The Typecasting Couch

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Lately I’ve run into a spate of people (though not risen to the level of plethora) who stubbornly refuse to date this guy or that girl because “they aren’t My Type”. End of discussion. Not coincidently they are, to a man (or woman) keenly lonely. And that breaks my heart because I’ve learned a lesson or two about being loyal to My Type.

For a good 20 years you could sew by the pattern of My Type. So practiced at it was I that I’ll condense it down for you right here; Little Stoner Girls Looking for Daddy. Bonus points for little titties and red hair. The closer you were to that, the more I was smitten. The further from it, the less visible you were to me at all as a potential partner. It was on par with being a love geiger counter. Only it took me those 20 years to grasp that the louder the clacking the more radioactive the relationship was going to be. Because the more you were My Type, the more I was going to practice working from my script of who I thought I was and how I thought I needed to act. And you were going to love me back. And it was going to be uh-MAZ-ing. And it was. Until the very same intense fire that created that passion also burned everything down around us. Every goddamn time. Brand loyalty to My Type gave me license to act a part in a script that you had no idea you were reading for. And largely I had no idea either. It often got fugly.

:::clackityclackbzzzclackclack:::

Each attempt more toxic and shorter lived, the more I held rigidly to the idea of the Holy Grail of lovers – the Unicorn! The shining exception to the golden rule of dating: crazy in the head, crazy in the bed! The longer I pursued it the less epic it became until from the outside looking in it was more reminiscent of Monty Python than King Arthur. Indeed I’d become the Black Knight, ineffectually bleeding on things while demanding loyalty to My Type as the one true way to love for me. Shiny had become glaring. I was loyal alright. Loyal to my suffering. Because never deviating wasn’t honorable. It wasn’t even being true to myself. It was only being lazy and scared with great conviction. The really douchey part was that by seeing you as a ‘type’ I also wasn’t seeing you as a person. What a dick!

Here’s what’s helped break my self-deluded spell.

Chaos.

It gets a bad rap in our society but Chaos was the key to smashing My Type. First of all I stopped dating. I know, the next boy or girl you have on your My Type radar has potential. Trust me, it’s the same shit. Because you’re the same. So just fucking stop. Take a breather. Remember who you are when you aren’t trying to complete you at someone else’s expense. Write. Go strange places. With new friends. Or really old friends. Don’t fuck them. Pay attention to what feelings come up when you don’t fuck them. Write about them. Breaking patterns creates chaos. It jars me awake when I didn’t know I was comatose. Only do it while being present. You’ll learn incredible things about yourself. You’ll finally see some ick about yourself that you can actually sluff off and walk away from. Keep writing. Double dog dare yourself to do new things. Discover who you’ve become while you were busy thinking you were someone else in an ill-fitting suit or dress.

That brilliant sense of alertness? The sharper colors? Vivid scents in the air? Those laughs from your belly? Chaos. Write about it. Putting it down on paper essentially makes a contract with myself that this is who I am today. Feel free to tear it up tomorrow. But writing it down cements that I, in fact, am awake!

Now date someone different. Someone outside Your Type. Be awkward. Don’t feel instant lust. Don’t have any idea what charming, clever thing to say. Put the fucking script down, because it isn’t who you are anymore. Just look across the table at this new person, take a deep breath, exhale. And be genuine. You’ll be shocked at what falls out your mouth.

You’ve got absolutely nothing to lose and the world to gain by being who you are with people who expect nothing else. Have an adventure.

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A Jewish Comedian, Playwright & Card Manufacturer Walk Into a Bar

If you actually know me you know that I am deeply romantic. (my first plan for this weekend was to use our airline ticket credits to fly on a whim to Alaska to snuggle in a nice hotel and gawk at the Northern Lights) That said, few things in life are more disingenuously painful than Valentines day. It’s like Richard Lewis and Woody Allen got together with a struggling card company and conspired to create a holiday replete with revenue opportunities with the intention of making everyone as insecure as humanly possible.

