Where do I go from here?

It’s a question I’ve been asking myself for the past several weeks, as I try to figure out exactly what I want to be doing over here in the Adorkable Realm.

I’ve ventured beyond the boundaries of this space in terms of blogging. I’ve got a regular feature over at the Yummy Mummy Club, where I write about vibrators, representations of sex in the media and relationship stuff. I’m also a monthly contributor for Already Pretty, which is where a lot of my body-image pieces are landing. Meanwhile, in my offline life, I’m honing and refining my sex educator skills through school and my AASECT mentorship. I’m becoming less of a sex-generalist and slowly working my way towards becoming a child and youth sexuality specialist.

Basically a lot of information is coming in and a lot of content is going out but very little of it is landing here. For a long time, Adorkable Undies was the clearing house for every bit of sex and/or gender-related I had churning in my brain. Now that I have other outlets, I’m trying to decide what I want to post here. What do I have to share, that I’m not sharing elsewhere?

I’ve been pondering, considering, musing and doing some plain old thinking and I’ve decided my best options boil down to these two:

Option The First – Keep It Professional.

I can use this blog as space to write about topics related to my studies and eventually, my sexuality education practice. I can ruminate on issues related to child and youth sexuality. There’s so much I could tackle: talking to kids about sex, media influences, gender norms, gender variance, orientation, dating, parenting quandaries, porn on the Internet, porn off the Internet, resources, social influences, etc, etc, etc. Tailoring this blog to fit in with my speciality is a basically a big, meaty potential sandwich, with a side of hot crispy sensible, as the time I spend writing will directly support and promote my professional services.

Option The Second: Get Personal

In the  years since I’ve been blogging here, I’ve noticed that it’s often the personal posts that illicit the most response. As much as it’s fun to be all expert-y expert, something really nice happens when I let it all hang out. I’ve written about my struggles with anxiety and low libido, my misadventures in parenting and my issues with self-image and you’re so kind and supportive. And you talk, to me and to each other, which makes my heart all big and glow-y! I like being open. I like sharing (sometime oversharing) about my life. But I worry. Will a potential client want my educational services after Googling my name and reading about my masturbatory foibles? Not to mention that while y’all are bomb, the Internet At Large is not always a kind place for women with opinions about the things I have opinions on.

What to do? What to do? I’m going to keep thinking about it. And if you have any ideas or input, I could really, really use some outside influence right now. Opinions, options and all thoughts are most welcome in the comments!

I used the term “y’all” twice in one post. Living in America is having an affect.

 

Touch. Our bodies loved to be touched. Not only does consensual touching feel great, it does great things for our physical, emotional and psychological well-being.  Unfortunately, our society doesn’t encourage a whole lot of touchy feel-y outside of sex, which is ironic since non-sexual touching can create the sort of intimacy many people need to feel authentically sexual with a partner.

Massage techniques are a great way to expand your tactile repertoire. It’s lovely, generous way to connect with a partner or even explore your own body. Massage may spark something sexual and that’s totally okay. But it’s also good to remember that we can bestow physical pleasure on others or ourselves without it necessarily leading to sex.

A scented massage oil adds another sensual dimension to the experience. You can purchase pre made oils in various locations but I prefer to make my own. My do-it-yourself skills are a step below basic, but this recipe is, as The Bean would say, easy-peasy lemon-squeezy.

Check out me out in all my just-rolled-out-of-bed glory as I demonstrate below:

 

Technological advancement ain’t just for the fancy-pantsy computer folks. Innovation is happening in the safer sex field as well. Just check out these nifty prophylactic developments!

According to it’s website, the Unique Pull is the thinnest and strongest condom on the market today. It comes in a nifty little three pack that looks like a credit card, which allows you to store them safely and discreetly in your wallet. It also comes with pull tabs, so you don’t have to handle the actual condom when you put it on. You can go to the website to get more information (some of which is weirdly gendered for reasons I don’t get). You can also check out the Unique Pull in action in this promotional video bellow.

Prrrow! Dig that sultry narration.

If putting on a condom is a tedious fumbling drag, check out Pronto condoms. Developed in South Africa, these rubbers come packaged in their own easy to use applicator. Just snap the pack, slide them down and voila! It’s a pretty nifty design, though sadly they don’t seem to be available in North America yet.

