Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Compersion: Polyamory Realized

Compersion is defined as taking joy in the joy of others. It is the opposite of envy, which is characterized by feelings of spite towards the joy of others. In the context of relationships it is the healthy alternative to jealousy.

Love is a joyous emotion. If a friend or somebody we care about falls in love, we'd be happy for them. We would share with them their joy, and wish them the best of luck, and sincerely hope it will work out for the best for them. We would take inspiration from their smiles and enthusiasm...

Isn't it odd that when people claim to be in love they would express intention of compersion, and tell their partners that their own happiness is elevated when their partner is happy, yet if their partner fell in love they would deny those feelings of compersion and indulge jealousy instead?!

Isn't it odd that some people can share the joy of love with friends and acquaintances, but not their significant others?!

Cruel Man

"Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man."

Thomas Paine

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nightmares That Kill 3: Far Away From Home

Sometimes people have experiences that help them realize certain wisdom that is not commonly accessible to the common folk. Such wisdom can be extremely insightful, and I have been looking around YouTube for such inspiring insights. Transgenderism is a unique experience and so I want to share a video I especially liked.

This video is one of a Female-to-Male transguy sharing his experience of how he discovered his transgendered identity. It touched me a lot at a personal level, and here are some of the parts I especially liked:

I knew right from the start that I wasn't a lesbian. And I think we just innately know our communities, so I just knew it wasn't my people. In a sense that was scary; I was like shit, am I somebody who is obsessed with alienation or what?!

So I think I had my big AHA moment when I moved to the little city I am living in now about three years ago. I went to see a show by this transguy hip-hop group, it was for female-to-male trans folk and sang a lot about their trans experience, and I specifically remember being at that show, and like first or second song I was like that is me, that is my experience up there. It was such an incredible moment, it was like that moment of feeling like I found my people for the first time. Can you imagine?! I never had that feeling like I was with my people, and I always felt like I was looking. And I was like that's my experience, but at the same time: "That's me, I am a tranny, what do I do now?! Oh my god, how am I gonna deal with this?! Is this really my experience?! Am I really brave enough to make all those changes?!"

In a sense, we have this innate compass of who we are, but we are always like trying to pull it up to find the words to tell ourselves... And a lot of the ways that we discover things is like in each other... So basically I just never had a mirror to look at, you know?!

Like when I went to this camp this summer I completely freaked out! And the thing in part, I had never been in a place with all trans people! It was really awesome but it was also really scary, because I also knew that I was not taking steps to be who I was.

PS: Check Nightmares That Kill 1/2

Friday, June 17, 2011

Polyamory: The Ethical Problems of Monogamy

I have always had ethical problems with closed relationships and monogamy. I regard love as great and sacred, and for anything to contradict that seems unethical to me. This is because our capacity for love is the source of ethics and morality, and to label love as wrong and immoral is such a contradiction! I was always amazed by the common belief that monogamy somehow is an ideal of love. This belief always seemed problematic, and in reality I believe that monogamy is anti-love and anti-ethical rather than an ideal.

The question that is crucial here is: How can you deny love in the name of love?! How can you state that love is the reason that love is wrong?!

I have found a very interesting post about the ethical dilemma of monogamy that states my view on the topic in a quite eloquent manner. The following is an excerpt from that post:

For most poly people out there, there's really nothing wrong with monogamy. Both mono and poly are valid relationship models, and everyone chooses the one which best fits them. I really wish I could wholeheartedly agree with this... however, I must admit that monogamy clashes with my ethics. And here's why:

It makes a person feel guilty about having a feeling that I consider to be one of the most important feelings of all. Our ability to connect with other people, to admire other people for their greatness, to be attracted to what we value (spiritually and physically), the ability to love – is probably our most vital characteristic in this life. Monogamy takes a somewhat controversial stance towards it – this property is considered wonderful in a person if he is single, but once he already has one romantic relationship, this very same property is labeled as extremely immoral and wrong. Well, newsflash, everyone: the ability to fall in love does not miraculously disappear when one finds a partner! OK, so maybe for some people it does. Maybe. For most of us, it does not; and polyamory finds this wonderful. In monogamy, however, it is usually considered very wrong to even be attracted to someone else – even if you never act upon these feelings. So, basically, if you're in a monogamous relationship, and there's this other person that you realize is absolutely awesome, then you should feel somewhat guilty. You should reject this realization.

And this is what ticks me off. For me, it's all very simple, really: Love is great. Sex is great. If a doctrine states that love and sex between two consenting adults is immoral, then that doctrine is wrong.

source: What's Wrong with Monogamy

Friday, June 10, 2011

Asexual Perspectives: Discovering Asexuality

A very interesting article titled, "How Discovering My Asexuality Set Me Free".

How Discovering My Asexuality Set Me Free

I was 21 when I found out I was asexual, and it changed everything in my life – my perception of myself, my expectations for the future, my understanding of the world. In a way, it more than changed my life; nothing was ever the same after that discovery, and I often say that a new life started for me then – that the person I became once I started identifying as asexual and seeing the world through new eyes was so different from the one I had been until then that it could not be the same person at all. It was a new me – someone with a new view of the world, different hopes, and far more possibilities.

