Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pride Day 2 - The Festival (or where every third lesbian has had a baby)

Sunday was a beautiful day at Baltimore Pride.

I got up at a reasonable time, hit up the farmers market for veggies and milk. I swear, the fresh milk is soooo good. And no nasty packaging to recycle or throw away - just re-usable bottles.

Then home to change and off to the park. I love Druid Hill Park. It's one of the loveliest parks in Baltimore. After parking, I wandered over to the DITC booth, checked in with Niki and Denise and started passing out cards for the store.

A lot of folks were asking where our booth was - I think we may need to bring it back next year. It was good to see people. The festival is always so much more relaxed than the block party. People are largely sober, there's more space. And trees! Trees make everything nicer.

I kept running into women that I hadn't seen for a while and it felt like everyone had a new baby! It was really lovely to see beautiful children accompanied by glowing mothers (even the tired moms looked really happy). It was really nice to see women making a decision to parent and making it happen - however they chose to do it.

Choosing to be a parent outside of a traditional opposite sex marriage is a radical decision. Raising a child in the context of a loving same sex home - or more likely a same sex home that is wracked with the same drama and tensions of any home - means raising a kid, that from the moment of it's birth, knows that love is about caring, not about gender.

So I passed out cards, kissed new babies, hugged old friends, sat on the grass and ate a funnel cake and then dashed off to take S to the airport. Sweaty and content.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Pride - the block party

Saturday morning, I started squinching my eyes at the sky and compulsively checking the weather. It was the day of the Baltimore Pride Block Party and, like every other day this month, it was raining. Not just raining. Pouring buckets. But, I was going to the block party. I would simply need to re-evaluate my outfit.

Originally, I had planned a fun lady liberty outfit with a Hitachi Magic Wand as torch. But, I wasn't taking any chances with ruining my display Hitachi. Or wearing a dress that would stick to me like saran wrap when wet.

After checking the weather a few more times and giving the sky a lot of cross eyed looks, I put on my favorite Dykes In The City dress, a pair of matching rain boots, wrapped my cards in a plastic bag and set off for the block party in my (surprise) jeep wrangler.

By the time I got there, the sun was out, the sky was blue and I was sweating in my boots. If I wasn't wearing plastic boots, I can guarantee you, it would have been pouring.

I trudged up the hill and over a few blocks to the party.

First I went and found Niki and the DITC booth. It was two o'clock. People were pouring in. And some were already drunk. The block party is a big drunk fest. It is absolutely not a family friendly environment (the festival on Sunday is very family friendly). Or a place that's safe for folks who don't like crowds. Or who don't feel safe being around drunks. Which may sound like I don't like it. But I love it. I especially love Lesbian Land.

Lesbian Land is an oasis at the Block Party. Directly down the alley from the DITC booth there is a parking lot full of lesbians, cars, beer pong (why? not sure), tents, grills, music. And lots of lesbians. And their friends. It's a gay tailgate party. And it's no where near as crowded as the main area.

I found my friends R1 and R2 (how on earth did we find people before text messages?). They were hooked up. In chairs under a tent. With a cooler full of beer. They promptly handed me one. I sat down and looked around. R1 offered to take some of the promo cards and pass them out. I sure as hell wasn't going to object. She darted off with the cards. R2 manned the grill. I drank my beer. And geared up to pass out cards.

Passing out cards and talking to strangers is not my favorite part of my job. It's fine once I'm doing it, but it takes some psyching up. Because, it involves talking to strangers. Strangers make me a little nervous. Especially when I'm walking up to them and shoving commercial propaganda in their face uninvited.

By the end of the evening I had (R1 and R2's help) passed out almost 2000 cards. No one bit me or growled at me. And then I got to hang out. Which meant hanging at the DITC booth with Niki and Denise, D's partner and sister, Niki's mom, and our friend Foxy. We saw people we hadn't seen in years. Wandered to the end of the street and found a dance tent. Danced. Laughed. Remembered when I sat there in front of City Cafe the year I was on crutches and my roommate had a camelback full of margaritas. The year that Foxy was flirting with that one girl with the hat on that corner by the alley. The year that we met Ducati Girl right there.

I was hot, sticky, tipsy and wearing rain boots. And I was surrounded by some of the people that I love the most in the world. People who have known me for years and love me anyway. And I was happy.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fathers Day (or why this father's day didn't feel so good)

Father's Day has never been a big deal in my family. The Hallmark Holidays-Father's Day, Mother's Day, Valentine's Day were all more aknowledged than celebrated. Besides, Father's Day is always on a Sunday. My dad works on Sundays. He's a pastor.

