May 042012

Cyndi's amazing classic car

We arrived at the Melbourne Airport and Cyndi Darnell, sex therapist, counselor, sex educator, and creator of Pleasure Salon Melbourne, picked us up at the airport. We’d met her in Sydney at Xplore and connected right away. Cyndi drove us in her classic car, which turns heads wherever it goes. She took us to where we’d be staying, the home of Fiona Patten, the CEO of the Eros Association, Inc. (Australia’s national adult retail and entertainment trade association) and the head of the Australian Sex Party, a progressive political party that supports free speech, the adult industry, sex workers’ rights, comprehensive sex education, gender equality, same sex marriage, decriminalization of drugs, and more. Fiona is a total bad ass: a smart, articulate, radical, multitasking whirlwind of sex-positive politics. It’s inspiring to be in her presence. She was super busy taking media calls and preparing for her presentation at The 2012 Atheist Convention, which took place at the same time we were in Melbourne. Fiona took us to a wonderful dinner out with two adult industry distributors and an American who was in town for AdultEx. We talked about legal issues surrounding selling and distributing porn in Australia, politics, and the Bong Task Force (the SNL skit writes itself).

The window display at Hares and Hyenas

The next day, Cyndi picked us up and we headed to Fitzroy, the artsy neighborhood of Melbourne. We went to Hares and Hyenas, an LGBT bookstore that’s been in busy for over 20 years. I was shocked to see that the entire window display was devoted to my books! It was beautiful, and I felt honored. It’s an amazing shop, and we scooped up lots of local books and magazines, including Dude Magazine, Dirty Queer Magazine, f2m: The Boy Within, and The Drag Queen Baby Name Book (a gift for friends who are expecting). We met the owners, Rowland and Crusader, who were wonderfully warm and charming. We went to another great bookstore, PolyEster Books (“world’s freakiest bookstore”), which carried tons of great sex books, including those from small and obscure presses, I was very impressed. I would later regret just how many books I bought as I dragged them back to the States (they weighed a ton!). Then, we went to some art galleries, which were closed for various unexpected reasons. Ah, artists. But it didn’t matter, really, because there was so much amazing street art throughout the neighborhood.

Just one example of the amazing street art in Melbourne

That night was my first presentation for Pleasure Salon Melbourne. It was simply an amazing night. There were about 150 people there.

A view from the audience at my Pleasure Salon Melbourne talk (photo courtesy of

I spoke for about 45 minutes, then we had intermission. Rowland from Hares and Hyenas was there with cartons of books, and by the end of intermission, he had sold out of several titles! It was totally overwhelming.

My books (photo courtesy of

At the end of the evening, I stayed as audience members waited almost an hour to have their books signed by me. Each person I met told me a little something about themselves, and they were all fantastic. Fiona Patten and friends were there. There was a pack of adorable queers, including Kit, Louise, and Lauren from D.VICE, a lesbian-owned sex-positive sex shop in New Zealand and Australia. Two of them had me autograph their boobs. It was my pleasure. I finally got to meet several women in person who I’ve corresponded with by email or Skype, including sex therapist Sandra Pertot, who wrote an amazing book called When Your Sex Drives Don’t Match. I met Lyndal Coon, whose new book Sexual Biversity: Loving My Bisexual Husband was just released and sex-positive coach Chantelle Austin, author of The Essential Guide for Adventurous Couples…Who Want to Explore Threesomes, Foursomes, and Moresomes. All the sex and porn people were there: Anna Brownfield (winner of a Feminist Porn Award for The Band), feminist pornographers Ms. Naughty from (who blogged about my talk) and Gala Vanting, Blair from Adult Voyeur, a spunky, gorgeous performer named Angela White, and blogger Ultra Hedonist.

I was blown away by the audience at Pleasure Salon Melbourne. It was overwhelming, actually. Thanks to each and every person who came, asked questions, introduced themselves, and supported me and the local sex-positive community.

May 042012

My radio show Sex Out Loud debuts on Friday, June 1 at 5:00 pm Pacific time/8:00 pm Eastern time on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. I am honored, thrilled, and a little bit giddy that my very first guest is none other than Dan Savage. Author, columnist, activist, and media pundit Dan Savage isn’t holding anything back in this revealing interview. He’ll tackle the danger and ineffectiveness of abstinence-only sex education and the troubling news that the Obama administration recently backed another conservative organization called The Heritage Keepers. We’ll discuss the recent scandal over Savage’s comments at a high school journalism convention about the Bible (see video below) that lead to intense criticism from both the left and the right, with people calling him a bully, a bigot, and the gay Santorum. He’ll talk about what he regrets and what he doesn’t. Plus, he’ll share some behind-the-scenes dirt on his new MTV show Savage U, and we’ll talk about gay marriage and the state of the LGBT movement.

