Tuesday, October 24, 2006

the fundamental things apply

I couldn’t fall asleep last night, because I couldn’t stop thinking about kissing.

It started out simply enough: I miss kissing. It’s been a while. Not terribly long, but long enough for me to notice it. I’m very much looking forward to my next kiss.

But the social politics of where my next kiss is likely to come from… they’re complicated. Which led me to think about who we decide to kiss and who we don’t, and how those kisses cement themselves in our memories.

There are the people you intend to kiss right from the beginning. You like him, he likes you, you’re both fairly sure it will happen eventually. Before long, everything begins to center around the tension. There are those long, drawn out moments where you’re close enough that you could kiss, close enough to feel the electricity between you. If you’re me, you seize these moments to look panicked and hide your face in whatever medium is available: a menu, purse, pillow, it doesn’t really matter, as long as he can’t see the mix of excitement, embarrassment, and impatience that’s written all over your face. It’s a good thing I don’t play poker.

I’m notorious for running out of patience in these situations. Maybe this is part of the reason I like to sub – I adore those long moments, the anti-ci-pa-tion, the absolute agony of it – ooh, just thinking about it makes me shivery. But I can’t hang on to it. I need someone to force me to wait, or else I go into instant gratification mode. When I was younger, I was a little too blunt about it. I believe I once said, in a movie theater, “so… are you going to kiss me?” In retrospect, I should have kept my mouth shut. That relationship was better left un-consummated. But as I got older, my technique for fast-forwarding got a little more sassy. After getting my soon-to-be beau to pin me and demand what I was thinking, I did my best to look demure and murmured “I… I was just wondering when you’re going to kiss me.” Pushy? Me? Of course not.

I have never had a kiss take me completely by surprise. That seems like a shame. Even the ones that were relatively unexpected had at least a couple of hours worth of build up. I guess they caught me off guard because I was just on the verge of thinking “oh… are we going to end up kissing?” when smack, it happened. Sitting on the bed (okay, laying, but really it was totally platonic!) and suddenly there we are, makeout city. And again the next night in the kitchenette on the sly.

Some of the kisses that have had the biggest effect on my life – the ones I should really remember – are so fuzzy that I can’t really say exactly how they happened, but I know they did. I know it happened in my room, probably on the floor, and she looked unbelievable in my red corset, and I was terribly jealous because she had just kissed our friend. I can’t remember that kiss, but I remember one very early the next morning, after the friend had gone to bed.

I know there are people in my life I kissed too much, and people I never should have kissed at all. The ones that stick with me, though, are the ones I wish I’d kissed more. Longer, harder, more attentively. I let myself brush things off as meaningless, listened to the voices in my head telling me not to get too close because this one was likely to bite (and she did! Although not in the way the voices suggested), and didn’t kiss her the way she deserved to be kissed. I didn’t want to push too hard, so I let her turn over and go to sleep in borrowed pajamas, when I should have kept kissing her and kissing her until our lips were bruised. I bet, if I had done that, we would have spent a lot more time kissing in the months that followed. It makes me feel… wasteful.

But over and over, I keep coming back to my next kiss. You can’t remember or not remember a kiss that hasn’t happened yet. You can’t regret it, analyze it to death, replay it over and over in your mind. Any kiss that exists in the future is absolute, ideal, complete as-is. It’s almost enough to make you want to hold back and not let it happen.

Almost. Not quite.

Popping my Sugasm Cherry: Sugasm #51

The best of the sex blogs this week by the bloggers who blog them. Spotlighting the top 3 posts voted by Sugasmer participants. Want in Sugasm #52? Submit a link to your best post of the week using this form. Participants, repost the linklist within a week and you’re all set.

This Week’s Picks

Tempting Decisions — a dialogue (http://junohenry.wordpress.com)

Petting Teacher (http://dirtydetails.blogspot.com)

D-Day for Dior (http://theholidaylife.blogspot.com)

Mr. Sugasm Himself

Porn Fatigue (http://sugarbank.com)

Editors’ Choice

First Taste (http://engrailed.com)

More Sugasm

Join the Sugasm

Erotic Writing and Experiences

Ahh The Weekend - The Second Night (http://mandyseroticlife.blogspot.com)

Giving it my all (http://sexandtheivy.com)

I want you (http://sexcakes.blogspot.com)

Like Kids in a Candy Story Part II (http://www.taratainton.com)

Phone subbacultcha (http://pick-up-pieces.blogspot.com)

The Story of Fifteen (http://confessions112.blogspot.com)

There’s Something About A Blonde (http://makemycopcome.blogspot.com)

U wanan cybr? (http://finforhertograb.blogspot.com)

BDSM and Fetish

The First of a Trifecta (http://aliceinawonderbra.blogspot.com)

FuckFace!!! And other KINKY Fantasies of Mine…. (http://totalsensuality.blogspot.com)

