Tag Archive: sex-positive


I have written previously about my “long” and tumultuous relationship with orgasms.  I’m revisiting the subject now because it looks like I’ll be

This is what orgasm always looks like, right?

teaching a mini-workshop on them—in particular, looking at what orgasms feel like to different people, and how we’ve been tricked by friends, peers, the media, and the majority of our culture into believing that we don’t know our bodies.

There are a surprising number of purportedly sex-positive articles written about women struggling with orgasm.  Unfortunately, a lot of them come to pretty unenlightening conclusions.

For instance:

I knew, in pretty non-negotiable terms, what orgasm was supposed to look and sound like; When Harry Met Sally taught me the basics of that vernacular long before anything more pornographic entered the equation. The telltale orgasm signs, that crescendo of gasping and thrashing, informed nothing about my own physical experiences, however. Like Sally, I could fake it in bed or over a turkey sandwich. I had the culmination memorized, but none of the process.

From the moment I started masturbating, I tried to figure out what orgasm was.  How it was supposed to feel, look, sound.  I was trying to match my experience of masturbation with the overzealous renderings of romantic comedies (and these articles!), where women writhed in pleasure, felt their toes curl, and moaned in a moment of ecstasy.   And I knew that was NOT happening for me.

Everything I’d heard about orgasm to that point in my life was that I would “know it when it happened.”  And when, even after this “sound advice,” I was still questioning, I decided I must not be orgasming.  I was frustrated and angry with my body for years.  I questioned myself, my technique, my internal structure, and my hormones; I talked to a sex therapist on the phone; I stole my mother’s vibrator to see if it made a difference (yes, mom, I admit it—she always knew).  But nothing helped because my problem was neither physical nor mental, per say.

Dangerous Lily sums it up perfectly here:

I faked orgasms because I didn’t know how to have one.

In fact, I don’t think I would have recognized an orgasm if it bit me in the face. And when I compare sensations and those little after-shock contractions now vs then….um yeah I actually did have orgasms. The contractions, and especially the twitchy minutes-long aftershock contractions, are never present for me if I didn’t orgasm…I don’t think though that I faked it modeling after what I saw on porn. I think I was mimicking him. His pleasure built and built and built and it was obvious and then….crescendo! angels! choirs! He was exhausted and delirious and right there was the proof positive of his orgasm, filling up the reservoir tip of our condom.

I was having orgasms.  But it wasn’t an orgasm like a man’s.  And it wasn’t like the ones I saw in movies or porn, the ones I’d come to expect as standard.  They were instead strange, slightly off orgasms that my body didn’t recognize or embrace.  They were a body learning what it liked and what it meant to move and feel in that way.  I still cum like this now when I’m extremely tired or if I’m on antibiotics that sap my sex drive.  But they were orgasms all the same.  I was just having a different type of orgasm– one I didn’t understand or feel coherently, because I had been brainwashed into thinking there is only one way to cum, and I would “know it when it happened.” But because I had never had orgasms explained in language that I could associate with my own experience, I didn’t understand them.  I assumed they just weren’t there.

I know now how many different ways our bodies can feel and interpret things.  I know that some women cum all the time, and for others, it’s a rare but earth-shattering occurrence.  I know that some women just feel giddy warmth, while others feel contractions all up their bodies.  Some feel electricity emanating from their core.  It’s this variety of experience and sensation that I love and find so exciting.  I want so much more conversation on what orgasms feel like to different women, so that people can realize that they’re not disfunctional/broken/anorgasmic, they just feel and process those sensations differently.

Side note: for those of you who don’t know, I’ve started working with the organization The Garden (thegardendc.com) and we’re going to start hosting sex toy and educational workshop parties at homes around DC.  If you are interested in hosting one, please comment here, or email me at Bianca@thegardendc.com to talk about setting it up!

Sex-Positive DC

Spare a moment for sex-positivity in my new and beloved town of DC?  I recently met up with an awesome woman named Jessica Vondyke, who sex toyis the owner of The Garden, an up-and-coming sex positive community center and toy shop in DC.  Basically, she believes (and I affirm!) that there is not enough space for people to love and learn about sex in a healthy, positive manner.

