Jun 012014
 

GiVe

Pioneering Sex Positive Retailer Makes a Difference for Pride

Good Vibrations, the trusted San Francisco-based sex-positive retailer, announces its new nonprofit partners for the summer months, including Pride Month in June. The company is partnering with Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, Asian & Pacific Islander Wellness Center, and El/la Para Translatinas in San Francisco; AIDS Project of the East Bay in Oakland; the Billy De Frank LGBT Community Center in San Jose; and Fenway Health in Boston from May through July. Partnerships with these organizations were formed because June is Pride Month and each of the organizations has a strong commitment to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities.

From May 1st – July 31st Good Vibrations’ customers can support these regional nonprofits in Good Vibrations’ San Francisco, Berkeley, Oakland, Palo Alto and Brookline stores by making a financial gift at the time of their purchase in any Good Vibrations retail stores. 100% of your contribution goes to the nonprofit of your choice. Online shoppers can contribute directly to our web partner, Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific, at checkout and learn more about the donations program on the GiVe Partner page.

Staff Sexologist Dr. Carol Queen says, “We are delighted to partner with local nonprofit organizations that serve LGBTQ communities. For over 37 years Good Vibrations has partnered with hundreds of nonprofit and grassroots groups, including organizations that support LGBTQ health and sexuality. By donating products, advertising and sponsorship for fundraisers, along with a percentage of retail sales, we have provided much needed support for HIV/AIDS research, art programs, LGBTQ benefits, sexuality education, and much more. We are proud of that legacy and glad to continue.”

Summer GiVe Partners:

  • Planned Parenthood Shasta Pacific provides over 100,000 individuals with health care and education services at more than 30 sites throughout 17 Northern California counties. They reach people through health care services, education programs, and advocacy initiatives.
  • El/La Para Translatinas is an organization for transgender Latinas that works to improve the quality of life of TransLatinas in the San Francisco Bay Area.
  • The Asian & Pacific Islander (API) Wellness Center’s mission is to transforms lives by advancing health, wellness, and equality for people of all races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, gender identities, and immigration statuses. They believe everyone deserves to be healthy and needs access to the highest quality health care.
  • The AIDS Project East Bay is a community based organization, dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV and supporting individuals infected with the virus through programs targeted at some of the most vulnerable and marginalized individuals in Alameda County.
  • The Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center strives to be the LGBT community’s premier resource hub and a recognized leader in promoting health, strength, diversity and inclusiveness.
  • The mission of Fenway Health is to enhance the wellbeing of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and all people in our neighborhoods and beyond through access to the highest quality health care, education, research and advocacy.

 

To learn more about Good Vibrations GiVe program and to see this year’s beneficiaries, visit Good Vibrations’ GiVe Donations Sponsorship Page.

ABOUT GOOD VIBRATIONS
Good Vibrations is the San Francisco Bay Area based retailer trusted for more than three decades to provide a comfortable, safe environment for finding quality products, trusted information and educational materials to enhance one’s sex life. Visit online at, goodvibes.com. Please follow us on Twitter @GoodVibesToys

RESOURCES:
http://www.plannedparenthood.org/shasta-pacific/
http://ellaparatranslatinas.yolasite.com/
http://www.apiwellness.org/
http://www.apeb.org/
https://www.defrankcenter.org/
http://www.fenwayhealth.org/

Jun 012014
 

50 shades

~~ Tina Horn did a great write-up of the Feminist Porn Awards and Feminist Porn Conference for VICE magazine!

