Profile

belenen: (Default)
belenen

June 2017

S M T W T F S
    123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930 

Expect to find curse words, nudity, (occasionally explicit) talk of sex, and angry ranting, but NEVER slurs or sexually violent language. I use TW when I am aware of the need and on request.

belenen: (analytical)
Why making it safe & comfortable to say 'no' is as necessary as respecting 'no'
icon: "analytical (a close-up photo of my eye in bright sunlight, showing the green and grey and roots-looking patterns)"

To be good at consent, you have to be able to take a 'no' without external displays of hurt or offense. Because the fact that you'd never do an act that someone said no to means NOTHING if they are too afraid to tell you no because your reaction is worse than enduring things they don't want. What good is saying no when it has worse consequences than the inner turmoil of not stating your desires? If I don't say no, I can at least tell myself that my suffering is my own fault, whereas if I say no and the person reacts badly, I have to face the fact that they're more invested in not being rejected than they are in helping me to feel safe.

Reactions that I or someone I know have endured unwanted touch rather than facing include:
  • withdrawing emotionally
  • expressing self-loathing
  • apologizing profusely as if they did something wrong
  • self-harming
  • sulking or pouting
  • acting resentful or angry or insulted
  • getting irritated at them over other things that are usually not a problem
  • ceasing to initiate
  • ceasing to play
  • ceasing to cuddle
  • ceasing to express romantic or sexual interest
  • expressing a wish to be dead or not exist
  • depreciation of self
  • acting afraid to touch the person who said no
  • making snarky comments at future similar moments like 'oh NOW you want me'
  • disbelieving in the continued romantic/sexual interest of the other person.

To summarize, negative reactions include self-directed negativity, emotional and sexual withdrawal, and emotional punishment. The first two things aren't necessarily damaging to others in general, but as a reaction to a no they very often create a dynamic where the other person can't say no, and that can be very damaging.

If someone can't say no to you without fear of fall-out, they can't say no freely. And if they can't say no freely, it's not full consent. It's the responsibility of each person to make it as easy as possible for the other person to say no. Which is difficult, because it is disappointing when people say no and if you're feeling fragile it can spark a lot of negative feelings about yourself. I'm not saying don't feel those feelings: I'm saying don't make them the other person's problem.

Do whatever you need to do to manage your reaction without forcing the other person to comfort or placate you. Maybe have a list of things to read that remind you that you are loved and wanted and worthy. Maybe do something distracting like playing a game or watching a show to get past the initial overwhelm. Maybe have a set of things your person can do for you (that are easy for them! Low-energy-cost things) that will reassure you; or a set of things you can do for them, even. Maybe have a mantra you can repeat in your head to block out the negative reaction until it is small enough to handle internally. Maybe figure out the best way for them to express a 'no' that doesn't spark your insecurities so hard. Maybe give them a sentence they can say to reassure you when they say no -- and then trust in them and believe it.

I won't pretend like it's easy: it can be VERY hard. But the alternative is that your person will sometimes be merely enduring your touch and wishing you would stop. Sometimes they will experience that as merely frustrating or annoying but other times they may experience it as sexual assault or even rape. So it is simply necessary to be able to handle being told no, without your reaction causing distress to the one who said no. Nobody is automatically good at this; it is a skill that everyone has to develop. At points in my past I have done several of these and I've had several done to me. I am certain that most people who have had significant sexual experience have reacted to a 'no' in at least one of these ways.

A really good support skill for this is focusing on noticing non-verbal 'no's and asking if they actually want to continue when there is a strong change in tone, breathing, facial expression, body tension, body position, noises, etc. It is a lot easier for the person to say no when you opened the door for it, and it feels better to get a no when you opened the door for it, too. Instead of it feeling like rejection, it feels more mutual. However, even the most observant person in the world won't notice every non-verbal signal, so this is not enough on its own: it's just a good support skill. Even if you're great at noticing non-verbals (or think you are) you still need to create a dynamic where your lovers feel not just able to say 'no' or 'stop' in a dire situation, but comfortable enough to say 'nah, I don't feel like it' or 'okay I'm done now' at any time.


back to top

belenen: (honesty)
be careful w sexual consent: discuss meaning, risk, safeword, triggers, roles, acts, sobriety, needs
icon: "honesty (me, outdoors, gazing straight at the camera with a solemn expression)"

There are a lot of ways to to cause others pain and even damage despite the very best of intentions, especially with sex and kink. This is not a comprehensive list, but it includes the most common ways I see people making consent mistakes. Here's a more in-depth discussion of most of this list: how to be careful with consent. Quoting myself: "EVEN IF you follow ALL of these steps, you may STILL accidentally coerce or violate someone. We live in a rape culture that makes it very difficult for us to understand consent, to respect our own boundaries and the boundaries of others; so sex is dangerous. We need to go in knowing we can hurt each other, and being careful to minimize that risk."

I have never discussed all of these things before first having sex with someone. There's always something I didn't think of, but I work towards being the absolute best I can at consent with each person I have sex with. I treat consent as an ongoing process of becoming more and more in-tune with what the other person wants and needs in sex.

To be fully careful with consent you need to:
  1. discuss the meaning of sex/kink for each person involved.
    • is everyone involved aware of current relationship structures and additional partners (if any)?
    • do any of the people need a shared emotional/spiritual meaning for sex/kink?
    • do any of the people need shared attitudes toward bodies for sex/kink? (I do)
    • do any of the people have a need for future connection or particular kind of relationship after sex/scene?

  2. discuss STI/pregnancy risks & how to manage them.
    • disclose your STI status and your risk factors and ask about theirs.
    • if relevant, discuss birth control and what to do in the event of barrier-method fail or pregnancy.
    • ask what methods of protection they want, tell what you want, and then go with whichever is more cautious.

  3. choose safe words/signals.
    • at least choose a word/signal that means 'stop everything'.
    • describe what you want the other person to do when you use the safe word.
    • it's good to have a non-verbal signal as well as a word since some people can go non-verbal when triggered.

  4. discuss known triggers and what to do in the event of an unknown trigger.
    • tell them your triggers and how you need them to react if they accidentally trigger you.
    • ask what they need you to avoid or be cautious with and what to do if you accidentally trigger them.

  5. discuss roles (or lack thereof) and define terms.
    • roles must be consented to and you can't guess what someone else would like.
    • define terms: there are hundreds of definitions out there, don't assume.
    • describing a typical scene/sexperience in detail is a good way to find unconscious expectations.

  6. discuss specific acts & label as ask-each-time or whatever.
    • ask what parts are okay to touch, when.
    • ask what kinds of touch are okay, where.
    • ask about marks before making any.
    • ask about sensitivities.
    • ask about oral, manual, toys, penetration, etc.
    • ask if there is anything that is never okay.
    • ask about which parts/acts are ask-first every time, and when in doubt ask first.

  7. define acceptable sobriety emotionally and physically.
    • how much intoxication is too much for sex/kink between you?
    • what level of emotional instability is too much for sex/kink between you?
    • what level of physical weariness/sleepiness is too much for sex/kink between you?

  8. discuss related needs which sex can compete with or create.
    • Do any of you have a strict bedtime?
    • Do any of you need privacy (such as not being overheard, or not having your shared stories told)?
    • Do any of you need a certain amount of aftercare time?

And within each sexual experience you need to:
  1. check for sufficient emotional & physical sobriety.
  2. ask in a way that makes it easy to say no.
  3. assume no particular acts to be included and no particular length of time.
  4. check in: pay attention to reactions and non-verbals, ask questions.


back to top

belenen: (overwhelmed)
I have HPV (as if I needed more stress)
icon: "overwhelmed (the character Keenan from "Playing By Heart," with hands over their face covering their eyes and head tilted back)"

I went to the doctor today about a lump on my genitals. The good news: it's not cancer. The bad news: it's HPV.

I only this year learned about HPV. I knew it existed before, but I thought it was checked for on the standard set of STI tests. Nope. There are 100+ strains of HPV, so there is no test to prove someone does NOT have HPV (as they'd have to test for all strains), and most people who have it don't have symptoms. Also, it is spread through skin-to-skin contact, so even using barriers and taking caution with sexual fluids won't prevent catching it (though it will reduce the likelihood of course). "HPV is so common that most sexually-active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives." Oh, and the strains that can cause cancer and other serious problems do NOT cause visible symptoms.

So, I could have gotten this from any of my partners, or I might have contracted it as a child enduring sexual abuse and just never had symptoms until now (when my immune system is low from extreme & prolonged stress). I feel incredibly unlucky. Most people with herpes don't have symptoms and most people with HPV don't have symptoms, but I got both. And all the people out there with HPV and no symptoms don't have to deal with stigma. It's really fucking unfair that people are going to think of me as undesirable because I'm one of the few that got visible symptoms, noticed them, had them checked, and will be honest about it.

It wasn't too hard to find out the best way to manage herpes: if you're not having an active outbreak, infection is unlikely if you use barriers and take caution not to swap fluids. I can't find a good source on the best way to avoid transmitting HPV because everything I find is like "spread by skin-to-skin contact" with no specifics and I'm pretty sure that there is risky contact and non-risky contact but there is no fucking information. I imagine the only skin that is likely to spread genital HPV is on your crotch and thighs. HPV doesn't seem to have a outbreak-vs-non-outbreak difference. So I suppose the new precaution I have to add is to not let people touch my thighs without having the STI conversation.

Six years ago when I got herpes and posted about it someone who was 'concerned' about me (ha) told me I should never have sex again. Now that I have another fucking STI, I'm well and truly a pariah. Not that it would be terrible for me to never use my physical genitals in sex again. They're not that important to me. But they tend to be important to other people. And the idea that people would rule me out as a romantic partner because of STIs... I just find that so gross and I wish I didn't have to think about it. It's upsetting even if I wouldn't want to be romantic with them anyway.


back to top

belenen: (curious)
polls: audio recordings of my posts? / opt-out for sex talk filter
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

Sometimes I read my posts out loud to Topaz while they're cooking or otherwise have hands and eyes occupied, and lately I was thinking about recording them for broader use. I'd like some feedback on the idea -- no one but me can see what you answered! I'm screening comments in case you want to give a private response but will unscreen unless you request otherwise.
[Poll #2046442]
Oh, and I realized that those new to my LJ might like some context for the people in my life, so here is my most recent version of the characters in the story of my life. It does need updating, but it mostly has the people I reference often.

Oh! and I automatically add people to my sex talk filter. It's the only content filter I use, and I don't use it often but if I am talking about sexual experiences I friends-lock them if the person/people I am having sex with prefer it that way (as is usually the case). Here is your chance to opt-out:
[Poll #1433403]


back to top

belenen: (queer)
why I call myself an erotic mirror: I do not have intrinsic desire for any role in sex
icon: "queer (the logo for Transcending Boundaries Conference overlaid with the words "genderfree, queer, + trans / never a 1 or 0")"

I don't call myself a switch, because 1) that implies a binary where I choose to either be one or the other but I can't merge them, which is not true of my experience, and 2) other people who identify as switches usually do so because they have active, intrinsic desire to be submissive as well as active, intrinsic desire to be dominant. I don't have either of these things.

I call myself an erotic mirror because my access to the erotic is reflective. I don't have much intrinsic desire for sex in general (I am demisexual) and I have zero intrinsic desire for roles in sex. I don't daydream about particular kinds of sex or power play, for instance. I find the idea of imagining sex or power play to be very boring; when I masturbate, it is usually while paying attention to music or just meditating. I don't masturbate out of desire for sex; I do it as a gift to my body, or because I want menstrual cramps to go away, or to be able to fall asleep quickly, or because I want to meditate and can't focus enough without involving my body.

Rather than from within me, my sexual desire comes from an interaction with a person where they have a particular desire and my desire mirrors that: they want to submit and thus I want to make them submit, or they want to take charge and thus I want to allow them (though that is rare because I dislike how most people try to take charge: a person has to have an innate connection with their primal self for that to be appealing). Or if they want me to give them a particular sensation, or want to give me a sensation, then I want to do that too (unless receiving the sensation is actively unpleasant: if I am neutral on it and they want it, then I want it). If they have no particular shape of desire, then my desire is somewhat random -- whatever memory comes up of an occasion that was particularly emotionally intense is what I will want to do.

The only things I really love for their own sake are biting, kissing, and energy play. Even if the other person doesn't have an active desire for these things but is like "they're okay, I like them a little" I will want to do them. Not as much, but at least a little bit. Whereas with other things like genital touch or bondage, if the person feels only mild desire, I won't want to do them any more. I only want those things if the other person is really into it.

This is also why I think there is very little that someone could want me to do to them that I wouldn't want to do. Unless it violated one of my core values or risked serious bodily harm, I would probably be down.