But this Father's Day was different. For the first time, my dad and I aren't talking.

The silence has been my decision. Maybe I'm being too hard on my parents. But our relationship got to a point where it felt distructive and hurtful to include my parents in my life.

It all started with the Christmas Letter. Or maybe that's where it ended.

I'm from the mid west. In the mid west, we send Christmas letters. The letter is usually two typed pages that chronicle the activities and achievements of the family over the past year (on paper with snowflakes, glowing north stars, snowmen or manger scenes). Trouble is usually whitewashed (Brenda had cancer, but she went thru treatment and guess what?! She fell in love with her Oncology nurse. They are planning a wedding for next fall!) A very posed photo of the always happy family is often included. This letter is then stuffed inside the 50-300 Christmas cards the family will send out.

Last December I received the Christmas card and letter that my parents sent out. In the letter it said:
Jacquelyn owns a gift and book store in Baltimore that has won several awards.

That's it. No mention of my partner S or our new house. No mention of what I actually do. As far as we can tell from the Christmas letter, I own a Hallmark store.

The next paragraph was about about my ex-husband's kid. Which was good. My ex-husband (J) and I are still very close friends (we got divorced because I'm a dyke). He and his GF had a baby - who is freakin adorable. We'll call the baby Paul. Paul is being raised to consider my parents his grand parents, and I'm Aunt Jacq. Sure it's not a traditional relationship, but it works for us. Babies should get more ink in a Christmas letter than adults. But, by the end of the paragraph one could draw the conclusion that J had given birth to Paul all by himself (although they did clarify that I was not the mother - cause you know, i'm a straight girl who owns a Hallmark store that wanders back to Minnesota and gets knocked up by her ex husband - which frankly would make a good movie...maybe with Sandra Bullock or Renee Zelwigger?) No mention of J's GF who actually gave birth to their grand child. Or of Paul's two older brothers (the GF's from a previous relationship).

The paragraph had a footnote that said the following:
J recently graduated from law school and passed the NY and NJ bars! He is working at the ***** (very specific, glowing description) He will be taking the MN bar in January - prayers and good thoughts would be greatly appreciated. And on and on.

So. My parents had lied about my job. Omitted my partner. Omitted important details about J's family - like the mother of his child - but they aren't married so I guess she doesn't count.

I have no need to be in the Christmas letter. It would have been fine if they had just left me out. Especially if they had called and said, "hey kid, we can't deal with the fallout from some of the conservative folks on our Christmas letter mailing list, so we are going to leave you and S out of the letter. We love you both." That's not what happened.

Although I've been out to my parents for more than a decade, my father has chosen to avoid the issue with his congregation. He feels that if the congregation knew that his kid was gay, they would write off anything that he says about including the GLBT community in the church. Because of his decision, I've been avoiding going home for years. The town my parents live in isn't that big, the church is large and the service is broadcast on a local radio station. Its hard to go anywhere without running into people that they know. And well, let's just say that a friend of mine in high school went to a motel with her boyfriend just outside of town. They were in the room for less than 15 minutes before her dad was knocking on the door. Word travels. Fast. I've been in positions in which I've had to lie or avoid the truth in order to not out my dad. It didn't feel good. So I stopped going home. And I told them why. They don't like it. When they aren't in town, they've been great about supporting me. They came to my wedding ceremony. My mom spent all day at the booth at Columbus Pride. They've been sweet to women I've dated. They say they're proud of me.

And then the Christmas letter happened. They don't send the letter to anyone in town.

The letter sent a clear message.

Lying (which includes omission) is absolutely the worst thing a person can do in my family. Nothing ever got me in as much trouble. Or created that deeply disappointed look on my dad's face.

For them, lying about me and my life was preferable to telling the truth. Even outside of the congregation.

I'm not straight. I work in sex. And I don't have kids.

The only conclusion I could draw was thatb my parents are ashamed of me, my job, my sexual orientation, my kid-lessness.

I cried a lot. S was hurt too. She had believed them when they told her she was part of the family.

I called my dad and read him the riot act (he wrote the letter). I explained why I was hurt. He told me that he didn't mean to hurt me and that he would talk to me about it later. I waited. Thru December, January, and into February. J (who never gets involved with me and my family) told my dad that he should talk to me about it. He didn't.

I thought and thought about it. And came to a place that felt ok.

I'm not ashamed of me. In fact, I'm pretty proud of most of me. And I'm definitely proud that I'm out and gay. The store - well, it's one of the best things I've done in my life.

