• "The Art of Sleeping Alone"

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    repliquant [sign in to see picture]
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    Quite an interesting read in Cracy Flark-Tory's column:

    http://www.salon.com/2013/08/11/the_joy_of_sexlessness/

    Now, I don't like to sleep alone, but based on this little interview, I think I'll buy the book ;)

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    rubysoho [sign in to see picture]
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    bit busy at the moment but ill def read that later . i used to HATE it .. but now , in the last 3 or 4 weeks or so .. ive become quite content sleeping alone .

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    rubysoho [sign in to see picture]
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    Avrielle_Aniko wrote:

    During my relationship with my ex, when things were getting rocky, I much prefered sleeping alone. I liked the space away from him and whenever he tried to cuddle me in bed, I would feel a bit claustrophobic. But that was because I was falling out of love with him and beginning to despise him.

    Now being away from him for a few months, being alone in bed doesn't bother me, but I am beginning to create 'imaginary' cuddle figures that lie in bed with me. Sometimes I imagine people, sometimes just an imaginary teddy bear. But it seems to work to comfort me on lonely nights as I drift to sleep.

    I'm not entirely sure I understand this lady and her words in the article (words from when she phoned in to a radio station):

    “No word can encompass the absence of a sex life for people who are simply waiting hopefully. We say ‘chastity’; that’s not the right word. We say ‘abstinence’; that’s not the right word. ‘Asexuality’ is not the right word. So stop. Enough of this nonsense.”

    I

    i say drought haha

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    Cat Lady [sign in to see picture]
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    Avrielle_Aniko wrote:

    I'm not entirely sure I understand this lady and her words in the article (words from when she phoned in to a radio station):

    “No word can encompass the absence of a sex life for people who are simply waiting hopefully. We say ‘chastity’; that’s not the right word. We say ‘abstinence’; that’s not the right word. ‘Asexuality’ is not the right word. So stop. Enough of this nonsense.”

    I thought she meant that abstinence and chastity are when you choose not to have sex, but that for many people, the fact that the absence of a relationship means they don't get to have sex but they would like to. I think the point is that there is no actual word for those people. I wish there was - that's how I feel!

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    repliquant [sign in to see picture]
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    rubysoho wrote:

    bit busy at the moment but ill def read that later . i used to HATE it .. but now , in the last 3 or 4 weeks or so .. ive become quite content sleeping alone .

    As a cuddly bear, I have always preferred to sleep with someone than by myself, even though the latter is usually more comfy. In the end it's a function of the bed size, really ;) Sleeping with X understood as a boink is separate for me from the concept of just sleeping, alone or not. But then again, for me everything is separate — sleep, boinkage, chemical involvements — each in its own compartment. This offers me more degrees of freedom, and there is less potential for muckups.

    I highly recommend her column, btw. Have been a reader for several years now, and there are plenty of gems hidden in that colossal archive of hers. It's the only flesh-mind-oriented periodical worth reading, imo.

    Avrielle_Aniko wrote:

    During my relationship with my ex, when things were getting rocky, I much prefered sleeping alone. I liked the space away from him and whenever he tried to cuddle me in bed, I would feel a bit claustrophobic. But that was because I was falling out of love with him and beginning to despise him.

    Yes, this is what happens when these things are interconnected in someone's brain, and not separated, like in mine. Ergo, one moment you like X, and then you don't, depending on other factors, whereas for me if I like X then I like X regardless ;) Much easier.

    Avrielle_Aniko wrote:

    Now being away from him for a few months, being alone in bed doesn't bother me, but I am beginning to create 'imaginary' cuddle figures that lie in bed with me. Sometimes I imagine people, sometimes just an imaginary teddy bear. But it seems to work to comfort me on lonely nights as I drift to sleep.

    I think that is not unusual in any way, as it's an indicator of your inner need. I have the same need, or like need maybe, of not being alone in bed. I like intimacy, and for me falling asleep together with someone is more important than everything else combined, and always has been. This was solved as a side effect of my decision years ago of becoming involved again, this time with inorganic versions, but I guess for me this was easier, since I've always had techno tendencies, and always paid more attention too ideas and inanimate things than peers. So this is a byproduct, but the fact remains that I am no longer sleeping alone, I sleep very well and do not have black dreams of any kind anymore, I am stable and happy as I have never been before.

