Travel and Personal Preferences

As a performer, artist, educator and author, I tend to travel a lot… and I also do so socially as well.  I get asked a lot of things like “what are your favorite drinks,” and “do you have any allergies.” I also enjoy receiving quality service from those who enjoy giving it.  For both populations, as well as myself, I have decided to make the world easier by providing this information sheet.  Thank you for being so considerate to ask!

(updated 18 June 2021)

Beverages:

Water: Room temperature to cold, no ice, no straw, no lemon (but lime/orange can be lovely), preferably reusing my bottle or a glass that can be washed instead of disposable bottles.  I drink a lot of water, and have challenges when dehydrated, so please offer me water if in doubt.

Primary Cold: Water, Flavored Seltzer (berries, orange, berry with lime), Orange Juice.

Secondary Cold: Vanilla Dry Soda, Cream Soda, Australian-style Lemonade, Strawberry Lemonade, other fruit juices.

Hot: Tea (mint, vanilla, cinnamon or other non-caffeinated herbal), plain.  Occasional hot chocolate (soy or almond milk preferred). Occasional coffee with vanilla creamer (almond preferred, milk okay)

Starbucks/Cafe: Skim Vanilla, Hazelnut, or Cinnamon Latte, one shot only, with extra hazelnut or vanilla.  If hot day: Vanilla Frappacino, No whip or drizzle on any of the above.

Alcohol: I am not a regular drinker. When I do, I sometimes enjoy Mike’s hard lemonade (any flavor), Honey or Spiced Whiskey, Amarula, Screwdriver, Fuzzy Navel. Occasionally rum and coke or a good Scotch. I do not drink beer/ale, but enjoy Mead from time to time.

Wine: Sweet white wines such as Muscato, though a diversity of white wines appeal. Smooth red wines such as Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon. I do not tend to enjoy Rosés or Sparkling wines as much, and Champagne can be hit or miss.

Spoiling: Sparkling Peach Juice, Fresh-squeezed apple cider, Milkshakes (Cookies and Cream, any Berry, Creamsicle, Pumpkin, Strawberry), Virgin Pina-colada.

Food:

I can eat just about anywhere, and enjoy a wide variety of food.  Below are some of my favorites just in case I need to be surprised, but I can find something to eat most places other than all-meat restaurants.

Favorite Genres: Thai, Ethiopian, Indian, Mexican, Japanese/Sushi, Dumpling Houses/Dim Sum, Spanish.

Food Restrictions: Low amounts of meat (I am not 100% vegetarian, but prefer to eat very little meat, and when I do, prefer “happy meat” as compared to mass-farmed meat). No veal, avoid mass-trolled/bulk shrimp, avoid mayonnaise, low caffeine, low(ish) fat. I rarely eat fried foods.

Favorite Candies: Gummy/Gummi (bears, frogs, worms), Sour (watermelon, apple), Red Licorice (soft/Australian or straws), Caramel (especially salted). I am slowly developing a fondness for high end chocolates, especially salted, with toffee, or a variety of truffles.

Spicy: Please.  Usually medium at unknown restaurants, hot at some known ones.

Favorite Vegetables: Spinach, Broccoli, Zucchini, Mushrooms, Parsnips, Chard. Organic Carrots are wonderful.

Favorite Fruits: Cuties/Clementines/Tangerines, Peaches, Bananas, Apples, Raspberries, Green Grapes, Cherries, Mangoes.

Favorite Condiments: Sweet Chili Sauce, Low-sodium Soy Sauce, Garlic, Mint Chutney, High-end mustards, Horseradish, Wasabi, World Salts (small amounts, let me add them).  Please no spreads etc. on sandwiches in advance without knowing how I like it (I can be picky on the volumes of the above condiments).

Favorite Salad Dressings: Goddess Dressing, Caesar, Low-fat Ranch, Honey Mustard, Blue Cheese, Balsamic Vinegar with Olive Oil and herbs. Please have dressing on the side as I enjoy a different volume than some people.

Quirks: If in doubt and it is savory, put extra lettuce, spinach or sprouts on/with it.

Favorite Pie: Apple, Pumpkin, Coconut, Berries.

Favorite Ice Cream: Vanilla, Sorbet (Berries, Mango or Coconut), Mint Chip, Strawberry Shortcake, Salted Caramel, Pistachio.

Favorite Sushi: Tuna, Red Snapper, Kappa Maki, Albacore, Yellow Fin, Inari.

Favorite Easy Nibbles: Muffins, String Cheese, Cashews, Clementines, Grapes, Powerbars.

Eggs: Scrambled hard or in an omelets/frittata.

Culinary addictions: Homemade salsa, world variety cheeses, edamame (soy beans), Kashi GoLean with high-protien yogurt, cupcakes.