“Feminist porn isn’t an oxymoron anymore—it’s a genre, an awards show, a conference, and maybe even a movement. Last month, I traveled to Toronto for the ninth annual Feminist Porn Awards, an event hosted by the sex toy store Good for Her. “

Read more: http://www.vice.com/read/turning-assholes-inside-out-at-the-ninth-annual-feminist-porn-awards

 

~~ BBC news magazine did a great article on the topic as well.
“It’s almost 01:00 in the morning in a hotel room in downtown Toronto, and three porn stars in various states of undress are choreographing the sex scene they are about to film. The performers include a man, a woman, and a transgender man, opening a world of sexual possibilities. “So what are we doing?” James Darling, the 26-year-old transgender performer, asks his co-stars Wolf Hudson and Zahra Stardust. “What are people feeling up to?”
~~ Shar Rednour interviewed me at CatalystCon for her series called “The Deeper Truth” – author, educator, performer, and radio personality Shar Rednour hosts a series of hot, uncensored discussions with some of sexuality’s most exceptional catalysts. These one-on-one talks will put ground-breaking thinkers, activists, educators and innovators in Shar’s sexy hot seat as they share their histories, their inspirations, and their plans for how we can all change the world. As an experienced interviewer and radio host, Shar will take her guests beyond current politics and sound bites to discover the deeper truths about how these inspiring figures became who they are today. You can listen to my interview with Shar here, along with other shows featuring Hernando Chavez, Mo Beesley, and Minister L. Renair Amin Covington.
~~ Check out this great review of my book 50 Shades of Kink on Rebel’s Notes.
“Please do not follow Christian [of 50 Shades of Grey], but follow Tristan Taormino as she is the one who gives honest and correct information.”
If you’d like to win your own copy of 50 Shades of Kink, check out this giveaway: hurry, it ends June 11, 2014!
May 282014
 

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This Friday for Sex Out Loud I feature one of my trailblazing influences, the “Mother of Masturbation”: Betty Dodson. Dodson is an artist, author, and PhD sexologist who authored the books Sex For One, Orgasms for Two, and My Romantic Love Wars: A Sexual Memoir. Her collaborative partner Carlin Ross is an entrepreneur and sex educator and together they are two intergenerational, sex-positive feminists whose dialogue on sexuality and feminism entertains and educates. This interview was recorded live at CatalystCon 2014 and Betty Dodson does NOT hold back about anything, so tune in to hear this unforgettable interview.

Betty Dodson, artist, author, and PhD sexologist has been one of the principal voices for women’s sexual pleasure and health for over three decades. Dodson had the first one-woman show of erotic art in ’68 in NYC followed by three others. For 25 years, she ran Bodysex groups where women learned about their bodies and orgasms through the practice of self-stimulation. Her first book, Liberating Masturbation: A Meditation on Selflove (’74) became a feminist classic. Sex for One (’87) sold over a million copies. Orgasms for Two (’02) embraces partner sex and My Romantic Love Wars: A Sexual Memoir details her experiences with America’s Sexual Revolution, the women’s movement and her feminist sexual activism with bodysex groups that she conducted for 25 years. In 1994, she earned a PhD in clinical sexology. Dodson has presented at conferences for sexual scientists, therapists, and psychologists.

Carlin Ross, entrepreneur and sex educator, has transcended her “ESQ” tagline to position herself at the forefront of female sexuality. She left her law career to create a lifestyle brand for women: cherrybomb. The site launch was featured on the front page of the NY Times on February 24, 2004. She has interviewed sexperts such as Ian Kerner, Helen Fischer, Candida Royalle, Dr. Judy Kuriansky, and Dr. Barbara Bartlik for the Sex Herald. And she has written/produced/directed several erotic features for Playgirl TV in addition to several original features – most recently Betty Dodson’s Bodysex Workshop. She has appeared on The Sharon Osbourne Show, CNN, MSNBC, and Dateline and radio shows including Afternoon Advice on Playboy Radio. She has been featured in national publications including Marie Claire and Esquire.

Sex Out Loud airs every Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel. You can listen on your computer, phone, or tablet, find all the ways here!

