May 242013
 
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Sinnamon Love and Orpheus Black from Rough Sex 2


Last month, I gave a talk as part of an evening called
The Truth Behind Fifty Shades of Grey at University of Maryland in College Park. There was a lively audience discussion, and we gave students the opportunity to ask questions anonymously. I asked several of my colleagues to chime in and answer a few of those questions.

Can BDSM be addictive?

I asked my colleague Dr. Hernando Chaves to respond to this one. He says:

I’m not in favor of the addiction term being used with any sexual expression for a number of reasons. It can promote the use of pejorative sex negative terminology, the creation and/or reinforcement of negative sexual identity, alleviate responsibility of choices and actions, and the inability of professionals to agree on an accurate definition of sexual addiction or testing measures as well as limited, controversial data and evidence supporting sexual addiction makes this a difficult concept to support. With so much uncertainty, it’s more harmful than helpful to attribute addiction to unique sexual expression.

That being said, I understand some people use their sexual expression in a manner that is out of control, compulsive, or as a way to cope with difficulties and unresolved issues in their lives. For most, sexual expression is an enhancer to pleasure and happiness. For some, their sexual expression is linked to pain and suffering, but not the good kind of pain and suffering that many in the BDSM community understand can be central to arousal, pleasure, and enjoyment. The untrained outside observer may see pain and suffering, even label it as abusive, and deem these sexual behaviors as problematic, symptomatic, and related to a disorder. They may miss the importance of consent and may not be able to differentiate the intent as coming from a place of empowerment, intimacy, satisfaction, or mutual pleasure.

Can BDSM, like food, gambling, Facebook, and video games, be misused to where it can become a problem? I would argue that BDSM cannot be addictive, but anything can become problematic if misused. It’s possible that a person can become reliant on what BDSM may bring to them; the dopamine, adrenaline, and endorphin rush, the attention from partners and peers, the way it makes them feel and the impact on their self-esteem and self-worth, and the avoidance of stressors or problems. But can this be addictive? Who decides if this is addiction, mental health professionals or doctors?

I believe it’s more important to focus on what the impact may be on the individual and the subjective distress they identify that is problematic rather than focusing on the behaviors a person engages in or how often. Each person is different and so is their response and reactions to play. So when someone comes along and says that BDSM play is addictive, ask them to accurately define kink addiction, ask for empirical evidence to support their perspective, and be skeptical.

Hernando Chaves, M.F.T., D.H.S., Licensed CA Marriage and Family Therapist, Doctor of Human Sexuality, and Human Sexuality Professor. Follow Dr. Chaves on Twitter @Hernando_Chaves

May 242013
 
Mark Davis, Chayse Evans & Adrianna Nicole from Rough Sex 2

Mark Davis, Chayse Evans & Adrianna Nicole from Rough Sex 2


Last month, I gave a talk as part of an evening called
The Truth Behind Fifty Shades of Grey at University of Maryland in College Park. There was a lively audience discussion, and we gave students the opportunity to ask questions anonymously. Here are those questions with my responses. Note: I asked several of my colleagues to chime in and answer a few of the questions. Because several of them inspired longer answers, I will post those separately under Ask Tristan.

What is caning?

I’m going to quote an expert, Lolita Wolf, from her chapter, “Making an Impact: Spanking, Caning, and Flogging” in The Ultimate Guide to Kink:

Caning was traditional for severe punishment in the Victorian era and in the British school system, so canes can be the center of some great role play opportunities. Because of their perceived severity, canes have developed a reputation as the “scariest” of all BDSM impact toys, but a caning can be light and sensuous or heavy and painful—it’s all about how you wield the cane… Traditional canes are made of rattan, not bamboo or wood, and should be able to bend significantly.

Are there any races/ethnicities/religious groups that are members of the BDSM community?

