Here’s my take on the Eliot Spitzer “scandal,” for the Village Voice as seen through the eyes of someone who has open relationships on my mind clearly: In (Partial) Defense of Eliot Spitzer.
Just in case you’re not totally sick of all the coverage (a lot of which is redundant) of the Spitzer “scandal,” here’s a fabulous piece called “Against Sexual Scandal” by Lauren Berlant. She calls the mainstream media to task for its neverending sex-negativity. A little snip: “I felt sorry for sex during the Larry Craig brouhaha last summer. What if he liked being married and procreating and giving anonymous head? What if that was his sexual preference? What if he really was not gay, as he claims, but had sexual desires that seemed incoherent? Some of the response to Craig was like the response to moralists like Jim Bakker, Ted Haggard and now Spitzer–moralists deserve to suffer the same force of negative judgment they wielded on others. Shame on us? Shame on you, ha ha! But lots of the response was sheer homophobia. And all of it was sheer erotophobia.” I love her line about having sexual desires that seemed incoherent. Because in reality, a lot of us are way beyond gay/straight, kinky/vanilla, etc. and Berlant calls for us to embrace that rather than continue the cycle of shame.
Deborah Taj Anapol, the author of Polyamory: The New Love Without Limits and one of the pioneers in the polyamory community, recently wrote to me asking for some help.
…Dozens of fantastic but now irrelevant memories of Thailand, Cambodia, and Hong Kong flash through my mind. Unless you ask, I’ll spare you the details of the wonders I saw: The magnificent ruins at Angkor Wat, the huge crystal Shiva Lingam deep in a Buddhist cave temple near Chiang Mai, the nearly deserted hot spring pools outside of Pai, the Jade Buddha in the Kings Palace in Bangkok, endangered pink dolphins in Hong Kong waters. Instead I want to share the three big discoveries I made on this trip.
1. Men and women in Asia struggle with the exact same relationship issues and dynamics that we do in the West. Of course, since we have all inherited the legacy of patriarchy!
2. In the very oldest Angkor temples, dating back to around 800 AD, there is evidence of equality and mutual respect and trust between men and women. The sculpted images of both temple dancers and warriors include male and female figures. By 1200 AD this had shifted to many scenes of battle among male warriors and a few female “asparas” or “dakinis.” Interestingly, these dates correspond to a similar shift spoken of in the oral history of the native Hawaiian people.
3. This one is more personal. While Asia is fascinating, and I look forward to visiting again, Hawaii speaks to my soul. Through my travels I was shown that Hawaii is my true home, as I have always known, and I must stay open to find ways around the apparent obstacles which block my return.
In that spirit, I am now asking you all to help me reclaim my dream of continuing to live at Lokahi Farm. It appears that the opportunity has arisen to buy out the co-owner’s share of the farm, but I no longer have access to the funds to do this. As many of you know, the Golden Age at Lokahi Farm floundered when what I imagined to be a shared vision was revealed to be anything but that. It took me over a year to come to peace with the idea that I would have to give up this magical place. But the land would not release me.
If there is one lesson—and there have been MANY—I’ve learned in this process, it has been to ask for help voluntarily! It’s not easy, but I’m getting there. In order to keep the Farm, I need to raise about $125,000. Now. That might seem like a lot, but if each and every one of you reading this contributed just $100, that would do it!
Over the years thousands of people have thanked me for helping them create the lives they’d always dreamed of living. They’ve freed themselves internal prisons of guilt, shame, and limiting beliefs. They’ve met friends, lovers, mates, whole communities of kindred spirits. They’ve been inspired to live their dreams and had peak experiences they couldn’t even begin to imagine. They tell me it would never have happened without me. If you are one of these people (or if you’d like to be!), you are being overly generous if you give me credit for the beautiful life you’ve created for yourself. But I ask you, please be as generous now with your pocketbook as you’ve been with your words! If I’ve improved the quality of your life in any significant way, consider helping me out of this difficult situation! I’m not asking for a handout (although donations will be gratefully accepted) but I am asking that you PREPAY your next workshop, private retreat, or coaching session now so I can raise the cash to claim ownership of Lokahi Farm. Buy now and collect your products anytime within the next year! If we succeed, the first six people to enroll are invited to be my guests at the Farm for a week of celebration.
To see what your money can buy and pay by Visa or Mastercard, go here or click on the store link on lovewithoutlimits.com and go to the “miscellaneous” category. If you prefer to pay by check, send checks to Deborah Anapol, POB 335, Fairfax, CA 94978. Together we can do what I cannot do alone. Please help restore my faith in community! I thank you in advance with all my heart.—Taj