Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Risks of Personal Disclosure

After reading my last post about an explicit sexual adventure, I had a friend who is new to the blog world ask about my boundaries around personal disclosure. He is wondering how personal he should be on his own blog, with his current guide being whether the personal directly applies to the mission of his project.

I have to admit that as I was writing the post, I considered how I hope the blog will lead to more exposure for the Society and for me as a writer and professional, and I wondered if it would be considered inappropriate to write so explicitly, even if my business directly involves sex. On the other hand, I could see how titillating readers with explicit sex can be an attraction that leads them to my other content. Ultimately I decided that what really matters most to me is personal truth. If someone doesn't want to read my blog or take my business seriously because I occasionally write about sex or my personal relationships, then we aren't meant for each other. There may be people who don't resonate with what I write about conscious leadership or spirituality either. That's ok. We aren't meant for each other.

Writing, or any other creative expression, shouldn't be about reaching every human being on the planet with your message. It's about making genuine connection and reaching the people who resonate with your message; people who will be touched, inspired, or challenged by your experiences.

As a writer, I have never had boundaries around personal disclosure. This is my fourth blog and all of them have combined the personal with a specific mission (the Yoni Endeavor was about women's issues; The Conspiracy of Blessings was about creativity, generosity and gift economy; and my personal blog was about my journey as a mystic). I came into this world wired to share my feelings and experiences, no matter how taboo or uncomfortable or unpalatable they may be to some people. I believe that telling our personal stories of transformation is vital to humanity's transformation. I believe telling the truth about how we work to overcome our struggles and suffering is important to our collective evolution. I believe honoring our emotions is vital to a healthy life.

And I believe that part of my purpose in life is to shine the light on the shadow. I've had an unusual share of trauma in my life. I have used writing both as a method of healing and consciousness raising. I've written about rape, incest and domestic violence. I've written about the dark side of parenting and being the daughter of a narcissist. I've written about mental illness. And now I write about sex, conscious leadership, spirituality and how they all intersect in my life and in the Society.

I strive to be an integrated human being. I do not disassociate and keep different parts of my life packaged up so they don't bleed into one another. I am not interested in a shiny, palatable image. I do not wish to be bland or mediocre so that I can reach a large and mainstream audience. I want to be big and bold and take risks. I want to be messy as I blur the lines between the intellectual and the emotional, personal and the professional, the sacred and the profane. I want to challenge assumptions. Right now, the biggest assumption I challenge is that sex is meant to be kept behind closed doors. We are born sexual beings and sex is a part of our every day lives. Healthy sexual expression is vital to a healthy emotional and spiritual life. How am I to be a role model for healthy sexual expression if I keep my own sex life in the shadows or buy in to the idea that my message is less meaningful because I share stories about my own sexual expression?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Unexpected Sexual Adventure

I am not an erotica writer, or much of a story teller. But I do have a rich sex life and since this is the diary of an erotic hostess, I would like to make more of an effort to share my sexual adventures.

My partner and I had an unexpected sexual adventure last night. I was very tired, physically and emotionally. I didn't anticipate being up for sex, let alone any kind of significant play. But after a visit with a friend and before settling into bed, my partner wanted to see how the new leather wrist and ankle cuffs he recently purchased fit me.

I was getting ready to climb under the covers and dressed in only a shirt. He told me to lay face down on the bed so he could fasten the ankle cuffs with the ring placed front and center. Something happens inside me when Sir suddenly tells me what to do. There is also something about being face down with ass exposed that gets my juices flowing. As comfortable as I am with Sir, and as often as we are naked together, there is a vulnerability to being naked and in submissive space that turns me on. After fastening the ankle cuffs, Sir had me turn over and fastened the wrist cuffs. Then He pulled out his rope. I knew I was in for more than a mere cuff fitting. He hadn't tied me up in quite awhile, so my excitement was quickly overcoming my exhaustion.

