Archive for March, 2011

March 30th, 2011

Recommended Reading #40: Reflection



      “Walk With Me” by Kathleen Bradean (Art, Non-sex-related, Self-Awareness, Sociology) 3/21/11

I adore the way this piece is written, the insights it offers, and the questions it invites. I love what it says about the picture, what it says about us, and how it relates the two. Even upon re-reading it I felt frequently energized by the experience of finding the next line even more striking than the last. Beautiful.

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      “Slow Blog Manifesto” by Todd Sieling (Non-sex-related, Technology, Sociology) Undated

Shanna Germain linked to this once on her blog quite a while ago, and I always really liked it. I feel like I slow down and center a bit even as I read it! I especially like what I interpret as its affirmation that not responding to all current events or goings-on online immediately is perfectly okay, as well as the emphasis on developing or allowing to percolate things that occur to us before or instead of reducing them to one line as may seem encouraged in certain social media contexts. The point, of course, is not that there is anything wrong with quick response or brevity-encouraging social media but rather the reminder that there are options, numerous important and effective ways to express ourselves online that do not necessarily adhere to the trends and/or structures of online behemoths (just as in non-online life our experience does not always resonate with behemoth structures or corporations).

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      “When Being Is Enough” by Monica Day (Relationship, Non-sex-related, Self-Awareness, Consciousness) 3/11/11

I find the message of this piece breathtaking and beautiful in its simplicity, straightforwardness, awareness, and truth. It expresses an epitome of truth (in my understanding) that I feel we would do so well to embody and understand.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

March 23rd, 2011

Recommended Reading #39: Health and Body, Pt. II



      “A Response to the War on Women” by Emma Tarver (Reproductive Freedom, Female-Bodied Health, Politics) 3/8/11

I appreciate wholeheartedly almost all I interpret this article as saying. I will only point out that the emphasis on providing health care services for free introduces economic and/or labor issues that I am not necessarily interested in including or discussing at length in the context of all else that is said in the article. The ideological and cultural assessments I interpret from this article about women’s bodies and bodily autonomy are what strongly resonate with me in this piece—especially the parts about giving birth, as considerations on that subject or around that process have often seemed to me overlooked or unquestioned in society, the American medical community/modality, and even at times the reproductive freedom movement.

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      “Loving the Disabled” by Douglas Fox (Sex Work, Health and Body, Sex and Culture) 8/19/10

I found this discourse striking in its incisive articulations of ways society may view, particularly as imbued with condescension and judgment, the sexuality or sexual experiences of people with disabilities, as well as considerations of said individuals’ own respective experiences in relation to sexuality. I found especially salient and poignant the author’s assertion about professional sexual services and disabled persons’ potential desire and prerogative to use them.

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      “Just Breathe: Body Has A Built-In Stress Reliever” by Gretchen Cuda (Non-sex-related, Health and Body) 12/6/10

Since one of my spiritual teachers is a breathwork trainer and practitioner, I have been exposed to experience, information, and invitation about conscious breathing for several years. It is a delight to me to see evidenced in this article a wider understanding of the extraordinary power of breath and how our conscious attention to it may affect and enhance our health and well-being.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

March 19th, 2011

Call-in Radio Chat with Rachel Kramer Bussel and Authors Today!

I’ve just returned from Florida so am rather late announcing this, but today (Saturday, March 19) at 2:00 p.m. Eastern U.S. Time (which is in an hour!), there will be a live call-in chat on BlogTalkRadio for Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s brand new brand new Online Book Club! The club debuted last week, and today’s chat will be recorded and archived afterward as well.

I will be one of the authors on the call today, and listener call-ins are welcome. The call-in number is 626-414-3413, and the call will be for one hour. Find all the details here. Feel free to join us just to listen in, and if you feel so moved to call, we’d love to hear from you!

