Speech at Launch of The Velvet Pouch 19.6.13

Posted: Sun Jun 23 18:34

In times gone by, the people in this room might have been regarded as “those freaks who thought the world was round”.
Yet social change models would merely describe us as innovators or early adopters and we make up about 16% of the world’s population. Behind us comes the early majority (34%) with the remaining 50% being the late majority and laggards.
Innovators – have larger homes, are more educated, more prosperous and more risk-oriented.
Early adopters – younger, more educated and tend to be community leaders.
Early majority – more conservative but open to new ideas, are active in the community and influence neighbours.
Late majority – older, less educated, fairly conservative and less socially active
Laggards – very conservative, have cheap housing, little capital and are least educated.
Sound familiar? How many people in this room could identify with being in the late majority or a laggard?
 
Victor Hugo once said that nothing can stop a truth that’s on its way. Every study, every research and every statistic in the world suggests - no concludes - that without ANY doubt, both men and women are biologically multifarious. Men are hardwired to spread their seed and women are hardwired to seek genetic diversity for their children.
 
Sexual Health Australia estimates that 70% of marriages experience an affair. And the University of Washington says if you’re under 30, that statistic increases by 20% for wives and 45% for husbands.
 
The Men's Rights Agency claims that 30% of men in Australia are living with a child they mistakenly believe is their biological offspring and many species of animals that were thought to be monogamous have now been proven to have multiple sires of children.
 
Our bodies are the greatest gift that we have yet they are betraying us. If we follow cultural norms our bodies are wrong and we must somehow supress their urges. 
 
I don't know about you, but I would prefer to be true to myself than be true to society. I still believe in soul mates. I want to grow old with someone, I love spoiling people. I want to heap love on them and worship the ground they tread on. I want to be loyal. I want to be honest. I want to have fidelity.
 
So how do we achieve that? How do we beat our biology? How do we stop our partnerships and marriages following the path that nature intended?
 
Can we change our bodies? Could we evolve to adapt to our culture? Apparently we can – but not for a couple of thousand years.
 
So how do we keep the people that we love? How do we prevent ourselves from hurting that person holding our hand or standing beside us? How do we prevent becoming weekend Dads or cheating with the spunk at the gym?
 
The answer is obvious. We do it in Safety. We do it in Finance. We do it when we look after the Environment. We do it when we insure the car. We are already doing it in EVERY area of our lives except for the MOST VALUABLE THING WE HAVE - our spouses and our families...
 
That thing... that answer that can save us is RISK MANAGEMENT. It's about identifying our problematic areas and applying solutions that may reduce - or even stop - those problems from occurring.
 
That means putting up your hand and saying to your wife or your boyfriend or your same sex partner or WHOEVER you have a substantial investment in and saying, "Darling, I'm not getting enough" or "Sweetie, I've got this weird fetish that needs to be scratched" or "Honey, sometimes I need to have sex merely for sex's sake."
 
It is not an insult. It isn’t grounds for a hissy fit. It doesn’t mean they don’t love you. 
 
Remember, this is the person that we have invested 50% of our life with. If we are lucky enough to have children together, they will probably be around when we die and certainly for each and every milestone in our children's lives. This is the person who could crush us if they left us, the person who makes living a joy.
 
Yet we are not managing the associated risk. We are abiding by our cultural norms and our diets of Hans Christian Anderson and relying on wishful thinking and unpromiscuous therapists to tell us how to live our relationships.
 
No more! Every couple is unique. Every couple is a different combination of drives and hormones and emotions and pathology and it is up to THEM to decide how to safeguard their love. It is up to THEM to establish what could break them. It is up to THEM to be aware of threats and strengths. t is up to THEM to negotiate their fidelity.
 
Negotiated fidelity is simply relationship risk management. It’s about listing depression or alcohol abuse or an unsated lust then identifying corresponding solutions such as medication, moderation or experimentation. But it must be done BEFORE things go pear-shaped.
 
Each of my memoirs is a step towards gender enlightenment and our own perfect recipe to hold onto our soul mate - that person who we would happily die for. 
 
In Sugarbabe I came to understand the true nature of men and they taught me that sometimes, sex isn't about love.  They taught me that an opportunistic encounter in a dirty alley with a nasty skank isn’t grounds to pack the bags and end the marriage. Most of all, the daddies taught me that men WORSHIP women, but women don’t worship men who worship women.
 
In Toyboy I discovered the extent of our indoctrination and how we can be classically conditioned to learn just about anything. I found out that it is very difficult to escape our position on the bell curve and if we find ourselves in a minority we might as well get to know and accept our neighbours because we will probably be there for most of our lives.
 
But it wasn't until The Velvet Pouch that I took the biggest gamble. Dino and I sacrificed ourselves to prove my theories. We took the readers on a journey that was sexy and had lots of laughs, but it very nearly undid us. In the years following The Velvet Pouch, both of us did some very uncharacteristic things and fought to regain much of what we had lost to each other.
 
It’s powerful stuff. There are lots of funny moments, but there are also paragraphs in there that make me cry every time I read them. I'm still having friends say that they want to give me a hug after reading it.
 
And when I have a bad hair day, I STILL sometimes think the price was too high. I STILL wonder that if I hadn't written The Velvet Pouch, would I be curled up and spooning one of the nicest backs I'd ever known? Would I be married or walking down the street or into venues feeling on top of the world because we were Holly and Dino and we felt SPECIAL?
 
But we tend to forget the flaws in the things we lose. Just like funerals when we only ever say good things about the dead, so too do we only dwell on what we will miss and not on what we will be glad to miss. 
 
And often just when I'm reminding myself of this, I'll get a letter from a reader and everything changes. Here is an exerpt from on eof them:
 
Dear Holly
I am single, struggle when im in relationships because i enjoy new experiences and discovering new people and bodies. I thought their was something wrong with me for the longest time. You taught me that its okay. Yes, maybe one day Ill meet the one who changes me, but for now, you are the reason i live day to day, enjoying every minute instead of pondering all my flaws. 
Thanks for Everything! 
 
Authors are more accessible now and when I get letters like that, I realize my sacrifices were worth it because my books are an armchair journey to a more realistic version of ourselves. There are lots of laughs and tears and nail-biting, but we are better people - and more empathetic partners – for knowing the truth about ourselves.
 
Like my readers, I don’t think I’m a freak anymore. The early majority are catching us up and even some of the late majority are reading 50 Shades of Grey. The divorce rate is starting to fall, couples are no longer having expectations of lifelong sexual exclusivity and perhaps most importantly, men AND women are starting to embrace our biology, instead of shamefully repressing it.
 
For writers like me, the world has become an easier place. Now the naysayers, now all those thousands of indignant bible-quoting conservatives who posted on threads and complained to radio stations about 'women like me' are starting to look slightly foolish. Amidst allegations against the Catholic Church, books like Sex at Dawn and rights for Same Sex marriage, there is a sexually driven social upheaval that I'm proud to say I'm at the forefront of.
 
The truth has found us. Every person in this room should be congratulated for making the world a better place. And thank goodness we all know that THE WORLD IS NOT FLAT.
 
With thanks to Macleay Bookstore

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