A Great Session (http://radicalvixen.com/blog)

Halloween Costumes (http://www.caramelvixen.com)

Overdue (http://thebinside.blogspot.com)

‘She’s spanked, Jim’: Science Fiction & Fantasy in Spanking Films (http://adelehaze.com)

Spanking in space (http://www.spankingwriters.com)

Vancouver Ink (http://darkside-journey.blogspot.com)

Thoughts on Sex and Relationships

Bow, chicka chicka, wow (http://www.jessicagoldharalson.com)

Melanaise’s Specs (Da Bootyologist) (http://wetbeyondbelief.blogspot.com)

My top 5 (http://hard-and-fast.blogspot.com)

The Politics of Tease and Denial (http://fullfrontalpolitics.com)

Swinger vs. Poly: What Exactly IS Polyamory? Part 1 (http://perverselypoly.blogspot.com)

The Vibe Is Dead, Long Live The Vibe!! (http://talktovanessa.com)

NSFW Pics (& a video)

Casey Parker Poses For DDGirls (http://www.ddgirlsblog.com)

CockCuntblogging Wednesday 9 (http://shayssexcolumn.blogspot.com)

Emergency Boobs For The Sniggs (http://www.internetisforporn.com)

Erection Workout (http://myhotbox.blogspot.com)

Monica passes the phat booty test (http://phatbootysolos.ilovejulienight.com)

Natural Beauty (http://hotboxbabe.thumblogger.com)

ObsessionArt (http://eroticandy.blogspot.com)

Sex News and Sexy Reviews

Alt-Porn for Everyone! (http://sexualevolution.blogspot.com)

Fleshlight - first impressions (http://nakedcondo.blogspot.com)

NEW Kinky & Cultural/Political Designs Added! (http://www.tarasnaughtyshop.com)

Top 5 Pornos to Jerk Your Halloweenie To (http://blog.johnqafterhours.com)

Monday, October 23, 2006

saying no.

I suck at boundaries. I've always been this way, especially when I feel like I'm not in control of a situation.

I'm a sex-positive person, I love sex, I'm empowered, all of those things -- so even when something makes me a little bit uncomfortable, I push myself. Because, "I'm sex-positive," I think, "why am I reluctant to explore this?" Or in some cases, "I've done this before, why am I having a problem with it now?" Almost always, I'm the one putting pressure on me (with a couple of notable exceptions). I spend so long exploring whether my initial "no" is really, truly a no, that by the time I realize it is I'm in over my head.

By then, I'm paralyzed. I don't know how to get out of it. I stop speaking and close my eyes and pretend that if I stay really quiet, the whole situation will cease to exist. It doesn't. Whether or not I choose to excuse myself from the situation at that point, it ends with me crying, feeling alternately like a bully and a failure, and terribly, terribly embarassed.

What worries me is that I recognize my inability to honor my "no" not just in sexual situations, but in romantic ones too -- I get caught in a place where I think saying no would sound too strong, or I don't want to bruise any egos, and instead of just being honest I ignore the signs and play for time, and everyone ends up the worse for wear.

I've been telling women not to be afraid to say no for nine years. Why can't I get through to myself?

Sunday, October 22, 2006

HPV Politics: Tell Someone

I'm really peeved about the politics of Merck's "Tell Someone" HPV awareness campaign. If you haven't seen the TV ads, allow me to fill you in. Several women talk to the camera as though the camera-person literally just walked up to them and said "Did you know that cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus?" They describe HPV as "a common virus" (which, of course, it is), and say that while most women's bodies can get rid of HPV on their own, the virus can cause cervical cancer -- and other diseases.

By which, of course, they mean genital warts. There isn't a single reference to sex in the entire commercial, even though HPV is sexually transmitted. But any mention of sex would be read in popular culture as an assertion that women who get cervical cancer are sluts -- since, as we all know, only sluts get STIs. Merck doesn't want any flak from the religious fanatics, nor do they want to label their vaccine as The Slut Shot. What will really help prevent the spread of HPV is frank discussion of how it is transmitted, how it can be prevented, how precancerous cells are detected, and how any woman who has any genital contact with anyone is potentially at risk. It's not a scare tactic, it's the truth. And, I hope, knowing that HPV isn't only spread through sexual intercourse will help to break down the stereotype that only "sluts" get STIs.

The ads also don't mention Gardasil, Merck's newly approved vaccine which targets the two strains of HPV that cause 70% of cervical cancer cases (16 & 18) and those that cause 90% of cases of genital warts (6 & 11). The only vague reference to the vaccine is when a mother pats her daughter's head and tells the camera, "I'm going to talk to her doctor about way to prevent HPV infection at her next check up." I imagine this is intended to avoid making women rush to their doctors and demand the vaccine, which is recommended for women 9-26, but especially for 11 & 12 year olds, since the vaccine is most likely to be effective if administered before sexual activity begins.

