I wanna be perfectly honest with you.  I’m sick – sick – of the majority of consent conversations out there.  I don’t have it in me to tell you you ought to care about the well being of people you engage with, or at a bare minimum offer them the same bodily autonomy you expect for yourself.  I’m not interested in hearing if you’ve fallen on the right side of the law or not – laws are what make you not criminal; they say very little about your ethics levels.

We can do better.

We need to do better.

Here’s what I”m still interested in talking about:

How can I be my brother’s keeper?

Being part of a community means being responsible for each other and to each other.  So how do we effectively do that?  How can we call each other in, ask each other to do better without the isolation and shaming?  How can we empower and encourage people to be vocal about their limits at all times?  What information to do we need to share with newcomers from both sides of the slash?

 

Beyond the physical violations, where do emotional and mental violations/incidents fit in?

In the grand scheme of consent, the physical stuff is often the easiest.  It’s the easiest to check in on, and the easiest to know when you’ve gone off script.  But feeling violated, experiencing scene regret, lies betrayal, broken trust – these require nuanced language that we haven’t even given birth to yet – nevermind gained eloquence in the way the clunky words fall off our tongues.

Whether the feelings of violation come from a physical, emotional and mental source the net result is the same – people are hurting – this is what I care about.  How do we talk about this?

 

How do we create a culture that minimizes harm?

Key word there?  Minimize.  I’m not some Pollyanna.  I don’t think there is every going to be a solution that keeps everyone from experiencing many negative things while exploring Kink and BDSM.  But right now?  There is a lot we can do, and the most effective thing I think we can do is work towards a cultural shift.

 

How do we promote healing for all parties?

As individuals and as a community.  As topsiders and bottom dwellers.  How do we start to forgive ourselves for the times we should have spoken up but didn’t?  How do we find the compassion and openness to listen when we can and respectfully state our boundaries when we can’t?  How can we promote agency and resilience?

So if you see me out and about and you wanna chat consent with me, I’m still 100% willing.  Let’s just raise the bar a bit, okay?

 

[Side note!  I am thrilled that Rochester Kink Society is bringing me down to have this kind of juicy consent conversion.  If you’re in the Rochester area on September 13 2014, come join!


Last week saw me squired away with 60-odd sex geeks in the mountainous wilds of West Virginia, and while I knew I was going to get great advice for my Sexuality Coaching Practice, I didn’t realize I’d also be getting a reminder in why D/s matters so much in my life.

As camp drew to a close and we shared how we decompress back into the mundane world talk turned to partners and connection which turned quickly to sex.  Connection via physical intimacy.

What luck thought I, I’m on my way to my Lord and Love.  We shall have All The Sex.  Forgetting completely that “The Sex” is no where near as comforting or as connecting as The D/s is.  Cue a round of underwhelming sex that ended in tears (with little voices in my head yelling noooo – this is how you connect, stop it I mean don’t stop it – fuck harder damn it!) all of which could have been avoided if we’d stuck to our connecting ritual of foot worship, leg cuddling and head petting.  The care and feeding of this pet is actually pretty simple:  don’t let her over complicate things, provide more head pets.

Time and time again life brings me back to the knowledge that power based relationships work best for me.  And that power isn’t based in humiliation, punishment, or even in 1000 orgasms.  It’s built in the simple ask that I be open and vulnerable with my partner, and that I trust them when they say they choose me, and we got this.

I think I forget so often that this is how power exchange looks in my world because it flows so easily.  Protect me an I will adore you.  Accept me and I will bend to your will.  Help me flourish an I will devote my being to you.  No contracts, little protocol….  but yes ritual.

Ritual that needs to be respected and adhered to, because it’s because the physical manifestation of our power exchange.  When we let that slide in the hustle and bustle of life, faulty GPS directions and tiredness, we do a disservice to ourselves and our relationship because we’re dampening our connection.    I don’t want to do that.

One more place to practice mindfulness.

 

 

 

 


I remember when I first heard this term.  It was from feminist frequency’s original Women vs Tropes YouTube run.  I remember how it connected with me, not only because I shared some many qualities of the magical girl, but also because it had become a little bit of a saviour trope.  People see my fun and want a part of it, so they assume that being with me means my fun will transfer onto them.

And I get it – I’m fun.  I’m the kinda intrinsic fun that radiates joy from the core of my being.  I’m so in love with life that ridiculously simple things bring a beaming smile to my face:  floating on a pool noodle at the local sex club, a car driving by playing a song I like.  When I’m driving in the car and I crest a hill and it is so fucking beautiful I’ll actually leak a few happy tears.   That’s the level of joy I’m talking.  And living with joy is a beautiful, spectacular, amazing thing.

But having to live with joy is something very different.

