Posts Tagged ‘lesbian sex mafia’

Ask Mr. Sexsmith: I struggle with my feminist beliefs and my bedroom preferences  ... help!

Ask Mr. Sexsmith: I struggle with my feminist beliefs and my bedroom preferences … help!

April 18, 2014  |  advice  |  5 Comments

Dear Mr. Sexsmith,

I am a strong, opinionated, sometimes bossy, lesbian. I have a huge passion for the empowerment, education and advocacy of women. I volunteer as a sexual assault advocate and have been involved as a Planned Parenthood educator. I am very vocal about breaking the cycle of female oppression in our culture.

I feel a personal conflict, as I also identify as femme and am very much a bottom in the bedroom. I like to be dominated and controlled in sexual play and I very much get off on fantasies that boarder on roughness and non-consent. I guess my struggle lies in the dichotomy between my feminist beliefs and my bedroom preferences. I do not consider myself to be a weak or oppressed female, but in the bedroom I love to be controlled, punished and made to serve. Is there a way for the two to be harmonious? I fight for women to have power and to stand up for themselves. Can you help me sort this out?

Tara

I hear you.

I too have come up within the lesbian feminist movements (and in their wakes) with a strong passion for smashing the patriarchy and a vehement dedication to working on less pain for the various gender minorities in the world. And I too like to do dirty, “perverted,” un-politically correct things in my erotic life. I struggle with reconciling my own feminist beliefs with my desire for sadism and wanting to physically cause “pain,” and with my masculinity and dominance and the ways that both masculinity and dominance are seen as corrupted ways of having power in some feminist’s views. I was asked just this morning about my consumption of porn, and my candid talk about how porn is fun and can be useful and good and valuable, and how I reconcile that with feminism. And, oh yeah, I forget that’s a part of that feminist reconciliation process too.

And all of these took a long time, and were long processes.

I have had lots of judgment about sadism, masculinity, dominance, and porn in the past. Some of it was a reaction formation, at least in a minor way, I think. I had reactions and judgment both about other people’s visible execution of these things, and the tendencies in myself—my own desires. I struggled to reconcile those tendencies and how they went with my feminist commitments to gender liberation and my sensitivities to surviving abuse and being in a rape culture.

I think it absolutely is possible to reconcile, to sort this out.

Here’s some of the ideas that I kicked around—for years and years, with trusted friends, at kink conferences, with lovers. It was not an immediate process. It required adopting a new kind of feminism, I think—a BDSM- and kink-friendly feminism that is rooted in agency and consent, and that understands the difference between play and abuse.

Consider these things:

1. Bottoming, service, and surrendering control, comes from a place of great strength and power.

[Bottoming] is absolutely making yourself vulnerable. But vulnerability is not about weakness—it comes from a place of great strength.

People have the idea in their heads that bottoming is weak, but I think that is not true at all. Bottoming is incredibly powerful. Being able to know where your own boundaries are, hold yourself safe, be able to speak up for your own needs, ask for what you want, and negotiate trust with a person who is going to assist your body and self on a journey takes a lot of skill and sovereignty. People who do it well have an extensive amount of intelligence, self-worth, and self-knowledge.

It absolutely is making yourself vulnerable. But vulnerability is not about weakness—again, it comes from a place of great strength.

The notion that bottoming, receiving sensation, and submitting to someone else’s desires is weak comes from a twisted version of what those things really are, versions that show only the completely non-consensual and abusive sides of these experiences. But when done consensually, the gift that is bottoming to another is precious and strong. It’s amazing to serve someone else; we serve community, family, friends, and other valuable relationships all the time. We give our power or authority, or cede our control, away intentionally in order to empower others in a variety of contexts, and we can get great pleasure from doing so. And when we find someone worthy of our trust such that we will put our body into their hands for intense sensation, cathartic release, and the deep pleasure of being in the present moment with whatever is happening … how does that not come from a place of power?

The difference, in my opinion, between it coming from power and strength or from oppression comes down to some simple traditional feminist concepts.

2. Consent makes all the difference. All of it.

When done within a framework of consent, I believe it is possible for just about anything to be empowering.

I would guess that you do not have a fetish for a scenario where you are forced to serve against your will, when you were thrown around aggressively and had your body played with when you didn’t want it. Fuck no! But what you do want is within a safe, negotiated relationship, to be “forced” to serve, to play with giving over your will entirely.

Consent changes experiences completely. In the activist cultures around female oppression, we often talk about consent in a “no means no” way, and stress the value of enthusiastic consent and the “just because they didn’t say no doesn’t mean there was consent!”

But I think an incredibly important piece of examining the feminist concept of consent is also that YES MEANS YES, and that the consent itself is what makes the act possible or okay.

Let me give you an example: I like playing with Daddy/girl and Daddy/boy role play in my sex life. I know that is something kind of extreme to some people, and many people misinterpret it as incest fantasies, which it is and it isn’t (more on that another time). Sometimes I hear people say things like, “But what if you/I/someone crosses the line with an actual young person!”

But for me, that would not happen.

I do not have a fetish for sleeping with and playing roughly with people under eighteen. I have a fetish for sleeping with and playing roughly with adults who adopt a younger persona (usually temporarily) with enthusiastic consent. It’s not about actual incest or actual under-18 youths. No no no no no. It’s about adults tapping in to other parts of ourselves, to open up new experiences.

The consent is actually an essential part of that fetish.

