Embracing myself (not like that)
I have this book The Erotic Impulse: Honoring the Sensual Self. I bought it in Denver when I was there for a comedy festival. I was perusing the store with other comedians who I had just met moments before. We all got a crash course in each other’s personalities as we brought our chosen books to the counter. I blushed as I put the aforementioned Erotic Impulse on the counter.
Since I’ve been trying to replace my bedtime ritual of falling asleep to my iPad blaring Netflix nonsense to the more reasonable ritual of reading, I keep Erotic Impulse at my bedside and sometimes peruse before it I go to sleep.
The book includes essays and stories and poems written by various authors, some recognizable to me, some not. The book is not porn. It doesn’t turn me on like that but it does stimulate me. Each story/essay/poem offers something completely different but all with the intent of “opening the gates to a richer, more satisfying erotic life” for the reader. I find myself nodding along and relating to certain passages. And then are those passages that I don’t relate to: stories of coming out, poems and essays too complex for me, effects of the AIDS crisis.
There used to be a time I might skip those readings that I didn’t relate to. If something was too far removed from my world, I’d flip ahead and find something more relatable. A tactic I regrettably used in life too. What a dumb and terrible way to live that I’ve fortunately worked hard to break. I have no interest anymore in contributing to a close-minded way of thinking. I’ve seen the results. We’ve felt the results.
It’s become more and more easy to curate one’s life to your exact needs and surround yourself with only the pretty things you want to see. It makes starting a blog about my possibly mundane, dumb, scary, sexy thoughts on sexuality feel like a waste of time. Does anyone care about the opinions of some random white girl in her thirties who loves sex? Women love sex, have been loving sex. People love sex. I am, let’s face it, a nobody. Do I deserve to be taken seriously? Given a chance? What can I bring to the table?
(As I write this, two barely twenty-somethings sit next to me at Jack’s Coffee in the West Village. I’m tempted to ask them if they would give a shit about what some 33-year-old, non-sexpert, comedian had to say about sex. They keep saying words like ‘seminar’ and ‘homework’. They’re gonna be so much more successful than me.)
My stand-up act is very sex heavy. My experiences are interwoven throughout jokes, designed to be ‘funny’, certain words chosen over others. Yes, I am honest but do people believe me? Is this shit important? My jokes are inspired by very real moments and thoughts and feelings but they are being told on comedy shows where it’s reasonable to question the validity of what someone is saying. Something inside me keeps tricking me into thinking I have to prove that sexuality really is important to me and not just some attempt to be shocking. It’s why when people come up to me after sets and ask ‘Did that really happen?’, ‘Was that real?’ and I can confidently say ‘Yes!’, I get very happy. That moment when I say ‘yes’ is a reward for me. Once people realize I’m telling the truth, not only do they trust me, but they want to hear more. We talk. We share. It’s a reminder that my possibly mundane, dumb, scary, sexy sex life, your sex life, everyone’s sex life is important.
Of course I hope readers nod along in agreement to future entries but an even bigger hope for the blog is that my intent to discover a more satisfying, educated, well-rounded erotic life shines though. Embracing what I do know, embracing what you know. This is not an act.
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