Current Issues

Do women need to be ‘whores’ to enjoy sex?

I started reading a book called ‘Finding God Through Sex’, by David Deida, ‘one of the world’s most insightful and provocative teachers of our time’, so the blurb at the back says. I have had issues in the area of sexual fulfilment myself, being influenced by the Christian society I live in (but am not necessarily a part of) and having what I would describe as guilt associated with sexual pleasure, whether with myself or a partner in whom I trust and love.

I had hoped that this book would help me to discover the divine in this area of my life and help me to embrace my sexuality more. I had hoped to gain more insight as to how I could honour my own divinity through sex. I had also thought it might help me to overcome some of my own negative emotions regarding sexual enjoyment.

I won’t say it has done nothing for me: I now understand that it is possible to become aware of the divine through sexual expression and enjoyment. In fact, it seems it is one of the best ways to commune with the divine and infinite love. I will be more aware of certain things I do in my future love making and see how it brings me closer to the divine and my own, and my partner’s, inherent divinity.

What I wasn’t prepared for were the several references to ‘whore’ he made throughout the book.

You can be a whore, making him beg for more. (Page 120*)

The offending passage...

This is just one example of the many references in the book.

My immediate thought was – why do you have to be a whore to know what you’re doing in bed? I haven’t had that many sexual partners in my life, but I would not consider myself bad in bed and I haven’t had any complaints. In fact, having an honest, exploratory, trusting, open and communicative relationship with one partner did more for my experience than the few randoms ever did.

Why can’t a mother, maiden or Goddess leave her partner feeling this way? And why is this term used in reference to a sexually experienced woman? Why can’t she just be a woman?

Also, why do you have to be a whore to make him beg for more? Why couldn’t you do this with the only person you ever slept with, if you know them deeply and understand what turns them on? I would much rather be ‘inexperienced’ and have my partner chomping at the bit, than have slept with a thousand guys to the same end. The point here is, the number of partners you’ve had doesn’t even matter…

Now I think about it, why has he not mentioned this term in relation to the men? Why is it that only women are referred to as whores? Most of the men I know have had many more partners than I have, why don’t they get called whores? Why is their ‘experience’ not making them more accountable for our pleasure?

Another ‘offending comment’ was the following:

You can be a demoness, tearing him apart.*

Again, another derogatory term in reference to a sexually promiscuous woman. Why do I have to be possessed by a demon to enjoy sex with my partner? Can’t I be a Goddess (Aphrodite?), or a mother, or a nerd, or (Gods forbid!) myself!! Why can’t it be the power of God/Goddess that moves me to such extreme excitement that I want to tear my lover limb from limb? Why can’t it be the power of the divine and my own love that gets me to such an extreme and pleasurable emotion? Why can’t it be my love of life and all it has to offer? Or simply the fact that our emotion centre is close to our aggression centre in the brain and the two often overlap… (first year Psych, coming in handy!!)

The answer is simple – the patriarchy.

Please, don’t get this confused with ‘men’, for men have been just as hurt and emasculated by the expectations of the patriarchy, as I have mentioned before . The patriarchy is essentially a certain group of men (usually white men) telling everyone else what to do, wear, be etc out of a misguided need for power. This has lead to many issues throughout the last 5000 years, including the oppression and subjugation of women, children and most racial groups. And, it has lead to the pervading rape culture and recent development of ‘incels’ who believe they are entitled to sex (Google it, it’s a thing…).

It is also the reason why women are labelled ‘whores’ if they are sexually active, experienced and enjoy sex. Why we have to be ‘demons’ in order to feel the strong sexual energy that most men feel on a daily basis is beyond me. I guess it goes back to the ‘Adam and Eve’ thing and the resultant repression of female sexuality. Why do women have to live up to certain archetypes in the first place?

Do we need to reclaim the term ‘whore’ like some racial groups have reclaimed their derogatory terms? I don’t think so, because I dislike this appropriation in all its forms. The intent of the use might be different, but it’s hard to erase 2000+ years of energy, no matter how well meaning you are. The negativity is built into the words, permeates them. This is not the answer.

For me, the answer is to stop using them all together. Not out of fun with our friends. Not in reference to women we don’t know. Not to women who dress a certain way. Not for anyone. Ever.

We also need to reclaim our sexuality. Make people (yes people, women are included in this as many of us seem to be as confused as the rest of the world) aware that women are sexual beings and that it is ok to explore your sexuality. It is ok to try new things and express this side of ourselves. We can be the goddess in the bedroom and it’s ok!

Also, we need to educate people on the true purpose of sex. Many people are having sex for the wrong reasons – myself included for a very long time. Sex is often seen as a way to be accepted and approved of by, not only the people they are sleeping with, but society as a whole. Men and women are using sex to achieve a state of belonging and love that in reality can only be found from within oneself. Again, I speak from experience.

I see this happening with teenagers at schools I teach in, girls who brag about sleeping with X amount of boys at a party and think this is cool. Teenage girls walking around asking the boys how big their dicks are. They get short term approval from the guys, but it never lasts and people need to be aware of this.

Maybe this last will be addressed in a separate post, as this has turned out to be a much deeper issue than I had first thought. The issues of derogatory terms, warping of sexual attitudes and the rule of the patriarchy are becoming more and more important to me. I have been affected and hurt by the all of these things in my life and I have a desire to educate people so they don’t have to be hurt by them either.

We have so much to unlearn about sex and sexuality, but we can do it. One comment at a time.

