Jun 152015
 

AMOROUS REVOLT

AR new logo
Amorous Revolt
is a brand new Queer Camping event happening from July 31-August 2, 2015. This event is designed by queer people for queer people to build and foster intentional communities for support, education and play. Amorous Revolt features skillshares and workshops including kink, crafts, health, life skills and spirituality, as well as networking events, dance parties, and performances.

In an effort to make the event as accessible as possible, we have an organized rideshare system, ASL interpreters, 24/7 medical staff, and an emotional support space. We also have community organized cabin, play and workshop spaces for People of Color, Transgender/Gender Nonconforming People, Sober folks, and Neurodiverse folks.

Please join us at the first ever Amorous Revolt July 31-August 2, 2015 at Ramblewood in Darlington, Maryland. For more information visit our site or join us on Fetlife, Facebook, and Twitter.

ALSO in JULY….

hearts
In Dallas, Texas on July 24 2015, PolyDallas2015 is hosting the Affirming Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationship Symposium. It is being held at the office of Vantage Point Counseling Services. This is the first symposium, with a primary focus on polyamorous relationship and family structure, to be held in the Dallas/Fort Worth [DFW] area. Co-Presenters Ruby B Johnson and Shawn Chrisman hope to contribute to the knowledge base of mental health practitioners and other community providers. For those attendees who are not in the DFW area, this symposium is offered as a live webinar stream.

Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous relationships have become more visible over the last decade. The way individuals, in their 20s to early 30s (Millennials), are relating, connecting, attracting, and permitting themselves to have non-traditional relationships is creating a more sex positive and dynamic relationship structure. However, Generation X proves to have a different experience and expectation of relationships and their structure.

Hence the exposure, experience, and knowledge base of these different relationships is mysterious to many mental health and substance abuse providers within the community. Demystifying and educating providers is key to providing a conducive non-shaming therapeutic environment. Providing knowledge is a practice of cultural competence; infusing cultural humility into practice creates authenticity and positive regard within the clinician.

To support these principles of the helping relationship, the content richly addresses definitions of polyamory and non-monogamy, coupled with a graph which offers a visual aid for attendees. Heteronormative and monogamous privilege is exposed as well as how those forms of privilege create challenges to provider’s beliefs, values, and norms of relationships. To assist with unpacking privilege, myths and misconceptions of these relationships are debunked. Next, the focus shifts to the therapist and other helping professionals.

With each one of the tenets of cultural humility, solutions, techniques, and suggestions for change are offered that include (not limited to) unconscious bias, racial bias, counter transference, professional boundaries, dual relationships, microaggressions,, social, political, economic bias, sex positivity versus sex addiction, and intellectual privilege (Dunning-Kruger Effect).

Certain theories have been shown to assist with effective practice such as systems, constructivism, Bowenian, feminist, and gender queer. Techniques such as the genogram, gender/relationship inclusive assessments, narrative versus structured assessment, collaborative (with client) treatment planning and interventions, including considerations for cultural, social, community, and services barriers. Additionally, one must be aware of community resources and support.

Please follow us on Twitter @polydallas2015.

Presenters:

Ruby B Johnson (LMSW, LCDC, SAP, CSAT Candidate) received her Bachelors of Social Work in 2003 from Texas Women’s University and her Masters of Social Work in 2005 from the University of Texas at Arlington. Since 2003, Ruby’s roles have included clinical practitioner, community and professional development educator, and graduate and under graduate adjunct professor. In private practice, her areas of expertise are substance use disorders, sex addiction, intimacy and love addiction, multi-cultural families and couples, SOGIE, polyamorous/non monogamous partnerships/families, and Kink/BDSM. Ruby Johnson provides therapeutic support, care, and intervention with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, gender variant/non-binary, queer, and same gender loving communities. Currently, Ruby is in private practice at Vantage Point Counseling Services and Inamorata LLC.

She has presented at several national, state, and local conferences including Society of Social Work Research Conference, Council of Social Work Education Conference, DFW Behavioral Health Symposium, and, most recently, her proposals were accepted at The State Texas Association of Addiction Professionals Conference and Black Families, Black Relationships, and Black Sexuality Conference in Philadelphia. Ruby is a member of various professional organizations including Texas Association of Addiction Professionals [TAAP], Association of Addiction Professionals [NAADAC], International Institute of Trauma and Addiction Professionals [IITAP], American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists [AASECT], Society for Advancement of Sexual Health [SASH] and most recently, Association of Black Sexologists and Clinicians [ABSC].

Shawn Chrisman (MS, LPC, PhD Candidate) is currently a practicing Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Texas.  He received his clinical training with a Master’s in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, and is currently working towards his doctorate degree in Human Sexuality from Widener University.

Shawn works with individuals and couples on sexuality-related issues, including addressing intimacy, sexual identity, gender dysphoria, sexual dysfunctions and other concerns.  Shawn also identifies as a kink-aware therapist and works with couples enjoying diverse relationship structures, such as open or polyamorous relationships.  Shawn is an active member of American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) and The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS).  He has also presented workshops for professionals and community members at local universities and organizations. Shawn has been published in Qualitative Health Research.

