Column: Follow Your Heart, Not Your Hormones

Charisma Stockton — Contributor — @ BylineBeat

(Brooklyn, New York) Jesus. That motherfucker is having the time of his life out there. He’s in Detroit bombing streets - foreclosures making history. He’s in Colorado skinny dipping in Indian springs and getting body massages by Minnesotan masseuses - happy ending optional.

Then he’s in Vegas living it up, skipping out on the tab like a Raoul Duke caricature. He was living my dream while I’m sitting in Greenpoint like a fucking housewife, tending a broken household.

My biggest achievement has been buying the right-sized batteries for my mini-vibrator. High Five.

In March he told me that he was relocating to Los Angeles with the entire studio along with the artist he worked with.

I mean, for fuck’s sake, I was just getting settled into love.

I asked myself…Was this karma fucking me in the ass for my smug reactions to single girl problems in the city? 80% of New York women complain about not finding any worthy man like they’re talking about adult acne.
I was going bonkers in Bailey’s-turned-our apartment. His porn-set worthy bed took up the entire bedroom. I basically had to scoot around the edges to get to the closet or just walk across the bed. There wasn’t even space to look at myself from head to toe in the closet door mirrors. And except for the bathroom, there was no place to be alone. I think I cried a little under our black satin sheets.

Bailey told me that he’s not leaving me, he’s just going to Cali. He’ll be back on Memorial Day. It would be like a vacation.
From each other.

For closeted introverts, living with someone full-time is draining. I could use some room to breathe. I would have more time to get my writing done, without having to apologize to anyone for my mental absence. I would have time to focus on eating better and losing my winter fat. I would also finally have more time to cultivate my neglected New York BFFs.

It seemed like fun.

A day before leaving Bailey got the frowns and raised his head from staring at the paint-splotches on the hardwood floor and looked at me. His bottom lip fluttered and in the tiniest voice that has ever come out of that six-foot-four hunk. “I’ll just miss you so much,” he said.

He never said anything about missing me the few times we talked while he was on the road.

“White Rabbit is hauling ass tonight,” is what he said. White Rabbit…that’s what he called that 16-foot rental truck rental truck he was driving from New York City to Los Angeles.

Randomly, between some place and another he sent me a video of himself masturbating on a mountain top beside an impressionistic statue of a wide-antlered stag.

I guess it feels good when you’re leaving it all behind. Your family, your city and your girlfriend.

A clean cut. So long and good-bye.
I couldn’t blame him. I probably felt the same way when I left Germany. All I wanted was to look forward and leave the crying women behind.
I’m backwards for Bailey now.

In Detroit, he hardly had time to talk or text. Between Colorado and Vegas, I couldn’t reach him either. I didn’t want to text more than once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I didn’t want to seem needy or insecure. I’m not one of those girls, remember?

But fuck, I missed bouncing ridiculous ideas and dreams off him. With Bailey, even the most outrageous plans seem doable.

After his stint in Vegas I stopped texting all together and started sending daily emails. The inbox hello as the least intrusive form of approach.

Bailey, my original muse, had moved on. He was in the future and I was in his past. I completely rearranged the apartment to suit my mirror and dancing needs, but I still I felt like a dope for believing his promises.
California: The fucking land of milk and honey. It’s luring our tough love, baptized creatives, like Jews to The Promised Land with its organic produce, glycolic peels and fresh sets of tits!

What’s up with that fucking state?

"If Cali goes well,” he said. “Quit your job and come out West."

Follow you? Am I such a sure thing? Aren’t you afraid I’ll cheat here because “I don’t do long-distance?” Heck, I might fuck myself through my followers list.

I’ll always remember the night Bailey left me. I waved good-bye and I cried all the way down Nassau Avenue, up the stairs, through the kitchen and into the bathroom. I cried until I passed out from too much weed. White Zombie was the strain if you were wondering. But before I passed out, I guess I snatched up every pack of baby-pink birth-control pills I had and stuffed them in my special occasions drug drawer. I found six unused monthly packs and three that had a few days already popped out of them. I have a problem remembering daily processes.
I saw it as some kind of message from the past. And even sober, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense…laying off the pill was like burning my bra. Some sort of revolution - A personal liberation.

When you’re a woman on the pill, you can’t always be sure if it’s really the situation you’re in that’s making you feel unstable or if it’s that anti-baby bomb you’ve been popping 3 weeks out of the month with minor, scary interruptions for the past 18 years.

I read that you can’t even be sure of your choice of husband anymore. The pill influences that as well.

I guess it lowers our testosterone levels and we become attracted to men with the same low testo levels. And when we eventually go off the pill to have kids, some pink shroud is lifted and we see the wimp for who he really is. Talk about long-term side effects.

Some doctors recommend going off the pill months before a wedding “in order to assess whether their feelings for their partner will change or stay the same.”
For decades, the hormones in my Belara pill and I have formed a mean little clique - if you protect me, I’ll protect you. It let me blame my outbursts on it as long as I kept taking it.

