Sex ed, nerd-style

Feminine person with long hair and red fingernails browses books on a bookstore shelf

Content note: This entry discusses different ways of learning about sex and kink. As part of that, it also talks about abortion, AIDS/HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), and very briefly mentions fantasies about non-consent and bestiality.

What were you taught about sex as you grew up? What/how did you teach yourself? Who taught you the most?

I was lucky.

I had parents who bought their daughters a picture book about pregnancy and giving birth, complete with black-and-white photos of a baby coming out of a vagina. (This was in 1970s Western Europe, for those of you wondering.) I had a mother who openly talked to her daughters about bodies and sexuality. Sure, all of her information assumed cisgender people and heterosexuality, and she didn’t go much beyond the bare basics of anatomy terms (no cutesy language for anything!), menstruation facts, and baby-making fundamentals. But she did mention pleasure (even if she didn’t elaborate on it), and she did teach us that we have a clitoris.

Looking back, I assume few other kids around me at the time had gotten as much accurate information about sex and related matters as early on (or at all). I have to give my mother props for giving us this kind of sex ed because she certainly hadn’t gotten anything like that in her own youth. I’m sure it wasn’t always easy for her, especially since she is an extremely private person in terms of her own sexuality.

I was lucky.

I had parents who, as soon as I could read, made sure I always had access to a library  and never restricted any of my reading choices or shamed me for them. By the time I had become a teenager, I had developed a strong habit of hitting the library whenever I wanted to know more about something beyond the bits and pieces I was taught at school or at home. So, as soon as I realized that puberty was becoming a thing in my life, I of course started reading all the sex ed books the local libraries offered and learned all the theory about menstruation, contraception, and sexuality, whether it was technically age-appropriate or not. By the time I was about fifteen, I read Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden and Shere Hite’s The Hite Report: A study on female sexuality alongside the occasional sex and relationship advice column of youth magazines. For me, there was no such thing as too much knowledge, and knowledge could be found almost anywhere. I can’t even remember the first time I came across the concept of lesbians or bisexuality. It was all just part of the general stream of fascinating information I had tapped into — as were detailed descriptions of (cis) women’s masturbation techniques from The Hite Report and fantasies about sadomasochism, non-consent, or bestiality that were included in My Secret Garden. I don’t remember ever being disturbed or seriously confused by anything I read. I just filed it all away under “huh, interesting.”

This probably makes me sound like I was one of those girls who started having sex way before everyone else, right? Yeah, no. I was pretty much the opposite of that. I was intellectually precocious and found sexuality an intriguing subject to learn about, but I was a late bloomer physically and socially. I was the girl who couldn’t wait for her period to finally start so I would finally be accepted into the circle of those in the know. I was the girl who didn’t even start kissing anyone until I was fifteen. I was the girl who never had a single teenage relationship — no “do you want to go out with me? check yes/no/maybe” notes, no romantic hand-holding, no “heavy petting” with a fellow teenager, no nothing. Instead, I was the girl who knew everything and had done almost nothing (except, eventually, kiss various boys at various parties and have epic, one-sided crushes).

I was lucky.

I have always had access to reproductive care. I have always been able to get an insurance-covered prescription for the birth-control pill, should I ever have needed it (I didn’t). I knew about emergency contraception (the “morning-after pill”) before I ever had sex (and I have used it more than once after a condom unexpectedly broke). I have always had access to a legal abortion, should I ever have needed one (I didn’t, but both my mother and my sister have had abortions — my mother had a horrific experience with a backstreet abortionist in the 1960s which she has briefly mentioned to me exactly once and never told her husband about in almost forty years of marriage; my sister has been to a nice, clean, quiet office of an actual licensed medical doctor in the 1990s, even though she still had to go through the state-mandated process of forced “counselling” and a several-day mandatory waiting period before she could get her unwanted pregnancy terminated).

