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

The Radical Limitlesss Elf in all of Us

Everyone is Way tuned into the news. Tuning into the news more or all the time, every day. In pain and shock and disbelief over what is happening with the new prez. And here I sit aware of my Limitlesss Elf. Or maybe that is my limitless self, no let’s go with Limitlesss Elf.

This crazee strong part of me that is not bound by external definitions or identities or ideas or stories (old and new) about who I am. Yes, let’s say I know who I am. As a human. I am a white feminist artist. I am female bodied, identify as gender variant. I am queer. I am a writer and advocate for sexual freedom. I’m a radical committed to reproductive and racial justice. I sit here painfully aware of how white my community is after a feminist action collective meeting last night. And how green and young we are as organizers. And inhibited as sexual beings. I hold all of that, I know there are more identities I could tie onto this laundry line of human labels, but because this blog is about the sexual climate of northern Minnesota and this post is about intersectionality, let’s start there.

Here in northern MN, how does our Limitlesss Elf intersect with our whiteness and our insipid sexual persona and our tireless work ethic and our overflowing concern for others? What if we start with our stories? Your mom didn’t feel comfortable about her sexual self so she didn’t talk about sex and your dad was absent most of your childhood, consumed by an affair and work, so you are completely inhibited when thinking or talking about or initiating sex, romance, intimacy. No one modeled a healthy or positive sexuality so you mostly ignore this part of your life.

So this equals silence around sex. This equals awkwardness around sex. This equals some shame. This equals no vibrators at home or books that focus on sexuality. This equals you othering those who are sexual, sex positive and wear that part of themselves excitedly and externally. This equals you not seeing the stereotypes put on women and queers and people of color. As oversexed. Pretty much you’ve ignored this entire reality personally and culturally and now are just another silent, awkward, undersexed human living in white supremacist middle America.

This is where your Limitlesss Elf comes in. In 2017 my Limitlesss Elf whispered in my ear, “One orgasm a day. Enjoy one orgasm a day.” Limitlesss Elf allows you to know and have fun exploring your human self, push some boundaries, throw some punches into the air (not into someone’s face, come one now. We are a peaceful and radical people) and see beyond it all.

If you know and can feel in the midst of the above = the aftermath of a horrible election where the people you live with elected some ass-wipe, cheetoh head, that you are greater than all these parts, are the infinite sum of all these parts, then you can step into a room and ask big questions and still shoot love out of every one of your pores. You can see the labels and limitations and accept your own privilege and see beyond it. You can hold it all at the very same time.

And use it for good and feel your emotions, get a fucking Gold membership at the gym that has a female boxing component or you start one, because one of the stories you let go is that you don’t have enough courage or energy to do the radical, wild things you really want to do. And pretend punching someone’s fucking lights out right now is something we really want to do in Scandinavian shaped, silent, white as winter night Midwestern America.

So the Limitlesss Elf helps you see everyone for who they are beyond limiting human identities and be fully present with you own human stories. Sort out the ones that feel good, you want to keep and the ones you want to rewrite. And you hold an open compassionate heart by focusing on the things and people and places you love, enjoy, find pleasure in.

“Because pleasure is key,” says the Limitlesss Elf. “Feeling and using one’s strength is choice. And yoo Hoo having great sex is an option if there is no feminist gym.”

We are not splintered, but full of splinters. Is that bad? Shards of Hillary are now in all of us, the Obamas too. Because when I think of sexual freedom I like to think of Michelle and Barack in love, enjoying each other’s bodies. When I think of women in power, I like to thing of Hillary’s political might, strength, and experience.

Which brings me back to the liminal space between what we think and what we think we can say. Cheetoh head was elected because he says what he thinks and much of America is sick of being repressed. Contained. Feeling like they aren’t heard. Like no one cares. Like they have to be perfect.

So here we are writing and reading about sexual climate in northern MN. Wondering what do we want to say about our sexual selves? Especially knowing our Limitlesss Elf connects us always to something immense and love filled. Cheetoh head may have power and help us tap our anger, our deepest emotions, yet we can choose how to use them.

I recommend sex. We notice race. We notice gender. We notice good work. We recognize our Limitlesss Elf connecting us to all that is. Infinite beauty and goodness. And we get down, busy. Practicing safe sex. Purchasing sex toys from your locally-owned feminist sex toy store (Smitten kitten link here). We call that person we think is hot and tell them. Limitlesss Elf knows we are more than rejection or hormones, we say what we think and feel. We let others know. Are kind and direct.

We want to hold their hand, we feel turned on by these emotions. We say it and we aren’t afraid of conflict or discomfort in our small city.  We say it because we feel it and we believe in the simple power right now of tapping the sexual part of ourselves. In 2017 my Limitlesss Elf whispered in my ear, “One orgasm a day. Enjoy one orgasm a day.” I am listening.  And I am fucking. And I am talking. And I am creating. With you.


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The State Of Sexy+ in Duluth