Saturday, October 2, 2010

sex bloggers and calendars oh my!

Friday morning we drove thru the pouring rain - let me be clear - this wasn't just pouring it was torrential. It was the dog refuses to go outside torrential. Can't see very far ahead torrential. In fact, I wouldn't have been surprised to see actual cats and dogs falling from the sky. Traumatized, but not surprised. But we made it to New York in good time. Ran some NY errands, grabbed an extremely yummy lunch (macaroni and cheese with spinach and roasted chicken? yeah, i'd like some more please), laid down for a few minutes and got ready for the party.

We hopped on the subway and went off to the party.

Each year since 2008 (or so) the NY Sex Blogger Calendar has been released. I'll let them tell you all about it:
The NYC Sex Bloggers Calendar seeks to bring the sex-positive community together in a fun and interactive way that results in the funding of sex-positive organizations. We believe that sexual freedom is a basic human right and we hope that our calendar succeeds in spreading that idea far and wide.The benefactor chosen for 2011 is Woodhull Freedom Foundation - Affirming Sexual Freedom as a Fundamental Human Right.
Each year to celebrate the new calendar they have a party featuring the calendar models, vendors and sponsors and anyone else who wants to go. AND, there are gift bags. With good stuff. Including, stuff from Sugar. This year it was Nasty Bands!

We showed up early to add Sugar's contribution to the gift bags. Which involved me crawling on the floor. In a tiny dress and high heels. And managing to not flash anyone. Because my mama raised me right. S (who's a smidge smaller than me) crawled to the banquette at the back and loaded those bags. It didn't take long til we were seated with a drink and looking around.

And the eye candy was good.

Women in latex, women in corsets. Men in suits. Men in leather. Gender queer folks in all kinds of deliciousness. So we started mingling. Which, by the way, I hate. Talking to strangers is one of my least favorite activities of all times. Customers - awesome - we have something specific to discuss. Friends of friend - good - again something in common. But, simply showing up at a sex bloggers calendar party seemed a little thin. But I took a deep breath, gripped S's hand and dove in. In short order, I found nice strangers and people I already knew. Yay for the folks I already knew!

Jamye Waxman
is one of m favorite people ever - we worked together at Babeland 10 years ago. She's good people. And she's fun.

Then I started to see folks that I sort of recognized. Because we follow each other on Twitter. So I see little teensy avatars of them all day long. It was fun to meet those folks in real life! Soon, S and I were having fun.

At one point I followed S outside so she could take a work call and spent several minutes being deeply amused.

Standing around in front of the bar were an assortment of folks dressed in manner that was likely to attract attention even in NYC. People walked by and did double takes. It takes a lot to get a New Yorker to do a double take. Then the majority of men did a triple take, stopped mid stride and turned to stare. Because Nina Hartley was standing outside doing an interview. The men would then strain a bit closer, as if checking that what they were seeing was real. I saw a few even rub their eyes. Then they would grab their phones and start texting. Immediately followed by pacing back and forth as they tried to figure out how to politely ask for a picture. I was impressed. Seeing a porn star on the street isn't something that happens every day. So, a double take is appropriate. But what I was really impressed with was the level of politeness I saw each and every one of these men exhibit. Respectful distance. Asking before taking a photograph. Someone raised these men right. I think it also speaks to how Nina has built her career. She has always been outspoken and articulate. Clear that for her this is a career of choice and of passion. She unfailingly treats her fans with respect and kindness and receives the same in return. And may I add, for anyone of you who thinks that aging means less sexiness. This woman stopping men in their tracks - she's over 50. And hot as hell.

After S was done with her work call, we went back in and she stood by graciously while I talked shop with the folks from Njoy, For Your Nymphomation and Sliquid. We saw tribal belly dancing from Luna, Carol Queen spoke, ran into Megan Andelloux - an awesome sex educator and then S and I decided to take each other to dinner.

If you're up for a not cheap but not utterly absurdly priced dinner may I strongly recommend Dressler in Brooklyn. Oh my god - little mouth orgasms with every bite! Then we grabbed a cab home and were in bed by 11. Perfect evening.

A huge thank you to Tied Up Events for putting together such an awesome party!

And - we'll have calendars for sale at the store shortly!

2011 Calendar models include:
Bad Bad Girl,
Brandon B,
Coy Pink,
Dangerous Lilly,
Essin’ Em,
Gloria Brame,
Jiz Lee,
Lillith Grey,
Matthew Lawrence,
Max Lagos,
Mollena Williams,
Nina Hartley,
Radical Vixen,
Sadie Smythe and
Sovereign Syre.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Into the Woods Part 3 - in which my heart breaks a little

The light was golden. Watermelons were stacked around the trees. Women sat on hay bales and camp chairs or leaned against trees eating their (vegetarian with ingredients carefully posted in order to care for people with food allergies) dinners. It was Friday evening at Michigan.

A small group was gathering around two women wearing Transexual Menace t-shirts who were passing out info. Something shifted in the air. I perked up. I wanted to talk to these women. And I wanted a t-shirt.

The women wearing the shirts were passing out fliers about trans inclusion in the festival. One woman was Riki Wilchins, who's kind of a big deal in trans activism. I was excited to hear what she had to say. The other was a woman named Kris. She had been identified male at birth and had not had any medical interventions that would have changed her appearance. If someone made assumptions about her gender, they would likely have assumed that she was a very feminine young man. But that's not how she thought of herself. And frankly, that's not how she felt. For me, every gender falls somewhere on the color spectrum of energy. I can't define it, it's not rational, it's intangible. It's about my gut. And my gut told me that this young woman belonged on the land. That she was a woman born woman. A woman who was not socialized as a woman. A woman with genitals different than mine. But genitals are as different as snowflakes. She was a woman. Who was also fragile, tentative, brave and young. A woman who people were suddenly not being nice to.

My hackles were up.

Within a few minutes, women were yelling at each other. Some supporting Riki and Kris, others horrified that these women were on our land. After about 15 minutes, a worker appeared and stopped the yelling.

"This is Michigan, and if we're going to talk about this, we're doing it the Michigan way. If you want to discuss this, go under the kitchen tent. We'll put together a speaker's list and we'll pass a talking stick."

Yes, there was a talking stick. At least I think there was. Maybe it was just a psychic talking stick.

There was yelling, there was crying, there was a lot of sharing feelings, fear, prejudice, hate, honesty. It was raw. And terrifying. I'd never seen this at Michigan before. I'd heard about it. A few years before this, Tribe 8 simulated assaulting an abuser on stage. This resulted in a massive hue and cry and processing meetings for the rest of the week. Tribe 8 now had appeared on the night stage. Women had protested other women walking around wearing their consensually acquired bruises, now no one seemed to care. There was a time when the only dildos sold in the crafts areas looked like vegetables or dolphins. Now, at least half looked like penises. Change happens. But it can be slow. And painful. I knew that this discussion was important. That it was part of a process. But that didn't make it any less awful.