I went to the restroom knowing that I could be confined for a bit. When I returned the ropes were hanging from the eyehooks in the ceiling over my bed and he was placing another rope under the top end of the bed with ends hanging out both sides. He told me to remove my shirt and lay down. He pulled some metal fasteners out of his bag and methodically tied each rope to the fasteners and then hooked the fasteners to the cuff rings. I was bound with arms out to my sides and legs spread open about three feet apart and three feet in the air. Sir removed his clothes and threw his boxers on my head to cover my eyes. He climbed over my body and put his cock in my mouth. He fucked my mouth, sometimes pressing his cock all the way to the back of my throat, taking my breath away for a second or two. I could feel myself getting very wet and my clit swelling with arousal. He pulled out of my mouth and moved down to fuck my pussy. He proceeded to go back and forth between my mouth and pussy for quite awhile. I couldn't see him, I could only feel his movements and would open my mouth in anticipation when I knew his cock was approaching. It really turns him on when I suck my juices off his cock. He has a variety of kinks involving cum.

I love mouth fucking, especially when it's "forced." I love it when he grabs a handful of my hair and directs my head down to start sucking or he holds my head in place while he fucks my mouth aggressively and deeply, causing me to gag or lose my breath for a few seconds. It is a new kink for me. As I've previously written, Sir's cock is the first that I've ever really loved. And Sir is the first man that I've truly felt emotionally safe with as a sexual Dominant (as opposed to a sensation top or sadist). He is a feminist man and we have an equal relationship dynamic in our every day lives. I feel comfortable with submitting to his sexual will and find pleasure in being used to fulfill his desires.

I also love being fucked hard and aggressively. When he has my legs tied up he moves me around to provide his cock with the best sensation and fill me up as deeply as possible.

We have talked a bit about facials. I know that he likes to watch porn on the nights that we are not able to be together and I have asked him about what he likes to watch and why. I like knowing if he has any unfulfilled fantasies. He likes a lot of different kinds of porn, but has expressed a specific interest in watching men cum on women's faces. I had never had a man cum on my face before. While there is a part of me that is repulsed by the idea (primarily due to social conditioning I think), there is also a part of me that is excited by it. I have told him that I would be willing to see what it is like.

He removed my makeshift blindfold. When I could feel that he was rock hard and close to cumming, he asked where I wanted him to cum. I told him to cum wherever he wanted to. He pulled out of me and knelt over my face. He fucked my mouth for a couple minutes and then pulled away to stroke his cock. As his orgasm approached I told him how much I love watching him stroke himself. I love watching the changes in his face as the tension builds and I love seeing his cock so hard and ready to burst. He said, "Here it comes," and I closed my eyes. First I only felt a drop hit my face, then I felt it squirt across my lips, cheeks, nose and eyes. It was warm but quickly cooled. I licked up everything that fell close enough to my lips. While I have difficulty swallowing when giving Sir a blow job (something about the warmth and taste combined), I really liked tasting his slightly cooled cum. Sir wiped up the bit that was on my eyelid but left the rest of the cum on my face as he moved down to give me an orgasm with his tongue. I came so hard I squeezed his head with my thighs and moved him around as my orgasm flowed in waves through my body.

I enjoyed Sir coming on my face, both the act itself and the sensation of it. It's not something I would want to do every time we fuck, but I certainly hope it becomes part of our sexual repertoire.

I have never had such a rich sexual relationship. I love that after a year of ups and downs, learning each others light and shadow, we are still so into each other. I love that as much as we've adventured together, we still have so much to explore about our desires and our kinks. I love that he turns me on so much that I can overcome exhaustion and moodiness to experience pleasure with him. I just love Sir so much I feel like my heart could burst with it.

*Art by Mr. Hues

Friday, March 26, 2010

Accountability and Healing

I felt it was appropriate to precede this post with my feelings about conscious leadership in order to give fuller context. As an aspiring conscious leader I believe in transparency. I believe in telling the truth, especially when it's hard and scary. Raising consciousness is about telling the truth, bringing awareness to previously hidden and taboo information -- the kind of information we would prefer to ignore because it makes us uncomfortable and it makes us accountable. When we raise our consciousness, we become more accountable to living with integrity.

