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Why Queer?

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Mar 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

I’ve had a few people ask me in the past few months why I self-identify as “queer” when I am currently only dating men. It’s a fair question, so I have been working on giving it a fair answer.

Queer is not about gender, as much as it is about “different”. I don’t buy into the idea of a gender binary – I know people who do not fit happily or comfortably within either the societal standard for male or the societal standard for female (regardless of what their chromosomes are lined up looking like). I am heartily attracted to some people who are in the gray areas, so the term “bisexual” doesn’t work on a number of levels (also, who wants to have to “bi” sex?).

Queer is about my sex life. I don’t have traditional PIV sex with everyone that I have sex with; sometimes it’s hand-in-orifice, or toy-in-orifice, or leathersex where no orifice was penetrated in the making of that sex. It’s hard to term myself “straight” when my sexual activities certainly aren’t!

Queer is also a political term. When I use it, I intentionally align myself with others for whom sex is not limited to the traditional definitions. I also embrace the term “queer” as a way of describing how I live my life, and where I put my priorities. In it, I proclaim that joyful sex is a core need in life, and that I’m working towards having that joyful sex for myself. I reaffirm that my heart and soul are capable of finding attraction in a myriad of bodies and spirits, and that I will not limit where my heart goes based on gender expression. I ensure that others know that I’m not likely to make decisions based on what society’s norms are, but instead I endeavor to use my global world view of sexuality and gender as a part of how I determine who to vote for and where to donate my money.

When I tell you that I’m queer, I am telling you that for me, the essence of sexuality is caught up in the person, not their physical body. I am telling you that I explore sex – and life – with a healthy disregard for that which other people might embrace as their core. I’m not telling you that I’m a dyke, or a lipstick lesbian, or genderqueer, or a hag…I’m telling you that I don’t qualify or quantify myself as any single limiting identity. I am telling you that my own expression of authenticity is to love who I will, as I will, and that I will stand up for each individual who chooses to do likewise in the current political and moral climate. Queer is as queer does.

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Ethics – A Rant

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Mar 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

My friend David posted this recently in his blog, and I asked if I could possibly re-post it here. While you may not agree with everything, this does touch on the questions of what ethics are valid for an entire commmunity to embrace, and how those ethics are discussed.

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Ethics – A Rant
My least favorite topic of presentation in the BDSM milieu are the ones about ethics. Ethics, a major branch of Philosophy, is an academic discipline that is studied at universities. Students major in Ethics. Some have degrees in Ethics. It’s infinite; bottomless (and not in a hot, pole-dancer kind of way). Ethical systems go back to Aristotle and Socrates and the argument, analysis and discussion of it hasn’t stopped since.

I am no more qualified to discuss Ethics than I am qualified to pontificate about interventional cardiology. And I get the impression that the presenters on Ethics in the Scene are at about the same level of qualification as I am. The irony is that some of these same presenters embrace the concept of qualification (in some tangible form) as a measure of standardization in the community. People whom I like. People whom I respect. And yet they are wholly unqualified, IMHO, to offer a model structure based on what they are calling Ethics in the Scene. It’s not a scam. To their credit, they freely admit that they are not philosophers or Ph.D’s in Ethics. So why the hell am I sitting there, squirming, watching friends twisting from a rope that they’ve noosed around their own necks, trying to persuade a roomful of sexual outlaws that they, as a community, are open to the risk of ravages from unethical rogues, unless they adopt a standard and a policy of Ethics, to keep the rogues out and protect the community? Their ethics. A Community Standard, given the Seal of Approval by a group of people wearing sashes, who only just wanted to be popular and get laid more in the first place and thought getting a sash would help them further that agenda.

“Are you qualified to be called a Master? Are you qualified to be called a slave? Is your relationship qualified to be considered a Master/slave relationship, or is it just D/s? Does it meet the minimum requirements of the definition that I am speaking about up here in front of all of you? Is it 24/7 or only 22/7? Is it only episodic or conditional? Are you living the dream? Or are you just living a fantasy? Or are you …just a poser?”

Gimme a fricken break! Qualified by whom? And who assigned these Guardians of the Gate for our protection? Protect who from what? Are we not all adults, able to take responsibility for our own choices and actions or are we kids in a sandbox? And if Her ethics are not in alignment with His ethics, does She get to brand him “U-N-E-T-H-I-C-A-L”? Well, that’s character assassination, isn’t it? And the whole thing could go down based on a rumor. Or a clique. But that’s another rant, and I’m not going there now.

I will admit to having a healthy sense of paranoia. I’ve had it since I can remember. I am very uncomfortable with the current political climate, witnessing what used to be basic civil liberties, and rights of privacy get eroded away in the name of freedom (irony speed bump), and protection from the unseen enemy from “out there”. The “T” word. Phone taps, networked surveillance cameras, random bag searches by police in the subway, high-resolution spy satellites, “If you see something, (be a rat and) say something, (especially after taking a second hard look at your next-door neighbor)”, it all makes my flesh ripple with creepy. I can’t really do much about it now. Apparently, voting really didn’t help very much with that. However, I will not tolerate being policed within MY circle of kink. I will continue to make my own choices about my associations with people, do my own homework, police my own gate, thank you very much, all without asking to see your papers and checking the Stamp of Approval to see if it’s been kept current.

There is no “safety” net. No guardian. If someone tells you different, they’re trying to sell you something or they’re lying. We all take our lumps; make mistakes. Hopefully, we continue on with better judgement, each and every time. If you’re lucky, you’ve got somebody to watch your back; you watch theirs. If you want “safe”, stay home and watch TV and never take a risk.

(You can view and comment on the original post in David’s LiveJournal)

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