If you’re in a relationship you wonder what act of devotion will make her happy. What’s the right balance of dinner, chocolate, card, hotel, awkward visit to Frederick’s for tacky lingerie (all of which artificially marked up 20%) is the right balance? Is the Hello Kitty vibrator too much?

If you’re the recipient of this garish display of over done (do people actually wear and eat strawberry panties? Do they come with a 3 day run of Monistat?) do you just laugh (inside) and pretend to swoon moistly at his awkward attempt at realms he really doesn’t have the slightest clue about? Do you feign not taking it personally that it is or isn’t a reflection of what he really thinks?

If you’re just starting to date it’s even trickier! What says too much? Which color roses sends the right message without overplaying my feeling?

If it’s long been on life support do I bother with faking fiery emotional acts of devotion that neither of us actually wants to participate in?

And oh the shame, self loathing, what’s wrong with me, I hate my ex, ilovemyex, I DONT NEED THEM! I’MJUSTFINE!!!! evilness skull fucked into the heads of the single. (who were just fine with being single a week ago)

In other words – to all of us, I congratulate Hallmark on their brilliant strategy of subversive shame with a deeply considered FUCK YOU!

And I offer you this picture of kittens and hearts.

kits&harts

13th Stepping for Jesus

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I’m Neil and I’m a seducer. (Hi Neil) Seduction though, for me doesnt have to have anything to do with sex. I seduce almost habitually and have rarely followed through with sleeping with any of my, um… victims. Does that make me a tease? No. It’s not my focus. Seduction is an incredibly subtle dance, one that I often have an advantage in because it’s usually a woman’s realm. They dont see it coming. My father was an absolute master at this. He always ended up with two scoops of ice cream on his pie. Women adored him. Because he made others around him feel good about themselves. There was often a gentle sexual aspect to his play, though it was barely perceptible and always deniable. Believe me, I took notes, though I doubt I will ever achieve his innate skill. He could just as easily drop a seemingly innocuous comment into the middle of a room then sit back and watch the fur fly an hour later with no one knowing who’d started the ruckus in the first place. All the while his horns cleverly disguised as a smirk on his face.
I cant fairly speak to pops’ motives for doing this. I can say that for myself seduction is often for control. If I can seduce you, I have security.  When I was young I stumbled on to it as a compliment to my first defense mechanism; quiet aloofness. I grew up enjoying the company of women. In fact I was perfectly comfortable in their presence – unless I was attracted to them. Then I was a mum fool.

I once had a friend, Monika, who sat me down one day and explained to me (after swearing me to silence because she’d be struck dead by the XX Godesses for betraying their secrets) how things really worked. I still thank her to this day. Oh did I have fun, the more I practiced and explored this certain charm. I also hurt quite a few people in my eager ignorance as well as having had it blow up in my face. (Hello, crazygirlrestrainingorders!) I started getting laid quite a bit, much to my astonishment, but it was much like climbing on a motorcycle with no training (or so I hear. *cough*). Slowly I began to realize that seduction when applied to other aspects of my life other than sex was quite comforting. It gave me a certain power over you that in my mind, made me safe from you. It also usually made me feel superior. If I could seduce you then I ever so slowly started to lose respect for you. It became a self serving and alternately self defeating weapon that kept me just as alone in my mind as I was when I was 15. Redoubling my efforts I came to a point of one’s too many and a thousand’s never enough. I couldnt achieve any sense of validation from it anymore.

