My partner and I are hosting the TES Party on July 17th (next Saturday). It will be super exciting :)

I will only have a limited supply of some of the best cupcakes on Earth! Quotes about these cupcakes include “Orgasm in a cupcake” and “the best thing I have ever put in my mouth.” The corsets will be spectacular as well!

http://fetlife.com/events/20866

As seen on Cupcakes Take the Cake!

http://cupcakestakethecake.blogspot.com/2…

Cakes and Corsets! Corsets and Cakes! Quick-lace yourself into your best corseted finery and race to Paddles on this night because there will be FREE CUPCAKES!!! Once the cupcakes are gone, they are gone, but the corsets will remain! Well, we will save some cupcakes for you, but only if you enter a sultry and sensual cupcake eating contest for the prize of a 1-year TES (link NSFW) Membership. Tight-laced corsets and waist-tightening pastries abound in this magical meeting of two great loves!

$25 for TES members, $35 for others. No Photography.
Saturday, July 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm
250 West 26th Street, NYC

In addition, it is Super Saturday, with a TES Meeting and a Novice Excursion! If you attend either the TES Meeting or the Novice Excursion (or both!), the party is only $20!

8pm: A book reading and signing NYC disciplinarian Ms. Cassandra Park (AKA “The Corporal Consultant”) will be reading from her first book, “It’s SUPPOSED to Hurt!,” talking about writing and then doing a book signing.

9:30: Novice Excursion hosted by Lady D and Bo. Meet at Chelsea Diner at 72 7th Avenue between 14th and 15th St for a social outing, and go as a group to the fabulous party.

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On my summer vacation, I took a trip to the Creation Museum. It was a random, saw a sign on the highway, and “We have to go.”

It was hilarious. They are young earth creationists, and believed in the literal truth of the bible, that earth was created in 6 literal days. As such, humans and dinosaurs lived together. The museum was obsessed with dinosaurs.

Part of the museum that I kinda liked was the beginning. It talked about alternate theories of fossils. (Basically, they believe that most of the geologic formations and artifacts were because of being buried by the flood.)

But, they talked about having a different starting point. Starting from science, vs starting from the Bible. I liked the idea of questioning assumptions. The assumption was flawed, but the idea of questioning and thinking of alternate theories is the basis of science.

However, the largest part is that “science” does not start with an assumption. At least initially. The assumptions that science starts with is based on observation and conclusions based on the evidence.

Young Earth Creationists start from what they believe as “True,” and interpret results based on this truth. Scientists may interpret results based on previous results and the prevalent theories, but when results show that their previous thoughts were not correct, they adjust their starting point. One can “prove” almost anything by only interpreting results in the way that one chooses.

Still, I wish we taught more people to question these assumptions. And, I do wish that we were more open to alternative explanations. Creationism is one thing, but when “scientific results” show the exact opposite of prevailing social opinion, and we still cling to those social opinions?

We have issues there. And we can learn something from those who question.

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I am at a crossroads.

What do I want to be? How do I want to present myself? Do I want to change my twitter name to something that is less connected to “StacyCat,” or am I comfortable mixing my other lives in with this one?

How much of “StacyCat” do I want to keep alive on the internet, and how much do I want to change who I am to a less stigmatized identity? (i.e. not a kinky slut).

Yet, my rants and raves, and my core values, are the same. Regardless of the spaces I occupy, I am committed to destigmatization and education around a variety of topics.

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You do not need to have sex to be sex positive. You do not need a partner, you do not need a relationship, you do not even need to masturbate to be sex positive. You can embrace any number of different sexual orientations or expressions or genders (or objects) and be positive. You can choose to never have sex, or simply have no sexual desire, and be sex positive.

A question was asked by a twitter friend who was contemplating choosing celibacy (for whatever reason), and was worried that she is now not pro-sex.

Nonsense.

Being sexually positive has NOTHING to do with the sex you are (or are not) having. Or the sex that you want (or do not want) to have. I went through a phase where I was not having PIV (penis in vagina) sex because I was sorting things out through my head. This did not make me any more or less sex positive, and, in fact, helped me because more sure of my boundaries and how to negotiate sexuality with my partners.

The most famous example of someone who is celibate by choice (at least in my small world) is Clarisse Thorn. From her most recent post:

Regular readers know that although in America I spend a lot of time in the BDSM community (am, in fact, a pro-BDSM activist), I currently live in sub-Saharan Africa, working on HIV and dating a Baha’i convert who’s observing a religious vow of chastity. My boyfriend’s pseudonym on this here blog is, therefore, Chastity Boy.

Audacia Ray at Waking Vixen also recently posted about her Six months of Celibacy, and the follow up to it on Dry Spells.