I think I have had sex with one person who was also an erotic mirror, and our sex was so intensely connected that sometimes I wasn't sure which limbs were mine. It was transcendent: the emotional equivalent of two mirrors facing, endless recursion. I'd love to know more people who are erotic mirrors.


back to top

belenen: (concupiscent)
break w Topaz is over, back to romantic / getting visuals from kissing / the kinds of kisses I like
icon: "concupiscent (a photo of Angelina Jolie, backlit in sunlight, licking honey off of their wrist while staring intensely into the camera)"

So Topaz and I are finished with the break, and back to being romantic. I think I have posted all the things I learned from it; quite a lot really. We have decided to put off sex a while longer. They said their reasons aren't there any more, but over the past week I realized that it might be a good idea for me. I realized that if we start having sex again before I have active practice with asserting my needs, then I may subvert my needs out of fear that being assertive may decrease my chances of having sex. Sex is usually not that big a miss for me but it has been a very long time, relatively speaking, and sex is the easiest way of being fully, passionately present and I really miss that sense of passionate presence. But I would like to practice being fully, passionately present in non-sexual ways, and this will be motivation for that practice.

Seeing Topaz again (on Monday) was a relief, but also didn't feel fully real. That day they got some deeply tragic news, so they were really sad. They were worried that I wouldn't want to see them but of course I did, I would always want to be there for them on such a day. We had really good, connected time despite the sad.


I had forgotten what kissing was like (when I say I have an awful memory I am not kidding). I was swept away, kissing them. I got images in my mind from the sensation and the emotion -- flowing brown watercolored silk with deep red, and brass roses with swirly flame-burnished colors at one point, and at another a sense of a green lush garden in Wonderland, with symbols floating and characters wandering. I don't know why I was getting visuals but I really love it and hope it continues. I was very wrapped up in the moment. I also forgot that I shudder with pleasure from kissing -- I mean, I forgot enough to be surprised, and then was surprised that I was surprised because it is something I would think I would be thoroughly aware of by now. I always feel just a little self-conscious about it, because even though it is involuntary I feel worried after that the person may think I'm 'being dramatic' or something.

I love kissing so much. My favorite kind of kiss is pressing lips softly together, with mouths open just enough for tongues to be able to caress each other -- maybe half an inch. I don't like it when people have their teeth together or when they have their mouth wide open. I like tongues to be relaxed, touching each other and lips and teeth, reaching at least to just inside the other person's mouth. I don't like it when I have to do all the reaching in, and I don't like it when people stick their tongue in my mouth like they're being rude to the back of my throat. And people have to be willing to suck their own tongue and swallow occasionally (which always is an awkward second) so that there isn't too much saliva. I like some closed-mouth kissing -- I like sucking on someone's lower lip and caressing their lips with the tip of my tongue, and I consider it the height of erotic to press the tip of my tongue in between someone's almost-but-not-quite-closed lips. And I like gently sliding my lips along their lips, just a little bit, and vice versa. I like very VERY gentle, broad lip biting (my lips split easily so it must be gentle, and it must be a large section not a tiny piece of my lip). I like to touch peoples' face when I kiss them and vice versa. I like to touch someone's lips with my fingers before kissing them, and sometimes during (just touching the corner of their mouth).


back to top

belenen: (concupiscent)
yearning to be craved, desired, immersed, devoured.
icon: "concupiscent (a photo of Angelina Jolie, backlit in sunlight, licking honey off of their wrist while staring intensely into the camera)"

I yearn for someone to crave me. To want to put their hands on me and when they touch my skin, to forget themselves just a little and dig in with their fingertips because it feels so fucking good to have that contact. I want someone to intend just to give me a back pet in passing but then feel such magnetic pull that they stop, slide their hands around my waist, stroke my hips and grip them, kiss my shoulder, nuzzle my neck, wrap their arms around me, and bite me. I want someone to kiss me and get lost in it, forget everything else and revel in the sensation of my lips and tongue. I want someone to want to give me every pleasurable sensation, and to want to receive from me every pleasurable sensation. I want someone to want to be immersed in my energy, to want to feel my presence permeating theirs. I want someone to crave my hands on them and my lips on theirs and my body against theirs. I want them to want me to sink my teeth into them, to dig my claws into them. I want them to want to (for a short time) take over my self completely, and to want the inverse. I want them to want blending of energy within sex to the point that we're not sure which limb belongs to who, and I want them to be able to be present enough for that to be possible. I want them to want all of me, all of me, all of me, and I want them to want to share all of them, all. I want to intertwine with them and feel our breaths and our frequencies sync up.

All of this within the context of a mutually in-love relationship, not with any random person. I don't think I could want this with someone I wasn't in love with. I try imagining this with someone I am not currently in love with and my mind balks and throws darts at me. The feeling, if I am not in love, is that same jolt of badness that happens when I am touched with sexual intentions when I haven't had enough platonic loving touch. It's too shocking and intense to be enjoyable; the difference between sliding into a cool pool on a hot day or getting thrown into a cold pool on a freezing day.

I fall in love really easily, or at least I used to. I feel worried that that part of me is damaged with too many almosts that scalded me. I'm worried I've lost the knack of it. Strange I guess. I'm really afraid to hope.

If I can't fall in love again, if I've gotten too picky or too scared just too fuckin damaged, then I can't imagine wanting sex with other people any more. And I feel like there are so many things I barely got to try. The more I think about the idea of casual sex the more I hate it. I think it would make me feel nothing but a giant sense of loss and lack.


back to top

belenen: (snarling)
the feigning ignorance consent violation tactic: if they care, they change their behavior. TW: rape
icon: "snarling (a photo of a snow leopard snarling in profile with teeth bared, whiskers back, and ears flattened)"

TW: discussion of boundary violation, manipulation, and lack of effort to avoid rape )

Emma Lindsay writes about this tactic (TW: link contains descriptions of rape) -- "...despite whatever lie he told me or told himself, he knew I didn’t want to have sex with him. He knew I didn’t usually lie there like a dead fish. He could tell when I was wincing in pain. When I told him I had been in pain afterwards, he showed no surprise. I had only articulated what he already knew but was pretending he didn’t."


back to top

belenen: (brewing)
reduced anxiety = increased sexual desire / recent experience with percussion play / need my claws!
icon: "brewing (a photo of a ceramic mug with sticks of cinnamon poking out and steam rising up)"

One of the effects of being on anxiety meds now is that my desire for sex is significantly increased. I now understand why most of the time when I get drunk, I want to have passionate kisses and maybe sex; drinking reduces my anxiety. This in combination with the circumstances in which I get drunk (celebrating with people I love, usually) means that I suddenly become aware of desire. I think that anxiety interrupts my sexual desire before it gets to the point of even being a conscious thought.

The unpleasant aspect of this is is that I am not currently in any sexual relationships. I think it is rather sad that when I had the people I did not have the skills to know and ask for what I wanted, and now that I am self-aware enough to know exactly what I want and be able to ask for it very clearly and without pressure or fear, I don't have anyone to ask. My previous lovers are unavailable in various ways (several live out of state now). I wish I was bold enough to invite someone to have sex with me outside of the context of a relationship but I'm not, partly because I have never done it and it's possible that without being in love I won't get much out of it? I'm so curious, but a complete unknown is not something I want to take such a risk for, at least not at this point.

My ideal lover is:
- anti-oppression & growth-focused & self-aware & good at self-care (so that we can be friends):
- good at using spiritual/emotional energy to create sensation and/or deepen connection
- good at negotiating expectations
- very communicative, especially about what they enjoy or dislike
- as good at initiating as they are at responding
- generous and skilled at adjusting touch based on reactions
- into planning a sexperience
- fond of being bitten, especially receiving marks
- into percussion play, giving and receiving

I had posted on fb about wanting to receive percussion, and a friend responded offering to give that to me. It took a long time to schedule it but we finally set a plan for last Sunday, and I went to their house (since I was already halfway there to meet another friend). The friend who offered lives with another friend of mine, and I ended up cuddling with them and then being flogged by one and paddled by the other. The flogger was long heavy slim strips of suede, mostly thuddy with some sting. The paddle was the size of a small ceiling fan blade but about an inch thick. I was intimidated at first but it didn't feel heavier than mine (which is the same thickness) and in fact was less intense because the impact was more spread out.. It was a very relaxing and enjoyable experience, very sensual without being sexual. It confirmed for me that the sensation of being flogged or thumped with heavy objects is magical for me. I had completely forgotten the sensation of the energy building up on my back until after I was flogged and then someone put a hand on my back and I felt it go through a layer of energy before touching me. I then asked that they let the energy sit for a while next time, and they of course obliged. The second time, the energy was even more palpable, and I felt exposed in a very unique way.

Later, one of them offered to let me try their steel finger claws and I did and HOLY FUCK I had the hardest time not digging in. I restrained myself pretty hard and still was giddy enough that one remarked to the other "was I this delighted when you gave them to me?" I felt like I finally could feel the physical manifestation of a spiritual part of me and it was a revelation. I need some for myself. Not need like I will suffer damage without them, but need as in to be my fullest self.


back to top

belenen: (curious)
poll: qualities a person must have for you to have sex with them
icon: "curious (my face, looking straight forward with one eyebrow up and a sideways smile, head tilted down a little)"

Random poll of a thing I've been wondering about -- what qualities must a person have for you to be interested in having sex with them (assuming of course that they want to have sex with you)?
[Poll #2039642]

If there are other requirements you have, please comment with them! Comments are screened but will be unscreened unless you request they stay private.
connecting: ,


back to top

belenen: (Renenutet)
my most powerful spiritual experiences & how some have shifted in meaning
icon: "Renenutet (a relief carving of Renenutet, represented as a winged cobra, overlaid with a fractal coloring)"

what are your most powerful spiritual experiences? if you've transitioned to a different religion/spiritual philosophy, did you recontextualize the experience in any way? did the power or depth of an experience diminish at all due to a transition? if so, why? (from here)

My most powerful spiritual experiences: when I felt a strong warning, "no," as I was walking through a river and was about to step in a spot, but I dismissed it as not real and stepped anyway and nearly sliced my toe off on broken glass and had to go to the hospital and get like 28 stitches (age 9); when trees have spoken to me (it happened twice where it was strong enough that I felt no doubt); when interacting with los Niños Santos; when I realized that an afterlife didn't make sense to me anymore and stopped believing in it; when I had a dream-that-felt-more-real-than-waking about having sex underground with Geb; when I felt someone energetically draining me through my lover and did energy work deliberately for the first time out of desperation; when I help someone find a name that is true for them; when I have had sex in ways that involve more spiritual/energetic interactions than physical ones; when singing and dancing in church, particularly once when I felt Jesus' presence so intensely that I didn't doubt it; one time when a prophet gave me a message from Godde saying "I believe in you" which both felt very validating and turned my perception of deity on its ear; once when I felt the presence of Aphrodite while interacting with a lover who I perceived as a priestess/incarnation of them; when I felt perfect unity of consciousness with a lover to the point where I wasn't sure which limb was mine, and we spoke the same words at the same time; when I have sensed the emotions of my spirit-kin over great distance of mind and body; when I felt/saw the heartbeat of the forest; when I have dreams about people who are important to me that I meet, later; when I felt in great despair and then found a green-blue piece of sea glass (I had never found any before despite careful searching); I'm sure there are others.

Some of my experiences have been recontextualized. I used to attribute everything spiritual to a singular god, but now I don't attribute things to deity unless I feel a specific presence. For instance, finding the sea glass I would have taken as comfort from god, whereas now I take it as me desperately seeking a sign of hope and drawing it to me and me to it with the force of my longing. This doesn't make it less meaningful to me, it makes it more meaningful. Rather than relying on something external, I rely on myself. I don't need attention from a particular being to be able to have magic.


back to top

belenen: (overwhelmed)
herpes outbreak #2, five years later...
icon: "overwhelmed (the character Keenan from "Playing By Heart," with hands over their face covering their eyes and head tilted back)"

Last Sunday I started to feel a bit off, and by Monday night I was sure -- I was having my second-ever genital herpes outbreak. I went to the clinic on Tuesday and got meds, and honestly while it was somewhat uncomfortable it wasn't terrible and as long as I was sitting/lying still, I didn't feel it at all. But the emotional impact was intense, because I had been unsure which type of herpes I had. See, I contracted it from someone with a cold sore going down on me, meaning it was type 1 which prefers to live in the mouth: so it could be that I would never have a genital outbreak but might have oral outbreaks. For 5 years I had no outbreaks, and I kinda got my hopes up. I communicated clearly with lovers about it and took precautions as if it were genital herpes, but I think I kinda expected it to not be. Turns out I'm not THAT lucky, though 5 years between the first two outbreaks is pretty good.

I started feeling really shitty about myself and my lack of desirability. I was texting with Allison and told them what was happening and that the actual physical part was no big deal, but the stigma was making me feel pretty intensely sad. Like I said to Allison, this outbreak is no worse than a bad acne outbreak (when you first get a bump it feels like one of those achy pimples). Most people who have herpes -- 80% -- don't even know because they don't have symptoms. People who do get outbreaks usually only get a few in their lifetime, and they decrease in frequency and intensity. It doesn't damage your system. Unless you or someone you have sex with is immuno-compromised, there is no logical reason to fear herpes, except of course for the stigma.

