Friday, July 30, 2010

It Really Is All About Love

Even though this blog is supposed to be a diary of my life as an erotic hostess, I haven't been writing about the Society the last few months. This is because I have been experiencing significant burn-out, as well as distraction with the intensity of my personal life and the changes I am going through.

As I shift and evolve in my personal relationships, I am having realizations about my relationship to the community. I have been processing my thoughts and feelings about my future with the Society mostly privately. I think it's time to be open about my present experience.

"What I want to say is this: You know. You know what you want and who you are. You. Know." Danielle LaPorte

I keep telling myself and everyone else that I don't know what I want, or that I only know little pieces of what I want but can't create a full picture of the life that is an expression of my most authentic self.

Last night I experienced one of those pieces and the fire in me is burning brighter. One of the other Imp Hostesses and I were on local radio station KHSU's Thursday Night Talk. We participated in an hour-long discussion about the growing sex-positive movement from a political and revolutionary perspective.

I LOVE talking about the revolution. I believe the Imps community, as well as many other communities around the country, are on the front-lines of a new sexual (and relationship) revolution that could ultimately impact all aspects of our culture. As we experience sexual freedom and healthy relationship, we also experience freedom to be integrated and emotionally healthy beings in all aspects of our lives (as parents, teachers, employers, workers, community leaders, politicians, etc.). The more in touch we are with who we really are, and the more we can express ourselves openly, the more love we will experience in our lives. If we can heal and transform all of our relationships into loving expressions, then we will be motivated towards a culture that expresses love rather than fear and violence.

When we say we want to change the world -- doesn't it really always come down to ending fear and violence? War is violence. Environmental destruction is violence. Government oppression is violence. Racism, sexism, and all other such -isms are violence. Dysfunctional families are violent. And what am I learning in my personal life? That is takes self-love and love for one another to overcome violence. It is in our personal relationships that we can be saved as a culture, as a species. It really is all about love.

The sex positive community provides significant opportunities for evolution toward love. We are learning healthy communication and practicing radical honesty, which can be applied to all aspects of our lives. We are consciously supporting each others growth, mostly willing to face our shadows and work together to forgiveness, acceptance and love. We are deepening the intimacy of community by walking through the relationship fire together -- simultaneously as lovers, friends, and community co-creators.

What do I truly desire?

I desire to have public conversations, like last night's radio show, about the importance of the sex-positive revolution to individuals and society. I desire to talk about the importance of love to individual and cultural evolution. I desire to write and talk about the change that I am experiencing and witnessing in the lives around me.

I desire time to write and work on art projects as part of my contribution to the conversation.

I desire to facilitate community education in non-violent communication and conscious relationship practices.

I desire to facilitate experiences for conscious engagement with our lives -- whether through sexual expression, creativity, and/or intimate conversations.

I desire to continue nurturing conscious leadership practices.

I desire to co-create a spiritual community.

I desire to be more deeply involved with individual journeys. I desire to work with people in the midst of transformation. I have a lot to offer in love, learning and experience to coach/counsel others on their journeys through change -- whether grief, recovering from trauma, relationship shifts or other life altering experiences.

How does this relate to my role as an erotic hostess?

What isn't working for me is the administrative responsibilities for producing Imps events. I put a lot of time and energy into managing logistics for events and I don't enjoy it. And because my time is going to administrative functions, I don't have the time to put into expanding our education and community outreach. I put so much mental and physical effort into making parties happen that I am often too tired and sore to be emotionally present to the community at the events themselves. I am burned out. I have lost my passion and everything feels like obligation.

What I enjoy most is relationship -- interacting with other people in deep and intimate ways. Witnessing people unfold. Hearing people's stories. Sharing conversation and experiences in which we learn and grow from participating in each others lives, whether for a day or a lifetime. While I love our parties and the opportunities for freedom and healing they create, I desire to put my energy into going deeper between events.

And I desire to move out of this 9-5 job into work-of-my-heart. I don't know how to do that in addition to what I am doing now. Something has to change. But I know that the Society and I should be able to continue supporting each other in our evolutions. What that will look like, I don't know yet. But I'm excited to finally speak my truth, open my heart to the possibilities, and find out.

