I am cranky. I have been cranky for over a week. It’s been a lousy month at work for me, and just when I think it’s really crappy, it gets worse. Then, to top it all off, the only light of my life in the crack whore, junkie haven neighborhood that my office is in, leaves. No, not my buddies Thomas R. or Carol Q., I’m talking about Raging Stallion Studios, the gay porn company (formerly) around the corner from the GV offices. It used to be that trudging to work, avoiding stepping on needles walking through SF’s SOMA district, I’d occasionally get to see shirtless, hot gay male porn studs loading equipment in or out of vans. Ahhh, it was an oasis of carefree, heavily-hung boy-nymphs, in a sea of (often literal) shit, blood and puke. I work in a really, really bad neighborhood, and now the muscle-bunnies that added cheer to my life have departed to surely better pastures, ten blocks away.

Also, I am now an official living member of the "banned books" authors’ club, according to my publisher, Cleis Press. Apparently the concessions made between the right-to-lifers/decency groups and the library system is that only one book now need remain behind the counter — my fellatio book. This is very troubling, considering that free access to accurate sex information about basic sex acts — and fellatio is as basic as it gets — is difficult for folks with no money, the exact people at the highest risk for STD’s and viruses like HIV/AIDS. The good news is that both oral sex books are being translated into French — double entendres, anyone?

HIV is on my mind, of course, because of the outbreak that just hit the hetero porn industry based in LA — halting production in many (but not all) studios until June. Though I am not surprised, not at all. They do have access to the best testing you can get, the PCR-DNA test administered by AIM Healthcare, and a neat system for monitoring performers, testing them every 30 days. But despite the system, performers and directors are still not aware/educated, are ignorant, or just plain don’t care about risk assessment and transmission. It’s also possible that they don’t take risking peoples’ lives seriously, or have self-destructive tendencies. Regardless, if the porn I see is any indication, performers and whoever is in charge of making decisions around sex acts take risks that consistently undermine the use of (any) condoms on camera. Many also regularly make offensive and dangerously wrongheaded statements about HIV being a "gay" disease, whereas the gay porn industry simply practices *thoughtful* safer sex precautions, assuming that *everyone* is a carrier and acting accordingly (except for the shunned-but-fetishized barebacking fetish videos).

It’s not just porn performers and directors who are unaware/ignorant of HIV transmission; it’s practically the whole world. Which, by the way, the World Health Organization (2003 stats) puts HIV infection at 40+ million, with over 5 million new infections yearly. And with (currently) 26-28 million of those in Africa, and over 90% of those cases hetero transmission, you’ve got not only an epidemic, but a hetero — not a gay — plague. In the US, hetero transmission is the #3 way to become infected.

To me, that means that porn is a high-risk job, even if you’re one of the lucky ones that get tested regularly for working with the bigger studios — and you’re not a desperate performer with a pimp fucking with your head, or you live in Prague or Brazil (plenty of porn is shot in these inexpensive, no-condom, no testing locales), or you’re just too young or uneducated or addicted or depressed to know or care. Not everyone has the privilege to make informed decisions about risk. But in a job where you risk your life every day just to make a buck ($1600 for the non-condom double-anal that gave Lauren Roxx HIV), you at least should have the right to know the details on those risks. Of course, AIM does their utmost to educate new performers about physical and emotional risks, but there are vocal people in the adult industry who oppose this education, worried that AIM will frighten off the "new talent." (AVN, August 2003.) It’s making me really embarrassed for the whole human race that people willingly make others do things that might — nay, *will* — kill them to fatten their pockets, from certain pornographers to certain American presidents.

And yes, wearing a condom and then pulling it off to shoot come all over a girl’s pussy, ass, in her nose, or eyes, completely undermines the use of the condom altogether — for *many* infections and viruses, in addition to HIV. Get it? "Any percutaneous or permucoasl exposure to blood or bodily fluids…" That’s broken skin, open wounds, cuts and mucosal membranes — mouth, eyes, vagina, anus. (Source: WHO) Granted, the possibility of oral transmission of HIV is very low *in ideal conditions.* Lesson: don’t learn sex from porn. Check the safer sex chart.

