Open Letter to BudLight and BBDO: How to Apologzie

Bud Light’s “removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary” tagline merits a better apology

Dear Bud Light and BBDO:

Look, I get that alcohol marketing is primarily about marketing the promise of uninhibited fun. After all, alcohol’s key value proposition is lowered inhibitions, which allow many people the freedom do participate in activities they typically wouldn’t. And a lot of those activities can be quite fun. Much like the lottery, your job is to sell the best promise of your product, not to provide a balanced view of the full effects of your product.

The kerfuffle

That being said, referencing “removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night,” one of the tag lines of the Up For Whatever campaign, did more than “miss the mark.” It might as well have read “removing ‘no’ from her vocabulary for the night.” In a world where colleges and universities are struggling every day to prevent sexual assault by teaching the next generation to ask for and respect consent, there you are, back in the 1960s, teaching everyone that the only fun to be had is without consent. That tagline reeks of “boys will be boys” and throwing not only caution but also consent to the wind.

Basically, the reason you’re getting accused of being a little rapey is because your ad is a little rapey.

And your half-assed apology isn’t doing it for anyone. So let’s talk about how to apologize properly.

How to apologize

So what’s a corporation to do in this situation? Here’s the thing to do. It’s the same thing that every corporation (or politician or boyfriend or wife) should always do for building trust: cowboy/girl up and apologize.

Here is my three-step PR apology kit:

  1. First, apologize. For real. Heartfelt. Sincere. Acknowledge that you fucked up. Do not use the passive voice. Do not let your lawyers write the apology. Use the active voice, and write like you’re speaking to your grandmother. Do not “regret any inconvenience” and for heaven’s sake, don’t “regret that some took it badly.” Just admit in so many words that you made a mistake. Your audience will forgive you, but only if you actually apologize.
  2. Acknowledge your audience (including the women). Reaffirm what your brand stands for and that your audience is what makes your brand strong and successful.
  3. Show you’ve learned A wise brand learns from its mistakes. After the Superbowl debacle, GoDaddy fired its CEO and used more inclusive ad campaigns. We all grow and learn. Promise to be more conscientious in the future, and we’ll begin to trust your brand again.

Here’s an example:

Recently, we included a tagline on some of our bottles as part of the Up For Whatever campaign. This campaign is designed to encourage a spirit of adventure and light-hearted fun, but this particular tagline did just the opposite.

The “removing ‘no’ from your vocabulary for the night” tagline was a mistake. We want everyone who drinks Bud Light to both have fun and be responsible. And this time, we failed to convey that.

We’re sorry, and we will work in the future to earn back your trust in Bud Light’s ability to provide a fun and safe night for all our fans.

PW 430: Don’t try polyamory before listening to this

Minx and Koe Creation review the absolutely essential Relationship Bill of Rightsbillofrights Download the mp3 directly

1:00 Announcements

3:25 Poly in the news

5:35 Topic: What you need to know about poly relationships before trying one

Koe Creation and Minx highlight one of the most important pieces for you to read, review and integrate before trying a poly relationship. No, it’s not about jealousy. No, it’s not about dating. No, it’s not about safer sex. This is a topic that very few people discuss before trying polyamory and is usually the cause of the demise of the first poly relationship. What is it? The rights that every person has in every relationship, regardless of the structure: Franklin Veaux’s and Eve Rickert’s Relationship Bill of Rights.

37:30 Thank you!

Thanks to Shelby for the donation!

38:30 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

What do you NOT know about sex with girls?

An interview with Allison Moon about her new book, Girl Sex 101

allison-moon-d7ffe235What is your background?

I’m a sex educator and the author of four books, most recently Girl Sex 101, which is my most sex-ed book to date. Prior to that, I released a series of sexy memoirs called Bad Dyke, which came out last year. And prior to that, two lesbian werewolf novels.

Girl Sex 101 giveaway: Tweet your favorite quote from the podcast interview before May 10, tag @polyweekly and @thallisonmoon, and we’ll give away a copy of Allison’s beautiful new illustrated book, Girl Sex 101 for our favorite Tweet!

