Emotional Fatigue and Erotic Negotiation

Hello beautiful beings,

Today I am tired. The card of the day (you can follow here on Instagram or Facebook) was the Four of Cups from the Modern Witch Tarot, and it’s interesting how much I empathize with both the Contemplation face of this card as well as the Apathy. I am exhausted emotionally while simultaneously grateful for what I have. Tired of dream-time issues, tired of internal self-evaluations, tired from trans fatigue. Empathy fatigue.

Trans fatigue is the feeling that comes from constantly teaching trans 101. From reading online about yet another trans murder, yet another celebrity saying we don’t exist, having to defend my right to be. My own internal exhaustion from looking at who I am within my own gender and how that interacts with the stories of how others see me. Of being excited for the case that won for our right for bathroom access while knowing in my bones how many places those rights do not exist. If you are new to the notion, Phaylen Fairchild wrote a fantastic article that breaks down the number of things trans people have to face every day. For those who say they want to ally with trans people, I encourage you to read it to build awareness of trans experience beyond hormones, coming out, bathrooms, and murder. If you are trans, non-binary, or on some other gender journey, please self-assess your energy level before digging in because it might be an emotional read – but it may also have you not feel as alone in your feelings.

Do not get me wrong – I love teaching trans 101. I love helping people help their trans loved ones and allies. I adore doing this work in the world. I *want* to keep doing this work and DO NOT want anyone to feel they cannot seek me out. 

I also honor myself in honoring that it is work. It takes energy, and sometimes stepping back from it or having to do anything related to gender is important for me sometimes. It makes talking about it in my personal life hard though, because I sometimes have used my energy for these issues in other parts of my life. It has me want to retreat to trans and NB-only spaces and places where I can exist and just… be. I find myself curling up inside my heart when moments happen in my life beyond work when gender or bodies come up, even if I am the one who ends up bringing it up. 

So between that and other topics in my life I have gratitude for therapy. I have gratitude for my spiritual practices. I have gratitude for my tarot class that is having me do daily in-depth draws/reflections into cards comparing 4 resources about interpretations helping me dive into my own interpretation not just of the cards, but my own life. I am grateful for quiet time with myself or my partner. I am grateful for the tools I find for having a breath to re-fuel and be ready to face the day again.

Any form of activism is about the long haul, not just the sprint. Everyone who does activism can and should take a break (thus the powerful work of the Nap Ministry being so important in anti-racism activism/healing), but come back. Come back. Don’t go go go until you burn out and never return. Take a break. Breathe deep, and come back. If you are new to activism, whether around race, gender, or something else entirely… learn this before you burn out. Your intention is great, but those of us who cannot burn out and never come back need to see you be here for the long haul, not just hold up signs for three months then be done.

This week, come join me at: 

  • Negotiating Well With Others… and Yourself!
    September 9, 2020 (1-2:30p Pacific, 3-4:30p Central, 4-5:30p Eastern)
    Share on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/358553001944759/ 
    Share on Fetlife: https://fetlife.com/events/936331 
    Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 243 929 4154
    Password: 136777love
    At every turn, erotic adventurers are encouraged to know their needs and limits, express them to partners, and negotiate! negotiate! negotiate! It is common to feel overwhelmed and uncertain how or where to begin, what to bring up or what to focus on – even for the most extroverted pervert.  Let’s take an opportunity to use negotiation as foreplay, self-exploration, and a road map to our most intimate fantasies, and then come back to developing our skills for negotiating with others, whether for play or within relationships. There are so many approaches to negotiation we can take!  Remember, negotiation is a practice and takes practice – like Kung Fu for the erotic explorer.  New, experienced, shy, outgoing, top, or bottom; everyone can benefit from negotiating!
  • Turning It Around: Switching Places in the Bedroom
    with Ms. Cenna.
    At the Virtual Intimacy Retreat
    September 18-20, 2020 (class on Sunday the 20th)
    Buy your tickets to the online conference at: https://virtualintimacyretreatseptember2020.eventbrite.com/?aff=MsCennaLeeHarrington&afu=3700023121 
    Do you usually take lead in life, your relationship, or the bedroom… but there are activities you like to receive or “bottom” to? Are you concerned that receiving them will make your partner think of you differently? Do you tend to follow or bottom, but want to provide delight for your partner and don’t know how? You are not alone! Through discussing our fears and sharing tips and tricks (and trying a few), we will discover ways to switch it up, have more confidence doing so, and acknowledge the vulnerability it takes to share these desires in the first place.

I also have other classes coming up in the next few weeks that you may be interested in:

  • Wicked Grounds – Online Worldwide (September 24, 2020): Teaching “Queer Magic: Power Beyond Boundaries.”
  • Academy of Fetish Arts – Online for Cleveland, Ohio Area (September 26, 2020): Teaching “Beyond Bowed Heads: Rituals for Dominance and Submission (and the World at Large).”
  • Black Thorn – Online Worldwide (September 26, 2020): Teaching “Be Yourself or Something Else: An Introduction to Erotic Roleplaying.”
  • Folsom Street Fair – Online Worldwide (September 27, 2020): Teaching “Crotch Ropes and Butt Bondage” for the Black Thorn Community Room and appearing on a “Sacred Kink Q&A” in the Wicked Grounds CommunityRoom.
  • … and more being announced all the time!

To check out other classes and intensives, visit my Upcoming Appearances page to learn more. From there you can sign up for my free newsletter as well. To enjoy further free material from me, consider joining me over on Patreon as well 🙂

Much love to you all and see you soon!

Yours in Passion and Soul,

Lee Harrington



Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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