Saturday, March 18, 2017

Zen as Fuck Part II: The Church of Ayahuasca

In Which Claire Briefly Considers the Healing Powers of Psychedelics

The other day I was watching an interview with English singer and songwriter Natasha Khan on YouTube, where she talks about relatively predictable subjects -- modern love, hitting her sexual peak in her thirties (ignore if you are past your thirties, and still feel you haven’t left it)...and drugs. Apparently all the “hip” people in entertainment are trying ayahuasca these days.

As she described traveling to the US for a Native American ayahuasca cleansing ceremony, my mind immediately jumped to the sweat lodge scene from the early seasons of The X Files. Somewhere, I was sure, whether it’s in an Indian sweat lodge or behind the military barbed wire surrounding Area 51, lie the answers to the haunting contradictions, conspiracies and questions of American existence -- from what happened to the Anasazi to the shooting of JFK. There is one person who might know the answers to these questions. He lurks in the shadows, smoking Morley cigarettes. “Cigarette Smoking Man” is Agent Mulder’s arch-nemesis, and mine.

"Cigarette Smoking Man" 

As a fictional character, whose identity is surrounded by conspiracy theories that aren’t even confirmed by the “official canon” of a fictional series, Cigarette Smoking Man embodies an important metaphorical character in my life. Simply put, he is every person, usually an older man, who has claimed to have access to some unique, hidden knowledge or truth. The reason I may not be able to see or remember this knowledge, myself, possibly results from past abduction and subjection to highly secretive medical experiments, by aliens and clandestine government agencies.

Cigarette Smoking Man understands Rule Numero Uno of Neurohacking: the subject wants to believe. The agile manipulator realizes that by exploiting human vanity, insecurity, gullibility and desire to be told what to do; you can achieve limitless power, wealth, or, on a more humble scale, fuck above your pay grade.

Cigarette Smoking Man is sui generis, sprung like Athena from head of Zeus. Unlike Athena; however, his wisdom is often false. He fiats his revelations out of nowhere, or borrows them, wholesale, from other sources, then re-packages them, via categorical statements, as universal truths. There is only ONE kind of truth, beauty, thing worth having in life, and he is going to tell you what it is. Depending on his ulterior motivation, “Cigarette Smoking Man” tells us various things about ourselves, but most often he conveys one message: You don’t measure up. Cigarette Smoking Man has an infallible nose for insecurity, and when that fails, his modus operandi is to take whatever advantages the subject might possess and turn them into a disadvantage.

Rule Numero Dos of Neurohacking: Define and become gatekeeper of The Standard. Then tell everybody else how they don’t measure up. Clever people, when confronted with standards that don’t favor their abilities or attributes, realize that it’s far easier to take control of the Standard than personally measure up to it, oneself. What more perfect revenge on one’s more talented or attractive peers than make them beg for your validation.

Rule Numero Trรจs of Neurohacking: The Standard must contain a hierarchy. No matter how high the subject can jump, remind them that there is yet another pinnacle they haven’t reached. This way, you can put them in their place, keep them on their toes or make them earn their way up to the next rung. For this sort of man, the beautiful female companion is an object to be possessed and her value, like that of the flashy sports car, resides chiefly in her ability to excite the jealousy of and demonstrate his dominance over other men.

Sometimes they meet the companions they deserve. These women (or better yet, gay men!) remind would be suitors:

“My last lover flew in from Europe for a date / sent me his private plane to pick me up / built me a replica of my family ancestral home / gifted me a lifetime annuity in a box of chocolates...I’m not immune to those little romantic gestures.” Unlike Lady Chatterly, they have standards: “I don’t fuck management consultants or Sales. Doctors or lawyers either.” In other words, The Help.

Rule Numero Quatro of Neurohacking: The Standard should sound quasi-rational, but in reality be a bit arbitrary. This way you can remain in control. The last thing you want is a Standard so reasonable that the subject can develop a one-to-one relationship with its interpretation, or God forbid, subvert it. In the theology of your own Crazy, it is imperative to be the Pope and reign supreme over a priestly hierarchy of your appointees. If the system is too rational or predictable, the subject may escape your control. The texts must be obscure and random enough that they need you to interpret them. If the subjects get too uppity or complacent, throw in an extra dimension or higher level of truth, involving...wait for it...Aliens.

