Sunday, September 2, 2012

Interview: How to have an Open Marriage and Swing


Vanilla is a great flavor.  It was my favorite flavor as I grew up.  Now, I love cookie dough ice cream with real pieces of cookie dough mixed into the ice cream.  Traditional, mogomouse relationships and sex, Vanilla Sex, is what I grew up with as well.  I was a traditionalist.  That changed once a girlfriend of mine admitted that she was bisexual and invited me into the bed of her female lover and friend.  It was one of the most passionate experiences that I ever had.  I loved the experience.  The three of us merged at different points of our erotic experience.  It was a loving experience that I cannot quite describe.

            On the other hand, swinging or having polyamorous relationships can bring about life changing experiences that are not always pleasant.  My time spent as a swinger was life changing in many ways.  I changed my thinking about manhood, monogamy, and love.  I have no real opinion about what style of loving is the best; however, I do think exploring sexual and relationship boundaries has the potential to raise physical, spiritual, a psychic self-awareness more than most other forms of human exploration.   In addition, because of my personal explorations, I have dedicated my life to the study of the erotic world, and I purposed this column to Upscales Desires, and exploration of the swinging and polyamorous world.

            I feel blessed to talk to Joe Grant, co-owner and founder of Topless Travel (http://www.toplesstravel.com/default.aspx).  From my experience with Joe, I surmised that he is an easy-going, life-loving, married man, a self-made man who thinks about life, race, spirituality, and of course, the erotic world.  Joe is a swinger, and his travel agency creates travel opportunities that swingers, folk in the “lifestyle,” can enjoy.  He also creates sexy vacations for vanilla folk as well.

            Dr. T: How in the world did you get into creating sexy vacation experiences and lifestyle vacations?

            Joe: I was in the travel business some already.  I owned and operated the Playboy Travel Club that catered to men who wanted to explore exotic, erotic places like Brazil, Thailand, Costa Rica, Columbia, and the like.  Business slowed down in 2006.  I began reexamining life.  My other businesses were also teetering some in the poor economy.  In the past, I dreamed of working full-time in travel, many times.  As a result, I approached Swing LifeStyle (http://www.swinglifestyle.com/; SLS) a few times to create a travel branch of their already thriving business.  The creators of SLS didn’t need the money, and they really were not interested in running a travel business.  I pointed out that the people who already used their services went to other agencies for their travel needs.  From those discussions, we became the official travel agency for SLS.  That is how Topless Travel was born.

            Dr. T: How is business?

            Joe:  So far, it is increasing every month.  Our cruises are booked almost as soon as we make them public.  We’ve had to buy our own cruise ship, which ain’t easy.

            Dr. T: (Laughing) I’m sure.  Have you always been a business man?

            Joe: I have been self-employed since I was 20.  I was able to have some early success as well. 

            Dr. T: Have you always been a swinger?

            Joe: I have always been open-minded sexually, and I have never been monogamous.  I serial dated until I married Shelly.  Shelly and I started swinging together about 15 years ago.  We started a party group first, just to meet good people in the lifestyle.  It became a business about seven years ago.

Dr. T: From your interactions with others in the life and your personal experiences, can you tell me what it takes to be a “successful” swinger?

            Joe: (Laughs) Successful swinger?  Well, there are three things important to me:

1.      You have to control your jealousy.

2.      You have to excellent communication.

3.      In addition, you have to have the ability to work through the things that might come up.

When we swing, both of us have to be attracted to the couple.  Neither one of us will “take one for the team.”  (In the lifestyle “taking one for the team” mean spending time with someone you don’t care for because your partner is attracted to one of people in the other couple.)   When we first started “playing,” we wanted notches in our best post.  We were really active, but we are not like that now.  We do not have to be.

Dr. T:  Do you and you wife get jealous?

            Joe: Absolutely.  We handle it in a different way though.  We channel our jealousy into putting energy and care into each other, asserting our love for each other.  We have a strong commitment with each other.  We also agree that cheating is deceiving.  We swing, but we also have an open relationship. 

Dr. T:  Do you play alone?

Joe: We both have a lover or two, playmates. Not regular events.  Our playmates are usually married and in open relationships like ours.  I believe it enhances our relationship.

Dr. T:  How so?

            Joe: We both get sexually charged when we anticipate seeing our playmates and when we have spent time alone with our playmates. We take it out on each other.  (We both laugh)

Dr. T:  Does it take a lot of work to be in an open relationship?

            Joe: Well, I have always been open and honest that I dated more than one woman.  I have always dated numerous women at a time.  I had resources from my businesses, and I was able to show them a good time, so I have had an open relationship in some way.  Shelly needed some coaxing to communicate more, but she is a great communicator now.