 

Being back in school is challenging. Academics are HARD, yo…at least for me! There’s a whole-lot of learnin’ to do and keeping on top of everything isn’t easy. Luckily the part where I love what I’m doing makes the study load feel a little lighter. It’s tough, but kind of in a good way because I feel I’m being pushed in the right direction.

I’m also being stretched emotionally, which is something I didn’t necessarily expect. Our professors don’t just give us factual information, they make us get all introspective and work on ourselves. Seriously! The faculty have this bizzarro philosophy that self-awareness will help us become better, more compassionate professionals. Whazzup with that?

Here’s an example. Sexuality educator and counsellor, Reece Malone (from Winnipeg! Canada represent!) led a seminar on gender variance and diversity. Before his workshop, I’d assumed that I was a super-cool, mega-enlightened kind of gal who didn’t have any trouble embracing the reality that not everyone’s gender is defined their genitals. But then Reece came along with his brilliant teaching that forced me to go beyond the rational, think-y part of my brain. He made me examine my emotions and gut reactions. And it became pretty obvious pretty fast that as much as I want to be the person who’s totally fine if her little boy decides he wants to be girl, I’m not quite there.

Below is an assignment our class was given. In bold are the prompts from Reece, followed by my answers. Doing this exercise forced me to face the reality, that I definitely have some prejudices around gender identity.

(Warning: This gets kind of long. Bear with me, okay?)

When I meet a person on the street whose gender is unclear to me, Iimmediately feel flustered. Despite my intellectual beliefs, I often find myself scrutinizing their face and body, looking for clues about their gender. I have to consciously remind myself that a stranger’s gender is none of my business, has no effect on my life and to stop staring.

If someone I’ve known for a long time told me that they used to be another gender, I…react differently depending on what they look like. If their body or presentation has characteristics of another gender, I might be less startled. I’ve had this experience with a few long-time acquaintances and my first thought was something like “Ohhhh…it all makes sense now.” But someone whose look is completely in line with my concept of what a person of that gender looks like, might surprise me with their confession.

What I do when I am talking to a student/client/person whose gender is unclear to me, isif I don’t need to know, I generally don’t ask and I try to avoid making any gender-specific references in our conversation. If I think gender will be relevant or it becomes relevant in the conversation, I usually share my preferred pronouns in the hopes that it will encourage them to do the same.

When someone says they are neither male nor female, I…become self-conscious about the language I use around gender. I begin to think very hard about certain phrases I tend to use like “opposite sex” or “boys and girls”. I try not express to that person how awkward I feel, because I feel that’s my issue, not theirs (but I worry that they pick on my awkwardness anyway). I also feel guilt. I wish I was as accepting emotionally as I am in my head.

What I think about the statement “people are neither men nor women” is…that isn’t true. I think ignores the identities of people both trans and cisgender who feel very strongly that they are men or they are women. I believe men and women are the genders that are validated and acknowledged in our society and I believe we need to create space for all the other gender identities that exist, but there are people who are men and women.

If a friend wanted to have genital surgery to present more as a woman I…would ask them how I could support them. I love my friends and I want them to be happy. I honestly don’t feel that surgery would bother me. I think I’d be most concerned that they felt loved and accepted and I’d want to make sure they knew that I cared for them.

My reaction to a trans person who does not “pass” as the gender they are presenting is…that it’s fine. I don’t have to prove that I’m a woman. They shouldn’t have to prove their gender either. It is likely I will slip and use the wrong pronouns, so I’ll be apologizing a lot!

If my parent told me they were going to start to present as the opposite gender than I had known, I…would be really surprised. I think my first impulse would be to tell them that I loved them. Knowing my parents, they’d be deeply hurt if they thought I no longer cared for them. I’d be afraid that they would experience rejection from other people in their life, so I certainly wouldn’t want them to feel any from me. That having been said, it’s hard to imagine my mom as a dad or my dad as a mom. I’m fairly certain I’d also be sad. I’ve known them both my whole life, so to watch such a significant part of who they’ve been for me change or disappear would be really tough.

My current thinking about the reasons some people are trans and some are not is…I’ve never thought about it. Being cisgender, I’m rarely challenged to think about why my gender is what it is. Now that I am thinking about it…I still don’t know. I’m not sure that I personally feel a great need to seek out a “reason”. I just feel it’s important that I learn to sincerely accept people as they truly are.

