Tag Archives: sex

Lesbian as a Blessing

Goddess I was so turned on today.

I could not get my (hairy, be-cunted, female) partner out of my mind.  Her thighs and where they come together.  The feel of her clit in my mouth and her round belly in my arms.  How wet she gets–I marvel at how wet she gets!  The shape of her hands.  The curve of her waist.  The texture of her beard.  Female is gorgeous.  Lesbian sex is from heaven.  Blessed be.

I look back on my old self–and, self-consciously, on my old posts here–and see the me that was with men, was exploring women, was wanting to be Lesbian but was afraid to claim it, not sure I deserved it.  I AM glad that I took time with it, didn’t take the word while I was with a man or soon after.  Thought about it.  Took care.  Treated it as sacred.

I pray that I may be able to have sex with many more women in my life, whether in a poly context or after my current relationship (or maybe I’ll have sex with my current partner for many many years, and that would be fine too).  If it pleases the Goddess, I’d like to worship at her altar.  In my first relationship, I was the novice–a la nuns–in my trial period, not ready to take my solemn vows.  Three years into that relationship, I finally called myself a Lesbian with conviction.  And now in my second relationship–yes sisters!–if there were a Lesbian Sisterhood I could make vows to, I would.  I would vow my adoration and service.  And chastity (at least in the hetero sense).  The Goddess works in mysterious ways.  I did not ask for this, but S/she came to me.  And came, and came.

At the time it was a choice.  Now it seems inevitable.  Hindsight.  I am not willing to let go of the choice, though.  Without the choice, it would not have happened for me.  You can choose.  I need you to know that.  Still, not everyone is ready, not yet.  I think that can be true too.  Be quiet if you must.  Listen to yourself.  Are you ready to do this?  Without hurting your sisters?  Will you dig out the misogyny and heterosexism–the patriarchy–and light them on fire, and worship her body in the alchemical glow of their destruction?  How much do you want her?  How much do you want Her?  She wants you.

I look back on my only certainty being that what was given to me was not grown by me.  I did not know if I could love or desire a woman, but I knew I had to try.  It has been worth it.  For all the pain of that first relationship/breakup (still a current pain), I know she was the perfect one to show me this part of me.  I am so much more than I ever imagined because I loved this woman.  Sex, desire, love–all deepened tenfold when I let myself be a Lesbian.

And the desire that I wasn’t sure was possible, then wasn’t sure was real, then wasn’t sure I deserved–it is now a daily blessing I take for granted.  The pulling ache in my clit when I think of my lover’s mouth.  The breath that steals out when I feel her tighten around my fingers.  The space between us that is full of magic as we pause, and pause…and succumb.  I want to tell my past self: “Don’t worry.  You found it.”

Sapphic Garden

It pains me when well-meaning women put down political lesbianism.

I haven’t seen these “straight women” who “pretend to be lesbian,” but you know what, I can assume for a moment that maybe these women are out there, maybe on Tumblr or something.  I can believe for a while that there are women appropriating the word as a political statement.  People are shitty.  I know it’s possible that someone is doing this thing, unseen by me.

What I have seen is women trying to articulate the path they took to coming out, and they use the phrase “political lesbian.”

What I’m saying is, I wouldn’t be a lesbian if it weren’t for political lesbianism.  I’ve since dropped the “political” prefix because I’ve come to understand myself as legit, simply part of the lesbian tribe.  Looking in the mirror and being able to say “This is what a lesbian looks like.”  But before that, I needed a clearly articulated theory of compulsory heterosexuality to even consider the possibility that I was anything other than an ordinary straight person.  I know that I would have kept being miserably straight had no one offered me the possibility that I could be a lesbian without having known it forever.  Mainstream LGBT coming out guidelines didn’t offer me that.  I didn’t already know it, so I didn’t believe it was possible.

Prior to reading about political lesbianism, I considered myself a 0.5 on the Kinsey scale, and called myself “mostly straight.”  I kissed a few women in casual, non-romantic contexts.  I could only think of one or two women I’d been attracted to, but, overwhelmingly, what turned me on was men.  I knew this, and I accepted it.  And this was after going to a university with a huge LGBT center, having ally training, and learning about sexual orientation as a spectrum.  None of it seemed like it was meant for me.  There were gay people, and there were straight people, and I was one of the straight ones.

