Good Parenting

Vanessa Fuchs, proprietress of adult store Sassy Sensations, shares a story:

Fifteen years ago, a visibly uncomfortable woman came into one of her stores looking for help. But she wasn’t there for herself; she was looking for a sex toy for her daughter that would allow her to experiment with her sexuality in a safe way.

“To tell you the truth, I had tears in my eyes. The other customers who were walking around and overheard, had tears in their eyes,” says Fuchs. “I said, ‘You’re amazing. I admire that you don’t feel comfortable in a store like this, and yet you came for the benefit of your daughter.’”

Now that’s sex positive parenting.

Throwback Thursday: Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts

Controlling Parts Is Controlling The Sum Of Its Parts was published here on SK on 08/27/2008; sadly, it is still relevant.

Snippet:

When bodies & their parts are controlled, we diminish not only autonomy in the physical and legal sense, but the constraints send the message to all that those beings those bodies & parts belong to are not free & equal beings.

The Evocative Power Of Erotica

Perhaps you’ve heard of the Peck and Call Girls, today’s courtesans, modern muses who provide virtual escort services via phone sex, chat, etc.? …You could call them “phone sex operators,” but they are really so much more than that; I know that as I’m lucky enough to know over half of these stunning, capricious creatures ~ known as much for their intellect as their masturbatory assistance. They, like any great sex workers, clearly know the key to arousing a man ~ from discerning gentlemen to silly cads alike ~ is via the largest, most powerful sex organ: the brain.

To wit, they recently posted a discussion about the esoteric attributes of erotica ~ with Robert, owner of Delta Of Venus. More than the old “erotica vs porn” debate, they pluck at the heart & lust strings of what makes erotica work… Tease, romance, unvarnished reality, nostalgia, connection, mystery…

Here’s a snippet from Robert:

To use maybe an unsexy term, good erotica is always putting in work, it’s gathering a momentum beyond just blood flow and pulse rate and dilated pupils. This work could be eliciting a memory for the viewer, or striking their imagination (sexual or otherwise) in just the right way, or launching a train of thought or feeling about beauty or desire or whatever. Plenty of erotica evokes contradictory emotions too – maybe arousal mixed with the unsettling or absurd, and part of the pleasure is holding those feelings together in tension.

“Arousal mixed with the unsettling or absurd”…. That lingers. I’m tempted to jump into the conversation myself; but I have written about this quite a bit before, including:

In Praise Of Vintage Porn (2012)

Why Do Modern Women Love Vintage Babes? (2004)

Articulating Thoughts On Porn (2004)

However, I will keep my eye on the Twitter conversations… You never know what will inspire a thought ~ or what other pretty pictures you’ll see!

A Valentine For Male Chastity

“All keyed up to ask you to be my valentine!”

Suitable to send your femdom or other keyholder; as well as for kinksters into BDSM.

Vintage valentine for sale here; via TrailerTrashGrl.

Of The Singles Sex Survey & My Fashion Preditions

The 7th annual Singles in America survey is out. Among the top findings: 34% of singles have had sex before a first date, but Millennials are 48% more likely to have sex before a first date than all other generations of singles.

Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist and chief science adviser for Match (who funds the study), says this is because Millennials are “career focused”.

“I think they are very career oriented, so sex before the first date could be a sex interview, where they want to know if they want to spend time with this person.”

You read that right; sex before the first date could be some sort of screening process in which you try out the position(s) before you can get to the first round of actual relationship interviews.

If you think this is a more cosmopolitan “milk for free” proposition that you need to wrap your head about, just accept it as causal sex or even hook-up culture.

[If you really want to delve into this, check out Lisa Wade’s American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus, available on the 15th; a Huff-Po‘s coverage here.]

At Unicorn Booty, certified sex therapist Kimberly Resnick Anderson makes this comment:

“It’s sort of a mixed message because on one hand people judge potential sexual partners based on social media posts, but then they also want them to put (their phones) down,” Anderson says. “It’s kind of a love-hate relationship.”

I’ll help you out, Anderson. It’s not a love-hate thing; it’s a matter of priorities and attention. Who the hell wants to be on a date with a person who is more interested in their phones?

Answer: No one.

Relationships require attention and care.

My favorite finding from the survey? A cracked or otherwise shabby cell phone is a similar to the ripped dungarees of earlier generations, showing a level of slovenly poverty that turns folks off. Ripped jeans were once a sign of lack of care ~ great grandma would wrinkle her nose at the notion of ripped jeans as a fashion statement. If you cared about yourself and who you were with when you wore them, you’d mend those! And so it is with today’s thoughts on mobile phones.

But now ripped jeans are considered sexy. We changed:

Ever since the acid-wash-80’s, when as a culture we abandoned physical labor and the look of hard work and a rugged sense of poverty was seen as anti-establishment, holes in your jeans have been cool.

