- There is no easy set of steps for giving or receiving pleasure.
- There is no finish line.
- Your triumphs and your traumas will impact your sexuality.
- Sex itself can be a source of triumph and trauma.
- Hydration really does make a difference.
- There will be plot twists.
- Your sexual preferences may not match your needs or opportunities for pleasure.
- Sometimes the most skillful application of touch won’t do what a single caress or glance from someone you are centered upon can do.
- It’s more than active or passive. You can be actively-passive and passively-active in sex.
- You may summon something you weren’t prepared to receive.
- You will experience cognitive dissonance.
- You are more beautiful than you know.
- You are not entitled to your partner’s sexual backstory. It’s their choice to share.
- It’s fucked up to make someone feel bad about their body and how it works.
- Take time to breathe.
- Sometimes you will be terrified.
- Humans have sex for reasons that include but are not limited to pleasure or procreation.
- Be prepared for fluids.
- You will shed many sexual skins over your lifetime.
- Blood sugar really makes a difference.
- Using sex as a weapon is when you unilaterally commandeer someone’s body for your use, not when you are soliciting sexual attraction.
- Feeling fascinated or attracted to someone does not entitle you to their time and attention.
- Things may not meet expectations.
- Orgasms are just one piece.
- No one else is an authority on your sexuality.
- Sometimes you will be confused.
- Sometimes you will find ecstasy in the orgiastic, sometimes in the ascetic.
- The power of sex to hurt and to heal demands our respect.
- Sex is more than what we will ever say about it.
- There is no default state of sexual consciousness.
- You will find times when words will utterly fail you.
- What your body does may not be congruous with your desire.
- Context is key.
- Sex can be both a source of empowerment and dis-empowerment.
- The experience of another may offer wisdom or perspective but it might not be applicable to your life.
- An orgasm does not always mean pleasure.
- You may run into people who treat you as an inferior version of their projection of you.
- There are many different motivations to have sex.
- Implemental sex is neither greater nor lesser than non-implemental sex.
- The hottest thing in the world might not turn you on anymore.
- The value placed upon any given sex act or object is relational rather than intrinsic.
- Random causes should not be confused with essential facts.
- Your props of sexual summoning will change over time.
- Sexual union on non-physical planes exists.
- No element of sex is compulsory.
- Consciously changing your breathing patterns will change your experience of sex.
- Sex can be an instrument of knowing.
- Sexual definitions will fail to contain their referents.
- There’s really no such thing as an expert on sex.
- I don’t endorse everything I’ve said or thought about sex, not even this list.
Category Archives: sexuality
To some, myths are stories. To others they are facts as real as any figure or number in a text book. To others still they are allegories or intuitive attempts to make sense of humanity. I belong to the latter category and I’ve long had an obsessive interest in religion and mystery cults largely inspired by the nightly reading of Greek mythology was blessed indeed to receive as a young child. It filled my imagination and did provide a guide to making sense of the confusing and conflicting acts of those around me and the confusion of my own consciousness.
The story of Persephone has been running through my mind as of late. Most know of it as an agrarian allegory. To the uninitiated, I shall summarize though bear in mind that her tale varies from tradition to tradition, time to time, and place to place. Greek mythology holds a stronghold in the imagination but this tale predates their dominance in the historical record. Most commonly, Persephone is the daughter of Demeter and Zeus and she is often know simply as “The Maiden.”
Persephone was a gorgeous little hippie baby, totally raised on organic food with lots of time in the company of nymphs and her mother Demeter who was a great goddess of fertility. Things were working out for them as the fields were vast as the sky and the world was warm and fruitful. Persephone had been gathering flowers and singing songs when she came across one she’d never seen before: a narcissus. When she plucked it from the ground a cavernous hole emerged with the thunder of a great chariot pulled by four terrible and beautiful black stallions driven by Hades, the god of the underworld. He had struck a deal with Zeus pointing out that someone had to be the keeper of the place where souls go and this was a shitty job, so far as godly duties go.
Hades wasn’t evil, he just tended to the more unpleasant part of life. There were no blue skies, golden rays of sunlight, or pretty little singing maidens for him to be sure. Moreover, his social life sucked. Everyone was polite when he made an appearance but no one really wants the god of the dead to arrive at their parties. He asked for a wife and Zeus, the patriarch that he was, told him to plant the Narcissus and to snatch his daughter Persephone when her mother wasn’t looking.