Closely related are the men who tell you within the first (and, in many cases, last) date:

“Are you capable of the self-control of not texting, not calling...and there is one other thing. Whatever you do, don’t fall in love with me, or it's over!
“I’m really going to enjoy making love to you, but you’ll have to fall in love with me first.”
“I fell for you. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it took me forty years to find you and only two hours to lose you.”

Mermaids and Sirens

Regardless of what they say, these men all looking for the same thing: mermaids. The only problem with the mermaid fad, as Iliza Schlesinger explains only too well, is women saying that, despite their education and other accomplishments, their highest aspiration is to be a fictional fuck toy for horny sailors.
There’s another version of the mermaid myth. Before Hans Christian Andersen and the mermaid who mutilates herself for love, or the sanitized (and therefore far more dangerous) insipid Disney version, there were the Sirens. These mythical creatures lured sailors to their death with their intoxicating voices and music. No man who listened to them could resist the desire to join them and hurl themselves into the watery depths. Only Odysseus escaped, and then only because he heeded the advice of another enchantress, Circe (Silly men, do you really think it takes a woman to turn you into swine?)

I find the Sirens far more interesting than mermaids. Maybe, it's because no matter how hard I try to be good, something will happen. It gets the better of me and I wake up with blood dripping from my mouth, sleeping on a bed of entrails, as I learned from listening to Natasha Khan’s Siren Song and watching her interview.

Ayahuasca Ceremonies

Natasha Khan describes ayahuasca as a way of getting rid of psychic baggage (and incidentally, I read elsewhere, all the contents of your stomach). Apparently it’s not fun and something she only had the desire to do once, recognizing that for many people it simply becomes another addiction that takes the place of previous ones. My American self, loved the quickie approach to self-enlightenment and getting rid of toxic psychic baggage. A few hours of incantation, visions and vomiting and it’ll all be gone. I know what all my flaws are. The only problem is that I’m quite attached to them, so much so that I’m not even convinced they are flaws. My flaws have been more loyal to me than many friends and often helped me overcome quite a few challenges. Who would I be without them? Who wants to wake up one day and realize that they aren’t a knight, and all the giants they have been fighting are windmills. Worse yet, windmills of their own invention?

In my brief flirtation with the idea of finding a one-stop shop for facing, and then puking out my demons, I discovered the only legal way to do this in the US is through a church. As such, they claim ingesting ayahuasca to be part of their “Native American” rituals and this right is protected as a religious freedom. However, to escape the possibility of people signing up for their ceremonies for less than “pure” reasons, you have to join their church, which is how I wound up with daily gems like this one in my inbox:
Life is a mirror.
What you get "out there" is nothing but a reflection of
your internal state of being.
That means, if you're having problems in life -
Challenges with finances, stressful relationships,
heartbreak, a lack of clarity, purpose or direction...
It's not "life's fault".
You can't blame people, or circumstances, for what you
are experiencing.
The difficulty, the hardship, the challenge...
YOU are creating it.
Yes, I'm sorry to say.

Trinity de Guzman, Church of Ayahuasca, Your Highest Truth, Inc.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Swinger Women and Self/Body Image

The Enemy in the Mirror

A lot of women may be afraid to go into the LS because they are insecure about their bodies. Or, if we didn’t have insecurities before, the challenges of aging and motherhood bring them on. Sometimes these body insecurities are complicated by fallout from previous unhappy relationships.

