People who think marriage is about sexual fidelity, often ask: if you are not going to be exclusive, then why bother getting married? As if having more than one lover automatically rules out having a life partner to grow old with!? Seriously, why wouldn’t you want FABULOUS party to celebrate radical new ideals of love!
This is the kind of either/or thinking that inspired my famous quote: “Who the fuck wants a cake, if you aren’t going to eat it too?” (Or in this case, vegan gluten free cupcakes.)
Two of my dearest friends and lovers decided to challenge their monogamous programming and create an enlightened wedding, where they not only wrote their own vows, but are re-writing the rules of what is possible in marriage!
A more detailed wedding website will be posted soon, but in the meantime, here’s My Top 10 Personal Highlights from Roxanne and Daniel’s wedding:
10. Co-officiating the ceremony.
This was my first official experience working with Rabbi Marc Gafni, who is not only an author, evolutionary visionary and world spirituality teacher, but one of Daniel’s best friends and dharma partners. After I opened the ceremony with an unconventional invocation, Dr. Marc Gafni gave a sermon on outrageous love, with unforgettable wisdom such as:
“What does an outrageous lover do? An outrageous lover keeps every boundary that should be kept, and breaks every boundary that should be broken. And with that principle in mind, an outrageous lover commits outrageous acts of love.”
I then told the humorous story of how Daniel and Roxane met, their families offered blessings and readings, followed by 3 distinct kinds of vows, and we concluded with an alchemical fire ritual. There were moments of ecstatic celebration as well as deep holy reverence.
9. Why Marriage?
Two hundred of our closest friends and family showed up to witness their vows. Why? Daniel says: “The main reason we decided to have a public ceremony: to share about and celebrate what we have found that works for us…to encourage others to bring their own imagination and faith and courage and uniqueness and purpose to the way they craft their relationships as living art!”
“One of the places where we share a profound sense of purpose, coming from very different backgrounds, is the desire to inspire and empower other people to create the lives and specifically relationships they truly want to…that are expressions of their own wholeness, purpose, and uniqueness…that enhance every area of their life and the world…crafted by them in a way that best serves that, and re-crafted continuously as a living process…free from limiting dogmas and unquestioned axioms about what relationship, love, sexuality, commitment and life need to be.”
8. Rope Bondage.
In the private bridal chambers, a few hours before the event, I spent special “bonding” time with my beloved girlfriend, Roxanne of 4 years (AKA My Bitch) with a green bondage corset and wrapping her wrists with pink cord gauntlets (which are reminiscent of a neo-pagan hand fasting ritual.)
7. Radical Vows.
Roxanne and Daniel exchanged 3 types of Vows:
1st Personal vows to self and to the other as a sovereign individuals.
2nd Interpersonal vows to each other and to their partnership.
3rd Transpersonal vows to the community and the evolution of love on the planet.
Here I chose three radical examples:
ROXANNE: I vow to be kind loving and gentle with your heart, and, if I ever need anything–to manipulate you with sex.
DANIEL: Roxanne, I am here to be your personal concierge to the universe for this lifetime. There’s not that much time and so many wonderful things to experience and create – its my goal that you have the most incredible trip through existence possible! Anything that you truly want, that could add beauty to your experience, I will do my very best to make happen.
TOGETHER: To remember the magnitude of suffering in the world, and to be serious about doing what we can to lessen it.
6. Fire Ritual
As a symbol of these vows, they each held a torch, with different color flames representing their individual and unique essence. Each of their flames already burns…and they vow to maintain them and when they put their touches together their flames jump up as a symbol of how together their flames burn brighter and more beautiful. And marrying those flames…they create something new, different from and greater than either of them as individuals. Then they both came together and co-light a third, larger torch in the center that offers its own light and beauty to the world…while the two individual flames still burn strong and maintain their uniqueness.
(If you look closely at this picture, you can see all three flames are different colors!)
Afterwards Roxanne and Daniel invite the audience to close eyes, hold a candle, feel into their own vow to the evolution of love, and then come up front and light their candle from the central flame, making that vow, and placing it on the earthen alter.
5. More Love!
During the ceremony, I asked if all of the bride and groom’s exes, former lovers, past and of course, present lovers to stand up and be recognized. One of the deep values that Roxanne and Daniel share is that the love is eternal, the form of the relationship may change but when you love someone, you always love them. Another big value is gender equality. They give eachother equal permission to see other people, however, they don’t necessarily always share the same lovers. Roxanne is open to being with a wide range of genders. She is pictured here with three of her current girlfriends.
Daniel and Roxanne’s girlfriends were there to support and pleasure them throughout the evening, which did not take away from their special bond to each other. Love is like a cookie that is divided between lovers, so that more lovers means everyone gets less. Our love grows the more we share it. By coming together our love gets even bigger.
4. Sex-Positive Entertainment
As Emcee for the evening entertainment, it was my honor to introduce: Tina Casper’s Pole dancing, Kixxy Galore’s burlesque, Erin Whitford’s Fire Dancing, music by Jess Johnson and Ariel White, poetry by Summer Athena Fah and an unforgettable X- rated Sword Swallowing show by Murrugun the Mystic.
3. Tantra Theater.
Tantra Theater did Improvisational Comedy to spoof some embarrassing stories about Roxanne and Daniel. My favorite was the time that Roxanne first discovered her urethra. Players included Michael McClure, Cheri, Viraja Prema, Reid Mihalko and AmyJo Goddard. Directed by Kamala Devi.
2. Love is contagious.
During the ceremony, Jesse Norton was so deeply moved that he spontaneous decided to propose to his girlfriend, Jennifer Gold. He immediately, and secretly asked Roxanne’s permission (to make sure he wasn’t stealing her thunder) and then checked-in with Jennifer’s former husband, Tahl. Upon hearing the big news, Tahl and his girlfriend Tziporah, decided not to leave the reception as they had planned, but stayed late to show their support.
During the entertainment, I called Jennifer up to the stage. She thought I was going to promote her new Pilates club, but then Jesse dropped to one knee and proposed by drawing a ring on her finger with a marker. My husband, Michael, the comedian on stage pointed out that it was “permanent Marker” are you sure you want to do that? Jennifer’s answer was a resounding– YES! Now they are planning an intimate wedding in the fall (and there is rumor that Daniel may be the officiant!)
1.We are the Future.
My 8 year old son Devin, has never been to a wedding before this one. He is growing up in a very different world than we are. In this moment in history, same-sex marriage is legal in 37 U.S. states and 7 states (and US territory, Guam) are currently awaiting court rulings. Many conservatives fear that open marriage is the next frontier, I’m here to say: why not?
According To Daniel and Roxanne: “We believe our partnership should arise from our deepest values and be an expression of and in service to them. Our being together should enrich everything that we cherish.”
Photos by: Tanner Ott who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
Special thanks to Tony and Triambika at The Fire Garden http://thefiregarden.com/
and Chef Thierry Maurel who made the YUMMY Vegan/Gluten free Indian cuisine: http://www.chefthierry.com
If you “liked” this post you are going to LOVE These:
“How to Not Get Fucked Up In Relationship” by Daniel at PolyPalooza Part I: The Brain Chemistry of Love & Sex Addiction
And check this one out from Roxanne:
Top 10 Ways Pole Dancing Is Like Polyamory
Or for Instant streaming performance art by Roxanne Depalma check Out: