I am not sure why, but this last week I have seen so much hatred towards Bi people, not sure if it is with it being Pride in many countries where we come together to celebrate who we are that the division becomes more apparent.
But whatever the reason, it is not ok.
I have seen so many myths and stereotypes thrown around and it is time to bust some:
*BI PEOPLE WILL WANT TO BE WITH THE OTHER GENDER WHEN WITH YOU
Bi people can be monogamous, they often do not even think about being with anyone else when they are with you, they do not necessarily lust for the other gender.
*BI PEOPLE CARRY DISEASE
Bi people are just as capable of having safer sex as is anyone else
*I DONT WANT TO BE WITH A WOMEN WHO HAS BEEN WITH A MAN OR A MAN WHO HAS BEEN WITH A WOMEN
It is usually more graphic than this and about dicks and pussies. I am not sure what the issue is with certain body parts, but I am sure they have had a wash since they last had sex with the other gender.
*BI PEOPLE WANT THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS/HAVE THEIR CAKE AND EAT IT/GREEDY
Bi people can be faithful, they do not want to have both at the same time, they are not greedy, they can decide.
*BI PEOPLE WILL LEAVE YOU FOR THE OTHER GENDER
Anyone can leave you, why is it any worse if they leave you for the other gender. Personally I would find this easier to take as I am very different from a man so I cannot offer what he can.
*BISEXUALITY IS NOT A TRUE SEXUALITY, THEY ARE REALLY CONFUSED
Bi people know who they are and who they are attracted to, they can love more than one gender, it does not have to be at the same time.....bisexuality is a valid identity in its own right
Lets stop tearing each other apart, being judgemental and discriminating within ourselves. How can we expect acceptance from others when we can even accept each other....one love, one heart, one community....Happy Pride
Change.......a word that elicits fear or excitement in people depending on how you see it.
Personally I see change as an opportunity to do something new and exciting but I know many others see it as something to be feared, resulting in anxiety about the unknown future.
Change has been a common theme throughout my life, moving every few years as a kid, new schools, new friends, my parents breaking up resulting in another move and new family members. The 80s saw me leave school and get married and move yet again, then life was quiet, nearly every day was the same, except along came 3 kids. There was a final move, with the husband and kids, to QLD in the early 1990s, then my marriage ending, 6 years on my own, building a life as a single mum and starting a business. The 2000s saw a new life with a new sexuality, a thriving business, going to uni as a mature age student, my first (of 3) relationships with a woman, more new homes and new jobs and finally a career and direction I was passionate about.
Some of these changes were scary, but exciting, they saw me grow, learn new things about myself and become the woman I am today. The times I found the most difficult were when I had no control over the changes, they were not my decision and there was nothing I could do about them. For a while I would stress about what to do and what was going to happen but I realised that the only thing I could control was the way I reacted to the change.
For me change also brings choice, the choice to go along with the change in a positive way and to see it as an exciting opportunity or the choice to see it as something to be feared and anxiety inducing. Most times I choose to see change as an opportunity but I have had times when that has been hard, when it was out of my control, none of the options for choices were ones I wanted, when it was hard to find the win/win in the situation....all I could see were the lose/lose. But once again I came back to the way I reacted to the change and the choice....grab life with both hands and ride the hell out of it no matter where it took me.
And even now as I approach my 60s I am in my final year of uni, yet again, looking towards another new career in a few years time and hopefully, eventually, to a final move to my happy place, a house near the ocean.
So how do you view change and the choices you can make.....welcoming it in with excitement or anxious and fearful of what it will bring?
The choice is up to you
To the butches in my life.....thank you
While looking for journal articles on Queer Femme for my masters research I have come across a lot of research on the butch identity. Today I saw the film below and it got me thinking about the butches in my life....and I need to say THANK YOU.
