CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
What I'm looking for:
Visual & verbal entries including, but not limited to, photography, design, illustration, photography, collage, short story, essay, poetry, conversations (screen shots or script-type).
Video, motion, and audio entries are very welcome as they can be featured on Divine's site and social, however they should have a print component to include as the main attraction will be the print piece.
Deadline to submit is January 31st. Email a synopsis of your idea with the intended execution. Please include necessary any style reference for me to understand your intention.
Deadline to have the work finalized is February 28th.
(v.) show reverence and adoration for (a deity); honor with religious rites.
This year, I was celibate for about 6 months. It was both a conscious and subconscious decision. I never denounced sex in any official way, but I was going through an internal transformation that I knew could only happen appropriately by taking space from engaging sexually. This was so true, that I actually lost my sex drive completely for a portion of that time. It was totally gone. Even attractive men I met, I was bonding with strongly but platonically. In that time, however, I felt that my relationship with myself was solidifying in a way that it never had before. A foundation was being laid to build...I didn’t know what...on it.
For most of that time, I thought a monogamous exclusive romantic relationship is what I was waiting for. And then one day, probably mid-way through this 6 month period, I was texting with a friend and we were discussing my sexually quiet months. He asked me what I was waiting for and what came out of my mouth (through my fingers) surprised me. “I would fuck someone who worshipped me,” I said. It was honest, but I didn’t fully know what it meant. Neither did he. But it felt like the most correct answer.
After that, I was still very sexually protective, but I was opening up mentally. I had started connecting strongly and actively with myself on an energetic level (that Earth energy) that you’ve now read about in What It Takes. I describe it as “dark, slow molasses” or “damp peat moss.” As I recognized this in myself, I started connecting with others on this level and the quality of my interactions began to shift. I started meeting men that were sexually interesting to me, but nothing manifested physically. I was noticing how the words and actions that triggered attraction in these situations were different from the months and years that preceded it. I enjoyed how lush that felt in comparison.
Around the same time, a friend told me about a website for people who were into kink and fetish. The idea that you can start a conversation by kindly and respectfully talking to someone about your fantasies, needs, and limits without judgement in order to see if you’re a good fit to engage in a safe, fun and authentic sexual experience really resonated with me, so I started chatting with a few men. Initially, I thought I was mainly interested in a submissive experience. Most of my life, I claimed attraction to dominant alpha males that could allow me to lose complete control. I had never previously found appeal in male submission and actually frequently found male softness to be a turn off (Thanks, heteronormative social conditioning!). This is one of the major pieces of the puzzle that started to shift as I dove deeper into these conversations, conversations with men I met through traditional means, and eventually through physical experiences that I had once I broke my celibacy. I started to find appeal in allowing a man to be soft. I started to desire it. The beauty of being able to grab hold of the role of “Giver”, even if it’s just for a short period of time or in subtle ways, was revealed to me. And the idea of Worship started to haunt me. Because now, I had an equal desire to worship and be worshipped.
But I still hadn't formed a good definition. What in the hell did this mean?
Towards the end of my celibacy, as I started to mentally and emotionally open up again, I told a man I had a short, but very intense, emotional affair with that I wanted to worship his body. “What does that mean??” he asked, confused but very eager. I didn’t have an acceptable verbal answer, but I felt that my body knew explicitly how to describe it. I took his hand and held it.I proceeded to touch his hand with my hand so as to explain, through the force of every unspoken communication tactic I could muster, what it meant. I flipped his hand on its back, traced his palm and finger pads with the tips of my fingers, from the center to the edges and then back down again. And when my fingers passed his and our palms met, I pushed mine into his with a gentle but incredibly intentional message, trying to transmit the definition of the word “Worship” through his tough but receiving skin. I continued my mission as I pushed my hand up his forearm, still with a full palm and then lighter back down toward his hand. I did this many times. Sometimes I would pause, hands facing opposite direction but sitting squarely on each other. Sometimes I would look at him, adding energy to the movement through gaze. I can have no idea what my face looked like in that moment, but he would look back with a darkness that allowed me to see that he was starting to understand. Sometimes he would close his eyes. Eventually, his hand started to speak back to mine. Fingers entangling mine, sometimes taking a moment to send a message back through my skin in the same manner I had begun. He understood. Somehow, in our attempt to explain this idea of Worship, we had simply defined it for ourselves and each other in that moment.
This is what I aim to do in this next issue of Divine. I would like to explore what Worship means through the action of Worshipping. Rather than writing a dissertation on how Worship is celebration, sacrifice, faith and complete immersion in something or someone, as I believe it is, I want you to show me and Divine readers what it means to you. Let’s define Worship as it applies to relationships with ourselves, others and the world around us by sharing art that helps create your perceived experience with these issues.