Since first reading about political lesbianism, I have:

  1. Decided I wanted to be a lesbian.
  2. Started dating my girlfriend.
  3. Stopped dating men.
  4. Had lesbian sex for the first time.  Actually started enjoying sex for the first time.
  5. Came out as bisexual (still wanted to be a lesbian, but didn’t think I deserved it yet).
  6. Attended Michfest 3 times, which changed how I think of women and of lesbians.  My second year at Fest was the first time I said to myself, “I am a Lesbian.”
  7. Changed what turns me on. (Spoiler: It’s women.)
  8. Continued to date my girlfriend.  Continued enjoying sex.
  9. Started coming out to people as a Lesbian.
  10. Engaged with further women romantically and sexually. (Polyamory is only a slimy liberal dOOd plot when there are actual dOOds involved.  My girlfriend is wonderful.  So is the breathtaking creature I’m currently trying to woo.)

It’s been four years now since political lesbianism opened the door for me, and now I’m a changed person.  The thing is, sometimes we don’t know ourselves, and we also don’t know that we don’t know.  Some of us had this orgasmic, ecstatic, spiritual-religious flowering of Lesbianism waiting to unfurl in us, but it needed space to grow.  A garden metaphor, if I may:

A Sapphic Garden needs five things to thrive. First, a seed.  The spark of possibility.  I believe this is in every woman.  Maybe you don’t.  But it’s certainly in more women than we generally think.  Second, fertile soil, closely related to your material body.  Do you have self-respect?  Self-love?  It’s hard to relate to anyone, much less someone whose body is like your own, if you do not love yourself.  Third, sunlight.  Is the climate right?  Do you live in a woman-loving culture, or do you struggle in the stifling dark of misogyny and homophobia?  Fourth, water, which is community of spirit.  Are there others like you, to nourish you?  Are you emotionally satisfied, or are you thirsty for connection?  Fifth is the space in which to grow.  A tender sprout is very vulnerable to competition from weeds, which can steal food, water, and sun.  Do you have cultural or personal beliefs getting in the way of your growth?  Habits of heteo sex, performing for the male gaze, and getting value and validation from men’s attention can choke out the tiny tender seed of Lesbianism.  Those weeds have to be removed, cleared away entirely, until the tiny seedling has the chance to grow deep roots.

Sapphic Gardens have always grown in less than perfect conditions.  Many Lesbians came out without having role models or community, against the odds.  Almost all of us have gardens growing in the dark of misogyny.  We are fucking miracles, really, all of us.  And some of us started with gardens, as far as we can tell, entirely overrun by weeds.  Generations of weeds gone to seed over and over, never ending.  It seemed to us like that was all our garden was suited for.  And then political lesbianism came along like Gardening for Beginners and was all, “You know, maybe if you got yourself a digging fork and a claw and got rid of these weeds, started fresh, your garden would do better.”  Paradigm shift.

I feel particularly tender towards the women like me who had to dig out the weeds of learned heterosexuality and male-pleasing before our Lesbian seeds could grow.  And I want other women to know about the flowers, dormant in seed form, that could grow in their gardens if only they made the space for them.

 

WTF is “Sex” Anyway?

(WARNING: The following post contains a plethora of quotation marks.)*

I was reading a friend’s social media page recently and saw that so-and-so was “an amazingly sexual creature.”

Lifestyle magazines tell readers to “embrace your sexuality.”

Critics of political lesbianism*, from the they’re-really-just-celibate-straights corner, are concerned that poli-lez perpetuates the idea that “lesbians don’t have sex.”

What I am wondering is what people even mean when they use words like “sex” and “sexual” and “sexuality.” When I do a definition search, I get a somewhat circular scramble leading from/to intercourse, reproduction, gametes, eroticism, libido, desire. To complicate it all for radical feminists, what most people mean by “sex” is PIV, which makes sense if derived from “sexual intercourse”/”sexual reproduction”, but then “lesbians have sex too!” and “you don’t need a penis to have sex!” What is it to “have sex”? I mean, apparently you can “have sex” with yourself or with inanimate objects. If the only thing that brings me to orgasm is watching grey squirrels leap from limb to limb through fall foliage, could I be said to be “having sex” while watching said leaping? If the only thing that turns a man on is watching/visualizing a woman being murdered, could he be said to be “having sex” while watching such a tragic scene? Why does a “healthy relationship” require “having sex” regularly?

What is the commonality? Is genital arousal (measured by increased blood flow) the marker of a “sexual experience”? Well that gets complicated when undesirable stimuli turn us on, and our mental “sexual arousal” does not match our genital arousal. Is it then personally defined in the mind? When my lover rubs my back while feeding me starfruit and quoting Emily Dickinson, and I find it the most desirable and bonding experience in the world, is this sexual desire? Where is the “sexual” in it? Must a “sexual” experience necessarily involve genital contact? If yes, then where does “sexual attraction” (or other non-contact experiences) fit in? Did “sex” “not really happen” if someone didn’t orgasm?

