Monday, May 31, 2010

10 favs

1. My community. I currently live in a small town and I like it. I didn't at first because I had been living right in a gritty industrial town for several years which I loved. I wish there were more brown people of all kinds here, though.

2. My home. DH and I live in a home that is really reflective of us: Funky, artsy, slightly asian inspired, cowboy and vintage. Lots of gardens and a beautiful unique landscape.

3. A rich internal life. This was a defensive, protective mechanism at one time, but it has left me with an inner world that is highly satisfying.

4. Sex. It just keeps getting better . . .

5. Studying the Scriptures. Perhaps it is sacrireligous to say so, but like Sex, the more time I spend on them the better they get . . .

6. Dogs. Messy but good.

7. Motherhood. Hard but eternally gratifying.

8. NPR. My source for classical and experimental music . . .

9. Good Food. I like to prepare, eat and grow it.

10. Friends. This goes in part with community. One of the benefits of staying in one place is being able to become friends, collegues and acquaintances with others. I also appreciate the internet for allowing me to meet people I'd never know and to solidify my real life relationships. I also need to add my DH here, who is my best and oldest friend.

My update: the people I would tag are Clark, Sneakers in Sacrament, Slp, Konrad, Just us (both), Good to be Free (both), Ty's anatomy, and Scarlet's letters.

S.E.X. 2.0

In my first S.E.X. post I dealt with the unsolicited advice my Bishop gave to me and DH as a young married couple. In this post I shall deal with the advice that my teacher, an old married, female, Cherokee professor of one of this nation's earliest Native American Studies progams at the university, gave me. I took her class becuase it was the only thing I could work into my schedule. We became friends and because of her I have from time to time been able to bless people in and from Indian Country in my community and in my profession because of the understanding she gave me of a culture not my own.

Her name was Sarah.

One day Sarah explained to me, entirely unsolicited, that it is important for women to take care of business at home. And, that sometimes women can fall into the trap of not taking care of their man's needs. She explained that she felt this was an area her own mother had failed at, but that she personally had succeeded at in her marriage. So, I have tried to be true to that underlying message which is to attempt to satisfy your partner's sexual needs.

Now that I've entered the minefield, I'll try to get through it without getting blown up!

While this is not a uniquely LDS phenomenon, I think there are large numbers of sisters who don't take care of business at home. Drama Mama was not taking care of her business at home, although I can hardly blame her for not wanting wicked stepfather, he was a mistake and icky in so many ways. I suspect however there is another part of the story.

I also remember having this conversation with another sister about how she herself and many other LDS women just don't like sex. She explained that her husband was very tender and patient with her and she was progressing in that area. Which isn't to say that there aren't LDS sisters who really enjoy sex. This same sister's aunt is also a friend and related the story of her sex life.

When she and her husband were very young and had a house full of children they established a secret code. If her husband wanted sex that night, he would leave the lid to his lunchbox open, if not the lunchbox would be closed. This gave her lots of time to organize the rest of the evening and get prepared. Guess what?

This couple had sex nearly every night of their marriage. And not because she didn't want to or didn't enjoy it. Yes, there were times after childbirth or in fatique she didn't want to, but my impression was that she also believed in "taking care of business." This couple has always had modest financial means, had some difficult to raise children in their home and other challenges, but they had a million dollar sex life and marital relationship full of very sweet intimacy.

One day after decades of marriage a group of her coworkers were comparing notes about sexual activity in their marriages and although she was not participating in the conversation she was directly questioned. Yes, she did like sex. Then they asked how often. When she told them they were astounded. One man jumped up and said, I knew you were a "real woman!" whatever that means.

Now my point is not that couples should have sex every night. Nor is my point that anyone should be forced to have sex when they don't want to. Nor do I mean to belittle or blame persons who find their partners unattractive or conversely to blame spouses who have done everything they could to be physically attractive to their spouse and that there are underlying gulfs which cannot be crossed such as profound same sex attraction. My point IS that sometimes we do or don't do things to please our spouses. And there is a benefit to that.