I was the girl who wrote a lengthy and obsessively researched article for her school paper about abortion (100% pro-choice; no ifs, ands, or buts) which nearly got that edition banned by the school’s principal (one of my proudest achievements in my entire school career). I was the girl who could list at least five different contraception methods and their relative safety off the top of my head and work that information into a random conversation with my schoolmates if it seemed necessary (and it often did). Before I ever had any kind of sex with anyone.

I was lucky.

I have never been sexually active without the threat of AIDS (well, technically, now I am, because an HIV infection usually doesn’t kill health-insured people in Western Europe anymore — but that’s a very recent development). Unlike many people just a few years older than me, I have never had to stop doing sexual things I enjoyed just because there suddenly was a risk of literally dying from a mysterious and incurably lethal sexually transmitted infection. I always knew about the necessity of safer sex. I have never had penetrative sex that didn’t include some kind of barrier over the penetrating body part: a condom, a glove, a finger cot.

In fact, in the late 1990s and early 2000s (I had come out as queer by then, which had of course also been a subject of many trips to the library), I spent a long time practically studying safer sex, especially safer sex beyond “use condoms for penis-in-vagina-or-anus sex.” I collected every single safer sex brochure I could find, no matter who it had been written for: heterosexual vanilla people, women who had sex with women, men who had sex with men, sex workers of all genders, gay male BDSM practitioners, adventurous straight(ish) folks, teenagers of any gender… Back then, I found that gay/bi male kinksters got the broadest range of information in the most detail, that straight people could count themselves lucky if they ever even heard about gloves as a safer sex item, and that everyone could probably benefit from using more (quality) lube for more sex acts. I also found that almost no one thought that women who had sex with women needed any kind of safer sex information altogether (which is why there never was more than one brochure for us in print at a time, across this whole European country — compared to dozens each that addressed various groups of heterosexuals and men who had sex with men). Which is of course bullshit, especially when it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that aren’t HIV.

Around the same time, I made it one of my missions in life to talk not just about safer sex but sex in general with absolutely everyone I could bring around to that topic. I just couldn’t resist sharing all the fascinating sex-related things I had just read in a book imported from the U.S., a brochure from the public health department, or on a printed-out website with my assorted friends and acquaintances. I sipped from beer bottles at my favorite queer hang-outs and nonchalantly discussed fisting and anal sex, dildos and dental dams, lube and porn with whomever hung out with me for longer than five minutes. I sat at kitchen tables, drank coffee, and explained safer sex practices to my roommates and their friends, which usually ended with me getting out my box of latex gloves so everyone could try out how it felt to wear one. I found out that sharing some of my own experiences and making myself a bit vulnerable first was an excellent way to make other people feel comfortable enough to talk about their own experiences and/or ask me their burning questions about sex. I also found out that almost no one had the sex they were stereotypically assumed to have by the world at large: I met lesbians who weren’t into cunnilingus (and happy that way), gay men who had never had anal sex (and no desire to change that), and a lot of people who were either a lot tamer or a lot dirtier than I had initially assumed based on my pre-sex-talk impression of them.

I was lucky.

By the late 1990s, I had determined that BDSM was something I was interested in exploring further. A friend (and affair) introduced me to IRC channels for dykes and for BDSM practitioners. Soon after, there were mailing lists, forums, and websites that connected me to queer and/or kinky people all over the world (but mostly in North America). I quickly found my way to writings by Patrick Califia, Carol Queen, Gayle Rubin, Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy, Kate Bornstein, and many others. This ‘generation’ of authors and activists collectively taught me about safe(r) and consensual BDSM, community etiquette, kink history, gender beyond the binary, sex-positive feminism, and many other issues related to queer sex and kink.

A different friend (and play partner) told me about a small conference for kinky women, and we decided to go there together. It was completely overwhelming and completely amazing; and almost twenty years later, I am still in touch with several of the people I met at that event. After that, I went to various BDSM munches in various cities, helped run two of them for a while, and participated in countless themed discussions and peer-taught workshops within my corners of the European BDSM community. Of course I also kept reading: non-fiction books, personal blogs, Fetlife articles and discussions, websites, info brochures — anything that seemed interesting. And I played with many different people, all of whom also taught me useful things about kink (and sometimes sex), and many of whom told me they had learned things from me in return.

