My Life as a Dork: Sex and Hygiene

I spend a lot of time covered in toothpaste and thinking about sex these days. Yes, these two events do occur at the same time. No, I don't have a fetish.

See, I opened a new toothbrush recently.

I replace my toothbrush roughly as often as the manufacturers say you're supposed to, and I am not what you might call a savvy, educated, thoughtful toothbrush shopper. I buy several at the same time (like, three for Best Beloved and three for me), and my criteria are:
  1. In any given set, mine should all be similar in color, and that color should be different from Best Beloved's. No toothbrush co-mingling in this household, thanks. Ick.

  2. They should be all different brands and styles.

  3. They must be cool. My definition of coolness as applied to toothbrushes is, "really unnecessary add-ons, given that the product is intended merely to brush one's teeth." Like, I want multiple bristle colors. I want the package to go on and on about the weird angle of the toothbrush, and how it is scientifically proven to be the best damn angle a toothbrush can have. I want a sleek contour grip, ideally with several textures of plastic. If they sold a toothbrush with the Batman logo and a special plaque-fighting batarang shape, I would buy that one instantly and uncritically.
So basically I stand in the toothbrush section and pick shiny things up at random (this applies to more of my life than you'd think, actually). This is how I ended up accidentally buying an electric toothbrush.

You would think that a person would know if she was buying an electric toothbrush, but the thing is, this one doesn't look any different. The package was slightly larger than usual, but the toothbrush inside looks just the same. And it has four colors of bristles in three separate materials, so I was pretty much in love with it at first sight. I would probably have bought it if the package said, "Attention: this toothbrush will kill you."

It was not until I opened the package that I realized it was electric. (Even then, I didn't, you know, actually read the package. I noticed it was a little heavier than a usual one. And then I looked at it and thought, huh. What are these two little button-like things right here? Well, this one doesn't do anything, but that one - whoa. At that point, it was pretty obvious that the other one was the off button. And then I went to show Best Beloved, because a battery-operated toothbrush isn't a secret you should keep in a healthy marriage.)

It's not a bad toothbrush, per se. It's not the best design on the planet, maybe, but it works, and the vibration certainly adds an interesting extra wrinkle to the dental hygiene experience. It's just - okay, I feel like I'm brushing my teeth with a sex toy, for one thing. That's not a relationship I'm comfortable having with my teeth. For years, they've bitten whatever I told them to bite and I, in return, have brushed and flossed them and sometimes taken them to the dentist. And it worked, you know? We were in a good place, my teeth and me. But now I'm massaging them in a way that seems, well, a little too personal.

It also leads to unfortunate thoughts while I'm brushing. Like, this morning I spent a couple minutes thinking about all the teenagers who are going to have Experiences of Sexual Awakening with one of these things. Because, okay. If I want a vibrator, I can just buy one, but teenagers have a harder time with that. Anyone can buy a toothbrush, though. (Anyone can also buy mouthwash, which was the Oral Product Most Purchased by Teenagers for Nefarious Off-Label Purposes in my youth. Note for any easily-influenced individuals out there: ew, ew, ew.)

I really hope they remember to use the right end. Attention, teenagers: if you're going to masturbate with a toothbrush, use the non-bristle end. Bristles are nice for teeth, but your more personal regions generally do best with something less scratchy. (And, wow. How awful would it be to have to explain that no, it isn't beard burn, it's bristle burn?) Also, please have some class and buy your own toothbrush for your private, non-dental uses. There is no relationship so close that it's okay to masturbate with something that that person will later use to brush his (or her) teeth. I mean, unless it's a shared kink, in which case I won't judge. Much.

So I think these thoughts, about the various uses of a vibrating toothbrush, and then I'm done and it's time to rinse out my mouth. Which is where I encounter the major design flaw with this thing, the flaw that makes me wonder if it is intended to be a marital aid, and the toothbrush part is just a decoy. Because it's really, really hard to turn it off while it's still in my mouth. The buttons are in the wrong place, and you have to press them very hard, and that's hard to do while the thing is vibrating. So I end up taking it out and then turning it off.

