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Check out the Arclight Magazine article about my first book project
I spoke with my friend Laura who works for Dominican College, in New York research Dept. , and she told me that she spoke with one of there researchers about my project of writing a book about Head Injury. She was very interested in my pursuit, and told Laura that no one has tackled the area of sexuality after a Head Injury, and that it is a daunting project. So now I will attempt to do that. No I won't just attempt, but I will do it.
Let me see, me and sex? I have had a very odd experience with sex issues. Both before and definitely since my injury. I'll start with before:
My experience with girls started at a young age; I remember having my first girlfriend in the third grade. I don't remember specifics, as in first or second, or when or for how long. But I can give you a good idea of what things were like, ok?
My first girlfriends were Laura C., Debbie G., Suzie M. (Suzie Q.). All little cuties. Or, should I say they were a bunch of hot babes. I guess back then they were considered little cuties, but in today's world they would be considered hot babes.
Well, back then I was considered a cutie myself. I had many girls who found me to be cute and desirable. So I had many girlfriends. Any girl I actually wanted. Or at least, I like to think I so.
So what was happening, as far as sex was concerned, when you're 9, 10, 11, in the 1970's? Not a hell of a lot. Not like today; when you hear about 9 year olds having intercourse, or 12 year old girls becoming mothers. For crying out loud, they are still babies themselves. So it seems that sex has taken quite a stance in our world. Not that my relationships were any less real, back then, just that things today are so grandiose.
My relationships back in grade school were comprised of holding hands, passing notes, and telling each other that we loved one another. I remember I had a wood box, from a microscope I had gotten for Christmas, that I kept all of my "love" notes in. I'm not sure where I put the microscope though. Who cares, this is love we're talking about. Students would go to their classes, and then between classes in the hall, would pass the notes to each other. It was also important to symbolize to everyone that you had a boy or girlfriend. This was done by making the well known insignia "DW & ___" (whoever it happened to be) ...LL, HG, or whomever. If you did not have a mate, it was DW & ? It was not this for me very often. We would put our insignia everywhere ...on notebooks; on the desks (maybe engrave it, using a pen knife, or sharp object), just don't get caught engraving it in a desk, that meant you were in big trouble; in the trunk of a tree was a popular thing to do; or spray paint it on the wall of a building. I am sure you have seen this insignia painted onto buildings in New York City.
Being young boys, in the early 1970's, sex wasn't such a big thing for young boys. This is where the jungle gym came in handy. I remember how I used to rub my genitals up and down the pole to gratify myself sexually. I am not alone when it comes to using inanimate objects to gratify oneself. I have read about boys that used basketballs, bottles, even pillows, (no, actually that was a girl who used the pillow). It now seems so dirty when I think about it. This was before I learned about masturbation. Once I learned this technique, having a girlfriend was nice, but not paramount.
My teen years were filled with many girlfriends, but no intercourse. I came close to going all the way. This was right before my accident. I had started seeing this girl I met at a party. The first night I met her, she had let me finger her. That was a big thing for me, I had never gone that far with a girl. I continued seeing this girl after that night we met, but never had sex. My mistake, because a short while later I would have the accident, and things were changed forever.
This past weekend, Amy (my ex-girlfriend, and friend for the past seven years), came to visit me. I had met her at the RUSK program in New York City. She has been away at college, and we have been very close. Amy had prefaced her visit by telling me that I have been her best friend ever, and that she wants to get back together with me. So here comes Amy to spend the weekend with me. I will cut to the chase. We were sitting in my living room, and Amy asks if it would be alright for us to lay on my bed and cuddle. In the past this always meant that we would be sexual, and make love. Next she says that this experience would not be sexual, and that we would just hold each other. Pretty impossible don't you think? Head injured or not. That's what I thought, or at least hoped.
You see, since we had broken up, Amy has been with many ( I think ) many guys; and I have been sexual with no one. Unless you count the night I had Laura (an older woman (I think 53), I met through a friend) over for dinner, and we hugged each other and kissed a little.
I don't care what you say, cuddling on a bed has to be sexual. But stupid me says ok, and we go ahead. After about ten minutes Amy says that I am being sexual and that we should stop. Of course she was right, and unfortunately we did. Purposely or not, she had always used sex as a bartering chip. In the past we would start getting sexual, and then all of a sudden she would say stop. I would be all hot and horny, and whack, I would be told to stop. It was as if she was using her body as a bartering chip. You always hear the phrase "No, means no", and if this is what is requested, you stop. Period. This is the way it should be. But you always hear of cases when the guy doesn't stop, and it leads to rape or some form of abuse. So how does this differ, just because I have a head injury? Well, like I have said a million times (not just me but most of the professionals I have met), a head injury affects one's ability to put on the brakes (control one's actions). Though it has been terribly hard, I have, and will always respect a woman's wishes.
Sex today, is much different for me, than it was twenty years ago. True, I am quite different than I was back then, due, or not due, to my accident, but I am angry due to this factor. Why is this the way things are, why can't I seem to have a relationship with whom I choose?
I am sure there is no single answer to this question, but I believe that if more people who were head injured got out there in society, it would make it easier for the rest of us. Individuals with head injuries are not seen too often out in society, certainly not in the movies, or on television. I have to admit, though, that the visibility is getting much better for us. You are much more likely to see a head injured person on a commercial or on a TV show today, than you were say twenty years ago.