Jun 032015
 

hearts
Cultural Humility and Affirming Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous Relationships
Organized and facilitated by Shawn Chrisman and Ruby B Johnson
June 26, 2015
Vantage Point Counseling
3300 Oaklawn Ave, Suite 415
Dallas, Texas 75219
for more details, go to polydallas2015.com.

Polyamorous and Non-Monogamous relationships have increased over the last decade. The way individuals, in the 20’s to early 30’s or Millennials, are relating, connecting, attracting, and permitting themselves to have non-traditional relationships is creating a more sex positive and dynamic relationship structure. However, Generation X proves to have a different experience and expectation of relationships and their structure.

Hence the exposure, experience, and knowledge base of these different relationships is esoteric to many mental health and substance abuse providers within the community. Demystifying and educating providers is key to providing a conducive non-shaming therapeutic environment. However providing knowledge is a practice of cultural competence, infusing cultural humility into practice creates authenticity and positive regard within the clinician.

To support these principles of the helping relationship, the content richly addresses definitions of polyamory and non-monogamy, coupled with a graph which offers a visual aide for attendees, under language, Unpacking heteronormative and monogamy privilege is exposed as well as the challenge to provider’s beliefs, values, and norms of relationships. To assist with unpacking privilege, myths and misconceptions of these relationships are debunked. Next, the focus shifts to the therapist.
The way of being, in the helping profession, is cultural humility. The four tenants of cultural humility are:

Commitment to lifelong learning & critical self-reflection
Recognize/challenge power imbalances
Develop & maintain mutually respectful dynamic partnerships based on mutual trust
Institutional accountability

With each one of the tenets, solutions, techniques, and suggestions for change are offered that include (not limited to) unconscious bias, racial bias, counter transference, professional boundaries, dual relationships, microaggressions,, social, political, economic bias, sex positivity versus sex addiction, and intellectual privilege (Dunning-Kruger Affect).

Certain theories have been shown to assist with effective practice such systems, constructivism, Bowenian, feminist, and gender queer. Techniques such as the genogram, gender/relationship
inclusive assessments, narrative versus structured assessment, collaborative (with client) treatment planning and interventions, including considerations for cultural, social, community, and services barriers. Additionally, one must be aware of community resources and support.

May 242013
 
Madison Young as a pony girl on the set of Rough Sex 2

Madison Young as a pony girl on the set of 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 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?

I asked my friend and colleague Felice Shays, a sex and BDSM educator, to take this one on. Listen to my fantastic interview with her on Sex Out Loud here. Felice says:

So, you are afraid to try things other than missionary positions, kissing, and other sexy acts because pot always leads to crack? And spanking always leads to bestiality? No, friend, don’t worry about escalation, as you call it. When you try out different things you’re figuring out what you like. Keep experimenting—add to what you and your partner enjoy; keep what works and don’t keep what doesn’t feel so good. But don’t be afraid to try something again down the road—what may feel eh today might feel off the charts next week. Watching lots of porn isn’t a bad thing unless it interferes in the healthy functioning of someone’s life (see Hernando Chaves’ discussion of sex addiction). People don’t get desensitized when watching lots of porn, hopefully they keep getting turned on. Their interests might shift over time, so what may have been a fantasy last month, may not be as hot this month. And yet other people love to watch the same kind of images throughout their lives. The good news is that sex is not like a runaway car, careening down a side of a mountain into the tiny town about to destroy the innocent townsfolk who live there. No. Instead, you get to make decisions about what you want, and when you want it. That includes if you want to gently kiss someone on their neck or press your teeth in a firm way against that flesh. Or if you want to be on top or you want to give or get it from behind. The other good news, is that no one gets to hold the truth to what vanilla or kink actually is. I can hear you say, “You know what I mean. Like spanking and dirty talk and like that.” And I say, what is someone’s “vanilla” may be someone else’s ‘you’ve gone a bit too far, pal’.  And vice versa. My friend says she and her husband are vanilla, yet he holds the back of her head as she’s sucking him off. He’s not forcing her or choking her, just getting off on how pretty she is, how good he feels, his hand in her hair, his cock in her mouth. And she loves it too; feeling just the right amount of pressure on the back of her head that makes her feel high and hot.

That’s playing with power right there. And they consider themselves vanilla—not kinky.

So I can’t tell you what vanilla is. And frankly, I don’t really give’s a rat’s ass. I want you happy and turned on, not bored.

It’s about what turns you on and what your desires are.

Desire, like other tastes, change and morph as we gain experience in the world.  And just because you love pizza, doesn’t mean you want to eat it every night.

Worry less and EXPLORE and EXPERIMENT more.

So when you add new ways of being sexy and sexual to getting it on, you might want to keep those new ways—plus any of the other ways you used to—whatever make you happy. And you probably won’t want to make love or fuck exactly the same way every time either. Mood, partner, time of day, if you’re high or drunk, all these things will affect what you want.