You don't want HPV, obviously, but it's not worth worrying about 24/7. Just as a refresher: Have a pap test regularly, follow up on any irregular results, use condoms/ dams/ non-microwavable plastic wrap /gloves when you're doin' it, especially if you don't know your partner's STI status. There. Thank you for indulging the sex educator in me, she's been bored lately.

In other news, I watched a TV movie tonight called Satan's School for Girls, which was set at a New England women's college -- but I guess Satan's College for Women just didn't sound as sexy!

Friday, October 20, 2006

Girls Gone Wild: Halloween

I haven't quite digested how I feel about this New York Times article about the trend towards super-sexy Halloween costumes for women, but you should check it out.

As I read it I kept going back to Smith's Convocation Controversy, and of course the infamous Immorality party. Are we dead-set on sexing it up for these special occasions as a way of exploring our sexuality, or because it's the only option presented? Regarless, should we be thinking a little more carefully about the message our attire is sending?

On the other hand, my Immorality outfit last year clearly said "Do me" -- and that's exactly what I intended it to say. It worked, too, although it took a little longer than I hoped.

Birth Control Review, Love Machine, Sexus...

This article, and overview of hormonal birth control options, ran in the New York Times this week. It contains the most information about the "new" (released in 2000) IUD I've seen in the media thus far. A former NP at Smith's Health Services, someone I trust and appreciate, had some really good things to say about the IUD, called Mirena. What this article alludes to (although to go into detail would be beyond its scope) is the fact that too many women aren't using contraceptives, or aren't using them properly, due to lack of education and the expense of the products.

Audacia Ray reviews The Love Machine at Fleshbot this week. We had one of those at the store I worked in this summer. For some reason the thing has two separate on-buttons, so no one could ever figure out how to turn it on -- and once they'd seen it, they had to see it on. Sometimes it was a great way for me to strike up a conversation with customers, but more often it was a distraction and a pain in the butt. Not in the nice way. Want more sex machines? Check out Timothy Archibald's Sex Machine gallery.

I'm off to bed to start reading Henry Miller's Sexus. It's a story of a 33 year old man who falls in love with a woman who is not his wife, and his obsession with getting her (from what I understand), and it's book one of Miller's Rosey Crucifixion series. I love a good book!

three AM and I wanna go to bed...

I've been drinking tea, watching Katherine Hepburn movies, and writing blurbs about sex toys for three hours. Fun stuff, eh? Anyhow, this line from The Philadelphia Story caught my fancy:
Tracy walks off with Kittredge.
Mrs. Lord: Yes, well, you know... The course of true love...
Conner: (nods knowingly) gathers no moss.

Ain't it the truth?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Suicide Girls on CSI: NY

Quick! Run to a TV near you and tune into CBS's crime solving drama CSI:NY where tonight's episode "Oedipus Hex" features several Suicide Girls. From VH1's Rock On TV:
An 18-year-old's dream of becoming a SuicideGirl, a generation of young women and men whose ideals about sexuality do not conform with the mainstream, ends tragically when she is brutally murdered after performing in one of their shows.

Several of the long-time SuicideGirls, including founder Missy Suicide, guest star in this episode. SuicideGirls is a contemporary lifestyle brand and a vibrant, fast growing community of women and men whose ideals of beauty are not represented in mainstream culture. They were founded on the belief that creativity, personality and intelligence are not incompatible with sexy, compelling entertainment. Their website mixes the enthusiasm and do-it-yourself attitude of the best music and alternative culture sites with an unapologetic, grassroots approach to sexuality.

Danny and Lindsay work to find who bludgeoned a young woman to death after her performance with SuicideGirls and their suspect list grows smaller when the murder weapon proves to be a stiletto worn by one of the women. Meanwhile, Mac, Stella and Flack investigate the death of a homeless man turned streetballer who was killed after winning an intense one-on-one game in Rucker Park against one of professional basketball's best.

I don't think the Suicide Girls have ever gotten such mainstream airplay before -- my mother said, "What's a suicide girl?" When I explained (in a much different way than VH1, by the way), she said "And they call themselves that on purpose?" heh. Already I came across one website that referred to SG as an "underground cult." I have a feeling the baby-boomer, middle-of-the-road crowd is going to be abuzz about alt-porn in the coming days. The publicists at SG are doing a bang-up job!

Vibratex, Human Evolution, BABIES and more!

First: my sister Cathy sent me sonogram photos of my niece or nephew, who she says is "8 ounces, healthy as can be, & VERY active!" Holy Crap! Very exciting. Funny how babies look cute even when they're just inky black and white splotches.

