Nov 282012
 

Dr. Meg Barker comes to Sex Out Loud this Friday to discuss her new book, Rewriting the Rules, which addresses our current climate saturated with contradictory love advice. They examine both the old and new rules of relating and questions how useful they might be to managing our relationships today. Then Tristan interviews queer storyteller, author, and educator Sassafras Lowrey about hir novel, Roving Pack, set in an underground world of homeless queer teens. Lowrey will discuss the process of writing the book, responses from the community, as well as give a sneak peek to hir next collection, Leather Ever After, an anthology of kinky fairy tales. Tune in this Friday, November 30th at 8 pm ET / 5 pm PT and find out all the ways to listen here!

Dr. Meg Barker is a senior lecturer in psychology at the Open University and a therapist specialising in sexual and relationship issues. Meg has published books on relationships (Understanding Non-monogamies, Routledge), sexuality (Safe, Sane & Consensual, Palgrave MacMillan), and counselling (Understanding Counselling and Psychotherapy, Sage) and is co-editor of the journal Psychology & Sexuality. Meg runs many public and professional events about sex and relationships (e.g. Critical Sexology, Sense about Sex, BiReCon), as well as providing training for the UK College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists. Meg was first author of The Bisexuality Report about bisexual experience in the UK (www.biuk.org). Meg’s most recent book Rewriting the Rules (Routledge) tackles the common ‘rules’ around love and sex that people often feel they must adhere to (www.rewriting-the-rules.com).

Sassafras Lowrey is an internationally award-winning storyteller, author, artist, and educator. Sassafras is the editor of the two time American Library Association honored, and Lambda Literary Finalist Kicked Out anthology (www.KickedOutAnthology.com) which brought together the voices of current and former homeless LGBTQ youth. Hir prose has been included in numerous anthologies and magazines recently ze received an Honorable Mention from the 2011 Astrea Lesbian Writers Fund. and Sassafras regularly lectures and facilitates LGBTQ storytelling workshops at colleges and conferences across the country. Hir debute novel Roving Pack (www.RovingPack.com) will be released October 2012, and ze is currently editing Leather Ever After an anthology of BDSM fairy tale retellings to be released by Ravenous Romance. Sassafras lives in Brooklyn with hir family. To learn more about Sassafras and hir work, visit www.SassafrasLowrey.com

 

Sep 102012
 

This Friday, September 14th, I’m thrilled to welcome Reid Mihalko to Sex Out Loud! Known for his charisma, wit and emphasis on integrity, Reid Mihalko travels the country teaching, coaching, consulting and collaborating on fulfilling his mission to create more self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual health for adults in and out of the bedroom. I talk with Reid about his work as a sex and relationships expert, including his favorite tips and stories from his workshops on a range of topics, including jealousy, self-confidence, and bedroom techniques. Reid will also talk about the Sex Geek Chic Challenge College Tour and how he’s taking sexual health, consent and relationship education to a new interactive level.

Sex and relationship expert Reid Mihalko of www.ReidAboutSex.com helps adults learn how to understand their lovers’ bodies and be better communicators so they can create more self-esteem, self-confidence and greater health in their relationships and sex lives, no matter what their self-expression of those happen to be.

From his rated-PG/PG-13 workshops (Cuddle Party, Speed-Flirting) to the rated-R (Iron Slut Sex Educator Showdown) to his explicit, NC-17 rated, Show-N-Tell sex education workshops (where audiences get to watch, take notes, and ask questions), Reid’s workshops have been attended by close to 40,000 individuals from myriad walks of life, orientations, relationship styles, countries and religions. Known for his charisma, wit and emphasis on integrity, Reid travels the country teaching, coaching, consulting and collaborating on fulfilling his mission: Create more self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual health for adults in and out of the bedroom.

Reid has been a featured speaker at dozens of conferences on relationships and sexuality and is a sought-after presenter and teacher at colleges and sex positive stores across the country.