Contrary to what I have seen in the community leaders I have worked for in the past, I believe in taking steps towards healing and restoration of my relationships when I fail and leave emotional wreckage in my wake. Accountability is vital to the healing process. When we make an unhealthy choice that hurts or harms another person, even in the professional world, healing comes from acknowledging our failure and seeking restoration through acts of reconciliation. I think that an important aspect of conscious leadership is public accountability for one's mistakes and shadow behaviors. All long-term relationships are built on forgiveness.

I recently had a failure as a Society Hostess. I participated in a hasty decision that affected the hearts of those in Imps leadership, who are also many of my closest friends. I failed to communicate in open and thoughtful ways about that decision. I lacked consciousness around how the decision, and the process by which it was made, would affect those that I love and respect. In hindsight I am actually a bit stunned that I was so easily carried away by my own process and neglected to keep my eye on the bigger picture, as I usually strive to do.

When we learned that people were hurt by our actions, we had a meeting during which we apologized and held space for open communication around the issue. We felt it was healthier to get everything out in the open, rather than try to communicate as individuals behind the scenes where further misunderstandings and gossip could take root. While it was incredibly painful for many of us, it was also a remarkable act of trust in our love to be so raw and open about our feelings. As I listened to people express their concerns and frustration about our actions, I heard a common theme around lack of trust and a sense of not being seen or considered. The lack of trust tells me that even greater transparency is warranted. Since I have my own issues around being invisible, I have a lot of compassion for people feeling that they weren't seen or considered. I have a deep desire that everyone be truly witnessed for who they are and what they give. It hurt my heart that my actions contributed to someone feeling unseen.

Our first step toward healing was beginning our next leadership meeting with an act of intentional reconciliation. Each person pulled a name from a hat and expressed what they most appreciate about what that person brings to the Society. Then the receiver of appreciation shared what they feel they do that is unseen -- something about their work for the Society that is done behind the scenes and most people are not aware of. I believe it was an effective activity. I know that I see everyone and what they give better than I did before and I felt love flowing between us again.

I also felt witnessed. I was deeply touched by what is appreciated about me. I was told that it is the sharing of my journey of evolution, my desire to be more and do better that is most appreciated. I have told people before that my greatest kink is my personal evolution. Nothing turns me on more or keeps my fire of passion more alive than the process of evolving toward deeper consciousness and greater love. I am grateful that I am seen for this.

One thing I know about traditional management is that leaders rarely hold themselves accountable for their failures. They rarely acknowledge the heartache that they cause their employees or community when they fail, let alone sit in a room and hold space for those who have been hurt to air their grievances. As much failure as I have been witness to in community organizations, I have never seen leaders take intentional action towards reconciliation with those they have hurt. I am sure that we are not the first, that there are other organizations who practice conscious leadership in these ways. I just haven't met them yet. I look forward to when I do. Until then, I share our stories in hopes of inspiring others to consider a different way of doing business and/or leading a community.

Leadership 101: Conscious Leadership

In my last post I wrote in generalities about what it means to be an erotic hostess. What was missing from that post is what it means to be a conscious community leader.

I used to say that my first 8 years working in the non-profit world was leadership boot camp. I worked in direct support of Executive Directors and Boards of Directors for multiple organizations. Most of my experiences were learning from the failures that come from a lack of consciousness. In one case I witnessed an organization’s leadership fail do the necessary work to raise the money to be sustainable and was eventually laid off (as was the Executive Director). In another organization I witnessed the Executive Director, who was remarkable at keeping the money flowing but out of touch with day-to-day operations, come in and make careless decisions that created a dysfunctional culture. I witnessed another Executive Director rule through a tyranny of fear, creating a frightened and depressed culture. I have witnessed Board members who were more interested in the clout associated with Board service than they were in actually doing the work needed for an organization’s success. I have witnessed political and personal conflicts combined with unhealthy communication practices create cultures of tension, fear and heartache. Out of the six organizations I worked for, only one had strong leadership and a healthy culture, and even that organization then hired a new ED who was great at networking and creating a great image, but terrible at people management. She felt putting the money into a pretty building was more important than retaining the positions and people providing direct services.

