Showing posts from March, 2017

The Battle of the Beautiful: Eros United

I killed myself once.  Well kind of.  I was in a relationship with a man for sixteen years.  Eight of which, we lived in separate bedrooms and did not engage in conjugal relations. While we lived together and deeply cared for each other, the romance, passion, and desire for one another had become a wisp of smoke from a freshly blown out candle. Having gone back into the closet for him so that he could attempt to gain custody of his daughter, I never emerged again until after his death.  Because of this I had very very few friends who knew me and fewer who knew how unhappy I was. My body ballooned up to nearly three hundred pounds. I seldom left the house except for work and became a bit of a hermit with severe social anxiety.

 Then he died. It was not sudden but the type of growth on his brain led to near a six month stay in the hospital before he left this life.  I had been with him for sixteen years of my life, and I was left to discover who I was without him. I had to redefine myse…

A Drop of Dew in the Piss Bucket: Eros United

It is funny thing about attraction.  When I was a twenty-something just coming out, I was attracted to bear types.  A bit of belly and hairy chest with a beard would make me swoon.  Over time I would find other types I was attracted to.  My friends laugh at times as they see me date or the lovers I enjoyed and would noticed I would crave different flavors of lovers for a time.  It is true, I find beauty in many different types, much broader than when I was younger.  And yet you know what I find sexy?  Confidence.  A healthy self-love.  It took me years to learn to embody these things regularly within myself.  And when I did...well it was the equivalent of having one's milkshakes bringing all the boys to the yard.   I found not only the one time lovers, but those who grew into lover/friendship combinations and those who wanted more.  
What shocks me though is that there are people have utterly breathtakingly gorgeous personalities who despise themselves.  They lack any confidence o…

The Lessons of Aphrodite- Sex and Relationships: Lesson 5

I recently began an open dating relationship with a man...and then the murders began...  I probably should start at the beginning.  I am no prude.  I have been in non-traditional relationships before.  I was part of a triad of three men, where all three of us were partners, living and loving together.  I loved it.  But one type of non-traditional relationships I swore I would NEVER try is an open relationship.  I should have known better.  The gods apparently took it as a challenge.  For the past month I have been dating a man.  He is gorgeous, sexual, talented, and utterly wonderful.  What makes this different than any other previous dating relationship I have experienced is that this dating relationship is open.  He is free to have sex with others as am I.  It scares the hell out of me.

I can understand being in a closed polyamorous  relationship.  While some jealousy may arise from time to time, it is more centered about wanting more time or affection.  Being in an open relationsh…

The Lessons of Aphrodite- Beautification: Lesson 4

Aphrodite is the personification of beauty.  Were I talented as a painter, I would love to paint her as represented by every culture and through the ages.  Our measures of beauty are different and change both as a society, a subculture, and within our own person.  I imagine her coming in ten thousand different guises of beauty.  She holds a mirror not only for her to appreciate her own beauty, but to turn it on us and challenge us to see our own.  No small task for most of us.

So it is with this lens, she challenges us to find the beauty around us.  If it cannot be found, guess what?  She places her succulent lips against your ear and whispers for you to create it.  Beautification takes many forms, which should come as no surprise since she herself has many forms.  Maybe it is picking up trash at a park near you, cleaning the house or mowing for those who may not be able to easily do it themselves, or contributing to a community garden.  These too are her domains.  As the luscious qu…

The Lessons of Aphrodite - The Body: Lesson 3

The body is utterly sacred.  It is the temple of the Gods of Love, Beauty, Desire, and Pleasure.  It is through the body that we come to experience life in its fullness.  We see.  We hear and taste.  We smell and feel.  These gateways are portals of delicious experience.  Because of this, I seek to use my body as a place of offering to She who presides there.  When I see somebody I find attractive, I am thankful for their beauty.  When I am drawn by scents, I am thankful.  I embrace these experiences.  When I was a teenager I was taught by my church that lust is as wrong as adultery, but now I know better.  Lust and desire is normal.  I can channel that lust in positive life-fullfilling ways.  I can relish the feel of my lover's kisses on my body as well as use my desire to push me further in the things I want.  Lust and desire can be an end in and of themselves.  If I see a man I desire, but that man is in a monogamous relationship with another, I will not do anything to harm th…