There is a sexual/social contract when we intimately partner in marital and marital like relationships. I fear that in an era when we as a church spend a lot of time decrying the effects of pornography, adultery and other sexual sin, we do not fill intimacy vacuums created by not taking care of business in our marital relationships. I intend no offense and do not wish to be insensitive, but if the shoe fits wear it and consider leaving the lunchbox open tonight.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Also Known As

I was doing a little blogkeeping today and adding a few blogs that I been following. It occurs to me that I follow on most Moho blogs as Pleasant Valley although I also appear on some as Quiet Song. Which brings me to aliases.

First, I had a rage-aholic moment directed at deceased Drama Mama also known at one time as "Mrs. Browning." Until I told my younger sister just below me in age, none of my other sisters had known about the fake name she adopted when I was born. Crazy. Anyway, I thought about her today, it's the Memorial Day weekend and we are supposed to remember our dead and not practice the thing or two we are going to tell them when we meet again.

I've got things I want to say on this blog but that are just too much information, because someday Quiet Song is going to let more folks know just who she is, so I don't have all the freedom I might have to blog about those TMI topics. My daughter and husband have been invited to read, but I doubt that they read often. This blog is also about our family's journey in addition to mine, so that tempers what I write as well or who I share my non-virtual reality with. Which leads me to the question of who needs to know some of this stuff anyway?

Yesterday, I was listening to a rant from an older person suffering and I didn't even bother to tell him that I am one of those dreaded idiots who votes and lives differently than him. On the other side of the spectrum, I have recently been working professionally with several prominent members of the LGBT community in my state who consider their own LGBT status part of their resume. I wonder what biases and assumptions they have made toward me based on the outer more visible shell?

Would things change if they knew I was also known as Quiet Song? Or do they already intuitively know?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Quiet Song's Wishy Washy Kissy Hissy Fit

So I deleted my last two blogs because I thought they were way too personal. The first although dealing squarely with the truth seemed unkind. The second about Kissing and sex seemed too personal. What a mood I am in! So Changeable.

I think I shall do laundry now.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Daughter of a Polyamorist

Two days ago, MoHoinHawaii posted on his blog a link to a polyamorist mom's blog. I read it with interest, not only because that, I, too, am inclined towards polyamory by nature, but also because it occurs to me that both of my biological parents were polyamorists. Drama Mama had her proclivity for already married men. I may be technically incorrect on this matter, but I believe women who are in polygamous marriages but don't have sex with any one but the husband are still polygamists. My biological father sent Drama Mama roses on the day of my birth and attempted to stay in touch for several years. I briefly got to meet him when I was seven and he came to visit. Drama Mama was pretty sure he still wanted a relationship with her.

I heard Drama Mama tell Penny (her very close female friend) that my father had told her that he had children all over the United States and had finally undergone therapy for his "problem" but that nobody could fix him. He died before I could finally locate him. So was he a slut and womanizer or was he something more? This really wasn't a one night stand for him, but it being the sixties, Drama Mama wasn't quite entirely ready to be all the way out about her past, and, moreover, she did not want to be tied to this man. I have yet to ascertain whether he ever got a divorce from first wife or not. I know that when he died, he had been married to a woman for a very long time. So many questions and so few answers.

I will touch on these topics more at a later date. In today's society, it's more likely I would have known my biological father and been a part of his life depending on what the relationship was with his wife at the time. I cannot but help wonder if this way that a segment of the population has always chosen to love and colove had not been so taboo, if I would have had a better childhood than I did. And it would not be such a long road back to find out who I am ethnically and culturally. These are the facts of my existence. I am grateful to be alive, so I don't subscribe to the notion that things would have been better had I never been born.

For an interesting documentary made by the son of a polyamorist about his father, order the documentary My Architect from Netflix.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mother in Laws on the Logistics of Sex and Reproduction

Truth be told, I AM amazed that I continue to find things to blog about in MOHO blogosphere. However, the blogs of others tend to trigger other thoughts and next thing you know, she's thinking. Maybe too much. Or in the last case, giggling a lot.