By choosing to have my parents in my life, I was choosing to allow myself to be hurt, to let in deeply entrenched lies and shame. I could make a different decision.

So, last February, I did. I sent my parents an email (my parents and I are all passionate people, I was concerned that a phone call would get heated, I didn't want to be mis-understood). I explained that I love them very much and that I'm grateful for all of the ways that they have supported me in the past. But, that having people in my life who feel the need to lie about me is not ok. I asked them to not contact me until they were willing and able to tell the truth.

My dad wrote back a long email about why it was ok for him to lie. I didn't respond. Since then, they have tried to contact me a few times. Mostly, they have respected my request. I hear about how they are thru J. I miss them.

I am disappointed in them. I don't know what happened to the people who raised me. The people who believed in truth telling.

So Dad, happy father's day. I miss you. And I sincerely hope that after you retire next fall you find the courage to tell the truth about your kid. You see, i'm not something to be ashamed of. You and Mom did a pretty damn good job raising me. Thank you for that. I love you.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

New info about HIV and porn - and a call to action.

The LA County Department of Health has released new data about the 16 (now 18) "unreported cases of HIV". Apparently, they don't know if they were actually performers in the adult industry. They only know that the people were tested at AIM.

Mitchell said all previously unpublicized cases involved either a non-performer or an aspiring actor or actress who tested positive, then dropped out of the business.

She said the female actress who tested positive for HIV at their clinic earlier this month remains the only case detected in a working performer since 2004. At that time, a male porn star and three actresses with whom he had performed all tested HIV positive. An unrelated transsexual performer also tested HIV positive the same year. The cases shut down production in Southern California's multibillion-dollar porn industry for a month.

LA Times Article

Darren James
(the performer who turned up positive in 2004) has spoken out about condom use in porn - and why he thinks that condoms are a must. After his diagnosis, he went through some very difficult times, including a suicide attempt.

AIM has asked that the industry not accept any copies of tests, only originals and has changed the database in hopes of reducing the possibility of people performing with out of date tests.

Frankly, although it's great to see AIM taking these steps, they aren't ultimately responsible. The producers are responsible. A copy of a test isn't good enough. It's easy to alter a copy. The fact that they need to inform folks that copies aren't acceptable concerns me greatly. What the hell? Performer's lives at stake.

The testing that AIM performs is a critical part of preventing the transmission of disease in the porn industry. And, frankly, the industry's self regulation has resulted in an impressively low rate of transmission. But it's not good enough.

Condoms must be mandatory.

The fact that condoms are not mandatory speaks volumes about how our culture thinks about people who work in the sex industry. Pornography is one of the biggest industries in the United States. Our culture has a voracious appetite for the product. But most are perfectly happy to watch condom free porn and not think once about the consequences to the performers. There is a general level of disrespect toward performers that just doesn't make sense to me. You wouldn't want someone you care about performing condom free. So why is it ok for someone we don't know? People who perform in porn are working adults. Just like you and me. And they deserve to work in conditions that are as safe as possible.

I've certainly heard the argument that porn with condoms doesn't sell - I don't believe it. I've never seen any data to back that up. I know that the clients in the stores in which I've worked (Sugar and Babeland) aren't the core of the porn market, but I have never, ever been asked for porn without condoms. I have (rarely) been asked for porn with condoms.

As consumers, if we got together, we could demand that the industry change their rules. After all, it's a business. What sells, what the consumer wants, shapes the product.

Anyone with me?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Marriage update (or Brides and brides, grooms and grooms, trans folk and DC and NY

A couple in which one member is transgendered was recently married in NYC. And now the young couple is dealing with some major backlash. And tranny bashing. Check out the NY Post article. It's stunning how many times the author managed to call this young woman a man. Even though they clearly state that she identifies as female.

The city council in DC passed a bill that will allow the legal marriages of same sex folks that have been performed in other states to be recognized in DC.

And, although folks who believe that gay marriage shouldn't be recognized asked to bring it to a referendum, the Board of Elections and Ethics declined, stating:

The Referendum's proposers would, in contravention of the HRA, strip same-sex couples of the rights and responsibilities of marriage that they were afforded by virtue of entering into valid marriages elsewhere," the ruling states. "Because the Referendum would authorize discrimination prohibited by the HRA, it is not a proper subject for referendum, and may not be accepted by the Board."

Damn. I love it when someone does the right thing.

So, assuming nothing else happens, in early July same sex marriages that have been performed in:

California (during the short time same sex marriage was legal)

will also be recognized by DC.

