Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

misogyny

NEWS: ArousedWoman Magazine PRE-SALE Premiere Issue or All 6 Issues


ArousedWoman MagazineComing soon!  ArousedWoman Magazine will hit the cyber-newsstands in August 2014.

You can pre-order and get yours reserved for $9.99.  Or get a subscription for all 6 bimonthly issues for just $49.99.

In order to be truly happy, you have to be happy (and healthy) on several levels.   The best way to accomplish this is with solid information so you can make informed decisions about your life, your body, your rights, and your peace of mind in this crazy, hectic world.

AW Magazine will be a digital publication, readable on any computer or mobile device.  The premiere August/September issue will be released in August 2014.

An extension of AW Blog and AW Radio, AW Mag is an in-depth look at various topics for women (and men!), including sex, health, fitness, nutrition, feminism/activism, original erotica, guest writers, spirituality, reviews, and more!

The August/September 2014 issue will feature articles and interviews on the topics:

  • Body image
  • California women’s Reiki healing center
  • Radiant pleasure
  • Finding our way back from patriarchy
  • Goddess-based spirituality
  • The new Atheism
  • Classical Tantra
  • Activist film festivals
  • Revolutionary Feminism
  • Painting female nudes
  • Healing yourself through meditation
  • Knowing your vagina
  • Massage & the importance of touch
  • Breast Health
  • Protecting your clit
  • Orgasm tips
  • New AskTrish letters
  • Sexual health
  • Overall nutrition
  • Recipes
  • Original erotica
  • Guest articles
  • OpEd pieces
  • Reviews
  • AND MORE!

Every issue will have new articles, new guests, new important health coverage, and new original erotica!

Pay using your PayPal account or your credit or debit card:

And please SPREAD THE WORD by sharing the link to this blog post.  Thank you!

trish

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OpEd: St. Patrick Can Kiss My Wild Irish Ass


St. Patrick - Not IrishI despise St. Patrick’s Day.  I love the connection to Irish culture, but celebrating Irish culture was NOT what “St. Patrick” was all about.  In fact, his mission was to do just the opposite.

To dispel the “St.Patrick” myth bullshit, here are some FACTS:

1) Padraic was Roman NOT Irish/Gaelic.

2) No archaeological evidence of snakes has EVER been found in Ireland because Ireland is COLD.

3) Though Rome was in decline, the church was on the rise.  Padraic was sent by the Christian church to convert the pagans/heathens/Gaelic ne’er-do-wells to the state religion of the failing Roman Empire: Christianity.  As became typical of the Christian church, their marketing campaign was “Convert to Jesus or die.”  Did the church really want to save souls?  Of course, not.  The first-century Romans actually detested the Irish and Scottish bands of Gaels, as well as the Picts (in what is now Scotland).  The Romans built Hadrian’s Wall to keep these rough barbarians from sullying their newly conquered Britannia.  Then why were the Irish and Scottish so important to the Roman church a few centuries later?  The church needed more people in its clutches to pay tithes and penances to fund its expansion and “crusades” (killing people in Jesus’ name).

Padraic used traditional Gaelic spirituality to correlate the Christian narrative of Iesus’ (Jesus) birth, life, and death, thus conning the Irish into accepting Christianity to go alongside with the indigenous Gaelic beliefs.  Thus began the systematic assimilation of a male trinity (supplanting the female trinity of the goddess culture of Ireland) as well as the now prevalent misogynistic patriarchal culture that has overtaken all matriarchal cultures in the Western world.

Remember, Jesus was killed by the Romans, and Padraic (Patrick) was a Roman infiltrator (emphasis on “traitor”) to “convert” Ireland’s pagans from their indigenous spirituality to the indoctrination and assimilation of the patriarchal imperial regime, whose intolerance, misogyny, and hypocrisy are still felt to this day via the anti-woman Catholic Church and even the rise of religious fundamentalism in America.

To learn about the indigenous spirituality of Ireland, watch the BBC program, “Sacred Wonders of Britain,” which looks at the sacred sites, the goddess culture, and the history of the native peoples of the British isles — before Christianity and the Germanic influx ruined it all.

So there you have it.  Please stop acting like “Patrick” did something good for Ireland.  He didn’t.  Patrick was a crucial part of the suppression of Ireland’s indigenous culture.  Wake up.

…. and if you’re going to shorten his name, it’s St. Paddy’s, NOT St. Patty’s.

…. and don’t get me started on use of the word “Celtic” to describe anything Irish or Scottish….

Erin (and paganism) go Bragh!
trish


NEWS: Wall Street Journal Editor Blames Intoxicated Sexual Assault Victims for Getting Raped


james-taranto-wall-street-journalToday, the endemic rape-culture of the United States is front and center again, only this time, it’s not Rush Limbaugh shaming women and victims of sexual assault or GOP gyneticians re-inventing women’s physiology — it’s an editor for the Wall Street Journal.

In today’s WSJ article, “Drunkenness and Double Standards: A balanced look at college sex offenses”, James Taranto makes a point to victim-blame women who are assaulted while under the influence of alcohol.  Just when you think the days of the Neanderthal have passed, one pokes his misogynist head up and says things like this:

“Had she awakened the next day feeling regretful and violated, she could have brought him up on charges and severely disrupted his life.”

Really?  “Disrupted his life”???  This isn’t like changing your lunch order from beef to chicken.  This is a life-changing event for the woman who is brave enough to report the assault.  Of course, it will “disrupt” the man’s life as well.

Taranto uses a drunk driving analogy:

“[W]hen two drunken college students ‘collide’, the male one is almost always presumed to be at fault. His diminished capacity owing to alcohol is not a mitigating factor, but her diminished capacity is an aggravating factor for him.”

I have recounted my own rape and my Steubenville-esque experiences, and I’ve heard from other women about their similar unintentional experiences.  So judging from his attitude, I’m sure Taranto has never been on the receiving end of an assault or rape.

Taranto goes on to say,

“What is called the problem of “sexual assault” on campus is in large part a problem of reckless alcohol consumption, by men and women alike.”

I want to point out that the men who participate in these drunken assaults caused by “reckless alcohol consumption” never seem to feel as if they have been assaulted.  The women do.  Maybe it’s because of the mechanics of “reckless sex” and how a man pounds into a woman’s vagina when he’s “reckless” — he doesn’t feel the physical or emotional effects of the “act” the way a woman does, and perhaps the woman would have said, “No,” had she not been under the influence.  Keep in mind, that everyone’s alcohol tolerance is different.

In some areas, if a person has had at least two drinks, he/she is considered unable to give informed consent due to the effect of the alcohol on the brain.  Alcohol is an entrenched part of American culture as well as college campuses.  It’s no wonder that date rape and assaults involving alcohol seem to be on the rise.

The best thing is to steer clear of alcohol if you’re at a party like that.  Keep your wits about you at all times.  But if you do drink and are assaulted, please report the assault to campus police as soon as you can so a rape kit and STD tests can be done.

trish

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OpEd: Sex and Pain


Woman with Real Breasts Looking Off into DistanceIf you judged the average person’s sex habits by what you see online, you’d think everyone is into pain, BDSM, and hog-tying their sex partners into elaborate rope configurations.  A while back, I was “roped” into a brief Twitter war with a guy who was trying to justify putting duct tape over a woman’s mouth during sex.  You can well imagine I went Irish war queen on his ass.

Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to associate pleasure with pain, even though I’ve heard some pretty wild concepts.  And I’m not talking about the fur-lined handcuffs, blindfolds, and feathers — although I’d never do the handcuffs or the blindfold.  Even without a fetish being involved, women put up with painful sex for a variety of reasons, and we don’t have to.  Ever.

One reason I did not go the official “sex educator” route was because I would not have been allowed to speak my mind on the sex habits I personally find to be dangerous or just plain stupid.  (Yes, I know…. two consenting adults, blah, blah, blah….)  Since the rise of 50 Shades of Grey, it has become politically incorrect to say anything critical about BDSM or bondage or a woman not being a doormat for an abusive man.  And plain ol’ sex is considered “vanilla” sex, not exciting or amazing, just vanilla.  However, I feel the need to speak out for those of us who like our sex to be solely pleasurable between partners who are on an equal basis, not one person in control nor one person made to be a slave or subservient caricature.

From my own holistic, Tantric perspective, I would never enter a sexual experience with any attitude other than love, equality, and respect.

And yet, pain is apparently all over modern sex.  Personally, I believe the association of sex and pain is due to this patriarchal society that is based on hierarchy and competition at any cost.  The need for control or recognizing we are being controlled is incorporated into every aspect of our lives, our work, our economic status, our cultural/class status; and then hierarchy and the need for control or to relinquish all control crosses over into sex.

Pain is pain, not pleasure.  Women should not put up with painful sex, but often times, we do so as not to hurt the man’s feelings.  We endure all sorts of emotional pain throughout our lives, but sex should be 110% pleasure.  Women, you do not have to tolerate painful, unfulfilling sex.  Ever.

Sex should never hurt.  Except for some slight pain when the hymen is broken, sex should never be painful.  Even for an experienced woman, penetration can be painful if she is not lubricated enough.  Whether it’s your first time with a man or the hundredth, sex may need to be slow to take him in.  Just because you’ve been with him before doesn’t mean your body is automatically ready to be penetrated.  Being penetrated too quickly or without enough lube can be very, VERY painful.

Remember that the vulva needs to be massaged and stretched as part of the preparation for sex.  Another reason for spending time arousing the woman is that the vagina is only 3 to 3.5 inches long, but she expands up to 50% during arousal.  So if the man wants to get 5+ inches of his penis inside instead of just 3 inches, fully arousing a woman is time well spent.

The difference in penis size to vagina size can make for thrilling orgasms or a painful experience.  If the man has a large penis, extra time may need to be taken to avoid hurting the woman.  How much time?  This depends on the woman.  In this way, yes, the woman is always in control of the sex.  That’s just the way it goes, guys.