Via Fleshbot: According to this article in The Sun, human evolution will reach its pinicle around the year 3006. The average male will be between 6 1/2 and 7 feet tall. Men will have big penises, women will have perky breasts, and everyone will have big clear eyes and coffee colored skin. Unfortunately, it's all downhill from there. Creepy.

If you're in the market for a vbrator and thinking about getting a Rabbit Habit, here's something you should know. Vibratex manufactures two different Rabbit Habits. One of them is jelly-rubber, which leaks phthalates. Phthalates have been banned from children's toys because they may be hazardous to human health (read this post for more info). In the interest of producing safer sex toys, Vibratex also produces an Elastomer Rabbit Habit. Elastomer is a much safer product. From the Vibratex site:
Elastomers are a completely different material. They start out soft and have product added to make them harder. This product is then removed by high vacuum so there are no residual hardeners. No solvents are used in this process and there is no latex. This type of material is ideal for manufacturing a variety of textures.

How can you, the consumer, tell the difference? First of all, the Elastomer product is a touch more expensive (but worth it to not have to worry about your health). Also, the two vibrators look quite a bit different. From Come As You Are, an awesome Canadian co-operative sex toy store:

The first is the original Rabbit Habit; the second is the Elastomer Rabbit Habit. When in doubt, ask a sales clerk!

Back on the subject of the Hair Dance: A friend of mine who is a fabulous dancer does this great move that involves bending at the waist and flipping her hair forward, touching the ground, then rolling back up and flipping her hair back. Hard to describe, but it's pretty hot. The rest of us always tried to mimic it, with mixed results. Whenever I tried to do it, I couldn't get my hair to flip back properly and ended up looking like Cousin It. I was also remembering how certain friends always made fun of me for putting my hair up before going dancing, because always -- without fail -- I would end up taking it down. I just can't dance with my hair up! I need to be able to run my hands through it, pull it back and let it go, let it fall in my eyes and then brush it away, etc. How very average of me!

And lastly: Today is most definitely a no-underwear day. I love those days!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Hair Dancing the World Over

I love the travel channel. The wanderlust is setting in pretty severly these days, and (given the state of my bank account)travel documentaries are my best chance for escape. Generally speaking, Samantha Brown and Anthony Bourdain are my favorites.

But anyway... I was watching Globe Trekker this afternoon. The episode was Hong Kong and Taiwan, and at the end the host was on Orchid (Lanyu) Island. The aboriginal people of the island (which is now a major tourist destination) are said to have retained their traditional way of life almost entirely in the face of tourism and technology. From go2taiwan.net (I know, not necessarily a terribly reliable source, but anyway):

The aboriginal inhabitants of Orchid Island are a tribe called the Yami, which has a population of only 4,000 and is the only oceanic tribe among Taiwan 's aboriginal cultures. Unique features of Yami culture include elaborately decorated fishing canoes, the loincloths worn by Yami men, the Flying Fish Festival, and traditional semi-subterranean dwellings.

What does the Yami tribe of Orchid Island have to do with sex, you wonder? Well, it turns out that the women-folk of the tribe do a traditional hair dance (according to Globe Trekker, to welcome the men home from fishing). In what is clearly a demonstration of youth and vigor, the women circle up and dance around flipping their long dark hair. And all I could think of when I saw it was Britney Spears.

Honestly, the dance is beautiful. The women shake their heads from side to side and then flip them up and down. I'm sure the men find it very appealing. But now, picture almost any female pop star's last hit dance video. She flips her hair, doesn't she? Or fingers it, or it's in her face the whole time... Just look at this:

Brit's got her hair in her face, she brushes it away only to scrunch it up and draw attention to it again, she moves with enough force to swing it around... and it's sexy. Well, maybe not to everyone. But I think it is, and I don't really even like her.

I guess it's safe to say that there's nothing terribly modern about all the fuss we make over our hair. The new Sunsilk commercials urge women to Get Hairapy, and it makes sense. Sure, we want our hair to look healthy! Think of all of the sexy and romantic notions that go along with tangling your fingers in someone's hair. Now, think of how far back those sexy and romantic notions must go.

Sex appeal: clearly much more complex than just tits and ass.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Alt-Porn for Everyone!

Disclaimer: Maybe this is needless to say in a blog like this, but this post contains some links that are Very Very Not Work Safe. If links like these are okay at your place of employment, please tell your bosses to hire me. Thank you.

Up until a few years ago, when you thought of porn you inevitably thought of bleached blonde, fake breasted, bored women pretending to come for money in an industry controlled by men.

Or did you? The alt-porn industry has made the days of mainstream porn into a mythical dark age. Alt-porn is supposed to be different: the models and actresses are brainy and subversive; they really get off on what they’re doing; they love hardcore music and body modification, and they do women because they want to, not because their director told them to.

By now, much of the Suicide Girls fa├žade of alt-porn has come crumbling down. Former Suicide Girls complain about their treatment by the company, about breached contracts, and about being kicked off the site for criticizing the company. Subversive, eh?

