Archive for June, 2007
Here’s the deal:This workshop, Celebrating the Body Erotic, is the ‘level one’ beginning of the Body Electric School, and it is phenomenal. I have participated in workshops through Body Electric since 2001, and have done CBE three times, Power & Surrender once, and assisted at CBE twice. it has sincerely and deeply changed my relationship with my body, my sexuality, my sensuality, my spirituality, and my relationship to other women’s as well.
(I can speak much more to that. Ask me anything.)
This is the ONLY women’s program being offered this year in the US. Body Electric School offers men-only and mixed courses as well (and many many more of them), and usually is able to offer 2-5 women’s programs, but funding and management is tight (I don’t really know what’s going on, but this is what I’ve gathered) and the Women’s Programs are in danger. I am so, so saddened by this idea, and want to promote and encourage and talk up a STORM about this upcoming CBE workshop, with the hopes that it will entice even ONE more woman to come and participate.
It’s not cheap, I know, for a weekend (especially those of you who may have to travel to come here), but I can’t say enough how much it is worth it. It is a safe, beautiful space for breakthroughs, healing, moving on, looking back, unsticking anything that is stuck, making connection, growing, evolving, becoming beams of light.
I don’t know yet to what capacity I’ll be going to this workshop – I may be attending.
The Body Electric School Announces
Celebrating the Body Erotic for Women
with Alex JadeOctober 5-7, 2007, New York City
I am excited to extend an invitation to you and the women you know to join in a circle of women for an opportunity to explore, discover and celebrate empowered sexuality, self-defined eroticism, spiritually integrated eros. You will feel welcomed into a safe, serious, and playful space where we respectfully honor boundaries and experience ourselves as powerful, expressive and sacred.
In this weekend program of carefully designed embodiment practices women will:
- explore the innate wisdom of your body
- expand awareness, sensation and pleasure through conscious breath, movement, touch, and communication, where each woman’s choices and rhythms are honored
- learn how to more deeply tune in to your body, mind, heart and spirit: to receive more fully from yourself and others, and to give without losing yourself
- learn to give and receive full-body massage and to focus on the healing potential of sensual/spiritual energy
- learn from your own and others’ unfolding, and feel awed witnessing and supporting our uniqueness and commonalities
This full weekend workshop is for women of all ages and sexual orientations who are ready to learn about their own power to illuminate and enjoy sexuality.
Men, please pass this information on to your women friends. They will always be grateful for your thinking of them.
Workshop Title: Celebrating The Body Erotic for Women
Tuition: $375 per person ($340 if paid in full by Aug. 15)
Registration: $100 non-refundable deposit per person due three weeks before eventThe workshop starts Friday evening and ends Sunday evening.
Contact: Debi Soler
New York City Coordinator
The first time I kiss her, it is
June. Under a hazy lazy sky
the sun is yawning its descent.
Under the ginko tree that grows,
has been growing, outside her
apartment for decades, a hundred
years, more. How many lovers’
first kisses has she seen,
how many breakups, how many babies
pappoosed, welcomed to the world?
Green paper leaves the shape
of fans tossing the wild to the wind,
winding strings of silkworms around
tree trunks, slick bark the shade of
the sky before it rains. And her eyes
are the sky after. The pavement after.
My heart is red construction paper
that could blow away with another
exhale, if only her lips would come
close enough. Closer.
(That’s what you were really waiting for, isn’t it? Isn’t that what brings you back here?)”Do you swing?” I asked her to dance. She looked up at me slyly, a little shy, from the picnic blanket.
“A little. Salsa I’m better at.”
“Let’s go. Over there?” I nodded to a slight clearing in the crowd nearby.
I can tell a lot about someone by the way they dance. Not the grind-and shimmy club dancing, though that has its own sets of tells, but partner dancing: a fine art.
First, there’s her grip on my hands, her form, her resistance. Her hands should be gently placed over mine, not gripping or clinging on, but soft. There should be enough resistance in her arms to allow her body to be carried by whatever minute movements I make.
Then, there’s how she responds. How her body takes direction, how well our bodies talk to each other.