Interestingly, the next day my timehop showed me an article I had linked a few years before -- "The Perks of Herpes." I realized I have to come out all over again because most of the people who know me didn't know me then. I've always been out about it because unlike the author of that article, I want people to know WAY before genital contact happens. I don't think it is good consent to wait until sex is about to happen, because then there is pressure to decide on the spot and most people are not well-educated enough to do that. Most people would need to do some research in order to have a decision they are confident in. And I also just don't want to deal with the heartbreak of falling for someone and then having them be like "if your genitals might be untouchable sometimes that's gross and I don't want to be romantic with you." I guess if I fell for someone asexual I might not tell them because it really wouldn't matter.

I'm still feeling really shitty about it. I don't want people to love me in spite of a fact of my body. I don't want all potential lovers to be considering a thing that I feel is largely irrelevant. I don't have a choice though, because only informed consent is consent.

So, yeah. This came on the heels of a realization that I am older than most of the people I know and age is a factor in most people's attraction. And of course I have a significant amount of fat and that is also a factor. So I really feel intensely undesirable. I know these things will eventually blend into the background of my life again and not make me feel like a repulsive monster, but right now it's pretty terrible.
connecting: , , ,


back to top

belenen: (connate)
what i have learned from Topaz, from being w Topaz, and from the last 3 years in general
icon: "connate (the characters Keenan and Joan from "Playing By Heart," facing each other with their faces so close that their noses almost touch, both with eyes almost closed, wearing slight smiles)"

(from Topaz) What, if anything, do you think you've learned FROM me; And, what, if anything, do you feel you've learned from being with me; And, what, if any, big things have you learned since we got together?

Ummm... I have learned a huge lot and my memory is full of holes, so I'm not even gonna try to make this comprehensive.

From you?
I have learned what media really means. I learned that even hostile anti-theists can have understandings of the world that fit with my spiritual beliefs. I learned that nail polish can be butch. I learned that chameleoning can be a powerful tool against oppression and that it doesn't always touch your soul. I learned that Carl Sagan is wonderful, and that wonder is a core value of mine. I learned about and came to love Michael Jackson, M.I.A., Lowkey, Melissa Ferrick, Sonia Leigh, and Ani Difranco. I learned that I dearly love giving presents to people who love getting them and have a variety of interests. I learned that sometimes, doing dishes can be worth it. I learned that I can enjoy cauliflower. I learned that I like many kinds of sex that I hadn't been interested in before. I learned that sometimes climbing a mountain is not the worst thing. I learned what a migraine is, and why it is so not the same as a really bad headache.

From being with you?
I've learned to be more patient with communication, and that 'I can't tell you yet' is not necessarily code for 'I'm going to put this off until you forget.' I learned that I can't deal with much indirect communication, and I learned how to respond to it in a useful way. I learned that I really love sweetness. I learned that I can ask for what I want without fear of pressuring someone into giving it. I learned that I really value (maybe need) independence in a lover, mixed with willingness to express needs and desires. I learned that I can brush someone's hair for literal hours, and that I miss having hair long enough to brush.

Overall big things?
I learned I don't believe in an afterlife or in spanking (both from logical conversations with you). I learned a ridiculously huge amount about racism, cissexism, ableism, and oppression in general. I learned that I have talent in stats. I learned that my ADD is bad enough that I can't really function without meds. I learned that my fractals are beautiful to more people than just me. I learned that I suck at picking people and need to get input from my insightful friends. I learned that LJ is still alive and that I can be 'in' it like I did years ago. I learned that I can motivate myself to do things with colorful stickers. I learned that my mental health is negatively affected when I don't eat breakfast and lunch. I learned that I can forge on ahead with something completely new, even when my future rests on that thing. I learned that parts of my biofamily are kinda great and that my bioparent M is the most selfish person I've known. I learned that I need group focus time as well as one-on-one. I've learned that I need for my lover(s) to combine specific compliments with touch for me to feel desirable or aesthetically pleasing. I learned that nourishing connections are increasingly difficult for me to find. I learned that similarity of inner self or similarity of overall goals doesn't make a connection nourishing: that I need connections with people who are on a growth spiral and not too far away from me. I learned that my privilege as a colonizer race means that it would be inappropriate for me to profit from doing spiritual healings or divination (since I only have access to these things due to historical and modern spiritual theft). I learned that I can build spiritual practice that is more growth-inducing, challenging, and meaningful for me than any externally-created practice I have come across.


back to top

belenen: (ADD-PI)
biofamily visit: discussing add-pi, racism, sex, poly, cuddles / clash w Ace / sharing lovetech
icon: "ADD-PI (two electromicroscope photos of crystallized acetylcholine, overlaid & warped in several ways)"

Earlier this week I explained ADD-PI to V and M, and they seemed to take it seriously which was a relief. I told M that I had learned some of my coping skills from them and explained, and M seemed to listen and feel pleased and connected.

Several times this week I've had discussions w Ace and M about race and they just... go nowhere. Ace doesn't seem willing/able to understand that their experience is not automatically representative of all experiences. I have tried to explain in several different ways. Also M had negative experiences as a white child in 80% black schools immediately following integration (and white flight into pop-up private schools) and they don't seem to be able to understand the misdirected anger any more than Ace. The worst is that every time I reference a fact M is not aware of, they dismiss it with "I don't know about that" and act like I didn't even say it. They told me they enjoy these arguments and when I merely raised my eyebrows in response, they asked if I enjoyed them. I said I would enjoy them if I could assign homework. They laughed. Since they didn't shake their head or offer rebuttle, there's actually a chance that I could do that and I may try.

Yesterday was fairly uneventful. Pibling L, cousin E, Ace, gparent V, and I went out shopping. We went to some thrift stores (I found several work-appropriate overshirts, two soup mugs, and an Upwords board game that was only missing 2 letter tiles) and a rocks/minerals touristy store. P had offered to put $20 towards getting me a present, and so I was able to get some stones shaped like eggs (which I'm going to use as meditation tools, rolling them in my hands).

Later P, E, L, Ace, V, M, and I played truth-or-truth again, this time just using the question sheets as backup. It was a good time, and interesting to have the contrast. A lot of questions centered around memories, some of which weren't at all personal, but everyone was enjoying it so it worked okay. At one point M asked me a question from the question sheets - (what are my thoughts on the parts of a person) and I gave a long rambly answer but people liked it and M later referred to us having green hearts as I mentioned I saw several of us that way. After M and V went to bed the rest of us kept on, and we did a merry-go-round of asking each person to list two qualities that they share with each other person. Everyone really loved that, and it gave me an idea for a similar project.

When people say goodnight I offer them a hug before bed, and E and L liked this idea. L said they want to make the same habit.

Today I spent most of the day online, having a good but intense discussion with someone about energy work, and then a giant terrible discussion/argument on my wall about the definitions of trans/cis and identity. I cried a lot. I don't know if I was having an extra ADD day or what but I felt like I could not explain myself and after a certain point it was like I couldn't even understand the words in front of me.

During lunch/breakfast I suggested a project: we all write down 3 outstanding qualities for each other person. Everyone said it was a good idea but they didn't want to do it then, and they scattered like cats.
At one point just after lunch, Ace and E were making a smoothie and I asked if I could make suggestions. Ace said no, and it hurt my feelings because they had already been doing stuff without me all morning, and I said that it hurt my feelings because it felt like they didn't want me to talk to them. Then E immediately said I could give suggestions and that made me cry. P and E were nice to me and Ace was upset. I asked why and they said they only wanted to discuss it alone. So we went into the room we're sharing and they said that they felt like I was crying whenever I didn't get my way (manipulatively). I told them that it might not seem like it but this is taking a lot of effort from me and I only ever cry in front of people when I am so overwhelmed I can't control myself (also, this was only the second time I had cried in front of anyone). I talked about how I was feeling and Ace said they felt like I wasn't trying to connect with them, that I didn't like them any more. I told them that wasn't true, I was just having a harder time with them because they're guarded. We talked a bit more and hugged and went back to work on the smoothie.They were all at the pool or grocery store from after that until to dinner.

Then we all had dinner and afterward M went immediately to bed, with V following shortly. I felt very upset that they hadn't kept thier word, and more upset because E and L were talking about being tired and I'd had no time with them all day. But they said they wanted to stay up a bit, so I asked everyone to share the story of their best sexual experience. P and E were not comfortable with this, so I changed it to top 3 necessary elements for a good sexual experience, and they all answered. We went on to talk about sex, poly, bdsm, and cuddles. And I revealed yet another layer of difference in discussing my polyamory (which L really took in stride, so much so that I think they must know a poly person). We shared our favorite cuddles as I asked everyone what theirs was. When I asked for a volunteer to show my favorite cuddles with, L offered! I was surprised because I guess I see them as being reticent. Then they came over and just curled up on the floor next to me, adorably. I showed them my favorite way to hold someone and also the infinity cuddle. They were a little nervous but they really liked it at the same time. At the end of the time, I showed everyone how to do a spiral hug and they loved that.

Also the other day I taught everyone the -5 to +5 scale for making fairer decisions, and we've used it since then (but only at my prompting, so far). I hope my parents learn to do that because it's so much better than "I want this and you want that, I'm more powerful so we do my thing."

I really want someone to say to me "wow, you've really made this trip a time of deep connection, thanks!" but I doubt that will happen. I wonder if they can tell that this is different because of the things I'm bringing to it.


back to top

belenen: (brewing)
4 elements needed for me to feel sexual attraction: consent, bodily respect, awareness, generosity
icon: "brewing (a photo of a ceramic mug with sticks of cinnamon poking out and steam rising up)"

As a demisexual, I need to feel some kind of emotional connection with the person for there to even be a chance of sexual attraction. Often this is a connection on the spirit, soul, or heart level, but sometimes it's purely a mental connection in that we have shared a lot of intimacy in our conversations. Once I have this, the following four elements together may create sexual desire (in order of importance, not chronology).

The number one thing that determines my sexual desire is consent, both ways. To desire someone I need them to tell me that they want sex with me. No, I don't mean say flirty things or act attracted, I mean actually flat-out say "I want to have sex with you" or say an unequivocal "yes" if I ask if they want to. I'm pretty sure I won't ever feel sexual desire for anyone who doesn't feel it for me. I might have in high school (before I ever had sex), but not since I became sexually active. I also need them to be fully invested in my consent, not just asking but also showing awareness of my reactions and adjusting accordingly.

Next in importance is bodily respect: them not having terrible ideas about bodies, sex, or gender. No assigning stereotyped personality traits to body parts including genitals. No assigning body types/parts as attractive or unattractive (this is gross no matter what shape you decide is best). No ideas about more or less legitimate kinds of bodies. No believing in rules for genders. Never imposing gender on me. Not interpreting my fat as a cause or effect of my personality. Basically, not being sexist, cissexist, or looksist.

Next is awareness; self-awareness, awareness of me, ability and desire to maintain this awareness and express it throughout. To feel sexual desire for someone I need to be able to sense them letting my touch reach them emotionally. (otherwise I will feel unappreciated and/or worried that they don't really want it) I need a balance of reactive and attentive. I do not want someone who always turns into pure reaction (sometimes I might want to provide that space but not often, as it's exhausting!), but I also don't want someone who isn't reactive. I want a person who can stay mentally, spiritually, and emotionally present while feeling intensely. Someone who will still notice if I seem 'done' even if they are in the throes of sexual ecstasy. Someone who can make eye contact with me or grip my hand during sex and I can feel the 'click' of that connection.

Last is generosity (desire to give). If you could be happy only receiving every time we have sex (while knowing that I love being touched) or if you never offer anything and only give when asked, I'm not interested. I know some people are scared of not being perfect and that's why they don't want to give, and I can empathize with that, but it is not a turn-on. People who have no desire to give sexually would not be people I'd be sexually compatible with. People also need to not be so full of need that they subconsciously pull at me. That one I can't really explain, it's just a thing I feel. I don't think I can feel desire for anyone who is looking for salvation outside themselves.

If these are all met, I can have satisfying sex with a person. But each of these four elements is fucking rare. Especially awareness. So many people check out when they have sex and go to a purely physical place or have sex as a mental escape. I just don't find that remotely appealing.

Usually for it to go from "I can feel sexual desire" to "I actually want this enough to deal with the hassle of the STD/trigger/expectations conversation and the potential concerns of my current partner(s), therefore I will flip my internal switch and become sexually attracted to them" I have to be in love with the person. I don't find sex more nourishing than cuddles or conversation, so it's not worth the bother unless I am in love and therefore want to experience all possible connecting activities and want to bring them joy in any way available to me.

In a world without oppression where people valued awareness and giving, there would be many opportunities for me to want sex with people. as it is I am unlikely to want new sex partners very often )


back to top

belenen: (queer)
allosexual, asexual, demisexual, grey-asexual definitions & explanations & poll
icon: "queer (the logo for Transcending Boundaries Conference overlaid with the words "genderfree, queer, + trans / never a 1 or 0")"

A person who experiences sexual attraction in a way that matches the norm is called allosexual.
A person who never experiences sexual attraction is called asexual.
A person who experiences sexual attraction only in the context of an emotional connection is called demisexual.
A person for whom none of that is true (perhaps they experience sexual attraction very rarely, or in cycles, or only in certain situations) is called grey-asexual.

