Category Archives: sex positive

Seducing the Seducer — Part 1

I spend a ton of time reading, thinking, discussing, and implementing topics that have to do with power dynamics, evolutionary psychology, seduction, mental health, and emotional authenticity.  They all flow for me into a sex positive approach to therapy.

I have been a student of Ericksonian hypnosis and NLP for over 10 years. From those trance-induction building blocks,  I learned about Speed Seduction (the older term).  Ross Jefferies was really the only person at that juncture combining the ideas of natural rapport with sexuality. I was intrigued and actually am proud to say that I had numerous conversations  with him.  At the time, it was ground breaking concept formation to marry these two obviously similar seeming schools of thought.

Yet, there was a problem area with all this new exciting information. The thorn in my psychological side with Speed Seduction was often the same concern  I later had with the emerging  PUA communities. It all seemed so harshly negatively based. I would read these people (mostly men at that point) talking about picking up women and it was a very pump-em-and-dump-em kind of system. There was little to no discussion about seducing from an emotionally authentic way.  The focus was to build a man up by diminishing the self-esteem of a woman (remember this was all single hetero male focused).

Side Rant for clarification —  I have no problem with people engaging in sex casually or otherwise. I’m all for being primal- spiritual- kinky -romantic (or a zillion other variations) sexually.  I’m even an avid supporter of using your personal skill set, trance-rapport techniques, science, and any positive physical features one has to attract another person. In fact, I often work with many clients on these very things.  However, the difference is I specifically do so  from a positive-consent-based foundation.

Everything I saw was focused on feeling good about yourself by making another person feel less than.  I’m all about the truth of determining value based on your own personal values and social mores. Yet, when you are acting in a way to belittle another person to get them to have sex with you it  just seems shady. I’m not saying it doesn’t work, but I am saying there is some lack of personal integrity. If one is working to establish high-value (as most seduction techniques express as a goal) I never saw the high value in lying or being cruel. It feels a bit like a crude hack as opposed to a well thought out positive sculpting process.

It seemed obvious to me that you would want to be seduced or seduce another by lifting up their self respect…even if your intent is for a one night stand.  I just kept thinking that if you can’t seduce someone into wanting to date or have sex with you and have them feel better about you and themselves afterward, it doesn’t seem like you did a very good job.  However, I appeared to be the only one thinking this. And basically the hetero female population that was paying attention to seduction culture was just outraged and dismissed it all.  Both sides seemed to say it was an all or nothing system. I felt stuck within my own world of knowing the value of these ideas but still not having a delivery system that was uplifting.

So time went on and The Game was published. Pick up artistry began to gather a bit more attention. By this point Mystery and a few others were riding on the coattails and creating a more up-to-date community for seduction. The trend was to make things look a more palatable for the general public and even open up the marketplace to women. It was a step in the right direction as far as I was concerned.   I felt personally intrigued and continued to use many of the techniques in situations…but nothing felt healthy and positive enough to share with clients.

Then a friend, who also studies seduction personally and for business use, recommended The Authentic Man Program. I was thrilled to see people using the  rapport skills in a non-shaming way. They were taking all the NLP, psychology, and sexuality concepts and rolling them together. It made my heart sing. Finally, there was something I could recommend to clients.  I took the courses online and learned a lot. I really enjoyed Bryan and Decker. They felt like honest people using these ideas in a healthy way. I recommended the classes in person or online to clients.  One small problem is that it is expensive. Not every client that could benefit from their ideas was able to be exposed to them.  The search continued.

More time passed and another friend was looking into David Deida’s work,  so I happily joined in the fun. Deida’s ideas had a wonderful sensual and spiritual feeling to them.  They were direct in the evolutionary psych components and incorporated the piece of creating a higher sense of purpose as a way to seduce. He also came from a perspective of being in a long-term relationship.  I loved stitching as many elements as possible into the fold.  And now I had at least one author that I could recommend and felt comfortable sharing with clients.  However, there were a few small concerns.  If the client was not naturally leaning towards being introspective, open to some spiritual elements, or already had a base for seduction skills …it was a bit too much to take on for the first round. Clients reported that there was some good stuff but didn’t exactly resonate.

I had yet more conversations  (well really me complaining) about this weird gap in teaching these ideas to others. A friend came to the rescue and started a blog  about seduction within long-term relationships.  I felt like I was finally able to reliably send clients to a site that I trusted would be smart, relationship safe, and that was teaching these combined principles.  Then due to the very hectic schedule of the author, the blog was simply not going to continue due to lack of time to commit to it properly. My heart sank… would I ever find the right mix for this approach to suggest to my clients?

