Recording Yourself

My most recent post for DatingAdvice is live today! I had fun writing this one (and no, I did not come up with that title):

6 Ways to Make a Better Sex Tape Than Kim Kardashian

Read on for my intro, and make sure to go read the actual tips!

“Who out there likes to watch themselves have sex? (Who doesn’t?) Closet mirrors, mirrors on the ceiling, bathroom mirrors – all are prime looking places to get more turned on during a solo, partnered or group sexual encounter.

What’s the next step after mirrors? Recording, of course! Not only do you get the thrill of being recorded, but you get the ability to watch your session over and over later on.
Mirrors are great for in-the-moment satisfaction, but recording has a bit more staying power.
But how do you go about recording yourselves safely and correctly?
The first time J and I recorded ourselves was after we bit the bullet and bought a nifty camcorder and tripod. It was insanely hot for both of us to fuck in front of a camera and watch it later.
I had a feeling I would love it after realizing how much I like watching myself masturbate and have sex with others in front of a mirror. I will admit that even after multiple recording sessions, I still am self-conscious listening to myself. However, I love watching J!
I’ve also recorded a group sex session for J’s birthday and done a few other encounters with other male partners on camera. These are J’s favorite pieces of porn to watch (no lie!)”
Have you recorded yourself before? Do you have any tips that I definitely missed?

Body Catharsis

We were standing upstairs, and I was watching the women dance in the cage below. I want to do that. But I feel so unattractive. After watching for another 20 minutes or so, I felt an adrenaline surge and my arms and legs start to tingle. I’m going down there. I’ve got to.

I got in the cage with two other women and started dancing. I felt self-conscious. I kept my eyes closed for almost the entire twenty minutes I was in there. It felt like twenty hours. Stay in here, keep going. I even let my dress come up, revealing my neon blue thong. Every so often I pulled my dress back down to cover my ass. Just keep dancing, please.

After a while I started feeling better. Opening my eyes a little more. Taking up more space. Smiling more. Feeling more grounded. And happy. For the rest of the evening, I felt a bit more like myself.

The next day at work I felt pretty good. The crowd and money were slow, but for the most part, I had a fantastic time dancing and watching myself move in the mirrors. I still noticed the extra weight, but it didn’t feel quite as devastating.

Movement is important for me, especially how much I can be in my head. On Friday night at our club, I told J I just can’t get out of my head. It is near impossible for me to shake myself out of obsessive thoughts. Dancing is one of the only escapes I have found.

What do you do for cathartic release?


Sex With Google Glass

J found this the other day and passed it on to me: Sex with Glass. It’s one tech company’s innovative contribution to a possible use of the new Google Glasses technology.


At first, the proposal struck me funny. Of course there was someone out there who would pair these two together. It was a matter of time. And it still strikes me as lighthearted, but there are also other issues and questions that have been percolating for me.

-Would this allow a couple to re-experience each other? Could it add some excitement and adventure to a long-term relationship?

-What degree of self-confidence would these require? Could you experience any insecurity or self-consciousness at all?

-Is being an exhibitionist or voyeur a prerequisite to having a fun time with these?

-How is this similar to the thrill people get (myself included) from watching themselves have sex in a mirror or played back from a video recording?

-Would using this technology heighten the experience of melting into another person, since now you are able to literally see what they see? Or would it backfire because you can remove yourself from your own senses?

-Similarly, what would this technology do to our sense of separateness and togetherness within an intimate relationship?

And the all-important question:

-Who would, or want to, wear these glasses during sex?

What do you think? Fabulous new sex toy? Another creeping technological distraction, pulling us away from truly connecting? Both? Neither?

Repost: Marty Klein and "Sex Addiction"

I have a big academic crush on Marty Klein. I think his writing is clear and informative, although at times inflammatory (which I like).

I also appreciate his stance on “sex addiction” See his two most recent blog posts on it:

Are These Symptoms of Sex Addiction? No.
If It Isn’t Sex Addiction, How Do You Treat It?

Definitely go take the Sexuality Addiction Screening Test: it’s a hoot if you use pornography or erotica, go to sex clubs, engage in casual sex, have BDSM as part of your erotic life, or engage in exhibitionism or voyeurism. It’s also funny because it assumes that the people around you hold the same beliefs and values that you do around sexuality; thus, other people’s value systems are the basis for how you score.

Although I haven’t read a bunch about “sex addiction,” from what I know about addiction in general and from the information I have read from Marty Klein, I would tend to agree with him. It is interesting to me, though, that even sex positive organizations that serve the LGBTQ community in Portland offer space for sex addiction support groups  to meet. Clearly, there are folks who believe sex addiction is a real thing. In fact, I then came across the website for Portland’s Sex Addicts Anonymous group; according to their criteria for what may be part of sex addiction, feeling asexual could be a component of sex addiction. What?!

