Thursday, April 30
Let’s get personal and apply this diagram to Kamala's love life.
A. Kamala is decidedly Poly.
B. Kamala doesn’t exactly identify as a swinger, but has been known to go to an occassional lifestyle event.
C. The label Queer fits kamala like a tight black dress. Frankly, she would feel lost without her hard-earned freedom to love women. Even when she is practicing tantra and poly with mostly men, her queer identity is ever present and that's why she places herself at ABC, the nucleus of this diagram.
You may be wondering how being queer interplays with being poly and swinging? Well, just as there is often an 'axe to grind' between swingers and poly people, they also vary greatly in their attitudes towards lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people. Being a queer man is frequently feared and frowned upon at lifestyle event, but warmly welcomed in most poly circles. Whereas being a "Hot Bi Babe" is highly sought after in most any alternative community!
So now, let’s see what happens when we add Tantra into the mix. So we’ve established:
Though there is much mystique and confusion about what Tantra actually is, it’s important to note that Tantra and Polyamory are NOT inherently related. Most Tantra people do not practice Poly; just as most Poly People don't practice Tantra. The vast majority of Tantra teachers from India and the west advocate monogamy as a way to strengthen the pair bond and maintain a safe container for the intense growth stimulated by Tantra. Some schools of Tantra even mandate monogamy before they offer certain tantric imitations.
Further, most modern tantric circles operate like heterosexual institututions. Gays and lesbians are frequently discriminated against because of the emphasis placed on god/goddess polarity. Some Tantra teachers feel that Queer Tantra is a bastardization of the lineage.
Despite the opinions of such ‘old school’ teachings, Kamala has found that practicing sacred sex with her female lovers is natural, rich and deeply growthful. Also, tantric philosophy has dramatically improved her experience of polyamory. Tantra offers tools and philosophy that makes loving more than one person easier, deeper and far more ecstatic. Further, she feels that with the modern demands of working from home and taking care of two year old toddler, it is especially enriching to practice sacred sex with someone with whom she does not share household responsibilities. Her beloved Michael reaps the rewards whenever she decides to take on a tantric lover.
Kamala recalls the strange and star-crossed night when Tantra and Swinging collided. She was invited to assist a local teacher as she lead an introductory puja at a local swing club. The theme of the evening was Arabian nights and many beautiful men and women were dressed in sexy god and goddess costumes. When it came to actually doing the practice there was a tremendous amount of discomfort and resistance. This was a packed room of highly sexually charged individuals who may have no problem getting naked and having an orgy, but when they were asked to look into each others eyes, breath deeply, touch each others hearts there was an explosion of tears and movement of women and men running off to the bathroom to hide the crisis. Needless to say, we were not invited back to teach tantra any time soon.
So you can see how dynamic it is to manage a multiplicity of identities and communities. Are you following all this? Ready to add another dimension?
About a dozen years ago, when Kamala Lived in Hawaii and was being initiated into Tantra, she met and moved in with a lesbian dominatrix named Mistress Bleu. Kamala worked for a short period as her professional submissive and studied the art of bondage. To many students of sacred sex it might have seemed like a contradiction to delve into a dark art such as B/D, but through conscious intention Kamala experienced deep states of surrender, expansion and ecstasy that was as transcendental as anything she had experienced in Tantra. Through the years Kamala’s met many Kinky people who see BDSM as their spiritual outlet. Intention, communication and ritual are key elements in both Tantra and S/M role playing. Dossie Easton is a role model in the world of weaving multiple paths together, she not only co-authored the Free Love bible called The Ethical Slut but she also penned the New Bottoming Book and When Someone You Love is Kinky.
Now let’s add the BDSM or Kink element and break it down:
(revise the following)
AB. Poly Swingers
BC Queer Swingers
CD Kinky Tantrikas
AD Poly Tantrikas
AC Kinky Polyfolk
BD Tantric Swingers
AE Queer Polyfolk
BE Queer Swingers
CE Kinky Queers
DE Tantric Queers
ABC Kinky Poly Swingers
ACD Kinky Poly tantrikas
ABD Poly tantra Swingers
BCD Kinky tantra Swingers
ABCD Kinky Poly swinging Tantrikas.
BCDE Queer tantrik poly swingers
ACDE Poly Kinky Tantric Queers
ABDE Poly SwingingTantric Queers
ABCE Poly Swining kinky Tantric Queers
ABCDE Queer Kinky Poly swinging Tantrikas
OK, so we’ve gotten a little geeky, but we hope you can see how a Kinky Tantric Bisexual Poly woman who occassionally goes to swing clubs may get sucked into center of the Venn vortex where ABCDE overlap. Yet, that does not necessarily mean all of these lovestlyes work for all her lovers. Kamala’s Life Partner Michael is happy to share Tantra, poly, and swinging but he is not bisexual. He may acompany her to Gay Pride and other queer events, but unless there is overwhelming mutual attraction with Kamala's female lover, it's up to her to express her queerness on her own. Additionally, Michael clearly does NOT share her appreciation for the finer arts of domination and submission, he is clear that activities involving the giving or receiving of pain don't do it for him. So if she has the urge to explore more exreme sensation play, she will take care of her own needs by going to a Kinky event. So we can see how unrealistic it would be for an ethical slut with a range of tastes and intersts to expect to get their needs met from just one person.
Now are you ready for a test? To see if you truly get it, let's walk through an imaginary example: Let’s imagine Kamala decides to go off to a dungeon party and meets an attractive European Gypsy named Ivan with whom she feels safe enough to submit. Ivan is happy to practice his flogging on Kamala but clearly communicates that it is only play, with no strings attached. Where would you place Ivan?
Let’s pretend Ivan has a slave girlfriend named Barbara who is deeply devoted to him and does not play with anyone else, but she is totally in love with her tantric coach, Shiva and they run energy together but they are not sexual. Would she would be sitting in the kinky sidelines called C or the overlap with poly and tantra?
Now it turns out that Shiva is not a natural born man. He's a pre-operation female to male transgendered person. So where do you put him on our venn diagram? And does that tip Barbra's placement over to the queer quadrant?
Ultimately it's up to them. Nobody can define our identity or community belongingness but us.
Now, this final exercise should help bring it all together. Let’s cast a big circle around the whole thing. The biggest circle is Free Love. Assuming everyone is practicing ethically (and that’s a big assumption) cheating would fall outside of the circle and everything else would be under the broad umbrella.
And finally we’re going to add monogomy. Monogomy is different than all the previous categories because it does not fall under the category of free love, but there are exceptional overlaps with many categories. For example, it is not normallly thought of as overlapping with polyamory but there are people in poly-mono relationship (wherin one mongomous person is committed to a poly person.) Another exception is that Swinging is considered by some to be a form of monogomy with the exeption of recreational sex. And ofcourse there are tons of kinky tantric and queer monogamist. And then there are vanilla monogomists who are not practicing free love at all so they bleed outside the circle of Free Love completely.
