Dendrophilia and Other Social Taboos
Dani Burlison is fascinated with the weird shit people are into and is into some fairly weird shit herself. She also has a keen eye for inappropriate and outlandish behavior. A California native, rooted in what is arguably the most New Age vortex of the universe in all its entirety, she is regularly exposed to poor boundaries, pioneering alternative healing modalities, questionable self-help practices, cults and so much more. Dani utilizes her master’s level education in Consciousness Studies to explore a variety of situations and philosophies—legitimate and complete hallucinogen-induced hogwash—for Dendrophila and Other Social Taboos.
Eminem Sex Dreams Decoded.
In the thick of the 8 Mile era, he appears out of nowhere, rescuing me from a pretentious hipster bar. Lanky twenty-somethings sipping two dollar PBRs in their nicotine-soaked white belt adorned skinny jeans avoid eye contact while slouching over bar stools. The room is a thick dark cloud of off-putting pheromones and swollen egos. I grow increasingly restless. A friend excuses herself, stumbling outside with a shaggy-haired bass player and he approaches, politely asking to sit down.
“My name is…” he mumbles, while the indie rock band whines from the stage.
“I know your name,” I say, welcoming the attention. “Sit down.”
We discuss politics, genetic engineering and needle exchange programs. He invites me to a private screening of a factory farming documentary back at his San Francisco hotel room. Tugging at his baggy trousers, he leads me out of the bar.
Back at the hotel, his passionate rant about dismantling the racist prison industrial complex lures me, without hesitation, into the hotel bed, which is stacked with handmade quilts. “I made those myself,” he says.
Eminem is a closet quilter. I am so putting out.
He’s just aggressive enough to keep me pleased without hurting me in ways that I don’t want to be hurt. His hands are smooth and strong, save for the calluses where the mic is usually firmly grasped. But on this night, my night of an unbridled sexcapade, tangled up in Eminem’s hand-sewn rag quilts, the only thing in his hand is my body. Every single naughty bit of it.
As the sun rises, he serves the best organic orange juice ever and asks if I can stay another night. “I have season four of Sex and the City,” he says, brushing the hair from my eyes. “I love it when Samantha explores her sexuality with that amazing Brazilian artist, Maria. Love should see no boundaries. Let’s hold each other and watch it.”
He rubs my feet with Ayurvedic sesame oil, leading his hands to all sorts of glorious places on my ravaged body. He makes sweet tender love to me—with the expected intermittent Eminem-style stamina and welcomed throw down—over and over and over again. And again.
I leave the following morning to meet a friend for breakfast. As I dash nutmeg atop my steamed chai, I notice that he, Eminem, is standing in the corner of the cafe, smiling. “I miss you already,” he mouths from across the room.
I approach him. He hands over poetry and sketches of boats and hearts he’s scrawled across his napkins. “These are for you. I’ll never forget you.” He looks down, pulls up his drawers and walks away.
I know, Eminem. It feels so empty without me.
He shows up again, repeatedly, over the next ten years. He’s always a gentleman, always an animal—sometimes a kitten, sometimes a tiger—in the sack. We meet at airports, on road trips, at campgrounds, in waiting rooms at the veterinarian office. And once in the parking lot at Whole Foods where he carried so many bottles of so much fresh juice. Ten years of the best sex of my life. With Eminem. While I am asleep. Why not Leonard Cohen or Margaret Cho or Mark Wahlberg’s character in I Heart Huckabees? Eminem is so upset. And isn’t it wrong for a feminist to really, really enjoy sex dreams with some dude who, well, hates everyone, everywhere except his kids and Dr. Dre?
What does it all mean?
After shying away from asking my Certified Dream Analyst for insight, I did some research on my own. Here’s what some of the experts say:
Freud: If the dream had a ton of penis action already, then maybe Eminem has a pipe in his pants and I need that game piece to play Clue. But that’s a different type of pipe. Maybe I should still look in his pants. Also, the rooms where we always have sex symbolize wombs. I should probably ask my mom but maybe Eminem is my brother. If he is, Freud would still want me to have sex with him, I think.
