She’d given birth to her first child–a daughter–the year before, and I wanted to take an intergenerational look at the conflict and difficulty that seems to exist in the mother-daughter dynamic. I’d been privy to her struggles in her relationship with her mother, the pain and angst it caused her, and hoped she’d be willing to have a conversation about how she grew up, and what she’d like to do differently with her daughter.
Perhaps the most verbose, rapidly-speaking person I know (a court reporter once asked her to slow down during a testimony), we joked that I was lucky to be getting our interview in after she’d been down with the flu and bronchitis for a week. She began to take me through her early childhood, leading me from the picture of an idyllic family toward the tense, guilt-ridden, sometimes self-esteem-crippling snapshot of today’s relationship with her mother. Continue reading →
He offered to be interviewed when I put out the call for volunteers, and I knew immediately I wanted to hear about his experience of divorce, Initially I had wanted the series to be all about different peoples’ experience of sex–what they learned growing up, what constituted sex ed at at home/school, first experiences, overall attitudes. But with him I remembered getting a facebook invite to a party that was part farewell to a marriage, part estate sale. At the time I thought him and his soon to be ex-wife incredibly respectful toward each other and thus felt intrigued by his seeming drama-free divorce. He had “a lot of angles and spins on divorce in his head” which I found him quite open to discussing, as I sat in my car outside work, furiously scribbling notes while he spoke into the phone.
A man in his mid-forties, he had been in the marriage for ten years, divorced now for three. I told him about my impression of his “divorce party” to which he replied, “I’m sure we seemed very evolved. In reality it took a lot of drama for us to get there. Once we had decided we weren’t healthy for each other, if we ever had been, it was easier to be civil.” Continue reading →
He had written a guest post for us over the summer, and I knew when I conceived of the interview series idea, I was going to want to delve more deeply into how he had come to marry a woman who refused sex and subjected him to terrible emotional blackmail. From what I understood, she had used threats of self-harm, all the way up to suicide to control the relationship and his response to her from the beginning. How does a relationship even get out of the starting gate with that kind of dysfunction present from day one? How does it become a marriage? So what, they had gone right from sexual activity in his truck after a dance one night in high school, to her making threats to injure herself, right into a relationship? Continue reading →
It certainly wasn’t for my grandparents, together for nearly 60 years. They have trudged through thick and thin and still seem to like each other enough to hold hands in the grocery store, but I know that they fight. Marriage seemed logical to my parents, then when it broke they didn’t soldier through, they walked away bringing their bitter feelings with them. Now there is me. I’m a child of divorce. My mom briefly remarried, but my stepdad passed away in less than a year from cancer. My dad married a woman so she could get citizenship, as a way of paying some sort of karmic debt he thought he owed, and then he died of cancer. Everywhere I look in my family, I see failed or strained marriages, which makes me question why I even want to get married. Continue reading →
I am a 30 year old guy who has had more than his fair share of sex with different women. I began my sexual quest after leaving an eight year relationship that had been nearly sexless. During that relationship I had sex less than 100 times. I was at my sexual peak and I missed it. I jerked off six to eight times a day without blinking an eye. I beat off so much my dick was raw. If you’re a sexually driven person, if you’re a happy person, if you love to make people happy, if you’re any kind of person, don’t do as I did.
The question was thrown out to me over the weekend while I was attending a professional sporting event, of all places. I’m unable to resist such lines of inquiry, because, as I’m working to establish with you, I’m fascinated by people and relationships. So I turned my attention from the field to the asker. I said the first thing that came into my mind, which was that I think it’s unavoidable. Continue reading →