Thursday, December 2, 2010


IN THE MOOD Not that I'm pimping my exceptional instructional design skills but. . .I am? I suggested that my friend Kathleen Rooney have her students create poetry moodboards.

She did and they did and look at these things of beauty">!

The moodboards really FEEL like those poems/books, don't they?

The moodboard representing Elisa Gabbert's THE FRENCH EXIT literally brought tears to my eyes. I don't usually get tears in my eyes over sad or happy things--I just cry in those instances.

But I often get tears in my eyes when I read or see or hear something especially "right." When I feel like "this is exactly how/where/what something should be." Olfactory stuff does not trigger tears for me. Neither does touching stuff. I wish they did.

TOWARD A GENERAL RECKLESSNESS I was reading THE ART OF RECKLESSNESS by Dean Young and that was happening constantly--Tears In Eyes. So many right things in one place.

Dean Young is having heart problems right now, and he needs a transplant. You should give some money to him, even if you don't have any. Medical bills are the worst. Believe me, I know. And still, there's something really nice about trying to help someone else pay theirs, instead of worrying about yours. Helping other people is exciting. Helping yourself is stressful.

I don't know Dean Young but I've heard nothing but great things about him--both as a teacher and a friend. And of course, I know his poems.

Dean Young, I hope your heart comes in soon and that it fits and makes you feel good and works perfectly and lasts a very long time.

THINKING ABOUT THINKING VERY SPECIFICALLY ABOUT SEX The feeling of "so many right things in one place" and "this is exactly how/where/what it should be" makes me think about thinking about sex. I was thinking about sex the other day, and I hope this isn't too much information, but of course, some people think any information about sex is too much information, and I'm not speaking to those people.

Anyway, I was trying to think about and then articulate what emotional desire feels like for a man during sex, but, after a while, I gave up. I couldn't figure it out. I guess because I've never had a penis, and therefore, I have never had sex with a woman with my own penis.

So then I tried to articulate the emotional desire of sex for women. I'm not even sure how to describe what I mean by "the emotional desire of sex" except to say "the thing that you're thinking/feeling in your mind during sex that makes it sexy?"

In any case, in trying to articulate this sexy thought, I kept thinking of this one movie. I can't remember the name and I have no idea what it was about. It was terrible and unmemorable, and it was supposed to be a comedy. In the movie, during a sex scene (and there are several and they're the same every time), this lady keeps saying to the guy on top of her: "Fill me up! Oooh, fill me up, Baby!"


BRIEF DETOUR Okay, detour, my friend Kathleen reminds me that the movie is ELECTION. She thought it was great and hilarious, and apparently so did everybody in the world but me. This always happens to me.

The same thing happened with THE ROYAL TENNENBAUMS. I saw it and my friend was with me and she was like, "What did you think?" and I said, "Well. I didn't really like it. I didn't think it was funny. I thought it was kind of boring." And my friend was like, "Well it's not supposed to be ha ha funny! But that was a great movie." And I was like, "Oh. Okay."

Same thing with AMERICAN BEAUTY. I didn't like it. I thought it was dumb. I thought Kevin Spacey was creepy and disgusting, and his wife, and his wife's boyfriend, and K Spacey's daughter, and the daughter's friend.

I know their characters are creepy and disgusting on purpose, but I don't care. I don't want to watch movie characters who are revolting in that particular way. Also, I was annoyed by the ending--the part where Kevin Spacey breaks down the meaning of life in his paper voice. I was like: Boo. I've had more than one person become irritated when I said I did not like anything about that movie.

Also, A BEAUTIFUL MIND. With its swelling music to helpfully signal--THIS IS POIGNANT YOU SEE. And then whenever John Nash would have a brilliant thought, the lights would get really bright. Like, LIGHTS SYMBOLIZE BRILLIANT THOUGHTS.