Aw. now isn't that pretty? Still it is a static and limited illustration of something that’s actually technocolor, fluid and three dimensional. The point isn’t to capture and codify, it’s just to create a visual representation of your living, breathing identities, relationships and communities. If you’re in a relationship with 2 or 10 people over the course of 15 years, you are always changing and exploring nothing stays the same.
And when I contrast this to the monogamous vow of “till death do us part.” I think something’s missing. It’s like mother/father/church and state wants to put us in a pretty little picture. It's like taking a snapshot on the wedding day and it’s frozen. Most of us were taught that relationships are this rigid thing, and that stability and security come from keeping things as simple as they were the day you met. But reality is not like that. The reality of free love is more like the reality of raising children. As time goes by they grow. That’s the law of nature. If we could only get that in our relationships, then our whole society would open and maybe grow up.
Exerpts from Free Love: Can you Really Afford it by Kamala Devi and REiD Mihalko. If you like this article please leave a comment with encouragement for more!
Wednesday, April 29
Let’s take the example of Polyamory and Swinging. (I wish I had a nickel for every time someone asked me: what’s the difference between Poly and swinging?) And there are many people who would dramatically argue tooth and nail that “poly and swinging are totally different.” Then there are many people, like us, who enjoy both poly AND swinging. So exactly what are the differences and the similarities? Let’s start by mapping it out.
Poly and Swinigng are both large umbrella categories of non-monogomous relating, and there are lots of other love-styles that fall under both categories. But let’s keep it simple: Circle A Represents Polyamory and Circle B represents Swinging. The overlapping area (Called AB) represents the similarities between Poly and Swinging.
A.In Poly we are encouraged to develop deep emotional and/or romantic bonds.
B.In swinging casual sex without romantic attachment is preferred.
AB. Both love-styles involve having more than one lover with the informed consent and permission of all parties involved.
So, as we’ve established, Poly is more relationship oriented and based in love, whereas swingers will consent to having sex with people at a lifestyles event, but are not allowed to fall in love. And then what happens when someone accidentally penetrates someone’s heart “Oops, sorry Hunny, we’ve fallen in love!” Naturally we’ve seen many swingers whose relationship started off as sport fucking but matured into a deep loving relationship. And the Converese is true, we’ve witnessed polyamorous people who’ve had sexual awakenings where after moving through their guilt and shame about sex they are better able to enjoy sex for the sheer sensual pleasure and don’t have to always make it about love. These people often consider themselves BOTH swingers and poly and would pencil themselves into the AB category on our Venn Diagram.
There have been tremendous changes in the swinging worlds in the last decade or so. Swinging used to be associated with bell bottom pants, open collar shirts, fluffy haired men wearing a gold chains and a big bossomed wife with a fake tan on his arm. “Old School” Swinging was generally heterosexual couples “swapping wives” at Lifestlye events. But through the years, Free Love has taken swinging beyond it’s heterosexual, monogamous, dyadic sport and open it up, creating greater flexibility. Swinging now has more room for people to be more to one another than just sex partners at wife swaping parties. There’s a trend towards more intimacy and friendship, less sport fucking. There’s even a new term emerging called “Modern” which refers to men and women who enjoy sensual connections, they are not homophobic and hang out together in groups or dinner parties, not just events centered around sex.
Thus we see how something like swinging can mutate to where confused couples are out there saying to themselves, “Hmmm... What about love? What about something “more” than pair bonding? How would we do that?” And all of a sudden you’ve got people working to make relationships work with more than one person. Perhaps it’s three. Perhaps you’re falling in love with your four best friends and their wives and girlfriends, and, for whatever reason, they all really like going camping together with you all on weekends... Perhaps it evolves into an intimate network of friends and lovers that live by each other and play together like a poly pod of dolphins. Perhaps you consider yourself family and decide to move in together and raise children in a tribal commune. Or perhaps with the change in seasons there are changes in your constellation of lovers. And you observe through the years the way relationships naturally flow in and out of each other’s lifes like the fluid movement within a lava-lamp. The possibilities and permutations from the couple-based relationship model is infinite!
For more excerpts from Free Love: Can You Really Afford it by Kamala Devi and REiD Mihalko bookmark: http://www.uninhibitedbliss.blogspot.com
Tuesday, April 28
The problem with using Non-Monogamy as a umbrella term that covers all types of non traditional love styles is two fold:
1) it implies that monogamy is the norm and that all other ways of relating are mutations.
2) Included under it’s broad blanket is cheating.
To solve this problem we sometimes say “responsible non-monogamy” but that’s quite a mouthful! Nine Syllables where as “Free Love” weighs in with an savvy two!
But if you want to meet in the middle you could always rely on Latin rooted: Polyamory. Polyamory is defined as “loving more than one”, and from it’s Latin roots literally translates to: “many loves.” Some extreme Poly activist argue “ that it is the ability to love more than one and it doesn’t even have to be at the same time.” They may take it even farther and say that if you have the capacity to love BOTH your mother and your father than you are polyamorous. This is a well intended attempt to make polyamory feel more accessible to everyone, but I tend to think this approach is both ineffective and potentially damaging. If we adopted this stance it would follow that most everyone is polyamorus…and then the word doesn’t further our identity as a community. I feel the Poly movement is better served if we agree that poly is NOT for everyone, rather those who are capable of high ethical standards and personal growth. In any case it is generally agreed that the many loving can be sexual, emotional, spiritual or any combination of the three, according to the desires and agreements of the individuals involved. It can also be used to describe people who are simply open to having more than one relationship even if they are single or celibate. The possibilities are boggling.
To empower your sense of possibility but decrease your confusion we offer a mini dictionary with terms and definitions to decode the Poly Jargon.
CASUAL RELATIONSHIP a physical and emotional relationship between two unmarried people who may have a sexual relationship
CIRCLE FAMILIES and INTIMATE NETWORK These are politically correct terms for non monogamous relationship structures wherein everyone is married and they imply equality and community.
CLOSED RELATIONSHIP. A relationship in which the members have agreed to not make love with anybody outside their current relationship structure.
COMPERSION. This term was coined by the ZEGG community in Germany this term refers to the positive feelings one gets when a lover is enjoying another relationship. Also referred to as the opposite of "jealous" feelings.
ETHICAL SLUTTERY A new term defined by Dossie Easton and Catherine A. Liszt. A slut as "a person of any gender who has the courage to lead life according to the radical proposition that sex is nice and pleasure is good for you." It refers to anyone willing to engage and accept the pleasure of sex in ethical and open way.
EXPANDED FAMILY and INTENTIONAL FAMILY and FAMILY OF CHOICE. Where three or more lovers consciously chose each other as family. There is the potential for all family members to live together and be sexual with each other based on mutual attraction, but this is not required.
GROUP MARRIAGE. A single-family unit in which all members are considered to be married to one another.
GROUP SEX. A sexual exchange involving more than two participants at the same time. Also known as an Orgy.
HINGE. The "person in the middle" of a VEE relationship without whom, the other lovers would not be together.
