Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why I Don’t Have Time to Blog

I’ve been really busy lately and I haven’t had time to update this blog. And it’s a real bummer too because I have so many things I want to write about. I’ve been meaning for ages to review the excellent film Humpday, and to write about the recent article on polyamory in The Independent, or the polyamory documentary on MTV’s True Life, and I wanted to write about the most recent installment of the In the Flesh Reading Series that I attended last week, or my first party at the NYC kink club Paddles on Saturday. But I’ve been really busy at work—nine, ten, eleven hour days—and I’ve been seeing someone new and I’ve been going to a bunch of things in the evening (I was there in person to see Ira Glass interview Joss Whedon last night, beat that!) and I’ve just had absolutely no time to write about any of it.

I’m afraid it isn’t going to let up either. This week I’m doing something every night of the week. Then, on Friday, I’m flying to San Francisco to go to the Folsom Street Fair with my partner Annabelle and her husband. Those two are completely responsible for getting me to acknowledge my kinky side so sharing this experience with them is very exciting. Skimming the blogs and listening to the podcasts, I’m surprise to learn how many people are going to be there. Matisse and Monk from Mistress Matisse’s Podcast (and their respective blogs) will be there. So will Gay Rick from Sex Is Fun. I may even get to meet Lochai, artistic director of Hogtied.com, since he’s acquainted with my traveling companions.

Then I promise I’ll come back and write all the updates I have stored up in my brain. ‘Cause there really isn’t that much space in there, I need to get them out.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

How Sweet It Is...

Recently it's been kind of "all polyamory, all the time" on this blog. I'm sorry for that. Maybe it's because Poly Pride is coming up, but it just seems like there has been a lot of poly stuff to comment on.

Well, here's a news story from Talking Points Memo that has absolutely nothing to do with polyamory!


Newt Gingrich's 527 group sent a letter to porn exec Allison Vivas Wednesday telling her she'd won their "Entrepreneur of the Year" award and inviting her to an "intimate event" with Gingrich.

"I'm honored, and more than a little surprised, to receive this prestigious award," Vivas said today in a cheeky press release. "Rest assured, I'll take the opportunity to inform Mr. Gingrich of some of the major challenges facing the adult entertainment industry in the current market .., from obscenity prosecutions to content piracy, I'll make sure he walks away from that dinner educated about the realities of the online porn market."

Every once in the while, the universe proves that it really does love us.

Via Susie Bright's Journal

Monday, September 14, 2009

Polyamory Featured on MTV Tonight

I just got an e-mail from Poly NYC saying that tonight the MTV series True Life is doing an episode about polyamory in New York City. It is at 10 PM this evening. I've never watched the series before -- in fact, I haven't watched anything on MTV in years. However, even though I could fairly be described as "wiped out" by work this time of year, I'm going to be my best to stay up late enough to tune in tonight. Failing that, there's always DVR.

So I'll give you my thoughts on that soon -- assuming the show is actually capable of provoking any thoughts. But I do want to stop and take notice of how much press polyamory has been getting lately. Starting with the New York Times coverage of Poly Pride last year, continuing with the recent Newsweek article and all of the press surrounding the books Opening Up, Open, and the new edition of The Ethical Slut. (For news stories on polyamory, I highly recommend the Poly in the Media blog.)

And, the most dubious and most significant badge of honor: polyamory has an enemy on the Christian Right now. Patrick Fagan, Ph.D., delivered an anti-poly speech at the World Congress of Families in Amsterdam last month, and although his condemnation seems to mostly apply to cheaters in his own monogamous circles rather than ethically nonmonogamous polyamorists, his decision to use (or, misuse) the term "polyamory" has definitely raised the profile of a movement that is probably nonmonogamy's best face.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Interview With Some REAL Polyamory Experts

I'm happy to answer some questions now and then, but some real poly experts are weighing in on Briar Patch Magazine's site. Be sure to check out the joint interview with Jenny Block and Tristan Taormino, authors of Open and Opening Up, respectively.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Susie Bright on "Bloodballing" and Other Fun Activities

Watching the first episode of the second season of True Blood, my friends and I particularly remarked a scene where vampire Bill Compton drinks Sookie Stackhouse's blood, then spits it into her mouth while kissing her. Of course this reminded us of the snowballing (essentially the same practice but with cum instead of blood) and the term "bloodballing" was coined.

