Wednesday, December 17, 2014

December 17th

Today is the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. For those of you who don't know much about this day, here is a link to the Wikipedia article.

I wrote a poem today to read at the Denver vigil tonight. I am typically not a poet, as you have probably noticed if you are a regular reader of this blog and who has read some of my past poetry work. This was mostly just an exercise in acknowledging all that is powerful and good in myself and in other sex workers I have known. For anyone who has known a sex worker, a lot of this probably seems repetitive or trite. But for those who continue to stigmatize, discriminate, criminalize and otherwise dehumanize us, these sort of sentiments cannot be highlighted enough.

It is currently untitled, because every title I can think of sounds ridiculous.

Sex workers are strong
Sex workers are brave
Sex workers are courageous
Sex workers are intelligent and witty and charming
Sex workers are independent
Sex workers pay their bills
Sex workers are business owners, administrators, accountants
Sex workers are rebellious and radical and resourceful 
Sex workers are compassionate and kind
Sex workers are healers, therapists, confidants
Sex workers can keep a secret
Sex workers are parents, family, friends, lovers, partners
Sex workers are lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans, gender non-conforming
Sex works are slutty, asexual, sex-positive, sex-critical
Sex workers identify all over these spectrums
Sex workers are people of color
Sex workers are disabled
Sex workers deal with drug dependency 
Sex workers are disenfranchised and oppressed
Sex workers have good days
Sex workers have bad days
Sex workers have OK days
Sex workers have the ability to consent
Sex workers have the ability to withdraw consent
Sex workers do work
Sex workers have a job, sometimes several 
Sex workers deserve food, water, clothing, shelter, health care 
Sex workers deserve money with which to purchase these basic human rights
Sex workers deserve and demand safety
Sex workers are people
Sex workers are human

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A Non-Monogamist's View of How Harry Potter Should Have Ended

I finally figured out last night why the epilogue of Harry Potter was so awful for me. I mean, I’ve known a lot of the reasons why for a while now, but it really crystallized for me and I think I can put words to it. Plus offer a bit of an alternate ending had it been written by me (ha ha, yeah right. We all know I could never even dream of being as good a writer as her, so don’t take this a total knock against Rowling or the series).

Quick spoiler alert: Harry kills Voldemort. Lots of people die in the Wizard Battle at Hogwarts and it’s sad, but ultimately the survivors live happily ever after. Harry and Ginny are married and have kids. Ron and Hermione are married and have kids. The epilogue is bitter-sweet but mostly sweet; we know these four will be forever scarred by the events at Hogwarts, but now here they are at Platform 9 3/4 sending their own offspring off to Hogwarts to begin or continue their wizarding education in peace. I don’t really remember how many kids they each have or any of those details and I don’t care enough to look it up.

A lot of people didn’t like this ending; the part where Harry easily offs Voldemort feels abrupt, and the idea that all of these romantic relationships still exist and are going strong feels unrealistic and overly saccharin. Those are my major beefs with it for sure, but I’ve heard others say the same. Of course going through a traumatic battle throughout their secondary education would likely have bonded these friends forever, so perhaps imagining them still all romantically involved is not a huge stretch. But I would argue that those traumatic events could just as likely pull them apart.

Whether or not the idea of these two couples remaining in romantic relationships well into their adulthood is realistic or not, I think it bothers many people for another reason: it is not a modern view or portrayal of romance. When I was a youngster my heart did pine for that that dream wedding and forever romance til-death-do-us-part crap, but my logical brain also constantly reminded me how unlikely it would be for me to be with someone forever. Not only that, but my teenage libido was very disheartened by the idea that I might meet one man, lose my virginity to him and then only have sex with that one man for the rest of my life. How depressing. What if I wanted to have sex with a ton of men (and I did)? What if I wanted to have sex with women (oh lordy, did I ever want that) but didn’t want to marry one? What if I wanted to have sex with two people at the same time? etc.

