PW 322: 50 Shades of Myth

What assumptions about BDSM from fanfic erotica novel 50 Shades of Grey are wrong or unrealistic? Most of them.

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

6:00 Topic: 50 Shades of Myth

If you’ve been hearing about 50 Shades of Gray, you know that it’s pretty lame and inaccurate. Not surprising, as it was written by a fanfic writer with absolutely no experience in or research into BDSM at all. And this article goes into the assumptions about how and why people engage in BDSM that the book gets wrong.

21:15 Feedback

E from Sweden writes in with more marriage stats.

23:00 Wrapup

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 Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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What healthcare professionals need to know about poly and kink

As a health care practitioner, how do you identify polyamorous and kinky clients?

This week, I had the pleasure of participating in an event at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health. (Thanks to Allena Gabosch for recommending me for the event when she was booked!) The event was called the “human library,” and about a dozen of us activists acted as “books” to the participants, who were all in the program. Since health care professional deal with people of all orientations, genders and abilities, we were there to act as open books into our respective communities and to lend advice to future naturopathic practitioners.

I wasn’t sure what to expect going in, and I had no idea of the questions I might be asked. Most of the students I met with were unsure what to ask and wanted a basic primer on polyamory and kink. “What do I need to know about polyamory/kink?” was the most common question. For this, I recommended two books, a paper and a local resource:

However, some did have specific concerns, including:

  • When I take a history, what would I ask to discover if a person is polyamorous?
  • When I take a history, what would I ask to discover if a person is kinky?
  • What does “polyamorous” actually mean, and what do I need to know about these people?

Creating a safe space

The first question was fairly easy to answer. Just as we poly folks create a safe space for emotional and relationship discussions, health care practitioners should do everything possible to set their patients at ease. The best way to do this is not to make assumptions: don’t assume the person is straight, of one particular gender, monogamous or vanilla. Even if it’s too personal to ask, it’s best not to be heteronormative. Or relationship-normative.

Also, do your best to create a safe, judgment-free zone to encourage your patients to be comfortable enough to reveal their orientations. My favorite personal experience with this was a fantastic gynecologist who, when I was in the stirrups, asked, “Do you sleep with men, women, or both?” I’d never heard “or both” before, and I was delighted she’d asked! I answered, “both,” to which she replied with a cheery, “Good for you!” And just like that, she established trust. I knew I could tell her about my partners, probably even my kinky proclivities, and she wouldn’t flinch, blink or judge.

Compare this to my previous gynecologist, who, when I told her I was now in a polyamorous relationship, left an awkward pause, sat back with considerable discomfort and mumbled, “it’s best if you try to limit the number of partners.” Ugh! At the time, I had TWO long-term, committed partners. She just assumed that “polyamorous” meant I’d installed a revolving door to my bedroom. I knew I couldn’t trust her to be considerate and informed, so I switched to someone I could.

So how does a practitioner establish a safe space to discuss orientations and lifestyles? “Male, female or both?” is a good start. A good follow-up question is, “What is your relationship structure?” Monogamous folks will probably reply “single,” “married” or the like, but this question opens up the opportunity for non-monogamous folks to share both their orientation and partner information if they are comfortable doing so.

What about kink?

Asking about BDSM proclivities and activities is far, far more difficult, and I’ve personally never found a good, non-offensive lead-in to asking if someone is kinky unless he or she had already dropped a significant hint. Most kinksters I know frankly will not share this information with a health care practitioner because they believe it to be private and irrelevant. One could argue against the “irrelevant” factor, depending upon the type of visit and health care practitioner, but it is definitely private and personal information. There is no good way to broach this topic in a casual way. The best you can do is to create a safe space in which your patient will be willing to share relevant details with you and ask you health-related questions as needed.

How do we tell the difference between kink and abuse?

There is of course a big difference between kink and abuse: consent. And health care practitioners are mandatory reporters, so they must by law report abuse. This is why many kinksters don’t come out to their doctors: they could mistakenly be reported as abuse victims and inadvertently make their partner suspect of being an abuser. Health care practitioners are trained to question bruises with a conversational, “Hey, how did that come about?” or “Wow, big bruise. What happened there?”

Here, I’ll give a little advice to the kinksters: be honest. When you try to hide the information, it only makes you look more like an abuse victim! A few suggestions:

  • [big smile] Oh, that? That was FUN!
  • [big smile + eyebrow raise] Do you really want to know?
  • [big smile + happy sigh] That was the cause of my last orgasm.
  • Or, if you must lie: [big smile] Carpet burn.

