Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Doing the math

I recently wondered: all the people who, whether they admit it or not, think that penis size is important in how well a penis-owner performs sexually... do they realize that vagina-owners often masturbate with their fingers? Which are not nearly as long or as girthy as penises? And they get off just fine, thank you?

I wonder if that is related to the "women don't actually masturbate!" thing. (Because trans guys don't exist, amirite. -_-)

Saturday, August 21, 2010


One question I have yet to answer is how important a kink community is for me. I'm currently considering the possibility of spending a year in an isolated area for a job opportunity; while in many ways the place is similar to where I went to college, the one big difference is that there's not really a kinky group to speak of. (Then again, my college was very unique in that it had a burgeoning community despite its small size.) In fact, there's exactly one other kinky person that I know of.

On the one hand, kink is very important to me. I don't think I could ever have a long-term romantic relationship/sexual relationship without it, and I greatly enjoy and appreciate having like-minded people to talk to about it - and possibly indulge in some play with. I like their support, and I like having that outlet for my desires.

On the other hand, this is a pretty good job. It doesn't pay well, but it'll look good on my resume and it's good experience for future endeavors. And there's at least a kinky person, and s/he and I get along quite well.

I don't know. I don't have to make a decision just yet. I think I'll return to my home city first, to put things in perspective. Also to discuss things with my partners in person. It's a little hard over the phone in such a spotty reception area.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

X-posted: Enlightenment at the end of a scourge

I am currently reading the 10th Anniversary Edition of The Spiral Dance: A Rebirth of the Ancient Religion of the Great Goddess by Starhawk. I'm somewhat chagrined to say that this is the first time I've read anything by her, considering her importance in the pagan and ecofeminist movements. I will admit that I've been avoiding Starhawk up until now because of her prolific nature; it seemed everywhere I turned I saw her books with their slick, trendy covers, and I figured she was one of those commercial hacks, like that Sylvia Brown "psychic" woman.

Shame on me for assuming.

Though the edition I'm reading is twenty years old (and the original publication even older), I have found an emotional and intellectual resonance with Starhawk's writing that is unlike anything else I've encountered. I knew, as a queer woman and a feminist, that I did not like the heterosexist, cissexist bent of a lot of pagan ideology, with its focus on the Divine Polarity/Union of the Goddess and the God. However, I did not know how to adequately conceive of an alternative; Starhawk has eloquently provided one for me, one that made me grin with joy when I read it.

In fact, that seems to have been my reaction to a lot of what I've read so far. This is the first time I've seen religion and feminism thoroughly and intrinsically integrated, which is something that I've wanted for a long time.

And then I read this:
In Witchcraft, love is never associated with actual physical violence, and nothing could be more antithetical to the spirit of the Craft than the current rash of violent pornography. The God does not perpetrate acts of sadomasochism on the Goddess or preach to Her the "power of sexual surrender." (114)

I had thought that finally - finally! - I had found the key that would unite my spirituality, my sexuality, and my politics into one cohesive whole - a unifying theory, as it were. And Starhawk's book came so close, so so close, to doing that for me.

But apparently the most fulfilling form of sexual expression for me is not right - is "antithetical to the spirit of the Craft." Just like I've been told that it is antithetical to feminism, to being a healthy member of society, to just about everything I'm supposed to be and think and am.

This isn't going to make me give up on the Craft - in the same way that reading anti-kink screeds from certain feminists isn't going to make me give up feminism. I'm cutting Starhawk some slack, since I like most of the rest of her writing and this was written during the height of the polarizing Sex Wars anyway. Hopefully her views have changed since then; I find it hard to believe that she could maintain the views she espouses in the book and still be against kink without a decent amount of cognitive dissonance.

Now, it's true that I don't need to find validation in the writings of others for my sexuality/spirituality/politics. Obviously I'm going to continue being kinky, a witch, and a feminist all at once regardless of what Starhawk or Dworkin or anyone else says. But it is nice to read the thoughts and theories of like-minded people, as it helps me develop a cognizant framework to describe my own life experiences and my own feelings, which are often chaotic and half-formed even to me; I know what feels right, but I can't explain why or how without help.

Fortunately, I've already seen hints of kink-friendly paganism. I just finished reading Craft of the Wise: A Practical Guide to Paganism and Witchcraft by Llyn Annwn, and she briefly mentions the traditional use of the scourge in rituals. Though she doesn't go into detail - only saying that, in the proper circumstances and for the right people, it can be a powerful experience - it provides a hint that, yes, I can incorporate every aspect of my sexuality into my religious practice. However, I don't know where to look to find more material about this. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

(x-posted to my witchy blog)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Speaking of...

Relating to my previous, entry, I've recently moved to a very isolated part of the Midwest for an editing job. Though it's a great job and I'm excited about it, I was mildly apprehensive, as I was just getting used to the concept of being open and active in the kink community, and it seemed likely that I'd have to go back underground again for the sake of this job, even though the community I'd be living in was pretty progressive.

Lo and behold, on my first day I find out one of my co-editors is a dominant sadist. And s/he makes regular trips to the nearest large city for munches and workshops! Oh, happy day.

I suppose I should have learned from my time at college that hippie-types and kinky-types are not mutually exclusive. But for some reason I still held that misconception. Perhaps because hippies also have the stereotype of anti-hierarchical anarchism? (Which also doesn't preclude kink, so even THAT assumption is faulty.)

In any case, it'll be nice to have even just one person who I can talk to about kinky stuff when Master isn't around to visit.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Like attracts like

I'm continually amazed by how much overlap there is between various subcultures. Most of the kinky people I know are nerds... most of the nerds I know are gamers... many of the gamers I know are queer... many of the queer people I know are of a religious minority... many of the non-monotheist people I know are also non-monogamous... it just goes on.

It's a common enough occurrence that I've seen multiple self-referential jokes about "bi poly pagan kinky geek chicks" or some permutation thereof. So obviously it's not just me.

I mentioned this to Master once, and he hypothesized that it was because marginalized groups felt a kinship for each other, so naturally there'd be cross-pollination. This makes sense to me, as it seems like almost all "minority" groups - whether minorities in the sociological sense or just niche cultures - have a high occurrence of other minority groups. The exception to this, however, is POC, which most subcultures seem to have a dearth of.

(Naturally, this doesn't mean there aren't any queers of color, geeks of color, what have you; however, they're often absent (or under-represented) in public discourse/gatherings.)

Which is unfortunate, of course. And I hope we can fix that.