Sunday, April 15, 2007

Interview With a Libertine

Over on Efx2, where my mirror blog is, many bloggers have published "interview" entries, in which another blogger has asked them five questions about their lives. Miss Minda kindly agreed to interview me, and what follows are my responses to her questions.

1. You have moved away from doing as much blogging about your sexual exploits at Efx2. You mention that it is difficult to write these tales in different ways to maintain the interest. What got you started in writing about your amorous adventures in the blog-world? How did your writing style, in respect to those posts, change and/or evolve over that time? If you could publish a book of those writings, what would you want to include and what would a possible title be?

I have a separate blog at Blogger devoted solely to excerpts from my sex life. The link to that blog, Adventures of a Libertine, is in the left column of this blog.

When I first began blogging in 2004, I started at Blog-City at the urging of a close friend, who thought others might be interested in reading about how I live my life. This blog began as a theme blog devoted to writing about my libertine lifestyle; what and how I came to believe what I do about sex, love, and relationships, and what it means to be a libertine. Essentially, it was a Libertine 101 blog.

However, I did not include explicit descriptions from my sex life there. Another friend suggested I start a second blog for that purpose, which I did at ModBlog in August of 2004. I ran both blogs concurrently, one PG13 rated and the other NC-17.

Eventually, I covered just about everything relevant about libertinism in general and libertinism in my particular case, and decided to branch out my Blog-City blog to write about a wide variety of topics, thought I would continue to touch upon the libertine issue from time to time, which I continue to this day.

When ModBlog crashed and burned, I made the exodus over to Efx2, along with the rest of the erstwhile Modbloggers. I decided at that time to make my Efx2 blog a mirror blog of my Blog City blog, and to move all the content of my explicit blog over to Blogger, where it still remains. I don't write in that one all that often, but it is updated from time to time. I intend to add another entry there within the next week or so.

I keep the two blogs entirely separate and don't promote the other blog here all that much because I want my readership at Efx2 to see the whole person. I want them to see that I'm about more than just sex and to know that I'm capable of using BOTH my heads!

My writing style? I can't say that I think it's changed all that much over time. I'd written accounts of my sex life in a paper journal before, so it wasn't all that hard for me to transfer it to a blog. Likewise, I've had a lot of experience in writing essays about all sorts of topics -- I've been doing that for several years as well.

Several people have urged me to write a book. I've turned it over in my head many times over the last couple of years, but the procrastinator in me hasn't done anything concrete about it. If I were to write such a book, I would include all the pertinent factual blog entries about libertinism: what it is, what I personally believe, and how I live it out in my own life. Along with this, I'd include more general, but related, entries about sociology, psychology, marriage and the family, and the like. Lastly, I'd include several accounts from my sex life over the years. Essentially, the first part would be theory, the second part would be practice.

And the title? I think my blog title, Confessions of a Libertine, would work very nicely.

2. The life of a single parent isn't easy. Being a single father comes with its own set of trials and tribulations. What were some of the difficulties you faced while raising a young son? Who were the people who helped you through the rough times and how? Now that your son is older, what are your hopes for him if he decides to have children of his own?

I had never really planned to be a parent at all, let alone a single one. So, when the ex deserted her son, it's very much of an understatement to say I was gobsmacked. But I sucked it up and stepped up to the plate to do what was right and necessary for my then infant son.

I don't think I could have done it without my father and, later on, my stepmother. I moved in for awhile with my father after the breakup, and he was always available to babysit and to give me advice on how to be a good parent. Later on, when my father remarried after being a long-time widower, my stepmother took her role as a grandmother quite seriously. She spent a lot of time with him doing grandmotherly things and encouraging his inborn talents.

I know I couldn't have been a cop without them, as my job entailed working rotating shifts, which would have been disruptive for a young child, considering that night time child care centers were all but unknown where we lived when my son was young. He stayed with them for week-long chunks, which enabled me to work without worry, and to also pursue my chosen lifestyle without disrupting my son's life.

