Yearly Archives: 2005

Lights, Camera, and… Action?

I don’t know about you, but January’s traditionally a month I stay home a lot in an effort to get my bankbook back in black after the excesses of the festive season. So, I was thinking, hmm, what little project can I propose for my readers?

In the last posting, I suggested doing performance report cards with each other, checking in with your partner to see how well each of you are doing in the pleasing department. This time, I want to suggest getting into visuals — taping your lovemaking — but with a twist.

We’ve all seen sex videos gone awry, whether it’s Paris Hilton’s tapes getting released to the world at large, or some couple down the street who accidentally turned their video into the rental store instead of the copy of Forrest Gump the family had been renting. Yes, these things can happen, and that’s why you need to be careful.

But you can get hit by a vehicle crossing a street, yet you do that daily. Take the chance, explore it. Be a star, in your own way.

Naturally, a lot of us don’t like seeing ourselves on tape, but it’s an important thing to get over. A sex video isn’t jalways smut, it can be an erotic record of how you feel about your lover, and evidence of how you display it. When incorporated back into the relationship as visual foreplay or a romantic night in, it can help spice your sex life like nothing else, provided you’re willing to embrace it.

Imagine you’re a woman with insecurities, and you’re sitting there, watching a DVD of some sexcapades with your lover, and he starts getting aroused just watching you. This time, it’s not some blonde bimbette with triple-D boobs getting him rigid, it’s you, in all your simple, real, attainable beauty. For once, you’ll feel like the bombshell you deserve to be. Take the chance.

If you have insecurities, then there are some approaches to lessen ‘em. Spend a quiet night planning the activities with your partner. Script it, as it were. Decide some of the things you’d like to do to each other, but don’t worry about order, just go with the flow. If planning it to the T will help you lessen even more of your inhibitions, then go for it, but don’t feel restrained by it.

When you’re getting down to the nitty-gritty, you need to keep a couple things in mind. Technology’s important. What is your camera capable of doing? What kind of lighting will it need? You want to ensure you’ve got a camera that can perform in low-light situations, especially if insecurities are present. The control of the lighting is what differentiates the romantic from the pornographic. Camera angles are important. If it gets you hot, explore your lover’s body with a handicam. If your lover’s going down on you, you can hold the camera and capture it from your perspective. If you like, get your lover masturbating on film. Whatever occurs to you, you can do.

Nowadays, the home sex video can be done better than ever. Home editing technology is more sophisticated, yet more user-friendly than it has ever been. My Mac, for instance, comes with iMovie and iDVD. The first allows you to take different tracks from different digital videos and edit them together for a digital film. Then, you can mosey over to iDVD and lay in an audio track. You can speed things up, slow them down, stretch ‘em, lay in colour filters, whatever turns you on, whatever makes the mood better. I don’t know what Windows programs exist, but I’m sure they’re every bit as simple.

So, here’s the twist, which comes after you’ve done the playing around on camera.

You get together with your lover, put all your different sexy video tracks on your computer, crack a bottle of wine, and as a couple, watch the clips and make decisions about what segments are the hottest, and then you create your own DVD with montages of your lovemaking sessions. Find music that sets the pace for your visuals — if it’s down’n’dirty, something like INXS or Nine Inch Nails might hit the spot. For something romantic, pick any cheesy diva you like. It really doesn’t matter. (Personally, I’d be wanting to find a little classic bassy porn soundtracks from the ‘70s, just for the fun/humour factor.) You can even intellectually elevate the moment by recording poetry or erotic writing and dub that over the tracks, too.

The great thing about doing something like this together is that the creation of it (via the editing) becomes as much a part of the experience as the action performance is. And if you’ve taken the time to talk and “script” what sort of activities you’d like done, then the entire thing, from start to finish, becomes an experience that you’ll always be able to enjoy.

There’s another bonus, too. Like I suggested last time, the performance reviews, they become so much more tangible if you’re sitting there and analyzing your clips and cutting/pasting them together. You can talk about why that move got you so hot, what you’re feeling when your face is screwed up in agonizing pleasure, and how it could have felt just a little better if done slightly different.

