Anticipation

[cross-posted from deardakini.net]

Sometimes I feel so much it hurts.
My head or my heart, it grabs onto something.
I become moved, on any level, and it translates directly to a tug on my clit, which feels a bit like my skin is being drawn up from within by a taut clothesline.
The tug makes my cunt come online – suddenly the 2-3″ diameter energy “hole” I experience as hungry cunt is both somehow full and yet needy.
I’m aware of the walls, the cunt and clit seem to be channeling so much potent sensation, that the “hole” begins to be more pole, and my low back gets in on the action
And source point threatens to alight the chain reaction with Kundalini gunpowder
And I reach for my pen
I write it out
Each word like a droplet
Of gold white honey
Now filling in that delicious cauldron
Above my cervix
Between my hips
Getting heavier and more full, somehow drowning and soaring
The cunt and clit, swirling into convex brimming gravity threatening to drown
My breath growing faster
More labored as I just
Focus on that heavy honey
Swirling
Writing
Breathing
The ink
My words
Adding to my honey pot
Impossibly full
I long not for release
But sustained presence
In this sweet unending


Four Years

“History repeats itself…”

“The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

Along with other pithy slips of phrase, these two of my Mother’s favorites confounded me. How could history repeat itself, if we’re each these super-individual snowflakes that can be whatever we want when we grow up? How can it be possible that history repeats itself? Now, we’ve all seen the comparisons between JFK & Jefferson’s assassination, the anagrams of notable figures’ names’ and whatnot. It’s chilling, for sure. Almost as if there was some kind of meta pattern we, as the human race, are replaying until we can transcend it. You know, like an individual organism does. The definition of insanity and whatnot?

I come from a line of lascivious women. At least 3 generations back, we were getting knocked up before marriage. This would probably be the first time my mother would intone her phrase with ominous connotation, that their fates would be my own. Now, my grandfather on Mom’s side was very like Archie Bunker – except the TV never showed Archie entering the daughters’ rooms after bath time. She herself had become pregnant prior to graduation from college and got an abortion. Of course the tales we tell our children at bedtimes don’t reflect Grandpa’s perverse version of stories, love, or goodnight kisses. Of course they don’t shade the kids’ psyches with the hues of shame and guilt that a survivor of sexual or domestic assault has assimilated.

Today is the fourth anniversary of my most recent marriage. I phrase it thusly; it is, after all, my third. Since I was 23, I’ve been all but swearing off men. My boyfriend back then was about as femme as one could be while still enjoying to take girls in bed and electing boy clothes to go to work. He was bi, he was switchy/bottom-leaning. The popular joke among our friends was that I was the “man” between us. I idolized him. But inside, I said, “THIS one. MAY AS WELL BE a girl. If we can’t find sustainable partnership here? Best leave boys alone altogether.” After that boyfriend had evaporated to California? In standard predator fashion, my ex-husband number two would sweep/swoop in on the heels of that breakup, to collect the pieces of a busted-up Jen, and “reassemble” me in some way that suited him.

This launches an entire saga which precedes my arrival in the world of Kink In Name. Ex Number Two still holds the title of Most Sick, (Mono/Vanilla), Repressive, Toxic, Seven-year Relationship Which I Repeatedly Attempted To End.

My husband and I haven’t lived together in over a year. We’ve been dwelling separately since the monoheteronormative script wouldn’t allow us a way to cohabitate and go through the motions of coparenting without slipping into romantisexual motions. As this anniversary has approached, I’ve been thinking about our relationship and what honoring our commitment looks like today. While our relationship transition has been difficult and fraught with hard feelings, we’ve retained a sense of solidarity and intimacy despite the personal disagreements we may be experiencing.

So BearWithMe still holds the title of Dude This Dyke CHOSE To Co-Parent With and Then MARRY.

We’ve all been invited to a wedding this weekend. Mutual friends. Nothing like adding sentimentality to an already loaded weekend.

I got to thinking yesterday about this meta cycle I have of losing my marbles/my coping/treading water when Major relationships dissolve. Since being under the care of Western Psychology & Psychiatry for 17 months now, it’s changed the way I view my life’s arc. Each of the major head-goes-under-surface-emotionally episodes roughly correspond to Jen losing someone significant in her life.

