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Does Being Sexually “Different” Mean You’re a Pervert? (And is that a bad thing?)

Sex and morality – for some it seems these are opposite sides of the universe.

Ironically, we can watch people’s heads get blown off on TV and play video games that began as military training, but enjoying our bodies is immoral. Or enjoying them in the wrong context. But who sets that context?

Why is sexual diversity so often framed as sexual perversion? (With all the negative connotation that the word “pervert” implies.) Because it diverts from our stereotypical notions that sex ideally occurs between a man and woman in a committed (preferably marital) relationship, consisting perhaps of some foreplay (she hopes) and a penis in a vagina. And if we’re “liberal” – we can accept this sort of situation between two women and two men (though we rarely want to imagine the latter). But tolerance is not acceptance.

We accept diversity in other areas of life far easier than in sexuality. We don’t expect everyone to like the same food – we don’t even limit ourselves to our local cuisine. Imagine an American only eating “American” foods? A diet of hamburgers, hot dogs, high fructose corn syrup convenience store snacks, soda, meat, potatoes, the occasional vegetable – oh, and apple pie? But were food sex, Andrew Zimmern wouldn’t be hosting Bizarre Foods – why, that’d be pure filth, gutter garbage smut, NOT an exotic culinary adventure. We don’t expect everyone to like the same music, movies, or television. Yet sex… somehow we’re all supposed to be relatively the same. And if you’re not – whether you believe in it or not – you may as well be going to hell.

It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, a fetishist, or a sex worker (God forbid your’e all three) – in many circles, engaging in “deviant” sexual practices can pin one as a BAD PERSON. Nevermind these people may also sing, dance, laugh, cry, work, and rest like everyone else. Their perverse sexuality BECOMES them; they are reduced to it. And it, being so different from the norm we pick up from cheesy romantic movies and stereotypical mainstream porn, is necessarily bad, wrong, abnormal – i.e., IMMORAL.

And living an immoral life carries its share of guilt and shame, whether one feels it for themselves, or as projected by others. Minorities of many types experience this sort of pain that adds an extra challenge to overcome. Its why we’re so much more inspired by stories of overcoming adversity, than we are of middle class people working their way up the corporate ladder to middle management.

US culture is beginning to recognize the struggle of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals (think: Brokeback Mountain and Harvey Milk). But the prejudice, shame, and pain they often encounter isn’t limited to that community. Its part of a larger cultural sexual shame that keeps us all – whether we’re a pervert or the most bland vanilla in existence – so tightly bound we can’t enjoy the body we were given by God, nature, or whoever/whatever created us. Because its not as if being sexually normal equals sexual ecstasy – on the contrary, erectile and orgasm issues are common among married “vanilla” couples. Perhaps the judgment placed on others is really a judgment of self. Can’t say I haven’t done it before myself.

I’ve yet to meet a person – the boringest of borings or the craziest of crazies – that doesn’t desire to be loved. That love starts within. And as long as we’re pointing fingers at each other’s sexualities and imposing moral judgments as though we’re God and we weren’t all made by God, there isn’t much room to love our own, now is there?

Edited: June 30th, 2012

How Making Porn Has Helped My Self-Esteem

Stereotypically, porn stars have low self esteem. But then, so do most women.

The first time my husband took naked pictures of me, I felt so self-conscious and afraid of looking stupid that I disassociated during what would have been really hot sex after. We’d been together a few months and he wanted to paint a picture of my naked body. That was pretty much the biggest compliment anyone had given me, so of course I said yes. But I wasn’t prepared for how, well, naked I felt. How exposed. How vulnerable. I was amazed when I saw what he did – I saw my body, in some ways for the first time. I really saw it how he did. It was beautiful.

It wasn’t enough to undo years of hating my body and my appearance. But it was a start.

Its hanging in our bedroom.

Fast forward about 7 months. After hanging out with naked women on his sets several times, observing the openness about their bodies and sexuality, I knew there was something for me in this lifestyle. I had a list of logical reasons why I should do porn, and plenty more why I shouldn’t – but none of that mattered. I inexplicably needed to do it.

I hated watching my videos at first. I needed to, to write descriptions, something I also felt awkward about. I’d lectured about sex to hundreds of college students, but my own sexuality, and my body, were largely hidden. I’d been hiding in my body, as if it were a robot housing my soul, merely existing on this planet.