As a society, we’ve so many hang-ups about seeing ourselves on video, sexually, as if it’s pornographic and crass. It’s not. It’s a record of how two people express their love for each other. And while it’s easier for something like that to escape out into the world than ever before, it’s also easier to turn it into a beautiful work of art that you can enjoy time and time again as the years pass — just be careful with it, that’s all, and make sure you trust your lover on every level.

Speaking of years passing, every relationship has its phases where the sex might dwindle. If that’s the case, something like this can serve as a tangible reminder for just how good it was, and provide inspiration for getting back to that kind of feeling once again.

A Case for More Communication

Still not convinced that better communication will up the sexual ante? All right, then read on.

Imagine you get a job. You’re excited about it. It’s dynamic, exciting. Oh, the possibilities, you think. So, you show up, wing it, and you think, “Hey, it’s okay, after I’ve been here and they’ve seen what my stuff is, they’re gonna wanna invest in me. They’ll want to really school me and get me groomed for something better. I’m a contributor. Yeah, they’ll tell me what they really want, when they’re ready to.”

And the management’s over there, across the way. “Wow, you know, he may have something to offer. Hmm. We could use someone like that around here. I know what we’ll do. We’ll wait. When he’s ready to know more, he’ll come to us. Then we’ll really know he’ll be able to deliver. We’ll let him… acclimatize, for now. I mean, hey, he’s doing just fine for now.”

Trouble is, “for now” doesn’t have a shelf life. Do you know when “for now” expires? I sure don’t. And “just fine,” well, it never really makes the cut, does it?

The employee in this scenario? Fucked. Rightly. Right fucked. Why? Pretty simple. Without clear direction, without a clear understanding of how he should perform his duties, he will never have the confidence to take risks that might better his performance, he’ll never really know where he stands, and he’ll never put his all into it. Worse yet, he won’t know how to do his job better, nor what management desires him to do.

If you have a relationship where you’re not telling each other how to satisfy you, you’re going to be like the players above. As a receiver, you’ll be the management — getting loyal, dedicated service that suggests potential and even possibly alludes to brilliance, but always somehow slightly misses the mark, or even worse yet, is highly inconsistent because the areas of excellence go unspoken.

As the giver, you’re just a lowly employee, and you’ll never really know what your strengths or weaknesses are, nor what areas the management perceives most essential to get done. You might just never really know what you should deliver, and maybe, just maybe, you won’t ever really fill the order, if you know what I’m saying.

So, if you manage to get things sorted and discussed, here’s what I propose: Bi-weekly run-downs. Or however often you might enjoy a performance review. Have a conversation over dinner — a private dinner — and discuss the things you’ve enjoyed, the things you’re feeling more of a craving for these days.

Sex is so much like food it’s crazy. We all have cravings, and many of us go through a two-week period where we’re eating Chinese every couple days. Well, maybe sex doggy style’s fitting the bill this week. It’d be nice to share that, wouldn’t it?

We foolishly seem to talk about fantasies only in absolutes. I’d frickin love a Mercedes conververtible from the late ’60s, y’know, but this week I’ve been feeling a little more like taking the bus since the weather’s so dodgy and the traffic so frantic. We go through flavour stages, and it’s there in our sex lives, too, but often in such small, almost inconsequential ways that we often sooner ignore it than address it.

This conversation doesn’t need to be clinical. In fact, I say nay to that notion altogether. I say make it dirty, irreverent, sexy, fun, coy, suggestive, romantic, passionate, perfunctory, whatever gets your rocks off. I say do it over a decadent meal you cook together, and then eat it together in various states of undress with a fine bottle of red wine. (May I suggest throwing some really suggestive footsy into the under-table games? Footsy may not be the most sexually satisfying act, but Jesus, it’s erotic, isn’t it? Mm!) Or skip the food and sit naked on the couch, sipping wine, as you perform demonstrations on each other’s body of what it is you’re discussing / wanting.

You get the idea. Play with it. Play is fun. Play doctor like you did in the bushes as a kid. Hmm. I wonder how T’s doing these days, anyhow. Been a while. Ah, nostalgia.

