Purveyor of Pleasure

Pleasure is my business, my life, my joy, my purpose.

Tag: theatre

The Big Question

Found here, it’s actually a shirt (and I bought one)

That is, What Am I Doing With My Life?

Oh, yes, that question.

My last protected post (leave a comment here to get the password) was all about my unsuredness regarding going back to school in the fall for theatre at Cornish here in Seattle. I discovered that because I already have an undergrad education I would not be eligible for financial aid at Cornish and since a year there is ridiculously expensive1 there was no way I could go there. They do not have graduate degrees.

So, I’ve been wandering around somewhat aimless for the last month and a half, applying for jobs, looking into places to volunteer, but ultimately without a greater goal in mind like I had with going to Cornish or, before that, getting my Body Piercing License. I need a goal to work toward. I need a five-year plan. This is how it’s always been and, I think, why the last two years since I graduated (it’s really been two years hasn’t it? Damn.) have been so weird and aimless.

I tried to fill that void with a new relationship, threw myself in to that with abandon and although it didn’t work out I learned a lot in the process. I have been applying for jobs like crazy but am in that fun limbo of overqualified to jobs I have experience in because of my degrees and inexperienced in jobs my degrees may qualify me for. It, in a word, sucks.

Being in this strange limbo and without knowing people here in Seattle who would be able to help find me a job I have been defaulting to making money however I can. I should mention, while I was in Juneau I was working part time and offered a full time position as well. While I don’t regret leaving as being with Onyx trumps everything else I do wish I had the same opportunities here that I did there.

I would still love to get my BP License or do theatre, I have strong interests in both, but they’re less of an option right at this moment as I don’t know a reputible piercer here in Seattle and a relationship like that takes time to develop and the grad theatre programs around here are already full-up this Fall. I like these careers in theory more than in practice, though, I think, because I can still do both of them on an amature level (I love play piercing, and I’m hoping to volunteer with GreenStage here in the summer). So, this brings us back around to the original question.

Oh yes, that question.

How am I supposed to answer this? I read an article about the 20something (white middle-class) youth of today viewing career as not just something you do for a paycheck, viewing it as a core part of self-expression, and I instantly related. I see my time as valuable and think if I’m not doing something I love than I shouldn’t be doing it. This is definitely a position of privilidge, and that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t jump at the chance to work at a coffee shop tomorrow for minimum wage so I was making some money although I know that is unlikely to happen (though, luckily, I do feel like I’m contributing something to our income since I’ve started selling ads on my websites).

What I have a passion for, though, is sex education. More broadly I have a passion for teaching. I don’t want to teach in a school, though, too much politics and I’m not all that big on kids. I love the idea of sharing knowledge and helping others learn and grow. I said a few years ago that my ideal work situation would be to do workshops and classes, travel all over to do so, go to conferences, etc. Presenting in front of an audience is kind of like doing theatre work. I feel mildly awkward with this desire as my sister is currently doing the same thing in similar/the same field.

At Sex 2.0 this weekend, though, there was a lot of talk about sex educators and the need for them as well as some specific advice I needed to hear2. The weekend previously Onyx and I went to an astrology workshop which had already sparked some ideas into my head. Those two experiences combined with various other ideas has made me come to the conclusion that I need to stop talking about it and start doing it. If I want to teach workshops and classes I need to write up an outline for a class, find somewhere to do it, and do it! What have I been waiting for?

I guess I’ve been waiting for something to inspire me, something to point me in the right direction, even though I had the initial direction down all along I just didn’t know how to do it, or the timing wasn’t right, or something. I also have a deep interest in astrology and have taken many classes on the subject. I also have the great opportunity to go to the Northwest Astrology Conference (NORWAC) this weekend here in Seattle, so I’m hoping to gain lots of information there.

I have some ideas on how to go forward with this. I am also interested in learning hypnosis, there are a number of interesting schools to get certified in that. There are also a number of astrological certification programs, not many that are accredited anymore (RIP Kepler College), but lots of options there as well. All of these things seem to go right along with my degrees as well, funny how that happens.

On the other side of things, I started working on a professional portfolio-type site, I’m writing up ideas for classes and workshops I would be interested in and able to teach3 and once the ideas are done I will start working on outlines. I want to start presenting in the next few months, maybe start doing some free introductory audio classes and then some paid ones, maybe start doing teleconferencing lectures which could then be archived and downloaded (an idea from Sex 2.0). I could also doing personal sexuality coaching, one-on-one emailing/chatting/phone conversations answering sexuality related questions for a small fee.

