Dossie Easton from http://www.dossieeaston.com shares with Reid Mihalko of http://www.ReidAboutSex.com at Get Slutty With Dossie Easton, an event hosted by Cathy Vartuli of http://www.TheIntimacyDojo.com in Dallas on September 29, 2013. The event was a post http://www.BeyondVanilla.org meet and greet and VIP dinner, with sponsors Aneros, http://www.Aneros.com, Wet, http://StaysWetLonger.com, Vixen Creations http://www.vixencreations.com/, Cal Exotics http://www.calexotics.com/, We-Vibe http://we-vibe.com/ and Sliquid and Love Honey http://www.sliquid.com/ and http://www.lovehoney.com/.
Dossie shares stories of discovering herself, her fantasies, and more!
Cathy: Welcome, everybody. I’m so glad you all came out. We are delighted to have Dossie Easton in the area. I read her book three times, and I think I’ve highlighted all of it.
Reid: Get closer to Dossie.
Cathy: Get closer to Dossie.
Dossie: Yeah, get closer.
Cathy: Dossie. Practice consent.
Dossie: Practice consent, yes.
Cathy: I thank you all for coming out. I started the Intimacy Dojo because I wasn’t meeting the kind of people that I wanted to hang out with. And I’m really delighted to be in a room full of them. Thank you.
And today we have Reid Mihalko, who’s going to be our MC tonight, and if you’ve never seen him before, be prepared to be entertained. He’s a complete goofball.
Reid: No I’m not.
Speaker 4: Yes he is.
Cathy: Yes he is.
Reid: Oh! Stop it! What’s going on here?
Cathy: Pretend it’s nothing.
We do have some door prices tonight, but we’re also raffling off some of the items the sponsors sent to go to Carol Queen’s Center for Sexual …
Dossie: Center for Sex and Culture.
Cathy: Sex and Culture … in California, so if you’d like raffle tickets, we’ll be raffling them off at the end of the Q&A. They’re a dollar apiece, ten dollars from shoulder to fingertip, twenty dollars from nipple to floor, you can choose who gets to measure on.
Reid: Could you just demonstrate the nipple to floor thing?
Speaker 4: We can see your nipples already, Reid, [inaudible 00:01:25].
Speaker 5: [inaudible 00:01:27]
Cathy: I know, I think you’re going like that.
Reid: So that’s what twenty dollars gets you. And we have fabulous, fabulous prizes.
Cathy: Lots of great prizes. So, if you want to–it’s for a good cause, too, so make sure to let us know.
And with that, I’d really love to welcome Reid Mihalko, sex geek, and thank you.
Reid: Incoming! Cathy Vartuli! Great big round of applause.
So come back here for a minute, we’re going to make you sit here between us.
Speaker 4: Ooh.
Speaker 5: Woo hoo!
Reid: So I wanted to acknowledge Cathy, because Cathy and I have known each other for how many years now?
Cathy: Two and a half?
Reid: Two and a half. And Cathy was struggling to find community … sex-positive community in Dallas. And so Cathy started the Intimacy Dojo as kind of one of … a way for people to see the flare up in the sky like, “Help me, sex-positive people! Find me!” But also as kind of a gateway drug for people who are curious about sexuality and intimacy, and kind of dabbling but didn’t have to dive feet-first into the dungeon as their first outing.
So I just want to thank you for running couple parties and doing all the things that you do, and this event would not be happening if it wasn’t for Cathy, so thank you again. Big round of applause!
I also want to thank, we have sponsors for the gift bags, for the VIP dinner. And for raffles tonight, we’ve got Vixen Creations, we’ve got Cal Exotics … what?
Cathy: Beyond Vanilla.
Reid: Oh, Beyond Vanilla.
Cathy: I’m sorry, guys.
Reid: Oh, can we have a big round of applause for Beyond Vanilla? Let’s start there. Because if it wasn’t for you all, you wouldn’t be here–
Dossie: Uh huh.
Reid: –for us to snatch you for an evening. It’s kind of like an abduction scene, which–
Dossie: Oh, really?
Reid: Yeah, exactly.
Dossie: I like that.
Cathy: Consensual kidnapping.
Reid: Consensual kidnapping.
So I just want to thank our sponsors: Cal Exotics, Vixen Creations, Love Honey and Sliquid, Levi, Aneros … Did I forget anybody? For our gift bags.
Cathy: Wet, Scandal?