Anyhow, there’s a New Year’s Resolution for the couples in my audience. Periodical sex reviews. No negatives — only constructive criticism, but really, really try to focus on positives, and try to go with the moment. And never, ever shy away from demonstration… or narration. And if you narrate, be suggestive and coy — this can really add a little of the sizzle bang-bang I’m always talking about.

“And his hand traipses delicately down her torse, lingering over her honeypot… And oh, its owner notices that she has begun to…”

Christmas Night Musings of Aloneness, a la Bridget Jones

(Ed. Note: In my semi-drunken/contented state last evening, I wrote this and spontaneously published it without editing it. I awoke, and suddenly thought “what have I done?” and then saved as draft, suspecting I might’ve been too open. I’ve since received some very thoughtful, considerate emails, which leaves me thinking I should keep it up… although I’m not too comfortable with that, but it’s really great to get comments like those. Thanks. If you interpret this to think I’m really lonely, then don’t — I’m not. I’m just aware of my aloneness, and that’s an altogether different matter. Without further ado…)

Steff is drunk. Why, a Christmas tradition, no? GayBoy and I get together each Xmas eve to drink, and eat, and be merry, and to watch an “anti-Xmas Xmas movie.” What is that, you ask? A film that contains Christmas, but is not about it. For example, Gremlins, Die Hard, etc. This year? Bridget Jones’ Diary.

Some days, I feel like Bridget Jones. I belt out alongside classic “Ain’t you lovin’ me yet” type songs, just like Bridget. I flap my lips and say the most inappropriate things at the worst times, oh, so fucking often, really. “Flippant” is an adjective which often precedes my name. I have gotten into boatloads of trouble for saying what occurs to me in each and every job I’ve ever held. I watch cheesy films, drink a little (much), and sometimes wallow in my singleness. I often deliberate before a date about whether it will result in getting laid, and whether I should wear the sexy panties, or the “granny” panties that will hide my figure under my clothes, but be oh, so unattractive should said clothes be peeled off in a heavy makeout session on the floor.

BJD is one of those “time of the month” classics with obscene insights into the single girl. I remember working in the bookstore, and whenever someone was looking for a gift for a 25-40ish woman, I’d simply open the book to any random page, scan it, read a short snippet, and presto, sold. Why? Because it’s true. Because as many good things there are about being single, there’s ultimately something shitty about not having a warm body next to you in bed. That’s not pessimism or cynicism, it’s realism. There’s something blissful about having warm skin within reach when you’re under the covers, and we all know it. That smell, that feel, that knowledge… it’s all so very good.

And there’s no worse morning to wake alone than on Christmas, as Armistead Maupin wrote in his San Fran classics, Tales of the City. But you know what? 24 hours passes, and it’s Boxing Day. Presto, life goes on.

Although there’s nothing I want more than to not be single right now, I have to say, I’m all right with it. I’d love to wake up on Christmas with some 6’+ god of sinewy pleasure lying next to me, with an orgasm on order, but there’s something appealing about rolling out of bed on my own, to a hot bath and a pot of coffee, and not one iota of bullshit to deal with, lazy clothes at hand, and the ability to be my “worst” self on a day that really deserves laziness.

You all read this blog for whatever reason you’ve found to be here, and that’s great. Welcome to it. I write it for my own reasons. In a lot of ways, this is a journey to a new place for me, regardless of where I’ve been before. That place isn’t really something I’m comfortable sharing as of yet, and I’m proud that I know where to draw the line when it comes to divulging the secrets of Steff, despite my quest to become vulnerable at will during this past year.

I’m caught up in the spirit of what I consider to be this season, that of self-reflection, but also, that of willing change — what with New Years and its resolutions fast on our heels. While I’ve been reflecting plenty on here of late, there’s been far more screaming in my mind that I’ve kept to myself, and will continue to do so, for the short-term, at least.

Whatever the stressors, whatever the frustrations, there’s something unforgettable that I love about this season, single or not. I love the feeling of being conscious of my values, of knowing my wants, my needs. I love the spirit of giving that comes this time of year. I’d love to share that giving in every way with a man who deserves a little getting, but since I can’t, I’ll have a hot bath instead, and maybe indulge some dirty thoughts I’ve been nursing.

