I just read a blog entry written by my friend Jacq Jones (owner of Sugar, an amazing sex shop that is woman owned & women/trans operated in Baltimore) where she talked about some of the information that came out yesterday at the International Microbicides Conference. One startling finding in a recent study was that some lubes are linked to an increase in the transmission of STI’s (in particular, Gonorrhea & Chlamydia, which were the two tested for in this study) through anal sex. The short version is that apparently lubes with glycerine & higher levels of salts have the potential to actually increase the possibility of infection…for the long version (and her “take away lessons”) check out her original post on Sugar’s blog. And Jacq? Thanks for sharing this important info!
This weeks toy is an updated classic … our Silicone K-Balls! No more of those dubious metal balls that make audible noises and fall out at inopportune times; these smooth kegel-pumping orbs with weights that roll around inside give you not only some great toning for your PC muscle, but also provide some yummy sensation as they rock and roll inside of the vagina. They come with a firmly-attached silicone cord for you to use for removal, too. Try wearing these during a bit of foreplay, or while you’re exploring non-penetrative sex…or even by yourself in conjunction with clitoral or anal stimulation! Bonus? Wear them out to dinner one evening…then let your date in on your private secret…
Silicone K-Balls are made with high quality silicone, which makes them both easy to clean and exceptionally body friendly. They work best with water based lubricants, such as Love U’s Water Lubricant (which is free of parabens, glycerine, and many other potentially allergenic chemicals). The toy retails at $32; if you’d like to purchase it with our 4 oz. bottle of lubricant, I’ll give you a 10% discount on the pair – just contact me via email and we’ll take care of it!
I am utterly thrilled to have been asked for a second year in a row to present for the attendees at this one-of-a-kind event…I wanted to take a moment & introduce you to Black BEAT, being held August 19-22, 2010, and invite you to consider attending. The information below is from their website, and gives you an idea of what you can expect if you join us!
In 2009 Black BEAT moved it’s conference to a one day event, and as successful as it was, we’re ready to kick the recession in the butt! In 2010 we are back — up and running and all we need is YOU to make 2010 a huge success!! This year’s Welcome Back conference will take us back to our foundation to remind us all that Black BEAT is here to stay. We are planning to have a wonderful four day conference to include, BB presenters for your educational needs and a group of vendors for you to shop til you drop, and not to mention two (2 ) nights of fabulous play at The Crucible!
We are going old school, so pull out and pack up all your Black BEAT T-shirts, hats, totes and pins and join us for one big family reunion…
On Thursday we’re going to kick things off with a group dinner followed by Club Black BEAT.We’re going to turn things up a notch with a kinky good ole time inside the host hotel. Kinky drink specials will await you plus some lively entertainment. Later that evening, join us upstairs on the VIP floor for a few After Party’s exclusively for BB attendee’s only.
Friday, we’ll enhance your kink with educational workshops presented by BB finest presenters. Later that evening, we’re asking all attendee’s to wear their favorite BB T-Shirt from previous years to the Welcome Back dinner banquet. During dinner you will see this years award winners to include the recipient of the prestigious Vi Johnson award and Master Obsidian will address the audience with his Keynote address. Later, we’ll cruise on down the highway in our motor coach to the Crucible where the kinky cultures wail and flail wares of artistry in the dungeon.
Saturday, we’ll pick up where we left off, revisiting our educational workshops and attendee’s can enjoy our fabulous vendor mart. Later, we’re off again to yet another exciting night of kink at The Crucible.
Sunday we’ll conclude with a farewell breakfast. It’s time to bid your friends and family safe travel. Get your hugs and kisses after breakfast, it’s then time to depart to our resident destinations.
You won’t want to miss this years conference, registration is now open!
I know this is a busy weekend for many of you, with events both far and near. However, please consider joining Black BEAT for some seriously amazing community, with people whose minds and hearts are open and welcoming, and amazing opportunities to learn, grow, and play throughout the weekend (and did I mention that Vi Johnson will be presenting???)
First, please go read Maymay‘s post, Edenfantasys unethical technology is a self-referential black hole.