Today I enjoy watching. I’m still my own worst critic, cringing when the dialogue gets awkward, but I’m fascinated by seeing myself. To view my body from angles I wouldn’t be able to otherwise. To really look at my pussy, up close and personal. To see how my face looks when I’m turned on. To watch myself suck his cock. To see what he sees when he fucks me. It still feels naked, vulnerable, but I don’t feel anxious about it so much. I enjoy it.

My rise in self-esteem and body image isn’t because I get naked and guys want me, though that certainly happens. At first I viewed my fans emails as suspect – I didn’t quite believe them, nor did I desire the false sense of worth that arose from their compliments. It came from seeing my sexuality, in all its weirdness, and understanding WHY they like me. It came from admiring my own beauty, parts I never saw as attractive until I saw them displayed for the world to see. The camera becomes a mirror for how I am, and in time I’ve come to like what’s reflected back.

A woman doesn’t need to take her clothes off to feel good about herself. But when a woman deeply desires to get naked, the experience of knowing that need, accepting it, and acting on it – in spite of logic that says she ‘shouldn’t – that’s where the self-esteem comes from. That’s where nudity and sexuality can be liberation. It isn’t this way for everyone; for many, it would be the exact opposite. But I can only speak of my own experience. I no longer feel ugly. I don’t daydream about plastic surgery, like I did in high school. I don’t avoid certain sexual positions because of how they make my body look. I don’t worry about my weight – I care more about my health. My body has become a source of pleasure that I’m learning to love, appreciate, and respect. All thanks, in part, to porn.

Edited: June 27th, 2012

The Beauty of Masturbation and the Human Body

Masturbation can be beautiful.

Says the woman who was so ashamed of it, she’d get it over ASAP then immediately switch to another task… as if to pretend it hadn’t happened at all.

During masturbation recently, I set an intention with myself – to give myself love and receive it. Cheesy? Totally. Important? Absolutely.

What could be more beautiful than allowing yourself to feel love for yourself? Most people walk around putting themselves down as if its the latest tween wave beat – or worse, as if they’re South Park’s Kyle, diagnosed with a condition called “being a cynical asshole.” How often do people compete in a whining competition about whose life is worse? Get one woman in a group to complain about her body, and most the rest will jump on board. And Jesus Christ, I never realized how insecure men are about their penis size until I made a YouTube video about it, which only spawned MORE emails to double check their size is okay. Its almost rare to meet someone with high self esteem; it can seem most everyone’s insecure and not doing that well hiding it. Sometimes I can fall into that category too.

We’ve grown up in a culture that finds the “natural” body disgusting. This taboo is partly why body functions – farting, burping, spitting, sneezing, vomiting, shitting, pissing, and even laughing and crying – have become sexual fetishes to some (in another culture others would probably still enjoy them, but for other reasons). This emerges from a long history of religious puritanism, public health campaigns of the 19th and early 20th centuries, and modern medicine rooted in the questionable “germ theory“.

We are blessed that our bodies are set up for pleasure. Yet if we despise the body for what it “naturally” is and does – then we also shut off the possibility of appreciating what it allows us to experience. Perhaps many people feel bad about sex and masturbation because they don’t believe they deserve it. Or worse, that its overindulgent, narcissistic, too much. Its not necessary. They don’t let themselves feel all the pleasure that’s in their bodies. Then they’re surprised it doesn’t work out so well with a partner…

I’m talking about myself, and I’m talking about people who email me about their sex concerns. Since masturbation is self-pleasure, it may be the ultimate expression of self-love, if only we’ll allow ourselves to feel it.

Edited: June 24th, 2012

The Ethics of Selling Sex: Reflections in the Adult Industry

People work in the adult industry for various reasons, pleasure and money being the primary ones.

I make no judgment on those who are in the adult industry just for the cash, but I do my best to avoid working with them. Of course I need to make money as well, but my primary motive is to enjoy myself and help my customers enjoy themselves too. If someone doesn’t want to be there, it gives me a bad experience, and is handed down to my members as something hot and sexy that really wasn’t. There’s enough of that crap out there, I don’t need to waste my energy on creating more of it.