People of all races and ethnicities practice BSDM, although some people of color have critiqued kink communities for being overwhelmingly white. Mollena Williams writes eloquently and teaches about the challenges of being a person of color in the BDSM community. There are some organizations and groups that cater specifically to kinky people of color including Poly Patao Productions and BlackBEAT.

Does the BDSM community have a higher percentage of LGBT people than mainstream sex?

People who practice BDSM comes from all walks of life and represent a diverse sampling in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, and sexual orientation. LGBT people have varied sex lives, just as heterosexuals do; some are kinky, some aren’t, and some fall in between.

Do BDSM people date and marry, or just hook up?

BDSM folks are like everyone else in with regards to their sexual, romantic, and emotional relationships: they hook up, they date, they marry, they divorce, they have kids. In my research for my book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, I found that there was a lot if overlap between BDSM communities and non-monogamous communities, so I think it might be that a higher percentage of BDSM people practice some form of consensual, ethical non-monogamy than the general population.

Has BDSM been shown to lower divorce rates?

There is limited research about BDSM and the people who practice it. There is no data that I know of that correlates BDSM with lower divorce rates. What I can tell you from personal experience is that many kinky folks have open, expansive views on sex, pleasure, relationships, and love plus above-average communication skills, and those elements can all contribute to the success of a marriage or relationship.

In the book Fifty Shades of Grey, when Christian and Anastasia communicate on a daily basis, Christian is always in charge. Do BDSM couples talk like that normally?

It depends. Some people adopt the roles of dominant and submissive during a scene (a scene is when people practice BDSM), but once the scene is done, they interact without those roles. Others may stay in role for a weekend. In those cases, when they are in role, the dominant takes charge and dictates how things go. Some people have dominant/submissive relationships where the power dynamic is always (or almost always) present. In all cases, as part of the negotiation process, dominants and submissives may agree to certain rules or protocols which dictate behavior. One such protocol could be that the dominant is in charge of what the submissive wears or the dominant decides what they eat for dinner. Another protocol could be that the submissive has to ask permission before speaking or always use an honorific when speaking to the dominant, like Sir. Protocols vary wildly, are particular to the people involved, and make sense to them; they are meant to represent and reinforce the power dynamic.

Is there a book or books that are more accurate to the BDSM community than Fifty Shades of Grey?

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and The Erotic Edge, 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM, SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring, and Navigating The Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities, The New Topping Book, The New Bottoming Book, Screw the Roses, Send Me The Thorns, as well as books by Jack Rinella, Lee Harrington, and Midori.

How do you find kink friendly professionals like doctors or therapists?

There are two great resources I recommend: Kink Aware Professionals and The Open List.

Is rape performed by BDSM people?

The word “performed” threw me a little because my interpretation of that word could lead me down two very different roads. On the one hand, are you asking, “Do BDSM people act out consensual rape fantasies?” The answer is yes, and a stellar resource all about those kinds of fantasies is Mollena Williams who wrote the chapter “Digging in the Dirt: The Lure of Taboo Role Play” in in The Ultimate Guide to Kink. But the other interpretation is, “Do BDSM people commit rape?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also yes. While the vast majority of folks who practice BDSM consider consent the cornerstone of their kink, that doesn’t mean that every kinky person is immune from sexual coercion, trauma, abuse, and violence. These things are still far too common in our society. For an excellent discussion about consent, sexual assault, and BDSM, I recommend Thomas’ series of posts on the blog Yes Means Yes.

Can BDSM be addictive?

This question inspires a longer response, so it has its own post here by therapist Dr. Hernando Chaves.

Can it be hard to enjoy “vanilla” sex once you’ve escalated [to BDSM]? I’ve heard porn indulgence can desensitize people until they keep needing to escalate–is this the case with BDSM?

For this one, I asked my friend BDSM educator Felice Shays, and here is her response.