So I’m cranky. I’ve lost many friends to HIV/AIDS over the years, and I just wish the world, governments, religions, and stupid "family" organizations didn’t stigmatize non-reproductive sex education. Also, I loaded OSX on my laptop and fucked it up — and last Friday I got pushed out of the SRL panel lineup by an egomaniac dude who never works at the shop but brags that he does, while I was stuck selling videos, having men and women ask me all night if my "boyfriend is in SRL", with a gash on my arm (now a scar) from working all day that day to build and haul robots to the venue for the show. But at least there are these cute pictures of me that day working on the big bots wearing one of the guys’ "Dum Bitch" hats.



The post Cranky appeared first on Violet Blue ® | Open Source Sex.

A Private Invitation

Well, now I can finally talk about it, now that it’s been posted on the local community arts resource (and resource for what’s happening in the real SF underground nightlife) the Squidlist. Months of hard work and intricate planning has led to an exclusive event, a dinner hosted by the Extra Action Marching Band, catered by SF gypsy restaurant Bistro E Europe, and with a roster of highly skilled musicians and performers, all at different elaborately constructed stages at undisclosed locations in the desert. It’s going to be like a crazy Emir Kusturica film meets Fellini, with a heavy dose of sex, alcohol and major costuming. It’s a formal dinner party in the middle of nowhwere. I’m on Extra Action’s email list, so I got to be one of the first to hear about it, and bought the expensive ticket right away — $100 to $150, you camp in the desert, and the official starting time is sundown, with the party officially over at sunrise. I’ve been working extra hard to be able to take time out from book deadlines to go — and it’s exactly the crazy, decadent break I’ve been dreaming of. The email read like this:

"This is a private and extremely special event and we want to let the people on this list know about it before we publicize it further… Setting Sail from a mystery location in Nevada…just before sunset to sunrise of the following day (should it arrive). Join the crew of La Contessa and Extra Action Marching Band… A High Desert Reinterpretation of Ancient Maritime Legend! La Contessa, The Great White Whale, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Sea Monsters, Treasure, and The Dreaded Sirens of Cocktail Island are all assembling for an epic journey!!!"

I’m so excited I could pee myself, except then there would be a mess. La Contessa is this amazing recreation of an authentic Spanish Galleon built around a bus, and though I haven’t seen it in person, looks in pictures to be amazing — I read about the engineering in an engineering magazine that fetaured it as a cover story, the designer being a cute horn player in the band himself. There’s a full deck, crow’s nests, a full bar inside, and I heard that the trapeze act will perform in the masts. Also, this local performace artist dude who is kinda funny if not just really quick-witted, Hal Robins will recite the "Rime of the Ancient Mariner" while the band plays accompanying music — meanwhile, the guests are to be ferried from isalnd to island in the desert for a formal dinner party and more performances. Who dreams this stuff up? Who cares — I readily coughed up the dough, and spent even more on a formal fetish outfit. That evening is promising a meteor shower delivering 60 shooting stars each hour, and all in all, I feel like I’m going to an adult Dinsneyland — better yet, a trip into my favorite parts of my all-time favorite movie, Black Cat, White Cat. Tonight I might be writing about porn videos that wish they could convey creativity and decadent sexual expression; this weekend I’ll be setting sail for La Dolce Vita in all its turbulence, chaos, sweaty sexuality, musical mayhem, loss and redemption, and alcoholic exuberance. I’m bringing lube, a whip, a camera, high heels, stay-put lipstick, a shimmery gown, goggles, instant espresso, and I’m shaving everything, because you never know what might happen out there, alone in the desert with 40+ gorgeous musicians and 100 strangers, at a formal, all-night party…

Other things on my mind: two "new," though not really at all new permutations of male sexual identity now floating around the collective conscious ether. One is the "Down Low" phenomenon, where men of color (primarily African-American) identify as straight but have sex with other men — it’s surprisingly common, HIV is a huge concern, and lots of these guys come from very macho environments — they keep their activities on the "down low." The other, my personal favorite (though till now they haven’t had a name) is the "metrosexual," guys who like women but are so comfy with their sexuality they mix masculine with feminine in their methods of dress, are groomed like gay men, and have associations of all sexual identities. It’s like this guy I know — he dyes his hair, wears nail polish, plays trumpet superbly in several bands around town, wears tight little t-shirts, sometimes wears a skirt/pasties, and always has girlfriends. One time I heard two macho dudes making fun of him, and I let them know that that my friend gets girl action more than any guy I’ve ever seen — and unlike the macho guys, he seems to know what to do with all the attention he gets. He wears it like a tailored suit.

The post A Private Invitation appeared first on Violet Blue ® | Open Source Sex.