Clothed Female Naked Male

Photo by Molly Algernon
Photo by Molly Algernon

Note: This is a guest blog I wrote on the Clothed Female Naked Male fetish (or CFNM) for kinkandpoly.com.

A few years ago I was at a munch and I was complaining that since my first Dom had moved out of state, I was having no luck recreating my ideal situation: providing service to a dominant woman while nude. It seemed like a no-brainer: someone else does your dishes, your laundry, your vacuuming or cleans your bathroom floor, and as a bonus, if you’re so inclined, you get to ogle him while he’s naked. Sounds like a win-win, to me. So why was it so difficult to manifest? “I just want a woman to strip me naked and tell me what to do. Is that too much to ask?”

The Dom I was complaining to looked at me like I was not too swift and said, “Dude, just go online and look for a Dom that’s into CFNM.”

“SEE-EFFIN-What?” I asked.

“C.F.N.M.…” she searched my eyes for any recognition. She found none. “Clothed Female Naked Male.”

Well I’ll be damned, I thought. My whole adult life I knew that I was into being naked in the presence of clothed women, but I had no idea there was a name for it, let alone an acronym. It was just this thing I liked to do. Who knew it was “a thing?”

When I first got involved with BDSM, it was the mid-90s. The internet existed, but not like we know it today. There was no such term as “social media.” There was no Fetlife, no CollarMe, no Adult Friend Finder. I found my first lifestyle dominatrix by answering a classified ad in a newspaper. A lifestyle Dom was looking for a service submissive and, after a brief interview, she accepted me.

It was great at first. I got the same nervous rush the first few times I entered the home of a relative stranger to be bossed around and pressed into servitude. It usually involved me performing some simple household chores, then getting on my knees and giving her a foot massage.   But after the first few times, the novelty wore off and it just felt like helping out a friend around the house. Something was missing. It just didn’t feel submissive enough.

I was somewhat shy back then, so it took some effort on my part to work up the nerve to request what I really wanted, but I asked if I could serve her in the nude. To which she responded, words to the effect of, “Hell yeah!” The enthusiastic yes was important. Of course, if she had just shrugged her shoulders and said, “Sure… I guess… if you want to…” I still would have done it, but the fact that she seemed excited about receiving my naked service made it all the more exciting for me.

From that point on, whenever I arrived at her home, the first thing she did was order me to take my clothes off, then she gave me my chores for the day. The simple act of disrobing became a meaningful ritual. Every moment that I was naked in her presence was charged with erotic energy. I felt like I was truly submitting to her. Some people get this from being beaten, some from being collared, some from being tied up, and yes, all those things work for me too, but the moment I took my clothes off for her was like instantly going into subspace.

I can’t say for sure what my Dom got out of the arrangement. Perhaps she just enjoyed the sight of my naked body. Perhaps she got turned on by the visual representation of her power over me. (After all, it would be years before I ever saw my Dom out of her clothes. Sometimes, in those early days, she would wear short skirts with no panties, sit with her legs open and order me not to look.) Or maybe she just enjoyed having access to any part of my body whenever she wanted. I’d like to think it was all of the above. Being naked at all times meant that in between formal scenes, if she just wanted to dig her fingernails in to my back and claw me from shoulder to waist while I was dusting, she could. If she wanted to slap my bare ass while I was vacuuming her rug, she could. If she wanted to sneak up behind me while I was doing the dishes and flog my balls – while also ordering me to keep scrubbing the plate that I had clutched in both hands for fear of dropping and breaking it – she could. And she did.

Then there was the humiliation and objectification aspect of it. Once I had become comfortable being naked when my Dom and I were alone, she started inviting other people over while I was serving her. She would entertain guests and have me serve them tea in the nude.  There were times when my Dom and I were alone and she would send me to another part of the house to perform a chore, and by the time I finished and came back for another assignment, unbeknownst to me, friends of hers would have  arrived and I would walk in the room naked and meet a total stranger. When my Dom began mentoring other young doms, she enjoyed showing me off to them. They’d see me in passing as I worked and say things like, “Hey, nice ass!” the kinds of cat-calls that women dealt on a regular basis, but men almost never did until they found themselves in a situation like mine. Once, my Dom ordered me to masturbate in her living room and wouldn’t let me clean myself off until her young trainee had been called in to admire me, naked on the floor with cum sprayed across my belly.