I recently worked with a woman who was going through some very hard times financially. She’d been doing webcam work (solo and with her boyfriend) for awhile and loved it, but for various reasons wasn’t able to at the time. She’d done girl-girl porn on and off, and was trying to get back on her feet through adult industry work – porn and stripping. Her plan was to get back onto her feet so she could do more camming, because she enjoyed being at home and having sex with her guy for “work.” For her it was of course about the money, but she was happy to do it for the cash. Conversely, some will work for the money and hate every second of it – that’s who I avoid.

I approached her to do some clips with me and she was down except for one that required contact with my husband. Though it was minimal contact (no penetration), her guy wasn’t okay with her doing boy-girl shoots so she said no to that one. No big deal, I just asked another girl to do an extra clip, which was fine.

Shortly after, the first woman asked to speak with me. She explained she and her boyfriend really needed the money, so they talked it over and he could be okay with the one clip with my husband.

For a moment, I was torn. I felt for her situation and part of me wanted to help her out. But I felt much more strongly that:
(a) I didn’t want to hire anyone literally JUST for the money to work for my site,
(b) I felt uncomfortable providing masturbation material to my customers at the expense of a relationship,
(c) we already had it worked out with the second model,
(d) it wasn’t that much money she’d be missing out on since it was just one clip (besides, I’m not running a charity here), and
(e) if she wasn’t into it, it would definitely show in the video and wouldn’t turn out as well anyway.

I told her I understood her position, but I wasn’t okay with it. I said, “When I ask a girl to work with me, if it isn’t a ‘hell yeah,’ then its a no.” We then had a good time doing our girl-girl clips and they went on their way.

Since its impossible to know the conditions under which your favorite porn is shot, a good rule is – if the chick looks uncomfortable, there’s probably something fishy going on with her personally and/or on set. Close the window and find something else. There’s plenty of ethical producers in the adult industry with female performers who want to be there.

Edited: June 21st, 2012

Tantra and Masturbation: My First “Tantric” Experience?

I recently had a crazy “spiritual” experience during masturbation. I’ve been told it isn’t tantra, but I’ll call it tantra for lack of a better term.

I gave myself an evening off an decided to masturbate. I played with my vibrator for maybe an hour and had an orgasm. It was enjoyable, but not quite satisfying. I started back up, when I became aware I was going toward a pattern I recently observed – when I keep going after an orgasm, I’m usually TRYING to have a second. And though I can usually get the job done, TRYING is not satisfying. So I decided I didn’t care about an orgasm and was just going to play around.

I messed around with a new cyberskin dildo I like because its about the size of my husband’s dick. I tried different sensations of moving it in and out, keeping it in, and holding it at different depths of my pussy. I added on the vibrator, trying different areas and amounts of pressure. After awhile I landed on some magically perfect combination of the two, and felt something I never have before.

It was a sensation was of pure pleasure – no fear, no anxiety, no guilt, no fantasy – just intense pleasure, located on one specific spot on the left side of my clit. I tensed up all my muscles, as is my body’s typical response to something feeling good. Normally I would hold my breath as well, trying to move as little as possible to hold on to the feeling (which only sort of works anyway). But this time I consciously breathed while I focused all my attention on that specific spot. Tantra is about using breath to connect to your body and prolong pleasure.

What was already quite amazing turned into a sort of hallucinogenic experience. For a brief moment it felt as if my entire physical body had curled up into itself in this spot. I felt as if my body was that spot and nothing else. It was short, but momentarily time stopped. It was as though I lived my entire life in that moment; I was born in it and would die in it, only there was no death to speak of. It just… was, for lack of a better description. With my next breath I felt a wave of this deep intense feeling wash down from my head to my toes. Then I got excited about what had just happened and lost all focus, laughing to myself.

It was the most physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually fulfilling experience I may have ever had. It felt so deep I could have stopped then and felt more satisfied than if I’d had 10 orgasms. I didn’t stop – I located the spot a couple more times, only after relaxing myself and being completely okay with whether I found it or not. No trying here, just allowing my body to let go and feel it if it was there to feel.

If this is tantra, awesome. If its not…whatever it was, I’m thankful I experienced it.

Edited: June 18th, 2012

How Can I Get Him/Her To…(Fill in the Blank): Communication Solves Most Sex and Relationship Problems

Communication is the source of most relationship problems


Many times I’ve asked myself, “Why don’t I get what I want in my relationships?” I’ve typically answered in a one insecure way or another. Because he doesn’t really love me. Because he’s an asshole. Because I don’t deserve it. Because he doesn’t care about the things I like. Because he doesn’t want to make me feel good. Most of these thoughts then attract a spiral of others – Then why am I with him? What the fuck am I doing with my life? What’s wrong with me for staying with someone who treats me so poorly?

