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.





Trans Flagging

24 01 2011

Allanah Starr, Buck Angel & Gia Darling. By Tristan Taormino, 2005.

GENDER, JUNK & BODY FETISH

We have endeavoured to make opinicus rampant completely pan gender, so that every flag can be read on any body. In this vein, we removed specific references to biological junkcocksucker became gives head. We also cut out flags which reference ontological* fetishes (fetishes for categories of being), such as apricot for fat fetish and the various “race”-related flags, as they serve to further fetishize** already marginalised bodies. It also seemed somewhat redundant to be flagging fetish flags on the left for visible qualities (which is what they all are).

We want flagging to represent actions rather than identities. But it’s more complicated than that; flagging is always symbolic of at least various aspects of our identity – how we see ourselves and want others to see us (eg, [uptight] tops who only flag on the left). Trans flagging presents an occasion in which identity flagging makes even more sense, because one’s transness can be unwantedly invisible, as well as highly stigmatised and marginalised, even within queer communities.

[gauche]: Generally I’m not into flagging gender or genitals – but on the other hand I also want to put getting people laid ahead of abstract values, and it’s disingenuous to pretend that being trans is irrelevant here. I’ve said elsewhere, “it doesn’t matter how politically astute or logically consistent your sexual orientation is, if you feel like you can’t change it” — but I also don’t want to support either transphobic or body-fetishising flags.

I guess I’m torn between hoping that all flags are automatically trans-inclusive and acknowledging that there is a practical and political need to explicitly show trans pride, support and desire.

I think this is the same dilemma we argued over regarding female ejaculation — whether we want to promote specific uses or assume an inclusive base. And I do think the latter is more radical, more transformative, than inventing new flags for affirmation and consciousness-raising — but of course when you’re looking at a single hanky hanging out of someone’s pocket rather than reading this whole blog, you don’t see how we’ve reimagined the whole system, so in that case affirmation is actually more meaningful and political.

[max]: Absolutely. I think all the flags — as we have re-written them — are trans-inclusive, but that doesn’t make them trans specific. And sex can be. Opinicus rampant is about extending and improving conversations about sex and bodies. In the case of transness, I think it’s more important to have trans visibility than avoid identity flags. There are many (especially sexual) contexts in which one’s transness can be unwantedly invisible or come into question in ways we’d rather it didn’t. You know, trans people have such a rough time in being received, it can be awkward — knowing which pronouns to use or how someone thinks about their body — and something incredibly exhausting (and constant) for trans people to bring up verbally. And while you can’t assume someone’s junk from a trans flag (trans people can have all kinds of junk [as can anyone else] and want to fuck in all kinds of ways), trans flagging can allow for the assumption of transfemininity/ transmasculinity/genderqueerness***.

So, what is it?

[max]: Purple tends to be used as a trans colour and can be found in genderqueer circles as well (probably for the unfortunate equation of blue + pink = purple, but nevertheless). It makes sense to build on the lavender flag, which originally signified (L) likes drags queen * (R)  drag queen — clearly sexist in its non-compliance with all other is flags in which (L) is * (R) seeks, such as silver lame, kelly green, argyle, or tie-dye. The only time is flags on the right are in (bottom) animalplay, such as horse or pony. We thus updated lavender to:

LAVENDER x dresser / dragster likes x dressers / drag

Whereas x dressing or drag are specifically about dress, transness is about identity if not body-type.

[gauche]: I support it as a trans pride flag and perhaps also confirmation of chosen gender — but then when worn on the right, do you want it to mean support or desire? Because I think it will sort of bleed into a body fetish flag. Are you cool with that happening?

[max]: Yeah no. In order to have a trans flag without fetishizing trans bodies, we just need to have straight trans man and trans woman flags that can take on the associations of any desired position: (L) top  * (R) bottom — like HIV positivity — the point of all these flags is to bring attention to certain sex/body related issues that may otherwise be invisible/misread.

PURPLE GINGHAM trans grrrl trans grrrl
PURPLE FLANNEL trans dude trans dude

Flagging any combination of lavender, gingham, flannel could signal genderqueer, androgynous, and/or, neither, both – as you wish. Or purple sequins can be a specific genderqueer flag:

PURPLE SEQUINS genderqueer genderqueer

Keep in mind that the flannel needs to be plaid, to be distinct from plain purple, which indicates piercing.

