Journey to Dirt

In the beginning there was mucous, blood, grey and purple skin. There were cacophonous sounds and everything was light. Hands on your body, sensation of your own cry, coughing up the fluid from inside. Cold steel, warm blankets, pinpricks, trembling hands passing the new body around, the breath of your parents on your face, or not. It is romantic to think it was violent, that moment of your birth, it is arrogant to believe it was not.

Everything had changed.

Growth happened over the years. Plague and fear. Your unlimited curiosity stabbed by the million laws. Gratefulness is replaced with unrealistic needs. Things. A shopping spree of ballcaps, TVs, the latest brightener, soothe-goop, popstar jewels extracted unethically from third world thighs, and cattle crying in the fields for tenderer meat… Somewhere inside we must be trying to find the womb, swim against this tide, get back to our shuddering mucous covered muteness. Peace within ineptitude — now achievable through only our greatest sins. Sex by numbers is a game we placate our inner demons with, not seeing they grow wilder at the smell of our rancid unused groins… We need these demons, telling us who we are and what we’re meant to be. Lubricating oils spontaneously produce, made of scented atoms which open our chests to one another, engage the feral beasts underneath. The most natural thing is to growl as two and four-legged pheromones pass us. Sweat is the Goddess we were warned about.

Instead we play at it, repress, shame, shroud in silence, and ignore the harmonic dance of life.

We turn on the telly to remember how it goes: fuck when you see fuck, cry when you see cry, or sometimes rigidly sit in flaccid bewilderment while the clown fails to connect with you. These choreographies were meant for flesh met times. We aren’t learning an authentic dance.

The edge of a cliff looms. Stare down the slick walls of your erectness and the whole world seems opportunity to procreate. Unpracticed we fail and fail again, jizz impotent. Tissues, a hand. Silent. Waste without the divine intertwined.

You forget you are holy.

The most natural thing is touching yourself. Feel the hum of blood, rise and fall of sunshine in your chest. The most natural thing is wanting others, give and take, dark roots, bright moon.

Sip in the air, open up your chest. Oxygen works its way from center to the infinity above your head and depths down. Extend your range, aim to horizon and beyond, it’s what you are here for. Fill Universe with sound and light, your mucus filled lungs and mini images of you flying into the vastness. Again! Again! Thrive! Find delight! Seduce, ground, recognize this road lined in shining mica to the dirt.

Silence lies sold to you for comfort.  Bad exchange, believing yourself worthless, unwhole, made wrong, incomplete, or meant for less.

We are powerful and brilliant. Older siblings reaching hands to help the next. We are frustrated beetles covering the windowsills of this house, trying forever to stay warm and get the fuck out. We are hardy and hopeful, shaking the Earth, stepping on ground given us which someday will swallow all whole. Fall into soil. Risen from sex. Lived wary of love or discovery, no true release. How do we Gods master time before bugs carry corpus away? Smell of rain and soil is calling from your cunt. We learn to play.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature

Please support my work on Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

Courage

My dashboard garden is back and I’m so happy to watch these beautiful creatures grow!

I feel really great in my body these days. I wish I’d known sooner what hormones could do for me. The experience of enjoying my physical body in the mirror and under my own fingertips rather than feeling trapped in it and persistently worried about how I look IS AMAZING!!! Seriously, I had no idea daily life could be like this. I think T is lifting a lifelong fog of depression and anxiety off of me and I’m very thankful for it.

To everyone who ever point blank told me to my face that “they just see me as a girl”, or “I just seem more femme rather than butch to them”, or that “I just look better when I dress girly”, or that “I’m not a tomboy b/c tomboys don’t wear dresses”, or any other reinforcement of the female femme ideal — which is already constantly crammed down my throat by the rest of the world (and to which I don’t usually choose to interact with face to face): You are a huge reason I didn’t get here earlier. I need you to know that. I need you to know that not because I want to tell you you were wrong, but because I want you to consider the weight of pressuring others to be as you wish them to be. It hurts to be told you can’t be who you feel you are. It is a painful lifestyle to persist holding a line you’re told to hold which feels wrong, and some of us are good enough at holding on, that we really need friends and to have role models who see us for who we are and who give us permission to let that line go.

