Thursday, December 25, 2008

Rudolph and all of Santa's Reindeer Are Female.

Yes. Its true. Its been deeply researched based on the antler shedding habits of reindeer in the arctic regions. And research shows that the probability of Rudolph, or any of the 9 reindeer being male is tiny, bordering on impossible. Why this has been hidden from the childrens i don't know.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Candlelight Vigil For Richmond Lesbian Survivor.

With the support of Hand to Hand Martial Arts, there is a candlelight vigil Saturday, 12/27 on the 1500 block of Visalia in Richmond, 9:30-10pm. it will be a vigil in peace and witness against hatred and violence. thank you to Tina D'Elia and CUAV for their support as well.

in case you don't know what i'm talking about, here's the article:

here's the vigil information:

Date: Saturday, December 27, 2008
Time: 9:30pm - 10:00pm
Location: 1500 Visalia Street, Richmond CA
carpool, bring a candle, and forward to friends

greet 2009 standing up in peace for our loved ones in our communities.

ps: this just in, a fundraiser for raising the $10,000 reward to even more for info leading to the arrest of the 4 perpetrators is being planned.
praying for healing and justice, richard

Friday, December 19, 2008

Well, Obama May Be Getting Desired Results From Picking Rick Warren.

Wow. If you haven't heard about this yet, peep the clip above.

Words/feelings that came to mind when I heard about Obama picking the conservative, anti-gay, pro-life Reverend Rick Warren to deliver the inaugural prayer... disappointed, aghast, sputtering with "oh hell no", feeling for people who already felt hurt by Prop 8... and also still hanging on to tenuous strands of hope. My hope, feeling (and prayer) is that Obama is very seriously front-ending coddling the disgruntled right. On the real, progressives should probably brace ourselves for more moments where we are gonna squirm uncomfortably as Obama goes about being the "uniter". Considering the historical emotional reception of a US President into office, I believe he is also really leaning hard on his kudo points so he can throw the right some symbolic bones. And when it comes to it, that's all it is. Symbolic. I mean, I would prefer Rick Warren to deliver the address than to be appointed to Supreme Court. But it still hurts. And not only the LGBTQ community, and advocates for the reproductive rights of women, but black folks and other folks of color are also like "What??"

But you know what? The tactic is working. Chillingly. On Pam's House Blend, Pam blogs:

How's the whole fundie outreach thing going, Team Obama? Look at who's giving you praise for giving Rick Warren the mic at the inaugural -- Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, the man who paid former Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard David Duke $82,500 for his mailing list.

Whew. So uh... yeah. Basically... people, i know this feels effed up to most of us, and that this may feel like a betrayal of all the votes, support, money, kudo points and prayer we gave him. But I urge people to hang on to hope while Obama placates the crazy citizens of this country. All I know is we on the left got a loooooong progressive laundry list for Mr. Prez when he's done fundie flirting!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sex Positivity: A Review Of "The Crash Pad" and A Critique of Queer Porn vs. Straight Porn.

*various links in this post lead to material only for people over 18 years of age. If you are under 18, read but don't click please! And there are other great things to read on this blog :)

Let the parade of Sex Positivity continue!

So on our last trip to Good Vibrations (think you are due for a trip yerself :) my honey picked up some queer porn. It’s called “The Crash Pad.”

I actually know a couple folks in the movie she got, one of them being my friend Jiz Lee, and her awesome partner Shawn (pictured above). This movie now lives at my honey’s house, but I am super glad we got to watch it together! This was unlike any porn watching experience I have had. Dare I say, it was a corrective experience.

I just have to say, this movie has won several awards, including the Feminist Porn Award (another place feminists butt heads!). And it really was not only hot, but super refreshing. The plot was simple but titilating, and will leave you wanting the key to the mythical San Francisco “Crash Pad”. The featured players are hot, with real women's bodies. Different sizes and shapes, no fake boobs. And there is real chemistry on the screen; there are at least two featured couples who are partners in real life. You can feel it. And they talk about it in the special features. What else was refreshing... oh yes, the lighting wasn’t garish and clinical. And whoa... it took me a second to realize... it actually has *good* music! The background tunes range from ambient textures to sexy beats, and you aren’t beaten over the head with it.