I think the relationship between being trans and mental health is…profound. I can only imagine the emotional pain of living with an identity that many people don’t understand, acknowledge or accept. I also guess that the continual threat of rejection, or worse, violence could cause severe stress. Because many in our society refuse to embrace gender diverse people, I can understand why they are at greater risk for mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression and have a much higher rate of suicide. That is part of the reason I feel so strongly that I need to keep working on my own prejudices and to take part in whatever work needs to be done to create a trans-inclusive society. Everyone has a right to be who they truly are and to thrive with that identity.

The first time I met a trans individual I felt…ashamed. During the first few encounters, I thought they were a man who was coming on to me. I didn’t like the attention and kept my attitude cool and distant. Eventually she confessed that she was biologically male and transitioning to female. She had identified with me as another woman and was trying to reach out. The shame came from knowing that I had pulled away from someone who simply wanted friendship. Once I realize what was happening, I also felt a bit of pride that she wanted me as a friend. Despite my early behaviour we did eventually become pals.

When someone tells me they may be trans, I question…I don’t know that I question, but I’m curious as to what they are feeling. I sometimes ask, “How are you feeling?”

If my child tells me that his/her best friend may be trans, I think…That I need to speak with my son, find out what his understanding of trans is and help explain anything he’s confused or concerned about (assuming I have the answers). I would also tell my son that he should ask his friend what name/pronoun they like, to use that name and model the behaviour by doing the same thing myself.

I think people who…react violently towards transpeople, refuse to use a person’s preferred name/pronoun, who ask questions about a person’s genitals or how they have sex, who claim that gender identity is inappropriate to discuss with children, who ask “are you a girl or a boy?”, who make disparaging comments about trans identities, who refuse to work with or hire trans people, who insist that trans people conceal their true identities…are transphobic

When I was younger I thought trans people were…women who were born men and had penises. The first depiction of a trans person I ever saw was in The Crying Game and for a long time, that was my only point of reference. I assumed there were also men who were born women and had vulvas, though I had never heard of or seen any. I don’t think I knew surgery was an option, beyond maybe breast implants for women.

If my child came out to me as a trans woman/man, I would initially feel…excited. I love my son and I wouldn’t trade him for anything, but before he was born I always dreamed of having a daughter. So I think my very first thought would be, “Yay! I have a little girl!” But I would very quickly start to worry. I would worry about how best to supporting her and helping her navigate her new identity. I’d be terrified about the bigotry she could face and how it would affect her self-worth. And when she was older, I would worry a lot about her facing violence when she was out in the world.

If my partner came out to me as a trans woman/man I would initially feel…concerned. My partner is the most important person in my life. I know how much he loves me and I know how frightening it would be for him to reveal something he thought might end our relationship or worse, drive me away. I know he’d need support. I think my first impulse would be to reach out as his best friend. But with time I would probably be angry. I might feel like I had been cheated out of a husband. And I think I would be profoundly sad. I love my partner the way he is now. If he came out as trans, I’d feel like I’d lost him even though internally she was the same person. Finally, I think I’d feel guilty. Because with any other person in my life, I think sooner or later I’d be able to accept the change and love them all the same…but I’m not sure that I could do that for my partner.

If my brother/sister came out to me as a trans woman/man, I would initially feel…I don’t have siblings, so I honestly don’t know. I’m thinking about how I would feel if it were my best friend, who’s been in my life for thirty years. I think I’d be surprised but of all the people that are close to me, I suspect that would be the easiest coming out for me to accept. But with time I would…probably feel a lot of responsibility towards them. I might become a little overzealous in my attempts to be supportive. I could totally see us having a conversation where I’d start asking about their transition, their feelings about their transition, what I could do to help their transition and they’d turn to me and say, “Shut up! What Not To Wear is on!”

Yeaaaaah. I doubt I’ll be winning the Nobel Prize for gender acceptance any time soon. But at least now I know where some of my prejudices are and I can think more clearly about how they might affect other people and how I can work to change my attitude. Hopefully that will make me a better educator and maybe a nicer person.

I invite you to consider some of the Reece’s prompts – they’re great food for thought. And if any of you are so inclined, go ahead and share your thoughts in the comments.