Once aroused, the woman’s erectile tissue will be fully infused with blood (just as the man’s erectile tissue fills with blood), and for the woman, when the man slowly slides inside the vagina, it is exquisite pressure and a sense of being absolutely full, as if he’s touched her soul.  Again, any man not willing to patiently await a woman’s full arousal doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a vagina.

Encouraging pain to feel pleasure is just stupid — or even dangerous if your partner wants to try something like erotic axphxiation (choking to make orgasm “stronger”).  If you actually know the “how” of orgasm, you’d know that oxygen feeds orgasm intensity and duration, so cutting off your oxygen supply is actually not a good idea.  And about 1,000 people die per year from erotic axphyxiation.

Pain in the vagina, anus, or even in the pelvic floor or legs could be a sign of something very wrong.  If you experience pain or numbness in the legs during or after sex, this may be not only a neurological issue but also a respiratory issue.  Getting enough oxygen into your lungs, and ergo your body, is crucial for proper function of the body and especially for orgasm.  During sex, focus breathing down into your pelvic floor.  As you inhale, bring the air all the way down toward your genitals.  This will ensure that you are belly breathing and not breathing only in the upper chest.  Upper chest breathing doesn’t allow the body to get rid of as much carbon dioxide, so the body is not being fully oxygenated.  This can contribute to the tingling or numbness in the legs.  Also, being sedentary in your daily life or job can affect the nerves and bloodflow in the legs.

Moving around to the backside, anal sex should NEVER hurt.  Ever.  Whether fingers, a toy, or a penis, anal sex should only ever be pleasurable.  Men, please know, that male prostate stimulation is very healthy for you, and any anal stimulation should always be pleasurable.

With the possible exception of breaking the hymen, no part of sex should ever hurt.  Ever.  Never.

Yes, I know that fetishes like spanking and rope-tying have hit the mainstream, but it is still a power-play of control and inflicting pain on someone you supposedly care about.  Just because you interpret both pain and pleasure in the same area of the brain doesn’t mean you need to inflict pain to experience pleasure.  In fact, if you are, then you only experience sex on a physical level, and orgasm is a response of the subtle body, not just a “release” of the physical anatomy.

The rise of pain as a means of pleasure is more patriarchal bullshit that women are supposed to adopt as “normal” sex play.  Women are throttled by the neck, their breasts are slapped, their vulvas punched with a partner’s fist, and it makes me ill.  What’s worse is that young people see the images, gifs, videos, etc., online and think that abusive sex is normal, and it is not.

Once you understand the mechanism and response of orgasm, you will know that pain should never be anywhere near sex.  Any desire for pain during sex is a sign of other psychological and/or emotional issues that need to be resolved outside the bedroom.  I know this is not a popular sentiment, and that’s okay.  I want to be a voice for all those women (and men) who instinctively do not want pain-fetishized sex but feel pressured into accepting it because of this society that regularly features victimized women and abusive men as part of the mainstream culture.

Having lived in a patriarchal world and been affected by its brutality more times than I care to acknowledge, I will never allow an abusive person into my sex life.  Ever.

trish

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NEWS: Another All-Male House Judiciary Subcommittee Wants to Legislate American Uteruses


Rep. Trent Franks (Arizona) - House Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Constitution and Civil JusticeOn Thursday, January 9, 2014, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice met to gather information on bill H.R. 7, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act.  The problem with this subcommittee?  It is yet another all-male panel set to determine policy that affects women.  Another problem with this bill is that it isn’t just about taxpayer funded abortion but also abortions provided via private insurance — insurance the woman pays for via her premiums.

If you recall the all-male birth control panel that propelled Sandra Fluke to unwanted fame and started the infamous slut-shaming by GOP windbag Rush Limbaugh, this new subcommittee is yet another misogynist attempt to harm women and violate our natural rights to body autonomy and self-determination.  These men have no idea what it is like to be a poor woman, a woman with a pre-existing health condition, a woman who is scared, or a woman who simply cannot afford to have a child.

This latest all-male subcommittee heard from three witnesses, only two of whom were female.  These women were Susan Wood, Associate Professor of Health Policy and of Environmental & Occupational Health in the Department of Health Policy at George Washington University, and Helen Alvare, a Professor of Law at George Mason University School of Law.  The third witness was a man, Richard Doerflinger, Associate Director, Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  Yes, a religious figurehead getting a say in secular, governmental matters that do not affect him as a religious person OR as a man.

Wood had this to say in her testimony:

The Bill Would Ban Abortion Coverage for Virtually All Women in this Country, Including Those in the Private Insurance Market.

Those who oppose abortion have tried and failed to make it illegal, so instead they have worked to make it almost impossible to obtain. Indeed, some object even to insurance coverage of contraception, the most effective way to prevent unplanned pregnancy and reduce the need for abortion.  One of the ways they have accomplished this goal of limiting access to abortion is to make it unaffordable. This bill is their most recent attempt to place affordable abortion care out of reach for even more women.

The need for access to abortion to protect the health of women, not just when they are in danger of imminent death, is critical….. Health conditions, such as diabetes, hypertension, epilepsy or others would not necessarily fit the definition of placing a woman in “danger of death,” but could have potentially serious consequences for her health. Health insurance currently routinely covers the range of pregnancy care and other health services that may be needed by any individual woman. By denying abortion coverage, this would not only change the current insurance women have, but would put some women’s health at risk.

In conclusion, this bill would impose a sweeping and unprecedented ban on abortion coverage, with far-reaching and harmful consequences for women’s health and economic security. When it comes to the most important decisions in life, such as whether to become a parent, it is vital that a woman be able to consider all her options–including an abortion– no matter what her income or source of insurance. It makes sense that health programs cover the whole spectrum of women’s reproductive health needs, including birth control, abortion, and childbirth, because when people can plan if and when to have children, it’s good for them and for society as a whole.

Here’s a link to the Judiciary page where you can read all three statements.

Part of Deorflinger’s complaint is that he, and some others, do not want tax-payer dollars going to pay for elective abortions.  As a pacifist, I don’t want my tax-payer dollars going to build bombs and fund wars based on lies.  And yet, my wishes aren’t granted.  For women who might get a teeny bit of tax-payer money to help them get an abortion if they need or elect to have one, these women are tax-payers, too.   If they’re adult women, they pay taxes in some form or another, whether it’s sales tax at the grocery store, gasoline tax at the gas pump, property taxes on their house or apartment, or income tax.

Do we even need to go over how hypocritical it is that Viagra is covered by insurance but abortion may not be?

STOP MAKING WOMEN OUT TO BE MOOCHING SLUTS.  Women get pregnant.  By MEN.  We’re in this together.  Drop the misogyny and look at the facts as presented by Wood.

Guttmacher Institute-more-abortion-restrictions-2011-2013This subcommittee and this bill are yet another step backwards for American women and American politics.  According to the Guttmacher Institute, as of 2013, 56% of women live in one of the 27 states considered hostile to abortion.  Guttmacher also crunched the numbers on anti-abortion laws:

Twenty-two states enacted 70 abortion restrictions during 2013. This makes 2013 second only to 2011 in the number of new abortion restrictions enacted in a single year…. 205 abortion restrictions were enacted over the past three years (2011–2013), but just 189 were enacted during the entire previous decade (2001–2010).

Let’s review some of the other misogynist highlights that happened in the USA in the past couple of years that I covered here on ArousedWomanBlog.com:

What does this mean for women in the United States?  We MUST stand up and speak up for our rights as American citizens and human beings with basic human rights.  And we MUST vote more pro-choice women in Congress.

trish


OpEd: When a Woman Says “No,” But the Man Won’t Stop


When a Woman Says NoTo start the New Year off right, the universe sent me an experience to remind me the work here is not yet done.  Thankfully, it was not violent, but it was annoying to see how far women still have to go on the path of being respected.

A few days ago, I needed to go to the store, but I realized I was going to miss the bus at the time I wanted to go, so I made sure I caught the next pick-up.  Had I caught the bus I wanted, I would not have witnessed the interchange that occurred on the bus I got on.

I sat in the only available seat, the one behind the driver.  I like this driver; she’s very nice and tolerates the annoying passengers well.  As we ambled along, I could hear a woman four rows behind me tell someone, “No. Stop touching me.”  Then she giggled.  I assumed it was a man doing the unwanted touching.  A few seconds later, again, “No.  Stop touching me there.”  I heard him murmur something as she sort of laughed.  Again, she said the same words, but more insistently, “No. Stop touching me.”  The half-hearted laugh was faint.  Again, the guy murmured something to her, his tone obviously trying to convince her that she should let him continue to do what he was doing.

As I sat, facing the front, my ears were piqued.  The bus passengers were quiet, each one keeping to himself or herself.  No one seemed to be bothered by this interchange.  She was giving off little giggles at first, but my ears heard something else.  I heard a woman who is saying “No” and then apologizing by laughing, so as not to offend him even though this man was violating her personal space and her right to body autonomy.

Even for myself, I thought, If it’s actually a problem, wouldn’t someone who’s closer to them speak up?  Wouldn’t someone who can see what’s going on stop this guy?  Were they confused by her laughter?  Could they not hear that the giggle was a mask of her true feelings?

I kept listening.  Their interchange continued, but it was different.  Her refutations grew more loud and more insistent.  “NO.  STOP touching me.”  No giggling.  He murmured, laughing to himself.  “NO!  STOP touching me THERE.”  No giggling.  He laughed again.  “NO!  STOP touching me!”

I whisked around in my seat, sitting slightly taller to make sure they could see me over the two rows between us, and I said very loudly where everyone can hear, “Do you need the bus driver to call the police for you?”  Stunned, she looked at me.  So did he.  They were both in their 30’s.  He had one arm around her shoulders and the other on her torso.  She was by the window.  She was pinned in.  I know that feeling of being trapped by a man with no way to get out.  Now, I was really pissed off.

I continued, “We’ve all heard you tell him five or six times to stop touching you and he hasn’t.  That’s assault,” then I looked at him but talked to her, “And he can go to jail.”  She looked at him, her eyebrows arched, yet said nothing.  But he did.  “We were just playing,” he smiled.  Clearly, he still thought it was a game.