Reid: Wet, wet lube.
Reid: Scandal from Cal Exotics.
These are things we’ll be raffling off. And what was really fun about that is when I went to Cathy’s house, she had all these boxes in her kitchen, actually in her dining room. She had about–I looked, and I was like, “Holy shit, there’s like two or three grand worth of sex toys here.” Which for me, as a sex geek, was like, “This is awesome.” That’d be like if you loved drugs and you walked in, there was a pile of cocaine on the dining room table, you’d be like, “This is great.” And for me, cocaine is dildoes. That’s how it was.
I just want to say, thank you all for coming tonight, and I want to introduce you to a very good friend of mine, one of my sex-ed heroes. I remember reading The Ethical Slut, and how that gave me permission–
Dossie: When you were but a wee boy.
Reid: When I was but a wee lad. But it gave me permission to think differently, in a way that my mom and dad–in their own way sex-positive–didn’t know how to give me the permission I needed, because they were sex positive, but not that sex-positive.
So how many of you have read The Ethical Slut?
Wow! How many of you are meeting Dossie–I mean, you might have met her this weekend from Beyond Vanilla–but how many of you are meeting Dossie for the first time this weekend?
Reid: How does that feel?
Dossie: Did you raise your hand?
Reid: Well, no, I was modeling for them.
Dossie: Did you forget?
Reid: I did.
Dossie: Oh my god.
Reid: I’ve met her–
Dossie: That’s dreadful.
Reid: –several times, yes. Now I’m embarrassed.
So it is my great pleasure to MC a little bit some Q&A and then we’ve got Q&A with you guys, if you have questions for Dossie, and then we’ll move on to the VIP dinner. For those of you who are here just for the meet-and-greet, you can still mingle, because just like Beyond Vanilla, this is about community, and creating a space where people don’t have to feel like they’re alone. Where you can talk about the things that you’re into, and maybe somebody would be like, “Whoa! I didn’t even know that you could do that!” Which is, surprising somebody is different than being judged. So hopefully, for those of you who are here tonight, you’ll get to meet new people and maybe forge some friendships and build community tonight. And that’s the ultimate goal of the Intimacy Dojo, and I know Beyond Vanilla’s work as well. So everyone take a deep breath, and just go (exhale). Thanks for coming in.
Dossie: Yeah, and I should tell you–
Dossie: –that we have books for sale here, and I will be signing them. However–I had surgery on this wrist a mere month ago. I don’t write very well. So I have decided that your autographed book will have–I brought special lipstick. It will have kisses.
Reid: I have a whole other thing going on, about lips, and a book, and a …
That’s going to cost me extra, isn’t it?
Dossie: Yep, that’ll cost you extra.
Reid: Yep. It’ll cost me extra.
So why don’t we just start off with, how many of you are meeting Dossie, and not really knowing who Dossie is? Or a friend dragged you, and you’re like, “I don’t know why I’m here.” Okay.
Dossie: Okay. Welcome, welcome.
Reid: So do you want to give us a little bit of how you became who you are? Like your X-Men origin myth?
Dossie: Actually, I was educated in a young ladies’ prep school in Massachusetts, and I graduated in 1961. And they tried to turn me into a serious version of a young lady, a proper young lady, and they failed. And all I could, all I really wanted to do, I wanted to do two things, back then. I consider myself an active sex radical since 1961. I wanted to grasp my sexuality, and share it with people, and I wanted to find some spirituality that made more sense than the church I was raised in. And so to that end, I started on–I don’t know how I did it when I was a teenager at the beginning of the ’60s, you know, it was kind of a hostile environment. But somehow, I felt … Other people thought I was crazy, and I just thought, “Why shouldn’t I be able to have sex with a whole lot of people? Why shouldn’t I be able to explore different kinds of sex? Why should I not be able to have sex with women? Why should I not be able to see God?” You know, I mean the whole thing seem to make a lot of sense to me.
I didn’t see any reason why not my explorations. And so I spent a very long time kind of stumbling around in the territory, because there wasn’t anyone who could really teach me. But I learned a lot. I learned a lot. And I didn’t, as I sometimes say, learn it in–it was things you could not learn in libraries. I learned a lot about how people work, about how sex works, about how I work. And I kind of freed myself from the background I grew up in.
