The Sexual Angle
As a sexual person, and one who is open about it, I have ample opportunity to consider the world from this angle. I write about it a lot too, which helps me to think about it with a clarity that I might not have otherwise. In the last week, I have considered:
It is my belief that the less you allow the above bullshit to effect you, the better your sex life will be. Why? Because the above bullshit really doesn't matter. Well, women having control over their bodies matters greatly, but suspend your emotional reaction for a moment so I may get to my point. What I mean is, if you go through life in a conscious way, you don't have to buy into the crap that organizations, religions, political systems or marketing campaigns try to push on you.
This stuff, this bullshit, is all fear--based, and you know what a great sex life is void of? Fear. Fear strangles sex on almost every level. How many people are willing to openly admit that they want sex, they want that connection, they feel better about life in general when they are actively engaging in sexual activities of one sort or another? Not many people I know can speak openly about it, much less ask for it.
Much of our motivation comes from our desire for sex, for love, for connection. But our fear around it, around asking for it, around appearing to need it keeps us in the dark. See no sex, hear no sex, speak no sex is the way we behave in the world, when below the surface, sex is what feeds us.
My mom was not what you would call the ideal parent, but she was incredibly wise. About some things. When I was about twelve, she asked me a question that made me feel awkward and embarrassed at the time, but stuck with me. We had taken out Our Bodies Our Selves for about the fiftieth time and she was once again explaining to me how my body is my temple, the ways in which I can enjoy it, and so on. I of course did not want to talk about it. I kept telling her to stop. She became frustrated and asked me how I could have sex if I couldn't even talk about it. I responded with "I am twelve." She came back with, "you won't be twelve forever."
Maybe inappropriate, but she was doing her best to prepare me for a sexual life, a life of pleasure, a life free from the bullshit society puts on you if you are openly and gleefully engaging in a sexual relationship or two and happen to be a woman. As I grew, I slowly started to realize that she was right. Sex is awesome. In fact, I loved it so much I would often do crazy things to get it. But there was always some shame behind it. I felt like it had to be a secret that I loved sex, lest I be labeled a whore, a slut, a strumpet.....oh, wait. Yeah. That stuff all happened. And it kind of fucked me up. It put me off an openly sexual lifestyle for a very long time. But I came back.
And so can you. I am not saying that you necessarily live in shame, you might not. But consider that you might just enjoy sex more if you can do it without having to pretend that you do not. The more you can own your sexuality, the more you can be proud of the sexual life you live, no matter what it looks like, the better your sex will be. I am not saying that everyone is equally sexually driven. I am aware that sexuality in individuals is as different as hair and eye color combinations.
But consider that no matter what color eyes a person has, you still accept them as human. The addition of their hair color does not make them any less of a person. It is the same with sexuality, and it is time that we all start behaving as if it is a natural and healthy part of the human existence. Shit, it is one of the best things about human existence.
You know how you feel after you have sex? That feeling that you can do anything? Like everything is right with the world? That is because sex is good for the body, mind, and spirit. Sex is good for what ails you. Ask anyone who has read The Joy of Sex. That book is a veritable bible on the many ways a healthy sex life can improve your entire existence.
The next time you are being shamed by an individual or an organization for the sex that you have, do the best and most healthy thing you can; don't give a fuck. The people who would have you feel ashamed for your sexuality are the very same people who are ashamed of their own, and they are trying to pass on the shame virus to you. Do not be a shame carrier. Inoculate yourself by hanging with people who do not shame you for your sexual life, talk with people who are themselves proud of the sexual life they live.
Or, start with this exercise: consider the world without good sex. What does that world look like? Are the colors as bright? Is there more conflict? Are people more prone to argument? Consider how you behave when you have not had sex for a while, then compare it to how you behave after a great session of morning sex, afternoon sex, or evening sex.
Ain't no shame in that.
Start small with your eye on the big picture. Don't let anyone tell you that sex is bad, or shameful, or inappropriate. Think about how your world is transformed with great sex in it. Accept people's sexual lives as a natural and healthy part of a normal existence. Accept your desire for sex as a sign that you yourself are a healthy human. Live your life as if your confidence, health, and courage springs from your healthy sexual experience. You will find it easier to find sex, have sex, and ultimately, enjoy sex.
Didja like this? Were you amused, entertained or outraged? Share it with a friend and see what happens. Or email me and give me a piece of your mind. I am always interested in hearing from not so like minded people.
Dating as a Spiritual Practice.
It is a very lucky thing to be able to date several men at once, and have the opportunity to date more as the need arises. While some people may label this type of behavior in a negative way, I believe that going out on a date with someone is one of the best ways to get to know yourself.
It all started with my project, 20 dates in 20 weekends, when I began to understand the value of the date, the value in really listening to another person, and maybe catching a glimpse of the world through their eyes.
It was one of the darkest times in my life; I was on the edge of deciding to call it a day and just wait for death's approach in a small and uninspired apartment on the edge of Portland, at a job I hated, with two cats I openly resented.