I responded,”‘No’ and ‘Stop’ are not playing a game.  We all heard her tell you five or six times to stop touching her.  When a woman says ‘No,’ she means ‘No.‘”

He replied, “Yes, ma’am,” almost sheepishly.

I turned back around in my seat, still pissed off at the situation, pissed off at her for not giving him an elbow to his nose, pissed off at every other passenger who had said nothing.

The bus driver pulled up to the local grocery story, and this couple was the first to exit the bus.  Then someone else exited, while I debated continuing with my plan to shop at this store or continue on the route to Wal-mart.  I loathe Wal-mart.  More importantly, I wanted to make sure she was okay — that he wouldn’t do something to her once they were away from people.  So I got off the bus there.  As I did, he sort of glared at me, and she sort of tried not to look at me.  It was a very strange moment, but I walked by with my head held high and continued on inside the store.

It so happened that they almost crossed paths with me a couple of times in the store.  She was looking around at what she wanted.  When he saw me, his eyes darted away.  But I did notice that she kept about a foot of distance between them.  Every time he tried to get close to her, she moved away.  I could only hope that she was okay.

I finished my shopping, and got the bus the next time it came by.  The bus was empty except for one passenger and the bus driver.  As I put my $1.25 in the machine, the bus driver exclaimed, “Okay, tell me what happened!”

She had been unaware of what was going on until the woman had said “STOP touching me THERE.”  This was about the time I spoke up, so she heard my comment about calling the police.  The bus driver told me, “I couldn’t see what was going on, but the bus has cameras, and I was ready to call the police after I heard you.  But you turned around, so I figured I’d check on it when we came to a stop, but they got off.”

Ironically, the bus driver was worried about me. “He didn’t say anything to you did he?  Are you all right?”  I assured her I was fine, and I had been concerned about the woman.  She replied, “Yeah, you always worry about that — what happens when they get home.”

Exactly.  This is the same reason some people are afraid to correct a parent for being mean or even abusive to their kids in a public place — you worry what the parents will do to the kids at home.  (I have also spoken out on these certain occasions, the most recent being a woman who came back at me with her fist raised ready to punch me in the face for telling her grandmother not to yell at her infant.)

At the next stop, a couple of the passengers from the last trip got back on the bus.  As they saw me, sitting on the front seat on the right side of the bus, they laughed a knowing laugh, and the entire bus ride centered around the incident.  I’ve seen these people many times before on the bus, and they had been closer to the man and woman.  So I was curious, “What was he doing?  Why didn’t anyone speak up?”

One woman said, “She was laughing.  I thought she was okay.  He was just playing.”  I said, “No, her laugh wasn’t a real laugh.  It was a nervous giggle and a fake laugh.”  I wasn’t imagining this.  I could tell.

The bus driver even had insight to the matter.  “When you said that to them, she didn’t speak up in his defense.  If he really had been playing and she didn’t mind what he was doing, she would have defended him.  But she didn’t say a word.  Not a word.”

Without seeing the incident, I could only go by what I could hear.  It sounded like a woman being harassed or assaulted and giving a nervous laugh, as women do when they’re trying to maneuver their body away from a man they don’t want touching them.  The bus driver couldn’t see the incident, but she knew something was amiss by what she didn’t hear — the woman defending him.  The woman was silent.  As so many of us are.

I made the comment, “She may have felt she had to put up with it becaasue she’s in a relationsghip with him.  The reason I felt I had to speak up wasn’t just for him to leave her alone, but so she could hear from another woman that what he was doing was wrong.  In case she needed permission to speak up.”

I made the point then in talking with the bus driver, and I’ll make it here now.  When a woman says, “No,” she means, “No.”  When a woman says, “Stop,” you stop.

Even if you’re in a relationship or legally married, he does not own you or your body.  You are your own, autonomous human being with rights to self-determination.  Just because you’re in a relationship with a man does not mean you give up your rights to yourself.

Any questions?

trish


RADIO: Trish Causey Hosts Pro-Choice Stand With Women CALL-IN Show


ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey - 2013Thursday, I had a live call-in show to address the horrific misogyny happening in Texas, North Carolina, and around the country.

As the national spotlight shone on Wendy Davis and the women (and men!) of Texas standing up for women’s reproductive rights, other states are systematically legislating our rights away, requiring ultrasounds and other invasive procedures that amount to legal rape — rape BY the legal and political system.

North Carolina snuck an anti-choice measure into a motorcycle safety bill, and it was passed.

Meanwhile, across the pond, even Ireland has begun to awaken to their misogynist theocracy by passing legislation to legalize abortion if the life of the woman is at stake.

Late last night, the Texas legislature voted in opposition to the thousands who protested their anti-choice bill, as well as their own constituents, 90% of whom did not want the bill to pass.

Listen to all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com, or post a comment here on the AW Blog.

SUPPORT AW Radio by making a tax-deductible donation here.

trish

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RADIO: Trish Causey Discusses “When Fascism Comes to America…”


James Miller - Firefly -14 Signs of Fascism“When Fascism comes to America…” Oh, wait. Fascism is already here, and it is alive and well.

I will readily admit that doing this show was one of the most exciting interviews I’ve done.  I absolutely had a blast — perhaps because I was able to combine my passions of theatre and activism into one show.   Ahhhhh…. bliss!

I talked with Dr. James Miller about experiencing fascism in action firsthand at the University of Wisconsin – Stout over a “Firefly” poster he put up.

You can hear the 1-hour show (that became a 2-hour show) via the reply here:  Trish Causey Discusses “When Fascism Comes to America…”

Dr. Miller is a professor of Speech and Theatre at the University of Wisconsin Stout, where has been employed since 1985.  He earned a double doctorate in Speech and Theatre from Southern Illinois University.  He currently teaches courses in all areas of Theatre and Speech Communication, and for twenty years (1987-2006), he was the Director of Theatre at UW-Stout.  He is an actor, a director, and a designer as well as a teacher, with more than 150 shows to his credit as director or designer over the last 35 years.

This was truly a great interview, and I hope all of YOU enjoy it as well!  Be sure to leave a comment below.

Listen to all replays of ArousedWoman Radio with Trish Causey on the main website, ArousedWoman.com.

trish

SUPPORT AW Radio by making a tax-deductible donation here.

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RADIO: Trish Causey Chats With Women’s Rights’ Activist Sunny Clifford


Sunny Clifford - Young Lakota - South Dakota Pro-Choice Reproductive Rights ActivistLast night’s show was a quick one, but a good one.  I talked with women’s reproductive rights activist Sunny Clifford.

REPLAY:  Trish Causey Chats With Women’s Rights Activist Sunny Clifford

Being a Lakota from Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Sunny is a staunch advocate for reproductive rights for indigenous women.  Though she is very shy as a person, she is not shy about the lack of pro-choice options for indigenous women being a direct result of colonialism.

We also touched on the topic of what is happening in Texas with the anti-abortion bill before the state legislature, a bill that 80% of Texans oppose, but that the Repugs are trying to pass anyway.   (More on that later!)

Sunny is also the subject of an upcoming PBS documentary, Young Lakota, and she was the recipient of the prestigious Emerging Leader Award by the Ms. Foundation.

Have a listen to the replay, and follow Sunny on Twitter: @SunnyClifford.

trish

Further Reading:


OpEd: The Activist’s Guide to Putting Aside Our Differences to Fight for Our Differences


Tree of Life - As Above, So BelowA while back, a friend made the comment that she had seen my Facebook status, and it made her think about that particular issue I’d brought up, saying, “You have so many causes, I can’t keep up.”

Wrong.  I have ONE cause — Human Rights.  All other rights issues stem from this central trunk of the rights and issues’ family tree.  Women’s rights, LGBT, genital integrity, workers’ rights, children’s rights, and more — ALL are branches of the primary concept that roots us in our basic right to self-determination, autonomy, and our humanity.

Today provided a perfect example of how different experiences color our activism.  Usually, this is a good thing, but occasionally, our pain from our own experiences clouds our words, resulting in our message devolving into a war of emotion.  It becomes a contest of “my pain is greater than your pain”  — a competition no one wins.

My morning started with me checking my Facebook and Twitter while I made breakfast as I hurried my daughter to get up, get ready for school, and catch the bus.

I try not to spend all day on Twitter, but tomorrow’s Full Moon seems to have kicked up people’s crazy cycles a day early.

First, on Facebook, I responded to a friend’s comment about his neighbors’ loud sex last night.  As the conversation progressed to sex positions (okay, I brought it up), I mentioned that the reason the original missionary position is the only position ever condoned by the Catholic church was because it provides the least pleasure for the woman.  It puts the man in the superior, stronger, aggressive position while the woman is inferior, at the mercy of the man, and passive and submissive.  Another chick chimed in saying some women “love to be ‘conquered.'”  As a woman who has spent most of my life fighting NOT to be conquered by men, I disagreed, but I did not linger since I had to get some real work done.

I spent a couple hours working my day-job (Thursdays are a day-off for me), and what followed was an entire day on social media in one activist role or another.  And I have preserved some of those exchanges in the photo gallery below. (To view them at full size, click the box on the lower right of your screen.)

The second round of today’s activism started out simple enough — me talking about orgasms, specifically, mine, and how I cry when I orgasm.  I followed that with a comment that men crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  Twitter being a public forum, a random guy jumped in the convo with a rude comment ridiculing how it would look with a “he man blowing his load and crying.”  This began a series of tweets back and forth as I tried to explain that a man crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  After all, men are human beings, and human beings have feelings.

Apparently, men are still not allowed to be full human beings in our society.

The third and most exasperating exchange occurred with a man who, it turns out, is also an activist — an intactivist, to be precise.  An intactivist is someone who fights for ending all circumcision — on males and females — because genital mutilation is a human rights violation of a child’s bodily autonomy and is sexual assault on the child.  This guy had tweeted the following comment:

“The sexual urges of women in our society are more important than the pain of a baby boy.”

