Thursday, December 4, 2014

Why me?

I have always been told I am a good listener.  I don’t think that’s because I have particularly good listening skills but because I don’t talk very much so that leaves a lot of room for others to fill up the void.

But today’s post is more a curiosity thing.   People feel compelled to tell me about their porn habits. I don't know why.  What is it about me that says ”please tell me about whatever weird, perverse, or incredibly personal thing you like to watch to get yourself off ”  ?

I had a blogging friend who loved to share with me her personal porn preferences.  I’m pretty sure I never even hinted that I would like to hear about it.  It started simple enough with her telling me about how much she enjoyed porn.  My only response was that I didn’t.  Then it escalated into her descriptions of how much she enjoyed double penetration porn.  I ignored it.  Then she followed with how much she loved gang bang porn.  I replied that that was a very triggering thing for me and that I would appreciate not hearing any more about it.  She replied that perhaps she had been less than sensitive, knowing my history, but she still continued with all these graphic explanations of how she got off on gang bang porn.  I finally let the relationship die.

Then in another corresponding relationship,  a woman began telling me how unhappy she was with her sex life.  Okay, that is probably a fair topic in a conversation.   I don’t know of anyone who is 100% happy all the time with their sex lives and I can listen and be sympathetic.   But then a little more story - her husband could not get an erection with her.  Hmm, okay, I am certainly no expert on the sexual dysfunction of males but I could listen.  And then the other shoe dropped.  Her husband could only get an erection with porn, which he watched constantly.   And then I got to hear all about the kind of dominatrix porn he needed to get himself off.  And that he loved wearing her lacy underwear and fish nets.  And this man was a priest!  Then it got worse and she offered to send me a video of them doing whatever it was they did together.  WTF???  When I politely declined her response was “not even the lesbians want to see me naked.”  

Yup, another relationship that bit the dust.

Does this happen to anyone else?  Is it something I am giving off like a pheromone that says please tell me all your sex secrets?

Years ago when I was a church goer, a new pastor was hired.  As a friendly gesture I invited her out to lunch.  It was the first time we spent any time together, I was little more than a stranger to her,  and she began to tell me that sometimes she got so horny she could hump a tree.  And she loved to watch lesbian porn.  How she managed to slip that in between “do you have any children” and “what’s the worse thing about being a pastor?”   I do not know.  But this seems to be my life.

I don’t consider myself a prude although I’m sure I am on the conservative side of sexual mores.  And I really am happy to be a sympathetic ear for other people’s problems.   But is it normal for people to just spill such lurid details of their sex lives?   I used to think that these people were just a little on the needy side but this happens to me so often I am beginning to think it is something I am doing.   

I am well aware of the male braggart who thinks he can change a lesbian into a straight woman by the power of his penis.  Through this blog I have received horrible emails offering sexual trysts.  This usually happens after I post something about the rape.  Do people think that rape survivors have some buried, unfulfilled sexual desires?   Maybe some different perspective that allows people  to spill all their sexual frustration and problems on them?  

Any opinions on this?  Am I just being a prude?  Why am I some pervert magnet?  And I’m not saying that I think that people who watch porn are perverts. But there is something odd, I think, about wanting to share your masturbatory habits with someone who obviously does not want to hear about it.

Any thoughts?  Advice?  Help?


  1. I skipped through the descriptions of what people are telling you, so bear that in mind.

    My own response to stuff like that is that there are things I generally don't talk about: sex (except in the role of a parent explaining the birds and the bees or with a partner), the actual amount in my checking account or yours, my opinion of your religion, someone else's weight, and whether I like your clothes. I had a Southern mother. There are rules around this, people.

    Usually I just say, "I'm not really comfortable talking about that." And if someone pushes me, "I believe that the porn industry is extremely harmful to women." And then I do a feminist rant.

    No one likes a ranting feminist. It usually does the trick.

    1. I so agree with you. Almost all of these incidents (except with the pastor of my former church) were in corresponding relationships. Perhaps I am just not clear enough when I write "please, I don't want to hear about this." I am going to go back and look at that.

      And strangely, ALL of these women would self identify as feminists.

