Category Archives: LGBTQ
My emotions today have reached a heretofore unprecedented level of sappiness. I kid you not, as of 1:30pm Pacific time, I have cried over three different things I have seen online. I’ve decided to share them with you here.
First up is Anita Sarkeesian’s TEDx talk, where she discusses the potential psychology behind the cybermob that attacked her so viciously over her Tropes vs. Women kickstarter project.
I teared up at the end. Male and female video game characters pander so excessively to the heterosexual male fantasies that it leaves little room for those of alternate genders or sexual orientations to also indulge in the fantasy. I love playing video games. Love it. But just once, I’d like to see a female character that isn’t weak, or aggressively sexualized. Am I really asking too much when I ask to play a female character who isn’t wearing a chainmail bikini over the balloons on her chest?
And then there’s this picture.
That is Dan Savage (one of my personal heroes, though we disagree from time to time) and his longtime partner Terry, getting their marriage certificate signed in Washington state. I wept like a baby. I am so happy that my home state has made same sex marriage legal.
Finally, the fact that this is an actual film that will be shown at SXSW 2013 did me in.
I am so very excited for this film. Wonder Woman is a personal favorite superhero of mine (and really, she should be for anyone else too!). I recently read The Supergirls: Fashion, Feminism, Fantasy, and the History of Comic Book Heroines, and the entire premise of this movie ratcheted my geekcitement up to 11. I’m interested to see how the filmmakers will compare with the author of The Supergirls.
Has anything touched your heart today? Maybe made you squee a little? Share your excitement with me in the comments below!
I am suffering from some serious writer’s block. I was unexpectedly too busy to post yesterday, but I’ve had a couple of hours to write, and I just don’t have a topic that I can write a full post about today. So today, you get snippets of things that are rolling around in my brain.
First off, can we please STOP calling other women “whores” and judging them for having sex? One of my family members shared this on her Facebook wall, and it made me see red. Oh, don’t get me wrong, I have definitely judged other girls that I didn’t know well, and called them “whore”. But you know what? I look back at those times, and every single time, it was an insult made out of jealousy.
You heard me. I have called other women awful names because I was jealous. I was jealous because I thought they were prettier, or because they had a nicer body, or they wore clothing that I could never pull off, or they were more socially confident than me, or they were better at flirting, or they had the attention of the guy that I thought was cute/dating/liked. Look deep within yourself when you decide to label someone “whore” or “slut”. Unless that person actually works in the sex industry, chances are, the reasons behind your loathing of another person is actually emotions that you’re directing at yourself.
Calling somebody else fat won’t make you any skinnier. Calling someone stupid doesn’t make you any smarter. And ruining Regina George’s life definitely didn’t make me any happier. All you can do in life is try to solve the problem in front of you. - Cady from 2004′s Mean Girls
I’d like to add that calling someone a whore doesn’t make your sex or love life any better.
A couple of weeks ago, I was trying to be funny on the Nice Girls twitter account, and joked that The Ultimate Guide to Kink by Tristan Taormino was so sexy, I was scared I’d run out of batteries.
One of my followers, who is also a friend of mine in real life, said that I should invest in a Hitachi Magic Wand. When I replied that I didn’t really have the money to spend on it, she actually bought me one! It gets delivered tomorrow, and you can expect a review after I’ve taken it for a test drive.
There are some really amazing conferences that I want to attend, but I always find out about them too late. I really wanted to go to CatalystCon, the Good Vibrations Sex Summit, and I barely found out about Arse Elektronika in time to attend one day of the conference. How does one go about getting on the mailing list for these things? Readers, if you hear about an interesting sex conference that you’d like to see me at, or read about on Nice Girls, could you let me know about it?
