Tuesday, January 30, 2007


"It is easy for you to say, you were raised to be a free-spirit," said a friend I've made this past year. He had asked my thoughts on the imminent 'big step' he and his girlfriend of 18 months were about to embark upon: moving in together. The last girlfriend he lived with drove him nuts in short order and he was reluctant to put himself into the same position again. I told him I could understand that all too well, but at the same time, that I considered the practice of using past experience to predict relationship outcomes to be a form of self-fulfilling prophecy. I told him to take the reasonable precautions and then relax and be open to the possibilities in this relationship, which has nothing to do with the old one, unless he makes it so. His comment about it being easy for me to say made me smile. The road to this place has been far from easy, as my closest friends will attest.

For all that I grew up around a bunch of carefree hedonists, there was little stability, consistency, or parenting. In one form or another I raised myself, four sisters, and three parents. My parents were young, self-absorbed, and oblivious to the danger they put their daughters in. I learned first-hand what could happen, and spent my teen years vigilantly trying to protect my siblings from predators. I developed stress-responses and habits, expectations and fears, that stood me in good stead for survival, but handicapped me when I attempted to join the mainstream, to attempt to seem 'normal', to develop and sustain romantic relationships. When I was 18 I returned from a few months in Europe and developed an inexplicable aversion to strangers and unfamiliar places that grew until I was afraid to leave my home. The world of possibilities was terribly large, and my experience of it quite dark in ways. I wanted to try to make sure that whatever I did, whoever I met, created only positive outcomes. I was young and foolish, and terribly controlling. Eventually, I overcame the fear of people, but the fear of the unknown, unknowable, and uncertain became the core of my existence. I did not feel afraid--I was afraid. I did my best to cope, and I grew in and changed in spurts and often lost as much ground as I gained. But I kept working at it, trying to learn what I needed to do to reach for the next rung on the ladder. Striving to become more fully alive and aware, more fully me. All the while keeping in mind that as difficult and slow a process as it seems, even plants can climb ladders.

Just three years ago I was in a miserable relationship that should have ended years earlier but did not, for reasons I cannot recall. We rarely had sex, argued often, had different wants, needs, desires. But we loved each other, and it seemed we thought that was enough. I suppose we preferred being miserable together to being miserable alone. Admittedly, it was a difficult time for me--four people I loved died in as many years and I think I could not face any more loss. When that relationship ended I went into therapy, determined to learn new coping mechanisms and break old patterns, determined to address the issues and complaints my partners had given voice to over the years. And in the therapy- process I chose meditation instead of medication, and did the hard internal work, and read and explored and conversed and contemplated and slowly came to the realization that nearly everything I need I already have within me, and that fear of loss, of death and uncertainty and the 'other', is natural. But rather than deny those fears, rather than sublimate or ridicule them, I realized that it was best to recognize fear for what it was, and allow myself to feel it--let it fill me and flow out of me and let another emotion fill me--love, hope, joy. One day I realized that while I will never be rid of fear, I do not have to be ruled by it.

And I have to remind myself of this daily. I no longer tell myself not to be afraid, or to stop being silly. I remind myself that it is ok to feel afraid. I tell myself that it is ok to feel afraid, but it is not ok to use fear as an excuse not to live every day as fully as I can, to use it as an excuse to avoid embracing the fullness of life. It is not easy. I am flattered that, for all I feel that I am struggling and flailing around, I am somehow managing to meet the challenges of life with enough grace that others think it comes easily to me. But at the same time, I admit that it is coming easier to me--more and more I find myself practicing acceptance and facing each moment with equanimity and spontaneity. They are coming more easily. And perhaps one day I really will be a free-spirit. Who knows? For now I'll savor feeling free-spirited every moment that I can.

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

More on Love Tribe and Yums

I've gotten some queries on Love Tribe and the Yum I went to. What are they? I was asked. There is a Love Tribe link under the "Spiritual and Sensual" section of my page. The following is an excerpt from an email sent to a friend in August who asked the same thing:

First thing, at formal gatherings, the intention of the Love Tribe and the specific guidelines of the gathering one is attending are mentioned. There are intimacy exercises at the begining of most of the gatherings, except those that are specifically for 'experienced' Tribers, which assumes the attendees are already boundary-aware. The exercises focus on getting in touch with your own boundaries, leaving the street-energy behind, practicing saying yes or no to verbal and non-verbal requests to hug/touch, etc. Its a great way to get that higher, more spiritual energy flowing. Everyone is there for the same reasons -- to enjoy intimacy in a safe environment -- and everyone is open and vulnerable and genuine.

The first gathering I went to was a Yum (They occur the last friday of every month). It was an informal gathering at the massage studio of one of the members. There was a massage table, a couple of foutons, a dance space, food and drink, and over the course of the night, I figure that about 50 people came and went. The rules of a Yum are that it is a safe space where talking, dancing, cuddling and touching occur but there are no sexual overtones whatsoever... It is an opportunity to connect with people and enjoy intimacy in a relaxed, no-pressure space where boundaries are respected. I enjoyed the ecstatic and improvisational contact dancing--it is quite beautiful to experience and watch.

There was a pillow fight between people seated on those balls that are used for stretching the back... people snuggling 3 and 4 deep on foutons... Lots of earnest conversation, laughter, smiles, languid caressing, and hugs--real hugs--the kind where people hold each other and relax and stay there a bit, sharing of themselves. It was a very genuine gathering, one in which I was able to let down my guard, as I so often do not in public spaces, because I've such an awareness of how much danger women are in, especially in situations where alcohol is used (LoveTribe events are safe/sane/sober). Also, there are no gender or orientation social barriers. Hetero men rubbing each other's feet. Gay women snuggling with hetero men. Gay men doing improv contact dance with hetero women. People being people, enjoying other people, without all the socialized and sexualized barriers. It really is Yummy :)

The Snuggle Salon on the Sunday I got back into town was wonderful. It was in an attic with sky lights, nice mood music, and about 25 people came and went. Most people wore pajama-type clothes. Several of the people there had been in the 34-mile 7 Bridges Bicycle event, so we rubbed them down. No kissing or sexal touch... it is like an informal version of the Yum. You have to have been to a formal gathering in order to attend. I felt so much lighter after attending. It was a great antidote to the anguish in MA.

The Rapture Dance was a lot like the Yum, only there were probably 150 people there and it had more of a party atmosphere. They opened the doors at 8pm, closed them at 9:30. It was held at a dance studio with 4 or 5 thousand square feet of space. It was divided up into areas. A social space with food and drink, a huge dance floor, a snuggle zone (500 sq ft of foutons, easy), a safe space (to be alone), and a play space. The snuggle space is for snuggling, tops and bottoms on, no overtly sexual touching. The play space is an intimate place for people to play sensually. Gloves, condoms and lubricants provided, if things go that far. And monitors there to assist, as well as to ensure people practice safe sex, including fluid-bonded partners.

