Saturday, January 27, 2018

Saturday Search - Feminism

My interest in feminism came about because of the many things I wanted to do and was told I couldn't - because I was a girl. This appalled me. What kind of an answer was this? I went in search of better answers, but no one had any better answers. This was how society was...and it sucked.

I didn't want to do anything too drastic. I didn't want to have to wear a dress all the time (at all, really, but I was willing to compromise!). I wanted to be an altar boy. I wanted to play football (rugby league). I wanted to ride my bike to the mangroves. I wanted to wear shorts to school, or trousers. I wanted to play cricket.

I didn't want to do these things because I was a feminist or a rebel. I was involved in the Church, and at 7, you could be an altar boy. I was holding out for this, and when I turned 7 I didn't even have a clue that the word "boy" was going to exclude me. It never occurred to me that I couldn't do it.

I played netball, I started at 7. This was cool, but my favourite game was rugby league and I wanted to play that. Okay, so no girls could play footy, how about cricket? No. Right. I set up cricket at school in the lunch break and girls were allowed to play. I could control that because my house was next to the school and I could pop the gear over the fence so we could play - the school had no sports gear. I don't think many girls played, I can't really remember, but it didn't matter because I could!

Riding my bike was because my friends did it and I wanted to go with them. I hadn't quite twigged that they were boys and there was a difference in what we were allowed to do.

And school clothes, well, dresses let the cold air up your legs in winter and I wanted to be warm. Stockings were no answer for me as I'm allergic to nylon. I just had to be cold. And shorts are so much better in summer because boys can't flick your skirt/dress up and laugh at your knickers.

I thought these were reasonable things. I still do.

As I got older, the word 'feminist' was bandied around. The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer had caused a stir. At some stage, I read this and I can't say I was all that enamoured by the book or Ms Greer. I didn't want to rant and rave. I didn't want to burn my bra. I didn't want to make a fuss. I just wanted to do what I wanted to do.

In high school, things started to change for women, and I got to play some sports in female competitions - soccer, hockey, cricket, basketball. There were still places I couldn't go, things I couldn't wear, things I couldn't do, but as I got older these choices were able to be twisted a little more. I could sometimes get around the rules. I often had to fight, but if it was worth it, I did.

I'm lucky that during the course of my life, I've found people who do accept me as equal - or as myself! I worked with men who encouraged me to go get my truck license, go put up the fence, go ride the quad bike, go inject the sheep, go modify the seeder. I got in and helped. I learned. I got my hands (and everything else) dirty. There were some who started off by saying things like, "Well, if you earn the same pay as me, you'd better be able to do the same work," and "That's fair," was my usual response as I worked my arse off to prove myself.

I don't call myself a feminist. I just go and do what I want to do, wear what I want to wear, play what I want to play. If someone stops me, I might fight for my rights if it's important to me. I just want to be able to do my things, happily, without being categorised. If that's being a feminist, then put that label on. I'd prefer a world without labels.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Phallic Friday: Bad sex

I've just read the most incredible, well argued article about sex and the disparity between male sex and female sex. I had to write some thoughts.

The arguments presented in this article about women's expectations of pain, and their equating of bad sex with pain, and linking that to loss of virginity are quite blindingly obvious when pointed out. 

I think this needs to go further too. Women often don't know 'good' sex. For a male, orgasming is easy as there's an appendage there, waiting to be tugged upon, easily accessible and you can see the results of an orgasm. For women, this is so much more difficult.

You grow up, or I did at least, being told not to touch your gentitals, not to explore 'down there', and an orgasm was never well described. When I explored my body, I had no clue if what was pleasure was an orgasm or just pleasure. When I lost my virginity, I still wasn't entirely sure if I'd orgasmed or just felt good. I was a few years past lost virginity before I met a guy who knew a hell of a lot more about women's bodies than I did. He knew a hell of a lot more about sex than I did, and he introduced me to sexual openness, good sex, asking for what you wanted, and expecting reciprocal pleasure. If I hadn't met him, I would have had book learning and fumbling with guys who knew as little as I did.