Beannacht (“Blessing”)

On the day when
the weight deadens
on your shoulders
and you stumble,
may the clay dance
to balance you.
And when your eyes
freeze behind
the grey window
and the ghost of loss
gets in to you,
may a flock of colours,
indigo, red, green,
and azure blue
come to awaken in you
a meadow of delight.
When the canvas frays
in the currach of thought
and a stain of ocean
blackens beneath you,
may there come across the waters
a path of yellow moonlight
to bring you safely home.
May the nourishment of the earth be yours,
may the clarity of light be yours,
may the fluency of the ocean be yours,
may the protection of the ancestors be yours.
And so may a slow
wind work these words
of love around you,
an invisible cloak
to mind your life.

– John O’Donohue

* * *

I used to send this poem out with all of the art blessing packages I sent for The Conspiracy of Blessings, but I had forgotten about it. So grateful the Universe brought it back to me.

* * *

Image Source: Laramie Sasseville

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sex Without Love (Poem)

How do they do it, the ones who make love
without love? Beautiful as dancers,
gliding over each other like ice-skaters
over the ice, fingers hooked
inside each other's bodies, faces
red as steak, wine, wet as the
children at birth whose mothers are going to
give them away. How do they come to the
come to the come to the God come to the
still waters, and not love
the one who came there with them, light
rising slowly as steam off their joined
skin? These are the true religious,
the purists, the pros, the ones who will not
accept a false Messiah, love the
priest instead of the God. They do not
mistake the lover for their own pleasure,
they are like great runners: they know they are alone
with the road surface, the cold, the wind,
the fit of their shoes, their over-all cardio-
vascular health--just factors, like the partner
in the bed, and not the truth, which is the
single body alone in the universe
against its own best time.

~ Sharon Olds

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Go to the Limits of Your Longing

God speaks to each of us
as he makes us,
then walks with us silently
out of the night.

These are the words
we dimly hear:

You, sent out
beyond your recall,
Go to the limits
of your longing.
Embody me.

Flare up like a flame
and make big shadows I can move in.

Let everything happen to you: beauty and terror.
Just keep going. No feeling is final.
Don’t let yourself lose me.

Nearby is the country they call life.
You will know it by its seriousness.

Give me your hand.

– Rainer Maria Rilke

Everything Is Waiting For You

Your great mistake is to act the drama as if you were alone. As if life were a progressive and cunning crime with no witness to the tiny hidden transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely, even you, at times, have felt the grand array; the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding out your solo voice. You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,

or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.
Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

~ David Whyte ~

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

– Rumi, Translation by Coleman Barks


This is my favorite Rumi poem.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

“Your pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.

Even as the stone of the fruit must break, that its heart may stand in the sun, so must you know pain.

And could you keep in your heart the miracles of your life, your pain would not seem less wondrous than your joy;

And you would accept the seasons of your heart, even as you have always accepted the seasons that pass over your fields.

And you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”
Kahlil Gibran

I am striving to accept the seasons of my heart.

It has been awhile since I've written and with the move into a new house this weekend (as well as social plans for my birthday), I likely won't get more than this post done in the next week unless I'm positively inspired. I recognize there is so much I haven't shared here, that I've neglected my commitment to sharing my story. I haven't written about the fantastic last weekend in June when Knight and I visited San Fransisco to check out the Citadel (a BDSM club) and the Pride celebration (after which I was truly intoxicated on love and joy), or stopping in Harbin on the return home and finding an unexpected moment of deep intimacy with a friend. I haven't written about the near argument we had on the way home about limitations on our time together and the clusterfuck of communication issues that have followed. Things have gotten very heavy again, but we are trying to truly understand one another and see if we can work it out.

I also haven't shared about my sudden leap into dating others! Or the Society's incredibly successful social last Saturday night. But I will, when the time is right.

So much of my journey right now is about faith/trust.

The move is a big deal, so I am attempting to be kind to myself about how my self-care and spiritual practices have lapsed the last couple weeks. Moving is an incredible, potentially life-altering, act of self-care. I have been itching to move out of the old place for nearly two years. We have not been happy there for a long time. The landlords do not take care of problems and we have fallen into habits of neglect, so the place is falling apart in lots of ways. We also don't like the neighborhood (there was a drug-related shooting two houses away a few weeks ago). But more importantly, we've never been able to shake the feeling of dark and funky energy from my marriage. My ex-husband and I moved into the house with my kids during our first year together. We lived there for 7 years together. The house has physical reminders of our emotional and physical violence (he put holes in walls and doors), reminders of so many things that we would rather forget. It feels like the walls are soaked in grief and heartache. We would like to start over, to feel good about the space we inhabit.

