Sex Work

YOLO in the Garden of Earthly Delights, by Hieronymus Bosch

Yesterday my partner and I were talking about ideas for starting our own business. The idea that rocketed to the top of the list was a consultation business for sexual acceptance of self. Whatever one’s gender preference, whatever one’s orientation, whatever one’s kink, or darkest, strangest, trippiest, or even vanilla sexual desires or no desires at all, it’s all alright. We’re all wired the way we’re wired. And there are safe, sane and consensual outlets for those desires to be met.  We can help!

While we were brainstorming, I realized that I started to recoil a bit. I was immediately worried that by getting into a sex-based business, I was somehow short-changing myself. That there were more important things for me to do in this life, why would I do that?

But then I thought, WAIT A MINUTE! What’s wrong with it? Why am I falling into the same trap of the very people we want to help?

Paris Hilton, hamburger eating übermensch, handing down the moral decree that size matters.

The strange truth about our culture in America is, we are sent mixed, confusing messages daily about sex daily. If you’re a woman, you’re suppose to be both liberated and modest. If you’re a man, you’re suppose to be both aggressive and sensitive. The media bombards us with flashes of objectified humans and psychologically ambushes us with products to make us all sexier, sharper, hyper-aggressive, übermensches. But you’re not supposed to act on those airs you purchased; you’re just suppose to look the part.  

With no national dialogue on sex. We’re all a bundle of neurotic wrecks on the subject, including me. My mother was so hung up on sex that I never thought I could talk to her about it. I group up terminally embarrassed about the subject so there was so much I didn’t know until I got to college. But if I’m honest with myself, I learned most of what I know about sex through the internet like most people today.

 I’ve met women who so identified with sexual purity due to their Christian fundamentalist upbringing, that they were unable to shed that identity when they got married. They were just suddenly expected to let go what was drilled into their minds since they were young children.  They didn’t know who they were if not a virgin!

BDSM symbol

And that is why we need more people out there helping communities to gain a healthier understanding of sex, sexual orientation and gender in this country. Too many people think there is something wrong with themselves because they like something “deviant” or “immoral.” Often times what they are into is rather normal, they just don’t know it because people rarely open up and talk about it. People worry if they like sex too much, they worry if they don’t like it enough.  God help then if they find they like having pain inflicted on them, or they like to inflict it on others. They bury these fears because they’re not supposed to like it by the standards of social norms.

It’s when these things are buried and unacknowledged that they become misshapen and grow into deviant monsters that hurt others. When we are aware of the shadow and start to integrate it, we can find constructive outlets for our desires and partners who are more aligned and eagerly willing to participate in our sexual needs.

A literal blackhole shadow! So dense it will bench press your soul.

So much ends up in that shadow, it’s got to be made of the most super dense material on the entire planet! I believe that to be the case. I think Americans are really good at super packing their shadows with dark treats just waiting to bite us all on the ass one day. It’s okay if you like that sort of thing, I don’t judge.

It’s healthy to talk about sex. What is not healthy is to not talk about it. So, my own shadow work this week will be to uncover why I recoiled when I really thought about a business that centered on sexual acceptance. Is it my Catholic background rearing its head, a fear of being rejected by my family, or something deeper?  

The Devil Inside

“Gods suppressed become devils, and often it is these devils whom we first encounter when we turn inward.”

Joseph Campbell, Thou Art That: Transforming Religious Metaphor
The Devil, from Aleister Crowley’s Thoth deck

Today for my daily tarot card I pulled The Devil. I’ve learned to love this card because it’s a great reminder that we’re not just all connected through love and light, but also through shadow and darkness. One of my great lessons last year was that all the things that really irk and irritate me with others, are the things I do myself. I project my shadow all over others when I see the things, I hate in myself in their actions. It allows me to Otherize the shit out of it and distance myself from all the nasty cognitive dissonance I push deep down in my psyche. I don’t do that, they do that! They may or may not do that, but so do I. It’s how I’m able to recognize it outside of myself.

But that’s okay. We’re not creatures of pure love and light. We human beings are complex buggers. We’ve got a whole array of traits that range between delights and horrors. Sure, we all have angel light waiting to burst out of our hearts, but there’s a little demon in all of us too which also unites us. And I think therein lies the key for us to truly understand each other.

I this happens to you, see a doctor immediately

We’re all hung up on the light, but fail to understand the shadow. But lo and behold, that’s where all the shit flinging is located. The devil in me sees the devil in you. Because we refuse to acknowledge that it’s the devil inside of each of us that sees the devil in others, we persecute each other. In our own minds it’s, the superior Godbeing in me condemns the devil in you! The condemnation begins when we are divorced from our shadow, because we see ourselves as morally superior. The reality is, we’re being hypocrites.

When we are aware of our own shadow, we become aware of the shadow of others and how it came into being. We understand that the same pain, hardships and environmental forces that shaped us, shaped everyone one else. We all take on a different shape, but we all still have the bruises and scares made by those forces. Knowledge of this leads us to compassion and empathy, rather than condemnation.

We cannot embrace our Divine selves unless we embrace all opposites. A divine being is a whole being and contains both light and dark elements. Refusing to acknowledge the shadow and work with it, makes devils of us all.

“He’s going to lead you down the path of righteousness. I’m going to lead you down the path that rocks!”