Next, please note my comment that I left there (which may still be in the moderation queue, as it was within the past hour at the time of this writing):
“I removed all of my outbound links to EF & SexIs last week due to other issues, however this disturbs me beyond belief. I was one of the people responsible for hiring & editing other amazing writers while I worked at SexIs…and I had absolutely no idea that this was going on. I wish I had known; if I had, my time with EF would have ended long ago and I would not have spent so much of my time and so much of my energy (and risked my reputation) encouraging others to work with them and defending them because “my experience with them is good!”.
I also checked my contract, and now have a very different understanding of this clause than I did when I signed it…
“Author agrees that company has it’s own discretion to format editorial material, embed advertisement, hyperlinks, and visual arts within it…”
Thanks for going to all this effort to let everyone know about their business dealings, Maymay.”
And finally…I’m upset that I spent a lot of time, energy, and attention trying to talk EF up as a company to work for or with. I went to bat for them, believing that they really had changed since the troubles that Shanna & AAG had with them prior to my employment with them. I’m even more upset that I connected friends & colleagues with them for work; those writers now have to consider that their work may not actually be benefiting them in the greater scale – only within the self-referential world of EF’s websites. And I feel that I’ve let them down.
Mea culpa. At least I’ve learned my lesson. I will only work with companies that I TRUST the owners & management of to do the right thing, ethically and professionally.
In honor of my G-Spot class at Fascinations in Denver next week, my toy today is one of my personal favorites – and my best seller – the Pyrex G-Spotter! This lovely, clear tempered glass toy has the perfect curve to help it reach your g-spot (or prostate!); it’s hardness helps you get the right amount of pressure in the exact spot you want it. Also, since glass is almost friction-free, you’ll be able to use it for a long time with just a little bit of lube (a bonus for those of you that don’t like to have to stop & re-lube your toys). It comes with a stretchy ring that has a hard plastic vibe, too; you can put it on the g-spotter for added clit / perineum stimulation (in the exact position *you* want it!) – or you can use it more “traditionally” on a cock or dildo for added zing during penetration.
The glass toy is easy to clean – wash it with soap and water, immerse it in santizer, or even run it through the dishwasher. The cock ring is made of TPR (thermoplastic resin) and the bullet vibe is made of hard plastic; both are body safe and easy to clean, as they’re non-porous; we suggest giving them wash with soap and water (immersion is rarely, if ever, a good idea for a vibrator).
This toy is $60 – a fantastic deal for a toy that has so many ways to use it! Add a bottle of Love U’s signature Silicone Lube or Water-based Lube (both are free of many chemicals and irritants that are present in other lubes, like glycerine and parabens) and you’ll have everything you need for many nights (and days!) of amazing pleasure.
Many of you are probably aware of Rachel Kramer Bussel, one of the top writers and editors of erotica in the publishing industry. Her previous books, such as “Yes, Ma’am“, “Peep Show“, and “The Mile High Club: Plane Sex Stories“, have raised spirits, eyebrows, and libidos around the world – and her editorship of the annua; editions of Best Sex Writing 2008, 2009, and 2010 has brought together some of the best articles from previous years into individual volumes that are perfect for engaging the intellect, as well.
Rachel has just released her newest title, “Please, Sir: Erotic Stories of Female Submission” … a compilation of sexy stories from authors such as Lisabet Sarai, Evan Mora, and Rachel (all of whom have written suitably panty-sweltering porn in some of the other anthologies I own). I’m excited to read the other authors, as well – especially Tess Danesi, who I’ve had the pleasure of meeting & reading in other online venues.
Curious? Titillated? Intrigued? Then I know you’ll want to check out the trailer!
I think Rachel sums it up best at the end of her introduction to the book…
I like the women in this collection, and not just because they remind me of me when I’m reveling in being slapped across the face, forced to the ground, utterly at my chosen lover’s (or master’s, or partner’s or top’s) mercy. It’s not just the actions here that are familiar, but the reasoning, the way they crave and cringe in the face of the power they are claiming, and the power they are giving up. They are smart enough to know that kink is not about simply embracing one’s fears, but grappling with them, battling with them, taking risks and seeing if, in fact, they yield very sexy rewards.
So, go read it!
