Queer Courtship & Hanky Code workshop

3 06 2011

We’re going on tour to Sydney! Gauche and M. are putting on a workshop at Camp Betty, a three-day festival celebrating and unpacking sex, sexuality & gender against a backdrop of radical politics and DIY action.

Queer Courtship & Hanky Code

a seminar with introductory talk, facilitated discussion, group exercises and roleplays – and hanky giveaways

11 June 2011 – 11:00 am to 12:30 pm

Plump Gallery, 240 Enmore Road, Enmore NSW

We want to learn and share techniques for navigating love and fucking, from pick up to break up, for queer thinkers who care about consent. So much seduction is premised on manipulation, or relies on assumptions about heterosexuality, monogamy or gender-normative roles and bodies. If these aren’t our lives, how do we hoist the flags of our desires?

You can invite all your friends to the Facebook event if that’s your style. The first Sydney POC THE MIC is happening on the Sunday night and there’s lots of other fantastic events. The full Camp Betty program is available here and it’s on iCal so you can sync it to your Google Calendar if you have one. Oh yes, we are teched up and festival ready!





Effective Barrier Use

12 02 2011

Gloves/Dams/Condoms

The effective use of barriers in the following activities greatly reduces possible transmission by preventing the transfer of infected fluids or by covering an infected site.

Possible risks even with barrier useHPV, BV, TV, thrush, herpes, hep B, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis

WHITE jerk me off I’ll do us both
BLUE, Robin’s Egg 69 69
BLUE, Light gives oral wants oral
——— BLUE, Light
w/ light PINK stripe
sucks dildo suck my dildo
——— BLUE, Light w/ MAROON stripe gives head to menstruator wants head, is bleeding
BLUE, Navy fucking / TOP fucking / BOTTOM
RED, Dark 2-handed fister 2-handed fistee
RED fist fucker fist fuckee
PINK, Light dildo wielder dildo fuckee
BEIGE rimmer rim me
  • Make sure you have the right size (a tight fit) for gloves and condoms. Different brands have different sizes.
  • You can make dams from unlubricated condoms by cutting them up one side. Extra thin condoms tend to provide more stimulation than dams. You can make a tongue condom from a glove: cut the wrist and fingers off (leaving the thumb in tact), then cut up the side where the pinkie was. This tends to afford the highest sensitivity to both giver and receiver.
  • Ensure barriers are within their use-by date (they degrade over time and are thus more likely to break).
  • Make sure it is not torn when removed from packaging.
  • Coloured gloves are awesome because you can have a different colour for each hand.
  • Double glove for the convenience of moving from back to front play (just whip off the outer glove).
  • With condoms: if relevant, pull back the foreskin. Squeeze the air out of the tip (you can also place a small amount of lube on the inside tip of the condom to reduce air bubbles and increase sensitivity) and roll the condom all the way down.
  • For oral sex/rimming, lube can be put beneath the barrier for extra stimulation – but be aware that this makes it more likely to slip off.  With dams, mark each side with a different coloured marker to more easily keep track of the down and up sides.
  • Hold the barrier in place during use.
  • Check that the condom remains in tact throughout use. The more lube you use and the more frequently (while fucking), the less likely breakage is. When pulling out, hold the base of the condom to ensure it doesn’t slip off.
  • Use barriers only once. Use a different barrier for each person or orifice. Throw them in the bin after use.
  • Use water or silicone-based lube with latex condoms. Non-latex condoms tend to be made of silicone. Don’t use silicone condoms or lube on silicone dildos/toys. Oil based lubes (like hand cream or Vaseline) weaken latex condoms, causing them to break more easily.

Also:

  • Fisting and hand washing are more risky than fingering as the likelihood of tearing the lining of the vagina/anus is higher.
  • On cleaning sex toys.
  • Any activities involving blood carry a higher risk for Hepatitis C, HIV and other blood born viruses.
  • Condom guide

Our complete safer sex guide is here.





General Tips

9 02 2011

General Tips for Safer Play


Before Before play (Be Prepared!)

