Tag Archives: writing about sex

Add Another Voice to the Fray

For everything I’ve published this week, four have gone into the depths, filed under lock and key, not fit for sharing. Too personal, too exploratory, too unconnected, too any-number-of-things.

A lot of what I batted around regards my relationship with sex: Where it’s been, where it went, why it changed, why it matters, what it means,  why my voice is relevant, and why I feel I need to re-enter that sexual fray.

Back in the day, when I was tapping sex blogging regularly, I was really onto something.

I’ve really enjoyed revisiting all my work. I see where I went wrong. But seeing where I went right? Empowering. I know my perspective has grown. Exploring that’ll be quite the ride.

Last night, I wrote something, then hid it  from you– a bold, in-your-face statement of what I think I bring to the sex-blogging world and why I feel relevant.

There’s a time and a place for that, but it’s not today. I need to update my sexual manifesto some day soon.

My first year of sex-blogging, I’d hit nearly a million page views, had ridiculous stats on Technorati and Alexa, and landed myself with raves from everyone from Nerve.com to Salon.com, with frequent spots on Gawker’s Fleshbot, and more.

Part of that appeal was the flavour I brought sex-writing.

I brought social anger, for instance. Defiance.

I was outraged I had to defend my sexuality after a lifetime spent in private schools and in semi-religious surroundings. This was 2006  & the peak of George Bush Administration’s attempt to divert scrutiny from the Iraq War by turning the country into a religious-morality battleground. Ideologies and politics clashed constantly. Church and state, indeed.

It was the time of Terry Schiavo, of adultery becoming punishable by life in prison in Massachusetts, of sex toys being made completely illegal in Mississippi, and of academic blackballing against professors who showed liberal sexual views privately while teaching in post-secondary institutions.

It was a time of growing fear, all because of what it took consenting adults to reach orgasm because of how THEY were hardwired, in that horribly socially-susceptible spot: private bedrooms.

I was outraged. I channeled that, and I channeled it well.

But I think another area that really cemented why my voice was (and is) relevant in the white noise of the web was pretty simple.

In a supposedly sex-positive online world, the industry keeps talking about wide, wide issues under the larger “sex rights” umbrella. And everything’s about the extremes of black and white.  All the time. Like, rights for sex trade workers.

While I support sex trade workers, the reality is, the average person isn’t one, they’ve likely never used one or known one on a first-name real-life basis. The AVERAGE person.

And who decides the cultural, ethical, political, and sexual future of our society? The AVERAGE person.

How are you going to draw that “average” audience in if every message immediately identifies its author with extreme kinks, or really wide-ranging BDSM life-styling, or has them aggressively advocating rights for sex trade workers?

Where’s the in-between? We shades-of-greys want our sex, too. Where’s the eroticism and issues-exploring for the not-so-big-in-Japan crowd?

Just because the average person might not want THAT much edge doesn’t mean we need to be churning out Cosmo-level copy on sex.

The average person, from 20 – 45, is more savvy, open-minded, and curious than ever. They’re open to aggressive debate. They like subjective commentary. This is The Daily Show generation, whether they’re into vanilla sex or not.

We can hit topics harder, push more intellectual agendas, and even open the door into kink by taking the intimidation out of it.

Until you soften the “heavy” agenda and temper its frequency, and until you realize that extreme kink and “core” lifestyles daunt and unnerve some who might consider dipping a toe in less-deep-and-scary kink-waters, then there’s a whole audience looking for sex insight that might just balk at your all-or-nothing approach.

I don’t want to shrug and say “Well, that’s their problem” because I was one of those people, and I’ve since bought the ticket to ride.

The odds of me ever going out and buying a ball-gag are pretty unlikely, okay? A riding crop, though? Giddyap.

The line between a ball-gag and a riding crop is a bigger ideological chasm than most seem to realize, I fear.

There’s a limit to what I’m willing to try to cross, and I’m not alone.

There are insecurities I’ve had to rise above, and I’m not alone.

There are apprehensions I have had and do have about behaviours, and I’m not alone.

Being sex-positive doesn’t mean everything suits my tastes, and I don’t/won’t apologize for it.

I write about what interests, angers, and inspires me. That doesn’t include the entire world of d-i-r-t-y sex, and never will. If I’m not interested in it, I’m not gonna lie.