Another way the difference between allosexual and demisexual people is explained is by dividing sexual attraction into two types. Type 1 sexual attraction is when something external about the person (looks, smell, the way someone moves, their voice, their style, etc) creates sexual attraction for you. Type 2 sexual attraction is when emotional connection creates sexual attraction for you. Allosexuals can experience both. Demisexuals only experience Type 2. Asexuals don't experience either. Grey-asexuals vary. Still a bit confused? this FAQ answers a lot of questions in depth: Under the Ace Umbrella: Demisexuality and Gray-asexuality.

A lot of demisexuals have a time element to their sexual attraction (they need to know the person for a length of time before they can feel sexually attracted), but I don't think this is inherent. I think it just takes a good amount of time for most people to get to a place where they feel emotionally connected. I have spent a good chunk of my life reducing the amount of time it takes me to feel emotionally connected with someone, so I know how to build intimacy really quickly if the other person can be fully present and engaged. So, theoretically, I could feel sexual attraction to someone the same day I met them. This has happened once, when I met someone who was a violet spirit and feminist and trans and cuddly and we went to a cuddle party and talked about meaningful things the whole time. Usually it's not until I've had a 7+ hour conversation on intense topics with the person, and I really doubt it could ever happen in one day with someone who wasn't a violet spirit (violet spirit is a belenen-specific concept that references how I perceive the non-physical aspects of people). I've parsed out the four essential elements for me to feel sexual attraction to someone and I'll make that a separate post.

What about you?
[Poll #2018055]


back to top

belenen: (interconnectedness)
why I identify as demisexual / what makes sex worth the effort / sexual vs sensual touch / kissing
icon: "interconnectedness (two bald purple-skinned people in the ocean: from Joan Slonczewski's "Door Into Ocean")"

The main reason I consider myself demisexual is that the actual 'sex' part of sex doesn't interest me. It's the things that I get during sex other than physical stimulation that make sex valuable to me. Things that make sex worth it for me are...

1) energy play that is easier and more intense because my body is revved up (exercise or roughhousing play works for this too, or some drugs I'm sure).
2) the intimacy of having someone watch my body and listen to my sounds when I am totally uninhibited. (being very drunk and dancing would provide this too, but is more work and expense).
3) the emotional high that my allosexual partners get from sex which makes them more relaxed and affectionate, sometimes for days after.
4) learning about someone in a wordless way through their reactions and desires.
5) in-depth discussions of feelings. I don't get much out of sex despite the above unless we talk out the experience afterward. This has been a difficulty for me because frankly most people are really bad at talking about sex and not great at talking about their feelings either, but I've had the occasional lover who was naturally good at it and others deliberately built their skills.

I don't experience any particular touch as always sexual, not giving or receiving. Nor do I experience any touch as inherently non-sexual. For me, sex is about intention more than anything else. I can't stand for my non-sexually-meant touch to be taken as sexual by someone else. Even if I am in a sexual relationship with them and often enjoy sex with them, if I am not wanting and intending sex, I don't want my touch to be taken that way. Along the same lines, I can often miss "I wanna have sex" signals because I don't apply sexual thought to touch unless that is invited. Someone once literally put their face in between my breasts and I did not interpret this as an expression of sexual interest (later they told me that it was and I realized that most people would probably have taken it that way).

I sometimes enjoy giving/receiving touch that would usually be sexual as purely sensual instead. Touch with that level of intimacy minus the urgency of sex makes for the most tender touch I can imagine. But then, I am not sure this translates for other people because my body still responds in a sexual way eventually. It just feels completely different and makes me almost want to cry (not in a sad way, but like I'd cry at a particularly beautiful piece of music). I've experienced this with Topaz, Kylei, and (to a much lesser extent) my ex-spouse.

I do like the physical sensation of touching other people's genitals. If not for all the mental associations, I would probably like to touch them often in non-sexual ways. That is, not for sexual pleasure but because they feel nice, warm and soft and close. I could cup my hand around them and have it held in place by their thighs which would feel very intimate (whether they were clothed or not). If not for people being ticklish or otherwise uncomfortable with the idea, I'd probably enjoy putting my hands in people's armpits for the same reason.

kissing )


back to top

belenen: (interconnectedness)
forms of intimacy and societal assumptions made: there is no highest form of intimacy
icon: "interconnectedness (two bald purple-skinned people in the ocean: from Joan Slonczewski's "Door Into Ocean")"

from [livejournal.com profile] delicatexflower: what do you consider the highest form of intimacy? does it vary on the person?

I think the most intense form of intimacy does vary both from person to person and interaction to interaction. I recognize many different kinds:

mental, physical, romantic, creative, sexual, resource, spiritual, dwelling, amusement, trauma, historical, exposure, access, conflict )

The two kinds with the highest esteem in society are sexual and historical. People refer to loving someone "like family" when they mean "with great intensity and closeness" but rarely do I see families with any real level of mental intimacy: they just have a lot of historical and exposure intimacy. People are assumed to hold sexual intimacy as a special kind and once they have it with someone, it is assumed that some kind of bond is formed (which is true sometimes but nowhere near always). I feel deep resentment that these two kinds are held as more important than the others, because they are not better and they are not necessary for deep intimacy!

Also, few people realize that more kinds exist than sexual, historical, and exposure. And because of this, they think that you can only get intimacy on accident, because you 'fell in love' or fell in lust or because you were raised with/by someone or because you went to school together or worked together. But those can be such shallow types of intimacy. Historical intimacy in particular tends to stagnate people: they have intimacy with someone because of what used to be true, so they are afraid to change because if they break with their history, they break with those that they connected with through it. Exposure intimacy is only meaningful if it is current or if everyone involved is stagnant. For instance, if you spent every single day with someone for five years you probably know them REALLY well unless that happened ten years ago, in which case you might not know them at all. Sexual intimacy can be completely shallow if people are just following scripts without thought or intention. I would say most of the others can be shallow too; no form of intimacy is inherently more intense than another. It all depends on what kinds you have access to and what you do with them.


back to top

belenen: (woven souls)
spiritually inspired/nourished / how I meditate / what eye contact feels like for me
icon: "woven souls (me and Hannah lying naked on black cloth, with legs entwined, laying on our sides facing each other with one set of hands entwined with each other's, and the top shoulder leaning back, relaxed. there is a red and violet overlay with the violet coloring me and the red coloring Hannah)"

I haven't been this regularly spiritually inspired and nourished -ever. I was gonna say "in a long time" but really, I think the previous longest streak that felt like this was a week and a half. I can't express how good it feels. I think part of what is fueling it is the fact that I've been keeping up with writing and daily photo-taking and daily unprompted openness and regular time with friends and time in nature. The flow of creativity and connection is very inspiring. Also I think I'm in a great place where I am starting to develop things that I have already discovered, and it builds much faster than when I'm initially just fumbling around.

This Wednesday I met up with Cass (a close friend of Heather's who I have known peripherally for a long time) and we had some great talks. Partway through we parted so that I could do my weekly meditation, and I sat on a dock next to the river and stared at the water for a while, and closed my eyes for a while, and had a difficult time settling in. Eventually I was able to get in the space (it is much harder for me when I am not in my sanctuary) and as I was meditating I realized that I want to re-make my sistrum with a heavier handle, perhaps with stones embedded. I felt really pleased with this prospect. After meditation Cass asked if they could ask me what my meditation was like. I said firstly, you can always ask me any question ever, and on the rare occasion when I don't wish to answer, I will just say so. Then I rambled about what I do and as I did so came to realize what it is that I do.

I don't ever do emptiness meditation. Sometimes I hold an object and focus on it, sometimes I gaze at something and focus intently on that, sometimes I look through a deck of oracle/tarot cards, sometimes I read a book, sometimes I chant, sometimes I dance, sometimes I focus on my breathing, sometimes I focus on a situation that I want to change. In a good number of these, I am thinking. But when I start going down a thought-trail I have already explored, I stop. And I just block off old thoughts, one by one, until new ones have a chance to come up. I developed this totally unintentionally but I really like it.

Cass also asked me what eye contact feels like for me, which was also a question I hadn't considered. I reflected, and said that with most people I become a mirror, they look in my eyes and see themselves reflected, but through a lens of compassion. The first time I did silent prolonged eye contact with someone, the person cried and cried (that one was at least 10 minutes). People always seem to have a strong emotional response. I tend to get a strong sense of their pain or longing when this happens, sometimes seeing bits of memories that aren't mine. I enjoy giving them feelings of being noticed, of being cared for.

I'd really like to get that feeling others seem to get, but I think that maybe that requires a skill most people don't have or maybe I unconsciously block off the flow in that direction or both. I know I need to trust the person on multiple levels: trust that they want to see me truly and without a role or pedestal, trust that when they see me they will be reverent, trust that they can handle my full self without crumbling, trust that they will not use what they learn to manipulate me whether on purpose or accidentally, trust that they will not attach to me or pull my energy from me. So, yeah, writing this out I realize why I have rarely had eye contact be so emotional for me; that list is a rare and extremely high level of trust. I have such a deep level of easy-vulnerability that the vulnerable-to-me level is something most don't seem to look for. Few people seem to realize that more exists, much less ask me to open that up for them.

I have had transcendent eye contact, mostly during sex. I feel like that is when people get in a space of focus where it is easier for them to try and see me without getting distracted by their reflection. Also, there was this barista I met in a coffeeshop when I was 19, who from the moment I met them locked eyes with me and it felt comfortable and easy and natural and loving, and we had amazing conversations for the 6 months that I frequented that coffeeshop. But between that person and now, I have had a number of experiences where people would make eye contact with me and try to attach to me or pull from me, both of which feel like someone trying to sneakily rub their genitals on you. It's awful. But then the people that I do trust tend to consider eye contact too difficult. So I don't make a lot of eye contact now, relative to me. Relative to your average person I make a SHITTON of eye contact.


back to top

belenen: (dreamy)
dream: reject commands, organize stuff, see art & flirt, go to party & witness sex, rescue recycling
icon: "dreamy (painting of a person in a cage, reaching out with swirls of color and light coming from their hand)"

So, I failed to keep my streak going, so I'm starting my 22-day over again. Here's a dream from January 7th:

Dreamed about living with my parents, a small child escaping abuse with my help, they also drove a car. M told me to do something in a rude way and I refused, they got angry, I got angrier, screamed at them in front of their guests. I went to my room and worked on rearranging my stuff- I had like 10 pairs of boots (in waking life I have one pair of daily shoes and an interview pair and that's it: I do not own boots). I went outside and next door someone had hung a big print of two women of color kissing, and I wanted to know who lived there. An Indian woman who was pretty butch came up and put an arm around me and I asked who lived there (their aunt and niece) and who the artist was (Stan something). They were flirty with me, we both went outside (out from under the awning I was under, where the print was) to the party and lots of people were having public sex, in sometimes very odd ways (a pregnant woman climbed on a cage that was full of people and spread thier legs as all of those people started kissing/licking/ stroking). I talked with some people and watched some, and the butch person came up and I petted their arm. When they left I went inside and started tidying the kitchen, sorting the fridge and pulling the recycling from the trash.
connecting: , ,


back to top

belenen: (powerful)
Impact play is energy work for me
icon: "powerful (Frazetta's "Sun Goddess": a person with large breasts and belly and thick muscular thighs, standing with arms out and head back, knife in one hand, sabertooth tiger snarling by their side)"


(I'm frustrated that I haven't written about my recent life but I haven't the time to do it tonight, so here's a quick thought)

Percussion/impact play for me is a kind of energy work. The first time someone consensually beat me, I felt it creating this bloom of energy above the place of impact. After they stopped I asked them to gather up that energy and put it into my energy cores, and they did, and it felt like one of the best energy cleanses I've ever experienced. Since then there are certain kinds of overstimulation or exhaustion or drainedness that make me feel a need for that particular kind of relief. I'm not actually into the pain much - it's sort of neutral for me, at least so far.

Being the giver of percussion play doesn't feel quite the same, but I haven't ever had a really prolonged session of that yet. I'm wondering if I am the only one who experiences it this way. I think I'd like to engage in a more lengthy session, perhaps with no sex involved or some sort of lengthy break (so that I can completely wear out my arms without feeling regret).
connecting: , ,


back to top

belenen: (osculant)
what's the point of friendship? / closeness related to time&distance / romantic love / sexual desire
A friend was writing about the point of friendship, and the substance of closeness, and it made me reflect.

For me, the main point of friendship is to understand people. I get a lot out of learning people, and just as much out of them learning me. It's almost a sensual pleasure, like someone lovingly petting my brain (when they learn me), or wandering through someone else's garden exploring and smelling and seeing and tasting (when I learn them). So each interaction is its own little world, and has its own purpose for existence. In this way I never regret investing in anyone, even if they turn cruel and hurt me on purpose, or even if I never meet them again; those experiences still exist and they formed pathways in my mind that cannot be undone.