INTIMATE NETWORK. An tight community of friends, lovers, ex lovers and future lovers who all know each other and get together for celebrations.
LIBERAMORY is a philosophy developed by +Amor+. He combines the root words for liberation and love to propose a way of relating wherein lovers don’t try to protect each other from jelousy by negotiating agreements. Instead they see negative emotions as growth opportunities and take complete personal responsibility and places no restrictions on the ones they love.
LINE MARRIAGES. Intergenerational marriages intended to outlive the original members by adding new spouses. This is seen as an ideal way to care for the children and the elderly in a family unit.
MENAGE A TOIS A french term for sex between three people.
MFM, FMF, FFF, MMM These acronyms indicates the genders of the members in a triad.
MIXED REALATIONSHIPS Relationships that have people from different races, cultures or backgrounds. This definition can extend to having both heterosexual and homosexual members within a relationship.
MULTI-PARTNERED A lesser used term for Polyamory. It is simply a having more than one sexual or intimate relationship at a time.
NRE or NEW RELATIONSHIP ENERGY. A Term coined in mid 80's by Zhahai Stewart to refer to the intense and addictive bio-chemical rush of falling in love. Relationships are said to become more sustainable or to dissolve after NRE wears off.
OPEN RELATIONSHIP or OPEN MARRIAGE. A committed partnership, sometimes a marriage, where both partners are open to active sexual and/or intimate relationships with other people. The term was coined by the O'Neils in their 1970’s book called “Open Marriage.”
POD. This playful term is a dolphin reference for any group of three or more polyamorous lovers.
POLY. Nick name or short hand for polyamory.
POLYCURIOUS: A person who is new to poly and interested in exploring, expririmenting and experiencing polyamory. Also sometimes called a POLYWOG.
POLYFAMILIES. A Marriage of multiple Lovers, but all members do not necessarily not consider themselves married to all other members as they do in a group marriage or circle.
POLYFIDELITY. Sounds like the name of a bank, doesn’t it? This term was Coined in the late 70's by Kerista community in San Francisco. It refers to a relationship of more than two individuals who have made a commitment to keep sexual contact exclusive within the group. In other words, they restrict sexual activity with outside partners. More partners can be added with everyone's consent.
POLYGAMY. A marriage in which individuals have multiple spouses. Also known as a Plural Marriage.
POLYGYNY. A marriage in which men have multiple wives who may live together or each may have their own homes.
POLYANDRY. A marriage in which women have multiple husbands.
PLURAL MARRIAGE. a form of polygyny associated with the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 19th-century and with present-day splinter groups from that faith. It is also associated with an evangelical splinter group which advocates Christian Plural Marriage
PIVOT POINT or HINGE. The person who is closely connected to two individuals who are not particularly emotionally involved with each other. This is the person at the bottom, or hinge, of a “V.”
PRIMARY. The partner who has seniority or the strongest bond. They are considered the highest priority and given the most time and energy. Often primary partners live together or are committed by marriage or ceremony.
SECONDARY. The second relationship in terms of time or priority.
SWINGING . Often refered to as “THE LIFESTYLE” used to be called “WIFE SWAPPING.” Includes a wide range of sexual activities commonly conducted as an organised social activity between three or more people. It’s often engaged in by a primary couple and can be seen as a modified version of monogamy, involving sexual exploration without romantic or emotional bonds. Friendships and Bisexuality amongst women are considered OK but usually male homosexuality is usually not. The Lifestyle subculture has it’s own conferences, gatherings, parties, magazines, websites, email groups.
SWINGLE. A Person who is in the swinging lifestyle as a single. “Swingle men frequently use swingle women to gain access to the lifestyle events” According to the urban dictionary it can also refer to a single bisexual.
TANTRA is a Sanskrit word that literally means “expansion through awareness.” An esoteric and embodied spiritual discipline that involves an integration of the opposites. Western Tantra Partners may practice sacred sex to worship the goddess or transcend the sensual experiences of the body together.
TERTIARY. This is a less frequently used name for the second person in a triangle or a threesome.
THIRD. The person in an ongoing relationship who is not as active or intimate as primary or secondary. Note: Many people don’t use the above terms because they imply hierarchy.
TRIAD or TRIANGLE. Three people involved in a loving relationship with any combination of intimate bonds. An EQUILATERAL TRIANGLE is where three people are equally involved with both of the others.
QUAD. A four way relationship, typically referring to two couples together or a foursome actually in relationship.
QUEER. A derogatory term for effeminate gay males which has been proudly re-appropriated as sociopolitical term for any non normative sexual or gender orientation, anatomy, or identity. In it’s broadest sense it includes gender normative heterosexuals whose sexual behaviors place them outside the heterosexual-defined mainstream such as practioners of BDSM or polyamory.
VEE. A three-person relationship where one person has two lovers, but those two lovers are not as closely connected with each other. Geometric arrangements involving four persons can be described as an “N” or “Z”.
Monday, April 27
Thus it follows that you don’t have to be having sex to practice free love. Celibacy is a totally valid relationship love style. With all the cultural hypnosis about falling in love and being in partnership, celibacy is quite a radical alternative path. And believe it or not, many people chose not to. Celibacy is an attractive option for a variety of reasons. Of course, there are various religious traditions that require clergy, monastics and nuns to lead a celibate life, but did you know that Free Lovers can also chose not to have sex? Celibacy is often practiced within a specific time frame that someone sets aside to work on themself. It can be anything from a month to ten years. Many free lovers decide to take a break from physical relationships for the purpose of personal growth or sexual healing. Some people do it just to finding their center. It’s an especially powerful practice for women with co-dependent tendencies ho have had a hard time saying “no.” In Tantra celibacy is called bramacharia and it is a spiritual practice of sublimating sexual energy. Giving it over to god (or gods.) bramacharia is revered because it is a path towards freedom from sexual thoughts and liberation from desire. Celibates can choose their own degree of celibacy. The strictest practices don’t engage in masturbation and/or sexual fantasy. While some people roll around in the hot and heavy sexual foreplay but just stop short of penetrative sex. Sometimes even the most active sluts will abstain from sexual activity for up to 3 months while they are waiting for their STD test results. Fundamentalists might argue this is not real celibacy, but who are we to judge?
On Being Single
In this society, being single is considered code for “not married—yet.” In general the mainstream culture has matured beyond the outdated expectation that virginity be saved until marriage, but not by much. The unspoken social agreement now is that sometime around puberty you become interested in the opposite sex and the male gender starts to ask the female gender out on dates. In the locker room he gets a lot of pressure about how far he goes and with whom. Meanwhile the girls are on the telephone talking in extreme details about their every fantasy. And if they don’t get asked out by some immature jock, they can turn their attention to the older guys who can’t seem to resist. At some point they start car dating…which means that they may decide park somewhere and make out…and one thing leads to another. And it’s generally considered OK to do this with as many dates as you like, as long as they don’t find out about each other, but if at some point they decide mutually go all the way…it is an unspoken understanding that they are not sleeping with anyone else because that would make them two timers… Or if she went all the way before she was in an actual relationship, that might make her a slut (and him a stud.) This entire mating charade is all a big audition for the other half. The one person who is supposed to solve everything. Society’s stressful script that single people are incomplete and that dating people and relationships aren’t productive unless they’re moving toward the end game of marriage sets people up to always look at the future and not be happy with the now. What if dating and playing the field were celebrated as a respectable love stlye? What if dating and having relationships was more about the quality of the connection and intimacy and purposed for growth rather than purposed for marriage? What if being single was a valid life choice so that people didn’t have an agenda of trying to find Mr. or Miss Right to be happy? What if dating was meant to be enjoyed for the sake of meeting people and getting to know them as a human being and not as a series of interviews for “the One?”
