No on Proposition 8!

If you live in California (especially if you read this blog), you probably already know that Proposition 8 on the ballot next week is a measure which will add a clause to the state constitution stipulating that marriage can only be between a man and a woman.

Because the May court ruling decided that a law banning gay marriage was unconstitutional, they're trying to change the constitution. Woo, putting discrimination in the document that defines us as a state. That's just great.

Shine Louise Houston of Pink and White Productions, a great lesbian porn company, is donating all of the proceeds from her popular Crash Pad Series to the No on Prop 8 campaign for one day, TODAY, October 30th.

Basically, if you're a fan of lesbian porn for any reason or you want equality as a general rule, get your butt over there and spend some money! It's really good porn, and it's for a good cause. Maybe you usually get your porn for free, but think of this as donating with a tasty bonus. Mm, porn for charity!

I also want to reiterate my support for Proposition K to decriminalize prostitution in San Francisco and make known my vehement opposition to Proposition 4, which would dangerously require minors to report abortions to their parents.

Below are a few good videos and links for more information on all of these ballot measures. A lot of bloggers have written very eloquently about these measures, so I will direct you to them instead of trying to reiterate what's already been said.

This post on sex worker blog Bound Not Gagged is a very thorough explanation of the arguments in favor of Proposition K. It's really long, but even just the beginning is helpful.

Here's a great post on Feministe explaining why Proposition 4 would put teens in danger if they don't feel they can report an abortion to their parents. I also explains why the so-called "bypass procedure" written into the law is completely unhelpful and would actually serve to put teens through more stress than "just" their unwanted pregnancy.

Here are a couple of fun videos about the anti-marriage-equality proposition, via Sugarbutch Chronicles.

Lastly, this video gives me goosebumps all over. I don't know how anyone could say this is wrong.

Vote! Vote, vote, vote, vote, vote!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday Review: Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality

Okay, I know the Tuesday Reviews are kind of sporadic, but I'm a busy woman. I do my best.

This week's review isn't exactly a recommendation, more of an exercise in stretching my brain and my opinions on porn. That's important to do, and books like Pornography: The Production and Consumption of Inequality by Gail Dines, Robert Jensen, and Ann Russo are the background for dialogues about porn and sex work today.

In the interest of full disclosure, I'll admit I read this book for a research project I'm doing for my Women's Studies honors thesis. I'll be examining "feminist" porn and the tactics it uses to address critiques like the ones brought up in Pornography. I'm starting by reading a whole slew of books written by anti-porn feminists so that I can be fluent in their criticisms of porn.

One of the things that was striking to me in reading this book was the way the authors framed their arguments in relation to sex-positive feminists who they called "sexual liberals." The first couple of chapters were devoted to naming and disputing "sexually liberal" criticisms of anti-pornography feminism. As the book went on it got a little more nuanced, but the first two chapters set the tone for the narratives about porn.

I'm probably not going to make myself popular with people on either side by saying this, but I have a huge problem with the divisiveness we see surrounding the issue of porn in feminism. It's a problem on both sides, and I think it's really unproductive.

I agree with the anti-porn feminists that a lot of porn does represent and reinforce the patriarchal gender roles of our society. Including a tendency towards violence against women.

I agree with the sex positive feminists that porn can be a very powerful tool for exploring and expressing female sexuality. I think that any consciously navigated choice to be sexual as a woman is an act of rebellion against the stupid virgin/whore complex.

Which, by the way, is hugely at play in the conflict between these groups. The anti-porners basically call the sex pos-ers whores for advocating for what they see as the always patriarchal representations of sex in porn. The sex pos-ers call the anti-porners prudes for criticizing sex and porn and fucked up power dynamics between men and women.

It's a bad show.

I'm having a real "Ack! I've been identifying solely with one side of this argument, but I think the other has solid points too!" kind of moment.

I still think that the sex positive movement has a more productive approach to porn: actually making porn and REconstructing gender roles in it by altering the circumstances of its production and consumption. However, I don't think they'd be much of anywhere without the efforts of the anti-porn movement to highlight the sexual inequalities that are prevalent everywhere.

I think that where the anti-porn movement reacts to a negative sexual situation in our country, the pro-sex movement acts to change it. That's why I'm writing about feminist porn; I want to see how they're doing.

