Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Hi, My Name Is...And I'm Celibate

"You mean, like 40 Days & 40 Nights?"

Well, not exactly.

I don't remember what specific fit of pique made me decide to become a temporary celibate, the turn of the key in my psychological chastitity belt -- a couple of shitty encounters and a bad case of missing my ex, followed by a dearth of anyone I considered acceptable for even a fun fling set the mood, because the first time I remember talking about it, it was in reference to the Dirty Guadalupe. I was joking about pulling a double-fake on life -- if you're not having sex because there's none to be had, become celibate and sexual opportunity will appear.

Stop Googling "Dirty Guadalupe". It's not what you think it is. (It's the term we coined for a certain pharmaceutical drug that makes you unable to shit and kills your sex drive. I'm not taking that drug anymore, because that's the dreaded double whammy. I can deal with celibacy, but not celibacy and constipation too. I think that might turn me into a Republican or something.)

Then I fucked up and announced my celibacy on TV Time, a local talk radio show that is ostensibly about entertainment and, being after midnight, is usually more about sex than anything else. (Obligatory famewhoring: TV Time, midnight to 2 AM CST, available via realplayer at WRVU Online.) As their Official Fisting Correspondent (other honorary titles include Miss TV Time, and the TV Time Idol, currently Punk Rock Beth) I felt it incumbent on me to announce why I had no special reports from the girls-who-like-girls front. It wasn't really a thinking gesture; it was late, I was intoxicated, I had been thinking about it, and all of a sudden I had committed to it. To a very small & devoted listenership, many of whom are incarcerated and have to communicate via letter rather than calling in, but committed nonetheless.

I decided to take it seriously. God help me.

I set rules. Masturbation? O.K. I wasn't doing this for self-purification purposes per se; there was no need to make things difficult. Just nothing but my hands. And me.

For how long? I picked a date of personal significance in 2005, about nine months in the future. At the point when I set a date, I had already been effectively celibate for three months or so, which means that I will have gone a year, and a bit, having no sex (if I get lucky on my fuck-by date, that is. More about that in a minute.)
You know what? Celibacy is O.K. It's not chocolate-chip cookie dough, but it's OK.
I have slept in the same bed with people. I have had kisses and self-administered orgasms. I'm over halfway through.

When you're not having sex with anyone, you can sleep on your Blood Towel (tm Inga Muscio). If you don't expect the UPS guy, you can sit around naked with your period on a towel that makes you hope you never get mixed up in a murder because it would be such a Law & Order moment. Briscoe: "What's this?" Me: "It's my Blood Towel! That's my blood!" I love my Blood Towel. I love not even having to worry about the possibility of grossing anyone out with it.

When you're not having sex you can do whatever the hell you want. You don't have to shave. You do when you want to feel pretty, maybe. You don't stop wanting to feel pretty, but at the same time you're just resigned to it when it's not happening: "Oh, it doesn't matter about the hideous zit on my jaw, pulsing with its own life -- maybe if I have it now it'll be gone by the time it matters." Blah.

You can take reaaally long baths. You're not bathing with someone where eventually the water gets cold and you go to bed without dressing and suddenly more than your skin feels warm and damp. Conversely, you never have to take a quick shower because you might be having sex before the next time you bathe. I haven't taken a shower in a month. I spend thirty minutes in the bathtub every day reading the book du jour and watching the kitten, who likes hanging out on the toilet to watch me take a bath. If she doesn't sit there every minute, she'll miss the water swirling down the drain, which she always chases, as if in retribution for all the times that the water splashing out of the tap has scared her.

I wouldn't have noticed the kitten's little patterns, I'm sure, if I'd been having sex. I would have been preening and pruning and scrutinizing myself, not hanging out to finish the chapter and see the incredibly precious denouement of bathtime.

You can wear granny panties, but you still don't, usually. You never feel like you've "wasted" the pretty panties if they don't get seen.

I have had chances to have sex. Thus far, "because I'm celibate" hasn't been the only reason I didn't sleep with the available candidates. I am still talking to all of them, unlike the people I slept with at the beginning of this year. Although the past is what it is, I just know enough about the patterns of my life to know that not having that in reserve would mean at least one of them completely out of my life. Another number with an unfamiliar voice, an out of service recording, deleted from the cell phone. If I was having sex, I wouldn't be online at one-thirty in the a.m. to catch my buddy in Korea on AIM. I'd be, well, having sex.

I'm doing OK celibate. Relatively boring, but the dramatic tension just hasn't been in it up until now. No one would even try to make a movie about this.

Here's the thing, though.

I read tarot. Yeah, shut up. I do a lot of things for which there are no scientific basis. Humanity needs rituals. Go take introductory sociology. Or anthropology. Or anything that means you'll shut up about the tarot reading.

In the deck I use, the Empress is represented by "Creativity". (My deck was made by a Zen sect.) And in one of the readings of the year I did the day after Christmas, the date I had chosen came up the Empress. Reversed.
The Empress is the fertility card, so you can guess the most obvious meaning of the reversal. I checked the dates as well as I could. Nope, should be fertile. (Not that I'm trying to get pregnant, but it's especially important to know these things if you're not.) So the less likely indicator? BAD idea to have sex. Really bad. From a spiritual standpoint, a no-no.

I can't have sex on my fuck-by date. I can't now.

And now I want to have sex. Now all of a sudden it matters, a whole lot.
I'm going to keep it up. I'm going to keep buying pretty panties and wearing them just for me. I'm just going to be a little more frantic for the rest of the winter, a little more excited for the coming of spring. Bing-bang, dramatic tension!
I'm worried about more than having sex again in 2005. Self-hypnosis or no, the year ahead looks interesting, and I'm going to share it here so I can see how well I predicted what I'll be experiencing.