As a nudist, the most interesting thing to me about the CFNM dynamic is that it feels absolutely nothing like being naked around clothed people in a non-dominance/submission environment. Taking off my clothes as an act of submission completely changes the experience for me, psychologically. I’ve been very fortunate to find dominant women for whom being served by a naked man tripped their triggers the same way that offering naked service trips mine. 

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My Sexual Hang Ups: Assholes

Sexual hang-ups. We all have them. However, whenever I discuss mine, I’m always met with surprise. It’s as if, because of the work I do (as co-founder of Sex Positive St. Louis, as a traveling sex educator and freelance sexual guru) I’m expected to have absolutely no sexual hang-ups at all.

I’m human. I’m not made of wood, people. Prick me; I bleed (except that one time in 2002 when the EMTs couldn’t test my blood sugar because I was so dehydrated that after several needle sticks, I, in fact, did not bleed).

So here’s one of my sexual hang-ups:

Assholes.

Not people who are rude or annoying. Actual assholes. The anus. It grosses me out. Shit comes out of it.

I tried anal intercourse (unsuccessfully) when I was 16, and then not again until 20 years later when, during vaginal intercourse, a partner just took my dick and put it in their ass. I wasn’t even sure what was happening at first. The only other anal intercourse experience I can recall as a top was the time when the condom we were using got completely obliterated without me noticing. I pulled out, looked down, saw the split condom blooming around the base of my dick like flower petals or a gun with its barrel peeled back.

This was followed by the awkward moment when I had to tell my partner that we had just had unprotected anal sex. And this was followed by a trip to the St. Louis Effort for AIDS for HIV testing…

I’ve had anal intercourse as a bottom exactly once and that was shortly after I turned 40. Yeah, I waited a good while on that one. So there you have it. I’m a forty-one-year-old sex educator who’s had anal intercourse about three time. That’s how asshole-phobic I am.

The sad irony is that I love the ass as a concept. But until pretty recently my love of the ass has been confined to the cheeks and maybe (when I’m feeling really adventurous) the crack. The asshole terrifies and grosses me out.

I’m trying to get over this. I’m trying to embrace the ass as a whole, which means embracing the ass as a hole.

Until recently, I had only eaten ass a couple times in my entire life. I’m trying to eat ass more enthusiastically now. It’s quite a leap for someone as squeamish and germaphobic as me (I hate using public bathrooms. Actually, I hate using anyones bathroom but my own). I have to admit that part of what turns me about eating ass is that it feels really dirty and wrong. I’m almost worried that if I overcome my hang-ups about the anus entirely, it will cease to be as much of a turn on, but these are the occupational hazards I’m willing to risk on my road to being a better sexual guru. You’re welcome.

I has occurred to me that my encounters with ass have been so fraught with fear and mystery in part because I’ve never really looked at an anus before. My normal encounters with the asshole have been in the dark, by candlelight or even when under normal lighting conditions, I’m too close and too focused on the job I’m performing to really look at the asshole.

To remedy this, I asked a friend to let me shoot a portrait of her asshole and she agreed. I approached it like any other portrait shoot (aside from the fact that the key light was on a boom, lowered to the floor and pointed up). Since it was a portrait, I used a long lens (250mm) to flatter the asshole and not give it any wide angle distortion.

During the shoot and while reviewing the photos I discovered that assholes are (or at least can be) very cute, and are not nearly as scary as I would have thought.

Oh, and if anyone would like me to shoot a portrait of their asshole, just holla atcha boy. I also gives volume discounts, so feel free to book me for your next asshole portrait party.

The Big Book of Domination Blog Tour: New York, New York!

So, back in November I flew to New York for the release of “The Big Book of Domination” the erotic anthology that my work is included in, from Cleis Press, edited by the awesome D.L. King.

I had the pleasure of staying in the home of author Laura Antoniou and her lovely wife Karen. I knew I was in the right place when I saw the Revenge of the Jedi poster in their guest bedroom (side note, as card-carrying member of the Star Wars fan club, I got a Revenge of the Jedi patch in the mail the year before the movie was released. I’m pretty sure I had already lost it by the time it was announced that the title of the movie would be changed).

My first night in New York I went to a BDSM party at a club called the Parthenon. They were playing really good music from Pandora, but it was the free version, so in the middle of the really intense scene, there would be car insurance commercials, which kinda broke the mood.