The Lessons of Aphrodite - Pleasure: Lesson 2

As I sat in meditation upon the lessons of Aphrodite, one word kept coming to me...pleasure.  Pleasure is such a loaded word. In our culture there is both an intense desire for it and a very real fear and Puritanical rejection of it.  However, I believe that in order to be beautiful (which is Aphrodite personified), then it cannot be a Dionysian recklessness of pleasure that leads to addiction, sorrow, and madness, but rather is a more middle way, rising fully formed from the waves of chaos. (As an aside the child of Aphrodite and Dionysis was Priapus who was known for his oversized and permanent erection, never able to go down or return to normal.)

Pleasure is taking joy in life.  We honor that which feels good.  The taste of a chocolate covered strawberry.  Self pleasuring the body after a stressful day.  The touch of a friend as a way to show they are happy to see you.  There are 10,000 ways of pleasure that bring no suffering to oneself nor others.  These ways are the paths of Aph…

The Lessons of Aphrodite - Beauty and Self-Love: Lesson 1

Beauty begins the moment you decide to be yourself. - Coco Chanel
So often when we look in the mirror we look for the mistakes.  We whisper that we are too fat, too short, too pale or fifty thousand other put downs rather than finding ways in which we are beautiful.  We degrade the body we are given.  
Is it any wonder then that we fill our body with toxicity?  We eat foods that are not good for us, that cause obesity, heart disease, and an addiction for more of it.  Then again we take to the tired tirade of self-hatred.  
But Aphrodite calls us to beauty.  She calls us to begin with self-love.  She challenges us to say "Fuck You!" to the standards of beauty proposed by society and the media.  She offers the rose of dignity and self-acceptance.  To honor the body as her sacred temple...and yet in our eating, our exercising, our beautifying our already beautiful temple-body we do it for ourselves.     We do it because we love ourselves.  We praise what is right with us, we st…

The Lessons of Aphrodite

In my next few posts, I will be doing a series on what I am calling "The Lessons of Aphrodite" which is born of the sexual/dating fast I took in January, coupled with my devotion to the divine as Love in its many forms.  I will be exploring:

Philautia-Self-LoveBeautification as a Spiritual ActEros-Sex and SexualityPhilia-Friendship Kind of LoveLudus-Playful LovePragma-Longstanding LoveAgape-Love for allAging and BeautyPleasureDesireThe BodyAphrodite as a Spiritual Path For so long I have felt shame for being sexual, for being having longing, desire, for enjoying pleasure.  And yet, over time I have felt the hands of the gods of love and desire in the small of my back challenging me to enter that dark room that whispers of desire and the lusty fear of the forbidden so that their mysteries and secrets may be revealed.

The Gods of Love

I practice a holistic spirituality.  That means I try to see the Divine within all off life.  The Inner and Outer life are both spiritual to me.  I honor the mind and its pursuits as sacred.  I honor the body and its pleasures and pains as holy.  I wander in the world of spirits and the Spirit as part of my beautiful path.  
Many of the world's spiritual paths are somewhat sex-negative.  However my training as a monk was within the Kaula Tantric tradition which is a "left-handed" Hindu tradition.  It is considered left-handed because it does not flinch from things that are often considered sins.  Rather we try to find the Divine even in them.  This includes sex and even pain.  
In my faith, the Divine has 100,000 faces and names.  Today I am thinking of those who are the Powers of love and desire.  I think of Angus Og, Kamadeva, Laxmi, Pan, Eros, Aphrodite, Oshun, Erzuli Freda.  
At times they embody the utter holiness of love in all its forms.  At other times, they mani…