But the real answer is: Because I haven’t asked.


Here are some things I’ve communicated recently:

- I like it when you come up and touch my boobs or my pussy or make out with me when I’m in the middle of doing something.

- If I’m stressed out working, I’d like if you came and sat with me and just hugged or kissed me to calm me down.

- When we’re having sex and you’re doing it too hard, how can I tell you to change it without making you feel like you’re doing something wrong?

- When I’m acting stressed out, I would love if you would tell me to stop working and give me a massage or run me a bath. Then give me space where we can have sex if I want after but I don’t have to, depending how I feel.

- I understand how you feel when I reject you, because even though this was a different situation here’s what I felt when you just rejected me…

- When you come onto me like that, it turns me off.

- If I think of something I’ve wanted to ask for but haven’t, you’re okay if I just say it, right?

I’ve gotten angry and upset with my husband so many times because I assumed he knew what I wanted and wasn’t giving it to me. The times I would communicate, it would be whiny, bitchy, and disrespectful – completely ineffective. I didn’t think he wanted to, because I didn’t think he really loved me. Nor was I really ready to do it, because I didn’t think I deserved to get it anyway.

So here’s the not-so-magic formula to communication:

Know What You Want +
Ask Respectfully and Explain in a Way That Makes Sense to Them +
Be Open to Actually Getting What You’re Asking For

Your partner may or may not be open to trying something new. But if you communicate in this way, you’re much more likely to get it. And even if they say no now, it doesn’t mean no forever. Respect their boundaries and approach them again in the future. And always treat them how you’d want to be treated if the situation were reversed.

Edited: June 14th, 2012

Relationship Advice: Its All in Your Head, OR How Subconscious Beliefs Shape our Sexual Relationships

Relationship advice: Stop listening to the TV, the movies, your religion, and your parents. Tune into yourself. Easier said than done.

I’ve spent countless hours reading and teaching college kids about how social norms shape our thoughts, beliefs, and actions without our realizing.

So it came as a surprise to discover I was holding onto a belief I picked up from romantic movies – that a man should know what I want, come sweep me off my feet, and give it to me without my saying a word. That meant love. If I had to ask, it meant he didn’t want to, and therefore that he didn’t love me.

My logical mind has known this is bullshit for many years. I always enjoyed giving lectures on how the media shapes our romantic ideals, never realizing I still subscribed to them myself.

This belief has led to assumptions about my relationship and about my husband. I’ve felt uncomfortable asking for things I wanted in sex that aren’t his immediate turn ons or get offs. Making out, massage, soft touch, oral sex, playing with my g-spot and experimenting with squirting. Of course he enjoys those things – he’ll even masturbate while he licks my pussy – but he’s not asking me for them. He asks me for his desires, and I’m happy to fulfill them.

And yet when I ask, its in a childlike way that makes it sound unappealing. “You wouldn’t possibly be interested in maybe doing XYZ, would you?” Whether he says yes or no doesn’t matter, because I’ve already framed it in my mind that he doesn’t want to. Even when he says yes I still don’t believe he wants to be there – because I believe if he loved me, he should be spontaneously offer me exactly what I want while I lay back in silence. And simultaneously I’m programming him to believe I don’t really want it either, so of course he rarely surprises me with my own desires. Why would he? I make it sound as fun as a bag of rocks.

Intellectual knowledge can be deceiving. Understanding how society programs us is interesting, but that understanding has done little to change my reality. Frustrating. Now I find when I examine how I act, rather than what I think, I find a window into subconscious beliefs I didn’t know I had. We live under an illusion that we’re in control of our lives, that we should and do act from a rational, logical, conscious place. But most of our behaviors come from subconscious programming we picked up from friends, family, school, religion, and the media.

If sex isn’t going your way, take a look at how you’re behaving. How are you creating the situation? What are you doing or saying – or NOT doing or saying – that’s contributing to your outcome (or lack thereof)? Its easy to blame our partners for what we’re not getting, because its not easy or fun to look within. But that’s where the answers lie.

Edited: June 4th, 2012