I have learned that conscious leadership* is vital to an organization’s overall health. I have learned that people are an organization’s primary resource and the one that is most mismanaged. I have learned that the traditional business model that believes being professional means leaving your feelings at the door is unhealthy and unrealistic. The emotional does matter and it matters more than anything else, especially in community service. If people don’t feel good about the work they are doing, or the place they are doing it in, then they will not be capable of making a positive difference in the lives of those that they serve. If an organization’s culture is dysfunctional, it will not have an effective impact on the community. If it is funded by donations and client services, a negative culture will have great difficulty attracting donors and clients for long-term survival. If it can survive because its services are government funded and vital to human welfare, it will not have people who deliver services with kindness and compassion. Employees who are afraid, depressed, and burned out are going to pass on that culture to their clients.

Now I realize that those first 8 years were more like leadership internships and now I am actually in boot camp. Since I started leading the Impropriety Society two years ago, I have attempted to take everything I have learned about conscious leadership and apply it to our decision making processes, especially in regards to managing people and navigating relationships where the lines blur so much between the professional and the personal. Due to the complex nature of working with identity, sex and relationship, we have to make decisions that other businesses or organizations don’t have to consider. We have had to make staffing decisions that are not based on professional qualifications, but whether someone is capable of healthy communication and facilitating a safe emotional space for others. We have had to deny volunteers leadership positions because they have issues around sobriety. Our decisions have to be emotionally healthy if we are to facilitate as safe environment possible (knowing there is no true safety) for people to explore their deepest issues around identity, sex and relationship.

What I am learning is that being a good leader isn’t about your professional qualifications or expertise. It isn’t about life experience or having all the answers. Conscious, healthy leadership is about one’s willingness to take responsibility for everything – the successes and the failures, the practical logistics and the emotional culture – in an organization, as well as in one’s own life. It is about having the motivation to think about every word that you say and every action that you take and how it will affect others. It is about taking the time to study those who have succeeded and work to implement what you have learned into your own practices. It is about being willing to make every effort, fail, and then have the humility to apologize and make an even better effort the next time around.

It is my goal to be a conscious leader and encourage conscious leadership practices within the Society. I believe bringing consciousness to everything that we do is what makes us a revolutionary organization.
* Dictionary Definition of Consciousness - awake, thinking and aware of what is happening around you.

Seven Attributes of Conscious Leadership

1. Provides authentic, values-based leadership
2. Clearly aware of people and situations from many angles
3. Consistently demonstrates the ability to listen on multiple levels
4. Balanced in their thinking with an observer’s hat on – aware of their own biases and emotional investment in the outcome
5. Heightened ability to communicate on many levels
6. Intrinsically validates and engages others
7. Ability to model and coach others in Conscious Leadership

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

What Does It Mean to be an Erotic Hostess?

Sometimes I wonder if I should change the title of this blog; while it is compelling and truthful, it is also deceiving. It could make people think they will read a lot about sex. While I have great sex several times a week with my partner, and have lovely sensual and BDSM experiences with friends, sex really has little to do with my position as a hostess for erotic events. Of course our parties -- the primary service we offer -- are very much about sexual expression. But what we do as Hostesses is far more about creating the space and facilitating the community relationship in which to have free sexual expression than it is about sex itself.

Creating a space requires all of the logistical work: negotiating rentals, ticket management, marketing, purchasing equipment and decorations, renting a truck and moving all the stuff from storage, purchasing and preparing food, and setting up and decorating the space. It also requires managing the various crews, the all staff meeting and trainings. But that is really the easy and least time-consuming part.

