Web Access Things!

Web Access Things!

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Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Vulva Is in Love with Feminist Porn

You might be asking, what is feminist porn? To me means it means constant and never ending consent, a shift in point of view, it is freeing ourselves from limiting, shaming, normative and negative views of sex, looks at sex beyond physical contact, it includes a wide range of marginalized bodies and realities, shows different levels of abilities, is free of rape culture, oppression and racism, it means female pleasure from our perspective, allows for the freedom of self representation and ownership of our bodies, it is individually sexy, hot, fun, it has storytelling, displays love, has real orgasms, has different representations of beauty, shows the use of barriers, and shows different kinds of sexual practices. And yes, these kinds of ideas around pornography can include the bodies of cis men.

So when I got the opportunity to team up with CUE POC (a roving party for Queer People of Colour (QPOC) in downtown Toronto, They are a community oriented party and collaborate with different queer organizations and feature guest DJ talents within the QPOC community) and Good For Her to fundraise for the feminist Porn Awards I was full of excitement and all smiles! Good For Her explains that thFeminist Porn Awards (FPA) honor pornographers whose groundbreaking work offers a fresh perspective on the sexual expression of women and everyone who finds themselves under-represented in mainstream pornography. 
So if you live in to Toronto area, are down to support the FPA you are so humbly welcome to join us this Saturday!

What? CUE POC + Good For Her Feminist Porn Awards Fundraiser!
When? Saturday February 22nd 2014
Where? Cold Tea Bar
Address: 60 Kensington Ave. (major intersection Spadina & Dundas)
Who? QPOC + Friends/Lovers/Supporters
Why? Sweet Jams+ QPOCs + It's FREE + Porn Screening + Sexy Raffle Prizes
***Accessibility info: venue + washrooms are wheelchair accessible - washrooms are single stall + gender neutral 

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Vulva Is Made for Sexual Consumption?

A few months ago I was tabling at an event organized by a friend of mine, where I was selling some of the crochet jewelry and accessories that I make, including crochet genitalia. A person was checking out the goods I had on display and the conversation we had went a little something like this:
- what are these
- why these are vulva pins
- oh...but why would you make them and sell them here? They are better off being in a porn shop or something...
- why do you say that?
- they are vaginas...
I was thankful for this persons comment and welcomed the short conversation we had, but I have noticed that in all the conversations I have had around my vulva pins, cis men - people who were born male and live their lives as men- have never failed to view the vulva pins as any thing more than a sexual representation of the female body. I have started to wonder, have female bodies been constructed for and understood through the male gaze? And have I been unknowingly participate in that gaze?

I am far from ashamed to admit that I watch a lot of pornography, and what I have noticed specifically about easily accessible mainstream heterosexual porn, that depicts penetrative sex between a man and a woman, is that these films are not free from voyeurism, male fantasy and sexual conquest. In her 1975 essay titled Visual Pleasure & Narrative Camera author Laura Mulvey, suggests the male gaze occurs when the camera draws the audience into the heterosexual mans point of view. Through voyeurism lingering on curves, body parts etc. she explains that this serves to frame the female body as an erotic object for sexual conquest to be dominated by both the character in the film and the audience. She goes on to explain that within male fantasy, seldom do we see the point of view of the female body/character.

I have been thinking about how point of view as explored by Laura Mulvey relates to the way that I have been making my vulva pins. Have I been perpetuating and reflecting a male gaze? When making them, I have chosen to physically position myself on my back, open my legs and use a mirror to see my vulva. But in reality, when in this position without a mirror, I can't actually see the entirely of my vulva. All I see is my clitoris, part of my labia minora and the top of my labia majora. In using a mirror I have shifted from reflecting my own personal gaze of my body and instead have served to reflect the gaze of someone looking at my vulva. Similar to the male gaze in mainstream pornography I have drawn my audience into a point of view that situates them as onlookers of my vulva pins. I believe this point of view can easily draw parallels between the fantasy or reality of heterosexual men's sexual position as voyeurs of the female body. In making my vulvas this way am I welcoming and participating in objectification? What do you think?

Monday, 6 January 2014

Vulva Uses a Dental Dam?

