Archive for category feminism
The room was full last Friday for a public viewing of the Bodysex Workshop DVD in Portland, Oregon, where I make my home. I had hoped we’d have twenty-five people show up, and almost twice that number attended. Many friends were in the room, and seeing their curious, supportive faces in the audience calmed my loudly thumping heart. I’d hosted a private viewing in my home last year, but this was the first time I’d shown it publicly, my own body, face, cunt, and orgasm flickering on the screen behind me.
You really don’t want to miss this. If it is remotely possible to get yourself to a showing of Bike Smut as it crosses North America, I urge you to make it happen. Minneapolis gets it Saturday 9/22. Milwaukee gets it Thursday 9/27. Then Chicago, Detroit, Toronto, and more. In fact, you might be able to get Bike Smut to come (or cum) to you. Write them at email@example.com. The tour is in process. See bikeporntour for the ever-updated information.
Portland, Seattle, Bend, Salt Lake, Boulder, Denver, Ft. Collins, Bozeman – we’ve already been gloriously Bike Smutted. And it was good. So very very good.
What is it? you’re probably wondering. Because they say is so damn well, I’m taking this right off their tour site:
This was my designated Summer To Get On A Bike. (Eventually I also came to think of it as Getting Off On A Bike.) Perhaps it was overdue, or perhaps it happened right on time. But early last spring I vowed that I would not go another summer without spending a significant portion of it on a bicycle.
During the first few weeks, I was sore and raw and I cringed at the prospect of mounting up. Getting my crotch accustomed to the pressure was a challenge. But in a surprisingly short period of time, long stints became much easier, even pleasurable, on my tender bits.
Part of that ease and pleasure was perseverance, as well as installing a cushy, wide saddle for my ample hips and ass. Then I got some padded shorts. I wasn’t about to let soreness between my legs dissuade me from my goal.
Many a writing teacher told me to limit my number of sentences and paragraphs beginning with “I.” Since posting here and at Dodson and Ross. I’ve tossed that directive aside, embracing I-statements wholeheartedly.
When people in my life learn about my writing here, the reactions are mixed. Some think I’m incredibly self-absorbed. (Why don’t you write about something other than yourself and what’s between your legs?) Some consider this blog a prime example of oversharing. (Seriously, who wants to read about your yeast infection?) Some caution me of the consequences. (You are shooting yourself in the foot, putting this all out there. You can’t take it back. You may regret this.) A few tell me I’m brave. Most think I’m slightly mad to disclose what I do here, especially since I gave up a pretense of anonymity.
What I do here may indeed be oversharing. And apparently I’m comfortable with that. Given the extreme proclivity in our culture to undershare, to shield, to hide oneself from others and even from self, I write here and at D&R as an exercise in truth-telling. I am looking in a mirror, and rotating so that you can see me looking, watching me watch myself.
With the lights dimmed, I sat at the back of the room. Flickering light and shadow were flung across the faces of eight women sitting on couches and chairs in an arc around the screen. It was my first time watching Bodysex with anyone other than my partner.
Plans are underway for a public showing, but I wanted to start with a private viewing in my home. I sent the invitation to 38 women, specifying that this first event would be female-only. Most of the people I invited were familiar with the project, but for those who weren’t, I included the following: “The film documents Betty Dodson’s sex-education workshops, which she ran for twenty-five years. Fair warning as you decide whether you wish to attend: the seven participants (including me) are nude, show their genitals, and learn various masturbation techniques.” I felt it was important to be candid about the content. The last thing I needed was someone showing up without a clear understanding of what they would see.
We’re in the midst of filming the Bodysex documentary.
Cast and crew are gathering, many of us meeting each other in person for the first time, and old friends reunited.
The welcome and the energy and the excitement are providing me with a rush of adrenaline and emotion. I am endeared, and we haven’t even yet sat down together, naked, in a circle, the director and crew capturing the ritual to edit with our interviews, and share with the rest of you.
Amanda F*cking Palmer has released this video, complete with creative merkins galore, for her song “Map of .” The title refers to an Australian euphemism for a triangle of , and the song was initially slapped together as an during a 2009 tour.
That’s right. I’m not reformed. I’m not recovering. I’m not a refugee. All those words imply a correction, a fleeing, a relief. And that just doesn’t fit. Besides, I am squeamish about labels and identity.
I am definitely on board with re-languaging around identity. Like Betty says in her video clip with Carlin about different and evolving sex styles, the question is How Do You Have Your Orgasms? How do you like to have your orgasms best? How do you have your orgasms now? Be prepared, it’s okay, that answer may well change. How fantastic is that? You can learn new, fun ways to have orgasms. That sounds pretty damn sweet to me.
My mama always told me that labels belong on cans, not on people. Then I went to college and studied gender and feminism and it was the 1990s and identity politics were all the rage. Self-identification, and all the layers of meaning, become our discourse. I was immediately wary. Did I really want to slap a label on myself? I don’t think so. In fact, no. No I didn’t and no I don’t.
But I was all about the feminism, and sought out the sex-positive ones like Susie Bright and Ellen Willis and Dorothy Allison and, of course, Betty Dodson. Later I went to law school and was one of two women with ten men taking the Feminist Legal Theory seminar. I signed up to lead discussions on Catherine MacKinnon and Andrea Dworkin’s anti-pornography crusades so that I could show the counterpoint, the porn-positive, sex-affirming sides of feminism. Narrow conceptions of what is feminism infuriate me like nothing else. Because to me, perpetuating narrow assumptions about feminism is on par with perpetuating narrow assumptions about what it means to be a woman, or a man, or peach, or brown, or queer, or poor, or creative, or any of the many “things” a person might be, at any given moment.