Pleasure and not practice.

There seems to be a growing trend, or maybe I’ve just not noticed it before, which revolves around the idea of sex being something that needs to be practiced. It’s like there is this objective goal – squirting, multiple orgasm, larger toys, longer penetration, in which the sole focus of our sexual experiences revolve around perfecting their objectives.

While I’m all for goal setting and navigating our relationships in particular directions. I’m finding it really hard to get my head around this idea of practicing. We practice the piano. We practice baking macarons. We practice parallel parking. We just don’t need to practice sex. Gaining a better understanding of our bodies and those of our partners and figuring out what comes next for us in the bedroom, is one thing. But using our erotic spaces; masturbation or sex, as a space within which we practice until we obtain an imagined sexual perfection – I can’t wrap my head around the idea. Or where the motivation for this come from.

Sex is not an experience measured in results. Now, I’m sorry if this dints some male ego (okay not really sorry). Sex is, well should be, about us creating physical intimacy that allows us to form connection and explore sensations and pleasure. PLEASURE NOT BLOODY PRACTICE!

What exactly are we supposed to be practicing? And where are women getting their ideas of what to practice? I’m asking because I had an interestingly frustrating conversation with a couple of women who, while telling me that practice is necessary, became, seemingly mortified when I suggested that they grab a printout of what a vagina looks like, a mirror, and for them to start exploring their own bodies. How is it uncomfortable for a woman to explore her own body but it’s assumed normal to use your body to practice until sexually perfect?

And what happens when this perfect doesn’t eventuate? What happens to her self-esteem and her confidence in herself as a capable sexual being? What happens when a woman practices and practices – let’s say masturbating so that she can squirt, and this never happens? Where does she take her body next, if she has failed? If her body just can’t do it.

There is a lot about the common narratives weaved about the female body and sex that needs to be changed. Positioning the male body as the sexual normal and seeing the female body as deviating from that norm, has to be number one. But maybe number two has to be destroying this idea that perfection, be it some sexual behaviour or body experience, as being the reason we have sex or masturbate.

Why can women not fuck for pleasure! Why must our cultural obsession with perfection and achieving the next best thing infest our sex lives? Is this what sexual liberation for us really is? Practicing sex until our bodies perform on command, recite the perfected recital to the applause of our sexual partners?



Needs and Wants

Needs and wants. Or should that be needs V wants? We are told constantly that wants are disposable, unimportant and even selfish. But what if this thinking is wrong? What if needs and wants coexist? What if we can’t intentionally dissect one from the other? What if our wants are just as important to our decision making as needs?

What if we started thinking a bit like this …


NEEDS – human

WANTS – individual.

Let me explain.

When people think of needs they think of Maslow, and while his hierarchy is a well establish idea Maslow’s hierarchy is not about creating identifiable needs in order to distinguish them from wants. Maslow’s theory is all about what motivates us as human beings. Maslow define motivation as people seeking fulfilment and change through growth. His five (now seen as eight) stages of needs are what it is we need in order to fulfil our potential as human beings. That is if we want to achieve a state of feeling contentment or dare I say it, happiness, one must be able to meet certain needs. In order to be the best person one can be then we need the means to meet certain psychological, biological, safety, belonging, love, esteem and self-actualisation needs.

Most assume that this is somewhat of a ladder type endeavour. That we all start down the bottom and move through each stage with a forward only momentum. That is, only when the fist is meet can we move to the second and when the second is meet can we move to the third and so on. There are many arguments against this ridged structure and I’m in agreeance. I believe it’s entirely possible to move through the hierarchy in more of a jump on jump off rather than a forward only momentum.

I’m going to use shelter here, but I’m pretty sure this would apply to other areas of our lives too. Shelter is one of our primary biological needs. So a house satisfies that biological need (the most basic of our needs). But it satisfies more than just that one need. It gives us a sense of physical safety – fences, locks on doors, guard dogs in our yard, all of which make us feel more than just existing within shelter. We turn houses into homes. We make them ours and they make us feel like we belong somewhere. Our shelter is satisfying our need to feel as if we belong.

But this isn’t what I wanted to write today. What I want to talk about it how wants are directly connected to our needs in a way that, I believe, makes it all most impossible to detach one from the other.

Shelter, it’s defined as one of the most important needs we have. As a human being I have a need to live within a shelter. But as a human being I could live within a shelter in many varied environments. I could live in a base camp on Mount Everest. I could live within the research centre in Antarctica. I could live within a refugee camp in Syria. Human being live in these environments in simple hut style shelters, in very clinical, industrial style accommodations and in primitive thrown together tent cities make from what can be found and scavenged.

But I don’t want too!