After that long word vomit, back to the book. I did really like the last few chapters where the authors talked more about their personal interactions with porn and how it affected them emotionally. These three closing essays showed, finally, a much more complex view of how to deal with porn.

I think that in the end these three are somewhat open to dealing with sex positive types (or "sexual liberals" as they're called in the book). I hope that we can all find a common ground. We're all working towards the same thing anyway: equality between men and women.

Cross posted at Fourth Wave Feminism

Juicy Campus: A Cultural Gross-fest of Slut-Bashing

One of my friends just sent me a link to a new "social networking" site called Juicy Campus. According to the home page, "this is the place to spill the juice about all the crazy stuff going on at your campus. It's totally anonymous - no registration, login, or email verification required."

What this means is that students have free reign to post whatever, anything at all, about anyone or anything. So of course it's a huge racist, sexist, classist, sizeist, ableist, just-prejudiced-in-general party.

If I had any extra time this semester, I'd want to write a research paper about this site. It takes all the bigoted tensions under the surface of our culture and brings them right out into the light. I mean, it's pretty awful stuff on there and it kind of sucks to read it, but it's fascinating nonetheless.

I've never seen more obvious examples of slut-bashing than on the site. I'd say a majority of the posts on the site (or at least on the pages for my college) are about specific girls and their sluttiness. (They cut off search results at 150 posts so I couldn't compare the number of "slut" posts to anything.) It's just a reminder of how hurtful that stuff can be.

There were a couple of girls from my school who were specifically targeted over and over again. One of them bravely stood up for herself on the site and said that she knew the posts were mostly made by a guy she rejected. Shocking, right, a girl labeled "slut" because she wouldn't have sex?

If you read Slut! Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation by Leora Tanenbaum, which I highly recommend, you'll find out that the slut label is often completely disconnected from sex. Not always, of course, but a lot of the time it's just a way to punish girls who aren't "normal," who dare to be "deviant" in some way. It's a punishing word, a weapon.

It is also, of course, a word that reinforces sexual stereotypes and the female gender role. By forcing girls and women to toe a line between being called a slut and being called a prude, patriarchal culture keeps our sexuality strictly controlled. We have to fight hard in order to have a respectful, healthy relationship with our own sexual desires. It's yet another way the patriarchy strips our personal power, leaving us so caught up in living up to its standards that we don't notice how ridiculous they are and throw them over.

In the last year or so, I've been on a personal crusade to stop slut-bashing when I find it. It doesn't always work, of course, because some people are stubbornly mean. There are lots of people, though, who don't think about what they're saying when they call a girl a slut. "Do you mean she has a lot of sex? Sex is fun. Why is that bad?" actually gets a pretty thoughtful response, especially if someone's using the word in a way unconnected to sex. "Do you mean you think she's mean and you don't like her?"

So I encourage all of you to combat "slut" when you hear it. It's such a "small" thing, but it makes a big difference in individual people's lives, and it's the combination of a million small things that leads to big patriarchy.

Cross posted at Fourth Wave Feminism.

Porn in the Library

I'm watching Nina Hartley's Guide to Oral Sex in the library.

We have a theater with a projector and a large screen that any student can use by hooking up their computer. It's attached to a big, well-lit room that's open and used fo studying 24 hours a day.

Now, I love Nina Hartley. I got to meet her this summer and it was all I could do not to go totally squee and fan girl over her. I might have, just a little. She's been in the adult business for 23 years, and she rocks it. She's made I don't know how many films, many of them education pornos meant for (heterosexual) couples. She herself identifies as a "heterosexual butch dyke," which is super fun. She's also written a book, Nina Hartley's Guide to Total Sex.

To be watching her in a neon green transparent body suit demonstrating the joys of cunnilingus on a huge screen in the middle of the library is just making my week.

Here's a great video of her on Julie Goldman's (of the Big Gay Sketch Show) Celesbian Interview Special:

Too Much to Do

Hey everyone. I've been working on a blog post about the history of feminine body hair and its removal, but I'm trying to do it right so it's taking a while. There's a lot of crap on the internet with no cited source, and I'd like to have a legitimate article up with traceable facts and everything. I guess academia does get to me sometimes.

