Class starts online April 5th: How to set boundaries for love and connection!

Nice_Couple_of_Tigers_600Embodied Boundaries:

How to say “No” to your partner and increase love and Connection!

A three-week compassionate boundary-setting exploration for queer, lesbian and gay couples.

I survived a decade-long relationship without many boundaries. Phew! That was rough!

Finally learning how to set boundaries with my partner has increased the love and connection we feel. And it’s not something we learn in school or usually in our families. Where then do we learn? Come to “Embodied Boundaries” starting on Monday (in person) or Tuesday (online) and you and your partner can create the relationship you want. Only when we learn to say a clear “no,” can we trust our full yes.

The class will cover boundary settings and maintenance, as well as how to make and receive requests.

This class is especially for you if you feel shame about not having boundaries already. You’ll leave a boundary wiz!

Starts April 5, 2016

For more info and to register, click here

 

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Learning Boundaries

Pavini's old bus
Pavini’s Schoolbus

When my kids and I moved into a 38-foot converted bus on a commune for a few years, we had 240 square feet of living space. My physical boundaries became tiny!   All of my movements became tighter as my body adapted to living in a minuscule space.  It took a couple of months of head-bumping and hip-bashing, but I learned to navigate precisely and efficiently within a very small radius.

When we left the bus and moved into a sprawling house in San Francisco, I noticed acutely the feeling of ‘too much space.’ I felt ill-confined, like I was wearing clothes that were way too big.  I didn’t know how to fill that much space with my movement. Like a goldfish in a small bowl, my body had adapted to smaller physical boundaries  Re-expanding my personal space was uncomfortable. It was a couple of months before I could walk down the middle of the hall, without pressing myself to the edge of the wall. My physical boundaries defined the way I experienced my life.

For many of us, our emotional boundaries, or lack thereof, define how we experience our partners and our relationships. 

What are boundaries?

Basically, boundaries are the edges of our experience. Your skin is the boundary to your body. Your door is the boundary to your house. The amount of time you can stay at a family gathering and feel well is your emotional boundary.

Boundaries welcome in what we want in our lives, and keep out what we don’t want. They are a tool of discernment. They are a strategy we use to keep ourselves safer, and to tend our emotional well-being. Boundaries help us be adults, as we care for our desires and needs, and create the lives and relationships that serve our highest potential.

There are many different types of boundaries: physical, energetic, time, space, emotional, and sexual, among others.  In order to understand boundaries, it’s important to know the sensations of having them in our bodies. It’s hard to know what we have not felt.

For example, babies love the sensation of being bundled: it makes them feel safe and contained.  Adult boundaries can do the same for us.

The most important boundary any of us have is our capacity for saying “No.”  

If you grew up in a reasonably well family, you learned that you could say “no” and still be loved and feel like you belong.

If you grew up in a household where saying “no” got you in trouble, or was ignored, or you survived an abusive or traumatic childhood, your most basic boundary was violated. You may have learned that it’s not safe to say no, or it’s futile because it doesn’t get honored anyway.

In my somatic sex therapy practice, I frequently meet couples  who are close to ending their relationships. What often comes to light is that one or both of them do not really believe that they get to say “no” to their partner. They don’t believe that they get to stand up for their needs, even if their partner is unwilling or unable to meet those needs.

Someone may feel obligated to meet their partner’s requests, or go along with their partner’s desires, even if they don’t want that thing at all.

(Here’s where consent as a clear binary “yes” or “no” system becomes confusing. Because if you ask me to do something, and I don’t want to but I say yes anyway, because I don’t believe I can say ‘no’ to you, am I consenting?)

When boundary violations happen over and over, blame and resentment eventually build up. And it is resentment that, over time, sucks the lifeblood out of relationships.

As an adult in consensual relationship, when I do not say ‘no’ to what I do not want, I become complicit in the violation of my own boundaries. I am allowing my protective barrier to be breached, by not clearly refusing that which does not serve me. I get it; It’s so easy to wish that my partner could read my mind and honor boundaries I haven’t verbalized. And it’s unfair to expect partners to do this.