To watch the film follow the link below:
To the butches in my life:
Thank you for seeing me as the queer woman I am even though others say I don't 'look' like a lesbian (whatever that is)
Thank you for opening the door, walking on the road side, holding my arm as we cross the road, pulling out my chair....all of the old fashioned signs of respect
Thank you for seeing my strength and knowing that I can do things for myself but offering anyway in case today is the day I need you to do them for me
Thank you for looking at me with eyes of desire, not objectification, knowing that I illicit that response in you fills my femme heart (and other places) to overflowing
Thank you for placing enough trust in me to show me your vulnerable side, when you do this you hold me in the palm of your hand
Thank you for being my protector when I need it, never underestimating that I can stand up for myself in a verbal stand-off and knowing I can cut someone down with a few words or a look
Thank you for being the masculine-of-centre woman that you are, without the misogynistic, privileged and patriarchal outlook that sometimes can go with masculinity
Thank you for being true to yourself, even though society pressures you to be more like me
Thank you for being you even with all misgendering, double takes and rudeness from others
Thank you for loving me in my femininity
I see you
I feel you
I understand you
I respect you
I get you
I love you
Last week I attended the Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS) conference in Sydney and some workshops looking at your sexuality coming form the perspective of mind, body, heart and soul.
It was an interesting week of academia and self journey. You may wonder why I am going on this journey as I approach 56 years of age. I went on the journey to discover who I was and why I was on this earth back in 2001 after leaving a several decade long relationship, where I had lost who I was. So over 15 years later I decided I needed to explore myself again before I go into full time practice as a sexologist, it is always a good idea to look at your own stuff and how it will impact on your work.
What did I learn about myself last week?
I learnt that the work I did all those years ago was still having a positive impact, I may have changed an incredible amount since then but the journey was still continuing as my life experiences informed who I am today.
I am still making good choices with my heart and who I share it with, I do not expect my partner to fulfil all my needs, I can do this for myself and with the other people I have in my life. It certainly takes the pressure off them and the relationship.
We looked at our parents, our relationship with them, and their qualities and how we continue to look for the qualities about them in the people we choose to have in our lives. We explored what we wanted in a partner, in our relationships with them and in life in general, what we bring to the relationship and what actions we will do to bring about what we know is best for us.
I looked at the patterns of relationships in my life, with others and with myself, and I could see a continuing theme of passion and desire....looking for it in others, requiring validation of it in myself from others and finally being in a place where I can do it for myself.....I have come home to ME.
One of the big things I realised was the relationship I had with my body. Just like everyone else my body has changed considerably as I have aged and menopause certainly has had an impact, there were many things I was not comfortable with. But my lightbulb moment was with the fact that yes I am now about 18kg heavier than I was most of my life and certainly 15kg than I was at my previous heaviest, but my concerns about my changing body were more related to how it functioned than what it looks like. I can still find pleasure in my body, I am still a sensual being and I am still desirable, there is just more of me to desire. Maybe it does not work the same way as it used to but I will learn to work my way around that.
We also explored our past, present and future and what were our general needs, wants and desires in life. Once again patterns emerged and we looked at how we could manifest our needs and desires. This showed me that I was already on the path to have all this and more, I had put things in place to increase my passion for life, to have fun and adventure. Part of the journey was actually attending the workshop and I have more self exploring workshops planned through out the year.
I have also put in place ways to increase the passion, desire, fun and adventure in all aspects of my world. Work/life balance, trips away with my partner, time with my friends and family, reconnecting with my community, continuing and completing my studies, laying the foundations for my future career, learning and loving life in general.
The journey to yourself can be tough at times, as we may realise things about our self we don't like, we may look at things that have caused us hurt in the past....but it is all part of our growth as a human and well worth the effort and any pain that may come with it. I am glad I did all that painful work so many years ago and will continue to unpack where I am now so that I can be a better practitioner and person for may years to come.
So I am more mindful, living in the moment, being grateful and looking at life with fresh eyes.
Bring on 2017 I say....it is looking grand.
BDSM......what, where, why and how
BDSM or kink is often brought up and with the new 50 shades movie about to launch I am sure there will be more people curious. This will be a brief explanation and there are some great books to read, fetlife is a good website to learn more and connect with people and find out about play parties and munches (a meet and greet in a public place, often for a meal and a chance to chat and get to know people)
As you can see above when broken up the letters are actually like this: BD, DS, SM
BD- bondage and discipline
DS- dominance and submission
SM- sadism and masochism
Bondage and Discipline
Just what it says, bondage is restraint with ropes, chains or whatever you have handy while discipline can be impact play such as flogging and whipping or any other form of discipline as negotiated, with limits and safewords
Dominance and Submission
This is about power exchange and power play and quite explanatory, one person dominates while the other submits, all this is negotiated with limits, both soft and hard discussed and agreed upon and safewords
Sadism and masochism
This is about giving and receiving pain, the sadists gives and the masochists receives, once again this is negotiated between those involved with limits and safewords.