            Dr. T: What are some of the pitfalls to swinging or having an open relationship?

            Joe:

1.      Swinging can be very exciting.  It is always exciting meeting new people you like, but you can’t make it primary in your relationship.  

2.      Keep it light.  The excitement of swinging can over shadow the regular everyday life, so you have to keep it in perspective.

It (swinging) is a good thing, but we have discussed not swinging, and we have taken breaks.  We have gone back and forth, but the lifestyle suits our personalities.  We enjoy ourselves.

            Speaking with Joe was a treat, for I finally met someone who enjoyed the lifestyle, but also admitted that things like jealousy existed.  When I played, I often met couples that claimed they never get jealous and that there are not dangers in the lifestyle.  Having an open relationship or having a swinging lifestyle is not different than other relationships in my perspective.  As human, we learn much about ourselves and our partners in any relationship.  Alternative loving, as I call it, has the potential to be great and uplifting, and it has the potential to bring much pain into your life.   I know this from experience.
Check out my new blog radio show (See above):
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drtsexcoach

I am honored to serve you,
Dr.T
Call me or email me for a FREE session and more information:
336.662.7777
dr.tsexcoach@gmail.com

Friday, June 22, 2012

Coochie is a Gift, but so is my Dick....

My dick is a gift.  Truly, it is.  I do not believe it is conceded to say so, and I am not saying that because I have the best cock in town (although, I certainly do).  Moreover, I am not saying it’s the biggest either although on my blog-radio show, my thang is affectionately called the Shadow Maker (http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drtsexcoach).    However, the Shadow Maker is not the subject of this post, well, not totally

Society, family, and society teach us a lot about what to expect in the erotic world.  Some of what we learn we find to be true for us; some of what we learn we find is total dodo, bullshit, untruths….  What we learn are myths that harm ourselves, others, and the relationships we aspire to cultivate and maintain. 

One romantic heterosexual myth that I let fade away is that a woman’s pussy is a treasure, a gift to be earned and hidden away.  I understand why we tell our little girls that their cookies are a gift: we want them to love themselves and to be careful about the choices they make.  On the other hand, society wants women to be virginal and chaste until they marry.  We want women to have no sexual desires that in involve their own erotic fantasies.

I always loved women, but I treated them as if they were not sexual beings.  I thought I had to talk them into sexual acts.  In some cases, this may be true.  However, since I have been coaching, I have met many women who curtailed their desires because they thought themselves to be whores if they wanted another woman, wanted to be assertive with a man, or wanted to explore their sexual identities in any way.  Now, we live in a world of repressed passion and desire. 

Women curtail their passions in many aspects of their lives… in their jobs, in their family discussions, in the bed....  Granted, times have changed since I was young, so many more women except their sexuality more readily than when I went to high school and graduated from college.  I am proud of the new woman.  My daughters reflect this new woman.  My daughters are not afraid of men or women of different sexual orientation.  They love people, and they allow others to create their own worlds, cultivate their own beliefs; moreover, my daughters are strong enough to create their own lives and follow their passions.  Being women does not trap them or stifle their power.

On the other hand, we teach boys that that they search for the treasure between women’s legs.  We, men, even grow up learning that to fuck, we have to have money.  We buy the pussy when possible, and in my own experience, this has been reinforced by men and women. 

Where does that leave men concerning their view of their own bodies?  We do not teach little boy to be selective.  We teach them that they need to experience all that they can.  We do not teach them that they too are gifts to their mates.  We do not teach them to be reflective about their erotic worlds.  Therefore, men’s decisions about how they experience their erotic worlds are often quite different from women's.

I met Eric through Kelly, a former client of mine.  They weren’t lovers but were old friends.   Upon meeting Eric at my office, he announced that he did not need my services, but he heard that I had done great things with Kelly.  She was having better relationships and had regained passion for life.  I made it clear that Kelly did all the heavy lifting: she did all the hard work to create the life that she desired.  I was the professional “ear” and “voice” she needed to clear some of the webs out of her way. 

Eric made an appointment for a free session; during which, we discovered there were things that he wanted to recreate in his life.  Eric was a good-looking, professional man and had no problem dating.  However, he held onto a lot of anger:

Eric:  I hate women I think.

Dr.T: Can you tell me more?

Eric: I am not sure.  I just have low patients for the women I date.  I often feel like they ask too much of me.  I pay for things; I listen to their problems; I feel like I try to do whatever they request of me.

Dr.T: Whatever they request?  That sounds like a lot of pressure to me.  I am not sure if I can give anyone whatever they request.

Eric: Pressure?  I never thought of it that way.  I guess it's pressure.