I don’t think the kids of today think any differently than me, and if anything I think many of them are way ahead of me in their realizations of the existence of queer and non-monogamous romance. I think the fact that the Harry Potter series is for young adults is what is really bothering me about the ending; it will be culpable in setting unrealistic expectations, beliefs and morals surrounding romance for generations to come. It will continue to confuse kids who are like I was- queer, non-monogamous youth may not understand that there are other options, and it’s because of happily ever endings like this.

In my mind, they all did end up happily for ever after friends. But here’s how I would have liked to see it go:

Harry, Ron and Hermione enter into a triad relationship. All three of them are bi/ pansexual, but Harry leans a little bit more homosexual than the other two. They start out experimenting with threeways but ultimately find that their relationships within the triad work best on a one-on-one basis, and only have threeways when all of them are really feeling it. Ron has a relationship with Luna that annoys him, but the sex is good and ultimately her learns to love her despite her quirks. Harry and Malfoy’s sexual tension eventually leads to some hate fucking that is stupid hot for both of them. Hermione and Ginny have a relationship that makes Ron uncomfortable. Harry and Ginny have sex once and never tell Ron about it because of the way he acts about Hermione and Ginny. Ultimately, Ron and Harry break up over the lie, but everyone still loves and supports each other. I don’t really see any of the characters as being trans or gender queer/fluid, but I also don’t see why any of them wouldn’t grow up and realize they don’t have to live with gender dysphoria. I just don’t know which one it would be.

This sort of epilogue is not less realistic than Rowling’s vision- if anything I think it’s closer to a vision of reality that many yearn for. Even in YA fiction I don’t think including the sexual dynamics would be inappropriate but rather necessary. I can’t wait to see more epilogues like this popping up in any and all fiction and media. Let’s get to work, creative non-monogamists!

Monday, October 13, 2014

7 Things Journalists Shouldn’t Ask Sex Workers

I recently posted this on Tumblr, but I decided I like enough that I want to post it here too. I promise my next post will be less political :)

OK y’all, don’t laugh at me- I recently got an idea that I knew was stupid, and I pitched a piece to buzzfeed about being a sex worker. Actually, I pitched several pieces, but the 2 ideas they accepted were along the lines of “what it’s like to be a non-monogamous sex worker with a partner” and “why I started doing sex work at the ripe old age of 31.” I also tried a tactic of telling them it was important it be told by me, in my voice and in no-uncertain-terms pro sex worker rights and decriminalization. Because, for me, the point in telling this story was to tell a story about how normal my life actually is. Not very good click-bait, sure. And I don’t think the piece was particularly well done, as you can see from the editor’s fair criticisms early on in this email that I received earlier in response to an email I sent inquiring where we were at with the piece I had submitted, and whether or not it needed improvement:

*note, I censored the editor’s name because I don’t think this is all their fault nor that you should harass them about it.

And here’s a transcript of it, since it’s a little hard to read. I have bolded the part that is of particular concern to me:

Hi! Sorry, I’ve been slammed. So I think this is a good start but we need a little bit more on your life — it’s not clear until more than halfway through the piece that you’re in a non-monogamous relationship, and that you were already with your husband when you were with the boyfriend who suggested you get into sex work. I think we also need more explicitly on what you actually do in terms of sex work. Do you have regular clients? What do you do with them? How do you determine price? How do you get clients? Have you ever felt in danger? Has a client ever wanted more from you? etc. 
Does this make sense? Also, even though it won’t be published I will need to have your real name for our records.
Has this idiot learned nothing about talking to the media from Audacia Ray or Melissa Gira Grant? I can hear you all collectively asking. I’m asking myself that too! Why did I think buzzfeed, of all places, was going to want to help me tell my story about my normal, happy little sex worker life?

