Poly Planet GAIA | ecosexual love | arts of loving | global holistic health | eros | dissidence

Monday, May 31, 2010

Explore the Future of Love on Interdependence Day! - Anapol, Easton, Anderlini in Bay Area, June 22 to July 3 - Promotions and Full Calendar

Is humanity at war with Mother Earth?  Can the wisdom of love save the day?

Three pioneers of polyamory come together in the Bay Area to share experiences with you in a momentous series of events.

Deborah Taj Anapol, Dossie Easton, and Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio: June 22nd to July 3rd.

As buried fossils from liquefied ancient forests gush to the Earth’s scorched surface, humanity realizes it is at war with Gaia, the gracious hostess that has allowed our blessed species to grow.  In science, a host and a guest are symbiotic, a form of love.  But what happens when the guest inadvertently tries to kill the host?  Can the wisdom of love help to bring this mutually destructive war come to an end?  Intuitively, we know it can.  But do we know enough about love to use it as an effective remedy?

Between June 22nd and July 3rd three wise women in polyamory will be in the Bay Area to explore the future of love on planet Earth. Dossie Easton, Deborah Taj Anapol, and Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio, authors of groundbreaking works, can explain how the arts of loving can contribute to the health of planetary life.  The ecosexual movement brings this need for planetary balance to the surface.  What’s the role of Eros, the energy of love, in keeping Gaia, the planet, in balance with herself?  With a total of over 100 years of practicing, studying, and teaching poly love all over the world, Easton, Anapol, and Anderlini put their wisdom on the table and open up their store of experience to lead this epic journey into the future of love.  There isn’t a position they haven’t tried, a sexualoving event they haven’t hosted, a taboo they haven’t broken, an open relationship they haven’t been part of.  Each has been a pioneer in some area of erotic expression related to planetary consciousness.  Whether you’re a visitor or a resident, it’s a momentous time to be in the Bay Area, where they’ve chosen to bring the wisdom of love.  If you’re a conscious lover, a healer, a sex-positive person, you can’t afford not to participate!


June 22nd, Open Secret Bookstore, San Rafael, 7-9 PM

The Wisdom of Love

Double book launch for Deborah Taj Anapol’s and Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio’s latest books: Polyamory in the 21st Century and Gaia and the New Politics of Love, respectively.

A Silver Winner in Cosmology and New Science for the 2010 Nautilus Book Award, Gaia is a political theory that claims education in the arts of loving is humanity’s wisest way out of our unwinnable war against planet Earth.  These arts include sharing pleasure, cultivating amorous resources, and practicing holistic sexual health.  When Anapol read Gaia, she exclaimed: “I’m so glad Serena wrote this book because now I don’t have to! In 1992, I said that polyamory is good for the planet. Serena has done a masterful job of fully explaining exactly what this statement means.”  Anapol’s Polyamory in the 21st Century (to be released imminently), resonates with Anderlini’s intent to expand the horizon of polyamory on the future of love.  The author taps on her wide ranging travels to present polyamory as the force that can transform the practice of love across cultures and continents.  Polyamory is a movement with deep roots in the Bay Area.  The two authors are coming together from Puerto Rico and Hawaii respectively to present its wide ranging effects and transformative, ecosexual, healing ramifications around the globe.

Prepaid door charge is only $ 6 per person if three sign up.  Sign up for both the 6/22 and the 7/3 events, and you get a signed copy of Serena’s memoir Eros at the workshop (a value of $ 35). 

July 3rd, Open Secret Bookstore, San Rafael, 11AM-7PM

Three Wise Women on Polyamory Explore the Future of Love on Planet Earth

Dossie Easton, author of acclaimed classic of poly education, The Ethical Slut, now on its second edition, joins Deborah Anapol and Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio in this one-day experiential journey into love.

Through multiple perspectives of three expert facilitators, the workshop will address related questions, including:  Can we practice love so as to end the war our species is perpetrating on mother Earth?  What’s a Gaian way to be sexual, or ecosexual? Is Gaia an ecological path to the communion, the joy, the pleasure of erotic ecstasy?  How can a healthy politics of love be put into effect on a local and global scale?  How can we practice polyamory in emotionally and ecologically sustainable ways?  These are some of the question the journey will explore in practical and discursive ways.

If you’ve been to the June 22nd reading, the workshop expands your experience on a deeper level.  The paradigm shift toward a Gaian awareness has great possibilities for those with the potential to love more than one person.  The workshop brings this awareness to your body at the cellular level.  If the workshop is your first attendance, it  brings you up to speed and complements the theory with the experiential level.