When it was my turn to speak I'm pretty sure I sounded like an idiot. Like an over emotional idiot. I'm not bad at speaking in public. I used to act in community and school theater, I'd worked as a lobbyist in the Minnesota legislature. With other women, I'd led public ritual. I'd been a local organizer for It's Time Minnesota that passed a trans inclusive non discrimination law. I'd spoken on college campuses on GLBT issues and military aid to El Salvador. Saying something about why all women should be welcome on this land shouldn't have been hard. But it was. I was crying before the first sentence was out of my mouth.

I was bullied pretty severely in elementary school. That experience gave me, a white girl from some heavy privilege, a hard lesson in being other. It has deeply colored the way that I look at the world. I'm almost grateful for the experience. But perhaps I could have learned that lesson in a less scarring manner. When I see someone who wants to be a part of a community, who sees themselves as part of that community, being ignored and marginalized, or worse, those scars reopen. With rage and shame and violent visceral pain.

I think I said something about what it was like as a bisexual woman with a husband in womyn's space. And something about how these women were women who belonged here. I can still see what I saw in that yellow and white striped tent. I can feel the tears on my face, the pain in my belly. The sights, the senses, the emotions are more clear than the words.

Other women spoke. For many women it came down to genitals. This land was somewhere that they didn't want to see real live penises. Some women didn't believe that anyone could really be transgendered. Some women said trans women post surgery were welcome. Others explained that access to surgery is a class issue - that not all women could afford surgery.

Finally, we were all talked out.

Riki and Kris decided to go back to Camp Trans. They weren't feeling like they wanted to stay on the land. Frankly, I wasn't sure I wanted to stay on the land either. A small group of us walked them out to the gate. Then I went to bed.

The next morning I woke up, broke down my tent and went home.

I still think about Kris and wonder how she's doing. She was such a sweet person. And I ache that my people caused her pain in a space where she should have been welcomed and celebrated.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Into the Woods - my first MichFest

** August 1997

I was white knuckling it down a dirt road. I knew there was going to be a dirt road. I just hadn't realized it would be this long. And I was on a rather heavy motorcycle. I was riding my husband's CB 1000. My bike was a 1982 Kawasaki CSR 750 - and it was on it's last legs, so James had graciously lent me his bike. I had over 1000 miles at my back, two miles to go and I wasn't sure that I was going to make it.

Finally, the gate appeared. Women waved, grining broadly with smiles of raw happiness, the skin on their faces relaxed across their bones with a freedom I'd never seen. It was as if the world had melted off their shoulders. My eyes were big. My face was not relaxed. Not yet. They said, "Welcome Home!".

Sarah and I were directed to park our bikes in a field of tall grass while we purchased our tickets. I looked at these women like they were crazy. Have you ever tried to park a heavy motorcycle in a field of tall grass? That slopes upwards? After three miles of dirt road and driving since dawn?

I started to protest. And learned my first Michigan lesson. There are rules. And you will follow them. So I parked in the tall grass, pushed a crumpled can under my kick stand and prayed that my bike wouldn't fall over.

After we had parked in motorcycle parking (a different part of the big field, but flat and equipped with hard things to put under your kick stand), unloaded our crap, signed up for our workshifts, and picked up our programs we loaded onto a flat bed pulled by a tractor and headed into the land. There were women everywhere. But no time to look around. Light was fading and we needed to get our tents up while we could still see.

After much dragging things down wood chipped paths, following M & R who had been to fest before, we set up camp. In the dark. And promptly passed out.

The next day, we awoke to rain. Luckily, since we had come on motorcycles, I had a rain suit and headed off to my intensive goddess workshop with Ruth Barrett. It was raining so hard, they moved the workshop under the kitchen serving tent. I sat shyly at the back with my head spinning. No one here thought it odd that I was a witch. Or dianic. The word "person" or "people" was gone from the language. It had been replaced by women (or womyn, or wimmin or...). It was as though I'd crossed a great divide into a mystical place. I was in Avalon.

I think that night we went and watched a movie. I know that night I returned to my Target tent to find a river inside. Literally everything was soaked. A boat could have floated in my sleeping bag. I could have used a boat.

I slept sitting up. In my rain suit. And leather jacket. And Sarah's leather jacket. Sarah offered for me to sleep in her (dry) tent with her. But I have a pride problem. And an accepting help problem. It's still a problem now, but it was ginormous when I was 25. Today, I would have been knocking on Sarah's tent and telling her to scoot over.

The next morning I walked out to the phones, called my husband and cried. I had it together til I heard his voice.

J - "Hello?" (pre caller ID)

Me - "Hi" (sniff, sniff)

J - "How's it going?"

Me - "I'm all wet, the tent leaked, it's raining, and cold and....(sobs) If it doesn't get better I'm coming home (more tears)"

J - "Ok, talk to Sarah, see if there's something you can do to fix your tent, and know you can always come home ok?

Me - (sniff) "Ok"

J - "Have fun, let me know what happens"

Me - "Ok" (sniff)

Which is where R found me, helped me collect all of my wet stuff, poured me into her car and drove me to a laundromat in town where we dried everything, had ice cream and bought about 17 tarps. Ok, it was more like four.

After working my kitchen shift, and for aforementioned pride reasons turning down the help of an astonishingly handsome woman, I tarped inside my tent, under my tent, over the tent. Hell, I tarped everything I could see. I spent the rest of the week asking people if their tents leaked. And collecting data on which brands remained dry (Mountain Hardware and Marmot were the leading non-leakers)

Wednesday night was the opening ceremony. Thousands of women sat in front of the night stage. Thousands of women sang and danced as we celebrated the festival. We rose as Amazon Women. It was magic.

I spent much of the next several days walking around in a daze. My eyes filled with the astonishing diversity of women. I'd been terrified I'd be too fat and embarrassed to shower (a result of highly disordered body image). I was wrong. There were plenty of women bigger than me. And proud and sexy in their bodies. There were women with beards and dresses driving the town tractor (it's michigan's public transportation system - there is a separate system for women with mobility related disabilities - it's goes more places), young women, older women, women wearing skirts with no tops and breast feeding babies, little girls and boys (up to age 4) playing, teen age girls running and whispering with their friends. Handsome butch women. Women in elaborate outfits. Naked women with chairs over their arms and shoes on their feet. Women who literally set up pickets fences around their tent sites. My head spun. I made a mental note to bring make up and cuter outfits the next time I came. And I smiled. When I called home there were no tears. Just excitement and laughter.

At the night stage that year, Tribe 8 played. And it was incredible. The sign language interpreter was fierce. And did costume changes. At one point she was on stage in boots and a modified white wedding dress turning ASL into punk rock. I couldn't take my eyes off her. Which is saying something because Lynn Breedlove is hot. Tribe 8 was amazing. But what changed my life was the mosh pit. I dove in and it smelled good. This never happens in mosh pits. When someone fell, there were many hands helping her up, when I coughed, a woman turned and handed me a cough drop. I felt safe in a way that I'd never felt before. We were all taking care of each other. Flinging our bodies with abandon, dancing, pulsing, soaring with delight, energy and healing. Our power rose above us, almost shining in the night sky. When I walked away from the concert my voice was gone, I was covered in the sweat of women. And filled with a bone deep peace and joy.