Her brainchild, The Garden, is going to be two floors of awesome devoted to just that.  On the bottom floor, Jessica will stock woman-friendly, queer-friendly, well-made sex toys to enhance your sex life.  There will also be classes hosted a couple times a week by awesome sex-positive, LGBTQ, fat-positive, polyamorous and kinky presenters to engage on all kinds of sexy subjects.  On the top floor, Jessica is opening her doors to an array of bodyworkers, therapists, and other specialists to offer private services to Garden customers.

The Garden will be the place to engage with sexuality on all levels, and Jessica want every to feel at home there.  The best way to do that is to play a part in helping The Garden open its doors.  There is an Indigogo campaign that is almost over, but you can still donate here:  http://www.indiegogo.com/thegardendc

If you are in DC, you should also check out Red Palace on Saturday, June 30th for a night of burlesque, bellydancing, and sexy talk.  Tickets are $15, so you can help raise money for The Garden and have a fun Saturday night!  What’s not to love?  RSVP here http://www.facebook.com/events/238600402918389/

and show your love for The Garden on their FB page: https://www.facebook.com/TheGardenDC 

SlutWalk DC

Saturday was the big day for DC sluts who got together to protest the victim blaming and slut shaming of present-day rape culture.  Hundreds of us met in Lafeyette Park and marched down to a stage at the Washington Monument, sporting everything from kilts to rainbow suspenders and pasties to just regular ol’ t-shirts and jeans.  Regardless of what we were wearing, we were all saying the same thing: that rape and sexual violence of any kind is completely unacceptable, and as a society, it’s high time we evolved.

If you don’t know what SlutWalk is, or want a reminder of why I think it’s such a worthwhile cause, take a look at In Defense of SlutWalk from earlier this summer.

SlutWalk DC was organized as a satellite event to benefit the DC Rape Crisis Center, an excellent organization that has been serving people of the metro area with counseling, assistance in navigating the medical and legal systems associated with rape, and offering sexual assault awareness education to the community for many years.  The turnout on behalf of the cause and the center was impressive in the spirit and strength of their message and conviction, if not in their numbers.

It astounds me that events like the Equality March and the Rally to Restore Sanity can amass hundreds of thousands of supporters, while SlutWalk DC pulled together shy of 500 people for their cause.  I could rant for a few paragraphs about how this represents a cultural insensitivity towards rape as an epidemic and startling inability to see beyond tired moral messages about promiscuity on behalf of the greater issues, but I won’t.  Why?  Because it undermines the people who did come to SlutWalk and the passion they gave for their cause.   SlutWalkers pasted posters on passing buses, danced to techno pop emitting from tiny rolling speakers, booed the ignorance and prejudice of the DC police who handle rape case reporting, and made noise on behalf of thousands of people who have lost their voices through sexual violence.

What was most poignant about SlutWalk DC, however, was the keynote speaker Andrea Bredbeck, the survivor of three violent rapes, a presenter at the UN Conference on New and Renewable Energy Sources, and now the producer of a documentary called “Living After Rape.”  Her entire speech was amazing, but her most important point was this: even those of us protesting and fighting back against rape culture must be careful where we aim our ire.  Men do not come out of their mothers’ wombs with the desire to rape- it is engendered by a society that permits the attitudes surrounding rape, the ones which tell us how much a girl is allowed to talk about or want sex, about how men should be aggressive and women passive, about which women are respectable and which ones are sluts.  And yes, this is aimed at my sister, and all my high school friends, and everyone who has ever pointed the finger at women in short skirts and red lipstick and demeaned them for what they decided they wanted.  These messages create rape culture, and thus, allow rape into existence.