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May 202014
 

Belle Knox Penthouse Magazine 2
This Friday on Sex Out Loud at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET, listen to my interview with performer Belle Knox, who became known in March 2013 as “the Duke University pornstar” after being outed by a classmate and then writing about that experience for xojane.com. Since then, Knox has appeared in many media outlets spreading a sex positive message and sex worker equality and this week on Sex Out Loud she talks to me about her experiences, answers my questions (and yours), and tells the story of how she became Belle Knox and what’s next for her.

Originally from Washington State, Belle Knox the sweet and petite 18-year-old XXX starlet entered the world of adult entertainment four months ago. With her fresh, beautiful face and adorable figure, Knox dove into the industry appearing in Reality Kings, Porn Pros, Teen Fidelity/Kelly Madison, Nubiles, Naughty America and X-Art. She has starred in FuckedHard 18, Naughty Cheerleaders 4 and Adam and Eve’s Real College Girls. The 18-year-old Duke University student and adult starlet became national headline news after being outed by a fellow classmate and writing a piece inspired by the experience in popular online magazine www.xojane.com. Since then she has appeared on national shows such as The View, The Independents, Dr. Drew, Piers Morgan and The Howard Stern Show. She has been written about in The Huffington Post, The NY Post, The Daily News, The NY Times and Rolling Stone Magazine.

Sex Out Loud airs every Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel. You can listen on your computer, phone, or tablet, find all the ways here!

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May 142014
 

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On Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on Sex Out Loud, I interview Whitney Strub, scholar, professor, and director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program at Rutgers. Stub’s latest book is “Obscenity Rules: Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle over Sexual Expression.” The book charts the course of censorship and law all the way back to the colonial era while focusing on Supreme Court and the complicated questions it has inspired regarding censorship, sexual expression, and the place of social mores in constitutional law. Call in with questions about sexual politics and the law, sex and censorship.

This week’s show is LIVE, which means we’ll be giving away a Sportsheets prize to a lucky fan. Find out all the ways to listen here so you can call in with questions and comments at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or e-mail me via tristan(at)puckerup.com and I’ll read them live on the air – you could be chosen to win!

whitney strubWhitney Strub is an associate professor of history and director of the Women’s & Gender Studies Program at Rutgers University-Newark. He was born on the Minnesota/Wisconsin border and grew up in Wasilla, Alaska, leaving right before Sarah Palin began her political career there. He received his Ph.D. from UCLA and taught at the University of Miami, UCLA, and Temple before coming to Rutgers-Newark, where he is involved in the Queer Newark Oral History Project. His first book, Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right, was published by Columbia University Press in 2011, and his latest, Obscenity Rules: Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle over Sexual Expression, arrived in fall 2013 from the University Press of Kansas. Whit has written for a variety of scholarly and popular venues, including Salon, Radical History Review, OutHistory.org, Journal of Women’s History, and Journal of the History of Sexuality, among others. He lives in Philadelphia, where as a critic of the concept of “decency,” he grapples daily with what it means, and whether it’s even possible, to raise two decent cats. He also blogs, sometimes about sexual politics but lately mostly about cinematic representations of Newark, at http://strublog.wordpress.com.

Sex Out Loud airs every Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel. You can listen on your computer, phone, or tablet, find all the ways here!

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May 072014
 

I have recently started a new relationship, and we have been getting to know each other including experimenting a little with different sexual things. The topic of anal sex came up and she is turned on by it, but so far her rule is “two fingers max.” She’s a very small person all around, and that includes her asshole. She wants to stretch her ass to accommodate my cock, so we want to know how to do it and how long it will take.

–Patient in Palo Alto

Her small stature does not necessarily have anything to do with how much cock she can take in her ass. Haven’t you seen those tiny porn starlets take huge dicks up their butts? It is absolutely possible. Her objective should not be to stretch her ass, but rather to learn to relax the sphincter muscles to make penetration comfortable and pleasurable. I suggest you begin slowly. Try one finger in her ass, your tongue or fingers or a vibrator on her clit, and a rousing orgasm. From there, let her set the pace as you work your way up from one finger to two, and so on. You can also work your way up with dildos or butt plugs in graduated sizes. You shouldn’t move on to the next step until everything feels great. How long it takes to get used to this new sensation, be comfortable with anal play, and work up to a cock in her ass will totally depend on her. Don’t be so focused on how long it will take, just enjoy all the fun you’ll have getting there!

