Tag Archive: love


Pretty much the cutest proposal ever.

FTQK loves straight people too!  Especially when they come up with such great, inventive, and adorable ways to express their love for one another.  Comment with links if you have other adorable proposal videos.  🙂

Stay cool, queer kids.

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One of the unfortunate things I’ve run across in some sex-positive communities is the idea that there’s a “right way” to do a certain kind of practice.  There’s a “one true kind of D/s play,” the “real kind” of (insert meaningless garbage here).  And I think that’s really hurtful, to people who are still trying to figure out their identities and sexual practices without feeling judged.  For those of us who feel confident in our preferences, it’s just bloody annoying.

I’ve seen this most often in the polyamorous community.  I’m not going to hypothesize why this is, but it really upsets me, considering how difficult it already is to identify as poly in our society.  Taking flack from within your own community about the different ways people perform polyamory is a burden no one needs.  ((BTW: If you want a refresher on what polyamory is: check out this Q and A with XeroMag))

So what are some of the bogus arguments you may come across?

Poly isn’t about the sex.

Bullshit it’s not about sex.  I strongly dislike polyamorous people who lord the sanctity of their emotional bond over people who have casual sex.  Yes, the idea behind poly is that you can not only have sex, but also a loving emotional connection to more than one partner, but when poly people use love as a prerequisite for the identity, they are doing everyone a disservice.

understanding nonmonogamies book

Boring book cover, great book. Click through to buy on Amazon!

There is a great book, called Understanding Non-monogamies, which is a collection of essays on different types of non-monogamy (yes, my nerdiness is showing) which has a really amazing section on how poly communities use “love discourse” like the “Poly isn’t about sex” line to reinforce monogamous beliefs.  Think about it—conventional, monogamous marriage is all about prizing one emotional bond over all others.  It exists to the exclusion of all other sexual partners because their love matters more than the physical pleasure of random sex.  By saying, poly isn’t about sex, poly people are using the same logic of monogamy to exclude people who do relationships and sex differently.  They are saying: you are not as good as us.  Your relationship doesn’t deserve recognition, because it’s not built on the foundation of love that makes ours REAL.

That is of course, a load of crock.  Only you can give your own relationships and hookups and friends with benefits meaning.  A casual sexual partner can often be hugely important in your life, even if the emotional commitment to a long-term relationship is not there, the same way a monogamous person can have a one night stand after they break up with a partner and have it be completely game-changing for them.

You aren’t really poly if you don’t love your other partner- you’re just using them.

B….S….  This is tied right in to the first argument, that poly relationships are about love, and sex is just a side benefit.  By extension, if “real relationships” are about love, then a poly relationship where you don’t love your other partner is really just using them.

I’m sorry, I forgot when it became ok for others to place value judgments on what my relationship means.  If my partner feels like ze ispoly heart: couple in the middle with arms extended to multiple partners on each side not being respected enough, ze can leave.  One thing poly really is about is honesty, so I can understand this argument if a person is lying to their partner, saying ze loves them, but really doesn’t.  However, beyond situations where one partner is obviously lying to the other partner, and those two people are not asking for the same things out of a relationship, there’s nothing wrong.

Swingers are inferior to poly people.  We’ve figured out how to make sex with multiple people meaningful.

Gararrarrrawrrrrr.  (that’s my angry noise)

There’s a surprising amount of ire between poly people and swingers.  Polyamorous people often think of swingers as cheapening non-monogamy by making it all about sex, or by having so many rules or so much jealousy around the issue of sex.  For me, this is kind of a no-brainer.   People are wired for different kinds of monogamy, and different kinds of non-monogamy.  Some people can let their partner have casual sex, but they want no part in it.  Some can let their partner have casual sex, but only if they ARE part of it.  Some people aren’t wired for jealousy.  Some people can have emotional attachment to multiple people.  Some partners don’t want that.  You have to work within the context of your own needs, your own limitations, and those of your partners.  The hardest situation to navigate is when an established, monogamous couple contains one partner who wants to open up the relationship.  There are a lot of degrees to which this can be done, and swinging is one of a variety of options.  There’s no reason to look down on couples that swing, because that is what works for them.  It respects boundaries, is consensual, and the people involved enjoy it.  Isn’t that what we all want?

Two fingers pointing in opposite directions, captioned "I'm with them"

You’re not really poly if you have a primary partner. 

