Touching Oneself

“To love

is not to reach out,

it is to touch oneself,

and know that one is porous.

And that you are the other,

masquerading in the wary distance.”

– Bayo Akomolafe, Aug 2015

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My Revolution Lives in this Body

“My revolution is about the earth. It will come from her, for her, and because of her.”

This piece is power, beauty, inspiration, and a deep remembering — all rolled into one. Written by Eve Ensler, performed by Rosario Dawson, created by V-Day and shared with me by Beverly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tL36jjF6-DI

So Much Happiness

“So Much Happiness”

A poem by Naomi Shihab Nye, shared with me by Amber.

It is difficult to know what to do with so much happiness.

With sadness there is something to rub against,

a wound to tend with lotion and cloth.

When the world falls in around you, you have pieces to pick up,

something to hold in your hands, like ticket stubs or change.

But happiness floats.

It doesn’t need you to hold it down.

It doesn’t need anything.

Happiness lands on the roof of the next house, singing,

and disappears when it wants to.

You are happy either way.

Even the fact that you once lived in a peaceful tree house

and now live over a quarry of noise and dust

cannot make you unhappy.

Everything has a life of its own,

it too could wake up filled with possibilities

of coffee cake and ripe peaches,

and love even the floor which needs to be swept,

the soiled linens and scratched records . . .

Since there is no place large enough

to contain so much happiness,

you shrug, you raise your hands, and it flows out of you

into everything you touch. You are not responsible.

You take no credit, as the night sky takes no credit

for the moon, but continues to hold it, and share it,

and in that way, be known.

#GoodSexForAll

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Hi! I’m Susie. I’m the part of Kendall that feels really dumb when she compares herself to really smart people. She read an article this weekend in the New York Times Sunday Review called “The Feminist Pursuit of Good Sex.” She wanted to write a really smart analysis and summary and comment on this article and has been thinking about it for days! But the part of her that is all smarty-pants, and wears glasses, and writes like she was in college is in hiding (dried up from lack of use??). So instead not writing anything at all, she said she’d let ME write the post for her! HA!

Ok. Here goes.

So, this article from the Times is really smart. It has lots of big words in it like vanguard, establishmentarians, and misandry. It tells an interesting story about the change in feminist opinions and what they stand for over time as it relates to sex. It sounds like feminists from different eras have different opinions on whether things are good or bad:  like pornography, sex, and twitter.

There’s a lot of history, and where we are today is built on that history. But some things still haven’t changed, like “sexual politics.” The author says, 50 years ago her mom’s generation was dealing with “consensual, yet joyless and unsatisfying sex.”

Now the author’s generation has the #metoo movement. She says this about it:

“It’s a chance to reset the table of sexual politics — not by infantilizing women or declaring a war on flirting or administering litmus tests, but by continuing a decades-long push for true equality in the bedroom, for a world in which women are not intimidated or coerced into sex but are also not stuffed into the role of gatekeepers.”

After this part, the author uses a lot more big words, talks about Harvey and Aziz, and how the feminist movement continues to fail to make sexual politics equal.

At the end, the author makes a call for change! But to be honest, her call for change wasn’t something I could sink my teeth into. It’s a cool quote from her mom, but not what I’d put on a bumper sticker (“Feminism is a vision of active freedom, of fulfilled desires, or it is nothing.”).

What I think she’s trying to say, is that feminism should be rooting for partners having equally good sex.

I know that having good sex requires a few things:

  • Each person being present in the moment
  • Communicating, listening and responding to each other’s likes/wants (and don’t likes/don’t wants)

Sex that has those elements is much more likely to be pleasurable for all bodies involved. Sex that doesn’t have these elements shouldn’t be happening at all, or at least likely won’t be all that “good.”

Maybe the problem is that women have been trying to make this happen all by themselves? Where are the men in all of this (other than being labeled as predators or demons)?

As the author says in the article, quoting someone from 1968: “A free woman needs a free man.” Here’s what I think… let’s let go of all that feminist history and stuff and start a new movement…

And here’s a new hashtag for it: #GoodSexForAll

(Thanks Susie!)