Last year I became a Mother in Law, and, as such, I am finding hard not to be the stereotypical mother in law who butts in where few others dare to walk. When Girl Song had her baby, she had some internal tearing. Girl and Son in Law(SIL) had previously decided only to have a box springs and a mattress. The reason being was that, well, you know, vigorous bedroom activity can sometimes produce quite a bit of noise, especially with bedframes which are prone to squeaking and banging against walls and floors. Apparently, this was quite the problem for Girl and SIL when they lived in the high rent district and had to share digs with others.

In short I told SIL that regardless of his embarrassment due to "noise" issues, he had to go get a decent bedframe before she came home from the hospital after giving birth as she would be injured further and not be able to recover as well if she had to get up and down from that distance. I also informed him that if necessary, once, ummmm, resumed after Girl got better he could simply take the frame apart and return the box spring and mattress to the floor and then do away with the frame.

Good man that he is, he went straight away to a Habitat for Humanity resale store and scored a wonderful bed frame for 50 dollars. He had to wait a couple hours as someone else had said they would return by a certain time and was going to buy it. When I got home that evening it was all set up for Girl and the baby. Not only am I happy for his patience for his meddling Mom in Law, the man knows how to bargain shop.

Then there was my Mother in Law, who upon pondering DH's cousin's childlessness, finally decided someone had to help the guy do something more than fire blanks. She called Cuz and found out that he only wore briefs and recommended that he switch to boxers. After all DH's father had 9 kids and he only wore boxers. To drive home the point and to ensure that Cuz followed through with the suggestions, she went out and bought him several pairs of boxers which she mailed to him. This is the kind of thing family legends are made of, is it not? Cuz later adopted.

So, even though there are many things I'm just dying to know, questions I'd like to ask, and unsolicited advice I'd love to give, since I'm not your mother in law or Auntie, I won't. I'm sure we all agree that IS a good thing!

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Hypers

These are they who are hyper-religious, hyper-political, hyper-vigilant and in general just cannot sit mentally still without inflicting their opinions on others in a generally acidic fashion. They think that if their torrent of words hit others hard enough and often enough, they can get a Grand Canyon's worth of change in a few days, few weeks, and few years.

Sometimes this involves playing dress up and going out in public as a jailbird or a sea turtle. Other times it is nasty rhetoric posted on line, voiced in classes or in conversation.

Hypers have a hard time finding black and white in the real world. But they crave it desperately. When squarely confronted with the reality that most things have some ambiguity, sometimes they crumble. We see this in Church. Large numbers of the "disaffected" were once "hyper-religious." One of the greatest ironies the formerly hyper-religious have to process is their former black and white views of the world and others they may have hurt in the process.

There is a hyper atheist in my life right now. I just let him run on. I think it makes him happier to carry on as he does. He certainly isn't pleasant company when in hyper mode and is pushing other people away.

DH was in hyper-liberal mode for a number of years, which devolved into near hate towards anyone slightly to the right or left of him politically. This was problematic becaus I am a conservative democrat and this makes me a political moderate. He was convinced I was missing something. Unfortunately, no means no, we had a difference of opinion.

Girl Song was once hyper religious and really gave me a run for my money as a parent for not being religious enough. Now she is a questioner and regrets being so judgmental. Young people experiment with "hyperism" in many forms as a kind of rebellion. Her rebellion was to be more "religious" than her parents. Or at least in terms of outward appearances . . . .

Unfortunately, these people tend to get hyper blinders as to the impact of their actions and cannot see the pain and harm they inflict on others. While everyone is entitled to their opinions, everyone can suffer the normal and routine consequences of being filled with bitterness and hate. And, the normal response of people just wanting to avoid you and your opinions.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

From the Streets of Denver, 2004

Comments made by men who have sex with men from a 2004 study in Denver, Colorado:

I believe that I have seen a lot of different dilemmas, difficulties, and problems faced by gay men, primarily with social stigma that still exists. Although it is not as in your face as it was 20 years ago, it is still there.

I think the gay community is ageist; it's like once you get to a certain age, then you lose anyone desiring to be with you to an extent, and that causes more isolation.