Whether you are straight, monogamous, gay, polyamorous, bisexual, lesbian, polysexual, ecosexual, asexual, metrosexual, or any other preference; whether you are female, male, intersex, transgender or any other gender; regardless of your relationship status, age, nationality, trade, profession, race, ethnicity, religion, spiritual practice, this workshop exposes you to an awesome combination of perspectives on the arts of loving practiced today.  It helps to access the multiple ways that these practices can serve one’s personal, communal, ecosystemic, and planetary health.

As part of a planet whose body is alive, we humans are already always related.  Planetary consciousness corresponds to the potential of this overall relatedness.  The challenge in creating a sustainable amorous life is actualizing each potential in the most authentic way.  As Easton says, “Each relationship finds its own level, if you let it.”  The combined wisdom of Anapol, Easton, and Anderlini creates the space where your own potential can manifest.  Anapol emphasizes polyamory’s potential to design a future for love on planet Earth.  Easton explores multipartnering as key to embrace hidden yet essential aspects of our nature. Anderlini connects our amorous potential to Gaia’s planetary consciousness.  As you bask in these multiple wisdoms of love, you can surely synergize your own.

When three wise women of polyamory invite you to be part of the unique series of events that brings them together, you better treasure this opportunity coming your way!  The cost of a day that could change your life forever is only $ 63 per person.  It goes down to $ 45 when you sign up by June 25th along with two friends!  Team up with others intent in saving the planet and participate!  Please plan to be on time.  There will be a lunch break.  A healthy meal will be available on site for a reasonable extra charge.  Please spread the word to amorous communities and networks.  You can preorder your books as well.

7/3 - Full Price with 1, 2, 3 Person Discounts - Last day is July 2nd

Sign up for both the reading and the workshop, and you get a signed copy of Serena’s memoir Eros at the workshop (a value of $ 35). 

June 25-27, World Polyamory Association, Harbin Hot Springs

Deborah Taj Anapol and Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio are also coming together at this wonderful conference that combines poly and tantra.  Their talks are scheduled on the 25th and 26th respectively.  Join them at one of the most holistic naturist retreats in the world.
Registration still open. See details on WPA webpage.  Click here for discounted rates until June 20

About the Authors:

Deborah Taj Anapol, PhD, is a relationship coach who leads seminars on love, sex and intimacy all over the country and around the world.  She is the author of Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits, The Seven Natural Laws of Love, and Polyamory in the 21st Century.  Website: www.lovewithoutlimits.com.  “Let jealousy be your teacher.”
Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, PhD, is a professor of humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. She is the author of Eros: A Journey of Multiple Loves, and Gaia and the New Politics of Love.  She teaches and lectures about the practice of love and the science of Gaia.  Blog: http://polyplanet.blogspot.com. “A world where it is safe to love is a world where it is safe to live.”
Dossie Easton is a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in San Francisco.  She is co-author with Janet Hardy of The Ethical Slut, now in its second edition, and Radical Ecstasy.  She lectures and leads workshops on polyamory and ecstatic spiritual practices at conferences and universities.  Website: www.dossieeaston.com. "Each relationship will seek its own level like water if you let it." 

Choose the wisdom of love for your interdependence calendar!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