I've had a number of sexual partners (not enough to make any huge sweeping statements about mankind, so these are just my opinions from my experiences) and their amount of knowledge and care of me has varied. I've had sex where I've sucked up the pain, bit my lip and waited for it to be done, pushed my partner away and yelled in pain after he hadn't listened when I was hurt. I've had men tell me I couldn't be in pain because it wasn't possible that they were doing anything to hurt. 

Have I said anything about this? No. Why not? Because I respected the guy's feelings. I didn't want to embarrass them, I felt it was something I did wrong, I wasn't going to see them again so it didn't matter. Various reasons.

But it does matter. We should be able to educate our partners. We should expect to be able to have some pleasure. We should expect our needs to be taken seriously.

When I was unknowledgeable, it was embarrassing, but hell, I had a ready teacher and I got over my embarrassment. I had the best sex I've ever experienced. I learned what good sex was. I learned what an orgasm was, even multiple orgasms. He seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, and in actual fact, I think he taught pleasure so well, that sex lasted much longer than usual because the mental connection was a stronger aphrodisiac than the physical intimacy.

So why don't men want to learn? Why don't they want to improve? Why don't they want to discuss, compromise, change their actions, to have a much more fulfilling experience?

I wish I had the answers.

A bad sex book has been flitting about in my head for so long because there are so many women who have had bad sex, and speaking about it to an erotic author seems to be the norm :) But, bad sex has never been something you can write in romance. But maybe I need to write it as erotica. And the world seems to be opening up enough that such a book might be read.

Any thoughts on this? Or on the article?

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Saturday Search - Reliigion

This is the start of my new series if posts on Searching for Something. I'm not sure what it is, sort of a search for myself, and the meaning of life, or my life at least! I think it might be a -0 age milestone. A change in hormones. Who knows. I just have been doing some exploring and finding amazing things that I'd like to share, and write about some of my experiences.

They're not going to be mainstream for the most part. And my views are probably not those of the majority. However I will try to be honest, and give a reasoned discussion as much as I can.

Topic 1 is Religion.

I was raised in a conservative religious household, in quite a strict Catholic manner. I had no bad experiences in Church as a kid. We had fantastic priests who challenged me to a lot of deep thinking when I questioned them. I did bible study classes, played music at Mass, read the Readings, all those things that you do when you're highly involved in something. Before I left home, I was on the liturgy committee, taught Sunday school, played music, and was still highly involved.

My parents were also highly involved, and Mum had a real devotion to her religion and God. At about the age I am now, she began going on annual retreats and learning more about her spirituality. She did a daily scripture reading and wrote about it. I guess it was like a meditation, or a placing her life and her worries into a spiritual context.

Religious discussions were not uncommon in our household. I asked a lot of questions. The priests we knew were quite incredible theologians and so if they came to dinner, discussions were many, varied, and not to be missed. We had all orders of priests and nuns that were family friends and were often part of meals, or family events. And it wasn't confined to Catholicism. I studied comparative religions in Yrs 11 and 12, so discussions could range across any and every topic imaginable especially when I asked questions. Sometimes these discussions went long into the night, leaving poor mum nodding off at the table trying to be a great hostess, while Dad and I and whoever was visiting were wide awake and into the discussions.

When I left home, I was given a blessing during Mass in our Parish and presented with a Parish Candle. It was a really touching moment to be recognised in my community. A community I'd been an active member of for my entire life.

I moved to a country town, and I know the religious people in Sydney were despairing of where I went because the Bishop was quite strict, behind-the-times, and was in the middle of a huge dispute with the local nuns. They all probably knew were things that I'd struggle with, before i knew it myself. I was lucky in that I found the one 'cool' priest in the area and I loved attending the little church. I bought half a fan for that church when they asked parishioners to help cool the place. People gave what they could, so an older gentleman and I went halves in a fan. It was a great little community and I felt quite at home.