After the party we went walking around Manhattan looking for a place to get coffee at 1 a.m. and ended up in a 24 hour McDonalds. The girl behind the counter took one look at my date (six-foot tall in her boots and dressed from head to toe in black leather with matching gloves) and asked, “Do you ride motorcycles or hunt vampires?” Then she looked at me and said, “You must be her sidekick.”

The next day was the reading at Purple Passion. Karen had to drive us from Queens to Brooklyn, to pick up D.L., then from Brooklyn to Manhattan for the reading. The traffic was so bad that we were almost late for our own event. Karen told me the old joke that “no one drives in New York because there’s so much traffic.” In Brooklyn we cut through an orthodox Jewish neighborhood, and since it was Saturday, there was almost no one on the roads. A great time saver if you ever find yourself in the same situation.

We arrived at Purple Passion just in time. On the bill were with me were D.L., Laura, and Rachel Kramer Bussel. Funny story…

So, back when I was a frustrated, unpublished writer of erotica, I submitted a few stories to anthologies edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel, and she always rejected my work. So, taking inspiration from 50 Cent’s “How to Rob” (the mix-tape track where the unsigned 50 Cent used each verse to describe how he would rob successful rap and R&B artists), I decided to write a story describing how I would fuck successful erotica writers and editors, sort of positioning myself as the “50 Cent of Erotica.”  In said story, I articulated my desire to fuck Rachel Kramer Bussel from behind while shoving her face first into a plate of gourmet cupcakes. It was independently published in a little anthology sold locally in St. Louis, what were the odds that a New York editor like Rachel Kramer Bussel would ever read it?

…Well, the odds were pretty good as it turns out, because she read the book. And now we were performing at the same reading.

I asked Karen if she thought I should apologize to Rachel now that I would be seeing her in person. Karen’s advice was not to bring it up and all, and I thought that was a brilliant idea.

At the reading, Rachel stepped out of the room for a minute and while she was gone, Laura brought up the story (she’d heard me me perform it at a reading we’d done at Fetish Fair Fleamarket earlier that year). I quickly wrapped up the conversation so that we wouldn’t be talking about it by the time Rachel returned.

The reading went off without a hitch, Laura read her introduction to the book, which was hilarious, D.L. read her story and then introduced Rachel. When Rachel went up, she put in a plug for her her new collection of essays, “Sex and Cupcakes.” She held up a postcard of the cover art which features her… topless, bent over a table full of cupcakes.

I could feel the eyes burrowing in the back of my head as she held up the card, but I just kept my mouth shut and thankfully so did everyone else.

I just want to say for the record that Rachel Kramer Bussel is a fine writer and, from what I’ve been told, a very forgiving person. Not the type to hold a grudge. You should run right out and buy “Sex & Cupcakes” right after you buy “The Big Book of Domination.”

Getting Naked at Dartmouth: The IvyQ Conference

Me and Denice Frohman, after her performance at IvyQ.

So last week I presented at the IvyQ Conference at Dartmouth University. It’s a conference of LGBTQ Ivy League students. To say the least I was intimidated. I’m used to presenting at kink conferences, not at schools I wasn’t a good enough student to get into.

Then I arrived in Hanover, New Hampshire and read the conference schedule. That’s when panic set in. I was scheduled to teach Polyamory 101 and my body acceptance workshop, Bare As You Dare. When I checked the schedule I saw that Janet W. Hardy, co-author of The Ethical Slut, was teaching an intro level polyamory class. Why would anybody take an intro to Polyamory class from me when they could take one from one of the women who (literally) wrote the book on polyamory? Then I realized that Janet W. Hardy’s class was at the same time as my Bare As You Dare class.  I had to call Elaine, my partner, to calm me down and convince me everything would be okay, but I thought I’d be facing two empty classrooms.

As time for my Polyamory 101 class drew near, I was, in fact, staring at rows and rows of empty seats. This has happened to me once before. It’s not the best feeling. You feel really silly, like you threw yourself a party and no one showed up. You start to wonder how long you’re obligated to keep hoping people will come before you give up and go somewhere and weep.

Luckily, people started to trickle in and I ended up with about twenty bright-eyed and engaged students and everything went fine. One down, one to go.

Then it was time for my clothing optional body image workshop. Joe, my tech assistant, came in to help me get the room set up and he sheepishly said, “Um… I was told that you usually teach this class… in the nude.” I have to admit, I enjoy that my life leads to situations like this one.  

