May 242013
 


Evoë
The doctor called to tell me that my sexually transmitted disease screening results were in. Although her tone was rushed and annoyed, she drew out the suspense as though this were the elimination finale of a dance competition. Numb with anxiety, I played along, making polite noises to cover my fears that my life was about to change forever. After making it clear that she resented me rejecting a consultation and simply opting for lab tests, she let me know the outcome.

HSV1 (“oral herpes”)…negative.
HSV2 (“genital herpes”)…negative.
Chlamydia…negative.
Gonorrhea…negative.
Syphyllis…negative.
HIV…negative…but… I drew in my breath wondering about that “but.” WTF? She explained that the lab had taken it upon themselves to perform some super special HIV test, that she would never have asked for, and the results wouldn’t be in for a couple of more weeks. But basically, I tested negative for the things we asked for. The doctor implied that I had wasted her time with my anxiety and that testing for STD’s is not necessary for someone as “low risk” as I am.

This is not my regular practitioner. The ARNP that I normally see has been out of the office for a week. I miss her. If I had been able to talk to my GP about my concerns, I think all would have been well. She knows me and my poly family. She has always treated me with respect and care for my triggers around health care and sexuality. She once took 90 minutes to personally walk me through a pelvic exam. I should have waited for her to be back, but I needed to know as soon as possible, so instead I got this condescending and ignorant doctor.

It took several conversations with the nurse to get my desires across to the triage nurse. I explained my risk factors and expressed my level of anxiety. I declined to come in because I would have to bring 3 young children with me and I knew that it wouldn’t reassure me the way that lab tests would. What was there to look at anyway? I was asymptomatic by all accounts. They probably thought they could just talk me down.

Instead, I think I came close to making the nurse cry. I know that I was shaking, furious that anyone would have the audacity to claim that they knew more about my emotional state, my sexuality, or my body than I do. I hung up and the doctor called, making nice and insisting that of course the lab was always an option if I really wouldn’t do the right thing.

I understand that medical professionals don’t want to order unnecessary tests, but I can’t understand why my request to get tested was such a power struggle. I’m also not sure why I’m seen as low risk for STD/STI. I have unprotected sex with partners who in turn have sex with other people. In reality, I probably am fairly safe. I am usually comfortable with my level of risk, but from time to time I need to know where I stand. This current round of anxiety was based in part to reacting to one of my partners starting a new sexual relationship, as well as knowing that I have had some exposure to STD/STI recently. Also, I hadn’t been tested in 2 and a half years. I needed to know.

I’m curious what my medical clinic’s STD risk factors are. No one ever asked me. I imagine that as a 40 year old married woman with 5 kids, it’s assumed that I don’t have sex. I would guess that I am safer in my polyamorous lifestyle than women whose husbands have secret affairs. I have a lot of trust in my partners and we communicate about these things.

I feel really lucky about that list of negatives, but I know that it can change at any time. My health is important to me. I’m going to keep taking reasonable precautions, not only for me, but everyone in my sexual circle. At the same time, I don’t want to let anxiety over STD/STI cripple my sex life. Sex is sometimes too messy for a compulsive hand washer. My partners wear gloves when they put their fingers inside me. I know that there is comfortable balance between safer sex and pursuit of pleasure.

In the future, I think I’ll just go to a STD testing clinic rather than relying on a general practitioner. I don’t want to have to defend my lifestyle or my right to get tested. What about you? How long since your last STD/STI testing?

May 222013
 

Best Sex Writing 2013Book: “Best Sex Writing 2013
Edited by: Rachel Kramer Bussel
Foreword by: Dr. Carol Queen
Published by: Cleis Press
More information: Amazon or Goodreads

 

Cleis Press and Rachel Kramer Bussel always deliver quality writing on the topic of sex, and this year’s Best Sex Writing is no exception. This collection of 20 essays span a broad range of topics, writing styles, and voices that are all provocative. While a few stirred me sexually, largely this book challenged me to think more.

The point of Best Sex Writing is to bring together all of the most fascinating essays published in the past year. Since I read a lot about sex, some of these pieces were a reread for me, but most of them were fresh. I was surprised to see a brief reference to Harold in an essay about polyamory. Weird!