For more excerpts from Free Love: Can You Really Afford it by Kamala Devi and REiD Mihalko bookmark: http://www.uninhibitedbliss.blogspot.com
Sunday, April 26
By definition Cheating is an act of lying, deception, trickery, or fraud. In relationship it is when one party knowingly breaks their relationship agreement and hides it from their lover (s). Since, in it’s truest form, Free Love is about informed consent, all parties being at choice, transparent, and shamelessly expressed, it is mutually exclusive with cheating. Free Love turns infidelity inside out. Many people come to Free love after years of realizing that monogamous relationships don’t work for them. Consider this, if a cheater suddenly decided that instead of sneaking around and lying he was going to own his feelings and declare the truth to all parties involved, it would restore his integrity and liberate his love. (Granted his lovers may not chose to stay with him, but at least they would have what they need to make an informed decision.)
This example is like flipping a moldy carpet over and dragging it into the sunlight where it can get some air and dry out. The musty smell of “not having integrity” begins to fade and soon he’s not cheating anymore. He’s not sneaking around because there is nothing to hide. Integrity is restored because he’s created a dynamic where intimacy and truth and honesty can flourish along side his feelings of love, attraction, lust, and/or freedom. Suddenly, nothings is “wrong” or disgusting or shameful. If anything, now he has to deal with an uncomfortably new feeling called freedom, which isn’t “reckless” anymore, but, natural and nurturing.
Of course this is just one single example of why someone might turn to Free Love. The only thing more vast and varied than “why” people decide to do free love, is “How” they do it. Deep within every human heart there is a puzzle piece which is shaped differently. We each have different needs, desires and potentials. Thus there is a multitude of different love styles to chose from. In this chapter we will explore an array of love styles as well as labels and give you permission to reflect more deeply on what is the shape of your heart? Within the wide spectrum of free love, do you know what you want? What is your relationship geometry? What’s going on in your constellation? More specifically, what do you want? Do you want to be single, in a partnership? Seeing two people in a committed triad? Or a dozen?
Saturday, April 25
A lot of people are against labels. They are seen as artificial constructs that perpetuate stereotypes. We’ve often heard people cry, “Don’t put me into a box. I not a commodity, you can’t put a label on me.” When asked about gender and sex identity these people may say they are “fluid” or even polymorphous to avoid labels. But of course, there are times, such as in a doctors appointment, or in a dating scenario when labels can be most helpful. Using simple labels can sometimes serve as an elegant antidote to a long complicated conversation. Without going into a drawn out discussion, when meeting new people, Michael and I say we’re in an open marriage. We don’t go into all of our agreements and boundaries unless they really want to know. And of course the term “open” doesn’t work for everyone, some people prefer the term “polyamorous” or “modern” or even “alternative” but ultimately it’s up to all individuals involved to select their own titles.
Friday, April 24
Picture a multi-decked ocean liner out at sea.
The "Sea of Life" is the energy field we live in.
The various decks of the ocean liners represent various ways of relating.
Everyone enters onto the boat through the main deck. It is the basic starting point. Since all humans have the capacity to love and to love more than one person we’ll call this deck: "Polyamory" By it’s broadest definition, Polyamory means multiple loves. So, if you love your mother AND your father you can be considered Polyamorous. If you love BOTH your children, you are Polyamorous. And some even argue that if you love yourself AND your partner, you are Polyamorous etc. etc.
The 2nd Deck is called "Poly - Sensual". If you enjoy having your shoulders rubbed, your hair caressed, your back tickled or receiving a warm hug from more than one person....then it's reasonable to say that you are Poly - Sensual. so come on up to the 2nd Deck! I think you will find that many people fall into this category.
At the next level, if you allow yourself to express and enjoy having romantic feelings towards more than one person then you could be considered poly – Romantic. Welcome to Deck 3: Poly – Romantic.
The 4th and final deck is where people enjoy engage in sexual relations with more than one person at the same time. There are far less people on the top deck compared to the mainstream bottom deck. And the top deck hosts a variety of different styles of sexual expression: sexual play stopping short of intercourse, package deals, kink, gender specific poly, fluid monogamous, unlimited sexual play etc.
Now, take a moment to consider what Deck of the Ocean liner you might place yourself on. Realize also, that we are constantly evolving and our relating stlye can vary from one point in our life to the next. We may at times feel very Poly - Sensual, Romantic or Sexual and at other times not so much. If you ever "fantasize about" or "feel that you would enjoy" being Sensual, Romantic or Sexual with someone other than your partner (ie: more than one person.....and who hasn't at some point in their life?)....then it may be reasonable to consider that you may be Poly - Sensual, Romantic or Sexual and have just been suppressing it!?
This analogy is intended to assist in increasing comfort with the often misunderstood concept of Polyamory. Once we remove some of the irrational fear of the unknown, it may be possible for some individuals to open up to aspects of themselves that they may have been suppressing or denying due to social conditioning. Thanks to the “Love Boat” metaphor many find polyamory a bit more accessible!
Often times when we say what’s on our mind we give space for it to shift. Just by speaking it sometimes it’s cleared. By speaking the thing you are most afraid of, you are able to see it more objectively. REiD likens this process to sitting on a movie set. If you pull the focus back enough you see the guy with the boom mike and the smoke machines, then you realize that none of it is real. Eventually you can pull back from the feelings and the circumstances and get present to what’s real. And that’s a good life skill to have, but it takes practice. At some point you may get advanced enough that you can talk in your own head and calm it down but usually it takes voicing it to realize that it’s not as bad as you thought.
It all starts by telling the truth. Even if you don’t know the whole truth, tell the truth as you see it. Be who you are and not what other people think you are, and then the exchange becomes more real. When you are expressing you truth, to the best of your ability at all times you are exuding an ease and it is an attractive quality. You are at ease, nobody is going to find you out. You are not an imposter, hypocrite or worried about being found out. Once you figure out who you are and allow yourself to just be real, there’s a rooted ness and strength that shows up. You become more fixed and steady rather than trying to change to suite everyone. People start relating to you as they are. It’s like you give them permission to be themselves. Being real up-levels the quality of all your connections. And it liberates you from what other people think.
“Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.”