And frankly, that’s what this whole blog boils down to.  That we are all people, and regardless of how we dress and who we sleep with and what gender we identify as, we all deserve the dignity and respect inherent in our humanness.  Creating those lines, those divisions and moral judgments only serves to justify the violence and dehumanization that begets and is beget by rape.   My friend George summed this up in a late-night talk recently: “all sex is good sex, as long as it is consensual and everyone is having fun.”  I think that holds up for everything SlutWalk is about.

PS: If you like this blog, consider heading over to Between My Sheets where you can nominate me and Forever the Queerest Kids for the “Sexiest Blogger of 2011” contest.  It would mean a lot to get on the list, and all you have to do is comment on the  blog post at Between My Sheets linked above with the title and URL of this blog, and I’ll be entered.  Nominations close August 31st, so be quick about it!  Thanks for your support!

Stay cool, queer kids.

What I Love About Polyamory

During the most recent months of my blog-scouring and self-reflection, I’ve been honing in on a lot of material about the polyamorous community and all the wonderful growth and learning experiences that living in a poly relationship can bring.  So here’s my list (and a number of awesome articles  to go with it!) about what polyamory can bring to the table for personal improvement and interpersonal intimacy

1.  Living in a poly or open relationship forces you to be an amazing communicator.

The top priority for every poly person is to love while doing no harm.  Just because people are in open relationships doesn’t mean jealousy doesn’t happen, feelings aren’t going to be hurt, or problems won’t arise.  Because it does, they are, they will.  Polyamory has so many pitfalls if you aren’t being completely, 100% honest with your partner.  They need to know what you are thinking and feeling and needing not only in regards to their relationship with you, but in regards to their relationship as it relates to your OTHER relationships.  Tricky stuff.

One of the biggest aspects of polyamory among couples that date separately is the question of “negotiating permissions.”  For an illustration of how this works, but also why it can be tricky, I direct you to The Ferret, a blog on polyamory, and his explanation of “The Butterfinger Metaphor.”  

“Look,” I said. “Imagine that we’re going out to see a movie. You know I love movies, because movies are awesome. But imagine, if you will, that there was a chance that at this movie theater, on any given night, the cashier might also give me free Butterfingers. …[But] you care about the Butterfingers so much that I have to make sure you’re aware of every Butterfinger I eat. So every time I head to the movies, I’m all like, ‘Hell, if there’s a chance at Butterfingers, I’d better clear it with Gini – because if it turned out there was someone willing to give me Butterfingers and you would have been okay with that, I’d hate to miss out.’” 


“So we spend a lot of time discussing Butterfingers,” I boldly continued, “But the actual amount of time I spend getting Butterfingers, or even deeply caring about Butterfingers, is pretty damned slim. I just want to make sure that if Butterfingers are available, it’s okay with you.” 

 Maybe the metaphor is terrible, but it’s also an adorable way of illustrating the importance and difficulties of negotiating permissions.  If you want to spend time with another partner, but not hurt your primary partner, you end up asking a lot more often that you end up receiving, which can in turn, irritate your primary partner because you spend so much time asking to sleep with other people.

HOWEVER, I would argue that the hyper-developed communication skills which led to the Butterfingers problem also allowed it to be solved, because both partners were able to talk about why there was a disconnect in the way they were interacting and feeling.   And creative, constructive dialogue is awesome!

2.   Being in a poly/open relationship allows you to experience things sexually that another partner is unable to give, and/or offer the variety you feel like you’ve been missing.

One of the major boons about poly life in the kink community is that it combines the emotional commitment and trust that many kinky people need in their sex lives without needing to put all your eggs in one basket, as it were.  Many kinky people have a variety of practices that interest them, but have a life partner that is either not kinky at all, or that is drawn to different varieties of kinks than them.   For example, a male/female couple may both like domination and submission play, but the man also likes fire play or other practices too extreme for his partner.  Likewise, the woman may like to switch and play with other women in the opposite role from when she plays with her husband.  This kind of variability is incredibly useful to kinky people, and is much safer- physically and emotionally- than playing with strangers at parties or in the club scene (not that there’s anything wrong with that- but it is more dangerous).