At first I was worried that no one would show up. Then I figured that a bunch of Ivy League college students would be less willing to get naked than the older crowds I present to at kink conferences. I thought I would be the only naked one presenting to a bunch of clothed college kids, and wondered how that would feel. I was so wrong. This was the biggest, barest and best Bare As You Dare workshop I’ve ever done. I was in a room that held seventy students and it was packed. Kids just started streaming in and taking their clothes off. Presenter Vanessa Van Edwards gives out chocolates to people who answer questions during her presentations, so taking a page from her book, I gave out chocolates to students who were brave enough to get undressed. Once the chocolates started being given out, the clothes just started flying. The class basically came to a stop while I delivered chocolate to naked and half naked co-eds. By the end of the session, I was out of chocolates. I am now officially the old man who gives candy to students in exchange for taking their clothes off.

I somehow got it in my head that the class ended at 4:30, so I sped thought some stuff and cut out some parts where I talk about myself and was done around 4:20. I realized the class went to 5pm and we had 40 minutes left. I kinda panicked thinking I was going to have to fill time. I had built in a new part where I ask if any member of the audience is willing to come in front of the group, get naked and talk about their body image issues. I thought, maybe I’d get one or two takers. I lost count of how many people volunteered. Not only did we fill 40 minutes, but so many people were willing to share that we ran over time (but we only ran over time by two minutes, cause that’s how I roll).

Several students confessed to horrible traumas in their childhood and high-school years. There was so much radical honesty in that room. They didn’t just get physically naked, they got emotionally naked. There were several times when I thought I might cry, but I held it in for the sake of the students. I’ve never been so moved at a conference.

There was one young lady in the audience who caught my eye. She came to speak to me after the workshop and I flirted with her, which is probably somewhat immoral, if I think about it too hard. She told me how old she was and the next thing that came out of my mouth was, “You’re young enough to be my daughter,” and with that, any infinitesimal chance I had with her was brutally murdered.

After the workshop I went to see spoken-word artist Denice Frohman perform. She was amazing. I’m really happy to see poets at conferences like this. By the end of her set, she’d brought the crowd to their feet and received a long and very authentic standing ovation. Afterwards, I stood in line to buy a copy of her CD. When I told her I was from St. Louis, the conversation immediately turned to the situation in Ferguson. When I got back to my hotel, I listened to her entire album in a single sitting, which I almost never do. It’s that good.

Waiting for the shuttle back to my hotel, I found myself sitting in front of a building that was all lit up in the colors of the rainbow, underneath a billowing Gay Pride flag and a gentle snow fall. It was a beautiful and calming ending to a very healing event.    

Friday I’m off to New York City to perform my work at the book release party for The Big Book of Domination. St. Louis, please don’t burn down while I’m gone. 

Bare As You Dare North American Tour 2014

 

Back in 2012, Stephanie Co, the co-founder and then coordinator of the World Naked Bike Ride St. Louis, asked me to put together a workshop on body image to help promote the ride. In retrospect, it’s a little embarrassing that the idea hadn’t occurred to me before that, but I jumped at the chance.

I did the first Bare As You Dare: Radical Body Acceptance workshop at the old Shameless Grounds in the Koken Art Factory. It was clothing optional within the limits of applicable laws, so a lot of brave people sat together in their underwear, among friends and strangers alike, and talked about their body image issues. It was pretty incredible.

I did the second Bare As You Dare at the new Shameless Grounds in Benton Park, not long after they opened their doors in 2013, and then decided to take the show on the road.

This year, I’ve held BAYD workshops in Providence, Rhode Island for the New England Leather Alliance, in Vancouver, Canada for Westcoast Bound, and I’m very happy, proud (and more than a bit surprised) to say that this Friday, I’ll be naked on the campus of Dartmouth University, conducting a BAYD workshop for IvyQ, an association of LGBT ivy league students. One bonus of holding this event in non-food and drink establishments is that participants can, and sometimes do, go completely nude.

When I was in school, there was no booth on career day for Clothing Optional Workshop Leader, and yet somehow, in the back of my mind, I was pretty sure I’d end up doing something like this. 

R.I.P. Bob Reuter

Photo by Sara A. Finke

I didn’t know Bob Reuter, but like so many other people, I was inspired by him.