At core, we all want to be loved. We want to be seen and accepted for who we really are. All humans (unless they are psychopaths) have an innate drive to be liked. We, naturally tribal pack animals. We yearn for love and belongingness. Yet each individual has a unique personality, identity or perspective that makes them different from the rest. This diversity strengthens the tribe. Deep within our individual ego is the innate sense of separation. Most of us carry around the fear that we do not belong, or that somehow we are not loveable. Our greatest fear is of being completely vulnerable because if we were to let others see who we really are, they might run away in horror. Non acceptance, rejection, ex-communication are fates worse than death. So from an early age, we are afraid to be real and thus begin the pattern of people pleasing.
We start by lying to others. Trying to be more like everyone else, we even lie to ourselves. We all want to look good and fit in so badly that we’re willing to wear costumes that don’t even fit us…especially if that’s what everyone else is wearing. We masquerade behind masks and veils and become so accustomed to pretending to be some made up persona that we forget who we really are. The paradox is that if someone falls in love with this projected illusion we feel unsatisfied, wrestles and hungry for true love.
Being real is about taking off the masks, letting go of looking good and getting naked. Being real is essential if you’re going to attempt to create and sustain any type of alternative relationship. When we don’t speak our truth, it is automatically assumed that we consent to the rules that our society has set out for us. Like Automatons, we are all unconsciously wired with deep social programming that if we don’t consciously object would have us fall in love, buy a house, have 1.5 kids, a dog and a white picket fence...And then one day we wake up and say…this is not my life. And go through a potentially painful “midlife crises.” Instead of paying the high emotional (and legal) price of breaking up the home and family, the goal is to speak our truth from the beginning so we can build our relationships on a strong foundation. If we orient our lives around our truth we’re less likely to wake up one day and have our entire worlds crumbling down around us.
Anyone in a fulfilling alternative relationship will gladly tell you that the key to their success is honesty. It’s the first immutable law of free love. Whether they call it honesty, communication, openness, transparency or just being real. True freedom in relationship can only be experience to the degree that the individuals are free to express their true feelings, needs, wants and desires. Success in free love can be attained through a fierce commitment to truth through transparency.
Transparency does not mean that you are so thin that light passes through you. Nor does it mean that you speak every single thing that comes across your mind as if you had Turrets syndrome. It means that you are committed to being in your authentic truth, even when it is uncomfortable or unpopular. Even when you don’t know exactly how you feel or what it all means, you are still willing to whatever it takes to be expressed. To not withhold. As opposed to saying what you think people want to hear. Transparency means getting in touch with true desires and being willing to communicate and act on their behalf. It’s a way of being. Like driving down the path of life with a bumper sticker that reads: truth or bust.
It’s like dear old Polonius says to his son in his dying breath: “And this above all, unto thine own self be true and it shall follow as the day the night - thou can'st not then be false to any man.” –William Shakesphere
Yet being true to ones self is not as easy as it sounds. Being real requires unraveling years of acquired habits and patterns that encourage deception. Our entire society is built on social norms that unconsciously perpetuate lying at the systemic level. Political campaigns, sensational stories on the news, skewed statistics and false advertising are all examples of how our society perpetuates lies. With the competition in the job market we are encouraged to use euphemisms on resumes, and/or withhold during job interviews. There are hundreds of books and courses on how to impress a woman or manipulate a man. Common sayings such as: “what they don’t know won’t hurt them”; “they’re just little white lies.” “Ignorance is bliss” sink into our psyche and help us justify lying. We are taught that looking good, winning or staying together is better than being real.
There are various degrees to being real. At any given point we may take a stance on the wide continuum of relative truth. Let’s take the example of a lesbian who’s coming out of the closet. Let’s say she takes a good look around and clearly doesn’t identify with the traditional role models and the social scripting. She may admit to herself that having a husband, kids and a white picket fence doesn’t do it for her. But is she able to articulate it when she is offered a diamond ring? Perhaps she musters the inner resolve to say no. But does she give herself permission to peruse what she really wants? And if she allows herself to become expressed within the lesbian community, is she able to be real with her friends, her co-workers, and parents?
When Kamala Devi came out in college, she found a tremendous amount of peer pressure by lesbians against dating men. At the time being bi was considered a betrayal to the gay community. When a queer woman dated a man she was seen to be capitalizing on “heterosexual privilege,” which means that she could pretend to be ‘normal’ when the opportunity arose. And this perpetuates the misunderstandings, glass ceilings and judgments our society has towards gay women. The peer pressure made it hard for Kamala to be real about her genuine attraction towards men. It took a degree of transparency for Kamala to come out, but she had to continue being real if she didn’t want to fall into the sub-cultural scripting of the lesbian community. Kamala followed her truth when she made the unpopular decision to move to Hawaii with a boyfriend. And when she began to explore polyamory, her grandfather pleaded her to just settle down. Why do you need to rock the boat? Ironically, Kamala’s truth led her into a house with a child and a husband who satisfies more than 75 percent of her needs. If she wanted to be more socially acceptable, she could chose to be monogamous. She would, after all be mostly happy. But what about the other 25 percent of her heart? Being real means seeking her full expression and that means that she is willing to risk social acceptance to be in an open marriage and be free to follow her truth.
Even when people manage to come clean with their lovers and co-workers, they may not want to risk losing the acceptance of their blood family. There is even a Zen teaching that if you think you’re enlightened at a retreat or intensive the real test is to go home for a Thanksgiving dinner and be enlightened around your old fashioned parents. You’ve heard the phrase: Blood pulls? Well, blood pulls us to regress back to who we were. Not who we are now. A lot of times our families think they have our best interest in mind. They say they want what’s best for us, but really they often have an agenda for how they think we should be or if we are a certain way it will affect their own self image. Many people justify lying to their family because they don’t want to be ungrateful and fly in the face of everything they were taught. Or worse, what if they give their parents a heart attack? It is after all, easier to just lie and pretend to be monogamous. What’s it going to hurt?
Well, newsflash: Lying is not only unethical, but unclean and unhealthy. Untruths create psychic dissonance, weakness in muscle strength, tax the immune system and have been correlated to disease and even cancer. When we lie, we create unconscious stress and disconnection. Our self concept becomes incongruent. We feel guilty, even if it’s at deep subconscious levels this guilt eats away at our health and vitality. Lying creates delusion, confusion and mistrust in relationship…even when you think the person you are lying to will never find out.
One of the many reasons it is so hard to be real all the time is that many of us don’t actually remember who we are. Or even what we want. We’ve grown so accustom to subtle layers of deception, for so long, that we’ve forgotten how to listen to the deep true impulse. The pre-requisite to being real is self enquiry. Know thy self first and unto that be true. Self inquiry can be a deep spiritual practice. It could involve mediation, contemplation, journaling, dream work and other advanced yogic practices. Or it could simply look like an intention to be real. The important thing in your quest to becoming more authentic is that you do it authentically. If yoga’s not your thing then don’t do it. Some people find themselves in a spontaneous instant when they decide to be real and some people spend years in pilgrimage traveling the world looking for themselves. Ultimately, it’s up to you. And regardless what path you chose, the inquiry is always the same: Who am I? In any situation, just tell the truth. This is the formula for authenticity, transparency and ultimately self realization.