This is equally true for vanilla relationships and single people who fear “getting tied down by true love” before they’ve experimented and satisfied their curiosity with people who aren’t “the one.”  Dan Savage talks about this brilliantly in “What Does Marriage Mean,” where a young couple with three children ends up separating because they realized that they hadn’t had enough sexual experiences of their own before settling down with each other.  But because they were unprepared to acknowledge the potential for a non-monogamous, yet committed relationship, they had to leave each other, which I think is a frustrating and un-productive endgame.

3. Poly/open relationships take the stress of dependency off of a diadic partner relationship.

The swinger’s blog, Life on the Swingset, provides a great explanation of this in their post, “All Things Re-Considered.”

“In every aspect of a modern life, we’ve become interconnected and interdependent with others. Every aspect except sex, that is. Most still expect themselves to be everything for their partners in the bedroom….And with all of those expectations comes pressure. And feeling insufficient, which may just be the root of all jealousy….All of us in different open relationships, whether swinger, poly, or in some custom-built arrangement, share a comfort level in having another human being provide for our partners. In purely sexual terms, there are certain types of orgasms that [G] can’t have with me. “

4. Poly/open relationships give us the opportunity to explore ourselves emotionally- to better understand why we feel the way we feel about certain things, and to make us better people in general.

Being with more than one person at a time, and having to negotiate the complex cultural baggage and your own mental hoops about  what it means to care for multiple people IS HARD.  But it’s also rewarding.  You find different kinds of intimacy from different people;  they uncover new aspects of your personality and push you to learn more about your own limits and expectations.  There’s a reason Zachary Karabell refers to open relationships as “Sex as an extreme sport.”

5.  So that’s a lot of articles I just threw at you, but here’s one more- “Where We Are” by Lust and Confused.  They explain my favoritereason why poly relationships are awesome: because it means more love for everyone.  ❤

Stay cool, queer kids.

Orgasm Inc.

There’s a documentary which was released in 2009, which no one made much of a fuss over, but I believe provides validate for the difficulties many women face in trying to understand their sexual bodies and capabilities.  It’s called Orgasm Inc. , researched and assembled by Liz Canner, who was contracted to make an erotic testing video for Vivus, one of the many companies racing to create a “female viagra” at the turn of the century.

Orgasm Inc. chronicles the way the medical industry has taken the pressures, doubts, and fears pressed upon women about orgasm and uses these feelings to market drugs and therapy options to make us “normal.”  This includes the creation of the new medical condition, “female sexual disfunction,” a term so broad and non-descript that it is used as justification by doctors and nervous women alike as the explanation for any kind of sexuality that is different than what society has put forth for us to accept.  That includes women with difficulty reaching orgasm, women who take longer to become aroused, and women who simply have lower sex drives than what the public considers “normal.”

I don’t think I need to go into a tirade about how absurd the concept of “normal” is when it comes to sex, so I’ll skip right to why this is so down-right infuriating from a personal standpoint: there’s nothing wrong with these women!  At the end of high school, I spent what feels like years worrying, researching, hypothesizing, and even talking to some doctors and sex therapists about why I couldn’t orgasm.  I was desperate for an explanation, a disorder that I could pin on the problem, so that I could tackle  it with drugs, with meditation, even therapy if absolutely necessary!  And I received a lot of advice- most of it telling me to relax, to stop putting pressure on myself and just let “it” happen.  When that didn’t work, I found a medical excuse: inorgasmia.

All of this was absurd and stress-inducing, of course, but the puzzle piece I was missing which would let me escape from this self-imposed sexual labyrinth had nothing to do with medicine, nothing to do with disorders, nothing even to do with relaxing my body or using a vibrator; it had to do with expectations.

When I started reading sex-positive blogs and 3rd wave feminist work, the deconstruction of sex made everything clearer.  Who decided that orgasm was necessary for sex?  Who decided that there is only one way to feel pleasure, or even to define what sex is?  This was a hard pill to swallow, having tried for so long to fit the mainstream’s idea of what is normal for sex, but eventually it eased the pressure.  I went into my current relationships saying, “I can’t orgasm, and that’s ok.”  The pressure was gone- sex was about exploring, understanding my body better.  Sexual disfunction was not part of the conversation and I didn’t feel the need continue looking for answers.

