I considered leaving the URL at the original, just to show you how close I was;
Why I’ve pulled my most controversial book from being published
The only reason I didn’t finish that blogpost was because I had to leave. It frustrated me. I was eager to finalize the decision as soon as possible. I would throw the manuscript Big, about my affair with a married man and everything I learned along the way, back into the virtual drawer from which it came, and get on with the other seven books of the Wait Worth 8. Those were all written years ago. Even the erotica I may have been embarrassed about at the time, didn’t trigger any emotions or shame anymore. I could easily read, explain and defend the first seven books I had written since leaving my long term relationship.
I had stepped out of my relationship, age 34, to build a successful life being single and to conquer my fears. Or to start dating men that excited me, despite of those fears. The seven books were also about Benjamin, who was a novel character in book one, and a muse in all the other belated “coming-of-age” diaries. The thought of dropping the final book freed up a lot of energy. Not only would I not have to deal with the feeling of danger and anxiety, attached to that last book. I had also cleared up my messaging. From something that was still secret, controversial and ambiguous, to two story lines that had been rounded up for years; me becoming single and the story of my muse Benjamin.
The only thing that bugged me, as I cycled to my appointment, was that I had not been able to finish the blogpost to put Big into a deep comatose sleep, from which I would wake it when the time was right. Big would be kissed awake after I knew how the story had ended, the situation was under control and the content had lost its ability to unexpectedly blow up in my face.
Until it started to dawn on me that something about the whole situation of me running away and saying no to anxiety, dismantling danger and planning away uncertainty, was terribly familiar.
I had been here before.
When Mister Big had shown interest in me, and I had refused in no uncertain terms that I would never get involved with him because he oozed danger. Not a violent sort of a danger. A manipulative, charming quality, that could cut through your defenses like butter, and leave your heart open and bare.
Until I realized that this was The One. The lover I could only have if I would conquer all my fears. He would be my ultimate test and prize at the same time. I would only be able to enjoy him, if I had control over the desire to be reassured, and over the urge to root out any danger.
There was no room for that.
Big did offer something else. And I think it’s important to explain what makes him, just like a lot of other “bad guys” so irresistible; he offered desire. He wanted me and he did not accept my rejection. It was clear from the start, that he would charm, wait and tease for as long as it would take for me to change my mind. He was such a powerful suitor compared to the majority of men who don’t have the confidence to carry themselves, and don’t have the talent to remain unmoved by a rejection. Even if I had not been on an eight year quest for an exciting lover, his desire for me, and his ability to stand the heat, would probably have won me over anyway. Even if I had wanted a committed guy in order to get married, something he would never offer, I would have changed my plans right then and there.
And I think a lot of women would be with me on that.
To be loved by a strong man, is one of the most empowering experiences in the world. And any woman already aware of her own power, and tired of downplaying herself, will be attracted to the alpha male like a Queen Bee to honey.
I’m not talking gold digging here. Gold diggers are women who are in it for the status and the financial gain. A Queen Bee is a strong woman who feels excited because a man can stand her strength. He is irresistible to her because he is her equal.
There is a Dutch journalist Heleen Mees, and she was pointed out to me, as someone who more than likely played at that level too. That the reason she dated a banker was not because she was interested in his money, although yes, money and power were his weapons of control. The reason the two excited each other was because she could defend herself, or attack him, with the pen and the media. It was literally the mating of dragons, that would only last for as long as they had a shared agenda. But she could destroy him, and he could destroy her. And I think it was this equality that made it such an exciting journey for both. I seriously doubt if she has stepped down her game. Maybe he did, because he was already more, let’s call it “drunk with power”, when they met. She was the newbie to play at that level. And although he won all legal battles, it has cost him and his family their privacy, and years of what could have been a peaceful family life. He overplayed his hand. My guess is he will never start something with a woman like that again. Whereas she? I can’t see her stepping down her game. She’s probably with the next banker already, who longs for a worthy opponent.