Audacious Pleasure

Audacious– Adjective

1. Extremely bold or daring; recklessly brave; daring

2. Extremely original; without restriction to prior ideas

3. Lively; unrestrained; uninhibited

During a dance ritual for the winter solstice, I was asked to set an intention for the coming sun cycle. What came to me loud and clear was:

Audacious Pleasure

In so many ways, my pleasure is: conventional, small, safe, replicated, controlled, tested, and familiar.

And yet to others, my pleasure my already seem bold and lively. And there is room for more.

  • I commit to finding the edges of my upper limits around pleasure and expanding them.
  • I commit to finding the ways I keep myself safe and small and give myself permission to be reckless.
  • I commit to surrounding myself with friends who encourage my boldness and inhibition, and who model this in their own lives.
  • I commit to tapping into my imagination and creative center to invent pleasure pathways that do not yet exist.
  • I commit to seeing myself and being witnessed by others in unrestrained wild pleasure.
  • I commit to discovering how much more sexual ecstasy my body can experience.

Thinking about these commitments for the coming cycle brings the familiar tingly-buzz of nervousness that comes when I approach the edges of my comfort zone… a sign I’m on the right track.

Here’s to the days getting longer and pleasure getting deeper.

Audaciously yours…

As Winter Approaches…

I know it is time to write again, when my brain at rest can think of nothing else but crafting and assembling words.

As I’ve slowed my pace this fall, somehow my energy to write slowed as well. I find myself tonight simmering in a thick pleasure stew made up of ideas, self-care, and activities. Here are a few…

Upon learning of China’s ban on importing recycling from the U.S. (and the subsequent discontinuation of recycling centers taking plastic, bags, etc.), I have dedicated a large amount of my energy and focus to reducing the amount of waste our family generates. I can’t in good conscience anymore buy lettuce in a box, and appease myself with the idea that “at least I’m recycling it.” The changes I’ve been able to make not only have reduced our waste significantly, but they have us cooking more, eating more vegetables, and even further simplifying life. And for the first time, in a very long time, I am enjoying cooking again.

Then I added to my time spent in the kitchen by testing out Dr. Mercola’s MMT eating protocol as outlined in his book “Fat for Fuel.” Since switching over, I’ve felt clear and strong, I’ve lost a few pounds, and I am enjoying finding and cooking recipes.

I was going to say that I think it helps me to have a strict container in which I can be creative. The desire for package-less food and then my focus on a new way of eating have reinvigorated my pleasure in the kitchen. But I realize that I’ve had a strict container regarding food for many years, namely the kids’ food preferences, that has caused me a great deal of suffering and strife. I’m realizing that the container is helpful, but only when it is a personally pleasurable choice! I see that I don’t do well with imposed containers.

Dancing is an activity that provides significant amounts of pleasure in my life. My dances on Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights are deeply fulfilling. And I wanted more. I was lucky to find a nearby studio that offers daytime pole dancing classes. To help me practice and get strong, the teacher suggested I create a routine. To honor my focus on slowing down, we choreographed a slow-paced routine. The weekly class feeds my love of dance, is building up my biceps, and reminding me that going slow requires presence, practice, and tremendous strength.

After lying in front of a cello and allowing its notes to vibrate through my body, I had a very clear sense that I wanted to experience cello music even closer: between-my-legs closer. The next day I rented a cello and signed up for lessons. There are few things more pleasurable than the sensation of playing an open C note and feeling it dance through my legs, chest and pussy. All in all, I learned one very important lesson — listening to others play the cello brings me far more pleasure than listening to myself play the cello!

After reading the book “Girls and Sex” I have been inspired to move forward with an idea that has been sitting in my mind’s waiting room for a long time. I would like to create a sex-ed class for teens. And not the basic birds and the bees, nor one that covers important additional information about consent, diversity, and sexual politics (thanks to http://www.scarleteen.com all that is already covered). I want to write about the importance of pleasure — what it is, how to practice cultivating it, and how to experience it in its form of ecstasy. I’m reading, listening to books and podcasts, thinking, journaling, sketching, and testing ideas around this. Maybe nothing tangible will ever come of this idea. But at the very least, I’ll be prepared for talking with my daughters when they hit teenage-hood in a few years.

And there is more in the stew — life-changing sex, embodying a goddess, allowing myself to be seen/hiding, being fearless, dancing with self-judgement — that is still cooking, still mending their flavors together. I hope to dish them up in another post in the near future.