(I want to begin this op-ed with the explanation that although I have chosen to marry a woman in this life, I do consider myself a bisexual and have actually dated more men than women at this point. I am not a man-hater, I just happened to fall in love with a woman and made the decision to call her my life partner. Could have just as easily been a man.)
Being the day after the Women’s March, I am inspired to write about the #metoo movement. The most recent account of sexual assault to surface is regarding my favorite comedian to ever exist, Aziz Ansari. You can read the account here babe.net This account is controversial because a lot of people don’t believe that this is actually sexual assault, they believe this is just a case of “bad sex”. Here is my opinion and an explanation of how this is actually so deeply related to spirituality and consciousness. And by the way, I still love you Aziz. You are just a human on the brink of evolution like the rest of us. Hopefully this situation will force you and others in that direction.
In all honesty, when I first read this account, I was ecstatic. I know that sounds perhaps insensitive or “man hating” of me so let me explain. The human race is on the brink of spiritual evolution. If we don’t evolve and become conscious, we WILL kill ourselves. It is as simple as that. Part of spiritual evolution is deepening our awareness and consciousness and becoming one with the present moment. This includes awareness of ones own body, ones own emotional body, ones own spiritual connection as well as awareness of connection to other human beings. This awareness involves connection to the present moment during sexual encounters. Obviously, Aziz’s actions were not acting out of a place of consciousness and connection or awareness for much of anything besides his male instinct for procreation.
There is one distinct biological difference between men and women. Men have the biological instinct engrained in them to procreate, to spread their seed and create as many new humans as possible. Obviously this instinct served us thousands of years ago to ensure that the human race would continue in its existence. Women have a different biological instinct - that of nurturing and protecting their young. With this comes the instinct to ensure that the man stays around to hunt and gather and feed the family while the woman takes care of the offspring. Times have changed yet these instincts are still in there. It is time to become aware and accept these instincts and work with them differently now. Just because it is instinctual, does not mean you have to act on it. I can be aware of an instinct, accept it to be, and let it go.
Women have been treated as a vessel for which to deposit sperm in since the beginning of the human race. I do not believe all men treat women this way but I do believe the majority of men have had this experience at least once in their life. A common statement I have heard from multiple men goes something like this: “I love having sex when I’m stressed out. It just helps me to release some of the pressure.” News flash - you are releasing your stressed out energy INTO your partner. That’s not ok. I have a sneaking suspicion that 99.9% of sexually active women who choose to sleep with men have felt like a vessel at one point or another. And the sad part is, it’s not just while dating. I think more often it is while in a committed relationship, including marriage.
I was debating with a friend about this the other day which is also why I chose to write about this topic. She is a woman in her 60’s who has been married happily for about 40 years. She said that although she considers her husband a good lover, sometimes she does feel that she should have sex with him because it is part of her “duty” as a wife. This person was particularly irritated with the woman who called Aziz out on his assaulting behavior. She said that this woman could have easily left his apartment as soon as he started coming on too strong. My defense to this woman is that she probably did want to have sex with him, just not in that way. So she kept giving him a chance to hear her. And he just couldn’t listen in his state of unconsciousness. This is where awareness of other people would come into play and be really helpful to both parties in this situation.
My friend was also irritated by the fact that “she cried all the way home” because she felt this was “dramatic and over-emotional”. My defense to the woman - how many times have you not been listened to? These tears run deep, most likely to childhood. Men (particularly caucasian and/or wealthy men) are listened to most of the time, (for some men, possibly all of the time), and what they say is rarely questioned by society. That’s just the way our society works today. As women on the brink of evolution, I think we are all ready to be heard. And the grief surrounding all of the times that we have been run over, bullied, silenced, second guessed, etc. runs deep. It is a pain that we all hold together. I do believe that this collective pain can be triggered and felt through individual experiences such as this. And so the tears fell.
It is time to bring awareness to these types of situations. I know I personally have experienced them, telling a boyfriend that I wasn’t in the mood and continuing to be pressured over and over to have sex until eventually he just was without any awareness toward me and my body. Yes, I ended up dumping that guy but it’s quite possible he’s out there doing it to someone else now. As a woman in my 30’s, I would never allow this to happen anymore but I know there are a lot of women out there still “doing their duty”. Sexual assault is a spectrum, and in my opinion, not listening and shoving a penis into a dry pussy counts. Yes, even if it is your wife or girlfriend’s dry pussy.
It’s time to step up to the plate and listen to our sexual partners. “I” statements are an easy way to do this. People at the age of sexual activity have not been taught simple respect and communication techniques that I literally see my toddlers learning in their preschool. Early childhood education is evolving and it is time for the sexual intimacy part of our lives to evolve as well. Here is an example of how simple it could be:
Man/person who is wanting sex: “Hey baby, I find you really attractive and feel like having sex with you right now. Are you into it?”
Woman/other person: “Hmmm, well I find you attractive as well and could be into it as long as you take it slow and get me warmed up first. Let’s try it out and see how it goes.”
Men/instigator: this is your opportunity to kiss and pleasure your partner for at least 15-30 minutes BEFORE sexual intercourse should begin.
Women/partner: this is your opportunity to tell the instigator what you want and what feels good. Pleasure him/her also, have fun with it. And if you are still not into it, communicate this with words. Walking away or rolling over does not count. Like I tell my kids, “Use your words.”
It shouldn’t be complicated. It might seem difficult right now because women and men are finding new roles in our society based on character and personality, rather than gender. Gender and gender roles are literally dissolving before our eyes; they are rapidly becoming out dated and less applicable. Women are standing up and speaking out, letting the world know that we are not ok with this behavior in the bedroom. The skeletons are being launched quickly from the closets and it is a beautiful thing. We need to dig deep to move forward.
Personal evolution, both in and out of the bedroom, starts with listening into our bodies. It continues with navigating our lives with consciousness and awareness, for ourselves and our fellow human beings. Evolution is upon us, folks. Let’s do this.