There are many other types of gatherings, and an overlap between Love Tribe and other local organizations fostering community and/or alternative-lifestyle networking, like the Explorer's Club (Tantra) , Portland Ecstatic Dance, The City Repair Project, Darklady's pan-sexual and sex-positive events, PDX Bad Girls (BDSM for women), Cupcake PDX (fat-friendly), MeetIn Portland, Network for a New Culture, etc.

Portland is what I call 'cosmopolitan granola'. It is a metropolitan area, with all those amenities and sophistication, but there is a high concentration of educated, geeky, kinky, and green people. Or perhaps there is not a higher concentration, but rather that more people are 'out' about it. The Pacific Northwest is very friendly toward people who are in transition, transformation, or interested in living lifestyles that are different from popular/dominant culture. I enjoy it immensely because there is so much acceptance and self-expression and room for people to be whoever they want to be.

I hope, with time, organizations like the ones I've mentioned above will be more common. Unfortunately, it requires people with vision and motivation to create and sustain them, and it is a lot of effort. If you are interested in starting organizations similar to the ones I've mentioned, I strongly recommend contacting the people on those sites. All of them are good people who are eager to help others build community.

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I made it through the entire week at work. I was exhausted by Wednesday but I pushed through it. I had too much work to do. So much in fact, that I am going into the office this morning. The bronchitis is getting better but I am still using an inhaler. I used to think that, as a result of meditation, I was very aware of my breath. But I can say that there is nothing quite like feeling like I'm not getting enough air to make me acutely aware of breathing, and just how integral it is to my well-being. Without enough oxygen I tire easily. I've lower energy. I sleep a lot more. I think I've the barest inkling of what my mother went through with emphysema. I am so glad that I do not smoke.

In resuming my social life, I attended my first LoveTribe gathering since October, a Yum. When I got home from work I took a shower and put on some jammies and headed over to the studio. The opening exercises were just finishing and I had the opportunity to squeeze into the circle and introduce myself before formalities were dismissed. There were a lot of new faces and some missing ones. The regular Tribers greeted me and and asked where I had been. I briefly outlined my profession and why I drop off the social radar for 2 or 3 months this time of year.

There is nothing like walking into a room with 20 to 50 people in it, all wearing comfy, snuggly clothing, all interested it genuine interaction and non-sexual intimacy. I gave a few massages, got a few. Joined a puppy pile with 5 other people and got some good snuggling and conversation in. Most of us tend to wear fabrics that are sensually pleasing to touch: flannel, silk, velour, etc--fabrics that make people go 'mmmm' when they touch it and reach out again. One of the women there always wears socks made out of an incredibly silky-soft material... something like a synthetic version of cashmere, I guess. Only this time she didn't wear them. I rubbed her feet anyway, though ;)

It was good to see so many men there. Men get the short end of the intimacy stick in our culture. They can't hug and kiss on each other like women can, or people think they are gay. They can't touch women even casually without people thinking they are making a sexual overture. In many cases, they are worried about being affectionate with children, lest someone think they are pedophiles. In fact, most men feel that the only way they can experience intimacy is with a partner. And with a partner it usually leads to sex. Which is all fine and good, but sometimes... sometimes even men just want to experience closeness and playfulness without the sexual element/expectation hanging over their heads. So it is good to see men at LoveTribe gatherings, availing themselves of the opportunity to enjoy intimacy and sensual touch in an environment in which everyone is there to experience the same thing, and in which everyone understands the rules and follows them.

I left about midnight, feeling wonderful. Satisfied. Content. YUM.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Pleasure, by Kahlil Gibran

Then a hermit, who visited the city once a year, came forth and said, "Speak to us of Pleasure."

And he answered, saying:

Pleasure is a freedom song,

But it is not freedom.

It is the blossoming of your desires,

But it is not their fruit.

It is a depth calling unto a height,

But it is not the deep nor the high.

It is the caged taking wing,

But it is not space encompassed.

Ay, in very truth, pleasure is a freedom-song.

And I fain would have you sing it with fullness of heart; yet I would not have you lose your hearts in the singing.

Some of your youth seek pleasure as if it were all, and they are judged and rebuked.

I would not judge nor rebuke them. I would have them seek.

For they shall find pleasure, but not her alone:

Seven are her sisters, and the least of them is more beautiful than pleasure.

Have you not heard of the man who was digging in the earth for roots and found a treasure?

And some of your elders remember pleasures with regret like wrongs committed in drunkenness.

But regret is the beclouding of the mind and not its chastisement.

They should remember their pleasures with gratitude, as they would the harvest of a summer.

Yet if it comforts them to regret, let them be comforted.

And there are among you those who are neither young to seek nor old to remember;

And in their fear of seeking and remembering they shun all pleasures, lest they neglect the spirit or offend against it.

But even in their foregoing is their pleasure.

And thus they too find a treasure though they dig for roots with quivering hands.

But tell me, who is he that can offend the spirit?

Shall the nightingale offend the stillness of the night, or the firefly the stars?

And shall your flame or your smoke burden the wind?

Think you the spirit is a still pool which you can trouble with a staff?

Oftentimes in denying yourself pleasure you do but store the desire in the recesses of your being.

Who knows but that which seems omitted today, waits for tomorrow?

Even your body knows its heritage and its rightful need and will not be deceived.

And your body is the harp of your soul,

And it is yours to bring forth sweet music from it or confused sounds.

And now you ask in your heart, "How shall we distinguish that which is good in pleasure from that which is not good?"

Go to your fields and your gardens, and you shall learn that it is the pleasure of the bee to gather honey of the flower,

But it is also the pleasure of the flower to yield its honey to the bee.

For to the bee a flower is a fountain of life,

And to the flower a bee is a messenger of love,

And to both, bee and flower, the giving and the receiving of pleasure is a need and an ecstasy.

People of Orphalese, be in your pleasures like the flowers and the bees.

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Saturday, January 20, 2007

Life after work and illness

So I caught bronchitis after 6 weeks of working 1o-12 hour days. Two weeks, 4.5 days off work, and two inhalers later, I decided it would be good to resume my social life. So I accepted a few invitations with the proviso that I could rest if I needed to. Thursday night I drove to CW's and he made me a good dinner (my first in a week) and when I was tired we curled up on his bed and watched some comedians. Friday M contacted me, invited me over for a dinner party. We ate lamb and talked and then the group of us, perhaps 15 people, piled together on and around the couch to watch a movie. It felt good to sit between M's legs, to lean back against his chest while we watched Goonies and tug on his long curls and have him slide his hands down my arms and rest his chin on my head and just be. It also felt good to cuddle with J on Saturday night, to listen to the strong, slow beat of his heart, to feel his hard, firm body snuggled up against my softness and know how much he likes it that I am plump (as odd as it seems to me). I think I will take tomorrow as a day of rest.