I've been thinking about closeness as it relates to time and distance. Some people I can talk to sporadically with gaps of months even, but always feel at a similar level of closeness with. But with others, I do not feel close at all if we don't see each other regularly and talk often. On reflection, I have realized that when I feel closeness despite time lapse and distance is when I have a connection with someone who is in a stable place in their lives -- when we come back together after a time apart, there have been events that passed, but the person is on the same basic trajectory, and I still know their wavelengths enough to harmonize with them. When the person is in a period of great upheaval, or when they have a fairly chaotic trajectory, I feel distant from them very fast, and it feels difficult to find a harmonizing wavelength when we reconnect. I feel a great loss at this, because of all the harmonizing that could have happened, and didn't, and can't ever come back. I also feel fear, because what if we no longer can harmonize at all because we have become too different? So far that fear has never come true, but it remains.

Also, when I get used to being aware of all the small fluctuations in someone's wavelength and then I miss a bunch (such as when I connect with someone every day for a month and then not at all for a week), I feel quite jarred when they are not where I expect them to be the next time we connect. I then have a similar feeling to when I've missed greater changes, because the little ones became important to my life. If this happens over and over, I stop wanting to be close in a daily or continuous way because that jarring feeling is really upsetting, and I begin to dread it.

Relatedly, this has been the pattern at the end of several of my romantic relationships. Daily/continuous closeness is a vital part of romantic feeling for me, and lack of that means that I might feel occasional bursts of romantic love, but it's not the same as being in love. Continuous closeness isn't the only thing needed for me to feel romantic love but it is an essential part. I need that harmonizing feeling to sustain my romance. I need to not dread the 'drop' and I need to not have to spend so much energy getting back in sync.

What else do I need to feel romantic love? 1) mutual desire/effort for closeness and 2) kisses and/or effusive honest verbal expressions of love and 3) the choice to feel it (which depends on a kind of certainty I can't explain). I had a very romantic friendship with Hannah long before we had a sensual/sexual relationship, because sexual desire is a completely separate thing from romantic love, for me. It's basically something I can switch on (initially) for anyone I please, and can almost always switch off for anyone I please. I choose to switch it on when I feel it would make my romantic relationship more intimate and joyous, or when I want to be closer to someone and they aren't skilled at non-sexual intimacy (much less common, but has happened once or twice). I switch it off -- or, more accurately, hold it at the off position -- when sex would possibly cause a painful situation (such as when I was first getting close to Topaz and was sure that ze was not down with dating a poly person).
sounds: Elsiane - Slow Decline | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


back to top

belenen: (curious)
sex numbers poll!
[Poll #1977931][Poll #1977931]

After you have told me your numbers,

number of people I have kissed: more than 60, last I counted
number of people I have passionately made out with: somewhere around 20
number of people I have had sex with: 11
number of people I have been penetrated by: 7
number of people I have penetrated: 5
number of people I have had energy-play sex with: 6
number of people I have gone down on: 5 (all amab!)
number of people who have gone down on me: 3 (also all amab, heh)
number of people I have had no-barriers sex with: 2



Comments screened but will be unscreened unless you request them to stay that way.
sounds: Deeyah & Freemuse - Kurash Sultan - Atlan Dok | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: ,


back to top

belenen: (self-love)
masturbation -- how often do you do it? what's fun for you? (poll and my answers)
Only I can see these answers and I won't tell anyone ;-)
[Poll #1969031]

I masturbate about once every 1-4 months, usually to make menstrual cramps go away, occasionally to bring my period on faster. It's very rare that I masturbate for its own sake. The sensation of an orgasm is pleasant, but the actual masturbation is boring, and it only takes like 5 minutes so it doesn't feel worth the trouble. I find even ethical porn (that rare, rare creature) to be full of tropes I don't like (and I would need to go to the trouble of contacting the actors to ask their consent for me to get off using their image anyway), so that doesn't work for me. Thinking about my lover(s) makes me want to have sex with them, which makes me frustrated with the lack of connection in masturbation. (phone sex counts as sex, but if they are less than an hour away that is just frustrating too) I've tried using a mirror, which is better than nothing for connection but still not that interesting.

The only thing that reliably turns me on and makes masturbation fun is physical difficulty; using a vibrator while balancing on an exercise ball without touching anything, or while in a yoga pose (bound angle, cow face, camel, cat, chair), while standing, etc. I can go hands free because my thighs hold it in place very well. I guess it works for me because my body is an active participant so it gives me that sense of connection through a constant communication with my muscles.
connecting: ,


back to top

belenen: (disassociative)
school stressss terrible day / recent discussions w topaz about exercise shame and sex worries
Today was incredibly horribly stressful. First I couldn't fall asleep because I was anxious about the day ahead so I only got 4 hours sleep, then I had to wear a feminine-professional costume for the poster presentation which I felt woefully underprepared for because I just had no idea what to expect, then a final exam immediately afterwards, then stressing out because I felt an urgent need to finish off my take-home final exam and send it off so it would stop hanging over my head- - but I couldn't get the program to work on topaz' computer so I had to go back to school and of course the computer lab I usually use was closed so I had to go to the library where the first computer just didn't work and the second one froze my hands off (it's right under the air vent). I finally got that done and wanted to reward/calm myself so I went to an indie coffeehouse near my school and got a latte which turned out to be SO CRAP I couldn't drink it (and I will drink mediocre lattes because I hate to waste). Then, massive headache partly from not having eaten before 8:30pm after being awake since 7am and partly from no caffeine since I couldn't drink the crap latte! ARGH!  Also that coffeehouse is on my shit list for only hiring young white guys.

But I got to play and cuddle with topaz, making ridiculously silly crude jokes and laughing a lot. We feel back in sync.  We had an intense conversation the other night about exercise shame and some recurring insecurities about sex.

Shame is a very rare emotion for me: if you walked in on me masturbating or pooping I'd just ask you to leave and I wouldn't even think about it later. I've had sex in front of lots of strangers without a blush and I'm naked on the internet. There's really only one thing that makes me feel shame and it's exercise. I never used to feel this way, because even though I have never been thin I used to be very fit. I'm not fit right now and showing that to another person makes me feel the most intense shame. It's like I felt confident and fuck-you about my fatness when I was also fit, but now my confidence is fragile and I have no armour to protect me from judgement. I didn't even realize my fitness gave me that armour until it was gone. Now I really want to build my core strength and get my stamina back, but I'm so limited because it's boring to do alone and I feel incapable of doing it with someone else due to the shame. I talked about this with Topaz and told zir that I want zir to encourage me, invite me to join zir, and reassure me that ze doesn't find me gross when I exercise.  Ze was happy to offer those things.

The worries about sex came from my intro to sex as "my job to give pleasure" and worrying that if I wasn't doing Topaz' favorite thing in sex every time then I wasn't going to make zir happy. Ze assured me that ze doesn't want the same thing every time and that the variety in our sex is what ze wants.  We haven't had much sex in the past few months because of the intense shit in zir life sapping all zir energy, and even though I know logically and intuitively that it's not true, there's still some old damage that says "this must be because you aren't doing the right things /don't want the same things."


back to top

belenen: (analytical)
my sexuality is inherently connection-based; masturbation just isn't worth it.
I had the most miserable experience the other night. I'd been talking about masturbation with my lover, and it had been a while since I did it last (the previous time was lackluster), so I got curious and decided to try it a new way. I got a large mirror and sat it in front of me so I could make eye contact with myself, and used one of my vibrators. I was really excited (emotionally and physically) when I was gathering things, and I had an orgasm within about 2 minutes, but then felt let down. I thought maybe it was that I hadn't held off long enough, and so I went for another, but after that I felt even worse. I just felt more tense and more lonely, and very disappointed. Apparently I cannot have decent sex with just myself. The physical sensation is nice for a minute, and then the emotional let down is frustrating as shit.

I've come to the conclusion that my sexuality is inherently about connection with another person. I can physically 'achieve satisfaction' but it is not the slightest bit satisfying. And if I were to start having sex with someone and realize they weren't into it I would not only lose interest but also feel grossed out. I don't really have much that I am inherently into, physically, except biting and kissing. I find that really satisfying. Also, if something is very pleasing to my lover, I am aroused by it too, even if it is something I would never have even thought to try, or something that I am initially repelled by. For instance, blindfolding; eye contact is super important to me and giving it up seems very unappealing in and of itself, but if it is very exciting to my partner I want to do it, at least some of the time.

I feel really frustrated by the fact that I seem to have no independent sexuality. I'd like to be able to have a satisfying sexual experience alone. But the good part is that if I'm not thinking about it, I don't care; left to my own devices I might masturbate 3 times a year, for the sake of making my cramps go away. I don't even feel desire unless I'm in love with the person and feel like they desire me also. Then my desire can get intense and continuous, especially if we both want it but circumstances are keeping it from happening, OR if we are having it every day -- if my memory is fresh it dramatically increases my desire.

I feel like this is pretty different from your average person; the sensation of orgasm doesn't really attract me much, even the really intense ones. I'm wondering if this means I'm demisexual? or if there is even a word for this.
connecting:


back to top

belenen: (osculant)
intensely deep connection and love with Topaz
I have no idea how to sum up everything that has developed in my connection with Topaz in these last 10 days (ten days what the fuck!) but I'm gonna give it a shot. We first cuddled last Wednesday and it was AMAZING, so incredibly focused and present and intense and perfect, and I learned that ze was not monogamous (:D). Thursday morning I crashed HARD and realized that I hadn't felt more nourished than spent in at least five months, which made me realize I needed to restructure my relationships. Then I wrote a poem about zir and shared it with zir and we talked lots of wordmeaningmagic and then ze asked me how I understand the word love and we meta'd our way into love confessions <3 and then Friday and Saturday nights we had long phone conversations about the shifts in my other relationships and about life, the universe, and everything. Then Monday I reached out to zir when I was feeling shitty and ze was there for me. Then Tuesday!!! Ze came over! and we beamed at each other a lot and had amazing cuddles and I told zir that I wanted to kiss zir and ze said ze wanted to kiss me too but was nervous about it because it would mean intensification of already strong feelings. I told zir that I was totally sure I wanted to kiss zir so whenever ze was ready, to just go for it. Then there were AGES while ze worked up the courage, kissing my cheeks and touching my face and lips (fucking delicious torture), and finally ze kissed me and that turned into fucking mindblowing sex. I think what made it so intense was that it was the first time but it flowed so easily and sincerely without me feeling any insecurity or needing to guard my boundaries; I felt safe that ze would be present and deliberate with me, and I also felt zir wanting me and felt confident that my touch was being noticed and appreciated, and ze didn't get bothered by my billionty consent questions. Ze spent the night and we cuddle-slept and it was comfortable and cozy and so connected. Then Wednesday ze went to the Halloween ritual that N/A* hosted and we intended to part ways after but ze decided to come home with me <3 and we had more cuddles and talking and things started getting sexual and I interrupted to have the STI conversation (our previous sex was physically indirect), fretting that it would break the mood but it didn't (though it was zir first time having that conversation, which made it new and awkwarder than usual), and afterward we had intense sex and ze slept over and took me to school the next day (because my car stopped working on Wed) and we met up afterward and came back to my place and we drank rum together and played drums together (!!!!!!!!), and talked lots and lots and then eventually we went to bed and had an intense breaking-bonding experience )


back to top

belenen: (voltaic)
how to be careful with consent: a step-by-step guide to reduce risk of coercion or violation
These things are not all necessary for consent with all people; however, if you want to make sure that you don't accidentally coerce or violate someone, these are good ways to avoid that. In all cases, discussing specifics with the person about the instance you're in is the best method. If they are comfortable giving blanket permissions, you can act on those, but understand that you MAY be risking an incomplete consent, because no one can predict themselves perfectly. If they don't specifically say "you can do this at any time" do NOT assume that a yes once is a yes at ANY point after that.

These steps are assuming that you're not a rapist and therefore would never deliberately push sex on someone regardless of their will, through drugging, physical force, threat, or power (such as an adult over a child or a boss over an employee). Those are not mistakes, those are crimes.

Step 1a: the STI, birth control, protection, and trauma conversation. Before starting sexual contact, if you want to have full consent you need to do these things:
  • a) disclose your known STI status AND your risk factors (unprotected sex? sex with people whose status is positive or unknown?), and ask about theirs. If you are not okay with taking the risk or vice versa, don't have sex with them.
  • b) if relevant, discuss what birth control measures are being taken and what to do in event of unplanned pregnancy or barrier-method fail. If you're not okay with how they'd respond to those things or vice versa, don't have sex with them.
  • c) ask what methods of protection they want, tell what you want, and then go with whichever is more cautious. If you're not okay with how much protection they want or vice versa, don't have sex with them.
  • d) ask about any trigger behaviors you should avoid, and disclose your own if you have them. Such a huge number of people have been sexually abused that you need to assume that anyone you have sex with may have triggers; if you don't want to give someone a PTSD flashback, ASK FIRST. If relevant to one or both of you, discuss carefully. If you still feel too scared of triggering them, don't have sex with them.
This first step is why I don't often have sex with strangers any more: having this conversation is difficult with strangers since it involves a lot of trust. If I do, it's low-physical-risk sex, like fully-clothed grinding or energy exchange. So far I have not been very careful about asking about triggers and have been lucky, but that is something I am going to be much more careful about now that I have considered the possible consequences.