A few days later we left the land, exhausted. It took hours for my eyes to readjust to the world. A world with men. I felt disoriented.

When I got home, dirty, tired and road buzzed my husband was waiting. With a hug and a massage table set up. He wrapped me in Dead Sea mud, gave me a massage and poured me into bed. Being back in the world with men wasn't so bad. Not with men

I left my michigan wristband on for a week. And dreamed of the woods

Friday, August 13, 2010

Into the Woods - part 1 in which i discover michfest

Since 1997, I've been going to Michfest. In fact, when I say I'm going to Michigan, I almost never mean just the state, I mean that I'm going to the largest and oldest womyn only music festival in the country.

Let's talk about the womyn only thing. Because I know some of you are wondering why I'd go to a single gendered space. And because Michigan has frequently been accused of transphobia. In some cases rightly accused.

Here's my perspective.

As a young feminist I found womyn only space through Dianic Wiccan communities. I learned about lesbian separatism from reading Mary Daly. I learned about other separatisms from reading theories of the Black Panthers and early Malcom X. Separatism made sense to me. It still does.

The concept of separatism is that oppression is built into the very fabric of our culture. And that by continuing to participate in the culture in any form, you feed the oppression, even by fighting it. So some women (or wimmin or womyn or...) chose to step outside and create a separate world. In some cases womyn created separate communities in which they lived 365 days a year. Some created womyn's religions in which femininity in all of it's diversity(s) is celebrated but men and boys were not welcome. Some created space that was womyn only for a period of time. Michigan is one of the later spaces.

Michfest was founded in 1976. By the 1980s the festival had moved to a 600+ acre of land in rural Michigan and it's been on The Land ever since. Every year in July womyn arrive on the land and create an environment for a week long festival. They lay pipe for the showers. They lay upside down carpet for wheel chair accessible paths. They put up signs for designated camping areas. They put up the stage and lights and audio for Night Stage. They ready the fire pit to cook for thousands of women.

I first heard about MichFest in the early 90s when I was living in Minnesota. I'd already learned that being in womyn only space was something that I needed. It was a place where I felt safe. Where I could heal from the damage that I experienced as a woman walking around in the patriarchy. Because the patriarchy fucking hurts. Especially as a young woman.

Women only space wasn't a paradise. It had problems just like the rest of the world. We carried our petty politics, our prejudices, our inappropriate behaviors, our humanity right on in. But there was an intentionality and safety that fed me. That I needed.

So one year my best friend and I got on our motorcycles and accompanied by two members of our coven (yes i said coven - our Dianic Wiccan coven where no, we did not eat small children) who drove a car we called the rolling tank bag we all drove north through Minnesota, up through Canada and down through Michigan to Hart and The Land. My life has literally never been the same.

I drove into a world which wasn't perfect. But it was beautiful.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Karma Pervs - porn for a good cause!

One of Sugar's favorite porn stars, Jiz Lee, has started a new membership based porn site - Karma Pervs.

It's hot shots of Jiz with guest appearances from some of the most smoking performers in porn right now (in the upcoming months look for Jiz Lee in the sequel to Tristan Taormino's new Rough Sex and Tristan's new Vivid Ed movie!)

So - sexy folks. In compromising positions. Giving you the images to get you off. And all of the money goes to charity.

Seriously, what's better than that?!

And - right now, all members are entered in a drawing for a brand new WeVibe2 from Sugar! So go spend your $7.99 a month, get a chance to win a new toy, and see some of the hottest porn on the web while you make the world a better place.


And yes, that pic is just a taste of what you get on Karma Pervs....

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lube & anal sex - does it increase the risk of infection?!

Two new studies were released at the 2010 International Microbicides Conference yesterday.

And the results of those studies were disturbing.

They found that people who used lube for anal intercourse were at greater risk of STI infection than those who did not. This was true even when other risk factors, including condom usage were controlled for.

WHAT?!!! This goes against everything my little safer sex heart has ever been told.

But if you drill down a little deeper, it starts to make sense.

You see, the one thing they didn't control for was what kind of lube was used.

So they did some tests with lube and cells in a lab. And, surprise, some lube is bad for ass cells.

They tested the six lubes most often used by the participants in the anal sex study (scroll to the end for ingredients lists):

Astroglide (they don't state which Astroglyde so I'm going to bet it was the glycerin version)

Elbow Grease (again - don't know what version)

ID Glide

KY Jelly

PRÉ (not used by the participants in the original study but chosen because it is different than the other lubes in a key way)

Wet Platinum (silicone - which also means it's glycerin free)

The studies found that when lube was used transmission of STIs doubled (11.7% of lube users were positive for an STI versus 4.5% of those not using lube). That's right. Double. (original study abstract, press release on original and follow up study abstract here) The STIs tested for were Chlamydia and Gonorrhea. No conclusions about HIV transmission was reached in this study.

What's also scary is that 24% of folks didn't use lube. And while they apparently were at less risk of STIs as a result, they were at increased risk of anal tearing and other unpleasant things.

So the folks who did the study did some more research. Lube smooths things out. It reduces tearing and abrasion. Why was it increasing transmission of disease? It didn't make sense. But when they started looking at the lubricant and how it acts on anal cells (vaginal and cervical cells were also included), things became more clear.
many of the products contain higher amounts of dissolved salts and sugars compared to what’s normally found in a cell. As a result, the products had toxic effects on the cells and rectal tissue studied. Some of the lubricants caused significant portions of the epithelium – the layer of cells that serves as a protective barrier inside the rectum – to be stripped away.*
So, it looked like it was possible that it was the composition of the lube that was the problem, not lube in general. What was the lube doing?

Astroglide, KY, Elbow Grease and ID Glide all resulted in cell death ( Astroglide was most toxic to cells and tissues). The cell death occured because these lubricants are hyperosmolar - they draw water out of cells which causes the cells to die.

For extra points, KY killed all of the bacteria it touched. Which is not good. Our anuses (anusi?) and vaginas have naturally occuring bacteria that keeps us healthy. Killing off all the bacteria can cause infection.

But PRE and Wet Platinum were not toxic and did not harm naturally occuring bacteria or cause cell death. Both of them were made of materials that are isomolar; they are made of stuff that doesn't draw water out of cells.

This study was done on cells in a lab. It doesn't prove that the same thing happens in the human body, but it does mean it's possible. Combined with the results of the study that found an increased risk of STIs with lube usage, it starts to appear that what kind of lube you use really matters.

What's the take home message?

Use better lube. Continue to use lube with anal intercourse and other sexual activities, but use high quality lube. Read the ingredients. Avoid lubes with glycerin and salt.

And stay tuned. I'm betting this study will be followed up with more. And we'll finally get good information about how lube acts on our bodies. Which is good news. Because an informed consumer is a healthy and happy consumer.


Astroglyde ingredients
Purified Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Polyquaternium 15, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

Elbow Grease Original Ingredients
Acid, Di Water, Mineral Oil, Petrolatum, Paraffin, Peg-8, Sorbitan Stearate, Polysorbate-60, Stearic Stearyl Alcohol (and) Ceteareth-20, Cetyl Alcohol, Lanolin, Borax, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea.

