Jul 302012
 

This Friday on Sex Out Loud, I talk to writer, media maker, and crusader for people in the sex industry Audacia Ray about her role in the sex workers’ rights movement. We’ll discuss the work she does with the Red Umbrella Project, an organization she founded and directs as well as her thoughts on strategies for increasing awareness of the myriad issues facing sex workers. Plus, she’ll address her controversial remarks at this year’s Momentum Conference, and tell is why she no longer identifies as a sex-positive feminist. This will be a live show, so be ready to join in the conversation online and call in with questions!

Audacia Ray is the founder and director of the Red Umbrella Project, where she works to amplify the voices of people involved in the sex industry. At the Red Umbrella Project, Audacia hosts monthly live storytelling events and a weekly podcast, leads media and storytelling workshops, and provides communications support and leadership for individuals and communities who wish to tell their stories and reframe public debate. In 2010, the Village Voice named the Red Umbrella Diaries series and Audacia’s blog Waking Vixen to their Best of NYC list. As the Program Officer for Online Communications and Campaigns at the International Women’s Health Coalition and a communications consultant for the Global Network of Sex Work Projects, Audacia has worked with activists all over the world to build communications strategies around challenging topics like youth sexual health, sexual rights, HIV, and sex work.

Her skills are rooted in years of experience as an activist, writer, and media maker. Audacia is a former sex worker who was an executive editor at the Utne Reader award-winning $pread magazine for three years and is the author of Naked on the Internet: Hookups, Downloads, and Cashing In on Internet Sexploration. She has been blogging about sexuality and culture since 2004, and has shot and edited a variety of videos and video podcasts, including Naked City TV, a twenty-two episode documentary video show that she produced for the Village Voice in 2008. Audacia also developed a syllabus and taught as an adjunct professor of Human Sexuality at Rutgers University for three semesters. She has a BA from Eugene Lang College at the New School and a MA from Columbia University.

Jul 252012
 

Welcome to our newest feature: Ask The Intern, where each week, our intern answers your questions about sex, dating, and relationships (and sometimes Tristan chimes in as well). Our interns are smart people interested in working in the field of sexuality in some capacity, and you can find out more about the current intern in the byline below. Got a burning question, problem, dilemma, or issue for our intern? Email intern at puckerup.com.

I met this guy, really liked him, and we spent three days together—no sex, but did things that would lead to it. The first day, he told me he was talking to a girl. I assumed he meant dating a girl and it wasn’t serious. The next day, he said he was dating her for a year. But, that didn’t stop me from pursuing what I wanted—him on the third day. On Monday, he went back to New York, in love and intact.

And I’m in Chicago—confused. I really liked him and vice versa. Perhaps I’m mislabeling my confusion for nostalgia or anger? I let my guard down, and I never do that with guys. I told him private things and vice versa. A part of me despises myself for portraying myself as a sex object. How could I do that—to me and his girlfriend? I feel cheap, used and empty handed. I fell too fast. I want to believe he’s a nice guy but…I feel robbed of my own words and experiences. But there’s this quote: “Sharing doesn’t make you charitable, it makes you free.” Perhaps I don’t feel that way because I felt obliged into opening up. Or, perhaps I’m just thinking too much into this? Bottom line is will I ever be someone’s girlfriend and not some girl for the moment? How can I be a girlfriend? 

First things first—take the idea of being someone’s girlfriend off a pedestal. It’s not worth it. Despite what fairy tales tell us, there is no simple formula to being a significant other. Relationships are amorphous, confusing, DIY activities. So, instead of striving to be “a girlfriend,” ask yourself what you actually want from a romantic relationship. Stability? Monogamy? Consistent sex with a familiar body? Consistent sex with a handful of familiar bodies? The best part of real life is that you get to make your own relationship formula.

But there is one thing that most people want from a relationship, the glue that holds this DIY project together—trust. Unfortunately, it was this crucial puzzle piece that was missing from your weekend tryst. He wasn’t being honest with his long-term partner, which, in turn, made you question his motives. Moreover, he wasn’t being honest with you! Saying that you are “talking to a girl” sends a very different message from dating someone for a year.

At the same time, sneaking around can be exhilarating and sexy, so this “other woman” feeling might be part of what drew you to him in the first place. And that’s okay. It is natural to lust over what is off-limits. Red tape—both literal and metaphorical—is an incredible aphrodisiac.