Five years ago, I spontaneously decided to offer my first workshop at a kink event. It went well, so I did it again. And again. And again. And so on. And I have no plans to stop. I guess I’ve made it a habit to learn things about sex and kink and then share what I’ve learned with others: sex ed, nerd-style.

I was lucky. I am still lucky.


Erotic Journal Challenge logo

This week’s prompt for the Erotic Journal Challenge was “sex ed.” It’s the first time I’m joining in (sneaking in just before the deadline) and I’m looking forward to being inspired by future prompts again.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked

 

Edit: I’ve realized this post also fits the “mentor” theme for this week’s Wicked Wednesday, so here’s the badge for that as well.

 


Image source: Pexels

Advertisements

I miss being flogged

Tree backlit with orange light

I miss being flogged. I miss the impact of a thick leather flogger crashing into my back, pushing me forward, thudding the air out of my lungs. I miss the soft surface slaps saying hello, the stingy tips burning my skin, the heavy strands slamming into my body, the cool tails trailing gently across my curves; so many different sensations from a single source. I miss offering my whole backside to be hit: shoulders, back, ass, thighs, and back again. I miss my tops putting their whole body into hitting me. I miss the rhythm of heavy slaps dancing up and down my back. I miss the swish of cool air before the whip collides with my flesh. I miss my tops dancing back and forth between being at striking distance and being right up against me for a check-in or a change of sensation. I miss us taking up all that space in a dungeon with just a single toy between two people. I miss the deep thuds that reverberate through my entire body, making me feel like there is no part of me that is not part of this. I miss moaning into the blows; purring, growling, grunting. I miss being able to stand there, hands on a wall or on a St. Andrew’s Cross, feet firmly rooted, and take it like someone much more well-padded. I miss swinging back and forth under that impact, being shoved away by its force, then returning for more in an endless undulation. I miss the smell of leather wafting around me, like a very slow tornado with me the still point at its center. I miss being flogged.

***

Sometimes I still pretend I can go back to it eventually. That the permanent medical condition that has moved this activity onto the hard limits list will at some point be resolved. That I will somehow recover from something that doesn’t come with a recovery option. That some day, there won’t be the not-unlikely risk that a good, hard back flogging will land me in the emergency room. Sometimes, I still pretend this is all temporary. That I don’t really have to give this up forever. That there is still a chance I can do this again, sometime in the future.

Because I’m still not quite ready to accept the loss of it. I’m not quite ready to actually feel all the grief over having this possibility taken away from me, entirely without my consent and completely against my will. I’m not quite ready to make peace with the fact that the last flogging I have received — not knowing it was the last one, of course — wasn’t even very good. That it wasn’t even with an important partner. That it wasn’t what I would have chosen if I had known it was the last one, ever.

I don’t actually think there is any chance for the recovery I’d need to make this a possibility again. Nothing I know about this condition points to it ever being a good idea to get flogged on my back again. But it’s easier to think “not today, not this month, not this year, not in the foreseeable future,” easier to keep a tiny little “maybe sometime” in a hidden corner of my heart than it is to face “not ever.”

Because damn, I loved being flogged like that. And damn. I miss it.

And I don’t think that will change, either.


I very deliberately did not end this piece on a “positive” note.

Because I’m tired of always immediately following up my lists of “things I can’t do anymore” and “things I can only do very carefully now” with a cheerful catalog of all the things I can do, things that don’t need adjusting. I’m tired of feeling like I have to prove that I’m still a damn gorgeous play partner even if I’m now a lot more disabled/chronically ill than I used to be (internalized ableism is a thing and #DisabledPeopleAreHot, obviously). I’m tired of pushing away the loss and grief I feel over several of the changes that late-acquired disability/chronic illness have brought to my life so I don’t ruin anyone’s kinky fun and sexytimes (often including my own).