 

Spiritual Awakening

When the Healing meets the Broken

This is going to be a very personal post.

I have had another interesting start to the year.

I know it’s May, but I have needed this time to process what has been happening and what my own actions were in creating this situation.

It’s not about blame, simply learning from mistakes and understanding when old programs resurface.

I met a new friend late last year, a fellow vegan, and we just clicked. We were both HSIE teachers too, which was a common interest and passion for us – although I am a History teacher and she is Geography, we complimented each other as the two subjects naturally do.

I was in a great place, relying solely on me for my happiness. This was a place I had worked towards for almost 2 years.

I didn’t need anyone in my life, I simply wanted them around sometimes.

During one afternoon, I happened to mention that it takes me a lot to get close to people, because of being hurt before. Her response to this was ‘I had noticed you were hot and cold’.

Now, I had simply shared this part of myself in an attempt to be honest and open about who I am. I am naturally cautious now, but that doesn’t mean I am not willing to let anyone in. I am just more discerning with who gets to be close to me on a very personal level.

I had not thought I was ‘hot and cold’ either. I was happy in my own life, I was not ‘attached’ to her and our friendship as I had been with previous friendships: I had finally learned that only I could make myself happy, no one else can. I had learned the difference between ‘attachment’ and ‘friendship’.

Still, I took her words to heart and in the blink of an eye I had judged my approach to this friendship as ‘wrong’. I had undone in an instant what I had worked so hard for so long to create.

As the old saying goes, hindsight is a beautiful thing. I can see it clearly now, even though I did not make an actual decision to change my approach at the time. I reacted out of a subconscious need to be accepted and approved of by another. My old acceptance pattern was hibernating when I thought it was dead.

I started to view my whole life as ‘wrong’. I started to question other decisions I had made, including my choice not to be fully active in the vegan world. I even tried to teach like her! (This last one worked well luckily, considering I have a completely different clientele in my classrooms, and is a strategy I will add to my tool belt) I started to see my own approach to teaching as wrong and tried to be more ‘like her’ in a number of ways.

It wasn’t until I refused to accept responsibility for something that she saw as a wrong I had committed that I saw what was actually happening.

She had approached the friendship from a place of attachment. She needed something from me that I wasn’t willing to give until I accepted her judgement of me and became attached myself.

I was whole and at peace with who I am. I was able to spend time alone and be happy. I was acknowledging that I am broken and working towards fixing it.

She was none of those things. In a subconscious attempt to feel better about herself, she tried to bring me down to her level, rather than working up towards mine. And for a while she succeeded.

It was a valuable lesson in honouring myself and who (and where) I am. A lesson in doing things my way and living life on my terms. A lesson in the need to get what I need from myself first. A lesson in the impacts of judgement and accepting that of others when they do not know my full story. It was also a valuable lesson in over-sharing and listening when my intuition says ‘she doesn’t need to know that’. (In actual fact, I think my intuition screamed at that one! But I trusted her…)

For these lessons and the growth I have since experienced, I am grateful and able now to step into the next phase of my life, one that is completely dependent on my ability to live life on my terms, regardless of what other people think.

Spiritual Awakening

Masculinity in the 21st Century

It seems my views on masculinity have changed of late. Very recently in fact.

Last week, I was holidaying in Byron Bay and it would seem that there are a lot of tanned, muscular men who don’t own shirts living there.

A couple of months ago, last week even, this would have awakened a deep desire in me that my lack of self-confidence would never have allowed me to explore.

This time though, there was none of that automatic attraction. None of that lustful desire I have always felt.

It took me a few minutes to realise why.

Over Christmas I have been listening to a podcast by a very knowledgeable and down to earth woman by the name of Rebecca Dettman, called Soul Doctor. The specific podcasts were a two-parter on the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine, the second of which talks about the current perception of masculinity as the warrior archetype and how it leads to Manorexia (as she puts it).

It became obvious that there is just as much push from women for men to embody this role of muscular warrior as there is from men for women to be the skinny, beautiful model. This is a sweeping generalisation, but looking at society it’s hard not to make it when that is all we see portrayed on TV, movies and in magazines.

As I looked around the crowd of people enjoying some Saturday afternoon music on the beach, it struck me that many of these men worked hard to become this type of man. Very hard. Did they do it in an attempt to meet society’s expectations? They would probably never admit it, even if they were self-aware enough to see it. Sure, for some it is the expression of their true self, but for many it is a forced lifestyle that can lead to steroids, or worse, in an effort to keep up. They too are under enormous pressure to be a certain way and it was heartbreaking.

It was a major realisation that ‘muscular’ no longer guaranteed ‘masculinity’ for me. It is no longer a healthy archetype to apply to all men, and probably never was.

For me, the question is what does the Divine Masculine look like now, if it ‘looks’ like anything at all?

I think it, like the Divine Feminine, lies in a person’s awareness of who they are as a person, an ability to be truly intimate and vulnerable, to learn and grow from life’s experiences and just BE. Just be themselves. Their true selves. With an understanding that the feminine and masculine reside in us all. It is our job to balance both and see what this means for us.

And it is time society started giving us the space in which to explore our own masculinity and femininity for ourselves. We also need to stop dictating to men and women who they should be and how they should express themselves. Stop telling boys not to cry and girls they aren’t brave enough. Stop telling boys and men they need to be physically strong and girls and women that they need to be petit.

Let each person work it out for themselves and give them the space and opportunity to do so, and when they do, the freedom to express it.

In this, we can finally learn to access and express our own divinity.