Tag Archives: namamo

So many ways to write your stories! (Late Spring & Summer with Writing Ourselves Whole)

heart vidaWe’ve got a lot of writing opportunities coming up in the next couple of months! If you’re ready to write into your own intersections of trauma and desire, this could be the time to join us.

Summer 2013 Schedule

“I Masturbate:” a writing class in honor of National Masturbation Month
THIS SATURDAY, May 4, 12-3pm, $25-50 sliding scale
Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission St., San Francisco
Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/376758
May is National Masturbation/Radical Self-Love Month, and in conjunction with Shilo McCabe’s “I Masturbate…” photo exhibition, the Center of Sex and Culture wants to give you the opportunity to celebrate the power of masturbation and radical self-love! No previous writing experience necessary! At the end of our three hours together, participants will have several new, hot and surprising pieces of writing, will be connected with a supportive creative community, and be warmed up for a month of radical self love!

Writing the Flood. A monthly writing workshop open to all
Meets the third Saturday of every month
Limited to 12. Fee is $50 (with a sliding scale)
Meets in private workshop space in Oakland, near Lake Merritt
Write in response to exercises designed to get those pens moving, and get onto the page the stories that have been too long stuck inside
Next Flood Write meets Saturday, May 18

Liberatory Potential of Writing Desire (Let’s Write About Sex!)
June 8, 2013 10am-5pm
Sacramento, CA
A day-long writing group with AWA Sacramento
To register, write to John Crandall at john@fireartsofsacramento.com
Expand the depth and breadth of your writing, discover the gorgeous creativity of your erotic self, and celebrate your individual erotic story. Spend the day writing joy back into your body and your sexuality. In a community of engaged and encouraging peer writers, try out some heated and surprising new writing, and find out how empowering a creative engagement with sexuality, sensuality, desire, and fantasy can be.

Write Whole-Survivors Write. Open to all survivors of trauma
8 Monday evenings beginning July 8, 2013.
Fee: $350 (ask about scholarship/payment plan, if needed)
Meets in private workshop space in Oakland, near Lake Merritt
Gather with other trauma survivors and write in response to exercises chosen to elicit deep-heart writing around such subjects as body image, family/community, sexuality, dreams, love, faith, and more.

Reclaiming Our Erotic Story: Open to all lgbtq women survivors of sexual trauma
8 Tuesday evenings beginning July 9, 2013.
Fee: $350 (ask about scholarship/payment plan, if needed)
Meets in private workshop space in Oakland, near Lake Merritt
Find community around the complexity of desire, and transform your relationship with your creative self through explicit erotic writing.

Dive Deep: An advanced manuscript/project workgroup
Next series begins begins July 2013
Fee: $200/month (multiple-month commitment)
Limited to 6 members per group
Meets in private workshop space in Oakland, near Lake Merritt
Designed for those working on (or committing to) a larger project, such as a novel or memoir. Divers meet three times per month for writing, project check-in/accountability, feedback, coaching and peer support.

Online writing groups
Summer sessions begin June 24, 2013
If you are not comfortable joining an in-person group, we offer Write Whole and Reclaiming Our Erotic Story online!

All workshops facilitated by Jen Cross. Register here!

NaMaMo – loving ourselves over and over

graffiti that reads, "make love to your body // sing the praises of every cell"

yes yes yes

Morning, you — how’s your body feeling this morning? Your writing hand? Your heart?

So, it’s May — this means Spring in many parts of the (northern) world, and it also means National Masturbation Month! It’s the 13th now, which means we’re about halfway through this month dedicated to self-pleasure. NaMaMo was originally developed by  Good Vibrations as a response to the firing of former U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Joycelyn Elders, who had the audacity to publicly state that masturbation “is part of human sexuality, and perhaps it should be taught.” She believed that if we taught young people that masturbation was healthy and normal, they might be less likely to engage in riskier sexual acts.

Just imagine if you had been taught that masturbation was normal, and then imagine that the community around you supported that message — if our society as a whole revered masturbation as a healthy and joyful erotic act, rather than something furtive, pathetic, and/or funny.

Talk about radical self care — masturbation can be one of the best ways to love yourself! There’s a Woody Allen quote, from the movie Annie Hall, that goes, “Don’t knock masturbation — it’s sex with someone I love.” And we maybe laugh self-consciously at that, but the truth is, that’s not always the case for all of us, is it?  Masturbation isn’t always sex with someone we love. But it can be: masturbation can be part of the practice of (re)learning to love ourselves, to adore the wholeness of our bodies, to tend to the quiet and achy and gorgeous places in us that want and need touch. We can learn the kind of touches we like and prefer — this is great information for us to have, because later, when we want to have sex with someone else, we will know some of the ways that we want to be touched. Information is power. Knowing our own bodies is a powerful act. We can learn and explore our folds and protrusions, our most sensitive spots and, too, we can learn the kinds of touches and strokes that we don’t like — that’s necessary information, too.

The Center for Sex and Culture is hosting their annual Masturbate-a-thon over the weekend of May 21-22 (yes, during and after the Rapture) — what a great cause to support, and what a wonderful way to participate: raise money according to the amount of time spent masturbating or orgasms reached!

While I was looking for details about the origins of National Masturbation Month, I came upon this amazing blog from last year: Shanna Germain‘s NaMaMo site! Last year, Shanna came up with the great idea of inviting folks to not only masturbate daily for a month, but document it creatively in some way — writing, photography, song, dance, whatever! Check out her great prompts (a month’s worth, or more!), both for writing and for self love.

The gorgeous and brilliant Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha performed an incredible piece about self-love, self-reclamation, community love, community reclamation — about fucking ourselves back into ourselves — back in 2009 during Sins Invalid. (I’m sharing part three here, but check out parts 1 and 2, too!)

How many of us have used masturbation as a way to come back to sex, to our bodies, to and through trauma, and then felt ashamed about it? How many of us haven’t felt ashamed? How many of us have used the shame the next time we got ourselves off? We use it all, we have our bodies back in our own hands.

~~ ~~ ~~ ~~ ~~

There’s a prompt that I offer that goes, “This is how I want you to touch me –” and generally I think of it as one character talking to another. But this morning, I’m going to invite you to consider this prompt as your body speaking to you or your character’s body reaching out to them: how does your body want you to touch yourself? Take 10 or 20 minutes today, and let the words flow — try to keep writing for that whole time, keep the hand moving, there’s no need to stop or censor. Whatever comes is just right.

Thank you for all the amazing ways you love yourself — for your creative survivals, for your stunning words.