Tag Archives: Sex

As a man, I am involved

The organic campaign #metoo has taken many shapes and spheres as it moved from Weinsteins cases of rape to denouncing and confessing to sexual harassment and intimidation in general. The movement has become so multifaceted that it has become hard to fathom and even harder to criticize. But there’s one thing it seems to agree on: society should no longer tolerate men’s behaviours. We men have to change. In the past week, I have felt threatened by the tone of some of the exclamations that have passed my screens. I’ve been confused about whether and how I should look at female people on the street. I’m concerned about the polarizing effect this discussion seems to have. And especially about the slippery slope of equalizing lust-inspired acts to rape.

First a step back
Okay let’s go back to the positive side of #metoo. Many women have resisted the urge to declare their experience of rape to the police. The ruling power structures, as well as their own beliefs and other individual reasons have withheld them from claiming their rights. Society has discouraged them to do so. This week, through a somewhat anonymous outlet, they can air some of the remnant frustration and, more importantly, display the omnipresence of the problem to those man enough to look into the gaping wound. It’s indeed important that people feel the confidence to act against such violence. And that people don’t perform it, or let it happen around them.

Let’s not forget the elephant in the room
Looking at our actions, we are collectively largely ignoring climate change and associated manmade ecological collapse. If society breaks into chaos because of these, women as well as men will experience a state of existence that offers less space for safety. And more for rape. These impacts cannot be stressed enough, and have to be mentioned also in this context. We are trying to move to a better world, so we all have to deal with climate change. And keep building society together.

Tension
At some point, men started answering #metoo with #Ihave and #Iwill. Confessions. Online promises. Sometimes quite mundane in my view, sometimes clear disclosures of criminal acts. Audacious, but not a proper substitute for turning yourself in. Then, people saying ‘men’ should not make this discussion about themselves. This was about women who were raped. Here’s where I went: “What? Why are we not allowed to be part of the conversation?”

A point followed, I guess, where we have to do our best and look through social media and their slaves from journalism to see what is really happening. But what is really happening? Is this a new wave of feminism? Where does it want to head to? Not being raped? Good, but how? Is this a new kind of anti-terrorist movement that wants to accuse a large group of innocent people for the acts of some very guilty ones?

The status quo
For me personally, there’s nothing I think I should admit. Sure, I’ve played the game. I’ve looked, I’ve touched, I’ve joked around. But I haven’t threatened, raped or harassed anyone in a way that clearly bothered them. I also check, sometimes, if everyone is still comfortable with the group dynamics. And yes, I have noticed ambiguity among women and wished they would be more expressive about it.

Yet let’s not forget that sexual or semi-sexual acts occur in the context of personal relationships. They should always be seen that way. I don’t think it serves a purpose to reframe acts of the past and deny this relationship. And if I may speak for other men as well: to us, the status quo here in the Netherlands is quite allright. Not the street harrasments, those are wrong, but the general atmosphere at work, on the street and at parties. If you look at history, we have reached quite a good spot. Not perfect, but quite good.

It creeps in on you
One of the best stories I read these days was in Dutch by Bregje Hofstede of De Correspondent. She explained how being grabbed under her skirt has made her live more reluctantly. It reminded me of the time I was blindfolded in the back of a taxi in Peru. Not that time itself. I think I managed to keep myself toghether quite well there. No. Afterwards. Looking behind my shoulder all the time. Not going through parks on my own by night. Heigtened vigilance. A reduction of the extent of your world, Bregje called it. I tell myself that it’s wisdom. Knowledge by experience. Knowing the danger. She sees it as men taking her freedom from her. She feels afraid, now, when men look at her intensely.

Even if I fully understand the feeling she descibes, and I acknowledge such events occur more often to her than to me, something inside me turns bitter when I hear these views. We are now in an era that is safer then ever. More luxurious than ever. There are disagreements on how to approach the other gender, but aren’t those what makes life interesting? What makes love interesting? The act of exploring each others boundaries.

Power struggles
Women are now teaching men that we cannot know what it’s like to be a women. True. And women cannot know what it’s like to be a man either. It is us who generally have to play the leading role when breaking the physical barrier. Not always, but most of the time. And, yes, we make mistakes with that, but if we don’t try, we don’t get laid. Or married. Not all people have the same level of perception when it comes to body language, nor are all people equally expressive when it comes to things they do or do not want. Not everyone is equally sensitive. So yes, mistakes occur, but that does not make the intent bad. I think framing or perceiving it that way is harmful.