I want to make space for the hard feelings, too. Because they are also a part of kink life. Because they are also a part of life, full stop. And sometimes we just need to sit with them for a while without anyone trying to “fix” anything. Without anyone telling us that we “just have to accept” something that feels completely unacceptable in that particular moment. Without anyone doing anything but say, “It’s hard. I hear you. I’m here.”


#F4TFriday

The prompt for this week’s Food for Thought Friday was “gone awry” which had also been listed as “when our bodies let us down” when I first saw it.

I’m also adding this to the Kinktober catch-up list, as an adaptation of the “scars” prompt.


Image source: FreeStockPhotos.biz

A bouquet of hickeys

Close-up of light pink rhododendron flowers with areas of dark red spots.

I had found her at work, between orders and phones and endless complaints. I was delighted: finally a project worth my energy! So I spent weeks dropping hints at queer culture in straight coworker company, trying to verify if she really was what she looked like, in her awful 90s platform sneakers, baggy sweaters, and shaved hair: a dyke. Trying to subtly convey to her that I was a dyke, too, even if my hoodies were slightly more girly than hers.

I don’t remember what ultimately settled that matter, but eventually there was confirmation: she was indeed a dyke. So here we were, dykes both of us! And she even was butch enough for me to be attracted to her! And I had a feeling she might be attracted to me as well.

***

I don’t remember how exactly she ended up in my bed (I suppose alcoholic beverages at the local gay hang-out and very broad hints on my part were involved), but one summer night she did. I do remember it was a weekday, though. I do remember I had work the next day. An afternoon shift, but work nonetheless.

So here we were, in my bed, and she found out that I really liked how she applied her lips and tongue and teeth to my neck, gently at first and more forcefully soon after. And I found out that I kept wanting more and more of that, being the mostly unacknowledged masochist I was back then. So I kept asking her for more, and she happily delivered. I don’t remember much else about that night. Just me sprawled out on my back, neck arched in bliss, skin expanding to make more room for her. Just her leaning over me, mumbling how amazing I was, hot breath damp on my throat. Just the sharp pain of suction on my flesh, needles of blood rushing up to my surface. Eventually, we fell asleep.

***

My first glance into the mirror the next day immediately added urgent items to my to-do list, right after “have coffee” and “send her home” and definitely before “go to work”:

Assure my roommates that I had not been assaulted. Find a t-shirt with a high neckline. Discover that it doesn’t cover much of anything. Find a scarf to wear to the drugstore. Buy the most well-covering foundation available that at least vaguely matches my skin tone. Return home. Apply several layers of foundation to neck. Discover that this still doesn’t cover everything. Despair slightly. Decide that not obviously looking like I had been strangled was probably the best I could get. Put on scarf on top of flaky beige foundation layers despite the summery temperatures. Wait for the train. Pray that no one at work asks any questions.

And finally: Decide the hassle of the unexpectedly-expanded to-do list has still been worth the pleasures of the night before. And: Start being amused that it never even occurred to me that all the gorgeous kissing and biting and sucking would leave a whole bouquet of hickeys in various shades of scary purple scattered all over my neck.

(We were more careful with the hickeys after that. Because I did invite her back into my bed, even though we decided to remain mostly undercover at work.)


 

This week’s Kink of the Week prompt was “love bites.” 

 


Image source: Wikimedia Commons

All the girls I’ve been before

punk girl

Content note: This post describes various age-play headspaces, themes, and play dynamics. Several kinds of sexuality/BDSM (incl. blood play) are briefly mentioned as a part of that, but are not described in any detail. There is no mention of incest play or childhood abuse.

I’ve been an adult girl who was about eight years old; happy, curious, cute, giggly, and a bit shy. I’ve hid under blankets to be able to ask for what I wanted, and then I’ve got it, just like that. I’ve found out that saying what you need, deep down where it matters, feels very, very hard at first but then it also feels exciting and brave and afterwards you feel like you’ve won something important. I’ve said things I couldn’t say in any other voice. I’ve got permission to play, to not know, to cry, to need. I’ve boldly trusted my partner with my childish needs and desires and got so much love in return: cuddles and challenges, gold stars and pet names, near-endless patience and silly, silly jokes just for the two of us. I’ve never doubted that I mattered.

