My Early New Year’s Resolution: I’m Giving Up Why

I'm Giving Up Why

I’m starting early, because I know this is a tough one.

I’ve been reducing why for a while. A few years. Sometimes it still slips out. I can’t help it. It feels so DAMN good.

“WHY” is a mental masturbation trap. It’s so easy to get sucked into.

It feels so good when we think we may have ‘why’ figured it out, but it’s also mental masochism, because we don’t REALLY know and we know we don’t really know.

Even when they tell us ‘why,’ we know that their given reason (no matter how sincere or honest) is often not the REAL reason.

Sure, the reason they give for ‘why’ is often enlightening. We can learn from it.

It rarely really ‘why,’ though.

Science has shown that humans use a decide-first-justify-later process for nearly everything. Our emotions tell us what to do, based on our personal priorities, survival language, and perceived good, then we explain ‘why’ even to ourselves.

In other words, even those of us who really pay attention and self-reflect rarely know why we’re doing what we’re doing.

So, for example, it’s a more accurate judge of character to just go by behaviors over time and assume people have their reasons.

From there we can determine (ie: decide-first-justify-later) our own reactions and move on.

More accurate.

Not easier.

Because ‘why’ is tempting. Asking “Why?” put the blame and emotional labor onto others (which is a HUGE relief when we are feeling burdened by whatever).

I’ve been pretty good about removing that from my life.

  • Instead of “Why do you feel that way,” I might say, “What inspired that?”
  • Instead of “Why did you do _____ ,” I might ask, “What made _____ seem to be the best action?”

Now, these may not seem all that different. And they are not, except in one thing:

What, in these cases focuses focuses on actual thoughts and actions they have had, versus making someone dig through the murky waters of their brain for justifications.

And it doesn’t create as strong a knee-jerk response of defensiveness in most people as “Why?” does.

That’s worked for me, mostly.

It’s harder to stop asking ‘why’ in my head, and trying to fill in the answers about other people’s behaviors. But I’m working on it.

I just focus on what I’m feeling when I start asking that question, and listen to my thoughts and feelings. I also look at the actual behaviors and think about them from a logical perspective, then let go and move on.

It’s been good to me.

I’m going to work on it more.

Intentionally.

Because I don’t even like regular masturbation much. Mental masturbation, I like even less.

Your ‘But’ Is Showing

Your 'But" Is Showing

Imagine you are with a kinky play partner, lounging around in the afterglow of an amazing scene and they say:

“I really appreciate you as a friend, I am glad we get to spend time together, and I especially like how your kinks and mine are so compatible…,” and then they pause and add “…BUT….”

Or someone says:

“I was really impressed with that scene you did…but…”

“That’s an amazing corset…but…”

“I like your new hairstyle…but…”

Or, one of my favorites:

“You’re right…but…”

When we use the word “but” in the middle of a sentence, it effectively negates everything that goes before it in the mind of others, and tells them the REALLY important bit is coming.

It makes that first dangly bit of words before the conjunction a sort of emotional sop that almost no one believes or takes good from.

In case you didn’t realize.

If you did, well, yay!

Spread the word.

On Gender Inclusive Language: A Request For Your Emotional Labor

On Gender Inclusive Language

CW: trans and potentially transphobic language in use.

I teach a class on anal play. It’s a great class, full of fun and laughter, and it’s a gender inclusive class, because every gender has a butthole.

But, not every body has exactly the same butthole pieces-parts.

Because some bodies have p-spots, and some have g-spots.

And these differences are important when discussing pleasure-giving to people with chocolate starfish.

Because while spear-fishing for poop sharks can be insanely good sexy times for all, the whats, wheres and hows differ on the bodies and their sexual maps.

This weekend, I’m traveling to Gettysburg, PA to Naughty Noel, and I’m presenting that class, and I’m working on The Big Book of Ass (which I’m WAYYYYY behind on, but that may be a good thing, as this writing could help make it better and more inclusive), and I want to make sure that I’m being as clear and as gender inclusive as possible.

My next book…

Which brings us to the reason for this post.

This morning, I received feedback on a recent class I gave, and the quote was:

“I appreciated the attempt to be inclusive of all gender ID’s & sexualities, but it wasn’t entirely effective. For ex: ‘people w/ prostrates’ instead of ‘male bodied people’ etc. The language was a bit bothering at times.”

First, I’d like to say “THANK YOU” to the anonymous person who wrote that, as it gives me a new place to start learning from.

I don’t want to be bothering (although I’m not sure I can be 100% not-bothering to everyone).

I do want to be inclusive, and I do want to be clear.

So, I’m asking for feedback.

I had been lead to believe (several years ago) that when speaking of specifically sexual characteristics, male-bodied and female-bodied was OK.

I read that comment, and went searching the ‘net, and I now know that those terms are considered transphobic and cissexist.

Which I don’t want to be, and don’t feel that I am.

What I am is clueless, and not from lack of trying.

Funny this should happen now, after writing just yesterday on occhiolism, and how I know very little (next to nothing) about being non-cis.

The universe has a way of driving it’s point home, I find.

So, I’m looking for ways to speak specifically about biologically sexual/physical differences in bodies and be gender inclusive.

  • People with prostates (suggested in the feedback) or Gräfenberg spots.
  • People with p-spots or g-spots.
  • P-spot havers or g-spot havers.

Of course, the same for penis-, testicle-, vagina- or clitoris-havers.

What else is right and clear? What else puts trans- or nonbinary-folk at ease and educates?

Maybe that’s all.

If so, that will have to be enough.

As a writer/educator, I’m asking so that I can lead by example when I present, and when I share on FetLife and other sites.