So, I can’t help but wonder when the signs of tattered phones will be de rigueur with rebellion and giving a finger to The Man…

Prepare yourself for the ability to pay ~ and pay extra! ~ for shabby looking cellphones, so that we can all look like we’re too cool to care about the damages our rock n roll lifestyles do to our phones.

Of course, when we buy them so distressed, it will be strategic cracks and fractures that won’t affect the ability of the phone or gadget to work; they’ll just look like we don’t care. And that’s so sexy!

Oh, come on, we’re all so bougie and you know it.

Image Credits: Couple wearing ripped jeans; Wiberlux Philipp Plein Seventy Eight Metal Detail Destroyed Denim Jeans.

Bree Olson’s Still Fighting

It’s been nearly a year since former porn star (and Charlie Sheen “Goddess”) Bree Olson sent her tweet warning girls and young women not to dream of going into porn:

Olson’s tweet was both viral and controversial at the time; but since then, people mostly forgot about it.

bree olson on webcamShe hadn’t been making news, just reacting to it. Like having to proclaim her HIV-free status (over and over again) in light of Sheen’s HIV announcement, and speaking out against sadist James Deen.

Those situations might be enough for anyone to advise against becoming a porn star. But those weren’t the specifics of Olson’s complaints. Remember, the reason why Olson doesn’t recommend women work in the adult industry has to do with the responses of others to her former sex work, to the stigma and whorephobia ~ and resulting discrimination. Such discrimination has crippled her mainstream employment options. The shamming and bullying have taken their toll as well, resulting in depression and anxiety that prevents her from leaving her house. Yet she continues to be an activist voice.

In March, Olson participated in the Real Women Real Stories film project and shared more details about the painful way she lives now due to how people treat her.

There’s nothing wrong with porn, but how people treat you for the rest of your life, it’s not worth it.

… I wish people would treat me like they would treat a married registered nurse with 2.5 kids in Indiana. That’s how I wish people would treat me.

In an article for the Daily Dot, Olson went into greater detail about the pragmatic realities of the sex work stigma.

Things don’t just work themselves out when you get into the industry or leave it. You become a segregated part of society that has no civil rights group behind it. Life is already hard enough, don’t do this to yourself. The money isn’t worth the pain of what society will put you through forever.

Porn didn’t hurt me. The way society treats me for having done it does.

As for her financial situation, how someone so “hot” so recently could be at such financial risk, Olson explains:

There are no royalties in porn. I see ads to this day, and my movies are everywhere on the Internet. These faceless people behind the industry still make millions and face no repercussions, and I am left to try and come up with ideas of how to have my own business because there’s not much else I can do. We are the only entertainment industry that doesn’t offer talent royalties after they are gone. So now I am shunned by society and broke.

…Porn is the one industry where the more successful a woman is, the more she will suffer for the rest of her life.

My biggest regret was leaving the industry. Leaving all of that money and trying to get the world to like me. They still don’t, and they never will. I should have just put in another five years at least so that in more my smart financial years as I was older, I could have saved enough to live comfortably for the rest of my life.

Olson’s continued trying to make a living as best she can. For now, that means making the most of her name & celebrity, if not profitting from her films, via some interesting merch at her official site: OfficialBreeOlson.com.

And, apparently, she’s been doing some work camming. But don’t expect to see too much of her on cam these days. At least not if she gets her wish granted. Bree Olson has a GoFundMe to help her get into treatment.

My name is Bree Olson, and my friends and family know me as Rachel Oberlin.

…Throughout my entire life, I have battled severe depression and anxiety which I have been able to hide through a variety of ways…until now. When I entered into the adult industry at age 18 as an escape from my childhood and to find myself, I never imagined how much worse things could become. I have spent the last decade masking my pain and losing myself even more so as doctors prescribed me mountains of benzodiazapines to make me feel better. I don’t feel better. I’ve never felt worse.

I have been in outpatient therpay since the age of 18 as I’ve tried to fight this dibilatating depression and anxiety. The benzodiazapines are highly addictive and even though I take them as prescribed, my mind and body are physically dependent on them.

As many of you know, drug dependecy is far more than getting off the drug itself. It is about getting out from under the weight of that drug and all the damage it does and finding out who you really are. It is about acquiring the tools to figure out how to cope and really just learning how to live again.

…I want my life back. I want to find out who Rachel Oberlin really is. Bree Olson has consumed my life and I’ve let her because I thought success is money but it’s not.

But money is necessary. Especially if you need rehab and such intensive mental health services.

bree olson Real Women Real StoriesPerhaps you’ve been a fan of Olson’s works. Today, instead of buying or streaming one of her films, send those dollars to Olson’s GoFundMe as a thank you for all the good wank times.

Perhaps you are or have been a sex worker, or the friend of one, and you can understand how devastating the stigma can be for many. Just as sex work isn’t for everyone, leaving brings it’s own set of problems that are too much for some. Even if that’s not been your experience, just a one dollar donation has to be worth the karma, right?

Right.

Paunchy & Raunchy!

