Jean Franzblau discovered who she was when she let go of who she thought she had to be. Sometimes, the best way to get over a break-up is to get under…a project.
I was in a long-term relationship and didn’t know how to get out. Saddled with a good-girl upbringing, I didn’t want to do anything that would be hurtful. I kept hoping my boyfriend would do something really bad that would justify my reclaiming my freedom. I was stuck.
Days stretched into months. I learned that no one could do it for me. I had to come face to face with the stark reality that I mattered; that there were two people in that relationship and one of them didn’t want to be in it. I had to be willing to hurt him in order to take care of me.
After the break-up, like a turtle coming out of her shell, I became quite curious about my surroundings. With so many instances of saying No to my sexual self in my past, I was ready to begin saying Yes.
I’d been keeping a private list in my mind – my sexual bucket list. By giving myself permission to explore, I started having experiences I couldn’t stop writing about. I worked with a coach for over eighteen months to shape the stories into a play called, Coming Out Kinky – A Grown Up Story.
We had two preview performances. Here’s what I learned along the way.
1. Lots of women are as turned on as I by male homo-erotica.
When I was fourteen, I came to the awkward realization at a high school wrestling match that I was deeply turned on by watching men roll around with each other. I shared this blushing moment in my play. I really thought I was a rare and strange creature. Since then, plenty of women I know have agreed that this turns them on as well. Now I can invite some girlfriends over and watch Queer as Folk and swoon during the spicy scenes.
2. Many women are suffering silently with a condition called Vaginismus.
When still in my old relationship, I noticed pain when my boyfriend and I had sex. My gynecologist diagnosed me with a condition called Vaginismus. According to Vaginismus.com this condition is “a vaginal tightness causing discomfort, burning, pain, penetration problems or complete inability to have intercourse.”
I shared about my challenges with Vaginismus in Coming Out Kinky. Several women have come up to me after the show to say that they had this problem, too. Some were hoping it might just go away. It rarely does. The pain causes the woman to fear having intercourse, and the fear makes the probability of pain higher creating what’s called a “Cycle of Pain.” If you or someone you love is dealing with Vaginismus, there’s help.
An earlier clip from gasm.org featuring Eleanor who suffered with Vaginismus.
3. Coming out as “kinky” has made my life more fun.
In my show, I admit to liking S&M. I tried exploring S&M with a safe partner and took on the submissive (or surrendering) role and was deeply moved by the experience. I also tried the role of being a bossy dominant and loved it, too. I realized that liking S&M qualified me as being kinky.
Talking freely about being kinky connects me to a lot more people. I joined a Meetup group called Sex-Positive LA and came to understand that there’s a whole sex-positive movement. People who are sex-positive believe that sexuality is a delightful and healthy part of the human experience.
Now I have a whole community where I can attend events, geek out about sex and find appropriate partners. Like a kid in the sand box, I’ve found my playmates.
4. There’s a real hunger out there for authentic conversations about sex.
I’m in the midst of a campaign to support the World Premiere of Coming Out Kinky. This means I’m doing everything I can to bring attention to the play and its themes of sexual exploration and expression. In the past month, I’ve been on three radio shows, YouTube and numerous blogs. The feedback I keep getting is this:
People are grateful for an opportunity to talk candidly about their sex lives. They tell me that when I’m honest about what I like, they feel more freedom and permission themselves. I’m so glad that what I like to talk about (sex) happens to be what many people need to hear.
5. Being brave is the happiest way to live my life.
When I started writing the show, I had no idea how I would have the balls to share it. I feared that it would torpedo my corporate career. I wondered if weird people would come out to get me. What I have found is that I am spending less energy every day covering up who I am. And I’m getting an infusion of energy because I get to share about topics that fascinate me. I’m attracting friends who are vigorously supportive of what I’m doing. I’ve never felt so encouraged and loved.
So now I’m an advocate of being brave. Is there something in your life that you’ve been hankering to do? Do you have a calling that won’t stop singing a siren song in your ear? Listen, my friends, listen to the voice.
Be brave and fly.
gasm.org is all about mainstreaming healthy conversations around pleasure and we applaud Jean on her work. To support Jean’s production click here