Many years later I found community with San Francisco Sex Information, and became a formally trained sex educator, went back to school, got my degrees, went to grad school, got my license, raised a kid, all this stuff. I have been consciously non-monogamous since 1969, a decision I made on a fabulous acid trip in which I believe I took a thousand micrograms.
Reid: I love that! No, I love that! I’m not even going to–just the acid thing is hilarious.
Dossie: Life has kind of been really good. It set me on a path. The path of feminism was part of this. I wanted to own myself. I didn’t want to take a role as somebody’s wife. I wanted to be Dossie. I wanted to do what–I mean, I didn’t know I was going to get here. I am amazed that I got here. Because I expected all along that there would be no culture whatsoever for me to be in. And the next thing you know, I’m a licensed therapist and I’m writing books, and everybody likes me! Wow! What a concept. And people don’t even think I’m crazy anymore. At least, I don’t think you all do.
Reid: When you thought, so, “I want to make love to men, I want to make love to women, I want not to be conventional,” do you remember when that started? Were you just somebody who at nine years old were like, “I like everybody! Genitalia, all of it!” How did it occur to you, or what do you remember of how you got to have those thoughts? Because I didn’t start having those thoughts really until I read Ethical Slut. Because I was confused and wrestling with, I had fallen in love with two women at the same time, and I didn’t know what that meant. So what was the process, or how did you … Were your mom and dad like that, or–?
Dossie: No, no, no, no no! Were my…? Good heavens, no. One of the reasons I think sex became my path was my parents were not on the territory. Nowhere on the territory of sex would you find my parents, I don’t know how they managed to have children. There was this weird kind of dissociation because I did what I did, and philosophically I could find no argument against doing what I did. So I met women that I was attracted to that I played with, I met men that I was attracted to that I played with. I met queer people, I met trans people. I played with all of them. And it didn’t seem unnatural to me, if this makes sense. Kinsey once said the only unnatural act is one that cannot be performed.
And so, even though I believed at the time–at the beginning of that I believed that I would grow up and settle down at some point, right? And then I would get married and get a house in the suburbs, and all that. Actually, I do have a house in the suburbs, I bought it myself. But that turned out never to happen, but I was blessed with the opportunity to have a child, and raise her, and she is still my dearest friend. And it’s been a good trip. I couldn’t have predicted it at the beginning. I was just this nutty hippie chick, out there playing around the world. But somehow or another, I couldn’t leave that path. Driven isn’t the right word for it, because it just felt like every time someone said, “You shouldn’t do this,” it was someone else saying, “You shouldn’t do this,” and I was saying, “Why not?”
Reid: Was that more of a sign of the times that you grew up in? Or was it, you were just a rebel no matter what?
Dossie: Well, you have to understand, the ’50s was unbelievably rigid. I mean, I couldn’t look like this. And somebody could see me looking like this and not saying anything and deciding that I couldn’t have a job as a secretary. And trust me, there were no jobs besides secretary. There was a very limited, constricted world that came out of Pleasantville in the ’50s. It was incredibly constricted, and there was just basically no room in it for me. So I made some more room. And my heroes were the other people who had made room. Edison Tate, Vincent Milet, . E. E. Cummings. They were amazing people out there that were my heroes, who lived very unusual lives, and explore it.
Reid: And would you say, did you … Did non-monogomy find you first or did kink find you first or did you find … Which did you find first?
Dossie: Non-monogamy first.
Dossie: Because I had just had my daughter and escaped from a … Well frankly, violent relationship, and I sometimes … I don’t know why I was called to this. I think I needed to … I hadn’t chosen to become a single mother. My partner, I’ve never been legally married. The idea somehow frightens me.
Reid: You’re not the only one.
Speaker 3: You’re not alone.
Dossie: Okay. My partner is not a person I would choose as a partner now, but at the time it seemed like this great romantic journey or what have you, and then he had his first psychotic episode and became a violent schizophrenic. All schizophrenics are not violent, all violent people aren’t schizophrenic, but it’s a bad combination when they are. I had to leave when I was six months pregnant, and I’m very grateful for that. It was when my daughter was three months old, that I took the acid trip that said, “Okay, so I don’t need to go on somebody else’s path. I can just keep going on the path that’s in front of me.”
It was a very communal era. I will raised my child with all the other post summer of love babies. There were lots of us. We had lots of them. Many of you might have been post summer of love babies. This is a good thing, and the culture that I’m living in, because I came out to the Height-Ashbury in the great migration of 1967, you know. The culture that I’m living in is what I’m going to raise my child in and bring into the future, and that was one of both sexual and spiritual exploration.