Dan Savage is an author, media pundit, journalist and newspaper editor who pens the internationally syndicated sex advice column “Savage Love.” He is the author of Skipping Towards Gomorrah, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, and The Kid: What Happened After My Boyfriend and I Decided To Go Get Pregnant, a memoir about becoming a father. In 2010, Savage and his husband Terry Miller began the It Gets Better Project to help prevent suicide among LGBT youth and they co-edited the book It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying, and Creating a Life Worth Living. He is the star of MTV’s new show Savage U, which debuted in April, and follows him as he speaks to college students about sex and relationships on campuses around the country.

Mar 242012

I am so proud of my newest book: The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge. I decided on a unique format for a non-fiction educational book: each chapter is written by a different person. And not just any person, but a top kink educator who has taught that subject extensively at conferences and community events. So, you don’t get just my take on the world of kink, but the experience, knowledge, and opinions of some amazing teachers.

Here’s the Table of Contents:

Part 1: Skills and Techniques
1. “S is for…”: The Terms, Principles, and Pleasures of Kink by Tristan Taormino
2. Making an Impact: Spanking, Caning, and Flogging by Lolita Wolf
3. How to Train Your Sex Slave by Laura Antoniou
4. Whole Hand Sex: Vaginal Fisting and BDSM by Sarah Sloane
5. Bondage for Sex by Midori
6. A Little Cock and Ball Play by Hardy Haberman
7. Kinky Twisted Tantra by Barbara Carrellas
8. Piercing Scenes by FifthAngel
9. Brutal Affection: Playing with Rough Sex by Felice Shays
10. Butthole Bliss: The Ins and Outs of Anal Fisting by Patrick Califia

Part 2: Fantasies and Philosophies
11. Stop, Drop, and Role! Erotic Role Playing by Mollena Williams
12. A Romp on the Wild Side: Erotic Human Animal Role Playing by Lee Harrington
13. ForteFemme: The Art and Philosophy of Feminine Dominance by Midori
14. Submissive: A Personal Manifesto by Madison Young
15. Enhancing Masochism: How to Expand Limits and Increase Desire by Patrick Califia
16. Inside the Mind of a Sadist by FifthAngel
17. Age Role Play by Ignacio Rivera, aka Papí Coxxx
18. Digging in the Dirt: The Lure of Taboo Role Play by Mollena Williams
19. The Dark Side by Jack Rinella
20. Mindfuck by Edge

And here is an exclusive excerpt of my introduction:

There are hundreds of gatherings of kinksters throughout North America—whether it’s a local organization’s annual conference, a camping event for pervy people, or a BDSM retreat—and the majority of them have a strong educational component. On any given weekend, you can learn how to: safely set someone on fire, be a good Daddy, plan the perfect gang bang, do bondage without rope, or channel your inner shaman. As a group, people into kink devote a lot of time, resources, and energy to learning.

I first heard the phrase lifelong learners when a friend of mine who works at a public radio station told me that marketers use it to refer to NPR listeners. Lifelong learners are people who are self-motivated to continually seek out new knowledge and skills, through informal and formal education, to constantly develop and improve themselves. The concept really resonates with me, as it aptly describes so many of the people I meet at sex and kink events—we are lifelong learners. That’s what’s so ironic about the conservative backlash against BDSMers. With increased visibility comes increased bigotry, and conservatives continue to rally against kinky events by local groups to get them shut down. What the anti-kink fanatics don’t understand about us is that we’re geeks. Sex nerds. SM intellectuals. We pay money to spend a weekend going to classes.

Of course, we do manage to get our noses out of the books to have fun, too. In the process of having a good time and getting off, we also strive to create alternative utopian worlds, even if only for a weekend. The kink community is built on the radical notion that people can express their erotic needs and desires and have them met. We believe that dreams do come true, and not at Disneyland, but in our bedrooms. Kink events are not just about getting together to have fabulous erotic experiences. We learn skills that we can translate into every part of our life: how to claim our desires, negotiate for what we want and need, set boundaries, communicate limits, acknowledge power dynamics, celebrate sexuality, and accept each other’s differences.

I envisioned this book as a compilation of the work of some of the best educators in North America, and every piece was written specifically for it. You don’t have to attend dozens of regional or national events to hear these experts speak—they are gathered here, in one place, taking on topics about which they are truly passionate. Their expertise in these subjects is tremendous, yet some of them have never had their writing about kink published for a wide audience. As you turn the pages, I want you to feel as if you’re at one of these gatherings, spending time with the teachers as they share their wisdom, experience, thoughts, opinions, and personal anecdotes. Unlike books about BDSM only, the chapters in this book explore different areas of kink with a specific focus on sex. After all, sex is a big part of what motivates and manifests our kink, but, until recently, it was often left out of the equation in our educational offerings.