If you read here, you've probably noticed that I've been a little remiss in my goal of daily posting. I'm starting a new student group for sex awareness right now, as well as all my other silly responsibilities. You know, like class. Psht.

I've come to the conclusion that trying to post every day is just masochistic, and I'm going to cut back a little. I'll still probably try for every other day or three posts a week, but I'm not going to overstretch myself. That probably makes for shittier posts anyway, and who wants to read that?

Here are a couple little tidbits from artist Sylvia Ji that I found, for your viewing pleasure:

And yes, I know that if you're reading this on my actual blog page, the pictures are too big for the frame of my main text box. I'm working on a complete revamp of the layout as time permits. Please bear with me in the meantime.

San Francisco Prop K: Decrim for Prostitution

I know I've written about this before, but the election is getting closer and I want to bring it up again.

San Francisco Proposition K is on ballots this year to decriminalize prostitution in the city of San Francisco. The initiative will stop police from prosecuting prostitutes or their johns, making it much easier for sex workers to report crimes against them without fearing incarceration.

This is a huge step in respecting the rights and protecting the safety of these workers. Sex work happens everywhere and it is simply within the rights of consenting adults to exchange sex acts for money.

Prostitution is not always coerced nor does it always (as anti-prostitution activists keep trying to tell us) involve trafficking. Decriminalization, even just in progressive San Francisco, will hopefully be a step in changing the shockingly negative dialogue about the women, men, and people in between who sell sex. Maybe if we can respect them as human beings and laborers, we can help the sex workers who need it and start to break down the stigma against those who don't.

To learn more about the proposition, check out the official ballot write-up of it on page 153, the Yes on Prop K site, the other Yes on Prop K site, and the article on the proposition from the San Francisco Chronicle. Here's a video of Sadie Lune performing at the SF Museum of Modern Art in support of the proposition.

Living Alone

I very much miss living in a house with other people.

I'm in a dorm again this year, in my own room. My RA is a friend who I've known for years and years, but she's not a night owl. We talk often, but don't have that many shared interests so we don't necessarily do things together.

Last year, as I actually mentioned in my last post, I lived in a house with about 30 other progressive, misanthropic, hippie types. We had a kitchen and a big living room with a TV. I had a roommate at the beginning of the year, who I adore and am still close with, and then a room to myself for most of the second semester. While I wasn't best friends with anyone in the house, I got along with all of them pretty swimmingly.

I don't think that I realized how much I got out of living in a house with so many cool people, being around them all the time, while I was actually there. I didn't think I was that close with them, or that it would be too big a deal to live elsewhere this year. I've only really digested it, actually, in the last day or two.

I used to come home from work at 2am, absolutely exhausted and talked-out and done being social and charming. Someone would usually be up smoking on the porch or playing video games in the living room. I often sat with C, a nice boy from the house, while he played Guitar Hero, just watching him until I felt calm and tired enough to go to bed. It was really nice, actually, because they were fine with me just sitting there and I think being comfortably around people after work and at night made it easier for me to cope with a high stress job.

I just got home from my first weekend night shift since I've been back at school. I started back at the club on Tuesday, after taking about a month off from dancing to get settled into school. I'm physically beat, but I don't want to go to bed. I miss having someone to just sit with. Makes me want to go visit my old house a lot more. Silly me for taking it for granted.

P. S. I know I've been bad and took a few days off from blogging. As mentioned, I went back to work this week, and I've just been feeling less-than-verbose. Here I am, though, doing better.

Body Hair and Shaving

The other night I had a long discussion with a big group of people about the trials and tribulations of body hair.

I was at a party in the house where I used to live, a place full of activists, hippies, and misanthropes. I really loved living there, but I moved out to have my own room for my last year in college.

In the room with me were two men who both have beards and two other girls. We all hated shaving.

One of the guys, T, has a very full beard and he admitted that the biggest reason it's so impressive is that he just doesn't like to shave. It's not so much of a fashion statement as a rebellion against taking a blade to his face every day. A, too, didn't like shaving but happily trims his beard.

The other girls weren't big fans of the razor or its accompanying burns, nicks, and bumps, either. R has blond hair on her legs and so it's not a big deal when she doesn't shave them. She doesn't have to feel too self-conscious, despite the social pressure to have smooth legs.

