Thursday, December 10, 2009

If I Were Brave Enough

Alliance

“You have to make an alliance
with your anguish,” he said,
“not wage war against it.”
And I thought of all the fists
I had shaken at misfortune: games lost
because the shot clock ran out,
a good meal scorched in a forgotten oven,
money dropped on a dress worn only once,
the bully in 6th grade, the math test in 9th,
the wrong outfit at Halloween.
But of course, this isn’t what he meant.


If I were brave enough, I’d tell you how my heart
has raged for love, stretched thin as a high wire.
If I were brave enough, I’d tell you
how my body has been fighting to stay upright
on every precipitous downhill the city
throws at it. If I were brave enough,
I’d climb into your lap and weep with longing.
All I can say is that any attempt at beauty and hope
is land-mined with failure.
And so the perilous track-making begins.
Wending our way through,
there are possible clutches at sunlight, at windows, at yes.
We are each of us inches from death.
We are each of us inches from life.
We are each of us inches from one another.

-Maya Stein

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Redvolutionary


For my friends who might want to understand me a little better...I never thought to write my own spiritual mission statement and now I don't have to. Sera Beak has put words to my perspective on my place in the world and why my spirituality permeates everything that I do, including the Society. She calls it being a Redvolutionary.

"There are 6 main qualities or 6 bold ways of being that a Redvolutionary intends to encounter, tickle, and eventually manifest through her life and they are:

1. Know Myself

This means I take the time and make the effort to really know who I am: my mind, body, emotions, sexuality, patterns, beliefs, issues, spirit, soul - the conscious and the unconscious and the in-between via certain practices and approaches that resonate with me (some of these may look traditionally spiritual some may not – meditation, hula hooping, yoga, cupcake appreciation and so on).

Besides actively seeking out and using specific practices and approaches to come to know myself, I treat my life as a teacher. I’m aware that the universe speaks in metaphor. I’m willing to use symbolic sight in order to realize that everything that happens in my life – from the glorious to the shitty – if I allow it too, has the potential to wake me up even more to myself so I can be a better, more authentic human.

As a redvolutionary, knowing my self, means knowing the divine. Let me repeat, the best way for me to know the divine intimately, is to know myself intimately, as our essential nature’s are the same. Yum.

2. Know this World

I do not try to escape this world, or transcend this world, or treat this world only as an illusion or a trap or a mistake or a pit stop on the way to heaven or nirvana or the 5th dimension. I do not treat this world as anything less than divine.

This means I do not numb out in front of the T.V. with a pint of Ben and Jerry’s every night (or however I may numb out or be apathetic). I’m not only willing to wake up to my own personal reality, but also to the impersonal reality of this planet. I’m willing to see the truth of this world – globally and locally: of politicians, religions, social structures, environment, the media, what’s going on in my neighborhood, my own community and family.

I educate and inform myself so that I make clearer more conscious decisions across the board – how do I vote? How do I recycle? Where do I buy my food/clothes/vibrators? I take responsibility for my actions, thoughts, energy and my life. Just to be clear: There’s not a “right” redvolutionary decision, a “right” redvolutionary choice, thought or way to be. A Redvolutionary is simply willing to become very conscious of her choices and she’s willing to see the reasons why she is making that particular choice.

Turning red is also about embodied spirituality – meaning my spirituality is dynamic, active, fleshed out and lived in. Spirituality is not separate from my everyday, compartmentalized into a after-work power yoga class or morning meditation practice or Sunday prayers. It is life. And life is It.

3. Embrace Myself

What I come to know about myself, I intend to accept and eventually love – all of it: my spirit and my soul, my body and my sexuality, my desires and my passion, my talents and my gifts, as well as my unhealthy habits, addictions or fears, so my light and the dark, my seemingly “good” and “bad,” my clear skin and my pimples.

A Redvolutionary embraces her whole self out loud, boldly, uncompromisingly. And when she’s not able to do this cause she’s dealing with a particular hardship or trauma or simply stressed out or having a bad hair day or if she just simply forgets – she forgives herself, laughs or cries, resets her intent to embrace herself and moves with total gratitude into the next opportunity to do so. As we all know, life is great at providing us non-stop opportunities to practice embracing ourselves.

This is an important one: Despite the somewhat glorious title of “spiritual superheroine” - being a redvolutionary isn’t about being invincible or perfect or being “spiritual” or “enlightened” – it’s about being yourself – the full messy, raw dirty, funky, authentic lovely human self. A woman willing to be this transparent and vulnerable, a woman willing to reveal her true self in this world no madda what - is revolutionary, rare, daring, a superpowered strength – and I think it’s one of the main reasons we’re here.

Through this awareness, intent, practice and openness to our own embrace - eventually and quite naturally, a redvolutionary falls truly, madly, deeply in love with her self and this planet. She becomes a Lover with a capital “L”

Being a Redvolutionary is about becoming a “making of love”. A juicy wild ecstatic “oh yeah!” of necessity.

Embracing myself in this way, loving myself UP (and down), is how I come to also truly embrace and love the divine (cause remember, in the red perspective, you two are not so two as you are one. Essentially).

4. Embrace my World

As I practice accepting, embracing, and eventually loving myself, it’s only natural that I start to practice accepting, embracing, and loving others with all their faults and gifts, and this world in all it’s pain and horror and wars and devastation and injustice as well as all it’s joy and peace and beauty and creation - and every nuance in between. And I am grateful, so very, very grateful to be here. And I act like it.

Through this intimate embrace, I start to experience, on a fundamental cellular level, through knowing, not just believing, that All really is One. We’re all made up of the same divine energy, particles, dirt, air, stardust as the rose bush, that dog, that Iraqi woman, my coffee cup. So, I embrace this world as a living, breathing, growing, natural element and extension of my self.

My actions, thoughts, and choices begin to stem from my heart, they come from love -not sappy vanilla pudding hallmark love, not fluffy new age “love and light” mumbo, but red blazing true love, unconditional love, fierce love, the type of love that sets your eyelashes on fire and blows your “spiritually correct” panties off – the type of love that creates massive change on this planet. As Tom Robbins says “Love is the ultimate outlaw”

5. Liberate Myself

I intend to liberate myself from everything (conscious or unconscious) that keeps me contained, repressed, unhealthy, or that makes me feel small, ashamed, sinful, separate, and forgetful of my true divine nature.

I begin to do this by igniting my divine spark, which means becoming more conscious and intimate with my inner self. Yep, a divine spark has many names, some refer to it as Spirit, or your higher self, or True Self, your inner God or Goddess, or Buddha nature, or True Being, or Self with a capital S as Jung would call it, or Love, or as my tango teacher calls it “my inner chilli pepper”. Labels and theological or philosophical distinctions don’t matter to me, personal meaning and direct actions do.