Part of being an emotionally-responsible adult is learning where your boundaries are, and verbally communicating them. It is also about doing the work of honoring everybody’s boundaries; your own, and those of your lovers, friends, parents, children, partners, co-workers etc. It is frequently easier to respect other’s stated boundaries than it is to verbalize our own.

It is fair to expect that adults with whom we share consensual relationship honor the boundaries we verbally state.

Chances are, if I set a verbal boundary, and someone disregards it again and again, my person-hood is not being well-held within that relationship. It is then my responsibility to take action that supports my well-being. It might not be the most popular opinion, but here it is: In adult, egalitarian relationships, your boundaries are yours to uphold. If someone isn’t respecting a boundary you have stated, it’s your job to protect yourself.

I know it would be nice to say your boundary once, and then everyone respects it in perpetuity. And the thing about boundaries is that we don’t just get to set them, and be done. They have to continually be reinforced. We have to be willing to stand up for our boundaries. We have to be willing to reinforce the consequences of violating our boundary. For example, “If you continue to touch me in that way, I will not have sex with you anymore.”

Often once we set a boundary, folks will initially, or periodically, need to “check” and make sure it’s still there. This is especially true with folks who struggle with their own boundaries; if you are willing to compromise yours, it can be validating for them. Especially in the beginning, folks can react to our setting of personal boundaries as an affront. As we carefully tend our boundary, they tend to shift their freak out, once they realize our boundary is there to stay. 
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Just like a farmer who has to tend to their fences so the cows don’t get out, tending to our boundaries is part of our mental hygiene.

In my experience, the best part about learning boundaries has been the sense of personal agency I feel. If I don’t like something that’s happening in a relationship, I can name it and either it changes, or I move away from it. Learning to have boundaries has set me free.

If you’d like to learn more about boundaries, like how to know where yours are, how to articulate them to your partner, and how to stay connected while doing so, I’m teaching a 3-part class starting this month for lesbian and queer couples. You can participate in-person in San Francisco. You can also participate virtually from anywhere. We’ll learn and practice boundary skills for connection, so that your relationship can thrive.

Learn more about “Embodied Boundaries: For lesbian and queer couples who want to thrive” click here

Flagging Green for Ecosexual Daddy giving redemption

“What are you flagging?” Sie asks.

I follow hir green eyes down to the matching green bandana hanging off my belt. I’ve been camping for days on the gentle land of southwest Washington state, without giving a thought to the queer hanky code that relies on colored bandanas in one’s back pocket to signify sexual availability.

“Um, flagging pee rag?”  I try for a mix of affronting honesty with irreverent humor to cover up the shame I feel at being caught un-queerly unaware.

“Daddy.” Sie says confidently. “You’re flagging Daddy. And receiving.”

The amount of math I do in the next half second is staggering. I’m flagging “receiving daddy.” This incredibly hot sexy genderqueer person just opened a door called “daddy” that I’ve been wanting to walk through for quite some time. Sie is a longtime friend, and I trust hir.  We’re at an ecosexual convergence, deep in the woods, sitting at a picnic table with a bunch of folks who are exploring the lover relationship between Earth and self. I have permission from my primary partner to explore my erotic edges. I want Daddy. I want hir to be my daddy. I want to get fucked, in the woods, with hir as my Daddy. And it’s all possible, if I can just ask for it.

“Yeah, well, that’s interesting, isn’t it?” I stumble through the sentence, aware that the other four picnic-table sitters have gone quiet and are looking at me curiously. “So, I was wondering if you’d be down to fuck me?”

I can tell that sie is surprised, didn’t quite expect that full-on of a reach-around. It’s hir turn to do the math. I wait.

“Well. Hmm. That’s a thought.”

Not exactly the enthusiastic response that would set my pounding heart at ease, but not a cool brush off either.

Another beat. I wait until sie speaks.  “What did you have in mind?”

