Cosmosis: On Intimacy & Desire
This past weekend, I was snuggled in my bed reading my favorite book as of late: "Many Moons" by Sarah Gottess. This is more than a book — it has spells, rituals and journal prompts for each specific phase of the moon. This Valentine's Day the moon is dark and residing in Aquarius, while Venus (the planet of love, relationships, beauty and attraction) is at her brightest. You should be able to look into the night sky and see her pink hue shining brightly above you, where the moon is void from sight.
Anyways, back to the book. In the excerpt "Journeys into Darkness: Embracing Ourselves Wholly" written for this dark lunar time — Gottess writes about the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna who I had never heard of before. Inanna's story is one of growing comfortable with our darkness, our shadow self, the places we're usually afraid to go. She was known as the first daughter of the moon. In summary of what I learned from Gottess' retelling of Inanna's story — she goes to visit her sister Ereshkigal, Queen of the Dead, in the underworld but Ereshkigal doesn't want her there. She forces Inanna — who arrived beautiful, glittering, donning her finest clothes — to endure the depths of hell before she could arrive at the foot of her sister's throne. When Inanna succeeds, she has gone through so much turmoil and suffering yet still Ereshkigal orders her dead and hangs her on a meat hook for three days. Though Inanna is rescued and resurrected, it's only to find that her husband has overthrown her power and not mourned her death at all. Yet still, she rises and becomes her most powerful and attuned self.
This story is one that shows the importance of working with our shadow self. It's said that Inanna died for three days and three nights, which is about the same length of time as the dark moon. As Gottess puts it, "Inanna underwent seven layers of ego and the death of her psyche to be completely transformed after the surrender of her pain."
I wanted to share this story because this Valentine's Day I'm super focused on my process of sexual empowerment. This is not an easy journey, and often if we truly want to reach to depths of our inner core, we have to get real comfortable with our darkness. While it may seem that I have it all together when it comes to my sexuality (since it's my day job to write about it) — that is not the whole truth.
I've never been the most vocal about my desires when it comes to sex. I feel like in part it's from being socialized as a woman in my formative years and also the ways in which femmes are pigeonholed in the queer community. It took me years of having the kind of sex my partners dictated before I learned that I, too, could vocalize what kind of sex I wanted to have. And even then, I wasn’t quite sure what kind of sex I craved. I had been so conditioned to centering the pleasure of my partners, that I was incredibly uncomfortable with embracing my own intimate feelings about sex.
I see navigating what your desires are as a lifelong process because our sexual interests have fluidity depending on so many different things. I never want to stop questioning and navigating with partners what our mutual desires are and where they root from. I started this year off by doing a Yes, No, Maybe comprehensive list of my sexual desires and I'm going to do one at the end of the year to see how they evolve.
If you've listened to our podcast, then you likely know that I have a sexual affinity for daddy's. It's no secret. But when Rahel and I were doing this impromptu photoshoot and I was tying them up, it dawned on me that I'm the femme daddy that I've been dreaming of. I can be the personification of my own desires. And how fucking beautiful is that?!
Intimacy is something that I really have been trying to prioritize in all of my relationships as of late. Building a relationships off of intimacy is one that is bound to thrive, because of the realms in which you see one another. I think that we limit ourselves to often only thinking of intimacy as something shared with romantic partners. But building an intimate foundation with your friends and community is vital. We need each other to be able to sustain our own joy in this crazy world. Being intimate with someone means so many things. It means checking in one each other, holding space for our truths, being vulnerable, recognizing when we've fucked up. The more intimate I've become in my relationships — the stronger of a connection I feel. And the closer to my own desires I become. It's all a process and it's all interwoven.
I love learning new things about my sexual self. It can feel intimidating because, in part, it's bringing you closer to your most carnal self. As I expand my breadth of sexual desires this year, I want to intentionally focus on deepening my relationship with my dark side, the desires I’ve been too afraid to embrace before. I want to explore my underworld through sex and intimacy.
Some journaling prompts for this Valentine's Day:
What makes up the web of your sexual desires?
