5 August 09

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Photo by Eric Francis.

I can tell you that I could not stand the guilt. I need to be free to choose. I have devoted my erotic and emotional life so far to figuring out how to negotiate that. There are a few ways to be free; some do less damage than others. I needed and need to be in an environment where we are free of guilt or where it is consciously addressed; we can decide for ourselves what is right and what is wrong. Guilt has had a way of becoming a silent dictator for me. For a while in order to break the chains it felt like I had to betray people emotionally in the process of declaring my independence; in reality it’s always been easiest for me to tell the truth about my feelings and desires from the start and seek an agreement. I just felt guilty about having those desires. I learned, gradually, how to navigate the issue but I could be a lot happier, I think. So I am eager to be conscious of how someone I travel with is exploring her innocence; while discovering my own.

4 August 09

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Photo by Eric Francis.

Something here about…individuality. What happens – what we know happens – is that we sacrifice our individuality or an important aspect of it to the relationship we’re in. I notice how I take on relationships as my identity, or rather it often happens before I’ve noticed. This is my theory of why guilt is so powerful. Either party can ‘end’ a relationship and as a result they have power over one another’s sense of self. This is clearly the kind of situation that calls for honest power sharing; or better still, compassion. Such as in the form of, I will help support you in any decision you want to make. The honoring of free will is to express something close to true faith in a person.

3 August 09

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Photo by Eric Francis.

So where do I begin, by way of an ending to this particular series. For one thing I missed the entire point of the diary below; you can pretend you never read it. The point is I experience the most emancipating states of self-embrace when they get together. Their journey is providing me the opportunity to go deeply with myself, and I take it as far as I can. I have nothing to complain about: whatever need or desire might be left out of this situation at the moment, she loves me like Krishna’s consort when we are together; and when we are not I get to be a kind of witness to her pleasure, her exploration of life, to her friendship, to her giving herself over lovingly in freedom and safety. I get so much out of feeling the strength of her freedom, it’s necessary for both of us and rich and liberating and I have craved it forever.

Innocent and strong.

1 August 09

On the brink of faith

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Photo by Eric Francis.

There were many spaces that opened up in the course of our threshold conversation. It was an unusual experience for her and she seemed to go through what many people unaccustomed to ritual experience when they enter that space: linear time and narrative don’t quite hold up. She has asked me to tell the story chronologically as best I can, and I said I would try, though for now I am going to work from theme to theme.

One last subject is asking for a voice. I remember mentioning how it seemed like our journey and our conversation focused on her experience with him, how she is processing it and in making sure that we have a clear understanding that this is an experience in her life that we are experimenting holding space for.

Yet I did not miss that in this conversation, we tend to leave out the possibility of me having the kind of depth and contact that I need, and the sense of a safe container to have it in. I get the feeling that every time the theme of what I need from a relationship comes up directly, she feels guilty that she can’t offer it to me. That would indeed preclude taking the conversation further; at least as a topic to which we give that name. I think it’s essential to give it a name, and to recognize that so much of the fulfillment we get in relationships is from what we have to offer; from feeling like an essential part of someone’s life.

The deeper layer is my own sense of deserving love, or rather, identifying the places where it’s missing. I have come a long way here, long before meeting her.

Yet I need conscious support in this process just as much as she needs he and I to agree to hold space to share with both of us. As I’m writing, I recognize that I have some issues with the concept ‘deserve’. I don’t know another word that expresses the real idea more accurately. Or maybe it’s my sense of not deserving acting up.

In terms of the facts, most people who know me, who read my work or experience my artwork would say that I have spent my life making room for others to love, protecting their space and freedom to love, and daring to advocate for our free choices in the area of sexual pleasure and emotional freedom. I have devoted nearly a lifetime to protecting the freedom of women (in particular) to love how and who they will; and if one should choose to love me with the full strength of her devotion, and to love me as the person I am, in my true state of freedom and honesty, I might be the only person on the planet to hesitate to respond when asked if I deserve this.

I love to tell her that she deserves our love and attention and this extraordinary experience that she is having. I have my reasons for saying it that way: including awareness of how much she missed through her 20s in the way of erotic exploration, her struggle with not being able to respond sexually; her difficulties in getting her needs met in relationships.

It’s easy for me to love her and offer whatever I can to her growth and fulfillment and feel she is entirely deserving; but it’s not for what she hasn’t had; it’s for who she is, and who she is becoming.

Do I actually feel like I deserve the attention and affection of someone who is willing and capable of focusing on me? I can tell you that I would be surprised to be treated that way. I would be stunned to meet someone who was sexually available, devoted to my growth and pleasure and open to receive what I have to offer. In my current situation I am getting some of that, but this can only happen if I am willing to endure the distance of the relationship and the fact of her being deeply involved with another man.

I recognize that I am working internally with a paradox. My experience is providing me with an opportunity to distinguish love from attachment, in a truly direct way. The sense of impending loss stalks most love affairs, whether there is someone else present or not. After all, there always could be.

Our situation as it is currently set up leaves me no choice but to experience a profoundly important evolutionary turn, which is to embrace my independence as a human being despite being in love with someone, and recognizing her and wanting to share so much with her; wanting to experience her fully. I remain me, and it’s always been a challenge to do this in my relationships; so many of them seemed to demand that I give up on being who I am.

And I could relate directly to her guilt pattern, which is one reason why I have so much compassion for it: when I am in any relationship, the moment I feel affection for someone else, I have felt a gag reflex to shut it down, lest I potentially invoke my partner’s control. Reverse the situation: she devoted exclusively to me, and me in love with her and with someone else, I am not sure it would fly at all. In a sense we are taking the path of least resistance. Certainly if I don’t feel like I deserve one lover, I certainly don’t deserve two.

As I have suggested before, I am both polyamorous and monogamous. When I am in love, I tend to be focused on that person; nobody else can really do it for me. And I have noticed that when I feel that way and choose a woman to be with, that is usually the point where she decides she is not interested. This is an interesting role reversal from romance novels, but I don’t particularly like it.

I wonder sometimes, by being willing to be in this situation, whether I am conditioning myself to accept something far less than adequate. To sustain this, the personal work I have to do is almost unbearable, and at the end of the day, 90% of the time, I don’t get to hold her and go to sleep and wake up with her to a new day.

But that is what we did, that Sunday night of our threshold experience. After holding that mirror for me so gently and so lovingly, we crawled into bed and I lay down on my back and I was happy to feel her cuddle next to me and use my shoulder as a pillow. She is a delicate sleeper. I did not move. I lay there for two hours in an alpha state, feeling her breathe and sleep peacefully; feeling her embrace the safety and protection of my love for her. I felt her relax in gratitude and trust and sleep for hours like a child as I held her.

As she drifted off to sleep, she said, “I feel like we entered a dimension that I didn’t know existed.” I said nothing, though I knew that’s exactly what we had done.

We woke up the next morning, and made love for hours, including my being treated to the exquisite experience of her masturbation. Then we explored a gorgeous day on the Maine coastline, on our own rock overlooking Casco Bay – our last day together for this visit.

31 July 09

Threshold

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Vesta. Photo by Eric Francis.

We were standing in the doorway of her room when the shift had us feeling one another differently. We took a leap above contention and reached a place where we admitted how badly and for how long guilt had stalked us. Through our lives, that is. It felt so good to hear that acknowledged by one I consider sane and loving. I finally had affirmation that my own struggle was not evidence of my being a bad person.

We stood together in the most fragile humility. We understood something new about ourselves and one another, a bond wrought of the deeply private nature of the subject: self condemnation.

“And the fear,” I said. “There is always so much that can go wrong. I could be scared all the time.”

She glanced at me, nodded slowly and said yes.

