1 February 2009

Toward a sexual revolution

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Neisha from Book of Blue. Photo by Eric Francis.

In practical terms, how do you go about it? Let’s say you’re at the point where you recognize that the old framework of relationships – Cinderella or the one night stand – isn’t working for you. The chances are if you’ve arrived at this point, you’ve paid for it dearly. You’ve paid in loss, in pain, in having your hopes dried out on the rocks and bleached in the too-hot Sun of desire; and you’ve probably paid in longing and loneliness. You may have given up, or you dearly need to.

And then what? The first thing to recognize is that you’re in new territory. People have been here before, but the trails are all overgrown. Previous explorers took notes and some of them are available. The stories of what happened in this forest are enough to keep away all but those who are truly brave of heart, or whose souls yearn to express more of their human potential lest they die of inhumanity.

I think that the first step is total honesty with yourself. This is not a hopeless cause. Honesty has a way of feeding and thriving on itself. Be honest with yourself any way you can. Write the words, say the words, tell others, stretch your language on the air and walk across it like a high wire. Notice what you’re feeling. See where your boundaries are. Feel your inhibitions. Feel whatever you’re feeling. If you can’t take another step, feel the awareness of where you are.

Check out the view!

You’re the one who is going to be leading the way for a while. Get used to that. Read whatever you can and be conscious about not taking on the fears of people who say you’re trespassing. This is self-exploration. You can’t be trespassing, even if everyone else has to deal with the fact that you’re becoming self-aware. If anyone doesn’t like that it really IS their issue. If you’ve lived an erotic and emotional life of passivity, you might find taking this kind of leadership refreshing. Once you know what you want and how you feel, it’s easier to speak about it; but you still have to be ready to let go.

The guy might think that masturbating together instead of fucking is just too weird. Maybe he’ll think it’s the hottest day of his life. Maybe your girlfriend will be offput by the idea. Maybe she thinks about it every night. One basic image in this journey is mirror holding for one another. Relax until it’s easy.

Take that chance and suggest what you want. You’re hot for even saying it.

Gently weave community. Remember that many people will initially step up to sexual liberation and then back down. Others try to get there without the spiritual content, that is, at the expense of love. There are many people you would never suspect want to break free, but they most of them scared, fearing judgment and, I believe, being declared unfit for relationship.

Beware of anyone who willfully lies, particularly if they just lie a little. I don’t think there is any point trying to convince them of anything, though I admit to having tried a few times.

Confront the issue of weird head-on. Okay, so you are. Assuming you stay away from anyone underage, and you have a tangible concept of consent, sex is legal. Any fantasies of the police kicking in the door can be assumed a bit of paranoia implanted directly by the Pope, and removable only by you.

Forget your ideas about who and what turns you on. Most of them are based on expectations and inhibitions. Most of them are probably written in a thick book of laws that must exist somewhere.

Don’t take your inhibitions too seriously. Sure, have a conversation with them – but they ain’t the jury.

Desire is mutable. What turns you off, or even disgusts you a little today, can be a masterpiece of curiosity tomorrow. Curiosity leads to liberation because it sets your mind free to discover. Mingle your desire with the desire to find out. Be prepared to find out nearly anything.

Embrace embarrassment. The heat you feel is ego going up in psychic flames. Go there willingly and indulge the sense of relief. Right behind the veil of embarrassment is the real pleasure, but you need to go through the veil to get there.

Recognize that the fear of sexual diseases is a form of genital anxiety: that is, general fear of existence projected onto the genitals (usually as a form of death). Know everything you need to know about keeping yourself safe, set some basic protocols, follow them and let it be. Be honest with your fear and decide if you’re going to let it stop you. Learn how to have explicit conversations about sexual diseases, pregnancy and your history involving either of these things.

Deal with your jealousy. Deal with your guilt about making other people jealous. The best way I’ve found to approach jealousy is as an erotic phenomenon. I know that not everyone can do this so easily. Jealousy exists many ways, at many depths in the psyche. If you’re jealous admit it – it will be ten times easier to get over. Then I suggest you build some scenarios that eroticize the experience and give you a chance to stretch your boundaries. If it makes you jealous that someone you want is fucking someone else, let yourself imagine their pleasure just as you arrive at the point of no return. The opposite of that jealousy is not “being okay with it.” Rather it is being so turned on by what you perceive that you cannot hold back your pleasure.

Embrace death directly when it shows up. If you find yourself in an avoid/approach pattern, this may be either about hidden guilt, or an unarticulated relationship with death. On an erotic journey death will arrive in many ‘smaller’ forms, all of them daunting, including orgasm, jealousy and the fear of abandonment. Let them draw you closer to yourself. It’s easier to share and listen about this stuff than you think. Be ready to let yourself go.

Pride is your enemy. That which makes you feel like you’re worthy of the approval of others is precisely the root of the guilt trip that necessitates that pride. Experiment with the indignity of sexual surrender. Consider how you’d feel if everyone knew. Fall in love with how unpresentable you are when you’re all splayed out like that, and how gorgeous.

Let yourself grieve that you are an impermanent being.

If you cannot imagine your mother, father or brother seeing you in this state, imagine it vividly.

Explore, taste and smell your pussy. Squat over a mirror with a bright light on.

Talk to yourself as you tip over the edge of orgasm. Record yourself and listen. Watch your face let go over and over.

Smell, lick and make peace with your semen. Smear it all over your cheeks and mouth and go out for a walk.

Sexual orientation is mutable. It can change from hour to hour and day to day. Gender is mutable. Your imagination is limitless. You contain all potentials.

Learn how not to get pregnant, and use the knowledge when it counts.

Indulge your pleasure. Allow others to be aware you do so. Be a vehicle for others to embrace their pleasure. Help and encourage them. Embrace the growth, freedom, strangeness, frustration, sorrow, terror, passion and whatever ever ever else shows up when you do.

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