Before going more into the movie itself, I wanna more delve into what was so corrective for me. The big differences for me, watching this versus straight porn, go straight into issues of race and gender. It was soooo great to see a movie that was mostly female bodied people of color/mixed race, and for that to not be marketed in a derogatory way. If one wants to see straight porn with women of color, then you usually have to get something that has no qualms about exoticizing women of color in really disgusting and objectifying ways, with titles like “Big Black B****** Who Crave Your Blah Blah Blah” “Geishas Who Blah Blah Blah” "Hot Blooded Latinas Who...." you catch my drift. Well... none of that oppressive racist and sexist crap is in here. I’ll be honest, the last time i tried to watch straight porn was over a year ago, and it just really traumatized me. I managed to find a dvd that had women of color of various ethnicities featuring in it (i have blocked out the name of it) and when i turned it on... each 22 year old looking woman was with a middle-aged, unattractive white man. It was like having a promo for sex tourism of my sistas thrown in my face. I kept flipping ahead to another scene, hoping it would get better, and it would get worse. The white men would get older and creepier, and sometimes there would be more than one on each young brown woman. A brown woman with a welcoming smile directed to men that i’m sorry, she really couldn’t have wanted to have hard penetrative sex with unless she was getting paid. I was nauseous. Effing gross!!! This was clearly not going to win a Feminist Porn Award anytime soon.

That experience broke through my last filter... i had long ago learned that if i am gonna watch straight porn, i am better off turning down the volume (which blots out the dumb music and the really super racist and sexist slurs and comments that get thrown around) and putting on my own music. But those images just fried me. It was such a graphic allegory of oppression to me.

“The Crash Pad” by contrast, had no slurs being hurled, and you knew that the women were *really enjoying themselves*. Which makes a world of a difference. You could feel the hot chemistry as they kissed* (no kissing in straight porn!! what kind of dysfunctional crap is this?!?), feel the intimacy in their eye gazes, witness the women giving each other real pleasure, and the hot build up of women having real, volcanic, orgasms. In this movie my pal Jiz Lee pretty literally exploded onto the queer porn scene with an ejaculation scene that is jaw dropping. It won her and her partner Shawn the Hottest Dyke Sex Scene of 2006. And i gotta say, i feel like i’m a pretty adventurous and open guy when it coms to sexploration, but wow.... Jiz and Shawn make me feel hella vanilla!!! Amazing, y’all. Hats off!!

Jiz also goes into her own critique of queer vs. straight porn in her Babeland: Babe Of The Month Interview:

Why do you see queer made porn as being different from other “lesbian” porn?

The term “Lesbian” is an interesting genre, often appropriated by the adult industry for the male gaze. Thus, it is equivalent to “Girl/Girl” pornography and the sexual acts you’ll see are pretty limited. Queer porn more accurately reflects the sexual identity of many of us in the queer community because the sex acts and gender expressions of the talent portrayed in these films are not held to the ideals of the assumed straight male consumer. It is made (directed, filmed, produced, cast, promoted, etc…) by queer-identified folks for the viewing pleasure of other queers. The sex is unapologeticly passionate, something that puts it closer allined with “gay porn”.

Jiz also goes into sharing that "Crash Pad" has a special place in her heart :)

"Crash Pad" also features a refreshing range of gender for people with female bodies. From the high heeled and glitter made up femme, to hot faux hawked and shaved headed wrestling bois (again, see picture above :). This was also a pleasant shift from straight porn, where women can only inhabit a small box of femininity... the high-femme.

It was great to experience this movie, full of hot kissing, sucking, double penetration strap-on action and more. As a hetero-dude, this felt like porn therapy for me! To watch an adult film that wasn’t pitched to me in this narrow, oppressive, dysfunctional way... was really a corrective experience. This was made for primarly for queer folks to enjoy... and maybe its queer for me as a straight person to appreciate this in a heartfully refreshing way... but it left me wondering if other straight-identified men would have a similar experience. To see that kissing is sexy, that listening to each others bodies and eye contact is sexy. To see that women are beautiful, fierce and sexy in their real bodies, and alla that can have a beautiful diversity of expression. Because you know, we don’t get those messages much. I’m sure that there are more progressive adult films marketed to straight folks out there, but i can’t say i’ve come across any good ones.

Jiz has linked this post to the movie reviews, and has stated that s/he feels that my post speaks to some of their mission; which is to humanize queerness and queer sex. In this regard, Jiz sees this work as activism, and I consider Jiz to be one of the Bay Area's premiere sex positive activists.