So…I live my life based on my intuitions and guidance from this internal authority, my divine spark – I do not live my life based on the opinions, ideas, beliefs, rules, trends given to me by external authorities such as the media, politicians, fashion magazines, doctors, spiritual gurus, priests.

This does not mean I exclude external authorities, I respect them and learn from them and enjoy them and I seek them out when it’s appropriate, but my ultimate authority is my divine spark.

By becoming my own spiritual authority I might start quite naturally and quite organically breaking away from the status quo – I might blow up boxes: religious boxes, spiritual boxes, political boxes, social boxes, health boxes, age boxes, relationship boxes, sex boxes, fashion boxes, cookie cutter molds and so on and so forth.

This means I will probably not be a stereotypical “good girl” anymore.

BUT I do not break boxes in order to be provocative or simply rebellious. I do so from a place of authentic love and compassion. My redvolution is NOT done out of conscious or unconscious reaction, but out of a fully conscious response to my inner truth. In other words, I live from the inside out. I am empowered from the inside out. I am free to be whatever it is I am in the moment - in the bedroom or in the boardroom.

BOTTOM LINE: There can’t be a Redvolution if our divine sparks, our true selves, aren’t leading the way. (Goddess knows we’ve witnessed enough “revolts” led by the ego and the penis).

6. Liberate this world:

I liberate myself in order to help liberate others. Although there is a spiritual superheroine archetype to a redvolutionary, she does not believe anyone or anything needs saving. In other words – a redvolutionary is not here to save the world, she’s here to serve the world. Or, another somewhat paradoxical way to look at it is a redvolutionary helps save the world by saving her self. Meaning any focus and work on (and play with) myself is done so I can be that much better at serving others and this planet.

You see, when we ignite our divine sparks we start quite naturally recognizing the divine spark in every living thing, which leads us to naturally want to be of service in ways that are appropriate for us and so we actively and eagerly seek out a variety of ways to do so.

And the cool thing is, we’re more effective with our acts of service because they stem from this deep inner well of wisdom, love, and fiery freedom. We don’t burn out so easily because we’re not relying on our personal power alone, but also the power of everything and everyone we are connected to and the slap-happy holy moly Universe itself. We are a non-stop love conduit of blaring bliss. A spirited energizer bunny on 34 cups of cosmic caffeine. A secret agent of radical red change."

Falling In Love Again


I haven't written (publicly) for two months. I keep starting to draft blog posts but either get distracted or insecure about sharing too much. The Masquerade kept me quite busy through September and October, but it would be dishonest to say that's the only reason I haven't written. The truth is that I've been going through a process of re-evaluating my relationship to the Society and I haven't been comfortable with sharing it in such a public forum.

When we had our lovefest before the Masquerade began (which is where we bring the staff together to connect and energize with intention), I told them that I felt that the intention for the party was to fall in love. Half our staff were newbies who needed to fall in love with us in order to be invested in sustaining our efforts. The other half were those who've been together since the beginning and I saw that we need to consciously choose to fall in love with each other and the Imps again. We have reached that place in our relationship where we are tired, taking each other for granted, and have seen each other's shadows up close. We need to forgive and become vulnerable again. We need to recommit to the light in the vision we share and the deep love we feel for each other in order to keep moving forward in joy.

What I didn't tell them at the time was that I needed to fall in love again. I was feeling taken for granted, unappreciated, tired of dirty laundry and scrambling for volunteers for breakdown and storage after events. I felt that I was giving everything I had and wasn't being fed in return. But I also wasn't sure what it was I needed to sustain my passion to serve. It took awhile to realize that I wasn't experiencing the intimate relationship with individuals that I desire, that I thrive in. I was having a relationship with the collective (I tell my partner that we are in a poly relationship except that my outside lover is the entire Imp community), but I wasn't making deeper connections. I also realized that in a year and a half, not one of my tribemates had ever asked me to play, which seems odd. I know that I am well loved and that many find me attractive. Why wouldn't they ask me to play? I learned there are two reasons. One, I did not ask others to play (too insecure), nor project a desire that others could pick up on. Two, people are intimidated by their leaders.

If you've been to this blog before, you might notice a slight change to the name. It was called Diary of an Erotic Impress. Impress is a nickname our staff came up with for the three of us several months ago, a cute play on words. But there are connotations of royalty, of being separate from the community due to status. I am not comfortable with that. At the staff party after the Masquerade, I asked that we not be called Impresses anymore. We are Hostesses. We create a (temporary) home for others to express themselves openly, in comfort and safety. We are leaders by default. First and foremost we serve. The only thing that makes us different from everyone else is our shared passion to serve in this particular way. And why we serve is to create for others what we want for ourselves: connection, play, witness, and love for who we are.

Through the last event and subsequent tribe gatherings I have fallen in love again. And I have discovered what I need to sustain my ability to serve, to give all that I can without burning out. I need intimacy. I need personal connection. I need to talk and touch and kiss and play with my friends. I need to share our personal stories, to go deeper in how we know and love one another.

I am taking steps towards meeting my needs. Instead of waiting for others to invite me, I am inviting my friends to play. I am reaching out to people I resonate with to establish deeper connections. And I am sharing more openly about my own process, which brings me back to this blog. I believe I will be writing more again. It brings me joy to write. It helps my process to share my story. And I believe it leads to potentials in intimacy. When someone opens up and shares their experience, others are inspired to do the same. Connections are made when we recognize parts of our story in another. Maybe sharing here will bring me closer to someone.

Thank you for witnessing this rebirth.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Raising Sex Positive Kids

Someone wrote to the Imps Yahoo list recently asking for advice about talking to his 8 year old son about his cross-dressing. This is my slightly edited response...

I don't think there is anything more important than raising our children to be happy, healthy and whole human beings. It's the most significant way we can make the world a better place. It's a big part of why I do what I do as an Impress and feel so passionately about the big psychological issues around sex and relationship. Since we come from a powerfully strong history of family dysfunction and identity/sexual repression in this country, it takes a whole lot of consciousness to counteract our own and our culture's conditioning to find health and happiness.

I have raised two children, one of whom is a well-adjusted second year college student, and the other a fresh(wo)man in high school who has no apparent angst about her life with me (although there is plenty of sarcasm). I can speak from the experience of making choices that have resulted in happy, healthy kids/adults (others on this list can back me up on this claim).

My philosophy is that we teach our children what is appropriate, healthy and "normal." The majority of children raised in a queer home will believe being queer is as normal as being straight (and the minority who don't likely have someone close to them, homophobic and/or religious family members who don't agree with the lifestyle, giving them contradictory points of view in a shaming sort of way). The same applies to any other lifestyle, including cross-dressing. There are opposing cultural influences to battle, but I have found that speaking about these things consciously at as early an age as possible--not just living my life openly, but actually talking to my kids about it all, including what what is right and wrong with what they see in the media and the world at large--resulted in them being authentic to themselves and accepting of all kinds of people.