After a morning of hearing that some women want to be conquered, men who cry are not masculine, and a few other ridiculous notions that are proof positive our society is still sexually repressed and almost entirely mentally unbalanced, I could not sit by and let this tweet go without standing up for women’s right to be sexual and not be shamed for it.  Did I do it the right way?  Could I have handled myself better?  Should I have called him a moron so many times?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

The thought I had toward the end of this Twitter war (that lasted over a couple hours) is that this guy is reacting and projecting because of his own pain with his circumcision.  Just as I possibly was too harsh in earlier altercations today. 

Hearing a woman wants to be conquered made me think back to when I was molested as a kid, my rape when I was 21, and my Steubenville-esque experience.  Talking about the horribly unsatisfactory missionary position brought to mind my own status as one of the 70% of women who has never orgasmed during sex — a statistic for which I still feel shame for myself and anger at my partners for not caring enough about me to ensure I had pleasure, too.  It reignited my distaste for the porn industry that created a caricature of women as hyper-orgasmic nymphomaniac slut-bunnies — as opposed to erotica that presents sex and sexuality in a beautiful, honorable way.

I was reminded yet again of the hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women who have been raped, tortured, killed outright, and burned at the stake by the Christian church who has feared women’s sexual power since Peter stole the church’s high seat from Mary Magdalene.  As a pagan witch doing research for my stage writings, I spent years reading witch trial transcripts, scouring historical documents of witch hunters, Inquisitors, and missionaries in Europe and in colonial America who were obsessed with exorcising the natural sexuality of women.  This does not include the women who were beaten, raped, and killed for wanting the right to vote, or the right to fight alongside men in the modern military.  Too many thoughts and memories swarmed in my mind.

Hearing that a man can’t cry when he experiences pleasure infuriated me because so much of our patriarchal, imperial, testosterone-driven culture still carries the gender-role prejudices of religion and hierarchical misogyny and misandry that does a disservice to women and men.

Today’s activism was about shame.  And pain.  And how, even when we mean well, speaking up for one issue cannot happen at the expense of demeaning other people who are probably also in pain.  After all, the oppressive culture that says mutilating a child’s genitals is okay is the same repressive culture that says a woman is to blame for her rape because of how she was dressed, or two people cannot love each other because they’re the same gender.

I’ve been a grassroots activist for 27 years, and I’ve seen in-fighting in every single rights group I’ve ever worked with — religious rights, American Indian rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights.  Who’s a real witch?  Who’s a real Indian?  Bisexuals aren’t really discriminated against.  Women don’t need full body autonomy or equal pay.  Conservative Democrats aren’t real Democrats. And it’s all bullshit.

My motto has always been, “Human Rights are non-negotiable.”

I love that there are so many of us, each working in a niche that is important to us.  Yet, that does not mean one corner of activism outweighs another.  We can’t all work for all causes at all times.  We have to split up into different groups to cover all the bases.  Remember that equality does not mean we are the same, but rather, though we may be different, we are of the same value as human beings.  Our human rights family tree is rooted in and celebrates our differences, with roots deep in the soil of our humanity, echoing the ancient axiom, “As above, so below.”

However, if you only care about one group who is hurt or exploited and not another, then you’re not working for rights issues, you’re a special interest asshat who is no better than the elitist oppressors who mock human rights activism while making fortunes off the masses’ suffering.

So I may not know the full extent of pain that another person has experienced, just as they won’t know the full extent of mine.  But we can try to listen better.  We can forgo the pain-game and stick to the work at hand.  Don’t allow the oppressors’ need to stuff us into boxes and categories or divide us into opposing sides hinder our work of coming together and doing the work.

We are better than that. Do the work.  Be the Change.

We Are All Connected.

trish

 

Further Reading:


NEWS: Air Force’s Head of Anti-Sexual Assault Unit Arrested for Sexual Battery


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski is pictured in this undated handout photo released by the Arlington County Police DepartmentLast night, it was reported that the guy in charge of the Air Force’s anti-sexual assault unit, Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Krusinski, was arrested for the sexual battery of a woman, not far from the Pentagon.

According to the charges, he grabbed her breasts and butt in public. She resisted, and judging by his mugshot, she fought back. GOOD FOR HER! But he went after her again. She was able to call the Arlington County Police Department, who provided his arrest photo.

While the Air Force has removed him from his post with the anti-sexual assault unit, he was able to post his $5,000 bond, so he is out on the streets.

If you’ve seen the film The Invisible War, you know how rampant sexual abuse is within the U.S. military. How can change happen within the military when the leaders assigned to address the problems are themselves abusers?

trish


NEWS: Obama “Comfortable” With FDA Disregarding Judge’s Ruling on Plan B


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

Obama-politics-speechApparently, our centrist president doesn’t want to rock the boat with a minor victory for women and girls at stake.

I wrote about the April verdict by Judge Korman in which Plan B would be required to be available on store shelves without a prescription or an I.D. check within 30 days of the ruling. The FDA made their own announcement that it would be available to girls over the age of 15 with proof of age (an I.D. check), then the Justice Department decided to stick its misogynist nose into the fray just to complicate matters.

After a push by the Obama administration, the FDA relented slightly, saying emergency contraception, a.k.a. the morning after pill, would be available on the store shelves, without a prescription, but only for females aged 15 and over (still requiring that I.D. check). President Obama said he was “comfortable” with that.

Which, I guess, is all that matters — that a a man can be “comfortable” with a male-dominated government deciding when and how women and girls can have rights to their bodies.

He also used the phrase “scientific evidence” a couple of times when referring to why Plan B should be available to teenage girls without a doc’s script in an obvious play to knock out the religious objections to having the emergency birth control on the open shelves to be seen by god and everybody…. Why, hell’s, bells, Scarlet! Look up that Jesus quote about birth control being evil…. oh wait…. Jesus never mentioned birth control, did he? …. Hmmmmm….

Obama — I voted for you twice, so don’t allow this kind of bullshit to taint my opinion of your otherwise strong stance for women’s rights.

I’m sure there will be more to update on this story as the misogyny continues.

trish


NEWS: FDA’s Emergency Contraception Plan for Plan B Contradicts Court Ruling


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.
Plan-B-morning-after-pill-emergency-contraception05-01-2013

The wonderful victory for all females in the United States to have access to emergency contraception without a prescription has been foiled by the evil charlatans at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Justice Department.

The Center for Reproductive Rights’ (CRR) had filed a lawsuit against the FDA to require emergency birth control pills be available without restriction, an effort to remove the obstacle and perhaps shame of getting a prescription from a doctor. On April 5, 2013, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman ruled that the FDA must make emergency contraception, a.k.a. the morning after pill, available over the counter without an age-limit restriction within 30 days of the ruling.

Instead of complying with this basic right all women should have — and do have thanks to this ruling, the FDA announced it would make Plan B and Next Choice-type emergency contraception available over the counter to females aged 15 and up, in direct violation of the court’s ruling. (The FDA says its decision was in no way affected by Korman’s ruling.) The FDA has thrown in a requirement for the female buying the emergency contraception to provide proof of age for the purchase. As the CRR and other activists have noted, this may prove problematic since some states do not allow teenagers to get a driver’s license until the age of 16, so 15 year old girls might have a difficult time proving their age.

Meanwhile, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch sent an appeal of Korman’s ruling to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals to suspend the ruling until further notice. The Obama administration subsequently announced it will appeal the Justice Department’s appeal, if need be. So for now, the FDA’s asinine proclamation of limiting Plan B et al will stand, complete with photo I.D. and age-requirement intact.

Time will tell if the original court ruling will win the day and allow all females to have access to emergency birth control without politics interfering with our individual right to body autonomy.

trish

For other NEWS Articles check out these posts on my other blog:


OpEd: “A Life Lived in Fear Is a Life Half-Lived”


© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

Trish Causey - Activist ArtistAn open letter to all my friends who never knew about my secret life this past year.

04-16-2013

If you know me, you know I cover New York’s Broadway theatre for a living, doing write-ups for shows, reviewing shows and cast albums, and hosting my own radio show, Musical Theatre Talk, on which I chat with Tony Award winners, Bway designers, and composers — I’ve even covered the Tonys! I do all this from Mississippi…. Yes, Mississippi…. How?…. I’m damn good at what I do…. (And I occasionally fly to New York.)

But there are other things you may not know about me….

In 1994, I discovered a quirky independent Australian film entitled Strictly Ballroom. Almost 20 years later, Strictly Ballroom remains in my list of Top 10 Best Films of all time.

The basic tenet of the film is a quote, supposedly of Spanish Romani origin, that goes, “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.” I have taken this quote and sentiment as the “theme” for 2013 as well as for my updated website, and my continued activism on my “secret” blog that I sort of kept from my “respectable friends” because it deals with subject matters too indelicate for polite company.

For the past year, since starting my “secret” blog, I have lived in fear of what others would think — that they would shun me, rumors would start, and I would be all alone in the big, scary world.

What the FUCK was I thinking?!

Of course, I’ll be shunned. Of course, people will talk. THIS has been the one constant in my life — being the black sheep of the family, having family and so-called friends disown me for being truthful to myself and living that truth in the open, standing up for what I believe in, speaking out for other people’s rights as well as my own. Why the hell would I be surprised for people to abandon me now?!

The fear began at age 9 when I was molested by a neighbor, a teenage girl down the street. She knew how to get me to keep silent — she threatened to tell my mother. My mother was an evil bitch, a Catholic zealot, dependent victim, and recreational martyr. I wasn’t sure what was being done to me, but somehow, my mother was bound to twist it to being my fault. That threat — that fear of being shunned by those who were supposed to love me — had lived with me for years, well into adulthood.

At 21, I was raped. (No, Republicans, it was not your definition of “legitimate rape.” It was just date-rape, just me being violated in my home by someone I knew well, which I know doesn’t really count to you as “rape-rape” even though 80% of reported rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, not the stereotypical boogey-man.) Again, I lived in fear of others finding out, of being shunned and ridiculed by those who were supposed to love me, so I didn’t tell anyone — not one person, not even the police.

Since I was 13, I’ve spoken out on many things in regards to human rights and civil rights — sometimes in regard to how it applied to me as a woman, a bisexual, a heathen pagan. Mostly, however, I’ve fought for human rights on the macrocosmic scale — I’ve fought for the principal of the basic right of <__insert human rights issue here__>.