I sincerely apologize to anyone if my words or actions have ever made them feel small about their identities or wrong about sharing themselves with me. It’s never been an intention of mine. I haven’t always understood as much about how my words affect each person I’m speaking to, and I know I’ll make mistakes in the future too, but I want to know when I do. I want the opportunity to reconsider the meaning of my actions. I want to be better than my mistakes.

I roundly thank everyone who has seen me and believed me and accepted me as I’ve journeyed and evolved and learned to articulate myself over the years. Without you I would still be desperately wanting things I didn’t feel I deserve to get (which is on me, but you all really helped me out a lot).

As I write, acknowledging this feeling of happiness I’ve been feeling since starting T, I want this moment to be a reminder to consider the impact of our very human desire to label others — especially to their faces — with labels we’re comfortable with rather than the labels someone else tells you they want to be labeled as. Almost every single bit of information we take in in this world is gendered, racially loaded, ableist, and constructed to tear our individualities down for the benefit of a privileged class. We can (and must) change that by considering one another not as objects, but as individual creatures with vibrant internal worlds which we will never be privy to the full intricacies of without asking first, without believing the answers we receive, and without caring to wonder more deeply about who we’re interacting with in the first place. When someone tells you who they are (and who they are not), consider believing them immediately before questioning what they’re saying. Consider asking questions about how that works if you aren’t sure you understand. Consider trusting people who gather the courage to tell you something about themselves.

Love from my glowing, growing, vibrant garden inside, and as always —

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature (Crea)

Please support my work at Patreon. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist 
~Thank you.

T is for TRUST

“Tiger Scratches”, from a delicious and fun pre-negotiated scene where I got to say “yes” to straight razor cuts happily, and feeling safe. Photo by Jon Gunnar

Lately I have been feeling growth uncurl within me. A number of “I want tos” and “I wish I coulds” have been calling. I am ready, I think… Gulp. I read an article, imagine a scenario, pen a response… I want these things. Yes, I do.

This matters because all my life wanting has felt very unsafe to me.

Trust is an elusive imp playing tricks on what we think we want, pitting our desires against the gut’s “mmm… I don’t think so, no”… We learn to push this imp away our whole lives, listening to those around us who we feel pressured by. We learn to say “yes” when it feels like biting off more than we can chew. It’s hard to swallow, the experiences we motion ourselves through, after negotiations like these. Trust deteriorates in time, and we don’t know where we are anymore, what is good, or what we do because we think we’re supposed to. It takes time for us to learn to listen better to our guts, to our trust imps, in this life full of advertisements about what we’re supposed to want.

I do not really love sex. Perhaps this is because my first sexual experience happened at age 4, and it was a coercive, threatening, and manipulative situation which robbed me of my trust in friendship and trust for my own feelings of attraction. Maybe it’s because I was punished directly after escaping the situation, and so I carry this eternal kneejerk reaction to sexual attraction of distrust. Relationship negotiation holds within it a visceral fear that I’ll get in trouble if I pursue the thing I think I want… I get quiet and go even further away when people get angry or frustrated during sex, I glaze over when people make demands, and it’s been hard for most of my sexual history for me to stay present. I feel generally unsafe around other people’s perfectly natural desires for sex. I don’t want this though. For a lot of years I just did what other people wanted, or I measured the success of my relationships based around how regularly “it” was done, because I didn’t know how to actually connect during sex. Sex felt like a game I didn’t understand, a game I was always behind on the rules about, and I did what I thought I was supposed to because I couldn’t find my own desire for sex most of the time.

I’m glad I’m not there anymore (entirely). For me the key to trust and opening up was learning to say “no” and having my “no” respected and celebrated by those around me.

I was at a sex party once, and the theme was “asking for what you want”. Everyone came to the party prepared to practice asking for what they wanted — nothing was off the table. When everyone arrived we started our opening circle, we all had a turn introducing ourselves and revealing our first “ask” to the group. Mine was this:

I want to practice saying no. Would anyone be willing to spend some time propositioning me about various activities so I can practice saying no to them?

At the time it seemed kind of silly and counterproductive to (at a sex party) ask people to let me reject them. However, I have to say, this was one of the most healing and brilliant experiences I’ve ever had. That night’s exercise launched me into years of being able to practice my nos, so that I can actually now locate my maybes and yeses.