Step 1b: disclose any other information that you think they might want, given what you know of them. If they only have sex in the context of a committed relationship, and you're not committed to them, make sure they know that. If they're monogamous and you're poly, make sure they know that. If you only have sex with the same sex in a casual way that can never get serious and they aren't the same, make sure they know that. Deliberately having sex with someone when you KNOW they would NOT do it if they had relevant information is coercion, not consensual sex. If you hold back info you think they want in order to have sex with them, that's manipulative and coercive at best.


Step 2: ask about the specific occasion BEFORE starting sexual contact, without pressure in your language, attitude, or behavior. Asking a yes or no question in a culture where saying no to sex is taboo is NOT a no-pressure way of asking. A better way of asking is an open-ended question like, "I want to have sex with you right now. How do you feel about that?" Then,
  • a) if they express that they do not want to have sex, ask for a time frame -- not now, not tonight, not ever? You don't want to ask again if they know they won't want to do it tonight or ever. Responses like "I don't feel very good" or "I'm really tired" or "I'm drunk" mean, at the very least, not now, and should be treated like a no -- ask for time frame and wait that long before asking again. DO NOT POUT: do not complain or whine or express upsetness: you NEVER have a right to expect a yes. If you can't avoid showing disappointment, ask for some time to compose yourself and go away until you can be happy to share non-sexual time. To make them deal with your negative emotional reaction to a "no" is pressure, both now and in the future. If they know they're going to have to deal with your crankiness or whinyness if they say no, they can't say a completely uncoerced yes.
  • b) if they give a non-committal answer like "I don't know" or "I'm not sure," ask for clarification. Ask questions like, "Is there something you would rather be doing right now?" (if the answer is yes, do that before asking again or don't have sex.) or "what is your emotional response to my desire?" If they continue with non-committal answers or look uncomfortable/distant, that means no -- don't continue asking for sex. For me, at that point my sexual desire is gone, so I might say something like, "I no longer want to have sex but I very much want to understand your feelings and thoughts right now."
  • c) if they express a clear desire to have sex, move to step 3!

Step 3: do not assume that any particular sex act or response will happen, including but not limited to:
  • a) penetration of any kind (some people don't want or can't handle penetration every time)
  • b) genital touch of any kind (some people don't want or can't handle genital touch every time)
  • c) orgasm or climax of any kind (some people don't want or can't have orgasms every time)
  • d) roleplay of any kind (including feminine/masculine, dominant/submissive, initiator/responder, etc! these must be discussed to be consensual)
  • e) pain or sensation of any kind (some people may not be comfortable with the kind of sensation you want in sex, or don't want it this time)
If you feel a need for one or more of those things in order to enjoy sex, discuss it with the person BEFORE touching them sexually, and if you cannot feel comfortable not having something that they don't want, do not have sex with them. If you do, you risk pressuring them into doing things they don't want to.


Step 4: agree on safe words/signals
  • a) there should be a word or signal that means "stop all things immediately, for a significant period of time, possibly ending the sex"
  • b) if using bondage, there should be a word or signal that means "loose the bonds immediately"
  • c) it's also useful to have a word/signal that means, "stop everything for a little while" and another that means "resume" I use the words 'pause' and 'unpause' -- this keeps me from getting overstimulated and going numb.
  • d) it can be useful to have a word/signal that means "try something else" -- I prefer to be specific about what else, but I know people who like the indirect method better.

Step 5: check for sensitivities when touching and ask before penetration
  • a) when touching anywhere you think might be especially sensitive (like nipples or genitals), pay attention. If you are sighted, you can do this by watching their body language -- ease towards their sensitive places and if they look uncomfortable, take that as a not yet, or if you'd rather not risk doing something that will feel bad, ASK FIRST. I always ask, either with words or by reaching for a spot, pausing with my hand near it, looking at them and continuing only if they nod. If they don't respond at all, that is a NO, and I do other things instead and then ask with words if I want to go to that spot. Be gradual in intensity or ask how intense they want it. I once was making out with someone who reached up and pinched my nipple so hard I thought it was a bee sting at first -- NOT OKAY, EVER. If you know they like super-hard pinches, that's different -- do not assume that you can guess the level of intensity they would like.
  • b) when you want to penetrate them with fingers, you can ask with words or (IF you already got a yes for touching the area) lay your hand on the opening of the place you want to penetrate and wait for a response. Usually what happens for me at this point is that the person asks for penetration or does not respond. No response means NO, move on, then ask with words later if you still want to. If you want to penetrate with more than one finger, ask with words; more is NOT better for everyone.
  • c) when you want to penetrate them with your penis, if you have agreed on barrier methods for penetration but not other sex acts, ask if they want penetration before putting the condom on; putting the condom on in that situation communicates an expectation of penetration which will be louder than any question that follows. When you ask, be specific: WHERE are you wanting to penetrate? Don't assume that penetration means penis-in-vagina to them just because they have a front orifice. Or that it means penis-in-anus just because they don't. If you have an agreement to not use barriers, you can try the "pausing outside the opening and waiting for a response" method and remember -- no response means NO. You can do other things and ask with words about penetration later.
  • d) if you want to be penetrated by them, all the same requirements apply -- do NOT put their parts (including their toys or prosthetics) inside you without asking, or put a condom on them without asking.
  • e) when you want to penetrate them with an object, ask first and ask specifically: "I want to put [object] in your [place] -- how do you feel about that idea?"
  • f) Do not take a yes for one kind of penetration as a yes for any other kind, ever.
  • g) with any kind of penetration, if they look uncomfortable and say non-committal things when you ask about penetration, drop the subject and if you still want to, talk about it when you are not in a sexual situation.


Something that makes consent easier is picking only highly-communicative partners who are good at stating their own boundaries. It's your responsibility to keep from violating or coercing them; if they are willing to help you that makes things much easier. If someone doesn't want to talk about sex or doesn't know their own boundaries, don't have sex with them because you will probably make a big mistake and hurt them, and yes, that will be YOUR FAULT because it is YOUR responsibility to keep from hurting others.

EVEN IF you follow ALL of these steps, you may STILL accidentally coerce or violate someone. We live in a rape culture that makes it very difficult for us to understand consent, to respect our own boundaries and the boundaries of others; so sex is dangerous. We need to go in knowing we can hurt each other, and being careful to minimize that risk.


back to top

belenen: (woven souls)
inefficient ways of creating intimacy through "drama" or sex, creating deep intimacy, my methods
Some people haven't learned many ways of intimacy; they might use "drama" (artificial fights) or sex to try and reproduce the times they felt intimate with another person.

With "drama" they're seeking the deep intimacy of conflict: when you are in serious conflict with someone, you have stripped away all the social norms that you usually hide your feelings behind, and you're showing your true self. If there isn't someone in your life who is causing conflict with you, and you crave intimacy, you might try to create it by convincing yourself that there IS conflict. Unfortunately, if they won't play along and "fight back" you don't ever get to a point of sharing true feelings, because the situation has not been completely created. To get conflict intimacy you need two (or more) people invested in settling a conflict: if the other person is convinced that the conflict exists only within you, they won't invest, and the situation will not be created for you to both share deeply.

With sex, they're seeking the deep intimacy of learning another person's desires and pleasures and sharing their own, and meeting them in a space beyond the physical. For people who aren't conscious of this as the process, they think it only happens accidentally, and they don't know how to produce that intimacy. Since it happens most often at the beginning of sexual interactions, before you create your set of assumptions (and thus are still open to learning), those people will often seek new people and/or new experiences to try and stumble upon that intimacy again. Obviously sex can be sought for the physical, and novelty for its own sake: but they can also be sought as a very inefficient way of getting intimacy.

These intimacies are just little flecks, gained at the cost of losing people or spending lots of energy. It's so important to know what you are really seeking, and to seek it consciously, because people in need of intimacy can be voracious and consume others, creating harm in themselves and those around them.

To create intimacy in a steady, nourishing way, you have to do it on purpose. You have to find someone who already practices openness and honesty who wants intimacy -- not just sex or romance or fun or an activity partner -- and practice. This means when you find something that makes you BOTH feel intimate, you take note and do it regularly, as a commitment to each other. If the person who gives you butterflies or seems "just so awesome" does not want -- ON THEIR OWN and not as a response to a request -- to be intimate with you, find someone else. It is hard to find people who want to actively practice intimacy, but if you want to actually find it you have to find self-motivated people, not try to convince someone that it's a good idea. They also have to be self-motivated for honesty and openness. AND so do you. If you want to keep your image or hide things, you are restricting yourself to accidental moments of intimacy rather than deep, continuous intimacy. You will not get intimacy while trying to control how you are seen by others; that's like trying to make out with someone while wearing a mask that covers your mouth.

The ways that have worked for me, after finding a self-motivated partner, are these:

my methods ) I don't expect that all of my methods will work for everyone, but some might: and if you have others I haven't listed, please share!


back to top

belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2011 / becoming an effective catalyst for the change I want to see in the world


2011 was a whirlwind of growth and renewal; looking back, I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much my life has changed. I feel like I wouldn't even recognize my year-ago self. And yet so much has changed since the turn of the year... exponential change. I'm so much more fierce, nourished, confident, and aware than last year. I've created the sources for art, creativity, and intimacy that I want; I've found avenues for developing change; I've started stripping away the fear that blocked me from being a catalyst for equality.

In 2011 I gained a much deeper understanding of oppression, both historically and in its current manifestations; Kyle and I went through so many shifts, deepening our relationship and creating positive ways of managing conflict; Kyle became a feminist/equalist; I met lots of important new people; Kyle and I started doing energy work regularly on ourselves and each other; I was in continuous growth and needed rest which I didn't know how to take, so throughout the year I had several depressions and learned how to notice when I needed rest; I started hosting crafty parties! and now have a source of amazing creation in my life ♥; I met the Angel Oak, participated in a TreeSpirit shoot, and had so many incredible magical experiences with Kyle in Charleston; I realized my intersexedness in a profound way and began living it, though not sharing the details of meaning with folk (and it's still too scary to write about though I hope that will change soon); I experienced my first burn, Euphoria, and loved it -- then experienced my second, Alchemy, and did not like it; Aurilion and I had several bursts of intense connection; I fell in love with Abby and we started dating, quickly moving into a time-committed relationship; Arizona and I started dating again; Kyle and Adi started dating; I became part of the formation of a queer group on campus; I sortakinda dated Eanox for a short time; I had my first successful anti-oppression experience and felt thrilled with the possibilities of further action; I went to Transcending Boundaries with Kyle; I started forming tribe (a truly interconnected group of people all of whom were building connection with each other).

important events in 2011 )


back to top

belenen: (progressing)
important events in 2011 / becoming an effective catalyst for the change I want to see in the world


2011 was a whirlwind of growth and renewal; looking back, I cannot believe how much I've changed and how much my life has changed. I feel like I wouldn't even recognize my year-ago self. And yet so much has changed since the turn of the year... exponential change. I'm so much more fierce, nourished, confident, and aware than last year. I've created the sources for art, creativity, and intimacy that I want; I've found avenues for developing change; I've started stripping away the fear that blocked me from being a catalyst for equality.

In 2011 I gained a much deeper understanding of oppression, both historically and in its current manifestations; Kyle and I went through so many shifts, deepening our relationship and creating positive ways of managing conflict; Kyle became a feminist/equalist; I met lots of important new people; Kyle and I started doing energy work regularly on ourselves and each other; I was in continuous growth and needed rest which I didn't know how to take, so throughout the year I had several depressions and learned how to notice when I needed rest; I started hosting crafty parties! and now have a source of amazing creation in my life ♥; I met the Angel Oak, participated in a TreeSpirit shoot, and had so many incredible magical experiences with Kyle in Charleston; I realized my intersexedness in a profound way and began living it, though not sharing the details of meaning with folk (and it's still too scary to write about though I hope that will change soon); I experienced my first burn, Euphoria, and loved it -- then experienced my second, Alchemy, and did not like it; Aurilion and I had several bursts of intense connection; I fell in love with Abby and we started dating, quickly moving into a time-committed relationship; Arizona and I started dating again; Kyle and Adi started dating; I became part of the formation of a queer group on campus; I sortakinda dated Eanox for a short time; I had my first successful anti-oppression experience and felt thrilled with the possibilities of further action; I went to Transcending Boundaries with Kyle; I started forming tribe (a truly interconnected group of people all of whom were building connection with each other).

important events in 2011 )


back to top

belenen: (confused)
on being [too] sensitive sexually
I'm a very physically/sexually sensitive person. On the positive side, it means that I have orgasms easily and that I can orgasm in several different ways. But on the negative side, it means that I have to communicate a LOT just to make sex not-bad, and for it to be really good the other person has to know me very well or be highly intuitive as well as a good listener.

specifics )

It makes me feel like there is something wrong with my body and I often want to trade it in for one that's easier -- one where penetration is NOT usually uncomfortable and hard touch is fine anywhere, right away. I can't really imagine what that would be like, but it seems like it would be more fun for others to have sex with. I feel both upset with myself for having such a "difficult" body, and with the world because I'm willing to learn other people's bodies individually and touch them in a way that is pleasurable to them and not just tactile-y pleasurable to me, and I want that in return. I want it to be normal for people to expect to have to learn me, instead of applying the same "moves" to everyone. Not that any recent/current lovers have acted like that -- but others I have wanted to have sex with have (and then I didn't have sex with them, obv), and it feels like a theme because everyone reacts to my sensitivity with such surprise. People express sexual interest in me and I think to myself that they wouldn't enjoy sex that would actually please me -- even if they'd be down with equalist sex, there's THIS to consider. Also I feel like this physical sensitivity makes me seem "not passionate" or "tentative" to others. I like fierceness! I am passionate! I like intense sensation! wanting it lighter in certain places is not about wanting it less intense -- it's about it already BEING intense.

