Friday, September 26, 2008
The vilification of sexual congress started a very long time ago when the emerging Hebrew tribes (with their male godhead’s versus the female-oriented ancient faiths) jockeyed for power in Ancient Greece, Sumerian, Babylon and other ancient cultures. Scholars were quick to accept that the certain ancient texts referred to “sacred prostitutes” when in fact, a proper reading would perhaps suggest the word was closer to medium or priestess; thus, not prostitution as it might be viewed today but possibly (although not certainly) involving ritual sex – but ritual sex intended to be part of a sacred ceremony NOT sex for money.
The reality was that prior to the influx and increased influence of the Hebrew tribes (and subsequently the advent of Christianity), ritualized sex linked to the fecundity of the land and the health and prosperity of its people was recognized and practiced. The intrinsically spiritual nature of sex was seen as a conduit to a higher state of being – with the “king” or male being the seed and the female representing the goddess.
Oddly, a form of “sacred” prostitution is practiced to this day in India (although in actual fact, I believe that the “sacred” prostitutes are actually fully exploited women of the “untouchable” caste who are being exposed to HIV/AIDS at a horrific level with no recourse due to their caste status under the law).
The point to all this?
For centuries, what was once considered a ritualized, sacred rite which honoured both the woman and her partner as sacred devotees seeking enlightenment and a higher state of being has been brought to a level where the sexual congress which was part of a sacred ritual has been reduced to a purely physical coupling removed from any form of spirituality or emotional meaning.
As a result, sex has become in today’s society (and for a very long period of time) a bargaining tool, a commodity, an intolerable physical need, and/or simply a means to create more souls.
In view of the prevalence and readily available engagement of the sexual senses and opportunities today to engage in sex, it is highly interesting that for many people it has become something to be avoided, derided or ashamed of. This is not entirely surprising as when you view sex as an unfortunate urge, something to be done hurriedly, almost “gotten over with”.
The normal amount of time that intercourse lasts is between 3 (yes 3 MINUTES) and 13 … which is hardly enough time to satisfy either party. While men may orgasm, simply completing a mechanical coupling is hardly emotionally or spiritually fulfilling and most women are barely warmed up at that point.
(And as an aside, if I believed in god, I would rail against the irony of women possessing a clitoris – the ONLY organ in either the male or female physiology whose ONLY function is sexual pleasure – only to place it in a place where a very large percentage of women would never reach a peak of sexual pleasure.)
Having waxed on about the emotional need I have for connecting at more than a physical level with a partner, I want to elucidate.
I truly believe that most people – unless seriously emotionally damaged – seek some form of connection OTHER than physical with potential sexual partners.
Oddly, this can be applicable even to those seeking those one-night stands.
I know that there are those who would argue they WANT that “two ships that pass in the night” experience with no expectations other than quick hot monkey sex on both sides… BUT I challenge ANYONE to really think about those quick, chance met sexual encounters. I would bet that you have some good memories of some and not so good memories of others.
I think that is because regardless of the intention of either party, people connect at more than a purely physical level; even those who are merely interested in chance met encounters. If the feelings on both sides are spiritually balanced, open and receptive, then the encounter can be a positive one; if, on the other hand, there is a dichotomy or the spirits clash as it were, then both parties are usually left vaguely dissatisfied and/or regretful.
I do NOT confuse or expect that every single sexual experience must carry with it a meaning beyond a healthy enjoyment of the purely physical sensation and delight a good sexual encounter can provide.
NO – the point I want to make is that by indulging our PHYSICAL body, we in turn can and with no prior intent but only with an openness and receptiveness, can tap into a more satisfying physical experience with at least a vague awareness and acceptance of the spiritual element to it.
As a society, despite the explosion of apparent communication avenues and the means to communicate so readily and easily available, we are becoming increasingly divorced from the community of our fellow human beings. It is an obvious and sad dichotomy that as we overtly seem to “collect’ friends, we are in fact increasingly becoming insular and removed from actual human contact – and without human contact, we are further cut off from the possibility of access to a rich world beyond the obvious.
In short, the more connected we become, the more DISconnected we are.
