Annalee Kornelsen
Visual Practitioner, graphic facilitation, illustration, and visual thinking

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Thoughts and advice on creativity, art, wellness, and living wholeheartedly from a fiercely intuitive soul.

Annalee Kornelsen is a visual practioner, graphic recorder and artist based in Vancouver BC.

Sexy times

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I had a conversation with a stranger on a dating app that went something like this:

Him: Hi! You're sexy, I'm Tom.

Me: That's more of a 3rd or 4th date compliment, Tom. Or maybe if we were in the middle of actually having sex.

Him: hahaha oh I hadn't thought of it that way.

The funny thing is that I hadn't either until I typed those words. Compliments are strange creatures. "You're pretty" basically means "hey, your face is subjectively pleasing to me". Or: "hey I enjoy looking at you for _______ reason". It's part of our human-animal way of establishing connection, but it changes nothing about the person being called pretty. All of the information being conveyed is about the eye of the beholder. When compliments are phrased as truth statements about the nature of the object, we often take them to be descriptions of us not descriptions of the beholder. Now, "you're sexy", in a literal sense, means "I am aroused by you", but it's interesting in that it attempts to put all of the responsibility on the object of desire, even though again, the arousal is occurring in the beholder.

This is the point where I clarify that I am not in any way trying to police anyone's language, and that I don't have a problem with the word "sexy" at all. 0%. None of that is happening here. Prescribing behaviour won't solve any of the myriad of problems we have right now. I am about to suggest that we treat people appropriately to our relationship with them, and always with the respect, kindness and dignity their being-ness affords them. Everyone included. Men, women, babies, animals ... everyone.

So, back to Tom from The Internet. I didn't want to be called sexy by a stranger. It was like he had come out of nowhere to tell me that he failed math in 3rd grade. It felt like over-sharing and it felt wholly disconnected from me. Sexual connection is just that: a connection. Connection implies to separate points that intersect. It's an agreement, a two way street, it's openness. To use a very trendy (and important) word right now: it's consent. Alive, dynamic consent at every single step.

Let me put it bluntly, until we have made a connection, I don't care what you think of me. It's none of my business. Once we have connected, our ways of being together will become clear, and naturally fall into place. Maybe that will involve sexiness. Maybe I will intentionally or subconsciously show that aspect of me.

But until then, anything you feel about me is your personal business. You are allowed to feel whatever you want. It makes no difference in my life other than telling me more about you. What it is telling me that the most important thing to you is that I know your desires, and that in all likelihood you will expect me to fulfill them.

It's no big deal though. Our ability to connect will be determined by each persons ability to take responsibility for their own experience, for their own "sexiness".