Sara Dopp, founder of Genderfork and longtime brilliant blogger and social media mobilizer extraordinaire has a very important new project and I want you to know about it. The idea is this: creating an online marketplace where people can sell clothing and accessories to each other and share ideas and tips about how to look the way they want to look without being constrained by department store fashions. The idea is particularly important for those of us who don't find clothing that both represents our gender expressions and and also fits our bodies at the same time. In Sara's words this would be:
a genderplayful, body-positive, fashion-savvy online marketplace. This would be a space where people sell to each other (like Ebay and Etsy), with a focused emphasis on solving all of our wardrobe problems. Together.
We’d pull in a mix of indie clothing designers, body-savvy tailors for custom alterations, small business clothing shops, crafters, and folks who want to share things from their closet. All with a celebratory and problem-solving emphasis on creating clothes that fit our genders, styles, and bodies.
If you prefer video explanations, I think you'll enjoy this one:
I love community-driven solutions to real people's actual problems. There are too many manufactured "solutions" to artificially constructed problems. Are you interested? Let Sara know. This can't be done without evidence that people want and need it. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, check out the genderfork post about the marketplace, comment here or there, or make a video of your own explaining why you need this kind of marketplace.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Gina is a friend of mine and I am huge fan of her work. She is a master at creatively pushing past the present in life, sexuality and spirit, and opening up new paths that didn't seem there before. I've attended her workshops and always come away with new and unexpected openings; and the group experience is very life-enancing. You can go to her beautiful website, http://www.ginaogden.com/ to get a sense of what I'm talking about. Hope to see you there on Friday! Rebecca Chalker, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Women's and Gender Studies, Pace University, New York City; author of The Clitoral Truth.
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:
When 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.
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.
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:
- Sugarbutch Chronicles
- Kink On Tap
- Inside the Oversexed Mind of Gloria Brame
- Waking Vixen
- Dr. Petra Boynton
Click here and browse the list. Find your familiar favorites and dive into some new reading, too!
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.