Marshall McLuhan predicted a global village and purely in terms of the communication highway, we are indeed, having egress to societies, cultures and countries that for many centuries were simply fantastic possibilities.
But a village by definition is a close-knit connected community.
Instead, because we cling stubbornly to the surface of our “communication” roads and do not look beneath the surface, we have and are losing the ability to reflect ….
It really is not rocket science.
The bottom line is that human beings are complex, complicated and multifaceted. We are not simply a collection of cells nor are we merely organisms programmed to play out a predetermined set of genetic imperatives. For whatever reason and for HOWEVER we ended up as the quixotic, odd individuals we are- we NEED to look beyond the instinctual compulsions and tap into that spiritual universe which our ancestors believed was as real as the earth on which we walk. And being human, we need to utilize what we are given – in short, our physical bodies.
More to come
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Vespertine Erotica in a thought-provoking essay on “higher love” (http://www.vespertine-erotica.com/2008/01/31/higher-love/) challenges the reader to explore:
my specific set of sexual desires at this point in my life?
It as if Elizavetta reached in and somehow pulled out of my mind and soul the questionings I have been exploring over the past year in particular. In particular, I have been having some revelatory moments over the past very painful 5 years, which, in the quixotic way that life has, culminated in a lot of heartache and a reasonably concurrent measurement of insight into self and the nature of the universe as it unfolds around me.
First and foremost, I concluded many years ago that severing the sexuality of a human being from the spiritual and emotional psyches of the person is a philosophical mistake engendered by centuries of effort on the part of a male-dominated, misogynistic theology which (sadly) labelled sexuality as “animalistic” as opposed to thought and faith which were of the “spirit” and thus preferable. Equating the intensity of sexual experience with animals who were considered inferior, religious philosophers speculated that “god” could be understood and accessed only through rationality and a repudiation of the ‘gross’ body.
Centuries have passed and the mindset continues to thrive; every theology espousing a “male” godhead (and thus includes Muslims, Orthodox Jews and Christians) continues to view human sexuality as something to be fought and overcome, something in fact, to be reviled and if possible, rejected. In each of those religions, the highest-status male practitioners are inevitably chaste (or said to be).
One of the ramifications of this philosophy is that sexuality has been marginalized and derided. The spiritual connection which can be achieved (I believe) via the intensity of sexual experience has been eroded and thinned to the point where in our Western world, it has become a commodity rather than a path to greater insight into another facet of existence.
I’m currently re-reading John Barth’s Giles the Goat Boy; which thankfully, unlike other books I’ve revisited in the past several months, continues to delight as much as it did 30 years ago when I first read it. Even better, my older, mature, more jaded eyes and mindset are enjoying parts of it that my younger, more naive comprehension had missed entirely.
But in the context of the discussion here, there is a scene where Giles, having been asked by an older, mature woman (which at this point in the missive, one speculates might be his “human” mother for Giles was raised on a mythical university campus by goats), has asked him to choose – whether he would be a goat or a boy? Trembling on the edge of puberty, assailed by normal, healthy hormonal imperatives, Giles has the mindset of his cloven-hoofed siblings and sex is natural, to be enjoyed, something to seek and have with as much regularity as possible.
He, passionate, avows “he would be a boy” should she allow him to “BE” with her. The reader is instantly aware that “BE” means to have sex but the woman is confused, unaware and when, after a passage of time and repartee, understands his request, is horrified and rushes away.
Giles is left confused, angry and frustrated, unsure as to how he has offended, confused at her horrified comprehension of his lust, stung by her patent disgust. For “being” with someone is, in his world, something so utterly natural and simple – and to be desired … for as he points out “how can it be bad, something so wonderful?”
The point is that Giles (at THAT point) had not stepped out in the world of humanity where there in his mythological university, as in our world, a sharp division is made between the physical and spiritual.
