pleasure begins at home: the wonders of masturbation

post-orgasmic nude, by betty dodson
post-orgasmic nude, by betty dodson

masturbation (that nasty, shockingly perverse word… not to mention the act of!!!) is one of my favorite activities. it defined the beginnings of my sexual consciousness, taught me what gave me pleasure before anyone else had a chance to mis-teach me, shame me, or pass over me, and has continued through my life to give me comfort, pleasure, and moments of deep realization. i wish i could teach every child (and especially little girl!!) about self-pleasure. i think this knowledge should be a basic human right. i believe it is that deep and integral to who we are and how we relate to ourselves and to others in the world.

wendy strgar spells out this connection on a theoretical level beautifully in this article on the art of masturbation.

Perhaps the best reasons to let go of all the judgment and history surrounding this normal  sexual behavior is because having access to your own pleasure and orgasm teaches a profound inner lesson, which is that the ability to orgasm is your own. No one else gives it to you or has power over you having it.      

                                             -“the art of masturbation: theory to the practice.

in other exciting news, a study has now shown that masturbation may (keyword: may) “help” your immune system. the cover image for the article being a box of kleenex, with a number of used kleenex wadded up around it (unclear if used kleenex are cum-filled or snot-filled…), it may or may not be implying this applies more to men than women. hard to say. maybe other women have different self-pleasuring practices than i. surely they do. perhaps some that involve wadded-up tissues. at any rate, i do imagine the relaxation one derives from masturbating/cumming would lower stress significantly, and stress is a well-known strain on our immune systems.

it’s cold season; by this logic we’d best all get a-pleasuring!!!

masturbating christians

i came across this article today on elephant journal, and was intrigued by a story so similar to my own… the conflict between my body’s knowingness and what my socialized brain is telling me i “should” be doing/thinking/feeling… i went through a very similar journey when i was a teenager, just beginning to explore my own pleasure in a real way. the internet was just beginning to be a worthwhile source of information, and i would sneak online after everyone else was asleep to search for what in retrospect i would call: healthily sex-positive, educational materials on masturbation. (not much available at the time, but i learned the potential of shower heads.) i also searched and searched for any quality Catholic sources, that had a more liberal, open-minded approach to masturbation. i knew with such certainty in my body that what i was doing couldn’t possibly be morally “wrong”, but i so wanted to be a “good girl” and have the approval of God, my parents, etc.

to this day, it infuriates me that a male-run institution had the gall to set up laws that would inhibit my own relationship with my sexuality, in ways that would affect me deeply, for years to come. as this author states, she (and i) had to go through sexual assault (multiple times), trusting others more than ourselves, etc… before finally bringing awareness and healing to this rift in ourselves. is the power of female sexuality really that terrifying? and if so, what kind of gender divide in our culture is responsible for creating such a difference in our experiences of healthy sexuality?

queen nicki

i bow down (again) to the prowess and badassedness of nicki minaj. she has once again caused a delightful media frenzy with her newest video, anaconda, mostly focused on the air time given to her ass in said video. a number of sources questioned if this was “too racy for [nicki’s] own good” and one even called anaconda the most explicit video ever made (no double standards here, naturally….)


even socially liberal, more radical folks critique nicki’s bombacious and overt show of feminine sexuality. and i think there is always a place for fair-minded critique through various social lenses, etc… but in the spirit of many truths existing simultaneously, and a goal of living in the messiness, i salute and adore nicki minaj for the power and i-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude she consistently displays.

my own read on her subtle subversiveness: a simple, superficial interpretation of some of her work is that she is molding herself into a sexual object for the desirous fantasies of men. and this isn’t necessarily false. we are all women socialized from birth to be sexualized, objectified beings; it is unreasonable to believe that this doesn’t intertwine and play into absolutely everything each of us does– either propping up or opposing this social more. there is a power, however, in an individual from a societally disenfranchised group grabbing what is “expected” of them and turning it on its head.. using it to their own devices. in some regards i see nicki minaj doing similar things to artists such as kara walker.

the cherry on top of this video’s sunday is nicki walking off-screen, leaving drake high and dry at the end…

addressing violence against women via an ally with male privilege: jackson katz

i was moved by the authenticity and care of katz’ energy, presentation, and way of discussing these issues. he even acknowledges right away in the beginning of the talk, the misplaced acknowledgement and affirmation men will get over women when standing up and addressing these issues. i tip my hat to his sensitivity, strength, and passion in addressing what he suggests is a “male issue” rather than a “female issue” of violence against women (and girls and boys).

if you are a human on this earth who has any women, girls, or boys in your life for whom you care deeply, please watch this, and sit with the messiness of the truth he is speaking.


