Fight Song – Sex Education, The Future, Why We Must Endure
It's really been a year, hasn't it? I know I've been quieter than usual, at least here on the blog. I've been outspoken to the point of blithering loudmouth elsewhere, though. Including a misguided, if impassioned, attempt to reign in someone trolling in a Trump hat on election night at #SSDesire.
I feel unmoored. Unstuck in time and space. And not in the good way that post-Desire usually brings. Unmoored in that I truly don't feel I have a handle on direction just now. I don't know how to get that back, or how to return toward my goals. All I have now are abstract thoughts, and I struggle with all of them.
As this is a website about sex positivity and inclusiveness, I try to err on the side of compassion. It doesn't always work, of course, and I'll make comments that alienate others. Hell, I know #NotAllChristians, so I don't need to be reminded of that anymore. I'm uncouth, I'm outspoken to a fault, and truly, I often speak before I think, and write before I think.
I've wanted to write about my feelings post-election, a dispatch from the #NewNormal, but have been unable to, thus far. I've started many times, and just given in to my darker dispair urdges, thrusting my fists against the posts, railing and ranting, gnashing my teeth and wringing my hands. It has, at times, been cathartic, but mostly just fed the dispair.
Today, though, the day the electors vote, I felt that I wanted to say something different.
It's about love.
We all know that it's about to get bad, potentially devastatingly bad for so many we care about, for so many in our marginalized communities. Today (unless something insane happens) Donald Trump will be voted as president-elect. He has appointed some of the least qualified people to the most important offices in our country (why shouldn't his cabinet reflect him, after all?) and many actively oppose the posts to which they've been appointed.
It's tempting to say this is part of the Left/Right dance, that this is “same as it ever was.” We've been here before, with W. It's comforting to feel that way, and to those who want to, I don't fault that feeling. Just do so with eyes wide open. Because it may be similar, but it's definitely not the same.
Fascism isn't an instant thing, where one day we wake up to totalitarianism. It's gradual. Many will say it's been coming for decades and that may well be true. But with the outgoing NC government working to ensure that the new governor will have far less power, we see that a new playbook has arrived. The rules have changed. The darkness has become emboldened. We see them now, shoving at the margins of polite society.
Where Barack Obama was a symbol of hope and potential to so many communities who've always felt they could not be president, so now we see Trump as a symbol that you don't need to be “politically correct,” that telling the “truth” is a great way to get away with being hateful.
We need to watch that these margin pushes don't become the norm. Eyes wide open means watching out for yourself, your family, but also for those that you don't share race, sexuality, creed, or beliefs with. The poorest, the most vulnerable, they're more important now. We need to take care of them, because things are about to get bad.
So, go ahead and try not to stress out about the oncoming storm, that's alright. But when you see something happening, speak up. When people say horrible things, racist, sexist, homophobic, classist, or downright ignorant, say something.
Continuing to say something is the only way through. Quiet on the side of good is what has brought us here.
The quote that has, bizarrely, meant the most to me throughout this whole horrific ordeal, comes from Twin Peaks:
“While I will admit to a certain cynicism, the fact is that I am a naysayer and hatchetman in the fight against violence. I pride myself in taking a punch and I'll gladly take another because I choose to live my life in the company of Gandhi and King. My concerns are global. I reject absolutely revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method… is love.”
We must continue to love each other. Love will out. It must.
Let's take care of each other, and make 2017 the year this horrible wave breaks and begins to roll back.
So. It's been…a week, hasn't it?
Last Tuesday I sat at Desire Resort on the Riviera Maya. A place without equal as far as I'm concerned. My time there, and the people I'm with, fuel me for a very tough reality. I sat at the bar and alternated between open weeping and panic attacks, to the point where I felt so overheated and upset that I, fully sober, climbed into the resort fountain.
Last week we lost one of the most important battles we've ever fought. This setback may not be truly understood for years to come. I'm not trying to be bleak, but I refuse to sugar coat and “let's give it a chance” it. I understood my bubble more than I ever have. These people I surround myself with, these wonderful people. We are representative of a small sample. We
Life on the Swingset wasn't born with a goal of legit sex education. Listeners of the podcast and readers of this site will know that Dylan and I began this thing with merely a foolish thought that we knew better than some swingers (though not all, as our critics will insist), and wanted to give newbies the kind of info we wish we had when we started…then an entire year prior. This, and we wanted to get laid. These are, in the pantheon of pursuits, probably not so noble.
Born into Catholicism and schooled it, only being allowed to abandon the faith when the church perhaps foolheartedly asked me to participate in my confirmation. (This ritual is a mirror to the baptism, where now you are old enough to say that you personally reject Satan, etc, which you weren't able to do because you lacked vocal abilities and a brain that had been indoctrinated for years.) I said no, mounting the surprisingly effective defense that I shouldn't be asked to lie, in a church, about this most fundamental question. Do I believe in God?
I don't believe in God, but that's not what this is about.
In the early days of Swingset, we were surprised and a bit flummoxed when people actually began to ask us advice, to tell us their troubles, their trials and tribulations in this wacky lifestyle. But those troubles weren't limited to our scope. We heard of relationship troubles, sexuality issues, fear of being gay, fear of being too small, fear of what to do with pregnancy. We answered the questions we could, referred people for those we couldn't, and worked our way through, watching our little “maybe we can get laid more” podcast become something we didn't expect.
The recurring theme, of course, was a poor grasp of sex and sexuality, stemming from a lack of education. This theme stretched across all the barriers, as well, age, sex, orientation, ethnicity. Nearly every problem we've ever been presented with has stemmed from a lack of quality education about sex. Hell, even the question of “Dammit Cooper, why don't you believe in Jesus?” can be answered with poor sex education. In 5th grade, my Catholic school teachers told us that if we masturbate, we go to hell.
That was pretty much it for me.
Would I still be a believer had it not been for that? Probably not, Carl Sagan shares much of the blame for my transition from agnostic to atheist. But it was that, a poor grasp of the truth of sexuality, on my part, on my teachers' part, on the priests that ran the schools' parts, that turned me off. That turned so many people off.
Our world is full of fundamental misunderstandings of sex. Beyond misunderstanding is the desire to repress certain types of sexuality. Homosexuality, female sexuality. Really anything beyond a man waving his big dumb dick around. And then we come back around to religion, which as you'll note played a major role in last week's colossal fuckup. (For those reading in the future, this is mid November, 2016) Religions that endlessly persecute women, from their right to interact, to dress, to do as they please with their bodies. Doesn't it all come down to that?
Doesn't it all come down to sex?
Hearing the mindless droning of man after man who doesn't understand anything beyond “I put it in her until I cum” (in fairness, there are definitely some female idiots on that team too) I can't help but feel that education has failed them in so many ways, but I do think that so much of it comes down to ignorance. Ignorance that could be solved by actual discussions of procreation, discussions of how STIs work and transmit, discussions on how to prevent pregnancy.
‘Cuz one surefire way to reduce abortion is to tell kids how to not get pregnant in the first place.
But that's none of my business.