Sunday, December 27, 2015

Grapefruitted

A few weeks before he left, the Texan and I went to a fancy schmancy love motel in another city for a weekend.  Before heading there, I read a blog post on Bustle about a woman trying the grapefruit technique that went viral on YouTube about a year and a half ago on her boyfriend - for science!

Sounded like fun to me, so I hopped on over to a neighborhood grocery store and bought a grapefruit and a cheap bottle of champagne to bring on our trip.  When I told the Texan that I was planning on putting the grapefruit on his wang, he started laughing hysterically and asked me if I'd seen the viral video. I hadn't; we watched it together and I became even more excited to try it (the video is hilarious and wonderful; please watch it if you haven't).


After a long, hot bath together, we drained half of the water out of the jacuzzi and threw the grapefruit in to warm it up (as instructed by Angel).  I grapefruitted him with much success in the hot tub, where clean up was super easy.  The verdict?  He says that while it did feel amazing, it wasn't quite as good as pussy.  Eventually, the grapefruit got too loose; I had to throw it aside and use my hands, but that was just as much (if not more) fun.  

After getting a hot load of cum in my mouth (yessssss), we celebrated our experiment by drinking champagne off of each other.  Hot tubs are a GREAT place to do messy things!


I couldn't ask for a better night.

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Sinful Sunday

Saturday, December 26, 2015

'Tis the Season...

...for some corrupt-ass shit.

The English department secretary at my school sent me the following email hours before I hopped on a plane to come home for Christmas:

Dear Jo,

You have special sport students in some of your classes. I’m writing to let you know how to grade for those students.
 I attached the excel sheet showing the list of sport students. 

They will get a pass according to the score and rank which they win at the sport contest. Therefore, (name of my university) wants you to give the designated letter grades by which I mean you should give them a pass.

Please contact me if you have questions.

I teach once-a-week, pass / fail conversation classes; the cutoff point for passing is 60%. Basically, if the students show up most of the time, participate, and pass the exams, they pass the class.  In the list of twenty or so students that was sent to me, only one actually passed my class.  There were others who only showed up for the exams just to fail them, some who came once in a while without a textbook and then sat in the back on their cell phones the whole time, and some who never showed up to a single class or exam.  

Our university's policy is that when it comes to student athletes, their class scores for all of their classes are based on how well they do in their sport.  If they're athletic rock stars -- say, in tae kwon do or baseball -- they never have to go to a single class and can still get an A in all of them.  

This is not unique to my university; it's common practice in private universities all over Korea.  I know shit like this happens in the US as well, but it's shocking to see it so out in the open.  Maybe it's better that way... at least there's no pretense.

I always wonder what our student athletes do after university... do they go on to national competitions?  Then what? Do they coach?  What if they get injured?  Changing careers is relatively easy in the US, but extremely rare in Korea.  Students don't even change majors in Korea. So if athletes just stop learning the same skills and knowledge their peers are learning at age 15, what happens when they need it?

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Waiting

In this photo, taken months ago, I was waiting in bed for The Texan to come over and thought it would be fun to send him a quick shot.  

Having dropped him at the airport yesterday morning and knowing I won't see him again for another year and a half, I'm waiting again... this time for a long time.  For the thrill of his giant hands on my tiny body, his lips pressed against mine, the reassuring way he wraps his arms around me, the dirty whispers in my ear, the love that radiates out of him.  I'm a strong broad, but it's going to be a rough holiday without him.

I don't think my heart can handle any more dating in a country where the people I meet are so transient.  It's beautiful outside; the air is crisp and clear (despite being next to China), the sky bright and sunny.  But my insides are bleak mid-winter.



Sinful Sunday

Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Wank in the Woods

I recently went back to the trail my partner and I went hiking on a couple of months ago and found the tree we fucked against so I could take photos of it for a project; since I was hiking on a Monday afternoon and there were few people on the trail, I figured it couldn't hurt to take some naughty pictures.  Once I got into doing that and was turned on, I thought, "Hrm... maybe I'll make a wank video as well as a nice surprise!"


It only took me two and a half minutes to come; the video is hilarious because my body is convulsing and I'm making the craziest O faces, but I'm completely silent so as to not draw attention.  Can't wait to show it to the boyfriend!


