Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Those Big Questions.

It all started when a number of people asked me, "Why aren't you married yet?" 

Now, I can take it two ways. Those that asked knew me when I was in these long term relationship. And so it was assumed that in due time that the 'next step' would be that. Major deductive fallacy. And thank God that it is.. Or, they think that I'm "a nice girl" and that it's surprising that I haven't "caught someone" yet.. agh, seriously?! Grant it, most of these friends are from childhood or high school, so they aren't up-to-date with my current status quo. So, what seems like this irrelevant question to me is actually something appropriate despite these inconvenient feelings I have. I mean, we've all heard them before. Just in different forms. You know, those questions that if unable to provide an adequate response, a sense of discomfort and almost inadequacy rushes on by.. 

What college are you planning to go to? What are you doing after you graduate? Where are you going to move? What kind of work do you do? Are you dating someone? Do you love him (or her)? What's your next step? When are you guys having a baby?

I cringe to some of these questions, which is funny because I actually have answers to some of them! What I think makes these questions sometimes so difficult is that unless we have these stellar answers at hand that 1) not only are the answers people want to hear but also are 2) something that we are proud to say for ourselves. That is not to say that we do things in hopes to impress another person, per se. But there is this definite and almost immediate satisfaction when being ourselves leaves a positive impression with others, i.e. what we do and even more so who we are, are not only accepted but also attractive. 

The reality is that there are these certain steps, these presumed check boxes of things we need (?) to accomplish in our lives. School, job, marriage, home, children, etc. Okay, maybe not all of it but it is suggested, in that order. And for good even logical reason, I believe. Now, before you go and hate on my lack of unconventional ways, I say this only because I am a clear byproduct of all that is non sequitur. Trust me, in that I am not coming from this high horse of conventionality, looking down to those who did not follow this proposed path. I respect and even appreciate the life I experienced, thus far. But I also wonder, would some of those difficulties, despite the lessons and the character I derived from those experiences (which mind you, wasn't always an easy task to find that damn silver lining) could I still have been as 'good' of a person given a more direct route. My friends that lived a more linear and traditional life are they not of the same value as I? And vise versa? If then we are valued the same, then why did my route to the same endpoint became so much more ___- consuming.

I hate that I can't give people more direct answers now in my life. I always was able to, until now. And yet, I am the first person to tell you that I am grateful for the path I've had. I just question its necessity if there may have been a shorter route.  The quickest way from one point to another is a direct line. Given any deterence from that line, there is more time, more money, more energy put into that path. I leave this now with yet another question. Why? Why would that matter - in a specific time - in a specific way? Why do we think that our proposed 5-year plan is best? Why are expectations of others mean so much to me, to you, to anyone? Why. ... Okay but seriously, Why?

Monday, September 3, 2012

On Sex.

It's hard to explain to people what I've been doing this past month..

No, not "the sex" but the talking of it. If it wasn't obvious via Facebook posts and pictures, I am a proud, proud member of this production called Speak About It. Though it would be easy to call it the show about 'sex' or the show about 'rape' its actually far from that. There is a more staple description that describes it as a show on "consent, boundaries, and healthy relationships". And yet, that doesn't give it justice. 

The other day I had to explain why I wanted to be part of this show. There's shallow and other less shallow reasons. One reason is a friend of mine knew I was involved with Vagina Monologues and thought I'd be a good fit. Another is that it worked with my schedule and needed money for applications. True but more of an effect than a cause. The real reason? Well, that answer is a little less convenient. Now, I'm not trying to rehash the same stories from my past (Read: On Vaginas) or something rather recent (On Going To Far) but it is because of those moments, because those feelings of 'losing power' were way too consuming and too familiar; I then had the opportunity, the medium to do the one thing I did not do before. Speak

My most unfortunate moments that dealt with sex were in the moments that issues, facts, limits.. were not discussed. And because of that. Because of that lack of communication. People got hurt. I got hurt. These few weeks where I got to talk, to use my voice, to speak to others about sex, about relationships, about consent, about boundaries in forms of monologues and scripted words, to engage in this dialogue has been so enticing. It hits me right in the G spot of my soul. And from talking about it, I realized a common thread to my sexual narratives. Now before your mind plunders into that gutter, this is not an entry about the sexual endeavors of my life. Sorry. Need a little more beers before I may delve into that material. Rather, this is a hypothesis to you on what I believe makes sex so sexy. It's the unknown. It is taboo, encrypted, mystique, an enigma. Exciting and fun, yet can also be dangerous. But the thing is, the thing we all forget about, as we're hiding it under the sheets is this very important thing.. How great it really is. How sex earns its provocativeness not from its secrecy but from its very existence. Sex is great. It does not need to be shoved under the rug. What it needs is to be in the light, to show off. It is. A very, very beautiful thing. But it is in the context of how we use it and what purpose we have it serve in our lives that must be conscientious and honest about, at all times, with ourselves and our partners. 

Sex rears its ugly head only when certain rules are not played, acknowledged, respected. When lines are crossed or a dialogue is missing, when people don't know what they don't want and are not willing to explore those desires, when people can't voice their needs or don't know what they need to know; when all this communication is lost, particularly in the context of sex, things can get fucked up (no obvious pun intended). When we use sex in ways to hurt people or compromise their health, that's where we're wrong. That is when we turn what is good, into something ugly and even sustainably painful. Whether it was the story of my father or the stories of my childhood or more recently, the stories I've created as an adult.. I can't help but wonder that if I/my family/my friends had the sex talk (and I don't mean the ol' birds & bees spiel) but rather an honest conversation of what sex means and the responsibility that comes along with it - would had happen to me could have been prevented or at least, been less severe

I realized I can do this for days.. the talking, of course, not so much the sex. That requires a different type of endurance, womp womp. But I'll end with this. Conversation is the new foreplay. Nothing's more sexy than the opportunity and ability to say what you want and what your needs are, both in the sack and in life.
So, honor people's words and their bodies even better.

A shameless but well-worthy plug of the show, Speak About It!
The Show, the Cast, and of course, the Facebook.