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A Meditation on Gratitude

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 28, 2010 in introspection

I have a home. It’s warm, there are lights and appliances, and there is clean running water. I have blankets for my bed, clothing to wear, and food in the cupboards.

I have work that I value. I believe that the work that I do makes a difference, and knowing that makes me feel fulfilled.

I have friends. Some of them are very close, some of them I see or speak to only occasionally, but I do not have to hide who I am from them in order to be their friend. I am honored that some of them share all of who they are with me, and trust me with their stories.

I have the company of animals that are affectionate, trusting, and call on me to be a responsible caretaker of them on a daily basis.

I have lovers – some of whom are constantly present in my life, some of whom that I see only on occasion. They all inspire me, confound me, teach me to grow, and connect me with my body and spirit in ways that no other can.

I have a family of choice – people whose connection to me is beyond blood, beyond birth. I cry, laugh, rant, sleep, and dream with them.

I have amazing wealth; shelves of books that I can read, music that delights me, computers with which I can reach out to the world, treasures from my past, things with which I can create beauty, and art that inspires me.

I am able to walk, to dance, to move, to see, to feel, to fuck, to make art, to toil, to sleep, to dream, and to breathe.

I am not afraid of walking down my street, nor am I powerless to protect myself from harm.

I know that tomorrow will come; if I am not here to meet it, I know that the path I have walked has meaning and value, and I rejoice that I am not leaving too many words unsaid, and deeds undone.

I know that love exists. I have felt it, and I feel it each moment of every day.

I know that I am more than the synapses and neurons in my brain, more than the sum of my parts, more than the money in the bank, more than my combined assets. I am a wonderful, amazing human being, capable of so much more than I’ll ever even attempt.

And I know that you are, too.

 
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History Break: The Muir Cap

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 19, 2010 in Uncategorized

The Muir cap (also called in some areas a “Master’s Cap” or “Sir’s Cap”) is one of the most iconic symbols of Leather, along with chaps, boots, and vests. Marlon Brando, in the 1950’s film “The Wild Ones”, sported this with his white teeshirt and leather jacket; today it’s worn by some in the leather community as a symbol of strength, mastery, community position, and dominance. Here are a few facts & traditions associated with it…

-It’s called a Muir cap because the design was initially sold by the Muir Cap Company – and still is today, in leather as well as other fabrics.

-Don’t touch the mylar brim with your fingers – the oils will leave fingerprints on the brim. Instead, pick it up by the side edges. And don’t touch anyone’s cap without their permission (ditto for their other leathers, such as their vest and chaps; leather is extremely personal and should be treated as such).

-In many parts of the community, the Muir cap is given to someone for reaching a milestone in their leather walk – though different communities and families have different methods of doing so. Some have ceremonies, some do it privately; some receive it from their club, others from their submissive or dominant, still others from their fellow community members. In any of these cases, the cap (or cover, as it’s often called) is symbolic of a persons’ place in the community or family.

-Some people believe that adding insignia or chain to their cap is a sign of a “higher” status, but there is nothing to bear that out beyond local or individual traditions.

-Remember your hat etiquette – it’s traditional for hats to be removed and held over the heart during the national anthem; technically, women are exempted from this rule but often follow it to correct outmoded gendered traditions.

-Generally, Muir caps are part of more formal leather attire; they are rarely worn with jeans and tees anymore (though it does happen).

     
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    Transgender Day of Remembrance – November 20, 2010

    Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 18, 2010 in Uncategorized

    Memorials and vigils will be happening all over the world to commemorate those lives lost to anti-transgender violence, bigotry, hatred, and bullying. Please visit the Transgender Day of Remembrance website for a listing of events.

     
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    How NOT To Treat Your Sex Toys

    Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 17, 2010 in Uncategorized

    1. Don’t leave them next to your bed / in your toybag, uncleaned, for hours, days, weeks, or even longer. You can use some hand wipes to remove lube & other fluids, or rinse it with soap & water (if it’s waterproof), then let it dry off – this will keep it safe until you get a chance to do a more thorough washing.

    2. Don’t throw your toys into the courtyard of your condo. It’s gross, it’s unsanitary, and … well, it’s gross. (And yes, this photo is real and unstaged, courtesy of my friend Annabelle who had the presence of mind to snap a photo of it in it’s unnatural state last weekend on her walk through Chicago). We’d prefer that  you send them on to a better life by using a toy recycling service – or at least dispose of them correctly per your local trash regulations.

    3. Don’t try to return your toys to the store, unless they’re defective. Yes, I know you found out the hard way that the 3″ X 12″ anal plug was a bit too big…but nobody wants to take it back, because nobody wants to even begin to think that it might be re-sold to another customer.

    4. Don’t use silicone lube with silicone toys. Don’t use oil based lube with latex toys. You will not like the results. You will especially not like having to replace your toys because they’re gummy or eroding.

    5. Store toys made of less-expensive materials like jelly or latex separately. Actually, don’t store jelly or latex* toys at all – just throw them out & get healthier ones.

    6. Don’t use toys from one person’s body to another, or from one hole to another hole, unless you change out the condom over it or clean it really well. All our holes have their own happy flora and fauna, and they’re fairly xenophobic – non-native beasties can throw the whole system into chaos. Condoms really are your best friend (well, next to common sense, but you can’t buy that at the drug store).