This week, Susie Bright has written a long article for the Huffington Post about the link, both historical and contemporary, between sci-fi/fantasy/horror and erotica. She takes both genres back to the dime store days of censorship, follows the rise of Anne Rice-type vampire stories during the AIDS crisis, and then tells us which writers of True Blood published stories in her own Best American Erotica series.

If any of you doubted that sex was indeed geeky, this article should set you straight.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Apparently I'm Some Kind of Polyamory Expert

A weird thing has been happening for the last week or so. I'm a member of an online dating site where I have a profile that says I'm polyamorous. I've never been remotely successful at using this site, by the way. Luckily I'm slightly better at meeting people in real life.

Suddenly, in the last little while, people have been contacting me and asking me questions about polyamory. Which I have been happily answering because I think it's great that people are considering polyamory and I want to help them along. Friends have accused me of believing that everyone would be happier if they were polyamorous and that just isn't true. However I do believe that many people are conditioned to believe nonmonogamy can't work in serious relationships and so, while they might be kind of turned on by the idea, they never give it a chance. I live in hope that I'll answer a question someday that will make a difference to one of those people because I used to be one. So, even though I'm no Dan Savage, feel free to write me if you have a question. You can reach me at geekysex@gmail.com.

In case anyone was wondering about the same thing these people asked, here are the questions I've answered so far.

So I went to a womyn's retreat last weekend where we talked a lot about polyamory, and I also have a friend who is also polyamorous ... this concept intrigues me. What is the difference between open relationships and polyamorous? I'd like to learn more. I'm def open to open relationsips but can't get into this hierarchical ranking of "primary" etc partners. Any advice in exploreing this arena would be appreciated...
There isn't really a big difference between polyamory and open relationships. Polyamory is a semi-organized movement these days, so people who call themselves polyamorous are more likely to be following a set of very strict ethical rules, while people who say they have an open relationship may be flying blind a little bit more. But not always. Not even close to always, in fact.

There are a whole lot of books about polyamory these days. I would recommend The Ethical Slut, by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, which has been the poly "bible" for more than a decade; or Opening Up, by Tristan Taormino, which talks about all sorts of nonmonogamous relationships other than polyamory (swinging, for instance). If you're more in the mood for a testimonial/memoir then Open, by Jenny Block, isn't bad. You can get these books at an independent bookstore like Bluestockings or frequently at Babeland. There are also a few poly groups in the New York area -- Polyamorous NYC and Tri-State Poly (a Yahoo! group). I don't attend those very much myself -- I'm more of a Christmas and Easter type, so I show up for Poly Pride, which is Friday 10/9 and Saturday 10/10 this year. Finally, I'd recommend the Polyamory Weekly podcast, by Cunning Minx.

I'm interested in knowing who was proselytizing for polyamory at the womyn's retreat you went to. I'm not surprise to learn that polyamory is being talked about there -- it is a movement that's definitely being run by women (for instance, all of the authors and the podcaster I mentioned are female). Anyway, I'd love to know exactly how you got interested, and why it appeals to you.

In theory I'm poly, but at the moment I'm still sorting it out. I just met someone for whom my feelings are so passionate and strong that it's making me question polyamory. Scary stuff. Have you been able to make multiple serious relationships work? I thought I could, but now I don't know.
Unlike mono relationships, which have some set rules, poly relationships are kind of anything goes (as long as everyone agrees). It's difficult to say when one is successful except that you're happy with it at the moment. I am right now, but that doesn't really make me an expert. Multiple serious relationships CAN work -- I've seen it happen and I've been a part of it. But it definitely doesn't always work for everybody.