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Sinful Sunday

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Loving Love Motels

Expats living in South Korea sometimes joke that while Korea feels like 2020 technologically, it kind of feels like the 1950s in terms of relationships.  Most young people in South Korea still live with their parents and continue to do so until they get married – with the exception of living on campus for some university students.  While the number of people living alone is on the rise, single households still account for only 24% of households in Korea – and that includes English teachers and the elderly.  So if you’re dating (and you better be because if you’re still single at thirty YOU’RE GOING TO DIE ALONE) and still living with mom and dad, where do you have sex?* 

At the Love Motel!!!

All over South Korea, in every city, in practically every neighborhood, you can find a love motel (or twenty): a motel which was built with the express purpose of bangin’.  The rooms come with throwaway toothbrushes, condoms, super soft core porn on the telly (basically just a lady’s face moaning; sometimes there are boobs), shared toiletries, and black ropes hanging between the alley and the parking lot so you can’t see people get out of their cars and walk inside.  Many love motels have different fees for overnight stay versus the use of a room for a few hours.  And they can get super backed up.  In the more popular and modern motels on a Saturday night, it’s not uncommon to see a waiting area in the front lobby full of young couples waiting for people to finish sexing so they can use a room. 

You’d think these places would be kinda gross or disheveled with all those people coming (ha!) and going, but they’re actually pretty rad!  Every love motel room I’ve been in came with clean sheets, towels, and robes.  They all had huge flat screen TVs, a queen or king-sized bed, a mini-fridge with free bottled water, an electric kettle with free coffee and tea, a computer with internet / free WiFi, and a toilet with a heated seat.  How much do these rooms run, you ask?  They sound kind of expensive!  NOPE!  In a small town, you can get a room with a queen-sized bed and a large Jacuzzi tub for 60,000 won – about $50.  I stayed in one last weekend with a king-sized bed, a skylight that covered most of the ceiling with a retractable cover, a gigantic round hot tub, and a Finnish sauna for 80,000 won.  For real. 

I kind of think people should skip the temples and palaces and just come to South Korea for a sex vacation.  And the food.  Delicious food and sex in a hot tub!  What more do you want on vacation?  South Korea: Come for the grilled meat and fresh seafood; stay for the love.

That's a sauna next to the shower.  VIP room!


Green light special coming up...

Like that mirror above the bathtub?  There are lots of mirrors in love motels!




*Mom and dad, of course, would answer: You don’t.  You don’t have sex until marriage.  Did you know that roughly 1/3 of Koreans practice Christianity – evangelical Christianity?

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Berry Bright

These cranberries ended up inside my belly eventually; in the meantime, they left quite a stain on the outside!



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Sinful Sunday

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Year of the ass: 2015 was, indeed, all about that bass*. (NSFR)

In a recent episode, Sex Nerd Sandra declared 2015 the year of the ass; I couldn’t agree more.  Personally, at least.  As it’s been noted in popular culture and mass media, both the ass itself as a desired body part (in terms of shape and size) and anal sex have become wildly popular in the past five or so years.  
                               
The first time someone slipped a finger into my ass during sex (there’s a transition), I was straddling a dude from one of my college classes in his kitchen after we’d just played strip Trivial Pursuit (highly recommended).  His roommate and the friend I’d brought were off in a bedroom doing… whatever they were doing, and we were fucking on the kitchen floor, my legs wrapped around his waist.  I was already super aroused, so it wasn’t painful – just a new sensation that heightened my desire… and after a few moments, I really got into it.  I thought, “Why haven’t other guys done this?  Why haven’t I done this to other people?”  It opened a whole new pathway to pleasure for me. 

Fast forward a year, and I was having anal sex.  Sadly, it wouldn’t be until graduate school when I got into prostate play and pegging, but I got there eventually!  I found out that I love the way a dildo looks strapped onto the front of my body – how the curve of it complements my other curves, how its sheen draws the eye toward it, how the cool silicone feels cupped in my hand.  I love the act of penetrating (with anything, really); it gives me great pleasure to see the look on a partner’s face when I hit exactly the right spot, that desperate “please god - oh god - take me there” look.  I love the way a rectum will basically pull your finger (or a plug, or a dildo) in once you’re past the sphincter, as if to say, “Welcome!” and I love the way a prostate feels against my fingertip, the rounded ridge succumbing to gentle pressure.  I love hearing a partner tell me to press harder or in a different spot or with a certain motion.  Fuck.  Yes.