It’s almost as if my identity gets all wrapped up in to whom I’m partnered. Now, I know the reader just got all kinds of judgy just now – indulge me. I know, I know, “BUT JEN – AREN’T YOU THIS PRICKLY FEMINIST DYKE BITCH?!” It’s true. I am. But I’m also horrendously codependent, thanks to a legacy of men (primarily) overstepping boundaries sexually, emotionally, mentally, psychologically, spiritually. My value really IS defined by my ability to please men/my partner/family members, either through my appearance/sex appeal, my domestic skills, my ornamentation, or the status I confer to them. When I fail to conform to a standard which expressly and explicitly serves The Ultimate Authority, Men (Status Quo), I expose myself to vitriol and abuse which rivals my big bad Hulk-like father. It takes a truly unholy amount of conscious reprogramming & positive affirmations (which contain their own demand for focus, nutrition, hydration, etc.) to not internalize these deeply harmful messages. My experience is not unique, nor is it isolated. I had a (once) close friend (male) call me a victim this week. When one is conditioned from a young age to be pleasing & of-service to those in the vicinity, whether bigger or smaller, older or younger, gender irrelevant, and then later that person realizes they’ve been denied permission to be a sentient being, self-same? It sorta becomes a chicken-and-egg argument, no?

So it was approximately Labor Day when my lover and I fell in love. It was approximately Labor Day when Mr. 7 Years of Toxic was introduced to me. Other than being the month of my mother’s birth, October itself doesn’t stick out as auspicious in my life. Pennsic is the first two weeks of August, so by the time September rolls around, I’m looking forward to sustaining the costume-appropriate events, and anticipating Halloween. Resisting the urge to PUT AWAY ALL THE (costume/garb/sewing) THINGS. September is when school resumes, and it’s taken some weeks to recalibrate from summer mode to school mode in my home. October is when the flow starts to be automatic. Weather gets chill. Flip the house from summer/play mode to business & school/responsible mode.

We planned our wedding for the first weekend in October, in Charlevoix, because it held equal chance of being blustery & awful or being sunny, 70’s, and gorgeous. We were marrying in garb, heavy upholstery and whatnot, so a brisk breeze or overcast skies would have been a boon. I’m reptilian and perpetually chilled, so warm WITH layers is always desirable. The Fates connected us with a ritualist who penned a ceremony which was duly Pagan & agnostic to fit us both. Even my mother got costumed up. The ceremony was idyllic, and the ONLY complaint I have about the Big Day is our DJ was a douche.

Women & girls have a fairy tale. We’re spoonfed it, it’s indoctrinated by Disney, and the way our culture is structured reinforces this myth. The wedding day is the ultimate punctuation on that myth, isn’t it? You’ve won Prince Charming. Happily Ever After comes next. BearWithMe and I did it up – a castle, crowns, attendant lords & ladies, an intimate gathering of nobles to witness the union. A feast to celebrate. A rented cabin in the woods at which to do hair, host the rehearsal dinner. It was picturesque. For the ugly duckling girl from white bread suburbs who really wanted to be Judy Garland/Liz Taylor/Madonna when she grew up, it was truly ideal.

—————————————————————————————————————

The ring finger of my left hand has featured one of a few rings in the last year or two. As a polyamorous & radical/anti-authoritarian relationshipper, wearing a conventional ring on that finger is not a light decision. For awhile, it featured the poison ring my lover and I used to weave spells. I carried the remnants from a ritual inside the amethyst lid for nearly a year. Then a simple band. Then, a much heavier poison ring, elongated oval in shape, with a spell that I’d woven, strictly for me, has been there recently. Last week sometime I felt the need for naked fingers. Removed all my rings. My wedding set stays on the right hand usually unless I’m working in dough, ground beef, or marshmallow.

Since yesterday, I’ve worn my wedding set on its intended finger. Nowhere you look in my life, would one think, “now THERE’S a straight, traditionally married chick.”

