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Just… Call Me Becky?

So, I popped over to Kink of the Week today, and what should the topic turn out to be?
Bums.
So I decided to talk about bums.
Because, to my continual (for some reason) surprise, I am a bit of an Ass Lady.
I say “surprise” because (a) I’m deeply ambivalent about my own butt, and also (b) I’m not butt-oriented in general… and yet… Honestly? Three girlfriends in? I’m noticing a pattern. ‘Cause every one of them has (a) had a great ass, but also (b) had said great ass totally captivate me on many an occasion.
Goodness.
Just amazing.
You know “callipygian”? “Having a shapely behind”? It’s that. All of my lady-loves have had these gorgeous, curvy, meaty rear-ends that I just want to get my hands on and my face into.
Who knew?
Not me, apparently.
I mean, gods know I have A Type, even if I don’t always date to it.
And yet: bodacious asses.
Can’t complain.
 

I’m just gonna leave this here.
 

Ending Violence Against Native Women
From the Roots Up

syrens:

<3 Midori

Originally posted on passtheherpes:

I have genital and oral herpes—and I swear it saved my life. It sounds weird, I know, but it’s true.

I contracted herpes as an undergrad at Berkeley in the mid 80s. My boyfriend had a cold sore on his lips after the first sunny day of skiing. Since childhood he would get the same little blister after the first day on the slopes, so he didn’t think much of it. Both of us ignorant of the potential transmissions to genital areas, he went gloriously down on me.

If I hadn’t contracted herpes in college, I think I would have engaged in a lot of stupid, unsafe sex. I’d likely have contracted far more serious sexual transmitted conditions. Let’s be serious, I’d be… Dead.A week or so later my entire vulva erupted in horribly painful oozing sores. The nurse practitioner at the university health clinic coldly declared the diagnosis and…

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Hey there.
So one of my partners and I were fooling around the other day, and she wanted to check in to see if I was up for something a little more hot and heavy than making out for the sake of making out. The way she asked was… a little awkward, to say the least, but it gave me some Useful Information about my own sexuality and what my pacing is like. So, in true Challenger Generation[1] fashion, I’ve decided to talk about it on the internet.
 
See, one of my Nearest and Dearest identifies as Grey-A, and we’ve talked about it using the metaphore of “mainland” and “island”. It goes like this:
Non-sexual interactions take place on the mainland. Sexual interactions take place on the island. (This is where the metaphor starts getting a little bit clunky, but bear with me). Most people live on the mainland, most of the time (some people live on the island, most of the time, but that’s another story) and, if they want to have a sexual interaction with somebody, they need to take the bridge across to the island.
With me so far?
My Grey-A Interlocutor says that, for her, there is no bridge. She either has wings that day (and can fly across the water, which is also tiring) or she doesn’t, in-which-case the island might as well not exist no matter how much she wants to get over there.
For non-ace-spectrum folks, it’s more like “how does a given person cross this bridge?”
Which is what I wanted to talk about.
 
I figure that, for some people, there’s the mental/emotional/cellular-leve equivalent of a shuttle bus that goes by every 10 minutes if you happen to want to hop on and go to Sex Island for a quick stop-over or an afternoon of fun. For others, there might not be a shuttle bus, but maybe they can phone a private car that will, at a moment’s notice, turn up to collect them and deliver them to their destination in style and comfort. For still others, there might be a swaying, rickity footbridge of rope and half-rotted planks, and getting to Sex Island means edging along above turbulent waters, one very-carefully-placed step at a time, with a lot of safety precautions in play… and they might still have to abort the mission unexpectedly.
 
In my case, my footbridge is no-longer the swaying death-trap it once was (Woohoo!!!), but it’s still a long-ass bridge and it takes a fucking while to cross it. Like, yes, sure, sometimes – as with OC Transpo, funily enough! – I can catch a bus when I’m part-way across and the stars have properly alligned, and yes, sure, like all good bridges, it has a bit of an arc to it, so things move a little faster and more easily once I’m past the halfway point, but generally speaking I’m getting to Sex Island on foot, at walking pace[2].
 
Which is good to know.
As in: It’s information I can give a partner.
 