Image result for sunshine coming out of a buttFor various reasons, I didn’t get any anal play at ALL (a travesty, I know) for years – I had short-term partners who weren’t into it, I dated mostly women, and I didn’t have long-term partners whom I really trusted.  And then, this year, I started dating someone who’s really into all things butt, and it was like the glorious heavens opened up and showered bright rays of buttshine down onto me.

This year, I:
  • Enjoyed analingus, both giving and receiving, completely sober for the first time in my life, and it’s FUCKING AWESOME.
  • Bought two butt plugs, one of which vibrates.  Why two, you ask?  I bought the first one online after being inspired by a GOTN post; the store said it was “small,” but it was decidedly not small.  I kept it and bought another one, because you can’t have too many.
  • Used both plugs while masturbating, in me during sex, and in my partner during sex, and just uuuunnnnggghhh.
  • Helped my partner achieve some incredibly intense orgasms with prostate play.
  • Had anal sex for the first time in almost a decade!!! 
  • Had anal sex in cowgirl position for the first time ever (it’s a lot easier, guys, especially if you’re fucking someone with a larger than average dick or dildo).  Thanks, lube.  You’re my friend.

My sweetheart has never been pegged but is super interested in it, so I’m wishing on all the shooting stars I see that that happens before he takes off later this month.  Keep your dildos crossed for me!  2015 was the year that re-introduced me to all things anal, and all the nerve endings in my nether regions are grateful.  


*Not that I have much of a bass.  Bone to pick with this song: treble clefs are still bottom heavy.  Can I get a musical symbol of a body type with a big rack and a firm but relatively small behind?  Cause that's where I'm at.  Maybe imagine the bass clef upside down, and that's what my boobs are like.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Gobble Gobble

It’s that time of year, so here are five things I’m grateful for:

That spongy tissue on the front wall of my vagina that gets a boner when I’m turned on 
Image result for cute spongeSome call it the G-spot; some say it’s just the back end of the clitoris.  Some say we should call it an area instead of a spot.  Whatever you believe it is, I will preach from the mountain tops that it is a thing, and mine happens to help me have multiple orgasms.  This might deserve its own post, because it’s been really awesome lately.  Thanks, spongy tissue! 



Foreskin 
Playing with foreskin is like driving a car with a manual transmission; once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you just never want to go back to automatic.

My sex-positive parents
Seriously, what parent hears their fifteen year-old daughter say, “Yo, I’m staying after school today to teach an HIV mini-lesson and give a condom demonstration” and replies, “Good on ya, honey?” 

Silicone!  
Regular silicone toys!  Medical-grade silicone toys!  Silicone lube (I’m a huge fan of Pjur and Pink)!  Hot damn, silicone lube.  I want to do a whole-body silicone lube massage exchange where my partner and I buy a jumbo bottle of silicone lube, massage each other with liberal amounts of it, put a plastic sheet on the bed, and rub our bodies against each other.  Maybe with swim caps on.  We will be warm and happy, like dolphins in the Indian Ocean.  All the silicone.  All the time.  (But don’t mix silicone lube and silicone toys!)

Red wine 
Making people horny since whatever year it was invented.  Red wine goes straight to my cunt in a way that nothing else does, and come winter, it’s all red wine and whiskey – a girl’s gotta stay warm, you know?  Cheers!

(Mostly I’m grateful to have an adventurous, communicative, sexy, and supportive partner right now, but that deserves an entire post all on its own!)



Sunday, November 22, 2015

In the Dark

It's my very first time participating in Sinful Sunday!  Thanks for selling glow-in-the-dark rope, American Science and Surplus.