It was becoming some sort of personal mission without consciously realizing it.  However,  now I was fully aware and had no idea where I was going to find the time to write this book, but I figured it would need to be done.  It would go on the list with the other projects I’m working on.

Then one day it happened…. there was this blog…. Married Man Sex Life by Athol Kay.  A man saying  the things that my clients had said:  all the things that they were afraid to admit to themselves,  all the things they felt shame about expressing to others, and all the things they resented and loved about dating and sex and marriage.  It was a real person who happened to be so smart and honest that it was almost impossible not to side with him. He wasn’t a jerk, he wasn’t single, and he didn’t naturally come to all this understanding with a dominant personality.  Kay was providing this knowledge base and it felt worthy of suggesting to a few clients.  The feedback was awesome and I just kept thinking about how great it would be if this guy would just write a book.   These core ideas are actually really important and of course it would make my life easier if someone would put all of it together nicely packaged so I could just tell clients to go get the book.

And then just like that… there was word that his blog was going to be turned into a book.  I began to get more and more eager for the release of The Married Man Sex Life Primer.   It was going to happen,  I was finally really and truly going to have material worthy enough for clients.  My standards are exceedingly high and so were my expectations of his work. Athol Kay had managed to seduce this therapist who loves  teaching seduction into wanting to read his book,  review it, and hopefully recommend it to clients.

In Part 2 of Seducing the Seducer … I’ll share how I read the book in record time,  got to talk with Athol Kay about his work,  and my review of the book The Married Man Sex Life Primer. And for the record, no one paid, asked me to, or even encouraged me to ever seek out this information, interview, or blog posts.  This is all about my interest in the field, being a therapist, and knowing that many of these ideas help others.

Advertisements

Feminist Sex Submissive?

When certain people find out that I’m an Alternative Sex Therapist they typically have a few standard responses:  freeze up as if I’m going to be able to read their deepest thoughts right away, they start making assumptions about what alt sex is or is not, and then the brave ones ask a lot of questions.  Often one that arises is about feminism and sexual surrender and how the two appear to be opposites.

There is a common divide among feminist (and I do not personally subscribe to the idea of a binary gender system but I do live in this culture and I do use the words it holds as a way to express concepts) that being a woman means inherent oppression OR that you just are so oppressed you can’t realize this fact. I’m being flippant of course because I tend to push against ideas that make others feel bad, even if it is in the name of support.  Somewhere along the line though, certain feminist decided to tell those into power dynamics that they should feel guilty or shame about their choices.  I’m not so sure that we should figure all is said and done on the equality front, but I will contend that it is good that multiple ideas on sexuality are being heard.

Anyway, beyond whatever you do or do not believe about the how and whys of women sexually submitting there are some people who move in 3rd waves .  I would encourage you to read this piece by Morgan and  pay attention to your emotional response. There is something deep within each of us that has a reaction to sexuality and sexual choices.  No matter your views on these ideas… consider the how and whys you feel what you do after reading it.

————————————————–

Feminist Sex Submissive by Morgan

When you’ve spent most of your life fighting to be taken seriously as a woman, it can be extraordinarily grating to discover that you want to call any man “sir.” This, then, is the plight of the feminist sexual submissive—how do you maintain your identity as a strong, intelligent, independent woman when you also get off on letting people push you around?

Feminism, for me, is defined by the classic quote “the radical notion that women are people.” Gender, in other words, should not be a factor in the norms and considerations of society. There should be no such thing as “women’s work” or “guy stuff,” and every person should have access to opportunity based on ability… not based on whether or not they can pee neatly while standing up.

I was raised by strong women, and around strong women, and I could not help but grow up to identify as a feminist. Not only can I appreciate the fights fought by the earlier generations of intelligent, ambitious women, I’ve engaged in many of them myself. The battle for women to be respected for something other than how cute we are, or what a gift we have with one of the traditionally feminine arts, is far from over. In my college I was one of two female math majors in a class of over 40, and I have documentation of at least three times when I had to prove to male professors that having a vagina didn’t make me incapable of succeeding in their class.