My father died when my son was nearly 15, but he'd helped me see him nearly to adulthood. My dad once told me that he was glad to do it; that it reminded him of his own childhood during the Depression, when he'd spend weeks at a time living with his grandparents.

To tell the truth, I've not thought much about my son having his own children. He's a grown man now and doesn't seem in any hurry to settle down and have children, though he has expressed the desire to have them at some point. I think he'll do just fine, as he was always very good at getting along with younger children and being patient with them when he was growing up.

3. I don't participate in most of your political blog posts. I do, however, read them. What in your life influenced your political views? What are you hoping for when you post something political at Efx2? Who's views do you most agree with and who's are most opposite of your own?

I grew up in a family that was interested in politics and always had lively political discussions. I've been exposed to politics for as long as I can remember and I've paid attention to issues and elections since childhood.

Growing up in New England, my parents were, like many people in that area, liberal Democrats. Both parents grew up during the Roosevelt presidency and were grateful to him for how he helped lead our country out of the Depression.

I remember as a child my mother telling me "there's good and bad in all kinds" and "it takes all kinds to make a world", while my father told me that "Republicans are for the wealthy and Democrats are for the working people". Both of these views, of course, were very broad and not the whole story, but they were the seeds in how I became a liberal.

My father worked for a major oil corporation for nearly 40 years and he used his position as the manager/supervisor of the various departments he headed over the years to be a mentor to both minority and female workers, knowing that they usually didn't get a fair chance to advance in the company during the time he worked there. His example here also influenced my political beliefs.

Unlike many young people, I was never at odds with my parents about politics; rather, they were my role models.

What I hope for when I post my political views -- indeed, my views about any topic at all -- is that my readers might look at a particular topic or issue in a way they might not have considered before. I don't expect to change every person's mind with my views, but I'm satisfied if they come away with a better understanding of why I believe as I do and where I'm coming from.

I would say that I probably agree most with Eclectablog's views, and there are a few others with whom I'm usually in agreement with, though I can't say there's anyone with whom I totally agree and completely rubberstamp their opinions.

I suppose I disagree most with Rubicon and -- you knew I'd say it -- your husband, Aielman. However, I appreciate their reading and participating in my blog with their comments. I greatly value those who disagree with me and challenge my views, as such exchanges serve to keep me on my toes and help sharpen my thinking and to better clarify what I believe and why.

4. Some of your posts that I enjoy the most, deal with your life as a police officer. What advice would you give to a young man or woman interested in pursuing criminology as a career? What were the best and worst things about being a cop?

I've never really thought much about advice I'd give to young people wanting to enter the law enforcement field. But let me give it a try. To be a good cop, the first things that pop to mind is that it helps to be patient, observant, intuitive, and to be careful and methodical when reaching conclusions. And a thick skin is a must, because you'll be insulted to the max and questioned by everyone; the criminals, the victims, the general public, your supervisors, lawyers, judges, and the court system.

"To serve and protect" isn't just a phrase; it is what every police officer must remind him or herself of from time to time, as dealing with the dregs of society all the time can sorely test the commitment and patience of even the most dedicated officers. The idealism and "romance" of the job wears off pretty quickly, but the desire for fairness and justice should be what remains.

The best thing about being a cop: You get the chance to help people to make wrong things right, even if in just a small way. You get to help get the predators off the street. You get to see the news behind the news. You get to go to many places and see many things the average person would never see. The benefits were excellent; health insurance, sick days, retirement, etc. Sometimes you get to meet famous people and. let's face it, the uniform was a woman magnet. I had to say that last one, as I'm sure my readership expected it of me and I have a reputation to live up to and all that.

