One year ago, Sex Out Loud radio began with interviewing Dan Savage for the very first episode. Join me this Friday, May 31st at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET for an hour revisiting that first show as well as some of my favorite moments from the past 50 episodes, including talking with Real Housewives of Atlanta Kandi Burruss, adult legend Nina Hartley, gender outlaw Kate Bornstein, sex start-up powerhouse Cindy Gallop, rockstar academic Jack Halberstam, and many more. With highlights and behind-the-scenes stories, I look back on a year of talking about sex out loud and then take us forward into season two of the show.
Performer and activist Ignacio Rivera joins me this Friday, July 6th at 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET for a nuanced discussion about some highly charged subjects. Ignacio, who prefers the pronoun they, will talk about their gender identity and how it impacts their sexuality. We will discuss polyamory in people of color communities, race politics and racially-charged fantasies in the kink world, and how to create a truly inclusive, multi-racial community event. Then Ignacio will look at the challenges of their starring role in the feature film Mommy is Coming and reveal what it was like to work with acclaimed indie director Cheryl Dunye. This episode was recorded live during the OpenSF Conference in San Francisco and includes an audio excerpt of Ignacio’s co-keynote presentation with Yosenio Lewis.
Ignacio Rivera aka Papí Coxxx identifies as a Queer, Trans, Two-Spirit, polyamorous, kinky, Black-Boricua. Ignacio, who prefers the gender-neutral pronoun “they,” is a lecturer, activist, filmmaker, sex educator, sex worker, and performance artist, sharing spoken word, one-person shows, and storytelling internationally. Their work has appeared in ColorLines, Ebony, Yellow Medicine Review, The Ultimate Guide to Kink and in their chapbooks, Las Alas, co-authored by Maceo Cabrera Estévez; Ingridients; and Thoughts, Rants and What Some Might Call Poetry. Ignacio is the recipient of a Marsha A. Gómez Cultural Heritage Award from LLEGÓ: The National Latina/o Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Organization. Ignacio is one of the founding board members of Queers for Economic Justice; they are also the founder of Poly Patao Productions. Ignacio has been facilitating workshops, doing lectures and creating events for kinky, kinky-curious Queer/Trans POCs and their white queer and trans allies for over a decade.
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.