POEMS CAN BLOSSOM TRUTH WITHIN OUR HEARTS
-- guest post by Jen Cross of writingourselveswhole.org
Good morning, good morning.
Outside, it’s traffic and crickets. I’m waiting to hear whether the owl will be back this morning - she was here on Friday, and instead of writing a post I got distracted by her.
Well, by her and some old morning writes. I went looking for what I was saying here--to myself, to you--five years ago, or seven. That’s one thing about regular journaling--getting to look back, see what you were saying before, what you felt like before, what you’re struggling with that’s the same and what is new — you get to see how far you’ve come.
In my case, I got to look back on a relationship that felt unfixable at the time I was writing, one that felt like kudzu or like I was in the ocean at a rising tide stuck in seaweed. I spent so many years trying to communicate with someone who literally could not understand the things I was saying — and, let’s be honest, in the converse, I also couldn’t, it seems, understand the things he was saying. I could never quite understand what he wanted. And I kept trying, kept getting smaller, tightening myself up until I was knotted into a ball at the bottom of a bookbag, just a sticky thing with dust and hair and old gum wrappers stuck all over me.
LEMME TEACH YOU HOW TO SPEAK THE LANGUAGE OF LOVE
Y'all, in case you aren't aware, I consider myself to be #wifeygoals.
And this may come as a surprise, but tbh I used to (ok, maybe still do, a little bit) aspire to be a housewife. Yes, yes, I've been a graduate student for like one million trillion years, which may sound silly for someone who ultimately wanted that MRS degree. Because, like, contingency plans, my peoples!
But seriously, I can't tell you the joy I get from like, grocery shopping. Or doing dishes! I like, LOVE chores, and would do them all day long if I had the time. I'm that weirdo who'd love to organize kitchen pantry, whip up homemade muffins on the reg, and essentially keep my casa Pinterest-worthy at all times.
Basically, I'm domestical as fuck.
But alas, I need to make some paper and be a responsible, contributing member of adult society. Oh yea! And change the world in a sex positive way.
All this being said, I practically GET OFF on doing domesticated things for the boo. I fold up ALL HIS LAUNDRY all cute and shit, and think to myself, "damn, he's gonna be so happy he doesn't have to do any of this himself." And I'm pretty sure once I organized his massive tie collection by color and occasion. Like, just waiting for him to revel at my work in appreciation.
Spoiler alert: the kid barely even notices any of it.
Don't get me wrong! I'm not saying he doesn't appreciate what I do. I know he does. But I ONLY know because I've been able to decode his love language. I stopped expecting him to speak in MY love language, and learned to speak in his.
Let me explain.
why I celebrate all love [not just my boo] on valentine's day
Whether you like it or not, it's coming.
(haha, I said "coming" 😜)
While I have absolutely zero actual science backing me up here, I will purely anecdotally claim that Valentine's Day stirs up more polarizing feelings than any other widely celebrated holiday.
On one hand, you have folks that soak up the bullshit (did I say that?) expectations and performance desire on celebrating in the socially presumed way: flowers, candy, candles, cards, romantic dinners, champagne (BUT I LOVE CHAMPS ANYWAYS!), etc.
On the other hand, you've got the Valentine cynics. The folks who boycott the "Hallmark holiday" and rant about how it's just a way for capitalism to rear it's ugly head and get the peeps to spend spend spend. After all, you shouldn't need a holiday to demonstrate your love to your love, right?
manifesting pleasure in 2018
I (kind of shamefully) remember last year being the first time I realized that most New Year's Resolutions were largely absent of any sex or relationship goals.
When we think of the stereotypical New Year's Resolutions - weight loss, saving money, exercising more, maybe getting out of debt or resolving to focus more on one's health - we don't tend to immediately think of, "having more orgasms" or "prioritizing my romantic relationship" as worthwhile resolutions.
Hopefully, I'm going to change that.
And I get it, some people aren't into the whole "resolution thing" anyways... and I totes understand. After all, research shows (btw, this admittedly isn't the gold-standard, double-blind, latitudinal, validated and generalizable type of studies I typically rely on, but it's something!) that only about 12 or so % of resolutions are kept throughout the year. Not super promising! Does that mean resolutions are a waste of time?
I still don't think so.
Regardless of the "data," boiled down, resolutions create a sense of hopefulness! They give us an idea of what in our world can change in order to increase our quality of life. I'm down with that! So even if you're pessimistic about resolutions, or haven't had much success keeping them in the past, I'm going to encourage you to give it another go.
fertility, pregnancy, conception...oh my!
I'm at the age where pregnancy is starting to feel borderline contagious... several of my favorite "inner circle" ladies are popping out adorable little nuggets of joy, baby showers are a typical weekend activity, and "Auntie Colby" has become one of my identities.
Someone is always pregnant, LOL!
And with that, I feel like I am often surrounded by "pregnancy talk" -- gender reveals, fertility tracking apps, ovulation, due dates, and birthing plans are all hot topics of conversation in my world.
For the most part, it's a happy time for my homies. Joyful conversations full of hope and excitement.
Less talked about, however -- although also incredibly present -- are friends (and friends of friends) who have or are currently struggling with what I like to call FERTILITY FRUSTRATION... difficulty conceiving, miscarriage, ovulation obsession, etc.