Three days is the grace period we give a moon ritual. Within 72 hours of the Dark/New/Full Moon, one’s magickal workings are considered timely/punctual. Scheduling is hard, y’all. I was going to wear my wedding set for the 72 hour period, but for whatever reason, my heart said “four”.

It’s been four years. For four sleeps, four sun/moon rotations, this commitment will set upon my fourth finger on my heart hand. I will wear it when we all attend the wedding this weekend.

Happy Anniversary, my love. I do have regrets. I will continue to try and hold our agreements and commitment sacred. I chose you, I choose you, and I continue to choose to love you.


Snapshot

Stood up too fast
Stretched my neck up too far
Whipped my head around too quick
Nearly lost my shit
A day of strain
A stretch to recover
And I nearly fucking drop
All in the noble battle
To be heard and seen
In this great battleground called
Love
Relationship
Sharing
Communication
Tribe
Family
In a week that I’ve felt my sister’s sexual violation acutely
On a day circumstances had me consider my own destruction
Two days before going to Be Big Once More
Still didn’t finish my to-do list
Still, a work-in-progress
Another day in the life
With my noble allies and compadres
I call
Depression and Anxiety.


Sexual Identity Rumination

Fierce & Femme – I’m cis. As a young girl, I didn’t understand why long, full dresses weren’t fashionable at school, and while I didn’t want to stop wearing them, I caved to the social pressure. That was the beginning of society’s indoctrination regarding displays of femininity making one a target, and thus, I began to repress the natural femininity that I felt. The year between kindergarten and first grade, I had waist-length wavy hair, which was the pride of my father. I got pine sap in my hair just before a birthday party, and my mother cut my hair very short. The haircut I got made me feel like a boy, and during the party, my own grandfather didn’t recognize me. I was the eldest of my siblings, the role model for my younger siblings, an overachiever out of necessity, and a fairly bright student. I became a single mother at age 17, and by then, I was sure I was “doing girl wrong”. I wasn’t especially promiscuous, didn’t drink or party at that age, and yet I knew I was a fallen woman. People in life would treat me in turns as dumb slut, charity case teenage mom, or “one of the good ones”. For the next decade or so, I survived. I worked, I got my kid to school, I paid rent. I dated, had casual sex, ate psychedelics. I identified heavily with the goth & industrial music scene, so by the time I was a 19 year old working single Mom, I’d fairly well rejected the beauty standard, however I’d also begun to accumulate some stories about myself. Like I was a bitch. Or a dyke/lesbian. I was never very good at blind obedience, to any entity, and certainly not to men in my life. One can’t be young AND smart AND pretty AND femme – the world doesn’t allow safe space for that. I had my first girlfriend and first major crush back then, too, and promptly came out to my mother as bisexual. Combine all of this murky nascent-identity stuff with low self-esteem, depression, an undiagnosed anxiety issue, and an eating disorder, and you have a fairly good picture of why Pretty and I were enemies throughout my young adult life.

I’d actually kind of forgotten about gender, beauty standard, femininity as it applied to me and suchlike by the time I had my daughter. I’m fond of saying the gnostic awakening I’ve experienced in the last few years is entirely her fault, and it is. I did NOT resonate with the role of Mother, or even especially as Woman, as I raised my son. It wasn’t until the advent of this Cancerian girlchild in my world that the Archetypal Feminine made herself manifest in my life. This chapter didn’t show up until I’d been on a path of recovery for several years, had attracted a partner with keen communication skills, who empowered & supported my growth & recovery in any direction, and I’d begun to work on a college degree. It was immediately after her birth that the Feminine began to truly assert itself in my life. I cried more in the week after her birth than I had in probably 2 decades. While my life partner is a sentimental teddy bear type, I was this icy-stony bitch that had been soldiering on since before I could remember. For me to display any BIG FEELS was upsetting to my teenaged son – it was that foreign of an experience. By the time daughter was 18 months, I’d permanently inked a Goddess onto my left arm. The image was to commemorate my connection to all women everywhere, to illustrate how I’d been touched by the Divine Feminine, and how that connection was enduring.

