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This has been a hectic week for me as I got back from CatalystCon 2014, survived another North East snow storm (12 inches this time) and for the rest of the week, thinking what my first subject I would write about #ccon. Every time I am around such positive people and exchange ideas, ideas and energy I have to say the personal growth is priceless and best of all, I was lucky enough this year to share this experience with my wife, thereby providing the opportunity to better understand this journey which I started a year ago, understand how/why a gathering of Sex+ professionals and allies could have made such a monumental impact. The impact has been so great that though this journey is something I have to experience and process, this gathering provided her the peace of mind I am around some of the finest people around.
Let me first start off this post by providing a heartfelt Thank You to everyone in attendance, but most of all I want to show my appreciation and respect to the visionary of this conference, Ms. Dee Dennis and that her vision inspires discussions. These discussions could be perceived by some as good while others can see it as threatening, but that is what a discussion is all about and I hope the discussion of growth and betterment will never stop.
So let me say here and now, I want everyone involved in making the weekend so wonderful, “THANK YOU for a wonderful, enlightening and powerful weekend.” Let me say that again, THANK YOU so much Dee and the ENTIRE STAFF for what must have been countless hours organizing and working all the issues which pop-up a conference with so many moving parts; all the while ensuring the attendees had over 50 one hour sessions to choose from, I not only tip my hat to you, If you see me at the next CatalystCon or any other event, you have my open consent card to grab me and I will provide you with a big hug I so owe each of you (with consent of course). Also thanks to the sponsors of this event for your openness, willingness and BELIEF in the SEX+ movement and how important it is to keep the conversation going. I LOVE EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU!!!
For me the weekend started off by having the honor hearing heartfelt stories by Dr. Carol Queen, Dr. Robert Lawrence and Ducky DooLittle concerning their early years as a Sex Worker/Educators. Each painted a vivid picture which I could easily transport myself to that time-period and moment, One thing which surprised me, and I think they were both were just as shocked, that though they were on opposite coasts, in those early years, their tails were shockingly similar while individual to their own situation.
This time I had a better idea of what to expect, so I did prepare myself this time and paced myself at the con, ensuring plenty of time to administer some self care (yes, that was me at every break standing outside of the hotel smoking a cigarette in front of the hotel, but we all have vices). This allowed me to process and prepares for each session, engage in conversation and prepare myself to share my perceptions on subjects. If you did not know, I still hold a lot of fear expressing myself with eloquence and poise. It is not because I do not believe what I am talking and fighting for but it is my brain which works 1,000,000,000 mph and I can only speak about 5 mph.
If you have been following this blog since December 2013, you might remember the post concerning my lack of sex education (read it HERE) and the ramification I have been addressing these past few months which I attribute to that sub-par education. So what happened on Sunday gave me the boost in my confidence that I am doing this for a reason and it could make a difference. It was following my participating in Dr. Rosalyn Dischiavo‘s seminar “Orientation as A Living Entity”.
During the class Dr. Dischiavo had us move around the room and examine first sexual orientation over a period of time asking us to remember our placement on the scale in five year increments and then did the same concept, but focused how we perceived our gender identification during the same five year intervals. Now that we all had both reference points Dr. Dischiavo split the participants in half one side of the room and told them to take their current sexual orientation and had the other group (mine) and have us stand where we fit on the scale at age 15. She then asked us to take our 15 year old gender identity and meet someone on the other side of the room which closes represents our current sexual orientation. Then imagine what the 15 year old gender identity do/react to the placement on orientation.
I walked to a young lady closest to the center of the line, i.e. “bi-sexual” (as I stated in a previous post, I claim a sexual, as in open to any possibility and allowing the relationship to naturally develop rather than forced in a specific orientation, which I am not sure I even developed) and thought, “What would the me then do with this information? How would I react?” I then started to stare at this woman rubbing my chin.
After a few minutes of contemplating Dr. Dischiavo asked if anyone wanted to share their experienced in the past few minutes. After a moment of silence I decided to speak up. I told the class the 15 year old me would try to assess the situation. Does this orientation feel “right”, as long as I am happy, I think 15 year old me would be as well.”
“The 40 year old me wanted to give the 15 year old me a hug and tell him everything will be alright, but be mindful of other people’s bias, ignorance and intolerance infect your life. Living that way will make the next 25 years a little easier.”
Well back to the recharge room, a different lady from the class came up to me and told me how powerful my story was, and that her partner was experiencing similar thoughts and questions as I was. I gave her my card, which contained web address to here. I told her, this is a kind of journal of the questions I have and my journey of self discovery. It was at that moment, I found my place!!!