This time last year, something happened within me, and I could no longer keep all of this inside. I created my “secret” website and blog that I absolutely love writing. Yet, I lived in fear that if my family found out, I would lose the last of my family who still talk to me… and worse yet, my activism for women’s rights, women’s body autonomy, women’s sexual health, and my own personal journey in healing from sexual abuse would be used against me by my soon-to-be ex-husband to take my child away from me…. I repeat… I’m in Mississippi… not New York….

A few days ago, while looking ahead to running for public office and knowing my “secret” blog would become public knowledge, I began to update my personal website. For some reason, the quote from Strictly Ballroom resounded in my head: “A life lived in fear is a life half-lived.”

As happy as I am in my life as a single mom, a writer, an activist, a dreamer, I still lived in fear — which meant my life was not really my own. My fear still controlled me.

I knew then that I will no longer live in fear of losing people from my life. People who shun me for being an open, honest, and unapologetic loudmouth activist are missing out on one hell of a person in their lives. Their shunning says more about them than me. In fact, today on Twitter, I saw this quote in someone’s bio: “If you judge me, you don’t define me. You define yourself.”

So, here goes…. I’m coming out of the blogger and activist closet to let everyone know about my site and blog, ArousedWoman.com. (Begin shunning now….)

“Arouse” means “to stir to action, to awaken.” To me, this perfectly summed up my activism and the awakening I was experiencing on so many levels. A year of secret blogging later, I am proud to say I have a small following of readers — okay, they’re a fabulous fan-base whom I love dearly.

Here’s some more shun-worthy information:

I have never orgasmed during sex… but then 70% of women have never orgasmed during penetrative sex. I thought the problem was me. Turns out, not all of it was my fault. Some of it was the guys’ fault (okay, a lot of it has been the fault of the men in my life). A lot of it was the fault of the sexual abuse I suffered as a child and as an adult, and much to my surprise, a great deal of my issues with sex have come from the sexual harassment I’ve suffered since I suddenly developed breasts one night when I was 10. Therefore, I have written about my abuse as a kid as well as my date rape experience. I’ve written about my lifelong hatred of my breasts, as well as my fear of intimacy. I even wrote about my own Steubenville-esque experience that I was still carrying shame over.

No longer.

I’m glad to say I am a multi-orgasmic woman — enjoying spontaneous O’s even! I have documented this journey in my DailyOJ posts. I am happier than I’ve ever been in that department… so much so that I now help others — men and women — with their sexual journey and sexual healing by answering their questions in my AskTrish posts and on Twitter. I love reading the comments by my readers on my blog and Twitter — they seem to like my OpEd pieces especially:

I also review products including sex toys, books, lube, and music.

Still reading all this?…

AND I post erotic pictures on my AW Tumblr…. (no, not of me…. yet….)

AND I’m planning on hosting sexual wellness workshops….

AND I’m preparing an orgasm training workshop….

AND I’ve published a sample chapter of erotica on Amazon.com Kindle, that’s FREE for Prime members. (Tempted? Go ahead, you know you want to check it out…. I’ll wait right here for you to return…)

Oh…. you’re back? Great… Where was I…….

And is now a good time to mention I had to have a medical abortion in 1997?…. No?…. Oh…. Well, then, I guess I’ll save my tale of spending 20 minutes on the kitchen floor in such horrendously painful, incapacitating contortions I could not crawl across the floor to reach the phone to call 9-1-1… (twice)… for another time.

Still reading? Wow.

And I hate religion…. I am a very spiritual person, but religion is little more than man-made rules set by a core group of wealthy, powerful elitist men who suppress the masses into subjugation and adoration through machinations of fear and guilt — and who usually HATE WOMEN…. I don’t dislike the followers of religion necessarily — I like the UU’s, and I’ve never met a Methodist I didn’t like.

AND I am the Queen of Musical Theatre…. Seriously.

Now you know. My secrets are out. I no longer have any fear. My life is a life fully lived and living!

Judge me. You will be defining yourself, not me.

trish

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OpEd: My “Steubenville” Experience – The Night I Don’t Remember


steubenville-football-players-carrying-alleged-rape-victimI awoke last Sunday, dreading checking my Twitter because I anticipated a plethora of “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” tweets, and I wasn’t in the mood to explain (again) the lies of the Patrick myth as invented by the Catholic Church.  But check Twitter I did, and the tweets that caught my attention revolved around the upcoming verdict in the Steubenville rape case in Ohio.

The verdict was just about to be announced, and everyone in my TL pensively awaited guilty verdicts for the high school football Lotharios who raped a 16 year-old girl while she was drunk.  When the media storm first hit the story months ago, I had seen some of the pictures taken that night.  The one in which the guys were passing her around like she was a sack of potatoes was particularly heinous.

I think this story hit me hard not only because of the rape/date-rape aspect of my own rape, but I had a similar inebriated experience in 1996.  I was at an outdoor event, and the temperature was in the high 90’s.  A cheese sandwich was my only food the entire day.  I was not drinking enough water.  I was walking a lot, and I was dehydrated.  When the party began that night, I had two lite beers — and remember nothing of the next 10 hours.

The next day, I heard stories of what I did at the party.  The looks on people’s faces as I walked by were enough to tell me I did… something… a lot of something… but I had no recollection except for two brief flashes of sitting with a man I didn’t know.  But the stories… what I was told… by many people, confirming each other’s stories… didn’t sound like me at all.

I understand exactly the panic, the fear, the emotional pain, the shame of what the Steubenville victim experienced.  What she went through at the time, not knowing what was done to her, or by whom, is a frightening feeling.  Not knowing if you used a condom, do you now have a disease, are you pregnant???  These thoughts flood the mind, and you live in fear until tests come back.  Thankfully, for me, the tests’ results were all negative.  Ironically, this was the moment I became pro-choice.

That night in March 1996, I had alcohol poisoning.  The combined factors of little water, even less food, high heat, and overall exhaustion made my body unable to handle two lite beers.  All the things I did, I did not cognitively consent to, and yet I participated in them.  Eventually, so I was told, a man was put in charge of watching over me, so no “harm” would come to me.  What was their definition of “harm?”  I was in an alcohol blackout having “sex” with men I barely knew and some I didn’t know at all.  They didn’t think that was harmful?  Did they not know the signs of intoxication?  Did they not care?!

As I was told, this man took me away from the immediate party and tried to get me to drink water.  I awoke the next morning in my tent, with horrible dry mouth — like I was eating cotton, and I was physically weak.  I didn’t even know I’d been “sexual” the previous night until… the stories… the looks… the shame of things I don’t remember… to this day.

The shame I was made to feel by those who witnessed (and did nothing) or heard about my “escapade,” is the shame I feared would haunt me if I reported my rape.  The guilt of embarrassing my friends and the fear of all the “what if’s” of the consequences literally pained me.  Even talking about my rape on Twitter led one jerk to say I was milking my rape for sympathy.

Steubenville-Ms-Foundation-Media-coverageLast Sunday morning, March 17, 2013, the Steubenville verdict was announced.  The judge places the blame on social media and drinking.  Over the course of the week, media outlets cover the verdict, blaming the victim for ruining the promising futures of her rapists.  Twitter explodes.  And the gun nuts start in saying, if only the girl had been armed, she wouldn’t have been raped.

And so the Twitterverse keeps revolving…

With 2012 being the Year of Rape in the media and women rising to the fore to fight the GOP Right Wing misogyny invading our bodies, how could a 16 year-old girl be made to take the brunt of the judge and the media’s blame for her rape?

When I was outside working all day on that hot day in March 1996, I wasn’t thinking about having “drunk sex” that night.  Did the men who were with me have any thought that maybe “sex” with a drunk girl isn’t a good thing?  That just because a girl is being gregarious or “slutty,” the alcohol has affected her ability to make cognitive decisions, i.e., give consent for sexual activity?

The bigger issue here is that I don’t think most men understand what rape actually is.  Rape is not only when a boogey-man jumps a lone, defenseless woman at the mall parking lot at 10 p.m.  Most reported rapes are committed on women by men they know — husbands, boyfriends, family, friends, neighbors, co-workers.  Only 20% of reported rapes are committed by the iconic stranger/boogey-man.

The other issue is what is consent.  Some states have laws that stipulate sex with a person who meets the legal definition of being intoxicated is considered rape, since the person cannot adequately consent.

I never liked the taste of alcohol, but I drank some socially.  I had never been drunk before or since.  I’ve never talked about my experience before now.  And I’m sure some people will say I “asked for it,” or they just won’t understand.  Hell, I don’t understand it.  But I understand Jane Doe, and she does not deserve the harassment she has received from the media or from her former friends.

Women and the men who love us need to keep up the pressure to have this national and international conversation — defining rape in all its forms and defining consent.  Our daughters and our sons deserve that.

Jane Doe does not deserve the blame or the shame she has received on top of the egregious violation of her body and trust that she experienced.  Were it not for the tenacity of one reporter, the Steubenville rape would have been swept under the carpet by the witnesses and the coaches who knew about it.  Accessories after the fact… accessories who cared more for their school’s athletic reputation than the welfare of a teenage girl.

Never be silent.

trish

Links:


AskTrish: Man Inquires About “the Woman Behind the Blog” & What I Do in My Spare Time


woman-red-ostrich-feather-fanDear Trish,

That was random I know, but you share so much about your life and experiences that I wondered how you were doing in the areas that you don’t speak about.  You have every right to say nothing.  I just enjoy getting a better understanding of the woman behind the blog.

What do you like to do in your spare time, when you’re not being a sex guru or a mom? What do you hope to achieve in the next year, 5 years or 10 years? What is something that no matter how upset or angry you are always manages to make you smile or at least smirk? If knowledge is power, when it comes to the content of your Aroused Woman blog, how powerful do you feel?

All hail Queen Vagina!

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

You’re sweet! :-) A few posts back, I announced that I was branching out with ArousedWoman(TM), re-focusing on “Awakening Sexuality Through Mind, Body, & Spirit.”  So I’ll be posting lots of new topics and crazy wack-a-doo posts that I feel are relevant to my growth and that I hope are interesting to my readers.