Elbow Grease Gel Ingredients
DI Water, Glycerin, Glycereth-26, Hydroxyethylecellulose, Methylparaben, Propylparaben, Imidazolidinyl Urea

ID Glyde
Urea, Purified Water, Glycerin, Propylene Glycol, Cellulose Polymer, Polyethylene Oxide, Sodium Benzoate, Methyl Paraben, Carbomer 981, Tetrahydroxypropyl Ethylenediamine, DiazolidinylEDTA

KY Jelly
Chlorhexidine Gluconate, Glucono Delta Lactone, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Methylparaben, Purified Water, Sodium Hydroxide

PRÉ ingredients
Purified Water, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Pluronic, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Phosphate, Carbomer, Methylparaben, Sodium Hydroxide, Arabinogalactan, Potassium Phosphate, Propylparaben.

Wet Platinum ingredients
Dimethicone, Cyclomethicone, Dimethiconol

*Use of Lubricants, Unprotected Anal Sex and the Risk of HIV, Press Briefing, 2010 Microbicides: Building Bridges in HIV Prevention

Thursday, April 29, 2010

TSA response

So here's the response that I got from the TSA to my email - am I wrong in reading it to say that by having an ID that doesn't completely match your appearance you're going to get extra scrutiny? i sent them another email asking if there is any documentation that could be provided to ease the process:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy for screening transgender travelers.

TSA develops requirements and policies for the security of the Nation’s transportation systems. The primary purpose of passenger screening is to prevent or deter the introduction of deadly or dangerous items into an airport secured area or onboard an aircraft. TSA policies and procedures focus on ensuring that all passengers are treated with respect and courtesy and every Federal screener receives training on professional conduct. In addition, TSA’s Office of Civil Rights and Liberties ensures that TSA screens all traveling persons equally, without regard to a person’s race, color, national origin, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, or gender.

Passengers may be directed for additional screening if the information on their identification (ID) does not match their appearance; if the name on their boarding pass does not match a valid, Government-issued ID; if their clothing is loose fitting or large enough to hide prohibited items; or if the Transportation Security Officer (TSO) cannot reasonably determine that clothing is free of any detectable threats. Passenger may also be chosen for additional screening on a random basis.

Passengers may wear whatever clothing they choose when approaching the screening checkpoint, but enhanced security measures require that all passengers remove outer coats and jackets for x-ray before proceeding through metal detectors. Passengers that alarm the metal detector will be required to undergo additional screening. Passengers directed for additional screening may undergo hand-wand screening and/or pat-down inspections. Passengers may request the screening be performed in a private screening area at anytime. TSOs are instructed to honor a passenger’s request.

If additional screening is merited, the transgender passenger will receive screening by a TSO of the same gender as what the passenger presents himself or herself to be. If a passenger chooses to have additional screening done in a private screening area, a traveling companion is permitted to accompany the passenger during the private screening. If the passenger refuses additional screening, they will be denied access to the secured area.

For more information on the screening process, we recommend that you visit our “For Travelers” section located on our website at This information is updated periodically.

Thank you for contacting us.

TSA Contact Center

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Best moment at the store ever.

On Thursday afternoon, three women walked into the store.

Two of them had been here before, one of them was new to Sugar I remembered the two who had been here before. Both smart, articulate, funny women. I was happy to see them. They were looking around, talking about the toys. One picked up "The Multi-Orgasmic Man", sat down on the couch and started flipping thru the book. Piper Sue did her best to make the new woman feel comfortable. Primarily by following her around, asking for attention and licking any exposed skin.

I was working on a purchase order at the Cunt Wrap (sometimes called a cash wrap or a front desk), when I hear the strains of "I Sing the Body Electric" coming from the couch. Woman #3 joins in. So does Woman #2. And then me.

Next thing I know, there are four of standing around the ass table belting out the FAME classic.

In harmony. Good harmony.

It was like an episode of Glee. But in a sex toy store. Musical theatre and sex education. We may be on to something.

When we were done, I put on the Fame soundtrack and we sang a little bit more.

Now that. Is a good day.

The Body Electric, in addition to being a poem by Walt Whitman and a song from FAME is a school, founded by Joseph Kramer, that teaches erotic massage and encourages deeper mind, body, spirit connections thru sexual energy and touch.
It's referenced in The Multi Orgasmic Man.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

IMsL 2010 part which i find boxes and have an In and Out Burger

Friday morning, I woke up early, hung out for a minute with Marcia and her roommates, loaded up my rollie bag with stuff for the evening and the next day and set off for the hotel.

After caffinating and nicotine-ing, I was ready to start setting up the booth. A bunch of visits to the front desk and several phone calls to vendors later the hotel located all of my stuff and the table was set up. It looked pretty good. And on my trips back and forth from the front desk I heard some lovely cries coming from the dungeon. Nice. By 2 pm, vending was open. Things were pretty slow. Which left plenty of time for hopping up and down and hugging folks I hadn't seen in a while.

On my right was SORODZ a vendor with lots of hand made sensation play devices, especially lots of canes. Which meant that I got to watch folks testing canes and paddles all weekend! On my other side were Vanilla Cuffs and Collars, exquisite hand made chain mail jewelry and staffed by two lovely people that I knew from last year. Across the way was the Inverted Eye, subtly kinky items and discreet fetish antiques staffed by Alix, except he got sick, so staffed by friends of Alix, many of whom had been in the show on Thursday night. Down the way was Ms Martha's Corsets, where I proceeded to drool over the corset that I didn't buy last year.

By around 7:30 we wrapped up and I was on my way out the door for a decididly un-IMsL evening. One of my closest friends, M, lives in Marin County with her two teenagers. She was on her way to fetch me to spend the night at her house. So I changed out of my leather corset and leather skirt into a teen appropriate t-shirt and jeans and met M at the front of the hotel and we set off over the Bay Bridge, stopped at In and Out Burger for us and the kids (I picked up a cheeseburger, fries, chocolate shake and, for good measure, a diet coke) ending up at her new apartment, an adorable wood filled hideaway with a view of the mountain. We hung out, ate burgers, chatted, reviewed outfits with her daughter, said hi to her son (who was getting ready to attend a college open house the next day), watched San Francisco cable access (hysterical) and fell asleep. It was lovely. And a rare treat. I usually only get to see M once a year. We talk several times a week (daily if one of us is stressing), but an official siteing is something I really treasure. Early in the morning, she dropped me at the bus station for my trip back to the city, while she and her son headed off to college land.

The trip back into the city was beautiful. Spring in California is like spring no where else. It's green, lush, the sky is bluer, the sun is sunnier. It feels as if you opened your mouth wide enough you could take a bite. And it would taste like candy.