And likewise, I would guess that for you, Tara, you do not have a fetish for a scenario where you are forced to serve against your will, when you were thrown around aggressively and had your body played with when you didn’t want it. Fuck no! But what you do want is within a safe, negotiated relationship, to be “forced” to serve, to play with giving over your will entirely, to be punished for doing something “wrong,” to be used for someone else’s pleasure.

There is a huge, huge difference between the actual thing and some sort of play consensual version of the thing.

3. BDSM—and being punished, controlled, and made to serve—are completely different from abuse and oppression.

And consent is a key piece of that, yes, but there are a lot of other specific, clear, and measurable differences, too.

Read the “BDSM is Not Abuse” list released by the Lesbian Sex Mafia, one of the oldest women’s BDSM groups in the country, based in New York City. I think it articulates things very well:

The Difference Between BDSM and Abuse

SM: An SM scene is a controlled situation.
ABUSE: Abuse is an out-of-control situation.

SM: Negotiation occurs before an SM scene to determine what will and will not happen in that scene.
ABUSE: One person determines what will happen.

SM: Knowledgeable consent is given to the scene by all parties.
ABUSE: No consent is asked for or given.

SM: The “bottom” has a safeword that allows them to stop the scene at any time should they need to for physical or emotional reasons.
ABUSE: The person being abused cannot stop what is happening.

SM: Everyone involved in an SM scene is concerned about the needs, desires and limits of others.
ABUSE: No concern is given to the needs, desires and limits of the abused person.

SM: The people in an SM scene are careful to be sure that they are not impaired by alcohol or drug use during the scene.
ABUSE: Alcohol or drugs are often used before an episode of abuse.

SM: After an SM scene, the people involved feel good.
ABUSE: After an episode of abuse, the people involved feel bad.

Souce: lesbiansexmafia.org

Because they are so different, I sometimes think the hyper-articulation of different language is important. It’s one of the reasons that people sometimes use the phrase “consensual non-consent” instead of “rape play,” for example.

The difference between BDSM and abuse goes back to consent, yes; but it goes back to all sorts of other things, too. Like trust, and skill, and agency.

4. Trust in your own agency. Trust in your own experience.

If you negotiate with a lover to get what you want, have an experience, and then everybody feels good after … as long as the experience is “doing no harm” in the world, then I say FUCKING GO FOR IT.

Have some play. Have some ecstasy. Have some screaming release. Have a big bold messy weird experience that maybe other people would judge but it just felt so goddamn good for your body and your mind and your emotions and everything sings a little brighter the next day.

You get to say what happens to your body. You get to have your own experience, and then decide if that was pleasurable or not, enjoyable or not, and whether you’d want to do it again, with this person or with a different person or in a new way or not at all. You get to have your experience of a non-ordinary thing and then, if you feel like fuck yes that was amazing! More more more please! then you can trust that that is real and true. Agency is trusting the answer that you come up with, authentically, when you ask yourself: Does it feel good or bad? Am I left with icky residue or release and joy? Do I feel closer to my play partner, or farther away?

Of course, not every BDSM scene is that easy to evaluate—but some of them just are. Start there. Start with the ones that are easy to tell. Start with trusting your own consent, and agency, and your own deepest experience of what you like or don’t like.

If it matters to you that other people do sometimes see these things you want as contradictory, seek out feminist kink communities. They do exist! This was a topic that came up in the Submissive Playground ecourse quite frequently, actually, and we had a lot of lively discussions about the feminist reconciliation process.

I actually have a dozen more notes about things to say around this process of reconciliation, but this is already more than 2,000 words, so I’m going to call it good for now. Feel free to ask more about specific things in the comments and I’ll do my best to reply!

I hope that gives you lots of places to start. If you’re still stuck, remember, I do one-on-one coaching sessions, and I would be very happy to help you with resources, experiments, ideas, support, or just talking in depth through this reconciliation process. Contact me for more information and pricing.

Got a question for Mr. Sexsmith? Ask it here!

Comment Zen …

Readers, do you relate to Tara’s question?

If you do, would you share your own story about your relationship to feminism and kink? Did you reconcile the two? What was the process like? Slow, fast, hard, simple? What kind of resources helped you on your journey? Books? Anything to recommend for others who are going through this? Do you have any recommendations for feminist kink Fetlife groups?

Leave your story anonymously if you like; your email address will not be published, and if you don’t want your usual “gravitar” picture of you to show up, just type “+sugarbutch” in your email address (like [email protected]) and I’ll know you want to be anonymous.

Northern Exposure Kink Conference in Anchorage, AK! And: Judging the International Ms. Leather Contest

June 12, 2013  |  journal entries  |  1 Comment

NE2013I’m catching a plane tomorrow for Anchorage, where the third annual Northern Exposure kink conference will be taking place.

NE is run by Sarha, who was just sashed International Ms. Leather 2013 at the IMsL weekend and contest in April in San Francisco. I was on the judging panel for this year’s IMsL contest, and while I promise I didn’t play favorites (Alaska rules!), I’m thrilled that my home state is representing the leather community this year, and I’m really excited to participate in the conference she produces.

The lineup looks pretty incredible. Though NE is remote, Sarha has attracted an incredible group of presenters who are teaching on a wide array of advanced topics. I’m particularly interested in the many M/s workshops that are offered, and I suspect I’ll be sitting in on as many of those as I can, taking copious notes. That’s a recent study subject of mine that I am really enjoying delving deeper into. I’m also really excited that Midori is presenting! I have been in classes of hers before, but it’s been many years, and I’m looking forward to learning from her. Lee Harrington is also going to be teaching!