But we men have an excellent grasp of what fear can be. All of us, men and women, are contributing, daily, to the accumulation of dark acts that is happening all over the place. Being forced to do things we do not necessarily agree with is a society-wide phenomenon. Whether it is out of insecurities, strategic career choices, or because we are being pushed pysically or emotionally, this concerns us all. Where #metoo becomes more vicious, is where it denies our common ground. And it shouldn’t. Men don’t need to take these wild accusations.

Can we move forward?
The way this hashtag unfolds does not help the conversation; I think we’re rather arriving in a deadlock. Not the idea of the hashtag, that’s good, but the way people are treating it. As if there needs to be retaliation. As if we should move towards a world where men and women avoid touching each other altogether. No. Let’s move towards a place where we see the sexual tension for what it really is. A role we play. Just like everything else. A role we need not get too caught up in. And yes, respect each other, like most women and most men have always done. Something that can be joyful. Let’s see this as a call, yes, to better education for everyone where that failed. But let’s also cherish the freedoms we have acquired. We are in this together. And we are not in a time and a place where we can use more division.

So let’s all keep talking.

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Return to the core

At the end of the 4th year of my blog, this is my 200th post. Had I kept the weekly posting up for the past months, I’d have had an average of a post per week. I’m just short of that now, but that’s fine.

When I started this blog, early 2012, I intended to write a pathway into my own subconscious. Digging into darkness and light, expressing it by doing. I also intended to experiment with writing, get myself into the flow. Try out some styles, do interviews, poems, ramblings, short stories and testimonies of my adventures in life.

As I wrote about love, hate, social injustice and the limitations of the mind, as I condemned superficiality and took part in it, the desire to be recognized grew. I could see viewer and follower statistics. I discovered tricks that increased my readership and secretly hoped that one day, independent blogging might become my livelihood. But tricks result in temporary pulses, and Sailing on Dreams did not gradually expand in the way I hoped it would. This became a struggle, I put an effort in making the content more interesting, but discovered that joining trends had more effect. The amount of people who read my blog seemed unrelated to the quality of my articles as I perceived it, but far more linked to the effort I put in attraction. That was, possibly still is, the strongest disillusion I have had as a blogger.

Assuming that good work promotes itself, I started to wonder if my work was good enough. Is the blog’s title too pretentious? Does it miss the match with what I actually write about? Does it work against my words? Do I create the impression of being ungrounded? Is the work itself ungrounded? Not developed enough? Are the topics boring? Am I using bad English? Have I milked myself too far? Am I wrong?

Meanwhile, the lack of real breakthrough in my career and some concerning geopolitical developments grew onto me as a darkening cloud. Some of the stories became darker, too. And who wants to read sad, negative recountings? I usually don’t. But yes, I did get positive feedback from dear friends, and even from strangers. Also a single quite painfully negative one from a friend. Still, it seems as if some people were touched by some of my work. And I did realise that it were never the numbers that mattered, but the motion when touching each others’ souls.

I stopped using that word. Soul. What does it mean, after all? Its smurf-intensity is gi-normous. And it turned into cliché. Trying to be original, I have learned to despise repetition. But repetition gives structure. Stability. Accountability. And the sound of the word soul is good. It comes from deep. It hits breath-bottom.

Perhaps I forgot to find the magic in my words. Judged their enchantment as something self-centred, narcissistic. Perhaps I saw through my own marketing, and lost the capacity to convince myself.  The capacity to surrender to the dreams I sail. In attracting the invisible you, I sometimes forgot about  me.

As I did before in this time of year, now, for my 200th post, I find it time to return to the original intention of this blog. To recalibrate. I still think that in its spark, this blog has the right aim. Some of the series I wrote, such as the words for emotions, tuned into that well. The desire for readership fundamentally does not match that intention, and yet I could not ignore it. The expansion of the original intention towards ‘persociety’, as an attempt to dive into our collective subconscious was also good, as it possibly made the texts more relevant. But the fact that the collective subconscious of the modern west hides some very dark aspects is clearly not popular. I can imagine that exploring it that way, even if playfully, could feel like an accusation of the innocent public. But if that’s where I want to go, then that’s where I will be. Digging tunnels, in the cavities of the internet, sharing happily with those few souls I meet down here.

Thirty years ahead in life, 200 posts on my blog. On the threshold of 2016. You can divide that number by two for five times. Where this year will lead I don’t know. For what it’s worth, it will not stop me from rambling.

Taste

Do you chew chocolate, or do you suck on it? And do you play with your breath in your nose? Whether you dive in it or slowly let it flow upon you, one moment the taste is there in you mouth, the next one it’s gone. Try to remember what your breakfast tasted like. Not easy, right? I have to say I find it hard to get to the core of the taste even during the time when it’s in my mouth! Savouring is an art.