You will see that all aspects include negotiation and in some cases even a contract, limits are discussed (what you are willing and not willing to do) and the most common safe words are green (this is good, I enjoy this, keep going), yellow (maintain that level, do not go any harder) and red (stop right now). When playing where you are unable to speak (using a gag) then a sign is used, that the person giving can see and know what the receivers wishes are.
The key words when talk BDSM are SAFE, SANE and CONSENSUAL(SSC) and sometimes RISK AWARE CONSENSUAL KINK (RACK). It is important to keep this in mind when negotiating and playing:
SAFE- always play safely taking precautions to ensure that there is no permanent harm (physical or psychological)
SANE- be aware of risk, do not play under the influence of substances
CONSENSUAL- consent is sought in neogtiation and throughout play and play can be changed at any time by the use of safewords
RAK is self explanatory: when you play you are aware of the risk and engage in play consensually
The person who is on the receiving end of the play always has control of the situation, through what was previously negotiated and their safewords.
So if you are thinking of getting out there and engaging in BDSM or kink play then educate yourself, pop onto websites where you can learn and chat, attend a play party and see what you think and above all.....have fun
For more information check out Lifestyles and Sexual Practices
Goodbye 2016 and Heeeellllllooooo 2017........
As 2016 comes to an end and 2017 closes in quickly it is often a time for reflection and looking forward.
This year has been mostly uneventful, work, study, family, some health issues and a time for learning more about myself and where I am going in my life.
As a universal 9 year it was a time for everyone to let go of the past 9 years to be ready to welcome in the new beginnings of the universal 1 year of 2017. Personally 2017 is also a 4 year for me, a focus on career, so with that in mind it makes sense that it is a time for new beginnings career wise and setting foundations for my future as a clinical sexologist, completing my research dissertation and looking to graduation in early 2018.
With only a week left of this year it is time to let go of the things that no longer serve you, I have done several blogs over the past few months about letting go, it has been a very strong theme with the 3 Mercury Retrogrades and the clposing of 2016......have you been able to let go?
If not then look at how you can create a ritual that will enable you to do so and then you can gp into 2017 lighter and not weighed down by your past. Maybe meditate on what you need to let go( see it floating away, the cord between you and it being severed), write it down, create or draw a representation of what you need to let go then burn it or release to the sea or speak it to the winds, release it to the universe in what ever way speaks to you.
Once you have let it go then it is time to welcome in the new year and new beginnings, be intentional as you consider what it is you want to manifest in 2017. You can also meditate on this, welcoming it in, embracing your future, create or draw a represenatation or write postitve affirmations of what you seek but ensure they are in the current tense (I am, I have, I deserve rather than I want, seek or I need) place these where you can see them every day, once again welcome in your manifestation in a way that works for you. You can do this over the next week or even on New Years Eve or Day.
I wish you all a wonderful, happy and safe festive season and after a long overdue break with my loved ones I will be back in 2017.
Life has been crazy busy with the end of year for uni and travel for work so I have not been on here often. I have been wondering what to blog about and when I read this today from EV'YAN it rang with me. SENSUALITY ...what is it....what does it mean?
For me it is about pleasure, touch, the senses, a joy in my body, a caress. My sensual potential is about feeling bliss in the everyday, my relationship with myself and others and a confidence in myself, my body and my interactions. I loved what EV'YAN has to say below...what does sensuality mean to you??????????
Sensuality is the vibrancy of every moment. It is an invitation for you to open wider, to tune in closely, to be present actively.
Sensuality is connection—connection to your surroundings, connection to your body and inner rhythms, connection to what feels good.
Sensuality is instinct, primal enjoyment. When you are engaged in sensuality, you listen keenly with your senses. Time slows, inhibitions lower, and pleasure expands your body.
Without sensuality, your life would be dull, mechanical, unfeeling. And you feel deeply.
Sensuality lives in your breath, in the soles of your feet, on the tip of your tongue, and in the sacred voice of your intuition.
I believe that you don’t need to be taught how to be sensual; it is inherently within you and within this moment. You only need to open to your natural capacity to feel and sense and be.
I believe that sensuality is your birthright, that moments of slowness, presence, and inner listening are imperative for embodied living.