My mouth is of course full of foam at this point. Also, I'm still mostly thinking about sex toys. And half the time I'm not fully awake. So, naturally, little specks of foam fly everywhere, for the entire thirty seconds or so it takes me to find the off switch. And also I swear out loud about this, and remember what's in my mouth? Well, I never do, and I end up getting foam all over my chest.

In short, I managed to purchase an appliance that turns me from a mature adult fully capable of achieving responsibility for her own dental care to a revolting pervert covered in toothpaste.

Yay me. And a double yay goes out to the fine toothbrush designers at Oral-B. I'd write a letter of complaint, but I don't want to jeopardize those Experiences of Sexual Awakening. Far be it from me to stand in the way of people achieving intimacy with their oral care products.

Comment Fic Archive

A Certain Person has requested that I put all my comment fic in one location, and to hear is to obey. So this is all the comment fic I can remember writing since the beginning of August, 2005. (Plus the two from my own LJ that I had conveniently tagged. Tags: your friend and mine, but probably mostly mine.) If anyone knows of any other comment fic by thefourthvine or littera_abactor, I'd appreciate a pointer. In particular, I distinctly remember writing surplus/deficit at some point over in norah's LJ; anyone who knows where it is, please please tell me. It was my very first attempt at porn, and I'd like to - I don't know. Frame it, maybe.

I've made a few corrections to these, mostly for typos and so on. I may or may not turn one of these into a real story at some point; that's the other reason I'm getting all of this together, so that I have a bunch of choices should I decide I want to expand something.

Future comment fic, should there be any, will also go here. In other words, I won't be spamming.

Collapse )

Collapse )

Collapse )

Joss Whedon: Alien Overlord Bringing About the End of the Human Race

kantayra's recent post (Which you should definitely read right now - seriously, you'll find it, well, hmmm. Stunning would be the word, I'd guess.) was a revelation to me, because it explained the entire course of my life. I don't just refer to the brilliant, incisive explanation of why I read slash - although, oddly enough, I have never seen the sixth season of Buffy, but probably I was traumatized by remote or something. There's so much more. So very, very much more, if you take the concept to its logical conclusion.

See, there was a time in my life when I dated men; these days, I live with a woman, the famed Best Beloved. A part of that change can be attributed to my realization that dating men and dating women ended in the same place: me having sex with a woman. I just decided I'd rather do it without a guy watching. (There were other, larger parts, that mostly had to do with a) enjoying having sex with a woman and b) being in love with one, but most likely I was fooling myself about that. The human mind has so many layers of denial, you know?)

So what is it, I used to ask myself (often at parties featuring a bunch of guys who did not know the meaning of "oversharing" after four drinks) - why do so-called "straight" men want to watch two women get it on? I had many theories for this, ranging from "it's hot" to "who knows what motivates other people?", but I see now that I was wrong. It was Joss Whedon. Of course. I should have known. (It might've helped if I'd heard of Joss Whedon at the time; see what not watching TV will do to you?)

Because, OK. Season three of Buffy contained a major plot arc that caused serious, lasting emotional trauma to men - specifically, men who are attracted to sexy "bad girl" types instead of virginal blonde slayers with worrisome taste in shoes. These poor guys were into Faith - just because of some inherent personal preference - and the writers spent the entire season convincing them they were evil and wrong for liking bad girls instead of good ones.

And every time it looked like Faith could be redeemed, like there was a shred of hope for her, the writers slapped it down again - and, in the process, slapped down all the straight men who thought she was hot and were desperately hoping for some verification, via mass media, that their preferences were right and good. Until, eventually, they began to identify with her - they were told they were evil for liking Faith, and Faith was evil, so it is any surprise they'd get confused?

And then Faith heads over to Angel, where there's one final attempt at redemption. That, of course, goes astray, because loving the bad girl is wrong wrong wrong in the Whedonverse.

And so where does Faith end up? In prison. Where she can only have sex with other women.

Net result: these poor once-straight men, whose only crime was thinking Eliza Dushku was really kinda hot, are now trapped in a lesbian lifestyle. Except, of course, they aren't equipped for it. So all their sexual fantasies start to feature two women getting it on. Eventually, they turn to lesbian porn and start pressuring their girlfriends to have sex with other girls, and those women are so stressed by the experience - even if they seemed to be having fun at the time - that they end up actually dating girls, and loving girls, and possibly identifying as bisexual or lesbian or queer.

