Trauma and Sexuality

Daring to be authentic.

Daring to be authentic.

I remember seeing this photo for the first time, many years ago. Their relationship defied what the adoring public wanted from their hero. The public wanted rebellion, anger, fantasy; the last thing they wanted was authenticity. Stripped bare, daring to expose their ordinariness, their flaws, their pain, and their love; the mystery of the iconic troubadour was exposed. In the end, that honesty cost John his life.

How dare we as individual humans step outside of irrational norms, or even very rational norms to tell the truth of ourselves. Our culture thrives on keeping the masks on, denying even when we are caught red-handed. We lie to the world about who we are, about our dreams and fantasies. We even lie to ourselves, denying our shadow, our darkness that hungers for what is denied, even if what is denied is beautiful.

Clothed in gold.

Clothed in gold.

We tell ourselves that it is important what others think. What would our children say about us or think about us if we were so honest, fully authentic, daring the exposure of our pain, joy, confusion, anger, and bodies? We irrationally belief that our children and grandchildren will be traumatised, not only by what they see, but also by the reactions of extended family, friends, community, and the larger world.

For those who dare to risk, bringing the edges of shadow into the light of consciousness with intention, life takes on a sharper and fuller quality. Taking the risk sets one apart from others who cling desperately to social norms. Yet, over time, the separation dissipates with familiarity. It is now almost normal to be homosexual in orientation, but only if it isn’t “in their face.” However, the sight of genitals still shocks. What is it about human sexuality that appears to traumatise?

33% of all females, 17% of all males experience sexual assault

33% of all females, 17% of all males experience sexual assault

Assault – sexual assault. Early life experiences taught us that our bodies, our sexual bodies are targets. It doesn’t matter that the abusers wore clothing or not. The touches, the groping, the claiming of authority over our sexual bodies by others scars us leaving us, and those who are aware of that abuse, in a state of fear.

Survivors of abuse, and the society around them, usually equate abuse with genitals. Predators prey on the bodies, the genitals of their victims. Predators hide their own bodies. The power that comes from hiding in the shadows, behind uniforms, suits, and respectable clothing allows predators to gain trust and access to their victims.

Being naked would visually expose the predators. excitement when near intended victims. That visual warning would eliminate trust and much of the access. We know that, but we are frozen in our fear.

I have used naturism to reclaim my authority over my body, to lessen the fear. And for those who know me and see me as I am, my nakedness does not inspire fear even though many of these people have been victims of sexual abuse as well. If anything, there is a sense of safety.

A Moment of Warmth Before Winter

A late October BBQ.

A late October BBQ.

It is a strange day with heavy cloud cover yet with temperatures reaching almost 15 Celsius in the mid-afternoon. By the time I ready to BBQ, it had dropped to a still balmy 12 C. I have to take advantage of the warmth when it appears for it won’t be long before we have temperatures well below freezing – forecast for the next two weeks is bleak.

Time to take off the clothes from the clothesline.

Time to take off the clothes from the clothesline.

Taking advantage of the weather means hanging out the laundry to dry outdoors. When the weather is bad, the drying happens on lines I have strung in the basement. Of course, when there is a “rush” for dry clothes (almost never), there is a dryer in the utility room along with the washing machine.

When the clothes were finally off the clothesline, I noticed a late rosebud on the island of rosebushes. Then, sadly, it was time to head indoors. It gets dark early with sunset for today before six pm. It was gloomy dark grey before sunset. The evening will be spent au naturel inside, working on more preparation for my NaNoWriMo project for next month. The novel writing exercise begins in five days. And as in the last two books, Rene Beauchemin becomes the protagonist. I still have a lot of work to do if I am to be ready.

I will return with a continued exploration of the masculine and the feminine through art.

A Moment of Warmth Before Winter

BBQ in progress this afternoon.

BBQ in progress this afternoon.

