:: Sexual Revolutions

revolutionStigma seems to, at times, be a form of causation to change – especially when people begin to ask questions.

As it relates to sex, there have been numerous forms of revolution(s) over the centuries all in and around times of great stigma.

During the Victorian age, when everyone was apparently supposed to be prim and proper Marquis de Sade, Rousseau, and others caused a sweeping storm with scandal. The scandal was simple: sex is good. This of course was during a time when values and morality as well as the views of how the cosmos worked came into question.

The notion sex was good, and shouldn’t be repressed was a shock to many (at least in public) – but refreshing to many others as well. It was something that people seemed to yearn for and grasp onto. But things seemed to die down, and go well under-ground for a while. In the 1920’s, after a world caught in war, there sex began to expressed in new ways again, but a depression devoured up the movement.

Another counter-culture movement arose that wanted to explore the personal aspects of sexuality following the works of Freud and Lawrence. This movement came on the heels after the second great war that also spurned out numerous varieties of a new sexual revolution from the gay BDSM community to women’s liberation movement and the Sex Positive movement.

feminismWomen especially began to view their sexuality as something to be their own. Urged to initiate sex, enjoy, and experiment led to a refreshing ideology that was much needed. There was this idea that men and women should embrace sexuality with little to no limits other than ‘safe sex’ and the importance of consent.

The revolution that continued into the 60’s was much bigger than any single demographic. Involved were feminists, gay rights campaigners, hippies and even political elements. This alone set it apart from the 20’s. Not to mention that sex began to find it’s way into mainstream magazines (Playboy and Cosmopolitan). Interestingly, this movement really began to pick up momentum after the fabled 50’s – a time and place where a woman’s place was barefoot and in the kitchen – totally suppressed by her man.

But the movement wouldn’t last forever. Right wing politics took off like a storm in the 80’s. the AIDS epidemic scared the shit out of everybody. And Evangelicalism and the televangelist preached the stigma of sex so much, that eventually human sexuality declined – but shadows of a sexual freedom always present – and slowly began to increase their way back into mainstream little by little to present day.

:: Foundations | Taboo Nature of Sex

Gallup polls tell us that the majority of Americans have some form or another of a spiritual leaning. While this ins’t surprising to me, I think we can see how it affects the world of D/s pretty easily.

videowalltaboo_360_259You see, if I walk into a bookstore, I’m going to find a few shelves filled with books about sex – all kinds of books – about all kinds of sex. But if I walk into a “christian bookstore”, It’s unlikely I’ll find one.

Sexuality is in every vein of life – television, fashion & style, the internet, physical elements, books, emotional aspects, magazines, health & fitness, movies, and it goes on and on. In spite of it being everywhere you look, because it is a taboo topic for most people, because it’s taboo in the church.

This isn’t a new phenomenon. For ages, the church has pretty much declared that if you’re not married sex is wrong – if you masturbate it’s a sin – if you fuck for any reason other than to procreate it’s not right – if it’s in anything else other than vaginal sex it’s immoral, and btw, sleep in separate beds.2012-01-23-no-sex-sign-500x350

Now, I’m not suggesting that sex needs to be the #1 or even #10 top thing the church talks about – but when the only way it can talk about it is negatively, then everything about sex becomes unnatural.

From anal to oral – from self pleasure to the enjoyment of “pain” – from the use of toys to the any kind of kink. Obviously then any form of D/s is out of the picture. It’s all wrong and sinful.

There doesn’t seem to exist a language to talk about sexuality in a positive way.

Our sexuality is linked to our emotional, physical, mental, and social and spiritual aspects of our health. Sexual expressions are an overflow of our values and beliefs about ourselves and our partner.

We aren’t raised with clear guidance and understanding of these aspects, and many of us have scars and deep hurts. Just as with these other elements, when it comes to sex we don’t talk about what it means, what it represents and provides.

If my knowledge about sex is that it’s ultimately bad, or a chore, then I don’t really know how to express myself in a meaningful way.

I believe sex is often talked about wrong in the media – it’s often abusive, but these images don’t shake my core beliefs about sex and our sexuality.

I believe that sex is pure, sacred, and good. I believe in passion, in demonstrating my passion to my lover – not simply in ways that I want to, but in ways that are pleasing to her. I believe that when we have sex, it is an expression of our oneness. I believe in exploring and satisfying.