So if you try slapping someone’s face and realize you both really like it, the doors to vanilla are still yours to walk through. Cuddling, sex without an edge or ferocity, are still yours whenever you want it.

Keep open and curious—and don’t let fear run your sex, or your life, for that matter.

You are allowed to experiment explore and discover what you like.

ADD to your sexual vocabulary, don’t limit it.

Just think of the stories you will tell with all that new language.

It’s worth repeating: Worry less and EXPLORE more.

Felice Shays, Sex and BDSM Educator. Follow Felice on Twitter @FeliceShays

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.

Mar 012013
 

ttbook_logo

Tristan Taormino will be on “To The Best of Our Knowledge,” as part of a show called ‘After the Romance‘, which airs this weekend on NPR stations. Tristan talks with host Steve Paulson about her book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, open relationships, swinging, polyamory, and more. You can hear it during the following times on local NPR stations:

openupcover-finalhighresAtlanta, GA: Monday and Tuesday 11:00 am on 91.7 WUGA-FM

Columbus, OH: Sunday 3:00 pm on 89.7 WOSU-FM

Eugene, OR: Sunday 8:00 am on 1280 KRVM-AM

Los Angeles, CA: Sunday 9:00 pm on 88.3 KCLU-FM

Milwaukee, WI: Sunday 12:00 pm on 90.7 WHAD-FM

San Francisco, CA: Sunday, 8:00 am on 91.7 KALW-FM and
Sunday, 7:00 pm on 88.5 KQED-FM

Seattle, WA: Friday (3/8) 8:00 pm on 94.9 KUOW-FM

Springfield, MA: Sunday, 8:00 am on 640 WNNZ-AM

For other local areas, click here to search by state.

You can also stream or download the mp3 of the entire show featuring Tristan Taormino, Esther Perel, Kate Bolick, Brian Kaufman and Martin Swinger, and more or listen to and download Tristan’s segment here.

May 252012
 


June 5, doors 7:00 pm, pre-show 7:30 pm, show 8:00 pm
She Bop Presents The Feminist Porn Show with Tristan Taormino
“The Feminist Porn Show” is a special evening curated and hosted by Tristan Taormino to showcase feminist porn, a genre of adult film and a growing movement. Tristan will introduce the audience to the concept of feminist porn and discuss its history, then she’ll screen a curated selection of short clips from filmmakers around the world. The clip show features the work of both pioneers and newcomers, including Fatale Video, Candida Royalle, Annie Sprinkle, Nina Hartley, Jackie Strano and Shar Rednour, Petra Joy, Erika Lust, Shine Louise Houston, Anna Brownfield, Carlos Batts, N. Maxwell Lander, Emilie Jouvet, Louise Lush, Jaiya, Maria Beatty, Buck Angel, Madison Young, Nenna, Courtney Trouble, Morty Diamond, Tobi Hill-Meyer, Kelly Shibari, Loree Erickson and more. The screening will be followed by a facilitated discussion, where we’ll explore some of the current issues surrounding feminist porn. The pre-show will include a sexy performance from Felice Shays. Afterward, She Bop will be selling DVDs from the featured filmmakers, including Tristan’s films, and she will stick around to sign books and videos. And the party can continue at the adjoining Bar Bar! This event is general admission, so get there early for a good seat. Tickets are available in person at She Bop and Mississippi Studios, where there will be a $1 box office fee. If you buy tickets online, there is a $4.40 service charge.
Location: This special event is presented by She Bop, but will not be held at the store, it will be held at Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi, Portland OR 97227
Admission: $25, buy tickets at She Bop (909 N. Beech Street, Portland, OR 97227), at Mississippi Studios (3939 N. Mississippi, Portland OR 97227, $1 box office fee), or online via Ticket Biscuit ($4.40 service charge)
Info: info at sheboptheshop.com and 503-473-8018, Twitter: @SheBopTheShop

ALSO: TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE FOR TRISTAN’S OPEN RELATIONSHIP WORKSHOP ON JUNE 3:

June 3, 7:30 pm
She Bop Presents: Making Open Relationships Work
Do open relationships really work? How do people create nontraditional partnerships that are loving and lasting? Tristan Taormino, relationship expert and author of Opening Up, shares some of the key principles that can help your open relationship(s) succeed. She’ll discuss common issues and problems-from “new relationship energy” and time management to jealousy and agreement violations -and ways to address and resolve them. Tristan will offer tips on communication, negotiation, and boundary setting, as well as how to cope with change. Learn how to get to the root of jealous feelings and transform them by embracing the concept of compersion. Whether you’re a newcomer or veteran to the world beyond monogamy, come discover strategies to help you nurture and grow your open relationship(s).
Location: This workshop is presented by She Bop, but will not be held at the store, it will be held at the Q Center, which is 3 blocks up the street from She Bop at the corner of Mississippi and Mason (4115 N. Mississippi).
Admission: $25, buy tickets at the store (909 N. Beech Street, Portland, OR 97227), by phone 503-473-8018 or online
Info: info at sheboptheshop.com and 503-473-8018, Twitter: @SheBopTheShop