Top 10 reasons to go to ShibariCon 2011

shibaricon.comI love my email inbox some days! I just got an email from a kinkster considering attending his first ShibariCon. He asked me to convince him to come. Since this is one of my favorite cons that I’ve attended nearly every year since its inception, I’m happy to oblige. Wondering if it’s worth the trip? If you have any interest in kink, rope or shibari, it is!

Top 10 Reasons You Should Go to ShibariCon 2011:

  1. Chicago in May? Lovely!
  2. Bonus: trip to IML leather market, $2, for the best variety and best prices on leather gear all year.
  3. Got a costuming fetish? Dress up every day and night if you like!
  4. Midori. ‘Nuff said.
  5. Graydancer’s cabaret. Even if your whole day sucked, this will have you cheering.
  6. Rope twister!
  7. Hard points, hard points, hard points!
  8. Sadistic rope tops and hot submissive ass.
  9. Mollena’s Mojo. Every session she gives fills your brain and makes you laugh.
  10. You know you’ll regret it if you don’t!

Unblinking honesty at the border

At the Canadian border on the way to the Vancouver GRUE, our bus stopped for customs. The agent asked the typical questions, including where I was going and why I was going there.

Me: For a conference. Or actually, an unconference.

Agent: An unconference? What is that?

Me: The attendees determine and create all the content.

Agent: What’s it about?

Me: Rope bondage.

Agent: I don’t know what that is.

Me: [shrug]

Agent: Business or personal?

Me: Personal.

Agent: And what is your business?

Not a blink, not a pause. Sometimes, telling the truth is easy and won’t lead anyone to batting an eye. ROFL!

Poly Weekly 258: The online kinkster

Princess Kali of The Kink Academy talks about the intersection of kink and poly online

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Introduction and host chat

Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to http://www.scarleteen.com; friend us on Twitter or Facebook, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums.

Announcements

Miss Poly Manners: Dealing with Party Invites

How do you deal with party invitations not addressed to the entire poly enclave?

Interview: Princess Kali of The Kink Academy

Teaser

  • From Poly and Single: what to do when the couple is fighting

Wrap-up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions.”

Lessons learned at ShibariCon

This year, ShibariCon was a fantastically exhausting experience! I almost didn’t go–too much work to do, and too many mundane tasks relating to some real estate I still own in the area. Grudgingly, I admitted that OK, I’ve committed to volunteer; of course I’ll go. But I won’t have fun.

And when I arrived, something changed. All the alienation I’d been feeling due to Seattle’s famous chilly reception melted away. It melted in the warm hugs of friends I was genuinely happy to see and who were genuinely happy to see me. For the first time in over a year, I felt like I belonged in the scene. Doubts, fears and insecurities melted away in the face of catching up with old friends and making new ones. I became the classic Minx, happy, bouncy and ready to have some fun.

I don’t want to be all cheesy and tell you not to be afraid of going to a conference alone. It still sucks to do that, and it’s still hard to try to connect with people in a weekend setting when you’re flying solo. You’ll still get turned down or blown off for scenes; I know I did and was. But my experience ended up being so deliciously positive that I want to share that joy, just in case it might inspire bravery the next time you fly solo at an event.

Stuff I Learned at ShibariCon 2010

  • I do belong here. The only one thinking otherwise was me.
  • When I am my own best self, wonderful things happen. And when I feel at home and welcomed, I am my own best self. Self-doubt is what kills the confidence, and without confidence, nothing is fun.
  • Scheduling at a con is hard/tricky. Cut yourself and your play partners some slack.
  • Don’t take it personally. Instead, find a way to take care of yourself that involves sharing your pain (and joy) with others.
  • Hide your crazy. But let little bits show in fits of controlled vulnerability. A controlled burn, if you will. :-)
  • Never compare yourself to others in any way. Instead, focus on what is making today awesome for you. If you close your eyes and feel a lack of awesome, put your finger on why, and then go ask for that.
  • Geek negotiation tip: if you’re unsure of where to start but you know you want to play, instead of asking a person for a scene or play, ask trusted friends whom they would recommend for play who might be free tonight.
  • Give your cell phone # to hot guys/girls so they can text you. (Outside the con space, of course)
  • Love yourself. Love your kink. Be fascinated by others’ kink.

All of this has me thinking about teaching a ShibariCon for Newbies/Solos class next year, with specific activities designed to help people check their emotional baggage at the door and have the confidence to have fun. Wouldn’t that be a GREAT way to start a con?