I have lots of different ideas and interests brewing inside me, including a class/lecture on Sex-Positive Astrology or maybe just Sexy Astrology, combining both sides of these money-making ideas into one.

I want to be an educator, to teach topics that are interesting, to help expand people’s minds and knowledge base on a wide variety of topics. I feel like I have knowledge enough to do this on a basic level plus I am open to learning more each and every day.

Honestly, it is scary for me to express this desire, to admit to these plans I have in my head. The other ideas I had were comfortable, becoming a body piercer or going back to school for theatre, there wasn’t much personal risk involved. Just the idea of announcing this publicly on my blog scares the shit out of me4, and that’s one of the many reasons I know it’s right.

[EDIT: I just wanted to add, I know it won’t be easy and I know it will be a lot of work, and I don’t expect it to happen immediately either. This is my five-year (or longer) plan. This is just the start of the process, the beginning spark of deciding What I Want To Do, marking it out, going for it, and starting to think about how I can make this happen. I’m ready.]

  1. read: $27,000 []
  2. “How do you get into sex education? You just teach a workshop!” []
  3. and apparently I think that every class/workshop should have a title with a subtitle. It has to be something like “Oh My G: Getting to know the G-spot & Female Ejaculation” gotta have that colon in there! []
  4. I was going to have this password protected, but it’s more of a risk to do this publically, maybe you will hold me accountable to my own hopes and dreams if nothing else []

Protected: Focus

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What I Don’t Need

At some point before I’ve talked about relationship needs, that is the needs of the relationship, but in the last few months something that has been extremely important for me to realize has been a different sort of relationship need, that is, a lack of need.

When I was younger a relationship or, more accurately, the absence of and desire for a relationship was always the focal point of my life, with other things often working to fill the void I felt without a partner. I think part of the reason why I left theatre life is because I was so focused on the need to be in a relationship, the need for a partner, and I thought theatre would distract from that. The reason I have recently been able to come back to it is because of this new lack of a need.

The word “need” is thrown about so much even though so often it is impossible to accurately separate needs from wants when in the moment, one must step outside and analyze and discern in order to figure out what is really necessary and what is a passing fancy, and even that is difficult without hindseight. Luckily life is much like the philosopher Jagger sang1, and often these things work out on their own. Needs aren’t bad things by any means, so long as we can distinguish between need and want.

So often are we told that in order to be a complete and true person we must be in a couple, we are only part of a whole, and when we are told something over and over again it becomes like a need. We do not need others to fulfill or complete ourselves, though we often feel like we do because we are told that we do for various reasons. We are told we are incomplete without the perfect partner, not to mention marketing strategies which tell us we are not complete without some product or another, but that is a whole other post. The point is we need to be able to be happy and complete without external influences.

This isn’t to say that we don’t need relationships. After all, humans are social creatures, as the cliché tells us, and I’ve studied enough psychology and sociology to know that is basically true2. While love is part of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs relationships in general aren’t the same as the idealized spend-all-of-your-time-together can’t-think-of-anyone-but-each-other completely emotionally dependent romantic relationships perpetuated by society. We grow up thinking that is what we need, to find someone to fill the void within ourselves, before realizing that no one can really fill that but ourselves.

Need indicates more than a desire. Saying that I need something is the same as saying that there is some fundamental part of me that requires something in order to survive, be complete, or be happy. I do need friends and relationships, but that doesn’t mean I need any one specific person. If that was true than no one would ever maintain friendships outside of romantic relationships.

Distinguishing the difference between the idealized relationship and a healthy independent relationship is something the triad taught me. While I knew in my head that it was best to have lives and friends and interests outside of the relationship I always had a difficult time engaging in anything like that aside from school. Once I graduated I lost my outside focus and my relationship with Onyx was strained ever since. He was also supporting me financially, he was basically providing me with the first three levels of my hierarchy of needs and neither of us was completely comfortable with that.