I don’t know if you’ve been someone’s life line before, but it’s exhausting.  It thwarts your ability to express your full emotional range; to experience the complexity of being multiple emotions at the same time (yes friends, you can be overall happy while still being deeply upset in a moment), and it’s incredibly draining to have someone else rely on you for energy and entertainment.  I don’t want to be that.  do it again.  I don’t want to be responsible for anyone else’s experience – that’s an unfair ask.

I went so far as to add recovering Manic Pixie Dream Girl to my OKCupid profile.   It was my line in the sand.  And this was years ago….. to be honest I hadn’t really thought of it since.

Then, last week, while radio channel surfing that phrase caught my ear once again.  The originator of the term was on Q expanding on his recent essay I’m sorry for coining the phrase “Manic Pixie Dream Girl”.  To sum it up, he believes this useful phrased has gone from describing a very specific type of character, who is created by someone else, to describing all women who are a little quirky – even when that quirkiness comes from a completely autonomous place.   The interview and guests were interest, so I listened and I was reminded of my Manic Pixie Dream Girl; my magical child, and how much I miss her. 

My life, much like yours, I imagine, has a fair amount of stress in it.  The pace is fast, the resources are not infinite and even when the destination is clear(ish) the path isn’t.  My coping mechanism has been to do what I’ve been taught.  Buckle down, focus hard, play less, work more – it will pay off in the long run.

But can I tell you something?

I miss being fully connected to that part of myself, the eternal child part of myself that finds joy and magic in so many places (not to mention is a super connected to my power exchange).  I miss the parts that so easily open to creativity and possibility – things that are much harder to access when in rational adult mode.  Being a fulltime manic pixie dream girl might not be the wisest decision for me, but cleaving that part of myself off didn’t serve me either.

I notice the joy slipping out of my life. 

We live in a world that’s already too happy to grind us down.  Why am I giving that world any assistance?

I’m not sure how many others this sharing will resonate for.  I’m not sure if it’s a submissive thing; a Libra thing, or simply a human thing, but I struggle with keeping myself for me.  Finding the balance between partner focused (or service focused?) and still not existing for them can be a challenge.  Of course the stronger my emotional boundaries are, the more successful I am engaging in my own agency, owning what is mine while side stepping what other can be too quick to make anyone-but-themselves responsible for.  But, as with so many things in life it’s an ongoing practice, not a one time goal.  Being my own manic pixie instead of my partner’s manic pixie (or community’s manic pixie) becomes one more part of the practice.

I also struggle with remembering that out there doesn’t make me happy.  That the sacrifice now, play someday method that was handed to be doesn’t work for me.  It zaps my joy, lessons my ability to refresh and renew my spirit.  Remembering that I have learned much about me, and I need to be me becomes yet another part of the practice.

Chop wood, carry water.  Learn you, be you.  So life goes.


I like creativity – in just about every form it comes in.  Artists fill me will wonder; I hang on the words spun by storytellers; chefs make me squeal with delight.  Designers, architects – I’m sure you get the picture by now.  Creativity delights me.  So unsurprisingly, creative play partners are among my favourite partners to play with.  Those who can take me on a thrilling ride of emotions and sensations, uncertain of what comes next without being too overwhelmed so we can keep playing.  I think that’s the kind of play creates a little bit of magic – or maybe the word I’m looking for here is ecstasy.

And the most wonderful bit is that I am more than a blank canvas for my partner.  I’m the paint too.  I actively help to create these moments by opening myself wide to my partners, giving them bits and pieces of myself so, where my partner a chef, they had access to the biggest range of ingredients I could offer them.  That means I can’t just provide someone all the nice stuff and expect a dynamic scene that is truly satisfying to me.  Providing the biggest range of ingredients means that I need to let my partners know  what will make me moan with pleasure as well as pain, what while bring shrieks of delight and shrieks of anger.  Things that often lead to tears and the fastest method to turn them back off.  How to zone me out and how to bring my focus.

Body Paint by Lucia by Beatrice Murch

If I want art with depth and height, I need to provide shadows as well as light.

The trust factor comes with how these elements are put into use.  Trusting that my artist will use the right combinations and patterns to make a masterpiece instead of…. well, less than.  I’m not talking anything non-consensual, no risk of danger or bodily harm, just when creation doesn’t fully connect.  Or when you give someone the power to make you nothing but unhappy and they choose to go that route.  That’s why, even when you’re art, it’s important to remember your agency.  You can call the scene and walk away at any point.  You can remember who used the tools you gave them in a way that you liked and who didn’t.  It’s not a waste of a scene, it’s information that will help you refine your partner selection and negotiation process.