Dr.T: Aren’t you responsible to provide yourself much of what you need as well?  How do you maintain the energy to do all that you seem to ask of yourself?  How do you recharge?

Eric: I cannot honestly say that I have a way to recharge per se.  I never really thought about being responsible for me and not focused on my girlfriend or lady I was seeing.  I guess I do put a lot of pressure on myself.  I don’t take care of me too much.  I take care of business but not me.  I know how to make money but not recharge my spirit….

Eric then surprised me with a few tears.  He shook.  He looked so tired that I asked him if he were willing to talk to a certified counselor or a religious leader.  I wanted to make sure that he had as many people “on his side” as possible.  I didn’t want Eric “to slip” into a depression, for he truly carried a lot of weight on his shoulders.  Once the weight was gone, he almost did not know what to do.  He didn't know how to be.

Eric and I continued our sessions for six months.  He also chose to have sessions with his minister.  His goals with me were to regain some joy and let go of pain, so he could enjoy the beautiful and intelligent women he often met.  In our sessions, Eric wrote in a journal, created the scenes his wanted to play out in his life, and examined his dreams and erotic fantasies.  He used all the information he gained from his self-reflection to create a better present and brighter future as did Kelly.

I have to say I truly empathized with Eric.  During high school, college, and young adulthood, I pursued women as if each one were a Holy Grail. I often forgot what my own desires and needs were to find the treasure, get the pussy.  I held onto a lot of anger for a long time.  I still have to check myself sometimes. This is true for all people: if we make our partners more important than we make ourselves, we put our own lives on the back burner.  I do understand that we may have to put our lovers’ needs before our own for moments, but we cannot maintain the sacrifice over a lifetime nor should we.

            I made my dick as important as any pussy I pursued; hence, the birth of the Shadow Maker.  I love my dick (When I masturbate, I tell it so....).  In any relationship I had and still maintain, I communicate that I think as much about my body, desires, and needs as I think about satisfying others.  I will not lose myself again, and I help my clients do the same.



Check out my new blog radio show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drtsexcoach



I am honored to serve you,

Dr.T



Call me or email me for a FREE session and more information:

336.662.7777

dr.tsexcoach@gmail.com

Create a Better Erotic World

Some of you may have noticed that I have changed the title of my blog from Touch to The Erotic World: A Place Between Heaven and Hell.  I changed the name because between heaven and hell is the place where the erotic world exists.  It, the erotic world, has the power to heal and inflict pain, create and destroy.  I respect it tremendously.  I love it; I fear it.

            We are the creative designers of our own erotic worlds, so we decide if we want to dwell in hell or heaven.   However, I would be a liar if I said that the physical world in which we live does not influence our erotic worlds.  Many things do affect our present sense of ourselves: our childhood, our erotic experiences, society’s erotic expectations, history, culture, religion….  The list is a long one.  

            Like everyone in the world, I have had times in my life when my erotic world did not feel good.  I didn’t treat others the best, and I experienced being treated poorly: I certainly have experienced the hell of the erotic world.  There have been times in which my passions were misdirected, sexually and otherwise.  From experiences with clients and personal experience, I find that to reclaim our erotic selves and to remain closer to the heaven of our desires, we must use our creative selves to the fullest.  Creativity is intimately connected to the erotic world.  The erotic world is one of the major forces behind the creative world.  Our passions derive from the spiritual, mental erotic world, and we use creativity to make our passions exist in the physical world.  In turn, we have the ability to use creativity to improve and to heal our erotic worlds.

            In my coaching practice, sex is not the center of our discussions; moreover, better sex is not really the key objective.  I ask clients to make goals for their spiritual, physical, and mental selves, to keep good balance.  This is a must if we are to work together.  It is really one of the few things that I insist clients do as we work together. 

            About what are you passionate?  This is the center of the erotic world, and it is the center of my coaching process as well: passions.  To find the center of our erotic worlds, to find our “true” selves, I work with clients through three phases of my sex coaching process:  Erotic Deconstruction, Erotic Reconstruction, and Erotic Rebirth.

Erotic Deconstruction

Dr. Michael J. Bader, author of Arousal: The Secret Logic of Sexual Fantasies, writes, “…when we understand our sexuality, we understand ourselves.”  Understanding our erotic selves is not simply saying, “I am gay,” “I am monogamous,”  “I am a swinger,” “I like being spanked….”  Understanding our erotic selves takes honest reflection and examination.  As Kenya Stevens, co-founder of JuJu Mama, LLC, shared with me, there are not villains and no victims in loving relationships.  I believe this is true in the loving relationship that we have with ourselves.  During the deconstruction of your reflections and your honest self-examination, you should not be looking for villains and victims.  Instead, look for what you have learned about yourself.  The following questions may help:

·         What aspects of my childhood affect my erotic world today? 