A primary partnership in poly relationships is the pair that stays together for the long-run, that has primacy over other relationships, and should be respected above all else.  Some poly people (often those that militantly advocate group relationships, poly circles, etc) take issue with the idea of a primary partner, because it devalues other relationships with a paired person.  And in a way, that’s true.  If you live with, marry, and spend the majority of your time with one person,  your secondary partner is not going to have the same value to you that your primary does.  It’s right there in the vocab: primary, secondary.

However, that doesn’t exclude you from polyamory, and it’s not abusive to your secondary partner.  If you assume an open structure on both ends (you can have multiple partners, and so can your secondary), then your secondary partner is open to finding a primary of zir own.  That’s pretty darn poly-like to me.

And there’s a reason that the pair-relationship model has lasted so long.  It’s awfully nice to know you can come home to the same person every night, to have someone to depend on no matter what, to be there for you through everything.  But that doesn’t preclude other relationships.  It doesn’t preclude anything.  The coolest thing about relationships is that you can make your own rules for them.  As long as everything is consensual, and you strive to do right unto everyone you spend time with… then love whoever you want.

Go on, I give you permission.

Stay cool, queer kids.

What I Love About Polyamory

During the most recent months of my blog-scouring and self-reflection, I’ve been honing in on a lot of material about the polyamorous community and all the wonderful growth and learning experiences that living in a poly relationship can bring.  So here’s my list (and a number of awesome articles  to go with it!) about what polyamory can bring to the table for personal improvement and interpersonal intimacy

1.  Living in a poly or open relationship forces you to be an amazing communicator.

The top priority for every poly person is to love while doing no harm.  Just because people are in open relationships doesn’t mean jealousy doesn’t happen, feelings aren’t going to be hurt, or problems won’t arise.  Because it does, they are, they will.  Polyamory has so many pitfalls if you aren’t being completely, 100% honest with your partner.  They need to know what you are thinking and feeling and needing not only in regards to their relationship with you, but in regards to their relationship as it relates to your OTHER relationships.  Tricky stuff.

One of the biggest aspects of polyamory among couples that date separately is the question of “negotiating permissions.”  For an illustration of how this works, but also why it can be tricky, I direct you to The Ferret, a blog on polyamory, and his explanation of “The Butterfinger Metaphor.”  

“Look,” I said. “Imagine that we’re going out to see a movie. You know I love movies, because movies are awesome. But imagine, if you will, that there was a chance that at this movie theater, on any given night, the cashier might also give me free Butterfingers. …[But] you care about the Butterfingers so much that I have to make sure you’re aware of every Butterfinger I eat. So every time I head to the movies, I’m all like, ‘Hell, if there’s a chance at Butterfingers, I’d better clear it with Gini – because if it turned out there was someone willing to give me Butterfingers and you would have been okay with that, I’d hate to miss out.’” 


“So we spend a lot of time discussing Butterfingers,” I boldly continued, “But the actual amount of time I spend getting Butterfingers, or even deeply caring about Butterfingers, is pretty damned slim. I just want to make sure that if Butterfingers are available, it’s okay with you.” 

 Maybe the metaphor is terrible, but it’s also an adorable way of illustrating the importance and difficulties of negotiating permissions.  If you want to spend time with another partner, but not hurt your primary partner, you end up asking a lot more often that you end up receiving, which can in turn, irritate your primary partner because you spend so much time asking to sleep with other people.

HOWEVER, I would argue that the hyper-developed communication skills which led to the Butterfingers problem also allowed it to be solved, because both partners were able to talk about why there was a disconnect in the way they were interacting and feeling.   And creative, constructive dialogue is awesome!

2.   Being in a poly/open relationship allows you to experience things sexually that another partner is unable to give, and/or offer the variety you feel like you’ve been missing.

One of the major boons about poly life in the kink community is that it combines the emotional commitment and trust that many kinky people need in their sex lives without needing to put all your eggs in one basket, as it were.  Many kinky people have a variety of practices that interest them, but have a life partner that is either not kinky at all, or that is drawn to different varieties of kinks than them.   For example, a male/female couple may both like domination and submission play, but the man also likes fire play or other practices too extreme for his partner.  Likewise, the woman may like to switch and play with other women in the opposite role from when she plays with her husband.  This kind of variability is incredibly useful to kinky people, and is much safer- physically and emotionally- than playing with strangers at parties or in the club scene (not that there’s anything wrong with that- but it is more dangerous).

