Word for Wednesday – Hedonism

Hedonism

/ˈhiːdəˌnɪzəm; ˈhɛd-/
noun
  1. Ethics
    (a) the doctrine that moral value can be defined in terms of pleasure
    (b) the doctrine that the pursuit of pleasure is the highest good
  2. the pursuit of pleasure as a matter of principle
  3. indulgence in sensual pleasures

I am a sensualist. When it comes to sex, I am all about the senses; the more the senses are involved, the more intense the experience.

Sight
Men are, apparently, visual creatures. I am no exception. I’m not just talking about the enjoyment of seeing my partner naked; although that is part of it. It’s about seeing their reactions. How a certain touch makes them respond. The involuntary twitches/flinched, the changes in their expression; it’s a form of visual feedback that is, in itself, a rewarding experience.

Wicked WednesdaySound
Sound is such a strong sensual element of sex. There are the sounds your partner makes; the moans, the gasps, the sighs, the verbal tics that demonstrate their pleasure. There are the sounds of leather striking skin, the sounds of the bed protesting beneath us, the sounds of two bodies moving together in a sexual collision. Then there’s the sounds of orgasm itself; mine and, more importantly, hers. It is the confirmation that I have taken her to that highest plane of pleasure.

Scent
I am anosmic. Not fully so, but my sense of smell is very weak. It is still an important sense. When I’m going down on a woman, her scent combines with her taste, making my enjoyment of this particular activity even stronger.

Touch
I am extremely tactile. I love touching and being touched. I love the feel of my partner’s skin against mine. But it’s also about how my partner responds to my touch. How she reacts as I touch her nipples, how wet she gets as I slide my fingers into her, the sensations as her lips slide along my cock. Then there is that wonderful feeling as her wet warmth surrounds my hardness; the insides of her thighs rubbing against the oustides of mine as our bodies move together.

Taste
From the taste of her perspiration on her skin, to the sweet richness of her juices as I lick her, taste is a deep sensual experience. When I’m face down between her thighs, I can gauge her arousal from her flavour.

Each sense provides its own sensations, it’s own element of the overall experience. For a sensualist like me, the more the senses are engaged, the higher the arousal, the deeper the pleasure and the fuller the enjoyment.

ZeN

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Word for Wednesday – Reflection

Reflection

/rɪˈflɛkʃən/
noun
  1. the act of reflecting or the state of being reflected
  2. careful or long consideration or thought

Reflection is almost inevitable at this time of year. We look back at the things that have happened and how they have affected us. We look forward to the coming year and what might be for both good and bad.

The start of the year, although completely arbitrary, is almost by default, a time of reflection.

In my last post of 2017, I looked back at the highs I had in terms of my return to blogging. In this, my first post of 2018, my thoughts turn, as they often do, to the topic of mental health.

Helpful Numbers #MentalHealthLike many people, I find the festive period particularly difficult. I won’t bore you with my specific reasons, but suffice to say that by the time the end of the holiday period finally rolls around, I am more than happy to see the back of it. It is the one holiday that simply through the sheer effort of enduring it, leaves me more worn out and exhausted, mentally, physically and spiritually at its end than I was at its beginning.

I mentioned before, that I do not suffer from Seasonally Affected Disorder, but perhaps it would be more accurate to say that there is a very specific “season” that I find particularly hard to bear.

Every year, somewhere between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, I make a conscious decision whether or not I carry on. In doing so, I make a positive affirmation that, having made it through the year just gone by, I will give it my best endeavours to make it to the end of the year that is to come. It isn’t a promise; it is simply a statement of what I intend to achieve. If I manage to achieve anything else between now and the end of 2018 then that is a bonus. The only resolution I ever set myself is that I try not to spend every day of the forthcoming year regretting the decision I have made.

This has not been a very positive post; mainly because I am not in a very positive place. For me it is the time of my darkest reflections.

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Sensualism

Sensualism

/ˈsɛnsjʊəˌlɪzəm/
noun

  1. the quality or state of being sensual

When it comes to sex, I am all about the senses; the sounds, the feelings, the scents, the scenes and the tastes. Great sex combines each of these; taking those essential building blocks and building them into a whole that is so much more than their sum.