Reid: How would you say your sex from back in the 60s … Has it changed?
Dossie: Oh yeah.
Reid: Do you want to talk about that at all?
Dossie: Yeah, I met Cynthia Slater in 1974, and before that I had always had all these …
Reid: Who’s Cynthia Slater for people who might …
Dossie: Cynthia Slater was the founder of the Society of Janus, the second oldest SM support organization in the world as far as we know, and the beginning of what is sometimes called New Wave within SM, the idea that the roles that we may play in a scene in the bedroom in acting Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf or whatever, right, are not necessarily who we are that we have many identifies, and we can explore them. If I play Little Red Riding Hood, and one of you agrees to be the Big Bad Wolf, right? Oh, I see I have a candidate.
Reid: Shuck him!
Dossie: Then we are going to explore a part of myself. I am going to, once again, I consider myself the world’s most experienced virgin. Once again, I am the little innocent child in the woods. I happen to love that role. I don’t even know why I love it. Somebody else gets to be the predator and the high energy bringing sex to the innocent little girl in the woods. It’s good, isn’t it?
Reid: Say more about this.
Dossie: [Laughter] But also in doing that, it’s like I am exploring what was this meaning of innocence that I believed I was supposed to treasure. What is that? Why do I like it? What’s it about? My new book, I am collecting peoples’ explorations in these stories, and what is it like to take a part of your self. Jung had a theory about personae that we have many personalities within us. My friend Bill Henkin who wrote Consensual Sadomasochism and a whole bunch of other books that you probably don’t know except for he wrote the guide to the Rocky Horror Picture Show, so the little book that tells you what to bring and what to throw and what to say when. He wrote that.
Reid: I would need that guide.
Speaker 4: I think it’s a really good book I have it.
Dossie: He writes under a lot of names. He has a theory of multiple personality order, so if I go play Little Red Riding Hood for an evening with you, and you play Big Bad Wolf, then when we are through, we are no longer Little Red Riding Hood and the Big Bad Wolf. This is not difficult. When we are finished, we have a big snuggle, we eat something, you know, right? We get up, untie whoever is tied up and so on … [laughter].
Reid: [Laughter] That happens after the eating? I never thought of that.
Dossie: Well it …
Speaker 4: How were you eating?
Reid: [inaudible 0:04:52]
Dossie: It’s optimal.
Dossie: It’s optional.
Reid: Okay, I’m not kinky.
Dossie: Yeah. You can feed people while it’s going on.
Reid: Oh, okay.
Dossie: If they get up and wander … I mean, sometimes in these explorations, we kind of wander off to another planet. There’s a whole issue here about states of consciousness and what happens when we raise endorphins and what happens when we throw ourselves into a small part of ourselves that wants to play a very intense role, and what do we learn from that, what energy do we wake up, but we go into almost trance-like states of consciousness, and that’s one of the things that interests me.
I mean I do it because it’s hot, but I also like as a therapist, I like to explore the question of what are we doing when we do it. Why is rope so tran … Rope is like a trance. You might as well go and do [inaudible 0:05:44] meditation, except frankly rope is easier.
Speaker 5: Exactly.
Dossie: Thank you. Are you … Can you all hear us in the back by the way? We don’t have microphones.
Speaker 6: I can hear you.
Dossie: Is it good?
Speaker 6: Yes.
Dossie: Okay, good.
Reid: Okay, great. Thank you.
Dossie: Does that answer your question?
Reid: It does. It does. Can you say a little bit more about your next book?
Dossie: I want to write a book about the … It’s sort of like … How many people in this room know who Clarissa Pinkola Estes is? I have a couple. Okay. There are people I read a lot. Her and Christine Downing and a bunch of other people who … Joseph Campbell is very famous … Mythalogs, people who study the myths that we have created, the stories, the folk stories, the children’s stories. In this case, we can include Marilyn Monroe as a myth. Does that make sense? She created the character, who became a myth in the culture. There are reasons why she was there in the 50s in a particular time in a particular way. She used to talk to people about you want to see me do Marilyn.
Speaker 7: Yeah.
Dossie: They show that in every one of her bio pics that suddenly she turns into Marilyn, and everybody recognizes her and starts running around. What is this stuff basically is what I want to do. I want to collect people’s experiences, which I am doing in certain workshops that I’m teaching. What it would be like for them to be the Big Bad Wolf or Little Red Riding Hood. What it would be like for them to be Goldilocks or one of the Three Bears or whatever it is we’re playing.