If I can help one person to feel less alone, that it is alright, healthy in fact, to question to question your beliefs. That mama told me to eat my vegetables, and her answer to my “They are yucky” she would inevitably state, “How can you KNOW you don’t like something if you haven’t even tried it?”
This is my solemn promise promise to all who read my blog; I will continue to document my journey in discovering myself. Some of it will be hard to read, probably just as hard as it will be for me to write. This will always be a place you can come to, know you are not alone and that what you feel, attempt to honor and nurture it, that sense of wonder.
So CatalystCon, Dee and all, thank you for making this special moment happen and know there were hundreds of other people having AH’ HA moments like mine. I thank you for all you have done and will do to ensure the discussions continue.
Don’t worry, this is just the tip of the iceberg of things I want to discuss in the coming weeks and months.
I stand WITH you all!!!
As I prepare for the CatalystCon East 2014, I was so happy to come across THIS article on a recent study which identified fluidity in sexuality is not reserved only to those who identify as women, but similar results can be found in similar portions on individuals who gender identify (GI) themselves as male. The only difference was GI women, when given one choice of sexual prevalence would choose bisexual over an extreme gay or straight identifier than GI men.
This study went on to show, GI men given a single choice would identify at one extreme or the other; however if the GI male is given the option to choose more than one identifier, a great deal would say predominantly keep the extreme an primary and secondary identify the other as well. This is evidence of evolving sexuality preference in both sexes.
This makes a lot of sense to me, as this idea has been floating around my head for many years now. I grew up in a place and time where men were told they can only be onto women and any deviation from that made you “gay”. The “joke’ (it is not really a joke, but a homophobic stereotype under the guise of humor) by Andrew Dice Clay was that “…either you suck dick, or you do NOT suck dick!!!” I remember hearing that disgusting statement from the time I was in my mid to late teens.
So since my mid to late teens I have lived under the rule in sexuality must be either/or rule than the concept of AND, since “bisexuality is only acceptable for women,” there by leaving me extremely confused about my feelings for all the people around me.
Even back then, I knew I was attracted to women a lot more than I was to men, but I always wondered why, sometimes I would think of men in a sexual way. I did not know how or who to voice this thought as it would place me in a label I did not feel truly represent how I felt or thought The closest socially acceptable way I could voice how I felt to other was adopting the statement when I found a man attractive by starting the statement off with, “I am secure in my sex and masculinity to say that” usually a male actor’s name “was attractive.”
My thoughts and fears concerning homosexuality were even further fortified when Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” came out and I witnessed the brutal rape scene of actor Ving Rhames’ character. The scene did illicit strong emotions of rage, which that scene should, however in my uneducated mind; I equated the attack to homosexuality and not to the viciousness and savageness of the rapist’s actions. This left me even more confused and angry at myself for so many years for being so ambiguous with my feelings to everyone to include myself. This anger at myself stayed with me up to and including the first time I was raped about 10 years ago.
Now back to the article, I feel people should not be limited to a single identity. I do not fit the same mental thought patterns I did yesterday let alone 20, 10 or even five years ago. Then why should our sexual identities be any different. Place that with the de-stigmatization of anal sex as studies are finding the greater population (both men and women) are enjoying the act in greater numbers (READ MAY 2013 SURVEY RESULTS HERE) without associating it to a homosexual act.
So from this point on, when I am asked about my sexual orientation, the only identifier I will now provide is that I am “sexual”. That does not mean I want to have sex with every person, a generality like that would equate if I identified as only heterosexual, I would have sex with every female and the exact opposite if I identified homosexual. To those people I would remind them everyone has standards and likes and dislikes and free choice (with consent) to be sexual with the gender they so choose to be with at that moment,
I have to give a lot of thanks and CREDIT once again to the wonderful Sabrina Morgan (@SabrinaMorgan) for this epiphany. She was the one who provided me the link to the study on anal sex not being identified as “gay sex” and started my journey on DR. JUSTIN LEHMILLER web-site “The Psychology of Human Sexuality” (http://www.lehmiller.com/welcome/) site and I read about the idea of sexual fluidity in men as well.
So let me say this to you now Sabina, thank you!!! I love you for all that you have done for me this year. Also a BIG THANK YOU to Dr. Lehmiller, your studies are having an impact so keep up the great work.
Well I know I am posting this a little late in the week but I had to make time to recover a little from the New Years fun I had and the resulting hangover. I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful end to 2013 and start of 2014. I am looking forward in sharing many more TMI Tuesday posts with you; and I hope you enjoy my ramblings as well.