For now, i’ll just be happy with my corrective experience, and wait til somebody tells me about some hot, feminist, anti-racist, multi-ethnic, pan-sexual porn, perhaps a bit more marketed to straight dudes.... Won’t hold my breath though! And for you bi-curious ladies and queer porn fans out there... this is the naughty stocking stuffer to get!! Available for rental and purchase at Good Vibrations, and you can order it online through Toys Of Babeland. Also look out for Jiz and Shawn's soon to be released film "Champion".... click the link for the teaser trailer (ages 18 and over only people!) and just peep the high production quality, hotness and emotionality people. Its gonna be hot! Something to keep you warm over the holidays...

PS: don't forget to peep the new link list of Sex Positive Goodness!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bringing The Sex-Positive Feminism! And Links For Sex-Positive Goodness!

when i speak of the erotic, i speak of it as an assertion of the lifeforce of women; of the creative energy empowered, the knowledge and use of which we are now reclaiming in our language, our history, our dancing, our loving, our work, our lives.
~audre lorde

Mostly re-inspired by connecting with the folks at the Good Vibrations blog, I have realized that this blog is missing something. Something i can’t believe i haven’t properly emphasized before. Sex-positive links and posts! I mean, I have a couple links in the blogroll and stuff, and write about sexuality and gender... but haven’t been really getting into the juicy fun stuff :)

and before jumping straight into the hotness, just a bit more heady talk. As a feminist-identified hetero bio male individual, i feel i should qualify what sex positive feminism means to me. First of all, what it *doesn’t* mean to me is that there is a binary where if you don’t identify as a sex positive feminist, then you are a repressed body-phobic wet blanket. Not trying to frame stuff like that. Second of all, there is a radical left feminist theory that all sex is rape, because we haven’t consented to live under patriarchy, and a manifestation of living under patriarchy is eroticizing power dynamics in constructions of gender(anyone have a citation for that? can't find it). I would say sex positive feminism is further right of that, but still on the “left” (what is right wing feminism, one might ask? Sarah Palin apparently!!) Sex positive feminism affirms autonomy of our bodies and consensual pleasure. It also moves away from shame-based ideas around sexuality and bodies that come from institutionalized sexism, religion, culture, etc. In the context of women's bodies, which have been under fire in various ways under patriarchy, Sex-positive feminism strikes me as a movement to reclaim the body.

Personally, i have various intersections with sex-positive feminism. I would say that one of the ways i manifest that is to eroticize communication, respect, balance of power and safety in romantic relationships. Deep and honest communication is just sexy. It has also been affirmed to me that it is sexy for a man to ask if he may enter a woman, even if its the umpteenth gazillion time they have had sex. This speaks to the piece on eroticizing respect and communication. But grounded in real loving respect for a woman and her body, not just saying stuff cuz it sounds hot. Going deeper into communication, i would say that deliberately placing oneself in a space of emotional vulnerability with a lover creates a space where one’s partner can also feel safe to share and be vulnerable. By being a man willing to make myself emotionally vulnerable to a woman, i see this as not only a loving act, but a re-balancing of gendered roles. It is one way to live everyday as a man committed to these issues. It really shouldn’t be like that as far as i’m concerned, that just being a emotionally communicative man becomes *gasp* bordering on radical, but hey. Just to be clear, i’m not lobbying for cookies here, just sayin’!!

Deep mutual communication leads to deeper intimacy and trust. Deeper intimacy and trust leads to safety. And once both people (or more for that matter) feel safety, then the boundaries of consensual sexual exploration may be able to expand deliciously. Respect becomes an operative word here as well, in tandem with the trust. For example, a sex-positive feminist woman should feel free to be lead around on a leash by a man at a sex-party if she wants to, especially if she has the trust and respect of that man, AND most importantly, if that is her CHOICE for how she wants to be pleased. Obviously, a woman can do what-freakin-ever she wants to do with her body, i am just getting at the thing that a woman and a man could act out this scene and still both define themselves as feminists. This is of course where feminists can butt heads, and very understandably so. 

*I've recenty had a very strong reaction to this scenario, which is understandable. I don't wish to upset more women, so I will try to be clearer. I want to stress that i am not saying that women need to be on leashes by men in order to find healing or mutual respect. My focus for this post is on women's choice, pleasure and healing, and finding partners that can aid in that journey in consensual ways. Trust becomes paramount, because there are some acts that simply require it in order for it to not be traumatizing. My focus is not on men finding women who will play out potentially degrading roles for male pleasure. A tamer example might be: If a woman wants to be gruffly held down by her partner and penetrated with hard and fast rhythms, that is her choice for how she wants to be pleased, and in my opinion does not make her any less of a feminist. 