The turning point for me came when I’d had a nervous breakdown as an extension of this same mindset. Because I had no real sense of Humility regarding this skill, nor a belief in the idea that I had value without seducing, when the girl of my dreams walked out on me my house of cards collapsed into a pile of rage, grovelling and depression. I decided that whatever happened I couldnt live like this one more day. I found a therapist, female of course, and promised myself that even if I seduced her, meaning bringing her over to the winning side, that I would continue to be completely honest with her and follow through on her direction. The first time I made her cry tears of empathy I knew I had a choice to make and I chose to stay. I never stay. Loyal to my suffering all those years, abandonment was a hell I knew and worked hard to achieve. The hell I know is better than the one I dont. Making a choice to stay – and respect this woman, became an incredible turning point in my life’s arc. She ended up helping me turn a defect into an asset by installing Humility into it. She helped me see that I am not separate from you, that we are all one in the same, no greater or less than. It was then that i finally saw the power in my father’s charm. He used seduction to connect with those around him, and from the smile that was usually on his face I realized that he allowed himself to be charmed right back, to be a part of it – not apart of it. My girl is forever amused by this. She was my best friend for 20 years before we added ‘lovers’ to our resume’. She’s had a ringside seat for the best and worst of me. There was no seducing her. There was no need. Love comes from an entirely different place than seduction. Though it can often be the match for the fuel.

The thing that’s changed as I’ve gotten older and more comfortable within myself is that I use that gift for the forces of good, offering up a psychic half hit of X and leaving you feeling open, comfortable, slightly vulnerable, intrigued and vaguely aroused, or not. It isnt the point anymore. What’s important is to be one among. Something I’ve always craved and dared not wish for.  I get that now simply by giving. Often now that includes a vaguely warm, safe feeling, though you just cant – quite – put your finger on what it is that makes you want to give me a second scoop.

White Trash Wedding Rings

our tattoo

Saturday was a fabulous dichotomy of lazy purpose and course corrections. Shannon and I started out with the expectation that since the foot had tanked we’d be pretty much doing nothing and liking whether we liked it or not. We decided to have brunch at Hobee’s outside and our good friend Mike joined us which turned into an extra hour of smoking fine cigars under shady trees and sipping iced tea.
The foot said we could probably manage checking out SNL’s picnic at Kelly park. Thank god the entire thing was enclosed in still more shade trees and we had the pleasure of reconnecting with a couple of folks we hadnt seen in quite a long time.
Next up, over the hill. I justified this to the foot by saying we’d just go, take it easy and enjoy my roommate’s Tower of Power-style band with full horn section on the Esplinade in Capitola – maybe have a nice dinner on the water, but I promised that I wouldnt inconvenience it in any way.
It was a good plan till, in a rare moment of poor impulse control, er, an epiphany, I was suddenly struck with a vision as we crested the summit. Tattoos. We *needed* tattoos! A cherub done old school with ‘Clarence & ‘Bama’ emplazoned in scrollwork. On our pelvises. Yes, yes, I know… but it was A Vision! Quick detour to Staircase. So what does our artiste’, Tim have playing on DVD in his studio? True Romance. No joke.
Two hours later we arrived in Capitola riding an endorphin high just in time to catch Steve’s last two songs. Afterwards we met when of his special education students, a kid of about 8 who has CF and was bundled up in his wheel chair. The unbridled, blissful exuberance in this boy as he relished in Steve’s performance reminded me immediately of how much I’ve forgotten about living in the moment. For all the serendipitous events of the day, this was by far the richest. The kid personified the Joy of Living.
The foot insisted we eat and so we strolled, leisurely along the Esplinade till we found a nice restaurant on the water where we snitched off each other’s potato encrusted halibut and steak with gorganzola pasta. Then up the stairs *slowly* to Mister Toots for a couple of lattes to soak in everything we’d done, saw and shared in that lazy, eventful, hysterically fluid day.
The foot dared me on however! We had tickets awaiting us at the Catalyst for BassNectar and I decided we needed to soak some of that hippy, deep house, dirty, grinding bass work into our tattoos. BassNectar is the perfect Shamanic salve for fresh pelvic ink as it turns out. From up on the 2nd tier much of the subwoofer creates a vibration that physically vibrates that..um, chakra. Who knew!
By 12:30 we were spent, wrecked and blissed out and ready for bed, only to get re-excited about the brand new bed and headboard that were headed our way the next morning. Christenings to follow. Film at 11.
I cant recall such a full, rich lazy day and I have poor impulse control to thank for it. Or is that just living in the moment. I have that silly redhead with the mad twinkle and a little boy seemingly confined by his circumstances to remind me once again amazing things cant happen if I dont just show up and take a chance.
Carpe diem, motherfucker!