My strongest argument for being open about who you are with your children is that you don't know if your children are queer, gender-queer, or any other identification for that matter. If you choose fear and repress your authenticity with them, you are teaching them to live fearfully and repress who they are (which doesn't just apply to alternative lifestyles, but to staying in unhappy/unhealthy marriages or careers or whatever). Our children learn far more from our example than our words. Isn't that exactly what we are trying to change? Haven't we had enough oppression/repression and fear? Do we want our kids to live in fear and have to struggle to be honored for who they are like we have/are? Or do we want them to live in joy and openness?

I have known I am queer, kinky and poly since my oldest was 5 years old. I have always had queer, gender-queer, cross-dressing, trans, poly and kinky friends. I have chosen openness, within age appropriate boundaries, with my kids, and now the only people they think of negatively or as "abnormal" are bigots and haters, like the opponents of gay marriage.

Turns out both my kids are queer. My son came out to my family when he was 11. My daughter came out this last year. Would they be so comfortable with their queer-ness at an early age if they were not raised in a home where authenticity is both expressed and encouraged, and the queer lifestyle is both acknowledged and considered normal?

I also believe that even if a parent isn't queer or alternatively identified in any way, exposing their children to age appropriate expressions of alternative lifestyles is appropriate both to teach acceptance of all people, and so that kids won't feel bizarre and wrong if they find these tendencies within themselves. It's no different than schools teaching about different cultures to nurture acceptance. There are Pride festivals, and age appropriate movies, television shows, books, etc. that have queer and gender-queer characters if you seek them out.

I have made the choices I have because I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian home where most of who I am is/was rejected by my parents and it caused a lot of wounding in me that has taken years to overcome. Even now the beautiful work I do as an Impress is ignored by my family, which I believe is community-healing, changing-the-world-for-the-better kind of work that a family should be proud of. I am proud to tell my children about it, and have been open with them since I started volunteering for Club Risque 8 years ago, even though I don't share the details. I told them I volunteered for sex parties and I told them why as soon as they were old enough to understand.

I am as open about being sex-positive as I am about everything else. In fact, I choose to be more open with my kids about sex-positive points of view than most parents. The reality is that we have a culture that is sexually dysfunctional and I have to work damn hard to counteract all the bullshit that is out there. We worry about what we expose our children to at home, but what are they exposed to out in the world, at school, in the media, everywhere they look and listen when they aren't in our presence? How do we counteract the bullshit without intentionally exposing our kids to positive, healthy views about sex, alternative lifestyles, kink, etc.? Do we want our culture to decide what our kids believe, especially about us and our alternative choices? I would guess not if we're already conscious enough to seek out and participate in a sex-positive community like the Imps. If we hide who we are now, what are we going to tell them when they are teens/adults? How are we going to feel if they reject us and others because we let our culture brainwash them that we are wrong for our lifestyle choices?

I know the desire to keep our kids safe in a bubble, to protect their innocence. But really, that innocence is mostly, if not entirely, an illusion once they start school. Other children are telling them stuff about sex and other topics. Kids who come from dysfunctional homes are bringing their dysfunctional ideas and behaviors into the classroom, whether bullying, or sexual harrassment, or whatever. Heck, even most so-called children's programming in tv and film is actually filled with violence. Most cartoons involve fighting and violence of some kind. Why do we accept violence everywhere but are so frickin' squeamish about sharing healthy ideas about sex and relationship? It doesn't make any sense to me. We should be paying more attention to what messages our children are receiving, counteract those we know to be unhealthy and encourage healthy perspectives any way we can.

I could say so much more about this. I could likely write a book about it. But I think you get the jist and if I've planted a seed for other parents, or some-day parents, or grandparents, or anyone who has a relationship with a child, then I'm a happy Impress.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Men

This is a post I just made to the Imps Yahoo group concerning men in our community:

In recent weeks I am finding myself saddened by the plight of men in our community/culture. It started with the masturbation thread a few weeks back (at which time I started drafting this email but never finished), and the pervasive issue I've been perceiving that men are often villified for their strong sexual drives and how they express them. Now this email about a man being dismissed and ridiculed for expressing that he has experienced domestic violence at the hands of a woman breaks my heart. I see these issues as being related, so I am going to address them both.

Of course a woman can abuse a man. I have done it myself. My ex-husband and I used to get into nasty arguments and when I felt cornered by him (because he wouldn't give me my space to calm down, he literally stalked me around the house) I would respond with physical violence, whether throwing a cup of water at him or pushing him or even hitting him a couple of times. Having experienced domestic violence in a previous relationship, to the degree of having a gun put to my head, I had a trigger for feeling helpless. But whether or not I felt trapped by his abusive behaviors, escalating to violence was never ok (he never actually got physical with me except to defend himself). Because of my experience I can easily imagine that there are women who have been raised in violence, or who have survived violent relationships, who don't know how to handle conflict any differently. Size doesn't matter, especially if she is abusing a true gentleman who would never harm a woman, even in defense of himself.

I believe men have gotten a bad rap in our culture and that we don’t recognize that they are as damaged by our cultural sexual repression as women are, or that they can be victims as well. We focus our attention on the violation of women and don’t consider how men are not raised to handle their tremendous sexual energy in a healthy way, or that they may have experienced violation themselves. We judge men instead of offering them compassion.

When men don’t learn how to channel their sexual energy properly and behave inappropriately, we judge them as creeps and assholes, rejecting and ostracizing them. We don’t bring consciousness to the reality that men act in fearful rather than loving ways because they haven’t been loved well themselves, or taught how to love well. I believe more often men just don’t know how to communicate effectively to get their needs and desires met, or don’t even believe it’s possible because they’ve been told their sex drives are excessive, or they aren’t enough of something—attractive, charming, accomplished, rich—to be considered sexy and worthy of experiencing pleasure.

I've known many men who have been told by women they love that they are wrong/bad for wanting to get off nearly every day, that masturbation and desiring to use porn as a stimulant are wrong, implying that something is wrong with them for desiring/needing that release more often than their partner is willing to give it. Women are fearful that they are lacking in some way if their man needs to get off more than they can offer, so they restrict and oppress them with shame and judgment. Women are fearful if their men have sexual interest in any one other than them, even if they only ever express it through masturbatory fantasy, so they make men feel wrong/bad for basic biological responses over which they actually have little or no control. Men are wired to want to plant their seed all the time in as many women as possible. It's a biological fact and it's pretty amazing that they do control it as much as they do by practicing monogamy. When are we women going to allow them to express their drive in healthy ways without judgment? When are we going to overcome our own insecurities/ fears so that we don't shame and oppress the men we love?