To honor this occasion, I have decided to abandon the piece and ignore the email from them while publishing my own click-bait here on Tumblr. It’s called

7 Things Journalists Shouldn’t Ask Sex Workers
  1. Do you have regular clients? are you asking this question to try and help me legitimize my work? If I have regular clients does that make me the sort of sex worker that it’s “more ok” to like? If it’s more like I’m actually just dating my clients, having a real connection with them, not just turning ‘em out for quickie sessions, that makes my work much more palatable, doesn’t it?
  2. What do you do with them? Oh sure, I’ve been avoiding directly incriminating myself, but since you asked let me just tell you about all the dirty, depraved, sexy things I do for “work.”
  3. How do you determine price?  Or, in other words, how can I further incriminate myself? Also, how can I give you information about other ways you can further judge and stigmatize me based on how much I pay myself? Or how little?
  4. How do you get clients? I would absolutely love to share this trade secret with you, not only incriminating myself this time but throwing everyone else who advertises on the sites where I advertise under the bus by sharing details like that on such a high profile “news” website.
  5. Have you ever felt in danger? That would play very nicely into your assumptions about sex work, wouldn’t it? While I would love to further perpetuate the stigma against us by participating in your rescue porn, I am instead going to ask you a question: have you ever felt unsafe walking or driving to your buzzfeed office in LA? Because I hear the people there drive like assholes. Also, did you read the part in my piece about where I said I sometimes fear arrest? Did you miss the connection there, that I feel fear- or, you know, I feel endangered- because my work is criminalized?
  6. Has a client ever wanted more from you? Similar to above, but this time let’s try to really address the gray areas of consent, shall we? Let me again ask you a question, only this time it’s exact same one: has your boss at buzzfeed ever wanted more from you? Have they ever asked you to work late several nights in a row, even though you’re paid a fairly low salary to work what should be 40 hours a week? Were you able to stand your ground and say no to extra work you did not consent to do? Or did you think about how badly you need that salary? How rent is coming up and you’re in debt and you can’t afford to see a doctor because surely buzzfeed doesn’t offer health insurance benefits. Just remember: if you didn’t say no, I’m going to judge you as being a victim and I’m going to shake my head and say “what a shame that they allow themselves to be exploited like that.”
  7. I will need to have your real name for my records. Alright- so now I’ve told you what I do with my clients, how much I charge them for it and where I advertise. Guess I’ll just give you my real name because this is totes anonymous, yes? I’m sure you keep no databases with my real name linked to that article whatsoever? I’ll just trust you on that, no problem.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Get That Life!

A busy Kitten is often a happy Kitten, which is interesting considering I need so much down time in order to get through any particular day. One of the ways people talk about how we balance our social energy is the whole introversion vs. extroversion divide. Most people will say that they are either introverted or extroverted; I myself often identify with introverted just because I find myself craving alone time and feel I have earned the right to enjoy a lot of it. But in reality, I get energy both from alone time and social time, and feel energy drained by too much of either. I've heard from a lot of people that they feel similarly to me, though perhaps identify a bit more on one end than the other.

The past couple of weeks I have been busy attending a workshop in New York and a conference in San Francisco, and working lots in between. I am both rejuvenated from spending so much time with like-minded individuals, and desperately in need of my cat and teddy bear who are waiting for me back home. Well, I won't make an assumptions about the cat waiting for me, but I can make assumptions about my teddy bear since he is an inanimate object and I can assign whatever feelings I want to him.

A couple of weekends ago I went to New York for the Body Sex Workshop done by a couple of women I super look up to, Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross. Betty's work has been enormously influential for me ever since I was about 19 or 20 and first read her advice column in Bust Magazine. Carlin's work toward continuing to get Betty's voice heard over the Internet has been phenomenal and has kept me in touch with both of them and their work over all these years. There's so much I could say about this whole experience; it was a pivotal moment in my life and one that I will always remember. But for the purposes of keeping this piece within a reasonable word count, I will just tell you one highlight: my sexual mentor, 85 year old Betty Dodson, touched my vulva and told me it was beautiful. Later Carlin told me that Betty said I was "brilliant." I can't even use words to describe how amazing that all makes me feel.

There was a wedding in between last weekend, and now I am sitting at a conference I will not name (to protect the semi-privacy of my partners) after just seeing my husband's talk. Last night I also watched a talk from my lovely partner Zephyr, whom you've heard much about. Watching my partners in the midst of achieving their goals after having just achieved one of mine is a whole new level of amazing. What really makes me thrilled is the fact that all three of us are working with, in or around sex and human sexuality. This life I am living goes way beyond my wildest dreams of what I thought I would be able to achieve.