The first bite of something seems to have most flavour, but quickly after the first contact you have to circulate the food over your tongue. It changes, evolves and weakens rapidly. It doesn´t disappear, but if you keep something on your taste buds for a while, the sensation just hollows out, as if you’ve already digested its essence. You´d like to taste it better, but you are already saturated, so all there is left to do is to swallow. Wouldn´t it be awesome if your taste would get stronger if you left something in your mouth for longer? I bet that if tastes would get super strong, they would at some point blur your sight and weaken your tangible senses. Maybe even have you faint.  

If you would visualise taste, what would it look like? The wavy whirls of the air it travels in? The electromagnetic networks in your brain during the experience? Would it fade as quietly?

The sensation of taste in your mouth is self diminishing and the way it touches you elusive. In this time of omnidocumentation, it comforts me to know that taste remains a passing thing.

Innocence or lust?

Just so you know: I’m writing this in pink. In fact, I extravagantly took a picture of it.

Pink was my favourite colour as a kid. And I mean bright pink. It later changed to flower field yellow, then to green. Now I prefer turquoise for sure. That’s lovely shit.

Our society has an intense love-hate relationship with pink. On the one hand, it’s the colour of little girls. Not women, but the ones that were born last week, or at least those that have not reached puberty, when their differences with boys are smallest. Even so, if you put pink clothes on your little boy at that age, the least you are is a strange parent.

When women are older, those who still wear pink are the ones who want to express girlishness. Not femininity, but something innocent and weak that needs protection. Once again if you’re a guy: forget about it. Even if you have a big gray beard, sunglasses and ride a Harley Davidson, if your leather pants are pink, people mentally reconstruct you into a pussy.

Then there are the gays. I don’t believe that there is any social movement that impersonates a colour so thoroughly as they do. Who says gay, thinks pink; who says pink, thinks gay. We are conditioned that way. I get back to this girlish innocence and my first thought is: “huh?” How the hell did gays manage to pull this off? Then again, if some gays would in fact be little girls, I’d understand their behaviour better. Still, the fact that they’re gay is not because they hold hands.

Which brings me to erotic attributes. Dildo’s, feather scarfs, fluffy handcuffs… Walk into a random sex shop in Amsterdam and the dominant colour you’ll find there is pink. Or, if you’re not around: Google “sex toys” and take a look at the pictures.

To sum up: the colour pink, in our society, is attributed to two things: baby girls and sex. Slightly twisted, no?

Oh and by the way: don’t think about pink elephants, please. That would be off context.

 

Couch at sunset

The doorbell makes me jump. I should lower the volume one day. One of those things I keep postponing. Standing up as slowly as I can helps me tame the excitement this bell forces upon me. It’s something I’m vaguely aware of. In the meantime, my steps show that somebody just made me rise out of my very comfortable chair. Well… as long as I feel in command… I open the door. It’s a girl. A woman. She is standing thirty-three centimetres from the threshold. She has natural red hair. Green eyes. Some freckles accentuate her cheeks. Pointy chin, elegant jaws. Fragile neck, I’m quite sure I could break it. A little hole between her collarbones. Her waist, her legs, her breasts. Oh, her breasts. I recognize her.

My smile reveals my teeth. They could cut her tender skin. I imagine drinking her blood. She smiles back. Her teeth could cut mine. There’s silence. It’s filled with charge. I look into her eyes. She pierces mine. Fearless.
“Hi.” she says.
“Hi.” I say.
Silence.
“I’ve been travelling.” She says.
“Have you? Where’s your luggage?”
“Lost it in Paris…”
“Oh… How did you find me?”
“Intuition”
“Intuition?”
“Yes… Intuition.”
“Why don’t you come in?” I ask, and step back into the house.
“Thanks.” There’s surprise in her tone. I remember Nurielle from a trip I once made on Hawaii. I had felt alone for years.
“Wine?”
“Please”
I invite her to go and sit outside in the sun. You can see it set over the fields behind my garden. They sowed wheat this year. A yellowish orange glow. She looks around.
“Sit down, if you want to”
Her light green dress looks gorgeous on the Bordeaux leather couch.
“How’ve you been?” I ask.
“Do you really want to know?” she doesn’t wait for my response “It was a terrible idea not to exchange contacts”
I agree, but I strongly disagree, but she’s completely right.
“Cheers! By the way”
The cling of our glasses is a great reason to look deep into her eyes.
“You said you lost your stuff?”
Another silence.
“I was robbed…”
“Oh”
“With a gun”
“Oh…” I feel sorry that I wasn’t there to help.
“He left me my documents. And my clothes”
“Beautiful dress, by the way… How do you feel now?”
“All I knew while it happened was that I needed to find you”
Just below my belly button starts a rushing force. It burns right through my heart, swishes in my ears and shoots upwards. My mind is turbid.
“Did you go to the police?”
“No” another rush “I don’t trust them”
The orange light of the sunset casts a sensual shade over her lips. The reflection in her eyes directs me to something inside her. It pulls my heart out through my throat. My stomach feels like a knot. I’m sure there are drops on my forehead that were not here before. I take a gulp of wine.
“How did you get here?”
“I asked some drivers. They were very kind.”
“I can’t believe you’re here…”
“Me neither” she smiles. “I never expected to see you again.” Another silence. “Not even when I rang this bell. There’s a different name on it. I just needed a place to sleep.”
“Why this door?”
“I know… Isn’t it scary?”
“Yes… But not at all… No…”

