Collect another memory | 1995-1996 diary

Wednesday November 4, 1995
7.30 P.M.

I wanted to call him “The Collector”, before I reread this diary and judged otherwise.
Because in retrospect I had already determined, right from the first chapter* which I wrote in June ’94, what the new man in my love life was going to be.
It was going to be a Nikki Sixx.

Now I don’t know if the man I’m going to call Nikki, looks like Nikki Sixx because I don’t know him.
We only write.

The Collector, my first choice or idea on how to name him, is a reference to the man who bought Anais Nin’s stories.
They made a movie out of it, Delta of Venus, which revolves around this relationship where she wrote erotica and was paid per page by an anonymous collector who only answered through messengers what he wanted her to write next, or focus on more.
I think the movie gave another spin on it, but as far as I can remember in reality she never found out who he was.

The reason I decided to call him Nikki, and not The Collector, is twofold.
Firstly because the first chapter* already speaks of a desire to have a Nikki Sixx in my life; A dominant man, who would push me further than Bear ever had.
With whom I have to work harder.
Initially I thought, as is described in that chapter, that I was longing for someone who is more of a dominant in an S&M way. That he would hurt me p
hysically as part of our sex life.
And I suspected that was not what I was really looking for, but at the time that was as close as I got to understanding why a fan fiction story where Nikki Sixx was a dominant who did hurt his submissive, was appealing to me.
Naturally I thought it was this obvious characteristic of physical pain that appealed to me, because all the other things were already in my relationship with Bear.
I already had “a dominant”.

That was June 1994. Since then, Bear has broken up with me, he’s now living with his girlfriend, and my aids phobia anxiety attacks have returned with a vengeance when Bear and me tried to have sex in a hotel room this summer.
A confession that was first given to Nikki, the man with whom I am in anonymous correspondence, before I could trust it to this diary.

I had even been actively lying in this diary, to avoid telling I had been with Bear. That’s how painful it was.
So contrary to when I wrote that very first chapter*, I no longer “have” a dominant.
Instead I have a vacancy, not just for a surplus to what Bear was offering, but an empty vacancy for everything that has to do with mental intimacy, physical intimacy, mind play, power play.
The days I dreamed about men who were able to add pain to that equation are long behind me.
Eleven months behind me to be exact.
I need to get the basics in place first.

I am no longer interested in a man who can go next level.
If I ever end up with a man in bed again, I m first going to need a really long cry.
Or two.

So that explains why I absolutely did not consider calling this new character “Nikki”.
The desires from that first chapter from summer 1994* seemed desires of another life. A life when things were still sweet and not rotten and lonely and with a lover who has chosen someone normal to live with and have children with, and ditch the girl that was his lover for five years.
Having a Nikki Sixx in my life, is the last thing I want.
1995 Has been miserable enough as it is.

And yet, when I reread that first chapter* from this book, I thought;
“I ll be damned. Let’s go for it.”
Because it really is his dominance that makes me thirst for more. It’s definitely not because he takes care of me, or comforts me for all the bad stuff that’s been happening.
The reason I told him first, about Bear and me meeting this year and how it all turned sour because I just froze up and couldn’t do it (be a mistress) is because he asked me when the last time was I had sex.
I had already told him my relationship with Bear had ended in December, but then when he asked when my last time sex was, I wrote him how we almost had sex.
Until my phobia kicked in.
And that I m now still licking my wounds.
His question brought me to face what had happened this summer, and that I could not lie about it.

Until then I had been telling the story as if it had happened with other men.
I was more honest with “Nikki”, than I had been in my own diary. 

Nikki lives in England, and although he does occasionally visit the Netherlands, I don’t consider him a physical threat nor a physical option.
First of all because I don’t know what he looks like, or what age he is. I refuse to start fantasizing about someone without knowing who he is.
And secondly, because even if he does look as good as Nikki Sixx, Jon Bon Jovi or Slash?
It’s way too dangerous.

Meeting strangers abroad, or from abroad, that’s how 23 year old women end up raped, killed, exploited, abused, blackmailed, or financially ruined.
Giving him a name as dangerous as Nikki Sixx, ensures that I never forget that.

Bear is called Bear because I trust him.
Bear is called Bear because even though he got us a hotel room, and wanted to make love to me like we always had, he stopped as soon as I started having second thoughts, and he never made me feel bad about it.

We don’t name British collectors of my erotic correspondence “Bear”.
We name them: Nikki Sixx.

