Building Together

So often in our culture, we stumble into our relationships.  We meet, greet, fall in love- and simply expect it to work. Relationships that are built on dominance, submission, power exchange, control and surrender are profoundly radical not because they are non-egalitarian.  Non-egalitarian relationships are as old as time itself, and as someone who was raised with firm feminist ideologies, I can clearly see the destructive and corrupt nature of non-equal dynamics. What makes consensually constructed non-egalitarian relationships radical is that they are constructed.  They are built.  They are designed.  With eyes wide open, two or more individuals set out…

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The Music and Dance of Negotiation

There is this thing called negotiation in the BDSM and kink communities.  I’m often fairly crap at it. At least- that’s what I have thought for some time.  But today, talking with sexuality educator Scott Thomson, I realized that no- I am really quite good at actually negotiating.  Getting my needs and desires out on the table, and hearing the needs and desires, limits and frameworks offered by others.  The issue is that I play jazz music, and play in a culture that has evolved to appreciate sheet music and classic composers. In the public kink scene, a fetish has…

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Coming Out or Drawing In?

Come out, come out, wherever you are. As a young queer creature in the 90s, and an active one in the 00s, I grew up with this mantra.  Come out of your shells, declare your differentness, have your family of choice take you in with big open gay arms.  At 13 I came out to my parents- a triangle pin on my leather jacket and an anger burning in my belly that I was different, that no one understood me. I sit here now, 31, a palindrome of my former angry self, and wonder at how much pain I put…

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Growing Beautiful Flowers at the Intersections: From Complex Ecosystems to Interstitial Collaboration

On Saturday, November 20th, it was my absolute delight to get to deliver the keynote speech for the Transcending Boundaries Conference, in Worcester, MA.  This amazing conference was a three-day event with both academic and profoundly personal conversations ranging in topics from Asexuality to Bisexuality, Kinky to Polyamorous, Transgender to Intersex to Genderqueer… and all the spaces in-between and beyond.  Their topic this year was “Intersections”, and thus, when I was invited to give the Keynote Speech, I had the delightful and somewhat terrifying opportunity to find a message that might meet them all… and thus I started with Organic…

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The Flavors of Love

I like food.  I was really blessed that my first fianceé, Max, forced me to pay attention to it.  Here I was in his apartment, scarfing down food like a wildebeest before him, and he yelled- “Stop!” I froze mid-bite, staring at him wide-eyed. Stop and taste it, he instructed me.  Slow down and let the taste fall on my tongue, on the the front, on the sides.  Savor the meal, take it in, enjoy it for all it is.  Close your eyes and try it again.  Be with the meal, be here with me, be here.  Otherwise, it feels…

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Handouts, Helping Hands, Hands to Hold

“My grandfather never took foodstamps, they did not have them back then.  He pulled himself up by his own bootstraps.” This story is pervasive in our culture, a hubris of not wanting or needing to take handouts from the world.  That we stand up on our own, are self-sufficient, worlds unto ourselves.  Self-reliant, independent, strong on our own.  What need have we for others? Self help books speak about only needing ourselves, that a well-balanced person should have people add to their world, not be necessity.  People and connections are decoration, not core.  If they become a need we are…

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The Pegasus and The Centaur

I have been a very happy Pegasus for most of my life.  I love flying, love the way the clouds taste as the tickle the underside of my nose.  There is something delectable about saving Greek heroes from their folly, showing up unexpected with just the thing to say. It is not always easy being a monster, but I like it.  I feel good with it. “You are not a monster” I hear a lot of folks tell me.  Monsters have tentacles and fangs and gore dripping from their pores.  Monsters plague dreams.  But I tell you, no, I am…

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Emotionally Organic: On Relationship Ends

In much of the world, we talk about the notion of getting “rid” of someone in our life.  As if there were a rubbish bin somewhere that we could toss away our relationships and have them no longer be part of us. There is no away. Even on the physical plane, there is no away.  When we throw something into the trash, it does not disappear simply because it is not longer in our homes.  It goes somewhere.  Right now there is a trash heap twice the size of Texas floating in the Pacific Ocean because of such beliefs.  The…

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Poly Guacamole

The scene had stopped and started a few times, like last time. My friend turned occasional play partner Skies was having a night of being unsure what to do with me, unsure what to do with himself. Ours has hot passion mixed with random moments of dissociative behavior, where we both step out of ourselves and into this place of not quite right any more. We both needed to eat, so the plan came to pass of wrapping my wrists in hospital restraints and going grocery shopping in bondage. My hands found their way to spinach, mushrooms, limes, cotija cheese,…

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Complex Ecosystems: Building Ships

“Build me straight, O worthy Master! Stanch and strong, a goodly vessel, That shall laugh at all disaster, And with wave and whirlwind wrestle!” -from “The Building of the Ship“, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Hidden inside many of the words of our lives are other words. Words that allow us to ponder and contemplate, to consider roots and dig deep. Within every Question a Quest, within every Lover a Love, within every Dreamer a Dream. But some words that bubble within us are an opportunity to build something, dream something more. I speak of Ships. FriendSHIP MentorSHIP RelationSHIP So often…

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