This past weekend, I taught a communications class at the Submissive Safe Haven Symposium, and thanks to starting the class with a Q&A, we ventured into some territory and ideas that I’ve not really verbalized or taught before.
And one was pretty straightforward:
Communicating is simple. But because we’re human, we get in our own way.
A friend reached out yesterday about pattern interrupts, because I’ve been preaching them for years, and they had an ‘Ah-ha!’ they wanted to share. They graciously gave me permission to share the conversation with you, because as we talked, I felt like they touched on parts of the pattern interrupt process that are rarely discussed, and I never thought to bring up.
But first, let’s talk about pattern interrupts.
What are they, and why might they be good?
A pattern interrupt is a technique to change a particular thought, behavior or situation. Behavioral psychology and neuro linguistic programming use this technique to interrupt and change thought patterns and behaviors.
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.
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.
Reassure. Speak to them of your OK-ness with their concerns.
Offer touch. Often, touch is as compelling, sometimes more, than the words. MAKE SURE THEY CONSENT. For those for whom touch is a part of their trauma, touch without consent can make things MUCH worse.
Be patient. Don’t speak the words, but project the opposite. Actually be patient. We all have things to learn. You may be an expert at trust and being not-afraid. Great! Use that with them. As with any language, it may take years to become fluent in trust with you and with others… or like me and Russian, they may never get it. That’s OK, too.
Understand this is not personal. It’s not YOU. It’s survival reactions to past lived-experiences. Also understand that as you hold your space safe for them, you are creating a language of trust with them as well. They KNOW/HOPE they are safe with you, or they would not choose to be with you, to put themselves in harms way. Their survival brain, though, doesn’t feel it. Like when you are safe at home, and a pan drops suddenly in the kitchen,a nd you jump, because WTF!?!? and it takes a while for your heart to slow down…instinct. It’s a bitch.