Lube, Vulva & Dental Dam!
Have you ever been to the dentist? You know when you have a cavity and they clip a rubber like sheet to your teeth and proceed to drill away at them? Well, that sheet is called a dental dam. In dentistry they are used to isolate the tooth with the cavity from the surrounding oral environment to provide a safer way of preventing bacteria inside the cavity from spreading while operating on it. In safer sex practices a dental dam works in the same way! This thin rectangular sheet of latex (or silicone) is used specifically as a barrier between one persons mouth and anothers vulva or anus during oral sex to reduce the chances of passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI) through bodily fluids and skin to skin contact. 

Unpackaged Dental Dam

Oral sex which includes cunnilingus (eating pussy), fellatio (sucking dick) and anilingus/rimming (eating booty hole) is the action of pleasuring or stimulating the genitalia  using the mouth, lips, tongue, teeth or throat. If you have a super flexible spine you can do it to yourself (autofellatio or autocunnilingus), or for those who are not so malleable someone else can definitely help you out! Oral sex is 
classified as 'low risk activity' And what does that mean? Well, the term 'low risk' suggests that the chance of contracting an STI through this activity is significantly lower than other 'high risk activities' such as penetrative vaginal or anal sex. The terms 'high risk' and 'low risk' are a bit sticky for me and I don't use them often because I believe that it asserts that 'high risk activites' are wrong/bad/dangerous such as; barrier free sex (without condoms, dental dams etc.) or anal sex. Which I find to be very sex negative because it shames people for having the kind of sex that they are into. BUT personal politics aside, when giving and receiving oral sex it is possible to contract an STI. For example is possible to transmit oral herpes (cold sores HSV-1) to genitals (HSV-2) and the other way around through skin to skin contact. Through bodily fluids (such as blood, semen-including pre-cum, vaginal fluids, and anal fluids) it is quite circumstantial. Remember that an STI must be present in these fluids for it to be transmitted from one person to another. So if someone is giving oral sex and has cuts or open sores in their mouth and one (or all) of those fluids with an STI present comes in contact those sores/cuts there is a possibility that an STI can be transmitted. So what can we do? Well getting tested and knowing our + our partners HIV and STI status is one way, but sometimes that isn't an option. We could also get excited about using dental dams!

How can we safely practice safer oral sex with a dental dam?
1. Ask your partner if they are into you going down on them, if they say yes proceed to step 2
2. Check the expiry date if it is still within the date open the package!
3. Spread some lube on one side of the dental dam, this will make sure it sticks better on the vulva or anus and it is more pleasurable for the person receiving! Note: Use water based lube! It won't deteriorate the latex! Also unless your into eating lube, the side without the lube should be facing you.

Dental Dam w/ Lube

4. With two hands stretch lubed dental dam over vulva or anus. Note: I folded the dam in the image below for sizing purposes, do not fold yours

Dental Dam Stretched Over Vulva
4. Enjoy! and eat to your partners content! Note: One side one use! Try not reuse or flip over the same dental dam, throw it away after one use, grab another one and repeat!

Dental dams are kind of hard to come by for a variety of reasons, and if you find yourself without them you can try these options as alternative solutions and use them in the same way as a regular dental dam;
1. NON-MICROWAVABLE saran wrap. The microwavable type is not suggested because they have tiny holes in the them that fluids can seep through and that defeats the purpose of it being used as a safer sex barrier.
2. Cutting an external condom into a dental dam. Without unrolling it, use a pair of scissors to snip off the tip. Cut the side of condom. Unroll! You should have a ready to use sheet of latex!
3. Cutting a latex glove into a dental dam. With a pair of scissors cut the four fingers off the top of the glove. Then cut down the side of the glove - leaving the thumb intact. You can use the thumb to insert your tongue or finger into your partner!
You can always prepare your barriers in advance and store them somewhere where they won't get damaged by heat, pierced by other objects, or get covered in dirt or dust. For example in a Ziploc bag!

Working safer sex barriers into our sex life can be challenging for different reasons, not everyone has the space or safety to negotiate the use of barriers, some people might not know how to use them, or sometimes for personal or religious reasons barriers are just not for everyone. Their use is highly dependent on personal preference and beliefs, social realities, issues around access to barriers and so on. So wherever and however you are situated, do what is right for you and always prioritize your safety first - whatever that may look like. Furthermore, don't worry about barriers being unsexy! You can use all kinds of barriers as a chance to get kinky with safer sex! You can try role playing and maybe be a sexy nurse/doctor coming to treat a patient(s) that has been very naughty? Do what works for you, work within your personal boundaries, stay safe, and have fun!

Questions or concerns? Don't worry! Just send me an email and I'll respond as I can!