When I think about why I gravitated towards studying sexuality I think of wanting to get to the root of thing. It’s really about honesty. We live in society that makes it hard to be honest. When my sons were still babies, and I was still taking night classes at my local community college, I got a tattoo. I know, I know, everybody Gen X and younger has tattoos, so, no that’s not the exciting part. What was exciting for me is what the tattoo was of, I’ve got the word truth inscribed on my body directly above a double-headed ax. Classy, I know. How many moms have weapons permanently inked on their skin? Not enough, in my opinion. I got the ax of truth because I was 24 and just figuring out that I needed to be as honest as possible about my life, all the time, in order to be the best parent I could be. It didn’t matter if the boys were going to know what my truth was as long as I could be an excellent example of living it.
How often do sex and truth line up for us? How often do we make little sub-categories of truthiness to contain our sexual desires or behaviors? How much more pressure do we feel to hide our sexuality when it comes to our family members? It starts when we’re young; hiding ourselves from our parents. Then it continues when we become parents ourselves. And it’s not like I’m talking about people who commit sexual assault. I’m talking about just your average consent-based behaviors based on mutual desire. There is so much shame to be found in that space! It’s insane.
So how does breaking the cycle of shame and dishonesty relate to studying sexuality? How does it relate to being an honest parent? I have to walk my talk in order to have any credibility with my kids, I have to be transparent if I’m going to be an effective educator in the communities I engage with. The overall theme here is honesty. From honesty, came integrity. From integrity, came wisdom. And it’s all about sex for me. The power of being honest about our sexuality is so big we can measure it by the political platform of the GOP.
I’ve taught my kids that the only perversion that exists is lack of consent. That’s it and that’s enough. Everything else is gravy. Everything else can be sexy. Everything is butter sliding off a hot biscuit. Feel me? As I get older, the double-sided ax speaks more and more about my own sexuality. My favorite answer to all things sexuality has become “Both!” Men or women? Both! This partner or that partner? Both! Parent or lover? Both! It’s my truth and I wield it like a weapon.
One of our mentors, Susie Bright, was just interviewed at The Examiner.com and in it she said, “I think the best bisexual stories I read now are just honest deliverance, no agendas. They may not even use that word; they just tell the tale. Don’t try to win the community’s approval; it’s impossible.” My work isn’t about winning anyone’s approval’ it is about finding community. It’s about supporting other parents so they can be as honest as they want to be. It’s about getting to the root of what is undermining our authentic sexuality. I study sex because it’s a way to access people’s sexual reality. What are we really doing? How do we really feel? The only way to know is ask. So tell me, who are you asking?