Spending time away from him really has done wonders for our relationship, for both of us. I’ve gotten to the point of embracing my autonomy and independence, enjoying time alone in a new way, which was truly necessary after the triad, which truly was a spend-all-of-your-time-together dependent romantic relationship. In addition to everything else I actually think rediscovering this independence has actually been a major catalyst for the rediscovery of my desire to be submissive for long periods of time rather than for short bursts during play. Now that I am not dependent on him my choice to be submissive is that much stronger. But I digress, that also is another post.

“I need you” now leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth. I don’t want to be needed or to need anyone else, it puts too much pressure on the relationship. I would rather everyone involved was coming to the relationship from a place of want and desire, a place where the relationship is fun, voluntary, and exciting rather than necessary or required. Thus I am officially striking the phrase “I need you” or any derivative thereof from my romantic repertoire. I choose instead to employ phrases such as “I want you” or “I crave you” which are equally as powerful but are less dependent.

edit

Brought to my attention by the wonderful Kristi, Amanda Palmer’s cover of “I Want You, But I Don’t Need You” is fabulously in the exact same vein as my post above, and therefore needed to be embedded and shared. Not to mention it’s Amanda Palmer which automatically makes it that much more awesome.

  1. Referencing both the pilot episode of House and The Rolling Stones, of course. []
  2. I do have a degree in Psychology, which basically just allows me to go “hmm” when presented with any personal information about a person. []

Protected: Choices

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Peg-ass-us by Pack of Others

I’ve known John Leo for the better part of the last decade (eight years? More? Less?) though it’s been a good five or so years since I’ve seen him. We’ve been in touch recently via Facebook and I am super excited at the chance to see him and meet his partner Sophie and see them perform! They are going on tour with their show Peg-Ass-Us, a musical romantic comedy about pegging looking at “queer sex for straight folks.” How fantastic is that?!

They’re coming up here to Juneau and also to Seattle and Portland, so if you’re in either of those wonderful cities (and I know some of you are) you definitely need to check them out. They’re also based out of Brooklyn, and have performed in major cities all over, so even if you’re not in Seattle or Portland you should get them on your radar and see if you can see them next time they’re in your town!

There is more information on their website.

They’re also on Facebook, Twitter, and have their show listed as an event on FetLife for the Seattle show and the Portland show so you can get all social networky with them especially if you are able to go or even if you’re not!

The show information:

John Leo and Sophie Nimmannit, a real-life couple, have crafted perhaps the silliest, most heartfelt romantic comedy about strap-on anal sex ever. Their beginner’s guide to “pegging” (as coined by Savage Love readers) – complete with sing-a-longs, how-to’s, puppets and soul-baring striptease – offers a hilariously penetrating look at queer sex for straight folks. But as the lesson probes deeper, it devolves into a lover’s quarrel that tickles qualms, exposes scruples, liberates desire and comes to a climax where everyone gets off.

After a month-long run as Artists-in-Residence at Dixon Place in New York City, Pack of Others takes their sex-ed kink comedy Peg-ass-us on the road, spending February 2010 – “Creative Romance Month” and “Safer Sex Awareness Month” – on tour in the Pacific Northwest. Join us!

“a real audience pleaser; it’s frank, illuminating and theatrical, no matter how you like your bacon”
–“Stage Notes” by Tom Murrin, PAPERMAG

“Sex-Ed at its Best!”
-Drs. Carol Queen & Robert Lawrence
(featured educators, Bend Over Boyfriend video series)

“This little theatrical workshop on sex, relationships and intimacy was informative, amusing, clever, touching and sexy all in an hour.”
~Ty Stover, Indy.com

Tour Dates

Feb. 5th-6th – Juneau, Alaska
The Hangar (in the Wharf) Ballroom
Egan Drive, Merchants Wharf
Shows at 9pm
(includes Special Performances of Juneau’s
Off the Hook Honeys (Burlesque),
Snaptastic! (Buffoon) in “Your B*tch is Next”
and more!)

Feb. 14th (Valentine’s!)- 17th – Seattle, WA
Annex Theater
11th Ave at E. Pike St
Seattle, WA 98122
Shows at 8pm
Tickets $15 (general admission), $10 (students/seniors)
(Monday 15th, Pay What You Can)
Advance tickets: www.annextheatre.org

Feb. 19th-21st – Portland, OR
Someday Lounge
125 Northwest 5th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
Shows at 8pm
Tickets $10 advance, $12 at the door
Advance tickets: www.somedaylounge.com

In case you need more convincing, here’s their youtube video too!

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