I read what seemed to be a really amazing, sex positive, open relationship positive book called Sperm Wars: Infidelity, Sexual Conflict, and Other Bedroom Battles. I say that it seemed to be that way, because up until the final chapter, it was purely discussing how women and men are programmed to seek out partners outside of their primary relationships, and it even had some interesting theories regarding homosexuality. In the last chapter, it had a cloying story about an elderly couple and how being monogamous throughout their entire lives was the best possible reproductive strategy. It seemed like an odd way to end an otherwise open minded and rather engaging book. I’m still wrestling with how to review it properly.
In the interest of giving Nice Girls some more diverse voices, I am approaching some of my fellow sex educators about writing articles or columns for this blog. I’m also planning on starting a YouTube channel, so that I can interview some of the interesting people I come across in this line of work, and you can see it all!
Finally, today is the Transgender Day of Remembrance. I’d like for you all to take a minute, and take a look at that website.
And now, I’d like to challenge you to be a transgender ally. When you see injustice, bullying, or any sort of hate-motivated violence (whether physical or verbal), take a stand. Make sure that your words are not going to hurt another. Intervene. Call the police, and then stand witness when they arrive. Make sure that those around you, whether straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or queer, know that you won’t stand there and let someone else hurt them.
When visiting my local Good Vibrations a couple of weeks ago, I was very excited to see a copy of Tristan Taormino’s newest book, The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and the Erotic Edge, displayed prominently among fetish accoutrements. I eagerly picked up a copy, and devoured it from cover to cover in three sittings.
I have previously discussed my adoration of Ms. Taormino’s work before, and she showed once again how well she understands the world of non-normative sexuality. Instead of writing the entire book herself, she sought out the experts in each subject and asked each of them to write an essay about their experiences.
The list of authors in this book reads as a veritable who’s who in the space of kink, and each voice shines through when they are talking about their area of expertise. Midori, Mollena Williams, Ignacio Rivera, and Madison Young (sites are all NSFW, depending on your workplace) are among the contributors who bare their souls and their sexuality for the sake of education. Each chapter covers a different subject, and every area is discussed thoughtfully and with respect to the practitioners.
With topics ranging from the topics people usually think of as kink: sadism, masochism, bondage, submission and dominance; to the less public faces of kink, like age play and edge play, this book is as close to perfect as possible. If you are interested in kink, either intellectually or would like to practice, this book is a great tool to learn to articulate your thoughts and desires. Longtime practitioners, who are generally in a never-ending quest to learn more about their desires and the desires of their partners, will also find the viewpoints interesting and informative.
Overall, I highly recommend The Ultimate Guide to Kink. Ms. Taormino, thank you for putting together such a fantastic overview of the broad spectrum of kink. Once again, I tip my proverbial hat to you.
You can help support Nice Girls by purchasing The Ultimate Guide to Kink through the Amazon link above. A portion of each sale goes towards keeping my blog up and running!
Last night was a night of things both wonderful and heartbreaking. Here’s my pros and cons:
- Same sex marriage (also known as “marriage”) has been legalized in three states (Maine, Maryland and Washington), and a fourth (Minnesota) struck down a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same sex marriage. I’m pretty proud of my former home state, Washington.
- Wisconsin elected the first openly gay Senator, and she’s their first female Senator! Congratulations, Tammy Baldwin!
- The first Asian American female Senator, and the first Buddhist Senator, is Mazie Hirono from Hawaii.
- Bonus points to Hawaii for electing the first-ever Hindu Senator too.
- There are now 20 women in the Senate. That’s an additional three from the previous record!
- All of New Hampshire’s delegates, AND their Mayor are women.
- Most of the candidates who made headlines with ill-conceived notions regarding rape, abortion, or contraception were defeated!
- Proposition 35 in California won by a landslide. But there’s some good news, as the EFF and ACLU have already filed suit to strike it down as unconstitutional. I will remain heartbroken about this until it is struck down. I have friends who are sex workers, and I am very concerned about how this will affect them.
- Some really awful people decided that calling our President a monkey, and the “N” word were totally acceptable on Twitter.