    7. Don’t stick it in your butt unless you’ve got a pretty fool-proof way of getting it out. Think of your butt as a vacuum cleaner hose. If the toy would get pulled up into the vacuum cleaner, you probably don’t want to put it in your rear. That would suck.

    8. Lube. Lube is your friend. Really. You may think that toy is going to glide in and out of your orifice-of-choice all night long, or that your pussy is like Niagara Falls**, but everything creates friction eventually (with the exception of tempered glass & metal, but even then, a little lube’ll do ya). Nobody wants to have to call it quits because they’ve literally been rubbed raw. Trust me. Ow.

    9. Take the batteries out when you’re done using it. Really. It’ll keep the batteries from dying, the toy from “mysteriously” turning on while your parents are visiting or you’re going through the security line, and your kids from playing Star Wars with it buzzing away on high volume.

    10. Do not use them as bargaining chips in a nasty breakup. Fighting over the Hitachi is just tacky. Instead, fight over the DVD collection, but buy a new toy. Who wants to schtupp themselves with bad memories, huh? Just let it go.

    *I make an exception for latex clothing & externally-used toys. Especially if they’re shined up and one of my partners is wearing them, or being restrained by them. Then, they’re not only totally fine, but here, let me help you out with that…

    **Thank you to one of my fellow Love U consultants who heard someone say that at one of her parties.

     
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    I can’t tell you everything…

    Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 16, 2010 in calendar, Queer

    …but I will tell you that there are changes afoot, for me personally as well as in my schedule for 2011. Just one of them (but one I’m super excited about): I’m adding a weekend in May to my already full calendar – but this one is TOTALLY worth it! Check out Queer PlayCon on Fetlife, and hang tight for more info, folks…it’s shaping up to be an AMAZING weekend!

    Meanwhile, I just got back from Chicago, where the good folks at LRA treated me with kid gloves, and I spent some great (if sick, for part of it) time with some of my MFM (Most Favored Midwesterners). Now that I’m home – and pretty much sticking close to it until Winter Solstice at the end of December – I’m settling into a routine that includes more writing, more work, and more self-care. I have to say … I’m looking forward to it!

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    Happy Sex Toy Day!

    Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 4, 2010 in Uncategorized

    Well, you know it’s sex toy day at least once a week here on my website, but this is bigger – national, even! 

    Sex toys suffer from a lot of negative attitudes; they’re seen as “crutches”, replacement partners, things that only desperate middle-aged women use, or even as things that encourage people to engage in sinful behavior. Well, it’s time that attitudes changed!

    So, go visit the Sex Toy Day website. MyPleasure is giving away free pocket rockets with their logo on them – 1000 of them, in fact! – and all you have to do is sign up for it. What are you waiting for??

     
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    Tuesdays Toy: Thumper

    Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 3, 2010 in Love U, Reviews, Toys

    (yes, I’m a day late, but yesterday was busy!)

    I never “got” the classic rabbit vibe. It twirled around, and that wasn’t really the feel I was hoping for. Not to mention that, until recently, they were usually made out of poor-quality, phthalate-laden materials that were impossibly challenging to clean and would actually degrade, making the investment worthless. But now that we have Thumper…I may have to succumb to the temptation of a dual action vibe once again.

    Thumper has the classic styling of a rabbit vibe, with it’s buzzy little clit stimulator; it’s also got the g-spot stimulating bumps that are de rigeur for bunny vibes. However, rather than the shaft twirling, this one actually thrusts up & down! Talk about a show stopper, right?

    It’s also got three speed settings and five separate functions, which give you tons of options for getting it just right. It runs off of 4 AA batteries (strong!) and because it’s made of TPR (thermoplastic resin) it’s much safer for your body – no chemical smells, no irritation. It washes clean with our Afterglow toy wipes (or soap & water – just don’t immerse the battery compartment) and is compatible with both water-based and silicone lubricants, too. And? It’s only $60 – an affordable luxury!

    Want to get it free? As always, book a party & you can use your host credits towards it OR get it at 50% off as one of your host specials. Wish you could buy it at wholesale? Become a Love U Consultant – last month, we got this little baby at a special 60% off price for our own personal collections. Yee haw 🙂

     
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    I’m Not Alone…

    Posted by Sarah Sloane on Nov 1, 2010 in Fundraising, introspection

    (A bit of forewarning – this is a LONG post, even for me. I’ve added a cut tag to make it a bit easier for site visitors to view, but please do click through – the info about how you can help Scarleteen is at the bottom of the article, as well as links to other bloggers & writers who are participating in the Blog Carnival)

    Scarleteen - Sex Ed for the Real WorldAs some of you that regularly follow my writing or have been to some of my classes know, my childhood was … well, messed up. I didn’t grow up with a sense of how to relate to other people, what my body was about, and what experiences were appropriate (as well as those that were not appropriate). I had no clue about much of anything involving sexuality. I knew enough to know that the girl that rode the bus to school with me in 6th grade was not correct when she dished the info that boys had these “things called swirms” that would start a baby if you kissed said boy with your mouth open, but I didn’t know enough to correct her. I knew enough to feel bad about my dark-of-night explorations into my body’s responses – and I knew enough to never ask my mom about it. Read more…

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