Northern Exposure happens to coincide with Pride fest, so Sarha hooked me up with the folks over there, and I’m going to be teaching Writing Dirty, my skills for writing about sex class, on Thursday night (tomorrow!). I’m up against Drag Queen Bingo, so I suspect it might be a small class, but I hope we’ll have some good discussions and write some interesting sentences. I LOVE teaching writing classes, and often the ideal class number is something like 7-12, so I will be very happy with a small class.

The boy is coming with me. We’ve met at leather conferences before, but aside from IMsL in April, we haven’t actually come and gone from one together. And at IMsL, we didn’t get to play much (you know, just once or twice a day for short scenes, no big epic gang bang like at Winter Fire, no long, elaborate scene like at last year’s IMsL. I’m glad he’ll be there with me. I’m only teaching one class, Cock Confidence, aside from the writing class for Alaska Pride, so I should have some really nice time to play.

(Hopefully I’ll come back with some good stories to tell y’all.)

And, speaking of IMsL.

Winnersdsc_0603

International Ms. Leather 2013 Sarha and International Ms. Bootblack 2013 bella join the IMsL and IMsBB alumni on stage at this year’s contest and leather weekend

I’d never judged a leather contest before. I attended IMsL the year before, but I’m not particularly familiar with leather contests. I’ve been more and more involved with the leather scene in the past few years, attending more leather conferences, events, and happy hours, and participating in more conversations online about leather and reading up on leather history and culture, but I’ve only recently really come to understand the difference between BDSM, kink, and leather, which, though related, are slightly different.

I’ve been kinky since as long as I can remember, adding sensation play and power dynamics to my friendships, playtimes, and interactions since my first adolescent sexual experimentations, and probably even a bit before that. I’ve considered myself part of the BDSM communities since … well, at least formally since about 1999 when I got my official membership to the SPCC, the Sex Positive Community Center (now the Center for Sex Positive Culture) in Seattle. But I’d only ever really gone to classes or events to gain a particular skill to take back to my bedroom—I never really stuck around in the leather community.

Until recently. Really it was Dark Odyssey that started me on that path in a significant way. I thought I was familiar with leather culture and the kink/BDSM worlds, but when I started teaching more at leather events, I experienced how different it really was, and realized how I’d longed for leather community even without knowing it. I was on the board of the Lesbian Sex Mafia in New York City around that time, too—clearly seeking some more kinky community, not just to support my own kinky efforts but also to immerse myself in and learn new, different things.

I found a lot of what I was seeking at Dark Odyssey, and I found a lot of people who really felt like my people in a new way. (I’m kind of sad to be missing Fusion, which is next week! But it was either Fusion or Northern Exposure, and I’m so glad to be in Alaska right now. I don’t know if I’ll make it to Summer Camp in Maryland in September, but I would really like to. I’ve been two years in a row and I’ll miss it if I’m not there.)

So when I ran into Glenda Ryder, who runs IMsL, at Summer Camp last summer, I was thrilled to consider the possibility of being a judge for IMsL 2013. I knew very little about the history of leather contests, what it pertains, what a judge would do (aside from the obvious, duh), but I’d attended once (and watched almost exactly 20 minutes of the contest) and was interested in being more involved with leather culture, so I said yes.

IMG_1735 IMG_1971
The judges judging | The judges brief moment in the spotlight, onstage, when they introduced us

I spent more time with the judges panel than anyone else that weekend, and they were lovely people I’m thrilled to know. (One of my favorite activities was passing dirty fairy tale stories back and forth with Tillie during the contest.) It was great to spend some time with KD Diamond, and Sarah Vibes, both of whom I know from New York, and to meet Woody, the current International Mr. Leather, and hear more about the traditions of leather, fundraising, queerness, and history.

#fullofwomen

#fullofwomen

I spent so much time at the contest part of the conference itself that weekend in April that I barely had time to do much else—I didn’t attend any of the workshops, though I wish I had. I did send my boy to attend a power exchange relationships class called “Exploring and Deepening M/s, D/s and PowerExchange Relationships” taught by Liza and Jody, which was excellent, from what he relayed, and he took many interesting notes and gathered some concepts we still discuss. I also participated in a author’s meet and greet with Mollena, Laura Antoniou, and Tillie King (one of my fellow judges), hosted by Mr. and Ms. SF Leather, where we read some snippets of our work (and got to see many of the literarily-inclined folks at the conference congregate in one place, which totally got me hard).

Oh! And, here’s a quick sidenote: Laura Antoniou read from her most recent book, The Killer Wore Leather, which is a murder mystery set at a leather contest conference weekend. I picked up the audiobook on Audible.com for the long 5-day drive through Canada to Alaska, and Rife and I have been listening to it and really enjoying it. The reader is excellent, and the story is really fun. It’s kind of amazing to see our community through an outsider’s lens, and it’s also a very tight insider’s satire. If you want to know more about leather community, this book is definitely a fun place to start. Full review to come when we finally finish the book.

three judges [me, Tillie, Sarah Lashes] and Glenda

three judges [me, Tillie, Sarah Lashes] and Glenda with our serious judge faces on


I also taught a Flirting & Foreplay class, for which Rife designed a little IMsL flirting bingo card, which was a fantastic hit. I want to do that again, and I think all leather conferences should have a flirting bingo card in their conference bags.