(Which leads inevitably to reading slash, of course, but that's a whole other story.)

My point is: the season 3 BtVS writers have crushed the sexual identities of a whole generation of men and women, induced widespread interest in twisted, wrong, gay porn, and very likely brought about the extinction of the human race.

Or, at any rate, the extinction of that portion that can be irreversibly, permanently traumatized to the degree of changing sexual identities by a fucking TV show.

I won't miss them.

Mmmm. Faith.

Fic: Intervention with the Vampire (Angel the Series, gen)

Title: Intervention with the Vampire
Author: Littera Abactor
Fandom: Angel the Series
Rating: PG
Size: 7,000 words/~40kb
Author's Note: This takes place between the end of season two and the start of season three.
Thanks: To raveninthewind and fanofall for their kick-ass betas. (The errors that remain are my own stubborn fault.) Also, thanks to raveninthewind for the fabulous title. For the record? She claims she does not have title-fu, but she lies. She's like Jackie Chan with the titles.
Feedback: Oh, yes. Please. All types and kinds.

Collapse )

Fic: Life Without Fraser, or How Ray Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Moose

Title: Life Without Fraser, or How Ray Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Moose
Author: Littera Abactor
Fandom: due South
Pairing: Fraser/Kowalski
Rating: PG
Author's Note: This was originally commentfic; it's being posted here in a very slightly modified form because norah deserves to get her way all the time. It's dedicated to lyra_sena, who pretty much came up with the title and whose comment inspired the whole story in the first place. Totally un-beta-read and un-proofread; if any of the usual suspects wants to volunteer for that thankless task, I will be filled with fannish love.
Spoilers: Maybe mild ones for Call of the Wild.
Feedback: Please.

Collapse )


The recent spate of genderfuck stories triggered something of an epiphany for me.

I'm no good at being a girl.

I'm happy to be female, yes, and I can't even imagine wanting to be male, but the distance between "female" and "girl" is huge.

Actually, the difference between "female" and "girl" is me.

I can't dress myself. I finally learned what a slip was for this month. I suspect a real girl would've found this out when she stopped wearing show panties. But, hey, better late than never, right? So this morning, with my newfound knowledge, I looked at the skirt I was planning to wear and thought: I bet I'm supposed to wear a slip with this.

I'm not wearing a slip. People who are going to be traumatized by a glimpse of the outline of my thighs are just going to have to look away, because I have enough problems with just bras and panties. Last week, I stabbed myself in the mouth with an underwire. If I wore a slip, I'd probably die from it.

I don't own any designer clothing, which is good, because I always end up machine-washing everything anyway. I don't know where to shop, even if I wanted to shop, which I don't. In the last week I've spent a freaking fortune on clothing, because I had literally nothing left that could be worn out of the house unless I wanted an indecent exposure citation. A lot of what I bought doesn't fit me. I will probably wear it anyway. Well, I mean, I don't have anything else to wear, so there's that. But also, I just can't face any more shopping.

I can't accessorize. I don't wear jewelry, except my earrings (which never change), RayK bracelet (which never changes), and watch (which changes once a year, because that's how long it takes me to destroy a watch). Over the years, various people have given me lovely jewelry, some of it with precious stones, all of it gold. I don't even know where any of it is.

I own one purse. I hear real girls own several, and actually change purses to match their outfits. Or maybe to match their shoes. In which case I'm in luck, because - OK, technically I own a lot of shoes. My mother, who still believes that someday her youngest child will transform into a real girl, keeps buying them for me. But since I only wear one pair, I don't think it matters that I have twenty.

I can't decorate. I mean, I do know that we need new dining room chairs, since two of them are broken and the other two make ominous noises if you sit in them, or move them, or if one of the dogs walks into them. And a new dining room table would probably be a nice thing, too. But I also know that, realistically, I'm never going to choose to shop for a table as long as I still have elective dental surgery to while away the hours, so we'll only get a new one if this one actually collapses. And even then we'll spend two months sitting on the floor and eating off just the top of the current table, with the broken legs stacked in the corner, because that's how long it will take for us to develop the will to go shopping. Actually, two months is a low estimate; after the movers broke our bed, we slept on the mattress for six months. We'd probably still be sleeping on it if my mother hadn't given us a new bed.