Great players aren’t born; they’re made, and failure is part of what goes into making a great player too.  Sometimes you have taste a dish before you realize it needs way less chilli and more nutmeg.  Sometimes it takes days of staring at a painting before you realize it wouldn’t be *finished* until you had a stripe of green to the lower left corner.  Learning your partner’s body, their reactions which breath means what, how far is too far and how far is just enough?  All of this knowing what to do differently next time takes the kind of skill that can only come with practice.

I'll paint our love with wild flowers by Diamond FarahUntil our partners, our artists, chefs, and co-creators are masters at our unique canvass we can help them along by communicating where we’re at often, providing specific feedback about why we called a colour or used a safeword, and we can directly ask for the cherry that’s going to top our sundae just right.  And in that process we will learn the art of walking the line between contribution and control – something we will fuck up until practice develops that skill.

The art will come.  Sometimes it just takes a while to get there.


Happy International Masturbation Month!  I said I’d be keeping content on topic this month, so BAM:  fun ways to mix power exchange with masturbation – beyond no.

Actually…. before we get to the juicy part of this post, let’s bust some myths, shall we?  Masturbation doesn’t have to be a solo act, it doesn’t have to be a vanilla act, and it certainly doesn’t have to be a stop gap substitute for any other type of sex.  If it has become that start using your imagination and spice things up!  Lemme start by offering some help with that.  Here are three ways you can add a flavour of power exchange to your masturbation play:

 

Be the Director:

Blind fold your partner and make them comfortable before you.  Direct their actions and activities.  Tell them what to take off, where to touch themselves and how to prefer for you.

Ties that Bind:

Using the restraint of your choice, immobilize your partner.  The curl up with them and masturbate; never letting them participate.  Looking to go the sensual root?  Play small spoon and nestle up into your lover.  Looking for something with more heat?  Face them and maintain eye contact.

You can’t touch me!

If you’ve been looking for a way to get into consensual non-consent play with a partner, this can be a fun and lighthearted first step.  The rules of this game are simple; you put on a masturbation show for your lover.  They can’t touch you – that is until they feel so moved with lust they have to try; and you’re job is to “fight” them off.   Quick note for the super competitive; remove breakables for your immediate area.  Back in the day, I broke 2 lamps and my desk chair playing this in my dorm.

 

I’m sure there’s more than that too –  feel free to leave some of your favourites in the comments below.


A workshop on workshops?  Say wha?!?

Well “to workshop” an idea means to expand, explore and examine that idea; see what makes it tick, see what really resonates for us, and what doesn’t.  Trust me, it’s awesome and useful.  And not just for people new to kink, but anyone who wants a more clear understanding of how kink plays out in their own lives.

We’re going to spend a few hours together getting clear(er) on our desires so we can:

  • Get more of what we actually want out of kink
  • Recognize what’s important to communicate when negotiating play/relationships/one night stands
  • Have language around our most hard to describe desires

And more. Expect a night of rich discussion and thought provoking questions.  Also, feel free to pack markers, crayons, pencil crayons, stickers, ect ;)

 

Details:

April 17, 7:30 – 9:30pm
425 Vaughan Rd (The Hermit’s Lamp)
Cost: $20 per person
Spaces are limited  – so register to make sure you get a space by shooting me an e-mail: heather@authenticsexualyou.com


ca·noo·dle

kəˈno͞odl/

verb  informal
kiss and cuddle amorously
They were canoodling in the corner
Sometimes figuring out who’s okay to hit on and who’s not in spaces that include both mono, non-mono and poly people can be difficult.  No one enjoys missing the opportunity to share something fun with another person they find attractive; and when you get used to the ask for what you want method, it can start to seem like the best plan is to just ask everyone, all the time.
This can lead to a lot of unnecessarily hurt feelings due to bad timing.  For instance, when my partner and I are headed into the designated sex area of the con hand in hand, taking that moment to introduce him to the gorgeous brunette who you’ve been telling about his skilled hands and trying to set up a date for them is actually  interrupting my date.   And while I”m sure no one is trying to be a jerk in this scenario, the interrupter had no idea how I would respond to this, and took a big risk (in that it could have blown up our date) with very little information.    [I'm happy to report that was one of my handling challenges well moments, and I excused myself to set up our date - chux, condoms, gloves, lube, etc; and then stretch until he was finished.  Also happy to report that my lover had the good sense to realize I was waiting and dealt with our interruption as quickly as possible.]
So, when you’re unsure of someone’s mono/non mono standing,  how do you know if  it’s cool to hit on someone?  And further to that, how do you know when it’s a good time to work your mojo?  How do you KNOW?!?  
Well, you can’t just know – at least not fully, and not until you have a wealth of experience under your belt.  Even if once someone was okay with being interrupted, you’ll likely find a different response if you make a habit of it.  Or you might catch them on a bad day, or they may have recently closed their relationship, or, or, or.  BUT there are a number of ways you can get better information so you make less fuax pas.  The easiest (and most obvious) way to know?  Ask the people involved.
Find out from them their relationship status, if it’s cool to make introductions to new potentials interests and when a good time for those introductions are.  And while you’re at it, figure out how introductions can be made in a way that’s kosher with everyone involved.  Do this informally, maybe over drinks at a poly meet up or munch – don’t do it when they’re already engaged with each other.
Not a fan of that direct style of communication?  Or maybe you just didn’t get the time to yet?  Well, this is where our Poly Pro Tip comes in.