It is thus extraordinarily, perhaps even inordinately, important to me that people respect me for my brain. I am intelligent, ambitious, and highly successful in my chosen field, and I’ve had to fight very hard to be seen that way. My mind is the center of my self image, and if I am not a strident feminist, I am an ardent one. Just this morning I wrote a long explanation to a charitable organization about why it is not acceptable to address a group e-mail as “Dear Sir.” The implication of inherent male authority is intensely offensive to me – not everyone with power has a penis. What they wanted, after all, I was more than capable of giving them… and I am no sir. It would be nice if they didn’t make that assumption so casually.

In the privacy of my bedroom, “sir” has a very specific meaning, and I don’t use it casually at all.

Hello. My name is Morgan, and I’m a sexual submissive.

I like giving up control over my body in the bedroom. I like being able to focus on giving my sexual partner what he or she wants. I like trusting them enough to give them permission to take. I like having one aspect of my life where I do not always have to be the best, the brightest, and on top. I like the way it feels to call my dominant “sir.”

It took years for me to embrace my submissive nature, in part because it seemed to be so antithetical to my feminist beliefs. Then I realized that part of being a feminist, for me, is taking control of my sexuality – admitting what I want, and finding a way to have it that keeps me safe in both body and mind. I am fundamentally in favor of everyone being able to admit to, and negotiate, the sex that they want – as long as it does not endanger others. Sex, after all, is just another facet of life, and if there is nothing wrong with men embracing their desires then women should be able to do so too.

There is a stereotype that it’s Type A males who are most likely engage the services of a professional dominatrix, and it is there for a reason. When the weight of the world rests on your shoulders every day, it can nice to find ways in which to pass the burden to someone else. If sexual submission is that way, there’s nothing wrong with it – it’s not just because I’m a woman and that’s my “place.” No one is going to believe that a Fortune 500 CEO is less smart, powerful, or successful because he likes to grovel before his mistress on Wednesdays and alternate Sundays. It shouldn’t diminish me either.

t’s sometimes difficult to be a feminist submissive. Still, there is nothing in my sexual submission that is inherently inimical to my quest to be treated as equally strong and competent as are men. The reason that it sometimes feels that way is that certain people treat female submission as the default. It isn’t, and it shouldn’t be. Women are not inherently submissive to men. They’re not inherently dominant either. The genders, in this regard at least, are largely equal. Some individuals choose to submit to each other, and, on the whole, the inclination to do so is largely independent of their sex.

Still, for me, one of the hardest things about being a female submissive in the public scene is that the ways in which other women are submissive affect people’s perceptions of me. I’m an egoist, and I want people to look at me and see me as the competent, capable, intelligent woman that I am… even when I’m on my knees.

The issue is that not all submissive women see their sexuality as a powerful choice. Not all of them choose it with intention and their own free will. Some women actually are submissive primarily as a way to avoid taking responsibility for their own sexual desires. This means that there are people out there who, based on their experience, legitimately see me as similarly weak, incompetent, uncomfortable with my sexuality, or incapable of caring for myself. It can be extraordinarily frustrating, but there is little I can do about it except submit in a way that illustrates my intelligence, active intention, and honor… and check to make sure that those women who seem to need help have a way to get it.

When I submit, I do it from a place of strength. I decide whether my partner is worthy of such a powerful and intimate gift, and I do not give my submission to anyone who does not both understand and appreciate the depths of what I am giving up for them. I value myself highly, and so I submit to people who realize that doing so does not make me less. I accept I am an intelligent, competent, submissive feminist – who sometimes finds her power by choosing to let it go.

Polyamory in Wisconsin

I was out and about and saw a new magazine. I picked it up and to my surprise there was an article about polyamory.  While none of this is really too new, the fact that this magazine is created right here in Madison… does make the topic choice all the more fascinating.

Curb Magazine has an online version of the article I read here:   Redefining Love.

“To me, polyamory has the same values as monogamy,” she says. “We just make the conscious choice to have more than one relationship at a time. We still treat our partners the same, we don’t do anything that is much different from monogamous people. We still have to pay rent and go grocery shopping and deal with jobs and taking care of a family.”

I spoke with the article’s author J. Braun about the work and providing a few more resources for the Madison (and the local surrounding area) individuals interested in learning more about polyamory.  Mr. Braun expressed he is happy to support those who are curious to understand more about non-monogamy.

I personally see it as a positive step  when an emerging UW Madison publication is  willing to look at alternative approaches to relationships in a positive open manner. I look forward to seeing more of what Curb Magazine creates!   And just in case you are a reader of Curb and coming to this blog seeking more you are welcome to contact me to speak further about differing approaches to love, relationships, and sexuality.  Also you can seek out information at the following local links:

MAPS

Poly Out

Madison Live Journal Group

Poly in Wi

If you are aware of other local groups online or that meet in person that are not mentioned above for the Madison area please do let me know! I’m always happy to help people connect with one another for support and education.