The fact is that as long back as I can remember, I have felt the intensity and potential spirituality of the sexual instinct. I somehow avoided picking up any feelings of guilt or “badness” about enjoyment of my sexuality while at the same time, managing more or less to avoid the many pitfalls in the judgemental, rigidly defined world of the 1970s where (hard to believe) “virginity” was still spoken of in almost reverential tones and girls still “yearned” to be virgins on their wedding night. Even more perversely, boys WANTED their future potential wives to be virgins… while at the same time pulling out all those old chestnuts like “blue balls” and trying to emotionally manipulate a girl into sex through a form of blackmail (you are a “tease”, you “promised”… you can’t stop NOW). Not sure where they expected to find that Shangri-La of virgins once they matured and started thinking marriage …
I negotiated the minefield of teenage dating more or less intact, not without a few battle scars of course – I was dropped more than once because of my failure to “put out”- but felt comfortable in my skin in my refusal to give in to pressure and expectations outside my own. I had a rich and varied fantasy life, having discovered vibrators at a VERY young age and the joys of self-manipulation.
However, I ALSO realized in discovering and exploring the myriad mysteries of my own body, that this wonderful feeling was not something I wanted to lightly share – that the intensity of my sexual responsiveness was somehow beyond a simple physical expression but reached into a realm of which I was only vaguely aware. Although that was a very long time ago, I distinctly remember thinking that sharing this kind of sensuality with another individual could potentially be life-altering – that it truly was not as simplistic as two bodies banging against each other, but sensed, mistily, still uncertain, still unformed and insubstantial, that sharing this wonderful emotive experience, allowing ingress to my body would involve more than a mere physical reality, but in fact, I would be allowing the entrance of someone else as a totality – their thoughts, their emotions, their moods and their conception of self.
I’m not talking about adolescent dreams of the “One”, of marriage and a white picket fence – those were never my dreams. Even at 15, 16 and then 17, I had no desire/urge to “snag” the “One” and at some unsubstantiated time, start the marriage/kids thing. But I sensed even then, that for me, sex with another individual would involve more than the physical but would indeed, engage the emotional and spiritual yearnings (of which I was very aware) which I touched upon, which I sensed, each time I had an intense physical experience.
Ultimately, sex can ground us to our physical world and provide a bridge from gross reality to the spiritual realm which resides within each of us. In short, sex can provide a bridge between the scared and the profane – a division imposed on us by the rigid mandates of a theology which continues today to insist on dividing the “whole” of a person by removing the erotic aspect of their psyche and emphasizing the “importance” of rational thought.
One of the most detrimental impacts of this type of thought process is that sex has become both a commodity and routine – two states of mind which preclude the true merging of what I believe is mean to be a “whole” – our sacred and our profane are simply different faces on the same body …
more to come
Monday, September 22, 2008
A very long time ago I began shaving, so long ago I can’t remember when I began but my recollections are all of smoothness and the glint of silver rings. Rings whose sterling circle of ownership skewered through flesh in a blinding, hot, aching moment of pain each time I had one done. I remember the cluttered basement, with the fine blond hair of the artist spilling over her narrow shoulder, dress hiked to my hips, long bare legs obscenely spread, feet in stirrups, spread wide like a sacrifice to some ancient god, fretting and wondering if the hot sweet smell of sex lingered still or if it were my imagination.
My heart beating, voice tight as I pretended nonchalance but remembered agony tightening the strong muscles of calves and my thighs flexing as I fight to keep them spread. And her voice, calm, kind, explaining each step, the long silver skewer glinting in the strong light which illuminated me unforgiving, picking out the reality of childbirth and scars of time. The sudden coolness as she swabbed the almost delicate labia, the nudge as she marks the spot and then a breath, deep, and a conscious counting of seconds as the tip of the skewer pricks then slides through skin and gristle and the hot white RAGING pain, a sharp vicious pinch of molten fire and then the lesser pinch, almost a relief as she threads the ring through and the circle is complete and the clasp done and the ring is nestled in the most intimate of places.
The hardest part was waiting for the next one… anticipating that awful pain, borne stoically for his pleasure.
How lovely they looked, my rings against the pale translucent flesh, flesh stained the most delicate of pinks when freshly washed and ready. To retain that velvet soft skin was a daily ritual, as straightforward and mundane as washing your face or teeth but in the doing, the scrape of the razor over the intimate folds and swirls, the complicated delicious complexity that is a woman was a reaffirmation of my place, so eagerly embraced.