Before his talk yesterday, Zephyr and I spent some time talking about how he's been hearing a bunch of people say "get that life!" lately. He was uncertain what the term was referring to, but was able to discover a Cosmo column with the title of Get That Life by using the googles. The column seems to be a profile piece about powerful/ successful women with a bit of background information about how they got where they are. An instructional piece about how to "get a life" similar to the founder of, for example. We went into a bit of a critical space on the concept of an article telling women how to get the life they want rather than appreciating the life they have, of course, but hold your thoughts on "get that life" for a moment. I'll get back to it in a minute BECAUSE...

This morning I was talking to the husband about his technology/ business/ life manifesto that he was presenting at the conference today. Basically, I think he's really smart and awesome and I was congratulating him for coming up with his manifesto, which is brilliant. Not just the items on it, but the idea of a business/ life manifesto itself. A personal list of rules to live by and to revisit any time you feel lost or hopeless. Since I'm in such a good place right now and feel that I have gotten that life I always wished for, I'm going to write down my current business and life rules. Using the word rules is a little funny here, but I can't think of a better one. I don't always stick to these, but they are what I strive for.

Of course, everyone's rules are totally individual! So this isn't an instruction manual on how to get a life like mine; rather, it's inspiration to think about what works for you, and what doesn't. Get that life, y'all, whatever it might be.

Kitten's Life-a-festo

1. Alone time. Sleep. Relaxation. Quality time with those I'm closest to. These are the most important things in my life and the reasons behind why I do anything I do. Whenever I am drained, I will always come back to these. I will always allow myself to have time for these.

2. Only one social obligation and/ or one task per day. This is a rule I hardly ever stick to, but that I aim for. I tend to become overwhelmed by scheduling too many things for myself in a day, so I tell everyone that this is a rule of mine. This way I tend to flake out on people or things I was supposed to do less often because I don't have too much going on.

3. Sex is my life's work. And it's working out very well for me. I am firmly dedicated to learning about sex, experiencing sex, and sharing what I have learned and experienced with others. To that end I am also dedicated to creating safe space and community that facilitate other people's sexual education and experience.

4. Independence. Collaboration is great- anyone else owning my image, my brand, my schedule/ time, a portion of my paycheck, my words or my ideas is absolutely unacceptable. This means I cannot and will not work for others, unless it is in a consultation capacity. I only work for me from now on. I will not allow others to take my autonomy ever again.

5. Criticism of my ideas is not (always) personal. This is a particularly hard one for me, but I want to be able to hear about the flaws in my ideas without going into a depressive hate spiral. I aim to believe that everyone who is telling me that something I am doing is a problem is telling me that with love, and not because they think I am a worthless human being.

6. Continue to believe that very few people in this world actually intend harm. Continue to approach human interaction with love, patience and compassion.

7. It is acceptable to medicate myself with whatever drugs I feel are working for me at any particular time. My mind is hard on me. Drugs work. I am much more capable, productive and happy on drugs. Sometimes I need to change the ones I'm using. I will continue to work on a comfortable brain chemistry for me, and I will continue to assert that I am not missing out on anything in life because of it.

8. Positive outlook, cynical approach. I am an idealist who understands that shit is constantly and always happening. I want to continue to strive for positive change for myself and for others and for this world while going easy on myself and everyone for our limitations and for what a shit show our current society is.

So there they are, as of today. My life-a-festo is constantly metamorphosing and taking new shape as I live my life. Today I am happy to have the life I have- tomorrow I will continue to do great things and inspire others toward greatness.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

A Kitten's Attempt at Looking Mean and Dommey

Just to be clear, I'm not launching a pro-domme career or anything. Just thought this would be the right sort of look for a clandestine alley shoot at 6:30pm in early September.

The newest addition to my boy harem shot these for me. What do y'all think, should I keep him? I don't think I've ever looked better, though I've done a lot of really good shoots with other photographers who I'm very comfortable with

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mission Squirt and the Mystical Gspot

When I was eighteen or nineteen I bought a pair of crotchless panties and then wore them while I played with myself. 'Twas a simpler time for the innocent young Kitten, and I was so turned that I experienced female ejaculation for the first time. I was rubbing my clit and came so hard for such a long, continuous period of that a bunch of fluid just came pouring out of me. I had heard of female ejaculation before and always hoped it would one day happen to me, and then it did. I was also convinced that I had actually just peed myself, but didn't really care because it felt great.