So I did some research. And let me tell you, it was terrible, backbreaking work looking at all those beautiful naked women. I’m lucky I survived.

I looked around. I looked at the mainstream alt-porn porn sites (how’s that for an oxymoron?) that make all the money, I looked at the sites that feature alt-porn models on an alt-porn budget and with alt-porn trappings of tattoos and rock bands, and I looked at an awful lot of erotic photography, amateur sites, and sexy photoblogs. And, y’know, since I was in the neighborhood, I checked out some good old fashioned porn sites, too. And after all that research, what I decided is that someone needs to tell the world that there are alternatives to alternative porn!

The Reviews Are In

I looked at Suicide Girls and Burning Angel, two of the major pay-sites of the alt-porn world. I found some hot women with some extensive body modification, that classic marker of alternative pornography. On BA, I found a fuck-you attitude and a lot of filthy language (and not in a sexy way). I also found a punk rock ethic that doesn’t particularly appeal to me, but I love that it’s out there. I can think of lots of people who get wet just thinking about punk music. On SG I found, I felt, a slightly broader range of ladies (granted, this is all just from the guest galleries. I’m broke.). And their FAQ doesn’t tell me to go fuck myself, which is nice. Best of all, the front page has an extensive “news” section, bringing the brainy side of alt-porn out of the individual model’s “about me” section and onto the front page. Still, almost all the models owned up to some body mod. It’s not that I don’t like tattoos and piercings. It’s just not all I like. Can’t I be alternative and want something more than this?

Other sites, like Supercult, Deviant Nation, and RazorDolls (all paysites), are busy as well, and feature body-mod, punk-rock subculture lady-types. All of these sites, though, contain a very clear message about what they are, which I appreciate. From RazorDolls’ splashpage:
"RazorDolls.com depicts amateur naked punk girls with tattoos and piercings usually associated with the Goth, Heavy Metal, Punk Rock Alternative Subculture. People over 18 can view them here.”

There we go, plain and clear: these are the particular kinds of models we feature. Even better, from Supercult’s FAQ:
“do i have to be pierced or tattooed to model?
no. that's stupid. this isn't about everyone looking
the same. cookie-cutter "alt.porn" is just as bad as
cookie-cutter anything else.”

While the truth is that many of Supercult’s “girls” seem to follow the alt-porn (un)dress code, it’s refreshing to see them acknowledge the cookie-cutter nature of so-called alt-porn.

And then, there’s No Fauxxx. I adore No Fauxxx, so much that I’m actually considering subscribing (hmm… pay college loans, see hot naked people… what to do?). It’s a paysite, and costs as much to subscribe to as Burning Angel, but oh! The selection! I feel spoiled for choice. I knew as soon as I read the Mission that I was bound to see something I’d like:

What you might find in the members area:
• Soft core, pin up girls, black and white erotica, sensual shots.
• Hard core, masturbation, role-playing, kink, and fetish.
• Straight, lesbian, gay, queer, and bisexual couples and groups.
• Girls, Boys, Transgender, transsexual, genderqueer, or gender-bending models.
• Fat, thin, chubby, curvy, zaftig, short, tall, and athletic models.
• Models of all races, taken out of the stereotypical context models of color are usually assigned in the sex industry.
• Able-bodied models as well as Not-as-abled bodies.
• BSDM, bondage, SM, shown as a positive thing as opposed to scary, dangerous, or perverted. (And also maybe some really dark creepy stuff too...)
• Punks, goths, emo kids, hipsters, hippies, and other "alternative" models. We love tats and piercings here, but not all of our models have them and not all of our models adhere to any subculture.

Furthermore, we will strive to break down all sex stereotypes and typecasting, providing an in-depth analysis of the porn industry while creating HOT HOT HOT HOT PORN.

Damn! Please especially note that “not all of our models adhere to any subculture.” No Fauxxx, you are beautiful.

Alt Porn for the Rest of Us

This is what I think about alt-porn. I think that any one site (ahem! SG) that pretends to “be” alt-porn is, well, wrong. As a movement that largely began in response to the overwhelmingly blonde, big breasted nature of mainstream pornography in which few of us truly saw ourselves reflected, alt-porn (as culture has come to define it) is merely another stereotype – in which, again, many of us do not see ourselves (or the people we love/crave/fuck) reflected. And as a genre that began to combat certain anti-woman aspects of mainstream porn (say, poor treatment of models)… well, the Suicide Girls scandal was proof positive that people are bound to get hurt if you let success go to your head. I’m not blaming this on the sites or their creators. I don’t think they sat down and said, “let’s make this different kind of porn, and call it alternative porn, and absolutely everyone who doesn’t like mainstream will have to love our stuff!” I just think a lot more could be done to combat the idea that what we now call alt-porn is the only alternative to the mainstream stuff.