I believe we have invested so much in the Creep archetype that we see it everywhere, even someplace as benign as a man pleasuring himself while he watches others play at a party. Would we judge a woman for doing the same thing or just think it was hot? I would much rather create the space for a man to be held in love and acceptance when masturbating, even if he chooses not to engage socially at the party, than have a man repress his sexual energy and eventually express it in an unhealthy way. That’s where sexual dysfunction comes from, repressing our natural tendencies. A dominant who doesn’t learn how to play through BDSM becomes a tyrant in the office or the home. A submissive who doesn’t learn to express their need to serve becomes a doormat for others, often accepting abuse. For every sexual expression and fetish that is born in us, there is a light or shadow quality to be expressed. Loving acceptance brings out the light, repression and oppression bring out the shadow. If we take the shame and stigma away from public self-love at our events, make it ok for a man to enjoy our exhibitionism and pleasure himself—whether he has a partner with him or not, but especially if he does not—then maybe we will help him find the confidence to express his powerful sexual energy in other positive ways.

In response to today's post about domestic violence, I find it likely that many men have been victims of some kind of abuse--emotional, physical or sexual--whether as children or adults. We are not a culture where only men are abusers and only women are victims. We are a culture where most of us are wounded by some kind of abuse or violence at the hands of men or women. Sensitive men/boys can be demasculated, humiliated and bullied by women/girls. Men/boys abuse men/boys in all kinds of ways, not just through pedophilia. I've known many men who have experienced some kind of violence or sexual violation by brothers or neighborhood boys. Men/boys are bullied by other men/boys. Is it any wonder that not only do many men have difficulty managing and expressing their sexual energy well, but also have difficulty being in any kind of meaningful relationship with other men? Even in our tribe, the women spend all kinds of social time together, but I know of little social interaction between the men separate from us. Not only do they have issues of their own, but they don't have the same social and emotional support that we women have with each other to create healing. Women can get together and talk about their issues openly. Who do men talk to other than their supportive partners, if they have one? How are men to heal and to learn to express their wonderful big sexy energy in positive ways if we can't even create and hold the space for them to be vulnerable enough to look at their issues consciously?

No matter what issue arises around what we do, I try to never forget that what we are doing is nothing short of revolutionary. Every moment is an opportunity to change the way people approach their sexuality and relationship and it could change the world if we were to get healthy about sex and love. There are many opportunities within this community for choosing to do things differently that our culture tells us to. It all comes back to remembering that people hurt each other out of fear...fear of being unlovable, fear of being hurt, fear of never belonging, fear of losing the love they have. The only way to counteract that fear is to choose to respond lovingly to each other, no matter the situation. And to risk doing things differently. How do we create the safe space for men to address their issues around sex and love? What can we do to encourage openness and emotional vulnerability for the men in our community? How can women experience their own sense of safety while holding space for men to learn how to express their desires for sex and love in positive ways? How do we stop ourselves from becoming defensive and labeling a man a creep when it's likely he just feels unsure of himself and unable to express his desire in a non-aggressive or awkward way?

I don't have the answers to these questions myself yet, but I do try to keep my awareness on these ideas when I witness uncomfortable situations arise between men and women. I hope that if others do so as well, we can change some of the dynamics that have been taking place and create an even deeper experience of love and acceptance than we have before.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My Role Play Experience

I wrote prior to last weekend's Social about my various issues surrounding roleplay. I would like to share what happened for me in opening up to the idea.

I was drawn to being very girly, which is not a common expression for me. I tend to be rather serious\intense with a darker fashion sense rooted in my old days as a Goth-punk. I never wear pastels or white (although I do love to sparkle). It is both a part of who I am to express myself this way, and a sort of protection, an armor that I have become accustommed to wearing. What am I protecting myself from? The emotional vulnerability I always feel around others being one of those people who wears my heart on my sleeve.

For the Social I wore a hello kitty tank top, very short jean skirt, white lacy panties, white knee high socks, high heeled mary-janes, polkadotted bows in my hair and all pink makeup. I also carried a fuzzy little purse with stickers, bubbles and lollipops. I started out feeling silly, but people were so kind about expressing how cute they perceived me to be that I quickly found comfort in expressing my girly self.

Psychologically, my original intent was a bratty schoolgirl, because being a receptive-passive woman by nature I am rarely assertive enough to be a brat, but something else unfolded instead. My inner little girl came out to play. The interesting thing about that is that I don't remember childhood at all, I don't remember being a little girl at all. For reasons I won't go into here, my memories begin at age 11. But she is in my heart of hearts and tries to come out to play sometimes. I have a fairly secret love for girly toys... sparkly stickers, fairy wands, blowing bubbles, Hello Kitty, little girl barrettes and purses, and other cutsy things. I tend to repress those tendencies because I am afraid others will think I am foolish being 36 years old, a mother of teens and all that. But at the social people were so positively responsive, it helped me to let go of my insecurities and just be who I felt like being. One of my highlights of the night was placing stickers on the skin of many of my Impish girlfriends. While I wouldn't do the full get-up in regular life, I do hope to be more open to my little girl when she wants to express herself and share her toys with her friends.

The other wonderful aspect of my night was the teacher-student scene I did with my partner. It was actually our very first D\s experience and I am so amazed at his courage and willingness to try something new in public. Sir took the time to prepare a lesson plan for me and inspired me to want to be a good girl for him (of course I did not want the punishments that he indicated were possible, like time-outs or eating olives--yuck!). He allowed my friends to give me birthday spankings and lovins. He gave me his first public flogging. In all this, he awakened the submissive in me at a depth I only had an intuitive inkling she might exist. I am very excited to continue my lessons with Sir.

I really appreciated Sebastian's emphasis at the roleplay workshop on how playing together can deepen the intimacy in a relationship. Something definitely deepened between my partner and I in this experience. The vulnerability we shared with each other, and the community, was profound. I am certain it will ripple out in ways we can't yet imagine, both in our relationship and our ability to be our authentic selves in the world.

I was originally confounded by the idea of roleplay because I thought I was supposed to be someone other than myself. I learned that what roleplay offers is an opportunity to explore parts of myself that are very much me, but I have repressed, and even forgotten, in fear of some kind. Roleplay is an opportunity to love myself more and deeper by honoring everything that I am within. I am grateful to my tribe and the greater community for providing the space for me to learn and grow in this particular way.

Coming to the Revolution

Just read a great article on the revolutionary power of sex and self love.

http://sexuality.org/authors/francis/mtwtllaf.html

I have thought about this before, and others have mentioned jack-and-jill-off events, but the article makes the idea even more enticing. I am definitely interested in a masturbation orgy being organized within our group at some point, whether at a party or privately. I believe it could be a powerful community building experience witnessing each other love ourselves without inhibition.