Then, out of the blue the idea came to me. Go on dates with complete strangers and try to get my life back. Not conventional, but I thought, worth a try. It was a risk. I lost friends over it. But at the end of twenty weeks, I had gained myself back, and this very small beginning was an important step that would open up for me later on in life. I had no idea, but I was on the path to a life of absolute liberation.
I actually grew to love dating. Not because it always worked out for me, but because it gave me experiences through which to struggle. In order to handle the rejection and ultimate un-predictability, I had to really connect with myself, I had to know that whatever was going on outside of me was okay, that I would be just fine no matter what type of strange man I might happen to be interacting with. Over time, dating ultimately became a spiritual practice.
There was one down side. Whenever I started a relationship with someone, that practice had to end. I always felt a little sad when I knew the dating was going away. I liked the relationship, but felt ultimately that I was giving up a bigger opportunity in favor of a specific type of comfort.
After several relationships did not work out, I decided that I would be single for the rest of my life, just so that I could keep dating, keep connecting with people on this very important and sincere level. Then, several years later, someone asked me to be his girlfriend, and I really wanted to, but I just couldn't. I didn't want to give up what I had come to know and love as my dating life. But he offered me something no one else had. He offered an open relationship. I had never considered it before, thought it was a fringe lifestyle and dismissed it without knowing. He offered the opportunity for a commitment with the opportunity to date within it. I figured, why not?
That was rougly ten months ago, and while I cannot say it has been the easiest change I have ever made in my life, it has been the most challenging, the most rewarding, and the most revealing. Within this relationship, I get to work on stuff I never would have had I decided to remain single, had I decided to go with a traditional type of closed relationship.
I am not writing this in order to persuade. But what I have found is that meeting people and developing genuine connections with them is something that has brought great joy to my life. I am much more outgoing, more comfortable in my own skin, and in general, more grounded and confident. I am also more open, and the relationship I am in is a more honest one than I have ever been in.
Will this last forever? Hard to know, hard to say, but it does feel like an evolution. It feels like my path is taking me to places I did not know existed,
Dating is part of a larger spiritual practice where I can wrestle with my insecurities, my doubts, and the stories that I tell myself. It is the place I can question everything. It is the place I can keep my options open. It is the place where I can keep finding myself, where I keep surprising myself. It can be great, it can be horrible, it can be liberating and it can be confining. I am finding, more than anything, that it is what I allow it to be, and that is something I never realized I could do. I never realized that I could have this kind of adventure of a life.
A lot of people hate dating, they can't wait to find someone so they don't have to do it anymore. Me? I hope it never ends. I hope I never lose access to that deeper side of men. That is a beautiful place. I am lucky to be there and grateful to be allowed entry.
I was speaking with my roommate yesterday about our differing lifestyles. I am in an open relationship and enjoy the company of men outside of my relationship. My roomie desires a monogamous relationship. We speak often of the differences, but yesterday morning, she made an observation which struck me as well, obvious, but was not something I had considered before that very moment.
In my position it is easier to meet men, she said, because I am not looking for a commitment from anyone I reach out to, I have that commitment in the form of my boyfriend. It is harder for her, she explained, because she is looking for her one-and-only-person-commitment-guy.
It got me to thinking about choices and how things come to be.
I try to always put myself in a position where I have a choice. My education, my jobs, my living situations, my mode of transport all reflects this paradigm. In this case, the open relationship chose me. I guess I am lucky. All of the choices that I had been making with my lifestyle presented me with a solution I had not considered, and for that, I am incredibly grateful.
Yes, it is easier for me to find men to be casual with, and it is always going to be harder to find a one-and-only. But I know that if I had had this one-and-only approach when I was dating, my boyfriend and I would never have met. I would never have had this opportunity. He would not have been interested, because that was not what he was looking for.
I am just hypothesizing here, but it seems that the pressure you put on yourself, the pressure you put on another person, the idealistic vision you have of a person, might be the very thing that is keeping you from it. Every time I have met a significant other in my life, I have absolutely not been looking for him. I don't know if this is universal or just my own dumb luck, but I think it means something, and is reflective of a larger and more important belief; approach life with curiosity. Approach the mundane and the everyday without the assumption that you know. Do not put anything in the box labeled: "figured out."
This box where you put everything you think you know, swallows shit whole. You lose opportunity in that box. You lose magic. You lose the ability to discover yourself. This is a very dangerous box.
It doesn't matter what you put in it; relationships, people, jobs, whatever. Once it is in there, it is difficult to retrieve, and the item becomes more foreign to you as time goes on. Think about this for a moment. What is it that you think you know? Who is it that you think you know? It just might be that your beliefs/thoughts/ideas about a person place or thing might be keeping you from them.
Give it a try. See whatcha come up with. Then, do me a favor and burn that box. Or take it to the dump site. Or recycle it. Just make sure you don't ever put anything in there again.
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