Polyamory has become quite the catch-all term for any type of non-monogamy, ethical or, unfortunately, more often not. At least in my limited experience. Although, I’ve started to get involved in the San Francisco sex-positive scene, and I’m very hopeful from what I’ve seen and experienced so far that those unethical players giving polyamory a bad name is something relatively unique to my former community…and will soon be only a distant memory. I’ve been to an event at Mission Control, and it was awesome. Hoping to attend PINK next weekend and Kinky Salon shortly after that. I love it here. The consciousness and support and integrity and self-awareness, both on the individual and community level, is truly wonderful.
Sex-positive. Another trendy term, coined by Wilhelm Reich and more recently popularized by Dan Savage. I just looked that up on Wikipedia. No time or energy for more research than that because for the past two weeks I’ve been busy renovating a beautiful house with panoramic lake views into an elegant home. My own little slice of heaven.
Additionally, several of my pieces, both short stories and poetry, are about to be published in various publications and anthologies, and I just had a great conversation with my agent about exciting things ahead. My future looks bright and successful and exciting. Fuck yeah.
There is a great discussion on a local SF community forum on what “sex-positive means to you.” The responses vary, but it all revolves around the concept that sex is beautiful and wonderful and natural, and that one should never feel ashamed of their sexuality or for enjoying sex.
I was raised Catholic. Guilt and shame built in from a very early age. I remember reading a book called The Sensuous Woman back when I was 18. The year was 1987. The premise of the book was this:
You’re not a great beauty-supermodel, so you’ve got to learn mad-sexy-skills in order to keep a man.
Dangerous for a fairly sheltered 18-year-old woman who was coming to terms with her sexuality. At that time, the book confirmed that my sexuality was all that was worth anything to a man. If I couldn’t sexually please him, continuously, I was, in essence, worthless. And I’d be replaced. Quickly.
I believed the premise because thus far in my budding sexual life, that had already been supported by more than one
So skills I learned.
I sensually ate an ice cream cone, learning various fellatio techniques sure to drive a man wild. I took ballroom dance lessons so I could learn to follow a man’s every move. I did Kegel exercises, terrified that I wouldn’t be tight enough. I used feminine deodorant because I was certain that I smelled bad “down there.” I did all the book suggested, until it came to the chapter that was not optional, according to the book:
I was ashamed just reading the word. Horrified. I couldn’t do that, I mean…it was sinful, right? I couldn’t touch myself…but, finally, my dying belief in organized Christianity gave way to the importance of being able to “keep a man,” so I tried it. I used a running bath faucet so I wouldn’t actually have to touch myself, not that I thought it was gross or anything, but the guilt was magnified somehow if it was my own hand, and I couldn’t relax enough to make any headway.
So, running water it was.
That’s how I learned to have an orgasm. The book was right about the importance of masturbation and learning to have glorious orgasms. Over the years, I’ve gone from being able to let go just enough to have one orgasm to being a multi-orgasmic squirter who can come with as little as some nipple stimulation, if I’m turned on enough. Sometimes, even whispering sexy things into my ear can make me come. Yep. “Volatile,” as one once put it.
So…I’m all about sex-positivity. I love sex, and I worked very hard for at least a decade, studying Tantra and sacred sexuality and more, to get over the guilt and shame around my sexuality.
Or, at least, I did love sex. Past tense. Now as a rape survivor, I find it rather disgusting. Just another lasting gift from my rapist. Thanks.
Still, here’s hoping that’s temporary.
Back to sex-positivity…Like I said, I’m all about sex-positivity, ideally. Just like I’m all about polyamory, ideally. But what I’ve seen in practice is taking these beautiful concepts and, as in so many things when selfish, irresponsible people get involved, bastardizing it.
Sex-positivity isn’t a sexual free-for-all, sticking your cock into anything that moves, or sticking anything even remotely phallic-shaped–human, animal, or inanimate–into various orifices with anyone, anywhere, anytime, without integrity or responsibility for one’s own actions, not to mention responsibility to one’s partners.
I spoke with a friend the other day who has some friends who claim to be “polyamorous” and “sex-positive,” and all they talk about is sex. All they try to do is get my friend and their partner to join them in an orgy. Again. And again. And again. No matter how many times my friend says that they’re not interested, this “sex-positive, polyamorous” couple keeps pressuring them to join them in an orgy. And, furthermore, the “sex-positive, polyamorous” couple claims that because my friend and their partner doesn’t want to fuck them in this orgy, they want to continue their friendship as it’s been, that my friend and their partner are not “sex-positive.”
