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Reid Mihalko: Make a Joyful Noise

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For someone, like me who has long been a sex-positive advocate (although not really an educator), I was super geeked to attend one of Reid Mihalko‘s talks in Denver. I had seen his keynote address at Beyond the Bedroom back in October, but unfortunately was unable to make his other classes that Weekend. So this was a real treat for me.

It was only about 2 years ago that I really discovered my own personal trick to my orgasms. See, while I’ve been experiencing great orgasms by myself since I was 11, I was very reluctant to share those with others. I was happy to be on the receiving end of someone’s orgasm, but I wasn’t going to share mine.

Part of the reluctance came from the fact that I had worked with several older men in my adolescence, and for better or for worse, I learned quite a bit from them. And each day for almost 4 years I heard them complaining about how selfish the female orgasm was. How they had to “waste” their time trying to get a woman to cum. They hated giving a woman oral and often complained about the taste or smell. It left a clear impression on 15 year old me, so that by the time I finally gave my virginity to a high school senior a year later, I treated the whole experience as an experiment in -being the opposite of all these selfish women I had heard about.

Now, with the caveat in mind that I have known very few men to ever complain about a blow-job in general, I do consider myself rather adept at that particular skill. That has been my sure-fire claim to fame for almost all of my sexual life. Hell, I was coached by my first boyfriend, who is now gay. I listened to my male co-workers describe what they liked and what they didn’t. I am a quick learner and proud of the way I take time to learn a man’s body well enough to tease and please quite well.

By it wasn’t until I met Warrior that I found a cock that I couldn’t use those same tricks on. Hence, why I think classes like Reid’s are quite necessary. It doesn’t matter how much you think you know about sex, because there is always something new you can learn and a new way to approach each person’s individual likes and dislikes. And at the very least a new way to frame how you decide to look at your own abilities.

But more important than just learning technique is the breaking down of the shame and guilt we experience about sex. For a while after meeting Warrior I felt I was losing my touch and thus unenjoyable as a partner because i couldn’t make him cum from a blowjob. It took months before I realized that he needs a lot of sensuous build-up, because while his body is “online” and ready, his mind is in twelve different directions. And now I hold the honor of being the person (male or female) who has given him the most orgasms from oral ever. Why? because his orgasm isn’t about me. I could use the best technique in the world and it still might not happen. I could be the hottest woman on earth and it might not happen. But I can create an environment and experience where if it is going to happen it can and we will both be happy simply because we are together.

So, what does this have to do with my own realization two years ago or the class last night? We pick up some fucked up ideas about sex. I mean, here I was growing up to grown men moaning about how tedious the female orgasm is. I already had a lot off self-judgment around selfishness in general and wasn’t about to become the type of lover who was selfish and wouldn’t give the same level attention being given to me. In fact, I was the type of person who was determined to give and pamper, but never fully receive.

Read the rest of this entry

Far from Straight

Here is what I posted today in response to a post called “Anything Other Than Straight” by a great blogger I absolutely love to read: Single Dad Laughing.

Dear Dan,

I absolutely loved this post and have considered writing one of my own for quite some time.  I’m probably going to end up sharing way too much here, but you know, I believe in authenticity.  I believe in honoring one’s own truth.  I believe in honoring each other’s journeys so I share a little of mine.

I remember the first inkling I had that I was attracted to women was when I was in 6th grade…in Catholic school.  I was heavily Catholic.  Believed in and practiced the Church’s teachings to the fullest extent possible. Believed with my whole soul.  And back in the early 90’s, bisexuality wasn’t really a thing yet.  Not like it is now.  I chastized myself heavily for even looking at other girls, for thinking anything sexual about them at all. Read the rest of this entry

Fix the Fucking Stair (*trigger warning*)

*I posted this late last week on FetLife. I was asked to publish this in a larger forum where they could more easily link to the content for people who might have FetLife blocked or just aren’t members. With over 300 “loves” and 100+ comments and countless personal emails and messages I agree that this is worth sharing with a much wider audience.

I’ve also added a trigger warning on the title for those who are survivors of sexual assault whether in or out of the scene. However, there is no cut to protect against the triggers.*

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I’ve been part of the BDSM community for 8 years and the Denver community for 6 years. There was a time when I was new. And when you’re new you do some pretty stupid things.