And it’s on. We negotiate a scene for the next afternoon. I tell hir that I’ve never truly bottomed before, and that I want to be opened.

Truth, I’ve never been in a space where I’m not in control. I’ve been stone more times than I can remember. I’ve opened many people, had many hot erotic moments that I’ve driven. I’ve even surrendered to receiving pleasure from others many times. But this is different. This is turning over the power to another, someone I don’t know at all in their erotic personhood, someone who is powerful, fierce, ferocious. And definitely sadistic.

The next twenty-four hours pass slowly. I find myself excited by the ‘what-will-happen’ feeling. The winged insects are having a field day all over my inner landscape… it’s beyond butterflies into full on plague of locusts. I’m not scared exactly, I trust hir. I trust hir capacity to handle me, to be my Daddy.

When the time comes I’m showered and ready for our forest date, (which in the aftermath of a forest-floor fucking turns out to be kind of ridiculous.) We meet at lunch, and walk out among the Douglas Firs together, the unbelievable vanilla scent of the trees perfuming the warm Summer Solstice air. It’s the longest day of the year, and Daddy and I are going out under the trees to play.

I’ve brought the only thing I have to lay on, my lavender towel, which will become a sap-filled souvenir of “the time sie fucked me so hard I bled.”

Sie asks me to sit down. Tells me to call hir “Doctor.” Then tells me to remove my wife-beater, my belt. Sie wants it to be sexy. I get the unspoken subtext: this is not a strip-tease. Just be really hot for me, please.

I take off the thick black leather belt, and upon hir request, open my mouth to embrace the silver pentacle belt buckle. I’m not from Texas, but I know the importance of an oversize buckle. However, I pay the price for my cocky audacity when sie doesn’t just want me to tongue it, but wants me to receive the whole damn thing. I let the spit and drool roll out of my mouth, wanting to make apparent my commitment to abandon and submission.

“I don’t like pain,” I’ve told hir, and instead I’ve been told to be available for ‘sensation’ which may become more intense over time. Surprisingly, I am available. When sie pulls the dripping buckle from my mouth, the feeling of absence is an unexpected grief. Sie takes off my pants, and takes a long look. Sie tells me that sie likes my dick.

Without ado, Daddy begins to fuck me. Sie spits on my junk, and I feel the hotness of hir spit drip down between my legs. This is a fucking that will change my life, and I know it as I have it.

I’m sobbing. It’s profound gratitude for the queer labor of love we are both engaged in: this is work we can only do with each other in community. At first, sie is concerned and checking in, but I reassure hir that everything is so good, beyond good. That it is perfect and welcome and I want it all. My body turns and rises to meet this fucking, wanting every bit of hir inside of me.

My hands reach out and grasp the dirt, duff and detritus of the forest floor, pulling it into my fists to hold the fuck onto something, anything.

I call out to this doctor of love and redemption to make sure it is okay to touch hir back. I grab fistfuls of Daddy, brutally pulling hir to me again and again. I crawl into hir neck, kissing and nuzzling. Our mouths, come together open and wet. This surprises me, all the kissing. I tell hir I love hir, and I mean it, which also surprises me.

I begin to notice the sensation of deep relief. Beyond the pain and the filth, something inside of me feels so calm.  To be the Doctor’s boy, to give myself to hir completely. Hir hand, dipping inside of me again and again begins to touch my heart. I move towards, rather than away from, the splitting pain of hir fist, creeping its way inside my cunt.

When I feel the tearing of my tender bits, there is a moment when I choose to find pleasure over discomfort. I choose the bright sensation, the ecstatic pulling and pulsing that is building in my dripping cunt, over the ripping and burning. Later, I will bleed. I will feel the dull ache of an empty lonely space inside of me, about the size of a fist.  But for now I have it, hir fist, holding me firmly from the inside.

I call out to the trees, to the land. “Io Pan! Keeper of the woods and the beast of my body! Wild Love! Wild Love! Wild Love!”