Additionally, my perception of “sex-positivity” in my former community was validated yesterday by a dear friend of mine back in Austin. They said that they noticed a certain “pathological aspect” in a facet of the local “sex-positive” community. They said that their perception of “sex-positivity” in this facet was “something like a nine-year-old’s notion of freedom of choice when left unsupervised overnight in candy store.”
Beautifully and quite accurately put.
I noticed the very same feeling in other facets of that same “sex-positive” community, a certain lack of responsibility and integrity all while spouting fancy words and trendy ideas about responsibility and integrity. There is a very big difference between responsible and ethical sex-positivity/healthy sexual freedom and a hedonistic free-for-all, no matter who is hurt as long as you get off. As I’ve briefly mentioned, I’ve either experienced directly or heard stories about people who fuck animals, justify incest, hide STDs, and excuse rape, all under the umbrella of “radical inclusion” and “sex-positivity.”
One of my biggest problems with some sex-positive communities, including my recently former one, is their absolute refusal to address sexual assault and rape, to even open a discussion about it.
It is VERY SEX POSITIVE to raise awareness about sexual assault, especially how to avoid suffering it and inadvertently committing it and how to handle it as a community when it happens. A truly sex-positive friend says that “sex critical” is very “sex positive,” and I agree with her. She’s also a survivor. Have I mentioned just how many I’ve met? Virtually every. single. woman., and quite a few men, have told me they are also survivors. It is an issue. It needs to be addressed. And it is *very* sex-positive to do so.
Sex is fun and wonderful and glorious, and it is nothing to be ashamed of…when it’s SAFE.
Being present with your lover is sex-positive.
Knowing when they check out or are triggered or can’t react because of being frozen in shock or fear is sex-positive.
Learning to be a more caring, compassionate lover is sex-positive.
Learning to care for the entire person and not just use their body as an ejaculatory tool is sex-positive.
Taking responsibility for your actions and to the relationship, no matter how casual or serious, no matter how short-lived or how long-lived, is sex-positive.
Be sex-positive and don’t steal someone else’s sexuality by violating their boundaries, even inadvertently. And if you do, own it. Fix it. Apologize for it. Through your responsibility and compassion, you will help your LOVER heal, your community will respect you more, and you will grow as a loving, sex-positive human being.
***SERIOUSLY*** just an ounce of human kindness, compassion, and an apology goes so very far…
Fortunately, as I said above, I have high hopes for the San Francisco community from the little I’ve already seen and experienced here. I’ve been warned that there are less-responsible facets within the overall community when it comes to “unwanted touching,” i.e. sexual assault, and personal as well as community responsibility around such things, both sexually and emotionally, but I’m hopeful because the community as a whole is aware of such things and openly discuss it. That’s already a HUGE difference and improvement from Austin.
As for me, I think actually having sex is still in the distant future, even with my husband. But when I do open my legs again, I will be ready to open my heart, too. They go together. Although some of the “mad-skills” I learned 24 years ago might be a bit rusty, I’m still a very considerate lover. I’m a skilled lover. A giving lover. A compassionate lover. A highly passionate lover. When I’m with a man, he feels as if there is no one more beautiful or sexier on the face of the planet. I worship and adore him, all of him, and he will reciprocate in kind.
Because, if he wants (and can handle) my pussy and my multiple, wet orgasms, then he will also respect and care for my tender heart, my sharp mind, my loquacious tongue, and my fractured soul with love, compassion, and integrity.
We’re a package deal.
I’m so much more than my pussy.
I am a true goddess on all levels of being, and only a true god would recognize and respect that, and treat me accordingly.
~ by omgrey on October 3, 2012.
Posted in Romance & Relationships
Tags: after-care, aftercare, atx, austin burner community, austin ecstatic dance, austin poly community, austin poly rapist, austin polyamory, author, bdsm, breakup, broken heart, burning flipside, compassion, courage, dan savage, flipizen, flipside, healing, heartbreak, heartbroken, hedonism, honesty, integrity, intimacy, love, masturbation, mission control, non-monogamy, o.m. grey, olivia grey, open, open marriage, orgasm, passion, pink, polyamory, rape, rape survivor, relationship advice, relationships, respect, romance, San Francisco, sex, sex positive, sex positivity, sexual assault