When I was new I agreed to play with someone who told me he’d listen to and respect my boundaries, even though every conversation seemed to revolve around how great he thought he was. When I sent him my personal narrative about the “whys” of my limits, he told me “well, that was more than I ever needed to know”. But you know, I made a commitment to be there and I didn’t want to back out since absolutely no one else expressed an interest in playing with me (before the days of FetLife). When we played I safeworded, calling Red, three times only to have him to continue the exact thing that I said I didn’t want on the spot that was already sore, the very thing I negotiated as off-limits and for the DMs to walk by or watch oblivious even when in earshot of “Red”. He ended the scene by shoving three fingers up my cunt as my face is covered in snot and tears and asking me if I liked it, expecting to be able to start on my front-side since it was clear he wasn’t done.

I told him I was done and was non-verbal the rest of the night. I didn’t confront him because it was clear that he enjoyed himself, chiding me for not being able to take more…that more would be expected of me next time. And the gall that he thought there would even be a next time combined with the passive aggressive insult that I wasn’t a good submissive, that I didn’t give my all, that I was lacking in some respect told me that he would only try to justify his poor choices and blame me if I confronted him head-on or publicly about what he did. I was a nobody in Denver at the time nor did I feel strong enough in myself to not only endure having been outed but to also be unwelcome in a community I wanted to be a part of. Who would ever listen to me?
But the fact is, I wasn’t wrong to trust and communicate when things were going badly. I wasn’t wrong to trust someone who was in such a position of authority. I wasn’t wrong to communicate when there was a problem (screaming Red counts!). The only thing I really did wrong was wait so long to really talk about this.The parallels between that and my rape are too sad when you think about it. Much like when I had been raped 16 years ago while hanging out with my friends in their dorm room, I didn’t tell others until much later (although I did make a post about it on LJ back then–but no locals were on there at the time). Much like the people who witnessed my rape and heard my “No” (and who jacked off as it was happening), no one stepped in to stop it, even when they had a duty to do so. And like 16 years ago I didn’t confront him, but just made sure to avoid him or anyone closely connected with him. As a person I tend to always put blame on myself and I definitely did for this.

What prompted this? It isn’t to publicize his mistakes. It’s to share an experience that, much like the date rape I survived, is far more common and one where I see a lot of others wrestling with whether they should say something or just keep quiet. What’s worse is I see others who continue to act badly, who take no responsibility for their actions or the impact they might have on others (particularly in a public space) and continue to act as if they are the ones who are victimized whenever anyone wants to address their behavior. I’ve had enough. It is precisely the pattern of consume-destroy-silence-shame- Repeat that is hurting members of our community and I’ve had enough. Particularly with the influx of people coming to BDSM from 50 Shades I am quite concerned about the model we are setting for those who have unrealistic expectations to start–but who genuinely feel a draw to practice what we do. What responsibility are we going to take as a community?

I know I’m not the only one who has noticed this. Hell, we wouldn’t have had to have hosted a FuK Yes! party if everything was working smoothly and people weren’t getting hurt by the same limited few who continue on this path of consumption and destruction. We needed the community conversation and we need a LOT more of them. That conversation needs to continue but more than anything it needs to be followed by action.

The do-nothing or the no-drama response is cowardly, irresponsible and does not actually fix anything. Nor does crying foul when someone is told they are no longer welcome at a particular venue or event. Nor does retaliation when you or a friend has been asked to stop a particular behavior such as touching things and people who aren’t yours or the obvious stalking. Nor does shaming or silencing someone who decides to speak out about their experience whether privately or publicly.

For those on the “we just don’t know what really happened” or “we don’t have enough evidence yet” fence let me clarify how utterly insulting and insidious that response really is. First of all, there are very few of us in the community who have a law degree even fewer of us who are trained to be third-party neutrals. So to suggest that our community is even qualified to hear or evaluate evidence in any sort of neutral, balanced way is fucking ridiculous. And to sluff it off as if there is some magic organization that we created or even trust to sort out the problems in our community is invincibly ignorant. Then to imply that it is the survivor’s burden to bring forth that evidence in sufficient quantity (judged by whom?) suggests that justice basically consists of victim-shaming, silencing and outright dismissal until some superior (that we haven’t actually designated) finally decides that the complaint is “worthy” of listening to. And in those rare cases where the perpetrator was you know, -really, really bad- then we won’t say anything about it publicly, but we’ll have some agreement (not always involving the actual stake-holders) on how we will deal with that person. Probation? Supervised by whom? Suspension? Outing?