My honey also added that although not everyone may know themselves well enough to know whether they are in fact reproducing patriarchal toxicity from sexual power play, it is also not accurate to generalize that all sexual power play is inherently oppressive.

I believe that playing with power and gendered roles in consensual, pre-negotiated and varying ways can be hot, radical, body reclaiming and healing. Because being “top/dominant” in a consensual loving scene doesn’t have to mean reproducing tropes of real oppression. Oppression doesn’t respect, love and pre-negotiate consensual arrangements. In BDSM circles, it is said that the “bottom/submissive” has the most power because the scene can only go as far as they allow it to go anyways. 

Women are tethered by patriarchy. In the real world, there are many oppressive situations where women do not have choice. For some women, I can imagine that it can be healing to metaphorically simulate a situation where there is an illusion of powerlessness during sex play... but in fact, the woman still is in control, and can control the outcome. There is Choice. 

I also believe that sex-positive feminism literally becomes about being the loving change we want to see in the world. If we can work through issues of power, oppression and love in our most intimate and loving relationships, then we are building progressive community, and really becoming the loving, liberating revolution that is needed. And i am talking about something with a lot more intention than the sexual revolutions of the 60's. I am talking about a sweet union of Love and Justice.

Well that’s some food for thought, enough honey to spread liberally before diving in. I was also going to review this movie that my friend is in, but i think that deserves a post all by itself. But be sure to check out the new sex-positive links in the right margin, which include Black Erotica, a radical manifesto for a poly-revolution, The Center For Sex Positive Culture, Babeland Toys, Feminist BDSM, my friend Jiz Lee’s site, and more!

Hope that this has been stimulating... holla!

Oakland Community Forum On Marriage Equality: After Prop 8, What Next? TOMORROW!

come thru and represent Oaktown!

After Prop 8....What Next?
Attend the Oakland Marriage Equality Community Forum

Let's seize this opportunity to create community.

Let's heal together.

Let's advance our marriage equality movement at the grassroots level.

Let's transform homophobia, racism and other oppressions.

Let's convert our frustration with Prop 8 into a positive force.

Wed. Dec 10, 2008
6–9pm (6-7pm potluck; 7-9 forum)
Intertribal Friendship House 523 International Blvd
Oakland 94606

RSVP at or (415) 621-2493 x372

Wheelchair accessible

For more information e-mail

Sponsoring Organizations:
ACLU-NC, activelyOUT, And Marriage for All, API Equality, Asian Pacific Islander Family Pride, Bay Area American Indian Two Spirits, Calafia, COLAGE, Color of Equality, Marriage Equality USA, Network for Religion & Justice for Asian Pacific Islander Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender People (NRJ-API-LGBT), National Black Justice Coalition, Oakland Rainbow Chamber of Commerce and Labor, Our Family Coalition, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), San Francisco LGBT Pride Committee, Sistahs Steppin' in Pride, Social Life Productions

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ain't I A Feminist? Aaronette M. White's Study Of Black Feminist Masculinities.

Hey everyone, sorry for the lapse in time since my last post, its been a bit hectic! But I wanted to be sure to read enough of this amazing new book (dare I say, my new sacred text??) by Aaronette M. White, "Ain't I A Feminist? African American Men Speak Out on Fatherhood, Friendship, Forgiveness and Freedom." (link gives excerpts from book)

In this book, AMW questions whether men can be feminists at all in her chapter "From Healthy Doubt to Critical Acceptance", she documents the role of Black men in feminist movements hundreds of years ago, quoting Fredrick Douglass saying "I am a radical woman suffrage man." She calls Black feminist men the "Sons Of Sojourner Truth" since Truth refused to prioritize issues of race over issues of gender. In the biographical sketches that AMW has collected of Black men who self identify as feminist, profeminist, antisexist or womanist, all of the men interviewed exemplify this intersectional approach to multiple systems of oppression in our communities. These men talk about the events that became the turning points towards this way of being and thinking, and both AMW and these men share visions of fatherhood, romantic and platonic relationships, and a truly holistic movement for Black liberation and healing. I'm telling you, this is THE BOOK!! I would even recommend this for people who aren't black folks... just because templates for dismantling patriarchy in our communities are here.