Jung: It’s quite obvious that Slim Shady personifies the shadow archetype. Maybe that’s why I keep having sex with him in dark, shadowy places. Is he my animus? Do I want to have more sex with myself? Maybe Eminem’s shadow side is vegan and shops at Whole Foods. Maybe I just need a glass of fresh juice.
Laura Ingalls Wilder: I have a lot in common with Eminem. And if good friends are hard to find, maybe Eminem and I should enjoy life on a prairie somewhere. All of our kids would love it.
Radical activist view: Internalized sexism. I hate myself and my girly bits. Maybe I don’t care as much about the world as everyone thinks. Maybe deep down I hate women as much as he seems to. Shit. I need to take back the night and challenge oppression. In bed with Eminem. And then cancel my subscription to Ms.
My therapist: What do I think it means?
Power animal: Maybe Eminem is my power animal. I’m not sure what Eminem’s native elders think his power animal is, but since he was born in the Year of the Rat, I say it’s a rat. The rat is the first animal in Chinese astrology. Maybe Eminem is like an angry Adam and I am his sex-crazed Eve and together we can rule the world. Kind of like Wonder Twins. Or maybe it isn’t a rat but a rabbit. Rabbits indicate lots of sex, which leads me back to Freud, and me needing to have sex with Eminem, who might be my brother.
Runes (translated to Norwegian): I thought about my dreams and threw some stones. They read: Marshall elsker du og han ønsker å holde deg varm med hans rage. It’s cold in Norway.
Christian view: He needs to be saved. Maybe my life purpose is to smolder Marshall’s seething anger with a big, fierce, naked hug. Maybe I need to find God and if I do, maybe he’ll lead me to a San Francisco hotel room where I can drink juice. I’m really thirsty.
Annie Lennox: Sweet dreams are indeed, made of these. Maybe Eminem and I want to use and abuse each other. I think we can heal each other. It might be really good for us. Really.
Male friends: You need to stop dating crazy angry guys. You’re gonna end up in a trunk.
Female friends: You date wimps. You need to hit that shit. I bet he’s actually a really nice guy.
Yoda: If the dark side clouds everything then maybe Eminem’s dark public persona just casts a shadow over his sensitive, spiritual side. Maybe I should take him to yoga. And then go out for juice. And watch Star Wars.
Joseph Campbell: If dreamtime leads us to permanent fixtures in our psyches then maybe Eminem is a part of me, like a twin, and contrary to Freud’s wishes, we shouldn’t have sex because that would be incest or something and I’m pretty sure incest is illegal, especially for twins. Also, Campbell says dreams support our conscious lives so maybe Eminem is my sugar daddy and I should just ask him to support me and buy me the house he offered up in my 6th dream about him.
Oprah: If living my best life means that it doesn’t get better than sex dreams about Eminem than maybe I should leave it at that and not have sex with him. Maybe I’d end up on fire. Or in his trunk. With no juice. I wouldn’t like that.
Confucius: “What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” Maybe Eminem lost something in that first dream and he keeps coming back for sex because he’s trying to find it in my pants. Maybe I need an X-ray so I can find it for him and send it in the mail so the dreams stop.
Wizardry and other assorted magic. Namely, the wisdom of Albus Dumbledore: If it does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live, then I think that maybe Dumbledore thinks the only way to make sense of the dreams is to live this all out, either through sex with Eminem or with a stand-in or body double or what have you. Dumbledore also says that happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light. Slim Shady needs to come to the light, I think. And I think the light is in my pants and in his pants, too. But what does Dumbledore know? He got smoked by Snape. Maybe he don’t know shit.
Eminem: I think he’s reaching out to me, telepathically, and that maybe he’d see this as an opportunity to seize everything he ever wanted and have sex with me. And that I am his portal to show the world that he’s socially conscious and is a really gifted quilter and he needs me to help him set up some quilting classes through an adult education program. Or maybe I’m just more thirsty than I realize and I do, in fact, need some juice.
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