While these less-than-ideal experiences with babymaking are less oft advertised, they are just as common as the quote-unquote "typical" family planning experience.
Like so many sexuality issues, however, they are JUST NOT TALKED ABOUT.
And when things aren't talked about as freely and openly, we perceive them as happening less often. This inaccurate perception of uniqueness in our own individual circumstances can lead to us feeling alone and abnormal. FOOEY!
So it's time for us to talk about infertility. Out in the open!
low sex drive? don't fret! you're not broken
Out of all the sexual conundrums people talk to me about, desire (or "sex drive" or libido) is most definitely brought up the most often.
Here's the basis of what I most often hear, although clearly the details and context change for different folks:
Person A has a higher sex drive than Person B. Person A will often initiate sexytime, but Person B will not be in the mood. Person B has two options - either begrudgingly acquiesce to the sexytime and risk feeling resentful toward their partner in the future, or deny Person A the sex and feel guilty about not being able to meet their needs.
It feels like there's no right answer.
For either partner.
For the person with the higher sex drive, if they are denied sexytime, they may experience feelings of frustration, inadequacy, rejection, low self-esteem, etc. If they are, um, provided? sexytime, they might feel guilty knowing their lover wasn't super duper stoked and excited to be doing the sexy things.
my 9 minute relationship hack
Want to start your day off feeling loved, cozy, and close to your boo?
Try my snuggle snooze trick!
Yes, yes, I know it's not necessarily recommended to hit the snooze button first thing in the morning when you want to feel alert and rejuvenated in the A.M. But I've been practicing this relatively simple, not wildly time consuming routine for some time now, and honestly feel a difference in the way my day begins.
And y'all, I am NOT a morning person. I've definitely gotten better at it, but it's taken practice. And dedication. And really being aware of tips and tactics that help -- like this one.
rub my back, not my clit
I was recently driving back from a bachelorette weekend away with some of my fave bitties. Apparently we had officially reached "adult life" because we had already woken up, packed our shit, chugged some Pedialyte (you're welcome for the hangover-saving tip! I also just realized that I am def not an adult if I'm drinking a baby bev to avoid hangovers post binge drinking), and were on the road.
While we were feeling quite surprisingly alive since we had responsibly hydrated and politely declined 1am tequila shots, I will speak for myself in that I felt rather grubby and sleepy. After spending a sweaty night in a sticky-floored bar, scream singing to 90s alternative jams (that none of the other kiddos in the bar knew the words to... insert eye roll here), I needed at least a shower, but ideally a long tub soak, bath bomb, and clay face mask.
And then to slide into a clean warm bed for an afternoon nap. Nah mean?
I unintentionally and begrudgingly said out loud, "ugh, the boo is gonna wanna have sex when I get home."
the best way to introduce sex toys into your relationship
A question I frequently get from folks wanting to spice up their sexual repertoire is how they can (lovingly, compassionately, sensitively) introduce toys into their partnered sex. There is often anxiety and fear that suggesting the use of toys - vibrators, dildos, butt plugs, restraints, etc. - will make their partner feel insufficient. That the sex without toys wasn't good enough. That the toys are necessary for sexual satisfaction.
Let me be clear about a few things before I continue with some advisory strategies for introducing toys into your sexytime.
Sex toys canNOT replicate closeness, intimacy, connection, conversation, eye contact, passion, etc.
Sex toys CAN do things our body parts just can't. Period.
Sex toy assisted pleasure and orgasm are no less legitimate than those that aren't.
my fave sex toys for masturbation
As Masturbation Month (also known as "MAY" to the common folk) winds down, I decided that one of the most appropriate ways to close it out was to give my beloved readers some personal recommendations on how to enhance their solo sex routines, that will hopefully tide them over for the 11 more boring months of the year.
OK, I'm being highly facetious. Every day is a great day to masturbate! And there's plenty of other sexy reasons to enjoy no-May months. I'm just going to be sad when it's no longer on the forefront of our mind. Because YAY WHACKING OFF!
For those of you who might be wondering, May was first declared as "National Masturbation Month" by sex-positive (and wildly badass) sexual pleasure retailer Good Vibrations in 1995. The declaration was a result of then Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders being forced to resign after advocating that masturbation be taught a component of healthy sexuality.
From a solely public health perspective (which was, you know - her job), masturbation provides multiple health benefits, without the vast majority of negative health risks associated with partnered sex (STI transmission and unintended pregnancy, just to name a couple).
So Good Vibrations - and lots of other rational, sex-positive folks - decided that one way to reduce the shame and stigma associated with masturbation - which has demonstrated zero scientific evidence of being harmful - was to amplify the conversation around self pleasure.
BE PROUD TO DIDDLE YOURSELF, MY FRIENDS!
Using toys for masturbation is by no means a necessity for most able-bodied people! Hands and fingers (and maybe even the occasional detachable shower head, particularly vibrate-y washing machine, or conveniently-shaped arm of your couch) can do really incredible things to our genitals. And shit, some of us have even learned how to breathe our way to orgasm!
But, toys can always provide a little variety. An option to try something new or different. Explore NEW ways to get yourself off that you might not have tried before. And hey! Those new ways might blow your previous ways out of the water.