What would your darkest underworld look like?
How would you prevail through the depths of this underworld?
What does your darkness bring you closer to?
What do you need to shed to get closer to your most sensual self?
What are you ready to face about your darkest desires?
There is something about true intimacy that resonates within the body and leaves you vibrating long after you’ve connected with someone. I think, however, the most important form of that type of vibe is the intimacy that we have with ourselves. There’s nothing like feeling the vibration as your feet hit the floor and slowly watching from within, feeling the buzz as that vibration flows through your body. What happens when you can’t feel that vibration? Maybe you’ve walked off to a different path, maybe there’s some blockage within the body not allowing for your footsteps to resonate fully with you. It’s for that reason that I think intimacy with and within ourselves is the first and foremost project to take on.
I pay attention to those moments of strain and stress and I know for the most part my crossed or missed connectivity within has to do with folk’s energies I’ve taken on. I’ve created various ways to work with and cleanse myself of that. As a person extremely sensitive to other folk’s vibrations and feelings, I keep both light and heavy crystals n stones in my living space and on me. I also keep a prayerful mind and spirit. It’s something I’ve had to pick at and meditate on because I grew up going to church multiple times a week, and after I stepped away from that environment because it didn’t serve me, I think that prayer and meditation play a slightly different but important role in my daily life. There have been spans of time—sometimes months, where I have felt disconnected with myself. I feel like im inclosed in a glass box, people can see and I can see them, but i feel disconnected, first within myself and then with whoever i may be interacting with or passing by. That hasn’t occurred with me for a long time, but if i get a hint that I might be falling off, I sink deep within—I think maybe this is a Cancer thing cause you know, crabby shells drifting in water. I stay there in my shell for a while. I do everything that I like to do when taking care of myself. I take baths, spend time taking care of and talking to my plants. I might read a few novels or some poetry, or my fav—listen to music. I come back up. I’m no longer in that glass box and I can really feel the air hit my skin and sun beam on my forehead.
Checking in with myself is the greatest form of intimacy I have, and I do it multiple times a day. If I’m nervous or scared, angry or sad about something I think about if I’ve talked to someone who was feeling a particular way in previous days, I think about what I’ve read and viewed on social media, dreams I’ve had, thoughts that have crossed my mind, and I think about music I’ve listened to. These things really affect me in strong ways so I like to think about that and really get at where my feelings are coming from so I can stay rooted and grounded, something that is important to my overall well being. In navigating these feelings, I’m not blaming other people for coming to me or talking to me (it’s my gift to council and listen to others and nurture them), but I really do absorb what others feel and it’s such a blessing but can also be harmful to me if I’m not careful and not checking in.
So, a fun part of intimacy is reaping the rewards of manifestations. I get super excited about this and am in an utter state of bliss that lasts so long. I feel like bliss is something that can last forever with me. I get excited about the smallest things:—“Ayyeee, you fucking made the most delectable papaya and berry salad for breakfast. Look. At. You”— yes. This is me on the daily. I love going to my mirror after acknowledging these things looking myself directly in the eye so that all of me can look at and feel that bliss. This past weekend I was excited about my new tattoo, new crystal babies that I got in, and the best Sunday celebrating Alice Coltrane.Sunday morning in preparation for my day, I took the most glorious cleansing bath. I came out feeling fresh and ready. I danced in front of my mirror and couldn’t help but be blanketed in so much happiness. Speaking of my tattoo, it holds so much truth and power for me, and is also a reflection of the intimacy I hold with myself. It’s a scarab beetle with an oblong void at its head. I have always been fascinated by dirt, and by things that crawl in and through the dirt, creating various tunnels and pathways for growth and transformation to happen. I feel like I’ve always carried earth—such fertile soil with me throughout my life and in that, I feel like I am a beautiful iridescent beetle carrying that happy place with me. Often times getting to that happy place involves wading through the void. One that hold so many of my experiences and traumas. As I become more knowledgeable about various aspects of myself, I spend time in that void. I go in and out. The ultimate goal is to come out on the other side, in a state of nirvana if you will. This knowledge and relationship with myself is so sacred and important and I love that it’s forever marked on me as a reminder of who I was, am, and always becoming—because we are always becoming even when stagnant (download period).