I don’t have tons to say about the actual contest itself, aside from that it was a lot of fun. I enjoyed being behind the scenes but still in an important role as a judge, as someone described it to me that weekend. I don’t always want to have attention on me, but I do like to be important, somehow, so that felt good. I thought the contestants were incredibly well spoken, all had very impressive resumes (and formal leather), and had both new young spunkiness and wise experience from many years of serving and guiding and participating in these communities. I learned a lot.

I’d prefer to go to more classes, and I’m looking forward to being more of a participant at Northern Exposure this coming weekend than I will be working. I hope to have some fun, learn some things, and have lots of conversations about what it’s like to be kinky in Alaska.

I’ve got lots more things to say about Sarha and how she won (she won!) on an excellent platform about outreach to leather in little towns and not just big cities, how she excited (and kinda scared) everyone with her black bear fur lined chaps (where do you think leather comes from, folks?) and how it felt to have my Alaskan identity coming together with my queer and kink identities, too. I could talk about the MC and how unimpressed I was with her racist jokes (just because you “make fun of everybody” does not exclude you from racism). I could talk about the beautiful redhead who had a pet girl on a leash with her all weekend, and a new friendship and relationship that has bloomed from a distance. But this post is already 1600 words long, and it’s time to go to bed, even though it’s 10:44pm and the sky is still light.

It’s going to be even lighter in Anchorage. I’m really looking forward to soaking up all the midnight sun I possibly can.

(Official conference photos by Rich Trove, thanks Rich!, except for the instagram ones taken by me.)

This Week! Best Lesbian Erotica & the Lesbian Sex Mafia in New York City

December 18, 2012  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

I’ll be reading some erotica on Thursday night in the East Village with the Best! Lesbian! Erotica! reading at Drunken! Careening! Writers! that BLE series editor Kathleen Warnock runs.

And! Also! I’m still on the board of the Lesbian Sex Mafia, and Lee Harrington is teaching an amazing D/s class on Friday night at the GBLT Center. I’ll be running the workshop that night, doing the announcements and getting everyone settled to pay attention to Lee’s brilliance, and taking a lot of notes about D/s. I’ve been thinking a LOT about D/s lately, about protocols and rituals and rules and punishments … still thinking about ways to write about all the things I’ve been learning.

Meanwhile, here’s the details on the events in New York City Thursday and Friday.

Best Lesbian Erotica @ Drunken! Careening! Writers!

KGB Bar
85 E. 4th St.
NYC
7pm FREE

Rebecca Lynne Fullan
Sid March
…and special surprise guests!
with your hostess, Kathleen Warnock
copies of BLE ’13 will be available for sale

Our “special surprise guests” will be Sinclair Sexsmith and Lea DeLaria (eds of the last 2 editions), and they will be reading from their work!

Rebecca Lynne Fullan is a writer of various stripes, most of them human. She lives, writes, reads, and learns in New York City. This story is for her girlfriend, Charlotte, and written with special gratitude to the BMVCOE, who know about magic. Come visit her here: rebeccalynnefullan.wordpress.com.

Sid March is the disastrously queer daughter of Neptune, a gifted escape artist, and an excellent party planner. A nomadic being with half a dozen hometowns, Sid writes obsessively when no one is watching as a way to tame her insatiable Wanderlust.

Best Lesbian Erotica is published by Cleis Press, the largest independent queer publishing company in the United States. Kathleen Warnock is the series editor, and Jewelle Gomez selected and introduced this year’s collection.

Drunken! Careening! Writers! is a reading series based on the proposition that all readings should be by: 1) Good Writers; 2) Who read their work well; 3) Something in it makes people laugh (nervous laughter counts). And 15 minutes tops.

Lesbian Sex Mafia presents Beyond Bowed Heads: Rituals for Dominance and Submission with Lee Harrington

lesbiansexmafia.org

Rituals are a key part of any D/s relationship, whether we acknowledge them or not. From casual kisses as the door to formal slave poses, ritual objects such as collars to slave contracts, the BDSM world is rife with concepts of ritual- but what is a ritual? What are the levels of ritualistic interaction we have between one another? Let’s look at rituals for day to day life (including how to get out of work or parent space), sacred time, intense connection, erotic play, solidifying relationships, changes within our relationships, and the taboo subject of the devastating loss of a relationship or its natural end. From terminology to developing your own code of ethical interaction, this class covers a bevy of styles and types of interpersonal reactions.

Where: The LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), New York, NY
Date/Time: Friday December 21, 2012, 8:00-10:00 PM. Our annual workshop at which all genders are welcome.
Cost: LSM Members: $5/Non Members: $10

About Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known spiritual and erotic educator, gender explorer, eclectic artist and award-winning author and editor on human sexuality and sacred experience. He is a nice guy with a disarmingly down to earth approach to the fact that we are each beautifully complex ecosystems, and we deserve to examine the human experience from that lens. He’s been traveling the globe (from Seattle to Sydney, Berlin to Boston), teaching and talking about sexuality, psychology, faith, desire and more, and has no intention to stop any time soon. He has been an academic and an adult film performer, a world class sexual adventurer, an outspoken philosopher, is a kink/bondage expert, and has been blogging about sex and spirituality since 1998.

His books include “Playing Well With Others: Your Guide to Discovering, Exploring and Negotiating the Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities” (with Mollena Williams), “Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond,” “Shibari You Can Use: Japanese Rope Bondage and Erotic Macramé,” the “Toybag Guide to Age Play,” and “Shed Skins: Journeying in Self-Portraits.” He has also worked as an anthology editor on such projects as “Rope, Bondage, and Power” and “Spirit of Desire: Personal Explorations of Sacred Kink,” while contributing actively to other anthologies, magazines, blogs and collaborations internationally. Check out the trouble Lee has been getting into, as well as his regular podcast, tour schedule, free essays, videos and more over at www.PassionAndSoul.com.

