I recently had the good fortune to spend some time with an amazing woman, Miss Maggie Mayhem. Maggie is a sex educator and activist, a writer, and a kinky model and performer from the San Francisco Bay area. She’s well-spoken, wild in all the good ways, geeky smart, not afraid to get silly, and beautiful. She totally rocks her signature eyeglasses and even wears them for most of her work – bonus points for that. My husband watches Maggie on kink.com. I’d like to think that this is why he was willing to give up his breakfast for her, but he’s actually just a nice guy.
I got to take a bunch of photos of Maggie out in the snow, which was so great that I had her answer a few questions for us. Enjoy…
WholeSexLife is working to normalize sex, no matter how people express their sexuality. How are you contributing to that goal?
“I was certainly involved in queer youth activism in high school, but when I first started volunteering as an HIV tester when I was 18 I really began to formalize my ideas about harm reduction and sex positive thinking. HIV testing is a stressful process for everyone and the only way that I can help someone set up a plan to reduce their risk is to normalize the process and sex itself. If someone is too ashamed to open up to me in the clinic, I can’t offer any help or advice that is going to fit their life. I make it a point to keep myself up to date on all of the newest information about sexuality I can find through my own research in libraries, medical journals, and at every conference I can attend.
“Normalizing sex is also about having accurate figures for what people do as well as remove the hazy mist of superstition around our bodies. After 6 years of working in the field of HIV prevention, I am on a brief break at the moment but I am still active in normalizing sex through my website, my workshops and classes, my volunteer work as a supervisor at the San Francisco Sex Information Hotline, and even through erotic performances. I do porn on camera but I have always preferred live performances. I enjoy doing burlesque and suspension bondage for people and I love getting feedback from my audience. I am always amazed at the intimate connections I am forging with strangers especially when they tell me that watching me inspired them to go out and explore their own fantasies and interests.”
You do a lot of amazing volunteer work and humanitarian missions. What is your current cause or what is next for you?
“In the summer of 2009, I was doing grant work in Tanzania, Africa. My goal was to help provide care for people who were HIV+ or already in the late stages of AIDS. I worked at a very small, very impoverished hospital and I also did a lot of house calls in the community. I was also offering HIV and sex education at secondary schools which was a very strong test of my Swahili speaking skills. That experience really sparked a desire to continue doing work internationally because I saw so many of the same issues.
“This past summer, I was doing rubble work in Haiti with my partner. The town we were living in had been about 90% destroyed by the January, 2010 earthquake. We spent a month smashing the ruins of homes, schools, and small businesses and shoveling them away to give people a blank slate to rebuild their lives. My time in Haiti was incredible and I am in the very early planning stages for a return trip because my work there is far from being complete. I would also really like to join in on sex worker empowerment in India and South America so if anyone out there on the internet would like to help me acquire another grant, I’m ready to go.”
What is your advice for people who are feeling lonely or unfulfilled in their sex lives?
“I think that every single one of us is going to feel lonely or unfulfilled in our sex lives at one point or another. We all have to wade through a battlefield of immense sex negativity and it will come and rear its ugly head from time to time. Everyone has their own unique way of feeling lonely and unfulfilled and it is difficult to offer one size fits all advice but one thing that I try to do is assess whether or not something is actually a problem. Because we encounter so many messages about what our sex lives should look like it can be easy to forget what we want our sex lives to look like.
“I have so many people come to me and say, “Help! I can only get off with my vibrator/bondage/when I’m on top/when someone goes down on me/etc…” which I have never seen as a problem or a limitation. It actually takes a lot of work to be that self aware of your body and your desire. As long as everyone involved is able to provide informed, adult consent then all you really need is a reminder that the way you get off is OK. The rest just takes some creative brain storming.”
If you’d like to see more of Miss Maggie Mayhem you can see her initial interview at kink.com here and additional kink.com footage here. But please, read her blog because this is one hot chick with a sharp wit and keen sense of humor!