Stay tunned for more exerpts from Free Love: Can you Really Afford it? By Kamala Devi and REiD Mihalko For upcomming Events in San Diego check out: http://www.partnerplayshop.com/calendar.html
May 1-3rd Cobra Breath Level 1 Training
May 2nd Sacred Snuggle Party
May 8-10 Daka Dakini Conference in Sedona
May 10-16 Advanced Intesive for Teachers in Sedona
May 20th Tantra Talk and Poly Potluck
May 21st Tantra Theater 90 day journey begins!
June 22nd -28th Tantra Teacher Certification Course
July 31st & Aug. 1st Tantra Theater Show
Register Now with Event Brite!
SPACE IS LIMITED. For info. contact Kamala Devi 858-272-2254
Wednesday, April 22
Advanced Sacred Sexuality Intensive for Teachers and Practitioners
5 Day Post Conference in Sedona, AZ
Monday May 11 – Friday May 15, 2009
This intensive is a full-on immersion experience. We live, breathe, talk, act, eat, sleep and dream sacred sexuality. Study and practice with a dozen master teachers from 10am until 9pm Daily. Each evening, we will create an intention circle to practice, play, mingle, dance,relax and connect at the temple.
Teachers and Topics:
JOAN & THOMAS HEARTFIELD: Holotropic Breathwork
MARE SIMONE: Running Orgasmic Energy
ANNA MARTI: Showing Up for Whatever Shows Up
SHARON MAUDLIN: Birth into Being
DAVID CATES: Seven Stages of Consciousness
BETTY MARTIN: Accessing your Clients Needs
DESTIN GEREK: Expressing Your Eroticism
SHAWN ROOP: Integrating the Chakras
REiD MIHALKO: Foundations of Facilitation
Hosted by BABA DEZ and KAMALA DEVI
(Scroll down for teacher bios)
This is advanced work and be assured that our focus is on personal empowerment, not promiscuity or casual sex. We welcome beings of all sexual orientations and relational persuasions (solo, couples, triads, etc.).
We begin with creating awareness, healing and skills in your own body, and then build on that to develop the skills needed to assist your clients/students.
Experiences include the physical, personal, emotional and transcendent, and then return again to very practical step-by-step skills of creating a safe, effective and satisfying session.
Our intention is to make this experience as practical and personal as possible for those who are on the path of sacred sexuality.
The event takes place at the Sedona Temple School in West Sedona, and out on the land in various sacred power spots. Tuition includes all sessions, teachings, all meals and lodging (double occupancy) are included. $2500 per person. To reserve your space, we need a deposit of $1000. If you feel you are ready to take this next step in your journey with sacred sexuality, please contact us for a mutual interview.
P.O. Box 3206
Sedona, AZ 86340
What happens as we release deeper layers of guilt and shame?
Where do we create boundaries and separation, inside ourselves and with the outer world?
Which boundaries are healthy, and which are limiting?
How can we create safe space for ourselves and each other?
How can we handle the vulnerability of fully expressing our desires?
What are our hidden, and visible, sexual wounds?
How can we release our sexual wounding stories from heart, mind and body?
How can we facilitate profound sexual healing for ourselves and others?
What exactly is the divine masculine, and how can we embody it?
What exactly is the divine feminine, and how can we embody it?
How can we create Sacred Union within ourselves, and with our partners?
How much bliss can we handle in one lifetime?
What is the true relationship of heart and sex in our culture?
What unconscious, unspoken relational agreements sabotage our search for spiritual liberation?
How do feelings of jealousy, envy, possessiveness, anger, fear and insecurity interfere with sexual empowerment?
How are those very feelings the path to true and total presence?
Here are some of the skills that we develop:
Assess and understand your current physical and emotional state
Notice, acknowledge, trust and express your desires
Notice, acknowledge, trust and express your boundaries, limits and choices
Respond with respect and self-responsibility
Receive attention and support with gratitude and vulnerability
Give attention and support with generosity and skill
Guide a client into a clear, mutual and safe agreement
Create a strong container for sacred ritual
Clarify and maintain your role in the session
Basic touch and bodywork skills
In a few years, no doubt, marriage licenses will be sold like dog licenses, good for a period of twelve months, with no law against changing dogs or keeping more than one animal at a time.-- Exceprt from the Forward to A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
In my “Open Marriage” with Michael, there is no legal paper that binds us to one another. We wake up choose each day to be with one another. Our wedding vows were simply:
To Live Fully
To Love Freely
And to Be in Truth
Don’t get me wrong, we are not afraid of commitments or agreements.
In fact we are meticulous and impeccable when it comes to commitments and often coach our lovers and friends to write down their commitments and actually form contracts. In our Foundations of Free love workshops we ask individuals to write down how they want to be treated and what they want in relationship and then we ask them to compare notes with their lovers. It’s important to first get clear on your own hearts desire and then to compare and see where your desires overlap with others. We then suggest couples or triads discuss and negotiate their agreements and then date and sign the document to be review in a period of one, three or six months time.
For many people, this may seem a bit rigid. But the value of this exercise is to gain clarity and to take responsibility for creating agreements. What most people don’t see or admit is that we are all operating on agreements. These agreements are often unconscious and non-consensual, until we take the time to write them out. See, there are certain cultural standards and expectations people carry around such as: I don’t have sex on the first date, or when I sleep with someone I expect them to call me the next day, or my husband would never go out to coffee with any of his ex lovers. But if these agreements aren’t clearly communicated…how can we expect our partners to know? So we invite you to make a list of your current agreements and personal standards for the sake of becoming more conscious. This exercise is especially important for people who are not willing to quietly submit to the current cultural norms and expectations. When you are a renegade spirit that doesn’t want to play by “their” rules, you carry the burden of defining your own rules. Please start with a minimum of three. They don’t have to be deep, they can be as simple or as complex as the following ten examples:
1. I don’t date people who smoke…(or vegetarians)
2. I will no longer get into bed with someone who doesn’t have a job.
3. I need space, at least one weekend day and night to myself.
4. I only date people who are “out” of the poly closet.
5. I don’t tolerate gossip. Anything that two people do or say while together should remain private unless you check with me and get permission prior to sharing details with anyone else.
6. I will not date anyone who is competitive or considers themselves a jealous person.
7. I want only to date other couples.
8. I want to meet someone and give you permission before you ask them out on a date.
9. I don’t ever want to be told what to do.
10.I promise to take responsibility for my own emotions and ask that you do the same.
We hope these examples stimulate your own list. Once you brainstorm your own agreements you may chose to craft a contract, document or written agreement. Which is a little like writing little business plans for your romantic relationships. Does this sound absurd? Think about it…an intelligent business owner wouldn’t even dream of taking on a business partner without a business plan…but people jump in bed and then they jump into life partnership, share a bed, a house, family…without giving it a second thought!