And then all of that became a distraction, an excuse, an easy way out of doing the things that were really hard. A way to avoid facing what needed facing. It became something I had to grow out of.

***

I’ve been an adult girl who was about sixteen years old; still curious and shy, with a secret heart full of hope for a boy who’d want to kiss me and ask me to dance. I’ve received hand-written love notes and adoring looks from a boy I liked. I’ve held hands and got breathless and trembling over the intensity of that. I’ve been looked at as if I was a most precious creature, as if this boy couldn’t believe I really said yes to their hands, their lips, their desire for me. I’ve shared first times, first steps into adulthood. I’ve been the awkward, ugly duckling who was suddenly transformed into a radiant, graceful swan under the gaze of a boy who loved me. I’ve been chosen and asked to dance by a prince, and it was everything I’d ever dreamed of, for a while.

And then I grew tired of teenage boys and fairy tales, because I needed an adult to work with me on a happily ever after in the real world. I needed to get off the princess pedestal and onto the ground and figure out how to dance there(Also, the clock struck midnight and the prince shapeshifted into something that sadly didn’t respond to my magic anymore. But that is a different story.)

***

I’ve been an adult girl who was a different kind of sixteen years old; still curious, but also a lot more cynical about the world, and a lot less trusting of anyone. I’ve been a mess of barely articulate yearnings; hungry, and lonely, and in desperate need of belonging with someone. I’ve risked getting hurt on the off chance of being loved, over and over again. I’ve chosen to go where I wasn’t supposed to go and found exactly the kind of intense and dangerous connection I wanted, exactly the kind of challenge and acceptance I needed. I’ve broken my parents’ rules as I’ve followed the demands of my partners in crime. I’ve learned to tear open my heart for an irresistible stranger who chose me (me!); to spill its deep, red contents all over them while I absorb their impact, suck their cock, lick their boots, or let them make me bleed for real; then gather up the messy remains to take with me when daylight tells me it is time to leave again. I’ve learned that this usually hurts, a lot, but that it’s always, always worth it. I’ve learned that my heart is a sucker for hard and fast romance and that it is a resilient little fuck.

This is actually where it all started, all those years ago. And this is the one I’m not quite done with, apparently. Because this is the one I keep returning to whenever I find another irresistible stranger in a leather jacket who is just passing through town. (Because maybe, just maybe, one of them will keep coming back for me. And if they won’t — well, I know how to patch up my heart by now.)


I feel like I need to add some context for this one. The things I mention in this post are based on actual age play I’ve done at various points in my (and my partners’) adult life, but I’ve deliberately blurred the lines between different partners and situations. My goal here isn’t to tell the stories of specific scenes or to show how I make these kinds of age play work in the realm of real-life (and in-scene) consent, but to portray the different headspaces and emotional stories of the various girls I’ve been in a BDSM context. Because all the girls I’ve been before just have a lot of feelings.


I’m counting this as a catch-up post for one of the #Kinktober prompts I skipped before. The original prompt was “daddy kink.” And while I often appreciate daddy energy in others (and may write about that in the future), I chose to focus on age play more generally here, especially the girl side of that.

Wicked Wednesday... a place to be wickedly sexy or sexily wicked
I’m also submitting this post for this week’s Wicked Wednesday (the prompt was “dreams” – and this post is about several dreams come true), which is my first time participating in that. And while this piece is probably not technically erotica, I still think it fits that theme closely enough.