Sinful Sunday

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ten (Okay, Eleven) Sex and Relationship Tips based on the Rules of Acquisition

Yes, the Rules of Acquisition from Star Trek.  You may be thinking: Why would I want to read relationship tips based on a fictional, misogynistic alien race?  Because the INTERNET, that’s why!  What else do you have to do for the next five minutes – work?  Bah.  Right, then: Crack open a lukewarm bottle of Eelwasser, and let’s dig into some Ferengi wisdom.

7. Always keep your ears open.  The importance of deep, intentional listening cannot be overstated in a relationship. Take the time once in a while to ask your partner(s) if they feel understood and if their needs are being met.  Then sit with them and really listen to their answers, asking follow-up questions.  When your ears are open, your heart is open. 

19. Satisfaction is not guaranteed.  Some people can make amazing friends, but terrible partners.  If you’ve tried everything in a relationship and still find that it’s not working for you, then perhaps you and that partner just aren’t compatible – and that’s okay.  If your relationship ends, it doesn’t mean that it was a failure, especially if you can end it amicably and have good memories together.

34. War is good for business. There are sex therapists who actually recommend scheduling fights with your partner(s).  Fighting with your partner(s) at a scheduled time gives you a chance to get things off your chest in a constructive way (by thoughtfully choosing your words shortly after you feel bad feelings instead of letting them build up, along with resentment, over time); fighting also fills you with adrenaline, which can make for some really intense sex and bonding.  I find it important to touch my partner(s) when we’re fighting so that they know I’m not going anywhere – just taking the time to communicate my feelings and listen to theirs.
AND 35. Peace is good for business.  Those who have a peaceful inner sanctum (as it were) and can find their own path to joy without needing someone else to create joy for them draw people toward them.  Be that person.

45 / 95.* Expand or die.  Always see your partner as a mystery and your love as a tree that has infinite space around it to grow, and let it grow where it will.  Love is a living thing that needs to grow – or it withers.  Don’t assume you know everything about your partner(s), even if you’ve been with them for years; seeing them as mysterious will intrigue you and make the relationship stronger.

57. Good customers are almost as rare as latinum; treasure them. Often, when people are with someone for a long time, they start to take that person for granted.  Don’t.  Your partners are a valuable part of your life; they enrich it, so treasure them and embody a sense of gratitude for everything they share with you.  No one owes you their time or their love, so say or show (whichever your partner prefers) your appreciation often!

62. The riskier the road, the greater the profit. In More Than Two, Franklin Veaux and Eve Rickert say that life rewards people who move in the direction of greatest courage.  Make your relationship choices based on what’s right for you instead of what society expects of you (and if those two things happen to align, that’s great!).  You will find community if you look for it – no matter what road you choose, you’re not alone.  There are great rewards in seeking the kind of relationship and the kind of partner(s) you actually want. 

168. Whisper your way to success. Whisper something dirty in your partner’s ear right now.  Go on – do it.  Then whisper something else in another language.  Then nibble their ear lobe ever so gently.  Yeah, just like that.  That’s nice.  Where was I? 

208. Sometimes, the only thing more dangerous than a question is an answer.  If you ask your partner(s) a question, be prepared to hear the truth.  If your partner is brave enough to communicate something with you that’s difficult to say, then be brave enough to really hear them.

Image result for oo mox223. Beware the man who doesn’t take time for oo-mox.  I mean… sex is fucking important.  MAKE time for it.  If you’re busy, schedule time for it.  If you need to get away from the house in order to decrease your stress level enough for you to feel desire, then go to a hotel (or a dark alley… you do you)!  Do what you need to do to stay physically connected to your partner, because a good bang can help assuage negative feelings.  Sex fills your brain with all kinds of hormones and neurotransmitters that will make you feel more bonded with (and empathetic with) your partner(s).

240. Time, like latinum, is a highly limited commodity.  Love may be abundant, but time is finite.  There are only so many hours in the day – consider this when starting a potential new relationship.  Don’t promise time to people if you don’t have it, and make sure you save some time for yourself.  (I’m an introvert who has a hard time saying no; when I feel stressed about giving away all my time, I write a big X in my planner with the words “DON’T MAKE PLANS.”)  Remember that you choose how to prioritize your time.  Be grateful for the time your partners choose to share with you, and make time for your partners. 

*Stated as 45 in Enterprise but 95 in Voyager.  Shut up, I’m super cool.

P.S. Dear Anticipated Comment Troll: Yes, I do know that relationships aren't transactions and love isn't something that can be acquired, but thank you so much for pointing that out!

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Double Deprivation (REALLY not safe for relatives)

The Texan and I got home from the bar late at night, both a little bit tipsy, and hastily stripped off our clothes, leaving most of them in a pile near the door.  Making our way to my stairs through the dark while trying to kiss each other, we bumped into counters and furniture, laughing at ourselves while groping each other with fumbling hands.  On the way up the stairs, he whispered, “Get out your blindfolds.”  Yesssssss. 

If only Delta knew...
I have two blindfolds – both meant for long plane trips. One of them has little green and white airplanes on it – not very sexy, but it gets the job done.  The other looks as though it came straight from an adult toy shop, all black and silky, but I actually took it from a plane.  Thanks, Delta! 

I grabbed my blindfolds and a couple of pairs of earplugs (hilariously, one of the pairs is actually meant for keeping water out of your ears while swimming - let’s hear it for DIY BDSM) and brought them into bed.  We put the earplugs in first, looking hungrily at each other, then slipped the blindfolds over our heads.  Suddenly, both of us were plunged into total darkness and muffled sound. 

We felt our way around each other with our hands and mouths at first, just wanting to become familiar with the landscapes of each other’s bodies.  I remember riding him, lacing my fingers through his, and feeling wonder at the synchronicity of our movement and how connected I felt having only touch to guide us.  I remember how warm his body felt as he pressed me against him and tumbled me over so he could fuck me; how he moved my right leg up so it rested against his shoulder.  How right before coming, he told me he was taking off the blindfold so he could see me.  We threw our blindfolds to the side, looking at each other in the darkness, and I felt his cock throbbing inside of me, filling me with hot spurts of cum. 

I remember lying on my back on the bed afterward, feeling not quite finished.  Sweating and aching for more, I asked him to put all of his fingers inside of me. He laughed. “All of them?” he asked.  Yes, I insisted.  “You only get one at a time,” he said.  He slid his index finger into my cunt up toward my engorged g-spot, pressed into it for a moment, swirled his finger around it, and then took it out and told me to open my mouth.  I eagerly took his finger into my mouth, sucking off a mixture of his spunk and my own juices.  “Now two,” he said, sliding his index and middle fingers into me before once again putting them into my mouth.  Three, then four.  He told me that he loves the way I feel; I told him that I love the way he tastes.  He moved his four fingers into me slowly, pushing against an initial tightness to get them all inside.  I groaned with satisfaction, moving my cunt against his hand.  Once inside the tent (as it were), he was free to make a bit of a come hither motion, filling me with waves of pleasure.  I can’t remember if I told him to stop or his hand got tired, but I do remember it feeling damn good.

When we woke in the morning light to see blindfolds and ear plugs tossed haphazardly about, we smiled and kissed each other and snuggled up; I felt very grateful in that moment to have someone both suggestive and open to suggestion in my life.       

Sunday, November 1, 2015

How to Love

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly making my way through a book of passages by Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh called How to Love; slowly, because that’s the only way to take it in.  Instead of reading it like I would a book, I read two or three passages a week – one at a time – and think about how that passage applies to my past and present and how I can incorporate its teachings into my future.

There are a few passages I keep coming back to – passages that have profoundly changed the way I perceive myself and my loved ones, the ways in which I interact with others, and the way I see the world around me.  I wanted to share one of these because it’s had a personal impact on my current relationship:

Rediscovering Appreciation (p. 55)
When a loved one is suffering a lot, she or he doesn’t have enough energy to embrace you and help you suffer less.  So it’s natural that you become disappointed… If you’re patient and you practice taking care of yourself and the other person, you may have a chance to discover that the elements of goodness and beauty in the person you love are still there.  Taking care of yourself, you can support your loved one and re-establish the joy in your relationship.

I love this passage because it emphasizes the importance of compassion – putting yourself in your loved one’s place and feeling their suffering – and patience (which I’d argue people have less and less of in an age of overstimulation and rapid access to everything).