For years this was the only way I could squirt- by having a clitoral orgasm so intense that eventually my muscles just started pushing fluid out. It was a few years after I did it that first time that I discovered it was easier to make it happen with a vibrator, and throughout my mid-twenties I could produce that result somewhat regularly with a bullet vibe or the magic wand or just about any vibrating thing that was handy. As I got closer to my thirties the result was harder to produce, and the last few years since turning thirty my squirts have been few and far between. Not that I'm complaining- in some ways that made it even more special when they happened.

I've always been jealous of those who could ejaculate through gspot stimulation. Until recently I thought I may have done it a few times- some who fingered me noticed their hands getting extremely wet on some rare occasions. Or sometimes, after sex, there would be a wet spot on the bed that seemed a lot larger than a normal sex wet spot.

A small victory was won earlier this year after I purchased an Njoy Pure Wand and one of my boyfriends used it on me with such vigor that I ended up squirting all over him. It's actually one of my very favorite sex memories of recent history; he was jacking off and using the wand on me at the same time while I rubbed my clit. I felt him coming on my thigh, which in turn made me come on his hands, his arms and his dick. This is why I say a penis doesn't have to go into a vagina for sex to be hot.

The thing I loved about this particular type of squirting orgasm was how easy it felt. With the type that it clitoral alone, I have to work very hard to eventually ejaculate. And it's usually just a trickle. With this it was uncontrollable and I didn't really feel like I was doing much of anything- other than coming like crazy, of course. It felt like the wand was forcing it out of me. It felt like letting go, like giving into something.

As a bottom in my deepest heart of hearts, that sort of orgasm appeals to me.

I've been practicing for a good long time now, and it got to the point where many of my partners were able to get me to squirt with the wand, but I wasn't able to do it myself or really instruct people how to do it. Some people could figure it out, others couldn't. I started to notice that there was definitely an angling aspect to it, and that the particular angle was hard to achieve on my own. I also noticed that the strokes had to be short and quick and... well, pretty fucking forceful. I had to be getting truly and deeply hard fucking fucked.

Where am I going with all this? I would like to officially announce here, on my lovely Dirty Words sex blog, that I figured it out!!!!! I found the angle, I found the spot, and I'm a squirt machine. I can do it on my own, and I'm pretty sure I can show others how to do it too. I even think I'm on my way to being able to ejaculate through penetration with dicks or fingers, too, though it may take a lot more practice until I'm there. I definitely did ejaculate on one fella recently who was giving me a good rogering from the bottom while I sat on top of his cock. I'm sure he's smiling to himself about that memory if he's reading this now.

I hate to make this all about business, and believe me it's really not. But I think I deserve to sex worker power up now?

Monday, August 4, 2014

Orgasm Porn

There's a series of videos out there in the Internet that I won't refer to by their brand name lest I get sued, but you may have seen them. The basic idea behind them is that people film their faces while they're having an orgasm. It's really hot, though not technically porn. At least not how we typically think about it in our narrow definitions.

I've been wanting to do one of my own for a while, and finally got an opportunity to a few afternoons ago. I just used natural light and positioned a camera on a tripod above my bed, so it's amateur hour. But it turned out pretty hot in my opinion. I tried to keep as much "eye contact" with the camera as I could, because I think people look hot when they open their eyes during sex (if a bit insane at moments). I also managed to get myself off pretty fast just by thinking about how good I must look... sheesh, what an exhibitionist I am. You can kind of tell when I drop off the edge into orgasm; I think it's about half way through though the orgasm continued to intensify until I had finally had enough at the end.

Enjoy, and keep your fingers crossed with me that Vimeo doesn't remove this. I think it will be ok because it can be considered art.