It felt so good to be with someone who in that moment understood. The fear. I felt then and there that I might go beyond it for the first time; that I could see a way.

Then I felt, with a sick turn of my stomach, that I had condemned her at times: for subtle things, for the things I was afraid of, and for some big ones that more matched my own rage than anything else in the world. Something at that moment slipped into place, and with the most gentle joy in my heart I understood then that my role in her life was to forgive her. Simply that. To hold her as innocent. To see her as nothing but shorn of all blame and embraced with only love.

“I see you as innocent and strong,” I said. “I hold you in that light and I will try to do it all the time.”

“Innocent and strong?”

“Yes, the opposite of guilty and powerless.”

She smiled at that. As she did, her face turned a golden light; there seemed to be rays shining in from above and to my right. Her long hair draped on her shoulders and her face was sweet. I felt my calling; looking at her face I could see her as nothing but blameless, and I took up my new space of awareness. I understood that I was literally rewriting her identity in my mind; her inner archetype.

She reflected a face of recognition to me; quiet and fragile-feeling and so sensitive, in her gentle heart. Then we were sitting on her bed, face to face; and slowly into this space did she admit that she was afraid, and therefore felt guilty, that she was going to hurt someone if she ever had to choose between he and I. Implicitly, I think she was saying that I was the one who could get hurt because we later acknowledged that she had never considered the possibility of choosing me instead of him.

By her words, her admission, she let down that burden in my presence, right then; the one that’s tortured so many of us, for so long, so secretly. I think that if she picked it up again, it was much lighter. I reassured her that I would love myself through that, should it happen. That if she could or would not be my lover that I would take the opportunity to do so in ever deeper ways; in essence propelled within by her choice.

“When you make love to him that gives me the space to make love to myself. To love myself. I have to. It pushes me so much deeper into myself.” I could see and feel the perfect compatibility with that potential.

“Thank you for telling me. I think it’s beautiful how you love yourself and that you’re willing to let go. I love that you love yourself,” she said. I did not know whether to believe her – though I dearly wanted to. My own self-attack, that.

Flying over that, I assured her from my heart that she was free to choose him if she wanted to, though saying the words I tumbled though the space inside myself, feeling the release. I felt and said that I would love her and support her in any event. If she lost him for some reason, I promised to hold her in her grief. In joy, in joy. The ultimate surrender would be to her having a child for him and I already knew I would be right with her.

In essence, to see her as innocent and strong in any event: innocent, mainly, of the act of choosing with her own will.

My love for her, and the space that we had reached, seemed larger even than the possibility of loss. There was no having or losing or gaining: we were absolutely with one another in that moment. That moment was all there was. In the clarity of direct presence, I could hold any potential of hers. And it felt so good to offer her that willingness; to be one to let go, and see her how she is and not how I would have her be.

I recognized dimly that on some level I was terrified of losing her; and I felt profoundly that taking this risk was a human gesture that I needed to express, for my own growth.

In truth I absolutely needed and need to experience the actual expression of female prerogative; even if it hurts; and to hold the space of wholeness within myself as it happens, so as not to disturb her freedom. So as not to draw her back with guilt, or draw her into conflict.

In part I wanted to reach this awareness so that as I am chosen by one who loves me, I have every faith that it is an expression of freedom. Lack of faith in love, in any form, attests to chaos as reality.

Then I was naked before her, feeling my way through the hot layers of love and attachment, peeling them apart, releasing her from my own contradictions, my pain, my view of her through jaded eyes. My own struggle to love her that was in truth rooted in my refusal to love myself – that stream now unblocked, I could feel what I was doing.

I craved her most passionate pleasure. This fact did not stun me but the delicacy of our contact did; the sense of drawing so near with her that every nuance of her sensation of receiving him was vibrating through my feeling-body.

In a way that needed no convincing owing merely to its pleasure, I celebrated her freedom to choose; a joy that for her and in truth for me was made more meaningful by the depth of her affection for him, and by the love that we shared. Her eyes studied me as I spoke about this through many relaxed moans into the silence of night, breathing in her compassionate beauty, washing myself in her eyes. We spoke explicitly about their love and their erotic acts of love as I felt and witnessed as my own lover, apart from them. We sat together in the space where it would happen: the room, that is, even where we were sitting together now.

Right there, in just a short time.

And I felt such release in the knowledge that she would be alone with him.

I went there; we went there, trying on the space. My love for myself embraced her entirely, displaying myself in the act, and I witnessed her as free as I set myself free within myself; my eyes wet and running and the whole dream soaked in compassion.

“Innocent and strong,” I said at one point, as she smiled, and soon after she was holding the mirror to me; holding it so I could see, receive and have an easy space to let it out; to let myself out.

29 July 09

Sensorium

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Niyyut mirror, Portland, Maine. Photo by Eric Francis.

You are giving him a safe place to let go of himself, and to become himself.

You are unraveling and enjoying his tension letting go: imagine each of those orgasms as a release from grief, or as movement that direction. With the reassurance that you love him.

Of course you do.

Imagine all the months of pain from his last sexual relationship being let go of as he moans to your infinite ocean, calling to himself to let go.

I thought of this while I was sucking a dildo.

.

I’m here to begin the story of my commitment, in that space of recognition that opened. Looking at her I suddenly saw her, I recognized her by sight and feel, I melted into the morning. The woman inside her was gentle and so spiritually delicate, and she warmed to me, pressing her shape into me like soft butter, and holding me. I felt fully a man, and I knew the feeling was knew. She held me and clung to the cloth of my strength, leaning on me as she stood, and she felt fully a woman.

Somehow my state of mind was serene enough to notice this was a missing experience, come to me. That is when the dimension shifted and we were in a space apart. Individuals, together. We sat on your bed. I looked at your face and I understood the pain that you had just described: the pain of, potentially, hurting me inadvertently should you choose to be with him. I could somehow step out of my fear of loss and feel the struggle you had endured. and in that somehow was drawn closer to you.

I knew that I could offer something in your support, which was the willingness to let go of you, if you wanted to be with him. I knew I could give you that and I knew that I would, if it’s what you want. And that is what we did. I gently explored into the place of you choosing him. I walked out into that landscape.

My eyes took you in, naked and knees apart on the bed, the woman I had just felt as the first woman; the only woman. I looked at you and surrendered to your love for him, and mine for you, and mine for myself.

I saw the love in my eyes, reflected in your face.

I knew I was safe to let go, but before I did, I said: Let’s play with this until noon tomorrow. Let’s explore the potential, so you can go there, and feel that you’re safe, and feel what it might be like.

She nodded, gently. If her agreement did not seem like zealously diving in, I knew it was because this potential was difficult for her to touch, the potential of leaving me; so that she could have him. We knew that it could be possible for her to share with us both; that was one of the All Worlds. So too was her potential to settle down with him, to explore his life, if he chose to embrace her there: for now she was exploring his feelings, his face, the tastes of his body, the experience of his letting go into her again and again.

We admitted this to one another; we admitted that she wanted this, and I had only one impulse witnessing its truth: To love to myself, and then to make love, and this I did demonstrably, both of us nude, I feeling naked as I opened my legs and admitted to her what I was doing, and why.

28 July 09

Church of All Worlds

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Laundry room at Motel 6. Photo by Eric Francis.

There is something in here about learning to say no.

I will come back to it. I have squirmed along the face of Turtle Island tonight, seven hours in from a very sweet coast of the universe. I am in Blue Studio for the first time in 23 days, stories in my pocket, tears shed from my fat ball, my sweet heart, my misunderestimations. A death in her family. My Sicilian scene at the funeral. Salty ocean bay, surfing along on thunderheads and breeze together on our rock at the crest of the harbor. Our day from eternity, as was born of that night two worlds ago. The clock said 4:22 am. I stress the relational factor. I need do nothing.