May 012013
 

Felice2012

Join us this Friday on Sex Out Loud at 5pm PT / 8 pm ET for a discussion with sex educator and author Felice Shays on the topic of rough sex. We’ll discuss the misconceptions and assumptions around the topic, as well as how she came to be one of the foremost experts on the issue and how she instructs couples and individuals on bringing this type of play to their sex lives in safe and sexy ways. Shays is the author of Brutal Affection: The Joys of Rough Sex, which is rich in gorgeous photos, instruction, erotica, and smut, and she recently relaunched the companion site, BrutalAffection.com. This episode is the second in our CatalystCon series, recorded live in front of a studio audience at the conference.

Where respect, humor, straight talk, and sex collide is where you’ll find Felice Shays. Providing sexual and BDSM education and counseling for a dozen years in the US and Canada to thousands of people, Felice has been featured in print and on T.V. encouraging people to do breathtaking sexual feats. Recently returned to Brooklyn NY, Felice has presented at a plethora of conferences, sex toy stores, universities, and private functions including Good For Her, Black Rose, Pacific Friction, Dark Odyssey, Babeland, LSM, TES, Wicked Womyn, Shebop, KinkFest, Sugar, Tribal Fire, Come As You Are, The Exiles, Desire, Thunder In The Mountains, and Bringing Age Out Of The Closet. Felice is working on her new book on rough sex, Brutal Affection: The Joys of Rough Sex, an excerpt of which is in Tristan Taromino’s anthology The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge. Due to her work as a certified American Sign Language Interpreter for many years, Felice also teaches Deaf people in ASL about sex, sensual technique and creativity, self-discovery, rough sex, and various aspects of BDSM.

Apr 252013
 

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I gave my Sexploration lecture at Bucknell University on Tuesday April 23, and there was a huge crowd. I often do anonymous questions at college events where students write their questions on notecards and everyone has to write something, even if it’s “no question.” The anonymity gives folks the freedom to ask their most pressing questions. I only had time to answer about 60% of the questions, so I’m answering the rest here. I’ve combined some questions that are on the same topic.

Is it weird that I want sex all the time even though I’m a virgin?
No. It’s common to have sexual desires regardless of your sexual experience. Remember what I said about the problematic concept of virginity? I encourage you to define sex as broadly as you want and not buy into the cultural construction of virginity.
Recommended: The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

How often do most people masturbate?
It varies wildly from person to person, and how often just one person masturbates can vary depending on their energy level, desire, stress, opportunity, etc. There are some interesting stats you can check out. In general, I don’t think masturbation is ever a bad thing. Everyone should have a sexual relationship with themselves, and it’s a great way to figure out what you like.

I masturbate so much it’s turned into a chore; any tips for spicing it up?
Masturbation shouldn’t be a chore! But people can get into a repetitive rut. Don’t think of it merely as a quick way to get off, think of it as a date with yourself. Try changing positions, experimenting with new stimulation techniques, adding lube and a toy to the mix.

How long does it take to give a guy a blow job?
There is no set amount of time that it takes anyone to do anything sexual. If you’re giving the blow job, take charge of the situation and do it for as long as it feels good, for as long as you want to. If you get tired or overwhelmed, switch to using your hand or doing something else.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio

How long should a guy last during a blow job?
I hate to repeat myself, but: there is no set amount of time. Depending on the guy, the stimulation of oral sex could bring him to orgasm slowly, quickly, or not at all. Blow jobs do it for some people and not for others.

How nutritious is semen and how can I convince my girlfriend to swallow?
Semen has little to no nutritional value because you don’t ingest all that much of it. You don’t want to convince anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. You can share your desire with her and tell her why it turns you on, but ultimately, it’s her choice to swallow or not, and you’ve got to respect it. Also, swallowing semen is a riskier practice in terms of safer sex than not swallowing, and I am a fan of condoms for blow jobs.