So that’s already two good reasons to call him Nikki Sixx, really;
1. because my first chapter for this diary speaks of wanting “a Nikki Sixx’ in my life. A golden rule of cinema; If you introduce a gun in the beginning of a movie, you have to fire it later.
and
2. because I want to remind myself this is dangerous stuff and that I should never think lightly over seeing him, or engaging with him physically.

But there is a third reason, and this is by far the most interesting one:
Because I know now, that my desire for “a Nikki Sixx” in my life, didn’t have anything to do with wanting more pain during sex, or S&M.
Or that I found Bear’s cuteness factor too high, and wanted all the sex and dom stuff, without
a man being just as vulnerable and goodhearted as I am.
It was something else;
I wanted to be challenged mentally
I wanted to be inspired.
I wanted to work…

I wanted a man, and adventures, that would inspire my writing and make for good storytelling – like I said.
And who would keep them coming!

Part of me has always known there was a limit to what Bear would be able to offer me. He would never agree to be the man of a wild, crazy, woman writer.
Not good for business, not good for his ego.
And also:
A disaster for my storytelling and books.

Even if Bear stayed the fun loving, mysterious womanizer, I had always loved, there was no way he would let me write about that.
And with that, the boundaries of what I would be able to write about were set. And most likely those boundaries would be forever closing in.
I would not be able to write about the things he did with other women, nor about the things I did with other men or the fantasies I had about other men.
I would not be allowed to write about our quarrels or how he would want me to go to family gatherings I didn’t want to go to because I felt too much and I felt judged.
Ultimately I would have to choose between writing and Bear.

And I would choose Bear and die inside.
Maybe I would wake up in my midlife crisis or something.

The longing for a Nikki Sixx in my life, was the longing for a muse that would not interfere with my writing. 
Someone who would inspire it, like Bear had, but who was not harmed by it.
The longing for a Nikki Sixx stood for a longing for someone who was not affected by my pen, by my fame, or simply by “me”.
It was a longing for someone I could not outgrow, nor outdo.

And that is exactly what the correspondence to the man I call Nikki does:
From an artistic perspective I have hit the jackpot.

Ever since I’m corresponding with Nikki, I am doing all the things I said I would always do when I was a writer and a publisher.
And it’s not perfect, my God, far from! 
So many weekdays go by without making the hours behind my desk, that I want. Or without doing the physical exercise, yoga and so on, that I want to do to get a killer body.
It’s very hard to be as disciplined, in any area, as an independent without colleagues, rhythm, deadlines.
But because of Nikki I’m getting there.

The pace of our correspondence dictates my work; Or I let it.
And I ll tell you in a sec how Nikki and me started writing, because I completely forgot to introduce him!  
But initially I just started writing immediately when I received a letter. But now I m using the letters as a way to do the things I want to do.
Before I allow myself to write back, I have to do yoga, I have to review a bootleg for the fan club, and I have to work on publishing my books.

And it’s not perfect, but beneath all the things I miss, or fail to achieve, I can detect new dreams, new realities, coming into vision.
Things I didn’t know or couldn’t see, at first.
An example is what happened with Bear and me this summer;
The correspondence, the simple question: “What was your last sexual experience?” made me realize, that it had been a sexual experience.
And that I needed to come to terms with it.
With my phobia, but also with me and Bear breaking up and him choosing someone else.

Another example was the realization that I need a muse, someone who inspires my art, and who is actually enhanced and nourished by my writing.
Instead of someone whose existence is threatened by it.
This is also something I now know, thanks to Nikki who offers me absolutely nothing, except for inspiration.
And me realizing that’s all I need.

And all the other examples are things like: Knowing in what type of house I want to live. What kind of money I want to make. Things about my independence; That I will never be “okay” with selling my hours or my services, although I can understand that I may temporarily have to go back to that to support myself.
I see my body, the way I want it, more clearly than ever before.

So now how we met;
In 1994 I bought a Bon Jovi VHS from a woman, who is actually part of a couple. Her husband is in the bootleg business, and I wanted to know if he could get me a bootleg from the 1988 Bon Jovi concert in Rotterdam.
He couldn’t, but he said he had a contact in England whom I could contact. It was a business I had seen in the European fan club magazine, but I never dared contacting such a business.
The only reason I had asked the husband, the Dutch bootleg trader, was because I already knew his wife and she had put a list of their bootlegs in with the video.
But that’s how I came into contact with the British trader, whom I now call Nikki.

I receive about two letters a week.

Our letters cross each other, so that means we’re having two separate conversations. One is sexual, and the other is about other things.
They’re both entertaining, they’re both intimate, and neither one is ever harsh or offensive. 
He’s very warm, funny, honest, and he doesn’t make any promises.

I often wonder what he gets out of corresponding with a 23 year old Dutch Bon Jovi fan, but that is not for me to say.

