Sex and Sailing

Sex and sailing.  It all comes down to this really.  The heart of my myth is that simple.  Around half a lifetime of experience (all being good, maybe a bit less if I stop drinking like a pirate), four years of challenging myself, giving myself over to my intuition, trying new things, learning about new passions, reflecting lots, freeing myself of the old and embracing the new, and that’s the beautiful core of what I’m about.

To date I’ve been rather more up front in this blog about my love of sailing than my love of sex.  What can I say? I’ve been feeling my way, finding my courage and my own voice of conviction.  There may be some relevance in the fact that I have regrettably chalked up more hours rolling around in boats than in beds in recent times, but nevertheless my reticence to date has more to do with caution than a lack of tales to tell.  Caution isn’t something I’m generally known for, but in this case I’m glad to have entertained it.  The time that I have sat with this has greatly clarified my intention and my purpose in opening up this conversation, as well as bringing me to a place where I simply can’t keep it within me.

The last five months have been a time of personal challenge, of grief and introspection.  Although the cause of that time remains painful, it has nevertheless given me room to reflect and the impetus to make some important choices about my future, about what I stand for.  If I have learnt anything in this time, it is the importance of creating our own story, standing up for what we believe and taking action to bring what we love to life.  I love sex (and sailing) and it is time for me to claim my purpose, to express my passion and engage my voice, the voice that each of us has within us, to explore and address one of the most important aspects of human life.

Sex is a beautiful, wonderful and I fear often mismanaged area of human interaction and potential.  It is a meeting place, a place of love and intimacy, of fun, of incredible pleasure, of connection and of deep creative power.  Sex is also sadly a place of darkness, of power games, of violence, of judgement and shame.  Sex is a powerful indicator of the state of play between man and woman*.  At the micro level sex is one of the first things to be sacrificed within a relationship that is not flourishing.  At the macro level It shows us, through common attitudes and prejudices, social convention and quality of conversation whether or not, as men and women we are engaging with ourselves and each other with the full joy, power and creativity of which we are, each and every one of us, capable.

My choice now is to direct my energy, my skills, my passion and commitment to making the world a sexier place.  A sexier place with boats.

* A major aspect of my interest in sex is in the broader play between masculine and feminine in individuals, in relationships, in business, in government, in communities.  My own experience and insights are those of a heterosexual woman, and much of my language and focus will reflect that.  I believe this conversation is equally valid for gay as for straight people, and welcome input from those with other experiences and perspectives than my own.

Love Myths

When I started this piece, much of me wanted to fling my Valentine’s version of Bah Humbug at the goings on of yesterday.  But then I reflected on the beautiful moments that I witnessed during the day and I remembered that there is still lots to value in the myth of love that we have built around the 14th February.

My friend’s daughter covering the house in glitter to celebrate the day (I can’t help wondering if she’s been on cleaning detail today), another friend, a new mum, coming downstairs to find two lobsters gloomily sitting in the sink awaiting their fate at the hands of her man for a special dinner, home made cards, flower stalls that looked like multi-coloured aspects of heaven, fun, laughter, kisses and surprises.  Beautiful moments created by people imaginatively expressing their love for one another.

When we sign up to a collective myth like Valentine’s, it’s good to remember that we can still make it our own.  We can pour so much more of ourselves into it than the customary, hastily brought, cellophane-wrapped supermarket flowers.  Let’s face it, when love comes wrapped in convenience, it’s a sign that we have completely lost the plot.

To be honest, I don’t know what really could adequately celebrate love in a day.  Love is the mystery, the most fundamental magic of our human nature. Love wants to flow, and grow, to be nurtured within each of us, and carried on our breath and through our eyes and touch to connect us with each other. Maybe there’s no way to really celebrate love, other than to open ourselves up to it.

As a single woman who was fully sold on the romance myth, I used to find Valentine’s Day so painful.  The pain came because I saw the myth as something separate from me, that I wanted to belong to, but was being excluded from.  Now I see the story that’s there and I make my own relationship with it.  This year, I could have chosen romance with another, but instead I chose romance with myself.

Recently I’ve reminded myself of an incredibly simple practice that has the ability to completely transform my day, my moment, and my relationship to everything that’s happening around me.  I look inside myself and ask if I’m loving myself inside right now.  As soon as I do, I relax and soften, I’m connected back to me, to my core rather than hiding in my busy head.  When I look up, I see the world differently. Because I’m feeling love for myself, I don’t need to seek love or validation, or fear rejection by others.  I can just connect with people, without any other agenda.  Funny little interactions happen, and particularly I’ve found I connect beautifully with men.  Give it a try ladies.  We spend so much time believing there are no men for us, but when you connect in this way, suddenly they’re everywhere, and they’re loving you back, even if it’s just for a moment.

A day, a week, a month, a year full of precious, little moments of love between friends or strangers.  Now that’s something to celebrate.

PS – definitely do the loving self and connecting things ladies and gents.  I went jogging in the park this morning, and I received so many cheeky smiles, lovely looks and responses from the men I met on the way – in spite of my jogging gear.  I’m pretty sure they were genuinely admiring rather than sportingly sympathetic.