Tag Archives: sex

I need a drink

My seven year old came home today and told me she had a boyfriend.

I need a drink.

I have been doing this parenting gig for nearly eight years now, and the married thing for fifteen years.  At this point I have a vague memory of when I used to be fun and talk about things that did not directly pertain to the hilarious thing the baby did today.  But most of those stories start, “Once upon a time, mommy had a life…”

As the child is headed firmly out the front door and into second grade it seems like a good time to rediscover my mojo, and what is more adult than wine and chocolate pairings.  The fact that I am also on a countdown to divorce means these kinds of adulting skills are going to need some brushing up along with shirts that don’t have stains, and a list of what the cool kids are doing these days after 8pm.

So there I was, alone for the evening.  I had an agenda of Netflix binge watching to attend to and it occurred to me I should celebrate the occasion of my daughter’s first boyfriend with a glass of wine (or four), except I had no wine. I couldn’t actually remember the last time I had a glass of wine.  This needed to be fixed.  Luckily, I am an adult with a set of car keys and no bedtime so I headed out to remedy the situation.

I stood in the wine aisle at the grocery store staring at labels and wondering which of the choices were going to transform me into a rockstar parent who could handle such things as seven year olds with boyfriends, when I got the brilliant idea to drink something that was both economical and practical.

Box Wine.

IMG_9073As a child I can remember my mother burying all of her hopes and dreams in a box of vino bliss and I decided that I should begin my journey at the base of my family tree and go with the classic box I had known from the kitchen counter of my childhood but never had tasted.

I pulled the box off the shelf with a bit more glee than was likely necessary, but if I am going to spend $12 on a few gallons of wine, a bit of joy is in order. Feeling like a true connoisseur, I took my Franzia Chillable Red to the checkout.

“Why yes, I am going to Netflix and chill… why do you ask?”  Apparently I was the only one in line who thought my dad jokes were funny.

I got my prize home and grabbed my phone to discuss my brilliance by text with a friend.  The conversation went something like this:

“OMG!! It’s totally mommy juice! It is exactly alcoholic grape juice…”

“Sounds awful.”

“It really is.”

“You bought box wine, what did you expect?”

“I put it over crushed ice and it got better.”

“Stay classy San Diego.”

“I know what this is… this is teenage sex at a shitty house party.  It seems all grown up and awesome, and then you have no idea what you are doing, and you end up with iced grape juice that kinda gets you drunk and is massively anticlimactic.”

“LOL I think you can get a job reviewing wines!”

“…Second glass.  Now I am kinda tipsy, and damn that was bad wine, but kinda good grape juice over ice. Maybe next time I turn it into sangria. I paired it with a handful of leftover Halloween chocolates.  Go me!”

“You seriously need to up your game.”

There are moments in life when it becomes crystal clear that it is time to grow beyond your parents’ choices. As my friend so kindly pointed out, my current taste in wine is heading for life support and it is time to dust it off and give it a serious once over.

Stay tuned for the next installment of Lisa gets a life.  Also know as Sex, Wine and Chocolate… the adventure begins.

True love waits is dangerous and damaging to kids

When I was eleven, I signed a contract with God to remain a virgin until I was married.  It was an actual piece of paper that I was handed by one of the youth pastors in my church.  I said a pledge and signed my name at the bottom, probably with a heart or a flower over the letter _i_ in my first name.  At the time, I had no real concept of what I was promising with that paper.  All I knew, was that the worst thing I could do was become one of “those girls” who ruined herself before God and gave away the most precious gift she could give her husband on her wedding day.

The adults knew what I was signing.  They probably thought they were doing something good in my life. They also gave it to me at such a young age simply because I was too young, naive, and sheltered to understand the meaning of such a promise.  As soon as I put my name on that paper I committed myself to years of additional guilt and shame.  All the normal pieces of growing up, the flirtation, dating and discovering who I was going to be as a grown woman were all shadowed by the promise to never have sexual thoughts, desires or actions until I was properly married.

Sex isn’t wrong, it’s a part of being human

Sex is a basic biological drive.  All of us are driven to find food, shelter, safety, and to reproduce.  It is hardwired into us as creatures of this planet.  To tell a person that these urges are wrong, sinful, and shameful is simply ridiculous.  Trying to convince someone to not want sex is about as logical and useful as telling them not to want food and water.