But don’t feel cheap. Don’t feel like a sex object (unless you enjoy objectification, but it doesn’t sound like that’s your thing). Don’t judge yourself for letting your guard down. You opened up to someone you enjoy spending time with. That’s a skill you should value. It’s natural for you to feel bad for his girlfriend, but that is his problem. He should (and probably does) feel guilty and confused.

However, keep your letter to me. Use it to remind yourself how these situations make you feel in the long run. Next time you find yourself in a weekend love affair ask yourself: is it worth it? I think the answer will be pretty clear.

Abby Spector is a recent graduate of Wesleyan University, where she majored in Feminist/Gender/Sexuality Studies. She is currently interning for Tristan, a job that allows her to write about sex, research feminist porn, and play with dogs (among other, equally awesome things). When she isn’t working, Abby enjoys comfortable nudity and salty foods. Her dream? A world where she could sit around naked and eat overly-salted french fries. Her blog is Sexy Awkward Times.

Jul 132012
 

 

Tonight I’m excited that The Mayhems are able to join us on Sex Out Loud! Here’s some info about them before we go live at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT. (Don’t forget you can listen here.)

Meet The Mayhems
One day while shooting a couple’s scene for QueerPorn.TV, Maggie and Ned came to the sudden realization that there were no porn sites on the internet featuring real couples who both identified as queer switches. They were cautioned that viewers wouldn’t be able to handle a website where the content was unpredictable and especially warned that featuring footage of Ned having sex with women, men, and trans* performers would never sell because people weren’t ready for it. It was a challenge that they were prepared to face. Putting their mutual nerd chops to work, they built their website together from ground up as a 100% independent venture. In addition to challenging audiences with a couples website that was largely non-heteronormative, they have also included their own coverage of the Occupy movement, their challenges with credit card company censorship, and their exceptionally geeky experiments like the PSIgasm (Masters & Johnson in a wireless computer buttplug that detects quantitative data about the human arousal and orgasmic process in real time*). After being online for only 8 months they received a Feminist Porn Awards nomination and they are excited by the one year anniversary of MeetTheMayhems with no signs of slowing down yet.

Maggie Mayhem

When Maggie Mayhem started volunteering as an HIV test counselor at UC Santa Cruz in 2003, she had no idea how radically it would change the direction of her entire life. Before long, she became a vocal activist for harm reduction and sex positivity. She has served as the coordinator of the UC Santa Cruz Anonymous HIV testing program, HIV Senior Specialist of Larkin Street Youth Services, and grant recipient for HIV prevention and care work in Bagamoyo, Tanzania. Maggie Mayhem is also a writer, speaker, and performance artist as well as a queer porn performer who has appeared on Kink.Com, Crashpad Series, Madison Bound, Girlfriends Films, QueerPorn.TV, and on the website she built with her partner Ned, MeetTheMayhems.Com

Ned Mayhem

Ned Mayhem is a physics graduate student who has been a performer in straight, gay, and queer pornography since 2010. He has appeared in films that have been recognized at Cinekink, AVN, and Feminist Porn Awards. With his partner Maggie Mayhem, Ned runs the independent “DIY” porn site MeetTheMayhems.com showcasing the couple’s own brand of perversely heartwarming queer sexuality. Ned also uses the software he has developed for MeetTheMayhems to empower other adult performers and independent studios to control their own web presence and monetize their own content. In addition to MeetTheMayhems.com, Ned’s software runs such sites as Femifist.com, QueerlySF.com, and KittyStryker.com. Ned loves to share his pornographics enthusiasm with crowds, and he’s spoken at MomentumCon 2012, Sex Week at Harvard, Arse Elektronika, Hackmeet, Nerd Nite SF, and OpenSF.

 

 

Jun 052012
 


My guests on Sex Out Loud on Friday, June 8 at 5:00 pm Pacific time/8:00 pm Eastern time on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network are Susie Bright and her daughter Aretha Bright. We’ll talk about Susie’s memoir, Big Sex, Little Death, what it was like growing up with a sexpert Mom, how to talk to your kids about sex, and their new book, Mother/Daughter Sex Advice. Plus, I’ll put them to the test when I ask them to answer questions from listeners.

