My stated goals and my behavior doesn’t align. Over the weekend, I spent far too much energy engaging in a conversation about consent and submission than I wanted to, all the while spending a lot of my offline time thinking about privacy and boundaries, specifically around about who has input on my personal life.
And it occurs to me that the things that are important to me are in conflict with each other.
I want privacy. I want a personal life that is personal, and a relationship that is autonomous. I also recognize that sometimes the very thing I want contributes to abusive structure. Take domestic violence for example. Domestic violence is so persistent because we have this initial aversion to judging other people’s relationships. It happens in the private sphere, it’s personal; we’d be embarrassed to ask about other people’s private lives, so abuse gets a pass. That’s bad, I think we can all agree there.
I still want to be more private and reclusive in my relationships. I know that my sex would be better, and my relationships more healthy, at this moment in time if people I’m not dating didn’t get a say in them. In order for me to adopt as 2nd nature this boundary – this way of “oh hon, you sound worried, you don’t need to worry about me, I’m all set,” instead of “here is why the sex I’m having is good/safe/ethical/etc.” – I need to care a lot less about the sex lives of people I’m not sleeping with.
Both of these things are valid. Both of these things are expressed differently at different scales too. I as an individual I want more privacy. We as a social species will always be influenced in one way or another by our social context. And these things change over time. I started this blog because sharing and learning from others was what I needed in 2007. But I really, really want to take some space for myself. And I want my relationships to be less influenced by sources that are confusing, varied, and in contradiction with my values and with each other.
My yoga teachers always said that they call it a yoga practice because you have to practice coming back to the mat and to your breath. I think privacy and autonomy are also a practice in that way. I’m going to try to spend less time with other people’s lives and opinions and more time with my own. And I will fall off the wagon like I did this weekend, and it will be ok. I’ll try again.
And the priorities might change. I might find myself in a place where influencing the larger conversation once again becomes more important than personal growth, or contributes to personal growth. That’s allowed. It’s really just about deciding what I need most right now and then doing that. So, um, I’m gonna go do that now…
I’ll probably still post. I’m just gonna focus on simple, clear, how-to type stuff rather and theoretical underpinnings of life, the universe, and kink.