Poly Weekly 230: Poly and Kink

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Introduction and host chat

Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to http://www.scarleteen.com; friend us on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums.

Cohosts

Franklin Veaux
Pepper Mint

Announcements

Topic: how do poly and kink mix?
Sarah wrote in to ask how the egalitarian poly aspect mixes with more ostensibly hierarchical BDSM and its focus on power exchange. Such a nice, juicy topic!

Feedback
Annie shares definitions of polyamory, philosophically poly and practicing polyamorous; Mus Q Rat writes in to correct origin story of “polyamory” (vs. “polyamorous”); Arioch compliments episode 226 on finding a partner

Wrap-up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com

Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions.”

Poly Weekly #229: Mark Yu

Download the mp3 directly

Introduction and host chat

Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to http://www.scarleteen.com; friend us on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments or discuss your own topics at the forums.

NOTE! This episode’s bonus content
For Poly Weekly iPhone app users: bonus audio content is for the poly and single daters in the crowd, especially the introverts: dating #Mojo points and how and why they work

Interview: Mark Yu
Mark Yu is a Kinbaku / Nawa Shibari artist/educator, bamboo artist and Feng Shui design consultant. His bondage and art draw from his lifetime study of Oriental medicine and twenty years of clinical experience treating muscle pain and bio-mechanical dysfunction.

Mark has taught bondage, healing arts and energetic play techniques publicly and privately for several years, to include standing-room only workshops at Shibaricon and two very popular workshops in Seattle in 2005.

He is a devotee of Taoist Oriental Medicine and Zen and a pioneer and advocate of progressive alternative energetic and bio-mechanically based body disciplines.

Mark is also the Grand Poobah of The Jade Gate Studio and Gallery recently relocated to Portland and maintains a blog with insights on Shibari, erotic art and writing, rope and BDSM issues at JadeGate.blogspot.com

Wrap-up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Want Poly Weekly for your very own? Get the Best of Poly Weekly collection from PodDisc.com

Our intro and outro music is courtesy of Pacemaker Jane, “Good Suspicions.”

Review: Nina Hartley’s Guide to Erotic Bondage

Yes, adult product reviews are BACK, along with our sponsor, AdamEve.com (and a special discount with coupon checkout code “Minx”)!

Can’t afford to go out in this economy? Cheaper to stay in and have some good, old-fashioned carnal fun. If you’ve been wanting to try bondage, Nina Hartley’s Guide to Erotic Bondage is a great place to start. First, Nina just rocks–she’s a talented and respected educator who isn’t just making videos for a quick buck; she’s genuinely part of the kink scene.

Also, she looks great in black latex.

The DVD breaks down into three main sections with a postlude. The first 18 minutes are the bondage discussion, in which Nina and the lovely Carmen Luvana (hot blond from the cover) talk about what you need to know and discuss before you dive into tying up your loved one. They cover the “why” of bondage–remember how much fun it was to play Cowboys and Indians when you were kids? Or Pirate Ship? The thrill of the chase and capture can be a lot of fun. And then Nina walks us through the negotiation process in detail, covering basic trust, past issues that might come up, physical limitations, and the nature of consent. As Nina points out, “consent is a continually renewing contract that doesn’t stop the first time someone says yes.”

Next, the lovely ladies cover safety, including the availability and use of safety shears and the use of common safewords such as green, yellow and red. Next up is basic principles of anatomy–tie wrists first, not ankles, what to tie them to, what to do when they struggle. In short, a pretty fun yet educational discussion.

DON’T SKIP THAT PART! The opening discussion is a great place to start and will make the porn much more fun to watch after!

Demo 1: Nina Hartley restrains Randy Spears
This segment starts about 18 minutes in and is delightful if you’re a woman looking to restrain your man. Nina starts with a sensible and sexy negotiation on the bed before slapping Randy in restraints and teasing him with her ass, hands, feet and mouth. (BTW, I love how Nina giggles, with a gleeful “hee HEE!”) Next, she walks through anal prep and penetration on herself. Man, is it nice to see a woman enjoying anal sex!

Demo 2: Nina and Carmen Luvana with Tommy Gunn
This segment begins about 50 minutes in. The cute bombshell Carmen Luvana, clad elegantly in powder-blue latex, cuffs on herself; then Tommy shows up to collar her. I have to say that the white shoes, cuffs, collar and flogger weren’t appealing to me; call me old-fashioned, but I like basic black. Still, the scene could be great for beginners who want to look cute in bondage. The best scene by far was with Carmen’s hands tightly harnessed behind her as she went down on Tommy (and he seemed to enjoy it, too!) And Carmen is just adorable when she occasionally exclaims in Spanish; co cute!