Susie Bright is the author more than a dozen books, including Full Exposure: Opening Up to Sexual Creativity and Erotic Expression, How to Write a Dirty Story: Reading, Writing, and Publishing Erotica, and Mommy’s Little Girl: On Sex, Motherhood, Porn, & Cherry Pie. She is the editor of more than 25 anthologies, including The Best American Erotica series and the Herotica series.  Her memoir, Big Sex Little Death was recently released in paperback. She is the host and producer of Audible’s weekly podcast, In Bed With Susie Bright. Bright was co-founder and editor of On Our Backs magazine, and the first journalist to cover erotic cinema and the porn business in the mainstream press. A progenitor of the sex-positive movement, Bright taught the first university course on pornography, and brought lasting sexual influence to her role in films like Bound and The Celluloid Closet, as well as playing herself, “the feminist sex writer,” on Six Feet Under. She co-authored her latest book, Mother/Daughter Sex Advice, with her daughter Aretha Bright.

Aretha Bright’s debut book is Mother/Daughter Sex Advice. She is 21 and lives in San Francisco. She can’t boast the same credentials as her mom yet (She’s ready to fly down to Hollywood at a moment’s notice!) but is busy as a new author, pysch graduate from San Francisco State University, and working gal. Aretha is interested in travel, sex, books, holidays, and pizza, among other things. You can follow Aretha on her blog.

Jan 262012
 

generative somatics has their new schedule of classes and intensives for 2012 up at the newly revamped site.  They offer a year-long training for politicized healers and practitioners, as well as stand alone 4 day intensives geared towards organizers, activists, and movement builders who want to get exposed to this transformative work. What exactly is Somatics? Here’s an excerpt from their FAQ:

Somatics is a path, a methodology, a change theory, by which we can embody transformation, individually and collectively. Embodied transformation is foundational change that shows in our actions, ways of being, relating, and perceiving. It is transformation that sustains over time. Somatics pragmatically supports our values and actions becoming aligned. It helps us to develop depth and the capacity to feel ourselves, each other and life around us. Somatics builds in us the ability to act from strategy and empathy, and teaches us to be able to assess conditions and “what is” clearly. Somatics is a practice-able theory of change that can move us toward individual, community and collective liberation. Somatics works through the body, engaging us in our thinking, emotions, commitments, vision and action.

You’ll find course descriptions, gs papers and theory, movement partners and more at their website, including applications and registration for their programs. Go check it out and spread the word to other people you know who would benefit.

 


 

Jan 162012
 

Author and therapist  Dossie Easton is presenting a seminar on February 4th in Corte Madera, CA, called  Voices from the Margins: Cultural Competency with BDSM Clients, that is geared towards therapists and professionals who wish to expand their understanding of BDSM in order to help better serve their clients. Register before January 21 to get a discount, details on the seminar are here below.

Voices from the Margins: Cultural Competency with BDSM Clients

Saturday, February 4th, 2012, 9 am to 4 pm
Town Center Community Room
770 Tamalpais Drive
Corte Madera CA 04925

The goal of this seminar is to increase participants’ understanding and knowledge about BDSM (bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, sadism and masochism) practices, and lifestyles, including reality-based knowledge of what BDSM players actually do and how they negotiate consent and plan for physical and emotional safety. Participants will learn a psychodynamic approach that will help them understand why people are drawn to these practices and how they might use the support of therapy to unpack the narrative or personal mythos enacted in their play with power and eroticism.

Participants will learn how to maintain a nonjudgmental stance, ask respectful questions and create a safe environment in their consulting rooms so that their BDSM clients will feel free to share their realities and discuss their issues in the therapeutic encounter. Participants will be able to:

………….Understand their clients’ sexual practices without judging them and assess how they
handle safety, negotiation and consent.
………….Make an informed decision about their cultural competence to treat such clients or seek
consultation and further information versus when it would be best to refer to a specialist.
………….Welcome discussions of their clients’ sexualities as an important part of their therapy and
honor their clients’ sexual choices.

Further information about Ms. Easton’s practice and writings can be found at www.dossieeaston.com

REGISTRATION:

Cost: CIP Members: $65 early registration, $75 after January 21
Non Members: $100 early registration, $110 after January 21

CEUs: 6 CEUs for MFTs & LCSWs, 6 CEUs approved by MCEPAA for Psychologists.

