Monday, May 04, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: Tired of Sex

I was a teenager - maybe in Grade 8 or 9 - when I first heard Weezer's second album Pinkerton. I'd already figured them for one hit wonder status, as good as Buddy Holly was, and their second album didn't seem to contain anything that would be that caliber of hit. Basically, a few years passed and I hadn't heard anything from them so I dismissed them offhand when Bry brought me his copy of this album. I was young, it was 1998 (a few years after the album's release) and I was way into Korn. Ugh.

So he played it for me and I thought it was just noise at first. I didn't want to sit through it, but he basically held me hostage. I think around the 5th track - "Across the Sea" - I started to get it. By the time I heard "El Scorcho" it was like a revelation, and it all came to a crescendo at the end with the dramatic "Falling For You" followed by the sweet, acoustic "Butterfly." It was really the album that made me - and a lot of people my age - want to make music.

I've listened to it maybe a thousand times since. It's an album about a lot of things - desire, yearning, frustration, - universal emotions that seem especially poignant to me now in my current situation. I mean, let's look at some lyrics here...

Tired of Sex
I'm tired / So tired / I'm tired of having sex (so tired) / I'm spread / So thin / I don't know who I am

You know this is breaking me up / You think that I'm some kind of freak, uh huh / But if you come back to me / Then you will surely see / That I'm just fooling around

No Other One
Nobody knows me like her / Nobody knows her like me / We're all we've got and we don't want to be alone

Across the Sea
Why are you so far away from me? / I need help and you're way across the sea / I could never touch you / I think it would be wrong / I've got your letter / You've got my song

The Good Life
When I look in the mirror / I can't believe what I see / Tell me who's that funky dude / Starin' back at me ... Excuse the bitchin / I shouldn't complain / I should have no feeling / 'cause feeling is pain / As everything I need / Is denied me / Everything I want / Is taken away from me / But who do I got to blame / Nobody but me / And I don't wanna be an old man anymore / It's been a year or two since / I was out on the floor / Shakin' booty making sweet love all the night / It's time I got back to the good life

Falling For You
I'd do about anything to get the hell out alive / Or maybe I would rather settle down with you / Holy moly baby wouldn't you know it / Just as I was bustin' loose / I gotta go turn in my rock star card / And get fat and old with you....

I'm sorry for what I did / I did what my body told me to / I didn't mean to do you harm / Everytime I pin down what I think I want it slips away / The ghost slips away...

The lyrics I've pointed out have to do with a lot of different things in my life... pretending as Anne-Marie while trying to get back to being Todd, relating to Bryan and "Julia," being with Hall ... pining for Alia... I've got a lot on my mind lately. This will probably be a long post and my lyrical analysis definitely increases that.

Maybe I'm seeing parallels where there are non,e or maybe it speaks to how universal these themes truly are. I just think they take on a weird new dimension when I consider my situation... doing things I never thought I would with a life I never asked to have... I mean, a year ago, I never really understood how anybody could get "Tired of Sex." Even when I understood the song as an indication of exhaustion from the rock and roll lifestyle, I still thought sex was an unassailable virtue, one thing that was truly good. Even as a woman, I began to take for granted that sex is enjoyable from either side, as much as I would like to get back on the other team.

But this entire family crisis situation - the funeral and everything - had a weird, unexpected side effect on Hal.

We first had sex in late January. In February and March we averaged, I would say, 6-8 sessions per month. We'd have maybe one go during the week, and then one or two on weekends, tops. I never felt like doing it when I was on my period, and he never asked to.

I became something I kinda looked forward to, the special perk of being Anne-Marie. When I shed my self-consciousness about Anne-Marie's body type and just let myself be free, it became strangely enjoyable to watch this dude get hard for Anne-Marie's body, and then put it to work. I was actually starting to enjoy it, although I never thought Hal was all that great at it (no offense to Anne-Marie.) There was also the fascinating advantage of not having to be "up" to start with, so while I never initiated it, I never had cause to turn it down either.