 

By Summer Skyes 11 (OMG Ikr lolUploaded by JohnnyMrNinja) [CC-BY-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Summer Skyes 11 via Wikimedia Commons

An interesting article  from Daily Mail Online popped up in my Facebook’s stream a while back, called Experiment That Convinced Me That Porn Is The Most Pernicious Threat Facing Children Today. The subject porn and youth, something that illicits strong opinions among caregivers and educators. The idea that porn can have negative effects for younger viewers is a common perspective. It’s also one that I don’t entirely disagree with, although I certainly don’t think it’s the worst thing to ever could ever happen to a kid EVER.

At any rate the title sounded ominous/sensationalist enough that I was curious about the nature of the “experiment”. What was the methodology? Who was conducting the experiment? And what was the outcome that had convinced author, Martin Daubney – a former skin mag editor – about the unequivocal danger posed by pornography? But by the end of the introductory my curiosity was replaced by big time skepticism:

The moment I knew internet pornography had cast its dark shadow over the lives of millions of ordinary British teenagers will live with me for ever….Before me were a group of 20 boys and girls, aged 13-14. Largely white, working class children, they were well turned-out, polite, giggly and shy. 

I had trouble with the way the issue was framed. “Good” kids vs. sex. Goodness in this case being demonstrated by the students’ general whiteness and not-being poor. I guess it’s okay, or at least expected that ethnic kids from low-income families be exposed to pornography?  Only when it infiltrates the sweet ranks of society’s most valuable children should we sound the alarm bells.

Right under this paragraph is a picture of the author, his wife and his very young son who looks three, maybe four years old. The grown-ups look concerned verging on frightened. The kid is nine kinds of adorable, with blond curls and a pursed-lipped smile. And I can’t think it’s a coincidence that the editors chose this photo to lead the article. You have the words “Children” and “Porn” looming over the head of this cutey-cute little person and whoa! Suddenly, porn does seem pretty threatening!

The subjects of the actual experiment are a group of 13 to 14 year-old students. Teenagers. I do think that it’s necessary for adults to be aware that youth today have unprecedented access to sexually explicit material. A kid has with a smartphone they can see porn. And not just the commercially available stuff. Snapchat and other apps have made sending sexy selfies super-easy. I don’t think it’s necessary for us parent-types to panic. But I think we need to be aware that there’s a high likelihood our kids will be exposed to more sexual content at an earlier age than most of us were.

Under instruction from a sex-educator, the youth are asked to write down the terminology they’ve picked up from porn. The lists are pinned on the board and according to the article, there are words that none of the adults know. This shocks the grown-ups. One of the terms is “nugget”. (Full-disclosure: I heard the term for the first time very recently and it did shock me. It’s slang for a porn performer – typically a woman – who doesn’t have arms or legs).

Daubry goes on to report:

But the more mundane answers were just as shocking. For example, the first word every single boy and girl in the group put on their list was ‘anal’.

Daubry explains that he hadn’t heard of sodomy at that young age and he’s deeply troubled by the thought that some of these  youth may have a) seen it, b) may want to try it.

I was still annoyed by the sensationalism, but I can understand the alarm.  It seems to be pretty common for adults to feel thrown when they discover that the kids in their life are more sexually knowledgable than they assumed. I was a pre-teen when my peers and I started flipping through romance novels to find the sex scenes. I heard guys talk about a stash of Playboy or Penthouse they’d unearthed from the basement or their parents bedroom. We started hearing terms like “blow job” and giggled when someone explained what it was. This started when were ten, eleven, twelve. I don’t think any of us were ready to have sex yet  – I certainly wasn’t –  but we were old enough to be curious.

Now that I’m a parent, I look at my son. He seems so very young. It’s hard to fathom that the talks about sex – not just “these are your body parts/this is how babies are made” talks – might start happening in just a few years. I think it’s totally understandable for us grown-ups to have an initial freak-out. THE KIDS ARE WATCHING WHAT?!! But I think the next step is to get it together and figure out what to do next. If my kid does find himself amongst a group like the one in the article, here are some things I hope I remember to bring up:

  • What do you think about the fact that amputees are being referred to here as “nuggets”? How might it make that person feel? What message does that send about people with disabilities? What do you think about the fact that people with different bodies can and do have sex?
  • Do you know the differences between having anal sex in real life and the way it’s shown in porn? Do you know why it’s important to use lubricant? Do you know reducing your risk of infection with barriers? Do you know why communication with your sex partner is super-important here.
  • Let’s talk about why you’re watching this. How did you find it? Airial Clark a.k.a. The Sex Positive Parent had some great advice around kids discovering porn. Ask them if *they* think this is material is appropriate for their age. Remind them that the performers are real people, adults doing adult things. How do they think the people in the movie might feel if they knew kids were watching? How would they feel if a grown-up was naked or tried to have sex in front of them?
  • It’s also an opportunity to find out from kids what they find compelling about the material. Because it may not be what you think. It’s an opportunity to talk about the difference between porn sex and sex-in-real life.