I also believe in the power of oneness. I call it cosmosis. My definition for cosmosis is the transfer and cyclical movement of energy throughout the cosmos—this includes terrestrial, extra-terrestrial, and celestial beings (and also the fact that all of these beings are parts to a whole). Specifically, cosmosis is a process in which these beings pass through semipermeable membranes (kinda like in osmosis but not), from a lower frequency level to a higher one, therefore equalizing the cyclical process of the universe—aka passing through voids. How much more intimate can we get than that—possibly more. I’m always open to more. But cosmosis is something that for me, is intimacy at its greatest especially when you are sharing with other beings. Especially when thinking about how we are part of the universe and the universe is part of us.
When I bring other people in to enjoy the intimacy I can share, I’m very careful with it and know the ways I can share it. Intimacy is something that I share and give fully to my friends, lovers, and friend-lovers. I love the laughs the smiles, and that warm energy that sits between us. I also love the moments where I’m sharing stories with a stranger and I feel that same warmth pop up. We become grateful for each other in that moment—sometimes that can look like sharing a smile with someone on the train, validating that curious child’s glance, or for me, actually reveling in soft and tender new moments that the kid’s I nanny for have. Watching someone else’s relationship with self grow is beautiful. I see childhood so much differently these days.
When i think about how intimacy and desire mesh together, I’ve been wanting a different kind of intimacy lately, and am so thankful to the universe to all of the connections that have formed that are giving me what I need. After having surgery and experiencing sensual energies with myself post-op, I see that my body’s sensitivity levels are on 100000000000. It’s so real. And so good. I am being so intentional with who and how I share that with and at times, haven’t had it because I don’t want to experience that with just anyone. I had a couple hookups last year that were just…..empty. I know there was so much missing from them and no matter how much I wanted it to, the spark between me and those people would go out immediately after our initial interactions. Keeping a flame lit is where I’m at and what I seek. Spiritual/mental/full body connection is my vibe and I know that I have to have all of those things to make a relationship work. Mixing intimacy with desire is fun because you can build trust and closeness with someone who really cares to listen to you talk about everything you want for yourself and they gas you all the way up. It’s literally like stars exploding. It’s not just about sex either. Talking with someone about those desires that you have in the back of your mind that you only speak to yourself is refreshing, espc if the reciprocity is there.
I love that Corinne and I have a friendship that is continuing to blossom and we can have such a closeness with each other where we trust one another with those desires—not only that, we make it happen. We have a mystical garden that is full of all our desires and so many of them are budding.
Intimacy and desire hold so much power alongside each other. They are like that unknown fact that the universe is larger than we could ever know, like the unknown fact that we are larger than we could ever know. Adding those two together is pretty much what my excitement of intimacy and desire looks like. I love it. I douse myself in it and sparkle. I hope that you have the same love for those two very important parts of self/life and I hope it resonates with you on every day.
Here are some good ways to make sure that you enjoy intimacy at its fullest within your self and with your lovers and friends:
-Keep a journal. Pay attention to your moods, your conversations, and the ways you vibrate. Be in he present even when looking forward and backward. Always write in an affirmative way—you have what you want and need and so set intentions with that in mind. I kept an old journal that was so jumbled and a mix of affirmative language and wishful language. When I started a new journal and wrote in affirming ways, I could see things blossoming for me. I feel so full now.
-Talk with your friends, partners, and lovers about who you are with them and outside of the connection you have with them. Have conversations about where they want to go with you. We deserve friends that will build with us. We deserve lovers who will build and believe in our aspirations, in our work, in the way we love.
-Lastly, sit with yourself and talk it out. Getting to know the language you speak to yourself is important. For me, it’s very light. Very matter of fact. Very loving and affirming. Love yourself fully so others know to come correctly.