I don’t get out to the BIG San Francisco events these days. Where once my eyes looked up and watered over from hope and stray glitter, now they tend to look elsewhere for SF Pride and Folsom Street. There’s all the waste, the trash, the dominating force of Big Booze ™ shilling Absolut Vodka and Budweiser, and the huge crushing crowds, terrible food, and the heart palpitations all of this gives me. No, I don’t care to see a parade of massive corporations demonstrating how tolerant they are despite whatever implications their brand and profits might mean for people, animals, water, and the globe at large. No, I don’t care for the tons of plastic crap manufactured with pride.
Pride and Folsom have had brave sexual components because of the illegality of what they were displaying in public. It was a protest. I’m all for Bacchanalia, believe me. It’s also important to remember that it was about taking something that people were being arrested and brutalized over and putting out in public view. It was about challenging how and why people were being marginalized for what they were already doing in private. Blowing someone in public was the reminder that the sun didn’t turn to blood, the streets weren’t suddenly cracking open, and there was no legitimate reason why people were being pulled from their bars and bedrooms and subject to a criminal record and all the damages therein.
I heard about “Gay Shame” when I was in college and I didn’t disagree with them totally but I wanted to have my day in the sun, a party celebrating something that had isolated me as a kid and a teenager, and most of all a good goddamn time. I wanted to put down my politics, pick up a beer, and just let it all go. Those Gay Shamers seemed a little uptight and political to me. Sure, corporations had some pretty bad policies but having Bank of America come out to the parade meant that others would to, right? Mainstream acceptance meant safety. If those stodgy old banker dudes could see why an event like pride where they knew there’d be drag queens and naked guys in cock rings and little baby dykes stomping around in their first pair of big black boots and a miniskirt trying on subversive in public for the first time ever then surely “we” were winning, right? Right? There were too many politicians in convertible cars waving to the masses for us to be losers.
Despite the porn, I’m terribly naive about why our society has conniption fits when it comes to talking about sex and drugs. Both are very taboo and subject to numerous pieces of legislation and come with deep currents of conscious and unconscious stigma.
Trying to develop a career as a “professional” in either field is a tenuous path. Semantics mark the difference between the suit and coat crowd and the plebeians or worse yet the crackpots. Those who aspire to join the suit and coat crowd can be spotted at their industry’s events with marked civility to the crackpots by their subtle but very nearly ritualistic social performances best described by Roland Barthes and an avian behavior graduate student sharing drinks at happy hour.
In the drug world, the people talking about sex are regarded as the way to ruin the legitimacy of things. The ones who don’t get “the bigger picture.” In the sex world, those who talk about drugs can also ruin the legitimacy of things. Legality is a major issue. Drugs could blow the whole house down.
When you already have to speak in sotte voce about a very fundamental reality, the introduction of another pretty much leaves you to the fragments and the faintest lines of symbols creating galaxies of the inferred. This is the blend of religion, and of disease. The orbit is farther out with a much more tenuous grasp on gravity. The stakes are closer to death and not because of something inherent to them so much as their relationship to codified law that has a very class distinct application on the masses. Having “made it” is so often defined by the cocaine of an appealing ass. It’s not the Benz, it’s the room for a buzz that never ends and never has consequences.
Class is marked by the consequences you face for your own humanity.
Sexuality has been my trade but I keep my personal cards kept more keenly to myself. I do think ones pleasure practices are as sacred (for whatever that word means) as ones spiritual practices. I don’t think I really get a say over how any given individual choose to guide their perception of the world by chemical, religious, technological, biological, material, or what-have-you-tools so long as there aren’t material world consequences on other non-consenting people. You can’t just steal some shit. You can’t just instantly use someone as a tool of your experience. The fact that we imprison people for getting high is, in effect, a thought crime.
It’s gospel in the sex positive world: there’s no such thing as too much lube for anal sex.
Except for the fact that A) yes, actually, there is such a thing as too much lube and it results in very dangerous and slippery situations, especially if you’re wearing high heel shoes and trying to fuck someone bent over a sink in a bathroom somewhere in public and B) it’s easier to recite a slogan in place of evaluating what you want and this has its pros and cons and no single slogan can hold the entirety of experiences inside it.