We are moving into a lovely little house on Jacoby Creek called The Barn (the roof has a barn-like shape). I have always wanted to live away from town. We are surrounded by redwoods. You can hear the creek when you open the windows or step out on the front porch. The landlord is a nice guy who does take care of business (except for the potholes in the driveway). The house was inhabited for the last year by two dear friends who have filled it with positive vibes. And my next door neighbor is one of my best friends. I believe this will be a healing place to live on many levels for both my daughter and I.

However, despite all the good reasons for our move, I am also experiencing incredible grief because I am not moving in with Knight as we had planned. I am packing up my house by myself to continue life on my own as a single mother. I am grieving a dream -- the dream of a home and a life shared, the dream of partnership. I have dreamed of having a true partner all of my adult life and believed that dream was coming true with Knight. Now I have no idea where our relationship is headed and believe it is healthiest to let the dream go for now.

It hurts. A lot. Grief is strange and unpredictable.

We have also had a lot of communication issues the last couple weeks that have made me question our relationship more than ever, as well as caused me considerable heartache. And this is where the title of this post comes in. True transformation is a tricky process. It's not as linear as we'd like. It often involves tripping over ourselves, having to take steps backwards before we can permanently move forward. I have given over to my grief and frustration the last couple weeks instead of maintaining my diligence towards active self-care and positive/spiritual perceptions. I've allowed myself to descend into darkness rather than pull myself by the bootstraps into the light. I've experienced considerable resistance toward nearly all of the activities that were enlightening my process (except for walking and reading The Book of Awakening every morning).

I desire to move forward again, to bring back the experiences of expansiveness and connection to Oneness. I am hoping the exhaustion from packing up my life is a significant part of the issue and things will shift after the move on Saturday. I am hoping that I am inspired to good feeling as I create a new sanctuary. There is no place more sacred to me than my home. I know that it will feed my soul to wake up to redwoods in my window every morning and the sounds of creek water whenever I step outside. I know that while I am not moving in with Knight as a life-partner, I have a best friend next door who believes our business partnership extends far beyond the Society and provides incredible care for me when I need it. While it looks different than I had expected or hoped for, I am still experiencing a dream come true.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I am having a lot of difficulty with the concept of needs. So much of the reading I've been doing about conscious relationship, polyamory, self-love, etc. talks about needs, meeting our own needs as well as communicating our needs so that they can be met by our partners. But there is no real definition of a need vs. a desire. I am really struggling to understand what my needs actually are and how important they are. Is having most of my perceived needs met more important than being in a loving relationship that meets some of them?

As human beings we have basic needs. There are survival needs: food, shelter, clothing, etc. For a vibrant life, there are also needs for self-care and connection to other human beings (to be witnessed and intimacy through conversation and touch). But beyond that, can anything else be called a need?

If I am a healthy single person with friends and community but not dating, then anything that would be called a relationship need is null and void. I can live without sex with another person. I can live without romantic intimacy. I can live without the validation. I can live without everything that comes from romantic involvement. So what are my needs in romantic relationship and how many of them should I expect to be met by someone I'm dating vs. a boy/girl-friend vs. a life partner?

Over the last two weeks Knight and I have had a series of situations involving poor communication around the changes and losses taking place in our relationship in order to accommodate his relationship with Rose. I have been trying to determine what I need in order to feel emotionally safe and cared for in an intimate relationship with him (or anyone). One need I have established is to feel considered and included in decisions that affect our relationship and time together.

On the heels of our emotional heaviness, this weekend was the first kid-free weekend that Knight chose to spend with his other lover. We have spent all of his kid-free weekends together since our relationship began, except for the couple weeks between "breaking up" and coming together in this new relationship.

What I am learning about my experience of transitioning from a full-time life-partner relationship into part-time poly-dating relationship is that it isn't just the lost time that is difficult to adjust to, but his inaccessibility during that time. I can't call him for any reason, no matter what's unfolding in my life (unless it's an absolute emergency). I can't flirt by text with him when I'm feeling loving or sexual. Nor can I call on him when I am having a difficult day. He is inaccessible because he needs to protect his relationship with another. We have been communicating nearly every day of our relationship and now even that is decreased by this new relationship.

What caused me suffering this weekend was that after spending 7 hours cleaning and packing my house on Saturday and again on Sunday, I was extremely tired and sore and all I needed (desired?) was to be witnessed and held by Knight. I needed to be naked and raw with someone, witnessed and held in my experience, and he is the only person with whom I have that level of intimacy. But he wasn't available. I couldn't even reach out to tell him what I was experiencing. I was alone.