May 052014
 

masturbation month

 

SAN FRANCISCO (April 29, 2014): Good Vibrations, the legendary San Francisco-based retailer that takes pride in providing accurate information on sexuality and toys for grown-ups says, “It’s International Masturbation Month! So, give yourself a hand! Or a vibrator, or something else stimulating, and don’t forget the lube!”

With masturbation and sex toys being featured in shows such as Girls and talked about by stars like Jennifer Lawrence on the late night television show Conan, one can easily forget how taboo the idea of self-stimulation once was. Good Vibrations founded International Masturbation Month in 1995 in the wake of the controversy surrounding the firing of former Clinton administration Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who evoked conservative wrath when she stated that discussion of masturbation might have a place in sex education curricula. Realizing that one simple, sensible mention of solo pleasuring was enough to lose this prominent woman—the country’s first African-American surgeon general—her job convinced Good Vibrations staff that this most basic and accessible form of sex needed a serious image boost.

Some things have changed since 1995, but International Masturbation Month is still a necessary reminder that self-satisfaction is a healthy, accessible form of pleasure engaged in by almost everyone, of every gender and relationship status, at some time of (or throughout) their lives: It’s relaxing, allows people to learn more about their own sexual response, is a basic recommendation of sex therapists that can help people with many different sexual concerns, relieves menstrual cramps, and helps keep the genitals fully functional. On top of that, it’s the safest form of sex a person can have.

“Masturbation is fun and pleasurable, it teaches you about your own unique sexuality, and it’s a great way to postpone partner sex if you’re not ready for it,” says Good Vibrations staff sexologist Carol Queen, Ph.D., one of the originators of the International Masturbation Month concept. “Why on earth isn’t everybody celebrating masturbation?”

“Why on earth isn’t everybody celebrating masturbation?”

Good Vibrations will be celebrating International Masturbation Month with workshops in local stores and online through social media. The company invites the community to attend a local free class and to celebrate their self-satisfaction on social media via #MayWeRub.

Over the years Good Vibrations has done hundreds of press interviews about masturbation, encouraged other like-minded retailers and organizations to help celebrate IMM (formerly known as National Masturbation Month), engaged customers’ creativity in compiling lists of favorite masturbation euphemisms, places to masturbate, and stranger-than-fiction masturbation stories, and curated a show of video clips from the great masturbation educators, like Dr. Betty Dodson, author of “Sex for One.”

Though any toy can be used during sex with a partner, depending on what kind of activities are being enjoyed, certain toys are especially suited or frequently-chosen for solo sex: the Original Magic Wand, favorite of masturbation expert Dr. Betty Dodson the Rabbit Habit and other twice-as-nice styles, the Pure Wand, and the G-Twist, to name a few very popular items. Men can enjoy a range of sleeves and pumps designed especially for their self-pleasuring enjoyment, like the Cobra Libre stimulator for men and Tenga Eggs .

Most importantly, however, Good Vibrations continues to celebrate masturbation as we have always done: as a basic pleasure that is the foundation for our sexual health experience. Visit Good Vibrations www.goodvibes.com for information (in books, videos, and from our trained Sex Educator Sales Associate staff members), pleasure products of all kinds (vibrators, dildos, and of course lubricants), and inspiration (erotic books and movies). Whether shared with a partner or kept as a solo secret, self-love is accessible to, and good for, everyone.

