Off the record

trust me, I'm a girlSubject: burn the NYT clown
“Violet – the largely-fictional NYT needs no protection. It’s coasted on an undeserved reputation for far too long.

Print his e-mail. Burn him, and burn that little bung who excreted the xenisucks site.

Chechen rules apply:
no mercy
no prisoners
no exceptions”

Subject: Post it!
“Why in the hell is a journalist telling you that a conversation is ‘off the record?’ Aren’t these the same people who say blogs aren’t journalism or a source of news? Seems to me he wants to have his cake and munch on it too. Post it, darlin’!”

I’m telling you something, but it’s totally off the record.

Of course, this is all in reference to the New York Times writer who starred in my post when a man hates a woman, who wrote me an epic email response a couple days ago but prefaced the whole thing with “this is off the record”. I’ve heard this twice in the past week, and each time it’s been from someone who just publicly did something really shitty to me or someone I care about. But what’s really troubling about this line of thinking in regards to the xenisucks site, and what it represents in regards to white naked hatred of women, and the culture of silence in which the NYT has participated in by sending them traffic and painting it as a humor site, is something (I think) the world really, really needs to stop being silent about. “Don’t talk about it” is tantamount to the tacit agreement made between abuser and those who witness abuse; like the victim somehow deserved it, and silence = shame.

Well, fuck that. Why did the NYT writer send me an epic email “off the record”? What’s he afraid of — what his male peers think of him — or is he worried he won’t have the friendship of the xenisucks guy anymore? Why would someone be afraid of distancing themselves from someone like xenisucks guy? Especially since in his email to me, he claims to desire distance from xenisucks. Lots of questions, no answers. I have more than a few answers, after the jump.

gun girl 3* * * * * * *

Here’s the email, with my responses to his criticism and questions (noted with **asterisks**).

Hi Violet

II hope you are well. I just want to clarify a few things, if I may.
This isn’t for publication or anything, and I am speaking only for myself.

**Good to know. Since this is a blog and not journalism, it’s technically not publishing then, is it? Also, most writers understand not to write down things that are off the record and send them to strangers.**

I don’t mind you criticizing my column, but, first of all, I wish you
wouldn’t lump me in with the xenisucks cretin. It’s a completely
wrong and unfair characterization. Just for starters, I’m a big fan
of Xeni’s, and I often cite Boingboing’s fine work in my column. But
worse, the guy is a creep, and I don’t think I am a creep.

**You made it very easy for me to lump you in with him because you literally made his hate into the equivalent of “dipping pigtails into the inkwell” (your words), you gave the guy a link and tons of traffic, and made it seem humorous. Looked like you thought it was funny. If you’re such a big fan of Xeni’s, why didn’t you link to her site instead of xenisucks?**

This item wasn’t by any means a “pat on the back” for Sharp. Quite
the opposite — he was there because I thought he had made a
ridiculous ass of himself. The headline, after all, was “Worst. Hate
site. Ever.” I hinted that I thought he had a crush on Xeni and that
this was his emotionally stunted way of acting on it. And your blog
item is the first time I’ve ever heard that a comparison to Comic
Book Guy could actually be interpreted as a compliment.

**Maybe it’s time to explain the weird ways of blogging and the web to The Real Journaists. When you write about someone, you are validating what they do — how you validate that depends on what position you take. You express your position on this validaiton by clearly stating your position. You had a choice: you could have said this is weird and fucked up and linked to Xeni, who is not weird and fucked up. But instead you *joked* about it and linked to the weird and fucked up guy. This, to us bloggers, means you like this guy enough to use the New York Times and all it represents to give the xenisucks asswipe an Offical Link. You gave him traffic, dumbass — you gave him all the validation he ever needed that what he was doing is Good and Right. When a blogger sees their stats spin out of control, they think “yeah, people agree with me!” and they go further with whatever they are doing. Which is why when you LINKED HIM FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES you gave him the blogging equivalent of a blowjob.**

I know there has been some backlash about the item, and while I
appreciate much of it as fair criticism (like, should I have included
the item at all? I still think it was fair game, but I acknowledge
and appreciate the opposite viewpoint) but some of it is simply not
fair. Worst is the idea that I was in any way endorsing the guy.
Writing about something is not the same as endorsing it.