As you can see from my “random post” on astral travel, that experience had a profound effect on me — not just my perception of what’s on the Other Side, but experiencing what actually is and is NOT on the Other Side confirmed for me many “beliefs” in regard to humanity, religion, society, etc.  My beliefs-turned-knowledge affect me sexually (i.e., there’s no hell and certainly no “sin” as classified by controlling religious dogma), the experience of pure love (I know what I’m looking for when it comes to love, I won’t settle for anything less, and love has to be felt — it can’t be intellectualized or rationalized, i.e., If I love him enough, he’ll change, so I’ll love him really hard and work to change him into the person I want him to be.), and other concepts I’m still integrating even after the 9 or 10 years since the experience.

Which brings me to my “spare time”… Just yesterday, in fact, my daughter asked me, “Just what do you do during the day?”  And I had to tell her the truth.  Not much.  I’m a Libra, a mind-candy person.  I’m a creator.  It’s difficult for me to actually finish anything because once it’s complete, it’s over — I can’t mind-candy it anymore.  But my creative works have to be completed if I’m gonna earn a paycheck and feed my child.

I spend most of my time reading, learning, experimenting, walking, cooking, cleaning, washing dishes, meditating, pondering, writing, tweeting, doing laundry, working, walking, composing music, looking at the trees, studying leaves, watching squirrels and birds interact, more reading, more research, more questing, listening to the wind, being witchy, brewing concoctions, making cool witchy stuff, doing web design for new clients, creating different workshops, textile design, writing, writing, writing, tweeting…

I don’t have “spare time” in that I do what I love for a living (theatre), and I’m currently working on 2 new training certifications, after which, I’ll go for 2 more.  (I’m already certified in yoga and Pilates.)  Because I do what I love, I don’t earn a lot of money — I live simply and have found that to be rather wonderful.  I go to bed every night thoroughly happy with my life.  I wish there were more time in the day, but I know I used the time I had to enrich my life, provide for my daughter, and enjoy being in this meat-suit while being amazed at the beauty that is around me.

It can be surreal sometimes.  I’ve had people say, “Wow, you lucked out writing for a living.”  No, I was in the performing arts for 36 years, I’m an award-winning composer, I hosted a radio show that had 27,000 listeners worldwide (that I put on hold to start ArousedWoman and fight the idiocy of the GOP during the 2012 POTUS election), and I have something to say.  I created my “luck” by working my ass off and paying my “dues.”  I earned my right to write for a living.

Currently, I’m creating an online course on Musical Theatre training topics, I’m starting a new project (a magazine), and I will get back to my theatre radio show soon.  I’m also going to teach some health workshops in my local area to help supplement my income.  I’m also working on the ArousedWoman cookbook, and I’m creating my orgasm training method (which will be in beta testing soon for anyone who wants to contact me to participate in it).

I’m still trying to get the AW Forum going and still raising money for ArousedWoman Radio, to interview guests and answer people’s question in real time.  But that is slow-going.  It will happen in its own time, I guess.

Most of my time is spent on personal growth, getting healthy, and growing my experiences sexually, sensually, tantrically.  I want to be a complete human, not a shell of a human in the rat race of society, as so many people are.  I want to help others get out of that kind of life — to help them make a better life for themselves, get healthier, find some kind of peace in this crazy world — to see that happiness in self and happiness in life are connected.  I want to help people overcome their PTSD with sexual trauma.  I want to help others see beyond the hypocrisy of religion, politics, and government — that all that bullshit doesn’t really matter — and if it does matter to you, then don’t just complain, actually get off your ass and do something about it.

I want to help people get off the lie that is the insensitive Western medical system which is being undermined by the pharmacological industry.  I want to inspire others to get back to the “beauty way,” back to Mother Earth because the livestock and dairy industries are killing our planet and our bodies.  We are not separate from the earth — the earth isn’t just the thing under the sidewalks and asphalt — the earth is our food, our air, our water, our home, our reason for incarnating to this physical plane.  If the living biosphere of the earth weren’t so important to us, we would have incarnated on Mars or somewhere else.  Duh.

I want people to take back their power to heal themselves without fear of criminalization from the oppressive forces in control of our society.

I want women to take back our rightful place as healers, warriors, judges, peacemakers — as we were before patriarchal misogyny made women property, whores, and household slaves.

Where do I want to be in 5 years?  Hopefully, I will have finished my Bachelor’s degree in Transpersonal Psychology from Sofia University and will be nearly finished with my Master’s in Women’s Spirituality.  After that, I may take 2 years to study Sanskrit at St. John’s University in Arizona.  And of course, 6 years from now, I hope to have completed my work to be an official teacher of Tantra.  Essentially, I want to be able to keep a roof over my head while helping others.

I used to think this life was too long.  In the past century, we have tripled our life expectancy.  Why?  Wasn’t 35 years of war, struggle, famine, disease, and natural disasters enough?  Now, we have to endure this for 72, or 85, or 105 years?!  Now, I see that even that long is not enough.  This is a great time to be in a meat-suit on the physical plane.  It is a truly wondrous time of change, and we’re a part of it.  The past century — this past year! — has seen the rise of women and the awareness of human rights that is 2,000 years overdue.

I just want to do my part to “Be the change.”  In my own particular brand of “random,” witchy, artistic, holistic, bohemian, awakening, loudmouth IrishLava. :-)  But understand, we really can’t change other people; we can only change ourselves and be the example of change we hope to inspire in others.

trish

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NEWS: ‘ArousedWoman’ Celebrates 1 Year Anniversary


ArousedWoman - icon- sq - 300 pxHey,  everybody!

Hard to believe, but yes, ArousedWoman is now 1 year old. *WOO-HOO!!!*

Last year, I had started my activist site and blog, Activists’ Voice — I even started a radio show to go with that blog. However, with the crazy, misogynist landscape of the 2012 POTUS election, I needed to focus the scope of my activism toward women’s rights and women’s sexual autonomy issues. From that, ArousedWoman was born on Valentine’s Day, 2012.

This has been an incredible year. I’ve met some incredible people through my activism with AW, and I’ve come across some real jerks. Numerous people have told me how my blog has helped their own sexual journey, awakened their awareness to certain issues, as well as let them know they are not alone in their healing from abuse.

My DailyOJ has been called “brave” for its tell-all insights into a woman’s psyche and a woman’s experiences with sex, female anatomy, and multiple orgasms, but I’ve also had so-called liberals dismiss my journey as a “jerk-off blog.” (Whatever.) I let my opinion loose in my OpEd articles, and I’m so honored that readers trust me enough to ask my opinion on their own situations that I answer in my AskTrish series.

While I think society-at-large is a collective 4-year-old having a temper tantrum when it comes to sexual issues, I still think there is hope! And I’m looking forward to the year ahead as ArousedWoman’s path becomes clearer for me and how I want to help others. With the new forum and the radio show I hope to start (soon!), I think ArousedWoman’s upcoming year will be fantastic — thanks in large part to all of you!

Stay tuned as I have new AskTrish posts (with questions from women!), some interesting orgasm experiences to note in my DailyOJ, and a few new reviews of books and music as well as my review of my new sex toy (move over, Sparkles!! j/k :-) ).

Namaste! MWAH!

trish


NEWS: So, Walmart Doesn’t Think Black&Decker Tools Are for Women?


Sexism-Walmart-Drill-Carpentry-Construction-ToolsI found this today, 02-07-13, while searching for a drill to get for my home DIY projects and possibly theatre set construction.

I am a woman and a single mom. Notice for whom this particular drill by Black&Decker would be a “great gift.” Is it Walmart or Black&Decker who thinks a mom, wife, or girlfriend (or female carpenter) should not buy a drill… or perhaps tools, in general?

Is this yet another way women’s equality is systematically undermined by patriarchal (RWNJ) culture and male-dominated corporate America? Isn’t this the 21st century?

We already had to fight the “legitimate rape” bullshit from the GOP, the shocking laws being passed in Arizona and the proposed bills in New Mexico. So #WhereAreTheWomen here? Is this more of 2012’s #WarOnWomen? Hmmmmmm…

trish

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OpEd: Hardcore Erotica, Animalistic Sex, and Hair Pulling


couple-touching-clawsA male member of the AW Forum posted a discussion in the Music to Set the Mood area, saying:

“Just thought I would add a category that I like to call ‘Hard Erotica.’  It’s a little more gritty and animalistic… Sometimes a good fuck requires a little hair pulling….”

Seriously? We’re back to the “so easy a cave man could do it” attitude toward sex?

The songs to which this member linked were dance-music, “hardcore erotica” tracks from Basic Instinct and Madonna. As a composer of real music, I find that this sort of computerized drivel personifies what is wrong with popular music (overproduced, over-sampled, monotonous in “beat”), but I’ll leave that aside for now.

Describing an enthusiastic fuck as “animalistic” begins to lead the conversation about sex back toward hardcore porn — removing the humanity from sex and encouraging the monotonous mechanics of impersonal fucking — which is not something I subscribe to and is NOT the purpose of my forum or anything related to ArousedWoman(TM). Sex should be about connection — even casual fucking should have a dose of humanity and connectedness to it.

We all know sex can get really heated and… exuberant… that doesn’t mean the intent is “animalistic,” necessarily. This sort of description is exactly the terminology the church used to shame sex — that it was “base” and only for “lower” animals. Deep, fast, thrusting sex can be thrilling for sure, but that doesn’t mean it is “animalistic.” Sex can also be incredibly tender and beautiful. Sex should be a raising of energy between partners, not just a means of tension relief from erratic muscular contractions. In fact, from a Tantric perspective, the best orgasms happen from “slow sex.” (Yes, I said slow sex — as in, the man enters the vagina, and nobody moves for an hour… Yes, I said an hour.)

For myself, I make it clear to a partner that hair pulling is absolutely NOT OKAY. It’s not only a sign of aggravated assault (to me), but yanking a woman’s head back via hair pulling is dangerous to the cervical spine and the larynx (the tube for breathing and speech).

