It’s been a while, and you’d think that I’ve been busy, and while I have, sitting at the computer writing on deadline doesn’t really feel like I’ve been doing much of anything. No wild marching band parties, no porn screenings in local bars, no experiments with crazy sex toys (though I have clocked some quality time with my new pal Woody, and have updated other parts of Tiny Nibbles extensively). I did get out last Sunday for brunch with the sexy, smart and super-prolific Alison Tyler. I work with her publishing her stories in the Good Vibes Magazine and in my books, but have only met her in person once before. She’s like the nicest person in the world, and we share a lot of the same goals with our sex writing: to make books for people that are sex- and pleasure-positive, show sexy and kinky situations that have happy endings, to inspire others with these happy endings to try it at home, and to work on projects mainly because they’re fun and we have lots of ideas. Working with as many other writers as Alison and I do, we see all kinds of motives, and though we’ll probably never make a million bucks or be famous, we were both happy to find kindred spirits in each other. I also know that her and I write as much as we do because we just can’t help it. Plus, I know how incredibly talented she is, and shaping stories with her is a blast. And a turn-on.
Last night we had one of our Continuing Education nights at Good Vibes; CE nights are quarterly classes that supplement the ongoing trainings, required reading and viewing lists and 21-hour training program that is all required for sales associates. The CE nights cover current sex issues (the first one I attended 5 years ago was on Viagra) and feature speakers from outside the company, so they can be incredibly educational. Last night’s topic was transgender issues, and covered pretty much everything you’d ever need to know about both male-to-female and female-to-male trans issues surrounding sexual response and sex identity. Wow, what an eye opener. The speakers were amazing, the drop-dead gorgeous female speaker was from LYRIC, and the funny, smart man who spoke teaches at SF State. I learned about the different surgeries, their effects on sexual response, hormones (testosterone and estrogen programs as prescribed by doctors), how trans people see their bodies sexually before and after transition, and what sex toys trans people might want to use. I also learned that language and political correctness is a moving target among the trans community, because definitions change constantly (and are hotly contested).
But the basic rules of thumb seem to be pretty obvious and common-sensical — refer to the person as the gender they prefer, no matter what they look like. If you’re in doubt, ask. I think that confidentially asking "what pronoun do you prefer" is way better than the scene I witnessed several months ago at Berkeley’s Tilden Park Little Farm Petting Zoo. I love animals, so I trekked up there on my Honda GB500 to check out the new litter of piglets, and pet them right alongside Berkeley’s notoriously obnoxious yuppie moms and a couple of indeterminate gender. One of the blonde highlighted, Starbucks-swillin’ moms loudly said to the nearest in the couple, "excuse me sir, but you should give the rest of us a chance." I witnessed a scene that undoubtedly happens to the people in the couple somewhat regularly, where the person addressed summoned strength in the crowd and said, "I am a woman." A few minutes later over by the bunnies and far away from the crowd, I found the woman who was not a "sir" sobbing into her hands while her partner comforted her. Granted, situations like these may not happen as often as they do in major cites, especially the Bay Area, but when 15% percent of queer kids at centers like LYRIC identify as trans or trans-questioning, it’s high time for a wake-up call as far as how everyone defines gender and sexual identity. It’s time to get loose, and get tolerant of self-defined healthy sexuality.
Final notes: I didn’t win the local weekly’s "Best of the Bay" award for Best Local Erotic Website, but ErosGuide did, and that’s where my pal sweet-pea Cara Bruce works, so that’s just as cool. Still, it doesn’t seem fair, Erosguide being a huge commercial sprawling commerce site and all, serving all sorts of non-local communities, but those SF Bay Guardian "Best Of" categories are pretty bogus anyway. If you haven’t read this article about porn being mainstream, you should. My favorite little book this week is How to be A Villian, and I love the show Nip Tuck. Now, off to the lab to create an army of femmebots.
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