Joy

I bought a lawnmower a couple weeks ago and I love it. It is a super, sweet $40 push mower that doesn’t require any gas or electricity. Instead, it is powered by calories and it is perfect for our small yard (1,200 square feet is small, right?). I could have opted for a more advanced lawn mower, but that would have been crazy. Why would I spend more money on an object that reduces my pleasure? Particularly one that is going to have continued costs like gasoline or electricity?

What it comes down to, I guess, is that I get joy out of mowing the lawn. In fact, I get joy out of all of the yard work. Trimming trees, raking, sweeping the driveway, planting a garden, etc all bring joy into my life. Not only do these activities get me outdoors into the sun (get that D!) and fresh air, it provides an opportunity for me to meet my neighbors. If I was pushing some loud, gas-powered beast or paid someone to mow my lawn then I wouldn’t be in a position for small talk and neighborly bonding. Yard work provides an environment to meet people without it being super awkward.

It is also pretty good exercise. It certainly isn’t an aerobic exercise, but there are health benefits to neglecting automation and getting your hands dirty. Cooking, cleaning, and house maintenance can all be accomplished more quickly with advanced technology, but they also create missed opportunities to become more healthy. Little micro-exercises of chopping and cooking my own food, cleaning my house, and working in the yard burn a few extra calories and keep me up and active throughout the day. Instead of sitting at my computer all day and letting machines do my chores, I have an excuse to take a break from the screen and get moving.

Now, I’m sure for some people the idea of getting out into the yard a few times a week sounds worse than rusty razor blades being pressed into their gums. So, where does this difference come from? Is it something that we just chalk up to the variety of humans and how our experiences (including joy and sorrow) are objective? Or can we learn to get joy in things that we used to hate?

Personally, I think we can train our minds to get pleasure from things that we used to hate, and that is actually something we should pursue if those things create a healthier life. One of the things that struck me about the individuals in “Born to Run” is how often they described 100-mile runs in almost child-like terms… they felt joy and excitement, it was a fun activity. I’m sure we all remember running as fast as we could when kids and ecstatically screaming in joy, but somewhere along the way we lost that. I don’t really know why, but I hope I can get that joy back for things that make me healthy.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, meeting new people, exercise, and yard work can all be sources of joy… not just because of the result, but actual joy in the moment. We can practice mindfulness during these experiences in a way that enrich our lives and make us better people. At least I hope so, I’m going to try and reset my views on things that I “hate”. Instead of saying “I hate running” I’m going to try and find that childlike feeling of running as a form of play. That type of negative mindset limits my life options, and I like to have lots of options. I don’t think dislike or pleasure in a particular act is something that is determined for us by our genetics, our minds (and all the emotions that come with it) are within our control. I can learn to love running, just like I now love Brussels sprouts and yard work.

I wonder what else I “hate” I can learn to love… maybe I should give pickles and Seinfeld another chance.

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OMGYes

I recently purchased season 1 of OMGYes and I couldn’t be happier with it. It was definitely money well spent and I wanted to write a quick summary and review of the product. This is clearly from the perspective of someone who does not have a clitoris, labia, vulva, or vagina, but I do enjoy being sexually active with people who have those body parts and I want to give them as much pleasure as possible. I am sure that people with those body parts will also get a lot of value out of this product (at least one friend of mine says she is glad she purchased it, I know I would get a lot out of a similar set of videos for people with a penis, testicles, and a prostate. Variety is the spice of life and we can learn a lot from each other in regard to giving ourselves and others pleasure. Some of my favorite moments from past threesomes and group situations was seeing how other people enjoy their bodies in a way that is different than me.

So, what do you get for the limited time pricing of $29? A whole lot of information and inspiration.

Season 1 is divided into 12 sections that you can navigate between as you see fit. Within each section there are video interviews with individuals about the subject, data collected about the subject from extensive surveys, charts and graphs to visualize the subject matter, videos that show individuals demonstrating the techniques in a informative way (it is not particularly erotic but you will see clitoris, labia, and vulvas of the participants), interactive “games” to practice the techniques, and recommendations on how to bring it into the bedroom. For example, you can check out some of the section on “Edging” for free here, the actual paid section has a lot more information.

The sections don’t only cover physical techniques for bringing pleasure. Also included are incredibly important subjects like framing the experience to reduce anxiety and increase pleasure, giving and receiving feedback, and multiple orgasms. I really do think there is something for everyone in this and it could be beneficial for new partners, established partners who would like to try some new things, and unpartnered people who want to maximize the pleasure they give and receive. I know I am excited to try this out on any willing partners I can find, and hopefully season 2 will be just as awesome.