Men may have a fantasy about hair pulling because of what they’ve seen in “hardcore porn,” but only because they’ve never been on the receiving end of having their head yanked back by their long hair or ponytail. No, it is not the same feeling as when a woman curls her fingers in a man’s short hair (on his head) and pulls his head back (that is bad enough), but to have someone grab hold of your long hair, use it like a handle to jerk your head back is horribly painful — and again, dangerous to the neck and larynx.

Yes, I know, some readers will complain (again) that I’m being all “puritanical” and I’m “not at peace” with myself for expressing my opinion (and I’m not even on my period and all hormonal), but I don’t exist to perpetuate the stereotypes of women or sex. So suck it.

ArousedWoman(TM) is about awakening from the “dirty,” impersonal, shame-filled KoolAid of sexuality as demonized by religion and kinkified by a society still trying to find balance in sexual practices and “roles.” As I say on Twitter: “The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful.” Nothing about ArousedWoman(TM) is about hardcore porn, so find another site if that’s all you care about — there are plenty of porn & sex sites that perpetuate the pro-church, misogynistic attitudes toward sexuality. ArousedWoman(TM) is NOT one of those.

One last word on monotonous dance music… If a man can only move his hips in one rhythm, he’s a dud in bed. Give me a man who can fuck the 1812 Overture, and we’ll talk.

trish

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AskTrish: Man Asks About the Allure & Sexual Myths of Redheads


Redhead - Myths About Redheads as Wild Women in BedTrish, what is it about redheaded women that truly makes them stand out compared to other women?  Are they harder to love/please or is that just a myth?  Do people get burned easily by such a warm personality and fiery passion?  Or is that just a myth.  What are things that people need to understand about redheads?  What sexual myths do you hear often that are associated to women with Red hair?  Do you honestly believe any of them?  Does that make men or women more attracted to you or at least curious in some way?

tigertwo1515

Hey, there!

Redheads are quite deserving of such awesome questions, so thank you!

“Redhead” is a ubiquitous term for the fair-skinned, often freckle-faced redheads of Ireland and Scotland.  However, natural redheads are found around the world.  Redheads have been the source of stereotyping — good and bad — for millennia, and it’s only been in recent times that being a redhead has been something to get excited about.

“Red” hair ranges from reddish “strawberry” blonde, to carrot-top orange, to ginger, auburn, and chestnut shades.  In a 1995 study of redheads at Edinburgh University, Dr. Jonathan Rees discovered the reason for red hair is due to a mutation of the melanocortin 1 receptor, a.k.a, the MC1R, on the 16th chromosome, something he called the “Ginger Gene.”

Redheads have a greater risk of bruising and sunburning, but we also have a higher pain threshold.  In fact, redheaded people can require up to 20% more anesthesia during surgery than non-reds.  Perhaps this is why Irish people are so characterized as pugilistic — Gaels can take a hit and not feel it as readily?

Redheads have been a thorn in the side of world super-powers since at least ancient times.  Two of the Roman Empire’s most notorious foes were redheads: the warrior leader Vercingetorix of Gaul and the uppity Iceni warrior queen Boudicca of Britannia were both said to have masses of flowing red hair.  Both Mary Magdalene and Judas were also said to have red hair, and poor Eve is also portrayed as a redhead.  Between the Roman Empire’s pagan enemies and the Roman Church’s dislike of the Bible’s freethinking dissidents, adverse stereotypes of MC1R mutants were created to slander redheads.

Some of the myths that abound with having red hair also tie in to myths about freckles and even fair skin.  In medieval times, women were burned at the stake for having moles or “unexplained” markings on their bodies (supposedly succubi of the Devil).

Other myths that surround the heads o’ red include such gems like redheads don’t have souls, walking by a redhead on the sidewalk means you have to turn around, or that if two redheads have a child together, the child will be evil… the list goes on.

Natural redheads are also associated with having naturally large breasts.  Artists exploit this from pin-ups to comic book characters to “Jessica Rabbit,” therefore redheads are rarely portrayed as small-busted.  Thanks to the stereotypes of big breasts in porn, men automatically assume a woman with naturally large breasts is more sexual or more easily talked into sex — neither is true.  But add that myth to the other fiery temper myths about redheads, you’d think redheads were the sexual scourge of the earth.

Growing up, I hated being ridiculed for my “weird” hair color and “weird” eye color.  I even hated my freckles until an Indian dancer told me they were special because they were kisses from the sun.  Somehow, him saying that made me feel better about my freckles.  As for my hair, I was called “Peppermint Patty” and “Pippy Longstocking” more times than I care to recall, but I didn’t mind being called “Anne of Green Gables” or “Heidi.”  Though, thankfully, I have never been called the offensive “Tampon Top,” as some redheads are.

Fire Lava - redderRedheads in Bed

I asked around on Twitter, and I received a plethora of replies from men… so adding that to my personal experience of what men have said they love (and HATE) about me… the overwhelming consensus is that redheaded women are thoroughly uninhibited in bed.

Apparently, the outlandish stories about redheads being wild, sexually insatiable nymphomaniacs are neither a myth nor stereotype, but a delicious reality.  :-)  Since by “redhead,” I assume you’re talking about the Gaelic fiery Irish redhead — or at least, I hope so — I can attest that redheads are amazing in bed.

The fire isn’t just for the temperament or flaming auburn tresses, though.  We Gaelic types also tend to have hot skin.  I have had partners who didn’t want to sleep next to me or even hold my hand because my skin is so hot to the touch.  This is only one reason my nickname is “Lava.”  And I find it interesting that in Ayurvedic medicine, redheads are thought to epitomize the elemental energy pitta, which is a mix of fire & water ( see?… Lava :-) ).

Yes, we’re easy to anger (we’re Irish, duh!), but we’re also easy to laugh.  Redheads love adventure, taking risks, and trying new things.  We love singing and dancing with pure joy and full heart, and we want everyone around us to feel the same.  We love spinning a good yarn and listening to a great story in return.  Redheads naturally gravitate toward walking the road less traveled.

According to my non-scientific research, almost every man has a dream of being with a redheaded woman.  I, myself, align with the “Women Who Run With the Wolves” type of woman — women who are close to nature and the natural, inherent freedom of woman.  But then, I’m also a heathen pagan witch.  So who knows?!

Maybe that’s what men see in redheads — we heed the call of wild abandon in life, in love, and in sex, when other women allow themselves and their sexuality to be repressed.

And we don’t take shit off anyone! :-P

trish

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OpEd: Wounded Knee 1890 – U.S. Still Wages #WarOnWomen


Wounded Knee Museum South Dakota Black HillsDecember 29th is a day of mourning for all American Indian tribes and should be a day of disgrace for the United States.

On December 29, 1890, the 7th Cavalry sought revenge for Custer’s loss at the Little Big Horn by attacking Chief Big Foot’s band with rapid-fire Hotchkiss guns and mounted soldiers thirsty for blood.  The Army assassinated unarmed Lakota men and set out on horseback to chase down the women and children trying to run away in below-freezing temperatures.

It was so cold in fact, the bodies of Big Foot and his Lakota tribe were left on the ground where they died and had to be dug out from the snow by the U.S. soldiers, who then threw them into mass graves.

The massacre of the Cheyenne at Sand Creek in 1864 was a brutal display of evil wearing self-righteous’ clothing.  Newspapers of the day described how the U.S. soldiers paraded through town wearing their spoils of war, including scalps of  male warriors and fetuses they’d carved out of pregnant Cheyenne women’s uteruses, worn around the soldiers’ necks with pride as if each “trophy” were a fashionable scarf.

Thirty years before, the Eastern and Southern tribes had been made to walk the Trial of Tears, leaving the lush, tree-covered rolling hills of their ancient stomping grounds to walk more than a thousand miles to the alien, barren land of what is now Oklahoma.  This was preceded by decades of Indian wars over land that the indigenous tribes could not fathom as being “owned.”  The tribes with whom the U.S. was now at war had been the real reason America won its independence from the British to begin with.  And even before the American Revolution, the Puritans’ massacres of the Pequot resulted in the murders of mostly women, children, and elderly by setting fire to their village.

American history is littered with murders and atrocities that earned U.S. soldiers Medals of Honor.

I’ve been to the Knee.  It is a haunting, sacred place.  But then, all of this land is sacred — rich and beautiful.  Which is why the American government would do anything to steal every square inch of it.

Considering the hatred our governmental leaders have shown women in 2012, am I really surprised that American soldiers chased pregnant and elderly women for 2 miles along a frozen river, shooting them all for sport?  Or that pregnant Cheyenne women were butchered?  Or women and children burned alive?  No.  Militant oppressors always target women because women give birth to the next generation.  We give birth to their future enemies.

What surprises me is that in 2012, ignorant baffoons like Rush Limbaugh can call a woman a slut, and we’re outraged, but he calls a scholar a “squaw” and no one blinks.  (Hint:  “Squaw” is a horrible, degrading term for an indigenous woman’s genitals.  How degrading?  Call a black person the “N” word.  It’s about like that.)  Right now, Chief Theresa Spence is on a hunger strike in an effort to help the indigenous people of Canada, and yes, women and children make up a good number of those for whom she’s fighting — starving herself — to get a meeting with Canada’s Prime Minister.

The #WarOnWomen is not new.  Patriarchal politics and religions have always hated women and our inherent strength.  I’m white, but I’m a woman and a mother.  To be targeted because of a woman’s gender always hits too close to home.  The insanity and irrationality of racism is mind-boggling to me.  But remembering the past can help us come together and end this misogynist tyranny once and for all.

Remember the Knee.  We are all connected.  Be the change.

trish

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Anatomy: Female Ejaculation and Woman’s Ability to Conceive


Female Ejaculation - Prostate Orgasm Up CloseI came across a great site about yoni and all things Tantric for women and emotionally secure men.  The blog is by a Tantrika/Dakini who is the “real deal,” not one of the so-called “urban tantra” bullshit artists.  However, the following comment one man left on her blog shows just how little is still known about women’s anatomy and sexuality in popular culture thanks to women’s sexuality being vilified by misogynist religion and ignored in Western medicine and academia, while superstitions and myths are still rampant.