And I can't accessorize the house, either. Our walls contain three decorative items: two framed old maps and one unframed NASA photo of Mars. The latter is taped to the wall. When my mother and sister visit, they point out that I could put lots of nice things here and there and over there, too. My reaction is to stop inviting them over. Real girls would probably actually take the advice. Or maybe not even need it.

I can't make myself look nice. I don't own any makeup, which is just as well, since I wouldn't know how to put it on if I did. I mean, OK, lipstick goes on the lips, right? And beyond that - well, take eyeliner. Do you put it inside your eyelashes? Over them? Around them? And do you wear just eyeliner or eyeshadow, or do you need both? Obviously, if I did own makeup, I'd either never wear it or I'd end up with blush on my eyelids and mascara in my hair. But I never will own any, because I don't know how to buy it. I know you go to a makeup counter, but beyond that, nothing. I can't even imagine how I'd determine what products and colors to buy.

And my hair? Oh my god. I'm still wearing the same four styles I did in elementary school: barrette, braid, French braid, and wild tangled bush that cannot be tamed by any earthly force. It might help if I got my hair cut more than once every three years, but that's never going to happen, because I can't face a hairdresser more often than that. They expect me to have actual thoughts about my hair, and to know about gel, and mousse, and hair spray, and to be able to use these products to transform my hair from the aforementioned bush into something pretty. But I don't know how I want my hair cut, and I can't use the products they make me buy. I honestly try. I do what I'm told. I put them in my hair, and I scrunch or whatever, and then it's a sticky wild tangled bush.

I can't bond or comfort or coo. When Best Beloved and I go out to dinner, I see these hordes of women out together, clearly having just come from an office, exchanging tastefully wrapped little gifts and making weird bird noises about them ("How key-yoooOOOOoot!"), and I...I'm pretty sure I'm not even of that species. It's not that I don't want to be, or that I choose not to be - it's like the option never even existed. Our evolutionary paths diverged long ago. If I worked with those women, I would be the weird asocial unkempt creature who would only be invited to girls' nights out because I could fix the computers without calling tech support, and if they didn't include me I might stop recovering their files when they accidentally deleted them. After a while, though, they'd feel a lot safer inviting me, because they'd learn that I would never accept, because I don't even want to socialize.

Really. That's how it went the last time I worked in an office.

So. I'm bad at being a girl. This isn't the end of the world, right? I'm good at other things, and if I had to choose between being able to set up a wireless network and being able to accessorize, I'd go with the network. It's just - I thought I would know all this stuff by now. When I was 15 and I didn't understand how to be a girl, I figured it would come with time, that it was a natural part of a being a grown-up.

Which brings me to the second epiphany I had today. See, after I decided again not to bother with a slip, I finished getting dressed, walked to my car, drove to a building, and walked into that, where I realized I'd forgotten to bring the form that I needed, so the whole trip was a bust. As I turned to leave, a very kind person tapped me on the shoulder and pointed out that my shoes were on the wrong feet.

In the parking lot, I walked face-first into a tree.

I'm starting to suspect that, bad though I am at being a girl, I'm even worse at being a grown-up.

Fic: Untitled (Crossover, PG)

Title: Untitled. But I'm open to suggestions.
Author: littera_abactor
Fandom: Angel, mostly.
Author's Note: Written for the Slightly More Than 24 Hours Crack Crossover Challenge, in two hours just before the deadline; totally unbeta'd or even proofread, so let the reader beware. I mean that, and not just because of the probable errors; there's also, like, plot and characterization and, um, other issues.

It's posted here as an object lesson, really: why I should never sign up for challenges due in less than a week.

Collapse )

Movie Meme

I don't do memes at all over in thefourthvine, which is my other LJ, for the .0001 readers of littera_abactor who didn't know that. So I've never actually done a meme. But umbo passed this one to me directly, the first time I've ever actually caught a meme. And I wanted to see what writing one was like; I mean, how can I be a real Livejournal user if I've never memed? So, without further excuses, explanations, or exculpations, I bring you: the movie meme.