I hate shaving, too, but I have to do it every time I work, which these days is twice a week. Because my club serves alcohol, it's actually illegal for me to show any pubic hair on stage. If I don't get rid of it all, it'll peek out from under the tiny g-strings we have to wear.

Whenever I shave my bush, I get ingrown hairs. There's just no getting around it. I've tried everything, various razors and shaving products, and it's just a fact of my life. It's not as bad if I can let it grow out for a couple of weeks in between shaves, but I don't have that option with work. If I shave twice within five days, I also get lots of little nicks and it's very uncomfortable. This is just an occupational hazard that I've had to get used to.

My body hair in general is dark and coarse and thick. I have been trying, recently, to be more comfortable with my unshaven legs, but it's still hard. I still think of my body hair as manly, and while I don't mind being a little androgynous, I do like to be feminine and pretty. I feel like people will think less of me for my hairy legs.

But I hate shaving, and I will do as I please when it comes to grooming and presenting myself. It's really silly and awful and arbitrary that women are expected to have no noticeable body hair. I mean, we're humans, it's part of our anatomy. It's just as natural on us as it is on men.

Where did that expectation even come from? Even as a gender studies major and a raging feminist, I have no idea when it started or why. Hmm, that is definitely something to look into. I'll let you know when I find out.

My Secret Identity

My secret identity is becoming less secret every day. More and more people know about Diana Prince.

I've told most of my friends about this blog. I've got a link up to it on my social networking profiles. It is connected to my real name. Sure, it's in ways that are only accessible to those I allow to see it, but the connection is there.

Since I've told people in my real life about this blog, I feel weird writing about my current relationships. Part of me wants to say "fuck it" and be completely honest. Who cares if people read about themselves in my blog? I'm all about openness. Why not just deal with people in a completely free way? Force things out into conversation.

The other part of me wants to avoid the subject of my personal life altogether. Telling stories about people or sharing opinions about their actions is a quick way to alienate them. I don't always think good things about my friends, and while I can be critical in a kind way, it's harder to do that for a general audience. Tact serves a purpose in my interactions; I can't abandon it entirely. But I don't want to soft-pedal things on my blog.

I can't just stop talking about my life, though. That would kind of defeat the purpose of having a blog, wouldn't it? I love this medium because it's such a revolutionary way of sharing narratives and making connections. I can see that I have something in common with a person who lives across the globe, or learn about our differences. That's freaking awesome. I wouldn't want to cut that off for myself.

It's certainly a conundrum. I could always start a new, more anonymous blog, but I don't really want to do that. I like putting my energy here, and I like the impetus to be honest. It's just a fine line to walk, and a (fascinating) challenge every day.

Friendship and Sex, Again

I've had a very strange last 48 hours.

I just had pretty casual sex with a person I admire very much and have been friends with for about three years. I'm not sure how to react to this other than to be pleasantly surprised, especially since the sex was good. I also had oddly sexually charged interactions with a couple of people I've known for some time and see quite often. I'm friends with them, if not close, and very socially interconnected with them through my friends and activities. They've all been romantically or sexually involved with (or the crush objects of) some of my best friends.

I've talked here about how the line between friend and lover is blurred for me, but I think it's more complicated than that. I need a few people around who I don't sleep with, to keep that intensity and drama out of at least a few of my relationships. I do have a line between friendship and sex, it's just an artificial one.

Because I can be attracted to pretty much anyone if I like them at all, I do carefully maintain a physical and sexual distance from some of my friends. If I didn't, I'd probably just jump in bed with them, and then where would I be when I need to dish with someone about my love life? When there's sex involved, jealousy and awkwardness happen, no matter how well one communicates or how open one's mind is. I need a few relationships that skip the sex drama.

Because of all that, casual friends showing sudden sexual or romantic interest in me gives me pause. Part of it is the fact that these friends are so socially intertwined with me. If we have sex, all my buddies will know about it and a lot of my friends will have big reactions. Some of them will be upset, and it'll be a huge pain in my ass. Drama certainly spices things up, but I'm not sure I want to deal with it.

Even though I'm kind of reticent, I should probably be open to whatever happens. These people are all attractive, and I like them. In theory, I love the idea of casual friendships that include sex. I like to deepen interactions with people, to learn more about them. Running away from that would be silly. I think I'm going to let everything play out as it may. It just makes me a little nervous.

