intimacy

Alex Karydi's picture

How to make Lesbian Friendships

Ever feel at a loss? Are you completely consumed by life demands? At times it feels like we are on a stage and everyone is watching us fail! We have a sense of lose, as if it is within reach but like a toy that’s been taken by the ocean’s current it has slipped away.

 

Every relationship has left a trace, maybe even jaded our view of life and love to a point where even if perfection was to walk in it would seem impossible to see her! Or maybe even want her. Why want what you can’t have or ever keep.

You go out and every woman looks the same, every woman sounds the same, so familiar on the surface nothing has changed.  We have the same discussion with different faces and hear the same empty promises and speech of lost loves and new beginnings. 

We have become committed to finding a partner so badly that for most of us friendships have been put aside, until that someone comes along. Others of us have been in relationships where being with one another was sufficient and slowly isolated you from the world. Friendship, the unconditional love we have for what once was a stranger is the equivalent to oxygen in a healthy person.

arvan's picture

My response to: The Pros and Cons of dating a druggie

If you prick us, do we not bleed?
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will
resemble you in that.

      (William Shakespeare)

I read this post at The Most Cake, earlier today.  It's a tongue-in-cheek look at being in relationship with someone that uses drugs.  I tweeted it in part for the humor and in part for the willingness to look at something from another point of view.

In some of the replies to the tweet and in the comment field of the post itself, I began to notice something.  Several people really laid into either the post itself or drug users in general.  I saw a bit of a familiar pattern emerge. 

It is similar to the monkey-pile I see people jump onto when targeting transfolk, queers in general, women and so on.  It is the mob brutality of gangs targeting individuals.

Society so readily accepts the negative judgment of drug users and the "othering" / damning of them.   How happy we are to flog someone in the village square for the crime of not being who we think they should be - and how their not being "good" is used by us as license to blast them with language, isolation and punishment - including violence.  In short, dehumanizing them is unquestioned and relentless.

But the point is that "druggies" are no less human and no less likely to be in a relationship.  They are just as likely to be loved by someone:  a lover, a sibling, a parent and that they are no less deserving of love than anyone else.

People sit in judgment under the banner of being "morally superior", but what kind of morality can issue the vicious attacks by someone onto another person whom they perceive to be weaker than themselves?

Perhaps my own road from addiction to sobriety allows me to look back to the desires I had for love, human touch and community - even in the throes of my addiction.  Perhaps I have learned after half a century that opinion and judgment are not nearly so valuable as we would have others believe.

-arvan

Annabelle River's picture

On having been the "man" everyone warned me about

It's been a couple months since Teen Vogue columnist Jessica Simmons wrote her much-linked post "Is Hooking Up Good for Girls?" about how casual sex apparently disempowers women, because apparently it leaves us pining in agony for men to commit to us.  And Kate Harding has already written the great rebuttal:

...[I]f we teach all kids that there's a wide range of potentially healthy sexual and emotional relationships, and the only real trick (granted, it's a doozy) is finding partners who are enthusiastic about the same things you want, then there's room for a lot more people to pursue something personally satisfying at no one else's expense...

To which Rabbit White wisely added that the first step is (surprise!) honest communication.  But as I'm reading these feminist defenses of casual sex, I'm also wondering: Where in this discussion are all the men who have romantically pined for the women who mostly wanted to get laid?  They do, in fact, exist, and I can't possibly be the only straight cis woman who has struggled with the guilt of having dated them.

And before I write on behalf of Straight Cis Women Who Mostly Want to Get Laid, I should disclose that I haven't had much casual sex in the last five years.  In my mid-twenties, I honestly prefer sex with a genuine emotional connection, with people who already know my quirks and vice versa, and I haven't felt the temptation or the energy for seducing casual partners.  Filling out Heather Corinna's casual-sex survey was, for me, a nostalgic walk through memories from my late teens.  At the time, I even considered myself a virgin, because I still oddly believed that oral sex "doesn't count."

book of blue's picture

Maggie

Photo by Eric Francis.

So there I was at this beyond-gay party in a high-rise apartment with Manhattan as the landscape, stalking her by scent. Watching her move around the room, tracking this succulent critter and enjoying the subtlest details of her existence.

I felt amazingly, solidly sexually centered in myself. I recognized the feeling, rooted in an orgasm a day before, seeing myself with Jane on the line. She was listening, holding open the space of absolute approval of my submission of self-to-self as I faced a mirror. We do this for one another. I dropped into place, then. My soul settled into my hearth. I took that feeling with me: my sense of self-approval.

I don’t remember how or when, but next I was leaning against the island kitchen counter, facing the city, while the waiters plied their trade: hand-manufactured those cute crab salad cones and so on, and bustled off into the giddy environment of the soiree and passed around the treats. You’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties.

And then, though I don’t know how exactly, I was face to face with Maggie. That was her name.

Serena Anderlini's picture

What's a Poly Planet? - An Open Space for Out-of-the-Box Thinking about Sexual Freedom, Science, Health, Ecology, and How They Relate

"So, what's a Poly Planet?" asked Anton Diaz when he interviewed me at Daka/Dakini back in October, 2009.  This blog is about the multiple answers to that question.

My life's work is about the social and cultural forces that can create the paradigm shift toward a poly future where humanity is at peace with our gracious hostess, planet Gaia.  These forces include the sexual freedom movement; the global peace, health and ecology movement; the poly movement, the bi movement, the holistic health movement, the dissident science movement, the pagan movement, and many other forces that seek to co-create an integrated sense of love and life on the third planet.