And you know what? 2 weeks later, I started having orgasms.  Crazy stuff.  

I’m not saying that this approach will allow every woman who has ever had my problem to orgasm, but I AM saying that doing so should not be the point.  You can have fulfilling sex without orgasm, without pressure to perform.  And maybe then the orgasms will come.  Or maybe you will have just found a better way to have sex in general, which doesn’t revolve around a societally-ordained “goal” for your pleasure.  Awesome.   Or, you can continue wasting your money on gadgets like this.

Also, I usually hate The Frisky.com, but this article, “Girl Talk: My Sister Taught Me to Masturbate” is amazing.  100% evidence of how communication about sex can be not as awkward and way more rewarding than we could imagine.

Stay cool, queer kids.

The Only Sex Blog in Kenya

One of things study abroad does quite bluntly is to put your life into perspective: living in another country, playing by other people’s rules, figuring out a system for dealing with a whole new way of life. And studying abroad in Kenya is no picnic.

I’m very happy for my experiences here and the assumptions about poverty, development, and Africa in general that I’m being forced to confront. But there are aspects of my life at home which are very difficult to reconcile with the life I’m living here- and most of them converge around this blog.

A huge part of my identity stems from my sexuality, my sexual expression, and the way I express my academic and personal interest in a sex-positive life. That encompasses a lot. Everything from my relationship, to my blogging, to the way I talk and relate to others. In the US, it’s not unusual for me to interject into a conversation about how mine or another person’s viewpoint reflects gender or sexual privilege. I wave the flag of my queer sexuality proudly as an explanation of how I view the world and the way people interact with one another. I bring up gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues and relate them to my own experiences, hash out political developments and the significance behind court rulings and newspaper articles. And finally, I bring my observations here, for feedback and debate with you.

In Kenya, this part of my life doesn’t exist. I am not queer, I’m not a sex blogger, I’m not…anything. I have been told time and again by my program director, a Nairobi resident of 9 years, that Kenya does not have the climate for a gay rights movement, that this is not my battle to fight, and that it’s best not to make waves. This is hard advice to swallow. Why? Not simply because I love being queer and talking about it, but because this is the silencing I’ve heard so many times before- all through the history of the LGBT movement and into today.

Why should gay marriage be an issue? We need to fix the economy first, win the war first, end poverty and homelessness first. One injustice is not an excuse to ignore another (in fact, this is a true logical fallacy, which I’m going to refer to as the “more pressing issue” fallacy, because I don’t have my high school Honors Argument notes with me in Kenya).
This is a problem for me, as person who is at the crossroads of deciding where her life will go and where her true passions lie. In Kenya, my identity as a queer blog writer is not valued. I dare say it isn’t valued anywhere in Africa. In the US, I have opportunities to express my identity, affirm my loving relationship, and do what I feel I’m actually good at: talk about sex! But is that reason enough to give up on the academic and social endeavors of development work which I have devoted myself to for the last 3 years?

I don’t honestly know. I haven’t made up my mind, and perhaps it’s not my decision to make. But this I do know- if I do work in development work, there are elements of my identity that I know must be part of the conversation:

• Sexual citizenship
If you aren’t familiar with sexual citizenship, there’s a brilliant article here from the now sadly defunct site, Carnal Nation. Sexual citizenship is crucial to the way I conduct my life- it is about acknowledging myself and others as sexual people and refusing to judge others by their sexual decisions, however unusual. It is also about helping to disseminate information, much in the way I do through this blog: in conversation, through workshops, and writing. Even if it is not in person, I want to continue to be a part of the discussion of sexual rights and sexual affirmation.