I have a certain set of themes that I’m fond of, but other people play different themes which are equally good. There is no better theme. By the way, there is no one true story, okay. I am a pluralist. I believe in all the Gods or none of them depending on how you want to look at it.
Reid: How much time do we have?
Speaker 8: [Inaudible 0:07:41]
Reid: Fivish. Just want it to keep … Don’t want to …
Dossie: It is ten past seven.
Reid: So we’re going to get the Q… questions in a minute, so percolate on questions. My question for you tonight, because I was trying to think what’s a good question for Dossie, and you kind of hit of with Kensey saying the only unnatural act is one that can’t be performed, so what’s the scene or the thing, you’re like I wish … This is what I wish I could do. What’s the scene you want to do that you can’t do?
Dossie: Well, I have a bunch of fantasies that are rather science fiction, where I get this … [laughter] where I get to imagine environments designed for all kinds of outrageous forms of sex. Creatures designed with appendages …
Reid: I love you so much.
Dossie: Abilities to vibrate things and whatever. You know, trained octopuses, whatever, and so I like that kind of thing. I guess this is the unnatural acts that you can’t actually do, but again …
Speaker 8: Give genetics about 15 more years, and we’ll be there.
Dossie: Yeah, okay, fi … Oh, good, good. Thank you. By that time I’ll need it, if I keep breaking things. It’s kind of like that’s the sort of unreachable dream. The actual dream is that I really love my life, and I take my security from my community, and that’s how I want it to be. The actual dream is I got to live my dream already. I am very happy with my dream.
Reid: Thank you. I’m going to end on that one. That was good.
Dossie: Okay. Oh, but wait, wait.
Reid: Oh, but no we got questions, and then you …
Dossie: No. Then, oh after the audi … After the …
Reid: I think we’re going to end end on that.
Dossie: Okay, we’ll end end on that.
Reid: We have a surprise.
Dossie: We have a surprise for you.
Reid: Okay, so questions. We have one back there.
Speaker 9: I was wondering how you balance your therapy practice which would require you being around [inaudible 0:09:47] quite difficult to have a routine.
Reid: How do you balance your practice with your professional or personal …
Speaker 9: Yeah, your more public …
Reid: The rest of your life.
Dossie: Well, first of all, I’m entirely out of the closet as a therapist as any of you have checked out my website will know. There are no secrets. The people who come to me for therapy, and I’m training three interns, so I’m practically operating a clinic, are people who want kinky therapists, slut therapists, perverted therapists … And it is my great privilege to serve my community in this fashion. It makes me extremely happy whether it’s someone who is recovering from some terrible childhood or some terrible immigration experience or whatever, or whether it’s a couple that love each other and are having a real hard time with something that just makes my day to be able to be helpful in some way with all this.
I get to practice out of the closet. Everybody knows I teach at conferences. As a matter of fact, everybody knows that the reason I travel around and teach at conferences is because the one limit I put on myself for my therapy practice in the Bay Area is that I don’t go to play parties or play in public in San Francisco area because I have ceded that territory to my clients. That territory belongs to my clients now. I had it for 25 years. I can’t complain, but I can come to Dallas and trash out. [Laughter] Is that a hand up?
Speaker 10: Yes, over the course of your life I know you’ve seen a lot of changes in sex positivity, sexual freedom, growing acceptance on different aspects. What do you see in the future?
Dossie: You know it’s very interesting because everytime we remove a constriction, we have to start all over again trying to figure out who we are. Does this make any sense?
Speaker 11: Yes.
Reid: Just the question, if you didn’t hear it, was: You’ve seen …
Dossie: You be the people’s microphone, yeah.
Reid: You’ve seen so many changes in sex positivity and sexuality, so …
Dossie: I like it that I can’t always predict the changes that will happen. Sometimes there are some negative changes. When something was once forbidden and it becomes accepted, then all kinds of … When it was forbidden, the only people you found in those underground communities were people who were very thoughtful, who cared a lot, who faced terror of people calling them crazy or their families rejecting them or losing their jobs or their children … I mean, really it used to cost a lot to join our communities. Now we are chic … And that means we have to figure out how we’re going to educate the people who come into the community and don’t understand how we respect each other and honor the appropriate boundaries that make this freedom possible. Does that make sense?