ABOUT GOOD VIBRATIONS
Good Vibrations is the San Francisco Bay Area based retailer trusted for more than three decades to provide a comfortable, safe environment for finding quality products, trusted information and educational materials to enhance one’s sex life. Visit online at, goodvibes.com. Please follow us on Twitter @GoodVibesToys

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Good Vibrations — the women-friendly sex toy store promoting quality sex toys, vibrators, sex education, and pleasure since 1977.

May 052014
 

Tristan & Mom

This Friday, May 9th I celebrate my birthday and the 100th episode of Sex Out Loud with a very special show featuring…my mother! That’s correct: the woman who gave birth to and raised America’s foremost authority on anal sex, open relationships, and feminist porn will join me for a LIVE conversation about my upbringing, sex education, sexual politics and feminism. Plus, my mom and I will take phone calls from listeners! Every single person who calls will win a prize, so don’t be shy: now is your chance to ask my mother anything!

This week’s show is LIVE. Find out all the ways to listen here so you can call in with questions and comments at 1-866-472-5788, join the discussion on Facebook or Twitter, or e-mail me via tristan(at)puckerup.com and I’ll read them live on the air.

Sex Out Loud airs every Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel. You can listen on your computer, phone, or tablet, find all the ways here!

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Apr 302014
 

Partners in Passion

Ed. Note: I’m excited to present this guest post by Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson, authors of the new book, Partners in Passion.

Articles bemoaning the state of marital sex seem to emerge in clusters, often in the run-up to Valentine’s Day. This year, The New York Times helped lead the charge with the publication of two articles on successive Sundays.

The first, “Good Enough? That’s Great!” by Daniel Jones, editor of the “Modern Love” column, appeared on February 2nd and was excerpted from his recently published Love Illuminated.  Jones characterized couples that seek to maintain or renew their erotic connection as “Restorers” whose approach to relating is based on either “drudgery” or a need for “spice.” He concluded that it is “risky” for couples to do more than settle for staleness and that the prudent course is to be “appreciatively resigned.” This conclusion neglects the very real possibility that those who choose to be interested in each other, to be curious and engaged are not seeking to recapture something that has been lost but are instead cultivating relationships skills that others would benefit from learning. Being “appreciatively resigned” is no sign of wisdom, and remaining emotionally and erotically engaged need not be either “drudgery” or “spice”; it can be a shared adventure.

Jones discussed the outcry over Ayelet Waldman’s 2005 statement that putting her “marriage ahead of motherhood” was the key to her marital happiness and erotic satisfaction. In his characterization, Waldman is akin to an alien being and her marriage is “extremely rare”, though letters he received during his years as editor of “Modern Love” hardly comprise a scientific sample. It would have been more illuminating to examine the sources of the outrage – America’s almost cultish devotion to the child; the still pervasive sexist and sex negative currents in our society; and the notion that love is a zero-sum game.

Jones’s piece was followed by a cover story in the February 9, 2014 Magazine by psychotherapist Lori Gottlieb – titled “Sexless but Equal” on the cover and “The Egalitarian-Marriage Conundrum” inside. In the article, Gottlieb cited a study published in 2013 claiming that couples in “equal marriages”, where husbands do “what researchers characterize as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking, or vacuuming” had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than couples whose division of labor was more conventionally gendered. While Gottlieb acknowledged several potential flaws in the study, she relied on anecdotes from her personal life and practice to bolster the idea that relatively equal partnerships are likely to suffer from erotic deficit.

Gottlieb’s article was replete with essentialist ideas about gender – for example that men watch Pornohub and women follow Pinterest. Her thinking about pornography generally was antiquated or naive – that it’s all about male pleasure, women being subservient, with no negotiation, female desire or role reversal (the proliferation of feminist porn notwithstanding), and that the “MILF” is a new cultural phenomenon. Some of the biggest porn stars of the1970s were middle-aged, even though the term had not yet been invented.