• My queer identity
I need to have a community around me with whom I can disclose my queerness- it may be a group of three or four fellow aid workers, it may be other LGBT activists in the area I work, or it may be with fellow “othered” populations in the world- people like BDSM enthusiasts, feminists, sex workers, and polyamorous couples who have been excluded from the world of sexual privilege and can welcome another stranger.

• This blog
I make a dedication here and now that as long as I have fingers to type with and something to say about sexuality (and I trust it will be a long time before the world runs out of things for me to comment on), I will continue to write this blog. It is the culmination of my identity as a sex-positive person, and I feel its importance reverberate in my bones. It has grounded me during my time here in Kenya, given me something to retain perspective through, and to help me remember what I value. I don’t want it to fade away.

And for those of you starved for reading material, this paper by my Sex, Gender, and Culture professor Harjant Gill, which talks about the queer diaspora community and his interpretation of their struggles through film, is a great read. Yes, it looks like something you’d get for class, which makes sense, because he’s a PhD student. But it’s also an incredibly well-written insight into the part of the queer community I can’t even touch with my experience; queer diaspora members suffer alienation from their home communities and often the juggling of two separate identities which are very difficult to reconcile with one another. While I can’t speak to those struggles, I feel their relevance to my own life as I navigate my own small version of diaspora here in Kenya. I understand the reverse of these feelings, trying to find my place in a new culture while maintaining both my queerness and my identity as an American. If you have time, I highly recommend you read his article, if not for the parallels to your life, then for an appreciation of what many queer individuals go through trying to find their own space in our community.

Sex Resources

I originally started this blog as a way to provide resources for LGBT youth and to help sift through the derth of information available on the internet about the confusing issues surrounding sex and sexuality. As the scope of the blog expanded, I realized there was just as much to say about sex-positivity for people of all orientations and viewpoints, AND that I actually had a lot to say personally about some of the more “contentious” topics in the world of sexuality. Today, I’m returning to the root of my goals with this blog, and simply offering a few sites that have significant resources available regarding questions I probably haven’t answered in the course of my blogging.

A great place to start for LGBT resources is Sex, Etc.org , which boasts a very comprehensive list of organizations which work on LGBT issues. Some of them I’ve mentioned before, like PFLAG, Campus Climate, and the It Gets Better Project, but there are also many demographic-specific sites worth looking at, such as the Deaf Queer Foundation, Prism Comics (which supports LGBT comics), and Trans Youth Family Allies (I highly recommend this site- their resources for educators are OUTSTANDING). Take a look and see if anything resonates with you. Many of these organizations have centers or offices in multiple major cities, so it can be a good way to reach out to the community, and they also have brochures, newsletters, and packets which are great educational materials.

Second on my list is Pucker Up.com. Written by sex educator, public speaker, and blogger Tristan Taormino, most of the site is about her speaking tours and personal work in blogging, podcasting and the like. The link above, however, is a comprehensive list of resources related to everything from BDSM to Swinging to Trans Issues. If you have a question about a specific sex-positive community, this list has the appropriate source, I guarantee it.

Finally, Felice Newman (who is actually listed as in the LGB section of Pucker Up) has a great website here which talks about sex and healthy sexuality as whole, including how to be a good lover, how to negotiate sexual differences with a partner, as well as a compact list of smaller articles under the Whole Lesbian Sex header, which talk about women’s sexuality and what it means to have sex on your own terms. They’re funny, easy-to-read, and thought-provoking, so this is a brilliant place to start if you’re looking to explore what sexuality means to you personally.

Let me know what you think! And expect a heavy article sometime soon about being a sex blogger, life plans, and Africa crises.

Stay cool, queer kids.

Prostitutes vs. Sex Workers

Happy 2011 everyone!

 

I may have gotten a little preachy at my New Years Party about the problems inherent in shaming words like “slut,” “whore,” etc.   It’s an issue I’ve talked about obliquely on my blog a lot, about how everyone should be free to express their own sense of sexuality without feeling ashamed of it or having to answer to someone else’s moral standards.  But I went on a bit of rant aimed specifically at vocabulary yesterday.

