You may have noticed that in my what sexy looks like post, I mentioned that I wear minimal running shoes. I got them after I injured a foot this past summer and two different medical providers recommended that I try minimal shoes. These particular shoes are a pair of New Balance Minumus. They were designed in collaboration with this guy:
(Tony Krupicka describes running as “just the most basic, primal, pure experience that I’ve been able to find in life.” And… I mean… Okay, so I’m not a serious runner and I *am* a sex nerd and therefore everything I think about turns into sex; I know that and I know not everyone has that experience. But really… running? More basic, pure, and primal than sex? Really?)
I don’t run far or fast, but I run often, because my dog really needs it, and I like to run with my dog. Yet even for me, the less I wear on my feet, the healthier my feet are. Now when I get foot pain, I know it’s because I was wearing heels or shoes with too much padding, and I spend a few days wearing my minimal shoes all the time, at which point the pain goes away. Hell, if I had a field of flawless grass to run on, I wouldn’t wear shoes at all. But I’m a wimp and a coward and I just insist on having rubber between my skin and my point of contact with the earth.
All of which strikes me as an outstanding metaphor for sex.
You’ve spent your life hearing about the technology of shoes, and there’s an implicit message that feet need technology in order to run (or walk) safely, that your body is basically just not quite meant to do this thing (that it was in fact built for).
And, in parallel, you’ve spent your life being told (by magazine covers and by movie scenes where no one ever queefs or gets sticky and everyone looks beautiful the whole time) that many things about your body and your sexuality are wrong, broken, sick, or under-developed.
And generally speaking, it’s not true. Or if it is true, it’s mostly true because you’ve spent your life being told that it’s true, just as the clumpy shoes have left your feet weaker and less flexible than if you had gone barefoot your whole life.
Now, just as a lifetime spent in shoes means you have to transition gradually to barefoot running, building strength and balance a little at a time, so a lifetime in American culture means you have to transition gradually to a new understanding of normal, healthy sexuality. Sticky sex. Dirty sex. Abnormal sex. It doesn’t happen all at once. But it does happen.
It’s easier to start running barefoot than it is to start fucking barefoot. There’s infrastructure involved. But how do you strip away the excess? How do you begin to fuck without cultural “shoes” on?
Actually, the first step in barefoot running in the first step in barefoot sex: pay attention to your body. Notice the alignment of your spine, the engagement of your core muscles, the sensations of your skin. Pay quiet attention. Tune in. The more attention you pay, the more the jagged edges will smooth themselves out and the knots will relax and untie on their own, without deliberate effort on your part, simply because you were still and noticed what was happening inside your body.
Practically what this translates to is: meditate (tune in to yourself). Also stop consuming mainstream media (tune out the toxic noise).
This advice feels too simple to be right or doable.
So tell me, o best beloveds, what could make it difficult for someone to tune in to themselves and tune out the toxic noise? How can I make this advice more real-life?