Last, but not overlooked, is her feet. I can’t see them (nor should she – we should maintain eye contact, ‘dancing cheek to cheek’ as they say), but I can tell where she puts them and I can tell how well she can pick them up, anticipate my movements, follow my body lines.
I’ve danced with women who have been taking classes for months – years – who were not as good follows as those who have never had lessons. It isn’t only the lessons – it’s also compatibility, syncopation, inner rhythm.
This girl at the picnic, we didn’t dance well together. She kept trying to lead, so I would back up and follow, but she wasn’t a very good lead, and kept doing follow moves, which encouraged me to lead. I couldn’t keep clear what was happening between us.
We walked back to the picnic blanket, joking, when the song ended. I knew what she’d be like in bed – awkward, pushy, in control but attempting to be submissive. And honestly, that’s not what I want.
If only I knew what I did want.
One is with a particular femme top that I have been noticing from afar for quite a while – more than a year now. She’s a damn good writer, and she reads this blog. So that’s all I’ll say about that.
The other is via a craigslist personal ad which began, “I like being pushed up against the wall by queer masculine types who have good radical politics.” We’ve had some lovely correspondences, so far.
I’m not sure I actually know how to get involved with a girl sexually and not emotionally, so this dating thing will be a challenge. And after the shock of yesterday, I am definitely not ready to get too involved emotionally. This is going to have to go slowly, slowly, slowly.
It’s going to take some practice.
1. Semi-permeable Membrane (scientifically defined here, if you don’t remember 9th grade biology)
I have a tendency to over-empathize with people, to the point of taking on their emotional status over my own. I let things in much too deeply. I feel too hard, sometimes. I am seriously effected by my surroundings. I think it might be why I am so sensitive to clutter & mess, and crowds, and high levels of emotion.
I was thinking about this a lot Friday night, about why it is I take on other people’s emotions & burdens. It’s not because I feel at fault, but somehow I do feel a responsibility to make it better, to help, to support. (More on responsibility later.) And I actually think the reason for that is – forgive the vanity – because I feel like I am incredibly privileged, with a relatively easy life. I’m blessed, loved, taken care of; my parents provided for me; my deficiency needs are, and have pretty much always been (aside from sex, perhaps), met. So I feel some sort of obligation – privilege guilt? – to help others.
In Mahayana Buddhist philosophy, Bodhisattvas take an extra vow of not attaining Enlightenment (Nirvana) before all sentient beings have achieved complete Buddhahood. I kind of think about my empathy, my ‘semipermeable membrane’ abilities, in those terms somehow, there’s a connection.
(I’m still working through all of this. I feel like these are only the beginnings of thoughts/ideas/character trait analysis.)
Because I am so empathetic, I actually tend to connect with people without them knowing I’m doing it. Okay, one could perhaps argue that “connection” between two people has to occur somewhat consensually, and both people have to feel it/recognize it, but considering what I’ve witnessed lately regarding connection (especially forced connection), I think it’s pretty interesting to consider what kind of connections we make on a regular basis, what our ‘default’ modes of operation are, how we work. By which I mean, how I work.
So. I connect with people without them knowing it. On a train, I see someone reading a book I’ve read, and I can read their face their body language their emotional state and connect with them over the experience of reading that book. In a group of people, I listen and watch and observe the stories and tales and conversations before I join in, but that doesn’t mean I’m not connecting with what is going on, what is happening.
Of course, after a certain level of friendship, intimacy, sharing has been established, I fully expect a shared connection, mutuality, two way street, et cetera. But like anyone, I seek human connection, and I get it softly, subtly, from people without ever disturbing them.
3. “Do Your Best”
Not much of a segue here, but this is another piece of the puzzle I’ve been uncovering.
My parents always said they didn’t care what kind of grades I got, as long as I was doing my best. My best, especially when it came to school, is usually pretty much 95% – usually quite successful. It took me until college to learn to balance important things, life against school against work against romance, that sometimes it actually is more important to stay up until 3am with your girlfriend than it is to study for the next day’s test or get to work on time. I would think, “I’m not doing my best,” but really, I was being the best girlfriend I could be (to continue the example), and sometimes that meant sacrificing other less-important things.
