How Pure Must Allies Be?

I’ve been active in several different political movements in my life. I was raised conservative, became a libertarian, and am now a “left” libertarian who is passionate about LGBT issues, the drug war, and social justice. One common thread throughout the movements on the left, right, and libertarian is that many people demand a certain amount of purity in their allies. Personally, I think that is destructive. Particularly when that purity is demanded of someone’s past actions. Take Dan Savage, for example.

I like Dan Savage*. He did a lot to open my eyes to gender and sexuality issues and I think he is right a lot of the time. Though, in the past he made some harmful comments about transgender individuals and he contributed to the idea that bisexuality doesn’t really exist (Spoiler: We bisexuals exist). Since making those comments years ago he has become more educated and changed his mind. He has even apologized for making the comments. In reality, Savage has done more for the equality movement than most people… but he is often demonized because he wasn’t perfect in the past. Hell, he probably isn’t perfect now by anyone’s definition, but I’ve seen people say he shouldn’t be supported, his posts shouldn’t be shared, and that he shouldn’t be considered part of the equality movement because of the things he said in the past. It raises the question, how pure must someone be for them to get our support? And how long to we ostracize someone who has since apologized and changed their mind?

I didn’t always believe the things I believe now. I didn’t always support marriage equality. I used to think being gay was a sin and I said many hurtful things in the past. It seems that if I was more famous back in my youth I would be shunned by some of the people that I care about today.

All you have to do is watch the GOP debates or read the thread on a Reason Magazine Facebook post and you will see that most political views are filled with purity tests. You aren’t a “real” libertarian if you think a Basic Income Guarantee might be a pragmatic and beneficial initiative. You aren’t a “real” conservative if you don’t want to kill Muslims. Forget all the ways you might agree with a philosophy, if you don’t see eye-to-eye on every issue you are a phone, a RINO, a fraud, and all your opinions are worthless. If you disagree with some people on one issue you become incapable of contributing anything, even if your contributions are unrelated.

It is sad and really ineffective to destroy allies this way. By focusing on our areas of disagreement we only guarantee our movement will get smaller. Pushing people to the margins and cutting them out of the conversation won’t change their mind. Quite the contrary, it will only shrink their circle until they interact only with the people that you disagree with. If someone is wrong on transgender issues, you don’t decide that they aren’t a feminist, liberal, progressive, libertarian, or whatever and ostracize them, instead if you want to change their mind you bring them into the conversation and celebrate the areas you agree.

It is this pursuit of purity that drove me out of most political activism. My chosen identities of anarchist, feminist, libertarian, etc were constantly under fire until I said “fuck it” and just stopped being active. It wasn’t worth the heartache or headache to try and appease everyone. You destroy allies when you demand purity, and eventually you end up alone.

Dream Job

A couple of nights ago Anna and I took a little MDMA while camping. To be honest, it was probably our least favorite roll yet. It was our own fault, we had full stomachs and were pretty tired. We’ve also been rolling quite a bit just the two of us. We love that but some variety would be nice… another couple to roll with (we’ve had great experiences in the past introducing couples to molly) or maybe a festival/rave to explore. To be honest, there wasn’t much euphoria or desire for physical intimacy, it wasn’t a bad experience (can Molly be bad?) but it wasn’t great. There was one highlight for me though, I got to do some internal thinking and fantasizing about my dream job. While rolling, particularly towards the end of the night, you can kind of get stuck in your own head thinking about wonderful things. Your mind kind of wanders in a pseudo-hallucinogenic fashion. During this time of reflection I realized what I would love to do for a living. Sadly, if I tried to do this openly men with guns would kick down my door and put me in a cage.

What I’d love to do is host “Roll Parties” for people. I’d love to provide a set and setting for people to use MDMA carefree. I would provide the location, the MDMA, and whatever extras people desired. It could be completely customizable to the group’s desires. Maybe it is just a couple who want to curl up and talk out their relationship, or maybe a small group want to have a sexy party, or maybe more of a rave is what a group want. I’d love to provide all of that.

For example, maybe a group of six friend’s contact me and want to have a roll party. They don’t have a clear idea for what they want out of the night but want to keep options open. They are fairly sexually liberal but not swingers or poly. To get the night started I would give a briefing on what to expect from taking MDMA, this would happen at every party even if people are used to the drug. After everyone takes their dose we would spend the next hour figuring out what people are comfortable with and what they would want while waiting for the dose to hit. I would have everyone anonymously fill out a “comfort sheet” where they can share their comfort level with certain common occurrences while rolling. Maybe it would look something like this:

How comfortable would you be if the males in this room were nude (unaroused)?

  • Very Comfortable
  • Somewhat Comfortable
  • Unsure
  • Somewhat Uncomfortable
  • Very Uncomfortable
  • Comments:

How comfortable would you be if the females in this room were nude?

  • Very Comfortable
  • Somewhat Comfortable
  • Unsure
  • Somewhat Uncomfortable
  • Very Uncomfortable
  • Comments:

How comfortable would you be if the males in this room were nude (sexually aroused)?

  • Very Comfortable               
  • Somewhat Comfortable
  • Unsure
  • Somewhat Uncomfortable
  • Very Uncomfortable
  • Comments:

How comfortable would you be if the people were giving erotic massages?

  • Very Comfortable
  • Somewhat Comfortable
  • Unsure
  • Somewhat Uncomfortable
  • Very Uncomfortable
  • Comments:

Are there any subjects that you feel uncomfortable discussing or may be triggering for you? Please list or discuss personally with the facilitator?

Are you interested in discussing any of the following subjects more openly?

  • Societies views on sex and nudity
  • Your personal sex life and kinks or interests
  • Spirituality and Religion
  • Politics
  • Your past

This is just a sample of some of the questions and it would be much more thorough. This may seem silly to some but providing a comfortable environment for everyone is important. After gathering all the surveys I would share some rules/guidelines about how the night will go.  If someone said they are uncomfortable with seeing aroused males we could come up with solutions, including getting verbal confirmation of everyone in the room before something like that happens. Or maybe designate a particular room for more sexual activity. I’d also let people know what subjects others are interested in discussing or should be avoided because they can be triggering. Generally people rolling are great about consent and following the kink guidelines (discuss what you like, what you don’t like, any medical issues you may have, what aftercare you desire, etc) but having designated places for activities or guidelines in place at the beginning of the night helps get everyone comfortable. Some groups won’t need this, some groups of friends are completely comfortable with everything or have a lot of experience already but occasionally individuals are in a mental space where they have strong preferences. It is always best to express these things from the beginning to prevent harm or discomfort. The goal is to make the most conservative and/or least experienced person 100% comfortable with how things may go.

I could also provide DJ’s, fire dancers, masseuses, and whatever else the group desired. It would be completely geared to what the group wants. Sadly, this would all be illegal because of the drugs. Sure, I could probably try to host parties like this without the drugs but my passion is really sharing the MDMA experience with others so that their lives and relationships can grow. MDMA destroys jealousy and the unnecessary social walls that have been put up, and it helps spread comfort and love. I’ve rolled with people where all we do is talk and bond, I’ve rolled with people where it gets very sexually intimate with massages and same-room sex, and I’ve had goofy times with people where we explore each other’s bodies in kind of a clinical fashion and just marvel at how beautiful we all are.

I’d love to do this for a living (though, not necessarily for an income). Maybe someday it will be legal… or maybe I’ll just do it anyway and risk it. Providing healing and happiness for other people is the moral thing to do, even it if is illegal.