I pray, and sie moans, “Here I am with you, praying. Here I am with you, inside your body, with you.” It’s the sweetest thing I’ve heard maybe ever.  I’m not alone in my body. Daddy is here. Sie is here. We are together, sharing creation and prayer and song and delight, and my body is the container that is holding us.

The trees call back: “If you want wild love, practice feral sex.” Hir fist pounds into my battered front hole, again and again. Sie tells me how good I am at taking it, tells me I’m a champion for getting fisted for the first time, and bottoming for the first time, in plain sight of passer-bys to boot. When shame rises up, I fuck even harder. But really it is the Doctor who is my champion, championing my queer desire, my desire to fuck the shame and trauma away so that I can feel free.

Soon, I squirt and squirt all over hir hand. I am fucking crying praying squirting surrendering and time just stops. We both notice that it is 2:30 for a really long time. I want it to be over and I want it never to end. The only things I know in this singular moment are the trees swaying above me and the exact edge where they meet the blue sky, and this beautiful lover’s embrace that holds me tight right up against my pleasure and my pain.

I know I don’t want to get fucked like this every day. I can’t. And yet I need this. This is me getting fucked queer. This is me saying yes and allowing someone to fuck me in the way that SIE wants to fuck me.  This is me, finding Divinity and Self and Home and World. This is mine.

There is mounting rhythm and pleasure. The Doctor’s not-quite-human face looms above me, gorgeous and open and brutal. I feel my orgasm approaching, and my eyes open wide and pour into hir ocean green gaze. Through my eyes I give every bit of my pleasure to this Daddy, my Daddy. I scream and come and shake, all at the same time. It goes on and on. From my healing heart, deep, wrenching sobs of joy and freedom.

And when the paroxysm of agonizing pleasure is finally done, and the sobs are quiet, the world is irrevocably different. I am the trees, I am this lover, I am this Earth and this sky. I am this everything.  Love is so present in this moment: rough, raw violent love, love that has fucked me free.

 

Sex Sells, Feeling More and Erotic Leaps of Faith

Feel more pleasure with Emancipating SexualityLast week I wrote that what we accept as our capacity for pleasure is actually far smaller than what we are capable of experiencing as humans.   

Perhaps you thought, “OK, so then I’m going to increase my capacity for feeling pleasure and expand my sexuality.”

Indeed, how does one expand into feeling more pleasure, if one has already accepted that the limits of our pleasure capacity are inflexibly where they are?

Or worse yet, what if we have don’t realize that the limits to our capacity for feeling pleasure are ones that we ourselves have created?

Before we consider the question of how to increase our capacity for pleasure, let us first acknowledge our diminished capability to enjoy the fullness of our human sexuality.   Let us ground into the historical contexts of how we have ended up here.

Throughout my blog, I have often written of my own experiments as I attempt to expand my erotic self and broaden my capacity for pleasure.  I write of my own experiences for a number of reasons, mainly because I trust personally people who walk their talk.  Therefore, my integrity compels me to be transparent about my process.  Blogging keeps me accountable to my chosen course towards erotic wholeness. Importantly, transparently blogging about my sexuality helps hold my shame at bay. 

Ironically, the shame of not being or having the sexual self we know or imagine is possible can actually  be enough to block us from seeking that self.  Therefore, it is crucial to the sexual wellbeing of the planet that we begin to break silence about our shame.  That people with marginalized identities also claim sexuality.  Through sharing our erotic journeys, we not only give ourselves permission, but also model and give each other permission to seek authentic sexual expression.

When I started exploring my erotic nature, I was optimistic, but guardedly so.  Perhaps there was more to my sexuality than I was experiencing.  I had a vague sense of missing out on something, but assumed (incorrectly) that the experience I was having was the extent of the experience I could have.  I thought the sex that I had, though limited and at times non-existent, was good enough.  Plainly put, I settled for the experience I had  and tried to wrap my sexuality around it. I did not try to expand the experience to meet the edges of my sexuality. 