It was so hard to do, it turned out I needed a coach. I was approached by a few people at the party who wanted to play. They asked questions, to which I was supposed to say “no”, or “no, thank you”. It turned out I was impossibly bad at just saying no.

Them: Karin, may I kiss you?

Me: Oh, I love kissing, but maybe not right now?

Them: Well, can I pour hot wax all over your body?

Me: Wait, no fair, I love that activity! Um, maybe another time, not right now…

And so it went, with my “I’m really sorry I have to say no right now”, “well maybe later, it’s not personal, I just can’t right now”, or “that sounds interesting but I don’t think I can right now”, and so on…” Every “no” I gave was actually a maybe (?) or in reality, it was a “not-no”. I was finding it emotionally and psychologically extremely hard to pause, find my actual “no”, and simply say it while looking in the faces of my friends — friends who actively wanted me to say no!

I don’t think I’m the only person like this. I believe it’s a pretty normal response from a lot of people. I might even go as far as to say it’s probably exceedingly common among people who have experienced sexual trauma, from AFAB people in general, and I assume it’s a well practiced response from other minority people too. I think the art of “not no-ing” is heavily enculturated in our society. Part of what not no-ing is, is positioning yourself passively around a larger animal that might hurt you. Compliance is self-preservation. We hope to ease away from a situation while appearing compliant when we “not no”.

Simply put, I couldn’t put my foot down firmly because I was afraid to. Deep deep down, even in this safe space surrounded by encouraging friends I was terrified of saying no. I had one friend, let’s call her Jane, who was amazing that night. She kept asking the same question over and over again until I simply said “no” or “no, thank you”. After every qualification I made she shook her head and re-asked:

Jane: May I go down on you?

Me: That sounds really nice, but not now…

Jane: No, try again. May I go down on you Karin?

Me: No thank you, but not because I don’t like the idea of it…

Jane: May I go down on you Karin?

Me: Um, no, but ask me again sometime?

Jane: May I go down on you Karin?

Me: … … … (deep breath, crying a little, terrified) … … No. Thanks.

Jane: (Looking me in the eyes) Thank you, Karin. I’m really glad you told me no.

(I’m still really emotional reading that.)

I wish I could say I was cured from that point onward, but I haven’t been. I do know a lot more about my feelings now, and I know how to slow down and listen to myself better. As a rule these days I pause after being asked for something sexual or sensual, I try to find my “no”, and I don’t say “yes” until I can imagine doing the activity and imagine (or feel) myself wanting to do it. If I can’t imagine doing the thing, or doing things leading up to the thing, I say “no”. If I can imagine doing it and enjoying it, I say “I’d like to try”, and sometimes also “I don’t know if I’m totally into the idea, but I’d like to see if I can get into it, so I’d like to check in a bunch while we try”. If I’m ecstatically into the idea of what’s proposed, I say, “yes, I’d love to!” Sometimes when I realize I’m not into a proposed idea, while I’m finding my “no”, I’ll think of something I want to try instead. In those moments I’ll say “No, I don’t want to ____, but I’d like to ____ if you’re interested in that instead?”. Honest negotiation is what ensues.

If I can’t trust your “no”, I can’t trust your “yes”. This is where I have learned to stand, and it’s a radically helpful idea to hold onto. It has helped me communicate more directly, clearly, and unapologetically about sex, BDSM, and my boundaries with people. After practicing it over the years it’s become more and more easy to communicate about (and even feel) my feelings. I’ve found a lot of people I’m negotiating with appreciate these conversations too. Most people are struggling on some level with social expectations or worse when it comes to sensuality and sexuality. When I am direct and lead with my boundaries and desires, I find other people often feel safer talking about what they do and do not want as well. I’ve been able to negotiate lovely and crazy-seeming things with people consensually and to great end because we negotiated by asking one another about what we don’t want, which then frees us to outline exactly what we each do want. This in turn leads us to more deeply trust each other and ourselves in the process.

Play On My Friends,
~ Creature (Crea)

If you like my blog, please check out my Patreon Page and support me. For one time donations click here: Support the Artist

~Thank you.

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