The reason it’s daring for me to write this now is they’re together. Immediacy. I was going to tell an older story and maybe I still will, a tale of two worlds aft: a nurrir ritual, to be precise; the trip that set me free to be here tonight, safe and sane, as they go down on one another.

Now I love that I can tell you this. Now I know I’m free. Or doing a derned good impersonation: perhaps that’s enough for 3D. I think with freedom the issue really is about freedom from fear. And since there is always something to be afraid of, the skills of transmuting or deflecting fear are basic ones. I personally don’t know how to cut it off at the source. But I know how to surf it somewhere else.

Church of All Worlds invoked itself in my lover’s bed in that dark of morning. We went through a series of gateways, starting with a spat, which morphed into an apology, which morphed into a revelation of the nature of guilt and innocence, and seeing shine across her face the golden rays. This timeless woman, an Elizabethan princess, my sister in surrender, my lover in love.

The space opened up: imagine a quiet, wood-adorned attic apartment, in the center room. Her bedroom door was open behind us, and the kitchen to the other side, with the space open. A few steps from the unfolded futon was a stove, where she had just made an incredible dinner for us.

“This is your temple,” I said. “It’s going to happen here. You can leave the bed out like this, I know you want to fuck him right here.”

I felt the space and felt the inevitability of the prediction, then I was more specific: “you’ll drink his semen here. You’ll drink other men’s semen here. That’s what you do. I know that you love it.”

This was making both of us hot. She nodded and spoke and declared in direct words, yes, I love to drink semen.

“I love that I love it,” she said.

She had already shared with me her story of trepidation from earlier in the week: her guilt over the potential of having to choose; her dilemma, the price she paid for this unusual opportunity to share love that she was indulging, and expressing.

In response to that admission of fear, I made a commitment to her, and suggested that we hold and feel the possibility till noon; then let go of it. this would give us a moment to explore.

The way she had expressed it, I had a hint that I was the one who might be potentially hurt, as I knew she fancied him and found his company soft and pleasant, and he is right there. Something in me intuitively felt the particular pang of her desire for him, it’s subtle note and its gentleness, and I thrived on the feeling when we shared it in a moment, as we were doing now.

“You’re going to have him and it’s gonna be the next chance you get,” I said. She nodded and smiled a little and, and as she did a surge of passion pulsed through my soul. I sat with her in the space where this would soon intersect, she and he alone here, and I said that I understood they would be alone. I cannot describe the feeling of us both loving this at the same time, like squeezing the same drop of juice from two oranges.

Suddenly I understood. The instructions pulsed in, the healing agenda, my understanding of the hooks in the psychology. I knew of her guilt pattern. We both did, and therefore we could both enjoy the freedom of innocence, our agreement of her innocence, that entirely Christian thing: I love that you fuck, is how I say it to her from time to time: in our Thursday night adventure I got to say the words while it was happening. Sweetly and intent, into her ear, loud enough for him to hear as he gave himself to her.

As she held him in her mouth, as she parted her thighs and opened herself to his reaching-in.

As is now.

And as I’m writing this email comes in, from another friend:

I’m on my way to work.. so while I’m working during the night, I’ll be keeping you in my thoughts…and heart…

They will have a wonderful night, let them enjoy…maybe some mediation for you, or anything that will restore your energy gently…light a candle…sending one of my guides over for you to keep you company:)

I’m here if you need- even if you just need to write..I’ll be awake tomorrow after 1pm- so if you need to talk- just call.  
_J ox_ 

27 July 09

Holding Space for Love as Freedom

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Photo by Eric Francis.

Guilt is something we discovered we have in common: a long legacy of guilt. I learned that in the few days before our Thursday night adventure, she had been wracked with guilt about the potential for having to choose one of us; for having to hurt one of us. And some guilt for being able to have both of us – the strange guilt you feel when you love someone and then feel something for another person. That emotion needs a name, so we can identify it when we feel it.

This is the same guilt that makes it difficult to make a simple decision; the guilt we feel for enjoying life; for doing something for ourselves; though here, when we reach the branch of the road where we may choose to love, to actually love who we will, I think we’re pretty close to the core source of this emotion. Here, we are looking at one of the deepest divisions against ourselves.

Like any philosophy, guilt has a history: we can find its origins in the innovation of Judeo-Christian religion. I don’t believe that guilt as we experience it today existed prior to strict religious patriarchy. We see evidence today that this is one source of the problem, but we don’t generally identify it as the root of the problem.

It has occurred to her that she might not have to choose; that we could and would hold the space open for her to be free, as a shared commitment between us all. This is difficult to believe, because we know of no precedents. There are no pre-established pathways in the brain for this one, or not that we’re familiar with. What we have instead is a vast database, from our parents and history and movies and television and life, of jealous scenes; of manipulation and using power against one another; of love being used against us or using it against others; of the the pain of our relationships when there is even the hint of loving someone else. For most people this is the worst imaginable thing that could happen; it is the ultimate threat to our reality.

Most of us don’t feel worthy of love, despite how we may act or look; despite much in the way of external attractiveness, or charm or talent or whatever else we may show the world. If you go deeply into most and I do mean nearly all people, you can reach that space of unworthiness that expects perpetual separation. This space is often concealed but it has a way of running our lives: for a while, until we find something else, it is what sets our expectations of what is possible.

And now for her and in truth for all of us, something incredible has happened: we see the potential to see love as freedom, in particular, as her freedom to love the way she has always needed to. In a subtle moment during our last hours together for this visit, she expressed her doubts that she feels worthy of being loved this way, of being given the freedom to experience who and what she wants and being so fully in this choice. In this conversation, I witnessed her and humanity in a way that I never have, as so fragile and soft and beautiful: as worthy of only love.

From what she explained, I learned that she was carrying around so much fear, uncertain what to do, uncertain of the outcome, not wanting to hurt either of us or be hurt.

In terms of the circumstances, the main thing necessary is that the men around her be in harmony; that instead of competing for her attention or seeking to drive the other out of her life somehow, we respect one another’s places in her heart. The result of holding this space is to not divide her against herself; to embrace her as the whole person she is.

Loving two people can lead a person to feel split, confused, and can send off all kinds of loyalty warnings that trip the guilt alarms and make it impossible to enjoy the pleasure of being loved. It is necessary to be vigilant against guilt and these inner divisions; a relationship in this mode can call us to invest a lot of energy, though it’s energy devoted to healing an ancient injury.

I know she is keenly aware of the risk that I am taking; that is, the risk of being hurt. My own emotional patterning is such that (looked at one way) I need a situation that facilitates trust and a safe space to heal my trust; a safe space to let down my defenses, so that I can give and receive love safely, and heal and grow. Among other things this relates to my history of abandonment and all the issues connected to that. What we tend to forget, any time we love, is how deeply abandoned we tend to feel as a prevailing spiritual condition of life on the planet. Much of the dance we do in relationships is based on being terrified of this sense of abandonment but without giving it a name; it seems too horrific and too far out of reach of anything we have power over.

The fact of her having two lovers does not preclude creating a space where it will be possible for me to heal, and thus support the whole situation – but it raises the level of awareness necessary; there is a special commitment involved. My heart was speaking to me about what I could offer to that commitment, to her, to myself and to the circumstances. This, while the one demand I cannot make is to have her exclusively, as much as part of me is screaming for that attention.

Over and over again, I tune into something else, which is my awareness of how vital it is to give her this opportunity to be loved, to he held as worthy; and to share and to express her sexuality any way she wishes. Witnessing and helping a woman I care about deeply in her process does help me, it does set me free; it is not a sacrifice. Witnessing her as whole I begin to see and experience myself as whole. Witnessing her as worthy of love, I must reach a space where I understand that I am also worthy of love.