·         What have I learned from my past relationships?

·         What critical things do I say to myself about my body, attitude, performance that affect my passions?

·         What do my fantasies and dreams tell me about my erotic life?

·         How do anger, shame, and/or fear affect my passions?

·         What do I need to “let go” to enjoy my passions fully and experience my best erotic self?

The erotic deconstruction phase of coaching is an in-depth examination into why you like anal sex, infrequent affections, messy kisses, a dominate lover….  It is an examination of why you attracted to the same type of lover over and over again even when she or he is not “good’ for you.  Erotic deconstruction is the identification of your pure passions, unencumbered by the critical past as humanly possible.

Erotic Construction

Who are you really?  Better yet who is the you whom you want to create.  In other words, this phase of sex coaching is using goals selection and achievement to create the present and future that reflect your passion.

During erotic deconstruction, you have found people, place, and things that you may want to leave behind, that no longer suit you.  Every week you take small steps toward the dated goals that you have set for yourself:

1.      Greater body acceptance by June, 2012

2.      Greater inner peace by January, 2013

3.      Increased knowledge by December, 2012

Not only do you set dated goals, you also establish how you will know you have achieved your goals:

1.      Greater body acceptance: I know I have achieved greater body acceptance when I take a vacation on a nude beach.

2.      Greater inner peace: I know I have gained greater inner peace when I am able to mediate each night and able to pursue my passions even when things are not “going my way.”

3.      Increased knowledge: I know I have increased my knowledge when I have learned how to advertise for my business in a way that results in $3000.00 a month of more business.

By setting goals for the present and the future, designing an end to each goal, and letting go of the people, places, and things that are not compatible with the erotic world you wish to create, your world then takes a shape that is not enslaved by the critical past.  You create an erotic world that is in line with your truest, deepest passions, that is in line with your “true” erotic self.

Erotic Rebirth

Erotic rebirth is living the process of continuous, periodic erotic reconstruction.  Moreover, erotic rebirth is gaining the confidence to share your passions with those that matter to you.  It means living your passions, instead of just dreaming about them.  Erotic rebirth is finishing a set of goal and creating new ones that you take in what you have learned and lead you towards where you would like to go.

            Erotic rebirth is what it sounds like in many ways: it is loving and living as if life where new again.
Check out my new blog radio show:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/drtsexcoach

I am honored to serve you,
Dr.T

Call me or email me for a FREE session and more information:
336.662.7777
dr.tsexcoach@gmail.com

Friday, June 1, 2012

Scared When I Whip It Out: Erotic Fear

Erotic fear is not an emotion that we can eradicate in our lives.  I believe that all humans fear something, real or imagined.  However, we can learn how to create an erotic identity that helps us accept and love ourselves as well as control our fears.  In my practice, I help individuals control their own erotic fears better.

            In my erotic world, I fear…, so do my clients.  Every time I have ever taken my dick out in front of a lover I have feared: “Is it big enough, small enough, fat enough, curved enough, too curved….”   I have feared am I going to do this right, and during my freakier days, I feared that I would not perform well with more than one woman or while others watched.  I hoped I was brown enough, not too brown, tall enough, but not too tall.  I hoped to be accepted as I was, as I saw myself.  I hoped that my lover hadn’t wished that I was someone else, a place holder for someone better.


I feared my relationships, even my marriage, would end, and I would grow old alone, in pain.  I fear….  I am human.  On the other hand, I also know how to use my creative spirit to move past fears, to try new things erotically and otherwise, to love, and to trust.  Additionally, the longer I coach, and the more I research the erotic world, I realize erotic fears are not particular to me.  Many of us hope that we are accepted as we are.  We wish for acceptance in many arenas of our lives; however, the erotic world exposes us in ways no other aspect of our lives is capable.  We are exposed mentally, spiritually and physically in our erotic worlds.  Our dirty secrets are exposed, our unspoken fears too.  Often, what we learned from our culture and family, the good, the bad, and the ugly, is exposed.  In the erotic world, we truly are naked, without physical, psychic, and spiritual shields.

                A client of mine, Brook, heard the voice of her parents very loudly.   She heard the voice of her pastor, her relatives, her friends.  She heard all the critical voices.   During one of our sessions, we discussed how she feared to express deep desires and secret fantasies to her lover, for she did not want to be seen as a slut or hoe.   The voice of her father came to life in this particular session

                Brook: “…Sometimes, I see myself as a slut.”

                Dr.T: “Do your desires make you feel like a slut?”  I could see Brook shudder at the world "slut" though she used it herself.