So, for the doubters out there, here's the forecast for the year 2005 in my life, condensed somewhat to protect privacy. People who know/care nothing about practical tarot should skip down. People who hate it with the fire of a thousand suns might just want to skip the rest, but keep in mind....this is my experiment.
Deck: Osho Zen. Spread: Yearly, plus the 8 major pagan holidays, laid months, then wheel-of-year. 20 cards total. 14 inverted, 6 major arcana. Predominately clouds and water (clouds representing air, or swords in the Western decks, and water as cups of course) in the minor arcana. No earth/coins at all. (Two Queens, a Knight, the Hanged Man and the inverse Fool. I am a T.S. Eliot wet dream.) I listed the Western correspondences even though this deck has cards not accounted for, just for those of you who are technical and still use a traditional deck, but keep in mind that the cards have changed some in the deck I use. If the meaning is not immediately clear, I cross-reference the symbology, but tarot is not a scientific discipline, so please don't email me why I'm wrong about the meaning of the inverse Magician, etcetera. Go spend a couple hours doing your own yearly spread in every major area of your life and then integrating those, and we'll compare.


The I Ching reading which preceded the general tarot reading indicated that success in the year came from a balance of discipline and self-love. And no, the general tarot reading will not allow you to guess my fuck-by date, because that was a different horoscope. Booyah.

January. Stress. The chance to take risks and the chance to get burned. (Seven of Wands)
February. Understanding (reversed). This card relates to the feeling of being trapped, which is generally an illusion of the mind. (Page of Cups)
Imbolc. Inner Voice (reversed). Imbolc is holy to Brid, the Priestess/IV card represents feminine wisdom. Apparently for this holiday I need to take a more earthy approach to the celebration, instead of intellectualizing it like I do, well, most of the time. (II, The Priestess)
March. No-Thingness (reversed). Life in March is apparently going to be a pointless void, or feel like one; nothingness as opposed to detachment. March is going to SUCK, I betcha. (V, the Hierophant. See why I hate Western decks? They're all scarylike.)
Ostara. Fighting. At the Spring Equinox "Fighting" is an OK card to get, less scary than it seems. Apparently this Equinox needs to be dedicated to Erys and the warrior gods. That's OK; I've been meaning to read the Principia Discordia for three years now and haven't gotten around thereto. Whip me a little harder, why don't you, Future? (Knight of Swords)
April. Rebirth (reversed). In the Wheel of the Year, April is the month when the Oak King is being reborn. Old T.S. put it better than I ever could, the meaning of this card. (10 Swords)
Beltane. Sharing (reversed). Beltane is usually the buck-wildest of all the pagan holidays for me. The reversed Fire Queen (fire being action and passion) says I need to bank my enthusiasm a bit this year to get the most out of it. Boo. (Queen of Fire)
May. The Fool (reversed). There's going to be an obvious pitfall, and if I'm looking the right way, I'll see it coming. (0, The Fool)
June. Sorrow (reversed). Aaaand....things get better. Sort of. (9 of Swords)
Litha. Postponement. Apparently, not cutting it loose at Summer Solstice, either. That, or the weather is going to be screwed up. (4 of Swords)
July. Letting Go (reversed). It's a balance between holding on to life and choking it, basically. Discipline, again. (8 of Cups)
August. Receptivity (reversed). From the reversed Fire Queen to the reversed Water Queen. I'm going to be a huge bundle of nerves around my birthday. Leos who end up Water Queen for their natal day are mad, wet kitties. The decision is split as to whether the reversal is good or bad here, but I'm going to be some kind of severe emotional thing period. (Queen of Cups)
Lughnassad. New Vision Apparently at Lughnassad I'm going to see God in a way I've never seen God. Hurrah. Or I'm scared. Don't know. (XII, The Hanged Man)
September. Schizophrenia. No, not literally, asshole. The card represents cognitive dissonance. (2 of Swords).
Mabon. Existence (reversed). This indicates distractions, earthly things pulling away from the spiritual. Apparently I need to take Mabon off to do spiritual things At least it's early enough to put in for vacation. (I, The Magician).
October. Comparison. This card indicates the tendency to compare dissimilar things and judge them for what they're NOT rather than what they ARE. October is time for a reality check. (5 of Swords).
Samhain. Harmony (reversed). Samhain is the holiday of the dead and lost. Apparently I have some I need to make peace with. (10 of Cups.)
November. Totality (reversed). This indicated to me a delicate period (fire indicates action) where if I take my eye off the ball, it's all over. Pressure much? (5 of Wands)
December. Thunderbolt (reversed). This is the part where I got scared and excited. The reverse Tower can mean drastic life change for the good, or total destruction without any hope. We'll vote for the former and hope the latter doesn't steal the election. (XVI, The Tower).
Yule. Conditioning (reversed). Apparently the determiner of the Thunderbolt is whether or not I'm in the same life pattern this time next year. (The Devil).
Goody. The Tower and the Devil.
So, in short, Western tarot decks suck, with all the swords and cups around here I can't wait to have sex again, and I guess part of my discipline will be to check in here periodically and keep a running tab of how things go. You can critique my tarot style, verbally beat me up, beg me to do your yearly, etcetera, at parcequilfaut@yahoo.com. Soon I might get fancy-schmancy with comments and jazz, but for now it's late and I hie me to bed.



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