Soon to follow will be marriages performed in:

Vermont, same-sex marriages will begin on September 1, 2009.
Maine, same-sex marriages will begin on or around September 14, 2009, pending a possible people's veto.
New Hampshire, same-sex marriages will begin on January 1, 2010.

New York also recognizes same sex marriages performed in other states.

The NY Times recently published an article about how businesses in Connecticut are loving same sex weddings. Seriously, I've been saying it for years, Keith Olberman has said it. Lots of other people have said it. Same sex weddings, and (gasp) same sex divorces will be an economic stimulus package. Literally, over a billion dollars into the economy.

This discrimination is bullshit. I do believe that we will win. Eventually. But it can't be soon enough.

Ending marriage discrimination isn't going to be the end of the fight for equality for GLBT individuals. But it's an important step. There are a bajillion other ways in which discrimination continues.

And, although having marriage rights is critically important, in this fight the discrimination against all couples that choose not to marry and against relationships that are structured with more than two people has become even more clear.

In the long run, we will create a world which celebrates all of us.

Friday, June 12, 2009

HIV, Porn and risk

This week, the Adult Industry Medical Healthcare Foundation (AIM) announced that an adult performer tested positive for HIV.

She was tested on June 4th, performed on June 5th and got a positive test result on June 6th. Her last test (negative) was on April 29th. The standard in the heterosexual part of the adult industry is to be tested every 30 days.

The LA Department of Health has released information citing a total of 22 cases of HIV among adult porn performers over the past five years.

Obviously, this has caused people to revisit the condom policy in adult films.

On the face of it, it seems simple. People can share disease when they have sex. If you work in a medical office, your work place is required to provide you with regular training on risk reduction and provide you with personal protective equipment. When I managed a health care clinic, we were required to wear gloves when performing activities that could expose us to body fluids, closed toe shoes at all times, and, if performing an activity in which we could be splashed, eye protection. Of course people who perform in porn should be required to wear condoms. Of course, it's a little more complicated.

Prior to 1998 performers provided negative HIV tests when they showed up for work. There was a man, named Marc Wallice who, after receiving a positive HIV test, chose to fake his test results and continue performing. He infected five women. As a result, the industry, lead by AIM introduced new policies.

They made an agreement that all testing would be done thru AIM. This made it significantly more difficult to fake test results. They also started using a different kind of HIV test, called a PCR-DNA test. Unlike the tests that are most commonly used, which can take up to six months from infection to produce a positive result, the PCR-DNA test can find a positive result as soon as 9-11 days after infection. Testing was required every 30 days. Performers were required to sign a blanket release to allow sharing of the test results. Test results were filed in a data base. Over the years, the data base developed and now, is accessible to the industry on the Internet (with appropriate confidentiality). In addition, people are tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea every 30 days, syphilis, genital exams and vaginal and anal pap smear are conducted every six months. New performers are encouraged to be tested for Hepatitis A, B and C and vaccinated for Hep A and B (there is no vaccine for Hep C)

Performers then choose if they want to use condoms.

In 2004 the industry shut down. Darren James, an industry performer, shot in Brazil, and returned to the states. He took an HIV test immediately after his return and continued to work. His next test came back positive. Within 24 hours, people with first and second generation exposures were on work quarantine. The industry shut down. At the end of the shut down, three women were identified as positive. One of the women had only been working in the industry for three months. One other performer also came up positive - her infection was not related to Darren James.

In the next three years, AIM identified four more people as HIV positive, none of them were infected in the work place. Each month, AIM tests 300-500 new performers. Between one to four are HIV positive and never make it to a set.

Of course, from all of the information that I can find, it seems that all of this applies only to the heterosexual part of the industry.

Nice, right?

But - all of this testing doesn't mean that condoms aren't a good idea. There's still time between a test and when someone shows up positive. And there are other diseases besides HIV.

Here's the reason that some women in straight porn don't want to use condoms. They are having vaginal or anal intercourse for prolonged periods of time And in those circumstances condoms can be irritating. Even non latex condoms - although those would be less irritating.

After the positive test results in 2004, some companies, including Vivid, started a condom mandatory policy. By 2007, Vivid had dropped the policy due to complaints from the talent. They are now condom optional. Currently, the only heterosexual company to require condom usage is Wicked. There are several gay companies that require condoms, including all ChiChi LaRue productions. But there is also a large barebacking (no condoms) portion of the gay industry. Which is concerning. HIV is most easily transmitted by receptive unprotected anal intercourse.