                Brook: “My desires and what I have done and enjoyed aren’t right” 

                Dr.T: “How do you mean?  Can you tell me more?”  I felt her pain, and I felt her fear of sharing.  In my coaching practice, I do not use the questions “why?” for it often blocks the energy that is flowing.  However, I do ask clients if they can tell me more.

                Brook: “I enjoy oral sex.  I think I enjoy giving more than receiving.”  A small smile broke through the pain in her face, but it quickly left.  “I like it a lot.  That is not how I was raised.”

                Dr.T: “How you were raised?”

                Brook:  “My dad was a cop, and he raised us in the church.  He was very old school, always telling us girls about the things that happened to women who put themselves in bad positions by doing nasty things.  He’d talk about sexy female celebrities as if they were dirty and rapes waiting to happen.”

                Dr.T: “Do you think you are dirty or a rape waiting to happen?”  Tears formed in Brook’s eyes.

                Brook:  “Not a rape waiting to happen, but I do feel dirty.  My father....   Most of the guys I know talk about nasty girls who sucked their dicks.”  Brook surprised me because she usually had saying any words like dick, but I could tell and hoped that she was fighting to move past her fears.

                Dr.T: “Do you fear going against your father’s wishes or having a lover seeing you as dirty?”

                Brook: Brook’s tears flowed easily now.  “I am scared of my lover seeing me as some freak he can take advantage of and talk about to his boys.”

                Dr.T: “I know many men who love women who feel free enough to suck dick.  I enjoy women who know what they like and who are not afraid to show it.  Is it possible that doing different things in your sex life with your lover would bring you closer, especially if you both enjoy different things like oral sex?”

                Brook: “I think the man I am with now would enjoy trying new things with me.  He asks if he can ‘go down’ on me or if I would do him.  I always want to say yes, but I just can’t bring myself to let go.  I don't think he would see me... take advantage of me....”

                Dr.T: “What would letting go mean to you?  What would you do?  How would you feel?”  Brook’s face brightens, and her voice strengthens?

                Brook: “First, I wouldn’t be scared of pleasing my man and trying new things.  I would try more of the things I dream of.  I would be me….”

                Dr.T: “That sounds cool.  Accepting self is always cool.  Do you think, before our next session, that you can ask your man to ‘go down’ on you?  Would that be a good start or a good first goal at accepting your desires?"

                Brook: “...I think so.  He would be surprised!  He ight lose his mind if I was aggressive in bed.  Yes (smiling) I think that I can start there….”

Brook and continued to work together to creatively design the life she wanted to live.  Erotically, she wanted to express some of her desires in her lived sexual experiences and not just in fantasies.  However, fear of exposing a true erotic-self got in the way of her pleasure and the pleasure of her boyfriend. 

At the end of our work together, experienced both performing oral sex and receiving with her boyfriend.  She enjoyed cumming and helping her man cum.  She found that she even love the taste of him.  There were still times when she felt “dirty,” but when she shared her entire erotic-self in an environment of love and trust, Brook found her desires to be exciting, pleasurable, and freeing.  She no longer saw herself through her father’s eyes.  She owned and created her erotic identity, one that did not include the judgments of her father.  
I am honored to serve you,
call me or email me for a FREE session and more information:
336.662.7777
dr.tsexcoach@gmail.com

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

"Just Because You’re a Dyke…." Doesn't Mean You Don't Deserve Freedom

It is a funny thing being human.  I say this because we experience things as individuals and as groups.  I experience things as a couple, as an African American, as an American, and as a human.  For instance, all of us will experience death and all have experienced birth, but how we experience death and life is unique.  Our individual journeys can feel so unique that each of us has felt like the outsider, like the other.  Human eroticism is another example of how we are individuals and how we also share experiences with the group or community.  I am an African American, heterosexual man.  Like other heterosexual men, I enjoy sex with women, and I am attracted to and pursue intimate erotic relationships only with women.  On the other hand, I had watched lovers of mine suck others' cocks and lick women’s pearls for my own sexual satisfactions.  I have let women play with my anus, and I admitted to myself and the world that I have a fetish for the female anus.  Moreover, I have dedicated my life to the field of study of human eroticism.  Now every heterosexual man will claim such.  African American lesbians are one group that experiences the world as a community of women who love women and as individual humans.  I am blessed enough to have had the opportunity to rap individually with five beautiful African American lesbians for research.  Here I will share with you part of the stories of three: Disco, Princess, and Doc.  Their communal story is one of liberation and self-definition.  There individual stories vary in tragedy and comedy.  They, their individual stories, are fingerprints


Pushed Out: The Story of Disco
Disco is the only woman of the three that I have known for some time.  When I met her, she already was living openly as a lesbian, and we liked each other straight away.  We always said that we would hit the strip clubs together.  That was probably the first time that I was turned on by the idea of watching a woman admire the beauty of and lust after another woman.  I never shared that, and we have yet to make it to a strip club together. 