Breakfast style: Protein based big meal available if “big” day ahead (i.e. eggs added to meal), but my default is some sort of cereal with greek yogurt or soy/rice milk (but low-fat dairy milk okay). I need some sort of food in the morning to be able to take daily medications.

General note: I sometimes forget to eat when busy.  Please poke lovingly around mid-day and again around dinner time to make sure I remembered to eat, or hand me a banana, power bar, bagel, muffin, etc. if we are on the road.

Social:

Smoking: Cigar rarely, at social occasions/with friends, enjoy Romeo y Julieta (though anything favorable and not bitter is a good surprise), punch preferred over cut or double guillotine.

Music: Very loud music is not pleasurable for me, please inform in advance if taking to a loud dance club.  My tastes are eclectic and flexible for personal listening.

Movies: Movies in general are often something I enjoy, especially on the big screen, from documentaries and art films to scri-fi and action. I love kids movies but like to have the chance to say no to them if not in the right head space.  Please inform before going to high gore (i.e. SAW) or horror movies.

Mood: I sometimes have times where I “run out of smiles.” Please do not take these personally, just know that sometimes I may have to excuse myself from large crowds and have some alone/quiet time.

Presents:   I have an Amazon wishlist for ideas of the genres of things I enjoy.  I am incredibly finicky about event memorabilia, tee shirts, and high end jewelry (yellow gold/gold tones, natural stones or woods only unless you have checked), and physically large items. Please ask (myself or my close friends) in advance on these kinds of items before gifting.

Gift cards:  Amazon.com, EtsyTime Bomb Tattoo (Frederick, MD), Starbucks.

Flowers: Chrysanthemums (especially spider), Roses (white, orange or deep red especially), anything orange/autumn toned.  Please check with me before gifting live plants.

Having Fun: Looking to surprise me with social/fun outings?  I am a fan of hot tubbing, saunas, hot springs, horseback riding (low experience level), kayaking, canoeing, art festivals, carnivals, concerts with bands I enjoy (or related themed bands), folk and bluegrass festivals, renaissance fairs, low to moderate impact hikes, street fairs, markets with lots of stalls, riding on the back of motorcycles, window shopping in quirky neighborhoods, poetry/book readings,  food/gastronomical adventures (I am a big foodie), spring/fall camping, philosophical debates, board games, and going out (or staying in) for movies.

Homes/Sleeping Arrangements:

Allergies:  I am allergic to pet dander and molds – please vacuum in advance and warn me so I can take medications.  I will need to take meds an hour before arriving if at all possible. I also have topical allergies to most artificial scents, so heavily scented dryer sheets or scented massage oil/body products put on my skin (other people wearing in vicinity is fine) can lead to rashes.

Kids:  That is fantastic! Just let me know protocols on what to talk about around them/their current interests, etc.  I enjoy playing games, zoo, trips, movies, and hanging out.  I am happy to be “kid-appropriate,” just let me know before we get there.

Scents: I have challenges with “fake” smelling air fresheners and heavily smoky spaces.  Please warn in advance if I am to expect heavy, pervasive scents, such as incense, perfume, animal scents, etc.

Towels: I rarely use washcloths or hand towels except when needing to remove makeup post-performances.  Give me one regular or bath towel and I will be happy.

Bath needs/products: I usually travel with my own, as I have topical allergies to most bath products, but if they are being provided for me, please find “fragrance-free” products rather than just “unscented.”  I usually shower in the morning/after I awake, but will also bathe after a sweaty performance.

Sleep needs: I am a pillow minimalist – 1 medium firm usually, but am happy with whatever is there.  I sometimes run cold, have an extra blanket available please.  I usually set my own alarm, but like notifying hosts when I will be getting up so that if 15 minutes later I am not up, there can be a knock on the door if there are tight time schedules.  My default sleep schedule is 1am to 9am sleeping, but can be highly flexible with notice.

Clothing needs: I sometimes travel with clothes than need ironed – access to an iron, and sometimes a quick load of laundry, is greatly appreciated.  If I have been on the road for more than 1 week, access to a washing machine is useful. Happy to work with a laundry service or a laundry mat if needed.

Hotels: Please make sure that I do not need to climb stairs, in case I am having a bad knee day. If that is not possible, let me know in advance. Non-smoking rooms only. I actually prefer to stay in guest rooms in local folk’s houses (with my own room with clean sheets and a door that can be closed) than at hotels, unless traveling with a partner, so save yourself the budget expense if such an option is available.

Quirks: Vacuum cleaners can make me jumpy when they are on.

