Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Today I come home from Portland and see just what sort of remodeling activity has been going on in my house while I've been away. My contractor assures me all is well, but still, color me slightly nervous.

Meanwhile, enjoy the newest episode of the web-series about a polyamorous triad, Family. Warning: there's a sex scene with a full-frontal naked guy, and it's quite charming, but probably not something to watch at work.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Am I Or Not?

Cool reader Trix recently alerted me to the fact that I was quoted in this book: Yes Means Yes! Visions of Female Sexual Power and a World Without Rape. Sexy blogger/author/editor Rachel Kramer Bussell wrote an essay entitled: "Beyond Yes or No: Consent as Sexual Process" in which she talks about consent as an ongoing activity.

The quote is from a Stranger column I wrote called "The A Word", which can be read in all it's ranty glory here.

This is what RKB said...
"It benefits both halves of a couple (or coupling) to know what the other is into.... As dominatrix and sex columnist Mistress Matisse wrote in The Stranger, "Some of the pleasure I take in kink is the continual seduction of consent. I love the fact that I can get my partners to let me to do things to them that they never thought they'd let anyone do--and better yet, I can make them like it. That's hot."
So I bought a copy, naturally, and yep, there I am. I'm flattered and pleased, of course. But it's sort of strange to see myself referenced in a feminist anthology. Not bad, just... strange.

People ask me, "Are you a feminist?" And I usually say something like, "Do you think I am?"

Sometimes they say, "Oh yes, definitely!"

And I smile and say "All right then, I am."

Sometimes they say "No! Women like you are antithetical to feminism."

And I shrug and say, "Then we don't have anything else to talk about, do we?"

Because I'm just not going to play that game. When I was a very young woman, I did a lot of college-based political activism. Mainly pro-choice stuff, and some GLBT issues, and then later, AIDS activism. I called myself a feminist, and I encountered other women who also called themselves feminists.

Now, no one woman - or any group of women - have sole ownership of that word. I know that. But at that time in my life, when the Feminist Sex Wars were still being fought in many circles, I met a lot of feminist-identified women who acted as if they did. And the very clear message I got from them was that I was wrong. The way I looked was wrong, the books I read, the kind of music I listened to - but most of all, the kind of sex I liked. My whole sex life was wrong, wrong, wrong.

I spent some time trying to reconcile who I felt I was with the message I was getting from those women. But I wasn't able to do that, so I walked away from the movement.

I still support the same values and causes I always did: equal pay, the right to an abortion, ect. But I decided not to devote time, money and energy to advancing the broader political philosophies of people who didn't accept me and my choices. You might say that I fight in some battles, but I decline to re-enlist in the army.

Yes, I know about the sex-positive feminist movement. I think the women who identify themselves as such are great people. But to me, if I have to qualify myself to say I belong to your club, then I don't want in. Take me as I am, or not at all.

I am not saying that I don't support feminists. I do. If you think I'm a feminist and wish to call me so, I'm fine with that. If you are a feminist, I'm happy to be quoted in support of whatever you're saying.

But if you're someone who thinks a woman like me - kinky, sex-working, high-heel-wearing me - can't possibly be part of your feminist movement... Then you're right. I'm not.

Monday, February 09, 2009

I’m Too…Something

I'm off today on a trip today, which should be delightful. I'm back Wednesday.

Meanwhile, a little something from the mailbag....


From an email:
Sorry. You just advertise yourself too much. I think the perfect one for you is the one you love the most. That is you. I'm not a mean person but if you are actually a woman. You are actually all that you advertise and because if so you are truly beautiful. But come on. Aren't you overdoing it just a little bit?

This letter doesn’t make a lot of sense to me, and it makes me think the writer doesn’t actually understand the nature of who I am and what I do. You don’t see too many dominatrixes openly displaying bad self-esteem. What would that look like in a scene? “Well, I’m not very pretty, am I? And I have no clue what to do with you. I guess maybe I could hit you with this thing.” Whack, whack. "I know you don't really like me, do you?" Whack, whack.

That seems like a bad idea.

Am I overdoing it? Have I conquered the entire world and been crowned Empress Of All She Surveys? No? Then no, I’m not overdoing it. Since that’s the long-term goal.

I think he’s also subtly accusing me of being transsexual. Maybe because I’m not demonstrating a properly shy and retiring feminine nature.

But it’s nice that he’s "not a mean person" - even if he has written me this letter offering me his confusing and unsolicited criticism, and suggested that I’m perpetrating a fraud about my stated gender.

He got one thing right, though, and that is: yes, I do love myself. I think that’s the trait in me that most often annoys people who don’t.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Oh, This Is Lame!

I got an email from Terisa Greenan, the creator of the polyamory-themed web series "Family" that I've been linking to.

"Ernie Joseph, who plays Ben on our Web series “Family,” recently shot a commercial for the Australian olive oil company OliVaylle. The commercial was created by Mulberry Street advertising firm and produced by Black Squirrel Productions in Seattle. Ernie was excited about this new opportunity because he was told by the producers that he was likely going to be the new face of the brand, and that there could be a series of commercials featuring him to be produced in the future. Then, suddenly, the plug was pulled on his new advertising gig and the commercial Ernie shot was actually re-shot with a different actor. Producers told Ernie that the owner’s of OliVaylle had received links to “Family” and because of the nature of the show, no longer wanted Ernie to represent them."

Read more about it here. This stinks on ice. He's an actor, for God's sake. It's bad enough to discriminate against people who actually are polyamorous. This guy got shafted for just playing one on TV, as it were.