From a public health standpoint it’s important to advocate for latex-safe lube and condoms as a means to reduce the risk of transmission of STI’s and it’s also important to remember that educators are on hand to provide the love buffet of options without creating a singular narrative for how sex should be enjoyed. There is no one-lube-fits-all and some people might actually be better learning how to evaluate what kinds of lubricants will fit their needs best rather than providing advertisement for Lube™.
Maybe it’s just a side effect of providing sex education since 2003 but foregoing lube for buttsex is one of my favorite modes of intercourse right now. The first time it was powerful and anxiety inducing. Had I finally broken some kind of slut wall? Was I now, after years of teaching and practicing this playful discipline experienced some new form of anal enlightenment? Was I at some new level of insatiability, forever destined to need more? What kind of a filthy, fucked up whore wants to get fucked in the ass without lube? How many cocks did it take to make me like that? How far had I chased the pleasure dragon to overcome what felt like canonical law?
It was 2007 and I was about to graduate from college with a B.A. in hand. I actually skipped the traditional cap and gown for a 50s inspired red and white polka dot dress and a pair of sunglasses but that would happen a few months down the line from one of the biggest collegiate staged queer shows in the country. The “Queer Fashion Show” had actually started out when some gay men decided to host a fashion show to show off their designs. Well, one thing led to another and soon the it became a blowout extravaganza with a cast exceeding 100 and an array of dance, film, song, spoken word, skits, and maybe one fashion entry a year. It was where you wanted to be if you were out in the redwoods of Santa Cruz.
I had been part of previous casts. I danced in a queer retelling of “The Taming Of The Shrew” rebranded as “The Taming Of The Gay” in which a homophobic king reigns over the land with “gaygents” who always entered and danced to Prodigy monitored the kingdom for gay activity, including that of the young prince. In a stunning turn of events, one of the “gaygents” was actually the superheo (and director and choreographer of the piece) SUPERGAY who leads a team of rainbow clad freedom operatives to take on the gaygents, free the prince, and then marry him in a double ceremony with his lesbian sister.
I was also in a piece titled “Drag King Divas” where a huge gender queer cast performed in ruffled tux shirts, oversized bowties, and superfag dance steps to Motown hits. For my time on the catwalk I went to FU Tattoo and got myself a corset piercing by Pat Blackstorm who was a great piercer and willing to work with my weird situation. Another project was about body image and I was in a cast split into those of nearly naked and covered in trashbags thrown out onto the catwalk and ripped out of the bags to be shamed for our obvious flaws and adorned with giant signs before we revolt and tear everything up in an act of self-love and teamwork. That piece was the subject of a parody the following year which was a source of needed humor.
I’ll have strapped myself into the 117 step process that rivals that of the skydiving process, slid nothing but “The Cadillac Of Cock” into the ring, checked my hips, checked my dong, turned around to make sure the butt part was right (cause sometimes that gets criss-crossed and you should start over because it will chaff) and I realize that I’m totally ready to go. It’s time. It is totally time for me to the one in charge of the thrusting and the pacing and the entry and the stuff astronauts worry about pretty much.
This is when I’ll take a moment to look into the mirror and then start to do some kind of dance. It will start in the shoulders but will inevitably charge down to my groin when I shall find the movements that make the right kind of wave pattern into my long, dangling, delightful cock. Who do I dance? Does it matter? There is something of a Lacan Strap On Mirror stage that can absolutely make you regress to a sense of silliness that makes you want to stride like Balanchine across the room with your new wobbling phallus.
Who can resist? Who can truly look at those things attached to their body for the first time and not feel the itch of the instinct to just play as you test the range of your new extension? Does it wiggle? Wobble? Sway? Bounce? What are the motions necessary to make it really thwack? Why am I making airplane sounds as I do this?
And then the moment when you stop and make your best Prince face in the mirror with a sideways stare as you move to grab your member firmly for the first time. It’s like the final step to fully complete the animation process. It starts out at first as a novel feature, something to be giggled at with delight as the laws of physics are studied experimentally. But then, when you remember the task at hand, you have to ignite magic and pull the startup cord up in the brain.
That all happens when you clench your fist around that dick and turn your strap-on on. And maybe that silliness comes from digging back into your brain for those same muscles that turned cardboard boxes into pirate ships and sticks into swords and you were so good you could feel salty air on your cheeks indoors in a landlocked place.
I’ll show you transubstantiation.