A few Quotes:

I want to say that by giving myself the gift of freedom from partnersex and giving myself room to breathe and think and wank by myself, I’ve done a lot of soul searching and now I deeply understand the roots of my desire. That’s not really true either. This whole thing has perhaps left me with more questions than answers, but it has certainly provided me with the space to accept those questions and space to make it ok that I just don’t fucking know.
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Also, just wanted to reaffirm – it’s ok to be fucked up about sex. It’s ok to not be having as much of it as you think you “should.”

Lastly, the prime tenant of positive sexuality is the idea that everyone’s sexuality, as long as it is not non-consensually harmful to others, is valid and reasonable. I have gotten into some Very Large Discussions about what this all entails. One can be having tons of sex, but not very happy with any of it. Someone could be having tons of sex, and ecstatically happy with all of it. The same could be true of someone not having sex, of their choosing or otherwise.

So, yes, you can be pro-sex and choose not to have it. And, you can choose not to have it for a variety of reasons, but you do not even need a reason, or need to have anything come out of it.

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I asked on twitter about a sex positive book that did not include erotica.

Perhaps “sex positive feminist” book might have been a better option. Sex positivity says that sex is good and healthy and natural (and fun!) However, sex negativity is what prevails in our culture. I think the culture shift from sex negative to sex positive involves almost all the other changes that I want to make.

First, patriarchy and sexism still exists. If women (and all people) are free to negotiate their sexuality without fear of retribution or embarrassment, our society will be a better place. How we get to that place of equality is to really work towards equality and equity in our society.

I tend to do this by pointing out fucked up shit. Like schools not doing anything about sexual harassment. Or girls saying “oh, I didnt want to ask him to use a condom, he would think that I am dirty, so we didnt use one.” Or, “I think I could cum during oral, but he never stays down there long enough, so Ive never had an orgasm.”

We need to live in a society that treats everyone, especially women and gender non conforming individuals, as Human Beings, entitled to all the benefits and responsibilities that it entails.

And, that is how I view sex positivity. A world where sexuality is celebrated, where one cannot be “shamed” because she did something “slutty,” or, hey, something that someone with a healthy sexual desire would want.

*****
So, I am looking for sex positive books that are not necessarily erotica. I think that erotica has a great place in sex positivity, I just dont want to give my supervisor(s) a book of erotica (Yes, a holdover from sex negativity). Something that discusses the sex positive movement within academic terms, or something that discusses how this movement intersects with other forms of feminism, would be great. Even better if it focused on teenage voices, brought in LGBTQQI perspectives.

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Also referred to as Dunbar’s Number is a theoretical limit of the number of intimate connections that one is able to make. Granted, the science behind it is sketchy at best (it was extrapolated from the brain size difference between humans and various other primates), but it is a good example of how the brain is limited.

There are two parts to this post. The first is an example from Freakrevolution.com about The Monkeysphere. Pace gives a very succinct explanation of what the Monkeysphere is, but, more importantly, the importance of its application.

See, one way that people have come to accept gay people is that their monkeyspheres are now filled with more gay people. It is hard to vote against gay marriage when they have good friends who are gay, and who want to get married. I posted as a comment (in another forum) that it was the best reason for outing oneself to the world. The more freaks, bisexual, kinky people etc. that someone knows, the more likely they are to be tolerant to those other more abstract people.

The second is that I am now making an argument that the Monkeysphere is about ideas as well. One can occupy a few slots of their monkeysphere with abstract ideas. This is not as effective at social change as actually knowing someone, but can be helpful in creating a sense of community.

As an example, I have a few slots in my Monkeysphere for the positive sexuality community in New York City. I could recognize quite a few people at the party, and much more by name rather than face. It was funny.

“Hey, I am Max”

“Are you on Twitter as @maxlagos ?”

“Yup, thats me!”

Funny exchange, and it happened a few times. I met a guy that I had known from LJ for quite a while. I met people who knew me from Twitter :) Monkeyspheres encompass a number of people that are not directly involved in someone’s life, but yet make an impact. And this is the power of social networking and the internet.

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I read a post on Trevorade Trevorade called Refusing to Have Sex With HIV-Positive People: Why It’s Not a Prevention Strategy, and Why It’s Harmful to Our Communities

Now, Trevor was talking about the Gay Male arena, but he was discussing how refusing to have sex with HIV positive men is not necessarily safe, and how it increases the stigma against HIV Positive people. While the statistics are slightly off, it reinforces two items.

1) Condoms are very effective against HIV transmission.

2) The Stigma against HIV positive people leads to either fewer people being tested, and/or fewer people disclosing their status.

The latter is what I tend to fight against. For me, if one is engaging in sexual activities with those who are untested, or do not know their current status, refusing to fuck someone who actively discloses their status is increasing the stigma against those with an STI. As Trevor discusses, sereosorting (or only having sex with someone of the same HIV status) is effective for those who are having longer term relationships with condom use being sporadic or not there. But, with condoms being used consistantly, the risk of HIV transmission is low.

