4. Why are we generous and gracious with strangers — but often selfish, and rude to our loved ones?
We are programmed to present a face to the world that is perfect. And so we present our best selves. This includes the self that is nice to other people. Instinctively we know we need others around us and the way that we ensure this is by being nice to others. Racking up favours so to speak so that we can call them in later. I am not convinced that the majority of people are very helpful or welcoming to complete strangers. Often we shun people if we don’t see an immediate benefit to ourselves from helping.
In terms of our loved ones, these are the people we feel most relaxed with. We say what we are thinking and act how we truly are around them. We don’t feel the obligation to rack up favour or to impress them, we have already done that. Instead we feel we can sometimes be less considerate because we know they will forgive us or even because we remember times when they were not considerate of us and we graciously accepted it.
5. Why does that one-time, crazy night, when they get super naughty, lose all inhibitions, and do stuff they would never do — always happen before they meet you?
Does it? Really? I don’t think it always does. I think if you are with the right people crazy stuff happens all the time. I know that is how it is with me. I did practically nothing crazy, spontaneous or naughty before I met Mr Jones. I was completely straighty 180 before I met him.
OK that was a slight exaggeration. But in all honesty the craziest naughtiest stuff in my life, he was there for all of it. Fucking every person at a party? One of those people was Mr Jones. Being tied and blindfolded and then pleasured in every way by three men? Mr Jones organised that. Packing up a caravan and two young children and travelling across the Nullarbor? That was definitely Mr Jones’ idea.
So if they did all the wild stuff before they met you and no wild stuff is happening now, that is on you. You are the one who is not letting them be free enough to be wild and you are not encouraging the wildness by creating opportunities for it to happen.
6. Why do we want the ones who we most cannot have – more than the ones who most want to have us?
In many ways this question is similar to number 1 of this series. We always want what we can’t have. If the object of our desire is in love with someone else they are by default unavailable to us.
But there are other layers to this question. What about situations where a person is desperately trying to gain our affection but we are oblivious to them? Or worse, completely creeped out by them. It happens all the time. When I was much, much younger I was working at a factory and someone kept leaving love notes in my locker. At the time I had a major crush on a man that worked there. I convinced myself that it was him.
It was someone else, much older, less attractive and, ironically, married. Needless to say it didn’t go anywhere.
The crush? It didn’t go anywhere either. I was too silly and unsure of myself. I don’t know if he knew how I felt. Today Gemma would have been more direct, but back then Gemma didn’t even exist.
7. Why is getting a kiss so much closer to fucking, than a kiss is, to getting nothing?
Some swingers have a rule about not kissing people other than their partner. There is a reason for this. Kissing is intimate. It is personal. It can be as sexy as hell. My mind is full of little categories and rules. The way I make decisions is sometimes like the algorithms in search engines. If things meet this criteria and tick this box then I do this. If they meet a different criteria then I do something different. I am not sure if this is how other people think. But it is me.
So one of my little “mind rules” is that you only kiss people on the lips if you are fucking them. It was born of the way I used to kiss the Fix-Its good-bye. I would kiss Mr Fix It on the lips. I still do even though we haven’t fucked in a long time. In my brain it is a way of categorizing him so I remember how to act around him next time I see him. Yes, my brain is weird.
Biologically kissing makes you very vulnerable. Your skin protects you from invasion by germs. When you kiss someone you are touching them with a part of your body that is not protected by skin. You are trusting them not to make you sick. Fucking is a similar touch. So biologically they are similar. I think emotionally it is similar. You are exposing yourself. Getting close to them.
When you kiss Aunty Mary it is not intimate. She smells weird and you make it as quick as possible. When you kiss a lover, or someone you WANT as a lover you can smell them and you can put your hands on their body. You make it last and sometimes you can feel their heart thundering. It