I have been in social settings were comments have been made that were disrespectful. I was at a party and the gay host made a comment like, “ now don’t you end up running down the street with my TV”. I could not believe that he had said it. I was the only African-American man there. I excused myself soon after. I cannot believe that in this day and age again that people can be so rude and ignorant.

I am racist myself. I will not have sex with a white guy. I just don’t. In Denver a lot of African-American guys like white guys, I have no idea why.

Then you have all the guys with the financial means, upper class, you’re A-list gays. They are the ones who threw all the parties for each other.

I went to a ballgame with a friend of mine and he said that two of his friends were going to come with us. Well, this guy showed up with tweezed eyebrows, carrying a purse, a little white t-shirt and one of those overalls turned into shorts. He had eyeliner left over from the night before. It was at a ballgame. I was like a teenager, walking 20 paces behind their parents, who used them for a ride and 10 dollars in shopping money. I was afraid to be identified with that.

I am not quite sure why they want gay men to practice monogamy. Monogamy after all implies choosing one woman.

I feel like gay men stall. They get wrapped up in and stall in the service industry, in the airlines, hotels, and restaurant. The service industry works well with a self-absorbed lifestyle.

I think that a lot of the gay community doesn’t perceive education as beneficial. They graduate from high school and begin working at your minimum wage level…I don’t think that the gay community is educated as a whole, and there are a lot of people working dead end jobs. I have noticed there are a lot of guys in fast food or chain restaurants, where they can work the evening shift, get off work by 10 then go out to the bar, party until 2, and not have to go to work until 4 the next afternoon.

The higher your self-esteem is the higher the chances of protecting yourself. As much as gay men take care of their bodies, they don’t take care of their brains. They might hate themselves, but they sure do look good.

I am having a hard time finding someone to hang out with, without them getting sloppy drunk. I don’t knock anyone for what they do, but there is a tendency to get too messed up with that. Last night I met someone and he wanted to do drugs. I can’t meet a guy who only drinks a little or smokes a little. They all have to be fallen down crack heads or drunk.

I think that a lot of guys are so concerned about their appearance that maybe they don’t eat right. Some guys really think they need to be slim; they won’t even eat in order to achieve that. They say you can’t be too rich or too thin. There are also guys who think that you have to be so buff. It’s beyond ageism to lookism…If you look at gay magazines, just like with women, they show models who do not look like the average person, and yet you are bombarded with those images…I think that some gay men do things that are injurious to their health…I think that Americans in general do not want to live a healthier lifestyle; they just want a pill.

We are all at someone’s house and we are all drinking, and we are putting on body glitter and we are cackling. Everything is just fun and frivolous. We stop at 7-11 and everyone gets sweets and candy. Then we are in the car, and on the way to the club someone says, “Here is your party candy”. Ecstasy. I took it and got this surge of energy. This friend says, its okay, this happens. Then, we hit the club, and I was told to eat the candy so that it would last longer. You don’t want to do it in the club because of cops, so you do it in the car. They play the music to match your mood. Right when you get there it is high energy because everyone is freshly high. Right when you are high, the bar is high because they play the right music. Then when you are about to come down, and the club is coming down they play trance, because it is come down music. The do it to get you to come back.

I know that there are several guys who, who, you know, might ask if someone plays safe, but when it gets to actually playing with that person, who knows?

I would get them drunk; I would drink just to have somebody. Get them drunk. Then you can have somebody. Get them drunk. I would drink as well, but mostly I tried to make them drink more instead of me. I didn’t want to be drunk, just them. I wanted to be able to enjoy it.

I never realized that crack cocaine is a powerful drug. I found out that if I went out to Colfax with crack, and there is a straight guy that smokes crack, a fine guy, he is going to be up in that hotel room if I have crack, and he is going to do anything that I ask him to do to get high. Crack cocaine is a very powerful drug. When I found out that I could get straight guys with crack, man that was it. I was never one to have sex for drugs; I will be the one to get the drugs to have sex. I like straight guys. Once I learned how to use it, it was easy.