(Note:  Misspellings are left in.)

i am just curious about one thing if stimulation is done aftifically with fingers on G spot its surely making pleasure for woman but does it keep woman healthy enough to be fertile and gave birth to kids after such an act. my question is can woman still conceive or become pregnant if she is ejaculating with fingers on G spot or it odes affect its reproductive system?

(XXXXXX)

I just posted this response, and so far it hasn’t been approved — fingers crossed, it will be. :-)

Dear (XXXXXX),

You seem to be more concerned with your masculinity and virility than the woman’s pleasure. Your patriarchal, misogynist ego will be pleased to know that the female prostate’s ability to induce full-body/wave orgasms and secrete prostatic fluid has nothing to do with the viability of the woman’s eggs. If you’re concerned about being able to conceive, go get your sperm count checked before assuming any conception problem’s are the woman’s fault.

trish

Seriously.  A woman ejaculating isn’t birth control… If it were, almost every woman between the ages of 15 and 50 would be drenching the sheets — every day, twice a day!  (But please don’t let the GOP Republicans think it’s birth control ’cause they’d just criminalize that, too.)

Guys… female ejaculation is a beautiful thing.  The biggest concern you should have with helping a woman ejaculate is can you drink it all up so her love nectar isn’t wasted.

I’ve covered this all before, but let’s go over the basics of female ejaculation:

  • All women should be capable of ejaculating.  Fear of urinating is what usually stops a woman from ejaculating even if the stimulation techniques are correct.  (Other  issues that can contribute to a woman not ejaculating include being dehydrated or the emotional/psychological issues from past sexual trauma.)
  • Female ejaculate is NOT urine.  It is prostatic fluid and mostly glucose, hence its sweet flavor and labeling by the ancients as the “nectar of the gods.”
  • The amount of fluid released will vary from woman to woman — from a couple tablespoons to a couple cups of fluid, and can vary from release to release, even within the same sexual session.
  • If a woman feels pressured by her partner to ejaculate in the first place — much less burst forth a specific amount, this can activate stress hormones and prevent her from getting wet at all — even though vaginal fluid is a different cocktail than prostate fluid.

Are we clear on this?  Women experiencing mind-boggling pleasure is actually healthy  for the woman physically, emotionally, psychologically, as well as sexually.  Loving the vulva and vagina via yoni massage is one of the most beautiful  ways you can show a woman respect sexually.  And, at the risk of making men paranoid in the other direction, being able to help a woman ejaculate is super  manly!

If your woman already ejaculates on her own, ask her to show you how she does it so you can see what  she does and how  she does it.  Don’t help!!!  (Unless she asks you to.)  Just be there to lap up the delicious juices.

trish

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NEWS: Abortion Rights When Mother’s Life Is at Stake – Savita Halappanavar Dies in Ireland


The story of 31 year-old dentist Savita Halappanavar dying in an Irish Catholic hospital is infuriating  women and men around the world. She died from a miscarriage because the Catholic hospital officials refused to terminate the pregnancy… because Ireland is a “Catholic country.”

This is just one woman in one country who has lost her life because of medical, governmental, and religious systems that deny a woman’s basic human right to choose what happens to her body — even when her life is at stake and the doctors acknowledged the fetus would not survive anyway.

What happened to Savita’s rights to body integrity? What happened to the doctors’ oaths to care for their patient?

And when will Ireland realize that the death-grip the Catholic Church has on it has done much more harm than it ever did any good?

Comments? Want to share your irate disbelief? Share you opinion and what we can do to stop the deaths of women in this misogynist world. For in depth discussion with other like-minded folks, get a profile onthe AW Forum and comment here.

Wake up people, and let’s END THE MISOGYNY!

trish

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AskTrish: Man Ponders Women’s Perspective of an Open, Polyamorous Relationship


Dear Trish,

I’m a 50 year-old straight (but bi-curious) male.  I have been with my female partner for 5 years now and have been living with her for 4 years.  I am in school 300 miles away.  The past few months, while I have been here, I have talked to her about exploring her own sexuality — not an open relationship as I am not wanting that, just giving her the freedom to explore whatever desires she finds.  I believe there is great healing in sexual freedom which is truly empowering.  So, tomorrow night she has a ‘movie night’ with a friend of ours who has made it very clear he wants to fuck her.  He is a good friend and the safe factor is one that cannot be ignored.  I actually encouraged him to move ahead with pursuing her at my birthday party on Friday night!  Can a person be able to feel true happiness at the thought of his partner not only having sex with a friend, but encouraging it and enjoying her pleasure by offering her the liberty to do so as she desires?  I know the idea is so very exciting to me, but I don’t hear talk about this stuff in many places.  I know I will be so very happy when she tells me all about it tomorrow night, I guess I am just looking to hear a woman’s thought on having that level of freedom while in a committed relationship, albeit a long distance one.  Do you have any thoughts on this?  I guess the bottom line is how deep does ‘control’ run in the male psyche?!  I feel so un-male by being so seemingly un-normal!  Would you, as a woman, feel ‘liberated’ or some other something else?  Would this kind of freedom (for lack of a better term) be received as a negative by women?

James
Ontario, Canada

Dear James,

A million thoughts are running through my head, many of which you may not like.  So please accept my response with a grain of salt as it comes with a healthy dose of tough love.  Since you’re in Canada, I’m too far away to give you the ass-kicking my Irish fire really wants to administer.  Clearly, the misogyny of patriarchal culture is entrenched in the northern climes — which is sad since I’ve always heard Canadians were so nice.

I’ll address your male psyche first.  You are not  “un-manly” or  “un-normal.”  You are following your desires as a consenting adult.  Neither a sexually repressed society nor antiquated, misogynist religion should be your barometer in pursuing adult relationships.  However, these negative influences have  shaped you as evidenced in your verbiage, which I purposely left whole so you could see your subconscious language patterns: “giving her the freedom,” “offering her the liberty,” “a woman’s thought on having that level of freedom,” “would you, as a woman, feel ‘liberated'”… What century  are you living in?!  And are you sure  you don’t live in Arizona?

Whether this relationship you have with your woman is committed, casual, or even legally bound with a prison sentence marriage license, she is a free, autonomous human being and can “fuck” or “make love” with whomever she chooses, and she doesn’t need your permission or your “giving” her the liberty and freedom from psychological slavery to pursue the physical and emotional needs of her own body, heart, and mind.  Capiche?

I’ll get off my soap box because I know your intention  is not to sound like a misogynist jerk.  Your language is indicative of living in an oppressive patriarchal culture while your heart and spirit desperately want validation and freedom from  that very oppression.

Clearly, you and your woman have great communication, for which I applaud you!  While you say you don’t want an open relationship, you, in fact, have one.  It could even be polyamory if the other partner(s) have emotional feelings as well.  These types of relationships are not talked about in society for the same reason homosexual and bisexual relationships are still taboo — they threaten the hetero-patriarchal dynamic that limits relationships to male/female and institutionalizes the hierarchy of a superior male with an inferior female’s body and mind being owned by the male.

For me, I have sworn I would never do another long distance relationship because they’re expensive, annoying, and sexually frustrating.  However, I have always thought that sex “in the meantime” is okay because we all have needs.  The body wants sex.  The heart wants love.  You make accommodations when you can’t be with the one you love via abstinence, cheating, or an open relationship where both people understand there is a physical need that is separate from the emotional need — if that is an understanding that is right for the both of you.

For instance, if I were in a relationship with a soldier, knowing he or she will be gone for months or even longer than a year, I would tell them to have sex when they can with someone “safe,” i.e., don’t bring home any diseases.  The body has needs and wants.  So I’m perfectly fine with them having sex with a fellow soldier or “safe” partner while on deployment.  Do what you need to do to make it through the day to stay alive and come home.

Some species mate for life while most of the earth’s inhabitants only have flings or “open” relationships for each mating season.  Humans may choose monogamy or polyamory as dictated by their personal needs or spiritual/religious beliefs.

Polyamorous relationships are not fully understood or accepted by most monogamous people.  The non-poly people don’t understand how two people in a committed relationship can be with others outside the relationship and not get jealous.  Getting jealous is just not something in the make-up of polyamorous folks.  This hippie/free-love notion of open acceptance and loving everyone is a threat to our competition-driven imperialistic society that thrives on conflict and profits from war.  Polyamory will never be accepted as a mainstream lifestyle in the West until the oppressive overlords figure out how to make money off of it.

Back in my early 20’s, the theatre orgies I participated in were a revelation in how committed couples can explore their sexuality with friends — with their partner participating, watching, or exploring with someone else — and no one ever got jealous.  Ever.  There was no reason to get jealous because the desires and explorations were out in the open, as opposed to “cheating” behind a partner’s back.  Exploring our bodies sexually had nothing to do with the love for a committed partner….  But that’s bohemian artists for you!

I have friends who have been in polyamorous relationships — a man and his female partner with another woman whose male partner was a prude.  His jealousy of her need for the poly relationship put a damper on all four of them.  So, James, embrace your open relationship, and revel in the level of communication you and your partner have because what you have is rare and wonderful!

You also have a voyeuristic side to you, and I’m sure you not only want to hear  about the sex your partner is having with her friend/fling, but you probably wouldn’t mind sitting in the corner and watching, yes?  If you’re turned on by watching your partner flirt, there’s no harm in that as long as both of you have that clear understanding.  Problems arise when one partner wants things for the relationship that the other partner does not.

I would be interested to hear why, at the age of 50, you’re bi-curious  and have never taken the plunge!  Following your desires instead of living vicariously through your woman’s experiences with men might open a whole new world of sexual possibilities for your relationship.  Being with two guys is as much a fantasy for a lot of women as being with two women is a dream for a lot of men.

You are normal.  You are masculine.  You and your partner are doing just fine, in my opinion.  Keep up the wonderful communication between the two of you.  Do let me know how ‘movie night’ went!  Also, leave a comment if you have any more questions — and to tell me you forgive my tough love. :-)

trish

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