So - essentially, the vast majority of people in the industry are relying on regular testing to keep them safe. There are holes in the system. In this most recent case, the person who showed up positive worked with an out of date test. It's not clear why she was allowed to perform since her most recent test for which there were results was more than 30 days old.

The LA Health Department has announced several other positive test results - a total of 22 adult performers in the past five years. 10 of which are men who perform in the gay portion of the industry (which apparently doesn't use AIM).

Of course the question is - should the adult industry be regulated with laws instead of just the self-regulation they have been using? Or is what they are currently doing enough? The rates of transmission of HIV are extremely low. But clearly, it does happen.

There are problems with additional regulation. First, it will change how often some people are able to work. They will experience more regular wear and tear on their vaginas and asses with latex and poly condoms than with just skin on skin contact.

California law would need to be re-written. The easiest way to enforce a condom mandatory policy is by making the performers (most of whom are independent contractors) employees. This would move them into a category of law in which it is easier to enforce the use of personal protection equipment (like at a medical clinic). But, current law states that employers are not allowed to require an employee to take an HIV test. The existing regular testing is a critical part of keeping transmission low in the industry. Condoms fail. It would also introduce the question of using other latex barriers. Barriers like dental dams. I am sure the industry would protest that. Dental dams cover the pussy. And shots of the pussy are one of the mainstays of porn. Many directors won't even allow the Hitachi Magic Wand to be used because it covers too much of the pussy.

There is an element of danger anytime someone has sex. When we introduce money into the equation it changes things. There is an impetus on the side of the employer to provide a work place that is as safe as possible. Performers with big names have more choices about demanding condom usage. And even then, I know of cases in which people have been shamed or called out for asking to use a condom. I especially worry about the younger and newer performer. No one wants to seem like a kill joy. People want to appear that they are flexible team players. So that they are hired again. And can pay the rent. If condoms were a given, these more vulnerable performers would be protected.

As much as I empathize with the performers who are concerned about vaginal or rectal wear (for lack of a better word), I feel that it is the responsibility of the industry to take care of the most vulnerable. And the only way to do that is to require condoms and to change the number of days between tests from 30 to 15. Nothing will eliminate the possibility of the spread of HIV. But, we must make it as difficult as possible.

So, please, treat performers with the respect that is shown to people in all other industries. Some performers will complain. I saw what requiring gloves did to nurses who were used to palpating veins bare handed. But you know what? They adapted. And they are safer because of it.

The industry should make the move before they are required to by the state. And by industry, I mean the whole industry. Including the gay sector. Frankly, with the rising prevalence of HIV in the young gay community, gay bare backing videos are the equivalent of snuff films.

It's 2008. Condoms are a must. Even for professionals. Especially for professionals.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Sex toy store owner breaks the code.

Ok - so, yes this is another post about David Carradine.

He apparently was a guy who liked bondage. Good for him. Bondage is fun.

And he patronized a store where he purchased bondage supplies. How do I know this? Well, because the store owner told TMZ. And then told XBIZ (a web site that is focused on the adult industry).

I'm pissed and really, really offended.

It is unconscionable to me that a person who sells sex toys would reveal information about what a customer purchased, or what that particular customer's interests or proclivities are to anyone. Except maybe, to another staff member. And then, only to provide the customer with better service. Or to get a question answered.

I realize that we are not legally therapists. We aren't bound by law to protect our customer's privacy. But ethically? It's critical to what we do.

Our culture is riddled with shame around sex and sexuality in our culture. For some folks, even walking through the door of a store like ours is an extremely scary thing. Hell, the first time I walked into a store like this, I turned bright red and spent about twenty minutes flipping thru the books before I could even look at the toys. And that wasn't that long ago.

Customers tell us things, reveal personal details, ask questions and dare to purchase items that they will then keep under ugly sweaters in the bottom drawer. Sure, some folks are really public about their sex lives, but more people choose to keep at least some details private. Our customers deserve to know that we will not use their lives or their choices as fodder for a tabloid website or even for interesting party conversation. They take a risk and share their lives with us. They trust us. And we absolutely must deserve that trust.

At Sugar, each staff member signs a confidentiality agreement which references the confidentiality section in our personnel manual (bet you didn't know we had one!).
This is what it says:
All people who are part of Sugar are expected to maintain the confidentiality of the customers at all times. Customer information, including which products an individual purchased, what their requests or questions were, sexual practices, partners or fetishes, etc. must remain in the store. Sugar’s customers give Sugar a gift by choosing to share very personal information with our staff. We must respect that gift.