Image source: 1

Hands down my favorite

Hand with rainbow colors reflected onto its palm

One of the most cherished folders on my computer holds my collection of hand porn GIFs (saved frantically right before Tumblr banned all visual porn). Hands touching genitals through underwear: clits and dicks of all shapes and sizes, cocks and cunts leaking through fabric in response to that touch. Fingers sneaking into panties, shifting under lace and mesh. Palms stroking cocks encased in soft, worn cotton. Smooth gloved fists sliding into wet cunts. Fingers rubbing hard clits in endless circles, thumbs brushing back and forth across a glans. Fucking. Fondling. Kneading. Tapping. Gliding. Squeezing. Countless variations of hands between legs in infinite loops.

Other GIFs in that folder show hands touching faces, throats, thighs. A gentle caress of a cheek, followed by a harsh slap; a finger trailing down a bent neck, a hand closing around an arching throat; fingers weaving into hair, grabbing, pulling. Spit-covered fingers sliding into mouths. Flat palms resting on chests, nipples held firmly between fingertips; hard hands smacking into large, soft butts. Fingers digging into flesh. And many, many hands moving up under skirts, sliding between legs, pushing thighs apart, invading intimate spaces that open up eagerly under their touch.

Sometimes, there’s a forearm to go with the hand, muscles moving under skin. Sometimes, swollen veins stand out on backs of hands. Finger joints bend, both delicate and strong. Maybe there’s a reaction face included, mouths open in silent gasps, heads thrown back, eyes closed in pleasure.

I could watch these GIFs for hours. And I probably have. Because I fucking love hand porn. In fact, if I had to choose between hands and cocks (whatever their material) for my visual porn supply, I would always and immediately choose hands. And if I had to choose between being fucked with either hands or cocks (whatever their material) for the rest of my life, I would always and immediately choose hands.

Sometimes, I think this focus on hands as intensely erotic body parts is what makes my sexuality so quintessentially queer: Because its main focus is not on genitals or on penetration (even though both can absolutely be a very desirable part of it, especially when hands are involved). People of all genders have hands, and while many of us use the appearance of our hands to express our gender (e.g. by the way we move and hold them, by nail length and shape, by the addition or avoidance of things like nail polish or jewelry or tattoos), the mere presence or absence of hands on a person is not considered an indicator of their gender. Sometimes, I think that the eroticism of hands is inherently queer. After all, hands are extremely versatile in the ways they can touch another person’s body, in the sensations they can create, more than any other body part. Hands defy the cisheteronormative assumption that objects used for penetration should be about the size of the average cis male dick, give or take a few millimeters — they can be as small as a single finger and as big as a fist (or even two, if you like).

Speaking of cisheteronormativity: I’m sure you’ve also heard at least once (and probably many, many times) that hand sex isn’t “real sex,” that fingering is “foreplay” at most, and hand jobs are what you do when you’re still too young to have “actual sex.” Or perhaps when you want to stay as emotionally detached and physically distant as you possibly can while touching another person’s genitals (or having them touch yours). Because according to cisheteronormativity, everything that doesn’t involve putting a dick into a vagina (or at least some other orifice like a mouth or anus) doesn’t “count” as sex, no matter how hard it makes you and/or your partner(s) come. Oh, and fisting is for freaks only because no one should want that much penetration, either.

And then there’s me, looking at these stories with profound queer incredulity. Like, what do you mean, you don’t think hand sex is sex?

Because if I have ever learned anything from dyke/queer culture, it’s that hand sex absolutely is sex, without any qualifiers. Grown-up, real, often intensely intimate, and damn fucking hot sex. I have learned that hands are erotic body parts of the highest order. And I’ve learned from ample experience that hands can become cocks, or clits and cunts (have you ever had someone slide their thumb along that tender place between two of your fingers over and over again with just the right amount of pressure? I have come from that alone), or they can just be their own amazingly sexy body parts. Sometimes they can be all of that on the same person. Sometimes even all in the same night. Or day.

So yeah, when you catch me looking at your hands while we flirt, I might be wondering how they would feel. All over me. But mostly between my legs.

P.S. Damn, I miss Tumblr.


This entry is part of the Kink of the Week project (and my very first contribution to it). The prompt this time was “hands.”


Image source: 1