This blog will host all kinds of contributions to that discourse, including news, reflections, debates, reviews, dialogs, interviews, videos, comments, and more.  Why am I doing this?  The task is challenging, to say the least!  The reality is that many years of research across disciplines, cultures, languages, and discourses have persuaded me that, for our species, there is either what I call a 'Gaian future,' or no future at all.  So allowing all those interested access to this knowledge isn't just an option among many--it's a sheer necessity.
book of blue's picture

The ethos of the erodome


For those confused by the narrative structure of this series, currently I’m alternating between describing some of what I experienced in Black Rock City, also called Burning Man, and a story that I heard there. The story was so rich as to be an experience, and a woman named Lucille was involved in both. One does not meet that many young women who are authentically open rather than reckless about their sexuality, so she was something of a true example. As one of her peers familiar with the occult described her, she was the living incarnation of Venus on the playa.

As for myself: the existence of the erodome offered me opportunities to explore; that’s where these photos (such as the one above) were taken, though I only did one photo session there. The erodome was a large, white geodesic dome, with several air mattresses, a thing called the Monkey Rocker (a mechanical selfucking device – google it, it’s very cool), a safer sex station with condoms, lube, wipes and so forth, and a magnificent oval mirror I brought from Reno.

And there were some beanbag chairs placed randomly in the space. The ethos of the erodome was, anything goes, at any time; be cool with people; have fun. Our camp, Poly Paradise, had an erotic theme, and I think that we all assumed that basic group sex boundaries were part of what most people brought in with them. Basically, those boundaries are: mind your distance until you’re invited; if you feel an opening, ask. Group sex requires both surrender and restraint.

book of blue's picture

Building a Hologram for Sex

This continues a series of posts from events and explorations conducted at Burning Man 2009.

Lucille. Photo by Eric.

Over the next few days in a series of conversations with Bill, Lucille and two others who had worked at Pueblo, I filled a notebook. As I assembled the facts and opinions from many small bits and long sagas, I started to get a basic idea of what was created and what had happened; though the elements of the story didn’t fit together neatly. The human side was more interesting than the technical side, though one is necessary as a frame of reference for the other: so let’s start with the technology. That was the setting, and in many ways it defined the mindset. Everything that happened was documented. And, by mutual agreement, everyone saw everyone else’s playbacks.

In 1995, Pueblo Systems set up a new company in Berkeley called Vector Technologies. Vector was funded with the lavish profits from Pueblo’s extremely popular photo software, and its first program was marketed five years later as the first commercial holographic imaging software. There was always a public face of the company, and a vast dimension behind the veil. Products being sold in schools and being used to put out The Wall Street Journal were being funneled into Vector, whose initial mission was to create erotic holography: highly responsive three-dimensional porn, where the viewer was a participant.

Pueblo’s owners knew that this was the future of erotica: something that people could participate in directly, rather than just being a remote spectator. They were correct in predicting this trend. At the time, pornography was a total abstraction of relationships: one would watch the sex rather than experiencing it directly, and rather than doing anything relational with the actors. Indeed, in conventional porn, the actors might occasionally look into the camera, but never talk to the viewer, much less respond. This inverted that concept completely: in holoporn, the viewer was in the scene and the scene was in the viewer’s home.

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Primarily Secondary

By Millie Jackson

Although contentious, commonly used terms in polyamory are “primary”, “secondary” and “tertiary” which represent different levels of relationships. The controversy stems from how the terms are used and if they imply status for lovers or simply reflect the degree to which a lover is involved with the day-to-day life of a partner. Many people object to the hierarchical implications but begrudgingly use the terms because of a lack of good alternatives.

“Primaries” typically live together, share expenses, may raise children together and, whether married or not, are usually overtly acknowledged by friends, family, co-workers and the like as being a couple. “Secondaries” tend to be romantically and sexually involved without sharing as much of the practicalities of day-to-day living associated with a “primary” relationship and may not be publically acknowledged as lovers. “Tertiaries” have even less if any involvement in day-to-day living, often live out-of-town and/or have other circumstances that cause contact to be infrequent, sometimes with visits limited to a few times a year or less.

arvan's picture

Melissa Steyn: On Defining - and Defying - the 'Most Proper Way' to be Sexual

Christi van der Westhuizen interviews MELISSA STEYN, author and professor of diversity studies

CAPE TOWN, Jan 16, 2010 (IPS) - "The Prize and The Price - Shaping Sexualities in South Africa" is the first book of its kind in South Africa to unpack the ideology behind the enforcement of "acceptable" versions of sex, gender and sexuality.

The book's editors, Melissa Steyn and activist Mikki van Zyl, take aim at the system of "hetero-normativity": the institutions and norms that enforce exclusive heterosexuality.

Christi van der Westhuizen spoke to Steyn, who is the director of Intercultural and Diversity Studies of South Africa at the University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Q: Why study hetero-normativity?

A: Because hetero-normativity is so powerful in the way it structures social behaviour, expectations and our identities. It is invisible, so we tend not to be conscious of the extent to which it shapes our society.

This is true for most dominant ideologies. But hetero-normativity is even less within our conscious understanding day-to-day than, for example, how whiteness operates to shape the racial order.

book of blue's picture

A Conversation About Exchanging Bodily Fluids Over WiFi

This continues a series of posts from events and explorations conducted at Burning Man 2009.

Lucille, photographed by Eric Francis.

I woke up again in the late afternoon. I had to reconstruct the last moments of that experience to even recall what happened; everything had taken on the semi-lucid, not quite credible quality of a dream. The dome was empty of human presence. Or more aptly, it was silent, though outside the sounds of the camp and of the city vibrated with existence.

I collected my clothes and dressed and, after pausing for a long moment and honoring this space that was offering me so much, went outside. At my car, I cleaned up and dressed in fresh clothes and wandered listlessly up to the main tent.

There, among many people milling around, Lucille was sitting in the corner writing in her notebook. I walked up to her and said hello and, closing her notebook, she invited me to sit down.

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