A Gut Feeling - Part # 1 - From the G Tales

A Gut Feeling: Anal Pleasure, Holistic Sexual
Health, and Interpretations of AIDS
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio  -  Part # 1 of 7
G called the other day--very excited.   She said someone found the cause of AIDS.  I replied that many of us believe we already know the cause of AIDS.  “Isn’t it HIV?” I asked. 
   She said, “yes, of course, that would be an infectious agent.”
   “This is a different cause, then?” I asked, excited.
   “Yes, it’s an interpretation that’s not related to an infectious agent, and yet accounts for everything we’ve seen in LGBT communities.”
   “Sounds great.  An interpretation, you said?” I probed.  I know G always thinks in literary terms.  
   “Yes, an interpretation.  That’s what a scientific hypothesis is:  a plausible interpretation of data that awaits confirmation.”
   “And does this one make sense?”
   “It does.”
   “So now the alarm is over, we don’t have to be afraid: to hell with protection, lubes, condoms, tests  .  .  .  . right?”
   “Wait a minute!  You’re jumping to conclusions.  Did I say anything goes?  I said that a biological, organic, holistic interpretation has been found that accounts for why certain behaviors and environmental conditions are so pathogenic, and how to avoid them.”
   “Ok.  So what’s the condition called?” I asked.
   “Intestinal Dysbiosis.”     "Intestinal Dysbiosis?"     "Intestinal Dysbiosis!"     "And what is it?"
    “It’s a dysfunction of the gut--also called intestine--that’s due to abusive behavior toward its ecosystem--behavior that does not respect its biological function and integrity,” G explained.
    “Sounds  like it’s got something to do with anal pleasure.  Must be homophobic!  Feels like a new religious ploy to condemn anal sex.”
    “No.  Not at all.  First of all, anal sex is a very rich style of sexual pleasure that anyone can enjoy: Women, straight men, transsexuals.  Haven’t you read Tristan Taormino’s guides to anal pleasure for women and men?” G asked.[1]
   “Yes, I have.  They work very well.  They teach how to proceed with caution, prepare for penetration, communicate, generate the right amount of arousal first.  Anal pleasure is an art as she’d say.”
   “Yes, precisely.   This new interpretation is also artistic, it’s based on a different epistemic foundation for science that values the arts of loving.  It’s Gaian, in the sense that it assumes that life flows through ecosystems that are interconnected and need to be respected to function well.”
   “Including our bodies?” I asked, perplexed.
   “Including our bodies,” G replied, “why did you think we’d be the exception?   Respecting our bodies as ecosystems is the art of loving ourselves."
   “Right,” I said, “as your friend Suzann Robins claims, ‘to have healthy relationships we must be healthy.’”[2]
   “You got it!  I’d say this interpretation is based on a holistic paradigm of sexual health.”
   “Ok,” I said.  “And what’s holistic about sexual health?”
   “Well, it’s a way to respect the body as an ecosystem that needs to stay in balance with itself when you practice love and any style of erotic expression,” G explained.
   “And so, is there any kind of pleasure that would threaten this balance?” I asked, uncertain.
   “I don’t think so.  Not if practiced naturally and in moderation.”
   “Ah, ok.  .  .  .  What about anal pleasure?  Wouldn’t a lot of people qualify anal pleasure as ‘unnatural’ per se?”
   “They would if they knew nothing about nature, which is queer and quirky in so many ways.  As Betty Dodson says, ‘we are all quite queer’ as long as we love ourselves.[3]  Diversity is the secret of life, remember?  Gaia is already always gay.  And so the arts of loving are infinite as well.”
   “Of course, G.  That’s your usual point,” I said.  “But I’m not sure I follow the connection between Gaia and anal pleasure.  Can you get into some more detail?”
   “I’d be happy to.  Gotto go right now though.  Let’s talk tomorrow, ok?”
   “Usual time.”

[1] Tristan Taormino.  The Anal Sex Position Guide.  New York: Quiver, 2009.  The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women.  New York: Cleis Press, 2006. Amazon.com: tristan taormino: Books
[2] Suzann Robins.  Exploring Intimacy.  New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010. Amazon.com: Exploring Intimacy:
[3] Betty Dodson.  “We Are All Quite Queer.”  In Plural Loves.  Serena Anderlini ed.  New York: Routledge, 2005.  Amazon.com: Plural Loves
Disclaimer:  This Tale does not constitute medical advice in any way.  Readers are invited to consult their own healers and health care providers. 

Exploring Intimacy by Suzann Panek Robins - Reviewed by Serena Anderlini

Exploring Intimacy: 
Cultivating Healthy Relationships through Insight and Intuition.

By Suzann Panek Robins  

New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 2010.