Most of this work is about facilitating the community relationship. Whether it is nurturing relationships with community members or managing our leadership staff or responding to community issues both online and offline, most of my time is spent facilitating community in some way. The three of us have as many conversations about how to address various relationships as we do about the logistics of party planning.

We had no idea this is what our jobs or our lives would turn into. We went into this with some romantic notions about throwing sexy parties. Due to my involvement in the previous incarnation of local sex parties, I knew that we were working with some big energies and that people's lives can change when they experience the freedom and safety of a well-produced event. But I didn't know that every choice we make in relationship to other people would be so important to the success of our mission or how much personal evolution we would go through in the process of learning to make the right choices. I didn't know how we would be held accountable for every choice, whether through positive validation or through complaint. I didn't know that I would suddenly have to put everything I had learned by watching other leaders fail in managing people over the last 10 years into practice.

When we wrote our mission and vision statements, they were a lot of pretty words and theoretical concepts. We weren't really conscious yet of the personal and community work it would take to live up to them. As expressed in my previous post, creating safe emotional space for a truly inclusive sex-positive community requires a healthy standard for behavior and communication. It is a higher standard than I have ever been asked, or required, to live up to before.

I realize that as emotionally draining as it can be at times, this is a significant aspect of my bliss. Relationship and communication are my favorite ways to spend my time and energy. Opportunities for deeper understanding and intimacy bring me great joy. Opportunities to make healing choices in the face of heartache enlighten me. Yet I don't always get it right. I am introverted by nature. I am not so good at knowing how to start conversations with new guests or nurturing new relationships with those that I don't have an immediate chemistry with. I have exhausted days and am not as present to people as I desire to be or they need me to be. Occasionally I get upset and sometimes I am more transparent than I should be about my thoughts and feelings. Navigating healthy and inclusive relationship takes hard work, but it's work that fulfills my heart like nothing else does.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Freedom of Speech and Healthy Communication

We have had some intense discussions on our Yahoo group recently that have brought up some questions around freedom of verbal expression. I posted the following to the group today...

A member of the community asked: What sacrifices do we make to free speech in order to maintain decorum? Many would agree that some sacrifices to free speech are necessary, for example, prohibitions against hate speech. I've been in successful communities that have zero rules against speech, such communities tend to have very high amounts of individual expression but high barriers for inclusion and poor levels of group compassion (to be fair, such communities have been incidental, not intentional ones).

I am grateful you brought up this topic. I feel it's important to talk about communication in this community: particularly free speech vs. standards for healthy communication. I believe more is at stake than maintaining decorum.

Our belief is that we must hold ourselves to certain standards of behavior if we are to succeed in our mission, which is ultimately based on values of safety, inclusion, acceptance and compassion. At events, we have guidelines to facilitate physical and emotional safety. We attempt to create as free a space as possible – a space that feels more free to me than most any other public venue in Humboldt County – yet we still have rules in order to maintain a safe environment. I would advocate that having a standard for healthy communication in all Imps related environments – both online and offline – is just as necessary to facilitate emotional safety within the community.

A couple months ago I was accused of censorship as a group moderator because I requested that someone take care with expressing their opinion when they insulted another community member. Earlier this week I made the same choice, I requested that someone take care with not invalidating others’ experiences by speaking for an entire minority population or using degrading language. In both instances I spent hours agonizing about whether it was appropriate to speak up and how to do it in the kindest and least judgmental way possible (I am still not sure where I come out around being judgmental). I also sought agreement from other community members to be sure I wasn’t having an exclusive reaction. I have no interest in being perceived as the "list mother" who will give a stern talking to people who "misbehave." But more importantly, freedom of expression is vital to the Society's mission. We are passionate about holding a space where everyone not only feels free to express themselves, but also feels accepted and appreciated for their unique expression.