As someone who considers herself poly "in theory," I don't think it's wrong for you to get into a monogamous relationship. It will give you a chance to really commit to each other. Then, if you want to open the relationship down the road, you'll do it with a really strong foundation to build from. Or maybe you'll stay happily monogamous forever. That's cool too. So if I were in your position -- in love and drawn towards monogamy (congratulations, by the way!) -- and didn't have a number of other relationships at that moment, I would definitely go with my gut and begin a mono relationship. But the first thing I would do is check with my partner to make sure it really is monogamous because a lot of people take that for granted at the beginning of a serious relationship and sometimes there's a misunderstanding. And while I was having that conversation I would say something like, "I'm asking 'cause I don't think a relationship necessarily needs to be monogamous to be serious. I want to commit to a monogamous relationship with you but if somewhere down the road you ever think you want to try an open relationship I'd be open to discussing that."

polyamory is stupid. stupid stupid stupid and its just a reason to put your dick in as much vagina as possible. just stay oh i dont know single?
Ok, thanks for your opinion. You have a nice day now.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Aunt May in Love

In Amazing Spider-Man #592, a couple months ago, Peter Parker (that's Spider-Man to you less geeky Geeky Sex readers out there) went to visit his Aunt May at her house after a particularly long absence and received a bit of a surprise -- he found his septuagenarian aunt in bed with the father of his newspaper editor boss/nemesis, J. Jonah Jameson! (The image above is the property of Marvel Comics and used totally without permission but hopefully in a way they would approve of if I had asked them.)

Like most comic books Amazing Spider-Man has a letter column and like most comic book fans its readers had strong opinions about what happens in its pages. Those opinions hit in last week's Amazing Spider-Man #603.

Ric Davies of Sterling Heights, Michigan, writes:
That last page of issue #592 made me throw up in my mouth a little bit. What were you guys thinking? Seems like Aunt May has gone into the wayback machine and is in her 50s-60s again. For cryin' out loud, she's like 1,000 years old!

I definitely don't like imagining May Parker having relations... and if you guys want my eyes to continue to be able to read your fine comic, I would suggest no more of this. What happens in Aunt May's bedroom should stay in Aunt May's bedroom.

'Nuff seen and 'nuff said!

Steve Delaney of Knoxville, Tennessee, put it even more concisely:
About ASM #592, specifically the last page, only one word comes to mind: AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Now, without a doubt, the writers of the comic book were playing the scene for laughs, not to confront any sex-negative attitudes in their audience. It was indeed a funny moment. But what really tickled me pink was the fact that the writers (who recently reinvigorated this ailing series) had decided to give Aunt May, a sexless old lady for most of Spider-Man history, a sex life that is as explicit as these things get in superhero comic books. And I was tickled even pinker when I saw Peter Parker's reaction in the next issue. After a few moments of embarrassment, our hero tells his aunt, "Pretty lady, whatever makes you happy makes me happy. This guy's a catch. Hang onto him. As you were, you two."

So I was surprised by this violent reaction from the fans. (To be fair, a third letter commended Peter's levelheaded reaction.) I mean, I know that our culture has trouble talking about sex and doesn't consider a person attractive unless they're in their twenties, which is going to be an obstacle to any attempt to portray an elderly couple having sex. Nonetheless, the reaction seemed a little over the top. Do we really begrudge older people -- even fictional older people like Aunt May -- the occasionally fun and healthy roll in the hay? I just wanted to shake these fans and say, "Old people have sex too! Get over it!"

So instead I did something I've only done once before in twenty years of off-and-on comic book readership -- I wrote a letter to the editor. And since it will probably never see print I'd just like to say thanks to the writers of Amazing Spider-Man for making their (evidently ill-prepared) readers face something that is a normal part of everyday life. As you were, you guys.