I enjoyed reading through this book, but I have to say the overall tenor was discouraging. Best Sex Life’s tagline is, “The state of today’s sexual culture.” I suppose that’s true, but I found the collection to be strangely flat and depressing, almost as though a fog obscured nearly every piece. You can’t write interesting things about sexuality without engaging the emotions, and I’m afraid that very few of these grabbed me. Several made me feel very negative about sexuality. I’m afraid that our culture is still far from pleasure positive.

Still, I had to share my favorites with Harold and we’ve engaged in a little He said/She said for you enjoyment…

Very Legal: Sex and Love in Retirement, by Alex Morris: A report on love and sex in an assisted living facility.

He said: I am getting old myself… wait, can that be? Yes, I’m coming up on 65. What strikes me about aging so far is how little the core of my sex life has changed in 50 years. Well, it’s true I can’t get a good hard-on any more without Viagra, and I don’t jerk off four or five times a week like I used to, but the overwhelming joy of reaching ecstasy and sharing intimacy is still there, just the way it always has been, at the center of my life.  Alex Morris writes about people in their 80’s and 90’s, people coming up on death who are living with the inevitable failing of their bodies, who seem to be finding the same thing… sex may get more difficult physically, but still has that vibrant emotional kick to it. The story makes me happy.

She said: How delightfully refreshing to be talking about ninety-year-olds’ relationships! These are all things that I’m not thinking about yet, so I really enjoy seeing that romantic interests and libido doesn’t die as one ages. In a way, the people discussed in this essay have more freedom to be honest with themselves and each other about what they want. I’ll totally be sneaking into Harold’s bed 30 years from now.

Baby Talk, by Rachel Kramer Bussel: A personal memoir about the author’s first experience with age play and being a “Mommy.”

He said: What happens when your lover asks you to treat him/her as a child in bed?  I’m a father, I adore my children, and I’ve always felt very protective of their personal boundaries. I’ve known too many people whose fathers let sexual desire leak onto their children explicitly or subliminally, causing lasting damage. I would never want to impose adult sexuality on any child. But then… my lover asks me to make love to her as if she’s 13 years old. Oh no, I couldn’t. But she shows me that it’s healing because of her past, it’s a kind of acceptance that would be precious to her. I understand, but… does this make me a pedophile? How real is it? Are there boundaries within our imagination? It’s not an easy place, truly. I’ve gone there though, and it was possible, and healing, and good. That’s what Bussel is writing about too.

She said: Having myself been confronted with a lover’s odd kinks spontaneously in the middle of sex play, I really commend Rachel for going with it and immediately seeing the potential. Age play can be such a minefield. My heart just opened up reading this account and her willingness to push her own boundaries. This is a very sweet essay, and a bit wistful over the outcome.

Ghosts: All My Men Are Dead, by Carol Queen: A love note to the men the author is mourning, as well as a coming of age story.

He said: While sudden death can tear a hole in the fabric of reality, lingering death eats away your heart. Carol Queen writes simply and beautifully about her friends and lovers who have fallen over the years to the plague of AIDS and related syndromes. It’s so hard to know what to do with death in our culture. As she says, “I think we are ashamed to die.” By celebrating their memory and honoring her own grief, Queen makes it easier to face the losses we have to deal with and the end we all come to.

She said: This is hands down, the best essay in this book. I read it with tears silently streaming down my face. Carol is so honest, so authentic. Talking about death could easily become manipulative or maudlin, but she doesn’t go there. It’s so easy to see myself in her writing. I was incredibly moved by her account of self discovery and personal evolution entwined with dying lovers and the character of the city she loves. Hauntingly beautiful.

Lost Boys, by Kristen Hinman: An exposé on the inflated numbers of underaged girls being sex trafficked, the numbers more likely to be real because they’re based on science, and how many boys in sex work fail to get aid at all.