A fabulous, fantastic pin celebrating the sexiness of BBW women with dirty minds. I love the burlesque design too. A collaboration between Two Dimes Design & Weird Empire; so while it is currently sold out here, you can still buy it here. Via @DPopTart & @LucindaLunacy.

PS As long as you’re shopping… Check out the Pizza Slut pinup poster and the Introverted & Perverted pin.

paunchy and raunchy chubby burlesque pinup pin

More Signs Of The Death Of Whorephobia ~ & How You Can Help

Would you like more proof that the US may be changing it’s views on sex work and ending the whorephobia? Lately, more clients and consumers of sex workers are voicing their concerns about the treatment of those who provide the adult entertainment. Once again, Greg Battiste, a self-professed “porn supporter“, has tweeted about the disrespect, censorship, and general discrimination towards sex workers:

While Battiste is clearly describing those in the adult industry whose work is legal (such as porn stars, cam girls, phone sex operators, strippers, etc.), his, in my opinion, appropriate use of the term “sex workers” indicates the broader umbrella of escorts as well as dominatrices & other BDSM service providers, etc.

The truth is, even when the work is legal, there are great barriers in the adult industry. This does not mean just societal disapproval. Such a stigma is more than just a frowny-face, but a terrible reality which still, as Lynn of Phone Sex Secrets recently pointed out, affects such fundamental things as housing and child custody. I could tell you horror stories myself…

But there are other barriers in this work as well. In fact, simply the matter of doing business ~ including being paid ~ remains an issue. And it spills over into all sorts of things, like having your Amazon account removed because someone at the company thinks that book your brother sent you was payment for sex services. Stupid and annoying, yeah; but also discrimination. As petty as it may sound, it quality-of-life threatening for many. How well would your life work without your Prime Membership? Mine would suck! (For more on all the stigmas & barriers, please see here, here, & here.)

It is a start when consumers of adult services speak up for the injustices and voice respect for those who provide such services. And it helps when you share/retweet such things.

But consumers of sex worker services ~ and others in the adult industry, including webmasters, sex toys, and other adult products ~ must also exercise their consumer powers.

Paying for porn and other adult entertainment is a very good start. Apply your purchasing power correctly, by doing business with ethical companies. And remember also to vocally boycott those companies, including banks, social media, wishlist and gift services, etc. who would censor and otherwise deprive sex workers from making their money.

But don’t forget to use your powers as a citizen as well. Remember to vote for candidates and referendums which support sex workers (& sexual positivity in general, which includes women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ rights, etc.). And write letters to those currently in office to urge them to support sex work and sex positive legislation as well.

Who Doesn’t Want A Man Servant?

Remember last year when we told you about that imaginary boyfriend service? Well, there’s an even better service now, which employs humans, not bots: Man Service. Vice‘s Broadly gave us the alert:

While they state that this is not a sexual service, one just has to laugh. First, the fact that you’re not paying for sex is what all escort services say, so as to avoid illegalities. Ditto BDSM service providers. But, really, even if you and your escort, or dungeon master, never do the nasty deed together, the reality is that such things feed your sex life. Even if only via masturbation fantasies. (And, remember, masturbation is sex!)

The real clue here is the emphasis on intimacy. Sure, you can clean up the dirty side by referring to the female clients as “professionals” ~ but the added “with little time to meet men” and “paying for relationships” lines place us right back at paid companionship which is escorting!

While there are plenty of studies and jokes about women getting turned on by men doing housework, these man servants aren’t like the smarmy versions of Deuce Bigalow pushing a vacuum that you may have in your mind…

deuce bigalow lederhosen

Yeah, as you can tell by the gratuitous use of that specific Rob Schneider / Bigalow pic, I’m still on that lederhosen kick! But, no, Man Servants are not like that.

While Man Servants may vacuum, do the dishes, and take out the trash without complaining ~ and compliment you as he does it ~ he’ll be dressed for your fantasies: “Dressed to the nines in his signature suit and pocket square. No banana hammocks here.”

Apparently, the folks at Man Servants decided this was the female fantasy version of the classic male Fi-Fi the French Maid fantasy.

(Have we come a long way, baby? I’m sure other feminists and feminist bloggers will chime in, with many saying, “No, this is not feminism!”)

Oh, and Man Servant services include other female fantasy offerings as well:

man servant duties

But whether the guy is vacuuming, massaging you ~ even without a promised happy ending, or just arm candy, and then goes away, no string attached, until the if or when you hire him again, he is in the business of for-hire companionship. I repeat, that is exactly what escorting is.

This, my friends, is sex work.

This is where many of the feminists I imagine (for I am not going to go look for them), will take great issue. Sadly, many feminists are anti sex work. Even when sex work is all about female autonomy & women’s rights. *sigh*

Regardless of such complaints, this business is mainstream. And it’s real. Even if only limited to a few major cities so far.

Now, the remaining question is this: If such male escorting services are becoming more mainstream and acceptable, is this a step forward for sex work in general?