For Example:
 
“I’m totally down for beating the fuck out of you, but I need you to be gentle and receptive about how gradually I do the build-up, because this is also the warm-up for me, and I’m a better, more solid and less literally-shakey, top when I don’t rush myself by trying to get to your desired intensity-level faster than I’m actually comfortable with”.
OR
“I’m definitely up for switching sexually, but are you cool with taking the Bottom spot first? That way, I can warm myself up while I’m doing Wonderful Things to you, and I’ll be ready for you by the time we trade places.”
OR
“I’d love to [receive intense-for-me genetal play] but, before that can happen, I’m going to need a solid hour[3], give or take, of slow, full-body carresses, deep kissing, and breathing each other’s pheremones.”
 
 
I like the footbridge metaphor. It helps explain (to myself, if to nobody else) why so many of my “reliable go-to” sexual activities are the kind of “still a virgin” things that geeky-nerdy kids (and probably other kids?) do when they’re not quite emotionally/mentally ready for Actual Fucking, but definitely have all the hormones and neurons and what-not to be physically into it. Things like making out and sensual massage and fooling around with our clothes still on and cuddling & whispering together and, okay, also hanging out together in the miniature hot tub and nuru-gel wrestling in the inflate-a-pool. But you get the idea. I may not know how to turn wrestling into sex, the way S. Bear Bergman describes it in his essay, “Brother Dog”, but – if someone wants to get there with me – I definitely know how to turn cuddling and gentle closeness into sex. It’s the road I know best. I may walk it at a heartbeat pace, but it gets me there every time.
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.
 
 
[1] you can blame/thank Catherynne M. Valente for that term – though I can’t find the post where she first used it. (There’s a handy definition here, though).
 
[2] I’ve tried to get there at a run on so many occasions, and it mostly just means that I get tired half-way across and need to straight-up stop, or else I get to Sex Island only to realize that I’ve got a stitch in my side and everything hurts and I need to catch my breath and just… enjoying myself now that I’m here isn’t going to be easy.
 
[3] Maybe more, depending on the day and/or how long it’s been since I’ve seen you.

So here’s the thing. Occasionally (perhaps more than occasionally) I find myself in a situation where, because I care about someone, I want to do things that make their lives easier but which – because I also sort of a hate myself and can’t imagine why anyone would want to just hang out with me, or value my existence, just because – also conveniently makes me at least slightly indispensable to said person.
 
This isn’t the most healthy reason to do something helpful BUT it’s just Doing Something Helpful… up until it gets combined with simultaneously trying to be as needs-free and low-maintenance as possible so that you don’t drive the Cared-About Person away due to one having had the unmitigated gaul to, say, want to be valued intrinsically as a human being (a thing which, clearly, one does not deserve, see above).
 
And that’s where things get lopsided and gross.
 
Because if you (meaning I) set up a dynamic wherein I am always the helpER and someone else is always the helpEE, then it not only sets up an unhealthy dynamic that actually will (probably) make any decent human being run screaming in the other direction – because, frankly, it sucks to be viewed as incapable of doing things on your own and that’s kind of what happens when you set up a dynamic where someone can’t ever reciprocate your help – BUT it also does the following:
 
If you are like me, and you tend to minimize your wants/needs/whatever because you think nobody will want you if you maybe want to be taken care of on some level like any other human being (how dare you), while simultaneously trying to make yourself as helpful as possible because it’s awfully hard for you to believe, as Bear puts it, “the idea that [you are] worth keeping around even if [you are] not actively making [yourself] useful all the time”…
You may also set yourself up to become deeply suspicious of your Person’s reasons for getting in touch with you because, if the way you show you love someone is to take care of them, well… the way that they show that they love you may potentially be by needing you: By letting you feel needed.
 
I.E.: You, in your self-loathing, believing that nobody could possibly want to hang out with you, or value your existence, just because, may start to suspect that your Person will only ever contact you when they Want Something.
 
Cue deep-seated resentment combined with all the proof your brain weasels will ever need to bolster that idea that you aren’t worth keeping around if you aren’t actively making yourself useful all the time.
 
Woops.
 