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Friday, January 19, 2007

The perfect man

I was looking for something in my journal and my word-search pulled this up. CW and I had been dating off and on for just over 4 months at this point and were still a long way from sexual intimacy. In frustration, on the night of June 14, 2005, he asked me this question:

"What do you want in a partner? Do you even know?"

I had two simultaneous reactions to his query, one emotional, one rational. My emotional reaction was Asshat! What, does he think I'm a ninny? My rational self thought That's not an unreasonable question. Most women don't seem to know what they want...

I let my emotional self rant and fume (internally) for about five seconds, during which time I framed my response, beginning with, "Yes, I do. Are you sure you want to know?"

Chris made the mistake of saying something like, "Of course. I wouldn't have asked if I didn't." It was a mistake, because, in my experience, people ask questions all the time that they either aren't interested in knowing the answer to (like "How are you?) or really don't want to know the answer to, but they don't know it yet (like "What do you think of my girlfriend?"). And with my singular lack of internal boundaries with people I care about, I share the truth as I know it.

So I told him, "Ok, you asked for it," and ran down my list:

My partner must be intelligent. If he isn't intelligent enough to turn on my mind, he's not going to get anywhere with my body. He must be secure in himself and satisfied in his work -- I have no patience for insecure men who are intimidated by a smart, sucessful woman, or worse, who want to either destroy those qualities in me, or hope somehow they'll be 'fixed' by being involved with me. He must be able to appreciate music, art, food, drink -- all those sensual, sybaritic, epicurean things that are the simple pleasures in life. He must have a creative outlet. I don't care if it is wood-working, model-building, writing, painting, or singing in the shower -- it can be anything, so long as he has a form of self-expression. He must be demonstrative, emotionally self-aware, and able to discuss his feelings. He must allow me my friendships with men. I cannot abide sexual jealousy, and a man who is threatened by the other men in my life will soon find himself out the door. He must be able to converse. He must be open-minded. He must be honest, both with me and himself. He must be able to laugh at himself. He must not be an obsessive sports fan. He must not be a couch potato. He must not be a workaholic, alcoholic, drug-user, or dead-beat. He absolutely must be a reader, because I am, and I resent being interrupted in my reading by attention-seeking behaviour. He doesn't have to be a sex-god, but he must be open to learning how to please me. He must be STD-free. He is not required to be monogamous, but if he wants to sleep with someone else, I'd like to know about it ahead of time, and if he does he is required to practice safe-sex because I've never had so much as a yeast infection and if I catch something from him I will soon be in prison for castrating a man and force-feeding him his own diseased flesh. He must enjoy solitude, or atleast allow me mine, because I must have me-time. He must not want me to give him children, because I can't. He must take good care of his hands, because I don't like the feel of calluses on my skin. He must have good self-control, because I am a very frustrating woman, and I do not tolerate violence from men. And lastly, he doesn't have to understand me, but he does have to love me enough to let things end gracefully when or if that time comes.

"You've found all that in a partner before?" he asked, quite incredulous.
"Of course," I answered.

Poor CW. He did ask.

What is interesting about this is that, new to the heterosexual world after 4 years with a woman and nearly a year of celibacy after that, I knew exactly what I wanted from a male partner--and these criteria are as valid today as they were 18 months ago.

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Thursday, January 18, 2007

Companionship and loneliness

"Do you know what its like to be in a relationship and still be lonely, and if so, do you know how can I fix it?" a friend asked me. He is struggling in a 15 year marriage with declining intimacy and sharing. He loves his wife, misses her, misses the relationship they once had. They've grown complacent and in some ways, too like-minded. They've little left to talk about. I tried to think of what to say to him, and then I rembered something I sent to someone I love in a card:

More often than we are willing to admit, we find ourselves alone with others. In order to understand about how we can be with others and still feel alone, it is important to understand that we can only be comfortable with others when we are truely comfortable with our selves. And by this, I do not mean by developing a solid mental-view of ourselves as immutable entities and then going out looking for others whose similarities will not jab into our comfort zones. What I mean is first developing an idea of the integrity of one's identity aswirl in this continually transforming world. Then developing an understanding that we are each integral parts of a dynamic, inter-related whole; and from there, seeking others who will challenge and nudge us out of the habits and patterns and ruts we stumble into.

True companionship, the companionship that we all long for when it is missing in our lives, is more than the presence of someone in your life who shares common values and accepts you for who you are. A companion is someone whom you trust to be compassionate when it is necessary to help you refine your understanding of what it means to live your life, who will guide you without force or manipulation, who relieves the pain of daily life simply by being 'there', and who acts as a midwife to your soul, drawing forth from you that which was always within you, and is simply awaiting the moment to be born.

I asked him if perhaps he needed to work on being a true companion to his wife. I asked him if perhaps he needed to stop looking at her through the eyes of the past and see her for who she is now, in this moment, and love and value that person. And I asked him if perhaps his restlessness and marital dissatisfaction were external symptoms of an internal issue. I invited him to spend some time alone, to look within, to discover the person he is now--to have an internal dialogue about what he can do to meet his own needs, and how he can approach those he loves about getting their help fulfilling those needs he cannot meet himself. I asked him if perhaps he is lonely for himself, and that maybe, in re-learning to enjoy his own company, he might find his feelings of loneliness in his relationship will fade.

I hope I asked the right questions and said the right things.

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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Winter storm

A winter storm has followed on the heels of the cold front. Usually, we would have gotten lots of rain, but this time we got about 4 inches of snow. I should not have gone out in it, but I did, during lunch hour, and snapped some photos. Snow is such a rarity here. I felt like a kid plowing through the snow, hearing it creak as it compacted under my feet. This photo is of the wetlands right near my office. The only creatures stirring were these mallard ducks and a hungry nutria.

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Flowers from CW

These are the flowers from CW that arrived at work. He used the same florist as KR did last month. Both arrangements are unusual and quite lovely. This one won CW lots of points from the women at work, and me lots of questions about him :)

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Just your average blog entry

Last week a nasty cold fell on me like an avalanche, wiping out my voice, and filling my lungs. I left work at noon on Wednesday and it wasn't until Sunday that I could get out of bed without feeling dizzy. So I stayed in bed. A dozen long-stemmed roses in a gorgeous salmon-pink colour arrived to grace my room on Thursday, a bit of beauty to raise my spirits. This afternoon, more flowers, this time at work (a big no-no): an arrangement of orchids and interesting greenery. The card read "Stubborn wench--at work when you should be at home, in bed..." I added the parenthetical "with me" that he left off of the message, probably to save the florist embarrassment.

A cold front hit the Pacific Northwest at the same time. It was interesting to look at little drifts of sun-sheltered snow on vivid green grass. Such a contrast. The culms of the black bamboo seem so dark right now, the leaves sparser and less vivid. The holly trees are full of berries this year. Big red berries that show up so well against the spiky, waxy leaves. I really need to get out and take some photos. I've been wanting to for days, but I dared not go out in below-freezing weather, not with my lungs so full of crap. Perhaps this week.