I write posts that say “that’s not MY thing, but go ahead. ” When I say that, every reader has permission to not only like it, but to NOT like it.

Like with this not-so-lifestyle posting, where I confess that blowjobs aren’t my idea of a good time.

But… I wrote the GUIDE on blowjobs! I wrote an INTERNET CLASSIC on how to give mindblowing blowjobs, a posting that’s been plagiarized more than a high-school hall-pass!

Uh, yeah. Yeah, and I’m still saying I can think of better things to do than saying, “HEY! It’s FRIDAY! I need a cock in my mouth!”

Do I then fail as a sex writer? Fuck, no.

I’m strong, passionate chick who knows what she needs to do — and wants to do — to make a man happy. That’s when it’s not about the act itself, but about what it causes, what it leads to, and since happiness and satisfaction are beautiful things, why not? It’s an exchange, trade, barter. It’s wonderful.

But it’s not just about having a cock in a mouth, and that’s what gets me when I see simplistic sex writers breaking things down to only the barbaric and the basic.

Sex is so much more.

For all of history, arts and passion are born because of what makes our hearts swell and break. Wars and uprisings and cultural revolutions wage because of matters of the heart.

But little sister over there wants a cock in her mouth.

Oh, sorry, she wants a hard, dripping cock in her mouth. Much better.

Yeah. Fucking right my voice needs to be in the mix.

We need more than just the academics on one side and the rock-n-roll pornstars on the other.

We need people in the middle who aren’t your meek, mild-mannered “average” people. We need strong, unapologetic voices that are willing to own their “vanilla” or not-so-vanilla ways and stand up for biology wanting what biology wants.

Sex shouldn’t be some social status card like it is now.

I don’t need be a fan of burlesque in order to be sex-positive. It doesn’t require me to be bicurious, kiss a girl, love  swinging parties, be polyamorous, or even be promiscuous, in order to be a really big fan of orgasms and being dirty and having fun with a lover.

I enjoy what gets me off. That’s never been my problem. And I’ve closed the door on nothing sexual-taste-wise. Sex should lead where sex wants to lead — so long as precautions are taken, consent is given, and consequential ignorance isn’t a factor.

That’s the voice I want to have.

I want it to be okay to like it however way you want to like it. I want to be the voice that gently-but-bluntly encourages people to embrace surprise and take chances with new pursuits. I want to employ brutal truth and stand for what I feel is right when others would quash freedoms based on narrow world-views.

That’s my voice. Here’s where you’ll find it.

PHOTO: From chagrin.tumblr.com, no photographer or originating site listed.

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

I had an end-of-the-night chat on Twitter with my friend Tris Hussey (@TrisHussey), one of Vancouver’s best WP blogging smartie-pants, about the strange life of being a vanilla girl in a sex-blogger-world.

It’s had me thinking since, which is why I like smartie-pants like Tris.

See, he thinks the world needs more sex-positive voices — especially from everyday-peoples like me, I guess.

Me, I still have a hard time swallowing the role. So to speak.

That’s what my whole journey in sex-blogging was about. Discovering my own sexuality in a more positive way, where I no longer judged my tastes or worried what things might suggest about me ethically or morally.

It was a hard fucking battle and I’m not even sure where I am on that road right now because I’ve been abstaining for too long. Just… because. I didn’t want to think about sexuality. I had to think about me.

But I’ve thought about me. I’m a better “me” than I’ve ever been. Now I’m ready to be more. Again.

I think the reason my sex-writing has been so successful at being applicable to the average person is because I am one. I’m not interested in burlesque. I couldn’t give a shit if I ever experience a threesome. I don’t have anything too crazy going on in my closet, can’t tell you about any really freaky encounters or swinging parties. I don’t have really odd kinks, I don’t need to push any boundaries. I don’t need more/crazier/harder to get off than I used to.

I like a little bondage, a little kink, trying creative positions, and have a little thing about sex in interesting places if time/lack-of-visibility allow. That’s about it.

I’m not off-the-charts with my sexuality, and I’m not even promiscuous. I’m old-fashioned.

But I think into every sex life a little doggy-style must fall. Or maybe a lot. It’s open for debate — let’s bang-out a plan of attack. What can I tell ya?