I had indeed forgotten what nature intends, the look, the feel. How different everything is! From the mound, so vulnerable and appealing in its naked state, now softened and obscured by a soft thicket of golden red curls, whirls and curlicues, soft as a kitten’s fur to my fingers which dance and burrow and learn anew the complexities of my forgotten body.
Like an ancient site of worship, an Aztec shrine, obscured now with the creeping reality of now, I feel myself disappearing, as if the natural order of reality has reasserted the dominance of time and laid claim once more to the circle of life.
I have never really managed nor wanted to separate the reality of the physical me from the spiritual or sexual being and have always found the outward is often a barometer and outward manifestation of
My fingers burrow and explore and I find myself lost in the complexities of the now and the sweet, intimate parts of me slowly disappear, sinking beneath the detritus of a soul gone dead and I wonder, poignantly, whether my time is over.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Read that article and weep.
Female circumcism is alive and thriving ... and in many countries (including the one here, Sierra Leone) - is a reality for 90% of the female population.
Guess what? I don't give a good goddam what your culture is, what your religion is, what you believe or don't believe - female circumcism is WRONG. It is barbaric, misogynistic, horrific and responsible for so many ills that they are almost beyond counting.
What appalled me most in this article was the apparently well educated (primarily in the Western hemisphere) woman who went back and as an adult got circumcised and sings the praises now. BULLSHIT. How SICK is it that to "bond" to your relatives and those of your birth culture, to feel "part" of a community, you have to MUTILATE yourself - put yourself in a situation where you are courting major health risks.
Anyone that needs to destroy her body in order to "fit in" needs some major psychological help as far as I am concerned. We are not talking some minor physical alterations - tattoos, piercings, even branding ... we are talking about cutting away all external female genitalia, SEWING up the vagina and leaving only enough space for urine and minstrel blood to get out (except it usually doesn't work and massive infection is common). There are forms of FMG that requires the woman to be "unsewn" in order to have intercourse!
And they do this to their CHILDREN.
And guess what, I do not BELIEVE that sex lives are "normal" nor that there are no health repercussions or effects - I think people are living in a dream world that assert that. For one thing, how can you KNOW what a normal, healthy sex life IS when you have NO sex organs? And the list of negative health effects from chronic infections to increased incidence of death in childbirth (for mother and child) are documented and incontrovertible.
Which brings me to my second rant.
Orgasm on command.
Guess what, I don't believe it is REAL.
I know, there are a thousand people out there who have experienced it - one touch, his voice (always his, incidentally, why can't female Dominants do the orgasm on command thing?) and boom, the wave hits ... NOT - I don't believe it for a moment.
Show me EMPIRICAL evidence.
One of the positive things which I'm seeing these days is research is being conducted on a whole myriad of issues which affect women - from how drugs affect THEM (it only took what? 50 years for the scientists to figure out that HOW a drug interacts with a 200 lb, 6 foot male is NOT the same as that drug would react in a 125 lb, 5.4" female!!) to increasing research on female sexual response.
I somehow do not think that all the researchers and scientists out there looking for research bucks would ALL somehow overlook the potential goldmine of inciting an orgasm in a woman through simple commands.
I don't believe it and nothing other than hard evidence would convince me!
Its not that I don't believe that the mind is a powerful force, that it can create in each of us some astonishing states of mind. In fact, I've been lucky enough to have several orgasms similar in nature to "wet dreams" (usually associated with males) - in that I would slowly wake from an erotic dream, a powerful one, my body flushed and aroused.... and I'm trembling, on the edge ...and IF I keep still, very very still and keep the thought going, then BOOM the wave will hit and without touching myself I will orgasm ... empirical too - contractions, the whole bit.
BUT, that is because I am (for all intents and purpose) in a suspended, almost meditative state, where in essence I was in an altered state of consciousness.
Now, I've been told that is what happens with "orgasm on command" but as a committed and almost obsessive yoga buff constantly seeking the nirvana of meditation, I KNOW how impossible difficult it is to suspend your thoughts and reach that altered state ...