See, while it’s one thing to say you support everyone’s right to express their own sexuality, it’s an awful lot harder to live it in your everyday life.  When you drive past an adult video store, you might raise an eyebrow at the cars parked in the lot and wonder if you know any of the people in there….  When you see in a girl in a miniskirt, a low-cut top, and heels walking down the street, you might look down on her for dressing that way and wonder if she’s a “hooker.”  Just like these socially-ingrained attitudes about sexual propriety, our vocabulary reflects how little we actually do accept of human sexuality.

Words like slut, cunt, whore, dick… these are all manifestations of a social attitude towards sex.  Their usage defines how much sex is ok, how low that top can sit, how much skin the girl can show, how many women a guy can have.  Whether we admit it or not, we all make judgements about people based on these behaviors, and they often aren’t pretty ones.

I won’t lie.  I was that girl in high school.  The one who looked down on all the girls having sex in 10th and 11th grade, the one who stole guys wallets to see if there were condoms inside (which was proof, of course, that they were terrible people who only thought about sex)… I was that girl who made snap judgements about you based on how short your dress was at homecoming and how much makeup you wore.

But I recognize now how wrong that was, how hurtful.  None of those choices make a person bad, immoral, disgusting.  They’re just choices, and choices that any person has the right and autonomy to make.

I have two links that I love for the way they illustrate my point in relation to people in sex work.  While I know that there are people out there who are trapped in prostitution by money issues, by drug problems, but debt or fear or any number of problems, I also know that not all of them are.  And moreover, regardless of their situation, sex workers are still people.  They still have lives and choices to make- but like the sluts and whores of high school, they are constantly being judged, being told that they aren’t good enough for something because of what they do for money.  The article, “Can Sex Workers Afford Love?” talks about this more eloquently than I ever could.

No one suggests that masseuses can’t afford to love, or acupuncturists, or therapists, and what they’re offering is intimate in nature as well, in different ways. I’m offering my skills as a Top, along with my creativity and my undivided attention. I’m offering a hand job from a girl who empathizes with wanting to get off with someone else and yet not wanting to go through the dating dance steps. I’m offering someone who will talk about sex with you, and communicate clearly and effectively, and with any luck will have rubbed some of that off on you.

Just because you cum on my hands and you pay me for it doesn’t mean I’m suddenly unable to love people.”

Sex workers are human, and that should really be more obvious than it is.  For another fantastic, if lighter take on the subject, I look to the new tumblr, “Stuff Sex Workers Eat” which in addition to being amazing fodder for my culinary adventures, is a beautiful

Mona Ramone eats angry little bear cookies. She loves to bake!

reminder of the other 23 hours in a sex worker’s day, where they eat, bake, see friends, laugh, and live colorful, social lives.

If we could see all people in this same light- with the purity of non-judgment, with the ability to remove our own squicks about sexual behavior and morals from our views on individual people, I think the world would be better off.

((So that’s your homework while I’m in Kenya, queer kids.  The girlfriend has mentioned the possibility of making a few posts while I’m away, so you might hear from her, but I’m off on an adventure.  Much love and blessings for the new year!)

 

16-year Old Sex

Through the course of my blogging, I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about what information I would have liked to have about sex as a teenager.  In doing so, I stumbled upon Bad Bad Girl, one of my new favorite sex bloggers, who wrote quite eloquently on the shaming and lack of information that most high school students are confronted with.  She highlights the stigma her family tried to instill in her about sex and why that hurt her as a sexual being.

“I see my mother try to influence my son… telling him that he will get his girlfriend pregnant if they have sex. That he best NOT do it. My brothers tell him that if people see he and his girlfriend kissing and such, people will thing she’s a slut. That if they have sex and people find out, guys will think she’s easy.   These are the same things they told me, 23 years ago. I remember being terrified that my mother would find out that I was sexually active, giving blow jobs to my boyfriend and the other things that friends my age were not doing yet. I was afraid she would be disappointed with me. I was scared that my brothers would thing I was a slut. My mom tried to suppress my sexuality so much that I went the other way, but always felt ashamed of it.”