Because of all that – I love (in my best Dr Suess impression)

fast sex, slow sex – hard sex, soft sex

long sex, short sex – dressed sex, naked sex

anal sex, oral sex, vaginal sex, toy sex, hand sex

I like whips & chains, crops & plugs, paddles & kneeling, spreader bars & clamps, presenting & tables, rope & anal hooks, vibrators & floggers, wands & benches, heels & hose, collars & service, candle wax & ice, hands & anything in them. And more….

I love massages and holding hands, kissing, sharing our breathing, and simply looking into each others eyes. I love simply cuddling with each other and being with one another.

And yes it’s true – I love making my wife endure more orgasms than either of us can count.

There isn’t much that I would consider taboo between us. Years ago, I didn’t know we would enjoy these things – hell some of them I didn’t know existed.

:: Root Causes | Identity Problem

Groundswell_RootsI don’t write this post to suggest I have some sort of esoteric awareness as to the root cause of sexual anxiety – but I do think this one particular one is worth discussing.

UnknownI admit, when Eyes Wide Shut first came out, I was younger and was hoping for something a lot different. Let’s be honest – we were all hoping for some light porn. But that’s not what was delivered -what we got was a slow tale about things we weren’t interested in at the time.

After re-watching it, I feel Kubrick did a masterful job at probing many of the sexual tensions we face. Of course, he’s not a writer – the movie was based on an old novel written back in 1926 – this is an interesting fact of course, because the issues in the movie are not new.

If you’ll recall Cruise plays Dr. Bill (Dollar Bill) – a doctor who makes a lot of money, believes himself to be successful and established in his life – he’s married to Alice (Alice in Wonderland) who seems more or less content, but detached in many ways from what her life is.

After a party the couple returns home and engage in a conversation. Alice asks Bill he slept with a couple women at the party, and he says that he didn’t – Bill explains that he loves Alice and they further their conversation about jealousy.

Alice: And why haven’t you ever been jealous of me?

Bill: Well, I don’t know, Alice. Maybe because you’re my wife, maybe because you’re the mother of my child and I know you would never be unfaithful to me.

Alice: You are very, very sure of yourself, aren’t you?

Bill: No, I’m sure of you.

Now, as I re-watched the movie, it had been so long that I had forgotten the dialogue, so when Bill says “No, I”m sure of you” – I thought for a moment, wow that sounded great.

Like something out of a Hallmark movie.

It screamed “I’m a romantic who believes in you – me – us” And while it sounded good – it demonstrated the common “Guys are studs – Girls are Sluts”.

images-1But then Alice reveals that she once fantasized about fucking a Naval officer, and would have if the chance presented itself, Bill becomes insecure and everything begins to fall apart.

Bill was fine with accepting his sexual desires and temptations, but couldn’t handle Alice’s. I can understand why though – this is how society speaks about human sexuality:

Guys are manly sexual beasts who need and want to fuck. Girls are mothers, prudes, and don’t need or want sex to find fulfillment

What a bunch of bullshit – and yet we wonder why.

avoid-sexual-complication-by-being-celibateWe suppress sexuality – especially women’s to the point where it doesn’t really exist. Women aren’t supposed to think about sex – women aren’t supposed to fantasize about sex – and God forbid if they enjoy it.

This has a tragic result where women don’t view themselves as a sexual being – they don’t view themselves as a treasure. Women are forced to build walls – but these walls can’t sustain the weight of what a woman is – and needs to be.

That’s why it’s not surprising to see so many issues in relationships – marriages especially. It’s not surprising to see women read erotic novels as a means of escape – it’s not surprising to see novels like 50 Shades take off like a storm. Because in them, sexuality is presented in raw form.

The response to this portrayal is the desire to give in to a primal sexuality – to experience a deep connection with her partner.

But there’s a problem – women aren’t supposed to feel this way – they aren’t supposed to act this way, so they feel like they can’t turn to their partner. Ironically, men have the same primal urges – but they often feel like their woman isn’t supposed to be “that kind of woman”, so they fantasize about another – and they often seek to flesh out their desires with another.

This all comes down to the misrepresentation of human sexuality. What both need is a primal connection, but they reject sharing this level of connection with their partner – often out of fear.

Unknown-1And then there are those who take a leap of faith and open up a conversation with their partner about their desires. And the beautiful thing is – this conversation often leads to them diving in to the journey together – both finding that their fears were unfounded the whole time.

It’s not an easy journey. But it’s so worth it. Along the way, there may be struggles with finding a new language, a new way of being and connecting. There is so much false identity that has been soaked in by society, that it takes time to refine.