It is a strange day with heavy cloud cover yet with temperatures reaching almost 15 Celsius in the mid-afternoon. By the time I ready to BBQ, it had dropped to a still balmy 12 C. I have to take advantage of the warmth when it appears for it won’t be long before we have temperatures well below freezing – forecast for the next two weeks is bleak.

The clothes are dry.

The clothes are dry.

Taking advantage of the weather means hanging out the laundry to dry outdoors. When the weather is bad, the drying happens on lines I have strung in the basement. Of course, when there is a “rush” for dry clothes (almost never), there is a dryer in the utility room along with the washing machine.

When the clothes were finally off the clothesline, I noticed a late rosebud on the island of rosebushes. Then, sadly, it was time to head indoors. It gets dark early with sunset for today before six pm. It was gloomy dark grey before sunset. The evening will be spent au naturel inside, working on more preparation for my NaNoWriMo project for next month. The novel writing exercise begins in five days. And as in the last two books, Rene Beauchemin becomes the protagonist. I still have a lot of work to do if I am to be ready.

I will return with a continued exploration of the masculine and the feminine through art.

Risking it All for the Love of a Woman

Venus, also know as Aphrodite, by the sea.

Venus, also know as Aphrodite, by the sea.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, of beauty, also known as Venus. This image painted by Henri-Pierre Picou in the 19th century is just one of many that depicts the goddess. She is soft, not hard and angular like a man. She is vulnerable, yet modest in spite of her naked vulnerability. She invites trust and blossoms with worship.

As the goddess of love, she excited passion in the hearts of gods and men, and by this power ruled over all the living creation. Now, any man who has found his personal goddess and taken her as his wife, knows all about being ruled by her.

Emma as a creature of the sea.

Emma as a creature of the sea.

She is a goddess, an archetypal presence that pulls us into her depths, the depths marked by the sea in which we never master. As we catch glimpses of her, we see her as we need to see her, as a blinding light of perfect beauty. And, perhaps sadly and dangerously, we only see that surface beauty. There is a depth to her that takes one into her dark depths, the place of both birth and death. Like all gods and goddesses, she has a dark and light aspect.

cu0zdunw8aaaise

A sensual, playful nature pulls us into her embrace, entices us to “master” her. Yet, no sooner do we sense a feeling of dominion, we experience a death, a small death of ego and will. We are vulnerable and ripe for domination by this goddess. We shrink within her, become children to her. And she has the power that calls to us again and again to submit.

maaritIn the darkness we reach for her, search desperately for her knowing that we are only complete when consumed by her.

The goddess lies dormant in all women. Unconscious of their power as creators of the universe, they are as wounded as the men who covet them, desire them, risk all for them.

Risking All For Love

Venus, also know as Aphrodite, by the sea.

Venus, also know as Aphrodite, by the sea.

Aphrodite, the goddess of love, of beauty, also known as Venus. This image painted by Henri-Pierre Picou in the 19th century is just one of many that depicts the goddess. She is soft, not hard and angular like a man. She is vulnerable, yet modest in spite of her naked vulnerability. She invites trust and blossoms with worship.

As the goddess of love, she excited passion in the hearts of gods and men, and by this power ruled over all the living creation. Now, any man who has found his personal goddess and taken her as his wife, knows all about being ruled by her.

Emma as a creature of the sea.

Emma as a creature of the sea.

She is a goddess, an archetypal presence that pulls us into her depths, the depths marked by the sea in which we never master. As we catch glimpses of her, we see her as we need to see her, as a blinding light of perfect beauty. And, perhaps sadly and dangerously, we only see that surface beauty. There is a depth to her that takes one into her dark depths, the place of both birth and death. Like all gods and goddesses, she has a dark and light aspect.

cu0zdunw8aaaise

A sensual, playful nature pulls us into her embrace, entices us to “master” her. Yet, no sooner do we sense a feeling of dominion, we experience a death, a small death of ego and will. We are vulnerable and ripe for domination by this goddess. We shrink within her, become children to her. And she has the power that calls to us again and again to submit.

In the darkness we reach for her, search desperately for her knowing that we are only complete when consumed by her.