The anecdotes from her practice were similarly superficial. In one case, a woman in her 40s and in an “equal” marriage examined her husband’s Internet history and discovered that he had viewed porn involving scenes of domination. The discovery inspired her to express her own desire to be dominated; a fantasy the couple explored. The woman was “surprised by his lack of enthusiasm” and felt rejected as a result. Gottlieb never mentioned the apparent invasion of privacy and how that violation may have impacted the interaction. Also unexamined were some potentially deeper issues, how the woman communicated her desire, whether it was received as a criticism, and perhaps more importantly why the husband was unable to take pleasure fulfilling his wife’s fantasy. There’s no intrinsic reason that acting out fantasies of domination in the bedroom will have any implications in other aspects of life.

MarkandPatricia-high-resIn another anecdote, one of Gottlieb’s clients claimed to “crave” her husband when he returned from the gym, undressed, and got into the shower. The husband replied that he had done just that on the morning of the session, and she became irritated because he had thrown his clothes on the floor and then complained that he had failed to vacuum “the day before, when she had to work late.” The conversation then turned to the fact that the wife did not find vacuuming a turn-on.

Gottlieb either ignored or missed the fact that the woman shifted her attention from her desire to her resentment. It’s by no means self-evident that the dynamic has anything to do with gender-neutrality or egalitarianism or that her response would have been any different if the task involved had been one that is conventionally deemed to be masculine – taking out the trash or fixing the car. In this incident, resentment, not gender equality, killed desire.

These articles partake of a generalized cultural anxiety about marriage and long-term relationships that is not entirely misplaced. The work of Esther Perel, which is cited in both articles, highlights the tension that between the domestic and the erotic. 21st-century society imposes a very heavy burden on long-term relationships; partners are expected to be lovers, friends, and parents, and it is not easy to balance these demands, especially when work and other obligations are factored in. Nonetheless, examples of couples successfully navigating these conflicts are not that difficult to find.

Perhaps it’s sexier to focus on dissatisfaction and lack of sex. Perhaps it is safer as well. Long-term couples that have satisfying sex make relationship a priority. They may explore various forms of open relating or kink, which are typically downplayed or ignored in the ‘marriage in crisis’ genre, or they may be vanilla and monogamous. What these couples have in common is a dedication to maintaining their erotic connection. The reaction to Ayelet Waldman’s statements makes it clear that making the erotic a priority remains a radical act, especially if the person prioritizing is a woman and a mother.

Mark A. Michaels and Patricia Johnson are a devoted married couple. They have been creative collaborators – teaching and writing about sexuality and Tantra together – since 1999. Michaels and Johnson are the authors of Partners in Passion (Cleis 2014), Great Sex Made Simple, Tantra for Erotic Empowerment, and The Essence of Tantric Sexuality. Their books have garnered numerous awards: Independent Publishing (IPPY), ForeWord Reviews, and USA Book News Best Books, among others. They are also the creators of the meditation CD set Ananda Nidra: Blissful Sleep. To support the pleasure-positive community in New York, they co-founded Pleasure Salon in 2007. www.MichaelsandJohnson

 

 

 

Apr 302014
 

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This Friday, May 2nd at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on Sex Out Loud, I interview Thomas Maier, award-winning journalist, author, and TV producer. His book “Masters of Sex: The Life and Times of William Masters and Virginia Johnson, the Couple Who Taught America How to Love” is the basis for the hit Showtime series currently filming its second season. Learn why I call the book a thorough, fascinating, juicy biography and a great read. If you’re a fan of the show, you’ll learn so much more about the lives of sexologists Masters & Johnson.

thomas maierThomas Maier is an award-winning author and investigative journalist for Newsday in New York. He has written four books, including “Masters of Sex”, a biography of sex researchers Dr. William Masters and Virginia Johnson, which has been made into a Golden Globe-nominated drama series starring actors Michael Sheen and Lizzy Caplan.

Sex Out Loud airs every Friday at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET on the VoiceAmerica Variety channel. You can listen on your computer, phone, or tablet, find all the ways here!

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