Humans are a visual species, and it is fair to say that what we see is what initially attracts us to another person. We each have our own measure of the qualities that we find visually appealing in a potential partner.

Vision, however goes much deeper than that. They is the voyeuristic pleasure of watching your partner arouse and pleasure themselves. There is the joy that comes from watching their response to your attentions; the involuntary twitches and shakes, the changes of expression, the sinuous arching of their backs as the pleasure builds within them.

Wicked Wednesday
I am, by my own admission, an extremely tactile person. I love touch and I loved to be touched. I love the feel of a partner’s skin, soft and warm, against mine. I love the feel of their body under my fingertips and under my lips. I love the feel of theirs on mine; the warmth of her mouth as it encircles my cock and the soft heat of her cunt as I move inside her.

And then their is taste. The taste of her skin as I explore with lips. The intense flavour of her cunt as I feast on her. The subtle changes in flavour as her arousal grows, the sharp sweetness of her climax on my tongue.

Sound also plays its part, intensifying and amplifying every action. Her moans as I lick her, that sigh as I thrust slowly into her, filling her for the first time. There’s the sounds of skin on skin as our bodies move together. Sometimes the sound of leather on skin as my belt kisses her flesh. The sound of the bed beneath us adding to every movement, every squirm, every thrust.

Sex is so much more than just a physical pleasure. It engages all of the senses to become an emotional canvas on which we paint our desires.

That is the essence of sensualism; the surrendering to the full spectrum of experience.

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Dispassionate

Dispassionate

/dɪsˈpæʃənɪt/
adjective

  1. devoid of or uninfluenced by emotion or prejudice; objective; impartial

My daily job is one that requires me to be objective and impartial. I go to great lengths not to prejudge and to weigh up the evidence in front of me before I make a decision. On Saturdays, on the rugby field, I have to make those decisions instantly and without hesitation, applying the laws of the game fairly and consistently.

However, for this post, I am concentrating on the “devoid of or uninfluenced by emotion” part.

As is the case with so many of us who struggle with mental illness, I tend to wear a mask in my day-to-day dealing with my fellow humans. It is a mask that I tend to keep very firmly fixed in place.

To the outside world, it does perhaps seem that I am without emotion, cold, reserved, withdrawn.

It is also true that I am not particularly given to, or indeed comfortable with, public displays of emotion. I have a tendency to have a vey fixed demeanour in the company of other.

The dispassionate mask is, however, simply that; a mask. Far from being devoid of emotion, it hides a seething mass that lies just below the surface; a constant turmoil that threatens to boil over at the slightest provocation.

The absence of appearance of emotion and the absence of emotions themselves are two very separate things.

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Dissociation

Dissociation

/dɪˌsəʊsɪˈeɪʃən; -ʃɪ-/
noun

  1. the act of dissociating or the state of being dissociated

It’s one of those strange feelings that, I suspect, many of us who suffer from depression and other forms of mental illness experience. It is an odd feeling of being separated from one’s self. It’s as though there is an actual gap between our spirit and our physical selves; a feeling that we don’t fully fill our physical bodies.

It’s an oddly disconnected feeling; that somewhere between my skin and my soul there is a black void of nothingness. It’s as if I am lost within a hollowed out shell of my own being.

It is a form of detachment. Not of detachment from the outside world, which is all too common an experience, but a detachment of spirit and body, where the former retreats into the darkest recesses of the latter to hide away and lick its wounds.

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Insular

Insular

/ˈɪnsjʊlə/
adjective

  1. of, relating to, or resembling an island
  2. remote, detached, or aloof
  3. isolated or separated

The English poet, John Donne, famously wrote in 1624:

No man is an iland

The modern version of this is, of course: “no man is an island”.