**Actually, it is. Ssssh, it’s a big secret — bad publicity is still publicity. See above, as this is where you and the world of blogs differ in a major way. I’m not saying you should not have written about it, I’m saying *the congratulatory way you wrote about it* made me sick to my stomach. I am not advocating silence.**

Also, you
claim that the item is full of errors. I’m all ears on what those
errors were. If I got something wrong, please let me know and I’ll
request a correction.

**I have a difficult time beleiving you’d rush to fix errors on my behalf when you’re clearly too embarrassed about contacting me to even do so “on the record”. Here’s one: I’m no expert on the internets, but I used Google to find out that Rick Karr hadn’t been at NPR for over a year and had only infrequently been on NPR since 2005, so him and Xeni are not the “colleagues” your piece claimed, not by a long shot. (“with Ms. Jardin’s colleague, Rick Karr, who reports technology and culture for public radio.”) She has a weekly gig as a regular contributor; to say that they are colleagues is a stretch and a very sneaky way for you to give readers the wrong impression that ‘even her co-workers agree with xenisucks’. Without you leading the reader in this questionable manner, it gives a different impression entirely.**

pink pistols posterAlso, at the time I wrote the item, which was the day after Xeni
herself linked to it, the guy hadn’t gone beyond merely being an ass.
An enraged ass, yes, but not a dangerous one that I saw. If I had
seen anything that seemed like it could be threatening or truly
disturbing, I would not have included this item at all. If he started
hinting at violence, or whatever, it was after I submitted my column.
I didn’t really comb through the site after that, though I did
quickly look at it (mostly just to make sure it was still there
before publication), and never saw anything like that on there. All I
saw was idiocy, And it was getting a lot of attention online — the
blog was cited and heavily discussed on Metafilter and Wikipedia
before I had ever heard of it. Idiocy that gets a lot of attention
online is often the subject of my kickers.

**It was a real kicker. This goes back to the original point in my first post — you don’t take women being threatened seriously, at all. You don’t SEE what a woman sees when she is stalked and threatened. Did you link to it because Xeni did? Did you get the context of her link? It’s a lesson in blog linking to people who hate you and mean you harm.**

I hope I was able to clarify my position a bit. Ironically, I had
assumed that if anyone were going to be upset over the item, it would
be Sharp himself.

**Is this part a joke?**



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My guide to SF, adventures in braille and… Come tasting!

paintedladies.jpg* Metroblogging San Francisco beat me to… blogging about new stuff at Tiny Nibbles! About to land in the left sidebar is my guide to San Francisco, posted last night by Jason DeFillippo who sweetly wrote, “San Francisco’s favourite sex columnist and media maven Violet Blue has launched her guide to the saucy side of San Francisco. It has tips for the sexual tourist as well as awesome recommendations on places to grab a bite, generally hang out and enjoy this fine city.”

* Check out Hornboy’s super-awesome Braille resource page, including a list of blind bloggers and podcasters.

* And… I’m totally in love with The Taste Tester girl, a girl who is a blog who is detailing her experiments with flavoring her boyfriend’s spunk — and it’s as interesting as it is arousing to read. It goes down smooth with my podcast, How do you taste? I especially love her post titles, like Sex Good, Broccoli Bad and sidebar categories like Yuck!

* Now I’m going to do some blog tinkering; I have some hot stuff to blog about but want to fix a few things first… coming soon, dealing with the NYT writer, more possible YouTube discriminatory censorship on other blogs and other stuff — like what’s in The Adventurous Couples Guide to Sex Toys! (Hint: bend over boyfriend, how girls can have crazy orgasms during intercourse/oral sex/strap-on sex, a full-on teledildonics how-to chapter, sex machines, super high-end sex toys…)

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Writers, ropes, boobs, blogs (and a hangover)

shibari* New York Times writer and star of my post when a man hates a woman sent me an epic email yesterday, but prefaced the whole thing with “this is off the record”. One wonders, why bother? What do you think, dear readers — should I post *my* responses to his “off the record” crit of my post, since *I’m* not afraid to speak about this issue?

* Village Voice columnist and cupcake hottie Rachel Kramer Bussel has a nice roundup of the Cake debate, wherein she smears her boobies with frosting, and — oops, my bad. She posts about Cake’s contribution to the downfall of civilization as we know it in The Politics of Cake.