Reviewed by Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio

In this inspiring and synergistic book, Suzann Robins presents a major paradigm shift about the relationship between our physiological and emotional health.  In her view our emotional and physical lives are intricately related, so much so that the health of the one is proportional to the health of the other.  So the paradigm shift she focuses upon can be summarized in her claim that “In order to have healthy relationships, we must be healthy” (106).
Let me contextualize this claim so that we can better understand what it actually means.  The imperative of “being healthy” could be interpreted to imply that only healthy people can aspire to good relationship, while those afflicted with some illness “deserve” the punishment of bad ones.  Or it could suggest the idea that those blessed with the good luck of physical health “deserve” the privilege to pair off with others like them, so that they can be blessed with minimal health-care bills.  In reality, none of these less-than-generous understandings of the book’s key principle does justice to the book’s complexity and achievement.  Indeed, the book provides a complex and innovative definition of health as integrated process of self-knowledge that relies on intuition rather than the effects of any consciousness altering substances, including the legal ones.  This self-knowledge could be described as a form of gnosis--a path to knowledge whose motivation is love--because it is intended to generate the kind of self-love that extends to those who form the ecosystems that surround the self.   
The book itself defines health in a way that integrates Eastern and Western philosophical principles, as it also demonstrates that the former are neither less wise, nor less grounded in empirical experience, nor less “scientific” than the latter might be.  Hence it presents us with a concept of health that is independent of the amount of health-care products or procedures we are able to consume, and is proportional to our ability to connect with ourselves and our inner being.  “Know thyself,” said Socrates, the philosopher of ancient Greece.  And indeed, knowing oneself is the most challenging experience, and, as 20th century ecofeminist philosopher Luce Irigaray would put it, it is the kind of knowledge that requires “the wisdom of love” even more than it requires the love of wisdom.  More to the point, this healthy self-knowledge requires the effort of intimacy, which Suzann Robins appropriately reconfigures as “into-me-see,” namely the art of seeing into oneself, of being in touch with one’s inner landscape and the emotions, forces, attractions, memories, desires, images that populate it.
“How can this highly modulated synergistic feat be achieved?” A reader might wonder.  The secret is Suzann Robins’s in depth understanding of multilayered systems of knowledge, including Western psychology, medicine, and philosophy all the way back to Antiquity, and Eastern religious, medical, and philosophical traditions.  Suzann Robins is a teacher and practitioner in various healing arts specialties, including hypnotherapy, personal growth, anger managements, and others.  Her awareness of interconnections among different sets of ideas comes from experience.  Healing-arts practitioners who have seen integration of healing modalities work over and over with clients, friends, and themselves, often come to the awareness that success is a result of expert, enchanted frequentation of different knowledge systems.  When theory successfully integrates healing modalities from different knowledge systems, as happens in this book, it yields the concrete knowledge that is based in the practice of history. 
Robins’s view of health is based on an integrative concept of medicine that accommodates holistic and allopathic practices in the same system.  While holistic practices promote healing from within and from surrounding oneself with thriving ecosystems, allpathic practices serve to overcome crises that threaten a system’s homeostasis.  Robin’s knowledge of various intersecting traditions helps to present a view in which these systems complement each other and address a core of experience we share as humans or individuals of the same species. 
For example, she aligns the Western concept of a “life force” (historically linked to the vitalist movement and the beginning of psychoanalysis) with the Indian concept of Prana, the Chinese concept of Chi, and the classical concept of Eros.  In the myth of Eros and Psyche, Eros is the deity who falls in love with the mortal Psyche.  He is the energy that espouses matter (151-156).  According to Fedro, in Plato’s Symposium, the dialog on love, Eros is “the most ancient of all gods.”  He is part of the first generation of Greek deities, who represent the forces of nature, as in Chronos (time), Gea (the Earth), Aeolus (the wind), and Poseidon (the ocean).  So in a way as the god of love, Eros is a form of Prana and Chi: He is the energy that animates matter.  Robins’s contextualization of classical mythology brings out the parallelism between knowledge systems.  She effectively shows that in their respective cultural contexts and traditions these concepts indicate the sense of life as the flow of energy that traverses and animates the material.    
