Domestic I was a wild…


I was a wild girl
and you came along
for the ride
with two or three others
in the same bed
(five was our record).

We had fun
shocking the mundanes.

Now we make domestic dates
for sex
on Wednesday nights
and laugh
when the baby

I don't think we're quite tame

8 thoughts on “Domestic I was a wild…”

  1. I wish I understood the structure of this poem better. I feel the sense of rhythm but where is it? I notice the 6-2-6-2.

    And how does “shocking the mundanes” relate to consent from bystanders from the other entry?

    I think this is part of what confuses me about “sex-positivity”. From the outside, it seems like sex is more of a hobby for you than it is for me. And yet, there’s also this layer of wanting to be a bad girl, of wanting to break norms, that the unseen bystanders matter. Like with Raj, Bohemian, there is this sense that you’re trying to prove yourself. To me, you’re more interesting when you’re more “sincere”.

    Sex with 5 people can be mundane and domestic dates can be wild.

    (really, really, not an attack)

  2. I agree with the “sincere”.

    What does seem sincere about it is that desire for observation, for the (dubious) shock value. I wonder when that will stop. Why the need to prove yourself by being what you think other people will deem “wild”? The poem’s focus makes it seem like that brings more pleasure than the actual acts themselves. Is that true? Seems interesting, but also slightly sad – for me, the partners are what make it good, not what the world at large thinks (or doesn’t think) about how I choose to share my bedding time.

  3. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Well, but I think you’re both (not/puzzled) conflating two different things. There’s the pleasures of the actual partners, yes. But to me at least, that’s separate from the whole question of stepping outside cultural norms, which I find interesting / exciting / valuable/ frightening in its own right.

    Maybe another way of thinking about it, to ‘puzzled’ — you wonder when it’ll stop — I hope it never stops. Because for me, there’s a real value in stepping outside my comfort zone. It used to be that I’d push my boundaries sexually — for the most part, I don’t do that so much anymore. Maybe because it’s not as scary as it used to be, so there’s less need to go there (and less point).

    What’s scary to me now is writing about ethnicity and politics and war, which is why I push myself to write about that. In some ways this is all tangled up in the whole writing thing for me; the same urge that once led me to try unusual sexual activities is what led me to write about them. I’m drawn to edges. And so of course observation becomes a key component of it — if you don’t communicate the experience, if you don’t push other people’s boundaries too, then the entire experience overall doesn’t accomplish as much as it could.

    It’s one thing to have a threesome. It’s another, in some ways much scarier, thing to write about it. But they’re linked.

    As for the formal structure — there isn’t one, at least not consciously. 🙂 It was really just a little love anniversary poem for Kevin; I wrote it as it stands in one five-minute draft.

    One last thought — you both seem to be implying that there’s something…lesser? about casual sex. And I just don’t feel that way. It’s a different, potentially delightful thing from a serious, intimate relationship. I value enjoyable sex with a relative stranger, and don’t think less of it for not having learned each others’ names. Sometimes it’s better that way. 🙂 But if that isn’t emotionally possible for you, you may have a lot of difficulty really understanding where I’m coming from.

  4. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Forgot to address the ‘consent of bystanders’ thing. I do think it’s generally polite to try to get consent of bystanders before involving them in your actual sexual activities — if you don’t, you’re ignoring the fact that you’re essentially drawing them into your sex scene, whatever it is. Even in such a mild form as remembering to put a sock on the bedroom door so your college roommates don’t accidentally walk in on you.

    But that’s very different from getting peoples’ consent before *telling* them about the activities. If people aren’t interested in participating in a conversation, they can always go to another web page, close the book, walk away. And there’s a huge social benefit, I think, to having as open a conversation as possible around taboo subjects.

    One of the funniest things about becoming a mom is that I’m often moving in much more conservative/traditional circles than I’m used to, and that people tend to assume (from my mom-hood) that I’m equally conservative/traditional. Which actually means that even the smallest boundary-crossing admission I make these days tends to have a much greater effect than when I was a 20-year-old college student. More bang for the buck, as it were. 🙂

  5. not an attack

    “you both seem to be implying that there’s something…lesser? about casual sex”

    What I’m saying is that it’s not a hobby that I enjoy, period. I’ve tried it, I get bored with it. Or are you implying that my hobbies are somehow lesser? Does the word hobby imply anything more than the word casual?

  6. not an attack

    By the way, your explanation of stepping outside cultural norms helped somewhat. For me, I don’t have to try to do that, being myself is that. There are still edges – intellectual and physical boundaries to push against. I’m still not sure – obviously there are lots and lots and lots of cultural norms you could have chosen to step outside. It seems hardly coincidental that you chose one that would help you fit into hip, liberal 20-something UofC. You didn’t, for example, try fasting every other day.

  7. Mary Anne Mohanraj

    Heh. I think I chose the boundaries I did for a complex set of reasons, but in part because due to my immigrant status, sexuality was already a battleground for me from childhood. When I was in high school, my mother told me she was sending my photo to Sri Lanka to try to set up my arranged marriage; I wasn’t allowed to go to school dances in sixth grade — that kind of thing.

    So you take that kind of early focus on sexuality, and an awareness that my family was setting my boundaries much closer-in than my friends’ families did, which made me question the justice and inherent value of those boundaries early on, since they seemed so arbitrary — and then you add to that my own attraction to non-monogamy (Heinlein’s plural marriages resonated for me long before I started actually dating), and it’s not surprising that I became really interested in sexual boundaries, individual and cultural.

    But I think it’s funny you think the choices I made helped me fit into hip, liberal 20-something U of C. Being bi and poly was definitely not the norm there, not in 1989. There were a few of us who banded together for social support, but for the most part, U of C students barely dated, much less did anything socially or sexually risky. In fact, when I was there, the student population was known for being stunningly politically apathetic for a college campus, and very much focused on academics. That shifts over time, of course. For the most part, being bi and poly in my 20s got me a string of verbal personal attacks, not support or social acceptance. Things may be different for college students today.

    Re: the hobby thing — I think it’s the word ‘hobby’ that is striking me as off. I don’t think of casual sex in my life as a hobby. I think of it as a variety of things — sometimes it’s:

    – an extension of friendship
    – a way to touch base with an ex, maybe be a little nostalgic at times
    – a safe place to push a sexual boundary (in a way that might make an establish partner uncomfortable, especially if you know that particular practice is not their kink)
    – etc.

    But calling it a hobby makes it sound like — I don’t know, something like stamp-collecting? It’s not a word I’d use, because it does devalue the practice more than the word ‘casual’ does for me.

    ‘Casual’ for me in this context indicates short-lived, fleeting, etc, as opposed to long-term. But casual still sometimes possesses deep meaning and richness, something that would be a real loss in my life. That’s when I get wistful about, when I realize how long it’s been since I had a partner other than Kevin and Jed. (6-7 years now, I think?) I miss what those brief encounters brought to my life.

    I think I don’t really have hobbies, so much, now that I think about it. If I try something new, either I like it enough that it turns into a passion, and I try to develop it seriously, or I realize I don’t have time for it, and I stop doing it. Huh, that’s kind of funny.

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