I first became aware of him through his work as a photographer. His photographs of some of South City’s favorite denizens in South City’s favorite haunts were at once contemporary (especially if you knew his subjects) and yet seemed to come from a different time. In the era of digital cameras, Photoshop and its ubiquitous Unsharp Mask, Reuter’s grainy, high speed, low light, after hours portraits were decidedly analog, all the way down to the sprocket holes of the negatives showing in the prints. His work harkened back to the street reportage of Roy DeCarava and Gordon Parks Sr. 

From Bob Reuter – St. Louis Photographer and Performing Songwriter on Facebook

One day, channel surfing on the radio, I heard what sounded like a lunatic screaming over a gospel record.  He was going on about what a glorious day it was and how he had been blessed by the healing powers of music! Halleluiah!  He sounded like Dr. Johnny Fever from “WKRP in Cincinnati.” At first I thought he was just doing an intro over an instrumental at the top of the song, but he kept going. It started to get annoying. I wanted to hear the song. As a student of communications, it was offending my delicate sensibilities; the DJ doesn’t talk over the record! Then I was charmed by his sheer audacity; he seemed determined to testify over the entire song. Then I realized that the things he was saying were beautiful, poetic and sometimes hilarious.  The song ended and in a voice both gruff and melodic, he said, “This is Bob Reuter… and you’re listening to Bob’s Scratchy Records.”  Hmm… so the photographer was a DJ too.

I started listening every week, both to hear what he would say and what he would play. At the time his show was aired back-to-back on Fridays with Sherri Danger’s “Dangerous Curves” on KDHX 88.1, the best hours of local radio ever produced in my humble opinion.

My Fridays went like this: Howard Stern on the drive to work, NPR until the end of “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross, and then I turned to 88.1 to get a musical education. I’d listen with a pad and paper beside me to jot down songs and artists I wanted to look up later. I signed up for Reuter’s weekly playlist newsletter. Most of the songs he played sounded familiar and yet I was unfamiliar with most of the songs and many of the artists. It sounded like rock & roll and soul hits from the 50s, 60s and 70s, but these songs were not hits. These almost classics had somehow fallen into the dust bin of music history for Bob Reuter, with this encyclopedic knowledge and impeccable taste, to unearth for a new generation of listeners.  I once commented on his Facebook page that I was a much cooler person for having discovered his show, to which he responded, “Hey man, you can’t blame that shit on me!”[Which, oddly enough, seemed to mirror a scene between John Cusack and The Swanky Modes in the 1988 film, “The Tape Heads.”]

One year, I was celebrating my birthday on the patio at Atomic Cowboy. There was great 70s funk and R&B playing. It reminded me of a tiny little hipster club I’d been to in San Francisco that played lots of Stevie Wonder and James Brown, but nothing popular, nothing that had been released as a single. I looked at the DJ booth and saw an old gray-haired white man and thought, as soon as he starts his set and whatever awesome Sirius Satellite radio channel this is gets turned off, I’ll go back inside the bar. Well, the music stayed good and with each new song I checked the DJ booth to see what was taking the old white guy so long to get started, until finally my ageism and racial prejudice gave way to the fact that it was the old white guy who was spinning all this good shit. Who was this dude? I took a good look and realized it was Bob Reuter. I had never seen him in person before. 

I met Bob Reuter only once, when my documentary “The Roof is on Fire” screened with a documentary about him called “Broken and Wonderful.” Mine was a feature and his was a short, which put me in the very unenviable position of having to follow Bob Reuter. After the screening, we shook hands in the lobby of The Tivoli and I congratulated him on the film. The film had been the first time I had heard his original music. Luckily, sometime after, a friend invited me for a drink at Mangia Italiano, neither of us knowing that Bob Reuter and Thee Dirty South had a gig there that night. Their set was everything I expected from Bob based on what I knew of him. It was broken and wonderful. But mostly wonderful. 

Alas, Howard Stern moved from terrestrial to satellite radio, KDHX moved Sherri Danger from Friday to Monday, KWMU (in the most bone-headed programming decision in the history of public radio) moved Terry Gross from noon to 9 p.m. and now with the untimely death of Bob Reuter, the Golden Age of my Friday morning/afternoon radio listening has officially come to an end.