Klein offers many other ways for folks to be treated for their compulsive or obsessive sexual behaviors, and his list makes sense to me. I especially love the last paragraph of his second post:

“Finally, let’s not forget that some “symptoms” of sex addiction don’t need treatment at all. They need a better understanding of the broad range of human sexuality, a bit of tolerance, and a culture that’s far less suspicious of eroticism. And a willingness for couples to confront their actual relationship (and for people to confront their actual desires), rather than taking the easy way out and demonizing sex.”

What are your thoughts on sex addiction? Have you ever felt addicted to sex? Do you know someone who feels they are addicted to sex?

Recognizing the Third in Monogamous Relationships

My latest post is live: Can You Be Monogamous and Attracted to Other People? (I like my title better, haha) I based this post off of Esther Perel’s Mating in Captivity, in which she mentions the specter of “the third” (i.e. other people you may be attracted to) and how some couples choose to ignore the third, recognize the third, or invite the third in to their relationship. I wanted to explore some ways that monogamous couples could push the boundaries of their relationship to incorporate sexual explorations, and deepen their sense of honesty and trust.

Here’s my intro:

In Esther Perel’s “Mating in Captivity,” she discusses the “shadow of the third.”
That is the fact that even when in coupled relationships marked by commitment and love, we often (maybe always) find ourselves attracted to other people.
By acknowledging the third, keeping your communication transparent and striving to know and understand your partner and yourself, cheating may be less likely to happen (thus preserving the commitment to monogamy you both have made).
What are ways two people can be sexually monogamous, but widen the door for more honesty and trust around sexual desires, fantasies and exploration?
The foundation for this is solid trust in your partner and relationship as sexually monogamous and a healthy way of managing your jealousy and insecurities.
I also believe it is a privilege to learn new things about someone, not a right. Being in a romantic relationship doesn’t give you the right to know about your partner’s private sexual thoughts.
If they, and you, are able to share this information, you should take it as a sign of the health and resiliency of your relationship.

I go on to offer the following ways that couples can be monogamous but add honesty and new sexual flavors to their lives; make sure to go read the post on DA so you can see my further explanation!:

Having opposite sex/opposite gender friends
Reminisce about the past
Watch porn and read erotica together
Share fantasies and attractions
Is flirting ok?
Visit strip clubs together
Visit a swingers’ club or party to watch and be watched 

I would love to hear from others: what are other ways that you can be monogamous and recognize “the third” in your relationship?

Consent, Exhibitionism, Voyeurism

J and I were at the nude beach in Maui back in May, and there was a couple that sneaked into the bushes above the beach and fucked. I don’t have a problem with public fucking (it gets me off, too)- I do have a problem with forcing other people to be around public fucking without their consent.

That’s why I think swingers’ and sex clubs are awesome- because everyone there has consented to being around sex.

And just tonight- J and I were supposed to meet a new couple via Skype. They had expressed wanting to have Skype sex, and J was clear in telling them, several times via email and text, that we were not that into Skype sex and that we preferred to just chat first. They called, we answered. They were naked. They told us they were just going to go for it anyway. Semi-shocked and open-mouthed, J and I said hi, turned off our microphone and video and let them fool around for a few minutes before they ended the call. (They ended up texting J later and admitting they were “off” and “it must be hard to deal with new couples”- ha!)

Again- I have no problem with Skype sex. I think it can be hot sometimes with the right people and right mood. But, taking advantage of a non-sexual space for your own desires (the phone call was supposed to be friendly, introductory, but not sexual yet), with the knowledge that not everyone around you is comfortable, or that people might not be, is not okay. It’s weird.

There was a great thread going on in our Open FB group today about public exposure of body parts and snapping pictures or video for personal use later. I would feel weird (and potentially violated) if I knew that a stranger had taken a picture of my crotch or my ass, or taken a video of me dancing, without my consent. So I wouldn’t do that to someone else. I would ask first (I would like to think that I would!)

While we were in Maui in May, I happened (oddly) to run into a customer of mine from work at the nude beach. He asked if he could take my picture for a fee. I told him Yes, but with my swimsuit on. He agreed. We took the photos. He gave me money. We were both happy. I think this is a great example of a consensual exchange of public exposure of one’s body for someone else’s personal use (in this case, photos) (not that money has to be involved of course).

What do you think? Does being in a public space change the terms of exposure and who can capture the exposure? What are ethical boundaries around exhibitionism and voyeurism within public spaces?

Our Party!

I’m very thankful for this blog as a way to make sure I keep track of relationship-y things… definitely including our Party!

