Friday, October 30, 2009


Next week, we have Midori coming to the store.

And I'm really excited.

I do have a tendency to procrastinate, but this week I was a little sickly, so i'm later than usual getting to some of the prep.  Which meant I got to spend about an hour in heaven this afternoon.  Yep, went to the sex toy warehouse.  It's one of my favorite places.

Wandered the long, dusty rows of toys in a 100 year old (ok, i don't actually know how old it is, but its OLD ok?) warehouse.  Looked at new things, picked up some bondage tape, a TON of rope, and the usual stuff that we need for a weekend at the store.

It's moments like this that i really love my job.

Now I would like a hot fudge sundae.  

Thank you.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

finally, a video game i can get behind

so, the brilliant people at have come up with a use for video games that i can really get behind.

it's geeky, it's techy and it's as kinky as you want to be!

it's called 3dkink

you design your own characters.  then you tie em up, fuck em, use fucking machines, turn them into vulcans, take them to a dungeon, drip wax on their tits, or play in the furry area.  yep furries.

the entry part of the web site is heavy on suggesting that folks create their own slave and fuck "her", but from what I can tell, the player has a lot of lee way to decide about genders and appearance of the avatars.  it doesn't appear that you can make any of the avatars fat.  odd.

the sound on the promo pieces is a little bit off, but it may be fine in the actual game.  besides, i'm sure you all are capable of making your own soundtrack.

seriously.  this looks like fun.  but it's not mac compatible so i can't actually find out.


quick, someone with a PC go try this and get back to me!  it may be the only good reason to have a PC. and it's only $30 a month.

Friday, October 16, 2009

why I'm not "cis" gendered

So, cis gender.  

Cis gender is a word that's fairly new to me, and it's been attracting a lot of attention over the past year or so. However, the term has been around since the early 90s.

Cis is used to refer to folks who were identified as a male or female at birth, socialized as that gender and continue to identify as that gender.  

When I first heard the word, I asked my friends to please not refer to me as Cis.  I understood the need for a word for people who identify as the gender box they were stuck in as a baby, especially because without such a word, these folks were referred to as "normal".  Which puts trans folk in the "other" column.  That's assuredly not ok.  Trans folk are living the gender they were born with too.  We all are.  There may be gender identities and experiences that are more common, but certainly not more normal.  If you break down each individuals experience of their own gender you'd find more differences within a gender group than sameness.  There is no one set of characteristics or attributes that define men or women.  Or any other gender.

There's something about the word "cis" itself that irritates me.  It sounds like cyst.  You know plugged ducts in the body that can be painful and occasionally become smelly, oozing pus filled abscesses.  Yuck.  And really, it's not how I think of myself.

Then someone explained that cis is from the Latin, meaning "on the same side" as opposed to trans which means "on the other side" or across.  I should have paid more attention in Latin class.  The explanation made the word feel more comfortable.  And definitely helped replace the cyst image in my brain.  Besides, we need a word to help avoid the "normally" gendered comment.

So I went with that for a while.

But the more I think about it, the less I like it.  

First of all, it feels like it reduces gender back to the place we're trying to get away from.  What's between your legs now and what was between them when you were born.  It's birth genitalia defining gender.  Again.

I know guys who rock their vaginas.  Women who glory in their dicks.  And, given that people who were born with penises sometimes refer to their ass as their cunt, and people who were born with clitorises and vaginas strap on dicks, pack with them and do all kinds of delishishly dirty things with them, I'm even more convinced that genitals shouldn't be the center of this discussion.  And the folks I know who do these things identify as many different genders - some even as the gender they were identified at on their birth day.  Birth genitalia says little about your current gender.

Cis feels narrow.

Is anyone truely cis gendered?  

Seriously, let's use my gender and my parent's as an example.  Since their the ones I know best.