    2. I was thinking more of the feminist porn industry vs women rant. Where you can talk about the messages given to men and viewers of porn in general about women. And the behind the scenes problems with porn. Here is a link to the sorts of facts I'm referencing, but realize I am putting a huge trigger warning on it. Read it when you are feeling okay about reading it:

      Regarding lesbian porn (by which straight people usually mean two straight girls, not community generated porn with two actual lesbians) in my opinion that is used as a way to make lesbianism something that is a spectator sport rather than a valid way to create relationships based on love and mutual respect. The inference being a man could (and often does) walk in at any time and then be the center of attention. I find it creepy. And it's exactly what you're dealing with when some a******* sends offers.

      Trust me. People shut up fast when you start reciting these facts. It's not titillating, it's frightening. And women should know that.

    3. Thanks for the link. I am bookmarking it for now.

  2. A married priest? Isn't that against the rules?

    Maybe people do dump their sickness on you because of what you have experienced. There might be a sense that you would be more sympathetic to their perversions than someone who has not suffered from perversion. Or maybe because you have survived great perversion, what’s a little more? I don’t know, I’m guessing.

    Frankly, you are a sympathetic listener which probably does encourage people. Fortunately it sounds like you have learned to tell people where to get off when they cross your boundaries.

    1. Apparently this priest did a lot of things against the rules but getting married was not one of them.

      I think there may be some truth to what you are suggesting. It is a thought that is still evolving with me.

      And yes, I am definitely getting better at enforcing my boundaries. Must. Keep. Practicing.

  3. Matty - many churches in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition allow clerical marriage.

    In my role as counselor I have heard many stories of a sexual nature. It is my opinion that what someone does (legally and consensually) in their own home is their business. But “someone” should never casually bring it outside the home. It is not only destructive to their intimate relationships, it is also an unfair burden to place on others. That said, the story about the pastor and the priest is very disconcerting and constitutes behavior unbecoming for clergy, and the priest’s wife. Videos? God help them. I pray that he and his wife get some professional help.

    I imagine that you make people feel very safe and that may be part of why you get these sharing violations. I agree with earthandink, there are certain common sense boundaries in society and in relationships. These people have far over stepped them.

    You are in my prayers.

    1. Thanks for your prayers and your support. It is always appreciated.

  4. Um... ugh.

    I am also a sympathetic listener and hear all sorts of things from people, but thankfully, it hasn't included porn. I wonder if Matty has an insight there, that because you have suffered and survived sexual violence, people somehow think that makes you even more sympathetic. How completely opposite!

    I also like earthandink's tactic of a well-timed feminist rant. Shut that shit right down!

    Also, ears in fingers, LaLaLaLaLa... I'm not listening to this!

    1. You ARE a sympathetic listener. You've been sympathizing with me for years : )

      It just occurred to me that how often people like to tell Martha about some gruesome police incident in their towns. Because she was a cop? I wonder if it is sort of the same thing. Ideas still formulating . . .

      And as I said above, these were all feminists. Or more accurately, they labelled themselves as feminists. (not always the same thing)

  5. ears in fingers = fingers in ears!
    Sorry! Typing!

    1. I totally missed it : )

    2. Now I have a vision of fingers with tiny little ears on them. Whoa.

      And if you didn't want to hear something, you just made a fist. But if you were at a concert, you would raise your hands over your head. Unless you were taking a child to a concert, then: fists.

      You may have something here, e.

  6. Well, now.
    I'd be willing to bet that these folks over-share with many (if not everyone) who offer the slimmest of windows to do so. So, I don't think it is necessarily anything you're projecting. Thus, no stopping it from happening, just perfecting the techniques to shut it down. That feminist rant sounds like just the ticket.

    Hopefully shutting down the porn talk can be done without ending or ruining the relationship.

    But, then again . . . can't unring the bell.

    1. Well, all these relationships have ended, so there's that. But you're right - I think I need to be stronger about what I allow to reach my borders. I often struggle with the wanting to be a friend, even when it is not healthy to be.