This is equally true for vanilla relationships and single people who fear “getting tied down by true love” before they’ve experimented and satisfied their curiosity with people who aren’t “the one.”  Dan Savage talks about this brilliantly in “What Does Marriage Mean,” where a young couple with three children ends up separating because they realized that they hadn’t had enough sexual experiences of their own before settling down with each other.  But because they were unprepared to acknowledge the potential for a non-monogamous, yet committed relationship, they had to leave each other, which I think is a frustrating and un-productive endgame.

3. Poly/open relationships take the stress of dependency off of a diadic partner relationship.

The swinger’s blog, Life on the Swingset, provides a great explanation of this in their post, “All Things Re-Considered.”

“In every aspect of a modern life, we’ve become interconnected and interdependent with others. Every aspect except sex, that is. Most still expect themselves to be everything for their partners in the bedroom….And with all of those expectations comes pressure. And feeling insufficient, which may just be the root of all jealousy….All of us in different open relationships, whether swinger, poly, or in some custom-built arrangement, share a comfort level in having another human being provide for our partners. In purely sexual terms, there are certain types of orgasms that [G] can’t have with me. “

4. Poly/open relationships give us the opportunity to explore ourselves emotionally- to better understand why we feel the way we feel about certain things, and to make us better people in general.

Being with more than one person at a time, and having to negotiate the complex cultural baggage and your own mental hoops about  what it means to care for multiple people IS HARD.  But it’s also rewarding.  You find different kinds of intimacy from different people;  they uncover new aspects of your personality and push you to learn more about your own limits and expectations.  There’s a reason Zachary Karabell refers to open relationships as “Sex as an extreme sport.”

5.  So that’s a lot of articles I just threw at you, but here’s one more- “Where We Are” by Lust and Confused.  They explain my favoritereason why poly relationships are awesome: because it means more love for everyone.  ❤

Stay cool, queer kids.

Prostitutes vs. Sex Workers

Happy 2011 everyone!

 

I may have gotten a little preachy at my New Years Party about the problems inherent in shaming words like “slut,” “whore,” etc.   It’s an issue I’ve talked about obliquely on my blog a lot, about how everyone should be free to express their own sense of sexuality without feeling ashamed of it or having to answer to someone else’s moral standards.  But I went on a bit of rant aimed specifically at vocabulary yesterday.

See, while it’s one thing to say you support everyone’s right to express their own sexuality, it’s an awful lot harder to live it in your everyday life.  When you drive past an adult video store, you might raise an eyebrow at the cars parked in the lot and wonder if you know any of the people in there….  When you see in a girl in a miniskirt, a low-cut top, and heels walking down the street, you might look down on her for dressing that way and wonder if she’s a “hooker.”  Just like these socially-ingrained attitudes about sexual propriety, our vocabulary reflects how little we actually do accept of human sexuality.

Words like slut, cunt, whore, dick… these are all manifestations of a social attitude towards sex.  Their usage defines how much sex is ok, how low that top can sit, how much skin the girl can show, how many women a guy can have.  Whether we admit it or not, we all make judgements about people based on these behaviors, and they often aren’t pretty ones.

I won’t lie.  I was that girl in high school.  The one who looked down on all the girls having sex in 10th and 11th grade, the one who stole guys wallets to see if there were condoms inside (which was proof, of course, that they were terrible people who only thought about sex)… I was that girl who made snap judgements about you based on how short your dress was at homecoming and how much makeup you wore.

But I recognize now how wrong that was, how hurtful.  None of those choices make a person bad, immoral, disgusting.  They’re just choices, and choices that any person has the right and autonomy to make.

I have two links that I love for the way they illustrate my point in relation to people in sex work.  While I know that there are people out there who are trapped in prostitution by money issues, by drug problems, but debt or fear or any number of problems, I also know that not all of them are.  And moreover, regardless of their situation, sex workers are still people.  They still have lives and choices to make- but like the sluts and whores of high school, they are constantly being judged, being told that they aren’t good enough for something because of what they do for money.  The article, “Can Sex Workers Afford Love?” talks about this more eloquently than I ever could.