For the practitioners, do you notice the common theme? While most of the time kinksters will simply lie to avoid sharing private details, you can often discern them from abuse victims by a sincere but fleeting smile when you ask about bruises or marks. It’s similar to the reaction when you ask someone about a hickey: it’s not a litmus test by any means, but it might give a clue that the situation was consensual.

Back to safe

After all that, the creation of a safe space is really what’s most important for health care practitioners if they really want all the information. Doctors know that patients lie all the time: about whether they took their medication or not, about how many drinks they have, about how often they exercise. The best health care folks can do is to let their patients know that they won’t be judged and that the conversation will be easy to have. And the best the patients can do is to be honest about their lifestyle choices and be informed enough to ask your doctor or therapist all your questions, even if some of them are a little embarrassing.

PW 316: Queer is a verb

Dr. Charlie Glickman on using “queer” as a verb rather than an adjective or noun; the origins of Good Vibrations

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

  • OpenSF is June 8-10 in San Francisco

3:20 Interview: Dr. Charlie Glickman

Dr. Glickman teaches how to teach sexuality topics to adults and runs the workshops and outreach at Good Vibrations as well as the social media and web presence; he’s speaking on “Queer as a Verb” and approaching “queering” as a practice as opposed to who you have sex with. What do the mainstream-identified need to know about the queer identity in order to understand, tolerate and help; how to play with the edges; how Good Vibes came about (when women started buying toys and wouldn’t tolerate shoddy craftsmanship!).

17:45 Thanks

Thanks to Joseph for the one-time donation and welcome Clinton to the Poly Weekly Playmates!

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 Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 315: What would monogamists do?

#mconFreshly returned from MomentumCon, a recap of the sessions on feminism, sexuality and sex-positivism today. Plus, using “what would monogamists do?” as a guiding question.

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 News and host chat

20:45 Topic: What would monogamists do?

A listener writes in to ask how to act around her partner’s OSO (metamour) and challenges the What Would Monogamists Do guiding question. How much flirting is OK around your SO and OSO, and how should you act towards your metamour in social situations?

29:30 Happy Poly Moment

  • Summersnake shares a moment of compersion when sending his wife off to spend time with her sweetie
  • Don writes in to share compersion and joy at his partner’s meeting the metamours

33:25 Feedback

Taylor on controlled male orgasms through controlling the flow of chi

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 Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 313: Everyday ecstasy and thinking off

Why Ecstasy is Necessary

An interview with Barbara Carrellas, author of Ecstasy is Necessary, on making tantric sex available to everyone on an everyday basis

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen

1:00 Announcements and Host chat

3:50 Interview: Why ecstasy is necessary

Barbara Carrellas is a certified sexologist, sex educator, sex/life coach, and sensual
revolutionary. She is the author of a new book on tantra for the everyday user, Ecstasy is Necessary She answers Minx’s and LustyGuy’s questions, such as:

  • Why another book on tantra? How is this book more accessible and less woo-woo?
  • Isn’t tantra just breathing together for two hours and not coming?
  • What is “thinking off” and can you really breathe your way to an orgasm?
  • How can tantra be achieved with our distracted monkey minds?
  • 16:00 LustyGuy switchover!
  • What about the science and medical information in the book, which is remarkably detailed and accurate?
  • Why is it important that there isn’t one true path to ecstasy?
  • Was it intentional that the book is directed at everyone, not just the kink and woo-woo communities?
  • Angergasms, screamgasms and feargasms

24:35 Thanks

Thanks and welcome to new PW Playmates James and Haddayr as well as to Tara for the generous donations!

26:30 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 Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 312: The power of introverts and orgasms at the gym

The power of introverts; female orgasms from exercise at the gym

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Introduction

Under-18 warning and redirection to Scarleteen.

1:00 News and host chat

  • OpenCon Catalonia will be in Spain May 25-27
  • OpenSF is June 6-8 at Holiday Inn Golden Gateway in San Francisco
  • I’ll be at Kinkfest in Portland, OR March 23-25
  • And speaking at MomentumCon in D.C. March 29-April 1

10:00 Topic: The Power of Introverts

Susan Cain’s TED talk on the power of introverts and how to maximize individual creative thinking. The loudest person isn’t always the wisest, but work environments cater to extroverts.

15:00 Topic: Orgasms at the Gym

A new study shows that women can orgasm without sexual stimulation just from certain types of exercise.

20:45 Feedback: Episode 309 on the myth of sex addiction

  • Stabbity thanks Ley for making the connection with nymphomania about pathologizing certain behavior
  • Vir comments on the pathologization of sex addiction promoting both a double standard and keeping men from taking responsibility for their sexual bad choices

24:55 Thanks

To BobBe for the kinky $69 donation. And welcome Maura to the Playmates!