How do you improve oral sex?
Since you didn’t specify, I’m going to make some statements that apply to all kinds of oral sex (cunnilingus, fellatio, and analingus), then give you some particulars. Enthusiasm, focus, tenacity, and paying attention to your partner’s body language are all good qualities to have when giving oral sex. Use your fingers and hands along with your mouth. For cunnilingus, experiment with different techniques using your lips, mouth, and tongue, and ask your partner to tell you what she likes (if she doesn’t know, explore and ask her to alert you when you’ve stumbled on something great). For fellatio, concentrate on the head and the sensitive frenulum on its underside (remember our anatomy lesson); experiment by applying different amounts of pressure with your mouth along the head and shaft. For analingus, use your tongue and lips to get into the folds of the sensitive anus.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 1: Cunnilingus, The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio, and The Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio

I don’t think I enjoy sex at all. The picture of the vagina (in your presentation) made me squirm, and I have one. What can I do to be comfortable and enjoy the experience when my partner wants to have it?
First, this is a question I can’t answer with a pithy one minute (or three sentence) response. It was a line drawing, but an explicit one, of a vulva, and we are not used to looking at those images on the big screen or in public, so it can make some people uncomfortable for a number of reasons. But you said you don’t enjoy sex at all. Could you be asexual? If you have sexual desire, then it’s a matter of getting comfortable with your body and with sex. Do you masturbate? It all begins there, so I’d start with establishing a sexual relationship with yourself before you address sex with a partner.
Recommended: Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving

What is the best way to have sex in a long distance relationship?
I assume you mean when you and your partner are apart? Use technology to keep you connected. Dirty text messages, naughty instant messages, steamy emails, and Skype with mutual masturbation. I caution you against sending naked or sex pictures to each other, however, since we’ve seen all the trouble that can cause.

Got any good positions?
Each position has its pros and cons, and experimentation is key. If you like Missionary, try Flying Missionary where the person on their back puts their feet on their partner’s chest. If you like Cowgirl, try Froggie where the person on top balances on their feet. If you like Doggie Style, try Tailgate, where the receiver lies on their stomach and the penetrator then lies directly on top of them.

Do you have tips for using a toy to stimulate the G-spot?
Pick a curved toy like Pure Wand, and always aim the curve toward the front of the person’s body. Many G-spots respond to deliberate, firm pressure rather than gentle stroking, so don’t be afraid to apply pressure—just make sure your partner is aroused and ready before you do.
Recommended: The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation and The Big Book of Sex Toys

Does size matter?
The easy answer is no. People are way too wrapped up in penis size, when most folks want a compassionate, responsive lover more than a particular size. But I don’t want to deny that everyone has different tastes and turn ons, and some people do like penetration with big stuff. But that’s why God created dildos.

How do I get a vibrator and which kind do I get?
If possible, visit a sex-positive store like The Smitten Kitten, Good Vibrations, or Babeland. When you shop in person at stores like these, the toys are out of their packages, so you can see and feel them, feel the vibration, hear how quiet or loud they are, plus you benefit from the advice of experienced sex educators who work there. If that’s not possible, try one of their websites; they all have detailed product information and customer reviews.
Recommended: The Big Book of Sex Toys

I’m a girl. Do I need to shave my pubic hair before I have sex?
Your pubic hair is your business! It’s a matter of personal taste, just like how you cut and style your other hair. Some people let it grow, others trim it back, and others wax or shave some or all of it off.

As a female, how do you know if you’ve had an orgasm?
I want to say, “Oh you’ll know!” but I want to be more specific. Some of the physiological responses include: a feeling of release; muscle contractions of the uterus, vagina, and sphincter muscles; other muscle contractions and muscle tension throughout the body; involuntary muscle responses that cause you to make strange faces; and cramping of hands and feet. Talking to your peers about what their orgasms feel like is a great way to open up a conversation and hear from real people about their experiences.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Female Orgasms and The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime

How long does it take a woman to climax?
There is no set amount of time, and I hesitate to even say there is an average amount of time. Women often put pressure on themselves about this (I hear all the time “It takes me a really long time,” or “It takes too long”). Concentrate on what’s going on and how it feels, and don’t think about the clock and how you measure up to it.