It would be two more years even after THAT before I would begin to identify as Fiercely Femme. Cazadora and I started dating before my daughter turned 2, and it was during our relationship that we identified Patriarchy, Misogyny, and The Man as topics about which we were both passionate, and we discussed them often. In short order, the energy group was started. It was probably in year 2 of GLEE that my outward gender expression began to move incrementally. One of my friends noticed that I tended to choose organic/flowing and/or draped & feminine themes for my GLEE wardrobe.

My path of spiritual study and contemplation had taken a turn towards sacred sexuality, sex and energy, and sexual essence & gender identity. Naturally, I’d have to examine my expression of gender. I have found that the further I go down this path of Authentic Me, the more I relax into a more feminine expression. When I listen to what my body wants to wear, to what outward image feels like it allows my Soul to shine through? I keep finding myself in extra-long skirts, full/sweeping sleeves, organic or curvy prints, brighter and more colors, with a bit of glitter/sparkle/flashy detail. So while I’ve always been Fierce? I can fully represent my Femininity with that Fierceness, now.

Leatherdyke – I’ve always known I didn’t love like the others. As early as 16, I could identify that degradation, roughness, and a bit of pain made sex extra-fun for me. I’ve always known attitudes towards sadomasochists were limited and limiting – even when I harbored them myself! Mixing with the goth & industrial set in my 20’s, along with the Rocky Horror Picture Show, I was firmly identified as a Freak, but not necessarily one of those kinky types. Even as I negotiated a punishment scene featuring anal sex & a crop with my bi boyfriend who played Frank-N-Furter(with whom I had an open relationship)! Through the worst of my using years and before finding Kink In Name, I was in an abusive, toxic, vanilla, monogamous marriage. He’d convinced me that Goth, body piercings, tattoos, Crayola hair, and “rough sex” were silly, conformist means of being “sheeple”, and it would be best for me to greywash all that I felt identified me to become this khaki-wearing, corporate cube jockey, boring & predictable Married Woman. Seems ridiculous, I know, but it was effective.

Finding collarme, bondage.com, Alt, and attending my first munch, were auspicious events in my world. I was VERY concerned that I was replacing an addiction to thrills or excitement (via drugs or escapist eating) with scary/edgy sex. Especially having internalized the shame that I did with my ex, I had pathologized kink in a very real way. I approached kink intellectually and socially, for the most part. I was not oft to play or demo or try out new sensations, especially in public.

After awhile, once my feet and spine and head and breath were in kinky spaces on a regular basis, I accepted a position on the Ann Arbor TNG Board. Having been identified as a non-conformist Freak in my previous life, when I’d hear about Leather, or 24/7 or Protocols or Rituals or Old Guard, I’d kind of glaze over. I was invested in being a Freak, an Outlaw, an Individual. Of course education, community, and safe space were important issues to me, this idea of One Twue Way to do BDSM was pretty repugnant.

Along the way, I began to be drawn to the Ordeal Path, whatever that was. It seemed to be a set of folks that were into testing themselves through catharsis. They talked about milking personal insight and wisdom from the trials in life. That they don’t exactly wish struggle upon themselves – but that they’d developed a taste for the awareness these trials wrought, had found blessings and gratitude after the storm passed. These folks seemed to be talking about recovery, but using consensual pain to facilitate it. Without having a formal Ordeal scene, though, how could I know?

I met BearWithMe, had my daughter, and found GLEE. I still considered myself simply a sadomasochistic kinkster, not a Lifestyle 24/7 type, and still very much a beginner. Through exploration of concepts surrounding intimacy, sexuality, pleasure, pain, growth, relationships, energy, container, connection, my ideas about the spirituality of sex began to become re-oriented. I began to identify as a Sacred Sexuality Priestess, one whose Purpose here is to bring Spirituality and Sexuality back into a holistic frame with one another.

