there might be another way: sexuality, spirituality, mothering, feminism, environmentalism

Archive for the ‘Sexuality’ Category

Obsession

I’ve finally come to identify
with the devious man who raped me
and his pathetic attempt to possess
my love, beauty, purity

Countless years in the making
my master lesson learned
transformed immense hatred and rage
into tolerance and compassion

For I too have used, confused
wanting you
with wanting me to be more like
the aspects of you I was desperately lacking

Are you free? Wish it was me
Wicked wit? I’ll have some of that
Strength, beauty, passion, devotion
Mine Mine Mine Mine

Obviously my tactics
were far from criminal
But I’m one to aspire higher
and loath to dismiss my psychic transgressions

Unhealthy attractions, self destructive distractions
from personal growth and advancement
They’ll pacify the mind ’til it believes
what it needs exists outside of your self

Now the first hint of clamor and despair over us as a pair
Is my clue, cue to delve deep into my soul
to find you’re merely the mirror
of what I am able, capable of self-actualizing

Because only in the absence of possession and lust
Rather, in the presence of friendship and trust
Can you reach me, teach me
And thus quench my obsession

How might our lives have been different
Had he, we, been told, taught
You can’t find happiness in another woman or man
And the Sacred Union we seek…exists WITHIN

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Viral ‘Sexual Assault Prevention Tips’ Poster

My first impression of the Sexual Assault Prevention Tips poster confused me. I read it quickly, in extreme discomfort and distaste, then unconsciously pondered why this message appealed to the beloved friend who posted it. I’m forgiving to a fault, if such a thing exists, so I dismissed it from memory. (Perhaps I’m not forgiving at all – rather, forgetful to a fault.)

(scroll past poster)

Next day, there it is again, posted by yet another brilliant, beautiful woman. O.k. What am I missing? Again, quick to dismiss.

A sleepless night
riddled with disturbing dreams
A too early morning
pervaded by this f***ing poster

Now I suck at forgiving AND forgetting. And I remember – as long as I can remember – the sexual assault prevention tips I grew up with:

  1. You are responsible for not letting anyone drug your drink. Never let it out of your sight. Cue horror stories.
  2. Strangers are NOT to be trusted. Translate “I need directions” to “I’m going to assault you (if you LET me).” Cue horror stories.
  3. Keep your vehicle in excellent maintenance. If you’re ever stranded, the person who offers to help might hurt you. Cue horror stories.
  4. Keep your doors locked. Not locking them is as good as inviting in villains. Cue horror stories.
  5. Elevator etiquette: This is no time be friendly. No eye contact. It’s awkward. They’re either friendlies or not. What can you do but cue horror stories.
  6. It isn’t safe to be alone, outside at night. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM. If you don’t, you’re just asking for it. Cue horror stories.
  7. Acquaintances and dates can’t be trusted. They just can’t help themselves to raping you. Cue horror stories.
  8. If you drink to excess and pass out, people will help themselves to your body. Cue horror stories.
  9. Arm yourself (like a girl) with a whistle. They scare away the bad guys.

And I remember. Not believing, not heeding, breaking rule #7. Living the horror that the stories didn’t do justice.

Imagine unimaginable pain
of the physical
and emotional
variety

Some of it lasts
a year
Some of it lasts
forever

Oh, there’s always a temporary forgiving
A temporary forgetting
Until someone posts a f***ing poster
And I have to forgive and forget all over again

How to effect
a lasting forgiving?
How to reject
a lasting forgetting?

In the end
and every beginning
I only know how to pray
and advocate for education

Out of my shadow, out of hiding
Out of shame, out of fear
Into my light, into exposure
Into honor, into love

So this poster is absurd, no doubt – as absurd as the rules girls grow up with. Women’s sexual assault prevention tips are the western world’s burkas. How presumptuous, how primitive, how pot calling the burka black are we? These men’s sexual assault prevention tips are the light on our collective shadow, exposing our hidden secrets, honoring women’s shame, loving the hell OUT of fear.

Burning Man: True Story

First, a prelude: A couple of months ago, I saw a friend’s photos of an event called Burning Man. “Cool,” I thought.
Fast forward to the week preceding this year’s Summer Solstice and me searching in vain for a worthy event to mark the occasion.
Fast forward again to the bookstore last night where my favorite section was crowded, so I went to my second favorite section to wait for a book to fly off the shelf and hit me. When it did, I read a woman’s short story about celebrating the Summer Solstice at an event in the desert called Burning Man. Sadly, it doesn’t mark the Solstice any more, but I didn’t “know” that at the time my true story happened…

It’s the middle of the night and I’m awake:

“I’m sorry” I said to the part of me who thinks she knows everything.
“You think you’re so smart” she said.
“That’s the difference between you and me.
You think. I know.”
“But you didn’t know!”
“I did, my love. I willed it so.”
Then I slipped into sleep and my dream self awoke.
As she traveled to Burning Man, she thought to herself:
“That’s funny. The story said it would be dry and dusty out here,
but I’m wet and moist as an oasis.
No dust. It’s all love and primal lust…”
Then my lucid dreamer intervened and spoke:
“Lest you forget, your dreams speak Symbology,
show you below the dusty surface to your soul.
Go to Burning Man, and your waking Solstice dream,
the one you knew about before you learned about it will come true.
And just under your skin, you’ll come alive –
that’s the moist and juicy part that is you.”

Then, I was suspended in my favorite place.
“Am I awake or asleep?” one of me wondered.
Then my mind broke the spell and tried to take credit.
“Ugh!” I say. If you only KNEW.