You might also want to check out the author's blog, Book of Blue (bookofblue.com). He documents his own sexual journey, as well as an on-going photo project of female nudes with mirrors, with many recent writings on experiencing compersion with his lover (compersion is the ability to find joy in your lover's love and passion for others...although it is rather more complicated than that since it could expand to being able to find joy in anyone's expression of love and\or passion for anything, which could lead to community healing and connection on a wide scale...ooooh, there is a rich blog topic for me to explore).

Happy reading!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Falling Down

I fell down last night. In a rather intense pms haze of shadow (do other women have stronger pms symptoms when something big is happening with the moon like an eclipse?), mere hours after proclaiming that I desire to release poverty consciousness and embrace abundance, I chose my fear stories and isolated myself instead of accepting loving company that was offered on my birthday night or reaching out for support from my tribe. I guess I am sharing this because I want the community to know that although I strive to live the ideals I share in writings like the previous post, I am really just a mess like everyone else most days. I am usually writing to myself as much as anyone else.

One of the vital lessons in conscious evolution and healthy relationship is forgiveness, both of others and ourselves. When we cannot forgive another it is because we are unable to forgive ourselves for the shadow they reflect back to us, we cannot or will not accept that we have the same ability to hurt another so we fail to find compassion for the fear that motivated their action that hurt us. On the other hand, I believe guilt and shame are prime contributors to addiction and stagnation in one's evolution, especially since I saw this pattern in my mother, who never experienced real healing in her lifetime and suffered extremely because she believed that she should for the mistakes she made. We are usually harder on purselves than we are on others. We are willing to accept the falling down of our loved ones and offer a hand to lift them up again, while we beat ourselves up for days, weeks, or even years for our own falling down, as if the bruises of falling aren't consequence enough. I am learning to illuminate the sources of my guilt and shame rather than hide them in fear of being unlovable should my failings be exposed. It is often the act of illumination itself that brings healing and releases the fear.

One of the reasons it took me months to start this blog after conceiving the idea is that I wondered who the hell I am to think I have anything of value to share about positive sexuality and healthy relationship. Then I remember that the people who inspire me most are those who share their own vulnerabilities and failures alongside their evolved ideas and successes. Too often we focus on the shiny happy side of things and try to hide our darkness. We hide from our darkness so much that we villify those who fall down publicly, even though spiritual teachers, politicians, celebrities and others we put on pedastools are merely human, too. I seek those who are willing to tell the whole story, light and shadow, and who remind me that being human is containing both. We shall never transcend our shadows as long as we are in these skinsuits, we can only illuminate and integrate them so that they do not continue to create unconscious suffering in our lives.

I fell down into my darkness last night, but I am welcoming the light this morning. I am consciously choosing both to illuminate my shadow so that my shame does not paralyze me, and begin this day with love for the process of transformation that I am in the midst of. It is all right to fall down, what really matters is that I get back up again and keep trying to live in integrity with the ideas about love, compassion, and abundance that I believe in.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Poverty & Abundance

We had a post to the Imps email list this last week from someone expressing fear of exclusion based on their inability to pay for our workshops, implying that workshops should be offered for free. There were several responses about the rewards of volunteering (besides free entrance to events in exchange), what it costs to produce workshops, and how no one in our organization is making a dime off what we do. But I was feeling that there was something deeper that needed to be addressed and wrote the following:


I feel that we have hit upon a deep and emotionally charged issue for most of us in this discussion about poverty and abundance and that we need to approach this subject with as much compassion and lack of judgment as we can muster as a community. Having come from both severe physical and emotional poverty, and lifted myself out of it, I believe I have something of value to share on both sides of the issue.

Transcending poverty takes a lot of work, and not just the kind where you go out and earn a paycheck. When you have only known poverty and have no role models for abundant consciousness, it is not just a matter of trying to get a decent job (which can be a struggle no matter how educated or experienced you are in Humboldt County—I have been laid off from three of the five organizations I’ve worked for the last 10 years and am worth far more than I am paid right now) or having a positive attitude of gratitude (although it is vital to changing our experience). I know that the person who started this discussion is a parent. An attitude of gratitude does not fill your children’s empty bellies nor make you feel any sense of security in meeting their needs. Not only are you struggling with money, you are struggling with your own doubts that you are being a good parent. I have been working on my own self development for 15 years and I have a very positive and grateful attitude about life. I believe the Universe is on my side. But when those days come that circumstances lead to being uncertain that I can pay a bill or buy healthy food for my kids, I struggle with the same fear and sadness that I heard in the original poster’s email. I wonder if and when the day will come that I am doing more than just surviving, especially with all of the work I have been doing to change my experience.

And I remember how it felt when I wanted desperately to improve myself as a person, to transcend these very issues we are discussing, and couldn’t afford to attend workshops to do that personal work with others, nor were there volunteer or scholarship options available. I didn’t feel the community support we have here, I felt excluded and alone, and I believe that is the experience many people know. Few organizations are run on service alone like ours is, without someone getting paid. The kind of community service, support and connection we offer is new to many people and they may not know how to access it, or even believe such loving abundance is possible for them. I feel it is important to remember this when someone reaches out in their fear of exclusion and not-enoughness. We need to remember that these expressions that come across as angry and accusing are actually based in fear of some kind and approach that fear with loving-kindness the same way we would at an event when someone acts fearfully.

Just as it takes a lot of internal work, patience for ourselves, and compassion/support from others to overcome the social conditioning we have about sex and love, it takes the same to overcome the social conditioning we have about money and abundance. It doesn’t just happen over night or the first time someone tells us it can be different. As the Ethical Slut discusses around the subject of polyamory, many of us were raised in and live in starvation economies. We are taught that there is not enough…not enough love, not enough money. We live in a competition culture that tells us a few of us are winners and the rest of us are losers. We are taught that abundance equals lots of money, not that we can experience abundance through community support. We can’t really know any different until we experience something different. I am experiencing true emotional abundance for the first time in my life through this community and even after a year of consistent love and support, I still have my struggles some days where I feel like a loser. I question my lovability, whether the people in my tribe really see me and want me around. My fear still overcomes the love for a little while. Gratefully I always come back to the love and my foundation grows a little stronger every day. But it may be years before I fully overcome the emotional poverty I was raised in and recreated for myself for years before I learned how to experience abundance.

It takes time and serious effort to rewrite our personal stories, to change a poverty story to an abundance story, or an excluded story to an included story, or an unlovable story to a lovable story. What we can do as a community is lovingly remind each other when we stumble that there is another story that we can be telling ourselves. While we must each take responsibility for our own experience, we have the potential of getting further/quicker along in our evolution if we experience love and empowerment from those around us, especially when we are caught up in our fear.