I finished a naughty story yesterday, the seeds of which started months ago but which I just didn't have time to do right. I wanted to do a D/s story, but I wanted to get the nuances right, the psychology, the dialogue, the scenario. I'm fairly pleased with it, though I know some people think I will have ended it prematurely. I just don't feel it necessary to spell out what any reader knows is going to happen. That is the thing about erotica. You know the ending before you even start reading :) I doubt I'll record this one, there is too much male dialogue.

Plans for next month are shaping up. An upcoming seminar in San Fransisco just before my birthday prompted me to take some extra vacation time to spend with loved ones in the area. It should be a very full 10 days. Hopefully the weather will be conducive to photography. I may even bring my tripod.

The intensity level seems to be ratcheting up in some of my relationships. I don't know if it is a function of my stress-level or my customary availability during this period in my work. But I am being asked on several fronts when I'm going find a less demanding job, when I'm going to settle down, narrow down the list of people I'm dating, etc. I've got some great people in my life, people I enjoy so much and enjoy dating casually, no intimacy pressure or awkwardness, a fair number of whom are 'poly' people. And then the two most intense, rewarding, and frustrating relationships are with men who are monogamous, love me, 'wouldn't ask me to be exclusive' and yet aren't happy. I've offered to end the relationships. I've offered to eliminate physical intimacy and focus on what is important: relating. But that is not what they want. No, they want me available and all to themselves. And I'm floored. They are both good-looking, personable, financially-stable professionals that just about any single woman between the ages of 25 and 40 would gladly date. So why do they want me? Or why don't I want to pick one and settle down? Oddly enough, this is not good for my ego. And its definitely not good for my peace of mind.

There is so much love in me. I think learning metta meditation, learning to project that love out into the world, has helped to diminish some of that compelling intensity I bring to my deeper relationships. But not enough, I think, for one person to bear the force of it, of what they both seem to covet for themselves--my uniqueness. I am of the mind, however, to give one of them what he thinks he wants. And see how quickly he changes his mind. I don't think either of them is capable of valuing what being in a monogamous relationship with me really means. All of my intensity, my libido, my intellect, my spontaneity, my intuition, my emotions--everything I've honed in the past 2 years I've been single gathered up and devoted to one person, focused on one person? Heh. They would be intimidated.

They both deny it, but they would. I don't know why, but even when I try to be open and warm, I intimidate some people. Daily, prolonged exposure to me seems to make my partners feel insecure or overwhelmed or whatever. I am whole unto myself, self-contained and self-reliant. I don't need any one person. And men need to be needed. They need to feel they have a purpose in a woman's life, a reason to be: protector, friend, lover, provider. But no one person can be all things to another. Its a fallacy that monogamists the world-over have bought into and try to brainwash and socialize others into believing--that you're not whole until you find your other half. And two men I love think that their individual self-interest is jeopardized by the presence of other loved-ones in my life. They don't realize that it is not the others they have to worry about competing with for me. Its me.

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Thursday, January 11, 2007

In memorium

Ten days ago, I lost a friend.

We met online just over a year ago. We never touched, never saw each other smile, but we talked often, wrote, shared of ourselves. He guided me through my first attempt at editing a poem of mine, and I listened and gave feedback on a novel he was writing. Over the past year he went through many changes, several crises, strain in his marriage, etc; and me, I was working too hard, suffering through the crisis of my sister's health, and juggling an active social life. He developed a crush of sorts on me, and I discouraged it as best I could without abandoning our friendship, because the level of communication and understanding we shared was something special.

I tried to get him to tell his wife about me, to be less secretive about our relationship. But he was afraid. He did something stupid on New Years Eve, something not involving me, thankfully, but the effects were that he sent me an email stating that he had to break off our relationship because his behaviour was damaging his marriage and hurting his wife.

I've gone through a wide range of emotions. I recognize them as the grieving process. Loss. I've always been so bad about loss. But he taught me a lot in the past year, and now he is teaching me to grieve, as my therapist says I should.

This past year I learned a lot about the pros of putting myself out there emotionally--of taking risks: Joy, pleasure, love. This past week I've learned the cons, as well: Pain, loss, suffering.

And so far, I've no regrets. I could take away the lesson that I was stupid to become emotionally involved with someone I never met, but that is cowardice speaking. My life has been enriched for knowing him, and that is the lesson I will take away from this... keep taking risks, keep loving, continue to make connections and grow.

As for him, I wish him well. I wish him happiness and laughter and good health. He knows my boundless compassion and he has it. I will continue to include him in my metta meditations. I have always said that even when a relationship between two people must change, the things they love about each other do not. Love does not stop. At least... not for me.

Goodbye dear.

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Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sunday's epiphanies

