KINKY SEX, MAGIC MUSHROOMS, PTSD, & THE GREAT GAIA

Two thoughts this morning at 6:02AM. One from this morning’s dog walk around the neighborhood loop. One from two nights ago, sitting on the kitchen floor with the baby between my legs staring into the naked tree limbs in our neighbor’s yard, my eyes tracing the branches that shoot up into the sky like roots into the ground.

First. I’ve never been into kinky sex. No whips or chains or costumes and certainly no Tupperware containers of poop (apparently this is a real thing in one Berlin nightclub.) Part of me wonders if kinky sex now is like masturbation was pre-college. Because I never tried it, I never knew what I was missing. It’s possible. My libido is a fishy thing. Research shows that couples with kids have less sex than those without. Which makes sense, given time availability. I remember way before EllieRoo, about a month before Kate and I got married, Kate and I were walking on this bike path in Minneapolis by the Mississippi River and she started crying and said I feel like you just don’t like my body, like I’m unattractive to you, and that’s why we have sex so infrequently. At that time, I was newly sober, vegan, logging 70 miles a week running, and writing manically at 3am or 4am every day. Maybe I just so thoroughly drained my energy supply, that there was no gas left in the tank. Not even for sex.

Okay so this morning on the dog walk, I wondered if it’s PTSD. Like my mom died traumatically in 2009 and I never saw it coming and I never said goodbye and I never saw her again. Which ruins you. But then I just went on with my life. Went back to law school. Back to listening to lectures. Back to drinking wine for breakfast and whiskey for lunch and more whiskey for dinner. Very few tears. Maybe all that numbing was an effective coping technique in some ways—it allowed me finish law school and also transfer to a more prestigious school and also move in with my little sister and become her sole caregiver for her last year of high school and my last year of law school. But maybe all that numbing was a really shitty coping technique in other ways—I never had the time or space or permission to fucking fall apart, to have a Category 5 breakdown. At the time, I figured that I just grieved differently. That I became cold and hollow and reserved and stone faced. Now I’m not so sure. Maybe it’s all still in there, waiting to come out. All snakes need to shed their skin, or else they die.

The connection between kinky sex and trauma? Your guess is as good as mine. Maybe this animal part of me…deep down….is sad. And maybe it’s hard to get kinky when you’re sad. Part of me hears this and rolls my eyes. It seems like everyone who spilled milk as a kid has PTSD. Everyone whose father yelled at them or whose mom lost them between Aisle 6 and 8 at the damn grocery store. And maybe we’re all traumatized. But rewind time 100 or 200 or 500 or 1000 years. That was real trauma. Watch mama get eaten by a tiger or the Romans or the Black Plague. That’s PTSD. And it seems from my sparse knowledge of anthropology that they had rites and ceremonies to deal with their shit, whereas we don’t. So even if our traumas are petty first world problems, we’ve anesthetized the healing circles and rites and rituals and burning sage and voodoo chants and vision quests that might really heal us.

So I think it’s time we bring all that pagan magic back.

Second. And this relates very much to the first. When I was sitting on the floor with the baby, staring out the window, waiting for Kate to come in for dinner, I studied the big bare tree limbs. No leaves yet. Just exploding neural dendrites. Each limb breaking off into branches, branches dividing into mini branches, those dividing into little sprouts and on and on. That tree needs the air around it. Just as it purifies and oxygenates the air around it. That tree needs the sunlight and the rain. And that tree needs the soil underneath it and the millions of microorganisms. Which is to say it’s codependent. Which is to say it cannot survive alone.

Part of the war on drugs is this bullshit move of drawing a line in the sand between plants like tobacco (legal) and plants like marijuana (illegal). My realization was that we’re just like trees, but we rarely conceptualize ourselves accordingly. Depression for example. It used to be the case that depression was so stigmatized and misunderstood that if you claimed depression, the common response would be: buck up, stop being so weak. The implication would be that you need apply more will power to the inner happiness gas pedal. Now, if you say you’re depressed, you get pills. And in the face of all this research that psilocybin mushrooms are more effective in beating depression than big pharma anti-depressants, the Government and other Opponents are saying that mushrooms are “drugs.” But look at the tree. And it’s relationship of need with the sky. I think it’s like that with everything. We’re interconnected. Just as humans can’t thrive without eating plants, or animals, or some combo—why wouldn’t it be the case that nature co-evolved to bring us magic mushrooms as a healing tool? Why wouldn’t we avail ourselves?

Imagine the trees forming a tribunal which prohibited the uptake of nutrients from the soil. Claiming that the soil is a drug, and that the only permitted source of nutrition was the sun or the rain. Bullshit nonsense.

The idea is interconnectivity.

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