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New Article – An Interview with NobEssence

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Aug 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

“Let’s face it—sex toys are easy to make fun of—the ubiquitous rabbit vibrators, the beige plastic “personal massager” shaped like a torpedo—and let’s not even talk about male masturbators. These devices don’t exactly make people think of the Four Seasons or the Russian Tea Room. So where’s the actual sexiness in the toy industry? Certainly not in the gaping maw of a “realistic” love glove.”

NobEssence‘s toys, handcrafted from exotic wood, are the height of sensual style – and the company is has a firm commitment to environmental sustainability and eco-consciousness.  Take a peek at the rest of my article here!

 
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An Obituary for my Step Father

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Aug 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

(My step father passed away yesterday morning. Last night, I wanted to create a ritual for him, and as a result, I wrote what I can only now call an homage, an obituary, to him. I wanted to share it with you, because I think that there are some amazing lessons from my mothers life with him.)

Where do sex educators come from? They come from parents. In my case, I came from a mother who was abandoned by her husband three months after her first child was born. She was ill equipped to be a solo parent, and my childhood and teenage years were filled with interventions by others to try to give me what she couldn’t. She spent the majority of her life without intimate partners; she did date a few men from time to time but they never stayed long, and they never seemed to really care about her. She was my primary model for what being a “woman” meant, and in my inexperienced brain I decided that being a woman must mean being weak, being taken advantage of, and being needy – so the role of tomboy was one I fell happily into, even if it meant that often, I was her main source of support.

My mother and I have had a very tenuous relationship for years; partly because of the usual mother/daughter friction, partly because I couldn’t let her off the hook for some of the worst parts of my childhood, partly because she just didn’t understand why I did what I did. I’m afraid I haven’t totally grown out of that. it’s still a challenge for me to talk with her or spend time with her; possibly because in her, I see my own failings. I have gotten better, though – I’ve challenged a lot of the “why did she do that” and “what was she thinking” and “why wasn’t she more of what I needed” questions in my own head, and I’ve been able to see my mother through more compassionate eyes.

One of the things that I’ve always found most sad was her lack of a lover or partner. I know how solid it feels for me when I have a partner that I can rely on, that I can share my thoughts and feelings with and be intimate with. I cannot imagine being without that for the decades that she was; I don’t know what it must have been like for her to seek solace in only her religion and her friendships. I’d always wished that my mother would find someone to love her – as a child, I thought that having another father would rescue us both from the chaos that surrounded us; as an adult, I hoped that she could be loved and taken care of, finally not having to do everything on her own (or worse, for a child that was extraordinarily hard to handle and angry about everything).

Eight or nine years ago, my mother met a man at the local Elk lodge.  She’d become part of their women’s group, and was a regular at bingo night. He was a well respected, gentle man who somehow became friends with her, and then slowly fell in love with her.  The first time I met him, I was astonished at this small man, bent with age, and his obvious devotion to my mother. They held hands, spotted with age, with the same tentativeness that teenagers use in their first displays of affection. He pulled me aside and told me that he wanted to take care of her, to make sure that she never wanted for anything. And – he did take care of her. They moved into his tiny apartment (“Living in sin?”, I chided my mother, repeating back to her the same words she used when my ex- and I moved in together over a decade before that); he drove her to the store and to the lodge where they developed their own social community. He took her to the doctor when she was ill, and she cared for him after his many strokes.

I don’t know – and don’t care – if they ever had sex. I know that they had the ease of lovers; in fact, at their wedding, he slid his hands up her skirt to remove her garter that had been placed a bit higher than Miss Manners might have wanted it. I know that they slept in the same bed every night unless one of them was hospitalized (which was, sadly, frequently), only stopping when his physical condition put him into a long term care facility.

My mother finally gave up hoping that he would return, and moved out of his apartment – their apartment – a little over a year ago. I helped her with packing up & moving out of there. She gave me a number of things – some of which were destined in her mind for the trash can. I have a small penknife, a leather beltloop for a keychain, a few trinkets from a man of his generations’ pockets that nobody else might care about – but for a woman who never knew a father, they are treasures that allow me to connect with what might have been, and what for a few years, was true.

“He thought the world of you”, she just told me, and I thought the world of him. I am grateful for the time that he spent with my mother; I’m grateful that he loved her and cherished her, right until the day he died. I’m grateful that she knew love once more in a life that many people would think of as romantically and sexually finished. I’m grateful for the knowledge that love never becomes something that only the young can experience, and intimacy doesn’t stop being powerful even if it’s displayed in a touch rather than in the throes of passion.

 
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Sex Positive Gypsy post is up!

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Aug 14, 2009 in SexIs Column

My bi-weekly column is up at SexIs Magazine.  This week, it’s a reflection on sex and shame in our culture, and my experience with it smacking me right between the eyes…

…”No matter how much those of us who color outside of the lines counsel ourselves and each other, we all harbor a little of that shame inside, and admitting it takes balls (sparkly ones—like disco balls, maybe). A little voice that pops up each time we have a relationship that falters; a negative thought that rounds the bend right after a sexual failure. The feeling that we still need to hide things—not just big things, like the fact that we love someone of the same gender, but little things, like whether we actually admit to owning a sex toy.”…

Check it out here, and please leave a comment!

 
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New Article: My Day at the Free STD Testing Clinic

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Aug 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

As part of my job as a writer & editor for SexIs Magazine, I try to tackle situations that other writers may not be interested in.  This week, I’m writing about the experience of going to an STD Testing Clinic to get tested with one of my partners. The good news? He had a great experience. The bad news? I REALLY didn’t. Please go check it out – and leave a comment over there if you like it!

A Day Trip To The STD Clinic

 
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Bootblack Skill Share in Baltimore October 17!

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Aug 8, 2009 in Uncategorized

Just announced this morning:
Baltimore Bootblack Skill Share Registration now open!

What is it? It’s a gathering of people who are interested in and love bootblacking – from folks who’ve never shined a boot to titleholders and everyone in between.  This is a semi-structured, full day event that allows each attendee the opportunity not only to learn what they wish, but to share their skills and build their own community of bootblack mentors and friends. The day will be broken into expert-led gatherings, technique-oriented “shares”, and unstructured time to chat & share your special skills.

Registration is only $40; it includes morning & afternoon snacks, beverages, and lunch, as well as private space for the event. You can get more information & register online at http://www.bbbss.wordpress.com.

Come out & join us!

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