I realize that by bringing in Heleen Mees – and I could also refer you to Sharon Stone aka Catherine Tramell in Basic Instinct I and II – I’m not exactly playing the sympathy card here. And until a few days ago I would never have seen myself as a thrill seeker in any any way. I view myself as someone with a weak nervous system, haunted by fears and insecurities. I praise myself for having harmonious relationships. I can’t remember ever fighting a battle with someone I love. I protect the marriage of my lover, and his secret that he’s seeing me, as if it was my own. And I would never involve his family into any disputes we would have.
So unlike Catherine Tramell, who kills you when she’s done with you, or Heleen Mees, who will ruin your life, my personality is absolutely different to theirs in the sense that I can’t see myself actually doing harm.
And here’s the but.
The thought that I have that power, and that he needs to behave and can’t afford to screw me over? Of course I need that. I’m not going to fall in love, and give my whole heart and emotional commitment without knowing that there is some kind of safety net here.
It’s not that I intend to have “revenge” if he dumps me. Not at all. Part of me even longs for that, because at least my life would be a whole lot easier, and I can finally have a breather. Sometimes I do feel all this secrecy is taking a toll I can’t afford for much longer.
So no fucking way I would make him “pay” when he breaks up.
But to have the weapons pen, blog, and book? That’s basic equipment when you’re dealing with dragons. Otherwise I know beforehand I’m gonna be toast.
And then there was something else. Although I can feel the burden of being a secret mistress, and I still don’t know if my nervous system really is up for the job, at the same time I don’t feel anything when I think of a man being devoted to me, and choosing monogamously for me and then expecting me to be thrilled about that. Under those circumstances I figuratively speaking, can’t get it up. I am now the mistress of a dragon, and yes I could marry a dragon, or have a one-on-one relationship with a dragon.
But the thought of the dragon being downsized to a harmless pet iguana, and then me being thrilled with my new pet? Not going to happen.
So over the years I’ve learned that although I’m not as aggressive as Catherine Tramell, or Heleen Mees, I do need that thrill of a real dragon. I simply don’t feel any excitement unless there is danger and secrecy attached to it.
I remember when I told Big that I liked the idea of him seeing other women, he said with disgust; “You mean, like we would have an open relationship or something?”
And I assured him I would never propose such an unsavory agreement. Because an open relationship lacks the secrecy, the excitement of the forbidden. The risk that neither one of us can ever be certain that I will be okay with Big cheating. That I will really love it as much as I think I do. I saw a photo on Twitter the other day with a woman smelling a man’s naked crotch, and the text;
“The thought of you coming home smelling of another woman is so fucking hot.”
And my knees got weak just thinking about how good that would feel. Not because we would have an open relationship, and Big would tell me all about his affairs. But because Big would tell me just what I wanted to hear to get me excited. He would know exactly how to work that cheating character trait of his, which I think is intrinsically him. Not the result of his wife not being the right one or anything like that. It would spice up our sex life and keep me interested for a lifetime.
So as much as I can feel the strain of danger, secrecy and uncertainty, I know I need it. The danger of the dragon excites me and there is just no way a pet iguana is ever going to do it for me.
The whole process took me two years. From me running away from Big, to expecting and hoping he would leave his wife, to me fully embracing my role as a mistress and protecting the current status quo like a hawk.
And it’s all on paper in a book called Big. I’ve already published
part 1 The Affair, erotica
part 2 The Virgin Diaries
part 3 Trickster is currently under review. It’s the only part I wrote offline, and has never been edited as seriously as I do when I post a blogpost. So it needs a terrible amount of work. Good news is the whole painstaking experience will ensure I won’t be writing offline ever again, because it is driving me bonkers to go over such a large piece over and over again.
part 4 and 5 are The 100 Day Tutelage of Hsi Lai and the final part of my erotica.
And then the book is finished.
As part of my daily journaling routine I made a list of goals I wanted to accomplish, and reasons why I would not achieve those goals. Which negative beliefs did I have about achieving them, that could lead to me to sabotage myself?