I became familiar with Bob Reuter at a time in my life when my friends were starting to get married, have kids, buy houses and move out of the city; all the things I wasn’t doing. Perhaps it was a midlife crisis, but looking at Bob Reuter, more than 20 years my senior, still kicking ass as a photographer, musician, radio personality and club DJ, gave me hope. It meant that getting older didn’t have to mean becoming normal.  I once said that Bob Reuter was the best argument for living past 50.

His was a life well lived that ended too soon. Just in the few years I knew of him, he shared so much beauty with the world. He was a true inspiration. He will be missed. 

From Bob Reuter – St. Louis Photographer and Performing Songwriter on Facebook

The Rape Dialogues

A sign from SlutWalk St. Louis 2012

What do you do when the guy you believe raped your friend, calls you out of the blue?

Some of you remember this post. A friend of mine accused a guy I know of raping her. I believed her. I confronted him. He denied it. I sought no further contact with him. Fast forward six months or so, he calls me on the phone “to catch up,” and says that we never talk anymore and “that’s a shame.”

I say, “Well, that’s one way to look at it. Another way would be that in our last conversation, I accused you of raping someone. Rape accusations have a way of ending relationships.” Amazingly enough, a civil conversation took place after this. He asked me to do him a favor, and while my knee jerk reaction was to tell him to go fuck himself, the favor only required a small amount of my time and a couple dollars of my money, so I complied. I used the opportunity to encourage him to seek counseling and also to invite him to and anti-violence against women event that I am co-hosting.

I also sent him a link to this awesome post on the Captain Awkward blog about “creepers and proto-rapists” and asked him to read it. That article inspired the conversation below.

To his credit, the man in question did not oppose me posting our correspondence publically. I have removed his name and other identifying characteristics. For the sake of her privacy, I will refer to the woman who made the initial rape allegation as “Jane,” which is not her real name. The order of some comments has been changed to preserve the continuity of a conversation that took place via instant message. Without further editorial comment, here is the conversation in almost its entirety.

 

Him: I have read your article about the creepers.

My first thought is that you spend a lot more time thinking about my dick and what I do with it than I ever have yours, which is a little hard to do sense yours is almost a public forum.

Second was to evaluate why you want me to read it. This is coming from Jane asking to crash at my place? Or more?

Me: Yes and more. Other women coming to me (unsolicited) with stories about you. Women have told me that they don’t want to come to my events because they saw you on my Facebook friends list and question how I could associate with someone like you. Please believe, I don’t go around asking women what they think of you. They bring this stuff to me. Women I didn’t even know you knew. 

So, yes, it’s more than Jane, but when one of my good friends says you fucked her in her sleep, that’s kind of significant in and of itself. 

And, I can honestly say, I have never thought about your dick in anything but the abstract until just now. Thanks for that. But, come on, “you spend a lot more time thinking about my dick and what I do with it than I ever have yours” is a pretty lame response under the circumstances. Even from you.

Him: I get that a number of years ago I exhibited some of the characteristics of some of these guys. Particularly after [my long-term girlfriend] dumped me. I felt as if my entire world had imploded with the help of my instantly vanished social network. I felt that way because that is what happened.

I eventually made new friends and moved on, slowly. Ever so slowly. I worked on bettering myself but not without making cardinal mistakes to learn from.

When freshly single, I hit on everything that I had interest in. I stopped after getting negative responses and was tired of the rejection. I made my focus when going out to drink limited to just that- to get drunk and enjoy drinking.

When you asked me to talk to Jane and clear things up, and I did, and she tried to assault me, I was out on a date with a girlfriend of 3 months.

Since you have known me I have had many relationships, some good, some bad, some long term, some shorter. I have had many friendships with women that have nothing to do with sex. My motives in dating are for a long-term romance, not just sex. I find just sex, hollow and meaningless, unfulfilling. If I was the bad guy as you have painted me, would that be so? If I was a raping creeper would that be the case?

Me: In a word, yes. Having a girlfriend doesn’t render you incapable of being a creeper. Even if you didn’t fuck Jane in her sleep (as I believe you did), two other women have come to me with stories about you in just the past year (I’m sorry, but I’m not at liberty to disclose who they are). And you and I don’t even hang out in the same crowd anymore. Should I discount them as well? What are the mathematical odds that this is all a series of misunderstandings and you are totally blameless? 

I think you have a problem with women. End of story. I think you need help. If you disagree with me, fine. Maybe I’m wrong. However, I haven’t tried to have any contact with you since we discussed the Jane incident. You called me. If I honestly believe you raped someone and you continue to try to have a relationship with me, what am I supposed to do? Pretend it never happened?