As Disco story told me her story, I loved the energy in her voice.  She sounded proud of her story.  It starts with tragedy but ends with acceptance from loved ones and a refusal to hide ever again.  Appropriately, Disco was the first African American lesbian that I approached.  She also was the first to open my eyes to the individuality in the lesbian experience, for Disco doesn’t have a coming out story. 
           She has a “pushed out” story: “My coming out story wasn’t really my choice. I was kinda pushed out.  I was dating somebody that was really… ah… a little bit crazy.  And it came to point in our relationship that nobody really knew that I was dating a woman at the time.”

Disco gives.  When I first met her, I was introduced to her by an ex-girlfriend of hers.  I got the chance to spend time them.  Disco seemed to be a loving, easy-going partner who took commitment seriously and who enjoy spending time with and creating family.  The beginning of her coming out story does not begin in a easy-going loving fashion.  It started in confusion   In coming out, Disco finds out that love and giving is not always enough.  During her coming out period, Disco told her lover that she could no longer give her love and support.  This realization was the beginning of a journey, mentally and physically, a journey marked by violence.

            Disco states, “I was going through it, and my best friend lived at Atlanta at the time.  She sent me a ticket to go see her.  And the night before I told my ex that… alright, “you know I’m going to Atlanta….  We talked about this….  I am just letting you know that when I come back that we don’t have a relationship.”  And she was so mad that night that she actually tried to stab me.  Like she had the knife to my neck and everything.”

Though Disco got through that part of the path without any physical harm, she was changed.  You see, Disco’s lover made some calls.  She “outted” disco to friends and family.  The outting did not provide verification for Disco, but it did bring freedom.  She felt secure, but she did not know how here family would react, which is not unusual in African American coming out stories.  Traditionally, many African Americans are communal folk; in others words, the extended family historically has been very important to African Americans in America and prior to slavery on the continent of Africa. 

Disco shares, “I really didn’t care what anybody else thought because I knew I had, you know, the good job, I was raising my daughter by myself, and I was happy with my life.  My thing was my family and what my family can do for me.  My mom, my mother has her reservations…, but she knows that am her daughter.  You know that is more important than any reservation she might have, so she is going to love me regardless….  Everybody has their reservations, but I am still their sister, or their aunt, or their cousin, or whatever.  My whole family excepts it because I am me.  I never had a problem with my family at all….     I have been having these feelings since… since… probably since I was 12 years old.  The strong feeling that I should be with a woman, but because of what society said, I’m gonna do what everybody expects me to do”

That was the last moment Disco spent in the closet.  Coming out was a moment of liberation, freedom, and joy.  Subsequently, she now demands that if you love her, you must love being who you are, a lesbian and an individual.

Big Things in Little Packages: The Story of Princess
Princess’ personality can fill any room regardless of it’s dimensions.  On the other hand, her physical stature does not match her spirit.  Princess’s story is not a traditional fairytale in which a prince comes to save the day.  Sometimes our heroes and shereos must be us.

            Like Disco, Princess did not control when she came out.  While Princess and her girlfriend talked for forty minutes or so, an accidental pocket call to her mother pushed Princess out.  Her father knew already.  It was his phone that outted Princess as he and Princess drove her girlfriend home.  Although Princess’ father knew, neither of them came to rescue her from the dragon in this tale.

Princess shares part of her story after the phone call: “I felt like a fucking rock had landed in my stomach.  I was so scared and nervous, and then I thought about it.  I said what a minute.  This happened crazy, but at least I didn’t have to tell her verbally.  At least she heard it for herself.  She heard it in rare form, and I didn’t have to beat around the bush.  Plenty of friends of mine have been through very tough times communicating with their parents about being lesbian or gay. They tried writing letters, and you know, getting into physical altercations.  I am very… very blessed with not having to deal with those physical altercations between my mother and I but between my farther and I, we did get into, cause you know, he tried to….  He wanted to equate his masculine…. Him being a man and me liking women [to him was] me wanting to be masculine; you know, because he said we did the same thing with women….  My father would beat me and say, “Just because you’re a dyke doesn’t mean that you can take me on because you do what I do with women, doesn’t mean you can handle me.”  He slapped, choked me, beat me and all that.  I would never break….  It was very difficult… for having to, I guess,  defend, defend my  choices from violence.  ….I myself am 4’10”.  My father is 5’11”.  I am 4’10”, and I had to defend myself against my father, the fellow that I love, you know?”