Wouldn’t it be beautiful to live in a world without betrayal? You can, but you have to hack into the code of a psychological pattern that’s in a blind spot of your awareness. You don’t need to take this personally: it’s a pattern in society, though it would appear that this thing we call society has a diversity of microcosms that reduce down to groups, families, couples and the people who interact with them, and finally the shape of an individual’s mind. If you believe the research of a therapy process called Internal Family Systems, our minds represent a model of our family of origin, which is based on a model of society; we carry around the whole thing. It may sound like a lot of responsibility, but the beauty of this condition is that we have access to the deepest levels of programming if we are willing to see the inner-outer connections, and go in and make the adjustments. You can afford to be daring now. You can take the risk of leading with love and seeing what happens when you allow yourself to feel in an expressive way. Your love is bigger than anything that it might encounter; it’s more powerful than any form of culturally engrained negativity, and can handle any potential other than love. Trusting this is your bridge to freedom.
—Planet Waves horoscope for Pisces, August 2009

26 July 09

Monogamy

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Rocks, moss and lake, Harrison, Maine. Photo by Eric Francis.

You might ask how this is possible. Sometimes I wonder, but at the time it’s obvious; it’s an experience of embracing reality; and an experience of love. Compersion is not about sex or sexual pleasure, or at least that is not what makes it possible; it’s about love that embraces every feeling, and every aspect of relationship.

For me this experience would not have been what it was, were I not deeply in love with her, as deep as in any monogamous relationship. I am adventurous and flirtatious and there are many people I love and share erotic energy with on some level. Yet the part of me that loves, what I call the devotional ray, loves completely. I was going to correct that to ‘aspires to love’ but the experience I have is of the feeling moving through me rather than me doing something.

The experience we had was something she and I had talked about many times and that she finally talked to him about some weeks ago; and which, as it turned out, she created by inviting us both home with her. I was aware that visiting her home for the first time was under these particular circumstances. Then the experience was unfolding. She was naked and his mouth was on her and for me that was the moment of reality; of embracing what was so.

I thought it would push me harder, or deeper into a psychologically submissive state: that is how the phantasy differed from the reality. The reality was easy, and gentle. I embraced her, that is, held her with my hands and arms, and surrounded them energetically, and slipped into the experience like a warm bath. I had a clue what would happen; what was likely to unfold. We had not agreed to any one scenario. The movements were all spontaneous.

I wanted to feel and witness and experience them making love as naturally as possible, as was natural for them, so much as was possible with me being present. As each moment unfolded and each change happened, I loved her more and swam in the pleasure of her having something she wanted dearly; an experience she wanted dearly, of two people she cared about and desired.

I also participated. We took turns kissing her while the other went down on her.

At this stage of awareness, there is no resisting or turning back possible, and I can fairly say that I had no doubts, no regrets, no concerns: only for their pleasure. I craved and adored their pleasure in a way that it’s truly impossible to want or need my own; with more objectivity and being distant enough to have space to feel and perceive them, and my own responses.

She and I held hands or touched or made eye contact; the deeper into her pleasure she went, the more beautiful it was to feel her open her eyes slightly and see the astonishment and love on my face. In all of this, I was making peace with so much. Perhaps it was momentary peace, or perhaps one of many experiences of emerging into that space of freedom. I can say now that what I was doing was loving myself; loving myself as whole and as free, and embracing the freedom of these people who loved one another and loving the perfection of her experience.

And there I was, holding her as he fucked her, and fucked her and as she moaned and as I witnessed and felt and knew that it would happen again, without me there, that they were free and my freedom came from loving their gift to one another. I said to her, over and over, I love that you fuck, I love that you fuck, I love that you love. In this spirit I held her and watched their faces as he let go into her profoundly.

As the energy settled I was in the presence of two deeply satisfied people, with my own desire still unexpressed; my passion unspent. I hesitated for a moment and then did the only thing I could do at that point, which was to love myself: in front of them, in front of a large window, sitting up in the arm of an unfolded futon as they lay on the bed, I made love to myself, visibly and naked and vocally and so very gently; and before I knew what was happening, I was ejaculating into my hand, inches from her face.

Then I hesitated again.

This is your chance, said a voice in my mind. With that, I filled my mouth and swallowed and washed my face with what remained.

23 July 09

Hands and knees

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Trees out my window. Photo by Eric Francis.

Here is where I found myself last night. Visiting her space for the first time, and arriving there with him at about the same time. I was on my hands and knees; so too was she. He was sitting in front of her knees spread and naked, and she clung to him and sucked him deep into her mouth.

I clasped her hips and licked out her ass.

I could feel no better way to say yes to what she was doing. To what she wanted, and what she was giving herself; what indeed she was taking.

Every now and then I looked up in his direction, studying his face as she sucked him, displaying his pleasure helplessly; to me that is and I held back nothing displaying the gesture of exotic pleasure for my lover. One could hardly imagine how he wouldn’t let go right then, but he saved himself.

This, though he expected me to fuck her.

There was one condom that he had tossed on the bed, as if offering it for a bet. I knew what I wanted and I loved what she wanted and I guided his energy toward her.

I wanted to fuck her, oh goddess what sweet little hips to give it to. I had before and I did again. Right then I wanted to see him fuck her more, I wanted to know about that. I wanted them to have one another as I held them, as they let go and cared sweetly for one another.

Holding her this way I wanted her to feel as affirmation.

She lay down on her back and invited him; she spread her legs again, spread them for him as I clasped her frame. And I watched her face as he slid into her heart-space. He pushed her open within herself and her face rolled with the surprise of it, and the sudden transition into bliss.

They fucked well and he fucked her well: strong and heard, with weight and thrust and trust and freedom for her, and her moans were so gorgeous, her face so sweet and I told her, I told her then, I love that you fuck.

I love that you give yourself this. I held her as she fucked him. She clung to both of us; her face was tipped toward mine, generously displaying her goddess. And we would kiss as they fucked and I told her again, I love that you fuck, and she moaned as he fucked her watching my say yes to her.

Then I gently turned her lips toward him. I guided her toward him knowing she would ride there. Her energy shifted and they connected, and the circuit between them opened, and he fucked her and then put her in his favorite position to let go into her: laying her on curled her side, as I held her.

I sat down on the armrest of the futon we were on, a solid little seat for me as they lay on the bed and I spread my legs in their direction. In this position, I was seated facing out a tall window that ran the the full height above bed-level to a pointed ceiling, offering a lovely view of the street and many apartments.

22 July 09

On Everyone’s Ultimate Fear

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Colette in Toronto, spring 2006. Photo by Eric Francis.

by Colette Coughlin

Colette is the author and illustrator of ‘Victoria’s Sketchbook’.

What is sexual freedom? The answer is different for everyone. If I had all the answers, I would say it’s exactly what you need it to be. But most of us don’t know quite what this is for us; it’s not a place you arrive at, it’s more like a path you follow over your entire adult life; and as the case is for far too many people, if your hands-on sexual education began, against your will, in your childhood, there is an awful lot of unraveling to do before you can even start to build anew. Recognizing the blocks is one part of the process, but to be released from their hold requires courage to take action, to experiment and to go beyond our fears; real or imagined.

Often, parents have not been equipped to guide us through this process when it comes to sexuality; more often they are a part of the vision that’s been holding us back.

We may curse or celebrate the exponential presence and availability of pornography on the Internet over the last 10-15 years, but the Internet has also given us the possibility of communicating intimately with people all over the world through a screen of privacy that can sometimes allow us to dive much deeper than we can with those in our immediate surroundings.