Another area where Robins’s synergistic analysis is quite effective is her design of a parallelism between the human body’s main organs (and the life functions they preside over) and the symbolic system of the Chakras which holistic medicine has absorbed from Hindu traditions.  The alignment Robins shows here is quite convincing, as in the example of the Fifth Charka--also known as the Throat Charka--as the opening that presides over “our ability to express thoughts through the respiratory and bronchial apparatus that encompasses the vocal cords and the alimentary canal” (55).  Key to Robins’s notion of integrative health is the concept of balance, which she also relates to the charka systems.  These imaginary openings correspond to areas of the self where flows of energies are absorbed and recycled within the body’s ecosystem (10-12).  Balance involves an inner landscape where charkas are aligned with one another in a system that presents neither blockages nor excessive leaks, which can resulting “chronic illness and fatal disease” (52).  Robins’s analysis is complemented by a spat of exercises, surprisingly effective and simple, that help readers absorb her theories in a kinesthetic, in-the-body way.  A major source in this section is the work of Anodea Judith. 
A further step in integration of knowledge systems comes with Robins’s discussion of stages of growth in humans, which she also relates to interconnected foci in the charka system.  This section integrates Sigmund Freud’s and Eric Erickson’s views of human development with the holistic perspective.  For example, Robins provides an association of the Root Charka--located in the sacrum and usually representing the connection with the Earth--as symbolic of a baby’s growth during the first two years, when attachment is essential to the baby’s ability to develop survival skills such as receiving and absorbing touch and food (94-95). 
Finally, Robins proposes an integration that takes into account the color symbolism that characterizes the charka system in most representations.  This is also presented experientially, as an exercise.  The Sixth Charka is considered the site of intuition, or “third eye.”  In Hindu cultures it is often represented with a dot painted in the middle of one’s forehead, a little above the eyebrows.  Its color symbolism is “dark indigo or navy blue,” which appropriately represents the vast possibilities open to the imagination from what looks like “a clear night sky” (126).  In Robins’s book, intuition is also described as “the sixth sense,” a sense that synergizes the information the other five senses provide in a type of knowledge that respects the energetic (as well as material) nature of things and therefore enables the path to love.  This love manifests as the kind of intimate knowledge of the self that enables one’s body to function like a healthy ecosystem.  It is from the care for this ecosystem--and its surrounding bodies and energy flows--that the health of one’s relationships emanates in an ebb and flow of dynamic exchanges that result in a healthy homeostasis.  Relationships are not healthy to the extent that they follow structures marked by conventions, including marriage, monogamy, heterosexuality, exclusivity, or longevity.  They are rather healthy because they respect the ecosystemic balance of those involved in them.
So there is a productive way to read Robins’s central thesis: It is what J. L. Austin would call an “illocutionary speech act,” namely a pronouncement that actualizes itself by virtue of its own intention.  “We must be healthy” is not a descriptor of a putative state of health that preexists a given relationship, but rather a dynamic balance that evolves as we become intent in getting to know ourselves and each other intimately, and thus enhance our capabilities to know and respect others the way we do to ourselves.  It is a statement designed to generate the reality it alludes to rather than to simply describe it as what is.  In articulating her complex theoretical position, Robins also relies on the work of Karl Jung and Jean Piaget. 
From this book one does not get easy advice or recipes for “happiness,” as happens in many of today’s manuals and guidebooks about “better relationships.”  Rather, one gets a guided tour of the various ways in which happiness, and balance, and the health of relationships have been constructed in the cultural contexts humanity has inhabited in the modern era, and of how, with that knowledge, we can invent and choose the path and combination of knowledge systems that will work for us.  This is a much valued feat, since a manual’s promise to hold the “right” recipe for a happy personal life is always as short lived as that of the next such book. 
Indeed, the idea of offering recipes that yield the same result regardless of who uses them is too simplistic to honor Robins’s understanding of what knowledge is.  A prevalent myth of Western modernity is that Western knowledge is “scientific” while other traditions are enshrouded in legend and anecdotal thinking.  Of course this is self-deceptive and reflects Western ignorance of its own power over other knowledge systems, rather than any actual scientific superiority.  Further evidence of the deceptiveness of this myth is the failure of Western modernity to design styles of development that model sustainability.  Knowledge steeped in tradition is scientific because the evidence of its validity is in history.  Robins offers the grace of treating complementary traditions as such and represents them as equal.  Her refusal to rank these traditions is a way to enter the fray of the politically charged discussion about what qualifies as science.  For example, in talking about integrative medicine as a synergy of conventional and holistic medicine, Robins discursively establishes an equality that unfortunately is still far from being real. 
Because of ethnocentric prejudice that favors Western modalities of knowledge, conventional medicine is still associated with “science” in the mind of most people.  Robins’s expert interweaving of modalities and sources exposes this prejudice for what it is.  Her book is a refreshing read whose mixture of research, practice, and theory will generate awareness where there still is cultural resistance.    

Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, PhD
Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico, May 2010

Monday, May 24, 2010

Three Podcasts about GAIA, from the University of Puerto Rico

Hi everyone!

It is a momentous time at the University of Puerto Rico!  We are keeping the new silly governor from selling the university down the river.  A groundswell of awareness has manifested in defense of this public institution and what it makes possible.

What could be a better time to blog about a series of Three Podcasts about GAIA whose underlying research was too visionary to be done under the aegis of any other institution?  Developing a theory about the planet that hosts the life of our species, and the energy of love that sustains it, is what I had in mind 12 years ago when I came to Mayaguez to teach.  "What is planetary health, and how can we practice love in ways that sustain this common well being?" was the one-million dollar question that ailed my consciousness when I came back to academe after six years of activism in the sexual freedom and holistic health movements.

I could not have found a better place to search for answers than the University of Puerto Rico.  At Mayaguez, my soul was nurtured by a bunch of friendly, inspiring, passionate colleagues; my classes became spaces for intellectual communion and exploration of new ideas; and the most esoteric research projects were funded by benevolent administrators with a touch of the visionary.

In California I had experienced the consequences of a fatal mistake of the Reagan years: Investing in punitive rather than educational systems.  You invest in universities and you produce people with college degrees, you invest in prisons and you produce delinquents.  Which state is going to go bankrupt first?  No wonder in the 1990s California had more prisoners than Italy, France, and England combined!  Puerto Rico, I reflected when I arrived here, is smarter than the Golden State in this: It may be poor but it's putting its money where its mouth is.  Students pay a reasonable tuition and that makes teaching pleasant.  And free.  Because I can be myself in the classroom.  Because I can really give the gift of professing the wisdom my love of knowledge has graced me with over the years.  And students know when that happens.  Because authenticity excites and inspires young people.  Even in a tough, demanding teacher like me.

Now that miserliness has taken hold of the island's state system, an upsurge of organized, peaceful, wise, humble activism has raised in defense of the patromonio comun.  We were only teaching.  Students knew.  Their consciousness coalesced to live up to the contingency.  Now is the time to thank the university for its multiple gifts: gifts to me, for being conducive of seeking answers to that million dollar question; and gift to the world well beyond Puerto Rico for hosting una servidora as I speak publically about these answers in the social media.

Thank you, Universidad de Puerto Rico, for being so gifted!  The island-wide movement that is keeping you from being sold down the river models the paradigm shift the world needs.  Eleven campuses acting in unison!

No more privatizations that lead to "markets" where the poor get swindled.  Investments in the commons that will elaborate the sustainable knowledge of the future.  Recognition that we are in this together, as a species!  That we can only survive if we learn to love one another and appreciate our differences!

Here are my three small gifts.

An Interview on Gaia, Health, and Environmental Theory.  On Progressive Radio Network: The Gary Null Show, March 24, 2010.  Hosted by Gary Null (begins at 46th minute in 1-hour show).

Interview on Gaia, Global Heath and Ecology, World Peace, Empires that Upsurge and Collapse, the Sexual Freedom Movement, the Arts of Loving, Polyamory, the Abuses of the Pharmaceutical Industry, the AIDS Dissidence Movement, Tantric Form of Amorous Expression.  On Truther, hosted by Sean Hardin.

Interview on Gaia, Interpretations of AIDS and other Epidemic Diseases, Holistic Sexual Health.  On How Positive Are You? Hosted by David Crowe and Celia Farber.   

Thanks for listening.  Please support The University of Puerto Rico.  Eleven Campuses, one UPR System, or Once Recintos, Una UPR!  Today is a decisive day for UPR Mayaguez.  Listen to the podcasts and share with your friends.  Post your comments!  Find out more about what's happening in the UPR system!  Follow the Huelga day after day on Planeta Educativo!  Recognizing what we share is the key to the future. 



Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Gut Feeling - Part # 2 - From The G Tales

