Posts Tagged ‘highly recommended’

Mentor Series #1: Dan Savage & the Savage Love Podcast

June 30, 2010  |  reviews  |  6 Comments

If Reconciling Feminism & Sadism is something that comes up for you a lot, I’m going to give you a bit of homework: Go listen to the Savage Love Podcast.

You probably know Dan Savage’s advice column, Savage Love—it’s printed in alt-weekly newspapers around the country. The podcast is an upgrade, in my opinion, where people call in their questions and Dan records his answers, sometimes calling back to discuss the quandary personally. I’ve been reading Savage Love since I moved to Seattle in 1999, but when I started listening to the podcast my interest and understanding of Dan’s philosophies jumped exponentially.

I’ll admit, I don’t really listen to podcasts. I subscribe to a couple dozen of them in iTunes but I can’t make time to listen to most of them. But I really love listening to Savage Love. I usually put it on the computer while I’m making brunch on Saturday or Sunday morning, pausing here and there to discuss the question with Kristen (or whoever happens to be over, but it’s usually Kristen) before Dan gives his answer. I make time for this one because it’s useful, stimulating, and interesting. I always learn things, even if I get annoyed at Dan’s harsh feedback or at his occasional asshole statements.

Speaking of that. Some of you who have already read some of Savage’s work, or listened to this podcast, or just read about him, know that sometimes he can be really abrasive. Sometimes to the point of being phobic, in fact: he’s been deeply criticized for being size-phobic, using the word “retarded” (which he still does), and occasionally bordering on sexist around women’s bodies. He does that gay male ick factor thing, so sometimes conversations about things like not-good-smelling vaginas freaks him out and he says stupid shit.

Here’s what I have to say about that: I totally agree. Sometimes there are whole podcasts where I’m just shaking my head, saying, “ugh. Daaaan. Really?” I don’t agree with everything he says. Hell, I don’t agree with everything anybody says. And I don’t expect you to agree with everything he says. I do expect you to be critical of him in moments when he is fat-phobic or sexist. But that doesn’t mean that the other 90+% of the time is not useful—it is. His philosophies of sovereignty, relationships, sex, BDSM, kink, negotiation, fetishes, long-term relationships, poly, open relationships, kids, religion, politics, and all sorts of other things are very useful.

So what I’m saying is, even if you disagree with lots of what he says (and I expect you will), there is much to learn from this podcast. I credit it up there very highly with The Topping Book, The Bottoming Book, Tristan Taormino, and Babeland for my background in kinky sex education.

And hey, Savage Love has a new iPhone app! Which I’ve downloaded and it’s pretty awesome. It’s all of his best columns, indexed by topic, plus the podcasts, and you can submit questions directly from the app. No, this is not a paid advertisement, this is just me going off in praise of something that I really support, and that has really changed the way I relate to sex and sexuality and relationships, and something I highly recommend for everyone.

Try it out, listen to a few of the past podcasts and see if you like what he’s got to say. Look beyond your annoyance (if you are one of the ones who gets really annoyed at his methods or his occasional asshole statements), and see the value, the kink-positivity that he encourages.

Read up at TheStranger.com/Savage and check out the podcast, or the app, if that’s appealing. Hope you like it.

UPDATE: A couple commenters have mentioned what Dan Savage said after Proposition 8 passed in California, where he basically blamed black voters for the passing, which was racist and basically unforgivable. I can’t believe he hasn’t apologized for that yet. I do not agree with what he said there and he definitely lost some of my respect. Most of what he addresses in his podcast are issues around sex, sexuality, kink, and relationships, and his advice, as I said, is often really good, and I’ve learned a lot from him. I don’t know at what point these kinds of ignorant, racist, occasionally sexist comments will or should become a dealbreaker, but as long as I am still learning about sex and sex advice, I’m interested in learning from him. I do not listen without criticism, and I do not agree with everything he says. I hope you’ll put on a critical ear too.

Giveaway Winners! Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica

March 26, 2010  |  journal entries  |  4 Comments

Comments and entries to win Sometimes She Lets Me: Best Butch Femme Erotica edited by Tristan Taormino are now closed! The winners are:

bifemmefatale, whose favorite erotica “of all time is Pat Califia’s “Macho Sluts”. It’s female-centric but includes men as well, it’s unabashedly kinky, the Tops are racially diverse, butch and femme, and there’s a wide variety of styles of kink. … The only problem I have with the book is that it raised my expectations too high—I have yet to meet a real-life Top quite as hot as those in its pages!”

And the second copy goes to Irene, who said “I want this book so bad I can’t even think of a coherent comment.”

Will be emailing you both individually, and sending it out to you within a week or so.

And I hope those of you who didn’t win will check out this book, and pick it up! More details about the book here, or order it on Amazon, or from your local feminist queer indy bookstore.

Here’s the screenshot from Random.org:

Review: Under Bed Restraints

January 25, 2010  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

canadian pharmacy cialis” />These Under Bed Restraints are easy—easy to install, easy to use, easy to implement into all sorts of sex play, easy to like. I suspected (from the packaging, mostly) that they would be cheesy, low quality, or not strong enough, but they are not. They’re not leather, and they don’t have metal buckles that make that delicious clanging sound against themselves, but the nylon and velcro buckles are nonetheless simple and strong.

I picked these up because Kristen doesn’t have a headboard at her place, and thought it might be fun to keep these on her bed. I was very right, it IS fun, and they went way beyond my expectations. It feels like I have even more permission to throw her around, tie her down, or rough her up when I know these are on the bed already and so easily accessible.

I did not think I would like these as much as I do (I guess I am snobby about bondage, I like the “real” stuff, the shibari rope and the heavy leather and metal cuffs), but now they are probably one of the top toys I recommend most, especially to folks who are interested in exploring more bondage.

Do I need to explain how it works? It is kind of a capitol I shape, with the cross-bars, where the long vertical strap goes under your mattress and on top of the boxspring, and the two horizontal straps have cuffs at either end, and stick out. (If you only had a mattress and no boxspring I think it would still work.) It can also be made into an upside down capitol T to put the bottom’s hands together above her head at the head of the bed. I like having Kristen’s legs tied, but to let her still use her hands—I like to feel her grasp at my shoulders, and sometimes I like to watch her get herself off.

Affordable ($45), easy, sturdy—these get my highest recommendation. Definitely a must in my toy box.

The Under Bed Restraints were sent to me to review from sextoy.com. Pick up the Under Bed Restraints or other bondage toys from sextoy.com, or your local queer feminist sex-positive independent shop.