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Monday, March 30, 2015

Sexuality Manifesto: Let Us Be!

I just attended a to two-day training about sexuality. It was training, just like any training. We discussed diagnoses and interventions. We role-played (not that, you dirty-minded reader!) as a therapist and a client. We also did several exercises, increasing body awareness.
But most importantly, we were given homework to write our sexual fantasy.
Classical Freud took place, as many of us forgot about the homework, or never found time to do it.
Some of us did. I wrote a little story, that I am carrying in my bag since then. I am carrying it around because I don’t know where to put it, because I am scared that someone might read it. That I may read it. That’s why I am angry.
 I am mad at my school. At my private, Christian school. At my conformity and desire to be liked and since liked meant studying well and behaving like a good Christian, behave well I did. I actually believed in all the crap that came out of our textbooks, along with excellent texts about science, English, social studies…
I am mad that at age 30, gone to one of the most liberal colleges in US, having a blog called NO SEX IN THE CITY, I still feel embarrassed about my sexual fantasies.
I am angry that despite giving public lectures about sexuality, despite directing and acting in “Vagina Monologues”, despite having such understanding partner, I am still feeling embarrassment and fear.
My psyche has been trying to make sense of it all since I graduated from school. And that was a long time ago. I’ve been lucky, I had resources, I still have resources seldom available in Tbilisi. I go to workshops, I hang out with non-judgmental crowd. Not only that, I conduct therapy and I broaden my comfort zone through working with others.
However, step outside these safe sexuality zones and you’ll face my country. My country represses sexuality with Orwellian vigor, creates almost formal junior anti-sex leagues; it marches chastity around like national treasure, like a symbol, like some kind of Golden Fleece or St. George with a dragon.
Love is repressed to violence. Sex is repressed to anger. Celebration of life is repressed to death-festivities. Enough! Enough with endless forty-days of mourning, with joy-killing fasting, with sexless families and sanctified girls! Enough with the repressed energy of life, of creativity, of new beginnings and just plain pleasure!
It’s not good to suffer, pain does not purify, loving means touching and sexuality is not a sin.
Sexuality us our God-given privilege. Sexuality is our natural state of mind. Sexuality, in its vast meaning, is the core of our being.
Until we understand that we will always have political unrest, mass neurosis, we will always fight, we will always condemn “unnatural” acts, we will be generally depressed and dissatisfied with life.
And no party, leader, or president, elected through repressed aggression can ever change that feeling of utter dissatisfaction. Because it all started way too early, in those textbooks.
 P.S. Feeling of freedom at Kazantip

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

My Life on TV

All the sudden, I am on TV.
It’s pretty funny, considering that I don’t own a TV (OK, I have the actual screen, but it does not show anything. We use it for movies). I never thought that I would need to research Georgian TV and watch so much talk shows.
Several times now, I have rushed to the studio with numbers, facts, stories that I hummed under my breath while I sat in make-up room and then I didn’t get to say half of them.  
I have twice talked about gambling addiction, twice – about early marriage, once- homosexuality-is-not-a-disease and tomorrow I am going to talk about suicide.
Last week, as I was about to present live (answering question “are teenagers mentally and emotionally ready to get married?”) I realized why I like this position. I get a bit nervous. I get a bit exited. I boldly walk to the podium and try to control my voice and my posture (futile efforts, since I wore ridiculous-looking flowers on my head and it made me look silly and immature). It reminds me of my debate tournaments!
I have been involved in debate club since when I was young (7th grade) till when I was too-old-for-this (M.A. years). Together with my perpetual partner and best friend, I have won two championships and multiple calculators that they awarded to the best speakers. Then too, I would feel thrill, walk and stand before the huge audience, inhale, exhale and present my case.
Sometimes I sucked so much, I would analyze my speech for weeks after the tournament. But it all comes with the experience, really. After years of practicing, we won more or less consistently.
TV is the same, only a bit more superficial. Not only do I have to research my topic, but also my outfit.
And just like debates, sometimes I say the stupidest things and then I go around for days thinking about it; unlike debates, where I had a clear audience in mind, the judges, here I find myself divided – do I appeal to my potential clients (which should be the point), my family, friends, or do I just need my hubby to say that I sounded professional?
Honestly, I think this TV mania will be over soon. I showed up as a new face- a live psychotherapist!- but these things go out of fashion so quickly, and I still lack substance. Because for the most part, I am talking based on nights of reading; I am not conducting important research, nor do I have years of work experience so far. I am honest and relaxed (usually) and I really like seating on the couches under bright lamps, but I feel like that is not enough yet. So, sooner or later they will get tired of my cutesy academic bullshit.
Until then, I am enjoying it very much, because we all know that I am attention-seeking, spotlight-loving, look-at-me-I-am-on-TV, superficial person.
And also, deep in my heart, I honestly believe that what I am saying matters.

… Sometime, when I grow older and wiser, I will look at all the mistakes that I am making now (really, those flowers!) and use TV as tribune to talk about things I deem important, complex things, controversial things, and make a little, maybe minuscule, contribution.
P.S. Me proving that homosexuality is not a disease on "Nanuka's Show"