Register Online at www.cipmarin.org, select “Professional Development” and choose
“Seminars for Professionals”, click on the course title.

Phone: 415 459-5999 x101.

Mail check or money order
with your name, degree, license number, phone & email to:
Community Institute for Psychotherapy
1330 Lincoln Avenue #201
San Rafael CA 94901.

Dec 072011
 

Dossie Easton and Deobrah Taj Anapol will be giving a one-day workshop, Reclaiming Desire, on January 14, 2012 in San Rafael, CA. This is a great opportunity to engage with two amazing professionals and learn how to explore the power of your desires.  Details on the workshop and information on how to register below.

RECLAIMING DESIRE with Dossie Easton & Deborah Taj Anapol
January 14th, 2012, 11 am to 6 pm in San Rafael, CA

Dossie and Deborah have each been instrumental in creating today’s global shift toward embracing diversity in sexual relating. They now work to support people to create and maintain many varieties of healthy relationships. In this one-day workshop they will join forces to offer an extraordinary exploration of the power of sexual desire. Don’t miss this one-time collaboration of two powerful icons! While we need not act on every desire, when we deny what we feel we cast our disowned selves into the shadow along with our passion and our excitement. In this powerful experiential workshop we’ll journey through the obstacles and fears which can block our natural energy, and clear the path for amazing loving connections.

You can learn how to gracefully manage jealousy without stifling your feelings;
Be clear about who you are without getting stuck in a limiting identity; and
Know what you want and ask for it while honoring everyone’s relationships.

Cost: $108 per person. Register online here.

Deborah Taj Anapol, Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology is the author of Polyamory in the 21st Century, The Seven Natural Laws of Love and Love Without Limits. She now offers seminars, training, and sexual healing, tantra, and relationship coaching for partners & singles worldwide in person, via phone, & Skype. Visit her at www.lovewithoutlimits.com for complete schedule of upcoming workshops, books, free articles, and coaching formats.

Dossie Easton is a licensed psychotherapist working with individuals, couples and moresomes in her private practice in San Francisco. She is co-author with Janet Hardy of The Ethical Slut, Radical Ecstasy, and others, and she lectures and leads workshops on polyamory and ecstatic spiritual practices internationally. Dossie has been an active sex radical since 1961. Website: www.dossieeaston.com.

Oct 302011
 

I have a very free relationship with my girlfriend. She will let me fuck her ass about once every two months, and that is enough for me. She will let me eat her ass whenever I want to. I love to do it, and she loves to have it done even more — she starts to drip because she gets so wet. I love it when she shoves a finger or two into my asshole. She would never consider eating my ass, as I have asked her many times, but I am okay with that. Lately, I have enjoyed eating her ass more and more; it is all I think about.

Yesterday, she came over to my apartment and we laid in bed and had dinner. We got naked and she rolled over to turn off the TV. I saw her ass and pushed her over completely and I got my face to her ass, which was clean, but had an odor, not a bad one, but faint. It turned me on so much that I told her to stay like that and I licked her slightly smelly ass for thirty minutes, while she fingered herself. It was such a turn-on. I told her how much it turned me on and how I wanted to do it again and she said, “No, you are really fucked up.” All I know is that I have never been more turned on in my life. What should I do?

–Want My Nose Buried in Her Ass Forever

Some people like the smell of asses (and other body parts or body odors) — they like reveling in the scent, fetishizing it, and/or talking about it — and it seems like you are one of those people. Scent is an incredibly powerful sense and one that can be closely linked with our desires and turn-ons. It sounds like while you were rimming her ass, she was enjoying herself, since it went on for some time and you wrote that she was pleasuring herself.

I assume that once you revealed that her ass smelled a little, it freaked her out, which caused her abrupt response. One of the most common hang-ups people have about their butts is cleanliness and hygiene, so it’s not surprising that she reacted to your comment. My guess is that she felt self-conscious and instead of admitting that, she lashed out at you. Now that you are past the heat of the moment, it’s time to talk about this openly. You need to stress to your girlfriend that, as you said, her ass didn’t smell awful; explain to her why you liked the smell and how much it turned you on. See if she can get past her own issues and “go there” with you, so you can be open about your desire, and you can both enjoy yourselves.