After all, I had read enough about women’s sexuality to know a few things (or so I thought.)  I knew that that many women didn’t masturbate.  Many women didn’t orgasm during penis-vagina intercourse.  Many women didn’t have more than one orgasm. Many women didn’t even orgasm at all.  Since I was capable of coming a couple times when I had penis-vagina intercourse, and I masturbated, I was doing better than many women.

I set my own sexual bar super low.

What were some things I was missing from my sexuality?

  • Play and Exploration and edge-pushing
  • Desire and Fantasy
  • Transcendent sexuality and sex magick
  • Embodiment, sensate focus and being present during sex
  • Freedom for fantasy during sex and Freedom for all kinds of fantasies
  • Exploring different turn-ons
  • Toys, different positions and mixing up the patterns of sexual encounters
  • Gender play and different sexual partners
  • Anal explorations
  • Knowledge of my anatomy
  • Squirting  and Kegels
  • Breath, movement and sound
  • Ecstatic sexual encounters  and meeting the Divine during sex
  • Awareness of erotic energy, and ability to work with it
  • Kink, BDSM and power exchange
  • Communal erotic encounters
  • Allowing sex to crack open my heart
  • Full Body orgasms, G-spot orgasms and orgasmic spaces beyond the clittoral
  • Acceptance for my kinks and turn-ons
  • Curiosity

Shit, that’s a whole lot of missing!

The most interesting thing is that I really believed  I was doing good!  I ACCEPTED that the limits of my sexuality were real.

Barnaby Barratt, a psychotherapist, sex therapist, sex educator and tantric facilitator, implores that, “Our sexuality encompasses everything about our embodiment.  It is our sensual and erotic connectedness with all that is around us.  It is the medium of our alignment or misalignment with the universe, the grounding of our being-in-the-world.”

Why do we accept for our sexuality something that is less than perfect alignment with the universe? How did it come to be that I accepted those limits?

While most of us probably feel some degree of shame about where we are in our sexual expression, it turns out there are actually a number of really excellent reasons why we are where we are.

Here’s the crux of it: Our sexuality is informed by a complete paradox.  Ubiquitous in the United States are both blatant sexualization and  blanket sexual repression.  We all encounter examples of both of these hundreds of times each day.

Sexually Explicit or Implicit Advertising

Oh Hi, Sex-Sells Advertising!  The earliest known use of sex in advertising was in 1871, by the Pearl Tobacco brand.  The advertising featured a naked girl on the package.  Since then, sex has been a powerful advertising tool used to sell almost everything.  And it works, too, since we are hard- wired to respond to sexual connotations.

Brooke Shields was only 15 when this came out in 1980. Text read "Want to know what comes between me and my Calvin Klein's? Nothing."
Brooke Shields was only 15 when this came out in 1980. Text read “Want to know what comes between me and my Calvin Klein’s? Nothing.”

We actually even respond to messages that only imply sex, meaning advertisers merely have to access the part of our brain that recognizes sexual messaging.  According to the American Association of Advertising Agencies, average American adults are exposed to approximately 650 advertising messages each day.

Implicit Sexual Suggestion
Implicit Sexual Suggestion

We live in a society that is completely sex obsessed, 

and simultaneously completely sex-phobic.

Pervasive Sex Negativity

In juxtaposition to the images above, consider the following:

Receiving these contradictory messages can be disastrous in our search for authentic erotic expression.  On top of that, layer the traumas, stories, shame, abuse and bad sex many of us have had, and it’s a recipe for sexual shut-down.  Seen through this lens, the fact that we can feel any pleasure at all is quite remarkable!

“Many of us tell ourselves that “sex is not all that important to me,” and then we immerse ourselves in substitutive activities. We plunge into all manner of heartless addictions, or we become preoccupied with policing the sex lives of others. We even lose our awareness of how disconnected we have become from our sensuality. We no longer recognizer our own inhibition, nor do we see its roots in our unconscious shame and guilt.” ~Barnaby B. Barratt

Those who do attempt to cultivate an authentic erotic experience often find themselves facing strong societal prohibitions.  However, when we turn our attention to that quiet, internal voice that compels us towards wholeness, we know we must question the limits we currently accept as immutable.