At the risk of repeating the obvious, here is another link to the article “The Missing Stair”. Pretending you are dealing with the problem by ignoring the problem or rationalizing why it’s not a problem is akin to denial. And it’s what many families who are confronted with an allegation of sex abuse from within do as well. Denial, shaming and victim-blaming is anything but healthy because abuse is abuse. We as a family, we as a community are in denial and people will continue to be hurt until we wake the fuck up.

Yet when people who have woken up, who are doing something about the problem such a party host, a bystander or community leader who confronts someone either privately or publicly with an issue, the backlash is extraordinary. Whether it was the person who was confronted or their merry band of misfits who do the retaliation, it actively discourages others who felt the same from speaking up and standing up. But more than that it affirms the original perpetrator’s lack of remorse or empathy and allows the wrong behavior to continue as a pattern harming more people along the way. Tell me how that is called responsible, much less safe or sane?? And yet, we continue to invite them or at least tolerate them in public spaces despite their alarming lack of concern for the consequences of their own actions. We have acquiesced and turned a blind eye and yet we have no problem judging other institutions such as churches who do the exact same thing.

The minute they are called out on it, they are on the attack instead of taking any amount of energy to determine whether these people might actually be right and to embark on a journey of self-awareness and knowledge. Much like the man who violated my safeword, they become oppositional the moment they are confronted with wrong-doing and use every tool in their rationalization tool box to assert themselves as the actual victim. But that blame-shifting in order to avoid actually confronting themselves and looking within. It’s a defense mechanism, a wobbly, crooked, and sharp one that has been honed by years of people stepping out of its way instead of stopping it. And the more we allow these behaviors to continue the more we are the ones perpetuating the problem instead of solving it.

Lack of self-awareness in a partner is a deal-breaker for me. A non-starter. And I had stopped playing publicly (even though I really love it) because I continued to encounter people, including the man I spoke of, whose shocking lack of basic remorse, empathy or cognizance makes them a danger. I do not trust their judgment and want them nowhere near my personal space. I have survived too many violations to my very reasonable boundaries and limits to simply “tolerate” those who have violated others. Nor am I the only one who feels this way.

Look, I deal with conflict. It’s my job. It’s a job I chose. And it’s not that I don’t encourage us to deal with our problems peacefully in private with education or healing conversations. What I’m saying is that the people who are actually doing this have been confronted privately and they continue to engage in this behavior and worse yet, they try to lean on those who were trying to be understanding and compassionate about lapses in judgment by wrongly assuming we are on their side.

I know confrontation is scary to everyone. Everyone has their hackles raised. It’s uncomfortable and it’s hard. And those, like me, who normally are more willing to accommodate and accept blame rather than make anyone feel bad about themselves are the least likely to do it. So we take the passive way out…we remove ourselves from the community, we throw up our hands and wait for someone else to take care of it. We limit ourselves waiting for someone to step up to fix the broken stair.

Not anymore.

I am no longer willing to wait for everyone else to wake up to this problem. And I support those who tell problem players that they are not welcome. I’m happy to shut doors of opportunity, pulling away welcome mats to those who continue to violate others and act without regard to the consequences of their actions. No more skipping over that stair for me.

Personal responsibility, integrity and awareness are everything.

(Other articles for useful reading:

http://www.petting-zoo.org/2012/06/05/cops/
http://tacit.livejournal.com/359244.html

http://inthemiddleofthewhirlwind.wordpress.com/philly%E2%80%99s-pissed-philly-stands-up-collected-materials/

Denver is a mad, mad world…for all

The Denver community is in a tizzy this week.  The founder and “un-organizer” of KinkforAll made some pretty divisive statements (as summarized in the Silence is Golden presentation from the “unconference”) about the BDSM community which ended in discouraging the locals involved in the community from attending the event.  Much has been made of his statements, including by me on FetLife and elsewhere all over the internet such as Twitter, Google Groups, the Denver Westword not to mention the site of the un-organizer himself, MayMay (please for the love of god, please do  not click on the link or else you will be subjected to a load of mostly irrelevant links with 47+ linking back to his own blog or spaces that he has some primary control of most of the content).

