I suppose there is something to be said for isolation. Too much clutter and noise in the heart and in the head can be implosive. It can scathe you from the inside out until you find yourself rolling around on the living room floor, shouting about how Death is surely coming, counting the space between your irregularly rapid heartbeats, seeing multiple dimensions and flying red shapes, clutching at your throat and gasping for air between all of the whining and the shouting. That was me, two weeks ago. I had a breakdown.
Human beings have this horrible curse we know as “consciousness.” It really shouldn’t be this fucking difficult to exist. My younger brother said to me via text the other day that “…the only problems we as humans should have is lack of safety and sustenance,” and it really resonated with me. Am I not in control of my own thought patterns? Do I not actively recognize that the universe is vast and ever-expanding, that I am just one tiny little blip on the cosmic radar? My problems are insignificant when I step back for a moment and remember that the Moon is eternally chilling 238, 900 miles away from me and Cleopatra committed suicide by letting a black cobra bite her breast. Actually, I’m not sure if those things make my problems seem insignificant. Now I’m just thinking about how much I can relate to Cleopatra (?!). Regardless, I should be able to process my silly issues quickly, as they arise, and move on. But I don’t. I am plagued by an intensified form of awareness and sensitivity aka the 1, 2 punch clinically referred to as Anxiety and Depression. Oh and I might be addicted to sex. I don’t know. I am a multi-faceted woman.
You might be asking yourself, “What does all of this have to do with sex and/or BDSM? Where is the good stuff?” Well, don’t worry! While trying to get a grip on this next-level manic meltdown I started having upon my return home from Japan (specifically, it was an onslaught of completely debilitating panic attacks unlike anything I’d experienced previously), I met someone. Leave it to me to fall into yet another sexual and/or romantic situation while contemplating a residency at a mental hospital. Shit (love) happens. Always. To me. I am a shit (love) magnet. Insects come from miles around to suck at my blood and well, I think you know the analogy I am making here. I’ve been over this already. There is some kind of penis homing device implanted in me.
Technically, he and I met last year when I first moved to Los Angeles. There was a strong initial attraction, but we both just sort of watched each other from a distance for a while. Besides, last year I was still reeling from the destruction of my marriage and was only pursuing meaningless relationships with fuck boys. This guy is a grown, adult man. He has his shit together. We have a lot of common interests and friends. I could tell from the moment I met him that I could talk to him for hours, but I didn’t want to let my guard down. I think that I subconsciously pushed away any possibilities him because I wasn’t ready to have actual, sustainable feelings for another human being yet. He has since remarked that although I was always friendly and cordial toward him, I seemed to have an impenetrable wall of ice built up around me. Hmm. Indeed.
So ok blah blah, when I was freaking out two weeks ago because of the panic attacks I’d started having, this guy texted me to see how I was doing and invited me to go to the gym with him. I was willing to do anything that might’ve helped to alleviate some of the mental and physical symptoms that had been plaguing me for days. I’d already gone to see doctors to eliminate possible causes of the Death I was certain was coming for me, such as HIV and other STDS, heart disease, thyroid disease, brain clot, etc. Every doctor I saw essentially looked at me like I was a raving lunatic and assured me that I had not come upon any unexpected life-threatening diseases and just needed Xanax. Basically, I was out of my fucking mind with spiraling, delusion-inducing anxiety and needed help managing it. He said he’d been through something similar in the past and that exercise might help me. I came upstairs in my workout gear and there he was, standing in my doorway for the first time. My roommates had let him in. He looked so casual standing there, in all black loose-fitted clothing and lace up boots per usual. I’d forgotten how hot he was. These thoughts registered in a matter of seconds and then we were out the door, in the car, me spewing out words 100 mph as I tried to explain my current state of mind and survival concerns. He listened calmly and intently, waiting for the appropriate pauses in my manic outbursts to offer constructive pieces of advice and clever anecdotes. I started to relax without even realizing it. His effect on me was immediate. I felt safe.
We walked from his house to a gym in downtown LA. I always forget how stunning the architecture is in that part of the city. I found myself relaxing more and more the further we walked and talked. By the time we got to the gym, I could already tell that this outing was helping me. My heart wasn’t clenched in quite as much pain as it had been a mere hour before. My thoughts were more streamlined and focused. I was breathing somewhat normally.
I saw the way he looked at me when I came out of the locker room in leggings and a sports bra. I tried not to think anything of it. He wasn’t leering like a creep or anything, it was just a natural reaction to seeing someone that you’ve been attracted to in workout clothes for the first time. He looked kind of ridiculous, but men usually do in anything other than jeans and a shirt, being the poor, silly things that they are. I ran two miles on a treadmill like a bat out of hell while he was somewhere next to me, doing something. I went inside of myself, completely. I looked at my anxiety like a starting line and raced away from it with every bit of hate-fueled energy I had. By the time I’d finished, I was feeling a lot better. I looked up at him on the elliptical machine he’d been battling and smiled.
After we’d finished at the gym, he instructed me to do a form of nervous system shock therapy by alternating between the steam room and ice cold showers for as long as I could stand it. I let the heat overwhelm me until I felt I was made of rubber and wandered over to the shower, letting the water hit my neck and spinal cord like icicles as I gasped and tried to control my breath. I did this, back and forth, for about 40 minutes. When I emerged from the locker room dressed and refreshed, I felt like a million dollars. He smiled at me because he could tell. My libido came rushing back to me in that moment as I looked at this man looking at me, beaming not because his ego was massaged by the fact that he’d helped me but because I genuinely was relieved of some of my suffering. We started walking and ended up in Chinatown as night fell. Conversation ebbed and flowed between us without the slightest bit of effort. He told me more about his life, as I realized that I didn’t really know anything about him. Everything felt like a movie and I felt my psycho heart melting a little bit. I knew I was in trouble.
We were inseparable for the next five days, the grown-ass-man and I. But at first, we were not having sex. I was so worn out from my panic attacks that I felt anything but sexy, and he thought it might be more constructive in the long run to wait and try to get to know each other “the old-fashioned way.” Also, it would be a fun game of sexual frustration and self-control. I could sense that he had quite the interest in control (shocker). On night two of our obsessive hangout marathon, he revealed to me the true reason for the short beard he’d grown out. He planned to do a self-portrait photo series showcasing his alter-ego, Ron Bondage. This came after much teasing, as I typically detest facial hair and certainly do not enjoy kissing it. Anyway, he wanted me to help him source props and help frame the shots. I, of course, have a plethora of BDSM related thingamabobs, so we went to my house to pick some things up and stopped by a supermarket on the way home to pick out just the right flowers.
Stage 1: Beard in tact, leather jacket, leather pants, floral arrangements, no props
Stage 2: Add aviators, add props but somewhat hidden
Stage 3: Add leather daddy cap, beard shaved to creep mustache, bring in more props
Stage 4: Ron has fully emerged. Money shot.
By the end of the shoot, I was officially crazy about this guy. It was simultaneously one of the sexiest and most hilarious scenes I’d ever been a part of. We didn’t have sex that night per our agreement, but it was becoming increasingly difficult to resist the urges. More importantly, I’d begun to forget about my mutated panic disorder entirely. Some famous hooligans once sang that “love is all you need” and I don’t know, maybe it’s true.