And who knows what diary he started, and what desires he had in June 1994;
Who knows what it is I do for him.
I don’t. 

All I know is what he does for me.
And that’s sheer magic.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living

* In this post I refer frequently to the first chapter of this series.
Which is this one:
A letter from a stranger | “1994”: fanfic inspired erotica episode 1

Collect another memory  | 1995-1996 diary
is the third chapter to
1995-1996 diary 

.
.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
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Button on this page, probably on the top right.

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When your fears subside and shadows still remain | 1995-1996 diary

Delta of Venus (1995)

Monday October 19, 1995
9.30 P.M.

If you asked me what I did since my last diary entry, six weeks ago, I would not be able to tell you.
Just like I would not have been able to tell you now, what my life looked like then.
It’s all a haze, just like all the months before that.
I just reread the pages, they are very positive.
On September 1st, I m starting my new life!” it opens.
Not a word about the headaches, which began this summer
.

I thought the headaches had to do with my work at the publisher’s. That it was a sign the desk job was taking its toll on me, and that I needed to move on and start doing my own work.
Write and publish my own books.
And become a yoga teacher to support this new uncertain future as an independent.

A friend of my mother’s has her own studio, and when I was 15 or so I started taking classes.
When I was in college I was allowed to join her teacher training for a reduced fee, and it became a welcome diversion from the academic world.
The weekly Saturdays in training became my sanctuary.

What I had not expected was that the headaches didn’t have anything to do with the desk job.
Or maybe I did know, but just chose not to see.

I still stand by my decision to become an independent, even now that I know I can’t teach yoga, because the headaches are unreliable.
They make me feel insecure about any commitment, but in particular teaching a yoga class which requires me to feel good.
You can’t fake your way around it.

The headaches that I have been suffering from are stress related, and the stress came from my sex life.
Not my desk job.

I’m taking a deep breath now, because I am ashamed to admit that I lied in my last diary entry.
I said I had been trying to have sex, or had sex, with someone new, other than Bear. And that the phobia for aids returned.

I was very aware I was lying, yet I talked myself into thinking it didn’t matter. That the essence, which was “I can’t have sex because of a returning hiv/aids phobia” was the same.
The fact that the phobia had returned as a response to Bear breaking up with me, was also still true.

But what I did not write nor shared with anyone else, was that the man I was with, was in fact, Bear.
And not a new man.

My phobia had not bothered me in the five years we were together, but I have always known its roots are still there. And that I have Bear to thank for finding a way to work around them.
But being with him had been such a positive experience, I never expected  I would have to fight the same demon again.
And not that the fear would show up when the man I was with was in fact Bear!

He has moved in with his girlfriend, so this was the first time I was officially “the other woman”.
Over the years I ve suspected there were other women who might have thought he was faithful to them.
But I never knew.
This was different, and we both knew it.
She was the reason he had broken up with me in December, so we both knew he had at least hoped he could have stayed faithful to her.
We didn’t talk about that at any point.
I didn’t ask, and he didn’t offer an explanation as to why he had changed his mind.

I really thought I could do this.

And the only reason I know how much this meant to me, that it hurts me, and that it is very relevant to the headaches, is because I can no longer remember the details.
Not of our date.
Not of the sequence, the order of things.
May to August is one haze, starting at the point when flirting entered our friendship and ending that afternoon in the hotel, when I “just couldn’t”.
And the weeks of anxiety attacks that followed.
The total despair of knowing I’m just so messed up, and meanwhile he is normal. He’s doing alright. He has a great job, a woman he loves. 
I think they want children.

And here I am, alone, phobic, and Oh! I forgot; The psychological help is off the table too.

Just like in 1989, they could not help me.
A phobia for aids that ruins your sex life doesn’t exist any more today, than it did in the 80s.

Bear responded so sweet. 
There we were. Almost as if it was the first time we met “as adults”, if that makes sense. We were in a hotel room, not a student dorm.
He was taken, and no longer the guy who no one quite knew what he was up to.
And I was there as a secret mistress.
Or I would have been, if I had been successful.

I lay on the bed in my bra and my jeans.
He sat in the window sill, also wearing jeans. Bare feet, bare chest.
He was smoking a cigarette and blew his smoke out the window, because he knew I was trying to quit. 
He was entirely at ease being exactly where he was, one hand on his strong thigh, his elbow bent outwards.
He smiled at me.
And blinked his eyes at me; A reassuring gesture I only know from my cats.

Nothing had happened, and yet everything had changed.
My phobia had returned.
I got migraines.
And Bear was no longer my lover.