Dossie: It’s like a new game once we become accepted, then we have to build something … Some more things, some different things, some ways of taking care of different situations. Where are our limits? How do we set them? Who do we allow into our parties? What behavior will we decide somebody ought to intervene with? Does that make sense? There’s a lot of work to be done, and then a new constriction gets busted open, makes me so happy. The young people are going back to psychedelics, and Burning Man is getting awfully big and awfully fashionable. Now we have people who don’t really know what they’re doing and don’t know how to do it safely exploring psychedelics.
I was part of the first wave of that back in the 60s and trained as a psychedelic crisis guide. I used to work at the Haight Asbury Medical Clinic with people who came in freaked out on trips. That was some of my first formal therapeutic work that I did, and we’re going to have to do this all over again, so there’s a whole thing really evolving it, and then the final thing that happens is a question of identity. Suddenly I’m not a leather woman, I’m not a dyke, I’m a person who does these things, which is more true that our sense of identity that we invested in these minority communities starts becoming less important. Does that make sense?
It’s kind of hard, because I lived with gay men from 1974 to 1989, so my identity is actually more invested there than anywhere else, but the plague came along in the 80s and so there were great losses, and that was something that wasn’t expected. Does that answer your question at all?
Speaker 10: Yes.
Dossie: Okay, good.
Reid: Thank you. Other questions, yes.
Speaker 12: I’m [inaudible 0:15:08] and I just wanted to ask you if you have any tips for people who are either new to the realization of being polyamorous, kind of busting tips for me I guess with my identify foundering with …
Dossie: I have one …
Reid: Tips for people who are finding out that they’re being called to poly or all of a sudden maybe elbow deep in poly, and tips for that. Navigating …
Dossie: First of all, many of you, if you have not read the second edition of ‘Slut,’ there’s a lot of new material in it, a lot of things explained that I didn’t even know when we wrote the first one, and there are exercises to try to learn things.
The most important thing you can do on your journey is open your heart to yourself. There is nothing more important than that. Whatever you feel, when you’re frightened … if a little five-year-old kid ran up to you screaming at the top of their lungs, going, “I skinned my knee. I skinned my knee. It hurts. It hurts. Oh my God,” what are you going to do? Say, “Oh, shut up. It doesn’t hurt that much?” or are you going to say, “Come here. Come here on my lap. Come here. Oh, let me take care of it. Oh, you really skinned your knee, didn’t you? Poor thing. Let me kiss it, right?”
This is what I mean by opening your heart to yourself. We are harsher with ourselves than we would ever be with our children, or anyone else. We are so hard on ourselves. I say the other part … the corollary to keeping your heart open to yourself is you’ll do things you wish you hadn’t done, so I’ll do them again, okay? But don’t die if you wind up … just try something and you decide you don’t like it. That’s perfectly fine. You get to do that. You get to have regrets and you get to check things out and you get to have limits. Mostly you get to explore your heart’s desire and be kind to yourself while you do it, okay?
Reid: Other questions? Yes?
Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:01:48] is if I have neat little elevator speech that I hear whenever people say, ‘Why are you doing that, or why do you that?’ [inaudible 00:01:58] this is why. The people who know you, ‘Okay, I may not agree, but I accept it.’ Do you have something like that for polyamory? We’re there and we’re [inaudible 00:02:08] who wants to be open with this, and not something that [inaudible 00:02:13] in our household that we know, but to be able to walk out in public then have people go, ‘Why [inaudible 00:02:20] you can?’ Do you have any kind of little…
Dossie: Those are two …
Reid: What is the magic phrase?
Dossie: Yeah right.
Reid: That will help people understand us?
Speaker 4: [inaudible 00:02:31]
Reid: [inaudible 00:02:32] yeah. That’s good. [inaudible 00:02:34] or less. Polyamory, done BDSM, go.
Speaker 3:[inaudible 00:02:39]
Reid: Oh, okay. Fuck with BDSM. [inaudible 00:02:44]
Dossie: We did write five books. I do have one for BDSM which is just look at Hollywood movies and tell me what entertains people. And TV shows now. What entertains people? Victims and villains, victims and villains, victims and villains. Violence, violence, disgusting violence. Janet and I walked out of ‘Pulp Fiction’ pale and trembling. Here we are the big bad SM authors and we can’t sit through a Tarantino movie.
Speaker 3: Poly is not [inaudible 00:03:19].