Violation of this policy is grounds for immediate termination.

And they understand that if it is broken, they will be immediately fired. I won't even tell my partner that a friend of her's was in the store without that person's express permission.

What kind of bondage gear someone bought? Seriously, that's a fucking sacred trust.

That said, if those of us who choose to engage in kink could find a way to be a little more out about it, maybe people wouldn't need to engage in bondage alone in hotel rooms. And end up dead.

But that needs to be the decision of the individual. Not the person who sold them the equipment.

BTW - i'm not linking to the article about the store because it names the store. And i sure as hell don't want to give them any additional publicity.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

three stories of delightful, delectable fun

so, last Friday, after getting a sale started at the store, Alex and I headed over to the lovely home of the incredible Mistress Max Rulz for a party to benefit the Woodhull Freedom Foundationn.

Mistress Max has a lovely home with three floors of play space. you know you're in good company when there is a spreader bar hanging from the ceiling on your way into the living room.

When we walked in Nina Hartley was already there. Ricci Levy, the ED of the foundation was working her magic. And Max's slaves were making sure that everything was running smoothly.

It's times like this that i think that i should have some slaves. Especially since part of the deal was that we were supposed to have books and DVDs for sale and I had forgotten to order them.

Last week was one of those weeks when the shit really hit the fan. My partner's father ended up in the hospital and then in a short term care setting - with the possibility of a nursing home looking more and more likely. Which is scary. Dealing with medicaid sucks. Our health care system is so slanted toward the wealthy it's obscene. S and I were trying to get stuff together for her to leave for a long business trip, support her parents and deal with the new tenants at the old house. Who didn't realize that they needed to turn on the electricity. Which they fixed. But it involved us spending a bunch of time dealing with it. Which is fine, but, well, the books didn't get ordered.

See aforementioned slaves. But, I think I'm just not the kind of person who'd be a good owner. I'd end up making the slave dinner and telling them to sit down and watch a movie. And as a white person with ancestors who actually non-consensually owned people - I think it's too loaded for me. 150 some odd years is not quite far enough away from that atrocity for me. But it's hot as shit when other people do it!

then i found out that in addition to the food (which i did remember) i was supposed to have brought plate, napkins, cups and soda. Brilliant.

So I apologized profusely. And a slave was sent to get more provisions.

Clearly, I'm an ass.

The good news is, Max and her staff covered my screw up with aplomb. And I'm very, very grateful.

People started to pour in. We were all standing around chatting about sex and politics. You know, everything your Emily Post says you shouldn't discuss at a party?

Things like this:

"Have you had your implants replaced yet? Aren't you supposed to do that every ten years or so?"

"No - they're going to be 20 years old this fall. I have sex with people younger than these things"


"the other week, someone used a glass dildo on me - and i love glass - but this time instead of in and out, they rotated it in like a spiral. it was amazing!"


"in some ways, we're in more danger now with liberals in the white house. the republicans act all sanctimonious about vice and porn and sex, but they all do it. anti-porn feminists - they're true believers."

And we were looking at Nina's ass. Because, seriously. How can you not? It's a legendary ass. and she was wearing a thong.

I appreciate people who know how to show off their best features. Of course she does have lovely eyes as well...

Carol Queen arrived. She is so sexy in a smart librarian kind of way. Which is really fucking sexy.

The auction started - Nina auctioned off the opportunity to spank her. And Carol auctioned off a private consultation. Two memberships to the Crucible went as well. Then the party began! Which i'm sure was fabulous. But Alex and I slipped out. Bound for bed and work the next day. Well, I was bound for bed. Alex is less boring than me, so she may have gone out. It was, after all, only 10:30. But I'll let her tell you about that...if there is anything to tell!

FINALLY! turn your phone into a sex toy

So, a while ago, ohmybod - the company that brought you the vibrator that works with your iPhone, brought out a vibrator that hooks up to your cell phone. but all it did was vibrate when your cell phone rang. sure it had patterns of vibration, but well, it just didn't do it for me. a vibrator that would vibrate to the beat of your friend on the other end who was talking dirty - well that i could get into.

but now, there is an application, called Dildroid that you can put on your google phone that turns the phone itself into a vibrator. and it can be turned on by a text message. of course, i don't know anyone who has the google phone. and i'm sure as hell not giving up my iphone. but....

we're getting closer to something that will do good stuff.

flesbot has a fun review.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


so the National Airsex Championships (regional division) is coming to DC at the Rock and Roll Hotel on June 10th

and they need competitors.