25:30 Wrapup

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 Blubrry.com. Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

PW 294: The HSV blues

The HSV blues–herpes myths busted and HSV stigma eliminated

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Introduction

Under 18? Stop listening now and visit http://www.scarleteen.com

1:00 Host chat

  • The GaggleAmp experiment
  • Great having dinner with Kurt, our book reviewer!

2:40 Topic: The HSV blues

MakeUpandSin, 23, wrote in to ask for advice when she discovered she had herpes after she and her boyfriend brought a new girl into their relationship. Feeling unsexy, she blames herself and insists possible exposure is all her fault. Host Joreth asks why is it stigmatized more than a cold; the blame and guilt are disproportionate to the actual disease and mode of transmission.

  • Herpes is likely not due to promiscuity, has nothing to do with sexual past. Keep in mind that most children get it from their parents touching them, so get away from the blame game. Take positive steps: educate yourself on the medical details on the strain, placement, medications; arm yourself with information rather than guilt; gather questions and talk to your doctor.
  • When bringing up the issue with partners, Puck suggests going in confident and informed without a sense of shame or guilt; many people don’t even realize they have it because it’s a non-event. Joreth compares to some who get a cold and it’s nothing while others get totally wiped out. And keep in mind it’s also possible to be HSV positive and have partners who aren’t and keep that status; current tests aren’t effective and some who are known positives can sometimes test negative depending on the test.
  • HSV1 versus HSV2 and why the distinction doesn’t matter; location-based diagnosis; skanky STI films and the dangers of doing medical research online
  • Final advice – remember this is just a harmless virus and not a punishment for bad behavior; it’s just part of being alive, like getting a cold every year.

21:30 Feedback

  • Sean asked about episode 291 Yes Means Yes and why some people don’t use safewords. The short answer is (a) they are just arrogant pricks or (b) they prefer clear and specific communication (my right foot is asleep) to a black and white safeword.
  • 26:08 Pablo writes in to share the beauty of three.

28:45 Thanks

Thanks to Nathaniel, Emily, Blake and three-digit hero Iske for contributions this week that will go toward MomentumCon travel!

Wrap-up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com and attach an audio comment or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. Friend us on Twitter or Facebook or leave a comment here. Check out PolyWeekly podcasts 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.”

PW 273: You’re not as kinky as you think

How kinky are we, really?

What is mainstream and what is sexually deviant? Turns out, there’s no such thing as sexual deviance

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1:00 Introduction and host chat

6:00 Topic: You’re not as kinky as you think

Musings over the findings of a massive internet sex survey made into a book, “A Billion Wicked Thoughts,” by Sai Gaddam. Interesting findings include:

  • Gay and straight men alike favor chests, butts and feet, in that order
  • The top 10 sex searches cover youth, gay, MILFs (go MILFs!), breasts and cheating wives.
  • Men fantasize a lot about group sex.
  • Straight men prefer amateur porn to highly-produced porn (score one for real boobs and brown hair!)
  • Dominance and submission are extremely common searches, not terribly deviant
  • Foot fetishes are common across all cultures
  • “There’s no such thing as sexual deviance.”

17:55 Feedback

David, 60, shares his experiences organizing and running KanPoly, a Kansas-area discussion and social poly group

    19:50 Wrap-up

    Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email polyweekly@gmail.com and attach an audio comment or call the listener comment line at 206-202-POLY. Friend us on Twitter or Facebook, leave a comment here or discuss your own topics at the forums. Check out PolyWeekly podcasts 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 265: Lady Porn Day

    Women: what is your relationship with porn?

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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.

    Topic: Lady Porn Day

    The motivation behind Rabbit White’s fabulous idea, Lady Porn Day

    My first porno

    Cunning Minx’s essay on her very first experience with porn and origins of her bukkake fetish.

    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 263: STIpalooza, part 2

    Special guests Dane Ballard and Danah Abarr of Sinplex Weekend share facts, myths and info about HSV, HPV and the stigma attached to both

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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.

    Topic: The straight dope on HSV and HPV and how it can improve your sex life

    • Guests Dane Ballard and Danah Abarr, creators of Sinplex Weekend, February 18-20 in Seattle
    • Danah Abarr, founder of HPV Hope
    • Follow Sinplex on Twitter
    • What percentage of the population have HPV and HSV? (70%)
    • The value of open dialogue
    • The power of questions and finding a doctor who is a good fit
    • False positives, false negatives and why the tests aren’t 100%
    • Gauging your own risk vs. how big a deal something is (panic vs. the ostrich syndrome)
    • How dealing with STD’s improves your sex life

    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.”

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