Daubrey does have some follow-up conversation with some of the youth after the class. He finds the ensuing conversation “horrifying”, saddened that these kid’s expectations around sex have been shaped almost entirely by pornography and shocked by some of the content the teens have been consuming.

These kids were balanced, smart and savvy. They were the most academically gifted and sporting in the school. They came from ordinary, hard-working households. This was not ‘Broken Britain’.

Once again, folks – sex is for bad people. Who’s bad? Kids who struggle in school. The one’s who come from weird, poor households. The ones who are “broken”.

Most of us become curious about sex long before we feel ready to engage in partnered sexual activity. Sexuality isn’t something that suddenly kicks in on our 18th birthday. It’s with us all of our lives and it develops over time. When I was a kid, my friends and I didn’t look at novels, or Playboy and unscrambled pay-per-view because we wanted to run out and do those things. We just wanted to know what it was about. We were trying to understand.

Youth today are curious too. They’re seeing more because there’s more material and easier access to explicit content than we had at that age. Unfortunately, that isn’t something that we can change. I knew more about sex at a younger age than my parents had…and they probably knew more than their parents. Depending on our kids’ ages and situations, we can limit their exposure to porn for a time. But at some point they’re going to get on the Internet. And if they want to find porn they will. And I think the best tool we can give them is a whack-ton of real-world information about sex, so that porn isn’t the only influence.

Daubrey does conclude with cursory call for parents to teach their kids that  that real sex “is not about lust, it’s about love.

So, I agree with the spirit but I don’t love the phrasing.Lust and love aren’t mutually exclusive. And personally I’m not interested in judging the rightness or realness of  people’s sex based on how much of either is involved. I want to teach my child to  honour his own ethics when it comes to sex. I want him to understand their options when it comes to safer sex and if it applies, contraception. I want him  to understand why respect, consent and care for our sexual partners is essential. I want them to know that sex isn’t about being normal and doing what everyone else is doing, it’s about doing what feels good, what feels right for the people involved. And yes I will try to teach him about love and lust, just not as an either/or proposition. And finally, I will try my best to teach him to look at media with a critical eye, so hopefully he can distinguish between reality and a carefully crafted performance.

The very last sentence of Daubrey’s article tells us to communicate with our children.  “By talking to them, they stand a chance”.

At least we agree on something.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Intersex

The other day The Bean asked if all boys have penises, which seemed like a good opportunity to start talking about difference between sex and gender.

“Let’s talk about biological sex,” I began, “Can you say that word? Bi-o-logical?”

“Biological,” the Bean repeated carefully.

“Awesome! Biological sex means what kind of body a person is born with. You were born with testicles and penis, so your biological sex is male. I was born with a vulva and a uterus and other parts. My biological sex is female. Some people are born with a mix of male and female parts. They are intersex.”

“I wish I had all the parts,” said The Bean, “I could pee SO MUCH!”

I made a mental note to come back to anatomy at a later date.

“Gender is….” I hesitated, trying to think of the best way to summarize the complexity of personal identity in six-year-old terms.

“I know! It’s like Like Star Trek: The Next Gender-ation,” The Bean offered.

“Uh…no. Gender is who you feel you are inside.  Some people believe they’re girls, some believe they’re boys, some believe they’re a mix of both and some believe they aren’t either. Some people aren’t sure. But it doesn’t always have to do with what kind of body parts you have. So not everyone who has a vulva is a girl. Not everyone who has a penis is a boy.

“Who do you believe you are?” The Bean asked me.

“When I was little I was a girl and now I’m grown up, so I’m a woman. That’s what I feel”  I told him. “What about you?”

“I feel I am…a dog! That’s my gender!”

It’s an ongoing process, people. It’s an ongoing process.