No one suggests that masseuses can’t afford to love, or acupuncturists, or therapists, and what they’re offering is intimate in nature as well, in different ways. I’m offering my skills as a Top, along with my creativity and my undivided attention. I’m offering a hand job from a girl who empathizes with wanting to get off with someone else and yet not wanting to go through the dating dance steps. I’m offering someone who will talk about sex with you, and communicate clearly and effectively, and with any luck will have rubbed some of that off on you.

Just because you cum on my hands and you pay me for it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly unable to love people.”

Sex workers are human, and that should really be more obvious than it is.  For another fantastic, if lighter take on the subject, I look to the new tumblr, “Stuff Sex Workers Eat” which in addition to being amazing fodder for my culinary adventures, is a beautiful

Mona Ramone eats angry little bear cookies. She loves to bake!

reminder of the other 23 hours in a sex worker’s day, where they eat, bake, see friends, laugh, and live colorful, social lives.

If we could see all people in this same light- with the purity of non-judgment, with the ability to remove our own squicks about sexual behavior and morals from our views on individual people, I think the world would be better off.

((So that’s your homework while I’m in Kenya, queer kids.  The girlfriend has mentioned the possibility of making a few posts while I’m away, so you might hear from her, but I’m off on an adventure.  Much love and blessings for the new year!)

 

16-year Old Sex

Through the course of my blogging, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what information I would have liked to have about sex as a teenager.  In doing so, I stumbled upon Bad Bad Girl, one of my new favorite sex bloggers, who wrote quite eloquently on the shaming and lack of information that most high school students are confronted with.  She highlights the stigma her family tried to instill in her about sex and why that hurt her as a sexual being.

“I see my mother try to influence my son… telling him that he will get his girlfriend pregnant if they have sex. That he best NOT do it. My brothers tell him that if people see he and his girlfriend kissing and such, people will thing she’s a slut. That if they have sex and people find out, guys will think she’s easy.   These are the same things they told me, 23 years ago. I remember being terrified that my mother would find out that I was sexually active, giving blow jobs to my boyfriend and the other things that friends my age were not doing yet. I was afraid she would be disappointed with me. I was scared that my brothers would thing I was a slut. My mom tried to suppress my sexuality so much that I went the other way, but always felt ashamed of it.”

I agree whole-heartedly with her point, but the question- “What information to give”- is very hard for me.  Though I’ve now found a lot of important lessons about self-acceptance, the hurt involved in sexual shaming, etc., when I was in high school, I don’t know how ready I was for any of that in high school.  I have a hard time figuring out what I was willing to hear and what would have benefited me at the time.

So let’s do an exercise… Think back to your sophomore or junior year.  What were your thoughts about sex?

It was probably something you didn’t have a whole lot of experience with- you might giggle about it or brag and make up stories or listen in awe at your more “experienced” friends, but you might not have been able to contribute much.  Maybe you weren’t thinking about it at all.  The unifying notion we had as high school students was that “the talk” with your parents was awkward and to be avoided whenever possible.  The idea of discussing sexuality with our parents was…weird.

But within that framework, I have to ask, if I wanted more information, but I wasn’t willing to get it from my parents, where was I supposed to go?  The obvious answer is the reason I’m writing this blog in the first place: the internet.  The internet was a gold mine of information, but it was also overwhelming and misleading.

 I think this is where our system really went wrong.  We, as students, put our parents in a double bind.  We had so much that we didn’t know about our sexuality that our parents often had learned and could have shared.  However, we were too ashamed of our parents’ sexuality, the same way they were ashamed of ours, to the point that neither of us were able to approach the other.

My childhood was a lot better than most in that respect.  My mom was conscientious enough to keep our communication lines open, made sure I got on the pill BEFORE I started having sex, and talked to me about the basics long before the school district got involved in my sex ed.  However, there’s other stuff I really wish I had known, but I’m still not sure I would have accepted when I was young enough to need it….  Stuff like, “Sex is really important in determining whether you’re compatible in a relationship,” “Speak up if he/she/ze is doing something that hurts you or makes you unhappy,” “Never have sex because you ‘feel like you should,'”  “Sex doesn’t have to be just for one person, just for marriage, or how the movies portray it,”  and more than anything, “Have a sense of humor- sex never has to be perfect.”   (**And to give my mother credit, a lot of this stuff came up later -after I’d started having problems- but I didn’t really believe her, which is really evidence for my original point.)

So what are the takeaways here?