It was really just a fabulous time. We got down to southern Oregon on Wednesday very late, and we both were so excited to see our friends and family. Thursday we took an easy day and were able to spend time with my family, extended family, and some of J’s extended family. Dinner, frozen yogurt.. we also met with our photographer, who was great and also kind of a nut. Friday I spent the afternoon with our woman Friends of Honor (my sister and her GF, my cousin, my two best friends from high school, my mom) getting our nails done. I thought I was going to cry when I saw my friends from high school- I hadn’t seen either of them in over two years! They’re just the same, but older, doing more adult things in their day-to-day. I love them so much.

That night we had our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and it was so fabulous. I am so glad that J and I made the decision to tell our officiant (the minister I grew up with) about our relationship last summer, because his extra remarks about our independence and strength and bravery were really special and moving to me. He is such an energetic and peaceful person, and it felt amazing to have him speak as our officiant. I was pretty nervous all Friday evening interacting with J’s parents and sister and brother-in-law; I had a stomachache the whole time and felt a little on edge, but I interacted with them minimally and did my best staying focused on everyone else there. It was pretty loving to experience that his parents and sister behaved politely and mostly warmly towards us.

That night we went to clothing optional hot springs with our fabulous sexy friends, J’s men Friends of Honor and couple of their partners, J’s brother, and J’s sister and brother-in-law. I definitely got naked, which was an interesting choice. I had a lot of fun, but I don’t know if J’s sister and brother-in-law did. (I can’t control if they did or not! But I know it was an interesting layer on top of everything else- ie them finding out about our relationship.)

J and I stayed together at the fancy hotel in downtown both Friday and Saturday night, and it was really nice to have a space completely to ourselves to relax in. I woke up early Saturday morning for hair time- the woman who cut my hair from infancy traveled up to Oregon from California to do my hair and all of the other girls’! It was really fun. It was a great way to spend more time with all the girls, and to catch up with my hair lady!

Photos started midday, and I just love that. I am such a ham, and I had so much fun with our whole group dorking around town. We walked down through town, into the park, playing around trees and on jungle gyms and in fountains. We arrived at the park about 45 minutes prior to the ceremony, drank water, said hello to guests arriving (a couple of old college friends, former supervisors from college, and other people we hadn’t seen in forever! AND several of our lovely sexy friends!)… and it also gave me time to get nervous. I was having performance anxiety!! The thought of being in front of so many people, having them witness something so personal, private, and vulnerable made me nervous. Right before J and I walked in together we held hands and he helped me shake the nervousness out. (Thanks lover boy!)

And the ceremony was beautiful. I am so proud of the words we chose.

Afterwards: more photos, and so much socializing. It was so great!!

The food was fabulous. Mexican buffet, delicious cupcakes. The band was totally rockin’. We danced so much! I felt like I was going to throw up at one point. Yes, it was that good. Ha!

I cried when it was time to say bye to my (long-distance) friends. Even though I don’t feel connected to my vanilla friends in the same way as I do to my sexy friends, we share a history and friendship that is important to me. And I miss them.

We spent the night after the reception with J’s guy friends, chatting in our hotel room. It was really fun. Despite our sexy friends’ and my woman friends’ best efforts of making our honeymoon suite sexy (flowers, relaxing music on an iPad, lube, chocolate, wine) we were both exhausted and were more satisfied with socializing with people we don’t get to see often enough.

We woke up the next day saying:

Let’s do that again!
That was pretty perfect.
I loved everything!

That’s the best, yeah?

And then the best honeymoon came! A trip to Glacier National Park for ten days, with the tail end in Canada (my first trip to Canada, wahoo!). We hiked our butts off, camped, stayed in historic lodges, and ate lots of pie and ice cream. Another fabulous experience for what I feel is a fabulous relationship.

Naked Bike Ride

J and I finally popped our naked bike ride cherries last night. YAY! I had been dying to do it since we found out about it two years ago. 

It was truly exhilarating for me. We were about to cross a bridge into downtown and I said, “I’m doing it. I’m getting naked right now.” I stripped off everything like I was at Little Beach (in about 5 seconds), and immediately just started beaming to everyone. I don’t know what it is; I love being naked. It feels so freeing. I feel totally alive. Maybe it’s the adrenaline rush from breaking norms, from being naked when I’m not supposed to be. But I loved it.

My funniest experience was when J and I were standing around with our sexy friends, in this massive crowd of thousands of naked people with bikes, was to look around and say to J, “I don’t even see the naked anymore.” 