At Events:

Time: Please do not book me for classes or performances before 10am without explicit discussion, or book me for a class/event that runs after midnight that has another evening in the morning, again, without discussion. I can do it, I just need warning in advance, and making sure it will be a good fit for delivering excellence.

Beverages: Water (see above) always available – I drink a lot of it.

Food breaks: I need to eat an actual meal at least every 7 hours, please do not have me back to back in programming without at least a 45 minute meal break (for eating, sometimes needing space, not schmoozing simultaneously, unless discussed in advance) every 5-6 hours preferred.   If boxed lunches, please see my needs above.

Alone time: Capacity for being alone 2+ waking hours a day is appreciated, and sometimes needed.  I may not use it, but having the choice to not be around other humans for a bit can be very re-charging for me.

Travel:

Airlines: I will fly with anyone, but have a preference for American, United, Alaska Airlines, Jet Blue, Delta, Virgin, and Southwest Airlines.  When booking tickets, consider asking me for assistance finding more affordable fares – I sometimes have airfare mojo. Please make sure you get my TSA Known Traveller number to book with my flights for travel ease.

Airport time: I like to be at the airport 1.5 or 2 hours before I fly, and would rather be at the airport much earlier (even 5 hours in advance) rather than cutting it close.  I write and read well in airport lobbies. This means that when booking tickets, this needs to be taken into consideration. A 7am flight means arriving by 5:30am, which may be tricky in some places if dependent on public transit.

Seat selection: I prefer aisle, emergency exit row, window and/or bulkhead, in that order, but can function well with almost any seat. No, really, middle seat is fine.  In fact, I am regularly the person that gives up their seat for others in need or who are traveling with their families.

Public transit: I love it, and prefer it to cars when in major cities, unless under tight time constraints.

Cars: I DO NOT drive.  At all, ever, and do not have a license.  I am happy to be a passenger, but am uncomfortable with folks going more than an hour or so out of their way to transport me places they were not planning on going already.  Please warn me if there are strong scents or pet dander in the car in advance so I can be appropriately drugged.

Food/Drinks on Flights: I dislike plastic disposable glasses, and usually ask for a full can of whatever I am drinking (see beverages).  I am fairly flexible with food on flight, but often bring my own gum, snacks etc. if I am unfamiliar with the airline/route.

Medical:

See “In Case of Emergency” on my mobile phone for all medical information if emergencies arise, including emergency contact information. My medical details are also on my Kindle as the first file, and if you take my iPhone and click the on top button five times, it will pull up an option for my medical file.

Medication: I take a variety of daily pills, twice a day, in the window between 8am and 11am, and again between 10pm and midnight.  Making sure those pills are on me at that time is appreciated.  I also have a daily inhaler each morning, so unexpected travel without ability to grab a few days of medications, no matter how well intentioned, is not always appreciated. My shoulder bag has all of my as-needed (PRN) medications, and are good to have with me at any time in case one of my many medical issues arise.

Clothing:

Tee shirts/Tank tops: I do not usually wear event shirts, please do not get them for me. I’m sure they are awesome, but I’d rather have them given to someone who will love them. I wear a Men’s Medium (depending on if they are pre-shrunk) for other tee shirts.  Depending on the cut I usually wear a Men’s Medium button down shirt, usually a 15-15 1/2 x 34/33.

Trousers: 33-34 x 31-33 depending on cut.

Height: 5’11”

Shoe size: Men’s 9.5 (standard-E)

At My Home/Office:

Chores in order of need, for those doing service: Scrubbing surfaces (sinks, tub, shower walls, counter tops, toilets), Floors (sweep, mop, wood-condition, vacuum rugs), Running errands (groceries, laundry offsite, driving to appointments/errands, shopping), Dusting, Ironing, Organization/Filing, Sewing and other clothing repair, Dishes, Household Organization, Laundry, assisting with other projects as needed.

Chores I enjoy doing myself: Cooking, Dishes, On-site Laundry

Slave/Submissive-identified individuals: When spending time in my home, if following formal protocols, expect to sit on pillows or dog beds instead of chairs (unless your body needs otherwise, or your own Dominant has said otherwise), and sleep on a slave bed, couch, or at the foot of the bed unless otherwise discussed. My default honorific is Sir.

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Lee Harrington

Lee Harrington is an internationally known sexuality, relationships, and personal authenticity educator. Having taught in all 50 states and in 6 countries, he brings a combination of playful engagement and thoughtful academic dialogue to a broad audience. An award-winning author and editor on gender, sexual, and sacred experience, his books include “Traversing Gender: Understanding Transgender Journeys,” and "Sacred Kink: The Eightfold Paths of BDSM and Beyond," among many other titles. He has been blogging online since 1998, and been teaching worldwide since 2001. Welcome to his world, and your chance to expand your mind and heart alike.

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