While Meditating, I Decided to Buy a Vibrator.

Via on Mar 15, 2011

Sexuality is like a BMW: it’s a fun ride, sells no matter what the state of the economy is, but breaks a lot and is expensive to fix. If you’re anything like me, you like sex, but you remain a bit perplexed by it.

It is the agent of species survival, the secret tool of capitalism, the heart of Hollywood, the sacred tie of a relationship…yet I know it’s the only topic not allowed at the dinner table, the first subject to be discredited in school (not to mention church), and God knows, the last thing on earth my family wants to see me writing about publicly.

Ever more reason to start some conversation about it.

Sexuality is a great way to merge our energies and uplift ourselves and each other. The concept of a Tantric bliss in which both parties relate to each other in the perfect balance and blending of physical, emotional, and spiritual energies is beautiful indeed.  Too bad that’s not usually what happens. I have to admit that only a fraction of my own sexual experiences have resulted in such upliftment. Everyday I’m showered by messages of sexual objectification and exploitation, by the media, by men, by women…by my own subconscious psyche recirculating patterns, digesting, and expressing these messages in one form or another in a desperate attempt to what…? Be part? Be noticed? Be loved?

A few months back, while searching for employment, I was hired from a craigslist add as a “server” for a private party in Santa Monica. Soon after arriving, along with about 35 other young women who were immediately encouraged to start drinking at the open bar, it became clear to me that I was hired to be something somewhere between a servant and a prostitute.

What was advertised as $20 per hour + tips was paid under a set of stipulations: you earned your hourly rate by chopping up large cucumbers, while engaging in conversation with a houseful of Hollywood’s top agents and lawyers.  You made your tips by defeating the other girls in the cucumber eating contest, sucking on lollipops (and a variety of other similar endeavors)… or by either performing sexual favors, or at least acting like you were going to.

We were told to not bring in any belongings (cell phones, etc) because there was no safe place to put them, so as I became concerned, and instead of leaving (as I should have, and called the police), I convinced myself to stay, be a witness, look out for the safety of the “girls” there, because it was clear that no one else was.

In retrospect, that was wrong, and I was simply deceived by my own fascination of this play-boy-mansion-esque world that we all see in movies and on TV, a world that not only exists, but is idolized. What I saw that night, not only made me ill for the following few days, but was one of the most illuminating things I ever saw.

Here I was in a house full of some of the worlds most “successful” men, who were too emotionally unintelligent and career oriented to ever develop any sort of meaningful relationship. Instead, these “successful” men depended on hiring young girls to interact with, and hopefully convince to have sex with either by inebriation or professional incentive. I was also surrounded by dozens of incredibly beautiful women, most of whom were aspiring (aka out of work and desperate for money) actresses and models, that though they knew that they were sexy, had no idea that they were beautiful. Here I was, in a place that mirrored very nicely the corrosive interplay between what our society deems as successful and desirous; where one encourages the others’ sadistic outcome, leaving us as mere prey to each other, and duped by our own deception.

In the end, although I was directed to kiss a man in order to be paid for my time, and received no tips for winning contests, the party had a very advantageous effect on my life. It inspired me to look in a new direction, one that was not only 180 degrees away from Hollywood, but one where I would proactively work towards redefining my role as a woman.

Though I’ve had my fair share of defective sexual experiences, I feel privileged to not be part of the 15% of women who have never experienced an orgasm. I feel similarly less fortunate to be part of a culture where 50% of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce, and where more people have admitted to infidelity than have not. I know that 1 in 3 women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime, and that an experience of such a sort seems to permanently alter their perception and relationship to themselves and the world around them. I know that from experience. I also know most women are angered by men’s “narrow-mindedness,” but still choose to advertise themselves as solely packages of different sexual personas. How disturbing is it that 42% of rape survivors had sex again with the rapist? It’s by no means revolutionary to say that the double standard here seems to be destroying us.

The basic human desire is simple: to be loved. Here seems to lay the problem. We seem to associate sex with attention, mistake attention for love, and then equate sex and love. This is especially true for young woman trying to discover their place in the world. Well, I’m here to say, after numerous negative experiences, a great deal of contemplation, and yes …even therapy,  I now know that sex is great, but sex is not love.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m tired of feeding this cycle by searching for relevance and reassurance from the outside, as I have been conditioned to do. I think that the only place to find the assurance necessary for the manifestation of a good sex life and a good relationship… is to find that assurance from the inside, to develop a healthy relationship with the self first. Sure, some have mastered the art of self-love, but I’d argue that the vast majority of us have not, and that though it may seem cliché, this search for love that is preventing us from love could quite possibly be the single biggest factor in the cyclical decay of our human condition.

It’s become clear to me that until we’ve mastered that self-assurance thing… until we can see and present ourselves past sexual attractiveness; see women, no longer as chicks but as eagles; until we can say that we’re happy because what we say, what we think, and what we do are in complete harmony, we can’t expect a partner to be on-board there with us. We need to do this for more than just our own sex lives…

So, I’ve decided that I’m going to hop out of the passenger seat of that shiny beamer that everyone’s watching as it zooms by, and for the time being I’m going to use my vibrator for my ride instead.