While I take issue with the un-organizer’s uncanny ability to stay just as un-organized in his writing, making it virtually impossible to discern what he actually believes from the gratuitous, self-serving nature of making links back to his own blog, thus driving up traffic and feeding a narcissistic tendency that is wholly evident from a simple reading on its face…I only briefly visit that issue in this post. That is my personal opinion of him based on my read of him.  Granted I have never met him in person and despite his “invitation” for someone to meet him for coffee before he leaves the Denver area on Tuesday, I just can’t after going through being triggered by another outing scare.

See, what I find utterly offensive and reprehensible about this man is how this self-proclaimed, sex-positive advocate and sexual freedom fighter has the gall to link someone’s legal name to their FetLife profile, thus effectively outing them.  Involuntarily outing someone doesn’t seem like the work of a sex-positive advocate.  In fact, it seems much like what happened to me when conservative bloggers decided to do something similar.

Even mentioning this incident today to my husband put him through a visible state of panic and fear.  We both remember what happened when I was outed.  It’s taken us over 5 years to fully recover and still haven’t financially.  In the grand scheme of things I’m not sure which was worse…my rape or my outing.  Both had a profound effect on my sexuality, inevitably inhibiting my freedom and the safety I feel in expressing my ideas even in such a general way here.  And yet, for as much work as I have done to recover and heal, today I still had the knot at the pit of my stomach, afraid I’d be MayMay’s next non-consensual victim.  Afraid I’d have to face difficult questions about ruining my kids by being kinky, queer and poly.  Sex-positivity goes hand in hand with self-determination.  All of us should be allowed to control the time, place and manner we choose to become open about our sexuality.  It should never, ever be decided for us by someone playing blog-politics with our lives. And what’s sad…I have more forgiveness for the conservative bloggers who outed me than I do for MayMay at this point. Why?  Because MayMay should know better.

At what point did sex-positivity become about outing people?  I don’t care if it’s one person or a hundred.  His selfish need to be -right- on such a small and insignificant event (which by the way the majority of the kink, gay and lesbian communities knew nothing about) blew away any credibility he had left as a sex-positive advocate in my book.  And I have no problem warning other communities that he visits fall-out they can expect.  For he fails to recognize the true human cost of his relentless pursuit of righteousness and justifies his disrespectful behavior with a taunting recitation of his own website where he calls FetLife unsafe.  And yet, none of that excuses the shameless disregard for the human cost in his obvious pursuit of his spiteful agenda.

Denver will recover, it always does.  Like I have said in the past I feel Denver has a strong community base.  The Denver BDSM community has been having conversations about racial, gender and class privilege for the whole time I have been involved.  We’ve been more active in calling each other out when there is a sex-negative agenda.  We’ve been educating about queer leather, trans inclusion and a whole host of topics in between. Which is why so many in Denver were eager to be a part of KinkForAll.

The people who have been offended by the words and actions of the past few months are not Denver’s “elite”.  These are the ones who have been in the trenches making “traditionalist leaders” re-evaluate their terminology, practices and even identifications.  These are the people changing the face of kink everyday and doing so without recognition or thanks.  And yet, despite all of this, these extraordinary men and women were brave advocates for those same traditionalists to be included and be welcome to contribute side-by-side with them.  We may not like what they have to say, but they are part of the “all” in the title and we won’t leave them behind.

We could debate all day about the meaning of the word “kink”.  I can say that back home it’s defined as someone who “lets you in the backdoor”;  whereas in other communities I’ve been a part of it means you do more than just piss in someone’s mouth.  But while kink isn’t always synonymous with BDSM, at the very least they are closely related and certainly never mutually exclusive.  Excluding members of the kink community -or- specifically targeting them -or- outing them -or- exploiting them really betrays a weaker-minded agenda than the stated intent of providing an open forum for discussions about sexuality.

Sex is a difficult topic for many and must be approached with care and dignity for all present.   BDSMers for the most part are able to talk about sex much more easily and openly than most people i have met and have a lot of value to add to any discussion about kink while still respecting the boundaries of those new to the topic. In fact, my topics were these: Conflict Resolution for Multiple Methods of Loving, the politics of slut-shaming culture, the impact of the Sexual Freedom Movement on racial and ethnic minority communities (and vice versa), Healing through the Sacred Whore/Prostitute Archetype, creating culture, responding sufficiently to sex offenders within our environment, the experience of recovery after being outed. None of these were exclusively BDSM-oriented and could have benefited the discussion.