- Donald Trump completely lost his mind last night.
Overall, I think that it was a great night, with impressive leaps forward for women and the fight for equality. I am proud of my country for making huge strides forward. Now let’s fix that economy!
PS: This marks the 100th post for Nice Girls! Thanks for joining me on this ride, and here’s to a few hundred more.
So, I know that I already had a blog post about this, but honestly, this issue is too important to me and people I care about to let it sit. If you haven’t read it already, please take a look.
There’s even more to the story. People need to know that the proposition with the “feel good” name isn’t what it’s cracked up to be.
From this post:
Another HUGE problem with Prop 35 is that it mandates that anyone convicted of lewd conduct since 1944 register as a sex offender. Lewd conduct is what the police like to charge women and men working on the street with when entrapping them for solicitation seems like too much of a hassle. So thousands of people who are not traffickers and were never accused of being traffickers are going to have to register as sex offenders. And here’s another kicker – throughout the 50′s, 60′s and 70′s, when it was practically illegal to be queer, the police had a tendency to charge gay men with lewd conduct. So now thousands of gay men will be required to register as sex offenders – because they’re gay. Yes, there are people being exploited, sexually and otherwise, and they should be getting help. But Prop 35 is not the way to do it. Maybe the police should start enforcing the laws we already have against rape, statutory rape, assault, and kidnapping.
This bill has over $1.85M backing it, and the people who oppose it have no budget to buy commercial time on the radio, or TV, or for big splashy advertisements in local papers. Please. Please share this information.
L’Shana Tova to any of my Jewish readers! I spent the last two days attending Rosh Hashanah services with Fiance and his family, which was quite an experience. I attended with them last year, and, to be honest, I find the amount of Hebrew kind of overwhelming to someone who doesn’t understand a bit of it. It is traditional for those attending services to take the two days of Rosh Hashanah off of work to celebrate the Jewish New Year, so I did this as well. Learning about Fiance’s culture and religion is fascinating.
As I said previously, I attended the SF Slutwalk, and took a lot of fabulous pictures. I had a great time, and it really re-energized my dedication to Nice Girls. For the complete set of pictures, you can visit the album on my new imgur account (some images may be NSFW). There were some fantastic speakers at the pre-walk rally in Dolores Park, including Carol Queen, the founder of the Center for Sexuality and Culture, who wore a fabulous shirt that said I <3 Female Orgasm; Tommi Avicolli Mecca, who spoke about his experiences being a drag queen in Philadelphia in the 1970s; and, my personal favorite, Assemblywoman Carol Lieber, who told us that she is a slut, and hopes to be one all of her life.
Then, the Slutwalk began. We walked about half a mile, some of the ladies managed to do it in their stilettos! We cheered as a woman came out, asked what the march was about, and joined as soon as she understood. There were chants, but I spent most of my time running around taking pictures of everyone (but not before asking for their consent, of course)! We ended up at a small plaza in the Castro.
At that time, anyone at the walk could take the bullhorn and share a story. A few chose to just thank the crowd of people who attended. I got up and spoke about how the walk had inspired me to continue writing on Nice Girls and some of my experiences with rape culture. There were a couple of men sitting at a table who were definitely angry at their pleasant afternoon being invaded by a group of women, some of them dressed in lingerie. Unfortunately, a couple of the attendees had already responded to the gentlemens’ consternation with some anger, but I took the opportunity to sit down and explain the purpose and the message of the Slutwalk. They seemed a lot less upset afterwards, and I even saw one of them cheering after an attendee’s speech.
Overall, as I said, the Slutwalk was an overwhelmingly positive experience. I had a great time meeting new people, test driving the new-to-me camera, and listening to the poignant and interesting stories each speaker had to share. I can’t wait for next year!
On Friday evening, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the artist’s reception for “Doing Your Dirty Work”, a sampler of contemporary art about sex at the Center for Sex and Culture here in San Francisco. Warning, the links in this post would all be considered NSFW.