He said: Sex work is like recreational drugs: criminalization and demonization blur all distinctions in a fog of myth, and create the very horrors people say they want to prevent. Hinman reports on the best studies of underage prostitution in the U.S., and makes clear that nearly half the young sex workers are boys, and only around 10% work through pimps. The kids don’t particularly like doing sex for money, but they like the money. What is clear is that their main exploitation is economic: no one will offer them any other work. And the worst of this is that horrendous trafficking by adults, often parents, in very young children is put in the same bucket as teenagers choosing to make money the only way they can find, by selling sexual services. The former is a devastating crime of violence, while the latter is a symptom of our society’s economic failure.

She said: I’ve been hearing some outrageous “statistics” lately about the 3 million underage girls being pimped out and it makes me angry. Don’t get me wrong, I know that sex trafficking happens and I want it stop, but this essay made it clear that many of the organizations set up to help rescue trafficked girls exist mostly to make money for themselves. It’s a lot of politics. They aren’t even trying to understand their demographic. I really appreciated this article because it was understated and let me come to my anger on my own.

 

As always, Best Sex Writing is a must read, if only to get a snapshot of the year in sexuality. This year, I came away with two main points, one personal and one a universal truth. Personally, I discovered that I really dislike the term “open marriage” to describe polyamory. It’s kinda like asking a pair of lesbians which one gets to be the man. It is using the rules of the cultural norm to define something totally outside of the rules. But, whatever. The most important thing I learned was that sexuality changes all the time throughout life. I find that very reassuring.

May 172013
 

Sexually transmitted diseaseI’m freaking out. I was awake at 4:00 a.m. this morning, obsessing about whether or not I might have a sexually transmitted disease. I’ve never had a STD before – probably through blind luck, although I’ve tried to be careful and use safer sex practices. I’m generally pretty comfortable with my level of caution versus erotic fulfillment, but this morning my anxiety has been through the roof.

I probably have some reason to be concerned. I have had some recent exposure through a couple of different vectors. The likelihood is small, but my ability to perform risk assessment is nil at the moment. When I start to worry, it’s a runaway train – my brain picks up speed until my entire being is consumed, careening out of control. I am a mess of what-ifs. The trust I have in my partners and our system means little in this state of fear. I feel paralyzed.

With any other health concern, I would approach it head on with medical care, information, and treatment. If, in fact, I do have an STD, I will deal with it this way as well as with full disclosure to current and future partners. However, in my fear befuddled state of mind, I’m having troubles calling the doctor’s office. A little bit of the hesitation is not wanting to have to explain, a bit misplaced shame about having a STD. Since no amount of internet research is going to tell me if I have anything or not, I’m going to have to deal.

Why does adding sex to anything make it terribly difficult? I totally lose it whenever I think something might be wrong with my cunt. I think that it’s related to being a survivor of sexual abuse. I don’t tolerate non-sexual pain or discomfort very well. I’ve worked hard for years to feel like I own my body and my sexuality. I don’t need some STD to go messing everything up. I think it’s also that transmission of a STD is often a breach of trust in a relationship.

I have often seen people disclose STDs in a very positive way. Until the early hours of this morning I wouldn’t have said that I believed that STDs were at all shameful, but when I suddenly applied the concept to myself, I ached with shame. I felt dirty and contaminated. I worried that no one would ever love me again. I winced at the necessity of hiding my sexuality, never dating again.

It’s not the first time I’ve had this freak-out, but I hope it’s the last. I’m trying to take the positives out of this situation. I’m feeling the seriousness of potential STD exposure. While I could cope with anything I had to, I really like my life. Sex should be about pleasure, not fear. Time to re-evaluate safer-sex practices with my partners and their partners. Time again to get tested for everything. I can handle this.

(Update)

May 162013
 

featured photo of the month

Photo courtesy of A Penny for Your Dirty Thoughts

Welcome to e[lust] - The only place where the smartest and hottest sex bloggers are featured under one roof every month. Whether you’re looking for sex journalism, erotic writing, relationship advice or kinky discussions it’ll be here at e[lust].  Want to be included in e[lust] #47? Start with the newly updated rules, come back June 1st to submit something and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

 

~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~

How to Shave Your Asshole

Tied and Blindfolded

Why Disney is like BDSM

 

~ Featured Posts (Molly’s Picks) ~

Because you are so beautiful

Suspension of Disbelief

 