For someone who knows their status, they can be taking active steps. An individual with a low virus count, who is taking anti-HIV drugs, may be a safer risk than the person that does not know their status.

Granted, if one is having orgies within closed circles, and/or within the “typical” swinger settings (aka, mostly straight with female bisexuality welcomed and male bisexuality severely), then the chances of encountering an individual with HIV is much lower. But, still, the risks of getting HIV from a sexual encounter are fairly low. (See my previous post about STI transmission rates and this article from Poz.com for more information.)

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I read a blog article on MySexProfessor.com about “Can women have sex like men.” (Quoting from the article: “in the context of how women can or whether they should have sex without emotion or with anyone they want.”)

First, yes, women can.

The article first discussed the many ways how physically sex is different for women than for men, namely in the risks, aka how women can be more suseptiple to STIs because of the different structures of our anatomy.

Then, the article discussed how women typically view sex as more emotional and vulnerable than men do. She says “Although sex is not always tied up with feelings of love, attachment or commitment, let’s face it: women, more often than men, often hope something will come from a friends-with-benefits situation.” (Grr, gender stereotypes).

Secondly, why are we equating casual sex with men? The idea that men have sex simply as a physical act, with little to no emotion or intimacy or vulnerability seems absurd. Sure, there are many of us, of any gender, that can have a quick casual emotionless satisfying fuck. But, I am sure there are a much larger number of us, of any gender, that get our emotions involved in our sex, or we *gasp* care about our partners, even if they are casual. There is a brief paragraph towards the end of the article discussing how men do enjoy, and often prefer, sex within relationships or with people that they care about.

There is this idea of “othering” that happens quite a bit around sex and kink. It happens in real life as well, in that we create this Straw Man type argument, and argue against (or imagine) a mythical figment of our imaginations that has little basis in reality. Yes, there may be people out to get us. There may be men who do have sex like “stereotypical men,” but the vast majority do not. Yet, by continuing to discuss these stereotypes, we continue to create the social reification of gender norms that continue to hold everyone back.

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My friends MinaMeow and Wendy Blackheart both posted great posts on gender and queerness.

I identify as a cisgender female. As such, I do have the privilege of viewing various things that I do as “masculine” without questioning, or having others question, my gender or sex.

Gender is a social construction. Just like reality is socially constructed, gender is one of those things that, because a society collectively agrees that it exists, it exists. And, situations perceived as real have real consequences. (I love Sociology). :)

I really wish our society would get away from stereotypes. Yes, I like to cook and bake, but that does not mean I am more or less of a woman for doing so. Or, if I were male, any more or less male for doing so. Just as it does not make me any more or less of a woman (or man) for enjoying sports, football, cake decorating, and sleeping.

Activities seem gendered because we have collectively decided that they are gendered. And, we have subtly encouraged females to adopt masculine activities, but actively discouraged males from adopting feminine activities. For those who question their gender, these stereotypes can be a comforting security to fit into society, and also a straightjacket that threatens to punish those who do not conform. Those who do fall outside cisgender lines face this punishment in a much more active way than those who do not. But, still, the gendered nature of society hurts everyone in society.

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(I apologize in advance for the sheer number of links in this post. All are valuable resources, including definitions and papers.)

I am a a cisgender, pansexual, white, middle class female. I am able to pass in society without having to deal with my existence being questioned. My gender is apparent to most people, I do not have to deal with race if I choose not to, and I can enjoy privileges based on my ascribed status. I am fat, though I have seen how I am treated change with how my body changes.

I read a blog post by Katie at kataphatic.wordpress.com that discussed Linda Bacon’s paper based on her keynote speech to NAAFA (National Association to Advance Fat Acceptance). In the post, Katie quotes Linda Bacon: “The cultural perception of fat bodies as “wrong” hurts those of us in the “right” bodies too. … Inequity hurts the oppressor as well as the victim.”

This is exactly the reason why I discuss privilege, even while not in a minority groups. Even if my gender is not immediately questioned based on my appearance, it is a simplistic cultural artifact that needs to be questioned. And, it needs to be questioned by those that appear and/or are cisgender, and not just those that live publicly and appearance wise as genderqueer. Those that are living in white bodies should be questioning why those in non white bodies do not share the same privileges and access to resources as we do. Those of us in male bodies should be questioning why they have advantages that are not afforded to those in female bodies. Those of us in thin bodies should question why we have such an obsession with thinness and weight, and how it is to the detriment of all people (especially women) in society.

Because oppression hurts all of us. Rigid roles based on ascribed status and appearance limit everyone. This is not meant to minimize the daily struggles that one goes through as a person who has an appearance that is not the “average” or expected, but as a reminder that the struggle is not limited to those who outwardly express it. We must all question the status quo, even if we firmly fit within it.

(How does this relate to sex? The more comfortable one is with their body and identity, the better their sex lives :) And, the ability to play with these concepts within sex and a sexual/romantic relationship can be a safer space to learn more about them.)

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