  • Clean all your sex toys/dildos.
  • Have ready access to barriers (condoms, gloves, dams) and lube.
  • Keep your fingernails short and smooth.
  • Maintain good oral hygiene.
  • Have an idea of your hard limits, and how you plan on avoiding them.
  • Know if you have any allergies (like latex).
  • Know your lube preferences, and how different lubes interact with different toys and parts of the body.
  • Know what agreement you have with a fluid-bondee for playing outside.

Before play

  • Be aware of cuts or scraps on your body, especially hands and mouth, and if you’re feeling sick.
  • “Sting test” your hands (and any other parts of your body that may come into contact with fluids): Sex fluids that carry infections can infect microcuts that might result from ordinary dry skin or abrasions of any sort, and are invisible to the naked eye. You can check skin for microcuts by splashing it with rubbing alcohol, lemon juice or vinegar: which will cause cuts to sting (frequent exposure to rubbing alcohol will dry the skin in a way that can cause damage).
  • Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap.
  • Don’t brush your teeth or floss.
  • Take a piss.
  • Inform players of your allergies, lube preferences.
  • Look at other players hands, and if relevant, genitals for lesions.
  • Negotiate how you want to play. <LC: more info in link coming soon>

During play

  • The best way to decrease the risk of infection transmission is to prevent infected site contact and limit abrasions.
  • If relevant, make sure barriers are used effectively.
  • Avoid rubbing your/their eyes, especially if there’s been junk/butt/mouth touching.
  • Don’t move from back activity to front activity without a barrier change .
  • Consent. Checking in. <LC: more info in link coming soon>

After play

  • Throw any used barriers in a bin.
  • Wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap (or use hand sanitiser).
  • Take a piss, especially after IV.
  • Aftercare. <LC: more info in link coming soon>

Our complete safer sex guide is here. Where appropriate, further advice should be sought from a medical practitioner.





On rejection

7 02 2011

[gauche]

Swiftly and graciously accepting rejection is a cornerstone of radical consent. It hurts, but if you really believe in sexual autonomy, you just have to suck it up — without pleading or wheedling or demanding answers. You need a reason to be with someone, not to reject them.

Of course, rejection can be based on prejudice. It can be cissexist or racist or fatphobic or biphobic or ageist or ableist or anti-virgin or whatever else. And if someone voices those sentiments, you’re right to call them up on it. But nobody owes you an explanation on why they don’t want to fuck you or date you. I’ve been hearing people assume prejudice in situations where no reason was given, and I tend to think it’s likely no reason was given because no one wants to say “I’m just not that into you”.

In an existing relationship, pressing for a reason can be used to get someone to stay with you under the promise that you will change. But though it’s widely acknowledged that rape and sexual assault occur within established relationships, conversations about consent can tend to focus on the beginnings of things. Even when consent education explicitly resists the idea of perpetual consent, or conclusive negotiations (eg in this questionnaire), people can assume that certain ideas or questions aren’t applicable to their situation. The communication style and power dynamic of an established relationship can complicate negotiations, as much as it can facilitate them.

But coercion can come from a place of disempowerment — eg using your body image or mental health issues to manipulate someone into having sex with you — as much as it can come from the abuse of power. When you feel utterly powerless, it can be hard to imagine that you’re exercising coercion, but that’s exactly what’s happening when you try to beg and trade in the face of rejection.

One of our Basic Rules of Flagging is that we need to be open to suggestion and open to rejection. Consent depends on both — if you are too polite to proposition, too precious to be propositioned, too evasive to reject and too insecure to be rejected, how are you negotiating consent?

 





On Safer Sex

6 02 2011

Inspired by the also foundation’s take care {out} there safer sex education program, and the piles of free condoms we have hoarded by our beds from it, opinicus rampant is collating our own risk-reduction safer sex guide.

Over the next few weeks we’ll be updating each section as listed below. If you have any great links or ideas, let us know by submitting a comment to this page.

Safe sex guides generally suck, and just say things like ‘always use barriers’. The fact is, the risks are different with different sex acts and different STIs. We don’t know anyone who practises barrier sex all the time (even those with a latex fetish).

