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Another Girl's Paradise

I live in Paradise. Or at least, some people’s version of Paradise. I’m also a long-time Tori Amos fan, as I’m sure some of you gentle readers have already divined by the amount of her work on my blog. I love her for many reasons, among them that she’s unapologetic about her spirituality, her beauty, and her sexuality. And like me, she is also a rape survivor. In many ways, that in particular fascinates me because she seems less hindered by her assault than I am in terms of being willing or able to express desire. I had a lover ask me once what I wanted, and I was at a loss to express anything in particular, in no small part because asking for it seems Dangerous with a capital D.

And I’m not the only One aware of this problem – recently, Loki specifically asked me to tell Him what I wanted. Again, I don’t know. I’m always happy to try things, but I don’t ask or initiate, because I’ve been shamed into not wanting to express any sort of desire. Again, asking for it is, well, asking for it. Given the fact that I write romance, I’m sure that sound strange, but in essence, it’s Not Me enough to be Another Girl’s Paradise, and I can enjoy it, express myself.

If you'd like to hear the song: 

I thought about sharing the studio version of this song but Tori Amos is really meant to be enjoyed live. AGP is an older song by her, and it has been on many a Hidden Loki character playlist – sometimes His, sometimes a heroine, because it’s got a back and forth that reminds me of our relationship.

how could i resist? you are desire

when it all is said, said and done
who can love you and still be standing?

Loki leaves His mark, and He always has. “I love all of you. Not just the bits you think are acceptable to show to company. I know what’s in your closet.” (for reference, we were referring to that one closet where you have all the crap that you don’t know where it goes so it goes in there, in nothing that resembles any kind of order. That closet.) “I’m here to help you unpack it.”

“My closet’s a mess.”

“I know. I like messes. But seriously, Sweetheart, what do you want? You’re allowed to want things.”

And that’s a foreign concept to me. In fact, I’d say that’s not just me, but many women. We’re so primped and primed for the male gaze that we fake orgasms, dread lines appearing on our faces, grey hairs – things that make men “rugged” or “distinguished” make us “old” and “haggard” – please go reference any commentary on Hilary Clinton’s appearance if you need an example. Because culturally speaking, our job is to be young, impressionable, and f*ckable. Or, as Virginia Woolf once said, “Women have served all these centuries as looking-glasses possessing the magic and delicious power of reflecting the figure of a man at twice its natural size.” A mature woman who has her own ideas and assertions is no looking glass; she is her own person. Actually, if you want to know a secret: even young women have their own ideas and assertions about life; the only difference between an older and younger woman is that the older one has had more experience in realizing that it is not the end of the world as we know it if she ventures an unpopular opinion.

Also, let me pause here and tell you that if you’re here to mansplain why these double standards are okay, I'm not going to dignify it with a response.

Speaking of unpopular opinions, I am over the practice of sl*t shaming anyone who talks about godsex. Sex happens; sometimes people want to discuss it. Don’t like it? Don’t read it. People get all worried about looking crazy (way to go ableism) but you know what? This really isn’t a path for the sane. If sanity and mainstream normality are high on your personal priorities, prolonged contact with the numinous may not be for you, because it will change your mental map of the world. This is not limited to Loki or Lokeans; any deity is going to alter your comfort zone. That doesn’t necessarily mean privation, but it is change. Like me learning how to express desire.

And Loki’s other point about the expression of desire is that He doesn’t mean for it to be limited to speech; acting on desire is an expression of it just as much as speaking is.

you have come to discover what you want

“What do you want?”
I don’t know.
what i want is not to want what isn't mine
but i am desire

“No, that’s not what you want. What you need is to want what you already have. Want the gifts that you are already given.”

when it all is said, said and done
who can love you and still be standing?
there's Mary calling up a storm
can i take from you and not keep taking?
naked as day Gemma follows him
does it all come down to the thing
one girl fears in the night
is another girl's paradise?

So I do indeed live in Paradise; not another girl’s, but my own, if only I can learn to appreciate it.

Originally posted at my personal blog.

Last modified on
Tagged in: desire Feminism loki
Lokean nun, writer, swamp witch. Heather is a Pagan monastic, writer, editor, and mother. She has written and edited for a variety of publications and social media, including science journals, romance novels, and technology blogs. She also holds degrees in education and speech-language pathology, and has a passion for historical linguistics.


  • Julie Landa
    Julie Landa Sunday, 23 November 2014

    I, too, am a huge Tori fan and have a difficult time asking for what I want. Thanks for the reminder that I can, and the inspiring interpretation of Another Girl's Paradise.

  • Erin Lale
    Erin Lale Sunday, 23 November 2014

    I so relate to this! I've never heard this song (I mostly listen to filk and old folk music) but I find myself nodding at all these concepts.

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