Total number of films that you own: 52 on VHS, 66 on DVD (actual films, not yoga or TV shows). This amuses me. See, back when Best Beloved and I first started living together, I believed it was beyond weird, maybe even vaguely immoral, to buy movies; my family of origin had not owned even one. Best Beloved, though, came from a household where they didn't bother renting a movie; if they were interested enough to watch it once, they just bought it. After some discussion, BB pointed out that, you know, my sister and I rented the same two movies most weekends for three years while I was in high school, and if we'd just bought them, we'd have saved money that could've gone toward popcorn. Or a downpayment on a car. Which was absolutely true, and irrefutably sensible, and eventually convinced me of the wisdom of buying movies we'd watch several times. Still, it's strange to me that we own so many.

The last film I bought: Um. Actually, I think it was The Fast and the Furious.

The last film I watched at home: See, now, I'm not sure what counts.

If just recorded visual entertainment counts, Trigun volume 3; Trigun was originally added to our Netflix queue for Best Beloved, but it has proved to be so wonderful that I'm watching it too.

If a semi-documentary about a "sport" counts, NASCAR Winston Cup 2003 Year in Review, which has been my most interesting entertainment experience this year and is so worth seeing, even for people who aren't trying to write TFATF fan fiction. It's like - no, it's better than - the ethnographic films I watched in my anthropology class as an undergrad; it's a look into a culture more alien than the Jivaro, at least to me. And this DVD makes it clear that NASCAR is neither sport nor entertainment but rather a culture, group identity, and cultural identifier all in one. Let me try to explain that statement. OK, first, there's almost no actual racing on this DVD; the closest it comes is one close finish and several major wrecks. The DVD spends more time on race tracks than on racing - the tracks are anthropomorphized, given personalities and goals and interests. ("This track was really trying to prove itself this year," for example.) Pit crews also get a goodly share of the screen time, and there's nothing quite as gripping as watching people rebuild a car soon to be driven at very high speeds with...duct tape. (True and fascinating fact!) There's also a lengthy segment on the Iraq war from a very pro-war perspective, with American flags and American theme songs and drivers talking about soldiers and jets soaring through the sky. And speaking of those drivers? You're just supposed to know who they are; they aren't identified in text at the bottom of the screen or, for the most part, in the narration. Neither is anyone or anything else. You need more prior knowledge to understand this DVD than you do to get an A in organic chemistry, and I am if anything understating that. Amazing. Fascinating. Beyond weird. Everyone should see this DVD.

But if that doesn't count, then Pitch Black. This makes me sound much more into Vin Diesel than I am. But I fear no wrong impressions. Well, in Livejournal, anyway. (And if I could vid, I would so do a bondage TFATF vid using Dom as the, well, sub, and using shots from Pitch Black. The Diesel characters look similar enough, and some of the settings are similar enough, and Diesel is in some impressive bondage gear. Best Beloved and I spent much of the first part of the movie pointing out shots that would fit perfectly into, say, a "Master and Servant" TFATF vid.)

Five films that mean a lot to me: I could use a number of movies for this list; it's hard to choose. But to me the obvious choices are the ones that changed me as a movie viewer. In essence, then, this list could be subtitled "The Remedial Education of a Movie Watcher."

1. Highlander and Nomads, which for me count as one movie. These are the previously-mentioned movies my sister and I rented most weekends for three years. I have watched each of them, conservatively, 80 times, probably more like 120. I still don't understand them, because this was before I learned how to watch movies, but the fact is - these are the first movies I really saw. (I was not taken to movies as a child, after an unfortunate incident in a Disney movie with the tear-jerker scene; it was the only scene I really understood in the movie, so it came out of nowhere and hit me - and, by extension, my parents - like a blow to the jaw. I cried for the rest of the movie (and the rest of the day), completely missing the happy ending because my eyes were swollen shut and in any case I didn't believe the world could contain happy endings at that point. For days afterward, I continued crying whenever I was awake. After that, my parents decided that it would be better for all concerned if I didn't see any movies until I was old enough to drive myself to them; I was not even allowed to watch G-rated movies in school.) And if my mind blended together the dialog and the individual scenes I understood from both movies to create one really peculiar and not terribly coherent story? Well, at least I was trying. Give me points for that.

