Archive for September, 2011

September 28th, 2011

Recommended Reading #66: Self-Awareness, Pt. II



      “Lonely Poly” by Selene (Sex and Spirituality, Non-Monogamy, Memoir) 8/17/11

This may be one of the most beautiful and resonant things I have read. The self-awareness, gratitude, awakeness I perceive in it move me deeply, probably in large part because I personally relate to so much of it—I suspect it is also, though, because those things just seem to emanate from the author in the writing of this piece above and beyond the piece’s content. Beautiful.

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      “Deep In the Valley: Going to a Porn Shoot” by Dr. Marty Klein (Pornography, Sex Work, Sex and Culture) 8/29/11

I love this “inside look” at a porn shoot. Having worked in porn myself, I felt/feel exactly the same way I interpret Dr. Klein as describing here–that it’s a job and not particularly different from other things people do as jobs. I too do not and did not understand the “big deal” that seems to drive some perspectives that seem so vehemently opposed to or concerned about pornography. I also really, really like Marty’s evocation of the viewer’s contribution to porn being of considerable significance to the experience of it, which strikes me as highly insightful and is what, to me, makes this piece relate to self-awareness.

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      “The Alkie and the Chicken Vendor” by John DeVore (Non-sex-related, Addiction, Memoir) 4/21/11

While this seems to me to be written with an undertone of humor, my reading of it focused on more of what I interpreted as the poignant challenge and self-awareness of what the author reveals. That the piece seems to me imbued with both indicates skillful writing, but it also struck me as personal and expressive in a way I found unavoidably moving. I wish the author all the best.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

September 23rd, 2011

Essensuality in New York City This Saturday!

I am remiss in not having blogged yet about the Erotic Authors Association conference in Las Vegas two weeks ago (seriously, I can hardly believe it was already that long ago)—more about how busy I have felt in that actual post when it gets up, but in the meantime, I want to announce that I’m very excited to be a featured performer at Monica Day‘s Essensuality: An Evening of Erotic Expression this Saturday in New York City! I’ve heard a lot about this event of Monica’s, and I’m honored to be invited to participate.

For the beautiful description and more details about Essensuality, see this page at Monica’s site, and tickets for this Saturday’s Essensuality may be purchased here. The event starts at 9:00 p.m. at the Wow Cafe Theatre at 59 E. 4th Street, New York City. Last I heard, there were still a few coveted spots left for the open mic portion, so any and all interested parties should email Monica at monica at thesensuallife dot com.

There’s a chance I might actually get my post up about Las Vegas before I go, but if not, it will be coming soon afterward. :) In the meantime, if you’re in New York City on Saturday, please stop by and join us for an extraordinary evening at Essensuality!

Love,
Emerald

“Come in closer, oh come feel the love on the inside, electric current in my veins lets me know I’m alive…”
-Sugarland “Wide Open”

September 21st, 2011

Recommended Reading #65: SlutWalk



      “SlutWalks and the future of feminism” by Jessica Valenti (Feminism, Activism) 6/3/11

Fresh from my own experience at SlutWalk Las Vegas (truly, I hope to blog about the Las Vegas trip soon), this piece reminds me of what I appreciated and found energizing about it as well as what I have appreciated about SlutWalk from the time I first heard about it. I found the observation and exploration in this piece interesting on the subjects of feminism, activism, and social change, and I feel Jessica outlines well what SlutWalk is about and what its potential significance to human society may be.

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      SlutWalk NYC Frequently Asked Questions (Sociology, Psychology, Self-Awareness, Gender) 2011

The Frequently Asked Questions at SlutWalk NYC (occurring October 1, 2011) is one of the most comprehensive things I’ve seen about SlutWalk in addition to striking me as thoughtful, extensive, incisive, and relevant in the discussion around the things I understand SlutWalk to be about. (Thanks to Rachel Kramer Bussel for the link.)