Enter websites like VegPorn. I love this website. I wish I could hug it’s creator, FurryGirl (who, by the by, has her own fabulous website. She also runs Erotic Red, a period-porn website. No, not like girls in old-fashioned clothes. Like menstruating women. Yeah, it surprised me too, and it doesn’t turn me on, but I’m really glad it’s out there – check out the mission statement). VegPorn is packed with sexy photos of naked types, all of whom are vegetarian or vegan.

Then there’s RetroRaunch, one of my favorites. RetroRaunch features real pornographic photos from early-mid 20th century. They’re beautiful, fun, hot photos that some people really get off to. Meanwhile their sister site, Martha's Girls, features recreations of some of those old photos, done especially for the site. The images look like those glamour shots you can get where they doll you up and then do soft-focus retouching afterwards, only naked! They don’t know it yet, but they want me to model for them.

Another great site I came across in my (ahem) research: The Beauty Curve. The website, created by size-activist Shyly, is erotic photography featuring very sexy models – who happen to be big. In all honesty, I think Shyly is one of the sexiest women I’ve seen on the internet. Damn.

And as for mainstream porn, the stuff produced by Playboy and Vivid, I say: if mainstream porn is what gets your rocks off, mainstream porn is what you should be watching. Contrary to popular belief, mainstream porn is not the devil. Just like with other every area of your life, though, being an informed porno-consumer is important, and especially so with mainstream.

There are sites for every taste: sex blogs featuring the dirty-doings of their creators (or erotic fiction), erotic photography sites with bondage and fetish slants, photo blogs like the amazing Feminism Without Clothes (where you get intelligence with your nudie shots -- score!), and of course PornoTube, the adult industry’s answer to YouTube. And what of the work of Fatale Media? I’d say that’s much more subversive than naked-skinny-girls-with-tattoos (although not necessarily more subversive than any one of those naked tattooed women individually). And there’s Susie Bright and Carol Queen. And pornography in film, so many hot alternative options! There’s Crash Pad, Sugar High Glitter City, Hard Love/How to Fuck in High Heels, Bend Over Boyfriend (and the sequel!), Tristan Taormino’s movies (which have some alt-porn aesthetic without the alt-porn attitude), and oh boy am I excited about Audacia Ray’s The Bi Apple!

Whew! I sure am glad there are so many alternatives to alternative porn!

As long as people find something sexy – be it body modification or vegetarianism, or big-breasted blondes – there will (I hope) be porn to match it. I’m not out to say there’s something inherently wrong with mainstream porn, or Suicide Girls, or anything else. What I want to see is a proliferation of niches, an alternative to every option. Alt-porn for everyone!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Rachel Kramer Bussel on Huffington Post

RKB has written a commentary on sexual freedom over at Arianna Huffington's Huffington Post, and, as usual, it's fabulous. She writes about cultural taboos around sexuality and the obstacles confronted by those (especially women) who try to speak openly and honestly about sexuality. This quote is especially important and, I think, too often ignored in the sex-positive conversations that go on in popular culture.

Until we allow women and men to talk freely and openly about our sexuality, not just in culturally approved formats like the now-hip experimentation with strippers and threesomes, but about the places sexuality can take us that may not be perfect or pretty, we will not have true sexual freedom.

As soon as a sexual practice or attraction becomes fashionable, it's okay to talk about it among the initiated. This all plays in very nicely to some thoughts I've been having about alt-porn: it's totally hip now to be into porn, as long as the girls you like to look at have tattoos and piercings and purple hair and rockergrrl mentalities. Definitely more to come on this.

But anyway, yeah, Rachel Kramer Bussel does it again! God (or whoever) love her.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Just Say YES! to Sex Education

This Washington Post article, about UMD Human Sexuality professor Robin Sawyer, has my heart all a-twitter. How totally awesome. I kind of want to be this man.

A young man asks Sawyer about timing intercourse around a woman's menstrual cycle, the so-called rhythm method of birth control. Sawyer resists the urge to ask what decade the young man is living in.

"What do you call the woman who uses 'natural' family planning?" he responds. "Mommy."

Not that I'm knocking the rhythm method -- if you're a mature settled adult willing to work hard at your contraception, good for you. Not for me, though.

Learning is Sexy

Remember what I posted the other night about academic fetish? Over at Sometimes Davey Wins, Davey has written an analysis of the reasons why learning is, in fact, sexy! Yet another reason why I love academic types.

Actually, Davey's blog is pretty great in general: lots of clearly written, interesting essays about "politics, activism, gender, being queer in the world, and other random stuff." He's definitely worth checking out. To the person who linked me to it: thank you!

Monday, October 09, 2006

you've been on my mind...