Her partner may have constantly criticized her or left her for another woman. She may have agonized, wondering: “What does the Other Woman have that I don’t?” The answer is usually pretty simple: “SHE isn’t YOU.” It’s called “Strange” for a reason. If he’s simply looking for a younger, prettier version of you, or the next “flavor,” he will no doubt grow tired of her too. In many cases, you are prettier, smarter or a better fuck than the Other Woman, whose chief virtue is: “Will put up with his shit.” Maybe you were the one who left him. Either way, good riddance. Now that he’s (hopefully) gone, focus on getting rid of the baggage from the toxic relationship.
The enemy in the mirror is, in reality, the enemy in our head. The number of beautiful women who have body dysmorphia is astounding. Most of us are far more critical of ourselves than we would dare be with anybody else.  Instead of obsessing about our flaws, we need to keep in mind that most other people are too distracted by their own insecurities to focus on ours. Stop thinking about how you THINK others, including your sexual partners, are looking at you. Chances are, if you are caught up in negative and distorted thinking, you have no clue what’s going on in their head. And, even if you did, you have zero control over it.

The good news is that your average red-blooded man or woman having sex with somebody they are into, and who is into them, is not thinking: “Wow this position really doesn’t flatter her stomach, ass, ___ .  They are thinking: “I am having sex. I love sex. This is fun!”

Be in the Moment

If it isn’t fun, it should be. Focus on what is making this a great experience for you. Unless it’s sexy, ditch the mental Instagram of yourself having sex with the other person. BE in the moment. What are you enjoying about that moment? What they are doing for you that you enjoy? What do you want them to do for you? Communicate this. If you can’t get out of your head, let your thoughts wander to a sexy fantasy. Share it with your partner. Or don’t. Let them wonder what’s behind the secret, sensual smile and the far-away look in your eyes.

On average swinger women tend to be in better shape and take better care of themselves than their vanilla counterparts. This is usually the result of EFFORT, not pure genetics. Women who go out to parties and clubs on a regular basis can’t afford to let themselves ourselves go, not when their objective is to catch the eye of hot potential sex partners. But you know what REALLY sets the self-confident swinger apart from her vanilla counterparts? It’s what’s in her head. Sophia Loren once said that “Sex appeal is 50% what you’ve got and 50% what people think you’ve got.”
Welcome to the “Horizontal World”

The Sexy Swinger communicates what is in her head by the way she tilts her head back, the way she laughs, the look she gives you that says: “We could stand here all day making small talk, but I’m really interested in seeing if we have other, more fun, things in common.” I have seen suburban housewives do pole and lap dances that put professional dancers to shame. Even if she has no rhythm, when a swinger woman gets on the dance floor, the fact that she’s having fun and doesn’t give a fuck, promises you that in the horizontal world, her moves will drive you crazy.

Strip clubs, that outlet for vanilla men’s repressed libido? They are about as exotic to swinger women as the strip mall Starbucks. The worse kind are the “upscale gentlemen’s clubs” where the dancers flex the occasional glute, but mostly look like they hate life and would rather be getting a root canal. Swinger women would rather go to a gay men’s strip club, where they aren’t so prissy about the rules, and tease and turn on the straight dancers there with their own little show. Speaking of gay men, we can learn a few things from their attitude.

“There’s a little game we like to play. It’s called who’s going to bottom out.”

“I’m a total size queen. You know how I can tell if a man has potential? I call it the belly button test. I reach into his pants on the dance floor. If his dick doesn’t reach his belly button, it’s not going to happen.”

What does that kind of attitude look like coming from a woman?

Wild Women Do and They Don’t Regret it: Things Swinger Women Say and Do

Swinger with Political Conscience “I’m embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve got a crush on Milo. Yeah, he is hot, despite the Flock of Seagulls hair. What really turns me on, though, is his unapologetic, take no prisoners sense of humor. And I’m not talking about the kind where they say something really rude, and then pretend they were they were just kidding. That’s just saying: “Not only am I an asshole, but I’m too much of a pussy to own it.” I’d rather be with a genuine cad, than a faux gentleman any day. But I mean the Milo thing, how fucked up is that? I’m an “out of touch liberal” woman and he’s an ultra conservative gay man. But we’re both Catholic. And, fuck it, I do have a lot of traditional values. We both like dick. That counts for something doesn’t it?" She Likes All Types
“What am I looking for? SSC, baby! Size (respectable), Stamina and Control. If these aren’t your strong suit, and I’m into you, I’ll give you a chance if you’re a great kisser and really know what you’re doing with your mouth and your hands.”