What was the motivation for writing this book?

There was a real dearth of quality queer sex-ed out there right now. Most young people are learning about sex from the internet–for better or for worse–and I really wanted to create a book that was fun to read and spoke to a slightly more queer sensibility than a classic old-school lesbian sensibility. There is a lot of great content out there for people of all sexualities and gender identities, but I wanted something that could be both inclusive and at the same time speaking to the experience of girls with girls. So I wanted to write a book that was fun and easy to read and colloquial, not a textbook, but something a little more fun that you could flip through, read the stories, see the pictures and have a good time reading.

Is this a how-to manual or a narrative?

It’s both! It’s a genre-bending kind of a book. Each chapter starts with an actual fiction story that usually includes an erotic interlude with the two main characters, who are ex-girlfriends on a road trip, and sometimes with characters they meet along route 101. So it starts with a sex story that introduces a new technique or idea that the rest of the chapter illustrates in non-fiction. So, for example, in the hand sex chapter, there is a story between one of my main characters and a girl she’s been wanting to get with for many years, and whom she has hot hand sex with outside of a club. And the rest of the chapter is non-fiction explaining how to do the things you saw them do in the story.

I know a lot of people look to erotica for how-tos, and sometimes those sexy stories are a little too ambiguous about what actually happens, so it’s kind of like edu-porn. I wanted to show people how hot it could be to, for example, negotiate consent, while at the same time giving you actual information you could take to the bedroom.

Are you the solo author of this book?

I’m the primary author, but I did solicit pieces from 15 other sex educators. Nina Hartley, Giz Lee, Sophia St. James, a lot of people that have different specialities. I’m only one person, and I only do certain things in my personal life, and I only teach certain things. But I wanted to have more diverse voices represented in the book so people feel like they can find themselves.

Were you trying to clear up misconceptions about queer sex?

I taught Girl Sex 101 as a workshop and taught it all over the country. I started teaching the class aimed specifically to lesbian and bisexual women, but found over time that men–more and more straight men started coming to the workshop because they wanted to learn how to get their wives and girlfriends off without using their penises necessarily. I was so surprised when that started happening! So I started emphasizing things like hand sex and how everybody can use their hands in bedroom; it’s a hot thing that many people overlook once they start having genital sex. Sex isn’t just one thing, and I wanted to give credence to the various ways we can generate pleasure for each other.

To hear more about girl sex with Allison Moon, listen to the entire interview here.

PW 429: OMG Girl Sex with Allison Moon


Download the mp3 directly (new audio file 4-27-15)

1:00 Announcements

  • I’ll be speaking at Rocky Mountain Poly Living May 7-10
  • Working to offer Kicking Poly Drama in the Ass as an online course—stay tuned!

3:00 Poly in the news

8:00 Interview: Girl Sex 101 with Allison Moon

Girl Sex 101 is an innovative and unique project created and spearheaded by Allison Moon and illustrated by kd diamond. Described as “a road trip in a book,” Girl Sex 101 seeks to combine fiction, comics and sex education as a resource for queer women in a way that no other sex education tool has done before.

Want to win a copy of Girl Sex 101? Tweet your favorite quote from this interview before May 15 and tag @theallisonmoon and @polyweekly to be entered to win!

33:45 Feedback on 426

Tre writes in to ask for more happy poly moments!

35:55 Thank you!

Thanks to Sidney for joining the Poly Weekly playmates!

36:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Rachel Lark: “I’m a relationship anarchist”

rachel larkHow did Dixie de la Tour lure you into writing ridiculously bawdy songs?

It was an accident. I’ve only written bawdy songs for the past two and a half years. I wrote tortured, angsty songs for years, and that was my thing. I’ve always been a kinky weirdo sort of person in the sex-positive world, but I never expected to be writing this kind of music.