As many of you know, I have written a number of articles for SexIs magazine, and worked as an independent contractor for them for a number of months, helping to try to create a more sex- & kink-positive forum. I never spoke publicly about being let go from my “regular work” for them, and the reasons I was given, and I won’t do it now. I continued to write for them because I believed that my editor was a smart guy who really did want to see SexIs become a forum for smart writing from all over the sexual spectrum. However, now that he is no longer employed by SexIs, I see no reason to continue to work with them.
There are more than just a handful of people that have been involved with Eden Fantasys that have been denied final payments, called “rude”, ineffective, and otherwise had their professionalism criticized by representatives of the company. There are others that became tired of trying to talk honestly about non-traditional heterosexual relationships. Still more are disgusted by a company that preaches healthy & safe sex while still selling proven unsafe sex toys & items (phthalates, anyone?). Some of these people are friends of mine (Shanna Katz, M.Ed., for one), some are brilliant colleagues in the sex positive & sex education sectors, and still others are out there doing their work behind the scenes of blogs, magazines, podcasts, and other on- and off-line sources.
After working with companies that truly do have the health, safety, and sex-positivity of their customers in mind (Smitten Kitten, Good Vibrations, Puckerup.com, and Love U Parties, to name a few), I’ve decided that it is not in the best interests of the sex-positive movement for me to support any businesses of any kind that do not offer that same support to their customers & community.Even though they do some good things (sponsoring various events & raising funds for the AIDS Service Center of NYC), I no longer feel that their public philanthropy makes up for their private negativity.
Effective today, I am removing all links to Eden Fantasys from my site. I ask that you each consider who you’re supporting, and whether they have not just the products but the business practices and ethics that you want your money to go towards perpetuating. If you are an affiliate, there are many other companies out there that offer affiliate programs that pay just as well – Fascinations and Good Vibrations, to name two – and I know they’d be thrilled to have you join their programs. If you are a sex toy reviewer and don’t know how to find review spots outside of a single company, send samples of your reviews to companies that you’d like to be affiliated with, and ask them if you can participate in their review process. If you are a community member, there are numerous other sex-positive online communities that you can enjoy being a member of.
And most importantly – if you are a customer, please look towards some of the hundreds of other online or locally based shops that offer the quality of sex toys that you deserve, with the respect you’re entitled to receive. My hope in doing this is to create lasting change; if we, as individuals & as a community, can step forward & stop supporting companies that don’t have our best interests at heart, then we open the door for companies that will give back to our community and support our rights to have a healthy, happy, fulfilling sex life – throughout our lives.
You know I love my harnesses…and this is a fabulous starter harness (as well as one for those who want super-easy cleanup at an affordable price). Meet The Diva – a machine washable, breathable harness made especially for those of us who are a bit larger than petite – it fits everyone up to an 82″ hip measurement!
Diva boasts wide straps to keep them from cutting into your tender flesh (ow!), and a soft, sexy curvy pad that’ll be the only thing that comes between you and your toy (though for a bit of extra comfort, I usually like to tuck a folded bandanna between the harness & my pubic bone). An added bonus? It comes with three different sized rings so that you can fit a variety of sizes of flanged toys into it. Caring for it is a cinch – just toss it into a lingerie bag and wash it in cold water, then hang it to dry.
Wanna have Diva come live with you? She’s just $60. Want her to come live with you for 50% off? Book a party and get her – and get a matching toy & compatible lube for free using your hostess credits! Wanna introduce her to your friends? Maybe it’s time to look at what Love U offers it’s sex educators! In any case, feel free to email me!
This year has brought me two milestones of note. The first one was easy – I turned 40 in January. It wasn’t the black invitation, welcome to the other side of the hill kind of experience for me, but I definitely feel like things are different. I know I’m older – the gray hairs are starting to sparkle at my temples, and I’ve given some thought to changing my skin care regimen. Do I feel older? In a way, yes. I feel a lot more of the “been there, done that”. I’m focusing a bit more on the long-term – like, can I still do sex education when I’m seventy – and more than that, do I want to? But I still have enough reminders that I’ve got a long way to go to keep me growing and looking for ways to be better, do better, make more.
