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On the trial run…Pjur Power Cream Lube

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Mar 25, 2011 in Uncategorized

In my quest (and yes, it’s a quest, folks) to find better lubes to recommend, I came across what might be the holy grail for butt play: a thick silicone lube. I have dreamed of one…and after whining about it online, my friends at MyPleasure sent me a complimentary jar of Pjur Power Cream to test out. So, without further ado, here are my thoughts:

Pros: Thick, and stays put where you put it. Awesome lube for all toys except silicone (because, as we remember, silicone lube & silicone toys don’t mix). Great for fingers in butts. A little dab’ll do ya!

Cons: Have to “dip in” to the jar to get lube, which increases the chances of cross-contamination. Formula has propylene glycol, which some people may find irritating to vaginas, as well as two preservatives to which some people are allergic. Doesn’t stay slick as long as thinner Pjur lubes do. My tester (who usually uses liquid silicone lube) did not like it as much for masturbation, as it required frequent re-application.

Conclusions: If you’re looking for a silicone based lube that will give you better results with anal toys, this is a great choice. This will be easier to apply than a drippier silicone lube, and has a bit more staying power. If you’re looking for a masturbation lube, there are other choices (especially if you like to go for a long time, or use a lot of thrusting / friction). If you own mostly (or only) silicone toys, this shouldn’t be used with any of them, so you may want to go with a water based lube instead.

 
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Is Female Domination Anti-Feminist?

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Mar 21, 2011 in Uncategorized

A big question that’s been going through my head lately is just how feminist the concept of female domination is. I have no conclusive answers, and I don’t even really have enough information to write much about it.

Some things I’ve pondered:
-Is the current fetish/BDSM image of the dominant woman primarly a response to the male gaze / men’s fantasies?
-Is female domination (in practice) mainly done at the service of men’s desires?
-What does a woman who internally prefers to be in the dominant role feel / model / do that is different from the more mainstream concepts of female domination?
-Do women who prefer to be in the dominant role find frustration when talking to other women about it? To men?

I’d really love your thoughts – as long as they’re not meanspirited or rude, post ’em. If it goes into moderation (as most will), I’ll approve it as soon as I’m able.

 
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Our rights are dying, and I don’t feel too good myself

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Mar 15, 2011 in Uncategorized

I’ve had two abortions in my lifetime.

The first was when I was 21. I’d been sober for just over a year, and was in a relationship with a man that I’d eventually marry. I had no reliable employment (and neither did he), and was in early therapy for sexual abuse recovery. Saying that I was a basket case wouldn’t have been too far from accurate.

The second was within the past five years. I actually had thought seriously in the previous years that I wanted to have a child; I decided that I just wasn’t in a place in my life that I could raise a child. And with the medications I was on, and the lack of pre-pregnancy care (coupled with other physical issues), along with my financial status, I decided that an abortion would be the most loving act I could choose.

I don’t feel guilty, or ashamed. I thought long and hard about it; I talked with each of those partners and made the decision in concert with them (and yes, I was on birth control when both of those pregnancies happened). I knew then – and I know now – that it was the best decision I could have made, for everyone involved.

What I feel awful about is the shaming that happens towards those who contemplate or attempt to have an abortion. Finding correct, non-judgemental information is hard enough; finding the money to pay for it, and the transportation to get to one of the handful of clinics nationwide that still offer abortion can put it beyond the reach of many lower & middle class people.

What I feel guilty about is that I have not spoken out loudly enough about the right of all people to safe, respectful, affordable health care – INCLUDING pregnancy termination services. That ends now. Part of being sex positive is working towards sexual health, safety, and self-determination for everyone.

I’m donating money to both Planned Parenthood and NARAL. I encourage you to support them, or another organization that puts the focus on providing health care for low income women. I’ve also been sending emails to my representatives, both on the state and national levels, to let them know that I believe that any bill that strips away the availability of abortions – whether by outlawing the procedure or forcing unnecessary regulation on doctors, clinics, and patients – is unacceptable. And I’m talking about my experiences, knowing that I’m opening myself up to criticism, because it’s time for more of us to stand up and force society to see through the lies that the anti-choice movement spreads.

 
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Learner’s Bill of Responsibilities

Posted by Sarah Sloane on Mar 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

Lately, I’ve been either the participant in or the witness to conversations involving students at classes having serious questions as to the safety, accuracy, and reliability of the information that they’ve received in sex, BDSM, and relationship workshops. Stunningly, almost all of these have been days, weeks, or even months after the class – and none of these were directed the the educator themselves, but rather to other educators or within networking groups.

As an educator, the fact that these concerns come up afterward bothers me for a number of reasons, but the primary reason is that it robs the whole class – AND the presenter – of the opportunity to clarify & learn more effectively. No presenter is perfect, and no student hears everything the presenter says exactly how the presenter intends it to be heard; by asking questions, the presenter can clarify their message, and ensure that the actual content of what they’re saying is received accurately.

For this, and for other reasons, I want to draft a “Learner’s Bill of Responsibilities”. I know that there will be other great ideas, and I welcome them in the comments section; I just think it’s time that we talked about what the other side of the podium needs to do in order to create solid educational opportunities.

1. A learner’s responsibility starts with attending the class, as close to “on time” as possible. While not everyone can be on time, especially at events with limited break time between classes, showing up on time so that the class can start on schedule keeps the presenter from being rushed to cram 90 minutes worth of material into 75 minutes; it also shows respect for other class attendees who usually either must wait while the class is delayed, or are distracted by people coming into classes once they’ve begun. If a student must show up late, please be respectful when entering.

2. Learners agree to use their own experience and knowledge to evaluate the presenter’s information. No presenter can (or should believe themselves to) know everything there is to know about any single topic; often, students have a different experience, or look at the topic from a different perspective, or even know more about the topic than the presenter (which happens quite often). Those perspectives are valuable, and only by listening & thinking critically about the information can the student decide what is truly applicable to their own life.

3. Students have a responsibility to ask for clarification in class, or immediately afterward if in-class questions are not possible. Chances are, if one student doesn’t understand clearly, there are others who have the same problem, and the presenter may not realize that a communication breakdown has happened. Give everyone an opportunity to learn & grow.

4. Students have a responsibility to show respect for the presenter – not respect because the person is an “authority”, but respect because the presenter is taking the risk of standing up in front of a group of people in order to try to share their skills & ideas. Learners ideally come to classes to hear thoughts, learn skills, and listen to concepts that are outside of their own realm of knowledge; sometimes, that means that the ideas and skills presented are not to the student’s taste. Respect means that we don’t criticize the speaker on a personal level, even if we question the techniques and ideas themselves.

5. Students have a responsibility to give their feedback – good and bad – to the class or event organizers. This is usually the only way that organizers have to determine whether or not to have the speaker back again, and often is the only basis for offering a reference on the speaker by other groups.

What are your thoughts? What do you think learners responsibilities should include? Please share them!

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