Yet, I chose not to attend after finding out that a) the media had been invited, b) they would be livestreaming/videotaping the sessions and c) that as a BDSMer/queer leather femme I might be targeted by this man’s personal bias.  What’s worse is that mine is not the only voice that was silenced by MayMay’s personal prejudices and agenda. Many more valuable voices were likewise left out as a response to not wanting to promote this problematic agenda even further.

I will always be supportive of the idea of a conference, a gathering, a teach-in or any other model that promotes open, safe and constructive (rather than “uncomfortable”) discussions of sexuality. I will fully support efforts to confront privilege whether it be in the BDSM community or beyond in an equally constructive way.  But when it is executed poorly because of the directed and unchecked prejudices of one person, then the community must take up the responsibility to create a forum of its own where the stated intent of “all” is respected and openly welcomed.

This fall-out has shown me we still have so much further to go.  In a world like this where Rush Limbaugh calls a Georgetown student a “slut” and a “prostitute” for wanting to testify about reasonable access to birth control  (which can have health benefits unrelated to preventing conception) do we really need to nitpick over what the meaning of kink is?  After all, none of that matters when examples like the Limbaugh one above exist every single day and members of his own party won’t even denounce him publicly for such egregious and unwarranted attacks on something as simple and easy to understand as birth control.  The nuances of kink, BDSM, and fetish pale in comparison to the work we have to do in the rest of our world about basic sexuality.  And if we ignore these opportunities and decide instead to exploit the precious freedom we’ve been able to create we do a disservice to our own selves and the vision we have for greater acceptance.

Liberate from the madness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You are a guest here…

Last night a bit of a debate erupted over my post about the Focus on the Family ad during the Broncos-Patriots play-off game last night.  While I thought my small opinion might be controversial what I didn’t expect was that two people so unlike each other would get into a snarky religious battle in the thread that I’m sure making people on either side of the issue uncomfortable.  Okay, maybe I did foresee that just a little. But there I was at 2 am ready to settle in for some sleep when I finally checked my notifications and saw it.  So after I woke, I updated my response and share it with you in every form I can imagine:

Dear friends…I am not going to get too involved in this at 2 am. However, if you have been on my list for any amount of time please let me remind you quite clearly that: 

a) I believe in equal rights for all, including homosexuals, bisexuals and trans men and women, including but not limited to those who seek to engage in same sex marriage and non-traditional relationships;

b) I have spent the majority of my life defending those rights and fighting the injustice of those who would seek to undermine equality;

c) I believe that God creates us as true perfection and loves each of us with infinite wisdom, innate goodness and unconditional love and does not require the exclusion of anyone from the fullness of oneness with the divine;

d) I believe that freedom of consensual sexual expression is a fundamental right and indeed a gift from the divine meant to express connection to others and provide a greater experience of our shared humanity;

e) I respect the right of each individual to experience and share their experience of faith in an equally respectful manner including but not limited to Athiests, Christians, Muslims, Buddhists, Agnostics, Pagans, Taoists, Jewish and so many other traditions…I welcome all faiths because I find your journey fascinating;

f) However, remember that you are a GUEST in my space amongst some of my most intimate and respected friends and I ask you kindly treat it as such;

g) As the host of this page, I am unilaterally and unequivocally allowed in MY own space to share my opinions, ideas and observations and will attempt to do so solely as a reflection of my own experience and research;

h) I spent most of my young adulthood studying the bible and later working my way through some of the apocryphal writings and have concluded during my journey that there is not only one way to God, the divine or universal oneness, but many paths that lead in the same direction;

i) If, by some chance the god of love that I have personally experienced in my upbringing, research and my Calling does not exist and is indeed such a vengeful, jealous, emotionally needy, and fearful being will sit in judgment of me upon my death, I will happily risk exclusion from heaven to stand proudly by my beliefs hopefully having spent my lifetime lending my power to those whose voices have been shamed into silence by needless and destructive emotional, physical and spiritual violence condoned by their earthly brothers and sisters;

j) As an attorney and political activist I believe strongly in a separation of church and state…something many of our politicians should remember when accepting donations and our churches should stop trying to exploit through the historically blurred lens of religious freedom,

and finally…yes, finally, I believe in treating others the way I want to be treated.