An online acquaintance contacted me for my perspective on something. We talked about what was going on with him and once we'd discussed his dilemma, he asked:
"So life has been hectic for you this past week--you get it all resolved?"
"Does one ever resolve life?" I responded.
"Your question intriques me. Is it possible for a person to resolve life if they isolate themselves from society and all influences?"
"I think that is the wrong approach"
"What is the approach?"
And the answer to his question pulled from somewhere deep inside me. I didn't think about it. It was like something in me was waiting for that question to be asked.
"One resolves the ambivalence of life by ceasing to attempt to impose expectations on the present in order to influence the future."
His next question showed that he was misunderstanding me. "So just exist? For me to take that approach in life--would be death--not to have expectations which I equate with having goals - direction or path in life. So with that I guess I really don't want resolve my life. Or am I missing your point?"
The past few months of living sort of gelled and this moment of clarity illuminated me. I felt like I was glowing, like I was a beacon of metta. I had this sensation of overflowing with love and gratitude and compassion.
I said, "We put the past into the future. We carry it around and our expectations create a future based on our pasts. And by 'expectations' I dont mean goals and what not.
I'll use an example to illustrate what I mean... Lets say you call you mother, and it seems that every time you call your mother, she says 'so when are you getting married' and it annoys you. So you avoid calling her, because you KNOW that she will just ask you when you are getting married. And when you do call her or talk to her, you already have expectations of what she is going to say, and you already know how you are going to react. So you aren't really being fully present to the moment...you're clinging to expectations of what will occur in the future--carrying unresolved issues from the past forward. And thus the phone call goes more or less as you expected."
He is a quick one. "This I understand. My body and mind are ready for the question--I am ready to pounce back--I should make the call for the right reason and and approach with an open mind and allow the moment to create itself. In speech communication we talk about not allowing outside influences - verbal, auditory, past experiences etc to interfere with the moment--to shut it all out--exist in the moment--so If I understand your approach in life--you have learned to do that in your life more than most --and thus why you are so clued into all that is going on around you."
I wasn't sure if he was trying to flatter me, or if he was being genuine, but I responded to his words at face-value. "I still do it. Its not a matter of tuning it all out. It is a matter of accepting it all, and then none of it clamours for attention."
"Ok understood," he said.
And then we embarked on a conversation about various topics that eventually lead to me saying that lately I've been finding it a challenge to communicate with others lately, and how it bothers me.
Eventually he said, "Is that what bothers you--that people fail to understand why you respond the way you do--that they can't understand your belief system?"
I tried to think to the best way to explain. "I dont care about being understood, in general. I dont feel misunderstood, I dont feel a need to be understood. But when someone asks me a question, and I give them my best answer, they sometimes look at me like I have three heads. Like the question and answer session about 'can you ever resolve life', but worse. I've responded to others to relinquish expectations of the future, and most people dont get it. Really dont get it, that we drag the past, kicking and screaming, into our futures."
He answered, "I understand what you are saying: let go of your past so you can move on in you life. It is difficult for most people to let go of the past--right?"
I knew he was missing something, a nuance, something I'd been working out the past couple of years. "Its funny--when we think about letting go of the past...we think about discarding it. Wadding it up and throwing it away. But really, uts about not clinging to it. Letting the death grip of fear go, and accepting the past--all of it. And then it is where it belongs.. in the continuity of the moment."
"Yes, but there is a difference between not forgetting, and allowing the past to influence. There is a distinct difference..."
He was close, but he wasn't getting my meaning. So I decided to use an example again. "Did you read about that dream I had, the one about being hit over the head while I was travlling, and panicking about my suitcase being empty, and how it seemed so important to be able to prove who I was?"
I did."
"My analysis of the dream is that I have anxiety...Over the past two years I've emptied the emotional baggage, but I'm still towing the empty suitcase along... because w/o the baggage, I am afraid I won't know who I am. My ID, Everthing that made me 'me', everything that I identified myself with--was in my baggage. And so I am anxious to figure out--to prove--who I am."
He said, "Well - you are the sum,of your past. But today and tomorrow can add / change who you are. Letting go of the past does not mean giving up your ID."
"I am a vessel. Emptied and filled continually... what happens changes me, but does not become me. I am the container, not what is in it. Does that make sense? And one day, perhaps, I will release the container too :) Perhaps that day I will be enlightened?"
"So you don't believe what happens to you today--that in 2 yrs when you look back--is not a part of your new id?"
"What happens changes me, but does not become me. I can feel fear, anxiety, joy, pain. Do they become a part of me? Or do they effect me? And don't I have the ability to decide how much?"
hy can't they be both?"
"I never used to feel afraid. I used to BE afraid. As a child I was convinced of the inappropriateness of my emotions, so I ceased expressing or feeling them... I pushed them down, deep down... and they became a part of me in ways they were not meant to be."
"If I remember correctly -- enlightment is what buddhism strives for."
"No. The end of suffering. Release from the wheel of suffering."
"Mmm... ok. Now here is something I have observed in life. Very talented writers, producers, muscians - artsy people - all have unusual suffering in light but give us positive views on a number of subjects in life. Life without suffering is less interesting. Jesus had to endure suffering -- so we know he was not a buddhist."
"Ah, but there are some compelling argumnnts for the idea that for the period of Jesus life of which there is no record--that he disappeared into Asia, and came into contact with Buddhists. Jesus, out of love, suffered for the sins of all mankind. His sacrifice was supposed to release his followers from suffering. They were supposed to be assumed into heaven during their lifetimes. They were supposed to become enlightened."
"Well it didn't work did it?"
"Apparently did not."
"I can't wait to talk to my dad about Jesus converting to Buddism," he laughed.
"I think that... Well...it is blasphemy to some, but I think the Rapture is a figurative expression of what it is to become 'enlightened'. I think that the imagery for early Christian texts, the attempts of the writers to give people something concrete to imagine what enlightenment was like... have been taken too literally. The inducement to give up one's clinging to pain and fear and suffering and 'sin' by one person's suffering for all...was apparently not enough.
Jesus said: This is my commandment, that you love one another. And love/lovingkindness/metta is the foundation of what Buddha taught. Loving yourself, loving your neighbor, your family, and your enemies... this is part of metta meditations. 'Love thy enemy as thy self' is so very buddhist."
"There are basic commonalities in most religions."
"It is amazing...How it all fits together... all the religious teachings. You are correct. They all say the same thing: Let go of your pain, your fear, your hatred, your 'sins', and love instead, and send it out into the world, and you will be set free--you will find the way to heaven / nirvana / paradise."
"Yes it is, and yet we can't seem to get along."
"I think the judeo-christian-islamic 'sin' is actually 'holding on to negatively charged past experiences.'"
"Interesting observation."
"The catholics tried to make it easier for people to let go by 'absolving them'--by giving them a ritual by which they could release their sins / regrets / pains... but it all got twisted. Eventually, you had to buy absolution. One way or another, you had to pay. It is all so very clear to me. I've considered posting some of this on my blog, but I'm worried someone would track me down and burn me for being a heretic :) The fundamentalist movements in all faiths create such zealots."
"You are a female -- witch burning in Oregon will pass."
"I'm only 30 minutes from Salem :)"
"Yes and now killing is ok to defend your beliefs."
"The world is crazy. But what is crazier is that every day it becomes clearer and cleared what the insanity is. And it is too simple, and people would not listen."
"So - simply put you would recommend?"
"The insanity is fear of the uncertainty of everyday life. The solution is accepting that uncertainty, and loving every moment you have.
And it is fear of death, dying, going broke, loss... Fear of loss. Fear of the unknown. That is why we project the past into the future... why we drag it along with us. Because it is familiar. We know we can survive what we have experienced before."
"Fear keeps us stuck."
"You have come along tonite for me at a perfect time... to help me put into words what I have come to understand intuitively but felt unable to express coherently."
o you better understand yourself?
"Its not about understanding myself. There is nothing to understand :) The bags are empty."
"Sure they are "
"Right now, in this moment, they are."
"Got it - :-)"
"5 minutes from now, tomorrow morning, it may be different. God, I sound like..."
"Your grandparents?"
"Such a... such a smug ass."
"Nah--I understand and relate to what you say."
"Good to hear. Maybe others will."

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Sunday, January 07, 2007

On the foundations of sexual psychopathology

[click here for audio / podcast]

I expect that, to the average American, I would seem to be a "sexual deviant", however, I think it is fair to say that my spontaneous, free-flowing eroticsm is but a extension of the way my mind works. I am a divergent thinker, and so I consider myself "sexually divergent" rather than "deviant". But again, that is a question of semantic nuances, I suppose.

Which leads to my next topic.... sexual psychopathology.