Then you go and give your lover or lovers a proper toss by reverse-engineering “getting fucked” for awhile until you finally step back and just let your cock show you the way. When you finally get the rhythm going in your hips and you’re on a solid roll and you know that you are absolutely a fucking god you might feel the sudden rise of a fist into the air. Much like the artist beholding a masterpiece, there is an excitement at recognizing a mastery of skill by your own feats. It can be nearly out of body.
How can this be? How can I be wielding a tool of this size with such deftness? I fall down a lot when I wear heels. This cannot be me fucking with pure agility.
My friends! This bypass is a trap. It is you. You must acknowledge that it is you.
And what a delight when you do. When you hold onto a pair of hips and feel like jazz musician who is really on and riding the wave. Yes, your hand might climb into the air. This is because you are high-fiving the gods.
Pornstars will often do this purely from the hours they put into the practice. They can do things in advanced positions. If you put many hours a week into fucking in a place designated for fucking (a fucking gym, if you will or perhaps a temple if you will not) a better fucker would emerge from you. It’s the same with a violin. You may not emerge as a virtuoso but you will know how to hold the damn thing and point it in the right direction and play a few tunes.
With a strap-on, you may indeed high-five the gods but do remember to high-five yourself and the strange powers of erotic animism that exist within the human mind for they are plenty and they are pleasurable and they are there for you.
One of my favorite scientists is Richard Feynman. I’m a HUGE fan. His work in physics was an vital stepping stone in our understanding of particle behavior but his process of working and the personality he brought is what continues to endear him to me. As a hardcore fucking nerd, I’ve always loved the way geeks fall in love. There are a lot of unscrupulous scientists who have committed horrible deeds and I grieve the way a lot of our collective knowledge has been uncovered and implemented. Still, the study of science has always been scrutinized and dehumanized. When it uncovered information that counters the prevailing cultural climate, it’s the science and the people who identified it, who are castigated.
Making fun of “four-eyed” nerds is a lighter form of the systemic torture, incarceration, and murder of knowledge seekers that has plagued humanity for a long time. I think its remnants are seen in the way we dehumanize geeks and nerds as those who could never get laid and certainly never fall in love or get googly eyed and read poetry and enjoy living life. Prejudice and privilege are why we haven’t just sorted out resources (we have enough, we really do) to ensure that all humans get to eat nutritious food, receive medical care and vaccinations so they can live beyond the age of 5, have access to our bodies of collected wisdom and knowledge, have a safe place to sleep, and get a chance to experience play and pleasure so that we can all live in peace and explore the universe together. We could, you know. It pisses me off that we act like it’s just inevitable that don’t. Inevitable is a stupid word for human behavior, any way. Not even William Gibson saw iPhones coming.
Richard Feynman won my heart with the way he instilled life into physics. He was a prankster, a lover, and a wild-eyed maniac who loved ideas. When his favorite strip club was tackling puritanical interference, he came forward openly to testify in its defense in Los Angeles by constructing a long defense about how he spent many hours scrawling physics equations onto cocktail napkins because people need a place to escape to and that this was good for society. One of my favorite stories about his van which he decorated by painting his work onto the exterior. One day, he was parking his car outside a university when someone said, “You know that those are Feynman diagrams on your fan, right?” His response was shout, “I am Richard Feynman!” with a grand gesture before charging towards his destination.
Anyway, here’s Richard Feynman talking about partner negotiation with his much beloved first wife who died tragically young of an illness she suffered the entirety of their truncated marriage:
Arlene and I began to mold each other’s personality. She lived in a family that was very polite, and was very sensitive to other people’s feelings. She taught me to be more sensitive to those things, too. On the other hand, her family felt that “white lies” were okay.
I thought one should have the attitude of, “What do you care what other people think!” I said, “We should listen to other people’s opinions and take them into account. Then, if they don’t make sense and we think they’re wrong, then that’s that!”
Arlene caught onto the idea right away. It was easy to talk her into thinking that in our relationship, we must be very honest with each other and say everything straight, with absolute frankness. It worked very well, and we became very much in love–a love like no other that I know of.
After that summer I went away to college at MIT. (I couldn’t go to Columbia because of the Jewish quota.) [NOTE- there was a cap on the number of spaces available to Jewish students at the time of Feynman's studies] I began getting letter from friends that said things like, “You should see how Arlene is going out with Harold,” or “She’s doing this and she’s doing that, while you’re all alone up in Boston.” Well, I was taking out girls in Boston, but they didn’t mean a thing to me, and I knew the same was true with Arlene.