First I had to ask myself if I was really acting as a censor and I believe the answer is no. I did not remove anyone's words from the list. I did not tell anyone they could not participate in a conversation. I made no demands. I only asked as respectfully as I knew how that they take more care with their communication. I don't feel that is an unreasonable request based on our collective desire for inclusiveness and compassion. We can express our opinions and share our stories without insulting each other or using degrading language. We can express our understanding of words and concepts without telling other people they are wrong for understanding them differently.

I have been thinking a lot about healthy communication lately, particularly the idea of non-violent communication, not just within the Imps, but in my personal life.

Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a way of relating to ourselves and others, moment to moment, free of past reactions. Nonviolent Communication helps us stay connected with what is alive in ourselves and others moment-to-moment, and enhances our ability to make life more wonderful for ourselves and others.”

I grew up with violence and I used to be a violent person when angry and afraid. I would yell and throw things. I could tear a person apart with my words. In the last couple years I have learned not to lose control in such dramatic ways. However, as I navigate the first healthy relationships of my life – not just with my life-partner, but with my business partners and my tribe – I am learning about the subtle violence that permeates my communication when I feel hurt, afraid or even exhausted. When I am triggered, I can be passive-aggressive, critical, blaming and withdraw from people. These could all be considered forms of violent communication.

"If "violent" means acting in ways that result in harm, then much of how we communicate — with moralistic judgments, criticisms, demands, coercion, or labels of “right” versus “wrong” — could indeed be called violent. Unaware of the impact, we judge, label, criticize, command, demand, threaten, blame, accuse and ridicule. Speaking and thinking in these ways often leads to inner wounds, which in turn often evolve into depression, anger or physical violence. Sadly, many of the world’s cultures teach these "violent" methods of communication as normal and useful, so many of us find our communication efforts painful and distressed, but we don't know why.”

I have been called out on my unhealthy communication by my life-partner, my business partners and my tribe-mates. I have never felt that they were attempting to censor my freedom of speech. I do not feel it is a sacrifice of my freedom-to-express- myself for my loved ones to request that I communicate with them in a non-violent way. I do not feel it is a sacrifice of my freedom of speech to process through my emotional reactions to people in the community who hurt my feelings or make me angry and wait until I can express my feelings and opinions with kindness, or at least without the subtle forms of violence mentioned above. I do not want my freedom to come at the cost of harming another person, or the community as a whole.

For the Society to succeed, most especially because we are revolutionizing sex and relationship in our culture, I believe we have to hold ourselves to a standard of healthy, non-violent behavior. I do not wish to censor anyone. However, I will speak up to enforce a standard for healthy communication in order to facilitate an emotionally safe environment in which people can be empowered to express themselves – their opinions and stories, their passions and desires, their kinks and quirks, their needs and boundaries, their love and fears. If this feels like a sacrifice of someone’s freedom of speech, I would ask them what exactly they feel is the sacrifice – their right to be violent and cause harm with their words? I would wonder if they feel it is a sacrifice that it is against the law to cause physical violence to another person? As my understanding of violence deepens, and my commitment to creating peace in our world increases, I no longer believe there is a difference between the two.

It is our intention to bring greater consciousness to the idea of non-violent communication within the community, possibly with workshops or group discussions. If there are members of the community who have experience with these ideas and practices, I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

may i feel said he (delicious poetry wednesday)

may i feel said he
(i'll squeal said she
just once said he)
it's fun said she

(may i touch said he
how much said she
a lot said he)
why not said she

(let's go said he
not too far said she
what's too far said he
where you are said she)

may i stay said he
(which way said she
like this said he
if you kiss said she

may i move said he
is it love said she)
if you're willing said he
(but you're killing said she

but it's life said he
but your wife said she
now said he)
ow said she

(tiptop said he
don't stop said she
oh no said he)
go slow said she

(cccome?said he
ummm said she)
you're divine!said he
(you are Mine said she)

ee cummings

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

(Delicious & Sexy) Love Poem

Speak earth and bless me with what is richest
make sky flow honey out of my hips
rigid mountains
spread over a valley
carved out by the mouth of rain.