Most every person on the planet has an interest in sex and most of the adults have it on a regular basis.  To pretend that our teen children are somehow exempt from this basic drive, and expect them to ignore it in the name of God is cruel.  You can’t ignore your body when it is hungry and cold, you also cannot ignore your body when it has a desire for sex.  To destroy sexuality is to destroy something fundamental about who we are as humans.

Many adults slap a childs’ hands when they dare to touch their own genitals.   I was taught that bodies were created by God, beautiful and perfect, in his own image.  Except for that part between my legs, that part is dirty, and disgusting and sinful and never touch it.  No one had to explicitly tell me this, it was inferred through conversations about women, and as a girl becoming a woman, I listened.

A penis is called a penis, a vulva is “down there”

As women, the name of our genitals is almost never even spoken except in euphemism and whispers.   The vulva is the Voldemort of a women’s body, the she-that-shall-not-be-named, or seen, touched, or explored.  Male sexuality is discussed in mainstream culture as a given. Masturbation is a common comedic joke in many forms of film and media.  Female sexuality has two options, virgin or whore, with nothing in between, and we had better choose the virgin.

When I was old enough to know a bit more, I discovered that I, as a daughter of Eve was responsible for all the sin in the world and that painful childbirth is my reminder of the damnation I, as a woman,  have brought into the world and unto men.  My periods,  make me even more unclean and dirty, adding another layer of shame that emanates from the space between my legs.

I could watch television on any day and a commercial for a feminine hygiene product would tell me my body was always in need of additional freshness and a clean feeling.  I never wanted anyone to know I had my period, even other girls.

I also learned how my body further creates sin in the minds of men.  I was told in many different ways that it was my job, as a women, to not tempt men with my clothing, actions or words.  Men they said, are no more than walking sex crazed maniacs, a veritable penis with legs who cannot be held responsible for their actions if I was perceived to be dressing or acting too provocatively.

If I did get touched/assaulted/raped, I would likely have asked for it, and would be partly responsible.  I spent years in fear of men’s eyes on me, aware that I was constantly in danger, striving to be as unattractive as possible so that I would be seen as a thinking person and more than a sexual object. I had conflicting desires to be a sexual person, to be pretty and attractive but the lack of autonomy made me hate my body for making me weak, vulnerable, and afraid.

Becoming fully sexual seems impossible

Purity-Rings
Purity ring via Bible Knowledge Bookstore used unchanged in accordance with Creative Commons 3.0 license.

My virgin sexuality became the most important aspect of my image, or at the very least being able to portray myself as a virgin, even if it was a lie.  The inability to keep my pre-teen contract as an adult woman created a double self. A secret, unacknowledged sexuality shrouded in shame and denial, and the external false purity constantly in need of prayer and grace.    I showed the world a woman that was  pretty but not sexy, smart yet accommodating,  until I was so far into the act of upholding expectation, that I had no idea who I actually was.  My one hope was resting on the promise that my imposed asexual child-state was temporary and that one day I could  float into adult sexual bliss within the confines of a marriage bed.  Except it didn’t work that way.

I got married at 27 only to find it wasn’t possible for me to transition from being a shamed, quasi-sexual child in an adult body, to a fully sexual, well adjusted woman in a single thirty minute ceremony by the magic contained in the exchange of rings.

Now I am the adult, raising a child of my own.  I am over a decade into the process of healing my own sexual self,  learning to love my body, and now I find myself on the other side.  I look at my daughter and I want none of this for her.  She asks me questions about her body and I refuse to instill in her the shame and guilt and grief that consumed me for so many years.

The cycle stops with me.

The most important thing we skip when talking about sex

The thought of talking openly about sex makes our behinds clench in fear.  Talking about sex and sexuality and masturbation to others can seem like a radical notion.

Often we hear the phrase, “talk about sex”, we think something along the lines of  a few friends sitting around discussing in generalities what we do in bed, or the authors point of view in that article going around online. Speaking in the abstract is a great way to test the waters on the topic of sex, and start the conversation.  The power of personal stories is where the biggest changes happen. Owning your sexuality and taking back control begins when you get to the word I and when you get there, be specific.

I like ___________________.

I don’t like ______________.

What happened to me was _____________.