Do you have any suggestions for mixing things up during sex?
Lube. Sex toys. Role play. Analingus. New positions. Porn. Do anything except intercourse. Mutual masturbation.
Recommended: What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

Do you poop when you have anal sex? How do you have “clean” anal sex?
When you have a bowel movement, feces stored in the colon pass through the rectum, down into the anal canal, and out the anus. The colon is the storage area, and the rectum and anal canal are pathways. If you have good bowel habits and plenty of fiber in your diet, then there should be very little fecal matter in the rectum and anal canal. When you play with fingers, a toy, or a penis, you’re not going beyond the rectum. Go to the bathroom before anal play. In addition, take a warm, soapy shower or bath before anal sex to make sure your genitals are clean. You can even slide a soapy finger into your anus. Always use the most mild soap you can—either a castile or pure glycerine. A trip to the bathroom and a shower will go a long way toward you having relatively clean anal penetration. I say “relatively clean” because I want you to be realistic. There are no guarantees in life, and some amount of fecal matter may be present in someone’s rectum. If you want to go the extra step to make sure you’re totally cleaned out, you can give yourself an enema beforehand.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

How safe is anal sex and how do I avoid anal fissures?
I always recommend that people use safer sex barriers if they are not currently tested and in a sexually monogamous relationship. You can transmit most sexually-transmitted infections (including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HPV, genital warts, herpes, and HIV) through unprotected anal sex, especially penis/ass intercourse. In addition, as I said in my presentation, the ass is made of delicate, sensitive tissue which is susceptible to small tears or anal fissures. The best way to protect against them: use gloves to make your fingers butt-friendly, use plenty of lube, focus on warm up and don’t rush penetration, and, as the receiver, listen to your body.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

Is it inappropriate to go up to someone and say, “Wanna fuck? Right here, right now?” (I’m female.)
I like people being direct about what they want. I appreciate shameless assertion of your desires. So I don’t think it’s inappropriate to speak your desires in the right context with potential lovers. But, that said, there are repercussions for women who speak openly about their sexual desire, so you’ve got to take those into account, knowing that reactions to your honesty will be mixed (see next question).

How can I, as a woman, express wanting to have sex without looking like a slut?
Just do it. Own it. Don’t let anyone shame you for your sexual desires, experience, or consensual behavior. And don’t shame other women for theirs. Don’t buy into our society’s double standards that applaud men for their sexual prowess and punish women for the very same behavior. (Easier said than done, I know.)
Recommended: He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

How do we as a society combat false sex information like the “What Not To Do Guide to BDSM,” aka Fifty Shades of Grey?
You’re right, Fifty Shades of Grey is not an instruction manual, it’s a romance novel with some kink thrown in. But lots of people have read it and it’s opened up conversations about kinky sex, which is ultimately a good thing for society. If a friend mentions reading it or being inspired by it, be ready to let them know that it’s not a how-to and have recommendations for other resources that give solid information about BDSM.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction

I am really into bondage. How do I bring it up to a casual hookup without being scary and intense?
It’s all in the way you present it. Be direct and put it out there (“I want to tie you up” or “It would turn me on if you tied me up”) and make it clear that it’s a suggestion that your partner is welcome to embrace or turn down. If they agree, be prepared to give them information about safety before you start and always use a safeword.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

How does a girl approach the idea of being a dominant with a guy?
Talk about roleplaying fantasies and see what kinds of scenarios you each come up with. Suggest some scenes where you play a dominant role and see what he says. Context is everything.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Why do I have rape fantasies? It feels problematic.
Our fantasies often do not reflect our politics. Rape fantasies can be about exploring submission, masochism, surrender, objectification, control, and a slew of other dynamics. Although “rape” is the hot-button word in this question, the operative word here is fantasy. It’s a fantasy where you create the script, imagine the details, call the shots, and know how it ends—which is an entirely different thing than actual rape.
Recommended: Toybag Guide to Playing With Taboo and Mollena Williams’ two chapters in The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Any advice for a woman who wants to peg her man? Techniques, a particular toy, a particular position?
Pegging is strap-on anal sex where the woman is the giver and the man the receiver, and it can open up a whole new world of erotic exploration for couples. Great anal sex is all about the warm up. You’ve got to take your time, relish each sensation, and tease your partner into a frenzy before any serious penetration begins. As for toys, I love the Mistress dildo by Vixen Creations and any harness made by Aslan Leather.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and The Expert Guide to Pegging