In the moment it felt like a need and I suffered for not having it met. But here I am on the other side, still a whole person (yet sad and confused because the man I love wasn't there for me). So was it need? Or just a desire? Is it a temporary feeling that will shift over time as I continue to share him? Or do I need a partner who is more accessible to me?

I am caught up in sadness and confusion (amplified by exhaustion and physical pain) and likely to darken our date tonight with my grief over the changes that keep happening to our relationship. This was the man I was going to share a life and a home with. Now I have to accept that not only is that dream not coming true, but I am losing time, accessibility and intimacy with Knight because of what he is choosing to give his other relationship.

I have a lot of questions coming up for me around the sort of poly arrangement that Knight desires to live and whether partnership could ever be an option. Can one be a life-partner if they are only sharing half their life -- half their time and accessibility, half their resources available for intimate relationship?

Knight talks a lot about desiring to treat us both like whole people. But I don't experience my wholeness being honored when I can only have my needs met on our date nights and the rest of the time I am on my a single person. How do I continue to be completely vulnerable and open with someone in a part-time relationship whom I cannot depend on except when time is scheduled? Do I truly desire to?

I have been a single mother, navigating life on my own and for other human beings, since I was 17 years old. Even within my so-called marriage I was alone in significant ways -- the only (4.5 out of 7 years) or primary breadwinner and the only one to keep the house and family functioning while my ex-husband played on his computer all day and night. I very strongly desire a life-partner -- someone to share the day-to-day joys and responsibilities of family, someone to share community with, someone to provide support when life gets rough, and someone who desires to meet most of my emotional needs in intimate relationship. I desire to have someone I know will at least strive to be there when I'm falling apart. I also desire to go as deep into conscious and spiritual partnership as possible. I just don't know how that's possible in a part-time relationship.

I am deeply concerned that no matter how much Knight and I love each other, we just may not be compatible in our desires for relationship or structures of polyamory. I am not giving up yet. I am just trying to see the truth of the situation.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Radical Self Love

I have not been loving myself well the last week and a half, hence my quiet here. I will write another post about what I've been experiencing, but I desire to share this.

A few weeks back I talked about writing a letter to myself for when I feel triggered, to remind me of everything I know when I am not in the fear-fog. This is different than the love letter I wrote to the Invisible Girl, although I think I will keep the letters together to turn to when I need them. I will be carrying this in my wallet so that I can be my own greatest friend when I feel triggered, lost and/or alone.

* * * * *

April My Love,

I am proud of you and I have faith in you, even now. You are in the midst of a psychological and spiritual awakening. You are deepening into love and healing your fear. It feels like chaos. It feels uncertain. And that is exactly right because you are challenging the conditioning of a lifetime and revolutionizing relationship. You are choosing to be a trailblazer in Love.

If you are reading this letter, it is likely you are feeling very insecure, or you have been triggered and you need trigger care. If you are immersed in fear stories (and you know what is fear and what is love), then you need to give yourself time to come out of the darkness before making *any* decisions. Remember the wreckage you have caused by believing the fog is all there is. You may feel lost and out of control, but the loving insights *always* come.

Remember that you are a spiritual being having a human experience. Your longing is a Holy Longing for yourself and for God. Try to shift your perspective to Oneness and eternal connection.

Honor your wholeness.

"Being present--rather than being emotional--is what allows real intimacy to happen." John Welwood

Please don't become your emotions. Feelings are meant to move through you, please stop gripping them so hard.

Be present. Hold space for yourself. Be your own witness and sit with yourself no matter how uncomfortable or painful it is. Trust yourself. Do not resist what comes, let it move through you. Resistance creates suffering. Hell is the rejection of things as they are.

Be kind and forgiving with yourself. It is all right that you still have places to heal. It is all right that you get triggered and break down sometimes. It is all right that you have big emotions, they are as much your gift in relating to others as they are your challenge. You are doing your best. You are not crazy and you are not your mother. You are strong, resilient and functional and you are growing into healing and deeper love. This is just another opportunity to wake up.

Keep your heart open. Remember that safety and security are illusions. Being raw and genuine, even in your heartache, is what's real.

Ask for help and support if you need it. Trust that the people who love you desire to support you -- even if they can't make the space to do so right away.

Remember that you believe in the open-heartedness of poly. Whatever you are feeling, in your body, in your heart, is a fear response. Talk to your fear. Find out what it needs for you to feel safe and loved.