I want more/less of ________________.

My favorite thing to do is ______________.

 

Did you cringe at the thought of using the first person, I?

The reason we flinch at the thought of saying, out loud, to another human being  “I like sex, and what I like most is ________.”  Is because we are taught directly or indirectly that sex is shameful, and not something that is polite to discuss because good girls and boys don’t do these things.

Sex is a basic, normal, and natural part of the human experience

When we discuss a topic in first person we own it, acknowledge it and take away shame.  Sex is a basic bodily need, its universal, and it’s a survival instinct.  Like sleep and eating.  We have no issue discussing, in detail, sleeping or eating habits, including what our preferences may be and how much we are or aren’t getting. You can discuss food and cooking with anyone, anytime, anywhere and never get the how-dare-you-there-children-present stare.

From Pixabay used under Public Domain CC0 license.
From Pixabay used under Public Domain CC0 license.

When it comes to sex we hide, or we look away with a blush and a giggle.  Almost everyone on the planet has, or will have sex at some point in there lives. Yet we look wide eyed in disbelief at the person who dares discuss sex openly.

The personal is political

When we tell the truth about our lives we relate to other humans as equals in this thing we call the human experience.  Those that dare to let down the walls that we have arbitrarily erected between our “proper” and “improper” desires, see each other as real.  Suddenly we aren’t all that different, and we begin to appreciate the range of possibility.  Shame is eradicated. We get to own our bodies, and our sexuality, and ultimately, we want to own ourselves and all of it’s aspects.

It starts with the word, I.  It really is that simple.  Makeing sex normal, natural, free of guilt and shame starts with a simple pronoun.  We start saying I, and before long we are able to talk about sexuality as nothing more than the fun side of human biology.  Sex becomes a shared, near universal experience that can be openly acknowledged, and discussed among us humans. Can you imagine such a society?

Let’s stop pretending we are barbies with a smooth-nothing-to-see-here under our clothes.  It’s not my hoo-ha, or down-there, or… you know…. with the crinkled nose.  It’s my vulva and my clitoris.

It’s mine.

I touch it.

It feels good.

I like being touched by my partner.

When I claim my body and my sexuality, I claim my power.

Try it for yourself.  Use the first person.  Talk about sex.  Refuse to be ashamed.  It will change you, and then it will change the world.

Going public with sex

Why would a sane, sensible person who uses their real name do such a thing as talk about sex?

Honestly, because I have come to the conclusion that I am a grown ass woman, and I have nothing to be ashamed about when I say, I have sex.

Like a drop in a pond, each woman that lets go of sexual guilt and shame empowers yet another woman to do the same.  My turning point came when I had the privilege of spending a weekend with Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross.  It changed my life profoundly.

What I took away from that experience was that sex is not some icky thing that I should be ashamed of and keep in the dark recess of my bedroom.  Sex is normal, sex is natural, sex is universal, sex is my birthright.  I own my sexuality and I own my sex organ, and so do you.

I will dare to discuss sex right along side all the other topics of my life because that is just what sex is for me.  One of the many things I do, and enjoy and find pleasure in the experience of, both alone and with a partner.  Gasp!

Photo Drugs for 18+ by Blackjack0919 via deviantART. Used unchanged, in accordance with Creative Commons 3.0 license.
Drugs for 18+ by Blackjack0919 via deviantART. Used unchanged, in accordance with Creative Commons 3.0 license.

So no more hiding because some arbitrary set of persons decided that my sexuality is not a part of my human, female experience.  I say that it is, and I will discuss my thoughts about sex right along side my thoughts about other topics.  Mostly, because I can, and when I do, I hope another woman will feel less alone, and more normal, and have their own moment of sexual confidence.

The other side of the glass

Describing disconnection and depression is hard to do.  In my head it felt like a large pane of glass between me and the world.  The glass was thick and in any other context might be considered beautiful and even a work of art.

From your side of the glass it was barely visible.  Most people would never notice it was there because to them it was only a thin film that comes and goes flittering like a butterfly when the light is just right.

From my side of the glass it was thick and solid it feels like clear steel that is impossible to break through. The thickness varies so that somedays I could hear and see rather well and others I was in total silence no matter how loud I screamed.

