intimacy

book of blue's picture

Communal Sex in Paradise Camp

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

Aerial perspective, Black Rock City 2009, looking toward the west. Photo by Eric.

This was all extremely interesting and I knew I was extremely tired.  A bit delirious, in fact.  As dayworld took over, the electric charge of night waned and a pleasant, sleepy feeling warmed over my consciousness.  The desert heats up fast. I looked around at my new friends and, I knew, my new story subjects, and politely excused myself.

“This is the most interesting space on the planet. I feel like I could go anywhere from here.”

Do you know those times when you open your mouth to speak and say whatever – what you didn’t plan to say?  That’s what happened.  I almost laughed, it was so ridiculous.  Nobody seemed to notice, though Lucille smiled.  I glanced up at the woman called Zoya, with her bright yellow shorts and river of blond hair flowing over her back and breasts.  As I did, the word Thresholder came back to me.

I looked at Siobhan, with whom I had spent the night roaming the playa in my dreams and sleeping on a public couch. “Are you walking back?”

“I’ll come back later. It was a lovely journey with you,” she said in her soft Irish accent.  Which melted me, as did the delicately mischievous view from her eyes.  I smiled sweetly and glanced toward Lucille and walked up to her and hugged her compact human frame.  Then Siobhan, embracing her and her scent, grateful infinitely for the presence of these two women in my life.  I bowed to the breakfast camp gathering and slipped out onto a street called DNA, turned toward the playa at 4:30 and a few moments later, slipped into Paradise camp.

Annabelle River's picture

Beyond the Green-Eyed Monster

Last weekend I went to a panel question-and-answer session geared toward newbies in the kink Scene.  And the only question to specifically address non-monogamy was, "How do you deal with jealousy?"  Which is the same first question I've gotten from most of my monogamous friends, and the same question that dominates a healthy percentage of polyamory discussion groups.  It's an obvious question and an extremely legitimate one.  But I don't understand how jealousy merits such be-all-end-all importance.

I don't pretend to be somehow immune to jealousy; of course I've been jealous of lover's other lovers before, and it's a miserable feeling.  But then I have two options, which are: (1) Deal with it; or (2) Tell my husband and boyfriend that I want to be monogamous, in which case I would have to break up with at least one of them.  And in the last three and a half years, there has never been a split-second that I honestly thought Option #2 could be less heartbreaking or melodramatic for me than dealing with jealousy.

book of blue's picture

Look at what you see

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

Photo by Eric Francis.

In Black Rock City, there is a delicate moment between when one day ends and the next begins. It’s as if night lasts for some minutes, shortly before the rising of the Sun. The many raves settle down to silence around this time and the overnight dancers make their way home in twos and threes. The sky is warming in the sensation of illuminated darkness. We were held gently in that limber space. The city was silent and isolated, though it was a worldly kind of aloneness: in an odd way secure; we were together.

I knew where we were: the Mystical Couch on the corner of 4:30 and Promenade. This was a couch randomly set underneath a sturdy plastic shelter, like a porch on a busy intersection. As I gradually awakened, physical form felt strange and precious. I was surprised that I hadn’t missed it, in that other realm: the sensation of being physically alive. My sandals, sturdy and soaked in dust, were still strapped to my feat. My bluejean shorts wrapped my hips, and I was snug in my cotton pastel colored blanket that I had brought home from Holland.

“Where did you go?” Siobhan asked.

“Everywhere,” I said. “I dreamed I was walking out along on the playa. At first I was with you. Then you were gone, and I was naked. I had no idea how I had lost you and it felt so real. Realer than real. Finally I made peace with losing you, and that’s when I realized my clothes were gone.” As I said the words, I felt them tumble out like tarot cards. I could almost see the symbols align meaningfully.

lovemagician's picture

The Heart of Polyamory: Show Me the Love

By Millie Jackson

I am a literalist when it comes to polyamory—a self-proclaimed poly-purist.  Since the word contains “amory” from the Latin “amor” meaning love, love is literally a defining characteristic of polyamory.  A common definition for polyamory is the concept of being open to having more than one loving, intimate relationship at a time with knowledge and consent of all partners involved.  There are other styles of non-monogamy and various ways to engage in open relationships that are not polyamorous.