Oct 012011
 

My girlfriend and I have been dating for over three years. When we first started dating, she let me fuck her in the ass a couple of times; she never had an orgasm during anal sex, but I know she enjoyed it. We always used tons of lube (generally Astroglide), I always went very slowly, and my cock is a pretty average 6″ long and not too thick. Then, one day, I was forbidden to enter her ass. I have played with her ass and licked her ass while I’m going down on her. There is no doubt that she enjoys this and if I finger her ass at the moment of orgasm it almost always pushes her over the edge.

A month or so ago, she said we could try anal sex again, which we did several times, again using lots of lube and going very slowly. She never complained that it hurt, but she said at times it made her feel nauseous. She seemed to be more focused on getting through the act rather then trying to enjoy it. I tried to get her to play with her clit to enhance her pleasure, but she just wanted to get through it. Then she stopped the anal sex again.

I’ll be the first to admit this is my idea, I think I have a bit of an ass fetish. I really want anal sex to become part of our sex life, and not only for me, but because I know she enjoys it… if she lets herself. There is no doubt in my mind that her aversion to this is all mental; she’s a “good girl” and thinks anal sex is something that she shouldn’t enjoy. She isn’t totally adverse to anal play as she admits that sometimes she does like it when I finger her ass and she will sometimes finger my ass during a blow job or a hand job.

First, what can I do to put her mind at ease and let her know that it’s okay to enjoy anal sex and she’s not a freak for getting pleasure from her ass? Second, is there any way to ease the feeling of nausea?

–Help Me With Her Mind-Body Issue

I want to address the nausea first. It’s not unheard of for someone to feel nauseous during or after anal sex. Because anal sex stimulates the rectum, it can also stimulate the colon and intestines, giving someone a mild stomach ache. She should avoid eating a meal right before anal sex. Some positions, like doggie style with her ass up and head down, may exacerbate the problem, so you can experiment with different positions to see if some ease her discomfort.

As for easing her mind, well that’s a lot trickier. First, it sounds like the two of you need to have some better communication about sex. Her abrupt stops to anal sex seem to surprise and confuse you, and you need to ask her why she has put the kibosh on it several times now. It also seems like anal play is okay with her, but anal intercourse is not, and that needs to be addressed. It’s troubling that you believe she wants to get through it rather than enjoy it since it sounds like you’re doing all the right things to make it pleasurable for her. If, like you think, this is “all mental,” then communication can also help her talk through some of her issues. Many people have hang ups about their ass and anal pleasure which are based on myths and stereotypes. She needs to let go of her judgment of herself and of her feelings that some sexual things are normal and others aren’t. If she feels kinky or perverted for having anal sex, assure her that lots of people do it and it’s just another form of pleasure. The tricky part is that she needs to believe you, which you can’t make her do.

I would also encourage you to explore why she has trouble letting go or being vulnerable during sex, because that may be a component of what’s going on. Open up the dialogue and be as encouraging and non-judgmental as you can; help her to figure out what her issues are and how to work through them. If she’s open to it, you might want to also try couple’s counseling with a therapist who has experience with sexual issues.

Nov 142005
 

My wife seems to like the naughtiness of receiving my dick up her ass, but I don’t think she really likes it. We haven’t done it that much, but when I get it in there she does her sexy groan like when she’s going to come from a good licking. Part of it is we haven’t used much lube except her cunt juice. I don’t know if I really want to ask her if she wants to have it or not because she may say no, and I don’t want to go there. We’ve talked about it outside of the bedroom and she says she does it because she knows it turns me on and she likes to submit to my power over her. She’s very much in tune to her body and loves trying new things. Any advice on getting her more into it?

–Can’t Read Her Mind or Her Ass

Before you think about getting your wife “more into” anal sex, you need to figure out if she is into it at all. Although you’ve talked with her a little bit about the subject, you need to talk about it a lot more. She says she does it to please you, but does she enjoy any other aspect of it besides the pleasure it brings you? It troubles me that you have avoided asking her direct questions about it for fear that her answers might not be the ones you want to hear. You both need to be honest with one another about your desires and needs when it comes to anal sex.

As for the lack of lube, well, that’s not helping matters. You absolutely need lube for penetration to be comfortable for her; in this case, her cunt juice is not enough. But first and foremost, her desire must be there for it to work at all.