Monthly Archives: May 2010
Let’s face it, we are all scared of being hurt… and in most cases the physical aspects don’t spook us nearly as much as the emotional ones. It is hard to trust as it is, but then even if you can start to trust after betrayal, how on earth do you actually allow yourself to be in a place that is vulnerable? Isn’t the whole point of protecting yourself to NOT be in a position that makes your feel weak? Well…. like most things the answer is yes and no and it depends.
I know that we all want to think that there is someone out there that won’t hurt us, but the truth is that is lie. Any two people get together and they are bound to cause some pain to one another, this is part of the human condition. Even if we accept that, there is this notion that we want someone who won’t hurt us intentionally… well I hate to burst that bubble too, but reality shows us differently. We are not always the strongest, healthiest, or at our most kind and with that means there are for sure times we will feel anger and hurt someone else in return. Fight or flight exists on a daily if not minute to minute basis.
So all this doesn’t sound too good for learning how to be vulnerable. Somehow we are supposed to want to open ourselves up to the most intimate parts and share them with someone who will consciously and unconsciously hurt us at some point in our relationship? Yep, that is exactly what I am saying!!!! Let’s not try to pretend that we are all good or all bad when it comes to how we handle our emotions and actions. We do some crappy things to ourselves and others with intention and unintentionally.
With our reality check firmly in place, this is how and why it takes courage to be vulnerable. The strength of character it takes to risk being fragile, raw, and truly authentic is outstanding. It is in spite of our past, our fears, and the truth of human interaction, that we still move forward with caring for another. It isn’t easy to come to terms with this truth, but it exists none the less. If you want to really learn how to be raw and exposed to another person … you do it. You push ahead… you feel the fear AND do it anyway.
It is a curious paradox of sorts this whole being open and strong thing. We are taught that if you allow space for feelings that are raw, you are a weak person. But it actually requires so much more strength to risk the possibility of someone rejecting you. Work with me here… if you are truly a weak person then you will just blindly go ahead in any situation without forethought or caution to your self. Yet, when you are stable and strong you look at all the variables, analyze the risk, and move forward with pursuing your desires.
There is no hidden agenda, being vulnerable is hard work, but life in general is a risky proposition. You are bound to get hurt along the way but it is how you deal with that, that matters. You can make choices based on fear (unearned or not) or you can acknowledge possible hurts existence, in even the best of relationships, and create an opportunity for a very different kind of relationship for yourself and others. It is your choice, but that is the point isn’t it, you are in control, it is your choice, and I would encourage you to be strong enough to choose risking hurt for the potential of something glorious, like the best relationship of your life!
I’m so proud to be a part of their Sex Educators Organization. It is an honor to be among such an amazing group of individuals that care so deeply about advocating, empowering, and supporting sexuality in all its glorious forms.
Conducted by Dr. Charlie Glickman
What led you to become a sex educator?
Looking around, I originally faced an astounding lack of sex positive supports for alt sex practices. Most therapists truly want to help, but hardly any are actually familiar with alternative sexuality. Today, I get to be the one to share authentically with others hoping to speak freely about kinks, fetishes, non-monogamy, sacred sexuality and more.
What kinds of sex education do you offer?
I work with individuals, couples and multiple relationship formations to explore sexuality within full lives. When called upon to speak at conferences (of kink groups, of therapists) or at broader gatherings, I inevitably promote acceptance of alt sex options. My passion is helping others discover sexual identities.
Where did you get your education in sexuality?
Before grad school, I shopped for therapists to process my own experiences with and early ideas on alternative sexuality, and found no one truly confident and interested. So, it became best to just learn psychology much more broadly — and then build a lot of bridges to specific interests on my own. I chose my college, and an associated counseling “school” (systems therapy), as firm foundations for those bridges among decades of really impressive therapeutic experimental results.
Systems therapy is all about smoothly advancing on multiple fronts with each client instead of linear cookie cutter methods. I see much faster results (fewer sessions for more progress) than we could with any one approach. Even in the moments of focusing on alternative sexuality, my therapeutic approach uses many other factors in a person’s life — especially their own strengths.
What do you love about giving sex advice?
It feels amazing to empower each other to live life fully and incorporate sexuality as a part of core being. Even my earliest work revolved around alt sex clients, and naturally incorporating even the wildest fantasies is crucial to my mission.
What is your most common question?
“What exactly IS alternative sexuality?” I answer that it is any form of sexual desires or ideas that aren’t currently considered mainstream.
What is the most difficult or hard-to-answer question you’ve ever received?
“Why do people hate me for my desires?” This question breaks my heart. We all feel such turmoil when treated harshly. It makes me want to build stronger and stronger senses of self.
What is your favorite sex toy or product and why?
I recommend Astroglide, spare parts harnesses, magic wand, cb3000, and good quality leather cuffs/paddles, floggers. It all depends. I find I always recommend different books as well.
How do you think your website is different from others out there?
I’m automatically different in the regular world of therapists, from the focus on alt sex. Beyond that, most new clients come to me mentioning that my blog seems otherwise honest, smart or unusual. I’m just a real person with a calling and passions for alternatives and acceptance — and I guess that comes through in every medium.
Most unusual panel or experience?
I had been “the therapist” at a number of alt sex conferences…but I could still be surprised to find myself on a public panel spontaneously musing on necrophilia.
What was the most interesting thing you learned in your exploration of sex?
That each one of us truly is a distinctive sexual being — and that its various expressions really tie to so much of how we see ourselves.
How has Good Vibrations helped you?
GV is great for my clients because it is so open about sexuality. GV seriously promotes acceptance of alt sex . GV’s simple existence on the net and at conferences does so much for the community in general. In our local community, I know GV takes roles in helping presenters, podcasts, and conferences provide explorations of products and ideas.
What would be your number one piece of advice for someone interested in a career of sex education?
Be authentic to your own passion. You’re probably drawn to this field precisely because you feel it crucial to speak from a place of real honesty and truth: so, if you are going to go into this field, know that plenty of others will dislike you for exploring threatening ideas. Make sure that the good you are doing far outweighs their fears.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned or best advice you’ve received?
That it’s a gradual and powerful series of achievements to accept yourself as a sexual being deserving respect, and no one can take that away from you. And, that you remain free to keep discovering and developing.
Where can people find out more about you?