Self-Actualization

I don’t particularly like children.  They demand attention and time, they can be really mean, and some of them seem to be in perpetual motion, which is just too much for me.  I got my degree in secondary education and initially taught high school because I love the rebellious attitude, sophomoric delusions, and “who-the-fuck-am-I?”-ness of teenagers.  So when I moved to Korea, I was shocked at how much I LOVED my kids.  My elementary and middle school students were hilarious, insightful, and creative. 
I have had the great fortune to stay in contact with a few of these students over the years; one of them recently got back from a study abroad semester in China.  Before travelling there, she had told me that she wanted to live with her parents while going to uni because “Why would I want to clean, cook, and pay bills?”  Now, having lived alone for three months, she has come back with platinum blonde hair, an effervescent bounce in her step, and a deep desire to move out.  That happened fast!  She had several conversations with her boyfriend while she was gone about how to best make sure that both of their needs were being met while apart and figuring out how to communicate in a way that was comfortable for both of them.  I cannot imagine having the emotional maturity or confidence at twenty to have a single conversation with a partner about making sure my needs were being met. 
The best part of being a teacher, hands down, is watching young people grow up and into self-actualized humans; seeing them thrive is a singular experience of joy. 
On the same day that I had dinner with the student who went to China, another former student (who’s currently in her senior year of high school) got back in contact with me; we met for coffee, along with her twin brother, whom I’d also taught.  They were suddenly both taller than me and bubbling over with excitement to tell me about their friends, teachers, and preparations for the test they’ll take later this year that will decide their entire future.  We talked about movies, politics, friendship, and language, and I was blown away by their maturity.  They’re applying for universities this year; I started teaching them when they were in fifth grade.  That shit is crazy.
You may be sitting there, thinking: WTF I THOUGHT THIS WAS A SEX BLOG.
This post exemplifies why I started writing this blog.  I am a whole human being – as are all teachers – and part of being human is being sexual.  I date and I have a sex life.  A non-monogamous, unmarried, bisexual, kinky sex life.  And I am a caring educator who acts as a mentor – who stays in touch with her students years after they’re no longer her students.  In fact, I stay in touch with their parents because I think children benefit immensely from parents and teachers working together. 
In the past five years, there has been a litany of teachers being fired for having been an exotic dancer or acting in a porn before becoming a teacher; for dancing burlesque; and most recently, just for having nude selfies on their phonesAll female teachers, by the way.  Pretty sure no male teacher has ever been fired for having a dick pic on his phone – but that’s a rant for another day.
So, yeah – this is mostly a sex blog.  But once in a while, I feel the need to drop a gentle reminder that it’s more than that.  It’s a call to stop shaming (and firing) excellent, hardworking, enthusiastic, and compassionate teachers for being whole human beings.  Teachers are out there in the world sexting, writing lesson plans, talking dirty with their partners, inspiring curiosity about scientific concepts and history, hooking up, and putting band-aids on skinned knees.  Just as your accountant might go home and put in a ball gag after doing your taxes, a preschool teacher might *gasp* go on a date after singing “Old Macdonald” for the hundredth time.

This blog is anonymous because I could be fired for writing about my sex life publicly.  There’s a part of me that worries about this all the time.  All the time.  Teaching is so central to who I am as a person that the idea of losing my job really freaks me out – but I continue to write because maybe it will encourage someone to open a dialogue.  My kids and my job mean the world to me – but so does being able to be a self-actualized person like I encourage my kids to be.  

Compartmentalization, Reverse Sex Shame, and Passing on the Orgy

A very drunk acquaintance approached me at a public function last weekend with this: “Hey!  I have to talk to you later.  There’s something I think you’ll be really interested in.”  From the way he lowered his voice and said this into my ear, and from the tone of his voice, I knew instantly that whatever it was he wanted to talk about, it had something to do with sex.  Intrigued and a bit nervous, I sought him out later and asked what was up.  He told me that he had recently attended an orgy and that it was amazing — that everyone was really cool and they all hung out the next day.  He thought I’d enjoy it and wanted to see if I’d be interested in joining the next time they met up.  I asked some questions: Did everyone discuss sexual health and STI checks beforehand?  Yes, he said.  How do you know these people?  They were random strangers who approached him on the beach last summer and wanted to hang out.  A tad dodgy, but I said I’d give it a think.

And I did.  I thought about it a LOT.  And the conclusion I came up with is: I’m just not up for it.  Immediately after I made the decision to pass on the orgy, I felt the weirdest and most unexpected feeling: reverse sex shame (shame for choosing not to do the sexy thing).  I’m someone who has talked about sex more than anyone really cares to hear about it my whole life, much to the chagrin of some partners and some of my more conservative friends.  I’ve encouraged everyone I know to me more open and experimental sexually; here was my opportunity to try something I’ve never done before with someone who is not only a person I personally know, but who’s also really attractive.  I’m going to say no, and I feel ashamed for it.  I feel ashamed for passing on a new sexual experience because I’m that girl that talks about sex all the time.  Even though the idea of attending this orgy makes me uncomfortable for several reasons, I feel like I should go and that something is wrong with me for not wanting to.  Reverse sex shame.  

Why the discomfort?  I’ve managed to spend five years in this country without sticking my dick in the neighborhood.  For five whole years I have not fucked one single person who hangs out in the expat bars I hang out in, so I’ve avoided small social circle drama (at least that social circle) and being the subject of locker room talk.  I feel completely comfortable being myself there because I’m not worried about getting into anyone’s pants or anyone trying to get into mine; it’s a safe space where I can just bro out.

Also, I’m just not an exhibitionist (at least not in groups / not while I’m sober).  I cherish my privacy and don’t even feel comfortable speaking in front of a room of my peers, let alone comfortable fucking in a room full of people!  Not much of a voyeur, either.  My kinks — and there are many– lie elsewhere.  I enjoy sex for the connection; even if it’s with a stranger (or two), even if it’s only for a night, I savor the feeling of closeness that comes from learning in depth about someone’s body and desires.  But even as I type this, I’m experiencing a very strange reactionary response to my own feelings and desire for intimacy.

I compartmentalize my life and spend time with a lot of different social groups; doing so gives me a sense of emotional security.  I deeply respect and admire polycules and people whose lovers and friends are the same people and who can be all, “We’re a totally fluid community and we have no labels or separate spaces and just transition seamlessly from one type of relationship to another,” but it’s not my jam.  I’ve hooked up with friends who I was incompatible with sexually and just went back to being friends, no problem… and I don’t look at these people every time we hang out and think, “Eek!  You’ve seen me naked!”  But because of where I know this guy from (sports bars where we hang out with a bunch of dudes), it feels different. 

Maybe it’s because I read so many books and listen to so many podcasts about sex that I’m feeling unnerved both that I don’t want to participate in this orgy AND that I’m feeling shame about that… I feel like there’s a giant question mark floating over my head asking “Where is this coming from?”