After writing your list of relationship boundaries you can comb through it and start making more subtle distinctions. Identify which agreements are actually needs,
bottom-lines and/or deal-breakers.
We will talk about needs in greater detail in a later chapter, but for now let’s identify bottom lines and deal-breakers are special boundaries with greater consequences. They are often treated like ultimatums where if they are crossed the entire romantic relationship is at steak.
SINGLE-SEX POLY. When bisexual individuals in a poly arrangement agree to date one sex and not the other sex.
PRIOR APPROVAL. When a couple agrees to open the relationship but they want to meet any new partners before moving into sexual territory. Often, the primary partner’s comfort level is a decisive factor before moving into sexual territory with someone else.
VETO POWER. When the primary partner is given the power to approve or veto any outside relationships. If the primary partner does not approve, then the new relationship is not allowed to continue.
CONDOM COMMITMENT. When condoms are not used in the primary relationship, but are used when having sex with other people. In other words, the couple practices safe sex with everyone else.
FLUID BONDED. Any relationship in which partners are allowing the exchange of bodily fluids and having barrier-free intercourse.
FLUID MONOGAMY. When couples use condoms with all relationships except the primary relationship.
TELL-ALL POLICY. When individuals in a poly relationship agree to inform each other of the full intimate details of their involvement with other parties.
NEED-TO-KNOW. When partners agree to an open relationship and promise to inform their partners about any information that may affect the primary, such as when they start sleeping with someone else. This differs from Tell-All Policy in that there is no need to report unless asked.
DON’T ASK/DON’T TELL. When individuals would rather not know any details about their partner’s outside relationships.
SOFT SWAP. When intimate behavior such as kissing, petting, and oral sex are allowed with multiple partners but penetrative sex is allowed only with the primary.
PACKAGE DEAL. When a couple only dates and has sex with others when they are together.
NON-EXCLUSION. When primary partners are always invited to join each other’s dates and sleepovers. In other words, nobody spends the night alone unless it’s by choice.
NO DRAMA. If a relationship has a repeated pattern of emotional crisis, creating undue chaos, and challenging other relationships, it can be considered drama, which by this policy is not tolerated. The No Drama policy can also take the form of placing a limit on how often and how long relationship issues are discussed. Compulsive emotional processing can be counterproductive and addictive. Polyamory requires more communication, but there is such a thing as too many “deep and meaningful” conversations.
In the past, Michael and I could have filled 10 pages with various relationship agreements that we have experimented with, but over time we have whittled it down to the following 4 bottom lines:
1. We always use condoms for penetrative sex with other lovers.
2. We are completely open and honest with each other; we fully disclose our feelings and flirtations with others.
3. We only engage with others who add to or enhance our relationship.
4. We do not tolerate chaos and/or drama and in extreme cases may veto a relationship if it is draining our energy and power.
For the sake of humor and further education REiD would also add:
1. Don’t stick your dick in crazy
2. Date your species
Although rule number one seems self explanatory, you’d be surprised at how many poly folk tend to attract stalkers and skitzos. Crazy people cannot be reasoned with and tend not to stick to agreements. If you have evidence that someone is not capable of honoring your bottom lines…stay the hell away. Despite how sexy they may be, it’s really that simple.
REiD’s rule number two is a little more complex because it requires that you actually figure out what your style of free love is. Reid has found relationship works better with queer sluts. Of course there are exceptions, but if you are the type of person who likes group sex, and couldn’t be anything but poly, it’s best you find someone who has similar tastes. Starting a relationship with somebody who’s just poly curious it’s probably not a good match for a Free Love relationship rock-star like REiD.
Tuesday, April 21
Monday, April 20
I’m Kamala Devi and I am a sacred sex and creativity coach. What makes me qualified to write about poly is not about any credentials, books or training, but that my beloved Michael and I have been in a successful open marriage for over 7 years, we have multiple lovers. So on one hand we have this nice traditional family and on the other hand we’ve experimented sexually with just about every thing that interests us (except no barn animals). And it feels like we’re still learning and exploring. In the field of polyamory, I don’t see myself as a teacher as a perpetual student. We’re on the journey and we love meeting new friends and lovers and inviting them to join us on our path.
I’m REiD Mihalko and I’m a sex and relationship geek, in a lot of ways, and part of the reason I’m so excited to write about Free Love is a lot of my journey came from me figuring out how to make relationships work for me and how not to be the bad communicator that my mom and dad were (even though they loved each other and were amazing parents) and part of the confusion for me was that in high-school and a little bit of college- I tried really hard to do things right, to be a virgin, to get married, and it didn’t work. And to just figure out why it was when I was in love with people why I wanted to be with other people. And figuring out my sexuality-now I identify as queer, and growing up in new Hampshire we didn’t have role models for people like me, so a lot of my life is about sharing the things that I’ve learned and sharing what works period if their non-monogamous, monogamous or just single and spread those communications in clever and fun ways, while I continue to go deeper and ask for the things that are scary for me and being a good role model for being in integrity and being as meticulous as you can be with your relationships. Now I’ve been poly for 10 years, I knew of the word for 7. I have 3 successful relationships right now, 1 is almost 2 years old and the others are almost 5, things are really fun and exciting.
Our intention is to share what we know works in relationship. A lot of the tools and tips that we teach work well whether your in mongo my or non-monogamy, but we’re committed to giving ideas, tips, tools and advice that you can start applying immediately.
Often times when we start to discuss, explore study relationships, we automatically start thinking about others. We consider what we think our spouses, partners or lovers would think or feel. We evaluate if they would agree or disagree or how they would react if we were to somehow change the way we show up in relationship. And I acknowledge that’s a natural reaction, but I want to invite you to stay connected to your own feelings on the subjects and what is right and true for you and your nature, regardless of whether it would be popular amongst other people. In my spiritual practice, the true primary relationship is the self. The only work we can do is on the self. We can’t take responsibility for or change anybody but us. And paradoxically, the capacity to which you are capable of loving others is dependant on how much self love and respect you have. At every level: physically, emotionally, intellectually, spiritually it all starts with you. One of my intentions for this book is that you come away feeling like “I’m the beloved”. And anybody who’s going to be in a relationship with me is going to honor my truth. And that’s what I want for all of you.
Take an honest self assessment: Where are you at? What does your free love constellation look like? What’s really going on for you in relationship? What are your blocks and challenges? And then be real: what do you want? What is your free love fantasy? That might be overcoming the challenge or karmic pattern you’ve had all your life. Or maybe it’s a sexual fantasy, maybe it’s just an idea or vision, take a few deep breaths and a moment to really ask what’s in your heart, if really you gave yourself permission to love freely…what would that look like.
Now if we were to take full responsibility for manifesting our lives we would soon realize that we are the only ones stopping us. If we are going to make any kind of change in reading this book, the change is going to start within us. Take radical inventory of what’s holding you back. What is stopping you from your full expression in Free Love? Are you willing to release or let go of your own limiting beliefs so that you can take a quantum leap forward towards your full self expression?