Also, when they showed John Nash having that one intellectual breakthrough, like he's figuring out some theory or whatever and they represented it as numbers flashing on a screen, I burst out laughing. What the hell does that mean, some random flashing numbers? That movie made me want to die.

The best part of that movie is that it's based on John Nash and I have a real-life story related to John Nash.

My friend John (not John Nash) used to work in a bar and John Nash and his wife and son used to come into the bar sometimes, so my friend knew what they looked like. Well, one day my friend John was in MacDonald's and he got up to get napkins and John Nash's son (who is a little unstable according to my friend) came over and tried to eat my friend John's hamburger.

So my friend John yelled across McDonald's at John Nash's son, "Hey, you. Get away from there! That's MY hamburger!"

I was like, "John, why didn't you let the dude just have your hamburger?"

And John was like, "Because I was hungry. That's why I bought it. I don't care if he IS John Nash's son."

I said, "Well I doubt he cares that he's John Nash's son either."

Now every time somebody brings up that movie, I don't reveal that I don't like it. I just tell the McDonald's story so I don't get hassled about my terrible taste in movies.

BACK TO BUSINESS Anyway, back to the character who kept saying "FILL ME UP." I thought about that and then I thought, "Well, maybe the "fill me up" lady has a point. Is that it? Is that what "the sexy thought" is? The thought of someone filling you up? Maybe the sexy thought has to do with temporary emptiness with promise, like "I am empty but I have the potential for fullness and that fullness has to do with you."

"A little," I thought, "but that's not exactly right."

Then I thought, "Maybe the sexy thought is more like, 'I am completely open.'"

But that's not really it either. That's imprecise, because sex is not open, it's contained within a body, and also, how does "I am open" account for the other person, like, what is the other person's contribution to openness?

So then I thought, "Well, if the sexy thought is not 'being filled' or 'being open,' what is it?" And what I concluded is, in English we don't have a word for the feeling/thought that I am trying to describe.

To me, the sexy thought is something more along the lines of "having room" or "having space." I'm still not describing this well.

I don't mean just having room in general, like "Guess what, your penis fits into my vagina, I never thought it would, this is sexy," and I don't mean it like, "I am negative space and, look, you happen to be my positive space, this is sexy."

I mean more like, "I have a space inside me, but to you, it will be something else, it will be non-space, this is how you will perceive this space, and this is very sexy."

Then I thought, "Yes, that's right: I have non-space--as you and only you can see--so come get it." This is the sexy thought. Having exclusive non-space is the sexy thought.

But then I thought about it more, and I thought, "What the fuck does that even mean? Non-space? What is non-space?"

So then I Googled "non-space," and what do you know, I came across this blog called Multiplication by Infinity: Steven Colyer's Musings in Mathematical Physics and Its Effects on Humanity and Other Life Forms

Non-space exists it seems. Or so says Steven Colyer's blog. I'm not really sure it clears things up for me on the sex front but here is how he explains non-space.

So what is "non-space?"

Before anyone submits the lame joke "non-sense," please hear me out.

I submit there are three kinds of space, the first of which we have never observed, and one I personally reject:

1) NEGATIVE SPACE - In such a space, if you took one step forward, you would end up one step back. This has never been observed outside of the U.S. Senate and the European Parliament, but those are macro-sized objects where quantum effects average out in the aggregate, so they don't count.

2) POSITIVE SPACE - This is the space we are all used to.

3) NON-SPACE - Alleged to exist within a wormhole, if you enter a non-space you appear instantaneously on the other side. It is as if space didn't exist! You are not traveling faster than the speed of light and thus breaking causality because the "space" you are going through doesn't exist! It's not even a "bubble" because "bubble" implies there is something inside.

I hope Steven Colyer doesn't see this and get mad about me for taking his post in this direction but what I want to know is:

Is there a non-space existing inside my wormhole?

If you enter my non-space, is it possible you will appear instantaneously on "the other side"?

I don't have the answers to these questions.