Posted with The Bean’s consent

 

Thinking Positive

Not too long ago, my awesome friend Trevor and I were having an interesting talk over on the Facebook. He was expressing his frustration that sometimes people will misinterpret the idea of being sex-positive or sexual progressive to mean that your life is a no-holds-barred, sexuality free for all.

Some people have made the legitimate criticism that the term “sex-positive” may wrongly imply a sort of All Sex For All People All The Time perspective. And while  I personally am still a fan of the term, I wanted to clarify and point out some of the things that sex-positivity does NOT mean.

1. We Think That Sex Is Always A Good Thing

I don’t believe that sex is inherently bad. Ideally sex can be a powerful tool for pleasure and happiness…but that’s not everyone’s experience. Some people may have sexual experiences that are amongst other things: painful, disappointing, mediocre, harmful, regrettable, exploitative, embarrassing or uncomfortable. Some people’s personal experience with sex has been far less than stellar and that’s totally valid. Trying to convince them that should like sex is dismissing their truth. Not cool at all.

2. We All Have Lots and Lots of Sex

I’ve been pretty open about the fact that these day, I’m NOT having much sex at all.  Sex positivity has nothing to do with how much sex you are having. It is also not the belief that more sex is better or more desirable. Sex positivity is about accepting and supporting people’s right to have sex as much or as little as they want or able to have. That might be tons, some or none.

3. We Believe That Everyone Is Sexual

Nope. Some people choose not to be sexual. Some people have no desire to be sexual. Ever. Given my view on consent, it’d be pretty lousy of me to convince people to have sex if they didn’t want to.

4. You Can Say Anything You Want To Us

Just because a person is sex positive or sexually progressive, does NOT mean you’re allowed to say anything to them, anywhere, anytime.  The rules of discretion and tact still apply. So do the rules of basic common decency. Being open about sexuality is not an invitation for harassment. Just sayin’

5. We’re All Kinky

Some sexually progressive people are kinky. Some aren’t. I fully support anyone’s right to get it on in whatever way makes them feel good – as long as they aren’t hurting others. That doesn’t necessarily mean that I am personally excited by any and all sex acts. I don’t need to be. Being sex-positivity mean I strive to support people’s sexual expression, regardless of my own personal preferences.

6. We’re All Promiscuous

Sex positivity has zero to do with the number of people you’ve slept with. It can be zero, one, one thousand or more. What’s your number? Doesn’t matter.

7. We Have No Boundaries

Let’s get this super-duper straight. Sexually progressive people have boundaries. Those boundaries are to be respected. Accepting sex, embracing sexual diversity, encouraging sexual pleasure – none of this forfeits a person’s right to decided what they do or don’t want with their body. It doesn’t matter what a person has done, with whom or how ofter. Don’t assume they’re into what you’re into. Don’t assume they want to get with or engage with you sexually. Don’t assume anything. Be respectful, ask if it’s appropriate and accept the answer you’re given.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend I made my way down to f Los Angeles to attend Catalyst Con West, a conference dedicated to the wonderful world of sexuality. I’ve wanted to check a Catalyst event for awhile now and being that L.A. is a short flight from away, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to check it out.

CCon Badge

Flashin’ the badge!

How was it? Phenomenal!

Being at CatCon was like attending awesome summer camp but with hotel rooms instead of cabins and the buzz of vibrators instead of mosquitoes. I played games, made new friends and by the time it was over and by the time I left, I had grown at bit. I learned so much, enough to fill several blog posts. Those are coming but for now I’ll review some of my CatCon highlights. Believe me there were many!

GAGS AND SWAG

Next time I go to CatCon, I’ll bring a bigger bag. I was not prepared for the generosity of the conference sponsors. I came away with two beautiful new vibrators, including the much lauded We-Vibe Thrill. Another fave is was Nature Lab’s maple-scented lube.  This Canadian gal is here to tell you that they nailed the aroma. Now I’ll have nice reminder of the True North during frisky times!

SEX-LEBRITY SIGHTINGS

Keynote speakers (L to R): Tristan Taormino, Jackie Strano, Yosenio V. Lewis, Shira Tarrant PhD and Sinnamon Love.

Keynote speakers (L to R): Tristan Taormino, Jackie Strano, Yosenio V. Lewis, Shira Tarrant PhD and Sinnamon Love.