~ Readers Choice from  Sexbytes ~

Dildology: The Science of Sex Toys

 

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

The Vagina Thief
The Role of Feelings in Swinging Lifestyle
Why I Feel No Jealousy
Spontaneous
I Asked SilverHubby to Respond to a Comment
Mastering Masturbation in 7 Steps
The One Where I Face Reality

 

Sex News, Interviews, Politics & Humor

The Cycle of Change, Simplified
My IMsL 2013 Keynote

 

Thoughts & Advice on Kink & Fetish

Kink of the Week #5: Roleplay
How To find (and catch) a Male Submissive
How to be a Good female Sub
The Master’s Voice
Kink of the Week #5: Roleplay
“S&M: The Dark Side of Gay Liberation”, 1975
PolyAnna’s Musings: Choosing Revisited
KOTW-Roleplay: W’s Perspective
Brat-tastic!
Liberating the Fisherman’s Wife
How much realism should be in BDSM erotica?

 

Erotic Fiction

Sunday Morning
Warehouse 69 Episode 2: The Marquis’ Crop
Sunday Morning
Salivate
Suffer
Bend Over, Bad Kitty! 
Dirty Sexy Money
Lolita Twenty-Thirteen, Part Four

 

Erotic Non Fiction

My First MMF Threesome
That Smile
What Wet Dreams are Made Of…..
A Good Match
I was a Naughty Girl
Jets
Right Here. Now.
I fantasize about blowjobs & being a good girl

 

Poetry

Things to Wear – NaPoWriMo
Blood Lust
A poem for Rose
Vanishing
Colorless
Subby Space

 

Blogging

Look at Me!

May 112013
 

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” -Oscar Wilde

Self loveWith Mother’s Day coming up, my family has been asking what they can do to celebrate me. Honestly, I feel honored, loved, and cared for pretty much every day. I know that I hold a special place in my family. I’m not one to turn down breakfast in bed or some hand drawn cards, but what I really need is some quality time by myself.

My children are my top priority. After that, I take time each week to have a date with each of my partners. Everyone works together to take care of the house and I have my own work. I do have some time for myself built into the system, but it often gets filled up with doctor’s appointments, shopping, cleaning, or meetings. Sadly, when I get time to myself in the evening, I usually fall asleep.

I do masturbate regularly. It means a lot to me to be able to give pleasure to myself at any time. I’ve realized though, that I am not giving myself the kind of attention that I would give to a partner. Quick and easy orgasms in the shower or at bedtime have immense value, but what if I were to actually make love to myself with deliberate intention?

So, for all of the moms out there – actually, EVERYONE – I offer a suggestion: schedule a date with yourself. Nourishing your own sacred sexuality is a gift that stays with you forever and not only benefits you, but everyone you love.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Find time and space to be alone. It’s important to give yourself several hours. If you can’t manage to be alone at home, or if being at home is too distracting, consider other creative solutions – renting a hot tub room, finding a totally private spot in nature, getting a hotel room for the night, or borrowing a friend’s home. Make sure that your children are in capable hands and that someone else will be responsible for anything that comes up.
  2. Set the stage. Creating a special mood can enhance your experience. Putting clean sheets on the bed or lighting some candles sets this experience aside as something special. Play music that feels sexy to you. Get anything you might need (like drinking water, vibrator, or massage oil) readily available. Go naked, or wear something that feels sexy.
  3. Relax. If you are anything like me, this might take a while. Turn off your phone. Step away from the computer. Do something that will help you let go of the daily stresses, whether that’s taking a walk, having a glass of wine, or sinking into a bubble bath. Focus on deep, even breaths, releasing tension with each exhale. Think about the things that make you happy.
  4. Fantasize. Start letting out those private thoughts that get you turned on. Is there a movie star who makes you swoon? Some sex act too kinky to admit to your partner, but it gets your juices going? Bring it out! For this date with yourself, anything is possible.
  5. Experience sensation. Wake up your skin. Start at your toes and work your way up, barely brushing over your erogenous zones. I like to keep my underwear on for this stage because the indirect stimulation to my genitals drives me wild. Use fingernails, feathers, massage oil, a wartenberg wheel, or whatever feel good and exciting to you. Pay attention to your whole body.
  6. Build the energy. Slowly pay more attention to the areas that increase your arousal, like nipples, pubic area, and asshole – circling away and returning over and over. Listen to your body and your emotions. You want to prolong your pleasure as long as you can stand it.
  7. Go for orgasm. This is a perfect time to introduce lube, a vibrator, a dildo, or whatever gets you off. You still want to draw out your pleasure, but now you can give yourself permission to focus on those areas that will lead to orgasm. Hold love for yourself in your heart and let it infuse your whole being. If you can stand the tension, bring yourself right to the edge of orgasm and back away again. When everything feels right, let the orgasm spill over.
  8. Release. Just let go. You can send any residual stress out of your body on each wave of pleasure. If it feels good, try to prolong your orgasm or pause for a moment and start over at building to a new release.
  9. Take care of yourself. You can give yourself aftercare. Give yourself plenty of time to bask in the good feelings. Let love for yourself seep into your skin. This is when I feel closest to the divine. You could go back to gentle sensations or drift into a few minutes of lucid dreaming. Drink water or eat a snack if you need to feel more grounded. Or jump up and run around naked. Whatever it is that makes you feel in love with yourself, do it now.