Protected: Love Letter #16

April 20, 2012  |  journal entries  |  Enter your password to view comments.

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LSM = Awesome BDSM Education for Women & Trans Folks in NYC

January 19, 2012  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

I’m on the board of the Lesbian Sex Mafia these days as programming co-chair. It’s been really fun to bring in presenters from the queer sex (internet) world, and since it’s more of a leather/old guard kind of group, many of the younger kinky queer educators haven’t taught there before. It’s pretty amazing that it’s been going on since the 1980s and that it’s still running today, and the meetings are a combination of socializing, cruising (let’s be honest), skill building, and community, which I really like. I’ve met some great folks there from attending sporadically over the years, and I’ve learned a ton. They are also incredibly inclusive, and workshops are open to women and trans folks who identify with the lesbian community.

LSM is also seeking new presenters for the 2012 season. More information here or at the bottom of this post.

If I’m in town when the monthly 3rd Friday workshop happens, I always attend. It’s a great thing to do for folks who are coming in from out of town and want to check out the scene in this big city, too. The next one is tomorrow!

January 20th: Negotiation for the Hopelessly Shy and Terribly Awkward with Mollena Williams

Negotiation of scenes can be tough on people who are adept at bargaining, expressing their needs, wants, and desires. so how is this gauntlet to be run by those of us perverts who are super shy or kind of awkward when it comes to saying “I need…” or “I won’t…” or giving the dreaded “No”?? Join Mollena Williams, Closeted Shy Freak ™  as she shares some techniques that can help even the most awkward kinkster battle their own personal hurdles and insure that your needs are met, your expectations expressed more clearly, and that your scenes are satisfying for all parties! Bring your questions (jot ‘em down if you are to shy to ask!) and we’ll brainstorm ways to help you on your own journey to openness, clear communication and awesomeness!

Where: LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave)
When: Friday, January 20, 2012; 8:00-10:00PM
Cost: LSM Members: $5/Non Members: $10

About Mollena Williams

This “Delicate, Trembling Flower of Submission” © is a NYC born and raised writer, actress, BDSM Educator and Executive Pervert.  She is extremely honored, humbled and proud to have served as International Ms Leather 2010. She is also thrilled to have been named Ms. San Francisco Leather 2009 after that contest’s decade long slumber. She’s won Woman of the Year AND Northern California Regional Awards!

With over 12 years of experience in the BDSM and Alternative community she frequently travels nationally, teaching Leather Lifestyle Classes. Her work has been published by the Society Of Janus Newsletter, The Eulenspiegel Society’s magazine, Prometheus, as well as the online magazine at ALT.COM and Bondage.com. She was interviewed for The Bottoming Book, ColorLines Magazine, and the award winning documentary Vice & Consent. She also get all tied up in the instructional video, “Jay Wiseman Teaches Rope Bondage.“ Her essay entitled “BDSM and Race Play” was published in Best Sex Writing 2010.

Her background includes a lifetime of training and involvement in the performing arts, which include spoken word, classical theater, dance, performance art, and all manner of stagecraft.

A founding member of Crowded Fire Theater Company, Mo blogs on http://mollena.com and is the  author of the “Toybag Gude: Taboo Play.” Her essays appear in 2 anthologies curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel:  ”BDSM and Race Play” appears in “Best Sex Writing 2010,” and “Kiss my Boots” is featured in  ”The Lust Chronicles.”  Her challenging essay on “race play” is featured in“Spirit of Desire: Personal Journeys in Sacred Kink” edited by Lee Harrington. Not one but two essays  commissioned by Tristan Taormino will be appearing in the upcoming book, “The Ultimate Guide to Kinky Sex.”  Mollena is pleased and delighted to be a featured educator with The Kink Academy, where you can see clips of her speaking on various and sundry topics!

February 17: The Fine Art of Dirty Talk with Amy Jo Goddard

Feeling shy about talking dirty? Have a lover who wishes you would, but you sometimes clam up or struggle with obstacles to saying those sweet nasty things? Wish you could open the door to dirty words without shame? This workshop will be a fun exploration of dirty talk, why we like it, what we want from it and how to incorporate it with partners and make our scenes hotter. There is no one size fits all, so you’ll explore and practice what feels good for you, how to find common ground with your partners, and walk away with a bigger dirty vocabulary. Attendees can decide how much to participate but it will be guaranteed fun! C’mon’ say it like you mean it!

Where: The LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), NYC
When: Friday, January 17, 2012; 8:00-10:00PM
Cost: LSM Members: $5/Non Members: $10

About Amy Jo Goddard

Amy Jo Goddard dedicates her life’s endeavors to helping people explore and improve their sexual lives. She has written and produced her plays about the vulva and dominatrixes, she has hosted web programs on women’s sexuality, she has taught first graders to college students about sexuality, and has been featured in Betty Dodson videos. A professional trainer of sexuality professionals, medical students, college students and youth for fifteen years, she has taught courses relating to sexuality at the City University of New York and the University of California at Santa Barbara and has presented internationally at conferences and kink community events like Dark Odyssey. She launched her intensive program for women in 2010, the Women’s Sexually Empowered Life program. She is co-author of Lesbian Sex Secrets for Men and her article about queer performance artists and activism was published in 2007 in the Social Justice Journal. She is director/producer of the forthcoming documentary, At Your Cervix. Amy Jo maintains a private sex & relationship coaching practice and travels to colleges and universities speaking about sexuality. She was chosen by GO! Magazine as one of “100 Women We Love” in 2010. She can be found online at www.amyjogoddard.com.

