When i was around twelve years old erotic feelings came into my life. Masturbation was my secret pastime during the evenings. I loved doing it. I lied on my belly and and rubbed against the sheet. I still remember the orgasms. They were wonderful.
My first kiss was on Tenerife on holiday. In the moonlight on a beach. We had sat in a disco. My holiday friend was kissing this other guy and i felt completely embarrassed. When we left the disco and went to the beach, he kissed me. Woah. After the holiday he came along, all the way from Blackpool, England. I remember buying a XTC record, Black sea, when we visited the record store Plato. I also remember my mum telling me he had said to her he didn’t get it why i went to the gymnasium, the Dutch highest level high school. I would get married anyway? Sorry Jim, you shouldn’t have said that! Bye bye!
Back at school i developed a crush on Marc. We went out one time. I didn’t say a word! We didn’t go out after that. Duh. And he got back together with his former girlfriend. But i did fall in love, and we did get this sort of intermittent thing. We did kiss on the exams night when we set up tents on the school ground. And there was more kissing on other evenings. We never went all the way. Not for lack of trying. It just didn’t happen. We both went to Delft to study. But there it was left to fade away. And then i left Delft and went to the Rotterdam art school after four years. Never to see him again.
At sixteen i got on to the pill. Together with my mum i went to our doctor. Periods were giving me lots of pain. The doctor suggested that the pill would be a good option for me. So for the next five years i was having no trouble with periods and protected from getting pregnant at the same time! Not that i was having sex. When i was around twenty-one twenty-two, i decided i would quit the pill. I wasn’t having any sex anyway, and i would see how my periods were going. It was alright. Maybe i was getting a bit fiercer and the periods simply didn’t bother me that much anymore. Or maybe they were getting less painful. I didn’t know. The thought of taking these hormones each day was not a pleasant one. The pill was out!
In Delft, I do remember sitting with a friend, Marcel, in his room. Later on he said he was surprised there was no attraction between us. I do know that i simply wasn’t thinking about sex with him at all. I just liked him. No other guys attracted me in Delft. Well, apart from this gorgeous guy whom i only stared at in the college room. That got to nothing at all, of course.
I did meet another guy in a pub Dizzy. I went out alone. I actually said i to Rens was feeling recalcitrant. We had a long talk. Not sure it was that same evening or later, but i also do remember going out to McDonalds with him and having a long long talk about all sorts of things. He asked me to come to his place and have dinner. So i did. And then we tried to have sex, but sadly no. I couldn’t go along with it, it just didn’t feel sexy at all. It did pain me to say it, but that is what i did. He was a bit upset. I did stay and sleep over, the next day we had breakfast together. And that was it.
Rotterdam. Where i lived from December 1985. School started in August 1986. I had a talk with a teacher in a pub. He asked me what i really really wanted. For someone to really love me, i answered. I meant it. A friend pulled me away from him and i went home. A week later, in his class, he was sitting there with a his face turning red. We never talked about it. He was having sex with other students. Not for me.
No other boys at art school got me interested. Or girls. I was thinking that maybe i was lesbian. But i simply didn’t fall in love with a girl. I did have best friends. I believed. After art school, from where i graduated in 1991, me and a friend organized an exhibition about sex, Sexposition. It was in the Fabriek, a squatted old factory with studio’s and a large exhibit room, in the west part of Rotterdam, close to the Delfshaven tube station.
We worked on it for a year. We got a subsidy. Marlies Dekkers showed her exam work. We also organized an evening of sex, with art work, a lingerie show, some singing and other things happening. It was sold out. All that time, i never had gotten any sex myself.
The evening of the show, i went out with a small group afterwards. We went to Tudor bar on the Nieuwe Binnenweg. I went to this place so many times in the 80s. At the end of the evening this guy named Bart asked me to go to his home with him. And i said yes! He had a waterbed! Man, that was a surprise when i stepped into it. We made out. No sex though, grrr. I fell in love a bit, but nothing happened. I think a few days or weeks later i went by and we talked a little, but no, nothing.
Around christmas 1992 i gave a dinner party at my place. I read a story to a couple of my friends. Ben, a friend of a friend, was there too. A few weeks later, at new years eve, we started to kiss.
So yes, a couple of days after that Ben asked me to have dinner at his place. I stayed the night. Not completely sure of the timings here (it’s been 22 years!), but we did have sex around that time. What i do remember is that we tried and the first time it didn’t go. But when he was asleep and i was awake, i went to him and started kissing and he woke up and yes, then it happened. For the first time. I was 28 years.
We were together for like two, three months. He gave me one of his works, a foamy yellowish cast of a painting. It still hangs in my house. Then we broke up. We were not in love. We liked each other, but that was it.
Well, i knew that. But still, it was a lot for me to come to terms with. And i got a fever. I was sick for a week. A close friend Femke took me out to the Veluwe, a national park in the center of the Netherlands. We walked and talked. I was not feeling good.
I didn’t see Ben for many years. Only later, when i bumped into him at a friends house and i was too surprised to not say hi, i realized he is just a nice guy. Now when i see him, once every two three years, we can do some small talk.
A 1997 i started to work on lfs.nl. Or rather, home.luna.nl/~ellen. In July 1998 i got an e-mail from Jeroen, ‘hulde! prachtige site!’ (‘honour! beautiful site!’). A friendship started. With Jeroen who also lives in Rotterdam, of all places. And i fell in love. And he did not. With me anyway. I have some e-mails in which we talked about it. We were outspoken and honest with each other. But no, it wasn’t going to be. No no no.
Reading those e-mails, thinking back about those days, i do see now i was so serious, nice, but also close to impossible. It reminds me of the thoughts i have about myself while i was in art school. I see now i was very closed up. Nothing the teachers said to me really got through. I was like this knot all tied up.
I came closer to the dark years. The years of not working on lfs. Of me trying to get away from it all. Of me playing warcraft. Of me not seeing anyone. Of me going though the motions. Everything seemed to be coming to a full stop, while time was running onwards.
Looking back at it, the first half of last year, 2014, was the ultimate full stop.
I talked about it with a friend, and he came with this job offer later on. In August i started working there.
I’m not sure what happened. I felt like i was hit by a sledgehammer. It was a short crush on this person which felt very strange to me. Which i could switch off rather easily once i realized that he was married.
I started to work on lfs.nl again. After 8 years. I started to daydream. And i felt aroused. I felt alive again, which was a really good feeling.
So now i’m here. March 2015. My sixth week of working on ellenpronk.com. I still feel that sledge hammer hit me when was it? September 2014? October 2014? I still feel the energy inside waiting to be pulled out and used.
Looking back at my life. It does feel like completely mine. I’m truly happy with that. Nothing really bad has ever happened to me.
I will take my steps into the future. I have said it before, i gotta stay close to what i want, deep inside. I managed that so far, i hope i will keep on doing that.