I like to do a shot of dope (methamphetamine) and its wonderful. I would get paid with a shot of dope and I would hustle from one to the next. I am from the Midwest, so I repressed my interest in men and it is not something you can express, you can get hurt for it. So I got out here, I got a little wild. If you had a little dope it made the party all that more fun and more interesting and if you wanted to invite a couple of buddies in then, shit, we are all about to have a good time.

You grow up alone, this is my theory, then you get to metropolitan area, and you find your little gay bubble, and you are like, Oh. My God, I found it. You then begin experiencing sex, and I think that is what gay is. I don’t experience it as an identity, but to me gay to me is more lifestyle, and it is the bar 5 times a week, and everything is fabulous, and fashion and all that. To me that is what gay is, and I think that too many men get stuck in that.

When you first go out you don’t know who is who and what they are about. The more people that you meet in that crowd, the worse it will be. There was always sex, there was always drugs, and there was always drinking… It was everyday of the week. Each day we already knew what we were going to do. Depending on what day of the week it was, we already knew what bars had what going on different nights…Sundays was the longest. We would party all up and down Broadway.

The problem is, say you go to a gay bar for brothers. There are going to be black men there that only want black men. There are going to be black men there that are only going to want white men. There are also white men who want only black men. Once you slice and dice the pie into all of those different groups, who is available in that room is much more limited than at first glance. At first when I thought about it, I was shocked, and then I was angry. Now it just makes me sad.

Out of sight, out of mind. It (HIV) was not something that I had to worry about. The majority of the population out there is like that. It don’t matter what we come up with, with what we do, the majority of them out there probably don’t think about it. You would be surprised to hear how many people ask me if I have HIV compared to those who want to know whether I want to have sex.

These are the tamer comments. All fodder for a candid discussion with the Kid.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Maleness of Being

When dealing with wicked stepfather as a young teenager I often wished I were a boy because: 1) Maybe he would stop making his quasi-sexual advances, and 2)I could possibly be larger and stronger than him ultimately and make him pay for his verbal and emotional abuse against all the other women in the household.

At the time, I didn't want to acknowledge Drama Mama's role in all this misogyny, but I've since had to process that. As a pre-adolescent, I always felt insecure and awkward in my very tall relatively boyish body. I can remember thinking how much easier it would just be to be a boy since I was bigger than most of the boys anyway. Eventually, about a little over half the boys surpassed me in height. I still carried my awkwardness about my early height well into adulthood and wanted to be petite not slightly above average height for a woman.

In the early eighties Grace Jones came on the scene. I loved her short hair cut. I cut my hair this way and received so many compliments. During the time I wore my hair that way, and all the previous times, I'd often thought I'd make a more attractive man than I did a woman. DH did not like my hair so short because he felt like he was having sex with a man.

Thereafter, I wore my hair longer to please him. In the last decade, I've worn it very long to please me.

My body before it was injured to the point where regular weight bearing exercise is difficult, was sometimes mistaken for a man's from the rear. My shoulders and arms muscled up to sizes many men would be happy to have with the heavy work I was doing at the time. I wasn't offended by then and was very happy with my femaleness of being, especially motherhood.

I'm content being of the female gender, emotionally and physiologically. I've resolved my feelings of inadequacy regarding my gender that society imposed on my body shape, size and my own kind of beauty. I also know that being a boy may not have changed the relationship much at all with bullies, but that wicked stepfather may not have married Drama Mama but for the easy access to prepubescent females. But, if not him, then she might have found one who wanted prepubescent males and I would have been exactly in the same situaiton.

Nevertheless, I remember what it was like to question ever so slightly if God might have gotten something a little out of kilter when he sent me here to earth as a woman. Now I just think society and media culture was out of kilter.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Square Pegs in Round Holes-this atonement's for me.

Rules-There are a lot of them in my life and not just religious rules.

I was teaching a concept a few weeks ago and explained that part of the blessing of scripture study is that it helped me knock off some the areas of my life where I just hadn't been able to conform in the past. There are so many examples of square pegs who the Lord has asked to fit into round holes in the scriptures. Moses for example and also Miriam, Aaron, Zipporah and Balaam. I love really delving into Exodus, Leviticus and Deuteronomy because the rank and file of the Israelites, like me, really had a problem with fitting into the round hole of their time.