You are allowed to disagree, you are allowed to debate, but understand quite clearly that I identify as an active and compassionate member of the LGBTQ community and deeply spiritual woman. Because I choose not to remain ignorant of either the Catholic faith I was raised in or the moral abundance of teachings from other sources, I cannot be swayed by arguments solely comprised of scripture. I am an intelligent, queer, cisgendered woman who has spent over 20 years healing the fractures left in human souls by the improbable demands of religion and the social fear manipulations surrounding among other things concepts of sexuality and gender.

Pray for me if you like…but when you have lived my life, borne witness to the messages on the hills of Podbrdo and Krisevac touched the hearts I have and loved as deeply and as fully as I have…then judge not.  And I pray to the god, goddess or entity of my choosing that upon your death you will be greeted by a divine presence who is actually IS unconditional love made manifest through each of us.

I expect this message to suffice for the time-being.  Defriend me, block me, rally against me.  “Like” it if you wish, re-post and share as needed, but do not presume to teach me about my own faith and my god-given life experience any further.  I do reserve the right to limit further commentary in my space.  My inspirational playground, my rules.  A clear statement of healthy boundaries that I expect you to respect. 

What is a Slut. The response

A few days ago, this article by Katheryn Hale was sent to me by a friend who wanted me to comment on it.  Knowing that I am rather pro-slut she specifically wanted to know whether I approved or disapproved of this commentary.  I am a proud and happy slut.  I am happy to reveal my number and go into gross detail about what each encounter meant to me.  I consider myself an advocate for responsible slutting.

Want to know how I feel about the article?  I wholly disapprove.  I sat there in shock as this commentary in EdenCafe of all places was insulting those of us who have an active and equally healthy sex life.  Not to mention the fact that this article showed absolutely none of the sex-positive or even woman-positive imagery I had grown to expect in my daily readings, it did it in such a demeaning and judgmental way that I have no choice than to respond to some of the more choice judgments.

“Whore” and “slut” are terms almost always applied to women, particularly promiscuous ones. While they’re very similar behavior-wise, whores and sluts differ by their degree of promiscuity. Whores are often associated with prostitution. These women have many sexual partners, but they’re selling their bodies primarily for monetary gain, whether they actually want to be a prostitute or not.”

She starts the article by assuming that sluts should end up at the bottom of this heap.  She acts as if any of us are morally equipped to judge someone else’s sexual choices or encounters, much less determine that some classifications of sexual women deserve to be at the bottom.  What is interesting at that she classifies “whores” as being better since they’re getting paid for their promiscuity and later in the article states that the fact that “whores” maintain some sense of safety and control over their choices.

But it’s this statement that set me off: 

Sluts, however, are willing to have sex with just about anything that moves. They’ll engage in dangerous sexual activities at a whim, all while only being concerned about pleasure. At least whores are both aware of the risks and are willing to protect themselves whenever they can. Even if a slut knows about the dangers of frequent unprotected sex, she’ll most likely not give a hoot about safety precautions pre-intercourse.”

WHAT.THE.FUCK?!

Sluts are willing to have sex to satisfy and assert our own pleasure, our own choices, their own values and not those of someone else.  We do not have sex with just about anything that moves; in fact, we exert a great deal of choice over who we have sex with and how.  And even if Ms. Hale had bothered to define what are “dangerous sexual activities” (is it sex with strangers, sex without condoms, sex in public, group sex, kinky sex, mile-hi sex?) trust me when I say that we sluts have one thing in common: we assess our risks and make knowing and informed choices.  The fact that we do so more quickly than your average bottled-up housewife does not necessarily make it “on a whim”.  But even if it were on a whim, why is that a problem if we are walking in fully aware of and prepared for the risks involved?  Even if the sole concern isn’t primarily for pleasure, at least we do actually consider our own pleasure before deciding to have sex with someone.  Shocking, I know.  But certainly not anything that should be used to judge anyone…that is, unless your premise is based on an assumption that sex should not be pleasurable. And if so, you should really be more upfront  about that.

But more than that, I’m offended by the assumption that think that our sex is “unprotected”.  The fact is that sluts are owners of our sexuality.  We are enforcers of a healthy sexuality.  And more than anything we aren’t so caught up in the paradigm of fear about what is “down there” that we actually know our own anatomy, our own pleasure centers and are educated and assertive enough to understand and make conscious decisions about our level of safe sex.  We are more likely to be prepared with condoms, have had frank discussions with our health-care providers in order to keep ourselves safe and are more likely to walk out on someone who refuses to respect any boundaries we require regarding safety or activities.  We are active and informed consumers of sex, from the side-effects of some of the materials used to make the sex toys we use  down to the rules of engagement for a new sex partner.