Safer sex guides tend to be written with the broadest possible definition of ‘unsafe’. We’re trying to do the opposite, by thinking about how things are safe or could be safer, and detailing the actual risks involved in each sex act so that consenting adults can decide for themselves which risks to take.

Get tested regularly so you know the status of your sexual health (at least once per year if you’ve had sex, at least once every 6 months if you’ve had sex with multiple people). Most STIs are treatable, and if you get one which isn’t – knowing about it and how it affects your body and the possibility of passing it on is the only responsible way to have sex. If you do test positive to an STI it is important to tell your recent sex partners, which you can do anonymously via e-card or sms from here.

Most contact with other people doesn’t lead to infection. In order for an infection to be transmitted from one person to another all of the following must occur:

  • the organism (virus, bacteria, fungi or parasite) must be in or on a person’s body and still be able to be transmitted;
  • the organism must leave the body of the person who has the virus;
  • the organism must be able to survive in the environment;
  • the organism must find its way onto or into another person; and
  • the organism must be in sufficient quantity to infect that person.

There are 4 types of STIs:

  • Viral: HPV; herpes; hepatitis A, B and C; HIV;
  • Bacterial: syphilis; gonorrhoea; chlamydia
  • Fungal: thrush; BV;
  • Parasitic: public lice (crabs); scabies

Hepatitis B is the most highly infectious (easily transmitted) and most durable of STDs. Most STDs are fragile and do not live long outside the body, Hep B is the exception. There are vaccines for Hep B, Hep A and some (but not all) strains of HPV. The 4 strains of HPV that the vaccine Gardasil prevents account for 90% of genital warts cases and 70% of cervical cancer cases.

With Hepatitis C there is a low risk of infection in sexual activity that does not involve blood. This is because the virus needs to be in sufficient quantities and enter the blood stream in order to be infected. While the virus is still carried in body fluids other than blood, they are in lower quantities.

Cuts on the body (especially hands and including mouth) greatly increase the risk of infection-transmission. You are not always aware of cuts on your body, especially under and around fingernails or inside the mouth and back of the throat. Cuts inside the vagina or anus (of which you will be unaware) makes transmission easier, however the mucous membranes of these areas allow transmission into the bloodstream (without cuts).

Crabs  (public lice) are the most infectious STI, if you share a bed or are naked with someone who has them, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get them.

While we hope to eventually have collated a complete safer sex guide for all genders and sexualities, our priority is to detail that which is most relevant to women and transguys who have sex with women/transguys.

Almost all safer sex guides are cock-centred, if you can’t find one on your own – here you go: the drama downunder.

For transguys who have sex with guys, there is one online guide available Back Pocket Guide for Transmen and the Men Who Dig Them and 2 works in progress: tm4m and DUDE!

Our complete safer sex guide is here. Where appropriate, further advice should be sought from a medical practitioner.





All About Orange

4 01 2011

[max]

Traditionally, flagging orange means:
(L) anything goes * (R) just cruising

But that in that sense, (L) is consensually worrying, and (R)  too like an anti-flag (ie, leave me alone).

You want just cruising? Go for white velvet, left.

Given the emphasis on consent, I’d like orange to be reinterpreted as:

ORANGE looking to lead open to suggestion

I think there’s a real need for open to suggestion and it makes sense for orange, ie “could be up for anything, try me”. I’ve been thinking about control/drive flagging – and I like this as a revision which satisfies.

 

Archive on Orange

[lc 22/03/10]: I think that the orange flag has its place. Flagging something obviously doesn’t equal consenting to something and it’s highly dangerous to assume someone has no boundaries but I think orange could mean something like ‘I’ve liked everything I’ve done so far and I’m into trying other things as well’ or could also/simultaneously symbolise that you’re up for being propositioned for anything.

[max 22/03/10]: I think it’s really important to stress that flagging isn’t consent. I think the phrase anything goes makes that more difficult. And that concerns me.

[lc 25/8/10]: Go to “Asking For It





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