So I walked thru the sparkling spring back to the hotel for a day of classes, boot blacking and sex toy selling.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

IMsL 2010 or in which i dither my way to San Francisco

After much dithering, processing and number crunching it was decided that I would go vend at IMsL again this year. What's IMsL you say? Well, it stands for International Ms Leather. It also happens to be the International Ms Boot Black competition. What the hell is that you say? Is this a pageant for leather women? Yep. That's exactly what it is. And also not at all what it is. It's an event that starts off with a show featuring burlesque, drag and lap dancing from folks of various gender presentations, then a weekend of workshops, hot play in the dungeons, parties, seeing old friends, making new friends and the selection of the new IMsL and new IMsBB. The competitors have to go through and interview, the Boot Blacks boot black and are judged while doing so, and then there is a performance of a fantasy and onstage questions. Once the two title holders are selected, they will spend the next year representing part of the BDSM community at events across the country, even around the world. They will speak to the media, teach classes and techniques in the BDSM community, march in GLBT Pride Parades and in general, put a face on an under represented population.

Oh, and it's fun.

So, after getting three hours of sleep, I took my three full size bags, my back pack and my carry on in the jeep, kissed the dogs goodbye and headed for the airport. It was 4 am.

I got to the airport parking lot and realized that I hadn't thought this through. I had three full size bags. Which was fine, because I'd burned through some points and was flying first class. Which meant my bags could be plentiful and over weight. But, I couldn't pull three full size bags at once. So I tried. Although I'm six feet tall and rather strong, what I really needed was an extra arm. Suddenly, out of no where, a strange man and his wife appeared. And he helped me get in the elevator and out to the bus. Another stranger helped me get on the bus. I felt very Blanche DuBois. And grateful.

Once I got to the terminal I figured everything would be ok. I'd get one of those carts and carry everything to check in. After I dragged everything off the bus I looked around. Yep. The bus had left us off at the only point in the terminal that was not near any carts. And I'm one of those people that prefers to avoid being yelled at by the TSA, so I wasn't going to leave my bags to go get a cart. Because if I did, I was sure to come back and find them surrounded by cops and bomb sniffing dogs, with sex toys littered all around the sidewalk traumatizing young children and nuns, which would no doubt result in missing my flight. I was going to have to do this on my own.

Which I did. It wasn't pretty. It involved me lurching thru the terminal. Sweating. Swearing. And looking much like a slightly sleepy Quasimodo. But I made it. And gleefully went to the First Class line. You know that line of folks that you usually want to shoot because they whisk to the front? Uh huh. That was me. Bags checked in. Then I was told that I had to pay $100 for the third bag. Nice. The lady who helped my buy the ticket (or pay for the tickets with points) told me that it was free. But, arguing got me no where. Going through the First Class line in security did make me feel slightly better. My favorite part about flying First Class isn't the bigger seats or the free drinks. It's feeling like I'm getting away with something. Like I'm not supposed to be there. But they can't kick me out.

One latte later, I was on the plane. Where I found myself seated next to a super interesting economist who is a regular commentator on my local NPR station. We argued over who had the cooler job. It's him. For sure. HE'S ON NPR!!!! How cool is that?!

A plane change later I landed in San Fran, collected a baggage cart (much easier), got my bags, located the Super Shuttle and was off to the hotel - along with someone who had recently interviewed for a job in Baltimore, a few tourists and one of the other IMsL attendees. Because this world is teeny.

After dropping off the stuff for vending, I took my one bag with my clothes, my carry on and my back pack and set off for Marcia's where I would be spending the night. Last year I stayed at the hotel, but this year, I was cheap. And was crashing with a friend.

About 45 minutes later I got off the bus just four blocks from her house. And promptly started walking in the wrong direction. Luckily, I checked in with my iPhone, realized that the little blue dot was proceeding away from the red dot and turned around. Three blocks later I was walking up a hill that I swear to god was at a right angle. Well almost. There was more sweating and swearing. I got to the house, greeted my friend, hung out for about an hour and set back off to the hotel. Which involved eating a burito and getting lost. But thanks to the GPS on my iPhone (what the hell did we do before GPS?), I ended up back at the hotel only about 20 minutes late for my sound check. Luckily, they were running on drag time, or gay time, or leather time. You know that time that most of us run on but apologize for? Yeah. That time.

After a bit we did a quick tech check of my number and I was free to hang out for the next three hours. I flitted about hugging and greeting folks. Learned about making hemp rope from Lamilani (IMsL 2009). Learned about thread balls from someone else. Walked around wearing my Dark Odyssey name badge (it was the first badge I'd pulled out of my purse) and no one noticed. Bought eyelash glue. Smoked some cigarettes (as a shy person, smoking when I'm at events is very useful - makes me actually talk to strangers when I'd rather be hiding in a corner. and yes, i'm shy when I don't have a purpose. I can talk to a total stranger about their g-spot or take my clothes off on stage, but actually meeting new people? Makes me nervous). Then went back stage. And started to get ready.

This involved the highly dramatic application of false eyelashes. Usually this includes me sticking myself in the eye a few times. It's fun. Respectfully oggling the other incredibly sexy performers getting ready wasn't bad either.

After feeling utterly nauseous, it was my turn to perform. And it was fun. Except for the part when the song that played wasn't the song I'd practiced to. I had made a mash up of Ertha Kitt and Joan Jett singing "Let's Do It". But apparently the song I turned in was just the Ertha Kitt version. So, I punted. And almost cried a little when I got off stage. Oddly, people seemed to like it and didn't notice that anything was off at all. Perhaps that was the alcohol they'd consumed. Or my rather fabulously bootlicious ass. Which is what I shook when I got stuck.

It must not have sucked too much, because total strangers went out of their way to say they liked it.

The rest of the show was delightful. An awesome number with a woman in a rabbit costume. A hot fat girl who sat on a cake to the tune of "Hopelessly Devoted". A number by some folks from the Gender Justice Collective that involved a dog cage, some chains and awesome costumes. A hot sassy butch (and IMsBB 2008) did a sexy strip tease (more please). The finale was choreographed by Indigo Blue. It involved feather fans. And intricate rope bondage. And a surprise appearance by Lamilani. Yum.

After I changed back into street clothes and took off my lashes, I wandered up to the hospitality suite to hang out at the afterparty for a bit. I was there for less than 20 minutes before my off switch flipped and I became pretty much non-verbal and trundled off to find a cab back to Marcia's house (S had made it rather clear that my taking a bus late at night made her squirmy and nervous). I found the futon on which I was sleeping, dropped a blanket over me and passed out fully clothed. I had been up for about 26 hours. And needed to be up by 8. I fell asleep with visions of feather fans, leather chaps and over flowing corsets dancing in my head.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

I just sent an email to the TSA. I'm a bit concerned about how this whole body scan thing is going to play out for trans folks. And of course, I'm not the only person who's concerned (excellent list of travel tips). What really bothers me is that they don't have a specific policy. How hard would that be? Then everyone could know what to expect and abide by the policy. But now, airports can be scary places for trans folk. The last time my brother flew, even with a letter from his physician, a current driver's license and his passport (all with his birth name and gender), he got pulled out of line, patted down and his bags were searched. Presumably because of his gender(s). Of course, maybe he's on a watch list for something else, he is a bit of trouble maker....but we're presuming it's the gender. If we knew it was because he'd been photographed at a protest, I think he'd feel better about the getting singled out.