The goal “Publish my eight books” came up with a daunting list of bad things that would happen, including getting stalked, losing Big and getting killed. This shocked me and I made an attempt to pinpoint where these existential fears came from. I analyzed they were all linked to the eighth book. They were all related to Big. All the other books were such a long time ago. I couldn’t even be bothered if people responded overly critical or took it out on me personally.
But book eight was a different story. Book eight was alive. Book eight was an untamed dragon whose character I didn’t know yet, but who would set fire to my life the moment someone stepped on its tail, or rubbed his scales the wrong way. Bringing this dragon into the public eye, meant both spectators as well as the dragon could get hurt, or could be killed. In every and all ways, it would be a stressful experience for me. Something I wouldn’t be able to cope with.
So that’s when I made the decision to pull book eight back from publishing. In a few years it would be just as harmless as book 1-7. It would be declawed, and would listen to my command. People would be able to admire its beauty without coming in armed and eager to fight me. Or us. I was absolutely certain I had made the right choice to pull Big from being published. Pity I didn’t have time to finish the blogpost announcing its retreat.
Until two things suddenly dawned on me. First thing was I was making a decision based on fear. Fear is a questionable adviser under all circumstances but especially in this particular case. I had ran away from being single until I was 34, because it scared me. I had ran away from Big because he scared me. And those two fears had been the primary indicator I was onto something huge. Something fundamental for my personal growth. That even if I would become successful in every other way, I would always know I had missed my true calling by running away from those two things that scared me. I could feel the first signs of an anxiety attack just thinking about having sex as a single. Or just thinking about having sex with someone as Big. I never thought I would have the nerve to do it.
And yet I knew it was especially because of that, that I had to do it! These fears were like dragons; mighty and potentially lethal beasts. But also rare and the strongest allies you could wish for. I wanted to make my peace with them. If I would learn to trust and befriend my fears, I would be able to fly. I was certain of it. Nothing would compare to that feeling of invincibility. Especially not staying safely on the ground.
And that’s when I recognized him. That’s when I saw book eight Big, was my third dragon. And his lethal power wasn’t hiv, the thing that had scared me most about being single. It wasn’t a broken heart and an emotional melt down, which was the risk I ran with Big every day. The third dragon itself was not even the real danger, since I was now an experienced dragon rider. I knew how to handle him, even though I was still excited by the novelty of it.
The risk of the third dragon was the response others would have to him. And to me, keeping me responsible for creating him or for bringing him in.
I could be slayed by public opinion for choosing the side of the dragon and I could be expelled by Mister Big because he didn’t want such dangerous animal near himself and his family. I didn’t fear the book itself. My fears were based on what other people would think of me. For having the heart to publish a book about an affair that is still a breathing living thing, with people, and emotions, and whole families involved.
World famous performance artist Marina Abramovic once said;
“Always choose the project that scares you most.”
And boy, was she right!
From an artistic point of view, book 8 is THE ONE! And if I had to choose, I would have to drop book 1-7 because I have no emotional attachment to them anymore. They’re more relics of a lost era, than art. They were art then. When I wasn’t ready to bring them to the public eye because they still hurt, and they still had risks and embarrassing emotions tied to them.
With me pulling book eight back, almost forcefully as if I literally couldn’t wait to get rid of it, it became clear that this book was the artist’s choice. This was the one Marina would favor immediately. Marina, as a performance artist, understood much more than the average writer that something was not art unless it scared the fuck out of you.
Big, erotica and diaries, book eight of the Wait Worth eight, still scares the fuck out of me. It could bite me in the ass so hard, it would really hurt or damage me for life. But I m choosing it with all my heart. And in doing so it will be published, with the rest of them.
No more hiding. No more apologies. No more self-sabotage.
And enter the dragon.
I ll publish part 3,4, and 5 soon. Subscribe to my private list, if you re interested in buying my books at a discount as soon as they’re done. I m also starting a Wait Worth 8 reading course, where we all read the books together – for free if you like – and I provide extra background stories, make videos and just generally spice the whole experience up for you.
The Wait Worth 8 reading marathon (better title definitely required) will also be hosted through the private list.