I have no idea how to transition out of this.



  1. "Anyway, I was trying to think about and then articulate what emotional desire feels like for a man during sex, but, after a while, I gave up. I couldn't figure it out."

    I've been thinking about this too, and I don't know either. It's frustrating--sex is never as erotic/emotional as I think it will be. I've been thinking that sex is about 90% physical, 10% mental, whereas masturbation is the inverse. Consequently, masturbation is more enjoyable. Sex with another person is just so physically taxing, you're not able to really feel anything sexual, physically or mentally. So in order to stay interested, you have to take yourself out of your body and look at yourself as if you were watching someone else. The pleasure of masturbation is only made possible by the pain of being separate from the thing you want. Christmas Eve is always more exciting than Christmas Day.

    I want to tie that into your ideas about space, but I don't know how to put it. Very interesting nevertheless.

  2. Matt

    1. I've always really liked your comments on Elisa's blog and on HTMl G.

    2. Agreed. Xmas Eve is a billion times better.

    2. That's an interesting observation. See, I find that sex with another person can be emotionally taxing and socially awkward, and therefore, the perks of masturbation are that a) it's not a social act so it's not socially awkward and b) you may care about how you feel but you don't care about your feelings so it's not emotionally taxing.

    It's like when you're in a fancy restaurant and you think, God, this food would be so much better if I could take it into the bathroom and just eat the hell out of it however I want, and not worry about who's watching what fork I'm using and how I stab the salad and how I handle the bread and what I do with my knife after I butter the bread, etc. etc.

    On the other hand, there is something less enjoyable about food sometimes when there's nobody there to watch you eat the hell out of it and there's nobody for you to watch the hell out of it, and you can't talk back and forth with someone, like, "OMG, this is fantastic, did you try it, you should really try it." Also, if you eat alone, you can't go over the highlights of the meal after you're finished, like, "But the best part was X, wasn't it? Like it didn't SEEM like it was going to be that great, but it totally was."

    I can't tie this to space either.

  3. I'm not going to try to articulate any emotional desire/sex-feelings here, but: I love this blog post, and both of the comments.

  4. Oh, thanks Liz. This is actually the first I've heard of your blog. Glad to find it.

    I can't say I've ever wanted to take food into the bathroom, but I like the analogy:)

    Despite the semi-letdown, I'd still prefer sex over masturbation. Most, or a lot anyway, of the pleasure I get is from making the other person feel good, which is satisfying on sort of a deep, calm, quiet level.

  5. Kathleen,
    Thank you! And thanks for helping me figure out the name of the movie.


    This blog is so new. But I hope you come back.

    I know, eating in a bathroom actually does not sound so delish, does it? Maybe a very dark VIP room in the back?

  6. I hate eating in front of people, unless I am very, very comfortable with them. So yes, a non-bathroom VIP lair to eat in sounds weirdly appealing.

  7. Isn't the 'emotional desire for sex for men' something like, "you're willing to be vulnerable and possibly humiliated to make me ejaculate and that is SO HOT!"

    And for women, "you're willing to do many nonsensical things for the opportunity to have sex with me, thereby making me feel attractive and wanted and temporarily filling this void that I usually fill with (insert addictive pastime here)."

    I know these statements are probably overly simplistic and way too general, they are.
    Who thinks of sex in terms of space? Stephen Hawking? I think you should pose this question to him. I bet he would reply.

  8. I have no idea why the term "non-space" entered my brain in relation to sex. I'm pretty sure I've never heard that term before. It's not like I read about mathematical physics to unwind after work. That is a great idea, contacting Stephen Hawking, and I bet he would have the answer, but I also bet I'm too small potatoes. But maybe Mr. Colyer might add his two cents if he gets Google Alerts and sees that I kindly linked to his blog? Nevermind that I have no real interest in space, except as it relates to the inside of a body.

  9. I bet they would reply. You should try it. Go on! Do it!