Orange turns into blood orange while the sun approaches the horizon. In the distance, we see a dragon roast an eagle in the air. He catches it before it hits the ground.
“Beautiful view.” She says
“Thanks. The wildlife here is great”
I take another good look at her waist. Then, following her curves, I look back up at her face. I see she has been following.
“Are you hungry?” I ask.
“I don’t know. Don’t think so.” That smile again. More softly this time.
“Olives?”
“Yes, let’s give that a try”
She moves a leg. My god.
I walk to the kitchen in a trance. I open the cupboard. It smokes at my fingers’ touch. Pot. Open. Bowl. Fork. Olives in bowl. Turn. Don’t faint. Back. When I walk outside, I gaze into the sun. Incredible. I fetch the little mahogany table, put it front of the couch and place the wine and the olives on it. I sit down, my knee near her hips, and lay my arm behind her. For a while, we slowly talk about our lives after we lost sight. My memories now find their way into her gratuitously listening ear. I listen to her stories and feel the purpose of our joint past loneliness in the second meeting of our worlds. I’m not even aware that my fingers are curling around the far side of her neck. They slowly follow her collarbone, gently reaching as far down as they can and back up. She talks about her days in the highlands of Nepal, where she was freezing in the cold dark sky. While a group of guides did everything they could to make her comfortable, she still had felt alone. Not here. Not now. We are not cold.

It is halfway down. The sky is purple. My fingers work their way into her hair. Twelve candles in the garden around us light up.
“Must be the heat”, she giggles. That sound in my heart makes me smile.
“Must be…” I answer. “It never happened before…”
“Good” she says, and she closes her eyes. “Reassuring…”
I follow the top ridge of her arm until my hand meets hers. I hold it from behind. They fit deliciously. Hers turns. A flickering light sparks off our touch. An electric current draws our other hands together. With a whoosh, we shoot apart.

For a few seconds we sit puzzled, looking at each other, each from one edge of the couch. The table is lying somewhere further away in the grass. One glass broke. Then, as if driven by a single force, we jump up and crash into each other.
“Ouch!” she laughs, holding her cheekbone with her fingertips “what was that?” We are both sitting on an edge again. While the sun sets, the candlelight intensifies. Their warmth radiates onto our skins. Her pupils light up dimly. She brings her left strap over her shoulder, and lets it slide down her arm. Must have felt nice. She bends forward and slowly crawls towards me. The couch sizzles everywhere she touches it. When she reaches me, a flaming ball flies right over her back. I try to catch it but it whirls around my hand and sinks into her lower back. I see her face relax. Her lips reach for mine. I put my hands upon her back and pull her closer till they touch. The couch catches fire.
“Don’t worry about it” I say, while I let the other strap down, and push her dress over her back in a massaging move.
“I didn’t”, she says, “not with you around”. It’s this melting cheesiness that I like about her. The flames reach out further while we kiss, and sparks shoot away from us. They take hold of the rack I built for grapes, last spring. I don’t care. All I want is to take off her bra and work my way there, perhaps with a little detour by her waist.