I could see you and the others that I loved. I could see life happening around me but it was at a distance. I was never all the way there, with you in the sunlight.  The sun warmed me through the glass the way it does in a greenhouse.  The light could be soft, warm, and comforting or it could be hot, and stifling, and everywhere yet nowhere all at once. It was never directly on my skin in a way that is satisfying and nourishing to my bones.

For years, I had been looking for a door.  Searching for a crack in the glass or a seam in the construction that might hint as to how to dismantle the divide.  It had been there so long it was hard to remember if I was born behind it, or if it arrived one day, or if it grew slowly until it got so thick I could no longer get back to the other side.

None of those explanations are helpful in finding a way out of the prison that held me so invisibly.

There were days when I was strong and angry.  On those days I’d rage and scream and pound and kick at the glass.  No one seemed to see when I would do this.  I could be in a crowded room, screaming myself hoarse and to the world outside it was only silence.  Maddening is what those days felt like.  I have raged until my body was bruised and bloody so many times I had lost count and yet, the glass remained.

I hated that glass with a passion you can only know if it holds you too.

On the other side of the hate was sadness so deep it can stretch to the bone. When the tantrum ass over and my body aches and the blood ceased to flow from the fresh wounds I would sit in stillness.  These are the days when the darkness settled.  It came when the tears and the ache flowed freely until I sobbed so hard my stomach hurt and the tears filled a pool of anguish from my soul at the separation that was both foreign and powerful.

From that shadow it was easy to stray into the territory that questions why I am alive, and flirts with the ease with which I could let the darkness envelop me fully. When I am there I know all too well, that from that place, I would never come back.

I am lucky to have had threads and breadcrumbs and a lifeline to follow back out of the night.  Smiles, a flower, an animal, an e-mail, a call to say hello have all been the thread back.

I am grateful.

On the good days when the sun was warm and wrapped me up I could wander and play in the silence and find joy in the journey.  Those days the hurt faded and I felt the grass on my toes and I would smell the leaves growing in the greenhouse inside which I called home. The ceiling iwa clear and I saw the blue sky dotted with clouds and that day the rain didn’t reach me as it fell. I knew I would be okay.

Those days I dreamt big dreams and I stored up my reserves to once again set out in search of the door. My heartbeat in my chest provided the resolve to not give up and I promised the me that lived in the surface reflections and danced in freedom on the outside that I will continue to live.

I make little reminders and pack them in my bag so that when the clouds come and the darkness returns I will find the thread and make my way home.

It worked.

One day something changed.  On that day I looked over and saw a small hole in the glass.  It was barely visible but I could feel it with my fingers and I could smell the air that floated in from the other side and the feel of that breeze the touched my skin was everything.

As I was sitting, eyes closed, focused on this new sensation a new person walked up and said hello.

At this point in my journey I have had a lot of half conversations through the glass.  I have screamed and mumbled and tried to be clear but that glass always garbled the message and half the meaning was always lost.

I am tired of pretending and saying the things that I thought would make them stay, and today I decide to stop.  I spoke the truth to this new person. Why not?  They likely couldn’t hear me anyway.  Except this time, through this tiny hole I was heard clearly, and the voice of my friend was easy for me to understand.

This miracle was the fuel I needed to get up each day and return to the tiny hole in the glass. I keep talking and listening and being more real and more raw and honest with anyone, than I ever have in my life.

I keep talking and my friend stayed with me.  I say anything and everything and I was so terribly honest about who I was and what I wanted.  Slowly, so slowly I realized that my tiny hole was expanding. The honesty was opening the space between here and there until one day I could reach through and touch my friend.   The human contact was the best thing I had felt in so long.  It is what my soul had longed for and is also fully overwhelmed after being isolated for many years.

My friend talks with me until one day, when I had stopped paying attention the door appeared.  Just as I had hoped, and dreamed, and prayed for, the door was available.

I didn’t know what to do at first.  In my mind I should run across the field and whoop for joy, never looking back.  When I first stood in the doorway I was nervous.  I had only really seen it from the other side and suddenly it doesn’t seem safe.

My friend was there and now I know why. We had talked so much and knew each other so well, sharing all our hopes and dreams and fears and foibles. Fierce honestly had been the creation of this freedom.

It was time to trust the bond and I took their hand and stepped through to my new home.

People, support, love, connection and hope are all the things that had sustained me and are now available each day.