My morality, ethics, and sexuality were heavily influenced by two diametrically-opposed lifestyles: the hippie-hedonism of my parent's communal lifestyle, and the fundamentalist Christianity of my missonary evangelist grandparents. Perhaps as a consequence of being caught in the middle of their battle for my mind, body, and soul, I have long been aware of, and fascinated by, how the socio-religious regulation of sexuality is internalized to produce sexual psychopathology. I have long wanted to understand what it is about our society that creates 'child molesters' such as the one I fell prey to when I was 11. What I have learned over the years is that children have always been eroticized, but that the abuse factor is a fairly recent evolution in response to the Church's attempt to bring sexuality and reproduction under its control. It took centuries for them to bring marriage under the umbrella of Its authority, proscribing fornication and adultery, and condemning all non-procreative sexual practices as "unnatural".

The history of sexuality in the West is rather interesting and very convoluted. The Hellenic (Greek) culture tolerated pederastic and male homosexual relations for centuries. It was not uncommon for men and women to reserve feeling of higher 'love' for people of their own gender, or for children. It was understood that sex was required for procreation, but that loving sexuality was fluid in its expression, rather than static. Sex was recognized for the primal and necessary bodily function that it is, rather than being wrapped in and confused with 'love' like it is today. This ended rather quickly with the rise of Christianity--the pleasures of the flesh were directly at odds with the prospect of salvation in the imminent 'last days'.

In my readings, I found it interesting to learn that being a catamite in Hellenic days was not only accepted, but expected by those of honoured houses. It was an honour even, to the family whose boy was chosen. And homosexuality was no more looked down upon then as heterosexuality is now. I also find the evolution of prostitution from something accepted and deemed a necessary, if not always desirable thing, to the apparent abomination that some view it to be today. In fact, a great many things viewed as 'immoral' today were not so before the rise of Christianity.

In the 19th century, Darwin's work began to influence most aspects of Western Thought, and through it, religious views on sexual difference were provided with a biological and eventually an evolutionary logic, which then in turn was used to determine that departures from sanctioned demonstrations of heterosexuality were not only 'sins', but pathological deviations from physiological norms. The emergence of what could be called 'scientific sexology' at the end of the nineteenth century completed these developments by identifying as sexual 'deviants' the prostitutes, masturbators, and perverts whose sexual practices supposedly posed a biological and moral threat to the health of families, nations, and the 'race.' This was the pivotal moment in the modern history of sexuality -- when homosexuality, sadism, masochism, and the other 'perversions' were invented. It was not a simple medical or scientific conspiracy, but a decisive cultural revolution that,
when interwoven with the upwelling of charismatic Christian evangelism during the same era, left pyscho-social marks so deep, indelible, and socially transmissible, that most people in America assume that this 19th century construction is both natural and eternal.

In the end, I think it all comes down to pleasure. Pre-Christian cultures elevated pleasure and happiness as goals to be achieved in daily life. Early Christians, believing that Christ would come again within their lifetime/generation, embraced an ascetic lifestyle that renounced pleasure today in favour of the rigors needed to be worthy of the joys salvation in the afterlife. When it became apparent that Christ was not coming as soon was originally promised, the emphasis shifted to control, to controlling pleasure and pain, marriage and procreation through fear. The eyes of the Heirs of Paul ceased their inward look and turned to those whose lives were free of the oppressive fears of their Christian brethren, and seeing them as threats to the continuation of the Church, sought to bring them under the authority of the Church lest they influence new converts to return to the 'old ways'. Little did the Church elders know that the use of fear to control sexuality would last for thousands of years, and mutate to turn expressions of non-procreative sexuality into an underground phenomenon perpetuated from generation to generation by guilt and oppression. Christianity, and the culture it spawned, has a dark, twisted, and seedy underside. It makes sinners of its subscribers, who, knowing they are powerless to prevent themselves from participating in the cycle of Original Sin, become twisted by fear and the need to exert power and control -- over themselves and others -- in the most deeply personal and private aspect of their lives: their sexuality.

Perhaps, for ha-has, I should begin identifying myself as a Fundamentalist Pre-Christian, and begin dialogue on getting back to sound, healthy, pre-Christian values: de-nuclearization of the 'family' in favour of a return to the community as the basic social unity; the return of sexual worship to temples and other sanctums; rites of fertility and sexual initiation; placing procreation back in the hands of women, who, after all, bear children, and who for millennia, made the decision to bear or expose to the elements children born 'untimely'; viewing masturbation as a healthy and desirable expression of self-love; all as an effort to root out the sexual psychopathology, guilt, and repression rampant in our current society. I can just see their faces now. Wheeeee.

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Saturday, January 06, 2007

Interview with a Pornographer (me?)