The CSC sent out a request for submissions, and were shocked at the volume of work they received for consideration of this highly curated show. According to their website, many of pieces submitted were from established artists and their more sexual work is excluded from their otherwise successful careers, others were artists who have never achieved success due to the sexual themes of their work.
Many of the art pieces were explicit in nature, but others explored sexuality in a subtler fashion. I had two personal favorites. L’Origin du Inflatable Love Doll, by Sydney Hardin, is a critique of L’Origin du Monde and a thought-provoking piece. If this piece had been for sale, you can bet that Fiance and I would have figured out a way to purchase it. My other favorite was of a less explicit nature. Brotherly Love, by Jason Talley, is a gorgeous painting and depicts three young black men in a tender and private moment.
I also had the opportunity to have a conversation with Robert Lawrence, the President and Co-Founder of the CSC. One of the missions of the CSC is to provide judgement-free sexual education, and they offer classes and a certification. I am very excited to start attending classes at the CSC.
Doing Your Dirty Work runs from August 3-September 1, and I can highly recommend it.
Hey everyone, I am so excited to be telling you all about this awesome new convention that is going to happen in San Francisco next year. GaymerCon is the first gaming and tech convention with a focus on LGBT geek culture. This is shaping up to be a fantastically inclusive and sex-positive geek and gamer convention.
Fiance and I know a few of the awesome guys who are involved, and they are committed to putting on a convention that is groundbreaking in inclusiveness. As soon as my paycheck comes in, I am definitely donating to the kickstarter fund! You should too. Here’s where you can do it.
P.S. I totally want to see Mario and Sonic make out too. Oooh, inter-console snorgling!
I’ve had a lot of personal crises this week, and I would like to apologize to my readers for not updating as regularly this week. I’m actually finding it really hard to find something to write about today (obviously, as this post is scheduled to go live sometime after 5pm today).
I am very excited for the San Francisco Pride celebration this weekend. I love living in a city where sexuality is not something to be ashamed of or hidden, but is celebrated and lived openly. One of my personal heroes, Dan Savage, frequently has callers to his podcast who are talking about being unable to live openly as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer in their respective hometowns. He almost always recommends that they move somewhere like San Francisco, where the culture is overwhelmingly accepting.
I am proud to live in this city. I am proud of those who have had the courage to live their lives in a manner that is authentic to who they are.
I will be at the parade on Sunday, and now that I have found my camera, I look forward to sharing some pictures with all of you, dear readers!
Dominic Dieter, the morning show host I wrote about on Monday, apologized for his thoughtless and incredibly offensive comments. While his apology seems heartfelt, and he genuinely seems to be contrite, no apology can erase the words he broadcast to Cleveland, and were repeated around the country.
Words can have far-reaching effects. His words may have been the justification someone needed to actually commit the crime he suggested (attempting to “rape someone straight”). If you’ve seen the movie Boys Don’t Cry, or if you have read anything about the rape gangs in South Africa, you know that corrective rape is something that actually happens. His flippant comment was an incredibly dangerous one.
While I commend Dieter, and the station that he works for, in their efforts to atone for the blatantly hateful sentence Dieter uttered (they are running PSAs about parental rejection, and he has had undisclosed disciplinary action), the fact remains, you can’t take it back. There are still sick individuals who will claim he was coerced into an apology, and use his words to continue justifying hate, violence, sexism, and homophobia. Through Rush Limbaugh’s “prostitute” rant, we have already seen how the hateful words of one person can affect others, even after an apology. His message and apology on Monday morning are just not enough to reconcile the damage of his words.
I would like to see Dieter do a fundraiser for the LGBT Community Center in Cleveland, with an offer to match every dollar, up to $5k, out of his own pocket. How about it? Should we campaign for Dieter to put his money where his mouth is, and actually do some good with his popularity?