* My bestest pal, prolific erotica author Alison Tyler has a blog! Yay!

* I’ve been immortalized in rope! Celebrated rope bondage (shibari) expert Twisted Monk has made a color of the month in my honor! It’s really beautiful, and sold in a limited supply. Like me. I’m extra-blushing over the name — The Unstoppable Miz Violet Blue — and the text:

“This month’s color is in honor of the one and only Ms Violet Blue; author, activist, sex educator, podcaster, blog star, and possibly one of the sexiest women on-line. The color, much like the rope’s namesake, is a vibrant and complex mix. A deep violet with subtle shades of purple and blue mixed in make this a striking rope that looks almost iridescent when photographed. salutes this asset to the sex positive movement and wishes her many more years of success.”

* I have a big interview with Fatty D (April Flores) on Fleshbot right now, where she talks about her amazing video, peeing in public and her upcoming saturday appearance at San Francisco’s Kink Ink as a human canvas. I can’t wait to meet her in the ahem, flesh, at the event!

* My Onion horoscope is: “Virgo August 23 – September 22: While it’s often understood that racism, by nature, is born of ignorance, your claims this week that the Irish control the media will still seem particularly uneducated.” My bad. Well, I’m only *half* Irish anyway. When my other half — Portuguese — takes over the media, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

* Yesterday Jonno and I got in a tiffle over the use of the word “poon” on Fleshbot. I am now convinced that gay men love the poon. His last reponse to me was “poon poon poon poon pooon poon pooooooooooooooooooon POOOOOOOOOOOOON.”

* Last night I got stood up. I don’t know if it was a date, or just meeting someone for a drink, but I found myself alone and looking like femmebait nursing a drink at 8:30 last night at the Lucky 13, a bar I actually hate. It was half an hour after the agreed-on meet time, and I was sitting there with my phone, trying to look like I was doing something other than drinking a way too strong drink by myself. Which I was. But then… an SRL member happened by! It was happy time, and more drinks were bought. Then I got a call from other robot peeps, out of the blue, who happened to be nearby and… more drinks were bought! We chatted and ranted about machining and CNC routers, robot combat and the Long Now clock and the Rosetta Project. I later found myself outside a different bar nibbling on a robot-welder girl’s neck (who shall now be known here as Evil Bunny). Then, walking on the way home, I toddled over to a friends‘ house in a joyfully inebriated state — which is a fun way to deal with being stood up, by the way — and being the dutiful sex educators they are, let me in and made me… another drink. I spilled it, but good times were had, and we blabbed about old punk songs, disease transmission, and all kinds of fun stuff.

My head hurts, but I’m thinking I need to get stood up more often.

* Image via Diva’s Debauchery: Shibari, column by Midori.

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violet at the exploratorium
Hope this works! looks extra hella cool. Here’s my text:

Liz Hickok’s amazing installation San Francisco in Jell-O was featured as part of the earthquake exhibit at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, last saturday, April 1st. This is my video of the teeny-tiny jello SF; I was sad it was only of the Exploratorium neighborhood and bay (and not the whole city), but it was really really cool nonetheless. Liz is talking, shaking the little city to make it look like an earthquake, and there is fake fog (!) being blown across the mini-city the entire time. There was a huge line to see this, and everyone was smiling from ear to ear. Photo: self-portrait of me at the Exploratorium.

* * * * * * *

Watch the Video

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Let them eat… You know

rachel and her cupcakesLast week local paper SF Weekly ran a seven page article about Cake, the New York grrrl-power sexy party, who had their debut San Francisco party a few weeks back. I met Emily from Cake at the Center for Sex and Culture where we both shared the stage to celebrate the release of Carol‘s new book, Whipped. Emily was cute and smart and cool; she gave me a free copy of the Cake book and we chatted and joked. I didn’t make it to the party, even though my Stockroom Forum pal Midori was going.