How to Love talks a lot about finding joy in your life outside of your relationships in order to share that joy with your partners (to nourish their hearts and minds); this passage reinforces that idea.  When we’re hurting, we often react out of anger or fear; we blame our partners rather than considering their suffering and looking at the bigger picture; however, as Franklin Veaux says, just because we feel bad doesn’t mean that someone did something wrong.  Through self-care, compassion, mindfulness, having an active, joyful, and full life outside of our romantic partners, and having a supportive community of friends, we can take better care of ourselves and help our partners when they need it.

My sweetheart is going through a stressful and extremely busy time right now; he feels overwhelmed, working three jobs and doing an online master’s degree.  This means that he has less time to spend with me; when that hurts me (and it does), I go to this passage and focus on how I can support him emotionally.  I ask him what he needs, and that’s been a really big deal to him.  I tell him that when he’s done with all the things he needs to get done, I’ll be here, loving him, full of funny stories to share with him, and waiting with a healing touch.  Practicing loving kindness and compassion can be transformative; if not for the other person you are being kind to, then for yourself.   

Sunday, October 25, 2015

That's one mellow rabbit...

It’s midterm and homework scoring time for me, and I’d like to share some things that my students wrote that brought a smile to my face.

Some of my classes had a homework assignment in which they had to write a paragraph describing one of their long-term goals, and here are some of the responses I got:
  • My long-term goal is to be Egypt.
  • My long-term goal is to become a gracias choir (I thought she'd made a spelling mistake, but it’s actually a thing.)
  • I would like to make a boyfriend (In Korean, people say “make a partner” rather than “get a partner”).
  • I will play with my boyfriend.
  • My long-term goal is that I will buy my house and live with three cats.  When I graduate a universe, I will make money, so I will buy my house.
These same students had to describe photos on their midterm exam using a sense word (feel, smell, taste, etc.) and an adjective; I got these delightful responses:





 I laugh at these good-naturedly; I’ve made a ton of mistakes while learning and practicing Korean, like the time I told an ER nurse that I was taking doughnuts as medication, or the time I told a Buddhist monk that I was gay because I liked vegetables (I’d just started learning Korean, and the words for vegetable and woman are kind of similar). 

When I make a mistake in front of my class and my students get to laugh with me – with me, because I always laugh at myself – it’s an important moment.  They get to see that their professor is just a human being like they are, doing her best and learning from her mistakes.  The best example of this was when we were talking about exotic foods we’d eaten; I wanted to tell my students that I’d eaten alligator (ageo), but what I actually said was that I’d eaten a human baby (agi).  Lols forever!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Sex in the Woods (NSFR)

We were headed down the mountain in the late afternoon, enjoying the sunshine filtering through the mostly still-green leaves.  The air smelled sweet, like California, and it was a perfectly pleasant day – warm, but not hot, with a mild wind blowing.  We’d been hiking for a few hours and were nearing our finishing point; we would intermittently stop to take in the scenery at a peak or viewpoint, wipe our foreheads of sweat, and kiss each other in the sunshine. 

I stopped to kiss him again in the middle of the woods when I saw that we were alone – a rarity on trails in Korea.  Before I could even put my lips on his – as soon as my hand touched his face – I felt it in my cunt. That hot, swollen, goddamn-I-want-you feeling.  I ran my hand down his chest and told him a bit breathlessly that I could feel my labia pulsing when I touched him.  “Well, there aren’t that many people around,” he said, and I suddenly got butterflies in my stomach.

We walked over to where a rope was separating the trail from the woods and climbed over it, finding another trail.  Walking along that trail brought us to a clearing, where we quite unexpectedly found more trail signs! We walked in a different direction through a thicket of bushes and trees until we came to another clearing with a big, V-shaped tree in it.  Looking around and seeing no signs and no people, we walked up to the tree, him behind me.  I reached behind me and quickly unclasped his belt before unbuttoning my own pants (as he barely slid his down) and pushing them just below my ass.  I placed my hips against the tree, leaning through the V.  I was so wet that he effortlessly slid into me; I held on to the two trunks to my left and right and pushed my body back against his. 