It's been an intense few days, for many reasons. Here's a short list of the things I've been thinking about:
  • queer social politics
  • writing erotic fiction
  • the commodification of sex
  • jiggly butt
  • the dating habits of older female relatives
  • getting a (real) job
  • the (non)existance of person-fetishes
It's a lot, and I want to write about all of it. In detail. I'm a little overwhelmed.

There. I feel better just having said that.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

VH1: Bi Curious Babes WHAT?

This just makes me feel gross.

VH1 has put together a one-hour documentary on the increasing trend of bi-curiosity in women. The network's website describes the show, citing the fact that
In a 2005 government survey of American sexual practices, 14 percent of the women surveyed aged 18 to 29 reported at least one homosexual experience -- more than twice the proportion for young men.

I'm sure the larger proportion of women who admit to homosexual experiences has nothing to do with the fact that it's popular to be a woman who does women(read: straight men approve), as long as you do men too. Being a queer man, on the other hand... well, that's still taboo. And you only do women? um... oh. So, umm... did you see Ellen the other day?

But that's not the point. The documentary follows several women to the Hedonism resort in Jamaica. With their husbands. The women are given the opportunity to explore their bi-curiosity on camera in hopes that it will "spice up" their marriages. What? Pardon me, but in my book that's not bi-curiosity. It's swinging, or an open marriage, or polyamory if you want to make a lifestyle out of it. I'm not doubting that these women are attracted to women as well as men. I'm pretty sure, though, that it would have been a better documentary if it had followed the dating lives of several single bisexual women.

You know, I've actually encountered people who thought that being bisexual meant having a man and a woman at the same time, on-call style. "Sorry, Dexter, I'm afraid I'm in a girl-mood tonight. Hand me the phone so I can call Olivia?" I stopped using the term bisexual partially for that reason, and partially because of the flak that ladies like me get from the "Queerer-Than-Thou" community (not to mention partially-reformed lesbian seperatists, as I discovered this summer).

Let's just clear up the myth here: I'm attracted to some women and some men. I'm not attracted to everyone in the world; I'm not being greedy; I have never had a strong desire to bring a lady into my bedroom when there was already a fella there. VH1, you're not helping me here.

NYTimes: I Wanna Hold Your Hand


This article is pretty cute. Or at least I would probably think so if I was in a hand-holding place right now.

At the very beginning of what would eventually turn into a fully-fledged relationship, I once reached for someone's hand when we ran into each other unexpectedly. He yanked his hand away. I remember being totally stunned by the social politics of it, especially since this particular guy was given to kissing his female friends on the cheek in greeting. Kissing me on the cheek would have been okay, but holding hands -- it's simply not the done thing!

For the record, we did eventually become that couple -- the one that wanders through the park holding hands.

Yuck. Right?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Academic Fetish: Why I'm Missing Smith

An excerpt from a conversation I had tonight:

Him: at least you don't have the librarian-style fetish (that i know of)
Me: nah, I'm more of a professor-fetishist
Him: explain the distinction
Me: librarians look hot, and help you find information, but they're reserved until you get them to let their hair down (or that's the image). Professors, academics, are distractedly passionate about their subject -- they could go on for days, and meanwhile you're just sitting there watching her mouth move and wanting to kiss her.
Me Again: pardon me, I need to go frolic in the rain for a minute or two.

And frolicking in the rain, yet another reason that I miss Smith.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Newsflash: Former Rep. Mark Foley is GAY!

I'm shocked. Aren't you?

Foley's lawyer made a statement this evening about the former Representative having been molested as a young man.

Oh, and by the way, the lawyer said: "Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man."

What a damn shame that the poor man spent his whole life in the closet, told by both his religion and his political beliefs that his impulses were wrong. So closeted he had to take it out on a bunch of kids, just like some other poor closeted clergyman (more violently) took it out on him. Why don't we get it yet? Keeping people from admitting their sexual preference doesn't make it go away.

Memo to Liberals: Breed Faster

Mark Morford, columnist for SFGate.com, is encouraging liberals to hurry up and make some babies, damnit! Apparently the census shows that conservatives are oubreeding liberals 20 to 40 percent, and (Morford doesn't cite his source on this one) 4 out of 5 offspring adhere to their parents political beliefs.
I am open to more practical solutions. Pouring massive amounts of birth control into the water supply in Kentucky and Utah and Colorado? Free condom-application demonstrations by porn stars with every fill-up of your Chevy pickup in Idaho? A global-warming luxury tax on all new Republican babies especially if conceived while listening to Kenny Chesney or Carrie Underwood? Works for me.

I object to a couple of his statements (not the least of which being the Kenny Chesney dis. I think his tractor is damn sexy.), but it's a pretty funny piece nontheless. And, yes, a little scary.


Oh my god, I think I'm in love.