That’s my ideal world: where you don’t even have to point out body-positivity and sex-positivity because it is the norm. Being in a crowd of ten thousand naked people made me feel nakedness is normal and natural; I stopped seeing naked, and just noticed bodies and happy faces. I want that feeling for sexuality in general: I want to feel my body is beautiful always, that I can talk about sex if I want to, that it’s okay to talk about my sexual orientation and my relationship structure, about stripping and sex, about my sex preferences and desires and fantasies- I want to have that all be so normal that it’s not weird to talk about, and that sometimes it’s even so boring I don’t care about talking about it. I want it to be an experience like food: it’s a part of my daily existence that is important and necessary and assumed, but also in that I can talk about a delicious meal I made or about when I accidentally cooked something too long. 

Yay naked people. Yay naked bike ride. Yay sexy friends who made it so much fun and comfortable and satisfying. Yay!

A Nude Beach, Gay Hot Tub, & My Thong

J and I had the amazing opportunity and privilege (money, time, etc) to take a spontaneous trip to Maui to celebrate his graduation. We got here a couple days ago and will be here for another 12 days. I can’t quite believe we get two whole weeks here. Amazing.

We intentionally planned on staying on the south part of the island so we could be closer to the nude beach (Little Beach), because I just absolutely love being naked in the sun, and J doesn’t find it half bad either ;) I love the assumption that I go off of when at Little Beach: that nakedness is embraced by all of the sunbathers there, that it’s not weird or shameful, but something to welcome and embrace and enjoy. My body is mine to enjoy. Naked.

Three days at the nude beach and we have been completely befriended by the locals, including one gem/character of a man. On our second day, he came over to our spot on the beach and asked if I would do him a favor and walk on his back. I was super nervous- I have never given anyone an ashiatsu massage. But I was game, and he gave good instructions, and I did a good job (according to him). Because he was so appreciative, he gave me a massage (with his hands not his feet). He told me that I was really great at giving massage because of how “in my body” I am, and he commented on how “plugged in” J is and how joyous and big his energy is. After rubbing my back and shoulders, he said he was going to feel my “etheric body” (like my aura, I think). After a few minutes of his hands above my back, he put his finger right into the sorest part of my right shoulder (it’s been chronically sore for a few months), and told me how that spot is associated with the heart and freedom. (I’ll take that and chew on it for a while- sort of like reading my horoscope…)

Everywhere else we go, I put on a thong bottom with a bikini top. I love it. I love my ass, and I love the way it looks in my thong bottoms, and I could care less where I am walking around when I wear it. Embracing my ass and my near-naked ass, and giving up shame.

Tonight, we were in our condo complex’s hot tub, and it was by far the most fun night so far, in terms of who we met there and what the conversation was like. There was a family with adult children, and a group of three gay men. Once the family was gone (they made it clear they were friendly but more conventional), the conversation took a turn for the better, and we found out that the group of gay men also frequent Little Beach (they had also been there the past couple of days) and we had plenty to talk and laugh about together. They found out that I strip, after one of them made a comment about my ass and my thong. I wanted to tell them about J and I being open, but I had this weird thought process about not wanting to be looked as a “weirdo” by people part of a community that has (typically) thrown poly people under the bus. I don’t know how they would have responded (and I still have ideas that they may have been a triad), but it was the first time I have found myself caught in a weird space of being with people that I felt pretty comfortable around, and yet not having the best idea as to whether they would be open-minded to my own marginalized community.

I am so grateful that J and I are able to be here and relax together and enjoy each other here. 88 and sunny, breezy, coconut milk smoothies, nude beach, hot tubs, walks, sex (I happened to wake up to myself riding J in my sleep- I guess he’s not the only one who is a sexy sleeper. ha!)… it’s a blessing. And getting to experience the alternative communities here is also awesome. 

What a Birthday Girl Gets…

Time and space to exercise, to feel my body move and sweat, my heart pumping and my lungs working, to feel alive
A birthday coffee with my lovely, lovely lady…. and some sweet kisses, too ;)

A beautiful 75 degree, sunny, clear day

Another weekly counseling session (for the ninth month! awesome!). Investing in my mental health is always a gift.

Meditation, laying in the sun, soaking up rays and happiness from the sky

A relaxing pedicure and manicure so that my calloused feet and hands and sore forearms and calves feel pampered

A delicious dinner out (mmm Mexican) with my amazing and wonderful primary partner, followed by a trip to the swingers’ club to get tied up and fucked. Yes. Enough said. I am So Excited.

Maybe a lap dance from a guy at our gay male strip club. Yes PLEASE.

Here is my most recent favorite poem that I am using to celebrate my week and my day and my birthday:

i thank You God for most this amazing
day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky; and for everything
which is natural which is infinite which is yes

(i who have died am alive again today,
and this is the sun’s birthday;this is the birth
day of life and love and wings: and of the gay
great happening illimitably earth)

how should tasting touching hearing seeing
breathing any — lifted from the no
of all nothing — human merely being
doubt unimaginable You?

(now the ears of my ears awake and
now the eyes of my eyes are opened)

— ee cummings