Are you prostituting? You’re a whore. Were you caught cheating with your lover’s best friend? You’re a whore. Did you contract an STD, have an abortion, or appear on Maury Povich for a paternity test? Whore, whore, and big time whore.

Here’s my take:

Are you prostituting?  You are a sex worker.

Were you caught cheating with your lover’s best friend?  You’re likely a cheater.

Did you contract an STD?  You’re either not taking the right precautions in sexual activity or you were terribly unlucky.

Did you have an abortion?  You are a woman who has had to make a very difficult choice (and you might have been forced to because you were a victim of rape or incest or marital abuse).

Did you appear on Maury Povich for a paternity test?  You’re attention-seeking and possibly harboring some unresolved issues, but not likely an actual whore.

Am I the only one who sees this line of judgment as problematic and infinitely fallacious?

When a woman becomes a slut, she is no longer treated like a woman, let alone a human being. She becomes an object to abuse, and no one cares because nobody wants to associate with sluts.

No, it’s when other women, like the author, who treat empowered and sexually assertive women as less than worthy that we are treated like this.  I didn’t see anything in this article that treats “sluts”, “whores” or any other woman who has had more than 3 sex partners with anything resembling respect or admiration.  So why would anyone else treat us with respect?  It seems that the author cannot even bring the sensitivity or sensibility to treat woman who are obviously far more sexually active than her with anything but distant derision and outright shame.  It is people like the author who are responsible for continuing to shame a healthy and positive sexual presence for women and thus legitimizing such horrid treatment as the default societal response.

It’s not hard to imagine just how threatening a sexually assertive woman might be.  How threatening it is for her to be aggressive, directed and yes, pleasure-driven much less to expose herself to other women who do embody these qualities?  After all, that might be far too empowering and would start to eliminate the millions of women who have been brainwashed into thinking that Cosmo can solve their sexual dilemmas by turning elementary school girlish titillation into some grand game of sexual doormat olympics.  All the author does is deter women from taking control over their own sexual satisfaction and setting reasonable and concrete boundaries about their level of involvement in a sexual encounter; thus silencing those who model any level of sexual control and maturity to our partners and friends.  She might prefer in fact if women were kept as demure little girls who allowed fear and insecurity to make our sexual decisions for us…and thus keep us repressed, lonely and pleasure-deprived.  After all, that’s been the predominant message over centuries of patriarchial society.  It is up to the woman to keep her legs closed and shame to any women who decides to open them willingly for someone she might be attracted to.

So, to answer the final question in the article, why yes, I am rather proud to be a slut, to sex-positive, to have touched others’ lives through my intimately physical interactions with them and to continue to focus on my pleasure, my safety, my boundaries and having sex as loudly as I can on my own terms.

Thanks for asking.

from 0 to fear in 8.6 seconds (Part I)

This really shouldn’t be a how-to for how to kill the horny girl that resides inside of me.  But it’s been happening so often lately that I might as well put it into words.  But I’ve been watching so much Mad Men lately that I think I need to pour myself a drink before the right words will come tumbling out about this subject.   It’s something I have been wanting to talk about for quite some time, but just couldn’t find the words.  So it stalled on my lips, waiting for some kind of release.

Since my post on Friday, I’ve been taking a step back from myself sexually.  Meaning that I’ve been somewhat detached abotu my sexuality, looking for a good way to actually describe the ebb and flow of my sexual arousal and attraction.  I’m hoping that if I can examine it without taking hold of the guilt that comes along with it, that maybe I have a chance of healing the right thing that is mucking up the process.

I know for a lot of people sexuality is a complex thing.  If you look up sexual arousal for women you get a number of articles most of them glossing over this process: 1) excitement, 2) plateau, 3) orgasm and 4) resolution.  Nevermind the fact that most women don’t get to #3.  None of this explains why I feel such interference in the excitement part of arousal.  And that’s not to say that my body isn’t ready.  My body itself is in a state of readiness more than my mind and heart are.  So I might be wet, my nipples might be sensitive and ready but my brain is just not ready to say yes.