UPDATE: The call-in chat, which included host Rachel Kramer Bussel and authors Mercy Loomis, Tenille Brown, Elizabeth Daniels, and myself, has taken place and been archived! It may be found here or listened to here via this widget:

Listen to internet radio with rarebirdradio on Blog Talk Radio

Love,
Emerald

“Operator, won’t you put me on through…hurry up, won’t you put her on the line, I gotta talk to the girl just one more time…”
-Garth Brooks “Callin’ Baton Rouge”

March 16th, 2011

Recommended Reading #38: Non-Monogamy, Pt. II



      “The Case For Open Relationships” by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Sex and Culture, Relationship) 12/10/07

I find this a measured, considered piece about intimate relationship and its different structures. I feel that Rachel acknowledges the uniqueness of relationship and different orientations toward them, and I also appreciate her mention of monogamy seeming to be the expected standard for intimate relationship in our culture and the issues that may arise (arguably have arisen) in response as such. Lastly, I like how she points out the fluidity of such orientations—that it is “not an either/or choice you must make now and stick with forever.” I see this piece as basically an exposition about the options in romantic/intimate relationship in the context of our current culture, with no claim that any is inherently “better” than any other.

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      “Sex, Polyamory, and the Wisdom of the Body” by Deborah Taj Anapol (Sex and Spirituality, Sex and Culture, Relationship, Biology) 11/2/10

I find this perspective that seems to me to blend biological as well as psychological and spiritual considerations interesting and pertinent. I myself don’t find the question of whether monogamy is biological or “natural” particularly relevant (to how we choose to live our lives)—it seems evident that some people have felt genuinely oriented toward each, and we seem to do a lot of things that may not be considered “natural.” The sentence in this article that seems to encompass the thrust (no pun intended) of the whole piece for me is also the one I find probably the most intriguing: “Perhaps once our internal divisions are united into a coherent whole, polyamory will have served its purpose and a genuine monogamy will evolve.” The idea of our “internal divisions” is of potent interest to me, and I find interesting her idea of polyamory as a tool (especially in a culture that so favors monogamy) for psychological and spiritual self-awareness.

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      “Critique of Pure Relationships: On Consent and Compulsory Monogamy” by Angi Becker Stevens and Alex Upham (Relationship, Sex and Culture, Sociology, Psychology) 12/11/10

This is a bit long but so very worth reading as far as I’m concerned, especially for anyone interested in the subject of non-monogamy or relationship structures and related sociological considerations and cultural context. I especially felt resonance with almost everything under the “Love and Marriage?” heading and found the “Jealousy” section to contain insights that seem to me extremely important to consider, including the insights about current society’s general perceptions about jealousy. To me this piece seems a considered, comprehensive expounding on what I find a beautiful line in its conclusion: “We must work consciously to break down our own deeply imprinted ideas that love inherently equals monogamy, and that jealousy is justified and unavoidable.”

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

March 9th, 2011

Recommended Reading #37: Parenting



      “Time for the Big Sex Talk” by Kalynn Huffman Brower (Sex and Youth, Sex and Culture, Sexuality Education) 3/1/11

I seem to find very little more moving and inspiring than the perspective and understanding of a parent that his/her child is that child’s own autonomous being—and the love, awareness, and respect that goes with that perspective. It doesn’t seem to me to be the most common understanding, and when I see it, I feel like I have frequently stopped in my tracks for an instant, overcome by something that seems inarticulable or even unidentifiable along with some of the deepest gratitude I have experienced. Sexuality seems one of the areas in which this may be most recognized or expressed, and the ways I see it demonstrated as such in this piece brought me to tears when I read it. (Thanks to Violet Blue for the link.)

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      “Not Vegas” by Alana Noel Voth (Memoir, Non-sex-related) 3/4/11

Yet another instance of Alana, via her writing, blowing me away.

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      “nude studies” by Nikki Magennis (Memoir) 2/1/11

It feels like just about anything I say about this interrupts it somehow. So I will just point the way and step aside.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday