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

The State Of Sexy+ in Duluth

I’m here writing my first blog post to explore who my city is/I am as sexy+.

Sexy+ is my new made up phrase. It’s a combination of a couple of terms. Sex positive (my favorite working definition lights me up every time I read it!). And my own profession/personal hobby-looking at the intersectionality of our sexual selves with the other parts of our being. In other words, I’m curious about how I (and others) carry my sexual identity along with me throughout the day.

With SIMC, I explore who we are/I am as a sexy+ person in Duluth and Duluth as a sexy+ entity in itself. Because let’s be honest about a couple of things, many of us who live here:

1. may not feel sexy+ for a good portion of the year for multiple reasons (we’ll explore those later)

2. admit claiming/wearing/coifing/complimenting our sexy+ is a complicated and ecstatically fun thing

3. have intentionally planted our lives in a ruralish Midwestern county seemingly confused about how to celebrate/express its sexuality (Duluth contradiction no. 237- our city seems ambivalent externally about sexual pleasure while proudly owning its sexy, wild beauty. The physical sensuality surrounding us at all times is so astounding it’s enough to drive allowing citizens to a state of orgasmic bliss. Instead, we present as a silent, flannel wearing, “ambivalent” crowd. This affects us all and is a microagression against our senses and sexy+.

I’m curious this morning about why I like sex so much. I’ve discovered a new phenomenon. During a recent dating adventure, I learned I can be physically attracted but not sexually attracted to someone. Sex right!? Again, such wildness. I like how Gloria Steinem compares travel to sex in her new book. She writes,

“Taking to the road- by which I mean letting the road take you- changed who I thought I was. The road is messy in the way that real life is messy. It leads us out of denial and into reality, out of theory and into practice, out of caution and into action, out of statistics and into stories- in short, out of our heads and into our hearts. It’s right up there with life threatening emergencies and truly mutual sex as a way of being fully alive in the present.”

She said it. Swoon Gloria. I love sex because it allows me to feel all of right now. With myself, my environment, and another person. Living in Duluth, I’m “taken” constantly. Every time I stand by the bigLake... still and sandy mornings on Park Point, raucous and raging dusk on the Ledges, silty, spiney, stunning romps on south or north shores. Every time I drive north and tip over Thompson Hill- I scream at first sight of river, bridges, bay, lift bridge. Taken. Every time I run along the Superior Hiking Trail and spot huge open water from the top of our hill.

Sex is my indoor (most of the time) and social equivalent. It connects me with my

own body/heart/soul, the bodies/hearts/souls of others and what it feels like to be alive in this moment. In the perfect scenario, I open myself up to it all without question.The above is why I love sex. Why sex loves me. Why I love Duluth. Why Duluth loves me. I believe these are mutual, very mutual, endeavors.

Which bring me back to sexy+ Duluth. I look forward to writing the next post.


The Radical Limitlesss Elf in all of Us