The second milestone is today … today I turn 20. Well, my sobriety does, at least. I picked up a white chip (in my group, it is a symbol of the desire to stop drinking, and is often the milestone that people date their sobriety as beginning) on May 10, 1990, at a detox center meeting in Richmond, VA. I wasn’t at all sure that I was an alcoholic; what I did know was that I was crazy. For those of you familiar with the 12 steps, I worked the first step backwards. I knew that my life was unmanageable; I just didn’t connect it to the drinking (and drugs).
I did what they told me & kept coming back; I didn’t feel like I had a viable option, as I really, truly believed that I would be dead in a year (and I still do believe that). Eventually, I realized that the core of the issue was my dependence on alcohol as my primary means of dealing with the world; and eventually, I realized that my life had a lot of other issues that could only be handled in a healthy way if I stayed away from alcohol.
Because of my recovery experience, I tend to be a bit skewed in my beliefs about healthy sexuality in some key ways. I believe that it’s impossible to have a healthy sexuality if we’re constantly drunk or drugged up when we have sex; I believe it’s entirely possible to be addicted to sex, porn, or other behaviors. And in fact, sometimes it’s an inappropriate bias that I have when I talk with people for whom drinking or drugging is a big part of their lives…I still impose my own experience – that there is no such thing as a healthy level of high – on them. I’m grateful that I’m aware of that bias, and that I’m getting better about handling that in a way that’s compassionate for both them and for myself…but there’s still work to be done for me.
Everything that I am today is because of that step towards recovery – it was the scariest step I’ve ever taken in my life, and it was the beginning of the amazing journey that has been my life in recovery. I still call myself an alcoholic – that part of me has not changed – but I am grateful that for the past 20 years, I have not felt it necessary to take a drink (though there have been many times that I questioned whether it was necessary).
What would I like for you to take from this rambling blog post of mine? First, that there are people in the sex positive communities that are in recovery – and there are others that need to know that it’s possible to find recovery and still be kinky, or a swinger, or a sex worker, or an educator, or even just a sexually-aware person. Second, that our responsibility to be there for our friends should include the willingness to help our friends in pain find supportive resources for health – sex positive, kink aware professionals of all stripes are ready to help, as are meetings in all of the 12 step fellowships (in fact, some cities have alt sexuality-welcoming meetings!). And finally, that just as there is no one “right” way that our sexuality should look, there is also no one “right” way that the rest of our lives should be led – it’s up to each of us to walk the paths that we are called to walk, and ideally our communities should embrace those paths.
’nuff said. After today, the 20 years will become something that I don’t think as much about; I’ll probably continue focusing on just getting through one day at a time, and maybe next year I’ll have something new & different to say on May 10.
My friend & colleague, Shanna Katz, sent this out earlier today; I highly recommend participation in this project, if you’re one of the target demographics. If not, please consider passing it along to your friends & any others that might be interested!
Call for Participants: Sexually Able
Sexually Able aims to bring light upon sexuality and dis/ability, and create a path for peoples’ voices to be heard.
What is it? It’s a large scale survey of self identified people with disabilities and their partners. Eventually, it’ll be turned into a book for people to read, enjoy and see the rich and diverse sexuality that is within the disability community.
Why is this needed? As we enter the second decade of the 21st century, there is still a large gap in people’s minds when they think about sexuality as it relates to people with disabilities, whether cognitively or physically. While some studies have been performed regarding the potential for differently-able people to lead satisfying sexual lives, in which satisfying seems to center around the ability to orgasm, very little has been written about the experiences involving the sexualities and experiences of people who identify as people with disabilities/ handicapped/disabled/differently-able, as well as their partners.
People of all ability levels are sexual beings. Sex is hard enough to navigate and negotiate when one fits in with society’s notions of what a sexual being is, but once you add in the concept of ability, it can become quite challenge. This book, through these surveys, seeks to bring forward the stories, challenges and experiences of people of various ability levels and their partners, putting a face on the trials that so many valuable members of our society must face and the positive experiences as well. By sharing the experiences of the dis/ability community in relation to sexuality, Sexually Able hopes to challenge people’s viewpoints, foster discussion and conversation, and open doors towards a shift in the social constructions surrounding sexuality and disability.