A Gut Feeling:  Anal Pleasure, Holistic Sexual Health, and Interpretations of AIDS
Serena Anderlini-D’Onofrio
Part # 2
“G,” I said as soon as we resumed the conversation, “ I’m not sure I can follow the connection between Gaia and anal pleasure, remember?  Can you get into some more detail?”
 “Sure.  Let me start with a question.  Did you know that Freud said that anal pleasure was the richest pleasure one could feel, and that experiencing this pleasure was healthy?”
“Really?  How do you know?”
“Well, my father used to say that when I was little,” G rushed to explain, “and then I read it in recent books that study the subculture of barebacking in San Francisco.” [1]
“I wonder if Freud would still say that today, when we know how dangerous barebacking is.”
“I bet he would,” G asserted, undeterred.
“How can you possibly say that?” I exclaimed.
“Because in his view what is most pleasurable is what is most repressed, and repression is bad for you because it’s unnatural--even though sometimes necessary for social peace.  He thought that the pursuit of pleasure was natural and good for you—I mean healthy.”
“So, because anal sex was so repressed in his time, this made him think that it’d be most pleasurable?” I asked.
“I suppose,” replied G.
“But barebacking can kill you! Can’t it?” I probed, concerned. 
“Only if you do it excessively and in unnatural ways, Freud would probably say.  Today we are so prejudiced against natural anal sex because we come from over twenty years of thinking that AIDS comes from infections passed through the anal mucous.”
“All right.  So, what’s a ‘natural’ way to have anal sex?’”
“A way that’s holistic: A way that enhances the main function of the rectum, which is of course, elimination of what’s unnecessary to the body’s homeostasis.”
“How can anal sex be holistic?” I asked, puzzled. 
“When one allows for a gradual opening of the sphincter, when one does it consciously and not under the effect of some substance, and when one doesn’t do it so violently or frequently as to damage the integrity of the organ and its lining and mucous.”
“Ok. I suppose one can do that.”
“Why just suppose?”
“Have you tried it?” I asked.
“You know I enjoy anal sex, and I’ve always done it naturally,” G affirmed.  “Holistic sexual health is very important to me.  I always expect respect for my body when I have sex.”
“All right.  I get the point about anal pleasure.  But how can this enhance the main function?” I asked, impatient.
“It helps one discover anal pleasure, develop a taste for it.  Then having a bowel movement becomes a pleasure too, and the body, who seeks pleasure, does it more naturally and willingly.”
“OMG.  I think of bowel movement as gross--not pleasurable!” I exclaimed.
“Well, that’s the problem, Freud would say,” G replied, amused.
“Really?  Have you thought all this up, or did you read it somewhere?” I asked, ruffled.
“I always read.  And I’ve been accused of holding heretical views in relation to this, so I research and think,” G replied, unperturbed. 
“All right.  All right,” I calmed down. “Tell me more about it.  Does this have anything to do with ‘finding the cause of AIDS?’”
“It does if you define AIDS as the depletion of the gut as a bioregion of the body that’s essential to the body’s health,” declared G, peaceful.
“But then this depletion can be related to anal sex?” I asked, curious. 
“Yes it can, if it’s not practiced in a holistic way.”  
“You mean, if it’s done violently, or excessively?”
“You’re getting there.  Turns out if anal sex is not practiced in a holistic way, it can cause intestinal dysbiosis, which happens when the biological function of one’s gut is compromised or disabled altogether.”
“If the gut is not respected, you mean?”
“If it’s abused in some way?”
“That’s a way to put it,” G said.
“Thanks.  I get it,” I offered, appeased.  “Did you find out about this recently?” 
“I told you.  It’s from the guy who found the cause of AIDS.  I found a series of three videos, all about anal sex and how it can be done holistically.  Or--to be more specific--about how doing anal sex in ways that are not holistic can cause AIDS.”
“All right.  And where did you find the videos?” I asked.
“On YouTube.  They are from a presentation at the latest Rethinking AIDS Conference, in Oakland, where all those who are seriously thinking about sexual health in holistic ways got together to discuss what other hypothesis could be pursued to explain AIDS better than we do today.”[2]
“Woooooow.  That’s awesome, I exclaimed.  “And how does the presenter know about this?  Is s/he a doctor?  A scientist?  A Nobel laureate?”
“No,” G replied, serene.  “His name is Tony Lance, and he is a perfectly healthy gay man who tested ‘poz’ 13 years ago, has refused conventional treatments, and has done his own research.”
“How interesting.  Vernacular science, eh?”
“Yes, science by the people and for the people.  Very symbiotic, very Gaian indeed.  He claims the gut is an ecosystem.”
“Is it?”
“You bet,” G replied, eager.  “Any system that processes life’s energy is an ecosystem.  He compares the gut to a ‘rainforest, rich in species and interdependencies.’  Anything you do with it needs to support the system, including anal pleasure.  If you abuse it, you can destroy it.”
“And what could one do that would have that effect?” I asked.
“All kinds of things that undermine its biological function--but not anal sex per se.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, think of all the cultural obsessions that come from excessive emphasis on allopathic medicine and are opposed to holistic health.”
“That would involve practicing medicine as war against disease agents rather than as support of the body’s inherent balance and homeostasis.”
“But how does that apply to anal pleasure?” I asked.  “I’m afraid I need some concrete examples.”
“Ok.  Back in the days before AIDS, many gay men who went to the bathhouses for anal pleasure did wide spectrum antibiotics on a regular basis to stave off the flu and other stuff one would get there.  It was a way to combat microbes as if they were enemies.  But in reality most microbes are very valuable symbiotic friends.  So those medicines destroyed the friendly bacterial flora that lines the gut and makes it able to absorb nutrients.  And when the gut fails to do its job you can end up with a mild case of intestinal dysbiosis.”
“Woooow.   Profound!” I exclaimed.  “And what would be a holistic way to handle that?”
“Well, doing anal pleasure only to the extent that is does not expose one to excessive flu microbes from one’s partners, for example.  Doing it in moderation and while one builds up one’s immune system with good nutrition as well.”
“Ok.  So holistic sexual health is not a way to condemn pleasure, but rather a way to enhance it and promote healthier and more conscious ways to enjoy it.”
“Yes,” G agreed.
“Is there more to it?” I asked, curious.
“Of course,” G replied.  “But I gotto go.  Can we talk about it in a couple of days?”
“Yes, call me when you’re ready.”

