Sitting In The Parlor

During my recent trip to Bolivia, I found myself in the living room/parlor area of the house we were staying in. It was father’s day, and the man of the house, in his 80s, was being celebrated for being a father and grandfather. Father’s day is a big thing in Bolivia. The children (18 and under) were in one room, while the women scurried around the kitchen and dining room getting the food on the table. Meats, more meats, more meats, salads, and some more meat. I had spent a month before my trip to gauge up from being a…

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Desert Trust

The white is everywhere. 12,000 sq km of white. Salt, so much salt. Ancient salt. Salt of memories. Salt that stretches down into the ground, 3-8 meters deep depending on the area. Underneath, salt lakes and salt rivers flow down into the core, down to the earth. Salt tears, salt seas. The Salar de Uyuni. Leaving Cochabamba, Bolivia, my friend from Chicago and I board a bus to Oruro. The city carries a sorrow right now, underneath the bustle. Only a week+ ago, the footbridge collapsed during Carnival. The bridge is still there, one end of it turned into a…

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Lessons Learned after Feeling Used

Having spent time as an educator in the sexuality communities for quite a while now, I have found it is important to read the room. Look at their experience level. Have I always been good about that?  Nope. I even blogged about it here: http://passionandsoul.com/journal/remembering-the-101 But I recently attended a class, and felt that not only was it not gauged appropriately to the audience… but there were other issues as well. I will not be listing their name in this post. The folks in attendance will know the reference, and that is enough. I ask that those individuals not reply…

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Soundtrack Of A Life

The lights go down and the ecstatic roar echoes through the crowd. Wizened dykes with smiles on their faces, young couples of all orientations, fans raising their hands with the words to every lyric etched upon their tongue. We wrap around each other and sway as Amy and Emily take the stage. Dapper Butch and Comfy Mama, banjo and guitar, tea and water behind them. The Indigo Girls are a rich piece of my memory. Layers of sexual exploration, layers of relationships, layers of rocking out and holding my arms wrapped tightly around me. Caroline hands me a mix tape,…

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Corn Fritters, Budget Strap-on and the 30 hour countdown

Another city, another hotel, another stack of books on the table to sell. Another dildo staring at me from beside a pile of pantyhose, two topless curvy women asking where they should stand… wait, what? My life feels amazing, beautiful, curious and strange sometimes. Today I find myself in Columbus, Ohio having had the 8th Winter Wickedness hosted by AIS wrap up. I had the pleasure of teaching two classes, attending two myself, spending quality time with friends, making new ones, having conversations that needed to happen – and even had time to sneak off with local title holders to…

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A Hole in My Mouth

This morning I woke with blood in my mouth. Dead blood, rusted blood, blood whose time has passed. Sunday my tooth broke. Tooth number 13, upper pre-molar. The plan to get a root canal and crown had not gone into action soon enough it seems, so I stood there for a moment at the Moore Theatre in Seattle with a piece of my tooth in hand, blinking. So 2 days ago I had the tooth pulled. I’d gone to two different doctors, and both agreed that the likelihood of saving it was low… and if the tooth were saved, it…

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Birthdays in the Digital Age

I read all of those little birthday notes folks post on Facebook… and reply to each one. It’s not an algorithim. I don’t cut and paste, I read, I note, I appreciate. It’s a flood of love, and memory, and stories. Folks trickle in from the folds of time, a wrinkle in the pattern of reality that puts Race Bannon and Pete Lazretti on the same screen. I am sitting in a panel at Kink LINCS in Seattle, discussing the politics and play of titleholders in the Leather community. I am standing against a wall wearing a red pvc catsuit…

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Information Styles and “Topping from the Bottom”

In the kink community, I hear a lot of derisive commentary about “topping from the bottom.” A recent conversation happened online about how it is a problem, a removal of authority, and it struck me as being true in some instances, and profoundly invalidating of truth in other situations. That “topping from the bottom,” like many things that apply to interactions between humans, are based on context and the people involved. Midori has an excellent grid that lays out kind of like this (I encourage *everyone* to attend Midori’s workshops, she is incredibly articulate on these concepts): Top          Switch         Bottom    …

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Decisions on Disclosure

I walk into a deli, and no one cares. “What can I get you Boss?” The man behind the counter has a thick New York Italian accent, a smile on his face. I ask for a bagel with cream cheese and sprouts, lettuce too. “No problem Boss, what kind of bagel?” I’m just some guy who wants a bagel. Okay, maybe I’ve got long hair and some tattoos, but I’m just some guy who wants a bagel. In the world of transgender experience, including in the class/discussion I led at the Tickle Trunk on Thursday, the notion of “passing” gets…

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Each Small Thing

I round the corner, and freeze in place. Eyes wide behind my mask, mouth half-open behind my shield of white. The older man is sitting in a high-backed chair in his library, and from my angle all I can see is his pepper-grey hair, his suspenders over a white tank top, his black tuxedo pant leg. The younger man pulls out the older man’s shoes, and gets down on one knee before him. Some part of my mind pegs them as being in their late 40s and early 30s, but what matters more is his head lowering as he slips…

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