The problem occurs with excitement, staying excited, staying engaged enough to be excited and more than anything, avoiding the fear that flows almost hand in hand with the very things that arouse me.  So, this is where I take that post from the  other day with the 7 sexually stimulating images/ideas and piece them apart so that I understand if there is a common thread in the fear.  (Original post is in blue; new writing is in black)

Read the rest of this entry

Solution: Reconstruct the Reality

A few nights ago I wrote about 7 arousing images and what about them bothered me.  Because I was writing it in the early AM, I sort of spiraled onto a tangent.  So, I’m going to edit that post and get to the point I had really wanted to make. The old post is in blue.  New comments in black.

There’s something that happens to a woman after a certain age.  She has to shed her skin and become a new woman.  Reinvent herself.  So many think that reinventing should mean “re-claiming”.   I did.  That’s what I was trying to do for such a long time.  I was trying to reclaim myself.  Reclaim the sexuality that I had not just flaunted but frankly earned through all those years.  But instead, I am trying to keep the door open a redesign, a reinvention.  But in order to do that I have to lose that part of myself.  I have to shed that skin.

I really do.  For the longest time my identity was of this sexually confident woman, but yet someone who wasn’t entirely secure with that confidence (oxymoron anyone?) I questioned it more often than not, allowing phrases like “promiscuity equals low self-esteem” to permeate my consciousness.  The first big change to my sexual identity happened when my husband and I decided to become poly.  The second big change happened after I was outed.  And here were are in the third wave of change.  Change isn’t scary, it isn’t bad.  However, what is scary is to “change” only to realize you’re exactly where you once were…and it’s uncomfortable and tight and massively unhelpful. Read the rest of this entry

Hiding in plain sight

When a friend showed me this article today, it was creepy how similar it was to my own experience starting out in the BDSM community.  I’ll excerpt a bit of it here for with my own commentary.

“I Never Called It Rape: Addressing Abuse in BDSM Communities” – by Kitty Stryker

When I start to think of the number of times I have been cajoled, pressured, or forced into sex that I did not want when I came into “the BDSM community”, I can’t actually count them. And I never came out about it before, not publicly, for a variety of reasons- I blamed myself for not negotiating enough, or clearly, or for not sticking to my guns, or I  didn’t want to be seen as being a drama queen or kicking up a fuss. Plus, the fact is, these things didn’t traumatize me, and I didn’t call it sexual assault or rape, because I felt ok afterwards. There was no trauma, no processing that I needed.
This was my experience too.  How horrible is it to be a new in this environment and have to just accept blame for actions that were never truly consensual and in any other context would have qualified as sexual assault?  But just like the vanilla world…we end up carrying that guilt and that burden because safewords weren’t honored, because scenes went too far, because my safety was not of the utmost concern to the dominant in the situation.  Somehow it’s my fault.  I wasn’t more clear when negotiating (stupid me, I thought “no paddles” meant no paddles would be used).  It’s my fault if I expose someone who treated me poorly because everyone else thinks he or she is an “expert” or Master of the craft. 
I had physical wounds.  But more importantly I had emotional and spiritual wounds caused by this type of disregard.  Submission by its very nature exposes a person’s vulnerability.  And the bad and dirty players exploited that vulnerability, betrayed my trust and worse blamed me for the results because I wasn’t “submissive enough”. 
This was traumatizing.  Make no mistake about it.  It would ruin my experience with the next dominant or top I met and make me leery of trusting myself much less ever trusting others.    As for the physical wounds, I had them.  But how do I identify the wounds I consented to and those I didn’t?  Unless it was a clear matter of “I didn’t consent to marks of any kind” how do you distinguish between a literal and unintentional “oops” and the more reckless “don’t give a fuck”? Read the rest of this entry

Trolling and exposing the “truth”

Okay, I know the last thing I should be doing is linking to an article written by daft, biased “reporters” for the organization Americans for the Truth about Homosexuality, but the following is just so fucking ridiculous that I had to make my response, snarky though it is.  Yes, it is feeding the trolls, but in some ways I feel it is my responsibility to publicly state some of my own truths and expose the opinions masquerading as facts meant to scare vanillas.

My comments are in red italics

A link to the article

AFTAH Writer Is Grossed Out by ‘International Mr. Leather’ Perversion-fest Hosted by Hyatt Regency Chicago

Already we can tell this will be a highly informative, perfectly balanced and well-researched article.  The use of the term “grossed out” is particularly useful in relating facts and “truth”.

WARNING: Highly Offensive and Graphic Images and Subject Matter

I have taken the liberty of removing the images, but not the subject matter.

Read the rest of this entry

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