2. Aladdin. Another movie I watched a lot - at least 50 times in the theater. This wasn't fangirl behavior, either. (Aladdin fangirls? Yikes. Scary concept.) My boyfriend at the time loved going to movies but didn't much care what we saw. I wanted to go to something familiar and safe. And I liked that this was a musical; the songs helped me key into the story and gave me something to look forward to during the narrative parts. So we saw this and saw it and saw it and...suddenly I understood it, understood how it was telling a story. I know now that I still missed a lot of the basics, but the point is: this is the first movie I watched as a movie, as coherent visual storytelling.

3. The Big Chill, Night of the Hunter, and Breakfast at Tiffany's. These go together, because between them they taught me how to understand movies; for lack of a better description, these taught me to watch the way a movie is directed. I don't watch movies solely for character or plot; movies fall apart for me, into scenes and themes and the choices the director made. These three films taught me that every shot is carefully selected and designed and therefore every shot has a purpose and a reason for being the way it is, and that you can best understand the movie by watching that, by watching not the story but how the story is told. These movies made me into a movie watcher, as opposed to just a person sitting in an audience in a theater; after they taught me how to see films, I never again had to spend two hours in the dark thinking about something else and only pretending to see the movie.

4. Dark City. This was the first movie that worked for me on every level. I can and do watch this for the direction, the setting, the plot, the characters, whatever - no matter how I choose to see it, it works. This was also the first movie in which I was able to see the characters as people. (In general, to me, characters in movies look like - well, not like people. There's something wrong with them. In some movies, the wrongness is so pervasive I can't stand to watch it in any mode other than the director's-choices one. I have no idea why this is, but it might have something to do with my reliance on body language rather than facial expression for non-verbal communication. In many cases, actors in movies will be saying one thing verbally and an entirely opposite thing with their bodies; I'm sure I'm not the only person this confuses. But for whatever reason, mostly characters in movies look like, well, people pretending. There are a few actors who never do this, who always look all the way right, but for the most part they just...don't.)

5. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. And this was the first movie I reacted to as a fan, the first movie I wanted more and more and more of, the first movie that caught me up in the story, made me experience and believe it. The first two times I saw this, I couldn't watch the direction at all; I was too entranced with the story. It was absolutely unforgettable, seeing this; it was like reading a book with three senses instead of one. I can't explain how wonderful it was, even though I was terrified for the first half of the movie (the beginning, with the hand-to-hand battle, scared the crap out of me) and I had to go see it again so that I could remember the whole thing. Seeing this was just...I really can't even describe it, what it was like to see and feel the story itself. That has never happened to me before or since. I could watch this movie forever.

Which five people are you passing the baton to and why? I'm a rebel; I'm breaking the chain. (Truth is, I haven't the social currency to pass this to anyone. But I'd love it if one of the lurkers - the entry-less - who has friended this journal would respond to this. I, at least, want to know more about you than just your excellent taste in friends.)

Fic: The Cetacean Situation (dS, NC-17)

Happy Birthday, lynnmonster! This is for you.

Title: The Cetacean Situation
Authors: littera_abactor and norah.
Fandom: Due South; this is a crossover of sorts with Spider-Man (comics, second movie) and Ultimate X-Men. Don't look for canon accuracy here, though.
Rating: NC-17
littera_abactor wrote the ends
norah wrote the middle
And they both rewrote it all.
But lynnmonster deserves all the blame. She started it.
Thanks: To dine, fanofall, and raveninthewind for beta reading above and beyond the call of duty. We love you guys, and we promise the next one will be slightly less crack-ridden, OK?

Collapse )

Fic: The Art of the Deal (SG-1)

Title: The Art of the Deal (note new title!)
Author: Littera Abactor
Fandom: Stargate
Rating: PG-13. Ish.
Author's Note: This is dedicated to Resonant, but she doesn't know me from Adam and is not responsible for any of it. It's just a mark of my esteem for her. Among other things.
Spoilers: Are you kidding?
Feedback: Please.

Collapse )