Fortunately, here, thanks to the anonymity of the Internet, in forums and blogs and on The Book of Blue, a discussion has begun that is allowing people the freedom to question, to share, and to follow a process of sexual self-discovery.

Here, the discussion is led by someone brave enough to test the waters with his own needs and desires and through sharing these experiences, he invites others to do the same. Sometimes, in order to express the most unconscious fears or desires, we need someone else to put it into words first, to open the forbidden doors to our own freedom. My process began as mostly visual; my frustrations and suffering with my body and my sexual impulses pushed me to drawing, then to photography, and finally to writing about it. My desire was, and still is, to infiltrate the visual world of sex ruled by pornography to which I cannot relate, with new images of deeply intimate, sacred, loving sex… the kind of sex that makes me feel vitally alive, connected, and free. These efforts are part of a process of re-parenting that we can offer ourselves and each other by breaking the unspoken vow of silence surrounding our sexual natures; but even more importantly, by breaking the cycles of judgment that keep people from growing into their highest potential.

I was drawn to meet Eric Francis in person, because his writing on sexuality both confronted and inspired me. I’d found a kindred spirit who needed to expose this subject just as urgently as I did, and who was already daring to do so when I was only beginning to pull my drawings out of my sketchbooks and share them and their reason for being. For me, dealing with this subject matter meant repeatedly facing up to guilt and shame so ingrown that I could barely understand where it came from.

It was like peeling my clothes off and diving into cold, uninviting waters again and again, until slowly I learned to swim deep enough to feel the warmer, loving waters of acceptance engulf my mind and body and wash me clean. The first day I spent with Eric, I became an accidental model for this project, because instead of just standing there, asking questions, clothed, while helping out with a light test during set-up, I dared myself to take off my clothes and look into the mirror too. The rewards for unveiling our vulnerabilities are many. The buds of self-acceptance, self-respect and self-confidence. And these can flower even more quickly when they’re nurtured by the gaze of a completely accepting, non-judgmental witness. Only we can decide to offer this to each other; and only we can choose to give this to ourselves.

How do we “come out,” proclaim our beliefs and affirm our freedom to be exactly who we need to be? One minute at a time: it’s often a painful process. Although I still cringe in some situations, I can no longer deny my need to defend this subject, to draw what I draw and write what I write. When I hit a very low place in my life last summer while trying to live more conventionally, my mother came to visit to help me, and I unlocked the drawers and pulled out my artwork. I sat on the couch with her and thumbed through the series of drawings with me as the very recognizable model whose loving partner was performing his most poetic offering of cunnilingus and I was obviously enjoying it. My mom was visiting because I was depressed; but when I explained my intense need to defend this subject, she pointed out to me that I quickly came back to life. Thanks, Mom, for that precious moment of complete acceptance! Our truth is our freedom, and the first step to get beyond our fear of being judged by others when speaking and living our truth, is to go beyond our own crippling self-judgment.

The Internet gives us a safe place where we can be anonymous for as long as we need to be to share our concerns with others who are willing to swim these waters. No one else can really tell us how our sexuality should unfold; it is up to each of us to explore this territory and discover what we really want to experience. But having repeatedly found myself in the position of cautiously introducing my work to my boss, my parents, my friends and complete strangers, I’m learning to assume the role. I’m not apologizing for who I am as much as I used to. It’s been scary at times, but once you’ve been naked in public, sang off-key on stage, or been fired from a job, nothing else can easily faze you; the worst is never as horrible as our idea of it.

For a writer like Eric Francis, who is well known in other domains like astrology and social journalism, speaking out boldly about sexuality, and in particular about his own very personal experiments with sexuality, is a risk that I believe has greatly (albeit invisibly) paid off in terms of self-respect and the respect of his readers.

It’s something that cannot be counted, but which in human terms, really counts. If it could be weighed, it would far outweigh the negative reactions that make a lot of noise, but it’s important to recognize that anyone’s reaction (to anything!) is simply a projection of that viewer’s reality. When I read stories in The Book of Blue or anywhere else that particularly excite me or disturb me, I have to recognize that my reaction is telling me something about the state of my own attitudes, fears and desires.

And when someone loves or hates one of Victoria’s drawings, opinions, or rants, having the veil of Victoria has taught me to not take things personally, and to let the other person work through the mirror that she’s holding up for them. My name is Colette Coughlin, and in high school, believe me, I was the least likely person to grow up and write publicly about sexuality and share drawings of myself in intimate sexual encounters. But letting the Victoria in me speak her truth has allowed me to grow into an adult who’s learning to assume her choices and beliefs and start enjoying living a life in which I can dare to be who I truly am, sexually and otherwise.

21 July 09

Apropos of Cats

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Anasyrma: Lakshmi Girl in the Chironian, lit by an open fire, spring equinox 2007. Photo by Eric Francis.

One of the reasons I love vulva portraits is because they combine feminine energy with conscious intention. We use the term ‘pussy’ to describe that which allegedly lacks will, intent, integrity or strength; you are not looking at a pussy in this photo, you are looking at a woman displaying her volition.

This is the big controversy; this is the big deal. It’s not the blameless vulva (in the words of Alice Walker), the gateway to life, that is somehow considered lewd; rather, it’s the power of the gesture of revealing that the woman connected to it might have plans for it; that she might claim herself and perhaps have some effect on the world, or on someone.

I find it amusing that some, not all, feminists would likely be the first people to take issue with this image. Amusing because to me it’s the ultimate expression of feminism, in the philosophically authentic version of that idea: of female power; of the idea that women possess the right of will, and are entitled to express it. That they are in control of their bodies, as debated so hotly in the debate over ‘choice’. I (as a male photographer, for instance) am more likely to be ‘blamed’ for this image’s existence than the subject of the photo is to be credited for co-creating it or using me to make it herself.

The predominant accusation would be that I have turned my friend into pornography, strictly for male gratification, rather than photographing her doing something entirely natural, of her own accord, in celebration of her own beauty; as a statement to other women. As a statement to men: Guys, I’m at the helm.

In the language of astrology, one theory is that what we are talking is about women integrating their Mars: the planet or psychological aspect associated with intention, drive and desire. This is the issue that is so central to the plight of women, as conditioned under patriarchy; and it involves claiming something that is not ‘inherently feminine’ in the cultural sense of the word, but rather, at least in our world, traditionally considered masculine: overtly expressed will power.

In recent chapters, I’ve been exploring the idea of men integrating (or not integrating) their feminine side; in astrology this is usually referred to as Venus. What happens when either sex does not integrate the ‘opposite’ (really, complimentary) value, is that we tend to project that value outward.

A man able to embrace his own receptive, introspective nature is more likely to encounter women as predictable and free-spirited.

Alternately, a woman who embraces her desire nature is less likely to blame men for the fact of sex, or feel out of control and have the constant sense of being hit on. I am proposing that the solution set is to learn to say no, directly; or yes, directly; and to ask, directly. I am in a long philosophical debate with myself over the essence of maybe, and I think it’s a pretty important concept. It’s the implied commitment to think actively.

Now, we’re talking about a complex pattern, and there is rarely a simple solution: in this case, authenticity would be a great start.

There are subtler aspects; these involve our efforts to express some aspect of who we are, and the question of whether the people in our environment allow us to do so. I mean allow in the real sense: there can be social repercussions for expressing or even exploring our complimentary energy, in any way other than the boy-girl thing.

Doing anything else involves a coming out process just like any other, but we could really stand to learn something from the millions of our brothers and sisters who have come out as bi, lesbian or gay. Stepping out of the gender crate is fun and feels meaningful. But it’s a lot more than that…

Anasyrma differs from flashing, a physically similar gesture as an act of exhibitionism, in that an exhibitionist has an implied purpose of his/her own sexual arousal, while anasyrma is only done for the effect on the onlookers.