            Fredrick Douglass never broke during slavery.  In his own Narrative, never breaking was a moment of freedom for him.  Princess never said that to me that what it meant to “not break,” but as she told me her story and as I listened again later, I imagined the battle meant more than just stopping the violence.  The battle was recognition of her ability to self-define.

            Princess did not mention Douglass or freedom, but she does tell us that she demands her personhood, her humanity, even if the demand comes from a little package: “Not that you have to accept, you know, my lifestyle.., and I don’t even call it a lifestyle.  It is a conditioning term.  Um… but I choose to be happy I’ll say.  You don’t have to respect the way I choose to be happy, but at least, respect me as a person.  What happens in my home is my business.  And my bedroom is not of anyone’s concern to damn or to judge because that is a sin….  (Sigh)”

A Journey into Womanhood and Blackness: The Story of Doc
Doc’s story is an academic’s story, filled with theory and reflection.  In some ways, coming out almost seemed calculated, not a choice, but calculated nonetheless.  In my eyes, it is a beautiful story of gaining knowledge: “I think my coming out story has many different beginnings and endings and restarting and ending again.  I came out when I was 19 years old in terms of officially announcing to the world or announcing to my mother, but as I trace my life trajectory up until now, I realize that when I was in elementary school, I had a little a special little girlfriend that I put into a place who was more than just like all my other little friends.”

Doc’s coming out story has many parts, for she includes such things as realizing she was making non-sexual but erotic friendships with girls since she was in elementary school.  She includes learning the language of womanhood and lesbian theory was coming out too.  Defining her Africanness was also coming out.  Lastly, gauging her experiences for correctness was also coming out:

“…I was coming into my African American identity, my female self.  I was coming into my lesbian self.  And so going to  ________ was that door through what I was able to study, read, and learn; friendships I was able to develop….  And there were a couple of other people who I met along the way there who I was able to have whatever experiences I needed to have to conform that this [being a lesbian] was a good fit for me.  So once I knew, what I knew, based on some friendships developing, some introspection happening, just exploring safe zones; I said, ‘okay, that part is good, I really need to be invested in the African American students here….’”

Learning about being a lesbian and woman in an academic fashion gave Doc strength.  She refuses to be defined by the word lesbian and is interested in the word ‘queer” because it comes with less limitations.  Moreover, she is an advocate for the LGBTQ communities.  Doc places her coming out story into a larger context of general oppression.  Studying gives her language with which to argue for human freedoms and against oppression.

In the movie, Inventing the Abbotts, a character states, “Life is not a cafeteria.”  In other words, in life, we do not stand in line, picking all the things we want off of glass shelves, leaving behind what might be distasteful to others or what might be difficult.  We do not to pick things that taste good to our individual taste.  Life is messier than that.  These women reminded me of that.  They also reminded me that we all have coming out stories.  There is much in each of us that when revealed to ourselves and the world, changes us forever.  There are parts of eroticism that we all have hidden.  Disco, Princess, and Doc taught me that erotic freedom is worth fighting for.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Ben Wa Balls, Bend-Over-Boyfriends and Manhood

I had never heard the term B.O.B before a client of mine shared the term with me over a phone meeting.

“B.O.B.?” I questioned.  I was slightly embarrassed that I had never heard the term.

Bend Over Boyfriend,” said Kevin in almost a whisper.  “I like anal stimulation…, and I like my wife to wear a strap-on dildo and fuck me.  It wasn’t my idea.  She wanted to do it, and now I like it.  And I can’t help but question myself…, my manhood.” 

Manhood.  My time working with and learning from Kevin was time spent reflecting on what it meant to be a man.  Different societies and cultures give different definitions during different periods of time.  What is a man?  At different points in my life, manhood meant different things to me.  At one point, manhood meant being tough; at one point, manhood meant being a good Blackman who earned and who kept his Ongo Bongo hard.  However, if I reduce manhood to paycheck and cock hardness, what happens to my humanity.

An ex-girlfriend of mine, with whom I am still friendly after almost 30 years, once told that I had always been very interested in sex.  She reminded me that we went to sex shop and bought a pair of Ben Wa Balls.  I did not remember, but I had no reason to believe that she was lying.  I do remember trying to negotiate trying anal sex with her way back when.  (I lost the negotiations by the way.)  Thus, I thought we bought Ben Wa Balls with the hope of loosening up our sexual life (I really mean her anus.).  However, in our discussions, she told me that the Ben Wa balls were for my ass.  Do I vaguely remember the notion and the action, or did she plant it in my head, a test to my manhood?  We bought cracked up and argued about whose ass the balls were for.  I may have lost those negotiations too.