I think sexuality is probably one of the biggest journeys we all take.

How many people ever truly get comfortable in that context? How many people not only get comfortable with being truly sexual, but do so in a healthy way — they don’t overconsume porn, hurt others in their quest for fulfilling needs, or develop unhealthy dependencies on any particular activity, person, or lifestyling?

The world doesn’t have enough oft-laid happy “average” people skipping through life with a “I”ve been shagged SILLY” bounce to their step. How many accountants do you see walking bow-legged on Monday morning, huh?

The attitudes we DO have about sex, unfortunately, are being shaped by really fucked-up messages on the media, in Hollywood, and the internet. Sleeping around’s more popular than it’s been since the ’70s,  STDs are on the rise, people are experimenting left, right and centre because media’s showing all these alternative approaches to us…

But where’s the heart?

Where’s the emotion?

Why’s there such a profound disconnect between what we’ll let ourselves feel in the crotch versus what we’ll allow our hearts to feel?

What the hell are we thinking?

Sigh. Don’t ask me, man. I’m only beginning to even attempt to crack that nut.

For the last 2-3 years, I’ve not been considering sexuality and society as much as I once did. Re-reading my work has reminded me of why I’d been so angry about it all in the past, and has rekindled my interest in being one of the voices to bring some reason to the argument.

I think so much of what’s wrong with us as a society can be explained through our skewed perspectives on sex.

I’m not suggesting getting laid equals world peace.

I’m suggesting that it’s the attitudes we associate with sex that matter, not necessarily about whether we’re getting laid or not.

When we do get shagged, how vulnerable do we truly let ourselves be? How willing are we to let our loved ones into our deeper darker places we’re scared to admit exist? How ready are we to open the doors to where we keep our skeletons?

Sex is the physical realm of mental trust. What you’re willing to do mentally SHOULD translate sexually, vice versa.

Yet how often is that true?

Are you open to others, do you accept all ways of life, can you trust those around you, are you comfortable expressing your needs? Tell me what kind of lover you are, and I’ll tell you the answer to those questions. Again, vice versa.

If everyone was open, trusting of others, accepting of other lifestyles and worldviews, willing to be versatile, able to be vulnerable but also strong when needed, and could let others lead when necessary but follow when called for, what kind of world do you think we’d live in?

Don’t tell me sex can’t heal us.

Don’t tell me sex isn’t an important statement on who and what we are as a people.

And don’t even think of telling me we’re okay.

I’m not crazy about standing up here and being the sex-positive poster-girl. I’m not enthused about the judgment or speculation it promises to hold for me. I’m not happy this job needs doing by anyone.

But there’s no one out there talking about sex for ME.

There’s no one *I* get. No one echoes the battles I’ve fought, the lessons I’ve learned, and the thoughts I’ve had in a way that really resonates.

And I know how alone I felt and how fucked up and self-judgey I was, and for how long.

Someone needs to speak for me.

So I will.

And hopefully it’ll mean a few other people feel spoken for.

Because I’m getting real fuckin’ tired of the people who’ve been doing all the talking so far.

Who I Am and Why I Bother

Hi, there. I’m Steff, and I’ll be your pilot.

I seem to be getting new readers every day, and I wonder what their reactions are when they get here. I’d like to say a little about myself and what my little mission is. So. Without ado.

Who am I? Well, I ain’t your standard-issue sex writer. I’m cute, but I’m more comfortable in jeans and a funky shirt than anything else. I ride a scooter. I listen to indie rock and know what the inside of a mosh pit looks like. I work with kids sometimes. I’m smart, I’m independent, I live alone, and I’d rather be single than in a less-than-filling relationship. I went to Catholic school as a kid, was elected to the student body in college, always had good grades, used to volunteer a lot, always have done well professionally, can work a room and schmooze with the best of ‘em, have never worked in a sex trade, haven’t had a lot of partners due to old-school ethics… Et cetera.

In short, I really am the good girl next door who likes to play a little bad from time to time. Any parent in the world would be thrilled to have me in the family, but god forbid they ever find the home videos.