Polyamory in Wisconsin

Recently there was a news report on the Young Milwaukee Poly group. It provides an interview with a triad and a few others (see the video of the interview HERE).  It is such a simple little segment, so why should this matter? And the answer to that question is, it matters because it is rare when you see the local media portray alternative relationships in a real-life-non-sensational way.

The triad is a grouping of just regular people. This is of course something that most of us, that support non-traditional relationship configurations, knows without even thinking about it. However, to have a news organization actually interview in a way that shows polyamory in a normal fashion is a great advancement.

Once again we see that relationships come in many forms but the key to any of them is open, honest, and direct communication.  Everyone knows what is going on, agrees to the formation, and works to ensure a loving environment.  This happens all over the world but having it discussed on the news in our own Wisconsin backyard feels great! I am so pleased that those the in Young Milwaukee Poly group are creating a community where people can get together and talk about these ideas.

Madison has at least two Poly groups and you can find more information on them at:

Madison Area Polyamory Society

Poly Out

And if you are curious about polyamory, need support with opening up your relationship, or working on polyamorous partner communication please feel free to contact me.

A step forward

Wisconsin will become the first state in the nation with an existing constitutional amendment banning marriage equality and civil unions to enact domestic partnerships today when Governor Doyle signs the biennial state budget. The bill grants important and limited protections to same-sex couples in caring, committed relationships, including hospital visitation and the ability to take Family Medical Leave to care for a sick or injured partner. This makes Wisconsin the first state in the Midwest to legislatively enact protections for same-sex couples – putting the state whose motto is “Forward” back on a progressive track with this important step towards equality.

This historic achievement further illustrates the Wisconsin values of fairness and decency. “This is an important step toward ensuring that someone in a caring, committed relationship is able to care for his or her partner,” said Glenn Carlson, retiring Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin. “Fair Wisconsin applauds our Governor and state legislators who realize that no one should ever have to worry about being blocked at their partner’s hospital room door, or have to make the heartbreaking decision to quit their job in order to care for a seriously ill partner. This isn’t about being gay or straight—it’s about being decent.”

“Today is a tremendous victory for fairness,” says Fair Wisconsin Legislative Director and incoming Executive Director Katie Belanger. “We are very grateful for the exceptional leadership of Governor Doyle, the Co-Chairs of the Joint Finance Committee Rep. Mark Pocan and Sen. Mark Miller, and the many state legislators who recognize and value our state’s same-sex couples. They know that the government shouldn’t stand in the way of someone being able to care for their long-term partner.”

The Wisconsin Legislative Council issued an opinion on May 6th, 2009, supporting the legality of domestic partnerships under the constitutional amendment, stating “it is reasonable to conclude that the domestic partnerships proposed…do not confer a legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals in violation of art. XIII, s.13.”

To be eligible for a domestic partnership, two individuals must be of the same sex, both be at least 18 years old, share a common residence, not be nearer of kin than second cousins, and neither party can be married or in another domestic partnership with anyone else. Domestic partnerships will be administered at the county level, and couples must sign a legal declaration of their commitment. Couples can begin registering for a domestic partnership in 30 days.

by Christine Callsen

Tristan Taormino — Sexual Empowerment

I have been a long time fan of Tristan Taormino. She has done amazing work in the area of sexual positivity. She writes insightful books, creates a witty blog, and presents workshops. She was here in 2008  (and brought together our own locals like Minx and Gray ) so I wasn’t sure she would be here as part of her book tour or not. But she is going to be the keynote speaker for UW Madison Sexual Health Week — Date: Friday April 24, 2009  at 7pm.  Location: 2650 Humanities, University of Wisconsin, Madison Admission: Free

Tristan’s most recent book Opening Up is a great look into the why, how, and real life approach into an open relationship — everything from jealousy, honesty, and reality of exploring non-monagamy.  Having read just about any and all works that are out there on polyamory, I feel a specific connection to Taormino’s work. She takes on multiple perspectives on the topic. She is not out to convince anyone that open relationships are easy or perfect.

Many people feel the need to shout the virtues of open relationships as if there is nothing but glory to be found within the relationship dyanmics. On the other end, it seems as if many want to villify the the alternative sexual/relationship approach.  It is hard to find a balance and I believe that Tristan manages to strike it.