Sometimes we are required to accept things on faith.  Take leaps of thinking and believing that are unsubstantiated in our lived experience.  Sometimes, we just have to believe there is more, and set off it search of it, hoping we will find it.  I had to leap into the void of giving up my sexual limits, (without having any proof I would get something better,) before I was able to start consciously evolving my own erotic experience

I started this post with the thought “Okay, then I’m going to increase my capacity for feeling pleasure and expanding my sexuality.”  That is indeed the topic.  Stay tuned for further thoughts.  And until next week, I invite you to do one thing: consider that perhaps the current limitations of your sexuality will be different in the future.  Perhaps something deep inside hears the truth of this next statement:

Without a doubt, there is more for you to feel.

Take Me Down Where I am Whole: Take me down, to My Black Velvet Sexy Soul

il_570xN.171899971Yesterday was the 27th anniversary of losing my virginity.  

In honor of the long road of my sexual life, I’m reflecting today on how it was to make that first decision about sexual engagement, and how it is as a sexual being 27 years later.

Last Friday night, my friends and I offered “Black Velvet.”  This was an intentional experiment in what happens to our physical attractions, erotic engagement and sexual behavior when we enter a completely dark space. What happens if we have an hour and a half to do anything we want, as long as we obtain consent from our partners?  In the numerous conversations and emails that have occurred in the days following, I have learned that setting down our sexual baggage both is and is not an easy thing to do. 

When I first made the decision to become sexual, it was about a year after I had visited Planned Parenthood for the first time.  At 14, my friend and I made appointments, without telling our parents, to have pelvic exams and to start on birth control pills.  I remember being so terrified of pregnancy, and so terrified of my own sexuality, that going on the pill preemptively seemed like a wise, mature choice.  Even in light of my current concerns about the effects of hormones on developing sexualities, I stand by that choice and have great respect for PP to this day.  I remember taking my first peach colored pill, and realizing that I was taking my sexual power into my own hands.

Friday night, when I entered into the black velvet darkness, I had a similar sense.  This was about my sexual power, my way.  I had no fear about being in that space, as I trust my own boundaries, and even more, I trust in my ability to recover from breaches to my boundaries.  No matter what could have happened, I felt secure in knowing that I could eventually handle it.

When I met Terry, first real intimate love of my life, we decided that we would have sex together, and share the loss of our virginity.  We set a date, wrote a contract, talked about how it would be, and what we wanted.  I don’t know where the consciousness came from, because certainly no one in either of our families had helped to guide us, but there it was.  We both wanted a connected, playful, supportive and joyous experience.  We both wanted a space free of gender obligations.  We both wanted creativity and exploration.  We both wanted something meaningful. And that is what we created for ourselves.

It strikes me that in crafting the Black Velvet space, how strongly these principles from my earliest sexual encounters continue to shape my values around sexuality.  Conscious exploration and experimentation are the premises on which Black Velvet rested. Freedom from gender assumptions was a dearly-held desire. Play, connection, joy and support were all ingredients we stirred into that cauldron.

The experiment that was Black Velvet was so many things, to so many people.

I’ll only speak here from my own experience, although I’ve been collecting data from others.  What I am able to say is a common thread I’ve heard in reflections: how difficult it was to leave assumptions at the door.  Whether it was feeling excluded from a dyad already in progress, or concern about violating someone’s boundaries, or an unease about not knowing someone’s gender or queerness factor, our fears, assumptions, beliefs and stories make it very difficult for us to have a pure experience. 

I think back to October 28, 1986, and to the purity of the encounter I had with Terry.  Joy and connection.  The utterly astonishing feel of someone’s naked chest against mine.  The pain at the most gentle of penetration. The exhilaration of finally opening my body to someone I loved. The pride that I had done it in the way I wanted, with the person I wanted, and not drunk at some party. The sadness, knowing something was forever altered inside… not having grown into something yet that clearly had a vast and limitless potential.  The not knowing how to operate the parts, the bits, and yet feeling at the same time the exact knowing of how it all worked.  The vulnerability of showing my arousal, my desire, my pleasure.  The rawness of naked skin, exposed genitals, and bared heart. 

