It’s Valentine’s Day—or Singles’ Awareness Day, depending on your perspective. But regardless of your relationship status, you’ll spend today bombarded by thoughts of love, and perhaps those thoughts will lead to more thoughts about…Sex.
So I thought I’d take advantage of this happy day by discussing the principles of organizing and orgasming. In order to do both better, you need to embody the following qualities:
- Communication: Communication is key. Sex without a mutual understanding of what’s okay and what’s not is always bad news. As a leader, always check in with your group’s members to make sure that your plans and actions are kosher. Don’t move forward with anything until you’ve received proper consent. And regularly ask for feedback—How am I doing? What do you like/not like about this campaign?
- Empathy: Connecting with your partner(s) physically and emotionally leads to great sex. Similarly, it’s important to really get to know the communities with whom your organizing. What are their needs? What makes them happy? Make sure that you’re connecting the other members of your organization as well.
- Open-mindedness: As a lover, one should be open to hir partner(s)’ idea of what feels good. Avoid yucking yums—try to understand and appreciate the acts that make your partner(s) happy. Sometimes it’s just a matter of changing your own perspective! This applies to organizers as well—don’t dismiss anyone’s input, no matter how wacky it seems. It could lead to the most ideal outcomes!
- Patience: It’s important to take the time to get to know your partner(s) body and desires. It’s also important to invest yourself in getting to know your community’s collective identity and needs. Take the time to listen and understand who you’re working with, or else it will be impossible to get to that end goal.
- Endurance: Sometimes, it takes a long time to get where you want to go…in bed and in life. However, the end result is always worth it. Hang in there, even when the going gets tough. Never give up! Keep your eyes on the prize!
- Creativity: It often takes a bit of experimentation to keep things lively with a lover. Taking creative approaches to problem-solving is crucial for activists as well. Think outside the box every now and then, instead of just doing the same old stuff you always do because it’s worked in the past. Sometimes a fresh perspective and approach can change everything.
- Empowerment: Affirming your partner(s)’ agency in a sexual situation extremely important. Similarly, empowering the members of the communities with whom you organize is key to a successful activist campaign. Don’t underestimate the importance of showing support and encouragement to others.
- Focus: If you’re making love while thinking about your homework, you’re a mess. Your partner(s) deserve(s) better than that! Giving someone your full, undivided attention is critical to having a good time whilst doing “it.” Remaining focused and invested with communities and grassroots organizations is the foundation of creating meaningful relationships and alliances.
- Respect: Even though you may think your way of showing/making love is superior to all others, it’s not. Don’t forget to respect other romantic and sexual identities, especially asexual ones. In activist spaces, be sure to affirm those who are seemingly different from you and your fellow organizers. Don’t normalize your own experience or perspective—include others whose identities or ideas might be marginalized.
And that, my friends, is how to have good sex and even better activism. Happy Valentine’s Day! Now go get dirty in the grassroots.