3.8
March 15, 2011

While Meditating, I Decided to Buy a Vibrator.

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.

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