dear wayne: meditations on humiliation

a dear friend of mine bought wayne koestenbaum’s book “humiliation” while we were together in winnipeg, this winter. we decided a fur background felt most fitting for some reason for an impromptu photo shoot…


it is a pretty fascinating and on point read, from the excerpts i have read. then i found out about a youtube series of “dear wayne” dillemnas… if nothing else, wayne poses some interesting situational decisions…

not knowing

sometimes i begin writing a post for this blog, and am overwhelmed by the knowledge of how tiny my “knowledge” is… how inadequate. i really only know about a few things that resonate or work for me. and i know a lot of things that don’t work for me. and i keep moving forward in life trying and failing to establish more balance, clearer knowledge of myself and my responses, and sharing what i can when it feels right.

this seems a weak basis from which to speak the truth from my western paradigm of backing up arguments with facts and numbers. my little brother would rip this apart with sound logic and facts. a new love of mine would tell me to just hold space for this. i am slowly learning what it means to hold space in real ways. how to hold space for my not-knowingness. how to hold space for multiple truths that may be in conflict with each other. how to hold space for not understanding. how to read communication for the need(s) that it is trying to convey.

to really live being present seems to me to involve dropping all artifice of “knowing” and fundamentally accepting experience in this moment for whatever it is. this is impossibly difficult for most of us… and perhaps often we discover that the stillness is ultimately a trigger for us, setting off feelings and emotions we would prefer not to feel.

seema anand: the art of seduction

“optimizing and harnessing the mind, the body and the spirit [via sexual seduction] equals the elixir of youth.”

i am intrigued by seduction. i have been for a very long time. i think it raises so many interesting questions. it can be understood in so many ways. it is, inherently, about power dynamics between two people, and using these to your advantage (and, optimally, for the partner’s advantage as well) to entice a lover into the mysteries of who you are. and yet, as with any power dynamic, it is complicated by so many things.

i consider myself to be a respectable seductress at this point in my life, but have noted the way i leave the seduction behind as i move farther into knowing a lover. i am not sure how i feel about this. i was captivated by seema anand’s ted talk in part because she specifically calls out the notion that proper seduction involves not only both parties practicing the art of seduction, but also, importantly, each partner knowing the nuances of the ways in which they are being seduced by their lover, to fully own and experience their fullest sexual potential. i love the way this turns the on-the-surface complications of unequal power dynamics between a couple into an entirely level playing field. how thrilling to consider the possibilities of completely transparent (as it were) seduction between two people who are both seducing each other and equally appreciating and noting the ways in which they are being seduced…



i have two lovers. i see them both regularly. i love and am loved by them both. they are both interesting, intelligent, loving, creative people and are very dear to me. they offer me similarly delightful yet entirely unique experiences of being loved and nurtured. my heart overflows with gratitude for each of them every day. i have rarely, if ever in my life, felt such bountiful love, pleasure, and delight. i feel like the luckiest woman alive.

this experience is also very challenging. i am not so keen these days on labeling myself, and don’t prefer the varying “poly” labels that many use to define their love/life choices. i don’t feel i owe an explanation to anyone, but as there is a tendency to assume that unconventional choices warrant explanation, i generally don’t share this part of my life. i have to remember which love i told which people about to minimize questions. i am getting better at being cagey.

i am meeting more and more people like me. people who reject conventional models of relating and are interested in moving into new ways of being. as we see the old models breaking down, it seems natural to me to reach for something different, something that suites us better. with the vast array of human diversity, everyone wanting (or needing) the same model of relationship is as unlikely as everyone having precisely the same nose, or experiencing music in exactly the same way. there is far too much (beautiful!) inherent variety within our species to ever achieve organic similitude.

daunting a task as it is to break down our social programming, i do believe it is key to being a happy and self-actualized person in this world. and considering the precarious state our world is in today, on so many levels, it is perhaps more critical to survival than ever before, to continuously and gently question our foundational values and beliefs, holding them with compassion and letting them go if they are no longer serving us.

bdsm practitioners more psychologically evolved than their vanilla counterparts?

i’ve been curious for some time about the potentially healing benefits of bdsm (“BDSM is a variety of erotic practices involving dominance and submission, role-playing, restraint, and other interpersonal dynamics.” –wikipedia) i continue to be fascinated by the potential to enact our darkest ingrained dysfunctions in a healthy, loving space… how empowering it can be to recreate a powerless space by choice, choosing to re-enter the trauma space; except this time with full power. as so interestingly shown by guy maddin in my winnipeg, when he hires his childhood home and actors to literally re-enact scenes from his childhood.

People in the BDSM scene reported higher levels of happiness in the past two weeks than people outside it, and they said they felt more secure in their relationships.

ironically, bdsm is still listed in most countries as a mental disorder.

my suspicion is that all of us have some kind of deep, dark fantasies. but it takes work and intention and self-awareness to find them. i consider discovering my fantasies and kinks as mile markers on my journey of self-discovery.

cheers to self-discovery… whatever path that might take.