[1] Tim Dean. Beyond Sexuality. University of Chicago press, 2000. (A study of Freud and Lacan in their deepest and less popular implications.) Unlimited Intimacy. University of Chicago Press, 2009.  (An analysis of the subculture of barebacking in San Francisco.)  Amazon.com: Beyond Sexuality Amazon.com: Unlimited Intimacy
[2] Videos of Tony Lance’s presentation at Rethinking AIDS.  YouTube - Tony Lance

Disclaimer:  This Tale does not constitute medical advice in any way.  Readers are invited to consult their own healers and health care providers. 

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Wisdom of Love - A Double Book Launch - June 22 - San Rafael, CA - 7 PM

Deborah Taj Anapol and Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio
The Wisdom of Love 
in their new books 
Polyamory in the 21st Century 
Gaia and the New Politics of Love
in this unique double book launch 

Is the love of wisdom nothing but the wisdom of love?
What's the future of love on planet Earth?
Why write about polyamory today? 
Two wise poly women writers answer your questions!
                                                DATE: Tuesday, June 22
                                                TIME: 7 PM
                                                Cost Per Person
                                                          $ 8   Prepaid ($ 10 at door)
                                                          $ 14 Prepaid with signed copy of Gaia
                                                Deep discounts when you treat friends!
                                                WHERE: Open Secret Bookstore 
                                                                   923 C St.
                                                                   San Rafael, CA

                            Due to limited space, RSVP early!
Great discounts when you sign up now by yourself, and with one or two friends.  Check drop down menu:


 Book Descriptions:
Polyamory in the 21st Century: Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners, by Deborah Taj Anapol, provides a perceptive overview of the whole range of intimate relationships that don’t conform to our culture’s monogamous ideal but endeavor to be honest, ethical, and consensual. It addresses the practical, the utopian, and the shadow sides of this intriguing, yet often challenging lifestyle while shedding light on the reasons people choose polyamory and how their lives have changed as a result. Drawing on recent findings from many disciplines, Polyamory in the 21st Century helps the reader comprehend the dynamics of long term open marriages as well as more tribal and fluid intimate networks and everything in between. ON SALE IN EARLY JULY!  (Rowman & Littlefield, 2010)

Gaia and the New Politics of Love: Notes for a Poly Planet, by Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, is the first study that links global peace, health, and ecology to the sexual freedom movement and polyamory. The book presents the concept of Gaia, the live planet, as the scientific basis to argue that the arts of loving can 'save the planet' because they are a form of the arts of healing. Therefore, the world needs a new politics of love where sharing amorous resources is a virtue. Polyamory is the subculture where the arts of sharing these resources honestly, fairly, and compassionately can be learned. These practices can turn hatred into love, fear into hope, scarcity into abundance. (North Atlantic Books, 2009.)


Deborah Taj Anapol, PhD, has taught psychology and human sexuality at the University of Washington in Seattle and Antioch University in San Francisco, and has led seminars on love, sex, and intimacy all over the country and around the world. She is the author of Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits and The Seven Natural Laws of Love.

Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, PhD, is a professor of humanities at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez. She is the author of Eros: A Journey of Multiple Loves, and the editor of Plural Loves and Bisexuality and Queer Theory.  She teaches courses, workshops, and seminars on the practice of love and the science of Gaia.

Treat yourself to this event with your favorite friends!

Discount options to sign up by yourself and with one or two friends.  See drop down menu:

Memorable quotes:
"A world where it is safe to love is a world where it is safe to live." 
Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio, PhD
"Let jealousy be your teacher." Deborah Taj Anapol, PhD
"Is the love of wisdom nothing but the wisdom of love?" Deborah Taj Anapol and Serena Anderlini-D'Onofrio (from an intuition of Luce Irigaray's)


In the same venue, treat yourself to a full-day workshop on July 3rd!