Respect the Canoodole

If you see people actively engaged with each other (kisses, cuddles, hand held leading, deep eye gazing, limbs wrapped around bodies etc) now is not the time to interrupt them.  Their focus is on each other (and to be clear, each other might mean more than 2 people) and that’s likely to best place for it to stay at the moment.
Save your introductions/hook ups/declarations of lust  for another time.
I get that while love is infinite, time is not – but trust me when I say, believing that you will have more opportunities to connect with someone and let them know you like them will start any explorations with this person off on such a better foot  – not to mention show their partners that you respect all the relationships at play, not just the one you want to have.   And if they really don’t?  Consider that your crystal ball and ask yourself Do I want to be fighting for this person’s time? before you get involved with them.

e[lust] #55

20Feb14

Welcome to e[lust] - The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust]. Want to be included in e[lust] #56? Start with the rules, come back March 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

~ This Month’s Top Three Posts ~

Why I Post Nude Photos (and blog about sex)

Discovering Myself Through My Strap-On

Sex Toy Shaming and Bigoted Wise Cracks, FTW!

 

~ Featured Post (Molly’s Picks) ~

Aftercare and BDSM Play

Two worlds

 

~ Readers Choice from Sexbytes ~

Regulating Our Fantasies

Wanna know what other goodies are packed into this issue?

Continue reading ‘e[lust] #55’


If you’ve ever been to one of my flirting or pick up play classes (or, yanno, had any sort of conversation about those things with me) you’ve probably heard me say Fuck flirting.  It’s not because I hate flirting (I’m actually a pretty big fan) – I just don’t think it’s the most efficient way to get the attention you want from the objects of your attraction; especially if what you want is a specific thing.

Here’s the deal.  Flirting is a great way to see who you have that sparkly things called chemistry with.  But it doesn’t tell you if the other person necessarily wants to act on that chemistry, or if they’re into the same things you’re into.  Which is totally great when you’ve got time to sort that out, but significantly less great when you’re trolling the dungeon for for pick up play or hoping to hook up at a weekend event.

Plus at the end of the day, there are just too many ways that people can miss flirt clues that are put before them.

So what’s a more effective way to get that attention you want?  Targeted marketing – work on attracting the attention of the group you most desire and let them come to you.  

There are all sorts of ways to do this, either by casting a narrow net (like a personal ad in the message boards of  a con you’re planning on attending) or casting a wide net (like flagging and seeing who bites).  One of my favourite ways it to splash my interests right across my chest a la t-shirts; so when I came across the the other day, I really really wanted to share them with you.

  • Down To Cuddle – Not so much with the DTF?  This shirt has your back!
  • Wanted:  Cuddle Buddy – take things one step further and let people know you’re not just down for it, you’re looking for it.
  • Tease and Denial fetish anyone?
  • Ready to Mingle – I love this one because it doesn’t say single –  non-mono ho!
  • Single – Afraid some might think you’re unavailable?
  • So Gay – No homo?  pish – don’t even.  So.  Homo.
  • I enjoy a good Spanking – ever worry you won’t find your fellow Spankos at a con?  Never again.

Happy Hook ups!


This search term has brought enough people to my blog that I’m officially making an entry for it.

Because I feel strongly about this y’all.

I would advise against this kind of activity, solely for the reason that wax breaks easily and you really, really don’t want to be getting things stuck in your Urethra.  If the warm sensation is something you’re interested in combining with urethra play, I’d suggesting looking into ways you can warm sounds before using them.    If it’s the wax on genitals sensation you’re looking for, plug up for protection and go to town.

Quick note for those playing with a urethra/vulva combo, due to the close proximity of the urethra to the vaginal opening I’m going to advise (while we’re on the topic) not putting wax inside the vaginal opening either.  I’m willing to through a little less side-eye at this one because at least you could do a  finger check or douche to ensure the wax was out – but that comes with it’s own disruption of vagainal flora consequences.  

I guess this is the kinda fetish that, at the end of the day, falls into the more risky than it needs to be category.  While you’re free to make your choices, I’ll still be here advocating for the least risky way and critical thinking in all things.

 

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