The book is divided into two sections. In “Skills and Techniques,” pieces feature nuts-and-bolts, how-to tutorials, sprinkled with lots of creative ideas and examples. You’ll learn about topics from bondage and spanking to piercing and rough sex. This section is beautifully illustrated by queer artist Katie Diamond, who created the images expressly for this book. There are a variety of role-playing fantasies as well as personal manifestos in the second section, “Fantasies and Philosophies.” From masochism to age play, these pieces cover some of the edgiest and most taboo and controversial elements of kink in depth. The subjects, which have long been a part of kink, are too rarely discussed outside closed circles or in print. It’s time to shine a light on what is often only perceived as darkness.

I wanted the collection to capture not only the incredible exchange of ideas at kink conferences, but the magic that happens at a gathering of a kinky tribe. I hope you learn a lot from this diverse group of writers and you are inspired to find them, and other educators, at an event near you so you can supplement this education with mentoring, hands-on demonstrations, and interactive learning.

Exploring kink provides us with an opportunity for self-reflection, challenge, and personal growth. Where many people are content to just sit back and let life happen, we’re not: we constantly engage our identities, sexualities, and relationships. Sometimes, it’s about testing ourselves. Rock climbing aficionados, competitive triathletes, or ambitious innovators in the business world: there are those who strive to go farther, faster, deeper. Some of us don’t do it dangling from a mountain; we do it through intense—what some would call extreme—erotic experiences. Kink can be a private (or semipublic) laboratory—a sacred space where we feel safe enough to try new things, push our boundaries, flirt with edges, and conquer fears. Because it combines the physical, emotional, psychological, and spiritual, it has the potential to heal old wounds and generate spiritual renewal. It can deepen our connections and relationships, bringing a new level of intimacy to them. Kink is a crucible for creativity, vulnerability, perseverance, control, catharsis, and connection. Kink is a unique space where there is room to experiment and see what bubbles up.

Mar 212012



Sep 062011

I’m so excited that my new book, The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation will be out in October from Quiver Books. Yup, that means I have two books coming out in one month (the other one is Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica)! This is my third book for Quiver, which specializes in sex ed books with photos. I like to think of them as erotic educational coffee table books.

The publisher has original photography shot for each book it publishes, and I was especially excited to learn that famous second-generation pornographer (who I profiled in my Village Voice column years ago) Holly Randall was the photographer for this project! I even got to be on set one day, which was a ton of fun. Quiver’s books are marketed toward straight couples and do a brisk business at Barnes & Noble, so the photography reflects that: it’s softcore and pretty heteronormative.

When I wrote The Anal Sex Position Guide for them, I specifically told them that I would be discussing male anal pleasure and pegging (strap-on anal sex with female givers and male receivers), and I wanted there to be photos of both in the book. This was a departure from all past books, and seemed to be way out of their comfort zone, but they agreed to it. It made me so happy!

When we talked about the G-spot book, once again, I challenged them. If I am was going to write a book about the G-spot, I wanted to speak to lots of folks with G-spots, including women who have sex with women. So, I wanted my book to feature images of women having sex with men and with other women (they aren’t ready for people of other genders, trust me). While Quiver has published one book about lesbian sex, it has never done a book that depicts different sexual partnering side by side. Again, they agreed! I also got to pick the models for the woman/woman pairing, so I recommended Lexi Belle and India Summer, two women I have had the pleasure of directing who I know really enjoy having sex with women. I’m happy about how the book looks, and can’t wait to see it on the shelves.

You can pre-order it now from Amazon for 36% off the cover price.
I’m hitting the road on tour this fall, and you can see my schedule here.

Aug 292011

I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude at the amazing people who’ve endorsed Take Me There. Wow, just wow.

Take Me There is a smokin’ hot sampling of sassy smart smut that took me where I’d never been before in print—this is the most gender-diverse erotica collection I’ve ever seen anywhere.”
—Susan Stryker, Ph.D. Director, Institute for LGBT Studies, University of Arizona

“Finally, a book that has something for everyone whose gender and sexual fantasies don’t fit into the usual boxes. I loved it. WOOF!!”
Buck Angel® Pioneering Filmmaker, Educator, and Advocate

“As someone who is androgynous-identified, it feels positively monumental to hold in my hands an erotica anthology where trans* desire is not the token, but the topic! In making our desires visible—within our own communities and beyond—our gender expressions, our fantasies, our very lives are made real. Take Me There brings us HERE.”
Jiz Lee, GenderQueer Porn Star

“There are multiple theories of desire out there; many histories of sexuality; lots of studies of sexual practices, but, until now, there were few accounts, fictional or otherwise of the multiple ways that queer people eroticize gender variant bodies. This collection is hot and steamy, boiling with new lust, bubbling with new languages of desire, new ways of naming the body, different modes of telling each other “I want you.” Ask what you need from this book, it will take you there. I promise.”
—Jack Halberstam, author of Female Masculinity

“Finally, a satisfying resource that more of us can offer, with a sly smile, when they ask us what exactly we *do* with one another.”
—Scott Turner Schofield, author of Two Truths and a Lie