What are your thoughts on tantra, sexual ecstasy and spirituality?
That’s a big question on a big topic. More and more people are getting interested in sacred sexuality, the intersection of sex and spirituality, sex magic, and Tantric sex. I want to refer you to two of the best, most accessible books on the subject: Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life.

How do you feel about porn, which often portrays false or fantastical situations? How realistic is porn? Is it misleading?
Well, it depends on the porn! Much of mainstream pornography portrays a fantasy and a performance, so there’s a lot of athletic positions, high energy and high libido, heightened reactions to stimulation, and earth shaking orgasms (both real and performed). You don’t often get to see honest communication, awkward moves, enough warm up before intercourse, a focus on other kinds of sex besides intercourse, partners being shy or quiet, stopping and starting, and much more. I like to portray more realistic sexual scenes in my films, where people verbally negotiate, ask for what they want, use lube and sex toys, focus on activities that turn them on rather than a “script” of how sex should unfold, get into positions that feel good for them, and allow enough arousal time and stimulation to allow female performers to have real orgasms. There are lots of feminists who make porn, and you may want to check out their films as well as films featuring real couples including Make Love Not Porn.
Recommended: The Feminist Porn Book

How can gender identity affect a sexual experience or a sexual relationship (even mentally)? How can we avoid gender identity becoming a point of contestation? We are both doms.
This question requires a longer answer, so I gave it its own Ask Tristan post.

 

 

 

 

Apr 182013
 

I want to create a scene for my submissive that combines anal sex and immobilizing bondage. She loves to get fucked when she is confined and can’t really move, and I adore seeing her in a compromising, vulnerable position. What can I say? It makes my dick really hard. My slave girl is pretty flexible, an experienced bondage (and anal) bottom, and she’s always game for lots of new things. I am hoping you can offer some suggestions for good positions as well as any safety concerns I should be aware of.

–Want A Helpless Bondage Bottom

Oooh, you two sound fun! Let’s talk bondage first. I’m not a rope bondage expert, so I’m going to recommend an easy kind of bondage using large, long leather bondage belts that you can find at Stockroom. Have your bottom stand and face you with her arms at her sides. Wrap a belt around her upper arms and torso (above her breasts), securing the buckle on one side of her arm. Do the same thing with a second belt around her stomach and arms between her elbow and wrist. Use a third belt around her waist and just above her wrists. Belt #4 goes just above her knees with a fifth belt around her calves. Move her slowly and put your slave face down on the bed (or the floor, if you’re feeling more sadistic). Secure the final bind: a belt around her ankles (you could also use ankle cuffs clipped together for her ankles). Now you have her in tight confinement and also a great position for anal sex. In fact, this is my favorite position and I re-named it in my book The Anal Sex Position Guide. It’s called “tailgate”: she lies face down on her stomach, and you straddle her and enter her ass. You could stay upright, and pull on the belts, using them as handles. Or you can lay on top of her. The combination of your weight on her and the bondage belts will make her feel truly immobilized.

If you’re interested in doing this with rope bondage, two great resources to see many different ties described and illustrated are famed educator Midori’s book The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage and Jay Wiseman’s Erotic Bondage Handbook. I like Jay Wiseman’s “Split Lark’s Head,” for an arm/chest harness and on the bottom for mid-thighs and down, try his knee-to-knee and ankle-to-ankle bondage.