I want to live in Australia. I want to benefits and the lifestyle that come with being an Australian citizen. I want to live in the area that we live in because it’s central to things that are important to us; jobs, schools, sports, friends, family. I want to live in a home where I can access clean running water when I turn on a tap. Where I can have a hot shower and turn on the TV. I don’t need indoor plumbing – human beings throughout the world live in shelters that don’t have access to running water and manage. I don’t need electricity – again so many people live without it, but I want to be able to turn on a switch and have light and power. I want heating in winter and cooling in summer. How many people have no air conditioning? It’s not a need so much as a want.

My wants make me who I am beyond just being human. My wants are important to the way I live my life as me. What most of us think of wants are really just the means of meeting our needs. You can’t meet your needs without taking what you want.

And wants aren’t dreams, they aren’t the things and realities we lay awake thinking about at night. Wants are what is obtainable. What it is we have at hand in order to satisfy our needs.

Maslow created his hierarchy of needs as a means to understand motivation not to subjugate wants. He wanted to identify the things that motivate us to be the best person we can be, it was never about taking something In order to get something that was assumed more important.

Needs and wants aren’t interchangeable, because they are two different things. It can’t be one against or one over the other if they are not the same thing.

Wants are the means to satisfying your needs. You. As in you the individual. Its how we create our sense of individuality, of self and of creating the comfortable that comes with being me.

So next time someone tries to tell you wanting that ice cream isn’t the way to satisfy your need for food just laugh. Eat the damn thing and remember you’re you. Always. Even when you’re eating ice cream.

Needing to keep kink as abnormal.

I’ve got a burning question!

Why are there so many people; within kink, who need to keep kink outside of normal?

Now I’m well aware ‘normal’ is a no no but bare with me for a moment.

If kink, within healthy functioning relationships, were to be seen as being as normal as those without the structure of d/s or the physical actions associated with s&m wouldn’t it make it easier for individuals who engage with it?

To me when something is  normalised you are removing a lot of the socially constructed sanctions and misunderstandings that contain the identity and/or expression to the sphere of abnormal. Kink is misunderstood because it is seen as being done by others – those people over there. The weirdos, the sociopaths and the ones who have no expectations or self worth. The ones who need to beat up on women or the ones who can’t see that they are victims. Kinks isn’t done by you and me; the normals of this planet.

So when we remove kink from what is considered normal we are essentially dividing us from them in a way that does nothing but distance. It’s not done to protect or nurture. It’s done so those who reject the ideas can keep those who embrace them at arms length.

Why do so many kinky people what to be held at arms length?

Normal means healthy. When something is normal we consider it to be healthy; there is nothing inherently unhealthy about kink. There are people who are unhealthy who engage with activities considered kinky and there are people who use kink to cause harm to others, But this is not what I’m talking about.

I’m talking about couples (or more) engaging in relationships that don’t inhibit them in any way. The kink they engage with doesn’t stop them from doing their jobs, paying their bills, having food in their fridges, keeping in touch with friends and family and being all round good citizens.

Why do people who are normal have to relegate their intimate relationships, their sex lives to the void that is the abnormal when there is nothing but normal about them?

I can walk into BigW and buy BDSM erotica (including the staple to every kinky persons bookshelf the Beauty series and the Story of O)

The Secretary is downloadable on our subscription TV (no parental locks required)

I turn on morning TV and there are conversations about kink. I open the newspaper and there are articles dissecting women’s consumption of kink related pop culture.

Adult stores are full to the brim with BDSM ‘make him the perv you’ve always wanted’ toys

There is a growing body of academic research about the acceptability of BDSM, the benefits that can be brought to intimate relationships through introducing a little bit of kink and how those doing the kink aren’t really any different to those who aren’t

There are course either solely about BDSM or incorporating it into subject content (this is how I discovered kink, through my first degree)

I can log onto Facebook and find 1000’s of pages and groups that have something to do with BDSM

All of these things, shopping, watching TV, reading newspapers, using the internet are considered normal everyday; they are the things that most of us do in the course of our everyday, if BDSM can be connected to the normal everyday then isn’t it normal?

And finally let’s not forget that sadism and masochism (again within the confides of healthy function relationships) are no longer considered deviant behaviours by the psychiatric community.

So I really do not understand why there are people so adamant on keeping.kink at arms length from the normal. If there is nothing medically or socially deviant; misunderstood absolutely not deviant, then why can’t we accept that, for the most part ignoring those who do harm under the name of BDSM, that those who engage with kink are just plain normal?

I like being normal! I am normal! There is nothing abnormal about me (well except my obsession with living in my pajamas and my need to sing really loudly when I’m cleaning the bathrooms) I’m so damn normal & I love it.