The accident was that Dixie had a cancellation for Bawdy storytelling (a tremendous storytelling shows with live storytellers telling stories related to poly and kink, a powerful and loving experience). Minx: it’s like the Moth Radio Hour with sex. She always likes to have a music guest, and she was supposed to have Hedwig and the Angry Inch. It was the night of the show, and someone I’d met at Harbin Hot Springs had a hunch and told Dixie, who asked if I had any dirty songs about fucking. At the time, I had one dirty song that I wrote as a joke called “Fuck My Toe.”

I played this funny little song that I’d never played before, and everyone freaked out. And I proposed to Dixie I write custom songs for her themes. And two years later, it’s most of what I do.

How do you self-identify?

The only reason I hesitate to self-identify as poly is that I don’t know if I have enough experience to say I’m poly. I’m good friends with people who are so well-versed. And also, to me, polyamory is about having multiple relationships, not just having an open relationship, and that’s not an experience I’ve had. I’ve identified as a “relationship anarchist,” and someone told once me, “I think that’s just single.”

What appeals to me about polyamory is that it’s about recognizing that things change and we figure out how we continue in this world relating to one another. And with relationship anarchy, promises are virtually impossible to keep. Intentions, yes, but “I will love you this way forever” is hard to fully commit to. So with relationship anarchy, you can accept that this could change, but you’re not attaching your identity to this outcome.

It’s not that I don’t believe in commitment; I do. But when we say “forever,” does that mean sharing a bed or a bank account for the rest of our lives? When we attach lifestyle stipulations to what that means… there’s some level of love that might be there forever, but we might want something different in the future.

The relationship I’m in now is unique. I’m dating my best friend of the past nine years. We have such a solid basis in friendship, and we both feel so confident in the friendship being the priority.

I think what stops a lot of people from dating their best friend is fucking up the friendship. But with lots of things, you kinda have to go with the momentum and can’t get too intellectual with your pros and cons list and just go with what’s happening.

Are all your songs bawdy now?

rachel lark hungIt gets the most attention. Dan Savage took an interest in my music and commissioned a song, which prompted a Christmas album called Hung for the Holidays. It’s also pay-what-you-want on my BandCamp page–you can download for free. I do have another set that is electronic live looping that is dancey and experimental. I also have a song that I wrote for Bawdy called Flowers Fuck that is all about flower sex.

What is your favorite song from your sexy sets?

I just wrote a new song called “Shut Up and Hit Me,” which was a custom song about spanking that was a reward for one of my Kickstarter campaigns.

To hear the full interview with Rachel Lark and a special performance of her song Born This Way, listen to Poly Weekly episode 428.

PW 428: Naughty songstress Rachel Lark

A chat with bawdy poly songstress Rachel Larklarkafterdark

Download the mp3 directly

1:00 Announcements

3:00 Poly in the news

6:35 Interview: Bawdy Poly Songstress Rachel Lark

Rachel Lark, Bawdy Storytelling’s naughty songstress, shares tales of her poly life and how she got into writing and performing naughty songs. Her song for us is called Born This Way (26:30).

26:30 Born This Way

33:30 Feedback on episode 425

Pete writes in to give feedback on 425 Dating at 37, recounting that he got all this same self-help advice before being diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum

36:15 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

Is there poly over 70?

Cunning Minx, host of the Polyamory Weekly podcast, interviews poly geezer Ken Haslam on polyamory over the age of 70

Ken, tell us who you are.

I’m an 80-year-old failing polyamorist settling down into a more conventional lifestyle in a retirement community. I was a poly activist for 15 years and ran about the country lecturing and ultimately set up the Kenneth R. Haslam Polyamory Library at the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University about six or eight years ago now.

Didn’t you run the Poly Geezers list?

I am a founding member, along with another fellow, who is now dead. That’s one of the problems of getting old–sometimes you die. The Poly Geezers list died a natural death. Old polys get it; they don’t have much drama; they don’t have much to talk about!

What do you do if one partner gets dementia or is unable to have sex?

The first thing you do is to have that conversation when you’re both younger, and your brains and bodies are working well. You have these conversations before you get sick–before the age of 50. It’s important that you sit down with your partners and talk about this kind of thing. What happens when one of us gets Alzheimers? And you take it from there. You do what you always do in a poly community: you talk. You extract the information you can from each other about what you want.