The Many O Faces of Kitten Karlyle from Kitten Karlyle on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

How to Flirt with and Date a Sex Worker

As someone who is both a sex worker and a recreational dater, there is something that has become abundantly clear to me: people are real confused about how to flirt with me or court me for a date. This is, of course, completely understandable. I can't imagine a worse way to be rejected than "sorry, I don't really have the time or inclination to meet you for coffee... unless of course we're talking about a professional appointment, in which case I'm totally down!" And the sad fact is that I have "rejected" people this way, though I think of it more as just trying to be honest about where I'm at. My time actually is a very limited resource, especially when it comes to social obligations because sex work is incredibly draining of my emotional faculties. I'm still trying to figure out whether or not it's appropriate to tell people I'll date them for a fee when I'm first meeting them, because I do understand how shitty that must feel.

After some particularly weird flirting instances recently (and ones where I did not reject by asking for payment, I may add), I have decided to compile a mostly scattered list of ideas on how to best flirt with and ask a sex worker for a (free) date. It is probably important to also point out that this is really just a list about how to flirt with me and ask me on a date, and likely doesn't apply to all sex workers. I am a bit unique in this field, as a married polyamorous individual who doesn't ever limit the amount of people I'm dating. My social calendar is a constant balancing act, and one I have yet to master.

Enough asides, here are my tips:

  • The most important thing to always remember when talking to any sex worker in any social setting is that sex work is work. It is my career, my profession, my job. In my somewhat unique case, it is also a hobby. But for me there is actually quite a big difference between dating people professionally and dating people recreationally. If you are confused about how that can be possible, ask me how I view the differences. But don't make assumptions about how I view my work, or how seriously I do or don't take it.
  • Don't ask me on a date by saying you'd like to talk about my work with me because you find it fascinating or interesting. I love to talk about my work, and it will likely come up often if we're on a date, but I don't want to go on a date with someone just to educate them about my work.
  • Don't make a joke about needing to pay me in order to talk to me. It feels really awkward.
  • If you are unclear about whether or not I'd be willing to date you for "free" (for lack of a better term), please ask in a kind way. This is also awkward but I'd much rather get it out of the way.
  • Do ask me about my interests, my projects, my passions, etc.
  • Don't tell me you're more worthy of a date than others because you have awesome genitalia, you're going to "rock my world," because you'd "take care of me," or other similarly gross comments you might not ever use to come on to someone who isn't a sex worker. 
  • I am much more likely to date someone who is already in my social circle than someone I don't know at all. I'm not saying you should try to insert yourself into my social circle in order to date me, unless it's something that happens naturally. I am just saying to be aware of that when approaching me.
  • Have respect for my time. Don't expect me to go a date with you tomorrow- it could be weeks or months until I can make it happen.
  • Do let me know of your interest in a low pressure way, and then allow me to approach you for a date if I want it. I will if I am also interested.
  • Do treat me as you would treat any other person you want to date.

In closing, I am going to borrow some words of wisdom from the person who most recently successfully flirted with me and dated me. For those of you curious how it happened: we've known each other for about 5ish years and I had a crush on him the whole time. Recently, he had a long-term monogamous relationship come to an end, and after some time spent healing he told our mutual friend that he had a crush on me too. Emails and dates ensued after that. His advice (it is very similar to mine, but is a great TL:DR summary):

I suppose my simplest rule would be: follow all the same rules you always follow. Dating a sex worker is like dating not a sex worker. If you wouldn’t say something while flirting with a lawyer, chef, construction worker, chiropractor, or accountant - don’t say it to a sex worker. 

We all sell our services. Most of our services involve bodies. Many involve physical contact. None of that changes how you flirt with or date someone.

Friday, May 23, 2014

A (Bad) Ode to the Njoy Pure Wand

Today I masturbated with a wand of pure of joy
And it was an absolute delight
I can't rant and rave enough about this toy
It makes me feel more than alright
Look at that viscous juice
That coated the bulb of my wand
Like honey dripping off it's comb
I don't mean to be too obtuse
But sometimes it makes me respond
With a great gush of figurative sea foam

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Let's Talk About The Sex-Positive Movement

For months now, I have been trying to think about what I want to say in defense of the sex-positive feminist movement. I have written this post many times, then erased it because it was too defensive, too mean, too vitriolic. I think what I've realized through all these many drafts is that defending a movement is the wrong tactic. The criticisms of the sex-positive movement are valid, and in order for it to move forward and evolve those need to be taken into consideration. But folks, I just don't think we can throw female sexual empowerment by the wayside, either. As someone who has experienced a lot of different kinds of sex, with a lot of different people, both consensual and not, I truly believe that fighting for equality surrounding the sexual rights of women is a vital component of the overall battle for equality.