I believe that sensuality is easily accessible, that every breath is an opportunity for you to experience the sensual and awaken fully to this gorgeous moment—even if it’s filled with busyness or chaos.
I believe that sensuality is yours for the taking. All you need to do is give yourself permission to play.
If you want to be sensual. . .
1. Breathe—deeply, consciously.
2. Go slowly.
3. Seek pleasure wherever you are, in whatever you’re doing.
4. Open yourself to the richness and fullness of each moment.
5. Develop an intimate kinship to the desires of your heart and body.
6. Indulge in loving self-care.
7. Go inward and ask what it is you want.
8. Explore your capacity to feel and experience pleasure.
9. Trust your body and intuition, and their ability to guide you.
10. Consciously make space for your senses to open you. . .
. . . to this gorgeous moment, to the depths of your ability to feel, to the pleasure you know your body is capable of.
But especially: Give yourself permission to play.
So today I was blocked from facebook for 24 hours due to a post I shared about safer anal sex for straight men, that had a picture of a half covered bum. Apparently is did not comply with their facebook standards.
I found this interesting as I have seen nude images of men and women as well as vulvas, penis and breasts before not to mention the graphic violent or discriminatory images or text.
I began to wonder about censorship and it place in our society. I believe it is important to protect the young and innocent and I do not agree with the over sexualisation of children we often see in imagery and clothing. But where is the line drawn for consenting adults when viewing a page that is designated for sexual health and well being, are we being over censored, is facebook being paternal while still being inconsistent?
Personally for me I am more upset by images of cruelty to animals and humans, violence, discrimination and villification than I am of the human body in a learning context. Have I been working in sexual health for too long, am I now desensitised to what others would see as unacceptable?
Gee Whiz.....we all have bodies, some may be different to others, but they are all amazing and beautiful in their own way......we dont all behave in violent ways and by continuing to show these images we desensitise people to such things.
I would much rather see a picture of a half naked bum, than one of someone being shot, abused or hurt in any way, physically, emotionally or psychologically. Has our society got it wrong in banning what is natural and not banning what is detrimental to us all?
Rant for the month is over.....continue on your usual viewing.
As I submit my last assignment for this year and before I start my dissertation last year I start thinking about my research synopsis that is due in a few weeks for final approval for my thesis topic "The journey to identifying as a Queer Femme".
Identity is something that is very personal, how we identify is a combination if various factors that change in their level of importance over time, our sex, gender, ethnicity, faith or spirituality, familial role, sexual orientation, work role, hobbies and sports, values, beliefs and personality all come into play.
As we go through life and have a variety of experiences the level of importance of each factor will vary: the new parent, employee, partner or recently 'out' person may feel that this is their primary identity.
In the training I deliver we discuss identity, especially gender and sexual orientation and all of the various terms people may use. I don't talk about labels as I personally believe a label is something we put onto something else to make sense of it and to know how we will interact with it, whereas an identity is chosen by the person and cannot be put on them by another.
But how do we come to our identity? For some the journey is smooth but for many the journey is a rocky one, ups and downs, twists and turns, steps forward and back. It may have moments of celebration or grief, joy or despair and when it is reached there may be a sense of coming home and living your truth.
For me the journey to my identity was slow and winding, with ups and downs.....as an adult it twisted and turned......from girl to woman, daughter and sister, uni student then worker, singer and actress, heterosexual wife then single woman then lesbian partner, DV survivor then thriver, mother and grand mother, business owner then uni student again, bellydancer then latin dancer, avid reader and gardener, trainer and advocate, monogamous then polyamorous, vanilla then kinky, heterosexual (40 years), bisexual (2 weeks), lesbian (10 years), and then queer femme (5 years).
Who knows where it may take me over the next 5, 10, 15, 20 years......Masters graduate, Sexologist, Business owner?????????......the world is a never ending ride and I am going to grab it with both hands and hang on.....what about you, what has the journey to your identity entailed?
Richelle has had a passion for sexuality and sexual health since 2001. She has worked in the field since 2006, providing sexuality education in schools, and adult education in the topics of diverse sexualities and gender identities, LGBT health issues, sexual health and LGBT relationships.
This is a space for me to share with you my journey as a Sexologist, the things I learn and the people I meet and what I think and feel along the way.