20 July 09

Letters from Sari

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Solstice Sun. Photo in South Wales by Sari.

Lately I’ve been getting more mail from readers who are admitting that they want to be free, or revealing the ways that they are indeed reaching for that freedom. This week I’ve been corresponding with someone named Sari in Wales. Here is a random selection of her writing. -efc

a vector of self-forgiveness. an ocean, a current, a tide of deep understanding and blissful self-fulfillment.

and until girls can really love and worship the male as all vestal virgins should, that deep orgasmic mind-blowing energy is still only in its conception. men have to feel safe to release themselves, and in the this time of live spelt backwards girls seem to have more power than they know how to handle.

love over the net is electrifying and it does feel like the Queen of Cups, staring into a deep pool of our own collective psyche, fishing for a connection, a hot luscious love that spills into the rest of our lives like a swollen cock fusing into a moist spring

eric,

blessed bee to you too. honey is definitely where its at.

the difference between the sixties and now, is that we can ground our sexiness and blissed out feelings with a psychological awareness of how we interrelate. thats how we don’t get hurt, and make this incredible energy sustainable.

your writing is an inspiration, fusing the politics of the inner and outer world. in short i reckon you’re a genius, and in that sense i’m happy to help in any way i can.

there’s a ragga tip between acknowledging that deep female wisdom, and allowing it too much precedence. think of galadriel and the bruising way she gives her wisdom, ice sharp, but you always sense she’s enjoying making lesser mortals suffer. whereas arwen is much more grounded, she can wield a sword, and ride a horse, i sense there’s more humility. when the girls are humble then the men can really shine.

that’s what the girls are waiting for, a man who can challenge them on the deep female control dramas, to cut into the breeding cycles and the ruthless drive to be top dog. I feel a lot of women think that they should be in charge, and spend a great deal of their precious energy undermining the male, making him feel a clutz at best and at worst a pervert.

the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world, and we’re still living in a maman based society, with young men sent off to war to feed our craving for more carpets and curtains. we blame the men, but who is it that’s doing all the shopping?

the next big shift in the western world, the return of the king, means we all have to start looking at the way our parents – but especially our mothers – kept us from speaking up. There’s no blame, but the dad issues have been well discussed, and now its time, that the shelob of the female psyche got named.

and once the spell is broken, that really deep tantric male/female connection can blossom.

love sari

the mosses on the edge of the spring are now dripping with juices, every movement creates a delicious sucking sound pulling him deeper. rhythmically he explores this goddess of the garden commanding her hips moulding her flesh like clay until her breasts become perfect orbs and her nipples hard as the pebbles in the water. he is like a creature of the wild, his power is untaming with every thrust and flick. That tingling ache in his thighs as she squeezes his cock from within, he grinds her harder into the ground. now her hips move with his, they are dancing fucking flying and their bones seem liquid, molten like the juices pouring from her

the grandmother land sounds hot. its probably an ancient rite to swallow your own seed. it still makes me want to lick it up.

the hierodulai who were the priestesses of isis had this phrase hieros gamos which means holy union, where sex with another becomes a mystical connection, like the snake eating itself. the eating of the seed feels like that, creating an internal circuit of power. and with uranus retrograde, maybe internal circuitry is where we’re at.

the sabian symbol for 1Leo is ‘under emotional stress blood rushes to a man’s head’ and i feel like we’re heading from that Queen of Cups cancer energy into Aleister Crowley’s Lust card,  the male roaring with passion, and the female melting into a pool of ecstasy.

thanks eric, you’re very inspiring on the sensual writing, and i’m enjoying communing with you. i call it ether-sex.

love saripussy.

he can feel ever line and fold inside her, and as he goes deeper there’s a tight little entrance, a small inviting space where the tip of his cock is cradled. the whole length of him is inside her, and she can feel that coursing electric white light as if he is nature himself. They touch lips and the circle is complete. power courses through him, deep down his thighs and into his feet, up to his throat and he roars. the hot liquid finds new tributaries through her nervous system, a tingling ecstasy, a rolling wave…

eric,

Your piece on vesta was like a direct line to the subconscious, and inspired these photos. i have vesta on my ascendent in leo, and for a period of about two weeks around the solstice we kept the fire going, cooking, brewing elderflower cordial and making love around it.
 
the south wales valleys are famous for coal mining, and that deep seam of fire is like a religious zeal that burns into the core of the welsh.  When their passions were muted through industrialisation, the Welsh were left with song and chapel,  perpetual choirs that continued to enchant the land, and keep its secrets. In William Blake’s time (1750s) they had ritual fucking vestal style in the chapels, and we reckon that it continued until relatively recently.
The English dumped the waste coal on our mountains and called it slag (no wonder we’re nervous of our sexuality), and derided the chapels as non-conformist and satanic. Many non-conformists headed to america, the free world, and became what they opposed. the daughter of the revolution became the antithesis of freedom, barbara bush in a chastity belt.

most people are frightened of breaking free of monogamy because of their mothers (i don’t reckon men are so bothered about marriage) and you’re right its time to get out of our mother’s garden and burn brighter in leo.

Let the burlesque begin

lots of love

sari

19 July 09

I am

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avoiding myself right now.

or stalking myself.

i am absolutely safe

18 July 09

About us

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The Ride. Photo by Eric Francis.

I’ve been hot on the topic of how we need one another lately. My focus has been men and women; there are also men who need men and women who need women. Some of us need all of the above. For some reason this feels really good to admit.

Somehow in this thread I’ve been working from the assumption that the greatest gender tension still exists between men and women, rather than between other possibilities.

However, homophobia is nothing, if not tension. It’s one explanation or at least observation mentioned in a prior diary about whether and how men drink their own cum. Aversion to this personal gesture has an adorable touch of homophobia to it. First your own, then someone else’s. But of course.

I know somewhere in the male psyche must be the notion that drinking oneself is queer. Girl bi is typically considered cool or is at least a hot seller; I just don’t think that male bi has the same p.r. cachet.

In this context, any form of going down on oneself could be considered queer, depending on who considers it. Lots of women do it and it’s just them: sniff and lick their fingers, lick out their own undies, clean off sex toys by tongue and suck their own nipples if they can. This is what you might call solo-bi. You’re not just masturbating: you’re getting it on with yourself.

What is not often said is how many homophobic women there are. The non homophobic ones get some airplay; they will be socially popular if they come out among the right folk. However, there are some ladies out there who get very uptite around the prospect of their doing anything with another women.

I’ve also deduced this thing called biphobia: fear of bisexual activity because it might feel ‘too good’ and the subtext of the fear is that one might be compelled to convert to same-sex sex. Hence, same sex play is avoided. I’ve noticed biphobia in myself on and off for much of my trip, and my mirrormate Annie told me she had experienced the same thing several times.

In a conversation around that time, Annie told me the story of masturbating in the same room with a female friend, and how good it felt for both of them.

17 July 09

Nightwave

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Iris, the model who posed for the Celibacy Goddess image from Book of Blue. Photo by Eric Francis.

There have been times when I was deep in the space of exploring compersion for myself, with the help of a woman, in which I wondered how this was really any different than experiencing a woman in sex; not in the similarity of the experience – but rather the need for her to acknowledge me.

Ultimately if it’s gonna be selflove, my Self is what does the loving.

Meanwhile, I am indulging in her psychological approval, perhaps sating myself a little in what a biologist today described as my desperate, compulsive attempt to seek approval.

And how hot is that?

I acknowledge my dependency on women, whatever the form. They are my primary source of beauty, and in the presence of that beauty it is easier to let go and love myself. Yes I need approval; and that implies me approving of the places in myself that I’m less than comfortable with, in someone else’s presence.

Here is why I sat down to write: we need one another in this journey. I’ll help you love you. Please help me love me. This will make it a lot easier for us to coexist, and we’ll be starting with enough love because we each bring our own. Imagine a vector of deep self forgiveness. Rippling into our city.

This human ride

16 July 09

Thoughts on The Split

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Blue Studio set up for photo session with Hannah, late 2007. Photo by Eric Francis.

Eric,

I’ve deeply enjoyed reading the book of blue posts and found your take on the male/female psyche split to be perfectly articulated within the context and spot on. Men are desperate to integrate the male and female sides of their personalities, and the tension this creates both in a man’s feelings about himself (mostly shame) and the projection of this shame onto his female partners and the world is the source of much of the violence we witness on a daily basis. Women have benefited from increasing opportunities to integrate, leaving a power differential between men and women that makes it difficult to cultivate relationships based on mutual respect, integrity and honesty.

From a relationship perspective, women experience this as “If you don’t do what I want, I’m going to fuck someone else behind your back.” While I have no problem with anyone fucking anyone else (even within a committed relationship as long as both agree and are honest and respectful), its the deception and hostility imparted in the act (as an attempt to even the power imbalance and dissipate the pain tension created by shame) that degrades both men and women and keeps everyone from being whole. Women experience emotional rejection by men as standard operating procedure in relationships, but as you highlight, this is really the rejection of the inner feminine projected externally. The more he dislikes himself, the more hostile this rejection is likely to be.

I appreciate your continued exploration of these deep issues and willingness to frankly share your personal experiences. I don’t know what the immediate solutions are, but I do feel awareness is evolving, and you are actively contributing to that evolution. Your commitment has not gone unrecognized.

Cathy

15 July 09

The Split: What is it about men?

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Hand and Semen. Photo by Eric Francis.

It’s difficult to make any universal statement about humanity not restricted to the vital organs (heart, lungs, kidneys), but I have noticed a tendency for men to be uncomfortable around their own semen. For contrast, consider how men expect women to feel about it; it’s supposed to be the most eminently drinkable, absorbable substance in the world. For men, particularly when alone, its destination is generally tissues, an old sock or the toilet.

When they are with a woman, the presumed destination is somewhere in or on her body. For most men the blow job is the ultimate expression of sexual desire or power (which tend to get mixed up). Sometimes this is done with a bit of reverence and gratitude toward his partner; often it’s the normal routine; quite often there is expectation, and a feeling of obligation by the woman.

And as many have noted, and as the porno industry thrives on, there is often a degrading quality to it: a bit of take this, bitch. On behalf of a lot of women who have been taking it, I’m here to take it back.

Here is something you may not know about men: a lot of them want to drink their own cum. In fact to say want is to understate the case. It feels like wanting, but right below that is desperation. I’m not sure most would admit this to another living soul, but some do write about it anonymously, if you know where to read. Since this is the kind of conversation I tend to have with people, I hear about it; and I’m in touch with the feeling in myself, going back to being a teenager.

Before I go on, though, I would like to pay a moment of homage to how out-there this conversation supposedly is. That’s always the feeling when encountering something supposedly shameful. By the time I finish this diary we will have gone from way out-there to way in-there, but let’s take the shame piece consciously, that is, let’s be aware of it since it is in a sense the theme.

I believe this form of shame involves what is done to male sexuality in general (it’s variously considered a weapon, a disease vector, a source of unwanted pregnancy, something base, or crude; but also still desired) and what is done to masturbation in particular – clearly the source of most semen.

Masturbation is among other things frequently experienced as a symbol for being unacceptable to women as a sexual or emotional partner. It seems to represent something less about sexual independence, and more stands as symbol of the sexual power that women have over men: If you don’t do what I want, you’re gonna go back to fucking your fist.

Our society has come a long way in viewing female masturbation as a beautiful thing, which draws part of its validity from our yearning for any open expression of female sexuality. There is still plenty of ignorance and jealousy associated with female masturbation, but overall we are making progress. Male masturbation is often considered pervy and shameful, the cousin of porno.

But…as much conditioning as we have, I think this quality emanates from something much deeper: the relationship, within men, between their inner male and inner female aspects. ‘The split’ that I am describing above involves these two aspects of the psyche, which tend to be dis-integrated and alien to one another. Sometimes they feel like hemispheres that don’t quite touch and are not always aware of one another’s existence.

I’ve never tried explaining this in writing. Let’s see how I do. I’ve observed that this phenomenon emerges in how men feel about their semen, and all their emotions associated with wanting to drink it themselves.

Here is how the story often goes. A guy is masturbating and he tunes into how hot it would be to drink it. It’s so hot, it’s almost unbearable, and this thought alone can push him to climax.

Then once he has it, typically he doesn’t want it. I’ve heard this described as, ‘I lose my nerve’ or ‘I lose my desire’ or some shade of deciding the whole ideas was disgusting in the first place, or embarrassing. He ‘cleans up’. He forgets about it; does not mention it to his date that evening; or his friends; or his therapist; it’s like it never happened. Just like so many women describe men rolling over on them, he has rolled over on himself. This is the masturbation version of ‘I love you till I cum’.

Then the cycle repeats. He wants himself; he masturbates; he has what he wants and then doesn’t want it, or he’s disgusted, or ashamed. This need can turn into a subtle form of desperation. Beneath the obvious part of the experience, there is a deeper level of not making contact with himself; of not receiving from himself. A profound need that only he can fulfill is left unmet.

It’s then easy to take that desire out into the world and project it onto women, i.e., they should want me, without admitting the underlying unmet inner desire he has for himself.

I think that this cycle reveals a split in the male psyche. Many are quick to point out that quite a few men are disconnected from their feminine side.

The inner male/inner female split takes many forms; in this experience we are looking at one of its most fundamental expressions. It’s often dramatized as the difference in his personality or psychic comportment pre-ejaculation and post ejaculation – something that all sexual partners of men have noticed, usually many times. But let’s stick to masturbation experiences, where the dynamic is revealed in its most basic form.

Here is my theory. Before ejaculating, we have male energy in full form: about to release its impregnating fluid, designed to be put into the body of a woman; maleness in full expression. When he is alone and contacts his desire to drink himself, that is a receptive feeling, usually delegated to women. So we can presume that his inner female is who would be doing the receiving when he’s alone. At least within our current social framework, among heterosexuals, this is something generally done by women.

Before he cums, he is hot and he is hearing from his own receptive side and projecting that same hotness onto it; or she is making her desire known to him. In practical terms, his male side (connected to his body) would do the ejaculating and his female side, something in consciousness that is trying to be embodied, would receive it. Not receiving himself is starving his inner feminine of something she wants. A common experience connected with this is shame, and this shame has a source in consciousness; it may be his inner male is disgusted by his inner female aspect; or that his inner female is too weak or undeveloped to take over at that point. Or, he doesn’t want to admit that she exists.

Either way, I think it’s an experience of rejection by his inner female aspect, or of that aspect. To me this experience reveals a split in the psyche of many men between their inner male and inner female attributes or psychic hemispheres.

That split is dramatized in the world; it’s projected into the drama between men and women. That feeling of rejection, disgust or embarrassment, which is connected to a deep physical and emotional need, can be projected outward onto real the women in his life.

As they are so often expected to do, these women take the role of ‘inner woman’ and receive him. Sometimes it’s a beautiful gesture, sometimes appreciated, and sometimes associated with a feeling of being degraded, but this does not touch the underlying division between inner male and inner female, nor the shame connected with the inner female.