From a recent IM interview (bold type is the interviewer):
-As I mentioned in my email, I am working on a master's thesis on pornographers, particularly purveyors of written pornography / erotica. I have read your stories and your blog. I would like to ask you some questions, if I may?
-You may ask. I may even answer :)
-Fair enough. How long have you been writing erotica?
-I remember writing some fantasies down when I was 16 - 18 years old, then I stopped. I don't remember why. I started again, about 18 months ago.
-Do you consider what you write 'erotica'?
-Yes... much of it. I try to write about the sensual and the sexual in a way that allows people to feel positive about their sexual arousal, rather than 'dirty' or 'bad'. I've gotten feedback on one of my stories, in particular, that it was one of the few erotic stories out there that did not depict the submissive in a negative, simplified, or objectified manner. I was very pleased to hear that.
-Do you consider what you write 'pornography'?
-The word 'pornography' has pejorative connotations. As I recall, this is a compound word that derives from the greek or latin word for 'prostititute' combined with 'graphor' to mean something like... "one who depicts prostitutues and what they do." I am not associated with any prostitutues, I do not depict any prostitutes, nor am I one. That said, I would remind you that in Greece and Rome, and many other ancient cultures, temple prostitutes were highly regarded and thus it is quite likely that we've twisted the word, its original meaning, and the depictions themselves from something sacred, into something profane. Its all subjective, isn't it, wavering as it does in the winds of collective morality?
-Would you consider yourself a pornographer?
-I suppose I could. I suppose on some days I might. I guess I would be in good company: It wasn't so long ago that works by Vatsayana, Hong ji, Ovid, Sappho, James Joyce, DH Lawrence, Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Mark Twain, etc were considered 'pornographic. '
-Based on my criteria, you qualify as a 'pornographer'. How do you feel about that?
-I suppose it is apt. *shrug* It is a word. Your word. I don't really care. What is important is not how I feel about it, but how you or those who use the word with derogatory intentions feel about it.
-Ok, lets get back to your writing. Why do you write?
-Ah. Now that is a question I have not been asked before. Very astute. I write because I feel compelled to, I suppose. I was reading and writing by age 4. I wrote my first story when I was 5. I still have it somewhere, my grandmother saved it for me. I have noticed that writing helps me think, helps me organize my thoughts, sometimes even helps to purge my mind. I have a memory for details and a systematizing mind... sometimes I just have to get the stuff out of my head by writing it down.
-I've noticed that what you write tends to be 'sensual' as you noted on your blog, and yet your style is very peculiar. A single entry can contain spiritual, sexual, and psychological elements that are elegantly expressed on the one hand, and dissonantly coarse on the other.
-Yes, this is something several people have pointed out to me. Someone recently told me that my writing is "refined and raw at the same time". Apparently this style of expression tends to keep people off-balance, particularly in person. I'm not quite sure why I communicate this way... perhaps it has something to do with the fact that most people find my voice very soothing, often hypnotic, andmy using an occasional jarring word keeps them awake?
-So your writing style is similar to your conversation style?
-I think so. I suppose you would have to ask my family and friends if the way I converse and the way I write are similar if you want an objective opinion. My speech and my writing are both expressions of the same thing: my thoughts/feelings. While I occasionally filter what I say, I rarely edit what I write. I can say that I do tend to make people shake their heads during conversations. It is not unusual for me to be told I am outrageous.
-Why do you write what you write?
-Why... hmm... I write what I write because it turns me on, and because I hope in sharing it, it will turn others on, perhaps even give them an opportunity to vicariously explore things they otherwise would not experience. What I write on my blog is generally my thoughts on my daily life. When I have the time and a thought that might be worthy of sharing with others, I sit down and write it. Failing that, I write about something most people forget about.
-What is that?
-The sensual immediacy of every day life. I've been told that I seem to experience my senory input more intensely than most people, and that I express it in a way that makes people more aware of the sensuousness of their own lives.
-Ah yes, I should have expected that: your subtitle. So... you write about sexual and sensual topics because... why?
-Because I am a sexual and sensual being. Because we all are, only I seem to be more aware of it myself... Because too many people are hung up on sex. They have made pariahs of their sexual selves, rather than integrating their sexuality into their daily lives. And by that I don't mean daily sex. I mean... hmmm... people are socialized to think that there is a correct time and place to be sexual, and that 'feeling sexy' at any other time is inappropriate. That is bullshit. That is the kind of socialization that creates sexual psychopathology. Feeling sexy, feeling sensual is natural. We are human animals, we have senses and flesh. We evolved to avoid pain and seek pleasure. What sick fuck decided that controlling another's sexuality not only socially but intrapersonally, was a good idea?
-Interesting... so would you say that you consider writing erotic stories and sensual diary entries a sort of public service?
-Heh. I suppose so. My therapist once told me that I have the healthiest attitude towards sex and my sexuality that she had ever come across. It made me sad to realize how many people are so hung up on sex. It made me think. It made me want to change things. Between that and conversations with some friends whose opinions I respect, I decided to 'go public', so to speak.
- That is a good lead in to my next question...How do you chose what writing you will make public?
-I dont really know. I write for me. Anais Nin said " We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection." Sometimes I want to share what I write with a select few, sometimes with the public, sometimes with no one.
-Do you read erotica yourself?
-Oh yes! The first naughty book I was given was Little Birds by Anais Nin. I was perhaps 10. From there I read Delta of Venus, Lady Chatterly's Lover, The French Lieutenants Woman, Twain's 1601, and Janet Morris' Silistra series. As an adult, found and read the Fanny Hill story, Ovid's Art of Love, Anne Rice's Beauty series, and Anne Bishop's Dark Jewels series.
-Why did you start reading it so young?
Well, it was partly environmental. I grew up in a free-love environment. The act of sex was no mystery to me, but the reasons behind it were. Also, where most people have a fundamental desire to be understood, I have a fundamental desire to understand. I wanted to understand what made people want to do that with each other.
-Do you think that having access to erotic material made you more or less likely to be promiscuous growing up?
-Oh less so. But again, 'promiscuous' is one of those pejorative, emotionally- and morally- loaded words. In general, what is considered promiscuous is defined by the society one is in. I am not prone to indiscriminate sex --which is my definition of promiscuity--and I never have been. And since my curiousity about sex was both tickled and satisfied by the material I read in my youth, I wasn't all that interested in 'playing doctor'. I'd seen the real thing often enough, and I'd read enough to understand that it really was something best left to 'grown-ups'.
-Do you sell your erotica?
No. I've not submitted any of my stories to any organizations that pay to publish. A friend has a couple of my audio stories for sale on his site, but I don't think it has enough of a market share to generate many hits. I've been solicited by a few people wanting to work together, etc, but its been a hectic year for me personally, and I've not had much time or energy to put into it. Its been more of a hobby for me, than anything else.
-Do you think you would find more time to write erotica if it was lucrative?
-Of course! Writing and recording erotic stories is quite a lot of fun. They come very easily to me, once I set aside a block of time to write them down. Its just that there are so many other things I like doing, too, and though they don't make money, either, they are much better for my social life :) Seriously though, it would be great to make a living at producing erotic material. I'm too practical to do the starving-writer thing, but I may yet try some e-commerce / e-book / digital download venture -- if I can determine there is a market out there that would pay enough to make the effort worthwhile.
What would you like to see happening in erotica in the next decade?
I'd like to see more material out there for women and couples. Women can be quite raunchy. We like our romantic, sweet, hint-at-but-don't-describe-the-details fiction, but--just as we like to be bent over the couch and fucked hard and fast once in a while--we also like to read hot, steamy stories that make us want to reach into our sex-toy stash and play. And the stuff out there for the general male audience is just too... dry. Or too short. Or too unrealistic. Its funny, I'v had several men contact me, asking for help with their wives. They say their wives are frigid, or reluctant, or too perfuctory in sexual relations, and they wish there was something they could do to make their wives more like me. c Sometimes I recommend sensual massages or discission of fantasies. Sometimes I tell them to try to find a way to introduce their partners to one of my stories, like Check and Mate. Or one of my audios, like Picnic Beneath the Willow. I've heard back from some that the stories have gone over very well, much to their surprise. I think people would be surprised to know how many women would enjoy erotica more if they could find good erotica, with the right balance of romance and raunchiness. So, mainstreaming quality erotica for women and couples is something I would like to see, sometime soon.
And, with that, I've got to call it a night. I'm tired and I've got a long day tomorrow. I hope you don't mind?
-No. I understand. You've given my far more of your time than I had any reason to expect. Thank you.
-My pleasure. May I use a portion of this interview for on my blog? I think it would be interesting reading.
-It is mostly your material... I just asked the questions, so I don't see why not. Sent me the link if you do post?
-Sure. Goodnight!

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Friday, January 05, 2007

How was your week?

A client of mine sent me an email, stating that she'd had a rotten week and asking after mine.

I responded with:
There is a scene in the movie Gladiator, in the very beginning, where Russel Crowe's character says "Upon my word, unleash Hell" and then the Romans use catapults with boulders drenched in tar to set fire to the trees while men bleed into the soil.

My week has been like that. I hope yours has been better.

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Word-choice nuances

What is the difference between childlike and childish, between impulsive and spontaneous, between sensual and sexual, nevermind sensual and sensuous? What is the difference between acceptance and passivity, between aggressive and assertive, between creative and inventive, between religious and spiritual, intelligent and intellectual?