Hopefully I can find one made from recycled plastic.

About Madison Moross

Madison Moross is a dancer, writer, yogini and amateur activist. She is part of The Big P (picture) Project and the co-founder of Radiance Movement, both projects aimed at revitalizing our individual and collective consciousness through sustainability and embodiment practices. She believes sustainability encompasses more than just the preserving the planet, but simultaneously our communities, bank-accounts, relationships, bodies, minds, and spirits; that despite popular perception, our people, planet, and our pocket-books work hand-in-hand quite harmoniously. Her favorite things include people, plants, dirt, dance and food.

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15 Responses to “While Meditating, I Decided to Buy a Vibrator.”

  1. Angela says:

    The description of the Santa Monica party sounds disturbing, but I'm sure it resonates with women everywhere. From middle school/high school girls kissing each other at parties for attention, to this as an extreme, society is inundated with women-pleasing-men. For what? Attention that lasts a millisecond? Not long lasting, its okay-to-go-to-the-movies-by-myself- confidence. Companionship with oneself is certainly a precondition for long-term love. What an insightful article.

  2. Madison says:

    Whether the always realize it or not, men want something much more than "women-pleasing men"… that does not please them. They want and need women, roles that we seem to not only be refusing to step into, but might not even know how to. We need to rediscover, or should I say, re-create it!! Thanks for taking the time to read and ponder Angela, truly.

    • Zoë says:

      Wait, this makes it sound like you want to move away from women-pleasing-men mentality for the purpose of pleasing men, which I don't think is your intention.
      Anyway, thanks for writing this article Mad, it rings eerily true. Your experience with and thoughts on that party really brought me back to my own craigslist fiasco. You get kind of interested to see if it's actually as creepy as it seems, stick around to find out, and then feel "ill" about it anyway even though you braced yourself. So I realllly feel ya on that. More importantly, your article carries the message to be mindful of the ways in which we can be sexist against ourselves.

      • Madison says:

        OOOPS I meant "men-pleasing women" !!!

        "To be mindful of the ways in which we can be sexist against ourselves", how beautifully said, Zoe. Thank you!

  3. Hayley says:

    I wholeheartedly loved the article!!! Great perspective.

  4. Philip Steir says:

    A very insightful and beautifully written essay. The wisdom displayed in your words travel beyond… mere words and illuminates a whole world that is still very much in darkness. Thank you for sharing your story/perspective.

  5. Jessie says:

    I loved it!!!! bravo my wonderful, intelligent sister!!!! XOXOXO

  6. Madison says:

    Thanks to a tip from a reader — The world’s first wind-up sex toy that’s also made from phthalate-free, 100% recycled plastic!! The Earth Angel :)
    http://earthfirst.com/earth-angel-the-world%E2%80

  7. KristinSLuce says:

    Thank you for this. Beautifully written, insightful and accurate (in my experience). Lovely to hear such eloquent wisdom from someone so young :-) I love how you stayed to "look out for the girls," even though it turned out to be an error in your opinion–the Heart in that, is very touching.

  8. Madison says:

    Just discovered this fabulous article by Krystal Baugher about eco-friendly sex toys!
    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2010/09/bad-better

  9. Barb says:

    Well said! Now I just need to figure out how to ensure my 2 little girls recognize this before the boys start recognizing them!

  10. CC grad says:

    Interesting article. Is it ironic that I have only read your article because I saw your face in a Colorado College alumni article and thought you looked pretty? I almost definitely would not have read your article if I hadn't seen the arty/pretty picture associated with your blog. So the way you appear on the outside led me to take the time to read your article and of course the only one I read had a title containing "meditating" and "vibrator". I completely agree with you that we all have to address our own issues around loving ourselves before we can ever truly see and feel compassion and love for another person. However, getting close to really accepting/loving ourselves without reservation is a long and difficulty road that is not nearly as much fun in the short term as falling in love with another person, having fun and gratifying the desires for experience, things and people that are offered to us all the time.

  11. Ellen says:

    Thank you for the courage to write what you really think and feel. This is an intense topic an one that is really up for me lately as I feel more and more let down by watching women be "duped by their own deception" as you say, especially those that have that precious opportunity to make a difference and start to turn all of this around. I really feel as I read this your commitment to doing your life differently. Thank you for writing this.

  12. Kevin says:

    Thank you, great article!

  13. Madison says:

    Joe, beautifully said. I agree, and I think that one solution is to deal with our anger, individually (which most of us have either internalized, as you said, or externalized as blame), and culturally shift towards acceptance and encouragement of communication of our anger. Freedom is the creation of relationships without co-dependency, we can't survive without relationships with others. We are social and intimate creatures. But, we are killing ourselves with the suppression caused by our anger and the creation of dependency rather than self-containment.

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