Call for Presenters

Please circulate widely!
Do you have a kinky skill you’d like to share, a BDSM concept you’d like to teach, or a great idea for a leather panel you’d like to organize and speak on? The Lesbian Sex Mafia in New York City, the oldest continuously running women’s BDSM support and education groups in the country, is actively seeking women & trans folks who are identified with the lesbian community to present for our 2012 workshop calendar. Past topics have included piercing and stapling, M/s and D/s relationships, fisting, sensation play, takedowns, single tails, and more.

We meet monthly on the 3rd Friday at the LGBT Community Center in NYC and would gladly include out of town presenters who will be in town on that date.

If you’d like to present for LSM, simply download the Presenter Guidelines which includes information about the program evening schedule and our modest compensation, and fill out the online Presentation Proposal form.

About the Lesbian Sex Mafia

LSM is a support and information group for all women 18 years of age or older, including transexual and intersexed women who live their daily lives as women and all female born transgender people who feel they have a connection with and respect for the women’s community, and who are interested in fantasy and role playing, bondage, discipline, S/M, fetishes, costumes, alternate gender identities and uninhibited sexual expression in a safe, sane, consensual and confidential way. We are not a social service agency; however, we are interested in providing information, encouragement and general support. Our principles are few but basic: confidentiality, consensuality, safety and the right of women to explore their sexuality as they choose. lesbiansexmafia.org for more information.

Lesbian Sex Mafia Presents Spanking with Tina Horn

October 21, 2011  |  miscellany  |  5 Comments

I’m really thrilled that Tina Horn is now in New York City. We ran into each other at the Take Me There erotica release party last week and I was thrilled to finally meet her in person. Friday, October 21st, Tina will be teaching her infamous Spanking workshop at the Lesbian Sex Mafia‘s monthly meeting.

Did you know the Lesbian Sex Mafia is the oldest continually running BDSM education and support group in the country? Founded by Dorothy Allison thirty years ago? It’s true. I’m thrilled to be working with them to get some excellent speakers from all over the country to come present for us. (If you’re a presenter and you want to do a workshop with them when you visit New York City, go ahead & contact me.)

I’m sure you’re already following Tina Horn’s ass on Twitter. Because, duh.

So, will I see you there, or what?

Spanking with Tina Horn

Spanking fantasies are as varied as the people who enjoy them, but often stigmas keep us from safely exploring this fun, cost-free erotic activity. Some of us daydream of strict discipline, while others just enjoy any way we can get our hands on a nice ass. Join professional dominant/submissive and kinky porn star Tina Horn as she leads an upbeat seminar that will empower you to live out and take pride in your fantasies. Tops will empower themselves with the skills necessary to administer the most delicious spanks, and bottoms will learn how they can help facilitate the treatment they’ve always deserved. This class will also touch on other types of impact play such as flogging and caning, as well as basic role play and Dominant/Submissive techniques. Novices, old hands, tops, bottoms, all are welcome and encouraged to attend. The class will include a hot live demo!

Where: LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave), New York City
When: Friday, October 21, 2011; 8:00-10:00PM
Cost: $5/LSM members, $10/Non members

ABOUT TINA HORN

Tina Horn is the Smartest Ass in Show Business Today! For the past five years she has worked in the Bay Area as a professional BDSM switch. She is a performer, producer, director, and writer of queer and kinky porn. In 2010 she co-created, with Courtney Trouble, QueerPorn.Tv, which explores queer community voices and sexual expression through hardcore porn, free educational segments, and intimate identity discussions; within its first six months it won the Feminist Porn Award for Best Website. Tina has spoken and led workshops in impact play and sexual communication at Good Vibrations as well as various universities, community centers, and art galleries. Her writing has been published in numerous magazines and books, including AORTA magazine, Whore! magazine, and several Cleis Press anthologies. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Writing in NYC and cannot even begin to tell you how badly she could use a spanking right now.

Quick Things for Your Weekend

June 17, 2011  |  miscellany  |  No Comments

A couple notes from around the blog world that you may be interested in. Have a lovely weekend, all. More updates here are in progress.

BUTCH Voices Conference Requests Blog Links

BUTCH Voices folks are gearing up for the second bi-annual national conference in August, and they are looking to put a list of queer bloggers in their program, “open to all our Masculine of Center and Queer allies much like the conference“.

To have your blog listed, DM or @-reply their Twitter account, @BUTCHVoices with your linkand contact information and they will be in touch with you.

Madison Young Launches “Perversions of Lesbian Lust”

Madison Young has launched her newest addition to her Feminist Porn Network, Perversions of Lesbian Lust. I’m helping her with the structure of the site and having a lot of fun with it so far.

Here’s a shot from one of the first galleries, featuring Bettina Doll:

I suspect you’ll hear more from me about Perversions in the future.

Review of Boi Meets Girl on Amazon

I wrote a review of Boi Meets Girl: Brett & Melanie on Amazon for Tony Comstock & Comstock films. I caught a screening of that film at the LGBT Center a few months ago and it was fantastic, as was the Q&A with Tony after. I highly recommend it if you’re a queer porn collector. It’s real and fun and hot, and the interviews with Brett & Melanie are so familiar. It almost felt exposing, but I think that meant that it was incredible effective.