it’s a lot like Air Guitar, but instead of rocking out with an imaginary guitar, you’re making sweet and/or filthy love with an imaginary sex partner. You choose a clip of music, you show up in whatever sort of wardrobe you like, and you come up on stage and show everyone how you do it. Or how you wish you could do it. Or how you once had it done to you, and oh my god was that a bad idea and while it’s embarrassing to show that act to a room of strangers, you know that you need to do it now in order to make sure that no one else falls down the same rabbit hole you got stuck inside. Or, you know, just do it however you want. The only rules we have are the laws laid down by the state we’re in. You can’t get naked. All orgasms have to be simulated (or at least arguably so). Other than that, you’re free to do whatever it takes to impress the judges, the audience in the theater, and the world!

wanna do your thing live and on stage?

email chris@airsexworldchampionships.com

Friday, June 5, 2009

on david carradine

ok - i'm really feeling bad for this guy.

a) committed suicide
b) had auto-erotic asphyxiation go bad (the practice of restricting one's own breathing while masturbating)
c) was engaging in bondage play with an idiot

it is seeming increasingly clear that he didn't commit suicide. i've heard conflicting reports about if his hands were tied behind his back. which would clear up the difference between b and c.

as a result of all of this, the smokinggun.com just printed part of his divorce paperwork citing "deviant sexual behavior". now seriously - what the hell does that mean? i read it. and i'm still not sure. i'm clear that according to his ex-wife, he was an abusive asshole during at least part of their marriage. and that, according to her, he had an "incestuous" relationship with a family member (no reference to how close a family member - but because it was not referred to as an illegal relationship i'd assume it was with an adult) and "deviant sexual behavior".

frankly, i view deviant sexual behavior as a plus.

and abuse as a big minus.

but, i never knew this man and really am not that interested in his personal relationships. what i am interested in is the reaction to the possibility that his death was a sex accident.

i have heard no one (yet) talk about why someone might want to engage in auto erotic asphyxiation or bondage play. and/or how to do such things safely.

people engage in breath play (controlling or limiting your partner's breath or having your breath controlled or limited) for many different reasons. primarily because it feels sexy to them. either because they like the high of restricting oxygen to their brain. or because they enjoy feeling controlled in that manner. (or providing their partner with these sensations)

breath play is dangerous. period. but there are ways to be safer about it. first and foremost. for god's sake don't do it alone. (but if you choose to do it alone - click here for some tips on how to somewhat decrease your risk of death or brain damage)

be aware of risks. which (clearly) include death. damage to the trachea. heart attack. and permanent brain damage.

ok - so breath play is dangerous. and can kill you. but lots of folks do it. and they sure as hell don't teach us in school about why we shouldn't do it, or ways that we can do it that minimize risks. as a result, folks continue to engage in play with out the knowledge that they need to make good choices. mostly because they are scared to ask the question. and that's a fucked up commentary on our society.

but now we have the internet.

don't let your lack of knowledge kill you or someone you care about. wanting to engage in breath play is fine. it's hot. and there are ways to provide sensations that lessen the risk. it doesn't mean that you're bad. or deviant (unless that turns you on). and it certainly doesn't mean that you are an abuser.

so cut the man a break. it you want to beat him up posthumously for something, it sounds like his ex-wife might have a couple reasons. but they most likely have nothing to do with how he died.

and save your brain cells. you're likely to need them.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

animal dicks

the sundance channel is running a promo. match the animal dick to the animal and win a prize! but the really cool thing is the wide variety of shapes of animal penises (or is it penisi?). check it out. you might win some cool stuff!

animal schlongs

btw - i think i have a vibrator that looks like that. hmmmm. might wish i'd never made that connection.

thanks to fleshbot for picking this one up!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Daniel Craig on a stick

thanks to perez hilton for this

Del Monte has released a Daniel Craig Popsicle

unfortunately, it looks like it was only released in England

Do they have any idea how much they could sell these for at Pride?

lick daniel craig

yesterday. mourning, stress, hope.

yesterday was a tough day.

i woke to worries about work. i hate that.

then to the farmer's market with s for mini donuts. coffee. and hamburger patties from happy cows.

back to the house, checking on garden, straightening living room, reorganizing dresser, knitting, reading a book when my phone beeps. it's my ex husband, James. and a text message.

"George Tiller shot dead"

I ran for my computer and CNN.

You know how there are people in the world that you have met, that you know thru their work, that you respect deeply? That you sleep just a little better at night knowing that they are in the world? Dr. Tiller was one of those people for me.