 I held tight to the rough bark, feeling it scratch my hips, and asked him to fuck me harder.  He plowed into me, placing one hand on the tree trunk for balance and gripping the back of one of my hips with the other.  In the middle of fucking, I saw a hiker walk along a trail downhill from us, about fifty meters away, which only made it hotter. As I got closer and closer to coming, I bit my own shoulder to keep from making noise, but I was unable to be completely silent; I still groaned and whimpered as quietly as I could.  Seeing this turned him on, and within a few minutes he was stifling his own sounds of pleasure.  I felt his cock twitch inside me as he came, and we both leaned against the tree, hot and breathless.  We laughed, delighted with our taboo woods sex, cleaned up, quickly pulled up our pants, and made our way back to the trail. 


I wish I’d taken a picture of that tree – or two trees, really, meeting at the base and growing together.    

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Lobster: A Movie Review

SPOILER ALERT!  This film will be released in the UK this Friday; a shitload of plot spoilers lie ahead.

In the past ten years or so, it’s seemed to me that pop culture has become saturated with dystopia – books, films, and television shows that would have us believe that the future is a dark, desolate, desperate place with scarce resources and no humanity.  The Lobster, a new film from director Yorgos Lanthimos, is a light in that darkness. 
Image result for the lobster movie 
The film opens with the main character, David, played by Colin Farrell (in a mustache strongly reminiscent of 1980s Bruno Kirby), being dumped by his wife.  In the next scene, he’s checking into a hotel, where he is informed that he has forty-five days to find someone else in the hotel to pair off with – no grieving period for his lost relationship; no time to heal his broken heart.  If he doesn’t find a partner, he’ll be (through some future scientific miracle) transformed into the animal of his choosing.  In case you didn’t catch that: all that separates us from the animals is monogamy!

What ensues is a process of calculation by all hotel guests in terms of potential choices: Find someone you can tolerate and pair off in order to get out of the hotel.  Commit suicide.  Escape from the hotel and live in the woods with a ragtag band of loners – but then live a life of celibacy (or face extremely severe consequences).  Or, in the case of one hotel guest, get really good at hunting.  For each loner that a hotel guest catches in the woods, they get one extra day to find a mate.

When two people announce their official coupledom, they are literally given privileges – bigger rooms, better meals, time on a yacht, access to sports and hobbies that require pairs.  Guests are further motivated to partner up via a series of hilarious skits – woman alone is raped.  Woman with man is felt alone.  Man alone dies by choking to death.  Man with woman is saved.      

How does one find a partner, then?  It seems that people pair up based on physical and psychological maladies.  Characters feel that they are adequately matched based on the fact that they get nosebleeds or that they have a limp.  There’s a telling scene in which David asks the woman he’s sleeping with (played by Rachel Weisz) a series of questions to find out if they have anything else in common besides their bad eyesight; they don’t.  We hold onto tenuous threads a sign of destiny when first meeting someone - “Wow!  This person also likes Miles Davis!  We are SOULMATES!” - and Lanthimos nails it.       

His presentation of the intersection of sexuality and partnership is also fascinating; in the hotel, partner sex is encouraged, but masturbation is banned (and there’s a horrific physical punishment in place for breaking that rule).  Guests are forced into a state of arousal but then forbidden to jack off.  On the complete opposite end of the spectrum, Loners are encouraged to masturbate, but partnered sex is forbidden.  Even flirting is punishable by physical deformation.  It’s here where the dystopia (and the main point or the film, I believe) really took hold for me: There’s a Manichean binary between monogamy and dying alone. 

And so people in this imaginary world, not so different from our own, couple up in order to avoid transformation or being hunted.  In what is my absolute favorite scene in the film, the Loners hold the couple who run the hotel (and enforce the rules) at gunpoint, asking the husband how much he loves his wife.  From the bottom of his heart, he claims.  They then ask him to choose whom they should shoot: Himself or his wife.  Shoot her, he says; he can live alone. She can’t.  So much for true love! 


The Lobster is not a very subtle allegory, but it gets its point across in a hysterically deadpan, macabre way that left me eager to see it again.  It is wonderfully strange and presents a delightfully different vision of dystopia.  This movie is comical satire at its finest, even when what it’s satirizing – the serious social pressures we face to become we instead of me at any cost – isn’t so funny.