"So Zental, what advice do you have for the blocked artist or tantrika who wants to leave their corporate job and persue their real passion?"
"Start practicing your craft!" As Viraja is on FabuLiz in this Improv Comedy scene.
Then you can tell your geeky boss to kiss your ass...right after they polish your toenails...as Ember tells Andrew in this improv. scene.
Ultimately, you'll know when you're ready to drop to your knees and devote yourself to the goddess as Michael does here with Joy and Fabuliz as his witnesses!
We had an enlighteneing weekend and hope you'll join us for The next Tantra Theater Improv. show on May 2nd. at 6:45pm
Sunday, April 19
When I was breast feeding, I felt very protective of my son's milk and rarely shared it with my friends and lovers. Several times when I was so full that I was achey and didn't want to use a pump to artificially express my milk, I allowed My beloved Michael to help me out. But that was more of a medical necessity than a pleasurable act.
As you can imagine, I was approached often and a number of beautiful men and women in the tantra community would have loved to suckle me...but generally speaking I was fairly conservative and saved my milk for my first and only son. On several occassions, however, I remember offering my milk to other women in my mommy groups just so that I could trade the experience and taste theirs in exchange.
Another powerful exception was with Daka Martin from Chicago. At an afterparty of the Daka Dakini East Conference, he sweetly asked if I'd be willing to donate a cup of mother's milk for his upcoming goddess puja. When he told me the puja would be for Goddess Kali, my answer was so immediate, it startled me. But, Of Course!
A few days later I recieved a 'thank you' letter with a brief description of the puja:
"Kali drank down the milk like you wouldnt believe. Thank you for that honor.
Bringing mother's milk home for Kali was an exceptional experience for me. I don't know how I summoned the courage to ask for it but I did. Later that night Kamala returned to me with a cold hotel glass half filled with with her own milk and a smile. She was excited about an offering to Kali and I greatfully and humbly accepted.
The ride home was long that night and it left time for wondering just what mothere's milk tasted like...I looked at the cup then turned away shaking my head saying no, no..it's for Kali. Put the milk in the fridge and went to bed. ( I found out later that when my friend Amber saw it in the fridge, she found herself saying " I wonder..no, no, it's for Kali" too).
Time for feeding the spirits came and I got my things together...the rum, chamba (a combination of rum, chilis, gun powder, and cemetary dirt), Ipo (palm oil), tissues, plates, treats for the Gods and the milk. As usual, when it was time, I reached for my skull bowl, poured the rum and fed each spirit by taking the drink into my mouth and "spitting" or spraying the spirit. The chamba is tough cause the older it gets, the hotter it gets and usually leaves me coughing and gasping after the first two sips. When it came time for Kali, without thinking, I poured the milk into the skull, said a few words to Kali then took the milk into my mouth....How transendantly sweet was this offering as I covered Kali with her food...I watched myself in shock as I continued with the offering not realising that I would be tasting it until it touched my toungue. For whatever the reason my world sort of flipped in my mind for a moment there. Kali looked magnificent, copper and brass beaded with white marbled droplets all over her body. I poured the rest into her base and finnished with my offerings. Then I went on to have a profound day.
I hope you accept this method of offering. We didnt discuss this before hand and I was on automatic.
Thank you again for the offering. May Kali Bless you and your family.
Thursday, April 16
Tuesday, April 14
After thousands of years of practice, Patanjalis was the first person to give us a written record of yoga philosophy. His Yoga Sutras outline ten basic principles (Like 10 commandments for yogis). Satya or Truth is the second Yama or Yogic law, right after Ahimsa (Do no harm.) Satya is not just about doing truth, but thinking, speaking and being truth.
In my yoga teacher training I spent several weeks meditating each of Patanjali’s sutras. When contemplating Satya, I was taught to imagine that every moment and interaction in my life was caught on tape. And then if I were to evaluate, if it were measured with a truth detector, how would I fair? Thus, I weighed my words and actions and began to unravel years of acquired habits and patterns that perpetuated deception. I not only identified all the places in my own life where I was lying and withholding, but I noticed how family and friends unconsciously encourage lying.
Using euphemisms on resumes, sensationalizing stories on the news, skewing statistics and false advertising are all examples of how our society perpetuates lies and masks and does not support us in being totally real. Common sayings such as: “what they don’t know won’t hurt them”, “they’re just little white lies.” “Ignorance is bliss” sink into our psyche and help us justify lying. We are taught that looking good, winning or staying together is better than being real.
Lying is not only unethical, but unclean and unhealthy. Untruths create psychic dissonance, weakness in muscle strength, tax the immune system and have been correlated to disease and even cancer. When we lie, we create unconscious stress and disconnection. Our self concept becomes incongruent. We feel guilty, even if it’s at deep subconscious levels this guilt eats away at our health and vitality. Lying creates delusion, confusion and mistrust in relationship…even when you think the person you are lying to will never find out.
Being real is essential for relationship mastery especially in non-conventional relationships. When we don’t speak our truth, it is automatically assumed that we agree with and play by the rules that our society has set out for us. Social programming may have us like automatons fall in love, buy a house, have 1.5 kids a dog and a white picket fence...And then one day we wake up and say…this is not my life. This is what the “midlife crises” is about. People waking up and actually questioning: who am I? Because they never learned to question it before. When we learn to speak our truth from the beginning, we can build our relationships on a strong foundation. We can orient our lives around our values and that way we don’t wake up one day and have our entire worlds crumbling down around us.
Friday, April 10
I work for MTV News & Documentaries in Los Angeles, and I'm
currently researching a new round of episodes for MTV's long-
running series, True Life. The series, if you're unfamiliar,
employs first-person narrative storytelling to provide a window
into the lives of young Americans. To date, the series has
explored topics as complex as living with a disorder such as
autism or obsessive-compulsive disorder; living in extreme
poverty; single parenting; and being deployed to and returning
from military service in Iraq.
On the lighter side, True Life also explores all aspects of
human relationships--friendships, families, and of course,
romance. We're currently exploring the idea of a True Life
episode featuring young people who are involved in polyamorous
relationships (in which all parties know about each other). We
are interested in hearing from people with all kinds of
stories, from happy threesomes, polyamourous couples in a tug-
of-war with a third party, married couples in open
relationships, singles whose ex-es have resurfaced, causing
friction in current relationships, swinging couples, and
everything in-between. Can you help us put out our call for
We're specifically looking for stories that are unfolding in
the present, in which the love triangle plays a role in a
process, upcoming decision, change or transition on the horizon
for one or more of the people involved.
We would like to get the word out to people in our age range
(18-28, roughly) who might be interested in possibly sharing
their story and ultimately participating in a documentary
project that would follow as they navigate whatever conflict,
tension, obstacle, or decision they are facing because of or
related to their poly relationship.
Let me know and thanks for any assistance you can provide… if
there is anyone else you think I should contact about this
project, or if you have any questions, please feel free to get
in touch with me at (949) 533-9918 or by email at