For whatever reasons, I’m one of Those People who doesn’t think she’s worth keeping around if she’s not earning her keep, or justifying her existence, or whatever by Contributing (and asking as little as possible in the bargain). It’s one of the many strands in the awful Gordian Knot that is my messed up sexuality, and – in spite of having a streak of entitlement that’s probably a mile wide (otherwise, why get resentful when people don’t just intuitively give me time, energy, and attention, right?) – it’s a big part of why the only relationship that hasn’t fallen apart, one way or another, in connection with this particular bad habit, has been a power dynamic that put me on Top and gave me leave to Actually Be Demanding (cue: worrying that if I’m not Demanding Enough, I won’t be fulfilling my Person’s neeeeeeeeeeeeeeds and she’ll walk… I’ve mostly got that out of my system at this point, but it’s taken more than five years to do it, so…)
 
And here I am, with a shiny new partner, rather in love, and hoping against hope that I won’t somehow screw this one up… watching myself repeat this crap.
 
I’m kind of at a loss about what to do about it. I mean, in some ways, it’s just what you do about All The Things that brain weasels (mine at least) like to latch onto.
In the same way that I have to remember to give my People opportunities to reach out to me, in order to avoid creating a weird Chase Dynamic, I also need to give my People opportunities to be nice to me, to want me just for being me, to help me or give of themselves to me… Which means being vulnerable.
 
‘Cause that’s the thing, right?
 
There’s power in being the one who doesn’t need… at least when you actually don’t need anything. When you do, and you’re just pretending to be a Magical Fairy of Self-Fulfillment Who is Beholden to Nobody… that’s a different story. A really self-defeating one.
 
And, I mean, maybe it’s totally easy to Be Vulnerable when you’re fairly confident that your request is reasonable and your Person will probably be okay with it.
But when you’re fairly confident that you’re worthless and a massive waste of energy even when you’ve turned yourself into the most accommodating, wish-granting automaton who never asks for anything and anticipates the other person’s wants so well that you give them what they want before they even have the chance to articulate it… then chances are you’re also fairly confident that any kind of “could you” or “I’d like it if” or “would you mind” or whatever is going to be met not only with a big heap of Fuck No You Greedy Bitch, but also a side-order of shaming and punishment for having asked in the first place.
 
There’s a thing that comes up in Poly Discussions (among other discussions) which is: Give your partners the benefit of the doubt. Assume that everyone is coming to the table with an open heart and good intentions[1]. That nobody is going to be acting out of actual malice or malignant self-interest.
 
I need to remember that.
 
I need to remember that it’s actually pretty unlikely that someone who cares about me (and says so, and acts so), is going to say something sweet to me purely and entirely so that I’ll be predisposed to help them with A Thing shortly there-after.
 
I need to remember that it’s actually pretty unlikely that someone who cares about me (and says so, and acts so), is going to straight up ask me to have, and name, needs and wants and desires… only to yank some proverbial rug out from underneath me if I actually do[2].
 
I need to remember that it’s actually pretty unlikely that someone who cares about me (and says so, and acts so), is only pretending to be my friend sweetheart and, instead, is hanging out with dating me so that they can get together later with other people (who are clearly doing exactly the same thing) and laugh about How I Am Such A Loser, Ha Ha Ha[3].
 
 
Yeah. So there’s that.
 
And, yeah, recognizing that I’m doing That Thing is a lot easier than figuring out how to stop doing That Thing, but recognizing it is still important.
 
Anyway.
 
 
TTFN,
Ms Syren.
 
 
[1] And, yes, I’m aware that this isn’t always the case. Getting through relationships where that’s not how things go has left a whole lot of us, self included, fighting this stupid, up-hill battle against the red flags of “But sometimes they are lying, and we didn’t get out fast enough…” I know. Been there. Burned the t-shirt when I got out.
 
[2] I am not, after all, starring in Book Of Job: The Musical (although if I were… imagine the tunes in that beasty…).
 
[3] Did anyone else believe this when they were in high school? Just me? Okay.

syrens:

Useful to know.

