Tied Up & Wet

Earlier today, I found myself saying the sentence, “I never want to be peed on again, but at least that’s how I found out that I like to be tied up.” And the film crew laughed. This is not my typical day. But it does, in many ways, reflect my core beliefs about sexuality, so let’s rewind a bit.

My business-partner and soul-sister, The Mamasutra,  and I are at a conference in Long Beach, with an enormous number of sex-positive instigators that we know and love. We are swimming in thoughts and ideas about how to create a world in which humans can embrace their authentic sexuality – as defined by themselves and no one else – in a way that is fulfilling, happy, healthy and safe. She and I are being interviewed for a fun film project in which people discuss their own journey of sexual discovery. In the halls around us are a stellar collection of people from every corner of the sexiverse – kinksters, sex-workers, academics, pundits. You name it.

I am relatively certain that I am the most “vanilla” person here. (A term that I loathed until a friend pointed out that you can always add sprinkles to vanilla.)  And that, in and of itself, is so me. I am endlessly drawn to not only the unknown, but to the puzzle of bridging the unknown. You see, core to my universal beliefs is that people often demonize that which is “other.” That the “otherization” of people is what allows bigotry, shame, fear and violence. So my sunny little self seeks opportunities to be open and honest about our sexual variations, in the hopes of obscuring “otherness” in a world of “sameness.” Not in a homogenized way, at all, but an understanding that we are all humans, and deserve the same love, respect, fulfillment, opportunity and freedom. The things that make us similar are far more important than the things that make us different. (Though fewer in number and far less interesting.)

Which is why I’m here. And why I’m talking so openly about my own process of discovering my sexuality. A process that took a roughly 15 year hiatus after getting married and having a kid.

The interviewer asked us if we had a sexual bucket list. I don’t. Mostly because at this point in my life, if there’s something I want to try, I’m damned-well going to try it. But it isn’t until she asked the question that I realized that I have always been like that. At least, until I got married and had kids and thought that my sex-life not only took a back seat to my wife-life and my mother-life, but was “done” and complete, like a test that had been turned in and earned a passing grade. The Mamasutra thought about the bucket list, and with an adorable school-girl giggle, said something like “maybe Golden Showers.” For those who don’t know, that’s when one partner pees on the other. Or maybe you both pee at the same time. Whatever, it’s pee, on people.

She laughed a little, trying to figure out the logistics of the situation in which she’d actually do that. And I laughed and said, “handcuffed to a shower in Greece!” Because that’s how I tried it. Suddenly, this memory took on huge metaphorical importance to me.

So, the Golden Showers. It was the perfect situation for me. I trusted him. We were in this amazing tile bathroom on Mykonos, the whole floor and walls were white tile, with exposed pipes, and a window that looked out over the crayola sea.  So I only batted my eyes in the cute way when he said that he was going to handcuff me to the pipe that ran vertically, feeding the water to the shower head. Handcuffs had never occurred to me, ever. But as soon as he cuffed me, everything tingled. He turned on the water and pulled me as far under it as he could, given the restraints. And on went the wee from there.

Honestly, I thought the peeing thing was pretty dumb. Totally not my thing. Not even kind of. But I learned some very important things about my own sexuality that serve me to this day, making that Golden Showers shower one of the most pivotal moments in my sexual journey:

  1. I like to be tied up. I never would have known that if I hadn’t agreed to try something else that was unknown to me.
  2. I love knowing that I can please my partner and give him something he needs, even if it isn’t “my thing.” So long as I don’t hate it, it doesn’t hurt me physically or emotionally, if he needs something, I’m game.
  3. For me, trust and context are everything. As much as I like sex, I have had relatively few partners, and am generally pretty slow to the sack. Because I need to trust someone completely. And when I do, I’ll try almost anything.
  4. I have a rule with myself – not unlike the rule many parents have with their children when it comes to trying new food. I have to try something once before I can say that I don’t like it. Obviously, I have some hard boundaries, things I will not do. But honestly, it’s short. The Golden Showers experience taught me to try things.
  5. My sexuality changes and evolves with every day. I do not have the same sex that I had 20 years ago, and I won’t be having the same sex in 20 years that I have now. Some of it is just age. But a lot of it is because, for me, sex is about discovering something with my partner. I don’t carry around a sexual to-do list any more than I carry around a bucket list. For me, a new lover is a chance to go on a whole new journey and discover something new, unique to the two of us. Indeed, when you are truly connected to someone, even if you are repeating acts that have been done with others, it’s still new and unique.
  6. I want to carry that through as I age, even now that I believe I am permanently coupled with the man of my dreams. There is no reason to stop growing and trying and doing and being a sexual being. Ever.

So, as I said, “I never want to be peed on again, but at least that’s how I found out that I like to be tied up,” I was filled with an odd sense of pride. I like that I am a woman who can say that. More than that, I like that more than 20 years later, I can realize what an important life-lesson that actually was. And it had little to do with the pee on hand.


Photo by Flickr user …love Maegan

Alyssa Royse

Bio: Alyssa Royse is a hot mama in her 40's raising a teenage daughter and 2 young step-daughters. She is a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and PR hack who is now working entirely to promote healthy sexual freedom for all humans - because sexual agency is a human right, and also an important part of health and wellness. A popular speaker and guest writer, she can be found most often on her eponymous blog, AlyssaRoyse.com, on her new startup venture, NotSoSecret.com and as the co-host of the weekly radio show Sexxx Talk Radio on The Progressive Radio Network. (Downloads available on both prn.fm and in iTunes.) When she's not thinking and writing about sex, she is generally playing with her big, queer, bi-racial family, traveling, reading or at the CrossFit gym sweating. Yes, she would probably love to come speak at your conference, or write something for you, contact info is on her blog. No, she does not want to date you, her dance card is blissfully full.

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4 Responses

  1. Jasmine says:

    Thank you for writing this, I have been contemplating my sexual past while I am currently single and abstaining from sex. Sometimes I feel ashamed of past relationships and reading this helped me think of things in a more positive light and see what I am learning.

    • Alyssa Royse says:

      Oh Jasmine, nothing could make me happier to hear! Life, and our sexuality, is a series of lessons. Some of them we will repeat, some we will not, but it is important not to judge our past, only to look at what we learned as a result.

      You don’t judge yourself for fashion choices 20 years ago, do you? I know I don’t, but I’m never wearing tie-dyed jeans again!

      Remembering to stay open and inquisitive as opposed to closed and judgmental will not only increase your happiness and lust for life, it will do the same for all around you. At least I hope so, that’s why I share my crazy stories. We’re all just human, doing the best we can at the time. Cut yourself some slack.

      And know that you are in charge of your sexuality, no one else. You can do or not do whatever you choose, but it should be based on what feels truly good to you.

  2. You are a brave woman.

    Many of science’s most significant breakthroughs have been discovered by accident while investigating something else, so you’re not alone 😉