I thought about another incident: one of the nastiest ladies I have ever known had the dream of donning a strap-on and buggering me.  She let me do all sorts of nasty things to her, so you know the negotiations were fierce.  I thought if I even let a girlfriend of mine mention the words strap-on, what does that say about my manhood?  Is a man less of a man because he lets his woman deliver a package in the rear? Is a man less of a man if he lets another man deliver a package in the rear?  In the end (pun intended), I experimented with her.  Manhood….

As I reflect on my life and dedication to Sexology, to education, to Life coaching, and to creativity in the name of healing, I realize that I am a nurturer, and I am willing to fight for my position as such in my family.  This role is often considered a feminine one, particularly in western influenced cultures.  I enjoy clothes shopping with my daughters, and often the ladies in my life defer to my sense of style.  I have the heart of a poet.  Manhood….  Now as I learn to earn as writer and sex coach, for the first time, I do not earn as much as or more than my lover, a shock to both my wife's and my system.  Manhood….

I work with a wide range of men now.  They vary in sexual orientation, and they vary in sexual behavior and desire while holding multitudes of different opinions about eroticism.  I hope to assist every one of them who choose to work with me.   I am humbled and honored every time a man or woman walks into my office or gives me a call.  I cannot judge how folk develop sexually.  The only sexual actions that I am against are those associated with oppression, like rape, molestation, slavery, and etcetera.  I cannot define what manhood or womanhood for others.  I can define what manhood is for me. 

Moreover, my definition of manhood and womanhood are not placed on a foundation of erotic activity or gender.  In other words, my definitions are probably best articulated through the notion of human hood.  I find I respect and want to learn most from humans who  love their families, respect their lovers, protect their community, and who understand that they are part of a world culture that is dependent upon the health of the earth.  When I work with individuals, couples, or groups, I come to the table with the following guiding notions:

·         I have love for certain erotic acts that other do not share.  I am okay with that.

·         Others have erotic worlds that do not fit who I am.  I am okay with that. 

·         I do not have the authority or knowledge to objectively evaluate the “correctness” of anyone’s erotic world.   Therefore, I accept them all.

·         I have as much (if not more) to learn from my clients as they do from me.

Kevin and talked about manhood as we worked together.  We looked at ideas about how gender roles can be oppressive, for the stereotypes often leave little room for individuals to be individuals.  Kevin realized that, unconsciously, he had many strong ideas about what it meant to be a man.  His guiding erotic myth for himself did not include male vulnerability, sensitivity, and certainly, no anal stimulation, but he enjoyed all those things at times with his wife.  The dilemma was causing Kevin much grief, affecting his general enjoyment of sex, his performance, and his belief in himself.  Hence, the time we worked together was spent freeing him from what he believed the world needed from him as a man and developing a personal definition of manhood that better aligned with his present reality. 

“Real men do not like their woman to give IT to us.  We are supposed to give IT to them.  It is the way of the world,” said Kevin during one of meetings.  I observed how culture affected his sense of the erotic world.  He made his statements as if there is only one erotic world, one true erotic reality.  I disagree:

“Is that the way of the world?” I asked.

“Sure it is.  Men aren’t takers.  We do the penetrating.”

“I understand what you are saying, but I wonder would you be less of a man if you loved to sew?”

“Sew?”

“Yeah.  Sew” I repeated.

“Sewing is a long way from what I am doing.”

“I guess it is if you want to be.  Don’t you decide what makes a man?  Is it possible to be man even if society might not agree with the choices you make?”

“…I think it is….”  He hesitated to answer.

“Do all of your other decisions fit in with what you think society wants?”

“No.  In business, I am sort of a maverick.  Many of my ideas are different than my colleagues.”

“How do you make business decisions?”

“I gather all the information I can, and then listen to my heart I guess.”

“Can’t the decisions about your sex life be more similar to the decisions you make about business.”

“…I think they can,” he said with a slight smile.

Kevin continued to be a bend-over-boyfriend.  He also reported giving up other notions about being a man.  He found enjoyment in talking about how he and his wife felt about moving forward together.  He rarely talked about feelings before he accepted all of himself.  Both he and his wife thought his talking about feelings was an improvement in their relationship.

To me, folks’ erotic worlds are their own; moreover, the erotic world is so important to each individual’s overall well-being that I refuse to attack the erotic worlds of others.  I prefer to assist in helping others except their erotic worlds and improving them in ways that are consistent with their goals, desires, and spirituality.

Dr. T
For more informations about my coaching services, please call 336.662.7777, or email me drtafari@triad.rr.com.