Him: I am not saying I am totally blameless. I did point out that I have made many mistakes prior to now. I am not asking who has said what. I do wonder why they never addressed their problem with me to me. I have been the subject of unmitigated, unwarranted attack in the past. If I am acting creepy, I do expect to be called out on it so I may correct my action.

Me: You did read the article I sent you, right? There are a myriad of reasons why a woman would not feel comfortable calling out a guy who goes over the line with her. It’s really not her responsibility to police your behavior. You are a grown man. Secondly, I have no idea if these women called you out at the time or not, but if they did, I have a hard time imagining you being very receptive to what they said. 

Him: If, however, someone asks to sleep in my bed I do take that as a sign that they want to sleep with me. If we have had relations in the past, doubly so.

I understand that there is “buyer’s remorse”, but I don’t think that is justification to attack someone.

Me:If someone asks to sleep in my bed I do take that as a sign that they want to sleep with me. If we have had relations in the past, doubly so”? Dude, that makes you sound a tiny bit rapey. 

As far as “buyer’s remorse,” people don’t shop in their sleep.

Him: If you are predisposed to see me as you do, then I have no chance of you seeing me as anything else.

Me: You’re probably right. But my predisposition comes from an overwhelming amount of anecdotal evidence and personal observation. It’s not like I have a genetic disorder that makes me see rapists everywhere. And while it’s true that I don’t like you, there’s lots of people who I don’t like that I have no reason to believe have raped anyone.

Him: And this evidence is anecdotal being told to someone who doesn’t like me. And the observance is seen by someone who doesn’t like me. Someone who has prejudged me long ago because they don’t like me. Yes. I have made mistakes in the past. I have tried to learn from those mistakes and make amends. I think I am a better person for learning from my mistakes. I believe I have grown greatly sense I was that person that you decided to not like. Not that I am asking you to like me now.

Me: Fair enough. It is what it is.

This has been interesting to say the least. I hope you don’t mind, but I plan to reprint our correspondence on my blog. I think people can learn from it. I will, of course, remove your name and any identifying characteristics. 

If you do decide to come to the teach-in on Saturday (and I hope you do), I will be totally professional and leave our personal history at the door.

Him: I will look at it again. I haven’t ruled it out.

Me: I appreciate that.

Tough Love? How About “No Love?”

 

I don’t recall Dr. Leo Buscaglia calling people “chimps” and “pigs.”

In which me and the folks at Modern Poly try to have a civilized conversation about polyamory with Steve Ward of VH1’s “Tough Love,” and fail, miserably. 

[Editor’s Note: The order of some comments has been changed to preserve continuity. Also, Twitter abbreviations have been expanded to full words. Every effort has been made to preserve the character of the original conversation.]

Dramatis Personae:

Steve Ward: Match maker, relationship “expert” and host of “Tough Love” on VH1. 

Modern PolyA website for those in the polyamorous lifestyle and non-profit poly advocacy organization. 

David Wraith: Co-founder of Sex Positive St. Louis and self described “free-range, poly man-whore.” 

Kass: Some innocent person on Twitter who inadvertently started it all

Kass:  Steven Ward, what are your thoughts on polyamory? Can these types of relationships work?

Steve Ward: Almost never. It’s always hypocritical.

Modern Poly: Why do you see polyamory as hypocritical?

Steve Ward: Jealously invariably arises. It’s usually about wanting the cake and having it too. 

David Wraith: I still don’t see how poly relationships are hypocritical.  

Steve WardIf you don’t mind your girls bangin’ other guys, I guess it’s not. 

David Wraith: I can handle my “partners” having other sexual partners, yes. I don’t have any “girls.”

Steve WardBut it’s still a little nasty, unsafe and more likely to fail than monogamous ones as soon as she one ups you. 

David WraithAre you basing this on facts or assumptions and stereotypes? 

Steve Ward: With all due respect I can’t argue about relationship dynamics with someone who describes themselves as you do. [With this he includes a link to the “About Me” section of my website: /about-me-contact/]

Steve Ward: Now I’ve got followers calling me a bigot because I see statistics show open sexual relationships increase the risk of STDs and emotional breakdowns.