Another fireball shoots by. I manage to catch this one, and in one motion, deviate it straight into her heart. She answers with an emotional “ah”, followed by a deep breath. She looks at me with watery eyes, now just reflecting red light. She grabs my shoulders and pulls me up with force. We hear an explosion in the kitchen. The whole place must be burning now.
“I’m sorry about your oven, boy”. She whispers in my ear, and then breathes out from the depths of her soul.
“How do you know it was the oven?” I ask, while I rip something of hers in return.
“I don’t know”
“Well, just don’t expect me to make lasagna any day soon”.
“Okay, I won’t”
“And sorry about your undies”
“That’s all right. They would’ve burned anyway.”
She’s probably right, because my clothes have turned in little black flakes that are falling of my body. I move my hands up and down her thighs. Her kiss gets more intense, her hold more firm. As we get closer, it becomes harder and harder to tell whose limbs are whose.
“Is it really you?” I ask, while I look.
In the short silence that follows, I feel her heart leap.
“Yes. It’s me…”
The couch collapses and she slips right over me. “Uh”, is her soft exclaim. We sit for a while, amazed, until I give a pulse. She responds with a squeeze. We hear a wall break. Our alternated contractions ignite a flow of motion over our spines. Our spirits merge in a burning tide of sensations, alternating ecstasy with a sense of the common. The ashes around us whirl up, taking our minds along on a journey we don’t comprehend. All we hear is each others’ breath. All we see is our shared inner space. All we taste are samples of each others’ dreams. As we tremble, so does the smouldering lawn. I consider a break, she whispers “let’s go”. So we rise, along with the earth, fusing in the flame that haunted us so long. Out of depths we did not know flows a perpetuating burning force, consuming two in one.

The news of the volcanic eruption at the idyllic border of the coastal town was initially hard to digest. Speculations to the cause of it all invoked unprecedented creative thinking among surrounding survivors, but the issue was never satisfactorily solved. The final suggestion ever heard about this case was made by a little boy named Benny, just after his grandma had told him the story. He thought it might have been done by big ants.

Word missing

What is the first thing you want to know if someone has a baby? Boy or girl, right? Can you tell me why?

How do you address a stranger on the street? By their gender. Ever did it wrong? How did you feel?

The only alternative for he or she is it. There is no universal way to mention or address someone without using the sex. If you know any culture where that’s possible, please, enlighten me. Even our names, carried as the definition of ourselves, are often sex-specific. Whether you are a boy or a girl at birth has enormous implications even at the very instant, while the differences only become relevant years later. Our gender precedes us! We are conditioned to the bone.

Imagine the impact on our mind. As soon as we familiarize with conceptual thought, we have to get used to the fact that we are undeniably different than half of the people in our lives. Our belief in this split goes deep: at some point, all of us have to prove that we are the man or the woman that we are. For status and satisfaction.

I’m not calling men and women equal, I’m merely wondering how deep this division goes. Every time I interact with an unknown, I am reminded about my sex. What if there was a neutral way to address a person? On the street, in a letter, on the phone? What if addressing people neutrally was mainstream? In a world with asexual words, would a boy still be a boy, and a girl a girl?

The division between men and women is not as fundamental as we are making it seem. While I leave the assessment of the severeness of this global psychosis up to you, I note that I am not the only one who would feel for solving the misconception. The abbreviation Mrx. has been brought up. Nobody knows how to pronounce it, let alone if it is legit to use, but it exists. Gender-neutral language is being developed as a set of ways to avoid the box. Gender-role transcendence, gay marriage and androgyny more popular than ever. The movement is as fragile as it’s young, but it gives a hint.

I think we need that word.

Tantra for free

She’s laughing loudly. “Hahaha! Have you heard? Somebody did the Tantra workshop with his drum. Can you imagine? Wihihi.” I am looking at her while drying a cup behind the bar of the festival‘s tea house. I laugh inside.

The reason why I bring this up now, is that I saw an advertisement sticker saying:  “Affordable Tantra”. Such adds still make me mad. The sexual tantric experience has been an obsession for me after my nineteenth. I have spent time reading and practicing the techniques, only to find out that it was the obsession itself that stood in the way.

Tantra is not primarily about sex. It’s about the energy that can for example be awakened through sexual experiences. I believe it is about bringing this energy into connection with whatever you are doing. Tantra is guiding life force into love. It is spontaneity, playfulness and letting go. In its essence, tantra is harvesting without the kill in order for growth to go on. Spiritual sustainability if you will. With a touch of bliss.

I remember sitting in the little room with my drum, surrounded by about thirty couples arousing each other with their gentle touch and heavy breath. We had just learned gibberish and pressure points, and I was now establishing an energetic connection with my youngly made instrument. I have to admit, it was comical.

My point here is this: if you honestly explore tantra, it doesn’t matter if you’re in a workshop or not. It also doesn’t matter if you are part of some club or not. The tantric experience starts and ends in you. Once you have it going on, you’ll attract the like-minded with gentle urgency. Don’t worry: you’ll know when you do. Then you can share.

Just try it.