The video closes with a postlude–a reminder to focus on consent, communication and safety first. As Nina says, “the quality of your experience will be determined by the honesty and intimacy of your relationship”–so communicate first for hotter, kinky sex!

The Lost Generation Munch meets next TUESDAY, Nov. 18th, 6:00 p.m.

Kinky or kink-curious? Wanna sit on Minx’s lap? Or just wanna grab a drink and be around cool, crazy cats?

Come on out to the Lost Generation munch!

When: Tuesday, Nov. 18th, 6:00-9:00 p.m.
Where: Avenue Ale House, 825 S Oak Park Ave, Oak Park, IL 60304, street/meter parking available, 2 blocks west of the Blue Line Oak Park stop, 8 blocks south of the Green Line Oak Park stop
Why: to meet, eat, drink and chat with other kinksters, aged 18-85

We’ll be in the back; just ask for “TLGC” at the hostess desk, and she’ll bring you right back to us. Please RSVP so I have an idea of how many tables to push together, and please feel free to cross-post!

Review: Love Restraints

Since I seem to have skipped straight from homemade toys to the $300 Saint Andrew’s cross in my own kink journeys, I was wondering what these beginning bondage kits are like. Are they any good? Would they really be useful for wannabe kinksters just trying to spice it up a bit without joining a dungeon and suspending each other inverted from hard points in the bedroom. What if you just wanted a little kink and didn’t want to make that trip to Home Depot?

So when AdamEve.com‘s Love Restraints arrived in the mail, I asked my kinky friends to help try them out. What did true kinksters say about the beginner’s Love Restraints?

Love Restraints

Overall, the impression was darn positive. Without looking at the package, my buddy Zed promptly strapped my roommate’s hands crossed behind her back, and then just as quickly released her and restrained her hands in front of her body, one crossed over the other. My roommate obligingly struggled a bit to see if she could break the restraints, and she couldn’t (although she did note that the rope did tighten on the wrists, so beginners should check for profusion and tell partners if they feel pins and needles over time to avoid potential nerve damage). Also, the ropes are attached to the belt with quick-release clips, so no need to carry safety shears around should you need to release your sweetie for urgent, animalistic sex.

Comments about the Love Restraints:

“They’re really versatile.”
“Comfortable. I could fall asleep.”
“Easy to use.”

Love Restraints

The waist belt comes with an extender to fit from teeny tiny (like me) up to about a size 18. The belt is vinyl, not leather, so it won’t last forever. But hey, if you rip these puppies apart in the first six weeks, chances are you’re no longer in the “beginner” category of kink and might want to check out shibari. Or riding crops, leather floggers, canes and single-tails.

Or is that just me?

For 50% off this and other items, visit AdamEve.com and use checkout code “MINX”

Poly Weekly #134: What is your love map?

The new Polyamory Weekly #134: What is your love map? is up! Direct download is at Poly Weekly #134

Subscribe now with iTunes one-click!
Please Digg this podcast at Digg’s PW podcast page!

0:00 Introduction and host chat
Intro, under-18 warning and re-direction to www.scarleteen.com; friend me on Twitter and answer questions about what you want on the show, call 206-202-POLY with comments.

1:00 Gift idea
Minx and Graydancer rave about Twisted Monk‘s holiday gift box. If you want something kinky but pretty for one of your partners this year, it’s a great idea.

5:00 Review: Many Loves Workshop
If you’re in Chicago, consider attending this monthly workshop/support group at the Center on Halsted. For $15, you can chat with or just listen to other poly folk weighing in on the monthly topic.

7:30 Topic: Gottman and Silver’s Love Maps
From the Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work, Graydancer and Minx talk over the idea of using these criteria as a jumping-off point for diagnosing your level of intimacy with your partner.

15:25 Poly in the Media
Alan reviews Web MD’s “The Truth About Open Marriage”, Kinky Sex Makes for Happy People and PepperMint’s excellent dissertation on “The Strange Credibility of Polyamory”

Event: Poly Living Conference
Poly Living 2008 in Philadelphia, PA is February 1st-3rd–check it out! With speakers like Anita Wagner, Ken Haslam, MD, Robyn Trask, Birgitte Philippides, CT Butler, and many more, Poly Living’s workshops range from basic to advanced and from intellectual to experiential, covering topics both fun and serious.

23:45 Wrap-up
Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email cunningminx@gmail.com or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at polyweekly.libsyn.com. Thanks for listening!

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