I do want to let the community know that we are very invested in inclusivity and that we wish for people to reach out to us when they are having an exclusion experience so that we can work to help you overcome it. I know that the current volunteer model may not appear to be a viable option for people who can’t afford our events—parents may not have the funds to pay a babysitter for the set up or break down requirement on top of the event itself or a disabled person may not believe they have something to offer due to their limitations. I would hope that those who are having these kinds of experiences would reach out to us to see what other arrangements might be made. For example, perhaps you have a sewing machine at home and could make pillow cases for us without having to pay a babysitter to be out of the house. Or perhaps a parent could commit to arranging a child-care trade co-op for the group. Maybe you have physical limitations but have things you could do on the computer. Please give us a chance to include you no matter what you perceive your limitations to be. The love and desire to have you participate is here, you just have to believe it is so.

Oh, and I hope that scholarhips become an option in the future. This could happen in a few different ways. More abundant members of our community could sponsor a scholarship for someone else. We may find business sponsorship that will provide some scholarship options. Or we may achieve enough financial support from the community as a whole to have the abundance for scholarships. Or all of the above. We will have to explore it, but I want you to know that we are thinking about it.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

It Shouldn’t Be Extraordinary…

...to be loved well. That is the gift of insight that my partner has given me for my birthday.

While the Imps appear to be about sex, sex is about relationship, about connecting with other human beings in some way. We focus our energy as a collective on community relationships, and as individuals we tend to be focused on our intimate relationships (or lack thereof). As far as my own evolution is concerned, I am currently in a primary relationship with a wonderful man that I’ve been with since the day we met 4 ½ months ago. He is a significant aspect of my current explorations in sex and relationship.

Healthy relationship is new to me. I grew up with a very high level of dysfunction and have had to teach myself how to be a healthy person, with a lot of painful situations and dysfunctional relationships as part of the learning curve. Having grown up in the shadow of a narcissist, my relationship issues are about being visible and lovable. Having grown up in poverty both physically and emotionally, my issues are about believing that I am worthy of abundance in any form.

This last weekend, my partner treated me to an amazing weekend at Wilbur hot springs, and then surprised me with a Tori Amos concert, which was a dream come true. The Jens (my fellow Impresses) collaborated in the conspiracy to surprise me with Tori. At 36 years old, I have never had anyone treat me to something so wonderful. No one has ever been so thoughtful about a gift, let alone spent the energy in dream-making for me. No one has shared their abundance with me to such a degree. But it isn’t about the money spent. It’s about how my partner - and my friends - love me enough to know what my dreams are and have the desire to bring them into reality. It is about experiencing that I am seen, heard and loved by those closest to me and that they desire to exert their thoughts and energy on my behalf.

In Fantasy Made Flesh, the book I am reading to help me get through my resistance to role-play, the first exercise is to write out all the reasons I couldn’t do erotic role-play. One of my reasons was my belief that my partner would not want to make my dreams/fantasies come true. It has just been shown to me that this isn’t true. That not only does my partner want to fulfill my desires, my closest friends do as well. My partner paid attention when I said in some random conversation that it was a dream to see Tori Amos perform, because she is the epitome of someone being their Divine Spark (*see note at the end of this post on what I mean by this). I believe that she is 100% in touch with her purpose for being on this planet and seems to have no fear in being her authentic self…or if she does feel fear, she doesn’t allow it to limit her. I wished to see her in person because I desired to feel the energy of basking in the light of her Divine Spark directly.

Driving home yesterday I told my partner that I had an important insight during the concert. As I watched the people around me have powerful emotional responses to Tori’s performance, I thought about what the world would be missing if Tori didn’t express the bigness of who she is, if she didn’t let her Light shine as brightly as she’s capable. Then I wondered what the world is missing when I choose fear and limit myself, when I don’t let my Light shine as brightly as I am capable in any given moment. While it may appear from the outside that I shine my light as a parent, as an artist and through leading The Society, the truth is that I still choose my fear in some way almost every day. I hold back from sharing my gifts. I have creative ideas that never manifest. Years ago I stopped singing in front of others, even though singing is one of my greatest passions, and recently turned people down when they asked me to sing for them. I have impulses to use my ability to facilitate healing with loved ones that I ignore because I am insecure that I will be rejected or I will fail. I keep my mouth shut when I feel I have something valuable to contribute to a conversation because I am insecure that I will be ignored or perceived as foolish. While I strive to live my Light, I am allowing my shadow and fear to keep many of my gifts hidden from the world.

When I shared these thoughts with my partner, he told me this is the gift that he hoped I would receive. He wishes for me to shine my Light as brightly as I can. He encourages and supports me as I open toward expressing my unique Divine Spark.

The other gift that he wanted me to receive is the knowing that I am worthy of the best things in life and that it should not be extraordinary for me to be well loved or to experience abundance. He wants to me know that I am worthy of the depth of kindness, generosity and thoughtfulness that he shares with me every single day when he makes my bed while I am in the shower, or fixes something broken in my home, or rubs my sore muscles, or truly listens when I have something to share, or accepts my limitations and failures with unconditional love and acceptance. And now he makes dreams come true for me. What he probably doesn't realize is that he is a dream come true for me, no matter what he does.

It is my hope that everyone in this community receives these gifts one day, if they haven’t already. It should not be extraordinary for any of us to be loved well – to experience thoughtfulness, generosity, kindness, and unconditional attention, love and acceptance from our lovers or our friends.

*If you are going to follow this blog, then it is important to know what my beliefs are about God and what I mean by Divine Spark. At this moment in my evolution, I believe that God is the Consciousness that binds the Universe together, that everything is a manifestation of God, including human beings. I believe that we each have a Divine Spark, a unique aspect of God that we are meant to manifest in the world. Some call this our genius.

I also believe that the human experience is about the balance between love and fear, or light and shadow. Everything we think, do or say is a choice, and we make our choices consciously or unconsciously. When we choose love, we are shining our light. When we choose fear, we are dimmed by our shadow. My personal mission as an Impress is encourage and support others to shine their light as brightly as they are capable and to bring consciousness to their choices in the process.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

An Opportunity for Evolution through Roleplay

The Society is hosting an erotic role-play themed party on July 25th. One of my fellow Impresses has challenged me to be some aspect of myself, or someone other than myself, that I haven’t been before. This is more of a challenge for me than anyone I’ve discussed it with seems to understand. My brain just isn’t processing through the idea of role-play from a personal perspective, although I love to experience others doing it in theater, film, event play, etc. Every time I try to imagine who I could be, or what archetype I could express, that is different from every day me, I feel blocked, like there is a big blank wall. I just can’t get there.

Puzzling over this I realize that I have always projected a strong external identity because expressing my identity has been a matter of taking control of the only thing I could in a chaotic life as a mostly uncontrolled empath – my body (I will write more about being an empath in this blog, as it’s one of the primary reasons I do what I do as an Impress and am so invested in the Vibes component of our events). I am realizing that this is the core of the role-play issue for me. I experience other people’s emotions so much on the inside that holding tightly to an outer expression of my identity is vital to retaining a connection to who I am, especially in social situations. I don’t ever feel the desire to role-play/pretend because I already spend so much time feeling the emotional experiences of other people. I want/need to feel like *me* as much as I can.

