Heterosexuality isn't normal, just common.
— Derek Jarman
he Calyx explores wild sexuality. So what’s that? Sexuality and sexual identity that is diverse, daring, intense or in some other way outside the bounds of the domesticated or civilized norm. In some senses, sexuality itself is “wild”. It is visceral, unpredictable, messy, organic, and viewed by authoritarian societies everywhere as being in need of domestication and control — much like nature itself.
Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (broadly called “queer” in ’90s political jargon) issues are dealt with here, as well as feminism, gender identity, the sex industry, sex-negative attitudes in society, and other related matters. Much of the content in the Calyx Library comes from Nihil Obstat, the column I used to write in Xtra magazine, a Toronto gay and lesbian biweekly).
And if you’re wondering what on earth a “calyx” is, it’s a Latinized Greek word related to the English work “chalice”, which variously describes a drinking vessel, or the cuplike interior of a flower. And if you can’t figure out what that has to do with sexuality you either (a) are not a lesbian, and/or (b) haven’t looked at enough Georgia O’Keefe paintings. Literalists, however, will be glad to know that the term is also used to describe any of various cup-shaped structures in the human or animal anatomy, such as — well, you do the math.
The Calyx can be viewed as a stand-alone site, but it is also part of a larger entity called Wild Ideas, an online celebration of the Wild in all its forms, from the familiar sense of wilderness and wild nature, to looser interpretations in the contexts of spirituality, sexuality, politics and consciousness. The Calyx is also still partially under construction at this point; some areas still contain “placeholder” pages, but I will be replacing those with real content as soon as I can. The process of restructuring and redesigning such a large site has been more of an uphill battle than I had anticipated!