It was a sick, parasitic relationship right out of the books. Like that thing that convinces rats that they like kitty piss.

I’ve been pill free since May 3rd. I wonder if it’s something to celebrate, like being debt free. You know, free of that hormonal responsibility.

I’d love to say that post-pill I’m hunky dory and mentally stable, but my boyfriend “dumped” me to move to LA. Under all this sorrow and the burden of covering up my true feelings, I can’t really tell if this is already the clean and improved me or not.
If I at least had a test strip to piss on, or something like a finger-trail test when I’m on acid, or a chuggachug brain wave like fading ADHD medication.

Jesus, is there a detox manual for birth control?

My Vyvanse self-experiment from a few months ago probably had a lot to do with my “free yourself from hormonal slavery” trip. I watched my brain be hijacked by the ADHD medication. Within two hours of popping the pill, my manipulated brain was calling the shots and my body was following orders. Now I’m distrustful of the pharma industry and the drugs it says will help mankind, or give women a more fulfilled sex life. You’re welcome since 1960.

I’m not ungrateful or anything. Thanks to the pill I’ve had glorious sex all over the world and I never had to worry about getting pregnant or cock-blocking-mid-passion condom fumbling.
But if we can make incredible “medicine” and we’re experiencing a paradigm shift brought on by our hyper-active technological advances, then why do I still have to take a pill that could kill me or make me bat-shit crazy?
And how can my government try to pass laws that allow bosses to fire their female employees based on their reason for taking the pill?

"Susan, bring me yesterday’s revenue and are you taking the pill to have sex without procreating?"

Well, some of it might have to do with the people financing research and the people making policies. These guys don’t understand shit about what goes on with the every day person.
A woman shouldn’t have to put her body through a hormonal onslaught just because she doesn’t want to have babies. Men should have more options than rubber on the cock or scissors to the balls. Our advances are so one-sided. Is the male reproductive system that complex? Why are there no birth control pills for men?

Having to get a vasectomy because you want to have sex with your girlfriend but aren’t ready to have children yet seems like overkill. And going through about 104 condoms a year doesn’t seem like fun either, and that’s if you’re only fucking on Tuesday and Saturday. (Jesus, I hate condoms and I have said yes to every man who ever suggested we fuck without one. So you will never see me choosing condoms over the pill.)

Maybe the lack of male contraceptives is just a sinister conspiracy by cock-blocking feminist. At least thats what I have read on “What Men Are Saying About Women.” On their website it says:

“…slut-feminists manipulate and manage to control every issue applying to males. It explains why there is no Men’s Health Departments, no major efforts on violence against males, no effort made to reduce the dropout out rates of boys in the education system, it explains why the male suicide issue is just ignored.._[…] it clearly demonstrates how slut-feminists deliberately and intentionally stand in the way of governments introducing any programs that would assist or help men and boys in general…”

Hilarious filth.

I believe in equality and that men should have complete control over their reproductive rights but if a man takes a Blank Shooter, or whatever they’re going to name it, how will we know if he really took it?

Two missed periods later and you’re the proud owner of an Instagram worthy shot of a grayscale amoeba. And you’ll have no clue which one of those guys it could have been from.

Jesus, is that equality?

Of course, it’s not equality! Meanwhile, he’s still humping himself through every Army base in Kaiserslautern and Mannheim and you’re craving fried pickles with Nutella, along while your belly gets bigger, your stretch marks longer and you wonder if you’ll be able to lose the baby weight as quickly as Nicole Richie.
It’s not that women are more trustworthy when they whisper into men’s ears.

“Cum in me. Don’t worry. I’m on the pill.”

There are public cases where a woman has entrapped a man with a sneaky pregnancy. The likelihood of either gender lying because they don’t want to interrupt the “flow of passion” is the same. But no matter who does the lying, the woman ends up pregnant and forced into double-role parenting

It seems like sharing the reproductive responsibility with men also means sharing the fundamental question of “what if?”

I’m not ready to ask myself that question every time I roll off a guy. You men swallow what you want, but if I’m sexually active, I’m hormoning it up.

Bailey didn’t come to New York for Memorial Day like he promised me. Instead, he flew me out to LA with his frequent flyer miles and he had me upgraded to business class. When he picked me up at LAX he held up a huge “Welcome Home Charisma” sign he’d made out of a big piece of cardboard.

He was so excited to show me our house, our garage, our neighborhood and our coffee shop. We had epic, feel good sex. He even took me to Walgreen’s to get Plan B – just in case.
It turns out he really does love me and wants me to move out to L.A. And he really is preparing everything for my arrival. So, I guess it’s time to stop dicking around in Brooklyn and time to take my ass out West.
When I do something for love, I can never regret it, right?

But I’m not going to go right back on the pill. I’ll make him wear condoms for a while.



Editor’s Note: ‘Drugs & Sex’ column will appear every two weeks on Byline Beat. Check back every other Thursday.