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A New Path–My Vision for a Sex Ed Career

So I went to Playground in Toronto just over a week ago. It was a great experience and I got to meet some awesome people and I got to spend some quality time with some others, and get to know them better. This was all fantastic and I am hoping to write more about some of this later.

There’s one thing on my mind right now. I am seriously trying to figure out what my life would look like with a career in Sex Education. I mentioned to Kate McCombs that I envied her life, and almost jokingly asked her if she would be my mentor. She then enthusiastically agreed to be my mentor! WHAT? Kate McCombs wants to teach me to be a sex educator? I admire Kate on SO MANY levels. She’s kind, well-spoken, beautiful, charming, intelligent… and she wants to mentor me! We talked a bit, and we both agree, small group facilitation would be ideal for me. Also, she mentioned Empathetic education is apparently a big thing right now, and I’ve got enough Empathy for several people. She has also introduced me to Little Black Box. I am working on meetings with the owners to become a consultant to sell their carefully curated line of body safe sex toys!

Since playground, she has also invited me to her home for a workshop she’s doing (I get to do Kate’s makeup for the event!), and she is planning a trip to Michigan to visit me! We are scheming and planning. I’m so excited.

So right now, the vision is blurry, but I can see bits starting to come into focus. I’m pretty excited, and more grateful than words can describe.

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All the hair, or lack there of

Ok. I keep seeing all these posts about how hair removal is unnecessary, then these articles encourage me to join the movement and say, “fuck the patriarchy” and stop removing hair. I promptly then start to feel all kinds of guilty. I don’t want to cease my hair removal, I do not actually enjoy the action of removing the hair–I just keep hoping that I will wake up one morning with no hair below my eyebrows. I feel this heavy sense of guilt to join in and be supportive and whatever-we-are-calling-this-hairy-feminist-movement-positive. I feel guilty because I don’t prefer my partners to have much body hair, this is a rule that applies to both the men and women I want to get naked with. I like to explore bodies with my tongue, and I don’t like the way hair feels on my tongue. Additionally, have you ever had a pubic hair lodged in the back of your throat? It is a decidedly unpleasant experience.

I’m not saying folks don’t have the right to make their own decisions in regards to their own bodies. Everyone has that right. However, that doesn’t mean I am required to participate. I like my grooming habits; I like being intimate with folks with similar grooming habits. and you know what? That’s ok too. It is totally ok that I like the following list of things about removed hair:

  • That feeling of freshly shaved legs in clean sheets
  • Running my finger tips over the hairless pubic region of a lover
  • Running my tongue over that same hairless pubic region of a lover
  • Swimming after hair removal
  • Letting a lover shave me
  • Shaving a lover

I don’t like the following things about hair:

  • I have PCOS which has given me some excess facial hair, which makes me feel decidedly un-sexy and un-femine.
  • Hair harbors smell, this makes me feel less clean.
  • When my legs are hairy I can’t stand the way it feels rubbing against my pants
  • the above mentioned hair on tongue/hair in back of throat feeling

I am just not a fan of hair. That’s not to say it is a deal breaker–I’ve been with my share of incredibly hair dudes; however, I was delighted when one of them asked me to shave his entire body–but less hair is a bonus in my being sexually attracted to a person. I shouldn’t feel guilty about what gets me going. So I will not be participating in the anti-hair-movement, but I am working on feeling less guilty about it.

Sex and Depression

JoEllen Notte, The Redhead Bedhead, is working on a book that I think is Super Fucking Important. She is writing about Sex and Depression. I admire her so much for doing this. I’ve talked about this topic and my experiences with it multiple times on this blog. I wanted to share the link, with anyone here that is interested, to the survey she is conducting. Sex and Depression Survey

Fear

Fear. I am afraid of a surprising amount of stuff. Though only a people closest to me really realize this. I can be pretty convincing to the outside world that I am a bit of badass. Though in all seriousness, we are talking about a lot of things… just to name a few:

  • Spiders
  • Frogs
  • Rejection (This applies to all kinds of things, relationships, friendships, my ideas, jobs, topic proposals for school assignments, the list is nearly endless)
  • Falling down stairs
  • Applying for Jobs (I’m currently looking for a new position, and I’ve sent out far too few resumes because of sheer terror)
  • Getting Pregnant (Less now that I’ve gotten sterilized)
  • Public Speaking (I am obviously working on this since I am speaking at Playground! Look at me go! My main goal is to not throw up during the presentation)
  • Messing up my GPA
  • Gaining Weight
  • Disappointing people (anyone really)
  • Being wrong (to the point where I won’t say something just in case what I know is wrong)
  • Messing up my credit score

This has caused me to lead a relatively cautious life. I am not a risk taker. I give too much the benefit of the doubt to far too many things. I’ve given up on a lot of things because they’ve required risk. I’ve stayed in some really crappy relationships for far too long because bailing was financially or emotionally risky. I’ve put up with utterly abusive jobs for years because I was too afraid to leave.

