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Storytime: Driving the Car- An analogy for sexual health choices

10 Nov

Polyamorous folks are often asked how we manage risk reduction, and handle fears of STIs. I have a simple analogy I like to use:

Having sex is a lot like driving a car. You can keep yourself safe by:

  • make sure you only do it when you’re sober and making rational decisions
  • equip yourself with various safety measures (like airbags and seatbelts… or condoms and gloves)
  • keep the necessary equipment in good working order (with the help of a mechanic or doctor)
  • obey traffic laws (or principals of risk reduction, like using condoms and lube)
  • limiting how often and for how long you are driving
But ultimately, even if you are the best, safest driver in the world, you might get T-boned by a truck. So ultimately, when you’re thinking about driving, you have to decide if the destination is work the risk.
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Storytime: Identity Assumptions for Advocates

20 Oct

Funny thing about being a radical sexual pluralist and sex positive activist. A lot of assumptions seem to be made about who I am, what I do, and how my body and sexuality are designed. Granted, we all have assumptions made about us on a regular basis, based on how we dress, act, look, or some other arbitrary feature. But I’ve noticed that when I am verbally in support of a group of people that one cannot immediately tell whether or not I am a part of, I am assumed to be a part of that group- because why else would I care?

Nobody has ever mistaken me for a gay leather man, or a nice young pair of men looking to adopt, even though these are lifestyles I vocally support. Of course, you can look at me and tell that I seem to be presenting to the world as a woman, and thus (probably) don’t identify as a gay man (the funny thing here is that, on some days, I do!). However, you can’t look at me and tell if I’m a trans woman, HIV positive, polyamorous, kinky, a sex worker, a Domme, a submissive, a sexual assault survivor, a lesbian, or queer. I am some of those identities, and I am not some of those identities. As I say to strangers who ask me directly: That’s between me and my partner(s), thank you.

I think it’s curious that when I do not immediately confirm or deny association (it feels very strange to say “I advocate for the rights of ____! But, oh, no, of course I’m not ____.”), the assumption is made that I clearly care because I am a part of that minority. I think it speaks to the second, invisible assumption: Who would care but members of that minority?

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Storytime: Coming Out as a Survivor, or, How Kink Saved my (Sex) Life

10 Oct

Now for something completely different: Story time.

Trigger warning: I will be talking about issues surrounding sexual assault and survivor sexuality.

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