Maybe a yearly Alzheimer’s checkin?

It’s not a pleasant thought, but it’s out there, and it’s occurring because the population is aging. And all those young polys out there in about 10 or 15 years are gonna be old.

What other issues could an aging poly run up against?

Divorce. Some people just bail out because caring for someone old and demented is a problem, and it’s very burdensome for the healthy partner. And people with these disease can take years to die. So you have this dilemma: what am I supposed to do? I’ve been married to this person for 20 or 30 years, and now they’re failing. I don’t have an answer for this. I think that polyamory is a way to deal with this problem of being there for a failing partner but still get your own needs met.

What about people who weren’t poly to begin with, like someone who at 50 just doesn’t want sex any more?

I can think of one example of a couple in Illinois, where he went off on his own and went to swing clubs as a single man and went to parties by himself. And his wife stayed home and felt sorry for herself. And after a year or two, she ultimately joined him, and they now have a very happy, adventuresome poly/swing lifestyle. And they go to swinger conventions all the time, and they’re in their 70s!

What about people who discover bisexuality in their 60s?

Many people don’t discover their homosexuality or bisexuality until they’re older, when all of those programmings we have when we are young tend to go away. And you say “gee, I’m really attracted to same sex!” Well, you need to sit down with your partner or partners and tell ‘em. And that’s one of the beauties of polyamory, that your partners would be supportive of your needs.

What if you were monogamous until you discover your bisexuality?

That’s what lawyers thrive on. Sometimes, great relationship fail. And they can fail even after 40 or 50 or 60 years. That’s one of the beauties of polyamory–there are lots of options open to you if you keep an open mind and are flexible.

To hear the entire interview with Ken Haslam about polyamory over the age of 70, as well as poly news coverage and happy poly moments, check out Poly Weekly episode 427: Poly Geezers.

PW 427: Poly geezers with Ken Haslam

kenhaslamWhat you need to know about poly in your 60s, 70s and beyond from poly geezer Ken Haslam

Download the mp3 directly

1:00 Poly in the news

3:45 Interview: Ken Haslam on poly geezers

Ken Haslam, founder of the Poly Geezers email list and of the Kenneth R. Haslam Polyamory collection at the Kinsey Institute, talks about how polyamory works after the age of 60.

28:50 Feedback on 423

  • Raven writes in response to episode 423 to ask how to feel special when being an introvert with chronic depression?
  • George writes in response to 423 about her disability and her need to stop punishing herself for being “wussy sometimes” due to it
  • D calls in about 423 on the real loss of being someone’s “one and only”

39:05 Happy Poly Moment

Ariane shares a happy poly moment about her metamour, when marrying Ariane’s partner, insisted that Ariane spend the night with her partner

40:15 Thank you!

Thanks to Alan of the Poly in the News blog for his donation!

41:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

What I learned from 10 years of poly podcasting

What y’all have taught me about polyamory, community and myself

minx speaking ccon west 2013

Minx at CatalystCon West 2013

It’s hard to believe that Polyamory Weekly has been going strong for 10 years! When I started, it was to try out this new technology called RSS and to test this new content delivery system. But what topic should I cover for that test? In 2005, I’d been polyamorous for all of two years, and my partner, metamour and I had hit every relationship land mine in the book. As a result, the first year or two of our poly adventure was fraught with drama, tears and intense relationship discussions. So why not podcast about the drama we’d experienced and the lessons we’d learned? And so Poly Weekly was born. Over the years, both my own relationships and my awareness of poly’s place in society matured. When I first started the podcast, the only media mentions were thrilling tales of swing clubs being infiltrated and busted by undercover cops and juicy exposés of the crazy sexual libertines who might be living next door to you. Nowadays, coverage of polyamory in the media typically takes the form of a personal essay describing the lifestyle with a representative configuration, almost more like a how-to article, presented more as a life coaching piece than sensational journalism.