I have not worn a “costume” since I was a small child. The only time I have pretended to be someone other than myself that I can remember, even in appearance, was when I played Rizzo in my high school’s production of Grease. I don’t fantasize about sexual experiences I’ve never had, or about material things I might want to own, or about places I’ve never been. Even in my writing I have never written fiction or made up a story, I’ve only written about my actual experience or what I’ve felt from another person empathically.

When I dress up for Halloween or parties or whatever, I always dress up in something that reflects a part of me that normally doesn’t get to come out and play but is still very much a part of every-day me. I love corsets and bodices, so I tend to build an outfit around them for dress-up events. I have always been a Goth girl at heart, so I tend to wear outfits that are based in black, sometimes with red or silver accents. My lover pointed out to me when talking about this that I always have a bit of an edge to the way I look, which may be a form of protection. It was a stretch for me when I wore a very ruffly, short red petticoat and ruffly red panties with my black bodice for My Kinky Valentine. It was much more girly-girl than I am accustomed to. Under The Sheets was the first event I wore no black--or had no edge--at all. I wore a lovely purple sparkly dress in a Marilyn Monroe halter sort of style with silver sandals, and that was something very different for me. But the idea of role-play is about more than just clothes in my mind. It adds a dimension of embodying a different energy than I normally do, and maybe that is the heart of the challenge for me.

I don’t remember playing pretend as a child and know that I haven’t as a teen or adult. I have never fantasized anything that wasn’t based in a potential reality. I am not a person who wants. I am happy with what is. I strive for growth as a person and a professional and I enjoy the rewards that come from that. But I don’t spend time thinking about the future, how things might be different or better. I strive to live in the moment, grateful for the abundance of love, opportunities for evolution, and physical/material comfort that exists now. Some of this comes from poverty consciousness, both physical and emotional. I have struggled to pull myself out of financial poverty and severe family dysfunction. I don’t take the material abundance I have now, which isn’t so abundant from a cultural point of view, for granted because it’s better than anything I’ve had before. After years of choosing unhealthy relationships due to old familial patterns, at 35 years old I am experiencing many facets of healthy, abundant loving for the first time in my life. Again, it's better than anything I've had before. Some of this also comes from my development spiritually, I do my best to live in the moment and accept what is because suffering comes from living in the past or the future and resisting what is now. I see this related to the role-play challenge because I do not *ever* think about being different than I am, or wanting something different than what is. I don’t fantasize about anything in any facet of my life, I simply appreciate what exists now.

I have decided I am going to read Deborah Addington’s book, Fantasy Made Flesh, in order to expand my consciousness around the whole concept of role-play. Maybe something there will help me find my capacity to imagine something other than what is. I am also contemplating various archetypes that might be buried with me that I have never given life to. What archetypes am I most drawn to in stories? Can I find a story character that embodies a particular energy that I would like to express?

Although this seems like a such a simple thing to others, I think there is a great opportunity for me here to learn how to imagine possibilities of more…more abundance, more love, and more positive experiences for myself. My lover has been telling me that maybe I need to learn that it is ok to want and that I deserve to have my wants become a reality. Maybe if I can come to believe that, I can figure out what I want beyond what I’ve already been offered or who I could be beyond who I am now.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Erotic Art: Clive Barker's Imagining Man Project



I intend to use this blog to also share interesting cultural news and expressions of positive sexuality.

One problem I have found as the "art director" for the Imps is that it is damn hard to find male nude photography to be used in the art we make for events. Of course we can't afford to buy art, so we do what we can with what we can find or make for cheap/free. I'll try to remember to take some pics of some of the wonderful art our community has put together in the next couple weeks.

I had a book of female nudes from the last 30+ years that I obtained in NYC a few years ago that was full of beautiful and interesting images of women of all shapes and ages and expressions. I let the Imps cut it up and use the images. And it isn't hard to find female nude photos online. But it is difficult to find male nudes that aren't pornography (not that I have anything against pornography, but it isn't that interesting from an art perspective).

My son recently shared that Clive Barker, the well-known fantasy/horror writer and painter, also has a male nude photography series (he truly is a renaissance man!). It's very interesting. Lots of lovely cocks to be seen, as well as very interesting textures and designs on the bodies. You can check it out here...Imagining Man Project.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Our First Event and Conscious Intention

This is a post I wrote on May 14, 2008 about the Society's first event, Cherries Jubilee, and the conscious intention that we strive to bring to everything we do as an organization. I promise not all my posts will be this lengthy. :)

The Impropriety Society's Cherries Jubilee event was a smashing success! It was visually stunning, the performances were hot, everyone I spoke to was immensely joyful, there was tons of play taking place, and we even broke even financially. There were also dreams that came true for both staff and guests, and many happy first experiences for people craving a safe place to express themselves. We had guests from the Bay area, which is six hours away, because the community building we did before the event really impressed people and the word spread.

What we do is pretty unique and I strongly believe it is because we put conscious intention into both the physical and emotional space that we create. At the end of this blog post I share the intention statements with which we begin each meeting and the event itself, as well as the sharing I gave at our staff meeting that explains why I am so deeply invested in what we do (during which we had an earthquake that originated from a place nearby where one has never happened before, which felt pretty frickin' metaphorically serendipitous and magical!).

For me personally the event was amazing and a reward for a lot of work and hard won growth. As a leader, a role I am only beginning to become comfortable in, I was full of pride for my staff that went above and beyond to connect with guests and create a vibe that had everyone expressing gratitude for the beauty of it. All night long I heard how comfortable people felt, how friendly the staff was, and how beautiful the space was (we decorated simple and classy with luscious fabrics, flowering tree branches, lights and art).

I feel extreme gratitude for my two partners because we were well balanced in the talents and skills we brought to the partnership, we shared responsibility easily and we were very decisive and productive when we met. Everything went smoothly, which speaks to the level of our preparation. I also feel incredibly blessed to get to spend so much time and create with these two beautiful, strong, smart, generous women who share my passion for changing the world by supporting healthy and positive sexuality.

I was more socially comfortable than I have ever been in my life...talking to lots of people (never, ever standing on the wall as an observer, which is a first for me), giving hugs and kisses and cuddles, and even playing spin the bottle with the addition of some dice that made things far racier than mere kissing. Surrounded by so much love, especially my close friends and lovers on staff, I felt confident, sexy, and strong. I felt desired and loved. I felt seen and appreciated for the bigness of who I am. I felt like I was truly a part of a community, a tribe, a family. It was/is so very, very good. I wish everyone in the world had this experience of belongingness. I truly do. I hope we provide for as many people as we are capable.