Reid: Yeah, [inaudible 00:03:21] poly.
Dossie: Poly is a little harder for people. The statistics since Kinsey in the ’40s have consistently shown us that people are naturally not monogamous. There’s a charming book written by friends of mine called ‘The Myth of Monogamy’ that’s about the lack of monogamy in the animal world done by DNA testing, the little chickies in the nest, and maybe DNA testing will change people’s opinions. I don’t know.
I really wish we could live in a world where people didn’t get in such an uproar. I keep reading articles about how to do therapy with a couple when one of them has cheated and had an affair. What are we going to do with the unfaithful one, and how are we going to take care of the hurt one. Nobody says any word about that poor person who is the other person in this game, the poor soul who loved the unfaithful one.
I just get angry because people don’t want to face reality and what I discover … the reason I really don’t have an elevator speech except that it really is okay if people have been doing it for a really long time, is that people don’t want to hear it because they’re terrified that their partners are cheating. I have an easier time with a naïve audience talking about BDSM than we do about poly. People are just … you’re saying it’s okay if he, she, it cheats? I mean what the fuck? That’s all they care about.
We were on radio somewhere in [inaudible 00:04:57] I think or something like that by phone. We were talking about poly and this woman calls in and says, ‘[inaudible 00:05:03] want to do that, I’m [inaudible 00:05:05] his head with a cast-iron frying pan.’ I’m like, ‘Great. So that’s your priorities, huh?’ I wish I had an answer for you. I don’t have an easy answer for what we tell people who think we are crazy.
Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:05:20] that as long as this individual is not cheating.
Dossie: Yeah, and that transparency is a beautiful thing and…
Speaker 3: Then they question [inaudible 00:05:29] and then they never get past that, they never do that.
Dossie: Then I have an elevator speech for it.
Reid: [inaudible 00:05:35]
Speaker 3: [inaudible 00:05:36]
Dossie: People experience jealousy and sometimes they get in arguments when I teach classes about whether it’s nature or nurture. My answer to that question is I don’t know, but I know that we can all learn to not have jealousy be this devastating emotion. There is no reason, no good reason. Ask yourself a question, ‘Why is jealousy such an overpowering emotion?’
You learn to deal with anger, you learn to deal with sibling rivalry, you learn to deal with grief and people dying. Why do you give jealousy the power to say that that can’t be moved? I say jealousy can be turned from a tornado into a gentle summer storm and that’s what is written in these books, is exactly how to do that.
Reid: Nice. You, and then you. Yes?
Speaker 5: Don’t you think that we should be clear on [inaudible 00:06:39]?
Dossie: Well, yeah.
Reid: Your question is the reason that people don’t want to face jealousy is they haven’t looked inside themselves and faced their own insecurities.
Dossie: I actually have a theory that is written at length in this book. Because we deal with anger and grief and losing our jobs and stress at work and whatever, we deal with those things better than we deal with jealousy. Jealousy is like, ‘Hey, Joe. Where are you going with that gun in your hand?’ which is insane. ‘I’d rather than see you dead, little girl, than see you with another man.’ I mean what are we doing? This is so out of proportion. Why is it out of proportion?
I have a theory. It might be insecurity, it might be territoriality, it might be problems with anger, it might be believing that no one else will ever love me, will put up with me. I have a theory that jealousy … it’s experienced very differently by different people, but it represents … it is a manifestation of some conflict within us that we believe we are helpless, powerless over, and so we project it on to other people. We believe that we can’t hold it, that we can’t live with it, that we can’t change it, that we can’t accept ourselves and survive having this one feeling or set of feelings. That’s why we give it so much power. We give jealousy way too much power.
Reid: [inaudible 00:08:03] reinforces that, too.
Dossie: Yeah, and so we project it. That’s the defense we use. I feel horrible because you did this, and getting into ownership of jealousy is work. It’s a very hard working trip for many people, but when you do that work, you get to heal a part of yourself and you are no longer powerless over scary emotions. Think about it. This is good work. This is a win for everybody.
Speaker 6: I’ve got [inaudible 00:08:43] but I also have [inaudible 00:08:44] when you’re dealing with people who have helped [inaudible 00:08:56] relationship broke down [inaudible 00:09:01] you were lied to, not so much the [inaudible 00:09:06].
Dossie: Do you want to say [inaudible 00:09:08]?