“Sex is a buffet and I like MANY of the options on the menu.”

“Do I like women? Some of them, yes! I’m probably a two on the Kinsey Scale. I like it when the other woman is self-confidently bi-sexual and takes the lead. Otherwise, maybe more like an appetizer, side dish or dessert?”

Don’t be intimidated by our experience. Only a total asshat thinks they have seen it all and done it all in sex. We are open minded. We want to hear about what you like, what you’ve done, try new things, or, if we like the same things, do them together.

“Younger guys? If they are hot and know what they are doing, but not so bright? I just put my fingers to my lips and shush them when they start talking.”

“Yes, I like men my own age and a few years older. I’m looking for a plug 'n play fuck toy. Ain’t got time to teach anybody.”

"When your list of past partners is eclectic enough to comprise American guys who played rugby in college and British guys who played lacrosse for England...not to mention former cheerleaders and all-round hot chicks." “You remember the scene in Pulp Fiction when John Travolta is talking about the guy who
got killed for giving the mob boss’ wife (Uma Thurman) a foot massage? One of my most erotic memories was this New Year’s Eve when I made the mistake of wearing high heel stilettos, the kind where you look great for the first hour and hate life for every minute after that. We were out with my cousin’s friend, a former Navy Seal who now takes his “vacation in Afghanistan” doing the same thing, but working for the private sector. When I asked him what he did, he answered: “I’m a shooter.” Since my feet were in such pain, he offered to give me a foot massage. Wow...what a memory. He had taken X, so he was really into it, but there are certain professions - musicians, surgeons, snipers - the sensitivity, reactivity, precision and control of what they can do with their extraordinary.” Southern Swinger
“What does an Alabama fan say when she comes? Roll Tide!”

“I love to be naked, not just naked, but nekkid. Lewis Grizzard put it this way. “Naked means you ain’t got no clothes on. Nekkid means you ain’t got no clothes on and you up to something. Growing up, there were some indications I might become a swinger. In college, my best girlfriend and I thought it would be great to go kayaking topless on the lake in North Georgia, where my parents have a cabin. Only we failed to realize we weren’t in Europe or the hippy West Coast. At that moment we weren’t in the Dirty South, we were in the Bible Belt.

And the Bible Belt has Sunday-school going families out on pontoon boats. It also has boat police who come to arrest you when you “offend” those good citizens. Only the wake from the boat police motor boat capsized our kayak. My friend and I had to dive into the water and retrieve our tops. The boat police then accompanied our bedraggled, but wearing bikini top-wearing selves, as we kayaked back to the dock. Only, when they met my Dad -- the upstanding, law-abiding citizen, the type who calls them when boaters aren’t respecting the no-wake zone -- they felt sorry for him...for having such wayward daughters. And they told him that the reason they stopped us was was for boating without proper “flotation devices” (lifejackets).” Career Girl
"My boss is one of those good looking, successful men with an attitude. If being successful in his career wasn't enough, he grew up in a resort town where every week of the summer there was a fresh batch of good looking girls wanting to play...So, yeah, you could say he thinks highly of himself. One day were arguing about something in his office at work and I just looked him in the eye and said: "Why aren't we fucking?"

40-something Swinger Woman meets Super Hot 26-yr old at the Dance Club

“We begin to dance closely. When I learn he’s a “tennis pro,” my mind immediately wanders to all the associated porn movies. So, I start to tease him, telling him that all his horny clients must fantasize about him because he’s so hot. I then whisper in his ear (with my vanilla friends 10 feet way): “I might not get to fuck you tonight, but if I did, I promise I would rock your world.  I then proceeded to whisper in his ear exactly HOW I would do that, in great detail. Let's just say, I got his "attention" and the dancing got significantly more heated after that.”