Blow Jobs, Annihilation, and Growth

When I was younger, I was a blow job queen.

My first real boyfriend told me that I sucked his cock on our second date. I don't remember this, but I believe him. I can't actually remember when I started seeing or playing with his dick. I've played with it and other cocks so many times since then that the first time has blended in with the other memories.

He was uncircumcised. I remember that; I could tell. Often he wasn't completely hard by the time I started playing with him, so there would be some extra skin when I first put my mouth on him. I didn't know what I was doing at first, but I'd looked up on the internet what to do. I knew to avoid teeth, to use my lips, hands, and tongue. I learned to respond to his movements. I made him come in my mouth.

After we broke up, I didn't stay celibate for long. I had a good girlfriend who I lusted after but didn't think I could be with. She was too Christian and I was too timid.

So I blew her ex-boyfriend. It didn't occur to me then, but I know now that the only reason I had any chemistry with T was that I'd hung out with him and my friend together. We'd all cuddled on my bed, and my sexual tension with her had leaked into my interactions with him.

T kissed like a dead fish, all lips and no tongue. By the time we fooled around, I didn't especially like him, but I was bored and considered him a challenge. He was selfish in bed, wouldn't do anything at all for me except fumble in the general area of my clit with thick fingers. He said he'd go down on me if I got him off, which I found out a few weeks ago has still never happened for him with another person. He was also even more Christian than my friend, hated his own and others' sexuality, and was very politically conservative.

Every time he'd leave my house or drive me home, I'd feel like a whore. I might as well have been paid for what I did. There was very little physical gratification for me, just the vague eroticism of serving someone, the humiliation of feeling hated because I was giving away physical pleasure. It was masochistic.

I had a few similar flings during the next few years, between more serious relationships. Boys who'd call me when they wanted to get off, or who I'd call when I was alone at night. I'd feel this intense need to be touching someone, to be giving something, and I didn't know any other way to satisfy it than by finding a boy to blow. Some of my motivation was simple loneliness.

Mostly, though, it came from a need to feel annihilated. When I was feeling empty or in pain, I could hurt myself by finding someone who'd think less of me for having sex with him. I could stop feeling anything by being with a person who did not see or understand that I was a human with emotions. I was reduced to body parts, objectified, fucked. It was everything those old feminists talked about.

One day, after a few months of therapy and a decision that I didn't want to do it to myself anymore, I finally said no. A boy I'd blown was leading me back drunk from a fraternity party, and as we started to pass my dorm I said "Wait, I don't think I should do this. My shrink says I shouldn't have sex for a while."

He gave me a funny look and said goodnight, which is what I'd wanted. I wanted him to think I was crazy so it wouldn't hurt his feelings. It had worked. I ran off, almost giggling, to my room. Awkward though it was, I'd finally drawn the line and walked away when I wasn't actually into the guy or the sex.

I haven't had that kind of sex since then, the kind where I give up my humanity to have a physical connection with someone. I have casual sex, yes, but I do everything I can to make sure it's with someone who will see and value my humanity even while we're fucking. I can't always tell ahead of time whether this will be the case, but I can get a pretty good idea.

I'm glad I had the experience of objectified sex. It gave me something to contrast with what I wanted, to grow from. It allowed me to understand what it is that I don't want. I'm just as glad, though, to have moved past it into fulfilling sex with people I like. It's just so much more fun.

On Being a Bottom

I'm a huge bottom in the bedroom. My best friend calls me "Little Nelly Bottom."

Depending on what sexual subculture you spend your time in, this could mean any of a million things. I spend most of my time in the lesbian community, and a little in the BDSM world, so that colors my understanding of the term. I use it to mean I like someone else to be in the driver's seat for sex, and I like to be on the tied-down end of bondage, a little spanking, and some power play.

Now, being in the passenger's seat doesn't mean I don't communicate my needs or that I'm not contributing to the action. I just like to get fucked. I like it when my lover takes control; I like to be pushed around a little, and I like being told what to do. As I've said before, I love to tease, but then I want to be thrown down and made to stop. (With appropriate consent, of course.)

I try to be comfortable with my naughty subservience, but as a feminist and a fiercely independent person, it's an awkward thing to feel and admit. I get this niggling sense that I should be large and in charge all the time, like my personal politics should be carrying over into my sexual preferences. I'm trying to overthrow gender roles, here. Being submissive in bed is a stereotypically feminine thing. Bad feminist!