OK. I’m being a bit foggy here. What I’m trying to get at is the essence of “sexuality” or “sex.” My mind has been turning, and it comes up with theories. Perhaps in times past, “sex” WAS shorthand for “sexual intercourse” (PIV). Male-female couples therefore had “sex.” Because PIV is a marker of ownership/romance/success/love/marriage/religiosity/whatever, that is, because PIV is THE IMPORTANT EVENT in whatever cultural element you’re talking about, and because PIV=”sex”, then people who don’t PIV, wanting to claim morality/success/love/whatever also, decide that certain non-PIV acts are also “sex.” Now “we are just as good/healthy/successful/loving/whatever as those PIVers.” Then “sex” starts to function as a floating signifier, meaning godknowswhat but everyone pretends we’re all talking about the same thing.

So when PIV-centric people say lesbians don’t have “sex,” they are 100% correct because lesbians are not PIVing. So why should lesbians get offended and try to convince the PIV-centrics that “oh no, lesbians really do have ‘sex'”? What is the essence of what they/we are trying to claim in claiming “sex”? What are we losing if we don’t?

Why is it so *crucial* that a lesbian be “actually” “sexually” attracted to women, as opposed to “merely” feeling “special friendship”? What is so shitty and inferior about having an overwhelming fondness and respect? What is so superior about having a genital response/enjoyment of nudity/PIV-reenactment/possessive tendencies/whatever people are defining as “sexual”?

Or what about the cultural agreement that “men have big sex drives and men are also great” whereas “women have no sex drives and women also suck”? And then women are like “Wait no women are great too! We have sex drives! We’ll prove it by fucking everyone! See! Sexual beings! Therefore women are great!”

If anyone has ideas, please tell me. This all comes in context of the political lesbian** debate, and (1) I honestly do not know what the fuck women (pro- and anti-) mean when they say “sexually attracted to women.” And (2) I am questioning whether the whole idea of “sex” and “sexuality” is not really derived from heterosexuality/PIV.

*(This is totally a ramble. I am not pretending to be coherent here. Maybe I will try to develop this more later, and maybe I will not.)

**(I get that there is a big difference between growing up afraid that people will find out you are an immoral freak and then beat you up, and growing up without that fear.)

Edit: Oh thank goodness.  Sonia Johnson has already thought about this stuff.  I will just have to finish reading The Ship That Sailed Into the Living Room.

Reprogramming: Slow Going

A draft from last year…

I had my clothes on, but it was still pretty reminiscent of missionary intercourse.

I noticed as it morphed from BEST KISSING EVER to the usual–him on top.  I noticed this knowing that I could stop it right then.  I realized that I found it annoying/disappointing/disrespectful/misogynist, but I also noticed that the part of me that had been groomed to this “enjoyed” it, or whatever that sensation actually is, you know what I mean.  So I said nothing and observed.  I observed both of us, because I was participating in it.

I had told myself I wouldn’t have sex with him this week, but in the midst of our interaction, I wasn’t sure any more.  Then I climaxed.  I tend to become my clear-headed feminist self again when I climax, bored of the bullshit.

So I pushed him off and slowed things down.  He seemed to get the message.  I thought.  We slowed down.  But I am learning every day that blunt is best.  Because then suddenly he was aggressive and hard again, but more than he had been with me before.  Did he think I was playing a game with him, that pushing him off was supposed to invite him to do more?  The feminine grooming in me found his behavior “hot,” but the feminist was disturbed.  “He totally wants to dominate and use me right now,” I thought.  “That’s terribly disappointing.”  I continued to experience the encounter through opposing lenses, hungry and disgusted, excited and bored.

When he said he wanted to be inside me (ugh), I said, “Too bad.”  At which point he shut up, calmed himself down, and got off of me.

He’s not bad for a Nigel, but I’d rather he didn’t want to fuck me like that in the first place.  I’d also rather I was ready to go cold turkey (no more men) and not let him dominate me any more, instead of watching and “enjoying.”  I’d rather I didn’t have fucking emotions up around him.

If there’s one thing I’m glad of, it’s the preset limit on our time together.  I’m sad about it, because of those emotions (trauma bonds?), but I’m glad that I have an out since I don’t presently seem able to set boundaries that suit my politics .

I’ve seen him since.  I wondered, will we have sex?  Maybe?  Probably?  I think I want to…better him than someone else?  Like, I wanted to NOT want to, but I still haven’t been able to wash my brain of the conditioning.  I still have unpleasant fantasies that get me high and lead me to seek men and PIV.  On the plus side, I discovered that I was completely uninterested when I saw him, even a little repulsed.  That was kinda cool.  Some say if you avoid PIV for a certain amount of time, it gets easier.  The trauma bonds break, and you are less likely to put yourself in situations where PIV is probable.  I’m hoping for that.  Still dealing with thoughts about other men, and still dealing with the unpleasant fantasies.

