Hey guys, do me a favor. Please stop calling me brave for being open about my sexuality. It's not that I don't appreciate the gratitude for the ways in which I set an example for others to access their desires - I do! Very much so! But I'm realizing lately that being open about my sexuality is in no way an act of bravery for me. In fact, it's a big way for me to hide. So in my request here I'm actually asking you to help call me in and not let me off the hook for actually being brave.
In my most formative early relationship with a pro-BDSM dungeon owner who was also my employer and 24/7 Dominant, I was greatly rewarded for being sexual, being desirable, being submissive, and being an achiever who helped further his business. And I was concurrently mocked, gaslighted, and punished for being soft, having needs, desiring affection, and needing support and emotional connection. So leading with my sexuality isn't brave for me at all - it's actually a way of plea-bargaining to try to get access to a few crumbs of my emotional needs getting met while taking the easy route of being hot and pleasing.
If you'd like to praise my bravery, praise me for being brave when I admit that the poly community doesn't serve my needs the way I wanted to pretend it did. Praise me for being brave when I admit that I need emotional support and that that is normal and not a shameful thing I have to trick someone into doing in exchange for having sex with me. Praise my bravery when I start to consider offering new healing modalities and asking to be paid for my services, or raising my coaching rates to reflect the knowledge and abilities I've acquired since the last time I set them. Praise my bravery when I question whether committing so hard to my sexual fantasies as a needless/wantless sex doll was actually dooming my relationships, hypersigil-style. Praise my bravery when I admit I actually kind of want emotional commitment from a partner, which is the thing I was always told both by lovers and by society that made me the most shameful, the least desirable, and a total embarrassment to myself. Praise me when I admit that for the last decade I tried to be worthy of love by disdaining it, and that it's only occurred to me this year how dumb that was.
Naked photos and sexual confessions are easy-peasy. There's literally no risk in them for me except for the unwanted attention and harassment that gets peppered in as uncomfortable people project their shame and desires on me, and let's face it, because I don't really care what those people think, there's no bravery on my part there at all except for the fact that it feeds into my story about being unsafe in the world for how I express myself, and thus enables me to keep feeling unsafe and unsupported under the guise of defending my free self-expression.
You guys. My sexuality doesn't make me brave at all. My sexuality is absolutely a hall of mirrors to distract you from the things I am actually afraid of, which is true intimacy at the being level and not just in a fantasy world, and death of the ego in the service of actual union.
You know how when there's something you want so badly you're too afraid to ask for it, and so you ask for the next best thing instead because it seems more realistic?
I've been asking for the next best thing for the last ten years.
That's not bravery. That's the opposite.