I don't consciously subscribe to that way of thinking, but it sneaks up on me a lot. One unfortunate consequence of feminism's emphasis on the personal as political is that it becomes too easy to discriminate against people for not being "feminist enough." I think that feminism is largely about personal choice regardless of gender, and when we try to name some behaviors as always feminist and others as always anti-woman, we're losing sight of that.

It's absolutely true that the patriarchy is created and perpetuated in our personal lives and our culture. There are millions of little ways we all contribute to it every day, without even noticing. It's so programmed into us that it's nearly impossible to get rid of completely. It's good to try not to perpetuate male privilege.

I think there are as many ways to fight patriarchy, though, as there are feminists. I think I can be a sexual bottom in a feminist way. If what I want is to be handcuffed and fucked and I name that, claim it, and go out into the world trying to make it happen, that's a feminist action. Being a woman and respecting my own sexuality and honoring it is a powerful thing.

Controlling female sexuality has been a big way the patriarchy has controlled women. By resisting that and writing my own narrative of sexuality, whatever that may entail, I'm coming into my feminist own. So long as I'm conscious and deliberate, I feel good about being a bottom.

Tuesday Review: Wristcutters - A Love Story

I saw Wristcutters a couple of weeks ago, and I've been meaning to write about it. I figured what better time than on Tuesday, for my weekly review!

Wristcutters is a movie about people who have committed suicide. The premise is that when you kill yourself, you go to a world that's just like the real one but a just a little worse. Nobody can smile, there's not much to do, and everybody bears the scars of their suicides. When I heard the premise, I was excited for the film, and it definitely lives up to its concept.

They tell you in the title of the film that it's a love story, and I'd even go a step further to call it a romantic comedy. But it's a black comedy: the story wryly plays with the misfortune of suicidal people. Okay, maybe that sounds bad, but I think it brings a much-needed sense of humor to "offing," as they call it in the film. It seems like everyone I know is confessing to suicidal thoughts lately, so it was nice to see something that made light of a serious thing.

It was a classic film in a lot of ways: the main character, a wrist cutter named Zia, kills himself over a girl and then goes on a road trip to find her when he discovers that she's killed herself, too. He finds friends, romance, and adventure while he's looking for the girl. Classic bildungsroman travel film.

It's well done, though, with good acting and a great script. I definitely recommend this movie to anyone who likes a little heart warming with a dose of biting humor. I'll be adding it to my DVD collection soon.

Here's a trailer:

Blogging, Lack of Sleep, Six Feet Under

I've had trouble blogging the past few days. I think the biggest reason is that instead of sleeping I've been watching Six Feet Under, which I love, but I need my beauty rest to be able to string together any words that make sense.

I finally finished the series, which might mean I'll get some sleep tonight. Once I start watching a show I like, I just have to get all the way through it. Start to finish. I really recommend Six Feet Under to anyone; it's got some great commentary on the family and contemporary culture. I mean, it's made by HBO, I guess you have to expect quality.

The last few episodes of the show, though, were just horribly depressing. It's generally about death, but it's darkly hilarious and I usually enjoy it immensely. I think in finishing the series they felt like they had to bring it to a more serious place. It's put me in a down mood, along with my usual susceptibility to hormones and grumpiness. It's so funny how the lives of these imaginary characters can affect me in real life.

With my lowness, I've been at a little loss for what to write about here. Blogging is such a funny animal. There are actually plenty of things going on in my life right now that I could talk about, but I hesitate to put them here. Enough people read my ramblings now that I am too aware of my audience. I want to take risks with my writing, but I don't want to lay myself completely bare for all to see or step on. It's a fine line to walk, between honesty and needless vulnerability.

I've got a couple of big posts under construction, and after I get a real night or two of sleep I'll put them up. Right now, though, I need to lie down and have a good wank. Nothing better for a little cheer than good old-fashioned masturbation.

Stripping for Friends

This weekend I drank too much and ended up stripping in my room for my friends.

I have a pole set up in my room, which I spent too much money on but which I love. It keeps some of the stripping addiction at bay if I can spin around the pole to languorous music whenever I want. I also stay in better shape when I'm not working so I don't injure myself when I go back.