I joked a few posts ago about the article, saying how it was hilarious the author Eliza Strickland made references to Playboy (and how dated that is, all by itself). But when I really dug into the article, I was actually pretty shocked that something so sex-negative, and olde-tyme anti-porn had made it as a viable piece about a women’s sex party in a local paper. The article wasn’t really about Cake, but was instead a grandstand for the writer to promote her views on women and porn, her extremely negative perceptions about sex workers, and make some seriously sweeping judgments about women who go to (and enjoy) events like Cake parties. I guess it just really bugs me that our local papers never seem to get what’s going on in the vibrant, exciting and edgy world of sexual San Francisco, which is always more evident when we get visits from sex-positive friends from other places. I’m saddened that Cake was treated to such distaste for free expression of female sexuality, because that’s not what we do here. We’re critical, yes, but we understand that fundamentally we’re all on the same side.

I interviewed Emily from Cake today and she gave us her opinion on the piece — and in my mind, what the article should have been about, the party — at SFist, in SFisting: We Ogle The Weekly’s Rack With Cake.

Image: the OG hottie of cupCAKEs and Lusty Lady-ness, Rachel Kramer Bussel, by Paul Sarkis.

I discussed the views put forth in the article heatedly and at length last saturday with Annalee Newitz and Charlie Anders; how could someone be so out of touch with sexuality in San Francisco? I knew sex workers who went to the Cake party — off the clock, or rather, off the brass pole — and just had a plain old fun time. But Strickland’s article saw the women at Cake thusly: “Women who go to Cake parties haven’t seen or experienced the horrors brought up by people like Farley [anti-sexwork feminist quoted throughout the article]. It’s a pretty safe bet that nobody at the Impala was contemplating a career as a sex worker, that none of the attendees had ever been slapped around by a pimp or spent a six-hour shift pole-dancing for ranks of leering men. These unscarred, prosperous girls were just playing.”

Honestly, if you read the article out loud and take a drink every time you say “objectify”, “male gaze”, “feminist”, and “prostitute”, you will get totally wasted. I *knew* Cake was a party! Woo-hoo!

Everything about Strickland’s article was just plain wrong, from the fact that she didn’t even bother to write about the party and contrived a ridiculous link between Cake parties, sex work and porn — to the hateful quotes from anti-prostitution feminists. If you’re going to go *there*, why not ask the unionized women at the local worker-owned Lusty Lady how they feel, too? In the end, Strickland tells us “that when real female sexual empowerment comes along, it will look quite different.” My question is, that since she still thinks women’s sexuality is Playboy magazine, how the fuck will *she* know?

Someone please tell Eliza Strickland that women who like sex are not *whores*.

And as for whores, some of them them really like thier jobs — a favorite comment is from a friend who told me that she went into escorting “because there’s nothing more humiliaitng that waitressing”.

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Tantus loves me

tantus goodiesThis I know. Because my butt plug tells me so. Sing along with me, people!

There was a huge box on my doorstep today; a giant gift from Tantus Silicone. Metis, the woman behind Tantus, is one of my heroes — because I think she single-handedly mainstreamed silicone toys, getting these safe, incredibly pleasurable toys into garden-variety porn shops. It was no small feat; not many people know how insane something like that was to undertake, and to get these smart products into in such an old-boys’ network. She’s worked tirelessly, patiently for years educating creepy old porn distributors as to why they should even care about what people stick into their bodies, and what responsible sex toy retailing means — all to an industry that historically doesn’t give a shit. Now you can find Tantus products *almost everywhere*, including even jack shacks in seedy parts of town all over the US. You go, girl. She is seriously St. Fuckin’ Metis.

Anyway, I sniffed her panties over all of this big time on the Stockroom Forums, and she sent me this incredible thank-you gift. We are all in this together. Jesus in a sparkly rubber thong, I can’t wait to find playmates to review the goodies with!

Pictured: black vibrating FeelDoe Stout (eeheehee!), purple G-Force, purple Bend Over Beginner Harness Kit, copper Ripple Plug, purple vibrating Pro Touch Plug, and a couple things I can’t idenitfy, like the white dildo — which I’m particularly excited about because white dildos are hard to find — and the Charmer dildo; the red thing I have no idea what it is. I’m guessing it’s for clit stim worn on a guy’s cock/balls as a cock ring, or fitted onto/into a harness and dildo rig for clit stim. Please *don’t* tell me if you know. I’m ready to dust off Tiny Nibbles’ Research Labs for the good of Planet Earth to find out. Fortunately for me, Earthlings are easy and “anal probe” is already in the lexicon.

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