  1. There’s still too much shaming of sex (inter- and intra-generationally)
  2. We have a double-standard about who can have sex and who can talk about it
  3. We might not know everything
  4. Our parents might actually be able to tell us something about sex if we were willing to listen…
  5. but society has structured our attitudes about sexuality to prevent that
  6. Bianca isn’t sure she has the answer to this one…

 

Three’s Company

For one of my classes this week, we had to watch the movie, “Y Tu Mama Tambien” (And Your Mother Too), which is, among other things, a very overtly sexual coming-of-age story.  In one of the pivotal scenes (spoiler alert!), the two main characters- two male friends who talk about their exploits with girlfriends and lovers non-stop)- get really drunk on mescal and eventually have sex with each other.  There is a moment in that scene, when the woman they were both originally trying to seduce falls away from view and they truly catch sight of each other, that gets me at the core.  The next moment they are embracing, kissing, and falling onto the bed before the inevitable camera cutaway.  Watching this, I found myself once again confronted with a familiar feeling from my childhood of obsessive romantic-comedy watching.  Though I find nothing that inherently sexy about gay male sex, watching this scene, I’m smiling like a goofy little girl, content as can be.  I’ve fallen in love with the relationship of the actors.

Perhaps some of you have felt this also- where you look at a couple and are completely overcome with happiness or jealousy or some kind of intoxicating emotion.  Looking more closely, you realize that you don’t want to be either of the people in the couple- you want to be the couple. When speaking about this with Beth, we compared it to rooting for a couple that you know to be doomed, because they mean something more together than the individuals do by themselves- they are beautiful, lovable, etc. because they are together.

I found the most marvelous article in Nerve about a woman who has been in a lot of threesomes which actually speaks to this idea.

“I came to realize I was more attracted to couples than I was to individuals. I might not remember some of these people at all had I hooked up with them one-on-one. But as a pair, I would fall in love with their familiarity; their affection for each other got me off. The most recent couple I fell for, James and Noël, were rock stars, straight up. They were reckless drunks, bursting with manic energy as bright and chaotic as their tattooed sleeves. After five minutes with them, it was clear: they were it for each other — and I was smitten. I found myself flirting shamelessly with both of them, slyly working to command their collective attention and approval.”

I find this equation for intimacy to be at once incredibly beautiful and intriguing.  I’ve never been in a threesome, nor have I had the opportunity presented to me, nor had I (until recently) even thought seriously about the idea, as I simply assumed that feelings would inevitably complicate things.  However, this article, and the sentiment of falling in love with couples, makes me hopeful.  I have always felt bizarrely attached to couplings I witness- in movies and tv shows, in real life, in books, and so forth- to the point where I feel that I almost love their relationship.  Somehow, within the context of this paradigm, such feelings seem more normal- and more explorable.

For most of society, the primary opposition to threesomes comes from the debasement of intimacy that they supposedly cause. Because sex is “made for two people,” the introduction of a third simply demeans the closeness of the interaction.  Now I don’t hold  it against anyone who does believe this, but I find two things troubling about that format for me:  first is the presupposition that all sex must be for love, which I honestly believe it does not.  This isn’t anti-romantic, simply practical.  As a sexual being, one can have sex without committing to the full spectrum of emotion that a long-term, committed relationship demands.  Second, however opposite, is the assumption that threesomes cannot be intimate.  For this, I’d like anyone who agrees to read this lovely article on intimacy by Greta Christina.  All of the things she talks about- listening to your partner(s), being engaged and attentive, being selfless and selfish simulteously, giving yourself over to the moment- can all happen in the context of a relationship, or a one-night stand, or a threesome in any form.  It simply takes the right people and the right situation.

In one sense, I value monogamy and dedication to another person.  Yet in another, I am equally devoted to the love I feel between those outside of myself and my relationship.  I find it beautiful, electrifying.  I have no idea what this means in practice, nor if or how I would carry it out, but I like the concept all the same.

The view from academic queer studies position and from a regular, everyday LGBT person is VERY different.  And what often sits at the crux of that difference are the questions of assimilation and validation around the marriage argument.

To sum up the debate: arguments for marriage are the ones we see all the time- LGBT people are just as loving, healthy, righteous and deserving of the right to marry as anyone else.  Yes?  Arguments against marriage rights take the question of right and turn it on its head: why is marriage so important?  Why should we, as queer people who are DIFFERENT AND AWESOME, feel the need to conform to a societal expectation created by and for straight people?