Contrasting these feelings to Black Velvet, I see the effects of 27 years of sexual exploration with myself and others. I know how to operate the bits. I know how to touch, and listen with my being.  I now know a lot about pleasure, connection, and sex.

My encounters in the dark were both fulfilling and unsatiating.  I loved being able to touch people, without knowing who they were, or what they wanted, and having to trust my own desire as a barometer, as well as trust that they would uphold any boundaries.  Loved it, and found it completely challenging.  Hearing fucking and slurping noises, moans and what sounded like orgasmic moments made me feel surprisingly tender, and not erotic. I loved being playfully grabbed and roughly pulled, and being slowly seduced into a full body encounter.

That evening, after Terry and I made love for the first time, I felt full of meaning.  I felt like I had the most beautiful secret in the world.  Feeling the rawness between my legs was like a prize… the deep ache inside made me feel grown up, in love, and powerful.  It was less about my connection with Terry, and more about validating a deep unseen source of power, almost completely unexplored.  It’s like when you venture into something just enough to realize the magnitude of what could potentially be possible. 

Black Velvet was also like that.  Having had it once, I want it more and more.  I want to push more into that womb-like chamber, penetrate more deeply into the folds of its mysteries.  I want to know my assumptions, my filters, my lenses.  I want to know the way trauma informs my judgmental self.  I burn to understand sex that is purely about physical connection.  I am intrigued to comprehend how two people can be in an experience and have completely different realities.

Terry is still so dear to me to this day. Our sweet, queer explorations set a course of supportive experimentation which clearly I hold as a deep value.  How completely beautiful it is to me that on some level, my 15-year-old self recognized what my 42-year-old self would want and need. 

Black Velvet opens consciousnessThe most important revelation from the Black Velvet space is about time magick.  The potent knowing that this self, right now, is setting the stage for what my sexual self will want and need, far into the future.  Possibly 27 years in the future.  I am so grateful for the journey, the road, the hurts and harms and healings.  I am so grateful for the pleasure, the breathe, the community.  Our sexual healing begins the moment we step into it, no matter how trepidatious or cautious we are.  Thank you Terry. Thank you Black Velvet.  And Thank you Pavini.  

As the soundtrack ended, and the sounds around me in that black velvet space gentled and slowed, one of my fellow organizers spoke a benediction.  They blessed our work, and our play. They reminded us that sexual exploration is our birthright. That while it may be up to us and us alone, it is indeed possible for us to create these spaces for ourselves to deepen our experience as erotic beings.  And sometimes it requires stepping into our own darkness, our own black velvet, to reach deeply for healing, truth, and liberation.

One of our feedback questions from the experience was about erotic experiments, and what ideas participants have for events they would like to see happen.  If you have an idea, please drop a comment below or email me.  Happy Samhain!

My new zine “Sexual Liberation Front” Free Download

Sexual LIberation FrontThis summer, I published my first “product.”  I grew up in Cleveland, Ohio during the 1980’s, when the hardcore punk scene was going strong.  I came up on zines, and have a strong affinity for information being distributed in a sub-culture underground.  This first issue of my zine is a labor of love, and I offer it in spirit of the gift economy: it will not be sold or bartered, ever.

It feels really scary to put a huge piece of my work out into the world, and let go of control over what will happen with it.  But it feels important in service of our collective sexual liberation.  That said, may this delight you, instruct you, challenge you and ultimately serve you.

Sexual Liberation Front: For Queers and those of Marginalized Sexual Identity

Zine Free Download

Please share, print,  and disseminate widely, with credit.

And no pressure, but if you do read it, it would mean a lot to me if you would drop a note and let me know.

My deepest love for all who read.