Impropriety Society Intention Statements

As a staff, we set the conscious intention to act as a community, to encourage and support every staff member, whether we've been friends for years or we've met for the first time through this event. We set the intention for inclusiveness; respecting and celebrating the diversity of every member and the roles they fill.

We intend to respect each other's expertise and the gifts each person has to offer. We intend to check our egos at the door and bring a spirit of love into the space. We intend to work through and rise above personal agendas or difficult issues in order to work as a team. For our community, we set the intention of creating and holding sacred space for safe play, passionate pleasure, and open and free sexual and creative expression. We honor the authenticity of those who enter the space, without judgment, as long as they do not cause harm to another. We recognize that we are honored and privileged to provide our community with a safe container in which to experiment and courageously face their insecurities and fears. And we consciously accept the responsibility of the trust we are given to provide that physical and emotional safety.

What I shared at the staff meeting...

I know it's pretty geeky to actually have a little speech written but I'm very nervous about talking to the group and want to make sure I communicate what's on my heart. For those of you in the room who are new and might be feeling some insecurities about being surrounded by such amazing people, as I once did, know that some of us old timers are just as insecure in our new roles in organizing this group. All of us are risking some sense of vulnerability by being here and it makes me feel better to acknowledge that out loud.

I just want to speak a moment to the reason why I've committed to serving this community and the bigger picture of what we do. I don't know if you've all read the about us page at our website, but I want to emphasize an aspect of it.

We say that "Sex is so potent, powerful, and special that we feel it should be acknowledged and celebrated as an enormous force capable of creating good in the world (earthquake!). The Impropriety Society is committed to nurturing sacred space for sexual expression in all of its glorious manifestations. Things deemed sacred are regarded with reverence and generally thought of as good; however, many people have ideas about sex that set it apart from the sacred, and view it as dirty, bad, sick, nasty, and evil. Our goal is to remove the negative stigma around sex. Through active, conscious creation, we aim to create space in which sex in its many forms can come out of the dark taboo of profanity and into the light of the sacred through dance, music, performance, play, kink, f*ck, and love."

Although it seems like what we provide is a really great and sexy party, it is so much more than that for many who participate. We are providing a community service, albeit an unusual one. We provide the safe physical and emotional space for people to express their deepest, most authentic selves. We provide encouragement for people to explore parts of themselves, sexually and creatively, that they may have repressed in fear and insecurity for most, if not all, of their lives.

We offer the opportunity for people to make connections with other people who are turned on by the same things that they are. We are inviting people out of isolation and fear, into love and acceptance. We are inviting them to share themselves with us and each other. Invitation, acceptance, openness....these are all ideas to hold in your mind when you watch and interact with people.

Whatever your role, from dj to dungeon monitor, and whatever your reasons for working with us, your conscious participation in establishing a nurturing, pleasurable space is essential to our overall success. We have the opportunity through this event to contribute to the positive evolution of both individuals and our community as a whole.

I came across this quote recently...

"When an old culture is dying, the new is created by a few people who are not afraid to be insecure." Rudolf Bahro

Where do our deepest insecurities lie? In intimate relationship, in truly connecting with other human beings. We are afraid we will be seen to be lacking or unlovable in some way; we are afraid no one wants to love the real, authentic us...that we are too weird, too edgy, too perverted to be worthy of love and attention. But there are 50 of us in this room willing to be insecure about our bodies or our ways of having sex or watching other people have sex our even ways of contributing the event. We are living on the edge of our fear, creating new culture based on creativity, positive sexuality and healthy loving.

This event is an opportunity for other people to face their fears, to allow themselves to risk--but not too much--because they know that we have their back. They are safe. And then they realize that we are actually excited to see them come out of their shells, that we actually want to share this experience with them and they become part of our community, growing this new culture we're building.

Thank you for indulging my need to address this particular aspect of what we do. I know everyone here has a different reason for being here. Some are similar to mine, some are very different. I respect them all. I just ask that you use that reason, whatever it is that turns you on and makes you happy, as fuel for the conscious thought and emotion you put into your contribution to the event.

Namaste and thank you for reading.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Happiness Exists in Action

"When we give the world what we want the most, we heal the broken part inside each of us. Happiness exists in action, it exists in telling the truth - telling what your truth is; and giving away what you want the most." Eve Ensler

I've been contemplating keeping a public journal of my life as an Impress for awhile now and it seems today is the day it is meant to begin. What is an Impress you may wonder? It's a loving nickname given to my partners and I by members of our Imp Tribe. I am one of three women who head up The Impropriety Society, a sex positive organization in a rural northern California community that produces erotic parties and educational workshops. I've also been thinking, and others have suggested, that documenting our process of production and growth could be useful to other communities who strive to create similar experiences for themselves.

It turns out that what we do is actually quite unique. We are a pansexual organization, meaning that we invite and welcome every sort of sexual expression (as long as it does not cause harm to another). We bring the kinksters, the swingers, the furries, the voyeurs, the exhibitionists, and every other sort of sexual being together to share in creating fun, creative and transformative erotic events. We produce large parties (200-300 attendees and staff) twice a year and Society Socials (~100 attendees and staff) the other months of the year. We also strive to provide a variety of educational workshops on topics ranging from BDSM to fetish exploration to communication/negotiation in sex and kink play. We have people who drive up from the Bay area to experience our events because nobody is doing the inclusive thing in the city right now. While there is access to all kinds of sexual exploration in the city, the events are segregated by interest. But our community is so small, we can't really sustain individual groups. The beauty of this limitation is that we are learning a lot about others who share our desire to express our authentic erotic selves but do so in many different and incredible ways. We are expanding our consciousness and our understanding of what it is to be human, and experiencing a whole lot of amazing connection in the process.

On a personal level, some may wonder why I do this. As I share our story here, it will become clear why I consider this to be the most blissful work I have ever participated in and why it is about so much more than throwing sexy parties. I am giving the world what I want most: the space for authenticity, creativity, healing and transformation. And love. I believe that most of us are inhibited in sharing our love even though it is the deepest longing of our hearts to do so, therefore I am striving for an openness to expressions of love on every level, from the personal with my self and my tribemates, to the collective with my local community and extending outward to my human family. I believe that much of the dysfunction in our families and culture is a direct result of sexual repression, so I strive to offer people an opportunity to express their truth and find their happiness in it.

This blog will document both the evolution of the Imps as we strive towards growing into a permanent space/community center and my own evolution as an Impress. We have been doing this work for a year and a half. I will do my best to both document the present and the past. In the spirit of sharing some of our history, I will post a few older journal entries written for a blog I was keeping last year at a social networking site and then fill in the spaces as I am inspired to. I will also strive to write at least weekly our current story as it unfolds.

Namaste and thank you for listening.