    Avrielle_Aniko wrote:

    I'm not entirely sure I understand this lady and her words in the article (words from when she phoned in to a radio station):

    “No word can encompass the absence of a sex life for people who are simply waiting hopefully. We say ‘chastity’; that’s not the right word. We say ‘abstinence’; that’s not the right word. ‘Asexuality’ is not the right word. So stop. Enough of this nonsense.”

    Now. I understand that not everything can be defined under the somewhat 'rigid' labels. And that such words are usually made for other people to understand a persons sexual orientation/preferences. But a word can be useful to help someone identify themselves, as well as to others. And I think this woman has gotten a little confused perhaps over what her identity really is and how best to describe herself to others in a way that they can understand.

    I think she has dropped many hints in this short interview. First of all, she is perceived as abnormal because of if not her choices, then the end result. The masses can't abide diversity of any kind:

    "She constantly encounters people’s questioning confusion over her celibacy and their ultimate disapproval and even anger toward it. ”If there was a party, everyone in turn would come sit next to me to regale me with how he or she thought I should live and what I deserved to have,” she writes. “What it boiled down to was that I should live like them.”

    That's fairly typical, the normals being afraid to death that they won't be all just alike. Not enough of a spine to stand on their own, they define themselves always in relation to others. If a given individual can't be intimidated into peer submission by shaming or ostracism, then aggression inevitably follows. Then this:

    Instead of trying to fix her, some friends fetishized her. An old pal admitted to her that she and her husband fantasized about having a threesome wth her, aroused in large part by imagining her “modesty” and “timid refusal.” Others tried to diagnose her problem: A good male friend questioned whether she might be gay. A female friend came on to her, because, as Fontanel writes, “She had thought that since I wasn’t seeing men anymore, I would go for a woman.”

    The key word here is 'problem'. Something that must be investigated, then fixed or removed. As if on cue, here is a new article from the guardianistas. Nice enough, but as usual though, they are firmly stuck in the 20th century — they only care for the fem perspective, fighting their ancient battles from a one-sided perspective.

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/aug/16/choice-child-free-admirable-not-selfish

    But, it's better than nothing ;)

    Avrielle_Aniko wrote:

    Now. I understand that not everything can be defined under the somewhat 'rigid' labels. And that such words are usually made for other people to understand a persons sexual orientation/preferences. But a word can be useful to help someone identify themselves, as well as to others. And I think this woman has gotten a little confused perhaps over what her identity really is and how best to describe herself to others in a way that they can understand.

    In what follows she does explain more, even though she her answers are guided by the interviewer questions, obviously, and there is more to it all.

    "We have put sex in a too high position. Of course, for me, the fact of making love in a very good way is incredible, it’s a very good thing, but the idea that the sexual life, that making love regularly is a good thing, for me it’s not true. Sometimes, making love just once, if it’s good, it’s better than making love every day."

    After my long-time [celibacy], I met a man and I had a boyfriend for years, but now I’m alone. For me, being alone is not a question. For me, I’m not thinking, “Oh, I am 50 years old, am I young enough to meet a man?” I don’t know what it is to think this way. For me, being alone is freedom. It’s not as if I was walking in the streets and looking at all these handsome men and thinking, “Oh no, they don’t look at me!” I don’t see handsome men. Charming men I don’t see, where are they? It’s very, very rare, so I have made up my mind. I’m sure that because it’s rare you have to live between the love stories.

    It has opened my eyes. At the beginning I thought that married people were happy together having sex. I was considering my celibacy as an illness. During all those years I talked to a lot of people and I learned that sometimes when you’re in a couple you don’t make love at all. Sometimes when you’re alone you have a very big libido in your mind; sometimes it’s more rich in your mind than in the real-life bedrooms of married couples. Sometimes my friends with boyfriends were less happy than me. Of course they had someone in their bed, but there was a price to pay, you know? My mother used to say that there’s a price to pay for everything. You don’t want to be with a boring man, so the price to pay is to be alone. I think that married people are very big liars, because if they don’t lie to say that they are happy sexually then they are ridiculous. So when a married couple is next to a single person, it seems that it is the single person who is the more pitiful, but maybe that’s not the case.