This irreverent article by Simon Sheppard on CarnalNation does an excellent job of answering those questions from the viewpoint of a person who once opposed marriage. (there’s also a link to his original article explaining why he doesn’t really care to get married)

Point being, yeah, even if marriage is an assimilationist institution, it’s still a pretty amazing one.  I was a bridesmaid for my parents’ 25th anniversary vow renewal this past week, and the experience was incredibly humbling.  These crazy people who gave birth to me have been together, loving each other despite their flaws and shortcomings for longer than I’ve been alive, for a quarter of a century.  And that is absolutely beautiful.

Besides all the good stuff about medical benefits and social security (and my gf’s government health care package, whoooo!), marriage really does come down to the emotions- the neurons and hormones and heart-pumping happy feeling you get when you see the person you want to spend the rest of your life with.  Being able to put a ring on it means just one more way of showing that person that they mean everything to you and that you’re ready to make a lifelong adventure together.

Having lived in DC just as gay marriage was legalized was exciting.  Living in a city with the potential to make that lifetime commitment to the person I love is life-affirming.  And waking up each morning to the person I want to share it with, well, that’s nothing short of bliss.

Love me some Butch/Femme dynamics.  This video is hysterical.  Enjoy guys, and sorry about the post being late.  The girlfriend just came home and I wanted to spend every waking second with her.  Also, I had a little too much wine to post coherently.

Stay cool, queer kids.

Let me preface by saying that Taoism has a dual nature- as both philosophy and religion.  Both reach their root back into ancient China.  However, much of the traditional “religious” teachings have become hopelessly outdated, and include ideas like conserving a man’s life essence by not ejaculating and attempting to have the woman orgasm 9 times in each session because it echoes the balance of the 9 lines in the I Ching.  These ideas don’t really make any sense to me as a modern woman.  HOWEVER, the supposedly “philosophical” teachings of Taoism- those of non-action, following the Tao, and being at peace with the rhythm of the universe which are found in the Tao Te Ching- still resonates strongly.  I consider these to be religious ideas, because they incorporate an eternal spirit (Tao) and a code of ethics.  So I’m kind of arguing that I have made peace with my sexuality through a religious philosophy.

For starters, if you don’t know what Taoism is, this is a brief rundown:

Taoists believe the existence of the Tao, a life force or energy that exists in and around everything in our world.  It creates a natural order, which when human beings listen to and cooperate with it, life is peaceful and good.  When we contradict the Tao, by disrupting nature or being disrespectful to the harmony of the world, we get problems like war, pollution, and hate.

Taoists try to follow this teaching:

The Master allows things to happen.
She shapes events as they come.
She steps out of the way
and lets the Tao speak for itself.

The beautiful thing about philosophical Taoism is the simplicity of its “doctrine.”  Listen to the universe.  Listen to yourself, because the Tao resides in you and will guide you in the ways of the universe.  So when I “came out to myself” as bisexual (…and then later as pansexual, and again as queer), I didn’t face the struggle that many religious people do.  My religion puts a lot of faith in its followers- that they know who they are and what is best for them as a part of a greater whole in this world.  My sexuality has never hurt anyone.  It does not disrupt nature’s order for the world.

In fact, I would argue that my sexuality, through my relationships with others, is a very good thing religiously.  Even if I personally am following the Tao and have made peace with my sexuality, there are others out there with hate in their hearts, hate which interrupts the work of the Tao.  If they know me, if they speak to me, learn with me, then their anger might be abated and order slowly restored to their life and the universe as a whole.

In addition, the deep love that I feel for another actually nourishes my spiritual growth.  Through love, I learn to listen to my heart, to use it with respect.  I may be born with the innate ability to love and to care, yet only through practice can I uncover the depth of emotion, tap into the essence of connectedness, and begin to see the underlying patterns the Tao weaves.  Verse 34 of the Tao Te Ching states that the Tao is hidden in the hearts of all things; by connecting and using my heart to love others, I become closer to the Tao within myself.  And this kind of growth occurs no matter who you love- gay, straight, bi, pan, queer, questioning, the labels are irrelevant when you reach that core emotion.  My sexuality is only one version of many which feeds the source, the Tao.

In the end, I think all religions will agree that love triumphs over all.  Taoist would say that those who forget this essential teaching simply need to stop for a moment and listen to the spirit inside of them.  It will always tell you the harmonious way to live.

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