Though we often contrast and compare polyamory to monogamy, the truest comparison would be between polyamory and mono-amory—the arguably rare state of loving only one partner throughout a lifetime. Another challenge with comparing polyamory to monogamy is that a relationship can be truly monogamous but devoid of love.

Polyamory is a love-style more so than a life-style. One of my pet peeves as an activist for polyamory is when the word is used to describe emotionally disengaged encounters. Everyone is certainly entitled to their own approach to relationships and to how and why they have sex, but calling it polyamory doesn’t make sense if it is not amorous. Obviously, we aren’t going to immediately be in love with everyone we date. It doesn’t usually work that way for monogamists or polyamorists, but polyamory is about having the intention to cultivate an emotional relationship. I would love to see clearer distinctions made among different forms of non-monogamy so myths and misunderstandings are not perpetuated.

book of blue's picture

This is not a sacrifice

[This is another exploration and documentation of personal events in a series of experiences during the 2009 Burning Man]

Photo by Eric Francis.

Move here like you’re under water.  Slowly and deliberately.  Feel the resistance of inertia.  Compensate with flow.

I understood this and I stepped closer to her.  We faced one another naked.  She held the mirror, which formed a plateau between us.  I recognized that I was at an initiation point; that I was about to go to another level of my life; to accept a new depth of learning.

As humans we all must find our way into comfort within our body.  This is less easy than most count, if they are aware of the experience.  You have made your way to this place.  You have learned to journey along yourself. Look at the pattern you have created.

I looked, and was silenced down to the center of my thoughts.  Even my memory, which I hadn’t realized was moving, came to a rest.

“What do I do with this?”

Annabelle River's picture

Sex Clubs: A History Lesson

I love stumbling across alternative-sexuality history lessons. I love it because we're absent from most history accounts, due both to censorship and to our predecessors' desire for their own privacy.  And then sexually liberated people and conservative reactionaries end up with the same misguided belief that rampant, shameless sexuality is something Westerners invented in the 1960's.

So I highly recommend Tony Perrottet's recent article for Slate.com, "Hellfire Holidays," about the sex clubs of 18th-century Britain.  As Perrottet reports,

"Sadly, during the prudish Victorian era, most references to these naughty clubs were scotched from the historical record.  Horrified relatives burned embarrassing documents and club regalia. But their subversive antics survived in pornographic novels, travel guides to risqué tourist sites, and, of course, popular memory."

When most people first fall into an alternate-sex community, it does feel exotic and revolutionary.  But seriously, the novelty and "naughtiness" wear off after a couple years.  Despite getting off on exoticism, and despite mainstream shock, we the currently living haven't invented anything new.  We have antecedents' example to follow and adapt; we simply have to study history that didn't make it to our textbooks.

book of blue's picture

Another blue world

This is part of a continuing series describing experiences of sex, self, identity and intimacy of many kinds at Burning Man 2009.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Previously filled with the moans of Julia and Mike, and the raw emotion of Lucille’s masturbation, suddenly was silent as if time had stopped.  I gazed at Lucille through the mirror.  We seemed to float facing one another; upright all the time, but unburdened by gravity.

I was not sure she could see me; a moment earlier, it seemed as if she could only see her reflection, though anyone could gaze into her private world.  I looked through the glass toward her, and imagined she seeing herself.  Every word she spoke to me, she was saying to herself.  Yet her eye contact penetrated me.

Guide your desire toward liberation.

I considered that; the idea seemed wise and intuitive.

That is the idea, and she smiled so slightly.  Her eye contact seemed to impart another aspect of that idea.  Water filled up my senses: light water, moistening my concepts.  She nodded slightly, and continued to fill me with this quality or substance, though sacrificing none of her own.  Her presence expanded as mine softened. I relaxed and let go of some pain I didn’t know I was carrying.

book of blue's picture

Love and the loss of dignity on the Playa

 Send someone else...