Excerpt from What Do You Care What Other People Think? by Richard Feynman
I’m not a morning person. That’s why I told my partner Ned to either come on me before heading off to work in the morning or to physically initiate sex. Ned prefers that I put in a morning sex OK the night beforehand. I tell him to err on the side of “initiate sex” and accept that I’ll tell him to sod off if it’s really not OK. Our relationship is such that those are my boundaries with him. We’ve jumped 30 foot waterfalls, we lived in a tent for a month during a hurricane season, we have a 2 year old mastiff/lab puppy we’ve raised together from the time when she could fit in my arms. I’m happy to negotiate and put in a morning sex request the night prior (like a wakeup call, I dig) but the whole thing of it is I’m not a morning person. You don’t want to ask me anything in the morning. The person you need to be asking is my cunt.
If you rouse me from slumber and demand communication my gut impulse is to swear at you and make the thing that is waking me up go away. The time when I’ve been woken is not a time for questions. I have no answers. I can dig into the action oriented part of my brain and do something. You can make my body respond, my body will be vaguely aware of the context, but my conscious mind will flicker in and out and it will hate you every single step of the way.
In my bed at home and with the familiar context of my partner’s touch, smell, and environmental fingerprint I have very seamless boundaries and so his touch is very welcome. This is also because I’m good (to a fault) at informing him when touch is not welcome and that I’ll be walking the dog through the neighborhood for a few hours or so. Having a solid no boundary is a key component to the “go ahead and start having sex with me in the morning when I’m still out cold” part of a sex life. At the very least, it’s something to talk about and to get that there are some instinctive reactions to interrupted sleep that humans have. For all of my best intentions, you might get clocked in the head. It’s a risk. And if that happened I might be very sad you didn’t attempt again the next day in spite of having been clocked.
It’s not as though we’ve never been injured because of the other. Not in a domestic violence way, not in a ritualistic sex S/M thing, either. It’s purely the byproduct of going out on a lot of outings to the middle of nowhere with one another, often. The glorious wear and tear of intimacy is strewn on our bodies. Some scars have hilarious stories. My right thumb now has a circlular abrasion scar like a small silvered moon from when I was holding a Hitachi Magic Wand against his cock while getting him off with it and the vibrator head took off a layer of skin on my thumb. This is why you use lube and remain aware of whether or not you are sustaining an open abrasion in the process of getting your partner off. Word to the wise. But still, there is comfort and a long history of good faith interactions even when some amount of discomfort may be involved.
The town where I grew up was indeed a strange anomaly for Los Angeles County and with all of its quirks and unending anachronisms give it a Stephen King that was palpable to me even as a kid. The town had a weird mix; originally founded as a Victorian getaway for the Tuberculosis crowd, it used to have train access to Los Angeles and the Mt. Wilson peak was a popular getaway spot.
In many ways, some form of exhibitionism for being a bit peculiar was drilled into my brain. The eccentricity of Sierra Madre, 3 square miles with no electric spot lights in city limits has been documented in many “Bizarre Los Angeles” guides. If you consume American media, you have seen the streets where I live and undoubtedly the property where I went to high school. The classrooms were off to the side of the “Villa Del Sol Oro” which was a scaled model of a favored Italian villa that the original owner, a Tuberculosis doctor, had commissioned to be his office and his home. The basement was constructed to house medical equipment and state of the art refrigerators for medicines. It has one of the first electric elevators in the county. It went on forever in darkness; I got to go through it often as a child during Halloween when the whole villa was turned into a haunted mansion as a fundraiser and it was a doozy.
My freshmen year I got to be the source of the theatrics. The school had all of the classes, freshmen through senior, each take one of the main hallways on the 4 floors of the estate. The seniors got the basement. Clubs were offered the side rooms to transform into their own niche theme. I went with SADD because they got the medical grade kitchen and I was able to sway the vote to recreate a Bedlam clinic as a way to unnerve the patrons. We had teenage girls in hallow makeup, frizzed out hair, wandering in gowns. A sheet was hung up to show a silhouette of someone performing hydrotherapy the way the Victorians did best. We had straight jackets. We had other girls welcoming people in with a clipboard as doctors to welcome them for a tour of the facilities.
And people wonder why I’m kinky.