And y’know what? That’ll be just fine.

New Obscenity Laws in Canada

Once again, Canada leads the pack. Back in 1969, Canada’s new prime minister, Pierre Elliot Trudeau, said that the Canadian government had no business being in the bedrooms of Canadians. Consenting adults — male, female, straight, gay — could do as they wished, because where there was consent between the parties, no harm.

That is the prevailing thought behind the some new rulings that will be redefining the parameters of what can and can’t transpire due to “obscenity” here in Canada.

The gist of this? Swingers / sex clubs, the Supreme Court of Canada now says, are legal. Why? Basically because by way of entering the swinging establishment, where sex usually transpires quite openly, all those within the premises have essentially consented to the acts being committed therein. Go on ahead and visit Montreal, visit a swingers club, and have a little sex while you’re at it. It’s legal.

(About Montreal — the Paris of North America: There’s a show filmed here in Canada called Kink, and each season it’s set in another Canadian city where it follows the lives of a few participants as they go about their kinky existences in their little kinkdoms– from boring homosexual sex through to leathers, whips, and all the pain you can eat. Slings, anyone? Easily the kinkiest place in Canada is Montreal, where fetish is a rite of passage. God, I love my French-Canadian heritage. ;)

There are reasons I’m profoundly proud to be Canadian, and the level of personal freedoms is far and away at the top of my list, of which this is simply the latest example — most recently preceded by the legalization of gay marriages. Whether it’s smoking pot anywhere I want in this town (although still illegal, it’s largely ignored — we are this continent’s Amsterdam, kids, and owners of the best dope in the world, sez High Times) or knowing that I could perform any sex act I want (except possibly bestiality, which obviously is not exactly my bag, since I can’t even handle hairy backs, let alone fur), there is no doubt that the border between Canada and the United States is where my world changes, drastically.

So, here’s a thought: Your life is only as good as the freedom with which you live it. Whether you have extreme views on sex, drug use, or just everyday rights for everyday people, voting is crucial to the well-being of your life. It’s no secret, I don’t like George Bush. At all. I dislike the politics I see coming across the wires from our Southern neighbours, and it saddens me to see what seems to be an erosion of freedoms in a time when “freedom” is what the fight’s all about. Ironic, methinks.

But the point is this, your supreme court shapes the land in which you live. Hell, look what it’s done for my country.

Bush was elected on a fiscal platform, and because he pulled patriotic strings. I’m not sure many people sat back and thought, “Hmm, will he be the right guy to pick Supreme Court judges that will shape my freedoms for the next four decades?” Well, fortunately/unfortunately, that’s the case. Not one judge, but two, and with three years to go, who’s to say what’s next? You think you have an opinion on his choices yet? How could you, when they’ve got a lifetime in their offices? Some twenty, thirty, forty years of deciding policy that will impact the lives of every citizen. Food for thought, indeed.

Perhaps this is another fork in the road of our two countries. Now, me, I’m no swinger, and it’s unlikely I’ll ever be. I’m an old-fashioned romantic with a fondness for orgasms, that’s all — and a fondness for freedom.

So, swing away, kids. Montreal’s where it’s at. Coming soon to a Canadian city near you, perhaps.

New topics?

Readers’ Stuff Wanted!

My writing’s been a little self-involved lately (just like me). Life’s been coming at me at warp speed of late and I’m feeling a tad discombobulated. I’m wanting to write a fun, dirty little Christmas story, and if a little time should avail itself to me, then I shall. I’ll show you a bad Santa.

But I want to hear questions, conundrums, and other stuff from you people. You can comment, or you can get crazy and email me.

Getting What You Ask For

Words hurt. What we say can hurt others. It can traumatize them. It can lead to unthinkable acts. Without a doubt, words can hurt.

But what we don’t say can often hurt us every bit as much. Unfortunately, as you read this, lovers all over the world are having unnecessarily bad sex all because of words they’re not saying.