This Freaky Lover Person I thought I was had taken on greater implications. Again I considered Leather. By now, some of my kinky role models were Leatherfolk. Lee Harrington, Mollena Williams. Two years ago, MzWolf was attending her second GLEE at the Farm. I had had a vision which I asked her to help me realize. I needed to bleed for my Dark Mother Lilith. I’d had a vision while engaging in sex magick that I would bleed. I would be whipped and I would bleed, and then I would be Hers, because we wanted it to be so.

Still, Leather represented this stodgy, stuffy, rote and boring way of expressing deviant sexuality. It struck me as a paradox – how can this decidedly “alternative” idea/culture/’scene’ dictate the right way to do deviant sex?

Lilith represents those who do not fit the overculture – the forgotten ones, the unpretty ones, the unwanted and broken ones – they are Her people, and therefore My people. Mine to minister, mine to heal, mine to welcome and embrace. It is unlikely that Lilith has not been working in my life this entire time, to show me how Individuality and Free Sexual Expression are not supported or cultivated by our contemporary culture. It is unlikely that the ecstasy I felt while writhing on those darkened dance floors wasn’t due to the seduction between Lilith and I. It is unlikely that it wasn’t Lilith who whispered to me as I vigorously fucked & bruised my lovers.

In the two years since I formalized my connection to Lilith, there has been much contemplation on the form we call identity, ego, self vs. Self. Stepping into Being Big versus becoming a pure vessel for Divinity. Essence versus desire. Passion versus craving. I’ve been slowly migrating my identity and purpose to being one of stewardship and being of a higher calling over this time as well. As I described my bafflement at this turn of events in my life to a former partner-in-crime from those Rocky days, she flatly stated, “well, if you’ve felt The Call…”

If I were of an Abrahamic faith, I’d be able to attend seminary, to go on sabattical, to seek retreat when my spiritual fires need re-fueling. The services I render to my congregation would keep my family and I alive and reasonably-appointed without clamoring or quantifying what I provide.

But my path is decidedly not that clean or white or sanctioned. My path is fringe. Freak. Outlaw. Deviant. Grey. That is what defines me as Leather. The resistance I felt to Leather, the impingement upon the authentic expression of my sexuality was in this appearance that there was But One Way to do kink, and that was this Old Guard Leather way. Rather, Leather as I’ve come to understand it descends from the gay leatherman scene, who based their protocols largely upon biker clubs, who based their protocols heavily upon the military. None of those conventions particularly resonate with me. (The outlaw biker clubs, on the other hand… gimme mafia porn any day…) I’ve learned another story about Leather, though. About being willing to be visible as outside the normative culture. About wearing your sadomasochistic heart as garb. About embodying an image which deviates from the overculture, and defining what that means for you and your Tribe.

It has become evident to me that Leather can also be about the spirituality of BDSM. That it’s about living to a higher standard, about embodying an impeccable method, about approaching deviant sex with an attitude of Dignity and self-possession. THAT resonates.

My sexual orientation is another tl;dr post entirely, but it is clear that I do BDSM because it feeds my Soul. Even when feeling frigid and asexual, BDSM appeals aesthetically, intellectually, theatrically. I have found much spiritual juice in surrendering to discomfort; be it physical, sexual, intellectual, emotional. For general purposes, I will no longer engage in sadomasochistic romps with cismale-identified folk. There will always be Tribe with whom I’m willing to exchange sex or pain energy, regardless of gender or genitals. I will only bottom to cismen in extremely RARE circumstances. On the rare occasion I do Power Exchange as a bottom, it will only be with another Lesbian/Dyke/Sapphic Lover, and my preference will be to seek female or feminine submissives as well. My personal politics have intersected with my genitals in such a way that I’m no longer willing to accommodate a cis-het-man in my sex life under any circumstances. For most intents and purposes, my sexual identity is that of Leatherdyke.


Honorable Mentions

In 4 sleeps, approximately 20 folks will converge upon a private residence to engage in sex magick, blood magick, classes, discussion, drumming, dancing, and hopefully fucking and playing, for the weekend. It will be the first time I’ve been lead on an event of this scope, and the momentousness triggered some sentimentality this afternoon. This event is the realization of a vision. I impulsively thought I’d write to one of my Role Models to ask her to wish me luck, but I thought that to be kind of needy. Instead though, I found myself reflecting on a whole list of folks that have contributed in one way or another, to my being at this precipice. So this writing is a reflection upon those to whom I’d like to give homage, in which I talk a bit about my kink ‘lineage’, and to directly name some individuals that have been sources of inspiration along the way.