Dancer at Burning Man ritual. Photo by Eric Francis.

She rocked my hips and guided me toward myself using her emotions as a beacon. Standing on either side were two men.  Their eyes engulfed me with their witness. In the mirror in front of me, I could look at them or look at myself; I chose myself. She leaned with her breath close to my ear.  ‘Forget about dignity’, she advised softly. ‘That’s what it’s about. Now’s when you can let it all go’.  To me that meant moan.  It meant let it happen, and press my feet into the floor to stretch my thighs, so I did.  I would say that I grunted shamelessly but in truth I grunted out my shame and loved the guttural quality of the emotion.  ‘There you go, baby’, she said. ‘Both of these boys are going to fuck me soon and I’m gonna take it like you are now’.

I didn’t know if that meant she would do it right there, but before that thought flashed through my mind, she was getting up.  I would not see, though I would know.  She reached over and squeezed the tip of my penis, making it twitch. ‘Is there anything I can do for you?’ she said teasingly.  ‘Send someone else’, I said.  I heard the words come out, and gasped slightly as my eyes glanced hers. ‘I’ll see what I can do’, she said, and stood up slowly and glided to the door, followed by her lovers.  I fucked myself mercilessly.  I sang to the city outside as the night world thrived.  Gradually I settled back to earth and into a slow rhythm of upward plunges, and flooded the space with my presence.

book of blue's picture

You are your lover

Imagine this space in darkness except for a few strings of holiday lights. The little bulbs threw off enough lumens to create some visibility, though it was hazy and sweetly scented by the colors and my awareness of everything that had happened there.

From my musings that evening, I understood that soaking in the specific passions of women gave me the inclination to taste some of what they might be feeling. So I made it a point to indulge the love of their emotional fruit, as witness to their own eating of it. And doing that I empathized and harmonized and committed to find it and feel whatever that was, within myself. Desire to the point of empathy. I can say that now. Then, in that moment, I just needed to let the feeling out.

I slipped into the cavernous white dome as the city came to life around me. In the dim silence of the space, I set up the Monkey Rocker. It was designed so that any flat-based dildo could be attached to the little platform. From my bag, I chose a purple one that fit me well, and coated it in shea butter. I stripped off my shorts and tee shirt and sat on the thing like I knew what I was doing. Then I placed the mirror where I would be able to see myself, if I ever dared to look. The intention of this act had a sweetness to the honesty, as I did the gesture for myself conscious of embarrassment. Yet it was embarrassment in my own presence, alone.

book of blue's picture

After Orgasms and Intimacy, We Share Our Humanity

This is the third part in a series, inspired by life inside the 2009 Burning Man Poly Paradise.  The first part can be viewed here, the second part is here and the third is here.

Anything for art

In the Erodome. Photo by Eric Francis.

She now begged for her lover to ejaculate into her.  Or perhaps she encouraged him longingly.  I watched as he thrust his reality into her core, all breath and motion.

For me, witnessing male-female coitus is cosmic.  Erotic on a scale I never considered existed.  I began exploring first in my imagination.  Then, circumstances would manifest occasionally.  Unexpectedly, such as now.  His ass thrust between her thighs and the dome seemed to rock as he did so.

She moaned yes over and over a few times anticipating his release into her, and then he came, silently.  She seemed to reel back in the initial wave of his storm surge.  I was watching from behind and slightly beneath, and his shaft throbbed in that magnificent pumping as the semen entered her.  Everything about her received him, from her voice to her hands clasped around him, her hips tipped upward to collect a pool in the throat of her uterus.

Lucille’s awareness embraced this as well.  We watched together in that moment, astonished, beholding the primal scene.  He withdrew himself from her, leaving her semen filled vagina visible to us, and I gasped audibly.  My camera was still in my hands.  I said, may I please photograph you?

Sincerely and directly.

All I had to do was ask.  She reached down and spread her lips.

“Anything for art,” she said.

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