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Elizabeth's picture

The Next Leaders of the Movement?

The notion of "queer" presents a challenge to the indentity politics logic of the contemporary gay rights movement and these young people get why that's a problem now. Listen to them.

Reteaching Gender and Sexuality from PUT THIS ON THE MAP on Vimeo.

I am going to get back to blogging soon, and if I can keep my head together, I may well start with this because it's a theme that's been on my mind for a long time. i think that the identity politics focus of the gay rights movement over the past decades has been truly helpful but I think we are outgrowing its usefulness. What's next? How do we fight for rights without attaching them to identities? I think the answer lies in a human rights framework, but shifting the movement is a bit like turning a ship - it doesn't happen on a dime. 

More thoughts to come as I recreate some balance in my life.

 

My first whore job

Once I made the decision to do sex work, the rest was fairly easy.  At the time, Craigslist was a wide-open playing field for sex work of all kinds under the "Erotic Services" section.  The only problem I really had was my inexperience and ignorance of the Atlanta market.  I had no idea what I was worth as a whore.  I didn't know anything about being a sex worker at all!  

I placed an ad on Craigslist, specifically mentioning that it was my first time, and watched the emails pour in, one after the other.  I didn't have any reason to pick the guy that I did, other than I had a good vibe off of our limited email interactions.  We arranged to meet at the hotel where he was staying for work and we agreed on a price for my time - $100.00 but no penetration, only a hand job.  

Don't tell anyone: I'm a whore

Thank you to Sex in the Public Square for giving me the space to write.  

Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Julia B. Adams.  Here's what you need to know in order to catch up with where I want to begin writing.  I'm almost 40-years-old, I've been married for about 10 years and we have two daughters.  In fact, I'm not all that different from my friends, peers, and colleagues - graduate degrees, careers, families, home life.  

I have a confession to make.  I'm not anything like them.  Julia B. Adams is not my real name.  I don't dare give you my real name because I've done something so bad that if others knew, I would risk damaging everything that matters to me: my family and my career.  Some people would treat us very differently.  People would condemn my husband, causing him to feel worse about this than he already does.  Our daughters lives' would be changed forever.  So what is this hideous crime?  I had sex for money.  

That's it.  

richnewman's picture

Perverts of Color - A Call For Submissions

I saw this call for submissions in a comment thread on Alas and since I thought it would interest people who visit this site, I am posting it here:

Elizabeth's picture

How Do I Love Thee, Scarleteen

Scarleteen bannerWhen I was coming of age sexually there was no Scarleteen. And I was fortunate enough not to need it. If there is such a thing as a charmed introduction into one’s own sexuality, I had it. I had an open-minded mother who, without batting an eye, answered questions like “What’s a peckerhead?” when I was 8, and who bought me a copy of Our Bodies Ourselves when I was in my mid-teens. I had little formal sex ed in school but plenty of books at my disposal (including a copy of The Hite Report that I found in the basement in a box of old books). As a younger teenager I masturbated and was not ashamed, and when I decided I wanted to have sex, at 17, with my 22-year old boyfriend, I talked to my mother about it and despite thinking I was too young she understood that it was my decision and she took me to Planned Parenthood. To add to my good fortune, my mother's sister worked as a nurse at our local Planned Parenthood and so my mother and I both had plenty of confidence in the clinic.

I had high school boyfriends who, no more sexually experienced than I, were equally urgent in the fumbling explorations we pursued while never making me feel guilty for not “going all the way.” The aforementioned 22-year old boyfriend was sweet and gentle and playful when I decided I was ready for intercourse, and afterwards we drank milk out of wine glasses and read the comics in his most recent Playboy.

In college I felt free to explore sexually with my bisexual boyfriend and later came to realize my attraction to women in an environment that was open and supportive to that. When I introduced my first girlfriend to my family they were welcoming, and later when I married a man while disavowing monogamy they were accepting of that too.

richnewman's picture

Fragments of Evolving Manhood: Korea 1

With a half-finished bottle of soju sitting on the floor between us, and another two waiting to be opened, we settled in, my friend Mr. Lee and I, for an evening of drinking in my very small seven-and-a-half pyong apartment in the part of Seoul known as Chamshil. I lived in the the Ju-gong Apartment Complex, where the English Training Center (ETC), the hagwon, or private language school, that had hired me to each for the year housed all its faculty. We were not far from the Olympic Stadium, where the opening ceremonies for the 1988 Summer Olympics had been held. In fact, some of my colleagues and I had watched the ceremonies from the roof of my building. Mr. Lee had been a student in one of my classes, and when it was over, he asked if he could be my friend. When I said yes, he suggested this night of drinking as a way to cement that friendship.

