Posts Tagged ‘kink for all’

“On Dichotomies that (No Longer) Jail Me” and More From KinkForAll Providence

February 9, 2010  |  essays  |  1 Comment

I really admire & adore Maymay.

He is one of the big minds behind both KinkForAll, which is an “unconference” of folks coming together to skill-share and discuss topics relating to kink and bdsm, and also Kink on Tap, which is a weekly internet video show where participants and special guests discuss the week in kink and what’s been going on in the media, as well as dozens of other things (tune in live at 8pm EST/5pm PST on Sunday nights at live.kinkontap.com and chat with other folks watching it in the chatroom!).

And like I mentioned, I attended KinkForAll Providence this past weekend. Kristen and I drove up from New York City for just the day, and we co-presented a workshop on Gendering Power (the short version—only twenty minutes—and I’ll be doing it full-length at the LSM here in New York City a few weeks!). And of course I saw many fantastic workshops—they are only twenty minutes long, in unconference style, very compact and specific, so you gotta really be precise about what you want to get across, and go for it.

Maymay’s was phenomenal. It’s called “On Dichotomies that (No Longer) Jail Me” and it kinda blew my brain. Now that I’ve re-watched it (and read along), I think it’s even more brilliant, and I highly urge you to set aside just twenty minutes, sometime today, and watch it.

The full text is available over at Maymay’s blog, which you should possibly follow along with in a side-by-side window situation when you finally watch this video of his presentation. There were so many parts that I loved, but in particular, this quote:

People speak of ’sexual morality,’ but that is a misleading expression. There is no special morality for sex. No matter what you do with yourself, whether you go to bed with girls or with boys, and no matter what it occurs to you to do with them or with yourself, no moral rule applies to that sphere of activity other than the principles that govern every aspect of life: honesty, courage, common humanity, consideration. —Jens Bjørnboe

[And then Maymay goes on to say:] What Jens understood that I think is so valuable is that people who dichotomize consensual sexual activity into obscene and decent acts also tend to approach morality as a dichotomy; they couple obscene with immoral and decent with moral. Indeed, Jens sees that the failure to recognize one false dichotomy actually blurs one’s view of which other dichotomies are true and which are not. On the other hand, when you begin to see the gradations between things you once simplistically believed were absolutes, you empower yourself to break out of all false dichotomies.

Now, before I go any further, it’s important to mention that false dichotomies are not inherently bad things; they can be useful, as I mentioned, and they can be a lot of fun. Case in point, I think dichotomies of power are really fucking sexy! Specifically, I have always loved (and still love) playing—but not being—powerless. That is, I enjoy being sexually submissive.

Trouble is, I’m a man. Yes, I know what you’re thinking: DUH! Thing is, the fact that I’m a man wasn’t always clear to me. In fact, thanks to this really strong tendency that false dichotomies, when we incorrectly believe they are true, have of reinforcing one another, for the longest time I thought I was actually a woman! Yeah! Let me tell you why.” —Read the full text over at Maymay’s blog!

Maymay goes on to explain what I’ve called identity alignment assumptions, though in a much more illustrative and specific way than I ever did in that post. Dichotomies can be so jailing, so harmful, so specific—but we also have an infinite number of tools we can use to break out of those and come into ourselves, fully.

Watch it. Seriously. This is really good stuff.

On Dichotomies that (No Longer) Jail Me – KinkForAll Providence from maymay on Vimeo.

And because Maymay has been working probably non-stop since Saturday to get these videos working and live, here are a few more talks from KinkForAll Providence which were PHENOMENAL.

In this KinkForAll Providence presentation, Marty, Brown University Alumn (Class of 2008), reads from his impassioned graduate college application personal statement. “One reason I have chosen to out myself is to legitimize my identity and the identities of those I care about,” he says. By the end of obtaining his linguistics undergraduate degree at Brown University, Marty was already an accomplished sexuality freedom advocate. While in high school, he started a date-rape awareness theatre troupe, he helped found and run an ongoing male sexuality workshop at Brown University, and wrote a sex education and advice column for a local newspaper. Now, he works at Planned Parenthood in Boston and volunteers for Men Against Sexism.

I’m looking forward to talking to Marty more, especially about masculinity and his work as a sexuality freedom advocate. I think that might make for a great Radical Masculinity interview, don’t you?

How and Why I Came Out as Pan/Poly/Kinky on my Law School Applications – KinkForAll Providence from maymay on Vimeo.

If you were following my twitter stream over the weekend, you also know that Kristen and I got to spend some time hanging out with Megan Andelloux, and her two talks were fantastic. She recently opened The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, Rhode Island—and she showed us around! It is such a cool space, if I lived closer I would go hang out there all the time, read a book on the comfy couches or browse my RSS reader and chat with the visitors about what’s going on in the world of sex. If you’re anywhere nearby, I urge you to check it out.

But it wasn’t as easy as just “hey, I’m going to open a center, kthxbye!”—Megan was threatened and barricaded from opening for more than five months. In her second talk at KinkForAll, she explained what happened, and how she fought it—and won. Check it out:

When Megan Andelloux wanted to open the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health in Pawtucket, RI, “freaked out” residents barricaded her opening for 5 months and the local police threatened to arrest her. At KinkForAll Providence, 1 week after Megan’s education center opened, she gives a talk about the “sex panic” that swept the state and captured national headlines. Megan tells of a University of Rhode Island professor who waged a “war” to stop her from educating adults about sex, how locals demanded that “we should outlaw sex!” and how Megan fought for your sexual freedoms—and won! Learn more about Megan Andelloux at OhMegan.com and about the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health at TheCSPH.org

Sex Panic in Pawtucket – KinkForAll Providence from maymay on Vimeo.