And then there is love. In English we have just one word to use. Sure, we can add modifiers such as maternal, filial, erotic, romantic, and platonic to describe who we love or what love or how we love them -- but love is such a deep and yet broad-spectrum emotional state, how can we possibly find the words to describe how we feel, and if so, how can we be sure that the words we use mean to others what they mean to us?

I was asked by CW today how I felt about someone.
I said, " I love him."
He asked, "Could you be more specific?"
I said, "He's one of my dearest friends, the friend of my soul."
He said, "But he's your lover, too..."
I made a face at him. "Yes, sometimes, but that is not the focus of our relationship."
He said, "I know you say men and women can be friends, but then you break the rules by having sex with your friends. Isn't that confusing?"
I looked at him and smiled. "Sometimes."
"C'mon Kay, talk to me."
"What do you want to know that won't violate his privacy?"
"How can you be friends and lovers?"
"Look, its not romantic. There is none of that new relationship energy, none of that passionate 'oooh baby I want you' stuff. I love him. He loves me. Sometimes... sometimes being sexual is a natural extension of the intimacy and affection between us, a natural progression of sharing ourselves."
He thought about it. "If it is so natural, why doesn't it happen more often between friends?"
"That is a good question. I will answer it with a question: how often do you think friends want to make love to each other, but refrain?"
"I think quite a few. More than people would willingly admit... I know there are a few times I've been really curious."
"Ok. So..there is curiousity, and there is desire. And then there is trust and love and sharing. I've got friends that I would never have sex with--mainly because I'd worry one or both of us getting 'romantically' confused.... It happened to me a couple of times, and... well... I like to think I've learned enough from those experiences that I do not need to repeat them again."
"How do you decide then?"
"Which friends to sleep with and which ones not to..."

I swear, the groan I let out came all the way from my hara. Why is it that so much boils down to sex? I don't get it. I will never get it. Sex itself is an act we are programmed to desire to repeat as often as possible, partly for reproductive purposes, and partly for pleasure. It alleviates a need, like any other, like eating alleviates hunger and pissing alleviates a full bladder. And yet, sex, with love, can be so much more. It is a gateway to the spiritual, I find, and that is what gives it significance beyond reproductive and pleasure drives.

"Its more a matter of spontaneity. If, in the moment, it feels right, and there are no reservations, I act on it," I tried to tell him.
He looked surprised. "You're not the impulsive type."
"Ah, but there is a difference between spontaneity and impulse. Impulses are internally motivated, often subconsciously. Impulsive is going shopping when one does not have the need or the funds. Spontaneity is responding naturally and appropriately to the present moment."

And so we went round and round about nuances and verbage and his insistence that I need to remember that though I may choose my words to express exactly what I mean, that those hearing me are catching the words through their own emotional filters, adding their own nuances. Since I've been told the same by others, I suppose I should give this point more thought. It doesn't help my efforts to communicate if other's are not understanding what I mean.

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Monday, January 01, 2007

The pulse of a new and better year

Perhaps it is the pagan in me, but I think the new year begins the day after winter solstice. The day after Longest Night. But for most people, the New Year begins according to the Julian calendar.

one heart, formed by cock and cuntAnd so, according to this modern calendar, my New Year began with dreams. Dreams fuelled by post-orgasmic endorphins. Endorphins from one of the strongest orgasms I've ever had. I was on edge for well-over half an hour, and when I climaxed, it was like an earthquake hit me--rolled through me in successive waves of orgasmic aftershocks. It lasted for a long long time, and when I was done, he urged me on again to one more. He knows I love the torment of trying to reach another climax on the heels of such an intensely satisfying cum. And when I was done, I fell immediately asleep. I know he spoke to me, but I do not remember the words, just the sound of his voice... and then sleep. And dreams.

I dreamed of all sorts of things.

One dream was that I was travelling overseas and was hit over the head, and when I came to myself I was walking with my bags rolling behind me, and they seemed to be too light. When I opened them they were empty, and I was panicked because my ID had been in my baggage. There was no way to prove who I was. It seemed very important to be able to prove who I was.

I dreamed of my sister, the one who has been ill. I was looking for her. I never did find her.

I dreamed of K as a swashbuckler. He strode up to me in his kilt, with a bottle of cognac in one hand and his hand on the hilt of his sabre. He pulled me to him for a kiss. I opened my mouth to him and time stopped. We fell into a dreamy place where kissing is the most intimate, sensual exporation of another person.

I dreamed of my friend J, that we were snuggled on his couch, and his belgian shepherd licked my bare thigh, making me squirm against him, and he hugged me and his fingers found my nipple... and then I slid into another dream.

I dreamed of M, who said he was inherently monogamous and he wanted me to be the same, that it hurt him, knowing I loved others, and so he pushed me away and disappeared behind an emotional wall. And I was a little girl again, banging on that wall, and there were so many things I wanted to yell over it, but I knew he would not hear me because I'd lost my voice.

I dreamed about planting bulbs -- that no sooner did I cover the bulbs with soil than they sprouted and started flowering. There was something frightening about it, about the accelerated growth, and I started putting the bulbs in the ground as fast as I could, to get them out of my hands. I was frantic, and when I realized it, I stopped, and sat back on my heels, and breathed, and in that moment I realized that I did not have to plant all of the bulbs in my hands, that I did not need to fear the sudden blossoming of the bulbs that I'd touched.

I dreamed of C standing before me, so tall, so fucking tall, reminding me that he is a patient man, but not a saint. He appeared again, later on, tugging on nipple-clamps while his fingers worked inside me, even as I flogged G's wife, my pretty little pony. The dream-memory of the pink stripes on her ass and the horse-tail dildo sticking out of it makes me wet, even as I type this.

I had many other dreams, most of them just little flashes in my head now. I slept until nearly noon, awakening groggy from last night's cognac to an oddly quiet world. There was a soft light coming through the bedroom window, soft and diffuse, and when I got up, I knew why... the sky was bright and white with thick mist, and a light rain fell. I moved to the kitchen to brew coffee and while I waited, stood at the window and watched the rain fall on the bamboo leaves. Beyond the bamboo the golf course glistened, glowed with the green of new grass.

I settled into the armchair with a lap rug and my lap top computer and began my New Years conversations with friends and loved ones, still fuzzy from my rest and dreams. I resolved to do nothing today, especially no chores, and to do minimal cooking. I am a human being, not a human doing, and it seems like I'm always 'doing' something.

I have high hopes for this New Year. I dare to have hopes. Certainly 2006 was one of the most difficult years of my life, more painful in ways than the year my mother and grandmother died. And yet I've survived, and more than that, thrived. My resiliance astonishes even me, at times. And despite shattering news from someone who has become a very dear friend, I expect 2007 to be a good year. The year I turn 39. Year three of the new me. Whee!

(Regarding the photo: Can you see the one heart, formed by cock and cunt?)

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