So here's the letter. Please forgive me for framing being transgender as a medical issue. I don't actually think about it that way. But I'm not above framing things in terms the bureaucrat on the other end will understand. And then give us what we want.

Email sent today below - let's see if I get a response this time. It's the second or third email I've sent the TSA of
I am requesting some assistance.

With the advent of the full body scanners, flying just got more nerve wracking for transgender individuals. After reviewing the website, especially the portion of the web site that regards persons with medical issues and/or disabilities, I have even more concerns. Transgender individuals are referenced no where (that I could find) on the TSA site.

Many of my friends and relatives who are transgendered have encountered increased difficulty in flying over the past year. It is common for transgender people to have legal names and genders that do not match their appearance. Even when supplying documentation from their physician, I know of multiple people that have been treated poorly while going thru security, including being taken out of line for a full search. Trans people often also wear prosthetics (breasts or penises) which will be visible on the body scan, increasing the likelihood of a flag.

Although I know that this a small part of the population, these are people with legitimate medical issues that cause their gender to be different from the gender which they were assigned at birth. I'm curious as to why there is no set standard for how these people are to be treated and what documentation they should provide so as to ease their way thru security like any other passenger. Even people who have legally changed the gender on their IDs may still be wearing prosthetics.

I have contacted you in the past with similar questions and have never received a response.

I look forward to hearing from you.


Jacquelyn Jones

Monday, March 22, 2010

Part Time Job Opening at Sugar

Job Opening at Sugar

We're hiring!

If you are interested in a part time position at Sugar, please read on.

Application deadline - Friday, March 26th at Midnight

Seeking mission driven Sex Educators to work at Sugar, a lesbian owned, women and trans operated sex toy store in Hampden, Baltimore.

The hours available are: Sunday day, Monday day, Thursday evening, possibly occasional Tuesday evenings.

If you are interested in working at Sugar, please send a cover letter and resume to The cover letter should discuss:

  1. why your experience is relevant to working at Sugar
  2. why you want to work at Sugar.

**Applications that do not include both of the above will not be considered**

Sex Educators are responsible for answering customers’ questions about products, sexual practices and anatomy and for providing customers with the information they need to make the purchases that are best meet their need. In addition, SEs run the cash register, stock the store, ensure that the store is clean and tidy at all times and perform other duties as assigned. These dutes may include: store decoration, workshop instruction and fulfillment of customers orders for shipping.

Required skills:

  • Computer literacy
  • Excellent customer service
  • Able to accurately work with money
  • Able to lift 50 pounds
  • Able to work evenings and weekends
  • Comfort with and acceptance of diverse sexualities
  • Cultural competency with diverse communities
  • Knowledge and understanding of queer and gender issues
  • Commitment to a team environment
  • Commitment to Sugar's mission
  • A mind that is open to new things and ways of solving problems


  • Previous experience in sexuality education, counseling, retail or customer service.

Sugar will provide Sex Educators with:

  • $11.50 an hour – eligible for $00.50 increase after two successful months
  • A commitment to a systems oriented work place.
  • A work place that is respectful and supportive.
  • A work place that is damn fun!

Sugar is a lesbian owned, women and trans operated, for profit mission driven sex toy store. By providing education and toys in a shame free, sex positive, fun environment we help people of all genders and orientations experience their own unique sexuality with shameless joy and passion.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Telephone, Gaga and addressing gender questions



lady gaga.


the interwebs are buzzing.

because the video is:
a) transphobic
b) misogynist
c) racist
d) brilliant
e) derivative
f) a fashion orgasm
g) all of the above
h) some of the above

so. let's start at the beginning. with the part that i'm really interested in (you know, besides the fashion).

Lady Gaga enters the prison wearing a delightful outfit. That i would like to have. In my size of course. Which would make it even more impressive. She has one either side of her a butch prison guard wearing classic modern interpretations of prison guard sexploitation movie wear.

The prison population was really white. Like whitie mc whiterson white. Like white like my legs in January. Didn't get that. Maybe she didn't want to get accused of being racisist by depicting a lot of people of color in the prison? If that's the case, she went way too far in the other direction. The people of color were few enough as to appear tokenized. And apparently only women of color can also be women of size.

So, we've seen a bunch of hot white thin women in good shoes (was that Janine in the cell looking at Gaga with a mirror?) and the guards get Gaga to her cell. They then strip Gaga down to pasties, fishnets and some fabulous shoes. She climbs the cell, flashing her crotch at the camera. Her crotch is blurred. As the guards walk away, one says, "Guess she doesn't have a dick after all". The other guard says, "Too bad".

This is the part that folks from my world are really getting steamed about (the folks on Fox news? well, they're steamed about the whole thing. and playing it over and over while they complain. which leads me to believe the whole video is a good thing).

Since Lady Gaga burst on to the scene rumors about her gender have circulated. Which is culturally interesting and says nothing about her actual gender.

Why are these rumors there?

Because she's a strong, driven woman, with a clear sensibility for over the top performance that draws on glam rock, drag and couture - all areas that have strong GLBT influence. Oh, and she doesn't have a man around. In fact, she doesn't seem to be fucking anyone. Heaven forbid a woman should focus on her career and not need to have a relationship. She's making money. A lot of money. And she seems to be driving her career and her image herself (again, no man).

So she can't be a woman.

She must be a man.

You know, men are driven, choose to not be in relationships, have clear artistic vision, make lots of money and work their asses off. Yep. She's a man.

And if she's not a man, she's a trans woman. Cause that's just the same as being a man.

How far we haven't come sometimes astonishes me.

Trans women are women. And women can be strong, successful and driven people. And men? They can be successful in all of the ways that women can. Including priotizing relationships and family rather than careers. Does no one remember the lessons of Free to Be You and Me?!

At first Lady Gaga ignored the crap about her gender. Presumably because it was stupid. But eventually, she started to talk about it. Partially by coming out as someone who has a vagina (which of course says nothing about her being trans or not, but we'll send her to trans 101 class later). Partially by posing on the cover of a magazine packing. In tight leather pants. And now with her blurred, un gender identifiable crotch in this video (or by her blurred presumably clitoris and vagina containing crotch which is what many folks will take home from the shot).

The flash in no way confirms or denies anything about Ms Gaga's genitalia. Ever heard of tucking?

Some folks are saying that flashing her crotch, and the comments made by the guard indicates transphobia. Which it may. Or not.

Is claiming a "cis" gender necessarily transphobic? It depends on how one does it. Although it wasn't clear to me that she was confirming a gender, I suspect she was on several levels, including some of the costume choices later in the video.

People are frequently "accused" of being trans. It comes from a place rooted in transphobia and binary gender absolutism. And needs to be addressed in a way that's very different than when someone simply curious about a person's gender/history.

Responding to questions about one's gender takes careful thought and an understanding of what the person is asking. Is the person asking about gender or genitals? Are they coming from a place in which they define gender by genitals? Are they trying to assigning a gender because they will treat you differently based on your gender and/or transness? Are they doing it out of ignorance? Are they hoping you are part of their own community? Are they attracted to you and trying to figure out if that attraction jives with their conception of their sexual orientation? Or all of the above.