When I allowed myself to be seen and heard as I truly was I regained my humanity, and my strength.  When I gave that same gift to another I gained a friend and in the process the glass wall disappeared.

Now only one question remains.

What do you want to do now?

 

Pastors daughter teachers women to open portal to demonic realm through masturbation

I had no idea I was opening portals to the spirit realm with my clitoris. I knew my vulva was powerful but apparently I was really underestimating my own potential.

I wish I could say that this was a new and ridiculous idea that “sex toys are an open portal between the demonic realm and your own life,” and that sex demons are the cause of “urges to play with yourself so powerful that only an orgasm will allow you some temporary relief.” Sadly, this kind of fear mongering around sex from the Mack Major at EdenDecoded is quite common in evangelical Christian circles.

I signed my purity contract when I was eleven. I grew up as the pastors daughter and attended a variety of conservative Christian churches over the years. In a lifetime of exposure I have heard little consensus about what, exactly, it means when Godly sex is described as “between a man and a woman.” Most individuals are left to their particular churches self-made list of sex acts that are allowed, and feel guilty over asking for what we really want lest it be considered a sin. I have seen a lot of women and couples over the years worry about wanting more than missionary position penis-in-vagina sex.

The vulva, vagina, clitoris and all the parts and pieces that go into the standard definition of female anatomy can be confusing to operate. What works on one vuvla may not work on the next one so this idea that all one needs for sex is to put a penis inside and vagina until the penis ejaculates is a very oversimplified description that really covers the basics of making a baby. Making babies and making pleasure between two people with genitals is not the same thing.

Masturbation is how you learn what you like and how you like it. Knowing how we get aroused, and have orgasms, is not always intuitive and it takes some practice. We need time alone with our genitals to try different things, so that when we do have a partner we can teach them how to operate the system.

You wouldn’t hand the keys of your car to someone who only knows how to put gas in the tank and push on the pedals. Why do we expect good sex to come from the limited idea that a woman opens her legs and a penis goes inside. Its more complicated than that, and masturbation is where you begin to learn the nuance.

Intimate partners should be sharing pleasure. That pleasure should be equal in importance. In the version I was taught as a child, my body was the property of God and my future husband. My body was never mine. My sexual pleasure was a gift that was bestowed upon me by my husband in whatever measure it was given. How was I supposed to enjoy sex when I was told in many ways, that it wasn’t for me? I was only supposed to want children, security and a happy Christ centerd home. Sex was something I was going to give to my husband. My desire for sexual fulfillment was supposed to be minimal or non-existent. When they weren’t, I was sinful and lustful and in need of repentance. This is a recipe for shame and shut down for a lot of women, including me.

I hear so many men complain that their wives don’t want sex, aren’t adventurous, and what can they do to inspire more or better sex in their marriages? We need to start by allowing women, and girls, the idea that they are sexual and that their sexuality is normal. Women and girls need to be taught how to navigate their sexuality with more nuance than,” don’t want it or do it until marriage and then it will be spontaneously blissful and hot and Godly, the end.”

A penis may not be enough. Ignoring or minimizing the role of the clitoris during sex, and focusing on penetration alone, is a big problem. Many people that have penises could not imagine sex being pleasurable if they were never again allowed to touch their penis and instead, only allowed to play with their testicles. Or, more accurately, sex is only okay when they don’t touch themselves at all and only their partner is allowed to touch their testicles. That’s what you are telling your partner when you say that it is wrong, or sinful for a finger or vibrator to stimulate the clitoris during sex.

Clitoral stimulation is critical, it’s nuanced, and takes time to learn. Masturbation is how that learning happens. I teach women and people with clitorises how to masturbate. I teach them how to write their bodies pleasure manual and that inspires their ability to be intimate and playful with their partners. Most importantly I help them get rid of years of shame and self-loathing they carry about their bodies and sex.

I do this work because my clients have an intuitive knowing that pleasure is something they deserve. They are tired of being the side note and afterthought in articles that demonize female sexual desire, and are tired of hearing that sentiment in sermons from the pulpit, and in the voices of their communities of origin.

Demons aren’t coming for you if you masturbate like Mack Major claims.  The only consequences I’ve encountered are personal freedom, joy, pleasure, increased self-esteem and better body image.