Words like, “Honey, not so hard.” Or perhaps, “Can you move a little to the left?” Or quite possibly the worst phrase of all to overlook, “I think we could use a little lube.”

I’m making light of it, to be sure, but honestly, I still feel the best way to dial up a sex life is through talk. I’m not suggesting getting into a discourse on the pros and cons of ratifying Kyoto or anything, but rather, an interactive discussion on whether things are working or not. But let’s come back to that.

I recently received a happy package in the mail from my Secret Santa. In it was a copy of the Better Sex Series on DVD. This was Volume One: Advanced Sexual techniques and Positions.

Now, personally, I didn’t find there was anything really new in the DVD, but I really was glad to watch it. I’ll be keeping it around. It may come in handy with a future lover. It’s a “how to” video that explains a whole lot about sex, and I think it’d probably be useful for any new or even intermediate couple. It echoes a lot of things I’ve always believed.

There was a lot of great information included, everything from how every person’s body will respond differently to stimulation, to the uniqueness of different cocks and vaginas, and a myriad of useful position and technique advice. Great stuff.

It also highlighted the necessity of communication. The program’s participants appear to be real couples who occasionally suck at acting (in that they’re just trying too hard to say the lines right) but they sure as hell have it going on in bed. The couples talk on-screen about aspects of their sex lives correlating to whatever topic might be showing at any given time, from cunnilingus to come, and then you see snippets of them getting it on in rather elegant, if sparse, and nicely lit surroundings, illustrating how hot their sex really is.

(An assumption one might draw if they excelled in naivety would be along the lines of, “Dude, they talked about it and then, whammo! They had frickin’ hot sex! Talking is HOT, dude!”)

There are scenes, though, that illustrate beautifully what kind of dialogue can be used to really spice up your relationship. How? It’ll give you a roadmap for your partner’s pleasure zones. Here’s some questions I think ought to be asked in these scenarios, and some are variations of ones asked in the DVD:

“How do you like having your clit rubbed?”
“What part of your cock is the most sensitive?”
“Is there something I don’t do that you wish I did?”
“What part of your body do you think needs more attention?”
“What do I do that you like the most?”
“What do you like the least?”
“When’s your favourite time to have sex?”
“Please tell me when I’m doing something that doesn’t feel right.”
“I wish we could keep doing this longer…”

You obviously can surmise that having information on any of the above questions would give you a little more insight into your lover. I mean, haven’t you ever had that experience where, when you were younger, you had certain beliefs (political, ethical, spiritual, philosophical, whatever) and you happened upon a book that somehow encapsulated everything you ever believed, and you suddenly just had this totally invigorated worldview?

Not everyone knows that feeling, but I do, and those that do, I bet they know what I’m saying here. If, say, you have an inkling that the way you tickle your lover’s anus when you’re making out, playing naked in bed, but it’s one of those sorta odd taboos you’ve never really spoken about, so it’s almost like a guilty little pleasure when you sneak a little tweak for kicks, right?

But let’s say it finally comes up in conversation. They somehow look up at you, all abashed, and guiltily confess, “I gotta say, I get so, so, so hot whenever you do that thing to my ass, but I’ve been too embarrassed to admit it… and I’d like a little more.”

One little statement, that’s all it takes. I couldn’t care less if assplay is a notion that gets you off or not, but you see my point. Confess your desires, inquire as to theirs, and start fulfilling them. What part of this is so hard to understand?

Not much, I gather. It’s just hard to do. At first. One day, you just come to realize that being vulnerable may get you a little more hurt more often, but wow, the dividends it pays in most of your life is frickin’ killer — especially when it comes to sex. You’ll find that the more you open up, the more you will be rewarded in kind. When that happens, a synergy starts to build between you. There’s something there, more tangible, more open, more adventurous. It’s like you’re finally receiving permission to act.

What’s more, it’ll start spilling out into other areas of your life. You’ll feel more comfortable being open. It takes a while to find the right people who are receptive to it, but once you do, then you need to find a way to get them talking.

And if you can’t get them talking, then at least try to get them to watch something like the Better Sex series. There is help out there, kids. It’s a matter of finding it.