I agree whole-heartedly with her point, but the question- “What information to give”- is very hard for me.  Though I’ve now found a lot of important lessons about self-acceptance, the hurt involved in sexual shaming, etc., when I was in high school, I don’t know how ready I was for any of that in high school.  I have a hard time figuring out what I was willing to hear and what would have benefited me at the time.

So let’s do an exercise… Think back to your sophomore or junior year.  What were your thoughts about sex?

It was probably something you didn’t have a whole lot of experience with- you might giggle about it or brag and make up stories or listen in awe at your more “experienced” friends, but you might not have been able to contribute much.  Maybe you weren’t thinking about it at all.  The unifying notion we had as high school students was that “the talk” with your parents was awkward and to be avoided whenever possible.  The idea of discussing sexuality with our parents was…weird.

But within that framework, I have to ask, if I wanted more information, but I wasn’t willing to get it from my parents, where was I supposed to go?  The obvious answer is the reason I’m writing this blog in the first place: the internet.  The internet was a gold mine of information, but it was also overwhelming and misleading.

 I think this is where our system really went wrong.  We, as students, put our parents in a double bind.  We had so much that we didn’t know about our sexuality that our parents often had learned and could have shared.  However, we were too ashamed of our parents’ sexuality, the same way they were ashamed of ours, to the point that neither of us were able to approach the other.

My childhood was a lot better than most in that respect.  My mom was conscientious enough to keep our communication lines open, made sure I got on the pill BEFORE I started having sex, and talked to me about the basics long before the school district got involved in my sex ed.  However, there’s other stuff I really wish I had known, but I’m still not sure I would have accepted when I was young enough to need it….  Stuff like, “Sex is really important in determining whether you’re compatible in a relationship,” “Speak up if he/she/ze is doing something that hurts you or makes you unhappy,” “Never have sex because you ‘feel like you should,'”  “Sex doesn’t have to be just for one person, just for marriage, or how the movies portray it,”  and more than anything, “Have a sense of humor- sex never has to be perfect.”   (**And to give my mother credit, a lot of this stuff came up later -after I’d started having problems- but I didn’t really believe her, which is really evidence for my original point.)

So what are the takeaways here?

  1. There’s still too much shaming of sex (inter- and intra-generationally)
  2. We have a double-standard about who can have sex and who can talk about it
  3. We might not know everything
  4. Our parents might actually be able to tell us something about sex if we were willing to listen…
  5. but society has structured our attitudes about sexuality to prevent that
  6. Bianca isn’t sure she has the answer to this one…

 

Map your Sexuality

I consider myself to be fairly well-informed and open-minded when it comes to sex.  Even if I don’t engage in particular practices, I’m generally ok with the idea of someone else doing them, as long as it’s mutually consensual and is done safely.  But occasionally I run across something that reminds me how limited even my view of sexuality can be.

Enter: The Human Sex Map.  If any of you follow XKCD comics, this is reminiscent of his Online Communities Map, only the Sex Map is interactive.  You can mark activities you liked, didn’t like, want to try, or simply like to fantasize about.

But this map…made me feel incredibly square.  I will admit that I had to look up AT LEAST half a dozen of the terms on the map, just to be able to have some idea what they were.  While a few, like “bastinado” and “figging,” I’ve heard of but simply couldn’t remember what they were.  But others, like dacrylagnia or hotwifing, I had no idea even existed.

I filled out the map and was almost…disappointed in my preferences.  Seeing the array and variety of ways that sexual expression can manifest, my few pinpricks on the maps seemed almost comical for a woman whose devoted so much of her attention to a blog ABOUT SEXUALITY.

But to each his/her/hir own.

Anyway, if you’d like, please use the comments to mention anything you aren’t familiar with, or are vaguely familiar with but would like to know more about, and I’ll write about it.  Also, I challenge you to fill out the map to the best of your abilities and look at all the other aspects of human sexuality, trying to suspend judgement.  It’s harder than you think.

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