I had to take a trip down memory lane to remember why I ever thought it was a good idea to post boudoir photos of myself on social media, and I can say there were a lot of factors, almost all psychological in nature. I was a rape victim, but I also experienced harassment, so I had complicated feelings about myself. I really do have a lot of trauma related to body image. On some level, I felt that this denial of ourselves as imperfect sexual beings and inability to discuss sexual matters openly was a big part of the problem, and I wanted to be part of the solution. These are issues that break families. Reproductive and neurological wellness, I believe, relies in part on regular sexual release, and I think a lot of illness (mental and societal) arises from our collective inability to recognize this important scientific fact. I think we compromise a lot in our relationships in ways that compromise our overall health, because libido can be fleeting and is not recognized for the blessing it is.
When my husband and I got married, we had to go through some marriage counseling, and the person who counseled us said that there were basically three main reasons marriages fail - finances, extended family, and lack of sex. I have also found these to be the biggest challenges. A lot of the first two things can be out of a couple’s control, depending on a number of factors. And unfortunately if they get out of control, it can cause serious problems with intimacy. When we had that counseling, I never imagined that any of these things would be a problem for us. But because our extended families are so big, it takes a certain amount of time to keep up with what’s going on with everyone. I didn’t see it as gossip, but it is. It takes so much time to think about and to process. A lot of it is kind of upsetting, and I don’t think the people who spread the gossip think about this when they share it. Like, what am I supposed to do with this information? Go to Murderville? (Cute, btw).
The lack of desire resulting from these things is not entirely a mind over matter problem. I did try the mind over matter approach. The problem with that approach is that it did not consider energy. It also did not consider the contribution of feminine and masculine energies in families, or what happens when those energies are not satisfied. It also did not consider the effect of school and social trauma, or how traumas propagate through society. It did not consider shame over family history or employment or medical insecurity. All of these things are important factors in our extended families. The sexual and social needs of the younger generation are put on the back burner to satisfy the companionship needs of the older generation.
Because of this phenomenon, I did not really understand myself as a sexual being before I had my first sexual experience with a man and unfortunately that was rape. I was not prude or anything, I just maybe was a bit of a late bloomer. I didn’t understand how some men’s minds worked. I feel like there is a great effort on the part of society to hide that, and that it does a disservice to young women. I do understand now that much of it has to do with ineffable underlying personal magnetism or limerance or other psychic forces that might not be obvious to both parties. Being largely unaware of those things when I was younger, I thought that because I didn't look like my friend who made the cover of Seventeen magazine or my other friends who were underwear models in the 80's and 90's that the people I found attractive would not be attracted to me. Probably not many people know how to react when they are groped by a fellow artist or hit on in front of their husband or children, and this is probably harder for people who were shamed about their appearance, or who spend a lot of time around critical people. Anyway, I am trying to figure out how to reconcile that trauma in a way that might help others because it really was confusing, and made it hard for me to know how to handle those situations gracefully. There is a strange aspect to it that I have not seen spelled out explicitly in that women experience a major stigma for their sexual desire, especially in religious cultures. It has been culturally more acceptable for men to recognize and act on sexual desire than it is for women, and this is especially true if marriage is part of the equation. I think women are less likely to do it because the stigma against desire is so great, and that some of our inability to know how to react to solicitation has to do with our discomfort in knowing how to approach it ourselves. Unfortunately, because sexuality and spirituality are connected, to remove a person from enjoyment of self through stigmatization of body or desire is to remove them from wholeness. This lack of understanding has real physical and mental health consequences.
I think that anyone who is on the Supreme Court should understand this. I am thankful that there are artists and sex and tantra educators trying to bring these issues to our awareness.
I learned on Instagram that I could use my body to bring attention to important issues. I was hoping that the ideas I chose to sell with my body were the right ones and that they carefully reflected my beliefs and dreams.
I know that propaganda is powerful. That's why I tried to use my Instagram feed as an anti-propaganda propaganda machine. I tried to use it to subtly combat the materialistic social media machine that disconnects us from our bodies through shame. There were many people who inspired me in little ways, so while I may seem critical, my vision was absolutely informed by others close to me who have the same struggles, and borrowed a lot from the Art and Tantra communities. I took what seemed wise or helpful and left the rest. The more materialism and gossip I left behind, the more time I had to be with my husband who once proudly wore a Van Halen shirt declaring his love for my poundcake.
|They said to know the rules so you can break them.|
|Am I hired?|
|Read Banned Books|
|There is no spoon.|
|Science is magic. I am my own kind of witch.|
|I can make stuff but it makes me nuts.|
|Thank goodness for writing...|
|...and accidentally strange and predictive book stacks...|
|This vampire had her day in the sun.|