Reid: Yeah. More than the reason people aren’t dealing with it and you’re talking about polyamory or the jealousy?
Speaker 6: Also couples in general [inaudible 00:09:16].
Reid: That people are avoiding talking about it and/or lying about it?
Speaker 6: The anger that we have is more about the lying.
Reid: The anger is about the lying.
Speaker 6: [inaudible 00:09:25]
Reid: Got it.
Dossie: If I lied to you about going to a movie that you didn’t approve of, would you feel as strongly as if I lied to you about having sex with somebody?
Reid: It depends on the movie.
Dossie: Even if I went out with a credit card and bought something fancy at Nordstrom’s, would that make you as angry as jealousy makes people? I really believe that the answer is inside the person. Cheating comes in many forms, just like polyamory does, and so you never know if somebody went out and did a one-night stand or desperate in a [inaudible 00:10:04] relationship, went and saw an escort.
Reid: Or with just emailing somebody on a dating site and is carrying on a digital emotional … it doesn’t have to be about sex. It’s just that I’ve been now more intimate with this person over email than I am with you, and that completely tweaks some people.
Dossie: The answer to your question is I don’t have a generic answer because cheating is not one thing. It’s a whole bunch of different things and so it goes case by case. Sometimes people meet somebody they fall in love with and what are they supposed to do then? Leave their children? What if they were in a world where we could be open about these things?
I know one man I worked with whose wife was very frightened by his explorations of kink and we got to the place where his wife gave him a session with a professional dominatrix for his birthday, which was great. I met her, she liked me, it was good. Then his wife got a terrible neurological disease and with her agreement, he moved his paramour, his lover into the house who helped nurse her until her death, and she was pregnant at the time.
This family you would never think would have been possible to do this when it started, and we dealt with two sons who became grownups in the course of this time and I knew them and it was amazing. It was so beautiful. They’re faced with this overwhelming thing of this poor woman dying who had gone so far in their own explorations, dying of a degenerative neurological disease which was really horrible, and that she just welcomed her husband’s lover and her husband’s lover’s four-year-old son and the baby, which I think she lived to see. Things are possible that you wouldn’t imagine.
Reid: We’re almost out of time for this. You have a surprise for people.
Dossie: Oh, I have surprise. I just wanted to share … this is crazy. I write poetry and a while ago, I was in Greece in Delphi with some friends of mine. Delphi is a very interesting spiritual place. I happen to go up to the top of Mount Parnassus where there’s this beautiful cavern called the Korykian throne and nobody’s there.
I went up there and I hung out in this cavern because it was rumored to be … well, I’ll say this in the poem, but I’ll tell you this before, the nest of Pan. This is a poem about what I experienced in this cavern that I want to share with you. Would you please hear a poem?
Audience: Yeah. Yes.
Dossie: Okay, good. Beside an ancient Jupiter, high up on Parnassus, far from any oracle, a great cavern opens a vulva to the planet, dripping granite, mossy pillars, shadow crevasses, rippling curtains petrify. The children of the mountain do not speak the future, they open the earth to the sky. Rumor has it Pan nests here. Mighty goat foot, your great cock has eyes that see the dark, see deep into the dark, down where desire pulses red and warming. You spurt dreams deep into our mother, earth quakes to meet your gaze. Down in the dark [inaudible 00:13:59] they encompass our squirming fears, our slow-burning resentments.
So spring arises from winter’s dying ambition. If Pan should come to open me, stretch me around his thick, wild vision, shred all my costumes with his bright sharp horns. His cock’s eyes see only naked truth. Lover of earth, your bright cock rips up history, then you shake us awake to rebuild what you have torn apart and we will erect another history for you to destroy again. Dance on my grave goat foot. Welcome me home. I will ride your huge [inaudible 00:14:48] deep inside our mother, deeper and darker till your cock’s eyes light elsewhere.
Reid: Wooh! With that, thank you so much.
Dossie: You’re welcome
Reid: So much. What’s next?
Dossie: What’s next, we have a few requests to use Reid’s nipple as the raffle measurement. If you’d like to get some tickets last minute right before we start drawings, come on up.
Reid: We’ll start dinner in 10 minutes?
Cathy: It’s 7:45. We have people there, back there?
Reid: VIP dinner is at 7:45.
Cathy: If you’d like Dossie to sign your book, if you’d like to go over here, she will give it … your lipstick?
Reid: Your lipstick?
Cathy: If you’re …