I don’t always orgasm when I make love to myself and that’s okay. When I’m by myself, I don’t have the stress of a partner who really wants to make me come. My only objectives are to love myself and experience pleasure. It’s a perfect time to explore the things that turn me on and develop a stronger understanding of my body.

As a mom, it’s sometimes hard to feel like I own myself, my time, my body. I don’t often get a chance to make love to myself, but when I do, I feel better all over. I challenge you all, but especially the moms on this Mother’s Day, to give yourself this gift!

May 062013
 

On the verandaI like sex in all seasons, but I am especially gleeful when it is time to fuck outdoors again. This past week has seen a wide range of activity and temperature.

A week ago I woke up to it snowing. I spent a quiet morning in bed with my coffee, watching the flakes drift down and stick to the tree bows. That afternoon I made love with Harold in the cabin, by the blazing fire. I took him hard, pushing his limits, making him mine. I cuffed his wrists over his head and did terrible things to his balls. Bondage combined with cock-and-ball tease might be my favorite thing ever. I enjoy taking control and overwhelming him with sensation.

Only two days after it snowed, we fucked outside for the first time of the season. It was suddenly 75 degrees. I was reading on my little veranda and Harold came to talk to me. It was one of those situations where all of a sudden I was just turned on. The sun and fresh air swept us up and we had to be as close as possible.

At first Harold got me off and I thought that was going to be it. Sometimes we focus on one or the other of us – simply following what feels right. But this time I really wanted to fuck. I needed the primal connection between us. Harold took a little persuading, but I can be persuasive. I’m good with my mouth and my hands.

When he entered me, everything in the universe felt right. His cock hit just the perfect spot inside me, the sun was shining, the green leaves waved above me, and I could drink in his golden love like honey. Whatever else we have going on in our lives, we have moments like this.

And it got better! A couple of nights ago I had a beautiful group sex experience. It was incredible to be surrounded by people I trust who are all focused on my pleasure. I stopped taking care of everyone else and opened myself to being receptive. Six pairs of hands caressed me all over; lips brushed my flesh. When I asked for it, 60 fingers lightly scratched me from head to toe. I floated in pure bliss for what felt like forever.

Cunt like a flowerIt was a gorgeous night. We lay on cushions and blankets before the bonfire, looking up through leafy branches at the brilliant stars in the clear night sky. I was both sweaty and cold, naked under the blankets, limbs tangled on either side, full of love and lust. I felt Harold’s breath against my neck as I listened to people making love on either side. I watched Joel’s face as he gave himself to a woman I admire, respect, and care about very much. I am thankful for that moment of observation, when I realized that I was experiencing a perfect moment.

Like sunshine in Western Washington, sex is meant to be somewhat ephemeral. We get swept up and filled with joy. Sex should make us feel good, whatever we are into, and we can carry those good feelings into all the other areas of our lives. But by all means, fuck outdoors when you get a chance.