Archive for Language

Books, covers and so on.

We make assumptions all the time. This is ok – grouping things according to typical traits allows us to make speedy, often accurate, decisions. There are occasions when this could be life-saving… if it looks like a lion, and sounds like a lion, &tc.

My relationship isn’t typical. When people see a hetero couple they assume monogamy. When they see someone from a couple chatting up a third party they assume cheating wanker.

It isn’t alway practical to set ’em straight. ‘Open relationship’ isn’t a phrase with a universal definition – no one ever responds with “right, that’s clear then” – it invites discussion. I like having those discussion, even with people who tell me I’m wrong and insist my relationship is flawed.

But sometimes, as I said, I don’t get the chance. I have to accept that some people will always assume my relationship is fucked.

Labels

Towards the end of last year I noticed something odd about how people relate to labels, but forgot about it until writing the previous post.

I refer to myself as bisexual. It doesn’t describe the nuances of my relationship, but it does a good job of conveying ‘attracted to boys and girls’. During two different conversations (both with UK public school boys) I made reference to this and both guys responded by asking ‘How can you be, you’re married?”

The implication being that the way we define ourselves is determined solely by our actions. I hadn’t got onto the non-monogamy label, so they saw a basic relationship between ‘sleeps with boy’ and ‘straight’.

This seems so nonsensical that I’d never considered anyone would think that way, but these examples proved me wrong. I asked the second guy if he considered everyone asexual until they’d lost their virginity, but that seemed to confuse him.

Whether we see labels as naming something innate or something we choose to be – surely they contribute to an overarching understanding of ourselves?

Pondering this got me thinking about my kinky life in Singapore (or lack of). I still describe my relationship as non-monogamous, despite six months of apple pie, mom & pops monogamy.

I am not using the term to describe my actions, rather my potential for action – which I guess is what labels come down to for me. The horny teenaged virgin knows exactly who they want to shag when the moment arises.


Remember when I was moving to S’pore, I said something like ‘If there are any perverts here J and I will find them’? Well there are, and in-between writing and posting this, we did.

Needless to say, I had a big smile on my face this weekend. I fear that saying more would be indiscrete 😉

Safe, sane and consensual

Cos nothing completes a complicated working week like a spot of non-consensual sex.

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More on censoring myself

I broke up with my first boyfriend in 1998 and lost contact with him. He got back in touch with me a year or so ago, thanks to the wonders of facebook, and we now exchange occasional polite, let’s-not-mention-the-past emails.

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Challenging psycho-social experiment

I’ve made another blog, to talk about the highs and lows of starting a new life a million miles from everything I’ve known and loved for the past 28 years.

On the assumption that I’m gonna send the link to propah grown-ups (family &tc), I’ve decided it’s gonna be PG-level content.

Except, I spend most of my waking life talking, thinking and writing about sex. (I rarely dream about it :-(). Keeping it clean is going to be quite a challenge.

I hadn’t realised the extent to which I was afflicted until I tried to write about the fact that the nervous excitement is making me manic *without* mentioning that I was moved to bring myself off in the toilets at work, just so I could calm down enough to concentrate on something for more than eight and a half seconds.

It’s fun being this crazy without being depressed. I’m generally hypomanic, so I have highs but the lows always have a lot more impact. But this is full on mania and I’ve been bouncing around, grinning from ear to ear for more than a week.

Notably, I have a very specific sense that all my systems are running at capacity. My mind feels sharper, my appetites are insatiable (food, booze, sex, drugs, spanking, hardhouse) and I can’t seem to sit still for a second.

Dunno how sustainable it is, but at the moment life is like being at the best theme-park ever!

Book review!

Doctor Zhivago is so fucking good that I think I might need to learn Russian.

Noises, rounded, as if polished on a lathe, rolled echoing lightly through crisp, frosty, nut-clean space.

And that’s in translation!

Also:

Lara was not religious. She did not believe in ritual. But sometimes, to enable her to bear her life, she needed the accompaniment of an inward music and she could not always compose it for herself.

This got me thinking a lot about the people who help us compose the music of our lives. Family, friends, lovers. If you had the ability to always write your own music, would you be lonely or glowing with inner peace?

Speaking of which, I’m in the market for a new therapist. I have a few leads, but if anyone has any recommendations they’d be gratefully received.

Silence

I thought I was past my winter doldrums, but I crashed emotionally yesterday afternoon and still felt bad when I woke up this morning. Perhaps the psychiatric equivalent of your immune system packing up and leaving you with the flu just as you start a two week holiday?

Anyway, one way to stop myself brooding too much over these ups and down is to distract myself with stupid questions. Here’s what I was pondering this morning:

How do you measure a person’s vocabulary? If you showed someone 20 random words from a dictionary and they were able to define 16, would that be sufficiently robust for you to claim that that person could define 80% of the words in that language?

And how do you know how many words a language has? Is someone simply paid to count them up in a dictionary? What if the language doesn’t have a dictionary? Compile one?

Which leads me to more interesting pondering. As not all languages have the same number of words, there must be some things you can say in one language but not another. Perhaps (I have no idea whether this is true) there is a single verb which means ‘travelling somewhere very quietly and slowly’ in Icelandic.

This isn’t to say, of course, that such a concept can’t be expressed in other languages – I just showed that – but it does cause me to wonder whether there are certain things that can honestly only be said in certain languages. If there are, how will I ever know? That which cannot be spoken of…