I was identified female at birth, socialized as female by society and two parents.  One of my parents is a woman who is as girly as they come.  She cries at Hallmark commercials, she bakes bread, she has more shoes than is reasonable (I come by some things honestly). She's also almost six feet tall, very opinionated and active in local politics.  My father, until recently was the head of a 3000 member congregation, tells tasteless dirty jokes, takes care of the finances,  drinks extremely dry martinis - stirred, not shaken (don't bruise that gin!).  He also wears pink suits, silk scarves and as much jewelry as he can get away with.   Both of them are what would be termed "cis" gendered.  But is the way they live their genders really "on the same side" as most other men and women?

I identify as both a woman and a femme.   My gender is that which is most commonly associated with the bits that I was born with and continue to have. I wear high heels and make up and corsets.  I love puppies, and knitting and I make a mean apple pie.  All things that fit in the "gender norm" for women (whatever the fuck that is). I'm also six feet tall, have strong features, more facial hair than I'd care to admit to, use power tools, drive a jeep, could once squat more weight than our current (male) governor and like to have sex with women.  Which should, I think, make me a man.

But I identify as woman.

It's common in the store for folks, especially men, to ask me if I'm trans.  There are people that I know from performing (burlesque) that have assumed I was a drag queen or a trans woman for months.  Until they asked.  Which, by the way, is the polite thing to do.  Assuming someone's gender?  That's rude.

I don't identify as trans.  Or gender queer.  Or gender fluid.  Or intersex.  Of course, I can't say with absolute certainty that I'm not intersex.  I doubt it, but I've never had testing and/or given birth.   

I identify as a woman.  And as a femme.  

I don't identify as cis.  It feels limiting.  The word implies that all people who identify as a woman (or a man) mean the same thing when they cite that identity.  My experience of my gender is undoubtedly different than someone who identifies as a woman but was identified as male at birth.  My experience of my gender is also different from a woman born into a family or culture in which her gender means young marriage, multiple children and subservience to her husband.  Or that of a woman who feels most comfortable in jeans, work boots and a mullet.  People's understanding of their gender is deeply colored by race, class, religion, culture and biology.

I understand that in this culture I receive privilege because of my particular gender and gender expression, that people who are trans are discriminated against, otherized, even murdered because our society has a fucked up understandings of gender. 

In our fight toward a broader understanding of gender, toward a culture in which each person's gender is both accepted and celebrated.  Where all of us are able to walk safely in the streets, and not fear or experience discrimination because of their gender or appearance of gender, does giving the privileged a box to happily climb into perpetuate a limited understanding of gender?

Perhaps what we need is an understanding that none of us is truely "cis" gendered.  Fewer boxes, not more.  Each of us builds our gender in our own way.  In our own time.  An approach like this will take more time, more explanation, more bridge building.  But it's more true. Nature creates diversity and uniqueness that defies categorization.

And thank goddess.  Because it makes our world a much more beautiful place.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

things that make me go hmmmm

So, these women from France have developed a new sex toy.  And they sound like lovely women.

But I'm just not getting the toy. And I'd like to.  Internet, could you help a girl out?

Here's what they say:

Fed up with using sextoys which are absolutely not shaped for us (penis shape) we have created "One" which is a sextoy dedicated to lesbians.

Our world : More than a toy, we are creating a lesbian world in which you are going to find pictures of known - or not, but still hot - lesbian couples, and videos.
WET FOR HER is the lesbian company who has created the first and original lesbian sextoy.
Now more than ever the lesbian community is coming out. We have chosen a theme which gives us an opportunity to keep developing our world. Our sexuality is our common point.

I think that part of the trouble is that I'm of the lesbian/post-gender binary mindset where I'm not sure what a penis shape has to do with gender.  I know. I left my husband 'cause he's a man.  So, I'm not totally post-gender, but really? 

I know some folks don't want anything shaped like a penis inside them.  I've seen the corn cob/zucchini/dolphin shaped dildos of the 80s and 90s.  You know twenty years ago?  I'm a Michfest gyrl

For me, when a woman owns a dildo, even a penis-shaped-skin-tone-matching-dick, it's hers.  And therefore associated with her.  And her gender.  Whatever that may be.  Just like some women are born with penises, or some guys have cunts.  Your genitalia doesn't define your gender.  So penis=man therefore lesbians don't like penises doesn't make sense inside my head.