"I imagine God loves in multiplicity, and with no conditions. That God has figured out that there is more than enough of her to go around, that love is never in short supply. I can't imagine God saying, sorry, I'm taken." Lori Lothian

If this involves Knight, remember that you are responsible to this relationship. Remember that commitment isn't about what we call ourselves or how much time we spend together, it's about our willingness to love and hold space for everything in each other. Remember that he is committed to you and holding space for your process. Remember that our strength comes from growing consciously together. He loves you. Trust him and trust the relationship you are building.

Remember that you love Knight for his open-heartedness. Remember that in your love for him, you desire for him to shine his light as brightly as possible – please don’t try to diminish him with your fear. You desire him to be authentic and to experience the fullest possible awakening and joy - that will involve other relationships. Find compersion for those relationships, in the spiritual perspective if necessary. Find the love in Knight's other relationships. Use your empathy to feel the joy they bring one another (you know how blessed anyone is to have Knight's love). Honor that they are opportunities to wake each other up.

Remember it has never been another person or anything other than the fear between you that has caused the rifts in intimacy and trust between you and Knight (or anyone else).

Be grateful for the ways this relationship is smacking you awake.

"...if you love someone, go deep into your own unique experience of what that love is, and just let that be who you are. Surrender to it. Build your identity upon it. You are not a person who is jealous. Not someone who's trying to control. Not even someone who's fearing. You are love experiencing itself deeper and deeper within its own fullness."

You are Love. Love your self, April, all the best ways you know how.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Your kiss is the wind, beautiful girl.
Don't tell me you have to go.

I'll stand on my toes
on your toes
just to reach the rice paper of your eyelids

just to lay my fingers across your throat.

Your hands are tide-licked bone
and I must confess

I'm a little afraid
of how easily we could
blow away.

Or how easily we could snap,
tangled as we are into that space between two heartbeats -
my fists locked around your bird bones
and your teeth clenched
on my ear.

I wouldn't mean to do it, but
you see, I've just discovered
this vein of cruelty running through me.

I always mean to touch you tenderly,

I always try! But your skin, somehow,
begs for bruises

and the hurricane of your sobbing
is such an enchanting sound.

Tell me, please, that when I drink away your rain,
your smile will come out,

you'll assure me that I read
you right,

let me kiss your typhoon eyes.

~ Andy I (also known on Fetlife as Yandy)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Rewriting the Fairy Tale

Someone asked Knight recently how he felt about being called Knight in my blog. When I was writing one of my first posts about our story, I felt I needed a pseudonym because I wasn't sure that he wanted his name used. Of course, the people who read this blog who are part of our tribe already know who he is, but I desire to respect his privacy as much as possible (fortunately, he loves the way I write our story and doesn't feel his privacy is invaded by my blogging).

Knight was the first "name" that popped into my head, so I followed the intuitive nudge. At the time I wrote, "In many ways he has been my Knight in Shining Armor, even if we may not live happily ever after from a traditional perspective. We are rewriting the fairy tale and redefining 'happily ever after.'"

Knight feels that perhaps it's too big a name to live up to. But I don't feel that it is, especially when looked at from an archetypal rather than literal perspective.

Part of my path as a modern mystic is to look at my life and the world through symbolic sight. Caroline Myss is an excellent teacher in this regard. Symbolic Sight is "a way of seeing and understanding yourself, other people, and life events in terms of universal archetypal patterns. Developing symbolic sight enhances your intuitive ability as it allows you to view events, people and challenges in an objective light."

I am striving to understand our relationship through symbolic sight and archetypes. I don't perceive Knight as my rescuer or savior. That's part of rewriting the fairytale. Our traditional fairytales are about a princess being saved by a hero. I believe our fairytales need to change.

"A true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your own attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake.” from Eat Pray Love

Knight has been a catalyst for me to save myself. Loving him and being loved by him is smacking me awake to the truth that I am the Queen and Heroine of my own life. And in my love for him, I am cheering for him to be his own Knight and rescue himself from his own wounding and sense of separation from the All.

What if we had fairytales about couples who catalyze one another to save themselves?

What if we had fairytales about couples who build each other up? Instead of stories of co-dependence or independence, what if we told stories of healthy interdependence?

What if happily ever after looks like a commitment to an authentic, healthy relationship, no matter how hard we have to work on ourselves to make it possible?

What if happily ever after looks like loving each other forever no matter the form our relationship takes, even if it means letting go because it's the most loving thing to do?

***Photograph by Annie Leibovitz