Feb 212013
 

The Ultimate Guide to Kink

In case you missed it, I was quoted in the New York Time on Valentine’s Day in their article “An Arresting Trend in Intimate Wear“, an article on new trends in lingerie because of the 50 Shades phenomenon.

“It’s just a matter of upping the luxury factor and packaging it in a way that really speaks to a different woman who might be intimidated by something more blatant or something with a harder edge, or who might not go into a store like The Leather Man on Christopher Street,” said Tristan Taormino, who has written many books on sexuality and is the editor of “The Ultimate Guide to Kink.”

Nashville Scene also wrote a Valentine’s Day post on Thirteen Alternatives to 50 Shades of Grey, and my erotica collections were one of them!

My work is also mentioned in this Huffington Post UK article, “Vive la Révolution! The Superheroines of Porn Domination.” Thanks to Liesbet of Dusk! TV for tipping me off to it.

Jan 242013
 

50ShadesofKinkcover

Even with its flaws, Fifty Shades of Grey has become a worldwide phenomenon that simply cannot be ignored. It has sparked broad discussion and exploration of BDSM among mainstream media and everyday folks. My book, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge came out at a perfect time last year just as the Fifty Shades craze was taking hold. But I realized that The Ultimate Guide to Kink is not necessarily geared for beginners, so I wanted to write a prequel to it. That book was just released by Cleis Press: 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM. It’s an e-book available for the Kindle and the Nook. It’s the perfect book for anyone who’s been inspired by Fifty Shades of Grey, is curious about kink, wants more information, or is just beginning to explore it. 50 Shades of Kink is a practical guide that moves beyond the fantasy and gives practical advice and techniques based on real world experience. You’ll learn techniques and creative ideas for bondage, spanking, flogging, sensation play, and rough sex and how to eroticize power, cultivate deeper connections and incorporate kink into your sex life.

Jan 212013
 

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UPDATE! The show is currently re-airing, here is a full schedule:

January 22, 9:00 pm; January 26 at 3:00 am; January 28 at 8:00 am; January 31 at 9:00 pm; February 3 at 3:00 pm; and February 5 at 9:00 am

Bestselling author and sex educator Tristan Taormino is a featured expert in “The Real 50 Shades of Grey,” the latest edition of the E! Special series, which premieres on E! Entertainment Television on January 22 at 9:00 pm. This documentary special looks at the lives and relationships of real dominants and submissives and features commentary from BDSM experts. Taormino is a sought-after speaker and commentator on a range of sexuality issues, including alternative sexual practices and communities. Her groundbreaking collection The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge published by Cleis Press in 2012 features the work of leading kink experts from around the country. Dan Savage calls it “more than just a guide to kink, more than just a sex manual…everyone can learn from this collection.” Her latest book (also from Cleis Press), 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM, offers readers practical advice and techniques based on real world experience about how to eroticize power, cultivate deeper connections and incorporate kink into your sex life.

Here’s the full show description:

Whether shock, excitement or simply curiosity, it seems that everyone has a strong reaction to the bestselling erotic book trilogy that includes Fifty Shades of Grey, Fifty Shades Darker and Fifty Shades Freed. Having sold more than 60 million copies worldwide, the series set the record as the fastest-selling paperback of all time. What is it about the provocative lifestyle of the protagonists that has readers throughout the world riveted? Is it the non-traditional sex, the excitement of the unknown, or simply the story of love between two people expressed in a unique way? Hosted by E!’s Alicia Quarles, this one-hour special features commentary from therapists, authors and other experts about the practice, and also profiles the real-life experiences of couples who follow this lifestyle. Don’t miss a fascinating look at what used to be a very secret world in the E! Special “The Real 50 Shades of Grey” premiering Tuesday, January 22 at 9:00pm ET/PT, only on E!