Now, this may be true, but for those of us who battle mental illness, the feelings of being remote, detached, isolated or separated from the rest of the world are all too frequent. All to often it is easier to simply draw ourselves away, shut ourselves off from the world rather than to explain why we are the way we are and feel the way we do. Even the most well intentioned enquiries as to our well-being can cause a rush of anxiousness that makes us retreat.

Sometimes we do it because we cannot cope with the outside world. Sometimes we do it because we believe it’s better not to inflict ourselves upon others, especially those we love and care for the most.

We become reclusive, shunning contact from friends, family and loved ones just as much we avoid interaction with others. Our daily lives are lived behind walls of our own creation, walls that both protect and imprison; keeping the world safely at arm’s length outside, while shielding it from our pain.

We withdraw, we retreat, we hide away, we become insular.

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Despondent

Despondent

/dɪˈspɒndənt/
adjective

  1. downcast or disheartened; lacking hope or courage; dejected

It’s a feeling that those of us who live with mental health conditions know only too well. It comes from the inevitability of finding ourselves back at the at the lowest point of the cycle.

Friends tell us that we are brave, or that we are stronger than we know, but really we are just sick in our souls. Such words of encouragement, no matter how well intentioned, are merely empty sounds; they have no power to penetrate the dark place at the centre of our being.

We know, even during our better times, that the bad times will almost certainly return. This casts a constant shadow, colouring our thoughts and feelings.

It’s always there. It is a shadow that needs no light to cast it.

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Dispirited

Dispirited

/dɪˈspɪrɪtɪd/
adjective

  1. low in spirit or enthusiasm; downhearted or depressed; discouraged

For me, I generally find that this almost my default setting. I wake in the morning feeling anything but refreshed. I have no enthusiasm for the coming day. I drag myself along through a mixture of instinct and routine.

To the outside world, it makes me seem distant, impassive, cold, possibly uncaring. If I’m being honest, there are times when that is exactly what I wish I could be. If I didn’t care, it wouldn’t matter how I felt. If I could retreat from view, I wouldn’t need to wear my mask.

It’s not a sense of defeat. Defeat by its very nature implies a commitment of effort that was insufficient to overcome the challenge. It is more a sense of despondency, a shoulder shrug to the world, a sort of indifference, divorced from the the outside world.

Of course, we are never completely detached, no matter how much we would wish to be in our darkest phases; and we do care. It’s a caring that leads to more pain, because there is a sense of helplessness, a sense of being a burden.

Is it any wonder we become dispirited?

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Lassitude

Lassitude

/ˈlæsɪˌtjuːd/
noun

  1. physical or mental weariness

It’s one of those words, and the feelings that accompany it, that I imagine anyone who suffers from mental illness is all too aware of. It is a tiredness that transcends the mere physical and mental,  and seeps into the emotional and (if you are so inclined to believe in such) the spiritual. It is a weariness that no amount of sleep will rectify, but that a lack of sleep will exacerbate.

It is a tiredness that resides at our very core, and draws our remaining energy into it, sucking everything beyond the event horizon into the psychic black hole.

Even as I type this, I am afflicted by a long familiar lassitude.

ZeN

Word for Wednesday – Incorrigible

Incorrigible

/ɪnˈkɒrɪdʒəbəl/
adjective

  1. beyond correction, reform, or alteration
  2. firmly rooted; ineradicable
  3. (philosophy) (of a belief) having the property that whoever honestly believes it cannot be mistaken

I would never describe myself as being “beyond correction”. Indeed, I’d be very surprised if there weren’t a single day that passes when I am not corrected on some aspect of something I have said or done.

I am, however, pretty much beyond reform or alteration, a lost cause, a hopeless case. These are not necessarily bad things, just a statement of who I am and the way I perceive myself to be.

I am, however, comfortable in who I am. There are times when I don’t particularly like myself; my depression leads me often into periods of dark self-loathing. My depression is, however, for good or ill, a part of who I am. It’s a part of what makes me the person the people who like me like. They might wish I were generally happier in life, but they too recognise that my depression shapes my personality, my sense of humour, and all the other things that make me the person I am. I would not be who I am without it and, in that respect, incorrigibly a part of me.

ZeN