Shortly after I graduated from college I started working at Planned Parenthood of MN/SD. I started in administration, which was in a building on Highland Parkway in St. Paul. We walked past protestors every day. We each had ID cards with magnetic key cards. Once we were in the door, we checked in with the guard and put in the code for the door to the upstairs. I was the administrative assistant for Regional Services. I had both the ATF and the FBI on my rolodex. Taped to the desk by the receptionist was a form to fill out for a bomb threat. The doctors that provided abortions in the clinic downstairs wore bullet proof vests to and from work. Part of staff training was how to open mail, how to recognize a bomb, how to search the building for a bomb, to make our home phone numbers unlisted, to change our drivers licenses so that the DMV wouldn't give out our home address, to know where the closest police stations were on the way to and from work, to vary our routes to and from work.

Most Planned Parenthoods don't provide abortion services. Not by a long shot. But because some do, and PP actively supports a woman's right to choose, they have been one of the most visible targets for anti-choice activists and terrorists.

One morning, I was in the kitchen, making iced coffee when the phone rang. James grabbed it. It was my boss, Julie. Our Brainerd clinic had been torched. No one was hurt. But it was going to be closed for a while. And we had a lot of work to do to get it back open. There were no abortions provided in Brainerd. But there was someone who didn't care about that. There was a Planned Parenthood name on the building, so it, and the pizza joint next door were now gone.

Not too long after that I started working as a counselor at local private clinic that provided family health care four days a week and abortions five days a week. At Robbinsdale the protesters were a little bit louder. Over time I got used to them.

I spent the next seven years working with birth control, HIV testing and counseling and abortion care at Robbinsdale and at various Planned Parenthoods. I loved the work. It was challengin. Our patients graced us with their trust. I learned about living and decision making and ethics from the patients that I worked with.

Pregnancy is a constant thought for women who have sex with men. We take birth control pills every day, we put plastic over a penis before we let it enter us, we put devices in our uterus, patches on our skin, little cups full of spermicide around our cervix. Most often these measures work. Sometimes they don't. And sometimes, for all kinds of reasons, a mistake, forgetfulness, drugs or alcohol, abuse, mental illness - we don't use them. And pregnancy happens. Then we have to make decisions. Sometimes the pregnancy is unplanned, but welcome. Sometimes adoption is a good option. Sometimes abortion is the best choice.

The ethics around ending a pregnancy differ for each woman. For some, it feels like killing, but it's still the best thing for them and their families. For others, it's not killing, but it's a tragedy. And for others, it's just not a big deal. What mattered to me as a provider was meeting each of these women exactly where they were, honoring their decision, their ethics, spirituality and process. And providing them with the tools necessary to walk through this part of their life with dignity and health.

Dr. Tiller was one of the best providers of abortion services in the country. He took over his father's medical practice after his father's death. Soon, women were asking if he would help them like his father did. It turns out, his father had performed abortions. In the end, Dr. Tiller couldn't say no to women who needed help. Over time, his practice ended up being mainly abortion services. Because they were needed. And especially needed were late abortion services. Even so, during part of that time he oversaw the neo-natalogy unit at the local hospital. When asked about how he reconciled both performing late term abortions and providing premmies with care his answer was simple, "in an abortion, the woman is the patient, when a woman chooses to continue a pregnancy, the baby becomes the patient. It's the doctor's job to serve the patient."

And he did. Brilliantly. With care, respect and great technical skill. And for that, he paid with his life.

He wouldn't have known me. I only met him once. I knew him through the women he helped. And his advocacy. We have big shoes to fill.

It was right after that I learned that Phoenix, the burned pit bull had died. That tipped me over the edge. I lost it. I held Bella and sobbed. Then I held Piper and sobbed some more. She licked my tears. She's good at that.

After I stopped crying, and splashed some water on my face, S and I went over to visit family and celebrate a 10 year old's birthday. One of our family member's is living with Parkinson's and is having increasing difficulty getting in and out of bed. Regina (who works at the store and has a degree in physical therapy) showed me some lifts to try. So S and I tried them, and were able to get K up and out of bed and to the table for the birthday party. It made K happy. And it made me grateful. Because, even with all the bad in the world, each of us still has the capacity to do something small that can make another person's life a little bit better. Even for a moment.

The smile on K's face when he wheeled up to the table is a gift that I will never forget.

Last night, I fell asleep, holding Piper with S snoring softly in my ear, and i felt content.

RIP Dr. George Tiller
RIP Phoenix

for more information about Dr. Tiller or to make a donation in his name, click here

for more information about Phoenix or to make a donation in her name click here