I don't think that Lady Gaga has been perfect in her response to those questioning her gender and her genitals. It's a challenging position to be in. I don't know how much education or exposure she's had to the trans community (presumably some, see aforementioned queer sensiblity and she did address the GLBT March on Washington last fall), or what education she has choosen to seek out. I'm reasonably educated and I've certainly fucked it up in the past, and I'm sure I'll fuck it up in the future. I'm not sure that flashing one's blurred genitals is the answer. I'm not sure it's not either. Because flashing one's crotch is considered rude. And sometimes a rude response to a rude question is the most appropriate.

I can almost hear someone saying, "You wanna know what's between my legs? Fine, mother fucker, I'll rub your face in it. Ooops, sorry, did that offend your precious sense of decorum?"

On to the guards.

I've heard a number of people (primarily other feminists and trans activists/allies) say that they identified the guards as trans women. Because they have broad shoulders and deep voices? Come on people! Haven't we come far enough to know that we shouldn't decide how people identify without asking them? The video does not identify much about these characters other than that they are tough butch prison guards with big tits and low voices, one of whom is attracted to women (Plenty of Fish dating website - hysterical) and one of whom who thinks it's too bad that Gaga doesn't have a dick (might even be the same one - I can't tell who's talking when). Let's not do to these characters what we don't want others doing to us. Or what people have done to Lady Gaga. These folks don't need to tells us what their gender(s) are. The video gave mixed signals about these folks (big tits, deep voice, ripped). Lots of women of different gender experience and different birth gender assignments share this characteristics. Shame on us for trying to read their gender through our own glasses.

Telephone isn't perfect, but when's the last time a music video actually made you think? Or discuss? Yeah, it's been a while. Points to her for that. And for the fashion.

I want the leather fringe shrug the girl in the cat fight was wearing.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Condoms - fit matters!

A new study published in the journal, Sexually Transmitted Infections, found that a high percentage of men (44.7%) studied reported "ill fitting condoms". All of these folks were in opposite sex relationships.

These same men reported much higher levels of condom dissatisfaction including breakage and difficulty achieving orgasm. A decent chunk of these folks ended up giving up on the condom and went ahead and had vaginal intercourse condom free, with all of the risks associated with unprotected vaginal/penis intercourse.

Which leads me to this.

In public health, we're trained to show folks that condoms can fit on our heads (and they do). I've told jokes about the silliness of a "large" condom. I've told many people that if someone is saying that a condom doesn't fit he's just looking for an excuse to not use a condom.

I was wrong.

The truth is, like any body part, penises come in all kinds of different shapes and sizes, with delightfully individual curves and tapers. No one condom is going to be comfortable on everyone. And if it's not comfortable, it's not going to get used.

Frankly, that makes perfect sense. We have sex to enjoy pleasure (among a myriad of other things). The condom should be a part of that, not an uncomfortable distraction.

There is a condom out there for everyone.

How do you find it? Well, first of all, if you like to be sexual with people who put condoms on their body parts ask them what condom they prefer. Don't assume that they'll be happy with the brand that someone else likes. If you have a permanently attached penis of your own, experiment! There are literally hundreds of different kinds of condoms out there. Try different brands, shapes and sizes. Try them when you're jacking off so you're prepared later. Don't worry about what size it says on the box. A "small" condom may be the perfect fit for you. Don't worry, it's not actually small, I promise I can still put it on my head.

Please stay away from condoms with spermicides, they actually increase the risk of transmission of sexually transmitted infections. Think about it. Spermicide kills sperm, and sperm are hard to kill, and then you're rubbing that material all of delicate mucus membranes. It causes micro tears and discomfort.

Try condoms that have funky shapes and pouches. Or are latex free. Don't use those lamb skin things unless you and your partner are fluid bonded (lamb skin can prevent pregnancy, but not disease).

Try putting a smidge of water based or silicone lube on the inside.

If your partner tells you that they don't want to use a condom because it's uncomfortable. Listen. They're probably telling the truth. And then find a condom that works for both of you. Because sex is so much hotter when you're protected. And when the condom fits.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

repeating the serenity prayer...or living thru the snowpocolypse

The first snow storm, even though it landed on the Saturday before Christmas, the biggest shopping day of the year was cute. I had a panic attack about losing sales, and then settled down with some hot chocolate, my sweet heart, the dogs and cable and enjoyed some enforced quantity time with my family.

Then we had another winter event. It was a just a tid bit of snow, but the roads were truly awful and we had to close early.

Then there was last weekend. Canceled an event and closed early Friday. Got home just in time. Closed Saturday. Closed Sunday. Open yesterday and today. But there's no parking and a lot of the roads are still bad, so not much shopping happening.

You see, Baltimore doesn't have the machinery or systems to deal with this amount of snow efficiently. And why should we? This is the type of storm that comes along once every decade or so. Except that we're getting another one tonight and tomorrow. And we'll probably be closed Wednesday. And Thursday.

I'm repeating the serenity prayer. A lot. Because you see, Sunday is Valentine's Day, and although we do lots of other lovely things, what pays our bills, what keeps our doors open are sales. And Valentine's day is bigger for us than Christmas. Those two holidays are what get us through the skinny months.

Of course, Sugar is hardly alone in this. Everyone I know in retail is a bit scared. Unless you own a grocery store or a snow removal business, this past week has been brutal to our bottom lines.

Why am I telling you this? Because I have a request.

This weekend, and in the next several weeks, keep your dollars local. Shop at locally owned stores. Eat at local restaurants. Get your hair did. Every dollar you choose to spend at a small business helps keep us afloat through this snowy mess. Of course, don't spend more than you can afford, but if you can open your wallet, do it.

It's not just businesses that are losing money in these storms, it's individuals too. If you have the kind of job that still pays you when you can't get to work because of the snow, think about your friends that work hourly and aren't getting paid while they are sitting at home trapped in their house, take them out to dinner, find a sweet and subtle way to buy them a gas card, or a gift certificate to the grocery store, or help them get to work.

I've seen countless acts of kindness in the past few days. Neighbors digging each other out, bringing each other food. My neighbor volunteers at BARCs (the local shelter that Bella came from) and last Saturday morning she hiked thru the snow to catch a ride to the shelter. A total stranger gave my wife a ride to close to the train station (thanks Fernando!). Another Hampden merchant let me park my car in her lot so that I could open the store (our lot is almost impassable). It's amazing. And I'm so grateful.

Let's keep this caring going for a while after the snow stops. I think we're all going to need it.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


So, the other day on the George Lopez show, a topic that deserves attention was introduced.

The vajazzle.

Apparently, one or more salons have started to apply Swarovski crystals after a bikini wax.

At first I thought this was strange.

I was picturing blinged labia. And that sounded itchy and uncomfortable. It also seemed like the crystals would come off during fucking and end up in the vagina. Which could be seriously irritating. But i appreciated the sentiment. Glitter is good.

In fact, if there is one axiom I live by it's that. Glitter is good. And pit bulls. And my snuggie. And knitting. And my Gigi. And my wife.