1. Did you make New Year’s Resolutions last year? Which ones did you keep? Are you better for it?
Well I typically do not set resolutions as I enjoy the roller-coaster ride of life, however I set personal objectives I want to meet with the objective to expand my understanding and provide every opportunity to broaden my understanding of the people who surround me. In 2013 I think I met that objective by expanding my knowledge, understanding and plights of the Sex Positive community. I also “popped some of my BDSM cherries such as being publicly flogged, pegged and was kidnapped by my cabin mates at sex camp, where they did some of the most wonderful things which I still smile about.
2. What was your favorite TMI Tuesday list of questions from 2013? Why? (Give date and title)
Since I have only participated in one other TMI Tuesday, I would have to say my favorite had to be ” If there is one saying you would put on a tee-shirt what is it?” as the question made me think on how nice it would be to have an article of clothing presenting to the world one’s thoughts and could help others decide on how they would approach each other in a positive way from the onset by lowering assumptions from both sides leading to positive communication from both sides and also allowing the opportunity for people who might not never have ever approached each other in the first place.
3. What sexy/sexual things do you hope to experience in 2014–toys, acts, people, events, etc?
Well there are a lot of people I want to meet this year, and I am making preparations to provide me the best chances to meet as many people as I can at different venues. I will be attending the first of three BDSM centric Sex Camps in February, where I will have a mini Priory family reunion, Here I hope to have with @NotSoNilla, @Bethelism and as many others as I can negotiate over that weekend. I then follow the up the following month by attending #CatalystCon_East_2014 to meet another group of sex positive people spending the weekend learning and networking and enjoying the company which surrounds me at this event. Other events I plan, but have not yet purchased tickets include another sex camp at the end of June then Woodhull 2014 Sexual Alliance Summit in August then my third sex camp in September and end the year with a trip to #CatalystCon_West_2014.
Sex toys I would like tryout this year and review would include the nJoy’s “Pure Plugs”, “Pfun Plug” and “Pure Plug 2.0” butt plugs and have the strength to try both their “Pure Wand” and “nJoy Eleven”, Yes that is wishful thinking of working to fit in their entire line in this year (no pun intended), but a guy can dream can’t he?
Also I would like to try some more high-class glass plugs which Crystal Delights sexy cool plugs as I completely fell in love, and will review shortly their incredible “Short Stem-Small Bulb Plug”. What I would like to try this year would be their “Crystal Twist Mini Plug” and their “Crystal Minx Tail Plug” so I can experience cos-play at the sex camps I plan to attend this year.
Lastly, I would like to try out and review some more of the plastic dildos out on the market and how see how they perform as there are many novelty devices which are marketed as sex toys, and I want to ensure people can have a safe and pleasurable sex life.
4. This time of year is filled with “Top Lists” and “Best of Lists”. Let’s make a list. What were your Top 3 best sexual experiences in 2013? Go into as little or as much detail as you would like.
I am not sure how to narrow down a top 3 list of sexual experiences in 2013. I met conversed and explored sexuality with so many people each of the 365 days in 2013.
If you were to twist my arm and continued to non-stop flog my ass for hours (which would place a smile on my face and swell my loins) I would have to say one of the top moments occurred at the June sex camp where two wonderful women took me to the dungeon and told me to stand against a pillar with a Shibari Japanese Rope Bondage Ring attached to it and told me to NOT let go of the ring no matter what. They then proceeded to strip me naked and both took turns flogging and cropping my back and ass, and the occasional direct shot to my cock with their crops for at least 35 to 40 minutes to where the scene’s crescendo both ladies practiced their deep throat skills on me.
The next scene that comes to mind was from the same event where another lady brought me to the dungeon and had a scene on a suspended swaying swing. She started it off by covering me in lube and started to softly message at my chest and made her way to my crotch and softly manipulated my cock and then continued to under my cock and manipulated my balls. Then she slowly moved a finger to my ass hole and applied pressure and my ass surrendered to the pressure and accepted her finger’s entrance. She then slowly extracted her finger and then ordered me to get on my hands and knees then spread some lube and then reentered my ass, now with three fingers vice the single finger she originally inserted. With her three fingers she slowly started pump in and out of my ass. I remembered the swing moved back and forth in unison of her thrusts. On her thrust in to me, she was sure to hit the golden spot and that it did not take me long to turn into a lump of clay begging to cum. Once she allowed me the right to release, the pleasure waved through my entire body resulting me to twitch uncontrollably on the swing and it took more than 10 minutes to gain the strength and control to walk an uneven line to clean up the mess pleasure which exited my body.
The third had to be my expansion and understanding of my own sexuality. Through the different conferences I attended in 2013, I started to understand where my thoughts of my own sexuality were derived from; from ignorance and intolerance and solidified by social stigma and judgment. It is now funny to me the people who helped form my sexual identity while growing up were the same people to tell me to eat my vegetables when I told them I did not like them, that until I were to try them before I could make the choice if I liked a specific food or not, but when it came to sexual identity I was only told about one lifestyle and was made to think any deviation from it model was bad.