No writing resulting from sentimentality at the eve of producing my first event would be complete without mentioning ILRB, for it’s entirely his fault I’m here at all. He and I had corresponded briefly on collarme, and he vouched for me to attend my first private TNG party a lifetime ago. He’s since turned out to be a dear and beloved friend. He’s shown me how to maintain the beginners mind, how to remain human always, and how to keep one’s integrity about them.

Back in that time, I interacted mostly with the Ann Arbor TNG group. While being decidedly among the older set in that group, I have history and affection for the Ann Arbor area, so events centralized near there worked well for me. In short order, I was voluntold for the Board of the group, occupying a position undefined, but replacing something resembling a Membership/Enrollment Officer type person. I served on the board for a mere 8 months, as I became pregnant while in the position and had to step down. Two years later, I’d marry BearWithMe, and the TNG group still fairly well comprised our wedding guests. Say what you will about TNG groups (and they can certainly stir up stuff!), I had a positive experience with the group, and it impressed upon me the importance of creating & maintaining safe space for newbs. PeshMG & his_leilia modeled how a private party should flow & feel. The group in general allowed me to get comfortable being seen as sexual in a “public” setting.

Before going any further, I must expound on the exceptional, steadfast, and enduring support that I’ve received from BearWithMe since we met in that time. The quality and consistency of unconditional support, love, and acceptance that he’s offered me has been unparalleled in my entire life. Without him as a grounding force, any and all of my flights of fancy, be them erotic, spiritual, sexual, intellectual, political, or holistic, would have been impossible. In many ways, it was the birth of our daughter which catalyzed a transformational paradigm shift in my world, and that event is impossible without BearWithMe. Even as we’ve navigated the turbulent upheaval wrought by the transition, he’s remained steadfast in his love and acceptance of me.

BearWithMe and I were able to explore our poly side much more often than our kink side early on, as the presence of an infant at home limited the kind of parties we could host. We became involved with the Ann Arbor PolyNet group. It was during this time that Cazadora and I dated, and explored what it meant to be in intentional relationship, outside the binary, rocking our most radical and fierce ideals of “good” poly. A2Polynet, Cazadora, TheMostVanilla, Jess, and the support provided by the discussion group, have been instrumental in naming a style of poly that is authentic for me.

BearWithMe and I attended our first stay’n’play event when kiddo was 2.5 months old. It was COPE 2008. To say that BaraknSheba put on a great event is to make the understatement of a region. I’ve not heard of or found an event in the Great Lakes area with a more enduring enthusiastic body of attendees. (Okay, Shibaricon.) The presenters, staff, educators, and attendees were so OPEN! They allowed/empowered two tentative kinksters to try out our stuff IN A PUBLIC DUNGEON, away from home, where nobody recognized us, ha! The atmosphere of the event was erotic, friendly, open, inviting, free. We were hooked, and have endeavored to not-miss every event since. These two are a powerhouse, and they do more than produce two hotel events a year. They travel and educate nationally, as well as facilitate several smaller get-togethers throughout the year. Barak & Sheba have shown me how unapologetic & liberated sexuality is healthy and good for everyone, how to live the message, and how to put on an impeccable and unforgettable event.

That first COPE featured a Scarlet Sanctuary, and classes led by chg2winter & dansarani. I remember BearWithMe and I enjoying the class we attended by them. Chg2winter & dansarani, along with Spclkaye, are the creators and Elders among the graduates of POTQ mentioned below. They saw a need for safe touch in a container that was sacred and intimate. In creating Scarlet Sanctuary, and teaching Sacred Touch, they created a modality for bringing about this much-needed healing, which Lyn & Phoenix carry on.