For those of you not in the know, the sex-positive feminist movement is widely believed to have begun in the early 1980's as a response to anti-pornography feminists. The main idea behind it is pretty much what I said above: that women's sexual freedom is an essential component of women's freedom. From the start, there has always been other factions of feminism who believe that the patriarchal (male) control that society has over women's sexuality makes it impossible for women to have an authentic view of their own sexuality. The basic criticisms of the sex-positive movement, as I understand them, are that women who engage in open expressions of their sexuality are often just displaying internalized representations of male sexuality; that the sex-positive movement has not properly dealt with the complicated nature of consent and the fact that it is often not enthusiastically given; that it does nothing to address the fact that women are often degraded by the sexual representations of them in porn, advertising or other media, sometimes even encouraging degradation; and that sexual empowerment is often thought of as sort of "bimbo feminist" interest, or of interest only to privileged feminists who haven't given a lot of critical thought to the feminist movement overall. Today, most feminists in this faction either identify as sex-critical or sex-negative.

From my standpoint, these criticisms are all real and worthy of examination. The one I take the most challenging view towards it probably the idea that sex-positive feminism is somehow intellectually inferior, but I do still see the point about it being the backbone of privileged or less critical feminist rhetoric. However, through my own journey towards feminism I have found that is important to remain positive about my own sexuality, since it is one of the areas I am most often attacked for. Both by men but perhaps most primarily by other feminists.

I came to feminism through the sex-positive movement, as I think many feminists of my generation did. The reason for this is because, from a very early age, my sexuality was often frowned upon, shamed and erased. I think the last word I used there, erased, is the most important of all of them. While it is impossible to say whether or not my sexuality is "authentic," or is more a product of the male dominated society I was raised in, it is my own. And it is real to me.

Some examples of how my sexuality was erased by others during some of my most impressionable teenage years:
- As a chronic and early masturbator, I was the first woman amongst my group of friends to openly acknowledge I did it, and tried to encourage my friends to as well. I was told by many of them that what I was doing was gross, and that it was not something women did (even though we all had a health class where it was discussed as something that was OK to do, and that both girls and boys did it).
- When I tried to advocate for better sexual education at my school, asking for more information on how to have pleasurable and consensual sex, I was ostracized by my peers and denied access to this education by my teachers.
- I was told by one of my male friends in high school that I was less attractive than one of my best female friends because she was "innocent" while I was "promiscuous." It is worthy of note that at the time he said this to me, she was no longer a virgin and I had still never even kissed anyone.
- As someone who identified as probably bisexual, I was told both that I needed to choose a gender to be attracted to and that I was definitely not bisexual until I had sex with both a boy and a girl.

I don't fault any of the participants in my sexual erasure, because they are just members of this society as well. However, it was obvious to me from a very early age that patriarchal ideals of what female sexuality should look like were going to follow me throughout my life. And that made me mad. Real mad.

I was exposed to the sex-positive movement in my late teens and early 20's through the work of Nina Hartley and Betty Dodson, and my favorite magazine Bust. It fit, because the primary form of oppression I had experienced up until then was this sexual erasure. Yes, I was very much a privileged baby feminist then- one who had not yet formed a critical view of the role that consent played in my life, or the ways that catcalls and male possessiveness of my sexuality made me feel, or the ways in which my sexual fantasies actually were formed by pornography that was generated by men.

Now I am 33, and my eyes have been opened in a lot of ways. And yet, I remain positive. I still refuse to allow other people's views of my sexuality- whether they be men or women- to affect my own personal view of it. I have had negative experiences with sex, but the best way I have learned to combat my negative experiences is to build more positive ones. I am both critical of the control that this patriarchal society has over my sexuality, and I am patient with it (and myself) and want to continue to strive for something better. We can't achieve female equality and empowerment without acknowledging that sex is a basic human need and right. Some women crave a lot of sex, crave sexual attention, crave the ability to be able to express themselves sexually. We cannot continue to erase that.

