A sex ed blog with more
Cliterature: First, what a great name. Without knowing a thing about it, you can make some guesses. 1. It has to do with women 2. It has to do with women’s genitals. 3. It has to do with literature.
All 3 of these are correct. Cliterature is a 2-night event for women to read erotica. But what happens is oh so much more: Shelley Secrett is an amazing woman. She had an idea 10 years ago: “I wonder if women would read erotica on stage…. Yes, they sure do.” But it seems to have evolved into so much more than that. Performers are welcome to sing, dance, recite poetry, read anything they’ve written – be it erotica or not. What an incredible event with such an inclusive feeling of safety, hilarity, and sexual energy.
Cliterature is an event charged with feminine energy. Being that I am new to the Waterloo region and the queer scene, it was something wonderful to behold. It is also an event full of jokes, laughter, door prizes, raffle prizes, food, drinks, smiles, and genuine appreciation for the artistry of the performers and reaction of the audience.
So rarely is hetero a minority as it seemed to be at Cliterature. This was something I had never experienced before, and I was awe struck. “Ohhhh, so this is what it’s like.” Duh. I was uncomfortable about my orientation for the first time ever. It was kind of like the first time I was the only white person in a room. It was completely eye-opening, wonderful and scary. I was forced to recognize my privilege in the best way possible.
To be clear, the evenings called me to focus on heteronormativity i.e. Am I really into the opposite gender? Is that normal? Is it okay? The answer to all of this is clearly yes. We are all allowed to like whomever we like. And I am so grateful to this experience for creating a safe space to examine my own personal perspectives and bias. I love new experiences. I am so thankful to have wonderful non-hetero friends who are patient and understanding and help me to understand what life is like in this incredibly heteronormative world we live in. Perhaps this is my wakeup call that I need to get more involved in the LGBTQ community within my region and not be so scared, even though I didn’t even know that I was.
Saturday in particular got me to recognize the beautiful gift that is another person’s willingness to share their body. Typically, I am a very selfish lover. I want a lot of sexy fun the way that I want it, and for a long time I was unwilling to do much to please my partner. I figured ‘my body is such a gift to you already, why bother making sure you’re happy with your orgasm?’ You’d think I would have recognized a long time ago that if my body is a gift, so is my partner’s. I guess there’s something to be said about women reading about the beautiful body of another woman.
Cliterature had so many amazing performers. A few that really stuck with me were:
Melissa Sky: I went home and told my partner about the hilarious possibilities of what ‘Fuck Me Like a Canadian’ can mean. Incredible. Laughed oh so hard.
Ali Scott: thank you for sharing your personal journey and for teaching me! If you’d be up for it, I’d love to interview you for a podcast.
Beth Murch: hilarious rantings of ridiculous sex advice. Yes. You have a wonderful laugh.
Willow: you have inspired me to begin belly dancing. I had never seen it done that way!
Iris Moore: a wonderful animation. So clever! And you came in from Montreal. Also, you are super cute and it was lovely to chat with you briefly over a table of vulva cookies.
Tynan: your bubbly, self-deprecating personality is entirely entertaining and we weren’t even focused on the potential depressing nature of your songs because you had hilarity interspersed throughout.
I cannot wait for next year’s Cliterature, and I am so excited to follow up with a lot of the wonderful performers and audience members I had the pleasure of interacting with! Thank you, Shelley!!!