Thursday, June 23, 2011

Cactus Tree

Up until college, the goal put into my life was to get a husband. Good grades and a degree were good, too, but paled in comparison to a diamond ring with a house and kids.
After coming out, clearly the priority of marriage fell a few notches. The idea of permanently settling down was still a goal, as though such a thing would prove my worth and heal all the instability of m life thusfar.

It got to the point, when I was 20-22, that I feared I had some flaw. Most of my friends and my girlfriend at the time had been proposed to at least once or had even been engaged. This hadn't happened to me, so something must have been wrong with me, right? This may be difficult to believe now, but I was very feminine and domestic then, still seeking out a permanent anchor.All that was missing was the anchor - which was one of the reasons why I took it so hard when that girlfriend left me to engage someone else.

Through clusterfucks aplenty, cutting contact with my mother, learning more about my father's history, studying artists who had traveled between the MidWest and the SouthWest, forming independent relationships with my "spinster" aunts, and seeing the misery of my prematurely tied-down peers, things clearly changed. I began to be grateful that a proposal had never happened. Regardless of the answer given, a proposal shifts the situation. Could a couple really go on as normal with a "no" reply? Relationships have ended even with an "I need to think about it."

About a year ago was when I finally took life by the reins - if I'm gonna make it WEST, I have to make it happen. Which means the very things I once considered fulfillment are what I must prevent now. It seems foolish to vow permanence, particularly of relationships, because that can't be controlled. People who attempt such allegiance to me, frankly, scare me. It's like they're trying to hold a slippery, writhing fish by crushing it.

Promises of always seem to value the stability of the relationship over the quality of the person. And end doesn't necessarily imply rejection or abandonment. Although it's cheesy and cliche: if you love someone, let hir go.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

SlutWalk Season

I always love Pride Month, but this June is turning out more active and exciting than any beforehand. In addition to travels galore (to get away from the Midwestern winter's grip), Chicago's SlutWalk and Milwaukee's PrideFest were just a week apart! Both events serve as a statement of sexual freedom, from activities to identities. Both involve pride, networking, diversified unity, and a good serving of comedy. And there are those who choose to withdraw from both events, either because it's just not their cup of tea or from policy disagreements. And that's fine!

At Chicago's SlutWalk, I got a t-shirt advertising the event and its date. I wore it to Milwaukee's PrideFest, naturally. At least a dozen people, ranging from sassy queens to rough bulldykes and everyone in between, commented on it and asked me about it. All of them said that, had they known it was going on, they would have come down to march. I told them all the same: Google Milwaukee's SlutWalk and march in that one. Later, I discovered that the booth of ToolShed, Milwaukee's queer sex shop, had information on their city's upcoming SlutWalk. August 13!

You can see at where and when worldwide SlutWalks are taking place. Or you can just search online your location and "SlutWalk."
The fact that this kind of event, marching out against sexual assault and oppression, is internationally popular implies that people are ready for change. It's arguable what a few hours of marching can accomplish, true. But the eagerness to make a public statement, in the streets, across cultures and nations is suggestive of perhaps greater changes. This has coincided with the DSK scandal, for example, which many consider to be the international Anita Hill/Clarence Thomas. That scandal has brought to European cultures what Anita Hill arose in America nearly 20 years ago. Could it be that all these people around the world are sick of the silence around sexual harassment? Are people finally coming around to the idea that appearances are not invitations? Pride has loosened the connection between sexual preference and personal quality, and maybe now that concept is extending beyond the LGBTQ community.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Basic Rules of This Ethical Slut

The absolute #1 rule: SAFE SEX!! Get your junk tested, use protection (particularly "barrier methods" with new partners), know your outbreak symptoms if you have something, and COMMUNICATE! This goes beyond just physical safety, it's also about not getting into a situation/relationship in which resent grows.

#2: Never fuck anyone you wouldn't want to be.

- apparently this is a new concept to many people. I read this rule in one of Kate Bornstein's books. Since I don't recall which, read all of them.

#3: Know yourself. Listen to your body, keep track of your habits, learn to self-soothe, keep healthy. This ties in to both 1 & 2; you can't have safe sex if you don't know what's going on with yourself and, if you don't want to be yourself*, maybe you should reconsider getting intimately involved with someone else.

* I'm talking beyond employment, finances, living situation, etc. That's all trivial bullshit. I mean personal qualities and basic self-respect.

#4: HAVE FUN! It's corny, but isn't that what Sluthood is all about in the first place?