Eventually I learned to turn off the part of my brain that is averse to being the female part of the equation, partly out of enjoyment, partly out of perspective. I came to realize the person I see in the mirror is not Todd Casey, no matter how much I cling to that identity - I'm not Todd a lot of the time, but sex is basically the only thing there is to enjoy about being Anne-Marie. Nobody is going to look at me and think "that dude is so gay" because, well, gay dudes don't have vaginas. And in a few months, I won't either, so I'll be back to my usual preference. And I am psyched for that, but until then I make due with what I've got - a surprisingly sensitive and able woman's body, and a man who makes for a reliable if un-astounding partner.

Which brings me to the early part of April, when we found out Hal's dad was in the hospital. Right after that, shit started getting turned upside down at Hal's dental practice. I don't know the details, but Anne-Marie/Julia would. Some kind of filing clusterfuck that is at least partly related to her inexperience at filing and resentment from older co-workers. So he's got all that stress and emotional weight on him, good time to relieve your stress with some fucking, right?

I guess stress and grief turn Hal into an unstoppable screwing machine. In the 30 days of April we did it for about 22 of them, way up from our 6-8 average. We didn't do it the week of the funeral since we were all very busy and I happened to be on the rag*, and then afterward it was right back to it.

(*Now there's a feeling I have kept from this blog. I'm so burnt out during those times I tend to avoid the blog, and then I forget to write about it when I come back.)

I don't know when to say enough is enough, please get off me. I don't want to be rude and part of me still likes it, but eventually I've just got to say "Dude... if you keep using that thing it's gonna fall off." I haven't had much occasion declining sex in my life, so I'm not equipped for this discussion. I feel like at his age, he's risking hurting himself or something. But this is not the problem. As annoying as it can be, more sex is not something I'm complaining about at this point. No, the real problem came afterward. Pardon the pun.

After one session Saturday night, I left the bed to let Hal drift off to sleep. I never really got over the part of me that only wanted to take care of business and leave, so what I do most of the time is get up, read a book or surf the internet, and let him drift off, returning to bed about 20 minutes later. I got up, went to the washroom, cleaned myself up a bit, and as I was heading back through the bedroom to the stairs, I heard... sobbing.

Once I realized what was happening, I felt a mixture of pity, guilt, and anger. Pity because of how upset he is, feeling he's had to hide it all this time. Guilt because I'm not equipped to comfort him with anything other than sex, which is clearly not what he needs. Since I'm not really emotionally invested in this whole marriage, I feel awkward trying to comfort him anything more than a cursory pat on the back. Anger, because I'm the only one who can comfort him, I'm all he's got, and I haven't got the ability nor inclination to give the support he needs. It's a fucking reminder that I'm a substitute, a pretender, a liar. I'm not his wife, and after 9 months, I'm still fucking clueless about marriage.

This is a goddamn untenable situation, and I need to get out of it soon.

So all I could do was get back in the bed, hold him, and tell him sympathetically, "It's okay, sweetie." I sounded like an asshole, but it seemed to help.

But I've found that at least that part of me is still male - I find masculine emotional vulnerability uncomfortable, and it's a real turn-off. Now I really am tired of sex.

Never thought I'd see the day.



Anonymous said...

You talk about adjusting to the physical act of sex. But I'm curious about adjusting to the pyschological components. Especially if you are doing it this much, to keep things lively there must be some need for you to be more fully into the female role. Tell us more about that, please.

Todd/AM said...

I guess I try not to think about it too much from a psychological point of view. I try to take it as it is, because I know that if I spend too much time analyzing it, I start to worry about how "female" I'm becoming in my mind, and how it might... affect me, when I get my body back.

So basically I just shut my eyes and try to enjoy the ride.

As for keeping things lively... frankly, the opposite has been the case. During the phase where we were really going at it, it became mechanical and routine. Kind of impersonal. Which given my perspective on it, was kinda nice.