Sex-critical and sex-negative feminists, you have a seat at my table. I hear you loud and clear, and I want to work together on making the future a better place to be both a sexual or a non-sexual female (and all the areas in between). But I have to ask you to stop trying to take away my right to enjoy sex however I see fit. We are all on a journey toward figuring out what our own personal sexual liberation looks like, and there is absolutely nothing unauthentic about an individual's journey toward a genuine expression of their sexuality.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Marijuana Space Babe

In case you couldn't tell from the lack of posts lately, I have a pretty serious case of writers block. But you know the old saying: when writers block strikes, just post some sexy photos of yourself.

My favorite tattoo artist recently offered to take some pictures for me, and I'm quite pleased with how they turned out. It was a great shoot, too. Basically I showed up, took a few hits of his lovely bubbler, did a few cute poses in the tiny bathroom, and we were done in a half hour. It was super chill and I looked hot.

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Group Sex Terminology: The VeeSome

Alright, this terminology may not actually be new. My friend used it the other day in a gchat and I liked it, so really she deserves the credit and not me.

In my experience, I have discovered that there are two distinct types of threesome. There is the typical threesome, in which all three participants are attracted to one another and sexually interacting freely. And then there is also the VeeSome, in which two of the participants are only attracted to the third participant, and those two only sexually interact with the third, and not each other. I'm sure it is arguable that we actually need a new term to differentiate the two, but I think that those of us who are lucky enough to enjoy threesomes with some frequency would find it useful.

Personally, I tend to find a typical threesome more satisfactory and less awkward than a VeeSome. Of course, I've had great VeeSomes. My last post on this blog was about one. So I don't want to sound like a hypocrite. I think there is a time and a place for a VeeSome. When all of the people involved are real comfortable with one another, even if two are not attracted to one another, it's a beautiful thing. Especially when I'm the one getting all the attention. Ha!

The problem with some VeeSomes seems to stem from the two non-interactive participants not having an already established or instant rapport. Or, in some rare instances, not even liking each other at all. When verbal communication is not comfortable, and non-verbal communication is not accessible in a VeeSome, there is always going to be someone who doesn't know what to do next. This can mean that the VeeSome will just turn into one-on-one sex, with the third person starting to feel distinctly third-wheelish or perhaps even unwelcome. Or it can cause the two people interacting to start to feel distracted and guilty, and to make flimsy and weird attempts to include the third person who already may have crossed the third-wheel event horizon.

It's not that this doesn't happen in typical threesomes at times as well, but it seems to be a rare occurrence. When everyone is comfortable interacting, there can be so much more fluidity and ease to the experience. Are your girlfriends making out? Just eat one of their pussies! Is your boyfriend fucking your girlfriend? Sit on her face and pinch her nipples! Are you fingering your boyfriends ass? Make your other boyfriend suck his cock! The possibilities are endless.

There are simple solutions to making a VeeSome work with more fluidity and ease as well, even when you have two participants who don't know each other well. But I think they all come down to being comfortable with experimentation- with an awareness of boundaries and a willingness to put yourself out there in potentially embarrassing ways. It's always a good idea for the two non-interactive participants to discuss boundaries ahead of time... well, really, it's a good idea for all three participants to discuss boundaries, but especially the non-interactive two. If everyone involved agrees it's OK, I think a great solution to feeling left out is to simply watch and play with yourself. And there's no shame in letting your own pleasure take a backseat in order to help your partner get off with nipple pinching, clit rubbing, etc, while they are being fucked or fucking. Don't be afraid to ask to be let back into the action- or forcing your way back in, if that's within the boundaries that have been established.

If all else fails, experiment with your attraction and push your boundaries just a little (again, as long as everyone has previously agreed to this, or if you have the guts to ask or it in the heat of the moment). Go ahead and make out with that participant who you haven't been attracted to before. See if there's a spark, and laugh about it later if there's not.