It's funny, though, what happens when my friends and I start playing good dance music and the pole is right there. My first instinct is to throw off all my clothes and writhe around. I want to spin upside down and grind my hips and touch myself, right in the middle of my dorm room. When I've had enough tequila, that's exactly what I do.

This creates an odd dynamic.

I'm very open about my job, especially with people my own age in a casual setting. All my friends know what I do, and most of them are kind of delighted to hear and talk about it. It's titillating.

When they come to visit me at the club, though, or when I drink and start acting like a stripper in real life, it gets a little funny.

I like to be good at what I do, and I'm vain enough to want to show off my skills. I take pride in my pole tricks and my lap dancing. But it's not so easy to show one of my friends a really good lap dance trick. If it's really such a good trick, they'll get turned on when I demonstrate.

Now, I like to blur the lines between friend and lover, but it does help to have a few friends around that I don't fuck. Wanting to show off my work to these friends becomes tricky.

That's one of the unfortunate things about working in the sex industry. While it is usually just a job to me, the thought and sight of what I do is so sexually charged to everyone else. Whereas I'm thinking about how my muscles are moving and my balance and where exactly I'm positioned when I put my leg over my head and grind in someone's lap, they're just thinking "Whoa, this is hot." If it's a friend, they're thinking "Whoa, this is hot. But this is my friend! Ack! I don't know what to do!"

I guess that's just one of those things that goes along with the job description. It's also a nice thing about hanging out with other strippers. I can talk shop with them and they get that really it is just a job.

Julia Nunes and Things I Didn't Say

I've been watching Julia Nunes on Youtube, and I really like her videos and her music. Check them out, get addicted.

And I saw this video:

It's funny of me to post this one, since she's usually pretty upbeat, but it really resonated with me in a way I didn't expect. I've said a lot of goodbyes in the last year, and I don't think I've let them really sit with me. I'm always on to the next thing, and I haven't been allowing the goodbyes to hit me. I haven't been able to let people know that I was missing them.

So the video above is for everyone I've had to let go. I miss you and love you. I'm sorry to see things pass away.

Romance? Not Just Fucking? What?

I just realized that in the past four years, I've only had to deal with new romantic partners in terms of putting limits on our intimacy. I am always coming into everything with a caveat.

When I was in the relationship with M, I had to make sure that my lovers understood that he came first. It automatically put a damper on new loves, having a committed primary relationship, and I learned to communicate that early on. I got good at finding people to play with who wouldn't ask too much of me, who would be accommodating of my emotional unavailability.

Even after I broke up with M, officially sometime this spring, I wasn't thinking in terms of actually meeting and opening up to someone. I started dating Z completely casually. One of the first things I told him was that I liked being single and didn't want a real relationship.

His moving into my room and our closeness came about mostly by accident, a matter of convenience and compatibility. I wasn't looking, though, to have a primary partner or start a relationship. It just kind of happened.

I think I haven't really wanted to be serious or close with someone for a long time. In the brief periods when I've been single, I've enjoyed the freedom. When I inevitably found myself in a new relationship, I was usually a little sad that I was giving up my self reliance and self concern. Not to mention total sexual freedom. I exchanged those things for a lot of other wonderful stuff, but it was an uncomfortable change to be responsible to someone else.

Now, though, I've reached a point where I actually do want to be in a relationship. I'm even a little disinterested in casual sex. I want to make looooooove. (My inner proud slut is rolling her eyes so hard, but what can I do?)

Now this doesn't mean I want monogamy. I'd like to get wrapped up in someone for a while, but that doesn't mean I'd close off my polyamorous possibilities. I'm okay with accidental monogamy, the kind where a new relationship is so consuming neither of you happens to sleep with anyone else. I wouldn't mind a little of that. However, I still don't want to have a relationship where my sexual energy with other people gets cut off.

I don't know how to approach my new Relationship goal. I'm so in the habit of making sure that I maintain distance from new lovers. I'm used to dragging my feet into relationships. Even when I started with M four years ago, it took me six months and some infidelity to reluctantly take the relationship seriously.

I'm at a loss over how to say "Hey, yeah, I'd like to get to know you. I want more than just a fuck buddy." It's something new I'll have to figure out.
On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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