Pleasure Activism: The Vagina of her Species

Inspired by @jourdfur’s zine, I created this art piece, a fabric vulva. While making it, I felt sad, glad, relieved, in love and obsessed, all at once. Holding it felt so important. Giving it weight and texture, talking to it, asking it what it needed to fully bloom in my hand. Sharing this beautiful poem about the vagina.

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Of Holding Pleasure in my Palm

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The Vagina Of Her Species by Grace Bordois

My vagina loves other vaginas.
Before it sleeps at night
it whispers vagina.
When it wakes up in the morning
it yawns for vagina and prays for vagina
and eats for vagina and goes out
to see fellow vaginas.
When it meditates
the mantra it says is,
vagina vagina, vagina, oh vagina.

My vagina loves other vaginas.
It sees vagina everywhere–
hot vagina on the coffee table,
bold vagina in the senate,
holy vaginas in the church,
zero gravity vaginas in space,
spicy vaginas in Mexico,
frozen vaginas in an igloo.
My vagina sees the world
as a big, may be pinkish,
or reddish, perhaps brown
or black, beautiful vagina.

My vagina loves other vaginas.
Other vaginas love my vagina.
Vaginas love vaginas.
Everybody loves vaginas.
Poets love vaginas.
Heroes loved vaginas.
Penises love vaginas.
The church loves vaginas.
Hell even god loves vaginas.
The universe is in love with vaginas.

My vagina loves other vaginas,
but not its own self.
That little naughty pulse in my vagina
always beats for other vaginas,
but not for its own self.
It gets love from other vaginas
but from itself.
My vagina loves other vaginas
but hates itself.
My vagina loves not itself.
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April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. While that is super important to discuss, I’m complimenting those narratives by focusing on Sexuality and Pleasure Awareness, since we seem to talk about sex only when there is sexual violence involved. Stay tuned : )

#sexualpleasureawarenessmonth #saam #april #narratives

Navigating Friendships when you’re the ‘Helper Type”

Fuse
Feeling lost in empathy land?
Reflecting on this past week, conversations with therapist/helpers/social worker types of friends across genders:
Seems like there’s a pattern in the lives of these folks (including me) of being a kind of one-sided emotional sink for our friends. People from our communities seek us out for our listening/ empathic skills and look to us for advice about their lives on love, parenting, grief, sex etc. This is wonderful. Being generous with our time in community is a gift to this world. But there’s also a whole negative aspect to this- and that is, this one sidedness. While I understand that empathic listening or solution finding might not be a strength for many, a reciprocal give and take of care is absolutely essential in relationship.These past few years, I’ve had to say goodbye to many such one sided friendships. It took a while to learn how to compassionately communicate the problem to my friends and let myself not be guilty for distancing myself from friends who did not understand.

Here are some tips if you find yourself in a similar position:

– Is someone that reaches out to you only about themselves really your “friend”? Have you defined for yourself what friendship is?

– Notice in yourself the tendency to reply to cries of help immediately. Before replying, ask – what is my intention with this person? Then, wait atleast 20 minutes before you reply.

PROCESS TIP:

If your friend seems to be not receptive to your help and you’ve spent 10 minutes of your day talking or texting with them, about their problem, ask them what exactly they are looking for, from you. If they communicate what they need and you can offer it, do it. Then let them know a bit about yourself.
Talk about your feelings, your thoughts.

Notice their response. Did they reciprocate? Did they ask about you? Did the conversation become about your day/your feelings/your relationship stuff too?

– If not, scroll back to your communication with this friend and check, have they been asking about you this past month at all? Is this a habit for them to reach out to you spontaneously, talk, seek help and say goodbye, without ever checking in on you? How does that make you feel? Have you enabled them to depend on you as their emotional sink?

– Often people will assume that the ‘helper type’ is strong and doesn’t need anything in return. The assumption is that if they need help they will ask. But I know, for a fact, we don’t ask. Due to our own childhood stuff, we have trouble asking/ we ask out of pent up resentment and then explode/snap. So, ask yourself- what blocks you from asking for support in return? If the answer is that this friend isn’t able to provide you the support you need too, then why are they your friend?

– Creating better dynamics for yourself will make space for you to welcome people who truly care about you too. Trust me, there are people like that out there and they can only come into your life, if you allow yourself the care and respect that you deserve.