    From these it's clear that whatever prompted her to begin, in the end mutated to a conscious choice of enforcing certain standards rather than debasing herself by a long term commitment to an emo tarpit with one mediocre person or another just for the sake of fulfilling social norms, or simply being dicked on call, regardless of what she got out of it, as seems to be the case for most. She seems to resent being investigated and judged by people whose life is often a long roll of grey goo. It's enough to look around, and see what this fabled and famed normality is worth in the end. I see people dredging their 'normal' emo tarpits by the spoonful, year by year, decade by decade, fearful and terrified to make an end and begin anew. Screwed into the ground by their partners, day and night. But somehow, by definition, this is 'better' than not getting involved at all, if all can be had is such a ground base level of co-existence.

    Hers is a choice, and any choice involves tradeoffs. As she says, there is a price for everything. She has standards of her own, stands by them, and for me that is an indication of a very strong will, social courage, and a tough moral spine. Stands on her own, unwavering and against the flow — well, that for me is worthy of respect. I agree that it's liberating, too.

    I like her attitude. I find such appproach to life very attractive. Certainly there is more to all that than a simple interview can illustrate, which is why I want to read the whole thing. And that regardless of whether I agree with her — and I don't need to, as I'm not looking for mirrors of my own viewpoints.

    Avrielle_Aniko wrote:

    She has clearly had bad experiences with sex and sexual relationships. Her move to not have sex does not seem to be a choice (like being gay is not a choice) unlike Chastity or Abstinence which is a concious choice to refrain from sex, whether that be for religious reasons or other. Her refrainment from sex seems to be something that is set deep within her, quite possibly stemmed from the negative experiences she has had. It seems likely that she has suffered trauma from those events and has affected her psychologically, resulting in her not having any thought to sex in her daily life, perhaps as a barrier to protect herself, or maybe just the mind and body not creating any sexual stimulation at all (eg. If you think about sex, you might feel horny.) because the that part of the body could have sort of shut down in order to protect itself from suffering the trauma again.

    She might have had some, as is indicated early on in the foreword of sorts, but that is just background. It takes a strong personality to develop this sort of stance, as strong as hers, and such a stance requires years of reflections and character-building, of which any potential traumas of the past are only one component, or building block. I absolutely don't think that this is the case of someone retreating into a shell forever, due to some events from the past. These of course take time and effort to heal, but it can be done, and doesn't need to translate into emotional block, even if temporary. Also, it's not the case either that she doesn't have any opportunities of sexual contact at hand, as follows from the quotes above.

    I think it's a book worth reading, especially for the formally unassociateds, even if there is a mismatch in perspective for the potential reader. Wishlisted ;)

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    lillithlibby [sign in to see picture]
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    An example of such 'shut down' (I know that isn't the correct wording) body functioning, goes back to my late teen years when I was suicidal and I overdosed on presciption tablets. Mostly paracetamol amoungst others. After I survived and pulled through, I was almost unable to swallow tablets for a long time. I had difficulty for around a year afterwards! When I tried to swallow a tablet, my throat muscles would just contract and not respond in the right way, as if it were blocking it from going down and I'd have to cough it back up, because my throat refused to allow the tablet in! And if I did manage to swallow it, my stomach would lunge and it would reject it, causing me to be sick and bring the tablet back up. This is clearly the mind and body at work to prevent the trauma happening again.I don't know if this post makes any sense... I hope it does!

    I have a similar experience with alcohol, if I have a drink in a pub setting I have to buy it myself even if its a regular soft drink or I cant drink it.

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    Naughty Miss K [sign in to see picture]
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    Haven't had time to read the link yet, but love sleeping with my OH here. The past year whenever he's come to visit we've been sharing a single bed, and whilst this isn't ideal I'd rather than than not have him there :) Only really lonely nights I have been none to make a body sized lump with the overhang of my double duvet and cuddle that, with a hot waterbottle around stomach/chest height to add to it. Sad i know :p

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    Fizz and Sparkle [sign in to see picture]
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    i used to hate sleeping with anyone, and i loved bed to myself and never managed to sleep when i had a partner, causing lots of arguments!

    but i sleep like a log when my new bloke is next to me, - still appreciate being able to starfish when he's not though !

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