Am I the only one who is this sensitive? Why is it so shocking? sometimes I wonder if other people turn their sensitivity down (as I have done sometimes in order to enjoy sex after I felt like the other person was trying but just not getting it -- it made the sex less pleasurable but it kept it from being uncomfortable). Or maybe it's a spirit-soul-heart-mind-body connection thing. I know I used to be less sensitive in some ways, maybe I'm this sensitive now because I'm fully present. Maybe it's just me and I'll have to resign myself to not having casual sex. That wouldn't crush me but it is a disappointing idea because many people only connect intensely through sex, so it limits me. I could just have one-way sex (where they don't stimulate me) and I do enjoy that a lot but I want to be touched too.
sounds: Blue Foundation - Witch of Troule | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , ,


back to top

belenen: (confused)
on being [too] sensitive sexually
I'm a very physically/sexually sensitive person. On the positive side, it means that I have orgasms easily and that I can orgasm in several different ways. But on the negative side, it means that I have to communicate a LOT just to make sex not-bad, and for it to be really good the other person has to know me very well or be highly intuitive as well as a good listener.

specifics )

It makes me feel like there is something wrong with my body and I often want to trade it in for one that's easier -- one where penetration is NOT usually uncomfortable and hard touch is fine anywhere, right away. I can't really imagine what that would be like, but it seems like it would be more fun for others to have sex with. I feel both upset with myself for having such a "difficult" body, and with the world because I'm willing to learn other people's bodies individually and touch them in a way that is pleasurable to them and not just tactile-y pleasurable to me, and I want that in return. I want it to be normal for people to expect to have to learn me, instead of applying the same "moves" to everyone. Not that any recent/current lovers have acted like that -- but others I have wanted to have sex with have (and then I didn't have sex with them, obv), and it feels like a theme because everyone reacts to my sensitivity with such surprise. People express sexual interest in me and I think to myself that they wouldn't enjoy sex that would actually please me -- even if they'd be down with equalist sex, there's THIS to consider. Also I feel like this physical sensitivity makes me seem "not passionate" or "tentative" to others. I like fierceness! I am passionate! I like intense sensation! wanting it lighter in certain places is not about wanting it less intense -- it's about it already BEING intense.

Am I the only one who is this sensitive? Why is it so shocking? sometimes I wonder if other people turn their sensitivity down (as I have done sometimes in order to enjoy sex after I felt like the other person was trying but just not getting it -- it made the sex less pleasurable but it kept it from being uncomfortable). Or maybe it's a spirit-soul-heart-mind-body connection thing. I know I used to be less sensitive in some ways, maybe I'm this sensitive now because I'm fully present. Maybe it's just me and I'll have to resign myself to not having casual sex. That wouldn't crush me but it is a disappointing idea because many people only connect intensely through sex, so it limits me. I could just have one-way sex (where they don't stimulate me) and I do enjoy that a lot but I want to be touched too.
sounds: Blue Foundation - Witch of Troule | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , ,


back to top

belenen: (tenebrous)
depression / failurish in interactions? / agh inability to cope
on the edge of hopelessness, keep falling over )
sounds: Beats Antique - Amnesia (Sweet Snacks Remix) | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (tenebrous)
depression / failurish in interactions? / agh inability to cope
on the edge of hopelessness, keep falling over )
sounds: Beats Antique - Amnesia (Sweet Snacks Remix) | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (voltaic)
ramblings on cravings for a female lover and expectation-free-AND-emotionally-intense romance
Lately I've been craving a female lover. And this weirds me out a lot because usually, I'm attracted first to the person and then to the body regardless of what shape the body may be. Right now I am craving close, intimate touch with a specifically female person (cis or trans, I don't care). And that makes me wonder -- what meaning do I attach to female-bodiedness? What is it? because it's not genital craving; it's not actually things that are exclusive to being female -- but it is physical things that I associate with female-bodiedness. It's soft faces and deliberate movement and rounded breasts and waists that flare to hips. I've recently had dreams about sex with three different female casual friends. The only common thread is that I know them pretty well and am attracted to them as people, but not in a want-to-date or even a want-to-fuck kind of way.

Maybe it's connected to me feeling a need for self-love, or a need to be affirmed as a romantic figure? That last bit sounds odd but I do associate female-female touch as so much more romantic than male-female. (I don't believe this is an inherent thing, but it is my current emotional response to the idea)

All of this is really odd in the context of my relationship with Kyle because we don't relate as male-female, we relate as person-person, in a really deep and profound way. I feel like we've stripped away almost all of the heteronormativity in our sex and our communication. Perhaps not in our romance? hmmm.

Or, a more hopeful and spiritual take on it -- perhaps there is space being created for a person who is soon to enter my life?

Speaking of which, I feel weirdly like I can't have both free-flowing label-less relationships AND deep intense relationships. blahdyblahblah )
sounds: Fiona Apple - Sleep To Dream | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


back to top

belenen: (voltaic)
ramblings on cravings for a female lover and expectation-free-AND-emotionally-intense romance
Lately I've been craving a female lover. And this weirds me out a lot because usually, I'm attracted first to the person and then to the body regardless of what shape the body may be. Right now I am craving close, intimate touch with a specifically female person (cis or trans, I don't care). And that makes me wonder -- what meaning do I attach to female-bodiedness? What is it? because it's not genital craving; it's not actually things that are exclusive to being female -- but it is physical things that I associate with female-bodiedness. It's soft faces and deliberate movement and rounded breasts and waists that flare to hips. I've recently had dreams about sex with three different female casual friends. The only common thread is that I know them pretty well and am attracted to them as people, but not in a want-to-date or even a want-to-fuck kind of way.

Maybe it's connected to me feeling a need for self-love, or a need to be affirmed as a romantic figure? That last bit sounds odd but I do associate female-female touch as so much more romantic than male-female. (I don't believe this is an inherent thing, but it is my current emotional response to the idea)

All of this is really odd in the context of my relationship with Kyle because we don't relate as male-female, we relate as person-person, in a really deep and profound way. I feel like we've stripped away almost all of the heteronormativity in our sex and our communication. Perhaps not in our romance? hmmm.

Or, a more hopeful and spiritual take on it -- perhaps there is space being created for a person who is soon to enter my life?

Speaking of which, I feel weirdly like I can't have both free-flowing label-less relationships AND deep intense relationships. blahdyblahblah )
sounds: Fiona Apple - Sleep To Dream | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , ,


back to top

belenen: (concupiscent)
thoughts on BDSM, power exchange, fierce-and-equalist sex, sensation play, bondage
Two years ago I wrote my thoughts and feelings on BDSM, with this disclaimer, "my thoughts on this are not firm or concrete, and remember that this opinion may change." And it has. Part of it hasn't -- I still feel that practicing power imbalance can reinforce/perpetuate inequality, and there are elements that actively upset me (rape/incest/abuse roleplaying, humiliation, objectification, slavery) -- but some of it has changed as I've come to a better understanding of what people mean when they say BDSM. There is a lot that falls under the BDSM umbrella that's not included in the acronym. I used to think that anyone into BDSM/kink was automatically into the use of power exchange but I've learned that this is not the case. So, I want to echo my previous post on power exchange with more accurate language, and then share a bit about the aspects of BDSM that do resonate with me.
re-posting rather than linking because the old one contained unnecessary paragraphs )

As for the elements that resonate with me? fierceness, high levels of communication about specific acts, sensation play, specific kinds of bondage, and things that are referred to as "kinky" and are fetishes to some, though they don't excite me in a way that I personally consider fetishistic. I associate "fetish" with "automatic erotic response" which I don't think I ever experience (my erotic response is highly situational), but I think that other people use the word "fetish" to simply mean "something that attracts me" so I sometimes use the word that way.

I use the term "fierce" instead of "rough" to describe the kind of aggressive sex that I like )

And sensation play? this is a new one for me. I've discovered that things that would cause me pain if I were not aroused feel... I dunno how to describe it. It just feels intense, in a way that amps up my adrenaline. I love being bitten and I like being scratched (with fingernails) -- partly for the sensation and partly for the marks afterward. Being marked makes me feel really loved; it feels like a kiss that I get to wear. (sadly I don't mark easily and mine fade fast, but that makes me even happier about them when they do 'take' and last) And I love feeling ache afterward in my muscles or (every now and then) in a particularly bruisy mark. There are a lot of elements in this category that I'm curious about -- I've tried electric stimulation and even the slightest current is really unpleasant to me (I think I'm just very sensitive to that kind of energy) but there are quite a few other things I want to try. I think I might enjoy flogging or firecupping and I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy wax.

On bondage -- I resonate with bondage for sensation/energetic-current and found that to be amazing, and am definitely interested in exploring that more. I'm also interested in using bondage for trust-building -- I'm still a little undecided on that but want to try it. I think it can be done without power difference, and I'll have to try it to see.


illustrations -- me and Kyle ♥ )
sounds: Florence + the Machine - Howl | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (concupiscent)
thoughts on BDSM, power exchange, fierce-and-equalist sex, sensation play, bondage
Two years ago I wrote my thoughts and feelings on BDSM, with this disclaimer, "my thoughts on this are not firm or concrete, and remember that this opinion may change." And it has. Part of it hasn't -- I still feel that practicing power imbalance can reinforce/perpetuate inequality, and there are elements that actively upset me (rape/incest/abuse roleplaying, humiliation, objectification, slavery) -- but some of it has changed as I've come to a better understanding of what people mean when they say BDSM. There is a lot that falls under the BDSM umbrella that's not included in the acronym. I used to think that anyone into BDSM/kink was automatically into the use of power exchange but I've learned that this is not the case. So, I want to echo my previous post on power exchange with more accurate language, and then share a bit about the aspects of BDSM that do resonate with me.
re-posting rather than linking because the old one contained unnecessary paragraphs )

As for the elements that resonate with me? fierceness, high levels of communication about specific acts, sensation play, specific kinds of bondage, and things that are referred to as "kinky" and are fetishes to some, though they don't excite me in a way that I personally consider fetishistic. I associate "fetish" with "automatic erotic response" which I don't think I ever experience (my erotic response is highly situational), but I think that other people use the word "fetish" to simply mean "something that attracts me" so I sometimes use the word that way.

I use the term "fierce" instead of "rough" to describe the kind of aggressive sex that I like )

And sensation play? this is a new one for me. I've discovered that things that would cause me pain if I were not aroused feel... I dunno how to describe it. It just feels intense, in a way that amps up my adrenaline. I love being bitten and I like being scratched (with fingernails) -- partly for the sensation and partly for the marks afterward. Being marked makes me feel really loved; it feels like a kiss that I get to wear. (sadly I don't mark easily and mine fade fast, but that makes me even happier about them when they do 'take' and last) And I love feeling ache afterward in my muscles or (every now and then) in a particularly bruisy mark. There are a lot of elements in this category that I'm curious about -- I've tried electric stimulation and even the slightest current is really unpleasant to me (I think I'm just very sensitive to that kind of energy) but there are quite a few other things I want to try. I think I might enjoy flogging or firecupping and I'm pretty sure I'd enjoy wax.

