To Be A Slut 2.0

At 5, my mother asked me if I knew how to play the piano. I said “Yes, of course.” I had never touched a piano before in my young, naive life, yet remained boldly confident that my brain and hands would figure it out because where else would this information come from?

I also believed I could fly, speak several languages and that my younger sister was my personal stepping stool.

It’s possible this big-thinkin’ could’ve turned me into the child prodigy I never was if just maybe my parents had a little more faith that, DUH, of course I could play the piano without any training whatsoever.

(Also: flying? I have that shit FIGURED out so hard in my dreams that I can literally [*what meaning does ‘literally’ have within a dream context?] just START FLYING whenever I want. I can physically feel what it muscles need to move and now it’s like riding a bike. Gravity is much more flexible in my subconscious…).

I have no clue where this innate insistence on being all-knowing came from… A combination of having stubborn-as-fuck parents and the privileges I gained from being raised in a middle-class, white family, I’m sure. Anyway, I can’t play the piano and I do not know how to speak any other languages.

I did, however, carry this absurdly brazzen confidence into my teen years and early twenties. With a very small amount of information, I nixed my University education and delved forth into proclaiming myself a “Sex Educator”.

Now, this probably had about 20% more merit to it than telling people I am pianist… I had boldly bared my naked, non-sexualized bod to be eternalized on the internet, I had read maybe two or three books about porn and non-monogamy, I was having a rampant amount of sex (that I now recognized as confused and vaguely problematic) and I had a pile of self-assurance sitting atop my self-constructed pedestal.

Thus the birth of this blog. And ya know, it hasn’t been for naught and sometimes you just gotta start somewhere. But after 5 years of navigating this world I man-spreaded myself into, I can very accurately tell you I was usually not totally right, often mis-spoke and was poorly informed despite my best intentions.

At some point around 2 or 3 years ago, I recognized the immense amount of information I did not know and how irrelevant my voice was and that there were SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE that were doing a better job than I was and whose voices I valued more than my own on the topics at hand… And I kind of just shut up. Not totally… I still had the absurd amount of stubborn confidence to start a porn company and run queer events (neither of which I had had any training in), but my blog has kind of withered into a ghost of what it was: slightly relevant, humorous (at times), wrought with poor grammar and largely misinformed.

During the past few years, I feel it’s safe to say that I’m putting in the research and reading and learning to actually refer to myself as a “Sex Educator” – if I stand on my toes I can just touch it. And I do largely believe I MAY have something to add to the discourses happening and reach at least SOME people who don’t have access to listening to the same voices I do. But where is all of your ~educating~ happening, Caitlin? It’s a nice title and all, but how exactly do you think you’re informing anyone? Just hoping that the thoughts in your head permeate into the minds of those around the world? Yeah, neat. 

Thus, I will have to begin to write again instead of just sharing articles on Facebook and debating with people I know too well. And 19-year-old Caitlin is jumping in her seat because that tattoo of a quill on my back promising to ‘always be a writer’ might not just be a pretty design anymore.

To start, things I have begun to understand that I have not talked about in the past three years (amongst other things):

  • My own queerness and my own fluid gender expression
  • My preferred lovestyle and how to navigate authentically through that
  • Speaking up for myself in moments I have been taught not to – to hold space where I have often been ignored or undervalued
  • Intersectional feminism and how to actively be anti-oppressive to those who don’t hold the same privileges I do
  • My privilege & I are now very well-acquainted
  • What consent is. Slapped in the face with it and figured out how to be an active participant with it.
  • A deeper appreciation for bodies and minds that are different than mine and that I cannot be a spokesperson for anyone except myself.
  • My kinks

So, with this, here is my official “I’m back for To Be A Slut 2.0” and I’m going to be less wrong about more things. Hopefully.

At 25

I turned 25 a little less than a month ago. Age is a strange and bizarre concept. At 12 I think I was older than my years. At 22 I was younger. At 25, I feel my age.

I feel my body taking longer to recover from hangovers. I feel my back getting crunchy if I don’t stretch during the day. I feel last nights bed-time french fries clinging and sticking to my insides. I feel my energy dissipating for particular sorts of interactions. My patience has both grown and completely gives no fucks when the situation calls for it.

At 25 I feel more alert to the fact that I am sharing so personally so globally. But I am struck by the ultimate goal I once had for this blog – to start a dialogue. So thrust forward I shall.

My penchant for states of mental intoxication is infrequent and often comes with a strict mandatory list of fulfillment before I can go down the road of “hey brain, you might not be back for a few hours”. My capacity for brief relationships and interactions is dwindling and I’ve come to realize how strongly I value one-on-one time with people.

At 25, I finally feel my body is my own.