I rejoice that I'm not being asked to live the Mosaic law and that this is in so many ways an easier, more civilized world to live in than what they had to deal with.

Sacrifice-I still have to give up some things I'd really like to do. Ahh, Roller Derby. There is talk of a league coming to my town, but it is so not good for me spiritually. Thus, I'm not going out to build Babylon locally and shall pitch my tent facing the temple in the other direction.

Not Measuring up or being unable to comply-Well I'm much more like a blob than a square peg. Some of me is outside the rules and has to be smoothed more by obedience and trials, but other parts of me are just plain not there to fill up the round hole. Filling in those missing or diminished parts has occurred through the atonement. This still leaves those parts outside the round hole that make it difficult for me to fit in. The nice thing about understanding the atonement is the peace that it gives me both when I cannot measure up and I cannot fit in the round hole. I know that all I have to do is the best that I can with what I've been given.

Role Models-Lastly, there is a brother in my current ward who was inactive for a couple of decades because of the things that others said at Church. Finally, he said to himself, "This is my Church, too." He has never looked back since then and now serves and leads us by his good example.

This is my Church, too. And, this atonement's for me and makes all the difference in the world and eternity.

Monday, May 3, 2010

A Gay Heaven on Earth

So the Kid informed the Parental Units that if he did find a man to settle down with and have a passle of kids with, they would move to some other more gay friendly country to raise their kids in. Kind of a gay, family utopia where children would not be ashamed or embarassed to be raised by same sex parents. We said "good luck with that." I am jaded and cynical on a number of fronts.

1) First he's got to find Mr. Right.

2) Next, he and Mr. Right have to figure out how to acquire said children without the biological advantage of a mixed gender marriage. Just remember the adoption/fostering process is not without considerable investment of resources including but not limited to money.

3) Lastly, I do not believe he is going to find what he is looking for in terms of the perfect country. My research indicates that there are still homophobic acts occurring in Denmark, Sweden and Canada.

4) Even if he did find such a country, he and Mr. Right would have to persuade said country to let them immigrate. Easier said than done in many instances.

Is it any wonder with the sheer hassle of trying to have children in same sex marriages that gay people continue to enter and stay in mixed orientation marriages?

On another "heavenly" note, I also think that if I encounter another photo of a nude man (or a woman for that matter) in a provocative pose in angel wings while reading blogs, I'm going to puke.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A little Twilight Hypocrisy

I was not an early adopter of the Twilight series. I always found the cover pictures on the covers of the books quiet weird. I saw the movie first, then I read the books. DH read the books. I've reread the books.

I've been thinking it would be nice, as a parent, mind you, to simply have had the ability to turn off the Song Children's sexuality until they were thirty or so. This would give time for so many other types of "achievement" required to be a sound adult in our society. Getting the Kid to adulthood with confidence has been real problematic. In some odd functional ways the early quasi-coming out for the Kid, has stifled other developmental progress. This is counter-intuitive I suppose to the commonly held notion, at least in the LGBT community, that early acceptance is better for young people.

By extension, I just wish we could have taken some of the sexuality and gender issue pressures off Girl Song and certainly off myself when I was young. There is a weird societal disconnect with earlier and earlier expectations of open early sexual exploration and ever later marital commitment. I'm not saying that marriages should take place at an early age, what I am saying is that I wish the sexuality and pressures to experience and accomodate sexuality could be postponed to a much later developmental phase for children in our society.

Yet, I do enjoy the Twilight series, and it is all about teenage sexuality and the pressures and the risks that brings in the lives of young people and people in general. Given that I married as a teenager, it is even more hypocritical I suppose. But that story is in the Twilight series as well isn't it? Without the pressures that I felt and the opportunity to meet DH as a teenager how different would my life be? I don't know the answer to that. I think I might have been more financially secure, but with this crazy economy, I just laugh bitterly. But, most people would agree that my life while I have lots of problems and things to deal with, is pretty good overall.

I guess I'm in a pretty typical "developmental" phase as a parent of teenagers and young adults. Funny how life has a way of turning you into a typical parent after all.