Erin O'daniel is a writer, artist and gender expansive womxn living in Duluth, Minnesota

Confidence and Bondage: Minnesota Nice meet Minnesota Fierce

Nice is saying what people want to hear, what we should do, what is likeable. My MN Fierce is tying you down MN Nice. Ropes snug against your wrists, waist, ankles. I’ve tied you to a chair and am going to pleasure you until you scream. Louder louder LOUDer. Express your desire.

MN Fierce is telling truths, focusing and building one’s dreams and holding a kind, connective, confident stance. Most if not all of the Fierce Minnesotans I know identify as feminist. Here I will use the words interchangeably.

I’m exploring the intersections of MN Nice and MN Fierce. How both oppressive silence and feminist fire affect the sexual climate of our home. How we shape the place we live as sexual beings with these ways of moving through the world. How do we know and engage the sexual ‘landscape’ where we live when we’re quiet and when we’re loud? These are questions I’ll explore in the coming weeks with my blog.

Here we can be a passive people. Not telling others how they feel and using “private” as a description. Doesn’t privacy equal silence? Silence about who we like and what we want. Silence around desire equals convincing yourself you don’t know what you want.

In my dream last night I walked naked through a shopping mall. I wasn’t appalled or fearful. I covered my boobs and crotch up a couple of times. Most of time I walked free, unfocused on what others thought.  A police officer approached right as I was about to exit and reprimanded the rowdy behavior of my friends, not my bare ass-ness. I felt free.

Sexual climate is shaped by what we do and don’t say. What we express or don’t (silence) is the number one way we know, shape and feel the landscape of where we live.

As a queer woman, being vocal about who I am, what I want and what I like is a radical act in Northern MN. As I get clearer and clearer about how much I want to push back against the oppressive silence around sexuality in Northern MN, I feel more confident about being even more open about all parts of who I am.

How are stories about others’ confidences and satisfied desires influencing our own lives?  This week I won an art grant and the confidence that brings to speak out about this topic I’m passionate about shifts my perspective. I literally have the tools to be louder. Be open about my desires and push back against the silence that is an oppressive part of the sexual climate of Northern MN. I recognize not all people have my perspective and privilege. Let that stand as my acknowledgement and constant awareness. I commit to both.

I stand now, taking up space as an expert. I joked with a friend last week while walking the Park Point beach, warm enough to hear water lapping the shore, that we are flawed feminists. Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist has been this week’s read. She holds her mighty intelligence and intersectional feminist desires right next to her humanity throughout every essay.

I’m exhausted by MN Nice. I’m supercharging my MN BadAss. It’s ready to take front and center, push MN Nice off the stage. That’s where the kind comes in right? Maybe I just lead MN Nice out of the light. Damn Nice taking up so much space every where I look and listen. What is Nice afraid of? Mainly of conflict and what others will think of.

So I push. Here and there and there and here again. I’m aware of my Limitlesss Elf, this connection to something bigger than me, and I trust. I feel the stretching of the fabric of my thoughts and other people’s too. I shine a MUCH brighter light than Nice was ever standing in on the sexual climate of here. Of who we are as sexual beings. These parts of us have been in the dark way too fucking long.

I push and feel what the pushing and the simultaneous letting go does. It means I’m clear about my own desires and committed to them. My desire is to be my full self and honest about what I want and see who/what that experiment attracts in my life. I fully expressing myself and have lots of fun with it all. I surround myself with radical, dynamic, kind, loving, creative, multi-racial, queer, sex+ feminist folks.

SIMC explores sex in my city. Sex is literal pushing. It is our bodies claiming space and knowing pleasure. It is about us making noise, skin on skin and expressing pleasure, asking for what we want, learning what we want, getting more of what we want. It is about being present with our desires, not beating ourselves up for the silence or sluttiness of the past. SIMC brings us right here. Gives all of us a place to be fully sexual, confident, creative and intersectional.

So I’m not my most patient self right now. I’ve got desires to satisfy. And that is mother fucking fine. I allow my desires to define my life right now. I push and then I breathe. I’m focused on my own dreams and goals. I’m drawn to openness, boldness, confidence in others.  I align with this confidence and the creativity that flows from it. I look past what I think I know of people- and the sexual climate of my home. I stand with kind confidence.

I’ve created this space to share and learn. I want to be pleasantly surprised. I want us all to feel safer to explore who we are as sexual beings in this place. I will engage in work and conversation that fills me. I say yes and know. I’m clear I’ve been exploring and engaging this part of myself since high school. So I crave to be with others who are similar. Seasoned and expressive. And I know I want to know about this climate, landscape, people I’ve chosen as a community. You are silent and green. It affects me and I care about you.

I’m pushing you to talk (more) about who you are as a sexual being. Here in Northern MN. Push yourselves. Push more. Push those around you. Open up, unleash the erotic here at home.  Boldly, what if our landscape is in fact changed over the next year by this project? I want us to know ourselves, feel ourselves differently after this year long blog.

I imagine us freer and more confident about satisfying our desires. We are kind but no longer passive and Never again nice. What does our community feel, taste, sound, look like?

Close your eyes. Imagine. We are clear about what we want sexually. Let’s start there first.

 

Sex Positive Pride!!! Minnesota There are No Limitations.

The Radical Limitlesss Elf in all of Us