And then the priest got moved. He hadn't toed the Bishop's line and was banished (I think they termed it, 'moved on'). Soon after that, I walked out of church in the middle of the sermon. I'd had an absolute gutful of the hateful rhetoric that the priest was spewing out, so I up and left. I'd never done that in my life and it scared me. I kept waiting for lightning to strike me dead. It didn't.

I'd been brought up in a conservative, religious environment, but what I'd failed to notice was that as a bedrock, there was compassion and love. In this area, those were not the bedrock.

Fire and brimstone was the bedrock in the new area. Pre-marital sex, being homosexual or promiscuous, not obeying the Bishop's rule, these were all a feature of the heinous things done by people...and the reason I walked out of the church.

I never really returned. I came to see that people made the church and the community. One person in authority could ruin the entire place. One non-understanding, closed-minded man could kill community, make people turn towards hate, and ruin what had once been a loving family environment.

I didn't want to be a part of something where I had no voice and no control. I didn't want to support horridness, and closed-minded people. I know I have turned my back on many lovely people, but it's what I needed to do. I don't believe that large communities should be under the rule of one man in complete control. It got on my goat, terribly.

Religion, as with other things, can breed fanatics. I struggle with fanatics. I like moderates, people who allow everyone to be - or at least allow others to express their opinions openly and be heard. I like discussions, not rules. I abhor dictators.

Religion gave me a fabulous grounding in life. I've learned a lot from many discussions. I have respect for the many and varied religions of the world. They just aren't for me. I'm a lone wolf in my approach to (or quest for) spirituality.

Interestingly, on my Pinterest account, I've only ever received one rude and nasty comment from a stranger, and that was about something I pinned saying religion had started many wars. So if you'd like to leave a comment on my posts, please feel free to do so, but if there are any rude or nasty comments, they will be deleted. Thank you.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018


The very awesome Escape Publishing has made some anthologies which contain a couple of my published stories. This gives readers an ebook with a selection of similar themed titles, and can introduce readers to new-to-them authors.

Men in Uniform is an ebook containing Anna Clifton's Copping it Sweet, M A Grant's Lace and Lead, and my story, The Virginity Mission.

Secret Confessions Down & Dusty The Complete Collection is a compilation of all 8 stories in the series.

I love seeing stories finding new readers, and I hope these anthologies will find a place in people's hearts.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Last Year, This Year

Last year was a battle. I had a virus that knocked me around for months. Rest and fluids wasn't enough. Specialists questioning my sanity were not appreciated. I lost faith in the system, or what faith I had left anyway. I've been battling the system all my life, and towards the end of last year, I stopped fighting. I'm taking a walk away from the system - not just the health system, but the norms of society too.You probably realise I've been heading towards this for some years given my posts against society's views on sexuality and sex.

2018 is the year I'm going to express the inner me, and let you join in the journey I've taken where I've been looking at alterrnative things. The weird but wonderful.

I'll try to share more of me - strange things I think, investigate, bring to myself, and dabble in. I'll try to post something each week and get into that habit again. I like expressing myself on my blog, and missed it last year.
This is the new me with my lairy pants, complete with dragonflies, and my gemstones for balance and energy. I'll try not to scare everyone too much, so mostly I'll be lairy at home, but I did wear these down the street today and the world didn't end! I've always toned down to muted colours, jeans, and black trousers, but I love bright clashing things. I love colours with energy. So I'm going to try to have a few bright things I wear without worrying about what people think of the mad woman :)

I'm not entirely sure where my musings will take me, but I'm hoping to look at things like:
  • Religion
  • Feminism
  • Trees
  • Energy
  • Meditation
  • Colour
  • Tarot
  • Runes
  • Oracle cards
  • Gemstones
  • Druidism
  • Astrology
  • Photography
  • Art
  • Nature
  • Past lives
  • Akashic records
  • Paganism
  • Synchronicity
  • Meditation
  • Mindfulness
  • Wicca
  • Lucid dreaming
  • Hecate, the Crone, and the three fates
  • Acupuncture
  • Chinese medicine
  • Reiki
  • Energy and chakras

Do you have anything you do that's a little alternate? Anything I should add to my list?