I have lost a lot more than six weeks.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living


When your fears subside and shadows still remain | 1995-1996 diary
is the second chapter to
1995-1996 diary 
.
.

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
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A Year of Writing | 1995-1996 diary

Saturday August 29, 1995
4 P.M.

On September 1st, I m starting my new life.
I still can’t believe it, but here it is;
I m becoming a yoga teacher and starting my own publishing house.
There is no telling what the future will bring, and if it ultimately will be enough to sustain myself. But having lost a year of my life, the upcoming September certainly feels better than the last one, when I had just started working as a copy-editor for a publisher.
It paid well, and I learned many things.
But it wasn’t satisfactory, and I knew I could do better. Both in terms of publishing as well as writing my own books, which mattered to me even more.
Yet when I made the decision to quit, I could not foresee how nessecary a step to work I adore, would become; That I would be robbed from my only compensation, only sedation, the only thing that made the dullness of being a desk editor bearable:

My love life.

My phobia for aids/hiv has returned at a time when I no longer expected it. After being with my poly-amorous lover Bear for so long, and because he wasn’t mine, and I knew there were other girls, I thought I was able to enjoy my love life with the little risk of contracting something if the condoms were not enough, or not used well enough.
The risk of safer sex not being safe enough.
But as it turns out:
I can’t.
It’s almost as if overcoming my hiv/aids phobia with Bear, meant exactly that:
With Bear.
And that’s where it stayed.
Every new lover would be a whole new ballgame.

I m getting psychological help, but I m not counting on that to work miracles. At least not short term. There is a long waiting list.
I could overcome it by myself again. But then what? Face this demon again, with every new man? Or with every lover added?
When I move from one lover, to two, to three perhaps?

I don’t know what my sexual makeup is, and if I am able to be intimate with more than one man at a time. I know I can be in love with more than one man, so I think my default sexuality is to have more than one lover.
Ideally I see one permanent lover, and that we live together.
And from there we both have adventures, we both have other lovers.

This time I want a strong mental foundation for my new love life, and not a flying by the seat of my pants solution, that may or may not last.
That’s why I see myself addressing this with the proper mental help, and not hit rock bottom again so suddenly.
It was as if I was given an exact number of days for which I would feel healed, or a partial healing that was only valid as long as it was with Bear, and after that the spell would be broken. 
For the first time I felt I would have been better off, if I had tackled this with a psychotherapist at 17, instead of fixing it myself only to have to solve the exact same problem six years later.

The phobic attack was ugly. I forgot how ugly they were. How lonely, ghostly, numbing. How the coldness of the fear crept into your bones in the middle of the night.
I had to forget it, to get over it.
If I had lived on with that memory, I would not have mustered the courage to ask Bear to be my lover, and to have all those years we had.
This relapse may have been prevented, or at least I would have known the frailty of my ability to have affairs, if I had tried to have more lovers and not be so dependent on Bear. If my college years had been filled with more experiences with different men: Would it then have been easier?
Would Bear’s presence, even from a distance since we didn’t see each other on a regular basis, have been a form of cushioning?

Would he have been available to catch me, even?

Would Bear have helped me through those nights, when I came home from another man and my body shook violently with fear?

It’s not that I blame myself, but it’s just such a big disappointment. I lost Bear in December when he broke up with me. He’s with his new girlfriend now. But I didn’t know I had also lost my nerve, my healing.
And that the old fears would come back to haunt me, and make my life miserable.

Or very productive, since I ve become an independent yoga teacher and a writer and publisher.
I m going to throw myself at my work, and let the professionals take care of my mental health, and that will be “all” I will be investing in my own healing.

There is however one perk, one aspect of my life that I had vetoed but that I had longed for, and that had taken me a lot of effort to talk myself out of.
Because I can now keep a diary, without incriminating a lover!
There is no one else, I am my own significant other.

Until I am able to deal with my fears, I have only one vacancy:
For The One.
Or at least I think that’s how you call someone who doesn’t mind being there for you the next day.
Who sits by your bed when you don’t feel well, and fear robs you of your breath. The One who promises that you’ll get through this together.

The One who accepts I am a 23 year old erotica writer, and that he’s the lover who came to me, when I needed him most.
Both, sexually as well as literary.

.
~Lauren
An unexamined life is not worth living


A Year of Writing | 1995-1996 diary
is the first chapter to
1995-1996 diary 
.

 

Books 

My diaries are available at LULU
New books will be added.

The best way to receive updates on when these books are ready,
is to subscribe to this blog.
Button on this page, probably on the top right.

Or follow my Facebook page
/ Twitter: @LSHarteveld

Nederlands blog:
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