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excerpt from Chapter 7: Strange Little Girls

"I'm Not in Love"

I'm not a sexual creature. I guess when I play the music, yes. But before, I'd have to become all these people to even entertain pleasure, what with the guilt and the shame. I've been struggling my whole life to bring the two Marys into the same body, the Magdalene and the Mother Mary. When you're exploring some of the hidden parts of yourself, it does excite you and you're driven to certain fantasies. But in my mind, I had to work through certain things that were scary -- like being the young girl. That can get really dangerous if someone doesn't know how to deal with that.

Of course, I'm not necessarily like that right now in my life. One thing about the relationship I have now is that my husband isn't interested. He's like, "You know what, Taz? If you need to go into your little girl thing, we need to go and have an ice cream. I'll go and have an ice cream with you, but I'm not playing this out. If you want to explore this, it's fine, but not in this way. You need to call your shrink and it'll all be okay." I'm very lucky. And I realize that's what power is, not using a situation where you could exploit. Erotica, to me, is very different now. What is erotic to me? Feeling safe. Feeling respected. Feeling like a tiny, tiny, tiny, miniature earth.

Now that I've become a mom, things that make me feel sensual as a woman and towards a man are, "Is he safe? Is he a safe place where I could leave my daughter and turn my back?" I didn't used to think about it like this. Before, sometimes it was this power-sexual-domination dance, which I explore a little bit in "I'm Not in Love."

It's that dark power dance. I wanted it to be almost like an ancient Japanese dance, like a ritual dance. So I stripped the keyboards off and it became all about the vocal. It's ironic that this has been the ultimate slow dance for teenagers in love for years. The singer is really super-cynical, and the lyrics show a superiority complex that doesn't know its equal in pop music. He just has a hard-on and looks down on the girl he sings about. I think that the men from 10CC were deeply on coke at the time, because this is real cocaine arrogance. Plus the arrogance from a pop star that has hundreds of girls down at his feet and can say, "Alright, you can give me a blow job, but don't you dare think I care about you."

In my song it's different. "You're not in love? Well, neither am I, sucker! You want to play that one? Let's go." There will be a loser. Every five minutes. That might be fun for a while. Until it's not any more. Until the pounding and the scrapes begin to really hurt. The damage is done. He says, "So don't forget it." He says, "It's just a silly phase I'm going through." It's manipulation. It's BDSM -- bondage, domination, sadomasochism. My husband keeps on asking, "But, Taz, can't that just mean something like the British Drivers' School of Motoring?"

My character in "I'm Not in Love" is a little fetish girl -- she's into BDSM. It's all about power with her. And she's not really in love; she really isn't. She was at one time and she's having a different adventure in life. She will walk down many roads. There's a real power-as-aphrodisiac thing going on for her. Women can get really turned on by power. It was fun being a brunette, like dark, dark hair. It gives you an attitude. Some male musicians didn't want to play on the track. I just said, "Boys, no problem, calm down, I'll call you again when we're doing Neil Young."

I have traversed those areas of power as an aphrodisiac in those kinds of relationships and, God, it was devouring. Role-playing and all that madness, which is part of life, I guess. Part of growing up. Power meant something different to me then. And I don't think it was safe. Because, say, I would take myself into places that could have been offensive to my soul, taking a fantasy too far, where you think, "This is dangerous, and I'm taking a hit here," meaning, "What have I opened up?" or, "What am I playing out? What's in me that needs to be treated like this?"

I've been on that path, but on both sides of it. By choice and not by choice, because I could walk out without getting murdered. I'm talking about a kind of kidnapping that happens in a relationship where you lose control without realizing it, from Tuesday to Tuesday, and then you think, "I didn't know I'd just given away a section of myself." But then, after some time, I'd look up and think, "Look what you've given away." You know, you can talk yourself into almost anything with a man. You can think, "I'm strong enough, I'm empowered, I can live with it," and then you realize you're just another scalp on this person's belt.

In high school, I looked outside myself for approval. When you look to the opposite sex, it is game over -- you are in hell. And that's why, later in life, I took myself on a date. I literally took myself out on a date. The male side, the animus, took the female side of me out. I took a walk on the beach and I think we even went out to dinner. I giggled. And we made love. And I began to like myself as a female much more. Because the animus inside me saw things in my woman that some of the guys of the same age at the time were not looking at.

It wasn't about how I fit into a pair of jeans. There had to be a balance about feeling good about my health and self -- it's a holistic thing. But I didn't realize the sexiness of soul. Where's the investment of soul currency? Women put a lot of energy into who their man is, what their job is, what stuff they've got. But what if you strip that back and try to understand that those are just things? I don't see a lot of time being put into secrets and shadows and things that live inside our souls -- those treasures.

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