I’m Gangster Boyscout and I Approve This Message

I started out this morning looking to toss out an amusing ode to my favorite wink and a nod holiday, Steak & a Blow Job day. It’s purely tongue in cheek for me because well, let’s just say my girl is a great fan of celebrating the spirit of said holiday most any day. Feeling a bit lazy and lacking sufficient coffee-induced sarcastic wit i decided to post someone else’s bloginations on the topic. Hence, the title. The two most complete opinions I found on this man’s answer to V-Day couldnt have been more radically opposed:

Snarky Frat Boy Perspective:
“There is a longstanding mantra about the nature of dating: “Girls fake orgasms, guys fake relationships.” As awesome of a t-shirt slogan as that is, it’s not the ideal situation that anyone would like to be in. Women need Valentine’s Day to evaluate their partners. Any tool can buy a Christmas present, and put a reminder in their PDA for a birthday and anniversary. Women need a real test, that’s why they made Valentine’s Day. Men have to show that they love their women, not with one present, one meal, or one bouquet of flowers, but with a culmination of all the cliché crap they’ve learned from years of being subjected to “romantic comedies.” It’s very hard to pull off the perfect timing of dim lighting, chauffeured driving, and muff diving without some hint of true feelings. Women know this, and they expect to be swept off their feet on this annual occasion.

Now if men are going to play into this fairy tale, it’s only fair that they get some tail in return. Men may be known for faking feelings, but so are women. Men have submitted to woman’s relationship sincerity trials for centuries; now it’s time to turn the table (or get under it) and partake in man’s perennial sexual performance test. It’s pretty hard for men to analyze the forthrightness of the female orgasm due to a mix of arrogance, alcohol, and apathy. Therefore, men analyze sexual realness from the only perspective that matters: the penile one. Aside from that, we expect some dinner. It has long been stated that the way to a man’s heart is through his penis and his stomach…” www.pointsincase.com/article…_day.htm

Raging Feminazi Perspective

“Another issue with SABD is it seems to put forward the idea that the other 364 (365 if it’s a leap year) days of the year aren’t men’s days. That’s right: the facts that men make significantly more than women; that men generally don’t need to worry about being raped when walking down the street at night; that men hold the power in society, and so on, are quite plainly being overlooked. Notice my day count: I include Valentine’s Day. “But that’s bullshit! I spent so much money that day, planned weeks ahead, and was stressed out the entire time! How can that be a man’s day,” you say? Well, friend, it is a man’s day because it essentially permits you to treat your lady friend like a second-class citizen for the rest of the year in our fucked up culture. Not only that, but chances are you expected a little something in return and probably got it. In short, stop complaining, you ingrate!…” doingfeminism.wordpress.com/2008…-day/

I found myself sort of put off by either view. I didnt really want to be associated with the simplistic, dumb ass, (did your mouth fall open for extra oxygen intake when you wrote this?) perspective on women, sex and how we relate so I looked for other blogs… hoping for maybe a dry witted, playful brit angle that didnt take itself too seriously. No such luck. The Feminazi blog left me thinking of some of Hillary’s advocates and sure that medication and further therapy beyond ‘journaling’ your issues for the world to guard their testicles from was likely in order.

In the end I’m left thinking I’m a pretty lucky sumbitch – and so is she. If love is compatible neuroses I’ll take mine medium rare.

(March 14, 2008)

LitheLovingLanguidLusciousLust

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My best friend and I stand in a field
A crisp, brisk, wind-rapt backdrop of the City.
Thievery Corporation throwing down Warning Shots,
compeling our bodies to grind like the lovers
we’ve become.
Brightly lit arms raised hands clasped
bathed in garish streaming hues
She sways into and through as though
I were
The only man on this earth
she was ere born to seduce.
And in her devout surrendered twinkle
she snake charms us all.
(2007)