Taormino’s new anthology Take Me There: Transgender & Genderqueer Erotica

Tristan Taormino’s latest anthology has been announced, and this time it features transgender and genderqueer smut stories.

In mainstream media, the erotic identities, sex lives, and fantasies of transgender and genderqueer people are often oversimplified, sensationalized, or invisible. Take Me There is an erotica collection unlike any other that celebrates the pleasure, heat, and diversity of transgender and genderqueer sexualities. The power of seeing and being seen is a central theme in the anthology; it’s not simply about passing or not passing (an idea often explored with transgender characters), but about being acknowledged and desired in a sexual context.

The book takes you from San Francisco to Israel, from heartache to lust, from stranger sex to a 10 year anniversary, from ballet shoes to butt plug bondage tables, from fumbling teenagers to leatherclad bears, from MTF and FTM—and in between and beyond.

There is an incredible line-up of writers who have contributed to this anthology, including Kate Bornstein, S. Bear Bergman, Ivan Coyote, Patrick Califia, Julia Serano, Rachel Kramer Bussel, Toni Amato, and many more. I’m really thrilled to have one of my stories included in here. More details on the book are available on Tristan Taormino’s tumblr.

If you’d like to support this book, the best thing you can do is to pre-order it on Amazon. Amazon bases its in stock copies on the amount of pre-orders, so it would significantly help to make it widely available if you can spare the $11 on the pre-order copy.

Lesbian Sex Mafia kicks off Leather Pride Week with Laura Antoniou Tonight

At the LGBT Center, 8pm. She’s teaching Tell Me What You Want, What You Really Really Want:

“Often, when we try to tell our partners what we like or want, those words are filtered through things like expectations, projection, fear, shame and verbal shortcuts. Play a little card game with Laura and push your flirting talents up a notch! Expand your creativity and verbal skills beyond “I like flogging” or “anything you want” through an interactive game and exercise. Learn how creative communication and courageous risk-taking can make your relationship and play more intimate, satisfying and fun. Say what you mean, and mean what you say – and make it seductive.”

Where: LGBT Center, 208 West 13th St. (7th/8th Ave)
When: Friday, June 17, 2011; 8:00-10:00PM (Leather Pride weekend)
Cost: $5/LSM members, $10/Non members

Laura Antoniou is the author of the well known Marketplace series of erotic novels. As a presenter, panelist, and keynote speaker, Laura has appeared at dozens of conferences over more than twenty years, both entertaining and delivering an occasional verbal indictment. She has also appeared at colleges and universities, including NYU, Rutgers, Columbia and the University of Washington. Laura lives in Queens, NY with her wife Karen, and happily serves as boy to Kim Attica. Friends have called her all sorts of names. Current favorites being “Renaissance Perv” by Midori, “Good Boy!” by Kim and of course, “best thing that ever happened to me” by Karen.

Biggest Sideshow Yet! Genderqueer Tantra! So Much To Do

May 9, 2011  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

This month’s Sideshow: Queer Literary Carnival is the biggest yet! We have three poets, three comics, three guest judges, one musical guest, and one host who will be joining us on Tuesday—tomorrow night!—and telling dirty jokes and funny poems for your pleasure.

If you didn’t see Cheryl B.‘s previous reading series, Poetry vs Comedy Variety Hour, you’re in for a treat!

Join us at Sideshow on May 10th for a special revival of Cheryl B.’s previous reading series, Poetry vs Comedy Variety Hour! PVC is not a typical poetry slam nor a regular stand-up comedy show. PVC is a battle of wits and Rhymes where the stanzas and the stand-ups collide.

Performers include Kit Yan, Molly “Equality” Dykeman, Sinclair Sexsmith, Paul Case, Emma Willmann, and Jessica Halem. Celebrity guest judges include Shawn Hollenbach, Livia Scott, and Amanda Goad, Esquire. Hosted by Carolyn Castiglia, this special PvC features musical guest Leibya Rogers!

Sideshow: The Queer Literary Carnival: POETRY vs COMEDY
Hosted by Cheryl B. & Sinclair Sexsmith
Tuesday, May 10th
at The Phoenix
447 East 13th Street at Avenue A
Doors, 7:30pm. Reading, 8pm
Free! (We’ll pass the hat for the readers)

Now, that’s on Tuesday.

On Thursday, there is a very special Lesbian Sex Mafia monthly workshop, which features my tantra mentor.

Genderqueer Tantra with Alex Jade
Thursday, May 12 8:00pm
LGBT Community Center
208 W 13th St, New York, NY
RSVP on Facebook

Tantra is a school of thought and spiritual practice that allows us to explore the multi-dimensions of spiritual energy in our bodies. Though it often emphasizes the relationship between masculine and feminine, Genderqueer Tantra allows us to PLAY with masculine and feminine energies without getting caught up in rigid gender limitations. Join Tantra and SM practitioner Alex Jade for an interactive workshop that will introduce you to the basic Tantra concepts and invite you to deepen your sexual experiences, increase awareness of the body and mind using sensations from subtle to bold.

Alex Jade, MSW is an erotic educator, sacred intimate, psychotherapist, and student of Tantra. She is on the faculty of the Body Electric School and she has produced and taught independent workshops in Seattle for over 15 years. She has mastery in clothes-off hands-on experiential erotic education and the use of ritual as a healing tool. Alex’s specialties are gender exploration, classical Tantra, SM, and exploring with an open heart and mind.

