Thursday, November 7, 2013

Pain response

I have been exploring my reactions, my relationship to pain recently.  I am speaking about physical pain, not emotional pain; that is an entirely different thing.  Truth be told, I am in pain most of the time.  I don’t think about it much because it is simply a part of living in this body.  It is not debilitating, it is just a fact. 

There are moments when pain is just a part of life.  There is the pain I can remember associated with giving birth, there is the pain that comes from acute physiological dysfunctions, like migraines, there is the pain I experience each day when I test my blood sugar and when I inject my insulin and the pain I feel when I walk for too long in the woods.  These are simple facts. 

Then there is pain that we seek for greater purpose, the pain of receiving a tattoo for instance.  I enjoy the process of receiving a tattoo.  Not simply for the sake of the art but, the process itself.  I enjoy pushing through it, breathing through it.  I enjoy the chemical reactions my body has to the sustained acute pain of my skin being transformed into someone’s canvas for the sake of commemorating profound moments in my life.

One of the things I feel rather odd about is that I also associate that type of pain with sex.  My sexual experiences when I was young, even into my twenties, were painful.    I honestly thought that was the way it was for everyone.  I remember being rather shocked to discover that wasn’t the truth, and the first time I had sex and didn’t experience pain was really quite confusing. 

A friend loaned me a tool recently so that I could safely pursue this idea in a more scientific fashion.  It is a small mat with little plastic spikes that will not pierce the skin but causes a sensation of lying on a “bed of nails” as it were.  The pain is sharp and burns hot for as long as I choose to rest upon it.  It has been very helpful in discovering my body’s reaction to sustained pain stimuli.  It has also been helpful in discovering and pushing past my body’s “pain threshold”. 

The chemical reactions my body has to tattooing seem to be replicated by this particular practice, and one of those reactions may indeed be sexual.   This is yet another situation where my mind tells me that this isn’t “normal”.  But discovering the truth about myself is more important to me that being “normal”.

Monday, November 4, 2013

exploring the dreams...

There was a moment during my second degree initiation ritual when the Dark God, the Sage, placed his hands around my neck.  He held me there, for what seemed like forever.  Thinking back on it now, it may have been the only time during most of the ritual when I was in contact with anyone but the house. 

The reason I mention this is, that moment caused some unexpected reactions.  It was intended to frighten me, to elicit an adrenaline spike, to heighten my senses.  Adrenaline can become any emotion that a human being is capable of experiencing.  That was the intended result.  And it was successful in that it did result in the release of adrenaline; it did heighten my perceptions. 

But that was not the only result.  I also became sexually aroused.  I have only spoken about this with one other person until now because, I find it rather disturbing.  My mind tells me that reaction was inappropriate.  There was nothing inherently sexual about the ritual.  That I reacted that way is confusing to me, being someone for whom sexual arousal is a rather rare occurrence, at least until recently.

But my body keeps reminding my mind of that moment, of that reaction.  I keep coming back to that moment and to that feeling.  In my most erotic dreams, there is a hand at my throat.  It is usually the hand of someone I trust and it is never threatening but it is always arousing.

Other images and sensations reoccur often as well, a blade piercing my skin, a trickle of blood, my back against a wall.  My logical mind, the one that tells me to conform to the rules, tells me that this is an aberration.  But do any rules really apply when it comes to the instinct of sexual arousal?   I feel a bit exposed revealing these thoughts.  That I find these ideas to be more arousing than frightening seems to me to be the kind of thing one keeps to oneself for fear or shame.  But I vowed that I would not look away and so I will not. 

I will continue to explore the images and the dreams.  There is more to explore in the inner world before stepping out into the real world.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

the problem with conformity...

At first, the title of this post was going to be “the problem with feminism”.  But I am a feminist and that is not truly the problem.  The problem is that other feminists believe that they get to define “feminist” for me, and that somehow I should be ashamed because I do not conform to the definitions others hold. 

I could not care less about the opinions of anti-feminists.  Of people who hold beliefs that are directly opposed to my own.  I came to terms with that when I left the spiritual community in which I had lived in the years I refer to as “wandering the wasteland”.

But the expectations of others whom I would consider to be allies, culturally and spiritually, the opinions or expectations of my “sisters” I struggle with, and against, because who I am does not conform to what is expected of me.

I am a girl.  Yes, even as a forty-eight year old woman.  I like dresses and flowers and perfume and lipstick.  I like beautiful things.  I like feeling beautiful. I enjoy being desired.  I am a romantic and a mother and I enjoy being so.  I have never objected to dolls or the princesses from my childhood storybooks. 

I do not want to be limited by someone else’s idea of who I should be.  I am strong; I don’t need to prove it.  It has never been in question in my mind.  I am brave; I don’t have to shout it.  I am strongest and bravest when I am so for the sake of those I love.  I have never seen serving others as oppression.  It is one of the most fulfilling purposes of my life.

I enjoy caring for others.  I take great pleasure in meeting someone else's needs.  I take great satisfaction in loving others.  It gives me great joy to make others happy.  Loving someone, without censorship, without restraint, without reservation, is a gift I hope to someday be granted. 

I like being in the woods and not needing to be coddled but, I am a hedonist in many ways and I do not wish to apologize for the desires of my heart.  They do not make me weak or less of a woman.  I will not conform to the opinions or expectations of those whose agenda is opposed to my own but; neither will I be shamed by the expectations of my allies.

I am woman enough just as I am.  Take it or leave it but, you will not change it.  I will not conform to please another but, I may choose to please another and that is my choice.  No one gets to take that choice from me.