The worst things about being a cop: Shitty hours, inadequate pay, inadequate understanding from the public of the job we did. Stress and burnout is also rampant in police work -- it seems as if there are lots of cops who either have drinking/drug problems or depression, or both. Because we dealt with people who were not functioning at their best, it's all too easy for shitty attitudes and prejudices to creep into one's psyche, and it's essential to fight the tendency to take a dim view of humanity in general and some groups in particular. Finally, there's the "good ol' boy" system and dealing with some coworkers. The "good ol' boys" in police work are old veterans who are suspicious of new innovations in law enforcement procedures, who tend to be less educated, more racist, more sexist, and so on. The second type of problem employees are those with authority issues. Police work tends to attract a lot of people with low self-esteem who take the job because it will put them in the one-up position over others for the first time in their lives. Both types of officers make the job harder to do for the rest of the force.

It's an experience I'd never trade, as it has changed me in many positive ways and matured and tempered my political beliefs, but I have no desire to return to this type of work.

5. Instead of loving one, you love many. When you are looking for one to love, who would be perfect? Imagine that perfect lover, emotionally, physically, etc. Who is she? What is she like? Whether it's for one chance meeting, or someone you see multiple times, who would you love to make love to?

First, I'd correct that and say that I don't "love" many; I merely have sex with many. I'm a libertine, not a polyamorist. Though I give away my body freely and, as some would say, rather indiscriminately, I don't give away my heart that easily. I'm much more private with my emotions than with my body, which is the reverse of a lot of people.

To me, sex and love are two different things that sometimes coincide, and that's a good thing. But I see the value of both things separately; they don't always have to come together to be worth pursuing. I recognize that I'm not going to love everyone I have sex with, and that works well for me.

I don't look for "perfection". I'm not perfect, so why should I expect my lovers to be? Rather, I look more for someone whose imperfections mesh well with my own, someone with whom we can tolerate each other's imperfections. And I happen to think that a perfect person would be boring and intolerable.

But I'm guessing what you're really getting at here is "suitable" rather than perfect. Depending on what the nature of our relationship is: a one time deal, an occasional fuckbuddy, a friend with benefits, or a more serious relationship involving love, I look for different things. That is, I'm more particular about what I'm looking for the further I go up the frequency, duration, and emotional level. For a one time deal, she only needs to be clean and meet a very minimum standard of intelligence and attractiveness. A fuckbuddy should be congenial and be talented and open minded sexually. A friend with benefits should be someone with whom I can hold an intelligent conversation, be occasionally available for dinner or a movie, etc. The more serious, emotional, "primary" relationships should be with a woman who cares about me, accepts me as I am, is intelligent and aware, has a similar worldview to mine, has a sense of humor, be down to earth, likes animals, is emotionally stable and mature, and who is independent.

My current primary lover is a woman many years younger than me who is a teacher and we've been seeing one another for a few years now. We get along well and it's a comfortable relationship for both of us.

Like all men, I have my preferences for a physical type, but this aspect isn't as important to me as it is for most men. I've been with the gorgeous, high-maintenance types and I've been with women who would be most kindly described as "homely". And you know what? More often than not, I have a better time, sexually and otherwise, with the less than physically perfect women. In my vast experience, I've learned that sexiness is an attitude first and foremost, and not so much one's appearance, though that can play a part.

A lot of men don't know what they're missing by limiting potential dates to the most "eye-appealing" women. As my relationships with women are to please me and not to impress other men, I cast my net in a much wider pool than does the average guy.

Ok, you asked which type of women that I'm most attracted to, appearance wise. What catches my eye first, is a woman on the tall side with dark, straight or wavy hair, with blue or green eyes, large breasts, on the buxom side. Think Sophia Loren in her prime (though I think she's got brown eyes). But I like all kinds of women: short, tall, medium, fat, thin, muscular, young, mature, red hair, black hair, brown hair, blond hair. Let's face it, I just like women, period, and nearly every woman has something attractive about her. Sometimes you just need to take the time to look for it.

Thanks again, Minda, for your questions, and I hope I answered them to your satisfaction. I think King of Ankh was going to ask me some questions as well -- feel free to do so as long as they don't exactly duplicate Minda's questions and I'll do another post with those questions.

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