From her profile:
Chivalrous kinky writer, queer butch top, sex educator. Turn ons: femme dykes, intellectual curiosity, packing, avocados, cranberries, dark chocolate, belts, strappy sandles, fishnet stockings, accessories in general (belts, glasses, bags, shoes), literary & gender theory, scotch, submission, blow jobs, the perfect pen. Turn offs: tapered jeans, chick lit, pop music, dishonesty, helplessness, eating dead animals, cheap beer, celebreality.


Re-reading that, I realize I may be... displacing a little. Chivalrous & kinky, vegetarian, sex educator, likes intellectual curiosity, scotch, submission and blow jobs...

damn, damn, damn.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Steamed About Foley

I have a feeling this is going to be one of those posts that I write while I’m steamed and end up having to edit later.

Be that as it may, I am steamed.

Rep. Mark Foley of Florida was confronted by ABC News on Friday about sexually explicit conversations he’d had via instant messenger with underage pages. He quickly resigned and has checked himself into a treatment center for alcoholism.

Let’s start there. Alcoholism? Please. I don’t doubt that the man is an alcoholic, but his alcoholism isn’t what made him hit on underage men. Could it have been living a lie? Playing the conservative game and denying his attraction to men? He’s gay, goddamn it, a total ‘mo! But no, apparently Foley would rather the general public interpret him as an alcoholic and a pedophile. As reported in the New York Times:

“I strongly believe that I am an alcoholic and have accepted the need for immediate treatment for alcoholism and related behavioral problems.”

I don’t think that Foley is actually a pedophile, although the amount of time he spent supporting strict laws against anyone who would try to exploit children over the internet makes me wonder if he doth protest too much. I think he just didn’t see any other outlet for his attraction to men.

It was incredibly inappropriate to say the least. Add to that the fact that members of the GOP may have known about Foley’s inappropriate behavior and you have a recipe for a successful election season for the dems, or so we can hope. But you know what I hope more? I hope they string him up. They had better make at least as much of a spectacle of him as they made of Clinton when he had consensual sex with an adult. I hope they convict him using the laws he put in place, and I hope the treatment center makes him get therapy, and I hope the poor man can finally come out of the god damn closet. And I hope the next gay republican politician recognizes that alcoholism and accusations of pedophilia are just as likely to ruin a political career as coming out.

Oooh, I’m so angry!

Here's what two other, more eloquent bloggers are saying on the subject:

Republic of T:Foley belongs to a party that wouldn’t let him be an openly gay congressman and live a life of honesty and integrity. So, lacking that possibility, he chose (and obviously there were other choices open to him, however painful they might have seemed then as compared to now) to seek expression in an arena where he (a) had some power and (b) was likely to be protected by the political interests of his colleagues and (c) the vulnerability of those he targeted.

Andrew Sullivan: If his resignation means the end of the closet for him, and if there is no more to this than we now know, then it may even be for the good. Better to find integrity and lose a Congressional seat than never live with integrity at all.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Elexa by Trojan: Update

Apparently some women have been confused by the fact that Elexa condoms are being marketed to women. Logan Levkoff posts over in the SexySmart blog, sponsored by Elexa:

What makes Elexa different is that they have a low latex odor, better lubrication, thinness, and they were designed by women. (Even though he wears them, they do go inside of us, so shouldn't we have a say in how they feel?)

So now you know! Another Elexa Blogger writes:
So here goes: my boyfriend sings a ringing endorsement of Elexa by Trojan™ condoms. He loves that they smell normal, not so annoyingly like latex. He loves that they’re comfortable, very comfortable, which somehow surprised him. But the piece de resistance is that, in his words, “I think these condoms are even bigger than Magnums!” He was like a kid on Christmas tearing through each new wrapper for each of the three Elexa condom types: stimulating, ultra-sensitive and natural feel (his favorite is natural feel). He was so curious and wide-eyed. It was like we’d discovered the latest sex toy and couldn’t wait to try it out, not simply doing the routine prep work before going to work. He never complained once about the pastel-colored boxes nor the presumption that they must only be for women. Now, in fact, he doesn’t want to use anything else!

Now how’s THAT for a ringing male endorsement?

A ringing endorsement indeed. Would we expect anything else about a product that sponsors the website? I'm still waiting on my sample.

PostSecret and Fortune Cookies

I don't know that I really agree with this, but the sentiment hit the right spot. I'm all for seizing the day. Also, I love Post Secret.

The Dinner Party

My mother, who rarely sends me forwards, sent me this today:

So there you are, throwing your very first dinner party. Your parents are there, your in laws are there, grandma and her new beau, your favorite Boston Marriage aunts, the republican uncle, even your boss and her husband. You're settling in for a nice relaxing evening surrounded by friends, when in walks Scruff...

Ouch. That would even embarass me.

Okay, I may have embellished the first part, but I swear the picture isn't mine! Also, my first thought was "ew, it's a Realistic Cock, let the dog have it!"