Originally posted on The Left Eye:

Are you registered to vote

By André Faust

2011 results The Effect of Voter Split

Stephen Harper and his government have launched the Fair Elections act that is design to stack the cards in his favour for re-election. Harper is counting on maintain voter split, in essence he can be re-elected with 39% of the vote. His strategy is straightforward; maintain the core vote of 39%t, and the rest of 61% will be divided up among the other parties which should give him his majority. If voters behave as they did in 2011 the same results can be expected

To ensure that he will maintain the advantage of voter split he introduced Fair Elections Act, which will make it more difficult for students, seniors and first time voters to vote come election time. The table below shows how much more complicated it is going to be at the polling station, at one time you only had to…

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syrens:

As someone who, typically, is a “femme4femme” type, I find this interesting, particularly the “am I cute ENOUGH” question. For me, a lot of these fears boil down to “Am I worthy (at all)?”, combined with “Am I worthy if I don’t/can’t XYZ” – where XYZ can be bottoming or topping “effectively” (I’ll talk about that later, I think), but it can also be “make dinner tonight” or “do the house work” or “help with The Thing” or whatever. All that stuff about “can I Femme Skillz *enough* for you to still want me without – and here’s the femme4femme twist on this – without Femme Skillz-ing *too much* and overshadowing the brilliant sparkle of someone I love and don’t want to hurt/make-feel-threatened?” It kind of broke my heart.

Originally posted on Clementine Morrigan:

I’ve done a lot of thinking and praying and struggling and writing and reflecting and work on jealousy. I kind of just want to write jealousyjealousyjealousy all over everything, all over my face. I’m sick of pretending that I don’t feel this or even that I’m some wise spiritual person who knows how to surrender to it and be transformed. Jealousy is one of my biggest issues. I’ve learned a lot from and about my jealousy but it still causes me a lot of pain.

Some context: my partner and I started our relationship poly but have been seeing only each other for almost a year. We closed our relationship because I was having a mental breakdown from my jealousy. I have had a lot of shame about this and feeling like a poly failure or whatever. But a lot of my soul searching since closing the relationship led me…

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syrens:

Heaven and earth.

Originally posted on Ottawa Citizen:

Leslie Hodge, best known as DJ Leslie, was a generous and creative soul devoted to bringing the hard-edged beat of industrial music to mild-mannered Ottawa, influencing a generation of music lovers with her non-mainstream tastes in music and fashion. Hodge, who was 44, died Thursday of complications from a recurring blood infection.

For more than two decades, Hodge was the hub of an underground music scene that grew around her weekly DJ night at Zaphod Beeblebrox, believed to be the longest running theme night of its kind in North America. But when Hodge began hosting Industrial Strength on Tuesday nights in the early 1990s, she wasn’t taken seriously because she was a woman, noted her friend Linda Seccaspina, who owned the Flash Cadillac store on Rideau Street from 1976 to 1995.

“Leslie was one of the people who came to my store,” Seccaspina said, recalling how she first met Hodge…

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syrens:

My Big Wee News.

Originally posted on The Breathings of My Heart:

So, as-you-know-bob, I’m doing a reading with fabulous femme Amber Dawn Writes (home page) and bodaceous butch Kalyani Pandya (Daily Xtra article by Lukayo) this coming Saturday to celebrate the launch of Amber Dawn’s latest book, Where the Words End and My Body Begins. There will be a write-in during the show, and there will of course be merch. I mean, buy Amber’s books, clearly.
But there will also be this:

FIGURES: Inpressions of a Professional Naked Girl FIGURES: Inpressions of a Professional Naked Girl

I’m rather chuffed about the whole situation.
It’s a limitted run of fifty (except that it’s currently a limitted run of forty-nine because the printshop and the other printshop and I Had A Miscommunication… But I’ll get it sorted out).

Anyway. That’s my wee bit of news. :-)


TTFN,
A.

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syrens:

Hey, hey, hey! I’m in a show on June 13th! It’s free! You should totally come! :-D

Originally posted on The Breathings of My Heart:

Hey, folks!

So I may or may not have mentioned this back in, like, February, when this scheme was first cooked up, BUT: I’m in a show! With Amber Fucking Dawn! :-D :-D :-D
Be still, my little femme literary heart! :-D

It’s a free show at 7:30pm, on Saturday, June 13th (so a week from this coming Saturday) at Venus Envy in Ottawa. The occasion is the launch of Amber Dawn’s quite awesome new book of Glosas – Where the Words End and My Body Begins – and there will be a sex-positive write-in (audience non-mandatory participation, essentially) during the show.

There will be love-letters to queerdom, poetry about queer history, femme identity, modeling, & sexwork, short stories told and read, and, as the flyer puts it, a whole lot of “sex, sass, humour, and healing”.

In short, you should all come.

FREE show ft Amber…

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