I do not believe that I was born asexual – I do not believe that our sexual orientation (or our romantic orientation, or most of our other preferences for that matter) are already set at birth. I am not a big fan of the “it's all genetic” theories. I strongly believe that our environment, and the various things we experience as we grow up and later as we grow older, are what makes us who we are, and I think I can pinpoint some of the things that made me asexual, or at least some symptoms of that change taking place, back when I was about nine or ten years old. No, it was nothing awful – I was not sexually abused, I was not exposed to sexually explicit material, I was not brought up in fear of sex. But many little things happened and combined themselves in that way and I became asexual. I have never regretted it – I may not have been born asexual, but there are many elements of my personality that make this orientation especially appropriate and, indeed, probably the most suitable for me. Maybe, in fact, these elements did contribute to making me asexual. In truth, I do not care much about how it happened; I just think about it sometimes because I want to understand such things. But I am certainly glad it happened, and even more glad that I eventually found out about it; in fact, the only negative thing about my asexuality is that for so long I was not aware of it, and that if I had not become aware of it I would certainly have been very unhappy without ever understanding why or what I could do to change that.

Before I discovered that asexuality existed, I never suspected that I was different in that way (there were other ways I knew I was different from other people, though). When I thought about sex, it was as something that would happen to me someday – I would meet the right person (at the time I thought it would be a guy), fall in love with him, and we would “make love” and it would be wonderful, like in the romance novels I had read. I never asked myself if I really wanted this; I did not know it was possible not to want it. I never asked myself if having sex would really be so wonderful, when I felt nauseous and deeply uncomfortable whenever I read more factual and realistic (but not necessarily detailed) descriptions of sex, like in biology class when we talked about human reproduction, or the couple of times I looked up sex education websites. I did not think it was possible not to want sex, so it had to mean that this discomfort would pass when I met the right person.

When I discovered that asexuality existed, I did not think it might apply to me – it was too “special” an orientation, too rare, and I was not really aware that I was not interested in sex anyway (since I expected I would only be interested with the right guy). But when I eventually (for other reasons) had to question my orientation, asexuality appeared the only possible answer – and when I decided that it had to be the right one, I felt relieved. I had never felt pressured before, but now I was liberated; I had never thought that I might not want to have sex, but suddenly I was happy to know that indeed I did not have to – and that I probably would not.

Becoming aware of my asexuality allowed me to understand that I should not take anything for granted about myself or the world. I suddenly understood that I had choices where before I had always believed I had none – that maybe I did not truly feel or want things that were supposed to be experienced and desired by everyone – and I began questioning many aspects of my life that I had never thought much about before. This led me to realize that it was possible to love people deeply without being “in love” with them, to want to be close to them without this closeness being necessarily achieved by dating them, and to have fantasies but not actually want them to become true. It allowed me to understand what I truly wanted my life to be like.

Now, three years later, I think that discovering I was asexual is probably the best thing that ever happened to me. I do not think very often about what this orientation describes – my lack of interest in sex – but I am grateful every day for the many other things my awareness of it has brought me – all the choices I discovered I could make, all the new ways I discovered I could relate to other people and love them, all the possible futures that I now see open before me. Because I know I do not conform to the one expectation that is so deeply rooted in society that it is not even really formulated anymore and that most people cannot believe exceptions are possible (“everyone is interested in sex, or if they are not, then it is because something bad happened to them and they certainly want to be fixed”), I find it easy not to conform to social expectations in other ways – like preferring to be alone or not being interested in a romantic relationship. Knowing I am asexual has given me the possibility to discover who I really am and the strength to be who I want to be.

source: The Asexual Visibility and Education Network

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Sexual Orientation in Relation to Gender Identity

What does it mean to say that someone is heterosexual or homosexual? Well, technically, it means that a person is either attracted to the same sex or opposite sex. This categorization has many underlying assumptions that I wish to address in this post.

From my understanding and the experiences of people in the LGBT community there are some complications that arise. Let's say a guy says: "I am heterosexual" does this mean he is attracted to girls, or does it mean he is attracted to the opposite sex?! The distinction might seem insignificant for most people, but in reality there is a difference. This difference is especially clear when we consider transgendered individuals.

Transgendered individuals are born in some biological sex, however, their biological sex does not match their gender identity, so they change their biological sex through sex-reassignment operations. So let's look at the question once again. A guy says: "I am heterosexual!", but at a later point of time he changes his biological sex to female. Would you expect this person to be attracted to men or women?! If we go by the definition, and say that person is heterosexual, this means that since now the person is a female, then she must be attracted to men.

But what if she is still attracted to women?! It is important to notice that both scenarios actually happen in real life. Some transgendered people experience a change in the gender they are attracted to, others are not affected.