In fact, I think that it tends to bury or conceal the fracture within the psyche of men; it keeps both men and women slave to it; and it’s the perfect opportunity for raising awareness and healing: the perfect opportunity for men to expand awareness into their own inner feminine; their inner goddess, who is ready to receive them.

14 July 09

For who I am, continued

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The River of Night. Photo by Eric Francis.

My soul was being dunked in some unfamiliar cosmos, purged of fear, doubt and reticence to live fully. She became a priestess baptist. I became an infant and she stood above me like a tree.

Now I had to dare to ask her for what I wanted. It was not that I thought she would refuse. It was that I might fail to ask; or that I would do so tinged by shame and not with the pleasure of emancipation, the certain comfort of receiving what in truth I could only deny myself.

Think of why you’re doing this.

I could, but at first without words. The feeling guided me into the shame instead of away from it. Then I was liquid inside: my emotions were in a ball and wanted to splash in a hot mess. Somehow I knew they would. I could feel certain of that. I don’t know what part of me hesitated, but finally it stopped, and I spoke.

“Would you please bring your hand to the tip of my penis?”

I became my own pulse as she gradually gestured toward me, the interval of seconds from acknowledgment exploring into a little aeon. For a moment she was the woman, my friend. Then, Woman herself… and give me to myself?

This finished the request, which I knew she understood. She did not say yes; she simply moved her body, leaning gently toward me as her hair swayed.

From the moment she touched me, cupping her fist gently around my tip and waiting, patient in the way that a woman can be for a man’s orgasm; not touching, only I touched myself. She looked at me as I felt, and as I felt, and pushed the penetration deep into myself as her other hand gripped the stool and held it firmly against my bucking.

Then without ever choosing the moment I was convulsing into her hand; the deep throb of my penis from inside my pelvis feeling like the only stable thing I was aware of, and the rest of me flying like a dog’s wet hair when he shakes himself off.

I was the sole occupant of her perception. I was regressed to something smaller than a child and she something greater than my mother, as her hand filled up with gush after gush of my semen.

I had to do it myself: gently clasp her wrist with my fingers and guide her hand toward my mouth, where she spilled it all as I lay open with my tongue down so she would pour it into my throat.

She did this for me.

13 July 09

For who I am

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Onyx. Photo by Eric Francis.

I turned off the air conditioner and the room gradually drew warmer. Her sheer dress was orange, and it wrapped her frame carefully, holding onto her where it touched her.

As she sat down near me with her long legs extended toward me, I felt the inevitability of what would happen here, and it was lovely. Her expression was soft and unwavering. I reminded myself that this was a moment when I could go deeply. I reminded myself that in the abject silence of my loft she was my only witness. We are free. Therefore I could afford to be honest. Yet there were other times when it seemed no easier for having a witness; that was my own resistance at play, flirting with me to forgo it.

Some part of me thought, if she’s your witness, let her see. Show her and love that you can.

I looked at her mouth, now free to embrace the thought of her lips caressing him while I stretched my knees apart; while I breathed and relaxed into what was happening. It was easy to visualize her, and to embody her feelings as she did so, and to see the living expression on her face, now and as she loved him. Now, as she gently held a space for me to love myself. In truth I understood that their lovemaking created that space for me, created the inevitability that I would hold the experience in my awareness by loving myself.

Her eyes steadily held me, alert and gentle, bright even in the dim light. My mind animated her mouth and her face, sucking and playing with him and then as he teased to the edge of his release, suddenly swallowing him, naked, over and over: I felt the events in sequence, four or five of them. I melted into my helplessness and her delight. Then it was easier.

“I love that you suck him,” I said to her.

“I know you do,” she replied softly, so compassionately. “I love that you do, it’s so amazing to feel that. Sometimes I can’t believe it.”

“You swallow him. You’ve done it and you’ll do it again. I know you want him.”

“I want him and yes I plan to do it again. I will suck him off again the next time I see him.”

Every time I acknowledged her, or felt her speak about her desires, I plunged deeper into my love for her. This time I groaned, deeply and urgently, not quite skimming grief. Her boldness was a vector; I needed oral contact, so rolled over onto my belly and my mouth pressed against the cool surface of a mirror coated in dry semen. I licked the salty crust from the surface, embarrassed enough to be self-conscious, and then delighting in it.

“Yes,” she said.

With that encouragement, I wet my tongue and licked my old seed off of the mirror as she watched and felt and listened. It was difficult to space into myself, that is, to really relax into myself, until I opened my eyes, then I melted a little, and a little more. My eyes were half-child, half-animal, hungry and thirsty for acceptance, of which I caught a glimpse in my own eyes.

Then I sat up, and faced her; I needed her to see my face.

She looked, still so gently. “I love the sounds you make,” she said. “I love to hear you.” I looked at her, breathing deeply, my cock hard and extended toward her, wanting to fuck her, needing to, yet understanding that I needed something different in that moment.

“You fuck him. I know how you fuck him,” I said, visualizing her riding him, clinging to him sweetly, sitting on him with his penis buried deep in her pelvis. “I know how good he feels in you.”

“He does, he feels so good inside me.” I let that soak in.

“And you moan when he does it…?”

“Yes, I do. Of course I do.”

“And he hears you…”

“Yes,” she said. “He hears me, and he loves it.”

“I love that you fuck,” I said, breathing out the words, tasting them as I spoke them.

“Yes, I fuck. Sometimes I fuck you, and sometimes I fuck someone else.” My heart shuddered as she said these words. If I felt sadness, it was the exploding kind, setting me free. Then I melted into gratitude.

“Thank you for fucking me,” I said, though barely coherently. “I surrender to you having anyone you want. It may hurt sometimes, I know. But I will love myself through it. I love that you fuck.”

With that, I slipped onto my back, so that I could do it to myself. Next to her was a stool with a strap-on dildo attached to it, laying on the floor. I tipped up my hips and oiled my ass with a little spray bottle of olive oil, and then I did my hand and worked the purple dildo with oil; then I slowly mounted it.

“I love that you fuck. I’m going to fuck myself. That you…” and the rest of the sentence was a deeper groan, of my root chakra being pierced at my own discretion; I pulled up my knees and mounted the thing, rocking on it, my face visible, my soul naked, my voice making a sound I had never heard. “I love that you fuck.”

“And you masturbate…”

“I masturbate while you fuck,” I said, pulling and grinding against the heavy stool, envisioning her wrapped around him, her legs and pelvis in control of her movements, taking her pleasure, bestowing her pleasure, fully intentionally. Then the intention itself grabbed hold of me: the incontrovertible thirst of her desire.

My eyes studied the torso of the living woman in the room with me. I traced her breasts and her hips and her long legs that came closer to me.

“How does he like to cum when he lets go into you?”

“Well, she said gently, and paused. I agonized in the moment, not sure I wanted to know. He likes me on my side, as he is kneeling up. I think, this is when he moans the most deeply and that’s how I know.”

Gazing at her as I lay fucked, I could imagine her in that position, and then naked, relaxing her beingness into the inevitability that he would let go, once situated like that. “And you know it’s going to happen…”

“Yes, I know it is, I do know.”

“Ohhhhhh…” escaped me and I pulled the stool up hard onto my ass and let my knees drop back further yet.

“Good,” she said. “Make love to yourself.”

“Oh, I want to,” I said.

“You can…”

“I want to tell…I want…him to know…that I do this so that you can make love, please tell him that this is how I open the space for you to love. I love myself…while you fuck, while you fuck who…you…want,” speaking in rhythm with the solid slams against my ass and penetrating into the canal of my pelvis, feeling the beauty of their connection.

She said, as I plunged into the humility,

Oh, that is very beautiful.

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