I had the opportunity to meet so many of sexuality heroes. Charlie Glickman, whose thoughts on sex-positivity have shaped my own. Tristan Taormino, one of my favourite porn performers, producers and authors. Carol Queen, one of the most influential sex-positive feminists of all time. And Nina Hartley, who starred in many of the first feminist porn films I ever saw.

I also met Sinnamon Love. I wasn’t familiar with her work in the adult entertainment industry but after meeting her and hearing her speak, I did some Googling and girlfriend is an adult-film superstar! She is also one of the most intelligent, articulate women I have ever heard speak on the subject of sex work. After making her acquaintance this weekend, you best believe I’m a big  Sinnamon Love fangal now!

TALKING THE TALK

The talks I attended at CatCon were full to brimming with ideas and information that I can use to become a better educator, business person and sex-positive advocate. By the end of each day, my fingers were cramped up good from furious note-taking. But it was worth it. I’ve got a Google doc crammed full of great stuff! I didn’t get to every session I wanted to attend (Note for next year: look into cloning options), but such is life.

I’ve now got a bug in my brain about giving my own at a future CatCon. Given what I heard, I’ll have to bring my A+ game.

FRIENDLY FACES

Chatting with the sexuality big-wigs is a thrill and a honour. But there’s nothing that fills the soul like forming new friendships – especially warm, funny, accepting, amazing friends. These are just a few of the folks I met. I highly encourage you to check out the wicked work they’re doing. And if you have a chance to make their acquaintance, do it- you’ll be very happy you did!

Sex Texts

Queerie Bradshaw

Darling Propaganda

Think Banned

Bondassage

Sex Positive Parent

The Ramblings of Zoya Lynne

BONUS BUILDING!

I also got to build my very own vibrator! For reals!  It’s a nifty little number from Crave, with a special design that maximizes genital sensation, while minimizing that pesky hand numbness. It’s also waterproof. I should know. I tested it myself.

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My tools :-)

Putting it all together...

Putting it all together…

 

The finished product! (Shout out to my building buddy, Zoya!)

The finished product! (Shout out to my building buddy, Zoya!)

 

So, that was my weekend. A great time and the perfect prelude for this weekend, when I begin classes for my PhD. Wish me luck? It’s been a looooooong time since this gal’s done the school thing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Greetings from sunny California!

Well, sunny save for the reliable cover of fog that blankets my neighbourhood first thing most mornings. But this is Bay Area – a bit of grey is par for the course.

When I last left you, I was packing up my sex toys and saying good-bye to Ottawa. Since then, I’ve driven across the United States with my family, settled into our for-now home in the lovely city of Berkeley and spent my summer days being a stay-at-home parent, exploring my new surroundings and having a good-old summer vacation. But I owe you peeps an apology. I’m sorry. I should have given you the heads-up before going on hiatus. To be honest, the break wasn’t planned, but after all the moving, travel and change it was very much needed.

Now we’re into fall and I’m about to rejoin the back-to-school ranks. I’ll be starting my graduate studies in San Francisco next week, which both intimidates and excites me to no end. Before I start the book learnin’ I’m heading down to Los Angeles this weekend for the Catalyst Con sexuality conference. Attendees include some of my big-time sexuality idols such as Arial Clark, Charlie Glickman, Mona Darling, Nina Hartley and Tristan Taormino, so that’s an extra-helping of excitement!

BTW, if anyone has a smoother introduction than my standard “OMG YOU ARE THE COOLEST EVAR!!!”  please share it.

I’m thrilled to be back to blogging but with heavy schoolwork looming, my output won’t be what it was. At this point, I feel comfortable committing to a minimum of one new post a week. Sometimes there may be more, depending on what’s going down at the time but expect at least a once weekly update.

The other minor change I want to alert you to, is my new e-mail address. My old client had terrible spam filters and I lost a lot of your messages. So I’ve decided to switch to tried and true Gmail. If you have a question or a request, drop me a line at adorkableundies@gmail.com. E-mailing guidelines are here!

Anyway, enough about me –  how are YOU? What did you get up to this summer? What’s exciting you about the fall season? If you met one of your idols would you be cool and gracious or full of squee?

My departure from Ottawa is at hand. But first I have to make sure all my sexy essentials are packed and ready to ship out west. Check out the vlog below for a peek at my favourite books, toys and of course my box o’ porn!