Ok, it's among other things, but glitter is up there.

Since someone was glittering something I wasn't, I did a little bit of digging.

The spa that's getting the most attention for this is called Completely Bare. It's a NYC spa dedicated to hair removal of all types, including a brazilian style bikini wax followed by the application of:
a Swarovski crystal tattoo design in starburst, butterfly, heart and other shapes.

Suddenly this made sense. The crystals go above the pussy on the pubic mound where the hair just was. This could be itchy as well, but, SPARKLY! And, well, I WANT IT.

Glitter just above the pussy. In a cute little pattern.

Such things give me hope for the world. Tear.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Donating to Haiti in Hampden

On Monday, January 18th, Martin Luther King day, multiple businesses in Hampden will be donating a portion of sales to Haitian relief efforts.

The following businesses will be participating (check back as more may be added):

Sugar - donating 10% of sales to CARE

Red Tree - donating % to CARE

Doubledutch ***10% off AND 10% to CARE or Doctors Without Borders SATURDAY and SUNDAY (not Monday)

Edye Sanford - a ready to wear and custom clothing website based in Hampden will be donating 10% of ready to wear sales and 5% of custom sales thru the end of January.

I selected CARE by going thru the four star ratings on Charity Navigator (a online site that has reviews financial reports of charitable organizations) and looking at agencies that had well established services in Haiti before the earthquake and also had experience in disastor relief. Lastly, I chose CARE because in addition to medical services, they also are engaged in emergency food delivery.

Please support Haiti in whatever manner you are able. This is a nation that was already facing massive challenges including severe food inadequacy and high rates of HIV.

Thanks for your support!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The G-Spot and some shoddy science across the pond

**warning: snarky**

ok, so, the Brits have announced with great fuss that there is no G-Spot.

Well, my G-Spot and I would like to respectfully disagree.

First of all, the study was conducted in a manner that doesn't make any sense. If you are looking for an anatomical structure that some folks have difficulty in finding, and many are unaware of, how would you go about doing that? Why by asking folks to tell you if they have one.


That's what they did. The study is not based on any type of hands on, actually scientific method. It was a survey. They did attempt to make the survey more "sciency" by asking twins the questions. Under the assumption that if one twin had identified her G-Spot the other necessarily would have as well. Which is a bad assumption. Because it assumes that the twins also have identical sexual histories. Which would be weird. And frankly a bit creepy.

And this study that claimed to find no G-Spot? Yep, 56% of women in the study said they had one. You heard that, 56%. But the opinions of those women were discounted because they were among women that were younger and more sexually active. Gee, the folks who have had more sex were more aware of their body structures? Huh, shocking.

And the woman who led the survey? She claims to have started the survey to:
remove feelings of “inadequacy or underachievement” that might affect women who feared they lacked a G-spot.

No bias there.

So here's the deal. The G-Spot exists. It is the urethral sponge and surrounds the urethras of folks who were identified female at birth. It is not the holy grail. People can have wonderful fabulous sex lives without ever intentionally playing with their G-Spot. Some folks don't like to have their G-Spots stimulated. Others do.

And, Andrea Burri, the researcher who headed up this study, I'll make an offer. With your permission and informed consent, I'd be happy to show you where your G-Spot is. And please stop with the shoddy science.

Monday, January 4, 2010

The paper of record and pronouns...

On January 3rd, the NY Times published an article about the US Evangelical's role in the new Ugandan law that establishes the death penalty for homosexual behavior. Overall the article was interesting, but I had some problems with how they dealt with two folks that are transgender.

here's a link to the article:

And here's the letter, I just wrote the NYT in response:

In the explanation under a photo of Nikki Mawanda on the website at 10:55 am 1/4/10, he was referred to as "born female but lives as a 'trans-man' "

That description is incorrect. Trans-man should not have quotation marks (in fact in Websters the term is transman with no hyphen). It is not an uncommon term, and it is how he defines his gender. Quotation marks would not be placed around how he identifies his ethnicity, his political affiliation or just about anything else. By putting quotation marks around the term he uses to define his gender, it sets the term off and implies it is a slang term. Which it is not.

Later in the article Stosh Mugisha was referred to as she, even though the information under the photo of Mugisha stated that "Stosh Mugisha is going through transition to become a man". It is likely, this person would prefer the pronoun he and/or no pronouns at all. Was she the pronoun that Mugisha stated as their pronoun of preference? Or was the question never asked?

In the stylebook supplement put together by the NLGJA, transgendered terms are addressed:

transgender (adj.): An umbrella term that refers to people whose biological and gender identity or expression may not be the same. This can but does not necessarily include preoperative, postoperative or nonoperative transsexuals, female and male cross-dressers, drag queens or kings, female or male impersonators, and intersex individuals. When writing about a transgender person, use the name and personal pronouns that are consistent with the way the individual lives publicly. When possible, ask which term the subject prefers.

As you know, words and language are very powerful, especially in terms of how people define themselves. What does the NYT stylebook say on the matter? Is this matter addressed?

Thank you

Jacq Jones

Seriously, what do we have to do to get news organizations to refer to folks by their chosen pronouns? And yes, I know that Mr. Mawanda should have been referred to as "identified female at birth", but I chose to use the stylebook from the NLGJA to back me up and they aren't there yet. Using journalists seemed a way that might actually get action

It's not rocket science.

Want to send a letter yourself? Here's the email address:

And here's a link to the NLGJA stylebook (the National Lesbian and Gay Journalist Association)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gi-Ki Review!

So, last week(ish), I got Je Joue's new toy, the Gi-Ki in the mail.

And I have to say, other toys by Je Joue have been a bit overly fussy, perhaps shooting for greatness and ending up confusing (see the original Je Joue - remember the one that you could create patterns of vibration and play lists of vibration on your computer and down load? or today's Sasi?). But here, they went for simple and smart. And they hit the mark.

It's a vibrator, covered in silicone with multiple patterns of vibration. It has a lovely bulb at the top, perfect for g-spotting. It's rechargable (the charger attaches by magnet. which for some reason strikes me as super sexy and clean). It's waterproof.

But here's the kicker.

It bends.

In two places.

So you can adjust it to better get your (or your partner's) g-spot.

Or you can essentially have it fold in half and get clitoral and g-spot stimulation at the same time.

Kind of brilliant.

The Gi-Ki fills a unique nitch in the vibrator market. There's nothing else that does all of these things. The Gigi does brilliant g-spotting OR clitoral stimulation, but not both and not under water. The We-Vibe2 does both g-spotting and clitoral stimulation, but it's not adjustable, and you can't unfold it and use it for some good fucking (although you can - and should - wear that We-Vibe2 while you're getting fucked).

The vibration is good and would work well for most folks and has the capacity to change in intensity, although you can't change intensity within patterns.

And, at least on initial use, it was difficult for me to adjust bendy part on the fly. I needed two hands.

Keep your ears peeled - we'll be carrying this guy as soon as it's available.

It comes in black or purple. I'll probably only carry one color. And I'm leaning toward black. Any suggestions?