When I was 19 I ordered “The Art of Seduction” online. I was ecstatic and embarrassed when it was delivered to my door. A young, awkward, and hypersexual teenager learning to seduce. Such a strange experience it was. Dolling myself up on a day-to-day basis, taking hours to pamper and dress myself before I could even leave the house. And when people would stare at me or men would hit on me, I would feel my eyes well up. Walking out of the bathroom from the Eaton Centre, a woman looked me up and down and verbally slapped me with “Well God, sorry I didn’t brush my hair this morning.”

Traveling to Scarborough for school, I would get hit on repeatedly by young men with the one liner of “Hi… Do you have a boyfriend?” and the only way I knew how to push them away was to say “Yes” and let the highly-acclaimed Male Respect wash over my new fan-base and leave me even more convinced that my body and appearance were not for myself, but for the men around me.

At 25, I know the difference. At 25 my relationships don’t change when I take my makeup off or wear sweatpants outside or get food on my face. At 25 I feel I have erased enough of this bizarre hypocritical life society expects of its young women. At 25 I have finally undone this engrained backwards thinking.

At 25, I understand how fleeting relationships can be because people are fleeting. You can never hold onto anyone because a person is not an anchor and often one has difficulty even holding onto themselves. At 25 I have learned sometimes it is ok if you don’t have enough energy to give. Some relationships are too drenched in history to unbury new kindling. Sometimes you can sit across from someone you’ve known deeply for years, and there is nothing you can say or do to resolve the personal conflicts you have both gone through together. I have been too loud to hear someone. I have been too quiet to have been heard. There is no possible way to resolve all conflict in all relationships. At 25, I am letting myself have “this is okay,” because if it’s not, I might not be able to anchor myself.

At 25, I breath deeply enough and have read enough Chopra, Mate, Tolle, Robbins, that I *hope* I can stand diplomatically and with open arms in the middle of a world that is very quick to shoot arrows and stay standing with minimal holes to my person.

At 25, I feel I have both lived 7 lives and lived none at all.

At 25, I both want to apologize to everyone I have ever unintentionally hurt and also reside in my bubble of stubborn, holding a mirror up to everyone I have fought with just so we recognize that we are just staring at ourselves. I see my own flaws so clearly in other people. I see my strengths, too.

My heart remains open, even though my head is exhausted. I sincerely appreciate and value the people in my life whose hearts are also open – it is an honor to be surrounded by friends and family who are so eager to give. I hope I am able to mirror your generosity.

At 25, I feel I have worked so hard just to go three feet forward and one foot back. And I think about all of the work that is still ahead of me and a part of me wants to lie in my bed nest with Max dog and just drink wine and fall asleep and a part of me has found the energy to keep going because passion or… something.

Here’s to my quarter-life crisis and the new sets of adventures this feeling of adult-hood will bring on.

At 30, I hope I will continue to laugh at myself.

Crazy Blue Sex Toys

So. Sex toys. I’ll be the first to admit that my experience with them is not plentiful (yet). But, recently I enjoyed the company of Carlyle Jansen, founder and owner of Good For Her, a sex shop at Harbord and Bathurst, in discussing ‘eco-sex’. Oh the joys of having a sister so devoutly interested in saving the planet that she stumbled upon a small seminar at U of T in celebration of ‘Eco Week’.

eco sex!

Carlyle Jansen is pretty awesome. In my books, any woman who has a vulva puppet on hand is A-Okay by me. Continue reading “Crazy Blue Sex Toys”

For the Love of Pornography, Round 2

A while back (in December, when I was overwhelmed by end of term art projects and essay writing) I wrote an article about the effects of watching pornography on the neurological wiring of a person.

It is brilliant (because I wrote it…), but I think I missed a whack load of really important information that kind of needs to be taken in tandem with me telling you that watching mass amounts of gang bangs on the internet will sway your brain into believing it will need these images in order to get off (the evident down fall here is that, typically (and note that I do say ‘typically’ in understanding that there are very many different types of sex lives out there- you people are so finicky), your average sexual interaction is with just one other person, and unless you have a handful of horny, imaginary friends, it will be difficult to re-enact a gang bang while you are having interactions with just this one other (real) person).

But here’s the deal:
Porn ain’t going anywhere. Continue reading “For the Love of Pornography, Round 2”

The Logic of Relationships

Okay, hi, hey there. What’s shaking people of Facebook?

So. Anyone who knows me on a basis of more than acquaintances (aka, anyone who has ever had a drunken conversation with me, coffee in a dark room, read some of my writing, or has tried dating me) will know by now that I fall into a growing pile of people that leans towards non-monogamy.

WHAT?!

Caitlin, you mean, you sleep with EVERYONE and ANYONE?

It doesn’t really work like that, no. Continue reading “The Logic of Relationships”