(A quick summary for ya: Boston rocks and so do brains and bricks, though preferably not in direct contact with one another; international poly discussion rocks too; jealousy’s not my thing; bookstores are powerful gravitational forces; there’s cool stuff to read out there about Japanese sexuality; if you want the juice on The Cliks’ lead singer, who happens to be a trans guy, check out my Mirror article (link below); and if you buy yoga pants this Friday you can contribute to safer sex education. I know, that’s a bit all over the place. Read on for clarity.)
I really must come back to Boston more often. It’s such a cool town. They have wild subway station names here, like Braintree. Braintree! It conjures up such intriguing images. A tree with little brains hanging off it like ripe apples, perhaps. Or a brain sprouting leaves, with the tree trunk being like the spinal cord. Or… well, anyway. They also have lots of bricks – sidewalks, houses, courtyards… I know this town has always been a strong one for the bricklaying, but for some reason until this visit I didn’t realize just how much that affects the urban landscape here. Very cool place. Next time, I’ll have to get out and enjoy it more. Fortunately, next time isn’t too far away… the Boston Fetish Flea (which is actually not in Boston anymore, but whatever) takes place the weekend of January 11-13, and I’m going. Whee! You should too!
Today’s activities involved hanging out with Pepper and the poly dyke from Munich – we got a friendly stranger to take a photo of us all together so as to create a tangible record of our international meeting of poly minds. And that was after the three of us had a nice, meaty conversation about the nature of jealousy and the varying approaches that poly folks take to managing it, as well as the problems we create within poly circles through some of those approaches.
It’s funny… As a poly gal, I don’t tend to think about or write about jealousy very often, mainly because I tend not to gravitate towards jealous people (no more so as a poly person than I did when I was living monogamously), and I’m not a jealous person myself. Like, at all. Like, someone who thinks jealousy means “I love you” will probably think I don’t care at all. And in a sense I don’t, but that has nothing to do with love… it just means that I don’t really compute how someone’s feelings for or actions with someone else could possibly take anything away from me, unless I didn’t have it in the first place, or I shouldn’t have it anymore anyway. But the jealousy question is one of those classic ones that come up every time people start thinking about poly. To me, that’s indicative of a fundamental problem in the way people approach relationships, poly or otherwise – that jealousy should come up so often and so insistently means somewhere along the line, love is being mashed together with a bunch of things that don’t really belong in the picture. But perhaps that’s my judgmental side coming out.
Anyway, jealousy does seem to be a theme that’s floating around these days in discussions with various friends. So I’ll post a couple of links here to work by people who are far better placed to be helpful with it than one such as myself.
This one comes recommended by my friend J. It’s a bit woo-woo but he thought it was great, so check it out and decide for yourself: Overcoming Jealousy.
This one is a much more intellectual approach by the purple-haired one himself: Tips for Practical Non-Monogamy. Check the “Managing Jealousy” section, third one down.
In other news, I was walking past MIT today – one of the many hyper-brainy institutes in this town – and I was unexpectedly (Ha! Who am I kidding!) sucked into the vortex of their bookstore. I swear, I tried to pull away, but it was like a black hole of bookishness pulling me inexorably in. The nexus of the black hole was the “Gay and Lesbian Studies” section, which was closely related to the “Cultural Studies” section, and somehow the G-forces of these two combined managed not only to suck me into the store (almost broke the revolving doors with my boot on the way in, don’tcha know), but to suck some of my hard-earned money right out of my pocket. Yowza. Okay, so I’ve probably got all the astrophysics jargon totally wrong; surely, any number of those MIT geeks I keep seeing walking around in goofy t-shirts with bad haircuts and sweatshirts tied around their waists would be only too happy to correct me. My deepest apologies. I may be a sex geek but I never pretended to be a scientist.
Anyway, I found a few deeeelicious tomes—the one that has me dancing around in sheer sex-geeky bliss is a hefty hardcover entitled “In Praise of the Whip: A Cultural History of Arousal,” by Niklaus Largier, a three-part super-academic-style work. The parts are entitled, respectively, “Ascesis,” “Erotics” and “Therapeutics.” Fortunately, I have a seven-hour bus trip ahead of me in the very near future… MMmmmMmmm.
But what I really wanted to tell you was, for those who are interested in the topic of Japanese sexuality, I came across two titles that might be of interest. I didn’t buy them because my own interests aren’t strongly inclined in that direction and my wallet was already groaning in despair, but I figured I’d pass them on anyway: a slim and accessible-looking one called “Sex and the Japanese: The Sensual Side of Japan,” by Boyé Lafayette De Mente (great name!), and a weightier (and more specific) one entitled “Cartographies of Desire: Male-Male Sexuality in Japanese Discourse 1600-1950” by Gregory M. Pflugfelder. Go wild, folks. Let me know if you like ‘em.
Oh, to topic-hop yet again, here’s the link to the article I wrote about the Cliks, the Toronto-based rock band who are playing this Saturday night at Le Gymnase. Funny enough, although every article I found when doing research on them mentions Lucas Silveira’s status as a transgender guy, none of them included any information on why this might be relevant to his music. Hello! Trans guy, testosterone, voice, singing. Seems to me these things might be a line of questions worth pursuing, no? Well, I opted to fill the void, so voilà. Inside scoop. Go enjoy. And then come see the show, and say hi to me if you’re there.
Last but not least, I wanted to pass on a message I received from Montreal organization Head & Hands today, which does a whole lotta super-good work on things like safer sex and sex education in high schools. If you shop at Lulu Lemon today or tomorrow, your purchase can net them a rather impressively large donation. Check out the full announcement below.
I am now signing off to pack my bags (now to be weighed down by several more books than they contained on the way up) and get ready to head to the bus station. Bye-bye, Boston! Until we meet again!
A unique fundraising opportunity crossed the desk of Leah, our fundraising & development coordinator this week. We’ve decided to share it with you. Both the Greene & Sherbrooke, and St Catherine & Stanley locations of Lu Lu Lemon have community days going on today and tomorrow (Thursday November 1st, and Friday November 2nd).
It works like this:
Any time anyone buys anything (it is a fashionable yoga store so think socks, water bottles, pants, tops etc), the customer gets to choose one of three organizations, and Lu Lu Lemon donates $100 to the chosen organization on behalf of the customer. That’s right, $100 to Head & Hands for every customer who chooses Head & Hands from a list of three possible groups.
Do you ever shop there? Do you know anyone who does? Wanna purchase a head band and tell Lu Lu Lemon to donate $100 to Head & Hands?
$100 around here buys:
– 4 peer education manuals for the Sense Project
– Art supplies for 2 weeks of programming at the Young Parents Program
– 20 packs of Emergency Contraception
Woot for fashionable yoga clothes, Woot for Head & Hands and Woot for passing this on!