This is a story about how we tell stories, based on one that I just heard.
A story of me & someone I don't know very well,
together in a way that we never were,
and the jokes & winks & congratulatory gross things that happen
between a type of guy I honestly don't have to see very often.
I didn't know until years later (until now) that he had let this rumor fly.
I was in a relationship with someone else.
I met him through my mom, he was a coworker.
We did nothing but talk.
But it doesn't matter.
And it's hard to explain my anger, except for the part about what I consented to, which was not this.
Not quite the butt of a joke, but more like the angry smack of a high five.
With nothing I can do about it, except write to you.
I found out because she told me, finally, that it still comes up, in whispers and jokes around her office.
I am the whisper.
I am the joke.
Not because of who I am or what I did or even didn't do, but because he can say whatever he wants, and they believe him.
And they didn't bother to ask, but they probably wouldn't have believed me.
And I'm the frozen gold trophy, trapped on the mantle, stolen straight from the case. An imaginary number. A smirk.
And suddenly it reminds me of every time that moment comes, when someone who wants you realizes that you're saying no.
At a bar, on a date, as a friend, whatever...
and you quickly go from hearing, "You're gorgeous" and "May I?" to "bitch."
And that's if we're lucky.
And suddenly it reminds me of leaving my marriage, of leaving behind a certain type of church, where the moment came when I needed more, needed so much more, and I quickly went from the virgin to the whore.
We knew the script so well.
Or even the breakup, from my oh-so-feminist ex-boyfriend, who had condemned and condemned those judging people, those strict rules... and then as I was leaving called everyone we knew to tell them I had been a slut. That I had probably slept with their boyfriend. That my dissertation had also never been any good, also.
The dissertation about controlling women's sexuality.
You see, it would be easy to just tell you one story.
The story where I took a winding road to grow up,
but that once I did I found my way to a
beautiful, free, healed place
where I can experience
pleasure & passion & playfulness
and it all feels good.
And that story is true.
there is more.
There is the part where you have to arm yourself with the tools to get back into your body, over and over again.
To reclaim pleasure & play, to reclaim your body.
Because everyone else tries to take it.
Or you lose sight of what stories are true,
whether they are stories you heard from other people or the stories you've told yourself.
That's why I created Uncover, that's what those processes are.
Yes, they will help you know how to tell a person in bed what you want, and how to have a better orgasm. Yes, they will bring out a side of you that draws people to you. BUT, more importantly, they teach us (and me, over and over) to claim our pleasure and power for ourselves.
No one gets to take it.
They will try.
This is a moment where it is crucial not to hide.
It would be so easy.
It would feel so safe, for a minute.
To build the shell back up.
But there is bravery & truth inside us, and it's the core part that we uncover there that can never be bruised or shamed.
In case it isn't clear from my empowerment work around sexuality, it's not that I think we shouldn't talk about sex. It's how.
With my ex-boyfriend, it didn't matter that I had a great group of friends, that I had worked so hard in school, that I had taken such care to end our relationship with integrity and honesty. He could erase it all by calling me a slut.
It's why it took me so long to own my work, to tell the truth: that the Uncover process is my greatest art form, that it is here for us.
But this is true.
This is why claiming our bodies, claiming our pleasure, and claiming our goddamn anger, are all part of the feminist revolution that we so desperately need right now.
I'm offering a few things in the coming days that are meant to be gifts for you: a free workshop tomorrow on love & relationships and a webinar on Monday on intimacy & rediscovering who you are. I'd love to have you join us.
And frankly, if you're reading this and you're ready to go, I'd love to have you join me in the next round of Uncover. We start on November 14, and it is just what we need to fight back. The doors won't officially open until tomorrow night, but you can join here, right now. (And you can read about it, if you'd like more information.)
Your power, your passion: uncovered.
Not for anyone else.
But for YOU.
And, if this sparked something for you:
stories of those who didn't defend you,
of an anger you see in the sexual double standards all around us,
for every way we betrayed Eve + Esther + Rahab + all the Marys...
you know you are safe here, with us.
We aren't going anywhere.