Without going into the details of pro and cons of non-monagamy here in this post. I will say that  I think that Taormino provides a great look at  open relationships.  If you are curious about if you might be interested in an open relationship, looking for basics on the ideas, or just wondering what the topic is all about then Opening Up is a wonderful book to start with!

Here is a quote that I specifically enjoyed because I often need to help clients through the understanding that they create their own relationship that works for them not set by standards of others:

“Some people have confused equality with symmetry, making the assumption that everyone should have the same thing…. Sometimes setting the same rules for both partners simply doesn’t make sense because you are different people who want different things.   In attempting to give each person equality you could lose sight of what each person actually wants.  Work to achieve balance rather than equality.

I would highly recommend you go and see Tristan speak. She is fun, energetic, honest, and very smart. You will enjoy yourself if you take the time to go hear her speak this Friday.

One small side note, with all relationships, if you are looking for support, direct help, or specific questions then seeking out an alternative sexuality therapist, like myself, is a recommended.

Amazon.com and lgbt — truths

I have gotten a lot of personal and professional questions about the recent issues concerning Amazon.com and lgbt literature. My basic understanding after having read numerous articles from friends, bloggers, and journalists from all sides of the controversy is that …

Well the facts are that amazon has some sort of system for filing lgbt and other (swing/poly etc) works under a system of “adult content.” They claim to do this because they reach a large audience. Okay, from a purely marketing standpoint I can understand it. You are running a business that caters to a ton of people and you want to be as boring as possible as not to freak any potential customers out. I’m with you on that one for a business profit ideal.

However, if you are going to do this to “protect children” for instance then 1) Perhaps you should screen the whole internet 2) take away the responsibility of parents to be responsible 3) allow for each family/person to make their own choice if they want this information censored.

I realize that I am an intense person who dramatically supports individual rights and those of sexuality.  I am also a marketing minded person who understand the necessity of certain choices for business-sake. Still, I think that censoring for everyone on the basis of “adult content” doesn’t make much sense.  We are not even talking about artistic nudes here. We are talking about non-fictional works (as well as fictional) about ideas surrounding gender and sexuality. How are these not educational?  Aren’t we past the whole burning book phases in our American society? Perhaps … we are not and it is just the circles I run in.

However, I do understand catering to the larger audience. So allowing you an individual or family to “opt out” of any content makes sense. For instance, I would opt out for books being shown books about poppy seeds. I’m allergic to them and pretty much hold no interest at all for me.  However, if for some reason I did want to search them I want the ability to opt back in for those results to come up in my searches and rankings.

Treating us like adults or adults of young children goes a long way. It allows you as a company to be respectful of the fact that not everyone wants to view (or have their children view) material they dislike or find offense. Also it allows the company to not think we are a bunch of idiots that can’t take care of ourselves.

Will there always be children and adults using the internet for unhealthy or inappropriate means? The answer of course is yes. However, we are not in the need of a large company dictating to us what literature (or anything else for that matter) we should or not be viewing. Let us make our own choices for ourselves and our family.

Now to directly address the questions I have been asked.  I do not actively think that amazon.com hates lgbt literature. I do not think they are directly trying to keep information away from people. I do think that either they were/are misguided in “adult content” choices as a rather big-brother business move OR that it was truly a glitch that happens a while ago and was not dealt with properly OR others took advantage of the system with ranking and other attributes as a means for dealing with their own personal agenda OR it is something else entirely that we are unaware of.

It doesn’t make sense for a company as large as amazon.com to damage their reputation with the lgbt community. I don’t think it is some hugely sinister plot as others may state. I think it is a poor choice in coding, some of the employees not handling the situation correctly, some mix up, some others exploting the system, or some combination there of.

I think the matter should be dealt with and corrected. I do think people (those authors specifically) should be upset by this and some actions be taken (what those actions are exactly I’m not sure).  I do think that amazon.com has hurt their reputation for a good while and will suffer some for it. However, I do not think they hate the lgbt community. Companies mess up, they make poor choices, and the market lets them know it… just like they have in this case.

I applaud the lgbt community for standing up and being heard… but I don’t think the heads of amazon.com should be put on sticks and marched around the town square. Just like I don’t think amazon.com is out to be evil. There is a gray area and we all live within it. Let’s try to remember that while the demonizing from all sides continues.  It takes all of us to make the truth.