Jenny Block gives you a gift —permission to love

It’s hard not to be really distraught and anxious right now. Distraught, anxious, irritated, angry, depressed, scared even. A madman is in the Oval Office and we are surrounded by those who put him there. And, in some ways, it’s the latter that’s the scariest part. All around us are people for whom hate is their family value. His presence feels particularly oppressive considering it’s the holiday season and all. Hard to be merry and bright when people are aggressively seeking to strip you of your rights.

So, I have a gift I’d like to give all of you this holiday season. It won’t fit in a box, and it doesn’t need any ribbons or bows. It’s likely not something you asked for. But it’s something that we all desperately need. I’d like to gift you with permission, permission to revel in love at a time when it can feel harshly inappropriate.

We shouldn’t need permission, of course. But being in love and sharing love and acting in love can feel more than difficult, it can be near impossible really, when hate is the prevailing guide to living. So perhaps my gift should be two-fold, permission and perhaps a little prodding too. Right now, not only do you have the right to love. You also have the responsibility.

We have to love our partners with more ferocity than ever before. We have to not only love them. We must also revel in that love. That means not feeling guilty for being in love. That means not feeling like we have to apologize for having full hearts. That means pleasure seeking without regret.

Yes, I am talking about having sex. I am talking about having lots of sex, great sex, romantic sex, filthy sex — all of it. It can be tough to imagine languishing in love when the wolves seem to constantly be at our door. But these wolves are unique. They feed not on blood. They feed on fear. They feed on seeing us shrink away. They feed on robbing us of all things joyful.

Nothing thrills a hate monger more than suffering. So, let us not suffer. Let us not give up the greatest thing we have, perhaps the only thing we really have, this crazy thing we call love.

In fact, I challenge you. I gift you both permission and prodding and I challenge you to love with abandon in spite of it all, because of it all, maybe even, to cure it all.

Imagine, if you will, a whole country full of people who every time another right is threatened, take to the streets, vote, rally, donate to the fight… and then go home to our partners and love them. We don’t spend every moment listening to the endless commentating. We don’t spend every moment bickering over the what-ifs. We don’t let the hate rob of us our love.

We use our love like a shield. Or, better yet, like a battery charger. When the fight saps us, we turn to love to fuel us. We turn to sex to reinvigorate us. We turn to our partner to remind us that they can spew all the hate they want, but we will live another day to love another day and, in the end, no matter how hard darkness tries to cover our light, it doesn’t stand a chance if we insist on taking a stand.

I like to think orgasm works in our world the same way screams do in the movie Monsters, Inc. They use screams to harness energy, to create power. I vote we do the same with orgasm. The more pleasure we enjoy, the more strength we have against hate. We can store it up and radiate a field of love that simply can’t be pierced.

The hatemongers are like the Grinch — they think they can threaten us and take away our cakes, and we will shrivel up and turn against each other and join the hate clans to which they belong. But their thinking couldn’t be any more foolish. They are forgetting who we are, how far we have come, just what we will do for one another to protect and save one another in the name of love.

“They buried us, but they didn’t know we were seeds.” Have you seen that quote? That is us. Poet Dinos Christianopoulos said that. He was gay, and the Greek literary community cast him aside for that in the 1970s. And now his words make the rounds. How apropos for us. We are seeds, and the more they water us with hate, the more we shall grow in love.

We have to vote. We have to donate. We have to march. We have to be visible. We have to fight lies with facts. We have to be vigilant. And we have to dance and sing and smile and love. We have to. Think of the way positive thinking affects healing. You still need the chemo. But the pulsing of love and light serves as the reinforcements.

So, this holiday season — and as a kind of resolution for the coming year — I give you permission; I urge you; I challenge you to hold your partner tightly; kiss your partner passionately; and whisk your partner away to the bedroom. Take delight in the fact that every embrace, every stroke, every moan is like a caging, a clawing, a screeching to those who would see us destroyed. My mother’s generation used to say, “Make love. Not war.” Today we must make love to fight the war.    

Have a question about sex, relationships or life you want Jenny to address? Email it to [email protected].