:: Foundations ii

UnknownEverything is censored it seems.

I think most of the time, the censoring comes from good intentions – I mean after all, I don’t complain that the cartoon movies my youngest daughter enjoys don’t revel in death, sex, or drugs.

Some censoring is okay.

But we have a tendency to censor everything – and it often results in there existing two realities – the one that is seen, heard, and accepted and the one that is unseen – felt within. The problem is of course, that you can’t talk about it, because it’s censored – it’s taboo. Conformance is demanded.

If you don’t conform, you get escorted out – yelled at – rejected by family and friends – you get beat down. And because of the censorship, people have a tendency to not deal with major issues.

Again, some censorship is okay – like in those areas where it may adversely impact another in specific ways – don’t incite riots – don’t put the XXX movies next to Disney movies – don’t use your position to physically, mentally, or emotionally abuse another.

I told Kasai a while back that I want us to love each other uncensored (or something to that effect). A D/s dynamic almost by nature requires this – almost. While a vanilla relationship may sustain decades of censorship, non-vanilla will have issues very quickly that will become rancid if not dealt with.

You see, I want us to be able to communicate with each other and not feel ashamed, judged, or feel some how less than. I want us to demonstrate our love (both sexually and non) without the feeling that something is wrong – I want us to feel the true freedom we have to dance with each other.

To love uncensored requires a lot of things. You see a lot of times, we feel and act as though we aren’t children, but we are a lot of times – just because we are grown, doesn’t mean we are done growing. And many of the lessons we want our children to learn, we need to master.

Patience – you probably have goals, and the journey is often filled with life, so be patient with each other. The child wants everything “now” and can’t process it well when things don’t go their way. Be patient with yourself and with your partner – Rome wasn’t built in a day.

Listening – hear the other, their feelings, thoughts, desires, and needs – let it resonate and truly seek to understand. The teenager often says “You just don’t understand” – don’t be that to your partner. Active listening skills demonstrate your love in meaningful ways.

Activity – on a couple levels – act positively on your partners needs – and act on yours unselfishly. How many times has the parent said “It’s better to give than to receive” – it takes some maturity to give to another – more so to give not what you want to give them, but what you know they want/need – even more to give what you know they want/need simply relish that moment wholly – no false demands on something in return.

Receive – sometimes, this one can be hard – but you need to learn how to receive. From physical to verbal and non verbals – we  need to learn how to receive praise and guidance – we need to learn how receive physically as well. How many parents have scorned their kids for reacting to a gift negatively on Christmas or a birthday?

Talking – You have to learn how to talk – to share your emotions and feelings. To do so without judgement, bias, or the need to have to always be right.  Don’t talk just to be heard – communicate to engage with a purpose.

Mutuality – you have to give and receive – you have to talk and be heard. Working as a member of a team isn’t always easy – we fight almost everything, we can’t deal with a loss….and intimate relationships are hard – so many end up ending poorly. But there is a sacred understanding of being and purpose in community. You – or your partner – can’t always be the one who is giving or receiving – you have to be a team and live life together.

:: Foundations

For me, a D/s dynamic must be rooted in love and respect. There are many different dimensions in BDSM, and some of those are abusive, which can sometimes make some of the beautiful things hard to see – but I believe they are…or can be there.

Actually, I’d go further in my 1st sentence to say that all relationships should be rooted in love and respect. Just like within BDSM – many relationships of all kinds are not. All you have to do is watch the news, read Facebook, listen to a politician, and the list goes on.

Because we are surrounded by so many ways that are not based in love and show little respect, it can make it hard for us to view our own relationships in such a way. Many times, we end up with a selfish world view when this happens.

When love is primal – we seek the other’s needs, wants, and desires with as much ferocity as we do our own. When respect is rooted deeply in our inmost being, we retain the ability to interact to the other with authenticity.

It’s not always easy to do – we are fed from birth and from every direction (political, social, economic, spiritual, etc) that others must conform to “our” ideals – so much so, that we use ourselves as a baseline in determining if others are in/out/loved/damned/hated/etc – after all, in all these other directions everything is either this – or that.

It’s either loved or hated

It’s either liberal or conservative

It’s either damned or saved

But what if there was more to the story?

I believe there is – I believe that love wins. I believe that I should respect the other in an authentic way, and seek to reconcile with integrity.

What the hell does all of this have to do with BDSM you ask?

In a word: everything.

I hope, through the next few weeks to look at this idea through different lenses to elaborate with more than just a single word.