I have noticed since I started having sex with a woman that my fantasies and turn-ons have changed, and I think this is huge!  This is the deprogramming!  Before, my sexuality was male-centered, all a psychological response to his experience rather than an experience of my own pleasure.  And since all they really wanted was PIV (and had no understanding of the pleasure of subtle sensation), I didn’t like anything but PIV, with me on the bottom.  Just fuck me.  I don’t really like it, but I’ll get off on his getting off.  And because of this, I also wasn’t sure I was cut out for sex with women.  You mean I can’t just lie back and take it?  I have to do things?  What if I’m an empty submissive with no erotic energy of my own?  What if it turns out that I’m not sexually attracted to her after all?  I was afraid.  But guess what?  The sex was amazing.  It shattered my stunted understanding of what sex was and reshaped it into something wonderful.  Maybe I got lucky with this lover, I don’t know.  But I crave the way she touches me.  I fantasize about lesbian sex.  I dream of women.  Thinking of them turns me on.  I imagine our bodies, our fat and muscle, our skin and hair, our hands and tongues, our angles and curves and kisses and cuddles and the tangled knot of our embrace and clasped hands and sighs and squeals…it is entirely different from what I feel about men.  Before I experienced it, I didn’t understand it, and I didn’t think I was capable of sexual attraction to women, but I was.  I changed.  And I think any woman’s lesbian desire, given the room, can grow and bloom.

What’s the point of the reprogramming?  Get rid of the heterosexual ideology.  Decolonize your mind and body.  Make room for sisterhood and liberation.

So, right, making room for liberation.  Not dating any men right now, but that’s more coincidence than the result of firm resolve.  Not having PIV, but fantasizing about it an awful lot.  Yuck.

Learning to Clear My Head

From Feminist Ninja: http://feministninja.tumblr.com/post/38888854700/how-to-have-sex-with-a-radfem

I bet you think you know some women who like the genders in bed. One that just ruuuuuuuuuves to be dominated or made to feel like “a woman.” Let’s break this down a little. What does “being a woman” mean when in bed? It’s a kind of submission to the will of the man, especially in domination. Unless you have ever had NO OTHER OPTION but to be the recipient of the advances of another because your very BEING is defined as being a recipient (based on your anatomy and how the dominant culture interprets your anatomy) then it’s hard to understand how this effects the woman you are thinking about getting closer to. Women learn to eroticize being helpless, weak, passive creatures, with their backs all arched up and their necks falling helplessly back into your strooooong embrace.

But that is NOT what a female is.

That is a distortion of her.

This is the sort of stuff that caught my attention and drew me toward a particular philosophy.  I’d been unhappy with the sex I was having, and unhappy with the fantasies.  Disturbed that of all the possible sex I could be having, I was most turned on by being on the bottom of missionary.  I was never really comfortable with the line that whatever I chose empowered me.  Certainly, it was what all the feminists [sic] were saying, but I had still more questions that were not being addressed.  Agency, yes, ok, but what about symbolism?  What about the gendered patterning of roles in BDSM?  How can choosing something that is already a worldwide system be a radical choice?  And how could I, really how could I, steadfastly reject male domination of women, all while craving to be dominated by a man in bed?  Why was this stuff in my head?  The feminist websites I read didn’t have answers to these questions, and I felt like I was the only one having a problem with this.

I was wrong, of course.  Radical feminists are talking about this, but they’re in the minority.  Their websites aren’t at the top of search results.  They’re hard to find, but they’re there.  And they have answers.  Yes, the symbolism matters.  Yes, “being fucked” metaphorically is related to “being fucked” in the bedroom.  Yes, BDSM is just an exaggeration of patterns of dominance in “vanilla” and patterns of abuse, found worldwide.  No, individualism will not dismantle patriarchy.  And the desire to be dominated is a tragic survival strategy in a violent world.

Porn grossed me out.  Now I know why.  Rape fantasies grossed me out.  Now I know why.  The things that happened in bed grossed me out.  Now I know why.

I’m still working on getting the bad stuff out of my head.  It hasn’t been easy.  Sometimes I’m able to keep the thoughts at bay when I’m with a partner, and sometimes I still think them.  It has been helpful to focus on affectionate emotion and relaxed, playful action rather than on passionate lust and ferocity.  It has also been helpful to focus on the boredom when I am actually bored.  I think this gets me closer to saying, “OK, I want to stop now,” and farther away from having submission fantasies just to cope.  Practicing assertiveness and initiation, despite not feeling turned on at first, has been fruitful.  I am developing positive associations with sexual ways of being that are not passive (though I am wary of taking that to enjoying dominance, which reproduces the same problem).  And I’ve had some really good non-hierarchical sex recently, so I think I’m making progress.