Creating that kind of state can be done BUT by someone as they say in my litigation department when dealing with a controversial judgment ... done by "someone skilled in the art" ... and picking up a book here and there, reading an article or simply BELIEVING yourself to be such a "powerful" individual that your dulcet tones can themselves induce orgasm is at best, optimistic, at worst, deceptive.
what I DO think is that a LOT of women "say" they can orgasm on command, act convincingly as if they had indeed done so ... and in reality, convinced even themselves that they have orgasmed. But it didn't happen .... I am especialy suspicious of the M/s, D/s ones that say it happens as being a subby myself, I'm well aware of the lengths one can go to in order to please the one you worship....
So, that's my rant for the day - FGM MUST be banned - the world bodies MUST get involved and SCREW the culture and I don't believe in orgasm on command ...so there!
Monday, September 15, 2008
Droplets of moisture gleam in the refracted light of the glowing moon which flickers and palely loiters behind the grumbling roiling clouds that cavort and roll in abandon in a wine-dark sky and seek to drown the silver need which spills from its brooding face.
Rustling and mumbling in urgent, dry papery whispers, the leaves on the trees warn of the coming of winter, their rich verdant pulchritude a façade of broken promise for when I close my eyes and listen, I can hear the constriction of narrowing veins as the sap shrinks away and slinks into hiding deep inside trunks still wearing their summer finery.
I open to the night and try to pull its promise into a heart, which like the leaves, has grown dry and desiccated and feel a terrible yearning regret seep from the very pores of my skin. I throw out thought and hope and hear the echo in the quivering dark air of ravens as they sweep and capture on the wind of swift wings the remnants of want and a desire that used to define in part the essence of self.
Most of us shuffle alone in ruts of our own making, if not content, resigned to the bland realities of days that bleed one into the other. I find in myself a terrible envy for those few souls I see with the ability and the will to find in moments, even seconds, small frissons of real living, of experiencing, internalizing the moment. Most of the time it is as if the majority of us are wrapped round with cotton and duct tape, itchy and confining, muffling and distorting the solid, real experience of living, protecting us to some extent but at the terrible cost of losing the ability to encounter the world in vibrant colour and texture.
I think often of just …quiet. No more caring or wondering or fretting or heartache. Just .. nothing. Like a siren call, over the rhythmic sound of the waves I hear them call me home.
 La Belle Dame Sans Merci, John Keats (1884)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
If you have had ANY interaction with teenage girls in the past year or so, then the boys of summer above won’t be strangers to you …
You go around
Like you know
Who I am
But you don't
You've got me on my toes”
Music blasted from the stereo, painting colour and noise and youth into the air. My youngest daughter, quivering with energy and teenage angst, leaps from couch to couch, arms wheeling, playing air guitar, lip synching to the trembling boy band lyrics tumbling out of the throats of the boy band of the moment.
Dramatically she pauses, face raised to the heavens, radiant with first-crush love and emotion, and waits, arms stretched wide for the MOMENT.
On one of the couches, daughter no.2 huddles, whimpering pathetically, tied to the living room with gossamer thin, steely strong familial bindings and the memories of years of torment of her baby sister to make up keeping her captive to her sister’s passion.
“Mummy, save me!”
I grin and with motions (as to surmount the noise level is an impossibility) command her stillness, making her “share” this moment.
Basely, I slip from the living room to the kitchen, where their father has already escaped. We grin conspiratorially at each other but with an underlying poignancy we both recognize.
“Its not the first time I’ve had kids leaping all over the furniture” he says prosaically, but then sadly, “but it is the last”.
He’s right and I feel a pang. Our youngest daughter is hurtling towards growing up at an alarming rate. My “baby” is soon to be 16 – vibrant, glowing, capricious, angst-ridden and moody as hell. She is complicated and terribly bright and awfully silly. She agonizes over a barely visible blemish and is now 6 years into being a vegetarian over a strongly held, hard to refute repudiation of meat. She speaks up in a crowd and is a stalwart defender of the weak… when she is not being a “mean girl”.
So many changes are occurring that my head spins. It seems one moment I had four small children demanding every moment of every day, when “quality” time was the three hours sleep (if I was lucky), where D. and I went for 12 years without a real “date” …and now, my eldest daughter has moved out with her boyfriend (something with which we’re completely comfortable), daughter no. 2 is seldom seen between fulltime university, jobs and a VERY active social life, my son, a provincial level wrestler and silver-belt judo maven and self-labelled computer geek barely seen except for meals (which never seen to fill him up) and now my youngest… on her way to maturity and adulthood, escaping me as she should, stretching and growing and making her own mistakes and learning that life is hard and yet so utterly wonderful.