Over recent years I’ve grown a lot. I have traveled across the country alone to meet a fellow blogger (He’s a really awesome guy, he doesn’t post much any more, but you should still go read his stuff). I went to my first Catalyst Con totally alone and made a ton of amazing friends (though my brain still likes to question if these people like me or why… but I’m really working on ignoring those thoughts). Suddenly I’m concerned about the quantity of parentheticals in this post and what impression that’ll give, but I’m leaving them damn it! I’ve started Sex Geekdom and I’ve even stopped by our local poly group’s monthly lunch munch. So progress is there it is just slow.

So why am I writing this? I am trying to analyze the “why”. Why on earth do I do this stuff to myself? Have I really protected myself from anything or just deprived myself of experiences? Is the progress I am making significant enough? How do I expedite things? How do I stop myself from making so many fear based decisions? I don’t have answers yet. I don’t know if I will ever have answers, but I am working hard to not be afraid of that too.

Sex Geekdom

Well life keeps happening and it has kept me from you, Dear Readers. For that I am truly sorry.

Ok. Here it is. I am a Sex Geekdom Co-Emissary for the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti hub! We get together about once a month and talk about sex, sexuality, and occasionally grammar (we are geeks after all).

The amazing Kate McCombs is the mastermind behind Sex Geekdom; I met her a the first Catalyst Conference I went to and knew I had to get involved. About six months later my local Sex Geekdom was launched. Our meet-ups are still small, but they bring me so much joy. I hope the people that have attended feel the same.

So, why do this? Why talk about sex? Why does it matter? So many reasons! So very many reasons, that I think I need bullet points!

  • Because just the word “Sex” makes people uncomfortable.
  • Because so many people feel shame about sex
  • Because so many people don’t know basic anatomy (the vagina is an internal organ, the vulva is on the outside)
  • Because people don’t understand consent
  • Because many people do not know who they can ask questions about sex
  • Because few people know how little regulations are placed on sex toys and that they could harm you
  • Because so much of the world looks at people who talk about sex as “perverts”
  • Because the media does not represent what people really do in their relationships or sex lives
  • Because people still feel compiled to conform their ideas and sexuality to what others expect
  • Because there is so little good sex education available (on that note check out The Academy of Sex Education)
  • Because it provides people with a Sex-Positive community
  • Because it makes people happy
  • and my personal favorite reason… because talking about all this takes away the shame and stigma!

These are just a few of the reasons I think Sex Geekdom is important. It has also given me courage, I went to a Women’s Leadership conference with school in June, and I went to a session that was supposed to be about “Women and Sexuality in 2014”; our speaker was late and ultimately I ended up leading a conversation with about 80 college women about everything from slut-shaming, to double standards, to sexual orientations, to anatomy, to STIs, to masterbation. It was AMAZING! I would have never expected that from myself before. Now, I’ve agreed to speak on a panel at Playground in Toronto in November! I will be presenting with Kate McCombs, JoEllen Notte, and Miko Technogeishia about Sex Geekdom! How amazing is that? I am unbelievable excited (and admittedly a bit nervous)!

Academy of Sex Education: Three locations that I know of New York, Los Angeles, and Portland

I Cannot Call Myself a Feminist.

So I’m gonna say it. I do not like the word FEMINIST. I hesitated to write this piece because I didn’t want to offend any of the women that inspire me that identify with this word, but I have been thinking about it since the whole #YesAllWomen thing started. I can identify with the hashtag #YesAllWomen, but not feminist. It doesn’t fit.

I am spending a few days at the University of Maryland with more than 900 other women most of whom identify as feminists. I am at a conference called NCCWSL (National Conference for College Women Student Leaders); and it is likely that some of the women I have met recently will go on to make great changes in the world in which we live. These feminists will almost certainly do great things. I still don’t like the word.

This isn’t to say that I don’t like people that identify as feminists; or feminist ideas, causes, or principles. In fact, the opposite is true. Most feminists I know, really know what they are talking about and share similar beliefs to me. They want equality between genders–so do I.