Reid has been a writer and producer on a number of films and television projects about sex and relationships, and appears regularly in the media. He has also appeared on the Emmy award-winning talk show Montel, Fox News, VH1’s Scott Baio is 45 and Single, Showtime’s Penn & Teller’s Bulls**t!, Canada’s The Sex Files and SexTV, and the short-lived Life & Style, on NPR, Sirius’ Maxim Radio and Cosmo Radio, and in Marie Claire, GQ, Details, People, Newsweek, Seventeen Magazine, and The National Enquirer, as well as media across the globe in thirteen countries and at least seven languages.Known for his charisma, wit and emphasis on integrity, Reid Mihalko travels the country teaching, coaching, consulting and collaborating on fulfilling his mission to create more self-esteem, self-confidence and sexual health for adults in and out of the bedroom. Tristan talks with Reid about his work as a sex and relationships expert, including his favorite tips and stories from his workshops on a range of topics, including jealousy, self-confidence, and techniques. Reid will also talk about the Sex Geek Chic Challenge College Tour and how he’s taking sexual health, consent and relationship education to a new interactive level.

Aug 152012
 

Artwork by Joe Newton for The Stranger

While Dan Savage was on vacation, the “Savage Love” Letter of the Day—a.k.a. SLLOTD—had to go on! So Dan asked three different guest columnists to field his readers’ questions while he’s away. I was the guest columnist August 13-17! You can read each of my questions and answers on the SLOG, along with readers’ comments which were diverse and very opinionated here:

August 13: Even Less Kinky Than Plain Vanilla, about incompatibility, kinkiness, and communication
August 14: Fetishes, Porn, Meatballs, and Eggs, about women’s fetishes, a gyno sex fantasy, and gossip
August 15: Hungover and Hurt, about a partner’s boundary violation (trigger warning)
August 16: Maybe I’m More Vanilla Than I Thought, about crossdressing, anal, and sexual compatibility
August 17: Less Face, More Fuck, about a new Dom/sub sex partner who’s avoiding intercourse

Aug 032012
 

Do you feel that your partner is somewhat obligated to share their sexual fantasies with you, no matter how vanilla or bizarre? I’d love to know what my wife’s deepest darkest fantasies are but she says she doesn’t have any (ya right). Do you have any advice on getting it out of her, and do you feel like I do, that she sorta owes it to me as her partner and husband of 20yrs? I’ve assured her that nothing she could say would bother or upset me, and that I just want to do go with it and have fun, but she refuses. Is it any of my buisness? Thanks!

Your wife is not “obligated” to do anything. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been married for fifty hours or fifty years, she has the right to reveal her fantasies whenever she wants.

That being said, don’t take her shyness personally. When it comes sharing fantasies, everyone has a different comfort level. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people never reveal their fantasies, no matter how open and honest their partnerships. Why? Because, for these folks, fantasy needs to stay in the private world of their sexual imagination in order for it to remain arousing.

Moreover, consider the possibility that your wife may not fully understand her own desires. She may be confused, scared, or overwhelmed by what she wants and/or thinks. Verbalizing and explaining these fantasies may make them seem too real. In other words, she may not be afraid of revealing her desires to you, her husband, but rather, afraid of revealing them to herself.

My advice? Tell her your fantasies. Open up to her the way you want her to open up to you. When you ask her about her fantasies, don’t pressure her into revealing them or scoff if she says she has none. Give her time. Remind her that you would be accepting of anything and everything (that is, if you are accepting of anything and everything. Do not lie.) Most importantly, remember that she is not required to tell you her fantasies. They are her thoughts–not yours.

Got a burning question, problem, dilemma, or issue for our intern? Email intern at puckerup.com.

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 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.

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.

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.

Feb 062012
 

I’m quoted giving major props to Betty Dodson in “Up Close and Extremely Personal” in an article about a new coffee table book Vulva 101, which appeared in both the Toronto Sun and the London Free Press.

There’s also been more media coverage of open relationships. I’m quoted in this BBC news article, Is it Possible to Be in a Happy Open Marriage? and I did an interview for the piece “Can Open Relationships Work?” in Canoe

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.