5. What are your hopes, dreams for 2014?
With what I placed above, I do not want to appear too greedy and ask or expect anything, but I undoubtedly want to increase my knowledge and provide what assistance I can for the sex positive community. I hope that my open, raw writing of my struggles will help someone who is fearful of exploring the bounds of their sexuality, and that I can find more supportive people as I dive further into my mind as I define myself, what I like to do and have done to me sexually.
The Best of the Best:
Eric Meets Sex Positive Community:
With all that was going on within my personal life (See Part 1) with almost losing my wife multiple times, and multiple different medical conditions, besides attending Sex Camps I also decided to finally meet and receive a better understanding of the Sex Positive community, see what it was all about, what I could learn and most importantly what I can do to advocate and assist as many people and groups as I can.
Back in 2012, I started my initial outreach to this exciting community of advocates, professionals and educators who sit on the front-line fighting like superheroes protecting, educating and promoting a message we all have a fundamental human right to be sexual, express our sexuality, a sexual identity and explore a sexual desires freely in an environment free of violence, judgment and stigma while respecting the privacy of those who share our views.
It was during the election cycle of 2012 I found a purpose as I saw what appeared as several laws which threatened the safety and rights of Sex Workers and professionals by a series of poorly written laws which could easily be manipulated to infringe on our rights, such as L.A.’s infamous Measure B, California’s Prop 35 and several states had same-sex measures on the ballot, but all where confusingly written, or terms like trafficking was used to confuse the implications of the laws.
It was during this time, I used my voice on Twitter and limited followers to promote and educate as many as I could on what the implications these laws would have and could ruin the lives so many people for simply working, writing, expressing or educating on issues sexual subject matter.
Though my efforts were bitter sweet as many of the same-sex referendums passed, many other measures passed threatening their livelihoods and status of life. Thus I decided to attend my first conference:
CatalystCon a.k.a. #ccon:
I had bought my tickets for this conference before a medical emergency transpired with my wife, so I was not in the best head-space for this conference and was nowhere near ready to fully absorb all the awesome information all the presenters provided and find my true voice in helping in the cause of promoting a Sex+ Lifestyle.
My day started early on the brisk March day as I attended one of the pre-conference workshops hosted by Tristan Taormino (http://puckerup.com/). I probably had a look of utter shock on my face as this presentation commenced. Ms. Taormino’s eloquent presentation provided me with a scope and how to present myself and this wonderful community to help people understand what we are all about.
It was in Ms. Taormino’s class that I met a wonderful woman by the name of Emerald (@Emerald_theGLD) (http://thegreenlightdistrict.org/wordpress/) who must have seen the look of shock, which she was right as I felt I was truly unworthy to be in the room with all these incredible pioneers. Her aura and personality made me feel welcomed and accepted. I can never thank her enough for that moment in Ms. Taormino’s class as it set the stage for me for the rest of the conference.
Another notable mention was the chance to spend a few minutes to chat with the incredible Elle Chase (@LadyCheeky) as I was following her lead at the time of a Tumblr blog of shared images which promotes a positive views of the many faces of sexuality, Her blog http://www.ladycheeky.com/ is an incredible space to visit and admire her work in finding images which tell an incredible story and focuses on promoting a positive body-image message.
Another major defining moment that weekend was the opportunity to meet Sabrina Morgan (@SabrinaMorgan) (http://about.me/SabrinaMorgan). If you have not had the chance to meet her or hear her speak, I recommend that you do so at the first opportunity you can. This woman is more than meets the eyes as I describe her to friends as an incredibly poised, smart spitfire of positive energy whose bravery in presenting her information inspires me as every time I have spoken with her (in person, twitter or e-mail) she has increased my knowledge, understanding and love of more diverse people. This time if I get a chance to give her a hug, I will not be shy or meekish and take her up on the offer.
Lastly a major highlight for me that weekend was the chance to meet the conference organizer, Dee Dennis (@DeeDennis). I know how busy she was organizing and orchestrating the events to be kind enough to take the few minutes to talk and even share a nice hug.
I know there were so many people at this event, and I feel horrible in not naming everyone I met or shared in conversation but I feel I have gone on long enough you get the idea.
I do recommend you register for CatalystCon East 2014 ASAP as the line-up looks incredible and there is a lot to learn, a chance to network, collaborate while enjoying the energy of this incredible community.
Part 3 of the 2013 Year in Review will focus on the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance 2013 Summit.