read this piece of prose poetry or flash fiction or whatever pretentious name they’re calling it — there’s something engaging about this one, in spite of everything.
Appreciate the energy and the imagery enough not to mind that you’re reading about a woman falling in love with a man.
Realize that, because you’re reading about a woman falling in love with a man, you know what’s coming.
Stop reading, start skimming. Scroll down past where you glimpse the word “sex.” Skim what’s written after that.
Get to the end. It’s a happy, triumphant ending — the whole piece is an ode to the daring and impulsive and reckless, carpe diem and all that rot, with wild sex coded as liberation and the proud whisper of you should want this.
Is that why you get That Feeling again?
It wasn’t even graphic.
Ask yourself what’s wrong. Ask why you feel this way. Poke and prod yourself for an answer. Keep dwelling on it. Put it under a magnifying glass, holding on to it so it can’t subside. That’s a great idea.
Don’t cry now. There’s another person in the car with you. Save that for later, and make sure to beat yourself up for it.
You don’t have words for what this even is.
Later, find some words. Mash and mold the gunk in your heart into something recognizable. Something you can communicate. Shear the edges off the square peg and find it a home in a round hole. Call it: feeling unsafe. Call it a lake of oil burning hot and queasy. Call it strapped to the cowcatcher of a hurtling freight train whose tracks you can see leading to the broken remains of a bridge that once stretched over a canyon. Call it irrational because you know that’s not how it works.
Tell yourself you know better. Demand an explanation from yourself; ask why it has to be a problem. You can’t keep being this sensitive. Ask yourself: are they right about you? Ugly, immature child full of hatred. Repressed, damaged, wrong, selfish, sick in the head — needs to be reeducated.
Wonder why you can’t just get over it. Suspect you have some arbitrary resentment that needs to be rooted out.
Think of Jodie Foster doing disability drag in that movie with more nudity than you were comfortable with, slurring the word “evil-doer.” That’s you. Evil-doer. Evil-doer. You’re just trying to control people.
That’s the only explanation for it.
Talk down to yourself for not being better about this.
But in every story, every time, this is what happens, always, always, always. It tastes of the inevitable. You’re so sick of it.
Try to get fed up.
Decide to aggressively not have sex.
Push back against the enclosing walls. Fight back. Do something.
Realize that there isn’t a way to aggressively not have sex.
Clench your jaw, still feeling that — threatened, cornered, chained to a conveyor belt. Try to extract that poison from where it burns you and redirect it somewhere else, anywhere but here. Lash out at something.
But there’s no one and nothing it’d be appropriate to lash out at.
So consider lashing out at yourself.
It wouldn’t be hard.
Acknowledge that you probably actually are mentally ill, after all.
There’s only one proper thing you can think of. Take the acid still burning your hands and pour it into a clear, glass vial. Write about it. Label it on the test tube rack. Make it take the shape of mere words, so it can at least go somewhere that isn’t further into your gut, so it can fill something other than you.
Decide the need is greater than the shame. Publish this, before you can talk yourself out of it.
You are loved.
You are loved.
You are loved.