  7. I think I would do as you did and just let the relationship fizzle out. If you are uncomfortable about it - it isn't worth it...

    1. In real life I am not a fizzler. I generally work hard to keep relationships healthy. I hate when they end badly. But I actually felt like a huge weight was lifted from me when these ended. Yup, not worth it.

  8. The internet and the clergy both seem to attract a lot of whack jobs. I would be asking why that is.

  9. You have my sympathy. I have had similar problems. And I feel as you and others do about these things. Thinking about it, I think that much communication is unconscious and intuitive. Unfortunately, for a number of reason, when we have wounds in a particular area, I do think that people sense it. And it can trigger them to "activate" around those areas in a variety of ways. Mostly, I think, when they are wounded themselves. And especially when they are wounded and basically "unconscious" of the effect on them. To some degree, we are all wounded when it comes to sexuality because our culture is so messed up on the topic. In any case, i'm really sorry this is happening in your life. And yes... I would recommend doing all you can to put out psychic boundaries.... sometimes I like to use the image of being surrounded by mirrors... so that whatever people project onto me or toward me is reflected back to them for them to work with. As to actual interaction... I think it varies. But.... one thing that might be helpful is to think, "Where is it easy for me to set a boundary?" For example, if someone started loudly discussing diarrhea in detail while you ate pea soup in a formal restaurant, would feel awkward in setting a boundary? If you wouldn't feel awkward... if you would feel very strong in setting a boundary... that's the emotional vibe you want to summon up in setting a boundary on this other stuff. Once you have that vibe going, in a way, it doesn't matter what your words are. Good luck and much support.

    1. Thanks for stopping by and for your very thoughtful remark. It has given me much to think about.

  10. Here’s an interesting blog post - written by the priest’s wife:

    Anthony Weiner is a sexual harasser. He sent 21-year-old college student, Gennette Cordova, an unsolicited sexual photo of himself.
    That’s really important—because it goes to the heart of what so many people do not seem to “get” about sexual harassment.
    I’ve had this argument with more than one person over the last couple of days. I’ve argued with intelligent people—intelligent women, no less!—who have basically said to me, “I like his politics, so what he did doesn’t matter.” Or…even worse to me, in some ways: “It’s not sexual harassment unless you tell him to stop and he refuses.”
    HELL NO!!
    Unless that young woman sent him a message saying “I want to see pictures of you naked,” he had no business sending her suggestive photos. She says she didn’t. Even he admits she didn’t. He says he sent the photo as “part of a joke.”
    That makes him a sexual harasser. And that makes ANYONE defending him—on whatever grounds—apologists for sexual harassment.

    I’m not laughing.
    I loved his politics. I loved the way he seemed to be the only one who would stand up publicly to the assholes in Congress who are trying to ruin this country and run roughshod over women, LGBTs, immigrants, the poor—basically anyone who isn’t white, male, straight, and rich.
    But I will not excuse him for what he did on that basis. I will not give him a pass for using his power and privilege to sexually harass anyone.
    I will not sell out my expectations that progressives should be better than this. I will not sink to the level of those who will defend the Larry Craigs and David Vitters of this world, just to hang on to a seat in Congress. And for those who are wondering...I thought Bill Clinton should have resigned when the Lewinsky scandal broke—and I still think we would have avoided eight years of George W. Bush if he had.
    I do not support sexual harassers, no matter what their politics happen to be. And if you are a true progressive, you shouldn’t either.
    I expect more.
    Consent matters. Integrity matters. Without them, we are no different than those we oppose—because there really isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between leftist abusers of women and conservative abusers of women.
    It just hurts more coming from those we thought were our allies.

    The fact that she discussed her sick sexual activities and offered to send you, unsolicited, a video of her having sex makes HER the sexual harasser. Did you ever say “I want to see pictures of you naked” ? She would never admit it and probably say it was part of a joke, just like Weiner. But how could she deny it in light of this post? If she defends herself, SHE is an apologist for sexual harassment.

    Further, her husband is a pervert who should be removed from the priesthood. Why any parish who would want this couple among them is either very uninformed or very naive. I think its time the truth came out. Because integrity does matter.