Now in the case that the person remains attracted to women, it would seem that the person in question was not a heterosexual, but simply female-sexual. In other words, this person is attracted to women regardless of their own biological sex. However, there are also cases when people are heterosexuals or homosexuals, and when their biological sex changes, so does their preference for sexual attraction.

There are studies that show homosexual men inherit their attraction to men from their heterosexual mother, and that homosexual women inherit their attraction to women from their heterosexual father. Those studies imply that for some people their orientation is more of female-sexual or male-sexual rather than homo/heterosexual. And many transgendered people experienced this.

On the other hand, there are cases where a homosexual person goes under sex-reassignment operation, and the outcomes is that their preference changed to match that of their new gender!! In other words, they were attracted to the same sex before and after transitioning... And of course, there are cases where people change from monosexuals to bisexuals after the transition!!

Another complication is whether sexual orientation is defined by biological sex, or sexual expression (ie. masculinity and femininity). Is the person attracted to the sex, or the feminine/masculine "energy"?! For example, would a heterosexual man be attracted to an effeminate man or masculine woman more?! Again, people's reactions seem to vary. Some people seem to be attracted more to femininity and masculinity regardless of biological sex, while others seem more oriented toward biological sex regardless of the "energy" the person has. Others seem to be attracted to more complicated mixing of those phenomena.

For example, there are cases when guys are attracted to tom-boy girls (only?), and other cases when girls are attracted to effeminate guys (only?). So some people might experience cases where they are attracted to a sort of energy that is different from the biological sex they prefer! What would you call such individuals?! Would you go with the biological sex they prefer?! Or the sexual expression they prefer?!

And then you can look at this issue from the other way around. If a tom-boy girl is attracted to men, what does this make of her?! Homosexual or heterosexual?!

PS: monosexual means either homosexual or heterosexual (ie. attracted to one gender, but not both)

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Alice in Wonderland (2010): The Best Love Story

Alice in Wonderland, how did I forget this astonishing movie!! I still remember the first time I watched it, I was thinking "Wow!". And I am not wowed easily! It's a story about love... But not everyday love, but what I would definitely call "true love"! It was like the writer tapped into my head, read my mind, and made it into a movie!

Behind its fantasy and out-of-this-world narrative lies great truth and wisdom. I am not sure that everyone would understand the symbolism behind this great movie, but let's see what readers make of it. So, yeah dear readers, consider this a homework. Watch this movie and share your thoughts on what you understand from it.

Every scene has lots of wisdom in it, I can write a post about each and every scene in this movie. But I will not do that, maybe sometime in the future, but not in the near future. However, I will make one post that highlights the main story line, and the most prominent wisdom that can be gained from this movie. This post should be there next week hopefully.

The movie has a lot to say about love, politics, religion, life, and psychology. But I will focus on the topic of love, so as not to confuse readers. The main idea of the movie focuses on the post I made titled "The Choice Between Love and Fear", and in a more indirect manner the post titled: "About Love: Love and Curiosity". So, if you liked those posts, this homework is made especially for you!

So once again, watch this movie if you hadn't already and share your insight.

Download this movie: (torrent) (avi)

Friday, June 03, 2011

The Cage of Zeroes 2

Come see my cage, once again!

Papa Roach in "Between Angels and Insects":
There's no money. There's no possessions,
only obsession. I don't need that shit.
Take my money, take my obsession.

I just want to be heard loud and clear are my words.
Coming from within, man tell them what you heard.
It's about a revolution in your heart and in your mind
you can find a conclusion. Lifestyle and obsession.

Diamond rings get you nothing but a life long lesson
And your pocketbooks stressing
You're a slave to the system working jobs that you hate
For that shit you don't need
It's too bad the world is based on greed.
Step back and see.
Stop thinking about yourself start thinking about..

There's no money there's no possession only
Obsession I don't need that shit
Take my money, take my possession, take my obsession
I don't need that shit

Because everything is nothing
And emptiness is in everything
This reality is really just a fucked up dream
With the flesh and the blood that you call your soul
Flip it inside out it's a big black hole.
Take your money burn it up like an asteroid.
Possessions: they are never gonna fill the void.
Take it away and learn the best lesson
The heart, the soul, the life, the passion.

Present yourself. Press your clothes. Comb your hair.
Clock in.
You just can't win just can't win
And the things you own own you (Full lyrics)

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Tattoos On A Tainted Heart

Cold in "Don't Belong":
My mind takes you to where you need to be
Cure for your heartbreak to take away the pain
I could describe each mistake for you
Tattoo it on my tainted heart

Well I won't ever tell the world
That I don't belong
Please don't ever tell the world
That I don't belong
That I don't belong

Can you still feel me or did I slip away?
A sick man, a monster, broken still today
I can't explain what happens to me
Caught in the game I've always starred
I could describe each mistake for you
Tattoo it on my tainted heart

Well I won't ever change my ways
And I can't be strong
That I don't belong

Please don't ever tell the world
That I don't belong (Full lyrics)