David Wraith: For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re a bigot. I think you and Dr. Drew Pinsky do great work. I just wish you both knew more about healthy alternative sexual communities so we wouldn’t feel marginalized by you.

Steve Ward: Consensual but alternative relationships stand most vulnerable to interfering dissenters who couldn’t care less about you. 

David Wraith: I agree. I assume you include yourself among the “interfering dissenters who couldn’t care less about you.”

Steve Ward: I love how people beg for bullshit to justify their impulses. Just admit you don’t give a shit about love, faith, any of it and you’re a horny chimpanzee. 

David Wraith: NOW you sound like a bigot. I was really enjoying this discussion until now. Can I politely request you try to be less of a dick?

[At one point the conversation turned to sexually transmitted infections.] 

Steve Ward: Do diseased swingers say, I got this from being a pig swinger? No. They probably LIE! 

David Wraith: Lots of name calling and insults. Wow, you really disappoint me. This could have been an intelligent discussion. 

Modern Poly: I was willing to assume conversation with Steve Ward would stay on topic. Tactics remind me of Anne Coulter

Modern Poly: Actually we didn’t know who Steve Ward is. Too busy being a non-profit polyamory advocacy organization.

Steve Ward: ”Non-profit” doesn’t mean “no revenue.” Sounds like a well salaried pimp.

David Wraith: As a professional match maker, doesn’t that make you a better salaried pimp? 

Steve Ward: Touché. Ha ha ha ha!

David Wraith: Let’s end on a laugh. Good day, sir.

10 Naked Days

Photo of me and Kendra Holliday by Ariana Bauer

WARNING: If you are a blood relative or know me from church, you may not want to read this blog or follow the links herein. 

I’ve decided to keep my website and my Facebook feed, relatively work safe. On my tumblr, however, anything goes. So, for those of you who are not easily offended, you may want to follow my tumblr, where from May 18th to May 28th, I’ll be keeping a “10 Naked Days” blog.

The idea is that for ten days, I will only wear as much clothing as legally necessary and blog about the logistics, observations and reactions as a result. So far, it’s already been pretty interesting, checking my schedule in advance for possible conflicts and sending emails like, “We have an appointment to go over my portfolio on Thursday. Would it distract you if I were naked?” and awaiting the response.
 
The blog is not meant to be profound or particularly insightful, so if the thought and or sight of me without clothes on holds no interest to you, don’t think you’ll be missing out on any brilliant writing on my part. It’s all in good fun and a personal challenge to myself. 

I’m An Achievement Slut

Mollena Williams falls victim to my starfuckery.

I’m a normal heterosexual guy in a lot of ways. I like boobs and asses, and legs. I’m a sucker for a pretty face, pretty eyes and a nice smile.  I’m also a bit of a star fucker, but I don’t care fuck all about money or status. I’m a star fucker, but only because I’m attracted to whatever talent made said star a star in the first place.

I’ve discovered that I’m an achievement slut.

Are you a woman with a Masters or a PhD in a subject I’m interested in? Tell me about that. Are you a writer? Have you written something that I’ve read or want to read? That’s hot. Are you a performer? Have you spent hours, days, weeks, months or years of your life honing a skill like singing, acting or playing music? Are you an artist? Can you create something beautiful that did not exist before? Have your muscles developed in unique ways due to dance, yoga or sports?  

Are you an activist?  Have you fought for your rights or the rights of others? Have you fought against injustice? Do you know firsthand the benefits of helping other people?

Have you raised children? Have you nursed ailing parents or friends? Have you survived an ordeal that might have broken someone else?

If you answered yes to any of the previous questions, please read on:

Do others consider you or do you consider yourself overweight or underweight? Are  you too tall or too short to be a runway model? If so, you may be my type.

Do you buck the system? Are you more comfortable in jeans and boots than a dress? Cause that’s hot. Are you just as comfortable in a dress as you are in jeans and boots, cause that’s even hotter. Do you ever wear ridiculous costumes? Do you make them yourself? Have you ever shaved your head bald? Are you comfortable leaving the house without make-up?  How about without shaving your legs or under your arms?

Have you accomplished all this awesomeness in spite of, or because of, being born with a birth affect, using crutches or a wheelchair for mobility, being visually or hearing impaired, or being part of any other marginalized group? 

If so, then congratulations.  Not only do I respect your gangsta’, but I probably think you’re hella sexy and doubt I’m the only one who feels that way.