As a result, being a do-gooder goodie-two-shoes for most of my life, coming to terms with my sexuality has been a long and hard path. I went through hellacious battles with self-esteem, with judgment, and with self-scrutiny. I wondered if giving head meant I was a whore. I was scared that being a hard-core lover girl in the bedroom would mean I’d find a $100 bill by the bed when I was through. I didn’t want to be this thing I had inside of me, this chick who wanted to tear into a guy’s flesh and devour him whole. It was dirty, wrong, and in God’s eyes, not something I should do. Sex was for procreation, not for entertainment, was the memo I’d gotten.

I was passionately religious in my youth, and it’s the case with anything I ever come to believe: I get behind it with a vengeance. Catholicism was no different. The Sound of Music was my favourite film (and I have the special edition on DVD now, heh — “the hills are alive with the sound…”). I wanted to be a nun. (It’s why there’s a really sexy nun in the banner of this site. Hell, she gets me hot. I like to imagine sometimes that I really did it, I became a nun, and some man some where gets me so goddamned riled that I throw down my Bible and my rosary and take ‘im down then and there. Well, there’s always role-playing.)

I kid you not, man, but every time they spoke of Jesus getting spikes driven through his wrists, I had to sit on my hand ‘cos I could imagine the pain of stigmata. I remember the funny look my mother gave me when I told her that at the age of eight. She said, slowly, “Well, that’s very… pious of you.”

It was fucked. I was intense. I drank the Kool-aid, and then I learned about the world at large in my teens. I began reading about cults, about the myth of religion, about the world religions, and I learned all the similarities and all the fear tools. I began asking why a god who was supposed to be love personnified would make us bodies that could know such incredible pleasure, and then sit back and laughingly tell us it was a sin to know it. Not the god I had in mind, I thought. I started walking away from organized faith while swearing to keep the ethic (and I have). Then began the slow process of learning to get past guilt.

Then that was followed by this process of really owning my self and my body on my own terms, learning about sexuality. I began seeing what the lack of sexual expression seemed to do to all the old housewives and husbands I knew. I knew I never wanted to get old that way. And I wanted to be alive now.

I then explored my sexuality in the confines of my relationships, and was doing really well at learning about my more confident self inside.

But then, life. Life threw me a curveball, tossed me some death and depression, heartache and loss, and I gained weight, lost my sex drive, and with it, a lot of my will to live life as it deserves to be lived. Whew, I fell apart for about three or four years, into this horrible cavernous place of blackness, despair, and shame.

Then, whammo. Got into an accident, should’ve died, didn’t, realized I was the luckiest bitch ever, and a stupid one for wasting my life, got my shit in gear, began losing weight, got back into writing, and started having some serious experiences in the circle of life once again.

Rediscovering my sexuality* for a second time, after literally learning that whatever didn’t kill me made me better, stronger, faster, has been a fucking miraculous experience. Every week I’m a better, cooler, sexier chick who’s more in touch with who she was than seven days previous.

So this place is as much a record of my journey – but with certain details kept for my enjoyment only – as it is a reflection of my anger for having to have fought this hard this long to get where I am now. Women, when it comes to sexuality, are the victims of a system that has idealized the notion of sex without ever really talking about what the real components of it should be. Men, therefore, are victimized by a system of their own making. Funny how that works. We live in a society that fucking worships sex and hasn’t got a goddamned clue how to have it. This, my friends, is the Age of Irony.

And some of us out here on our sexual soapboxes hope to turn the attention where it needs to be – on the fact that this is an act shared between consenting adults using only what “God” gave them, their bodies. How sex ever became perceived as being so amoral is beyond me. It can be wildly fun, tragically passionate, incredibly tender… sex can be anything you want it to be.

If you only know what you want.

And I guess that’s what my goal is. To play a small part in helping people learn what they want. By writing positively in an everyday gal kind of way about sexuality and about sex acts that are normally written by people who are, well, a little more enthusiastic and lifestyle-ish about it, I try to take what some might consider exceptional sex back into the realm of the ordinary.

I’m just an ordinary gal with an extraordinary appreciation of sex. And I like to share. So, welcome to my world. I hope you stick around awhile.

*The interesting thing is, the more I learn about my own sexuality, the more I realize I need to know about others’. Every human body is unique, but there are commonalities of experience, and the more we learn about others’ loves and needs, the more we’re able to adapt to our own. It’s when I stopped looking at just me for my growth that I finally began to grow. We need others. And sexuality, well, it’s about others.