Promiscuity.

5 Apr

I keep hearing this song by Ani Difranco on the radio and have been wanting to say something profound about it. We’ll see how this goes.

and a few of the lyrics:

“promiscuity is nothing more than traveling
there’s more than one way to see the world
and some of us like to stick close to home
and some of us are Columbus
what can i say?

i mean how you gonna know
what you need
what you like
till you been around the block
a few times on that bike

i mean how you gonna know
who you are
what you feel
till you feel a few things
that just don’t feel real

and promiscuity is research and development
evolution begs embellishment
and baby you’re a star…

and monogamy is that carnival trophy you earn
when you throw that ball into that urn
it’s somewhat dumb luck, somewhat learned
and you just know when it’s your turn

and honesty is the hardest part
yeah honesty is the highest art
and honestly i myself just started
and eureka i’m less broken hearted “
~Promiscuity by Ani Difrano

I have several friends and family members who, at various times in their lives, have been promiscuous. Sometimes in their early years perhaps part of a rebellious phase, sometimes later, after marriage and kids etc. Me, I have found my psyche is built differently. I”m pretty protective of my emotions and an unable to dole out physical affection very well. Perhaps that means I am less Columbus, more the stay at home type (yeah, that does seem to fit.)

But it really does seem to be just simple matters of various ways of experiencing the world.

Reminds me of something I read, I am pretty sure it was in Strangers in Paradox by Paul and Margaret Toscano (tho I don’t have the book handy so let me know if I’m totally slaughtering or miss-attributing this.)  They were discussing Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and early LDS polygamy, and said something to the effect of how monogamy is sometimes just not the perfect fit for our complex emotional and psychological needs. (…Yeah, I really need to hunt that quote down. I’ll let you know when I find it.)

Well, there you go. Nothing profound. Just a few random thoughts.

About these ads

9 Responses to “Promiscuity.”

  1. Jules Godson April 5, 2012 at 11:49 am #

    Making no comment on sexual choices (promiscuous is pejorative and usually sexist … I guess I worry more about consent and respect and health)—I have to say Columbus was a very unfortunate choice of metaphor. He was a nasty piece of work who left a trail of rape and violence. One of his more infamous diary entries: “A hundred castellanoes are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten are now in demand.”

    He’s no symbol for sexual liberation. But maybe I misread something. :)

  2. handle with care April 5, 2012 at 12:52 pm #

    I think we are constantly in danger of a false dichotomy between fulfilling our own needs or gratifying the needs of others. We feel we have to choose either the one or the other.

    Not wishing to be repressed and alienated from our own pleasures, we opt for asserting our own. Not wishing to hurt others,we drown out our own desires.

    The great challenge comes in trying to find a tottering balance between the two.

    The great discovery comes in finding that pursuing the fulfillment of our own needs,with compassion for our partner and an equal commitment, can actually be the most perfect fit for our evolving selves. You can run ,but you just can’t hide.

    I think it’s really that complicated, and that challenging.

  3. Eliza R. April 5, 2012 at 3:20 pm #

    Jules~ yeah, that does throw a wrench in the metaphor, doesn’t it >.<

    Handle with care~ "it's really that complicated and challenging". You summed it up nicely.

  4. Michelle April 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Love that poem! As a single 33 year old never married lds lass, there is a taboo about talking about my sexual experience / needs. With people waiting longer and longer to marry, there is this huge hole in discourse and reality. Trying to keep the law of chastity stunts growth, in my opinion. The message is like just turn it off, don’t explore. This is unrealistic. I don’t think the lds Especially for Youth is very applicable for single saints past about 25. That is just cruel. I am now trying to ballance that suppression with finding my own sexual ethics based on consent, mutuality, and trust. Much happier in this new way of thinking.

  5. handle with care April 5, 2012 at 4:11 pm #

    Good point Michelle-and I’d hardly call that promiscuity. Hope your explorations are delightful and educational. The LDS church is all about the greatest good for the greatest number, then you get to make your own choices.

  6. Jules Godson April 5, 2012 at 6:24 pm #

    I noticed in the “tag cloud” at right that marriage and masturbation are equally large. Read that as you will. :-)

    The promiscuity issue has a terrible sexist aspect — it’s said a slut is a woman with the sexual ethics of a man (which may be worth criticizing!). I would humbly suggest that there are two aspects: outside looking in (should be judge others) and inside looking out (what’s best for the individual). I do think the idea of a single soulmate that you meet and love and spend the rest of the life with is lovely and all but unattainable (DiFranco is very skeptical). Life is a grubby compromise among our values and desires (“there’s more than one way to see the world”) — let us not hate each other or ourselves for that reality. I do think some experience is necessary for most of us; we are born in ignorance (“how you gonna know / what you need / what you like / till you been around the block”). Be realistic … supposing fifteen partners in a lifetime is fine, fifteen in an evening is probably, well, worth inquiring further…. judging? I dunno. It’s not my life (really, it’s not).

    Those at the extremes, those who always or never say no, are the ones who should explain themselves. If someone tells you they have all the answers and they are NOT God or a really close relative, back away slowly.

  7. Jenn Dunne-Bach April 7, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I just found this website and I am hoping the opportunity to share and learn here and just . . . speak . . . will be healing for me. I am a 41 year old woman. I have been LDS all my life. I have considered myself open minded about all subjects including sexuality and speak my mind and would not particularly consider my experience with the LDS church to be oppressive (just to give you an idea where I’m coming from). I was married for about 14 years and have been widowed for 7; and have several children. My relationship to my own sexuality and that of others is . . . for whatever reason . . . one of the most dysfunctional and sorrowful parts of my life. It was a “bust” in my marriage (as the marriage itself in its entire was) and when I was a teenager, and even worse now that I am single again, it is a source of constant emotional and spiritual floundering.

    Well, I didn’t know I was going to say all that. But maybe its time. I was actually going to speak to the subject of the post. I understand and want that joyous and complete marriage that seems to be the object of mortal and eternal existence. And even I would want to come to that marriage not having had partners and not having to think on any previous partners my husband had. But in the meantime–is there no way to enjoy and/or be at peace with myself as a sexual being, even while celibate, and while I haven’t quite developed to that perfect relationship?

  8. Astonished December 7, 2012 at 7:57 pm #

    You just can’t settle. Not way around it.

  9. Astonished December 7, 2012 at 8:00 pm #

    And BTW, for all the single folks there are a boat load of people in really crap marriages that would give a limb to trade places with you.

    Grass is greener issue.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 52 other followers

%d bloggers like this: