Dear Hearts,

I’m not usually one to co-op pop culture phrases. I was taking a performing arts class at Naropa University and the professor, Lorenzo Gonzalez, started calling me 50 Shades of Jade. He also taught me to babble, but that’s another story.

When I started redesigning my internet presence, it just made sense to consolidate my websites into one, the phrase stuck, and here we are…

I do have opinions about the shocking success of the trilogy by E.L. James, 50 Shades of Grey. It proved something I’ve believed for a long time – that many women want to be ‘taken,’ ravished, and in some regard, dominated by their men (and only in the bedroom!).

To make my writing gender gentle, I suggest that anywhere you see the word man, think masculine, and woman = feminine. Consider gender as an energetic expression, rather than a culturalized set of expectations. My favorite flavor of sacred sex teachings is Taoist, because it says that everyone has both masculine and feminine aspects, no matter our container. We all have both of these complimentary and sometimes contradictory energies to call on in our bodies, no matter what gender orientation or sexual identity we hold.

I’ve been intrigued with the world of BDSM in my sexual explorations. It’s a fascinating field for learning about power, control and surrender in relationships. In the early years of my sexual healing practice, there was a dungeon in Denver called Uncommon Ground. I started seeing people who had visited there because they felt harm had been done. It appeared there were a few true sadists in the group and safety rules were loose. It is so easy for the imbalanced masculine to show up in such scenes and act out on people who don’t know how to hold safety as priority and set the scene for respect and honoring. 50 Shades of Grey is an immature expression of a deeply intriguing arena of sexuality. Maturity and concern for safety are imperative for this realm. The Master/Mistress supports the seeking of edges, but with consciousness and respect, acknowledging deep human dignity toward the seeker, as well as tenderness and caring. Only then is it appropriate to venture slowly and carefully along that edge. Absolute safety is required at every level: physical, emotional, mental and spiritual.