I hear there’s talk for a KinkForAll NYC3 sometime soon. And as always, find out more than you probably need to know on the KinkForAll wiki.

KinkForAll in Providence, RI!

February 4, 2010  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

First of all:

I totally admit to having stolen all of this text (below) about KinkForAll from Jack at Writing Dirty (keep refreshing until you get to the kneesocks header image, yum), though I presume it originated at the KinkForAll wiki, collectively written by the participants. Kristen and I are heading up to KinkForAll Providence this Saturday, February 6th, and I am extra looking forward to that gathering. If you haven’t been to a KinkForAll yet, you’re missing out—to be honest I’ve only been to one, the first in New York City, but I went away with many many ideas and had a wonderful time chatting with folks. Very much looking forward to attending again!

Second of all:

I am EXTRA excited to head to Providence to congratulate Megan Andelloux on the recent accomplishment, opening up the Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health. I’m not going to go into the details of how and why it was first denied the right to open, then finally permitted, but there are some articles over on Carnal Nation if you’d like to see what major work Megan has done to get an educational center in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. Kristen lived up near there for quite a few years, and has experienced first-hand what the repression of the supposedly “open-minded” New Englander culture can be like, so she’s excited to check it out, too. I’m secretly hoping that KinkForAll will evolve into a party celebrating the CSPH. Or that Megan will take me up on that slot on her dance card that I once had my name on.

Third of all:

Sorry to have yet another post about an in-person event, rather than some article on gender or story on sex or erotica piece or any type of “real” content. I’m freakin’ busy! (I’m also doing a workshop at the Lesbian Sex Mafia on February 19th, and just launched a new weekly column called Mr. Sexsmith’s Other Girlfriend on Sex Is.) Real content in progress, and to come, as always, I promise.

Fourth of all:

Oh yeah, I might do a little workshop on gender at KinkForAll. Or maybe about something else. If you’re coming (or even if you’re not), what would YOU like to see me speak about for 20 minutes?

And now, the real point of the post: all the information you could possibly need about this weekend’s KinkForAll.


KinkForAll is an ad-hoc educational unconference about the convergence of sexuality with the rest of life for anyone and everyone. It is 100% free and open to the public. Anyone with the desire to learn or with something to contribute is welcome and invited to participate.

Vitals
What: A free and highly social day of sexuality education and discussion.
Why: To inspire a creative, interactive and open environment where everyone feels comfortable talking and learning about all things that sexuality relates to in their lives.
When: February 6th, 2010 at 10:00 AM
Where: Brown University, Wilson Hall, Main Green in Providence, Rhode Island
Who: Everyone
How much: FREE (as in beer as well as freedom)

Details
KinkForAll is an ad-hoc gathering born from the desire for people of all persuasions to share and learn in an open environment. It is a fast-paced event with discussions, presentations, and interaction from all participants. (It is inspired by the BarCamp community.)

ANYONE WITH SOMETHING TO CONTRIBUTE OR WITH THE DESIRE TO LEARN IS WELCOME AND INVITED TO JOIN. When you attend, be prepared to share with others. When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.

A KinkForAll is a special kind of gathering because there are no spectators, only participants. Attendees must give a talk or a presentation, help with one, or otherwise contribute in some way to support the event. This is called sharing and we like it. All presentations are scheduled the day they happen—there are no pre-scheduled presentations or keynote addresses. The people present at the event will select the presentations they want to see.

Anyone can lead a session, on any topic related to sexuality. You do not necessarily have to teach a new skill or idea. You might share an experience, facilitate a discussion, or read a poem. The goal is to start a conversation, make connections (and maybe even friends), and exchange knowledge. Presentations promoting specific commercial products or companies are discouraged.

Learn more about what to expect at wiki.kinkforall.org/WhatToExpect

Learn more about the event guidelines at wiki.kinkforall.org/TheRulesOfKinkForAll

This activity is not sponsored by, associated with, or endorsed by Montgomery County Public Schools or Montgomery County Government.

Get Involved
We need your help in spreading the word. Please help by participating.

Here’s how:
1. Get excited by reading fellow participants’ topic ideas on wiki.kinkforall.org/KinkForAllProvidence
2. Add your name or handle to the list of participants
3. Join the mailing list and introduce yourself by emailing [email protected]
4. Show up!

Still have questions? Read the Frequently Asked Questions at wiki.kinkforall.org/FrequentlyAskedQuestions

or email [email protected] for more details.

KinkForAll Online
Participate online before the event at your favorite social networking web site:

Homepage: wiki.KinkForAll.org
Google: groups.google.com/group/kinkforall
Twitter: twitter.com/KinkForAll
Identica: identi.ca/kinkforall
Facebook: www.facebook.com/pages/KinkForAll
Fetlife: fetlife.com/groups/2962

All organizational efforts are coordinated in public via the mailing list. Join for free and help turn ideas into realities!

groups.google.com/group/kinkforall