On bondage -- I resonate with bondage for sensation/energetic-current and found that to be amazing, and am definitely interested in exploring that more. I'm also interested in using bondage for trust-building -- I'm still a little undecided on that but want to try it. I think it can be done without power difference, and I'll have to try it to see.


illustrations -- me and Kyle ♥ )
sounds: Florence + the Machine - Howl | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (woven souls)
KYLE'S BACK! / spirit connections w Kyle, Hannah, etc / how our connection is helping me grow/learn
There are just no words for how much relief and joy I feel at having Kyle back. Y'all who knew me when Hannah or Aurilion came to visit know how excited I was picking them up at the airport after not seeing them for 3 months (Aurilion) or a YEAR (Hannah) and I was nearly that excited about seeing Kyle after NINE DAYS apart. And I think we talked (mostly on gtalk) for at least three hours every day except for Friday and Saturday... but I crave Kyle's touch all the time, and I crave touching zir, and I crave eye contact and exploring new things with our bodies and energybodies. I now understand why Hannah missed Nick even when ze was with me (which I found upsetting at the time because I was like, "but it's US! how can you miss someone else when filled with THIS magic?") -- and find it flattering that it took a while for the missing to start. I've never lived with someone who was both WIDE FUCKING OPEN and deeply connected on multiple levels before -- I had a little taste of it when I lived at Serendipity and everyone was actively practicing openness, but it's different when it's already habit. I don't think I ever wrote about how Kyle and I connect energetically and I still don't think I'm ready to write about it but it's really insanely intense -- we're even more alike than Hannah and I. And I think it's funny that people probably don't see us as alike (especially because when I'm around Kyle I'm often so enchanted with watching zir interact with people that I'm much quieter than usual) but we are. We just developed opposite coping mechanisms, heh. Kyle and I fit together like Hannah and I but ze inspires me in different ways. Hannah pushes me in compassion and knowledge and creative expression (individual) -- Kyle pushes me in adventure and exploring and creative expression (co-operative). They both push me in openness but in different ways -- Hannah pushes me with questions that help me find hidden areas of myself, and Kyle pushes me with simply living an example of unedited openness (which is the most beautiful thing I can imagine). Not to say that those are totally discrete categories, 'cause I certainly learn all those things from both of them, but those are the ways they lean.

And right now, even with all the fruitfulness of my life (and I feel it is really flourishing), whenever I am not interacting with Kyle I feel like I am waiting for the next interaction. That feels like the greatest 'work' of my life at the moment, !!! )

One thing Maggie mentioned about the way Kyle and I interact is that we do things just "in tune" with each other -- if we're cleaning or cooking or just setting something up, we don't bump into each other or have to discuss much, we just act in tandem. I consider this a function of our spirit connection 'cause I've experienced it with everyone else I have spirit connections with; it's just stronger with Kyle and extends past conscious projects to spiritual senses about things. And that? I can't explain directly but I think I can explain sideways by saying that I feel we could share an altar. (which is a new and profound realization)

And I've learned that making personal taboos is not a way I want to try to keep myself on track. I developed a taboo against "being untrue" and instead of helping me be true, it made me afraid to change or explore things that were on the edges of me-ness, because if I accidentally did something that wasn't true to me, that would not be okay. I started realizing this a long time ago when I decided that being a little bit of a hypocrite was important to me, but I didn't realize just how important that is. I've decided that accepting/celebrating imperfection (and calling it hypocrisy to take the sting out of that word) is important to me and something that I will add to my list of core values to make them unabsolute.
sounds: Beats Antique - Runaway | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (woven souls)
KYLE'S BACK! / spirit connections w Kyle, Hannah, etc / how our connection is helping me grow/learn
There are just no words for how much relief and joy I feel at having Kyle back. Y'all who knew me when Hannah or Aurilion came to visit know how excited I was picking them up at the airport after not seeing them for 3 months (Aurilion) or a YEAR (Hannah) and I was nearly that excited about seeing Kyle after NINE DAYS apart. And I think we talked (mostly on gtalk) for at least three hours every day except for Friday and Saturday... but I crave Kyle's touch all the time, and I crave touching zir, and I crave eye contact and exploring new things with our bodies and energybodies. I now understand why Hannah missed Nick even when ze was with me (which I found upsetting at the time because I was like, "but it's US! how can you miss someone else when filled with THIS magic?") -- and find it flattering that it took a while for the missing to start. I've never lived with someone who was both WIDE FUCKING OPEN and deeply connected on multiple levels before -- I had a little taste of it when I lived at Serendipity and everyone was actively practicing openness, but it's different when it's already habit. I don't think I ever wrote about how Kyle and I connect energetically and I still don't think I'm ready to write about it but it's really insanely intense -- we're even more alike than Hannah and I. And I think it's funny that people probably don't see us as alike (especially because when I'm around Kyle I'm often so enchanted with watching zir interact with people that I'm much quieter than usual) but we are. We just developed opposite coping mechanisms, heh. Kyle and I fit together like Hannah and I but ze inspires me in different ways. Hannah pushes me in compassion and knowledge and creative expression (individual) -- Kyle pushes me in adventure and exploring and creative expression (co-operative). They both push me in openness but in different ways -- Hannah pushes me with questions that help me find hidden areas of myself, and Kyle pushes me with simply living an example of unedited openness (which is the most beautiful thing I can imagine). Not to say that those are totally discrete categories, 'cause I certainly learn all those things from both of them, but those are the ways they lean.

And right now, even with all the fruitfulness of my life (and I feel it is really flourishing), whenever I am not interacting with Kyle I feel like I am waiting for the next interaction. That feels like the greatest 'work' of my life at the moment, !!! )

One thing Maggie mentioned about the way Kyle and I interact is that we do things just "in tune" with each other -- if we're cleaning or cooking or just setting something up, we don't bump into each other or have to discuss much, we just act in tandem. I consider this a function of our spirit connection 'cause I've experienced it with everyone else I have spirit connections with; it's just stronger with Kyle and extends past conscious projects to spiritual senses about things. And that? I can't explain directly but I think I can explain sideways by saying that I feel we could share an altar. (which is a new and profound realization)

And I've learned that making personal taboos is not a way I want to try to keep myself on track. I developed a taboo against "being untrue" and instead of helping me be true, it made me afraid to change or explore things that were on the edges of me-ness, because if I accidentally did something that wasn't true to me, that would not be okay. I started realizing this a long time ago when I decided that being a little bit of a hypocrite was important to me, but I didn't realize just how important that is. I've decided that accepting/celebrating imperfection (and calling it hypocrisy to take the sting out of that word) is important to me and something that I will add to my list of core values to make them unabsolute.
sounds: Beats Antique - Runaway | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (tree goddess)
recent foci: sex, oppression, community, spirituality
So my life has been so fucking crazy since I broke up with the ex-partner. Was that really only 17 months ago? Wow. Anyway, it's just been speeding up and up and up. Last year I tried a lot of things that were new to me, just sort of stretching and exploring, and I'm definitely still in that process, but I'm starting to get to the point where I can organize all the things I've learned and start integrating them and re-focusing my life. The things that have been most on my mind are sex, oppression, and community (not necessarily in that order) -- and within the past three weeks I've been experiencing a sort of spiritual awakening as well.

Sex has been on my mind because, well, my sex with Kyle is mind-blowing and life-altering (and I'm not exaggerating). If I include details this entry will be twice as long, so I shan't, but I will talk about the effect of it. I've realized that sex is quite important to me, I'm just really picky, and I get bored if the other person is not emotionally naked. I don't have sex to feel the physical sensation -- I have it to feel aetheric selves pressed against each other. Openness in the moment is enough for one-time sex, but I think that tends to fade with familiarity unless it comes from the sort of vulnerability that infuses the person's life. Maybe it's a self-awareness thing too. All of that is what seems to be a coalescing image of what I want in sex. I don't want to draw people out, either. That's something I spent so many years doing and while I might do it again in the future, I'm taking a break. For right now, for me to emotionally invest in someone, ze has to be actively opening zir own self. I'm willing to share connection with people who are not open, but I am not going to invest in them right now.

systemic oppression )

Which moves me into community! I've been exploring several different local circles of people -- the burners, the queer activists, the poly community, the artists, and the dunno-what-to-call-ems-who-have-been-in-Kyle's-life-a-long-time. And then meeting outliers and trying to loop them in to one or the other. What I would really like is to eventually function as a bridge between these groups. I feel like each of them could really learn from each other, and there's already so much overlap yet not a lot of blending. And I want to delve into each and and wrap vines into their branches. This means I've been spending a LOT of time socializing (at least 2-3 times a week, plus school and lots of time with Kyle), which is new and definitely an adjustment, but one I like.

spiritual shifts )

Annnnd with the being really busy, I've realized that if I want anything to happen, I have to schedule it (seriously, including phone conversations). So I'm thinking of setting a weekly time for LJing and at least summarizing the week, because I miss having a record of my life. I don't like that my most productive and growthful periods usually result in a dearth of LJing. I process things with Kyle constantly so I don't feel as much of an urge to write, but I want to be able to remember, so I'm going to use that as my writing-catalyst.
sounds: The xx - Basic Space | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (Default)
recent foci: sex, oppression, community, spirituality
So my life has been so fucking crazy since I broke up with the ex-partner. Was that really only 17 months ago? Wow. Anyway, it's just been speeding up and up and up. Last year I tried a lot of things that were new to me, just sort of stretching and exploring, and I'm definitely still in that process, but I'm starting to get to the point where I can organize all the things I've learned and start integrating them and re-focusing my life. The things that have been most on my mind are sex, oppression, and community (not necessarily in that order) -- and within the past three weeks I've been experiencing a sort of spiritual awakening as well.

Sex has been on my mind because, well, my sex with Kyle is mind-blowing and life-altering (and I'm not exaggerating). If I include details this entry will be twice as long, so I shan't, but I will talk about the effect of it. I've realized that sex is quite important to me, I'm just really picky, and I get bored if the other person is not emotionally naked. I don't have sex to feel the physical sensation -- I have it to feel aetheric selves pressed against each other. Openness in the moment is enough for one-time sex, but I think that tends to fade with familiarity unless it comes from the sort of vulnerability that infuses the person's life. Maybe it's a self-awareness thing too. All of that is what seems to be a coalescing image of what I want in sex. I don't want to draw people out, either. That's something I spent so many years doing and while I might do it again in the future, I'm taking a break. For right now, for me to emotionally invest in someone, ze has to be actively opening zir own self. I'm willing to share connection with people who are not open, but I am not going to invest in them right now.

systemic oppression )

Which moves me into community! I've been exploring several different local circles of people -- the burners, the queer activists, the poly community, the artists, and the dunno-what-to-call-ems-who-have-been-in-Kyle's-life-a-long-time. And then meeting outliers and trying to loop them in to one or the other. What I would really like is to eventually function as a bridge between these groups. I feel like each of them could really learn from each other, and there's already so much overlap yet not a lot of blending. And I want to delve into each and and wrap vines into their branches. This means I've been spending a LOT of time socializing (at least 2-3 times a week, plus school and lots of time with Kyle), which is new and definitely an adjustment, but one I like.

spiritual shifts )

Annnnd with the being really busy, I've realized that if I want anything to happen, I have to schedule it (seriously, including phone conversations). So I'm thinking of setting a weekly time for LJing and at least summarizing the week, because I miss having a record of my life. I don't like that my most productive and growthful periods usually result in a dearth of LJing. I process things with Kyle constantly so I don't feel as much of an urge to write, but I want to be able to remember, so I'm going to use that as my writing-catalyst.
sounds: The xx - Basic Space | Powered by Last.fm
connecting: , , , , ,


back to top

belenen: (ecstatic)
important events in 2010 / overwhelming change, desire, and passion wrapped in community
a drawing titled "Adolescence" by Norman Lindsay
& a fractal titled "Conception" by sideoutman:



2010 was such a huge year that I'm intimidated by the idea of trying to sum it up, but combining "Conception" and "Adolescence" is a good start. The fractal is expressive of a coiled, freshly-created energy and purpose, which I certainly conceived in 2010. The drawing (oh Norman Lindsay I love you <3) is full of exploration and communication and relating. I see myself in quite a few of the characters, and the harpies and sphinxes with their worshipful open faces speak to me of turning lack and mystery into love and knowledge. The horned characters make me especially happy, as the presence of Pan in my life this year has been quiet but oh-so-profound.

Last January I declared 2010 the year of passion, and oh GOD/DESS yes it was! both good and bad kinds. It started off with a BANG -- hate (which I hadn't felt in years) and fury (over the ex-partner), followed by a few months of stress and worry (mostly over finances), then a few days of delirious happiness (in an almost-triad with strong energetic exchange), then depression and anger (break-up pain and mistreatment), then an explosion of sheer joy (Arizona!) which increased (Serendipity!) and increased (Chip!) and increased (Kyle!) for two months, then contentment and productivity (living & working with Serendipity), then stress and shifting (school again! culture shock, not dating justben actively), then horrible pain (herpes AGH), then exploring/adventuring inspired by Kyle (meeting more people, going new places, having more sexperiences), then an emotional breakdown as I finally reach my coping limit (so much change! so much intensity!), then my first burn-type event!, then breaking up with Arizona, then lots of intoxication with dancing and kissing, and lots of friendship exploration (mostly in Kyle's social group).

Or, most everything I expressed gratitude for at the beginning of the year. It was DEFINITELY "filled with all the love and sex and joy and passion and boldness" that I could handle -- and I was able to handle more than I thought possible. And I certainly met more people with whom I connect deeply, and learned more about sex and the role it is to play in my life. And for the first time, I've experienced being satisfied by the amount of loving touch I get, and for the first time since the Wynnes I've felt fully understood and appreciated and accepted and desired. And I've become more comfortable sharing my art (I did photoshoots! with people I didn't know well at the time!) and became healthier. The only thing that I feel didn't increase is my understanding of my spiritual connection with nature and having my lil sis live with/near me, so those move to my 2011 presumptuous thanks :D

important events in 2010 )


back to top

Tags


Tags