And I knew when I entered her I was
high wind in her forests hollow
fingers whispering sound
honey flowed
from the split cup
impaled on a lance of tongues
on the tips of her breasts on her navel
and my breath
howling into her entrances
through lungs of pain.

Greedy as herring-gulls
or a child
I swing out over the earth
over and over

~ Audre Lorde

PS I am going to calendar Wednesdays to be Delicious & Sexy Poetry days from now on. I will hunt for high quality, sizzling hot poems to share with you. I have found that sharing a really good poem with a lover now and again is a great way to express my feelings in an unexpected way.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

"The Doors We Open and Close Each Day...

decide the lives we live." Flora Whittemore

There are big things taking place behind the scenes of the Impropriety Society.

Next Wednesday we will be meeting with some of our staff to discuss our vision for the Impresarios, a leadership circle that will support the hostesses in managing and growing the organization. Our hope is that it will be comprised of event crew heads (Security, Vibes, Dungeon, Hospitality, Music, Dirty Cleaners and Performances) and six new coordinator positions (Marketing, Community Outreach & Public Relations, Fundraising/Friendraising, Equipment, Workshops, and Business Assistant). It may also include Advisory positions for community members who have significant expertise or resources to offer but can't commit to one of the other positions. The group will meet monthly, as well as communicate through an email list, to discuss the direction of the organization and significant community issues, as well as to consciously nurture healthy leadership practices.

I am excited. I love collaboration. I see this as an opportunity to build the organization, deepen relationships, share the responsibilities and rewards of leadership, and evolve into a stronger leader.

I am also excited and a bit nervous about the new responsibilities I am taking on as lead hostess for business development, marketing, community outreach and public relations.

I am looking forward to learning about business development -- establishing ourselves as a legal business, writing a business plan, and discovering viable options that will lead to profitability. We dream of a community center that will operate as the hub for the sex-positive community in Humboldt. It could serve as a space for all kinds of events, meetings, support groups, workshops, private gatherings, etc. It could be a part or full time center for people to come for resources and talk about sex and relationship. It could showcase sex positive artists. We've had many ideas for a potential store - promotional items, t-shirts, etc. The ideas are endless and the more we can offer, the more likely we can support paid staff.

As to my other new responsibilities, I have always shied away from anything marketing related. I have resistance to much of the manipulative psychology around sales. I have also shied away from building professional relationships. I don't consider myself good at networking because I am terrible at talking about myself or "selling" what I am involved with in an assertive way. I can be plenty assertive about healthy leadership and relationship practices or aesthetics or other aspects of our operations, but direct representation of myself or the organization has been a significant struggle. I am ready to meet this challenge and transform my stories of limitation. This is an opportunity for me to grow with the organization, to grow my wings and discover my true capabilities.

Whatever unfolds in this next chapter of the Imps story, I am so incredibly grateful for my business partners/best friends. I am grateful for Wednesday night meetings and conversations. I am grateful for our openness and healthy communication. I am grateful I opened the door to the Impropriety Society when they asked for help two years ago. And I am grateful for the opportunity to open the doors to new possibilities for evolution no matter where they lead.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

For the young who want to

Talent is what they say
you have after the novel
is published and favorably
reviewed. Beforehand what
you have is a tedious
delusion, a hobby like knitting.

Work is what you have done
after the play is produced
and the audience claps.
Before that friends keep asking
when you are planning to go
out and get a job.

Genius is what they know you
had after the third volume
of remarkable poems. Earlier
they accuse you of withdrawing,
ask why you don't have a baby,
call you a bum.

The reason people want M.F.A.'s,
take workshops with fancy names
when all you can really
learn is a few techniques,
typing instructions and some-
body else's mannerisms

is that every artist lacks
a license to hang on the wall
like your optician, your vet
proving you may be a clumsy sadist
whose fillings fall into the stew
but you're certified a dentist.

The real writer is one
who really writes. Talent
is an invention like phlogiston
after the fact of fire.
Work is its own cure. You have to
like it better than being loved.

-Marge Piercy