I wander into the living room, the window shaking as the bass spilling from the stereo tears at the frames ...and watch my child explode into a frenzy of graceful movements as the song belts out its message of pubescent reality ...
Burning up, burning up
For you baby
and now the universe is unfolding as it should.
Sunday, September 7, 2008
Sighing, I grasp the full, richness of its fulsome bodied emotion and drag it out in the muted light of the room. Rage is red, a rich vibrant ruby colour, pulsating with an anxious need to explode into being, a wanting, needing feel that to my jaded hands feels comfortable and known. For rage and I are old friends, … rage and I have spent so much time together that I know it intimately, in and out… all the twisted, convoluted corridors of its mind from the first small prickling of fury to the exploding passion of wrath.
I pull rage around my shoulders, nestling into the comfort of its crimson embrace. It feels right, rage. It feels like that warm, comfortable coat that you keep reminding yourself to get rid of – that it has outlived any use it might ever have had, it is worn and no longer viable. Rage is like that. But it feels so intrinsically RIGHT, my rage. Although well used and worn, pulled out into the light of day again and again, my rage is still vibrant, rich and useful.
The material of rage is strong and resistant. I hear despair scrabbling at its deceptively soft surface, trying to insinuate its dark, trickling sliminess inside. But rage holds despair easily at bay- refusing ingress. Sadness manages to slip by now and again, little hamster feet scrabbling frantically and burrowing into rage’s deep pockets, but sadness can’t get past that final barrier and lick wretchedness into the pale, vulnerable skin of my stomach.
It has been a while since I’ve worn rage and I shift my shoulders slightly; it feels just slightly off, not quite the same. A sudden breeze raises the fine hairs on my arms, and I shiver within rage’s close embrace. I realize that rage isn’t as warm as it used to be. When I donned rage before it would feel as if my blood pressure was up, as if the very blood in my veins were boiling and threatening to erupt through the pores of my skin. Its… well, cooler now. This rage which envelops me in its smothering want has a frigid, cold feel to its embrace that I have never experienced.
I shrug, and close my eyes and drink in the feel of rage and realize that there is a burning element to it .. but a burn like that of pure, pristine, relentless cold. The prickling, clear knife-like kiss of frost, licking pain along the edge of need, nuzzling agony into the crevasses of want and stinging hurt into the abyss of a soul destroyed.
I sigh and lean back prosaically into its cruel embrace, finding in the pain a certain vindication of the life which flickers so uncertainly within the grossness of a betrayed body. Calmness permeates this new rage, so much so that I almost don’t recognize my old friend. I reflect too on the inevitability of change and how even my rage, tried and true, can metamorphosize into something I barely recognize.
Musing, I realize that the record I hear, droning in the background of my consciousness, is scratched and battered, the needle sticking in the groove of remembered accusations. Time and repetition, however, do not make things any more valid or truthful nor do they turn fiction into belief or truth.
I reflect (and sadness manages to nuzzle its damp nose into my heart, just for a second, before I allow rage to do what it does best and chase sadness away), that one false step (and not even the one of which I am accused) and I am condemned… again. I question my own penchant for choosing those who demand perfection, who cannot tolerate even the smallest misstep, the slightest variation from a path set, whose use words to obfuscate and confuse the issues at the core of the matter.
I question again my own dysfunctional need to cling to those who purport responsibility for their own actions yet in truth settle the blame snugly around my shoulders. I remember a father like that … a mother, siblings, a lover …
I feel a flicker deep within the tattered remnants of my soul as rage sends a tendril of flame along the intricate passageways of my id. For I know, that I am many things … some of them not so nice – but what I am NOT is what I am accused of being. And I breathe out and breathe in, deep lung-filling breaths which fan the flames and I feel rage flicker, then strengthen until sighing, the flames explode in a conflagration of wrath and the cool, molten flames of rage are pinpoints of hell within the green of eyes gone dead.