Elizabeth's picture

SITPS is listed among 2010's Best Sex Blogs!

Top 100 Sex Bloggers 2010 Logo by Dangerous Lilly

 What a treat it was to log into Twitter and see Anthony Kennerson (@Anthony_JK) tweeting that we'd been listed by Between My Sheets as one of the 100 top sex blogs of 2010. The team at SITPS came in at #44 and is surrounded by such several good friends (in whose company I am always delighted to be). 

I can't say the list made sense to me given that there were several blogs I'd have ranked much higher than this one, but I'm certainly not unhappy about any affirmation of what we do here at Sex In The Public Square.

Five of my favorites on the list - and there are LOTS of wonderful blogs listed - in no particular order because all are fabulous, are:

Click here and browse the list. Find your familiar favorites and dive into some new reading, too!

Elizabeth's picture

Reflections on Outness

Logos for National Coming Out Day by Marius Valdes

By my count, I've been out for 17 years, since late winter of 1993, when I began telling my family that I had a girlfriend, and that they would be meeting her at my college graduation. I suppose I'd been out to varying degrees before that (out to friends, out in class) but for me opening out my family was my first sense of "coming out." My family was very encouraging, and I felt very lucky to have come out in such supportive circumstances.

What I've learned over and over since then is that coming out is never over. This is true for a couple of different reasons. One is that we change and as we change we need to keep coming out. Another is that we continually meet new people who were not part of our lives during our initial coming out process and so we are always coming out to the new people in our lives. 

I came out first as lesbian. I thought that I had left romantic and sexual relationships with men behind when I discovered my desire and love for women. Later I met a man who made me rethink that. I found myself deeply attracted to him despite his gender and realized that I'd created an artificial wall for myself between my ideas about gender and my ideas about sexual orientation. In terms of gender I was willing to accept a range of expression and a lack of anything more that socially constructed reality behind the discreet categories of "man" and "woman." Indeed in thinking about my own gender I much more often felt like someone who existed in the borderlands between gender categories than like someone who was entirely "woman". Yet, during my process of opening up sexually, I had kept a tight boundary around my sexual orientation, linking it only to women for a couple of years until this man caused me to reexamine my desires.

Elizabeth's picture

The Freedom To Be Whole

Goddess Temple, Indian Springs, Nevada

 When I was at Woodhull Freedom Foundation's National Sexual Freedom Day press conference on September 23rd I participated in a video interview project exploring what sexual freedom means to people. To me, sexual freedom means the freedom to be my whole self instead of having to hide the parts of myself that relate to my sexuality. 

Paul Berese, the videographer (from quimera.tv) asked me for an example of a place where I don't feel free to be my whole self. The first place that came to mind was "at work." I stumbled around a bit trying to explain. At work I do not discuss the lovers I have but to whom I am not married. I do not have many family pictures out, but the ones I do have are only of my legal family. If I am invited to a campus event and Will, my life partner and the person to whom I am happily married, cannot come, I do not bring another partner. I have a few friends at work to whom I am out as polyamorous, but it is not something that is easy to share routinely. 

There are much starker examples of where people have had their freedom limited because of their sexuality. This week alone I read about Melissa Petro, 30-year-old New York City school teacher who was removed from her classroom and placed on administrative duty because she had the audacity to write freely about her past experiences as a sex worker and about, Anderson Cooper reported on Michigan Assistant Attorney General ... writing a blog that stalks the openly gay student body president of University of Michigan, including an image of a rainbow flag superimposed with a swastika and the word "resign" (YouTube here, with image at :48), and a college student who killed himself after his sexual interactions with another man were broadcast live via iChat without his knowledge (and this in a month where at least 5 gay teens have committed suicide.)*

Simply speaking about your sexuality can cost you your job. Shame and stigma surrounding sexuality can cost one one's life.

richnewman's picture

Fragments of Evolving Manhood: Thinking About Pornography 2

A white woman’s mouth in the act of swallowing a white man’s penis fills the screen of my TV. Almost directly in the center of the picture, the shape of his organ glides back and forth against the inside of her left cheek. Panning back, the camera shows her kneeling on all fours in front of him, her lips engulfing and expelling his genitals as if she were the only movable part of a well-oiled machine. She looks up at him and asks, with a lust-filled and mischievous grin, “Does that feel good?”

“You suck a mean cock, Cherry,” he answers, his tone flat, as if he were reading her name out of the phone book.

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