So what do I have against this word? Why doesn’t a strong woman as myself identify with the word Feminist? It does not feel inclusive. It has negative connotations. The denotation may be completely well-intentioned, but the connotation can be more important when we are talking about a topic that gets people so fired up. This word has always produced images of “man haters” in my head. I don’t hate men. I don’t believe women are better than men. I don’t believe men are better than women either. I want everyone to be equal. Now I know in some regards that is impossible or unrealistic–there are some things that are fundamentally different–but it is a noble thing to strive for. The word “feminist” does not scream equality. It just speaks to the advancement of one gender; it seems this advancement can come even at the cost of the other gender. I do’t want that. I doubt most forward thinking feminists do. Now I don’t think I or anyone can change the negative feelings associated with this word, as it is fundamentally flawed. Feminine refers to Female. The word only addresses one gender, so that automatically negates inclusiveness. So I will likely never be a feminist; I’m just not comfortable with the title. I will however continue to support the “feminist” causes that promote equality, and what is right.

I am an “Equalist” and an “Inclusvist”

Sex-Positive

I was going to try and write a whole post on Sex-Positivity, but instead I just ended up reading other people’s posts on the topic.

I’d like to share the ones I’ve enjoyed with you!

Nadine at Adorkable Undies had these two posts:

http://www.adorkableundies.com/2012/10/16/sex-positivity-for-beginners-pt-1-bankers-vs-hookers/

http://www.adorkableundies.com/2012/10/18/sex-positivity-for-beginners-pt-2-i-cant-come-in-today-ive-got-crabs/

Then There’s the wonderful Charlie Glickman!

http://www.ejhs.org/volume3/sexpositive.htm

The amazing Carol Queen

http://www.goodvibes.com/content.jhtml?id=What-Sex-Positivity-Is-And-Is-Not

and then there’s even a wiki article on it, but I’ll let you find that yourself.

 

Now it is late, and I have to put towels in the dryer and sleep, but hopefully you will enjoy what I’ve read. Maybe even someone will leave more links about Sex-Positivity in the comment! *wink, wink* *hint, hint*

Upsetting Changes

When desires change life gets complicated. 

My relationship started out with carnal sex anytime we saw each other. Every touch was arousing. My sex drive was insatiable and I was in a constant state of desire. My partner loved this about me; this is a large part of what drew him to me. Now something in me has changed. I do not think about sex as often or in the same way as I did then. I am not constantly aroused. Even my desires are different. I used to be significantly more aroused by pain, and had a higher pain tolerance. Now pain is only appealing when I am at a high arousal level which is rare, and takes significant work to achieve. I am inherently a different sexual being than I was. 
All of this is problematic to my relationship. My partner is frustrated, and feels rejected. What was effortless is now a challenge. I feel like a disappointment because I feel like I’m not providing what I promised. It is hard to even know what I want, because what I think I should want isn’t working. I feel broken. I actually preferred the way I was over how I am now. 
I attribute this change in me to a slew of things, but I have three heavy hitters:
Hormones–I have had some hormonal issues and imbalances, I wonder if the old me was a fluke, maybe my hormones were off for so long that my extremely high sex drive was actually never part of how I am wired and just part of an ailment? 
Stress–The more stressed I am the lower sex is on my priority list. Ironically, I used to consider sex a good stress reliever, now it is another thing on my to-do list. 
Complacency–I used to have a sex life that involved new partners and exciting sexy parties. These things haven’t been around lately. I wonder if I just need those qualities in my sex life to keep my libido healthy. 
Whatever it is, it’s driving me mad. I want to have the sex and all the fun endorphins that come with it that I once had. I want to want it. I want to satisfy my partner, and be satisfied. 
I miss the old me. I want my damn libido to come off hiatus.

I want one!

🙂

lost in nevada

I present…

The. Best. Bumper sticker. EVAR!!!!

http://i.imgur.com/ZPhDqH7.jpg

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Others are saying it for me!

This winter has been a struggle. Seasonal depression has been kicking my ass. It has taken a toll on my sex life, and I’ve been meaning to write about it. For one reason or another I have not managed to sit down and write… I have however, randomly been exposed to others that have found the time to discuss it. I’ve found the blog and podcast below to bring me comfort and remind me that I’m not alone. I hope that if you struggle with these feelings that Thea resources will be helpful to you as well.

Much Love,
Zoya Lynne

http://www.lifeontheswingset.com/17336/ss-144-ebb-flow-libido-effect-swinging-polyamory/

http://www.adorkableundies.com/2014/01/28/sex-and-mental-illness-or-broke-but-i-cant-fix-it/#comment-3414