In this special, real-life practitioners open up about the BDSM lifestyle. Viewers find out how they got involved, what the challenges of this lifestyle are and what they tell their families and friends about their choices. The show also looks into a high-profile case in which the sex game turned dangerous for the players, and experts weigh in on the risks and dangers of the lifestyle, and what participants must do in order to remain safe, both physically and psychologically. Find out how the “business” of bondage is growing too, as an instructor discusses the popular classes that are filling up with individuals and couples eager to enter this sexually-charged world. E! Entertainment Specials explore the hottest trends, the biggest stars and breaking stories, and “The Real 50 Shades of Grey” is part of its White Hot Winter programming in January.

Jan 062013
 

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This week’s episode of Sex Out Loud has two different guests talking about their work giving voice to sexual minorities who are often marginalized in the community. Dr. Eli Sheff will talk about her new book based on her groundbreaking work with Polyamorous Family Study, a 16 year project. The mission of the Polyamorous Family Study is to provide high-quality, research-based information about poly families with kids using sound research methods based in years of sociological study. Sinclair Sexsmith is the kinky butch top behind the the popular Sugarbutch Chronicles. They’re also a writer, storyteller, and performer who studies critical feminist & gender theory, sexual freedom, social change activism, archetypes, and the tantric and buddhist spiritual systems.

dr eli sheffA pioneer in research on polyamory, Dr. Elisabeth “Eli” Sheff is the foremost academic expert on polyamory in the US, and the worldwide expert on poly families with children, having conducted the only longitudinal analysis of poly families with children to date. After teaching Sociology for 15 years at three universities, Dr. Sheff established the Sheff Consulting Group (SCG), a think-tank of academicians and professionals who specialize in legal and educational services for unconventional populations, and those who need to know about them. As the Senior Legal Consultant at SCG, Dr. Sheff specializes in families of sexual minorities, providing expert witness services, home evaluations for unconventional families facing child custody issues or attempting to adopt kids, andcontinuing education to lawyers, educators, counselors, and therapists. Her book The Polyamorists Next Door: Inside Multiple Partner Relationships and Families is being published by Rowman and Littlefield in 2013.

sinclair sexsmith
Sinclair Sexsmith (MrSexsmith.com) writes the award-winning personal online project Sugarbutch Chronicles: The Sex, Gender, and Relationship Adventures of a Kinky Queer Butch Top at SugarButch.net. They have contributed to more than a dozen anthologies, and is the editor of Say Please: Lesbian BDSM Erotica. They teach workshops ongender and sexuality throughout the US, including at various colleges.

Jan 012013
 

nina hartley

I’m so thrilled to welcome the legendary Nina Hartley to the first 2013 episode of Sex Out Loud, this Friday, January 4th at 5 pm PT / 8 pm PT. We’ll talk about her long and varied career as well as her perspective on the new generation of sex-positive performer/activists and how social media provides her with opportunities to spread her message of knowledge and empowerment. She’ll discuss the recent launch of her fleshlight as well as her book, Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex. This show is live and calls are welcome – we want to hear from all you Nina fans! Tell your stories of how you first came to her work and take advantage of this chance to ask a question on the great Nina Hartley.

Nina Hartley is a pioneering feminist worker, using her body in the service of promoting a sexually sane and literate society. She is thrilled to see a new generation of sex-positive performer/activists take its space and spread the good news about sex. For the past thirty years her rock-solid commitment to the importance of sexual autonomy has fueled Nina Hartley’s career in adult entertainment. As a performer, director, writer, educator, public speaker, and feminist thinker for all, no matter their orientation, she’s traveled the world to deliver her message. She believes that sexual freedom is a fundamental human right and welcomes the new social media opportunities for spreading her message of knowledge and empowerment to the widest number of people. She’s the author of, “Nina Hartley’s Guide to Total Sex,” from Avery Press. Putting to use her B.S. degree in nursing, she and her husband, I.S. Levine, have produced the million-selling sex-ed video series collectively known as “The Nina Hartley Guides,” from Adam & Eve, currently in its 38th episode. Still active in front of the camera, she and her husband live in Los Angeles.

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