Allow me to have AMW and the men speak for themselves:

"What can be learned about feminist Black men's definitions and practices of manhood that would challenge institutional inequities, while contributing to the viability of African American communities and the construction of a humane and just society?" -AMW, pg.2

“Black feminism is frequently misunderstood. It may help to note what it is not. Adding the adjective “Black” to the term feminism does not mean that it is White feminism donned in blackface, for Black women only, or Black people only. Rather, there is more than one kind of feminism because culture, class, sexuality and a host of other experiential factors shape feminist perspectives. Thus. Black feminist thought, as used here, does not assume an essence of Blackness; instead it understands “Black” as a construct that reflects the intersection of a variety of institutional power relations. Black feminist thought has historically emphasized the intersection of race, class and gender, highlighting how African American women and other social groups are positioned within unjust power relations.” -AMW, pg.6

“What can feminist Black men’s narratives teach us about how to raise boys? How do we recognize feminist Black masculinities and support the different versions of it when we them, in the interest of broad social change? What are the public policy implications of their feminist activism?” -AMW, pg.11

“Men have to take responsibility to educate their kids and other men about sexism in the same way that White people have to take responsibility to educate their kids and other White people about racism.” - Jake, social justice activist, pg. 24

“When you become antisexist, you are perceived by others as a defector. Men don’t trust you, and a lot of women don’t trust you either.” -Bruce, Co-ordinator of program for men who batter women, pg. 17

“My experiences as a Black gay man have been at the heart of the anti-sexist work i do.... One of the messages that men get growing up is that the worst thing in the world for a man to be is gay, and to be gay is to be interpreted as being like a woman. People think, “Oh you’re gay so you must want to be a woman” or “You’re a fag because you are acting like a woman.” To come to grips with being gay has meant, for me, coming to grips with negative attitudes that men have about women and to realize that there is nothing awful about being a woman! I mean, tell me, what is so awful about a man being like a woman? So, addressing these woman-hating attitudes is at the heart of my work with men.” - Rex, Social Worker, pg. 27

“I grew up in a family where I saw a lot of violence meted out by my father to my mother. I hated how my father treated my mother. But I had to learn that if you’re not actively involved in unlearning behavior that you hate, you may find yourself repeating what you hate. I know what I am talking about because I became a batterer just like my father. I owe a lot to my ex-wife because she showed me pretty dramatically that being a batterer was not the thing for me to be. She shot me. If that doesn’t get your attention, nothing will.” - Soyinka, Labor Unionist, pg. 28

“In traditional Christian patriarchal culture, God is always male; and in traditional Christian White supremacist culture, God is always a white male. So, my struggle has been- over the course of my life- to remove the Whiteness of God’s image, then- over the course of my feminist life- remove the maleness from God’s image.” -Alan, Pentecostal Minister, pg. 34

Black men who are cognizant of the particular predicament of Black women, as persons who experience both racism and sexism, tend to prioritize race issues over gender issues and argue that Black women should do the same (likewise, liberal White feminist women often expect Black women to rank gender issues over race issues when the interests of both collide) -AMW, pg. 43

Men, primarily, teach boys and men to be violent. Regardless of how badly a father treats his child or the child’s mother, he also teaches, by example, a shameless way of being in the world; his actions say to the boy, “You, too, can behave as I do when you become a man.” Too often, “what fathers pass on to their children is their own unacknowledged pain, and in instances of violence, a male sense of entitlement to inflict pain on others.” -AMW, pg. 48

Boys who show the worst psychological development are not always those without fathers but, often, those with abusive or neglectful fathers.... Current research suggests that the key factor in a boy’s healthy relationship to his father is affection, not some essential, yet vague, role modeling of a particular concept of masculinity. - AMW, pg. 53

....when Black men truly see their fate as linked to that of Black women, they move from sympathy to genuine empathy. In this context, empathy is like the African proverb “I am because we are.” -AMW, pg. 39

...And there are so many other insights to be offered, some of which you can read at the link above. My only criticism, which she acknowledges, is that all of the 20 black men featured are middle class and fairly highly educated. I look forward to any updated work she does.

For those of you who celebrate Xmas (and also those who don't), I would suggest getting this book at Powell's or Amazon for a black boy or man in your life.

Thoughts? Bless up!