This coming weekend, after these two (HUGE) events, I will be off in the mini-mountains of the Hudson Valley exploring some shadow through some bdsm and erotic energy play. I’m really thrilled to be doing another erotic energy retreat, and so glad it has come together. It is ever hard to get people to come out to events! Women especially, it seems.

I have more to say about that, and about a dozen other topics, but my brain is kind of fried with these events. They are so time consuming. More writing soon.

Lesbian Sex Mafia Presents: Genderqueer Tantra May 12th

May 3, 2011  |  miscellany  |  2 Comments

It is my pleasure to invite you to another event this May in NYC: Genderqueer Tantra at the LGBT Center through the Lesbian Sex Mafia.

One of my favorite mentors, Alex Jade, is going to be in town doing a retreat through the tantra school with which I study, and I asked her to make a stop off in the city and do an event with the Lesbian Sex Mafia before she heads out to the retreat center. I’m thrilled she’ll be doing an introduction to tantra.

A lot of folks aren’t quite sure what tantra is, or a cliche and stereotype comes to mind. Broadly, it’s about energy, often as applied to sexuality—but it is bigger and deeper and much more complicated than that. I’m not a tantra teacher (yet) so I’m not even sure how to describe or explain it, but hey, that’s why workshops like this are fantastic.

Plus, it’s tantra in a queer and BDSM context, which makes it all the more awesome. Hope you can come.

Genderqueer Tantra with Alex Jade

Thursday, May 12 8:00pm
LGBT Community Center
208 W 13th St, New York, NY
RSVP on Facebook

Tantra is a school of thought and spiritual practice that allows us to explore the multi-dimensions of spiritual energy in our bodies. Though it often emphasizes the relationship between masculine and feminine, Genderqueer Tantra allows us to PLAY with masculine and feminine energies without getting caught up in rigid gender limitations. Join Tantra and SM practitioner Alex Jade for an interactive workshop that will introduce yo…u to the basic Tantra concepts and invite you to deepen your sexual experiences, increase awareness of the body and mind using sensations from subtle to bold.

Alex Jade, MSW is an erotic educator, sacred intimate, psychotherapist, and student of Tantra. She is on the faculty of the Body Electric School and she has produced and taught independent workshops in Seattle for over 15 years. She has mastery in clothes-off hands-on experiential erotic education and the use of ritual as a healing tool. Alex’s specialties are gender exploration, classical Tantra, SM, and exploring with an open heart and mind.

About LSM

Founded in 1981 by Dorothy Allison and Jo Arnone, the Lesbian Sex Mafia (LSM) is the oldest continuously running women’s BDSM support and education groups in the country. We are located in New York City, with a membership primarily in the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. However, we also have members along the East Coast, across the country and even in Europe!

LSM is a support and information group for all women 18 years of age or older, including transexual and intersexed women who live their daily lives as women and all female-born transgender people who feel they have a connection with and respect for the women’s community. And, who are interested in fantasy and role playing, bondage, discipline, S/M, fetishes, costumes, alternate gender identities and uninhibited sexual expression in a safe, sane, consensual and confidential way.

www.lesbiansexmafia.org

Fantasy: Titillating and Taboo Workshop at the Lesbian Sex Mafia

December 31, 2010  |  miscellany  |  3 Comments

I’ve been helping out with some of the programming for the Lesbian Sex Mafia based here in New York City, and our first workshop in January was just announced, featuring one of my favorite femme sexuality educators: Megan Andelloux.

So if you’re nearby, join us.

Lesbian Sex Mafia presents:
“Fantasy: Titillating and Taboo: What Gets You Off and How to Get It”
with Megan Andelloux

Does dirty talk turn you on? Want to be punished? Want to force someone to do naughty things? Really want to make those wicked thoughts a reality? This workshop will cover some common desires, like restraints, impact play, and dirty talk, as well as how to communicate your desires, confront personal shame/discomfort around fantasies, and maneuver such desires into your sex and play. Through small group discussion, interactive and reflection activities you’ll explore expressing your deepest fantasies and how to get what you really want.

Date: Fri, January 21, 2011; 8pm – 10pm
Location: The LGBT Center, 208 W 13th St, NY (Google Maps). Get directions using Hopstop.
Cost: LSM member: $5; Non-members $10 (Members – renew now and continue to get all the benefits of an LSM membership!)

About Megan Andelloux

Megan Andelloux is a nationally certified Sexuality Educator through A.A.S.E.C.T and a board certified Sexologist through A.C.S. She is the Founder and Director of the non-profit Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health, located in Pawtucket, RI.

Ms. Andelloux lectures internationally at colleges, universities, medical schools, and sexuality institutions on issues surrounding sexual politics, pleasure, sexual health, and erotic justice. To date, she has taught at over three dozen higher educational institutions, including medical schools and Ivy league universities such as Brown, Yale, and Harvard.

She is an author in the books, We Got Issues A Feminist Response to Cultural Attitudes On Feminism and Sex and Society, a comprehensive guide to current knowledge and expert analysis of sex and sexuality.

Ms. Andelloux was named “Vagina Warrior of the Year” from the Vagina Monologues for her work regarding sexual communication and fear reduction. She has been labeled as “The Princess of Pleasure” and more recently, “The Sex Ed Warrior Queen”.

She is listed on Wikipedia as an American Feminist, Writer and Sex Educator and on the Erotic Heritage Museum’s Hall of Heros, which showcases icons of sexual revolution.