What I’ve learned from 10 years of poly podcasting

So for our anniversary episode, I thought it would be fun to both find out what others wish they’d known before diving into polyamory as well as what I’ve learned from engaging with podcast listeners and seminar attendees over the last 10 years. Listeners called in with a variety of lessons learned, from the hilarious “always buy twin sheets for the king bed so the person in the middle can get out in the middle of the night” to the heartbreaking “I wish I’d known that treating everyone equally is impossible and unfair before it destroyed our relationship.” As far as what I’ve learned from being your podcast host for the last 10 years:

  • Many voices are more powerful than one While my experiences are common and relatable, not everyone is like me, so the more voices we share describing both poly joy and poly issues, the better.
  • Respect and tolerance win the game While it’s not uncommon to run across intolerance and politics in poly forums and discussion groups, that is not representative of the community. When you treat others with respect and a tolerant mind, you get respect and tolerance in return. In 10 years of podcasting and blogging, I have never once received hate mail. Never!
  • Joy should be celebrated Despite the fact that much online coverage relates to relationships in the midst of implosion, happy poly moments flourish and should receive as much attention as the relationships in need of advice.
  • There is a lot I don’t know My fans have made me aware of a plethora of trends, communities and phenomena ranging from slash fic to transgenderism to asexuality. I hope to learn exponentially more over the next 10 years.
  • There is a lot I DO know Like many people, I suffer from the self-worth syndrome of “if I know it, it must not be that valuable or difficult.” Developing podcast and seminar content over the last 10 years has taught me that there is a lot that I do know that is worth sharing. For example, the key to happy relationships lies in four key skills: the ability to know yourself and explain your reactions to others, emotional intelligence, the ability to own your own shit and the ability to ask for what you want.

So, after 10 years, I have to thank all the listeners who kept it real. You have taught me far more than I ever taught you.

PW 426: What YOU wish you’d known about poly

For our special 10-year anniversary, what you wish you’d known–and what I’ve learned from youLol-Cat-picture-Party-On

Download the mp3 directly

1:00 Topic: What do YOU wish you’d known about polyamory?

To celebrate 10 years of Poly Weekly, what do YOU wish you’d known about polyamory?

  • David shares that if you sleep three to a king bed, put twin sheets on it so the middle person can get out in the middle of the night! J Also that your fears are usually worse than reality, so just talk about them.
  • Amber Love shares that PW inspired her to get off her butt and write more and publish her first book!
  • CageyCate shares that you fall in love with real people, not theories or convenient ideals
  • Eve Rickert learned that every experience is new and never to make assumptions and a lot about boundaries and consent
  • Franklin Veaux learned that OK to be poly and you don’t need to conform to every rule as a concession for this terrible lifestyle
  • SpiderGirl learned that you don’t have to do poly and kink and everything all at once
  • Poly is real—congratulations!
  • Thanks for 30 years of monogamy
  • Jackie wishes she’d known that poly doesn’t’ mean everyone needs equal time and shares a happy poly moment
  • Guillaume learned that trying to convert people to polyamory is not the way to go and that he’s better off going to the poly community instead of converting from the general population

14:00 What I have learned from YOU

  • While my experiences are common, not everyone is like me, and I need to be more thoughtful about language and inclusion
  • With respect to community, the intolerance and politics you see in the poly forums is not the only way–when you treat others with respect, you get respect in return. Never once have I received hate mail. Never!
  • Happy poly moments abide, despite the fact we read the opposite online all the time
  • There is a lot I don’t know
  • There is a lot I DO know
    • knowing yourself, emotional intelligence of owning shit and asking for what you want
    • 90% can be solved with “did you tell/ask him/her that?” be honest about your feelings
    • typically it’s a concern about someone else acting a certain way, when all you need to do is ask yourself what you want and need and then ask that person for that

22:00 Wrap Up

Questions? Comments? Feedback? Email or call the listener comment line at 802-505-POLY. And hey, why not attach an audio comment to that email? :-) Check out PolyWeekly at Share this with a friend or write an iTunes review!

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