The goddess lies dormant in all women. Unconscious of their power as creators of the universe, they are as wounded as the men who covet them, desire them, risk all for them.

 

Sexuality and Meaningful Relationships

Hadrian

Hadrian

Hadrian, a Roman Emperor took a lover, Antonius who was deified by Hadrian upon his death. Antonius died young, by the age of twenty.  For Hadrian, the relationship was meaningful.

Antonius as Dionysus

Antonius as Dionysus

In the Roman Empire, Roman men were free to enjoy sex with other males without a perceived loss of masculinity or social status, as long as they took the dominant or penetrative role. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behaviour by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of active penetrator or passive penetrated.

Why do I bring up this topic here? In the modern western world, there is a disproportionate number of men who identify as naturists or nudists in comparison with women. I don’t have any scientific evidence to support my belief that this discrepancy is based on the predominance of men who are homosexual (or bisexual). Though I publicly self-identify as a heterosexual male, I have had many men express “love” for me, a desire to engage in sexual activity with me, or simply to share my intimate photos with them for their self-gratification. Perhaps, strangely, I am not bothered by this interest in me. It is an interest that I don’t find threatening in spite of the fact of being sexually molested by “men” when I was a very young boy.

My preference, sexually, is to engage with a woman. I realise that this is a psychological as well as a biological preference that has little “ego” involvement. Yet, not just any woman would fill me need. There is a deep-rooted (think of complexes and archetypes) that needs to be activated otherwise, all I am left with is a feeling of sexual indifference. For me, sexual union is all about relationship. Without relationship it is no more than a desperate attempt at collective masturbation. In a sexual relationship that is charged with the power of union, what Jung termed mysterium coniunctionis, the “other” becomes a “magical other.” That other awakens within the “self,” a fullness and a depth that lies hidden beneath the “ego.” Does this “other” that seems charged with magical energies have to be a woman for me? Probably. But, I won’t ever rule out the possibility of finding the energies align to create a “fated” bond with another man.

I know better than to “protest too much.”

Sexuality and Meaningful Relationships

Hadrian

Hadrian

Hadrian, a Roman Emperor took a lover, Antonius who was deified by Hadrian upon his death. Antonius died young, by the age of twenty.  For Hadrian, the relationship was meaningful.

Antonius as Dionysus

Antonius as Dionysus

In the Roman Empire, Roman men were free to enjoy sex with other males without a perceived loss of masculinity or social status, as long as they took the dominant or penetrative role. Greek society did not distinguish sexual desire or behaviour by the gender of the participants, but rather by the role that each participant played in the sex act, that of active penetrator or passive penetrated.

Why do I bring up this topic here? In the modern western world, there is a disproportionate number of men who identify as naturists or nudists in comparison with women. I don’t have any scientific evidence to support my belief that this discrepancy is based on the predominance of men who are homosexual (or bisexual). Though I publicly self-identify as a heterosexual male, I have had many men express “love” for me, a desire to engage in sexual activity with me, or simply to share my intimate photos with them for their self-gratification. Perhaps, strangely, I am not bothered by this interest in me. It is an interest that I don’t find threatening in spite of the fact of being sexually molested by “men” when I was a very young boy.

My preference, sexually, is to engage with a woman. I realise that this is a psychological as well as a biological preference that has little “ego” involvement. Yet, not just any woman would fill me need. There is a deep-rooted (think of complexes and archetypes) that needs to be activated otherwise, all I am left with is a feeling of sexual indifference. For me, sexual union is all about relationship. Without relationship it is no more than a desperate attempt at collective masturbation. In a sexual relationship that is charged with the power of union, what Jung termed mysterium coniunctionis, the “other” becomes a “magical other.” That other awakens within the “self,” a fullness and a depth that lies hidden beneath the “ego.” Does this “other” that seems charged with magical energies have to be a woman for me? Probably. But, I won’t ever rule out the possibility of finding the energies align to create a “fated” bond with another man.

I know better than to “protest too much.”