 

My First Piercing

I’ve found myself increasingly interested in body modification in the last few years and last month decided to get a piercing. Of course I decided to go with something less than standard and I got an Apadravya (it is a genital piercing so probably NSFW to google). I originally planned on keeping my piercing kind of a secret but after reading some blog posts I realized there might be people out there who learn from my experience. Also, I’ve found myself willing to send pictures to anyone who was curious or wanted to see it so there are just a ton of pictures out there. So yeah, here is a nice summary of the piercing and first two weeks of healing. There will be somewhat graphic medical descriptions of bodily processes so get ready for that.

Before getting the piercing I asked some trusted friends for recommendations. I ended up going with Roger at Ancient Adornments in Los Angeles. I’m incredibly happy with this decision, Roger was fantastic through the whole process and continues to be a source of information when I need it. After emailing with Roger a few times we settled on a date for me to come in, he advised a Friday to give me a whole weekend to heal and I took his advice.

So, at 8:30pm on Friday night I arrived for my piercing. My partner and two other friends were with me during the whole process and I’m glad they were there. After Roger briefed me and cleaned the area the piercing began and it was the single most painful experience in my life. In fact, I passed out cold from the pain. I’ve passed out several times in my life so I kind of felt it coming but I was happy when I awoke to see that Roger really knew what he was doing. He had me laid back with cold compresses and gave me all the time I needed to rest up. My partner was there holding my hand and the other two ladies were chatting calmly. I guess waking up with my pants around my ankles next to three hot girls isn’t so bad.

After I was all wrapped up Roger gave me care instructions and I was on my way. I was told to take pain pills as needed, wash regularly with my normal soap (Dr. Bronners), soak the piercing for 10 minutes daily in warm water, and to use emu oil on the lower ball to help the process. I’ve been pretty good with all the instructions and at the end of two weeks it is feeling pretty good.

The first weekend though was kind of rough. It was definitely uncomfortable, especially during urination. This was a very good lesson in the importance of hydration. Any day I didn’t urinate regularly resulted in discomfort and pain when I finally did. The first 2 days also had some blood during urination but that stopped pretty quickly. Erections have been pretty awful though and ejaculation was impossible until about the 5th day. It is still uncomfortable to masturbate but that discomfort can be overcome… probably because of the pleasure from masturbation.

By the beginning of week 2 I stopped feeling any pain during urination or ejaculation but there is still discomfort and pressure. Sexual activity of any kind with a partner was not possible simply because she couldn’t feel what I feel and any improper movement was painful. But of course you can still have a good time enjoying each other even if I am the only one that can touch myself.

Now we are at the end of week 2 and things are pretty good. Intercourse is still not an option but light oral and manual stimulation with a partner is possible. Urination and masturbation are now not really a problem at all with only mild discomfort during erection. Basically things are slowly getting back to normal and the healing process has been pretty smooth.

I am really happy I got this piercing. Aesthetically I think it looks awesome and I am already starting to benefit from the physical sensations. Any vibration or stimulation effects the inner nerves of the penis head and it feels absolutely fantastic. The top ball also rubs on the female’s g-spot giving my partner greater pleasure as well. I’m pretty anxious to get it all healed up and try it out completely. Until then I will just heal up enjoy the new positive feelings each day.

 

“Natural” Happiness

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Occasionally when I talk about using drugs purely for pleasure critics respond with “that’s just not natural”. This strikes me as a little strange. There seems to an arbitrary line between what is “natural” and what is “unnatural*” when it comes to enjoyment and pleasure.

If I travel to far corners of the world and witness beautiful scenes and feel pleasure this is “natural” (despite how “unnatural” getting into a metal tube with wings and flying across the world may be). If I get together with friends and take a pill and because of that pill I feel love, comfort, and pleasure this is often seen as unnatural. Pleasure comes from interactions from the brain and it doesn’t matter if these reactions come from visual stimuli, tactile sensations, or ingesting a pill.

This stigma is really not “natural” or “unnatural”, it is a rejection of the new or things that one party doesn’t really understand. It is a push to maintain the status quo and resist innovation. It is much easier to define something as unnatural than to actually hold a real debate about the pros and cons of a certain practice because to open the door to debate means the possibility on being wrong.

If you truly love someone you will celebrate all the joy they feel, regardless of whether it comes from holding a new child, skydiving, travelling the world, or taking a pill. Joy is joy, pain is pain, they are little more than reactions in the brain. The source should have no impact on how you view a person. There are many other things to worry about in this life, if a loved one feels joy that itself should be supported.

 

*Unnatural is actually an awful word to use. To say something is “unnatural” is to say it doesn’t operate or exist in nature and obviously everything we interact with exists in nature or else we wouldn’t be able to interact with it like we do. It is a deceptive word that is used when people are trying to say that what you are doing doesn’t conform with their moral code.