Regardless of gender stuff, there are advantages to penis shaped sex toys.  The head of a penis shaped object, with the little lip that happens between the head and the shaft can be lovely on the first inch to two inches of a vagina, catching and teasing right at the vaginal opening - good stuff.  

Ok. I'm clearly confused by the penis shape avoidance.  But I could let that go (see aforementioned regular attendance at lesbian separatist events).  

It's the next part that really confuses me.  
the first and original lesbian sextoy.
Really?  Huh.  I can think of more than a few sex toy developers who would be confused by that statement.  You know, like Vixen Creations, or the woman who designed the FeelDoe (now sold by Tantus) or Aslan Leather, or well, the list just goes on.  Going back at least 20 to 30 years.  These folks may not only target the lesbian market as their companies have grown, expanded and embraced a wider spectrum of sexuality, but they all started there.

And last.  The toy itself confuses me.  Silicone fingers.  Which for some non-specific, undoubtedly highly irrational reason freaks me out.

It would make sense (maybe) if the fingers were solid and designed to use for masturbation.  

Or perhaps could be harnessed as a dildo.  In fact that would be kind of hot.  But, they're hollow.  

So, we're supposed to wear them?  They don't seem to come in sizes.  Which could be a problem.  

Perhaps it's a way to promote safer sex?  Except, you'd still need to wear  a glove underneath the toy, otherwise the rest of your hand would be exposed to and able to spread vaginal fluids.

I'm stumped.

Anyone tried this?  Am I missing something?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Party time!

It was a dark and stormy night.

Ok.  It wasn't stormy.  But it was dark.  And rainy. It was a night most suited for a movie and a pizza at home.  With a bottle of red wine. 

But Rachel and I were on our way to do a Sugarware Party at a hair salon in East Baltimore.  We found the address and trotted up the stairs to the salon. Looking a bit, I fear, like Abe Lincoln and Mary Todd.  We're about a foot different in height.  But no one pointed and stared.  Or called me Abe.  Which is good.

The women hosting the party greeted us at the door.  We set up the toys.  We hung out.  We watched the Housewives of Orange County marathon.  And agreed that the only housewife we like on the Housewives of ATL is Kandi.

Yep.  I watch the housewives shows.

And I'm not ashamed.


Besides, apparently, I'm not alone.  

Throughout our housewives discussion more party guests were trickling in.  Soon, the housewives were off and the party was on.

It was fabulous.  A room full of smart women with good questions,  a willingness to ask for answers and the freedom to laugh at both.

By the end of the party, I'd learned a few things.  Women were sharing notes about their bodies.  Rachel chimed in with some great info.  And we taught some folks how to use a dental dam.

All in all, a good evening.

I am so grateful for the customers that remind me why we're here.

Want to book a party of your own?  Shoot us an email!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

March SUNDAY - and bring everyone you know

National Equality March - Sunday, DC at Noon

Be there.  Or don't bitch when:  you get fired from your job because of your gender presentation or your sexual orientation*, or some one tells you who you can marry, or who you can visit in the hospital, or who your kid's parents are, or whether you can be a parent at all. 

Each and every person in deserves equal rights.  And until we are all equal under the law.  None of us are equal.

Regardless of your sexual orientation or gender identity, this march is about you.

Need help getting to DC from Baltimore, Philly or NYC?  Check this out.

For people with mobility issues - the DC Metro system is pretty accessible (many stops have elevators).  And the route itself is very flat.  If you have special concerns or require other accommodations, please email the organizers at this link.  This about equal equality for all - not just the "non-disabled".

And, when you get to the end?  Cheer a little bit extra when the young man named Richard Aviles speaks about being a GLBT student.  He's from a little Lutheran college in Minnesota, called St. Olaf.  I've got a soft spot for the place, I graduated from there in 1993....)

*In Maryland people are protected from losing their jobs due to their sexual orientation, but it is legal to fire folks based on their gender presentation or identity.  There are 28 states in which it is perfectly legal to fire someone, deny housing or public accommodations based on their sexual orientation.  In 36 states, you may do the same based on gender or the appearance of gender.