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      “SlutWalks v. Ho Strolls” at The Crunk Feminist Collective (Feminism, Race, Activism) 5/23/11

For perhaps the first time, I’m including in Recommended Reading a piece with which I don’t know whether I feel full agreement. I do feel that I have heard of dissenting perspectives about SlutWalk, and while some of them I feel solidly that I do not agree with (Gail Dines’s, et. al), perspectives about race and the word “slut” are an area where I have felt interested in the dissent and frankly do not feel fully informed or understanding. Thus, while I don’t feel I necessarily agree with what is said in this post, that is largely because I do not feel in an informed enough position about what is being said to even know whether I agree with it or not. (There is no arguing that my experience in this lifetime has been white, privileged, and middle-class.) Basically, I appreciate the sincerity I sense in the presentation of this piece, and while I think I personally feel that SlutWalk is bigger than the word “slut” and thus does have far more universal implications than what I interpret as being raised or objected to here, the piece seems to offer a perspective I find worthwhile to hear in a discussion and appreciation of SlutWalk and attendant perspectives and implications.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

September 14th, 2011

Recommended Reading #64: Addressing Misconceptions, Pt. III



      “Our Addiction to Tiger Woods’ ‘Sex Addiction'” by Dr. Marty Klein (Psychology, Sex and Culture) 2/24/10

While the specific “story” of this piece is outdated, of course, I profoundly appreciate what Dr. Klein has to say about the questions he has been asked about “sex addiction” and his observations about the media and the public “diagnosing” someone, particularly someone they don’t actually know, as such. I find both the commentary on society (I especially adore the last sentence) as well as the insights about individuals and psychological study and complexity Dr. Klein offers here of great value.

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      “A New Paradigm for Love” by Dr. Deborah Taj Anapol (Spirituality/Consciousness, Relationship, Anthropology) Undated

I find this piece a beautiful offering and especially appreciate its mention of what love is not and the emotions we have come to associate with it or think that it means. The understanding here of love as an unlimited existence having nothing to do with “having” or “giving” resonates deeply with me.

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      “Sex With Strangers and Other Lies from Captain Obvious” by Thomas Roche (Sex and Culture, Sociology, Sex Research, Media, Gender Socialization) 9/13/11

I don’t know if I’ve read something by Thomas Roche on Violet Blue’s site that I haven’t found brilliant. This is no exception, and it runs a gamut of brilliance to me from elucidating insights about social research (I adore that he points out the question of how/why/to whom this “study” would possibly matter, which has repeatedly occurred to me as well in seeing reports about numerous “studies” pertaining to sex and sexual behavior) to incisive observations about the reinforcement of gender binary and norms. I hardly know how to express how much I appreciate Thomas’s voice on subjects/studies like these that have seemed continually perpetuated unquestioned by the press and thus, potentially and dangerously, the public.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday

September 7th, 2011

Recommended Reading #63: Parenting, Pt. II



      “Of little girls and liberal goals: daddies, daughters, and left-wing politics” by Hugo Schwyzer (Parenting, Politics, Sex and Culture) 5/20/09

While I find the musing of this post regarding parenting (by males particularly) and politics interesting, probably what I love most about this piece is what Hugo says about parenting itself. As related to the premise about liberal politics and men parenting daughters, I particularly and deeply appreciate his allusion to his daughter’s sexuality and that she is not his to own or protect from sexuality. The myth that such is a father’s (of a daughter) job has seemed to me a strong and pernicious concept that I have been continually surprised to see repeated and claimed with seemingly little understanding of the implications it espouses about gender, sexuality, and personal autonomy. Thus again, even more so than the implications of the studies Hugo cites here, it was what I interpreted as his own perspective about parenting and why his political views are and have so far remained liberal that I found captivating.

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      “Sexting 101 for Mommies” by Jezebelle Jay (Parenting, Youth, Sex and Culture) 4/19/11

I find this expose about parenting and speaking with one’s young children about sexuality so heartening. What I see as the levelheaded response Jezebelle gives to her son on the subject strikes me as profoundly admirable and helpful to all involved and society at large. It seems truly incredible to me to imagine how the world would shift were this to become a routine response in such situations.

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      “Why I’m Taking My Sons to SlutWalk SF” by Airial Clark (Sex and Culture, Parenting) 8/5/11

I found this a powerful post on the implications of and issues around SlutWalk, and all the more so because the author was speaking of them in relation to her sons and why she wanted them to witness SlutWalk (and was thus taking them). Again, open conversation with youth about sexuality is present, which I again find so refreshing, and in this case the introduction of the complexity of cultural structures and human unconsciousness is included. I profoundly appreciate instances in which sexuality is still spoken of with appreciation and reverence amongst these complexities (rather than relegated to something scary, expendable, or to be avoided). Conscious parenting, especially on the (I have no doubt) challenging subject of sexuality, continues to be one of the most appreciated and inspirational things I know of.

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Recommended Reading posted every Wednesday