My best, though, also has often translated into a sense of responsibility. For example, I sense that someone has a need, and I know that I’m capable of filling that need with very little cost or compromise to myself. So I feel like “my best” would be meeting that need, helping that person.
Which brings me to responsibility. I haven’t really figured this one out yet, only that it keeps coming up for me over & over. It’s related to my ‘semi-permeable membrane’ability, and related to ‘doing my best’, but I’m not sure what else is behind the responsibility.
So, more on that later.
The Poetry vs Comedy show was such a fabulous time. I performed two of my favorite (and gayest) pieces, and made it to the final round against Kelli Dunham where we both had to improv on “clam(s).” Um, what?
So I wrote this:
we spent all weekend
digging clams at ocean shores
on the oregon coast
sand between our toes
you forgot to get dressed
I watched you belly-down
on the bed
staring at the TV so
I wanted to feel
the full fist of you again
staring out at the open ocean
I’m hiding from you in here
in this chair
I haven’t forgotten
the things you promised
to desire when the fire
went out, the beach
went dry, the waves
stopped coming and
I laid my open palms
on the table
took the metal pail
from the porch
with a trowel
… and I actually kinda like it. Apparently the judges did too, ’cause I won! Thanks judges, and thanks Carolyn (the fabulous MC) and Cheryl, the producer. But like Carolyn says, remember, it doesn’t matter who the winner is, ’cause we’re all losers here.
Check the PvC blog for more tidbits.
quote from a poet friend who is also very into birds …
The very idea of a bird is a symbol and a suggestion to the poet. A bird seems to be at the top of the scale, so vehement and intense his life. . . . The beautiful vagabonds, endowed with every grace, masters of all climes, and knowing no bounds — how many human aspirations are realised in their free, holiday-lives — and how many suggestions to the poet in their flight and song!
John Burroughs (1837 – 1921), Birds and Poets, 1887
I attended a lovely little pervert’s tea party on Sunday.I walked in to a lovely circle of sex bloggers and felt like a minor celebrity; there were familiar lovely faces I hadn’t seen recently, and I met a few new fascinating characters too, had some great conversation.
And the food! Lord, you sex bloggers know how to … put things in your mouths.
I was spoiled by two particularly cute boys, who brought me an avocado. And eventually, the out-of-town guest arrived and the evening got quite a bit more interesting.
Thnaks, Viviane & all, for the lovely lovely time.
Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing in on Internet Sexploration by Audacia Ray
Seal Press, 2007
You know how they say that the first test – and drive – of new technology is porn? Well, we folks who have been around on the ‘net for a while know a lot about all the various aspects of sex on the internet, and there is a lot to tell.
Dacia’s relatively new to the online sex world, by her own admission; in her introduction she gives a brief history of her own path to blogging and the ‘net, which began in late 2003 and took off in 2004. This is not to overlook, however, that she has become a major player in the sex blogger circles, especially here in New York City. And having been on the periphary of those circles for a few years now, myself, I know the kind of pull and influence and impact she has had.
It makes sense, then, that as a social scientist interested in sex and technology and the internet, Dacia would come to writing and researching a book like Naked on the Internet. In it, she chronicles all sorts of online sexual explorations and avenues, gives a history of where the internet has come from (BBSes, telnet boards – remember those?), and even some hints at where it’s going (cyberdildonics come to mind).
For me, the most interesting content were the chapters on online dating and also the sex blogging, partly because that is where I am the most connected, and also because (it seems) that is where Dacia has the most knowledge and presence as well. Other parts of the book were much more of an observed subculture then organized and reproduced for the sake of recording the various aspects of sex online.
This book is unique and singular – since online sexuality is, though extremely common, still quite taboo, there have not been a lot of studies or records kept of what is happening, how people are using this new medium, yet. I have no doubt that it will continue to be explored and we will keep gaining new insight and cultural significance from the online sex world, and that it will have – and already has had – a significant impact on a whole era’s sexual growth and, ahem, sexploration.
Don’t forget to visit Waking Vixen, or check out Dacia’s other recent accomplishment, the film The Bi Apple.
ps … I was interviewed for this book a few months back, and a couple of my quotes are in there, oh, somewhere.