In the spring before kiddo turned 3, I found a group called Great Lakes Energy Exchange (GLEE). I was at the first meeting, and have missed few since. GLEE is run by LadyLynDePomona and PhoenixSpirit. This duo also facilitates the Path of the Qadishti class, which I took in the summer of 2011. After the first GLEE, Cazadora said that LadyLyn seemed like “me in 10 years”. Lyn holds a role in my life that is nothing short of Mentor & Role Model. As I attempt to write what Lyn & Phoenix have facilitated or done for me in the last 3 years, I am overcome. It is innumerable. So many experiences have happened in their back yard or at their hands or because of opportunities I discovered while with them; I will be forever grateful. GLEE was made to be a place where people “come to wake up” to energy – it’s existence, how to utilize it, what it can do. They’ve been like Mother & Father to me on this journey, and their influence cannot be understated.

Oryter & TempleWhore are High Priest & Priestess of Temple Terra Incognita, and they provide insight and direction, a voice to the Mystery and erudite contemplation among the chaos. They serve as a beacon for what can be accomplished when you make this a life’s undertaking. Their inspiration remains a light for me.

Mollena is just fierce. If you don’t know who she is, please look her up. Cogent and emphatic speaker, insightful and empowered, fearless and radical, this woman is just badass. I was originally drawn to her writings about recovery, but I was drawn in to the process of wrangling her demons, aloud, for the audience. There’s a gravity behind that voice, a storm in those words, and mad heart.

Lee Harrington and SherynB were at the first Shibaricon I attended. Lee’s class was about uncovering the deeper desires behind our fetishes, and Sheryn’s was about managing one’s energetic needs at an event. I developed a full-out obsession with Lee, and a slower mysterious pull towards SherynB. Listening to Lee on Erotic Awakening, attending his classes, soaking up his words, I have come to understand that Lee and I are among a similar thought-group. His voice emerged above the crowd when I needed to hear his message. I can’t describe the pull I have for either of these folks; it’s woo and mysterious. The resonance with SherynB has been slower to emerge and be recognized. She was in a ritual at my first Tryst, another workshop at DO, a few conversations in bits and grabs. I respect how Sheryn uses her voice and often what she has to say. Props and respect to you both. Thank you for being you.

This list is by no means complete. There are significant souls that have touched me along this journey that have not been named. As a final note of inclusion: every single person that has bared their skin or their soul, metaphorically or actually, to themselves, to their partner(s), to all of us. It is brave, it is radical, it is the act of a sexual outlaw. Woof.


Pagan men speak out on patriarchy and misogyny

Intersections

Men live in a world of incredible privilege.  Unfortunately, we’re like the prisoners in Plato’s cave, often unable to see a world any different from our own.  Women may bare their souls trying to show us the advantages we enjoy as men, but – never having seen the world any differently – some men find it impossible to imagine life from a woman’s point of view.

The shootings at UC Santa Barbara picked the scab off this societal wound.  Suddenly, deep and festering examples of everything from slight male privilege to disgusting and cancerous misogyny were exposed.  “Men’s rights” groups, unable to see that they already enjoy easy access to “rights,” have turned to social media to defend themselves.

The hashtag #notallmen screamed that “not all men” were sexists or rapists and demanded recognition.  Women countered with a trend that had already been around, #yesallwomen, detailing the experiences of fear…

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#YesAllWomen and the Continuum of Aggression

This may be the consummate piece I’ve read on the topic thus far.

The Weekly Sift

Men look at Elliot Rodger and say, “I would never do something like that.” Women look at his victims and say, “That could totally happen to me.”


Last week the Isla Vista murders — and Elliot Rodger’s bizarre rants justifying his revenge on the female gender because women wouldn’t have sex with him — were recent enough that I hadn’t processed them. I described my snap reaction as feeling “slimed”. Letting Rodger’s thoughts into my head just made me feel dirty, polluted, unclean. And I wrote, “I can’t imagine how women feel about it.”

This week women told the world how they feel about it. (They were already starting to tell the world last Monday, but I hadn’t discovered it yet.) I have read only a tiny fraction of what has been tweeted with the #YesAllWomen hashtag, but it has been eye-opening.

The struggle for meaning. Every striking news…

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