Footnotes:

* [max] Ontologies: from the Greek meaning “of being”; the study of the nature of being, existence or reality; the basic categories of being and their relations; in analytic philosophy, concerns the determining of whether some categories of being are fundamental and asks in what sense the items in those categories can be said to “be”.

** [gauche] Why are we against fetishising? I think even when you have (L) consents to being fetishised rather than the (redundant as already visible) is, (R) still flags fetishising without regard to consent. I don’t think it’s possible to ensure a body fetish flag is not objectifying and exoticising against someone’s will. I also don’t think it’s possible, for marginalised groups, to differentiate inclusive desire and fetish desire.

*** [gauche] Why did we end up with trans woman and trans dude rather than transfeminine and transmasculine? We thought the specificity was rather the point: at a minimum, you can infer that a wearer of purple gingham goes by female pronouns, and a wearer of purple flannel goes by male pronouns. Opening it up to a broad spectrum such as transmasculine which can include butches and drag kings seems to dilute this purpose.

What are your favourite trans(-friendly) flags?





Tie Me Up – Ribbon Flagging

7 06 2010

[special guestblog by n.]

One of the (admittedly few) problems I have with flagging is how to utilize it and retain my femme integrity, which is heavily bound up in a conscious and considered personal aesthetic. One of the purposes of flagging is the possibility of conveying complex messages about sexual interest through code. Code is, by its nature, a thing comprised in part of secrecy and knowledge – it is both a protective mechanism (only the initiated have the possibility of deciphering, and thus those outside of the culture pass it by unawares, an important consideration for any significant gathering of those who operate outside normative culture) and a binding agent (codes rely on the presence of both ‘writers’ and ‘readers’. Sharing knowledge creates social bonds). Therefore, in order for coding to be truly effective, it must be implemented in a manner which can be rendered undetectable by any but the initiated.

femme flagging aesthetics

In the case of flagging –  a visual and, most importantly, wearable form of code – this possibility of slipping below the radar of normative sexual culture is intricately bound up in the fashion decisions of individuals. Flagging or hankie culture was born in a social space where the wearing of kerchiefs was normal enough to go unnoticed by (possibly threatening) heterosexual parties, thus enabling the creation of a language that was both intelligible to those versed in it and safe from those who weren’t. This seamless blending of code and ordinary dress is a vital component of flagging’s success; it allows individual queers to flag whenever, wherever, without fear of harassment because flags do not look – to the casual (outside) observer – to be out of place.

The problem, then, with flagging and being femme, is that scarves and handkerchiefs do not always ‘fit’. Despite the prevalence of 50s-style Tattooed Pinups and Ironic (white) American Housewives in queer femme fashion culture (both aesthetic choices that lend themselves beautifully to the wearing of scarves) there are many other femme visual identities and not all of them are conducive to hankies. We may be harder to spot – in other words, no space has (yet) been carved out for femmes who choose to move beyond the accepted visuals of the 50s – but not all femmes buy into that particular area of popular reclamation, and we’d like to flag sometimes too. It’s clear that flagging options, like any language with a steadily broadening reach, must expand to include those new users who exist outside of the original scope. The trick is to find an alternate article of cloth/ing that can be utilized in the same manner as scarves: it must come in all manner of patterns, colours, textures; must be readily available and accessible; must have the capacity to be located to left or right, around the neck or head; must possess the potential to be integrated into a wide variety of femme aesthetics.

I considered stockings but, as max pointed out, the problem is that they go on both feet and thus both sides. Most jewellery, though coloured, does not come in patterns and is, besides, perhaps too obscure or easily mistaken for, well, nothing more than innocent adornment (which, of course, it isn’t always – but sex toys and jewels are another story, and besides, perhaps ought to be left to their own glory, rather than being appropriated by flagging culture. Plus, as previously discussed, rings already have their place as the ultimate anti-flag, and we wouldn’t want to impose on the heteronorm, now, would we?).  Brooches, pins, or badges are a possibility – for example, they can be patterned, or even covered in fabric – but they’re also (generally) rather small. You’d have to get fairly close to somebody to ‘read’ the flag in question, which aside from being a bit iffy on the maintenance of personal space front (something with which femmes deal all the time as it is), also cancels out one of the other fundamental elements of flagging: the capacity to find those people whose interests might coincide with yours, even from afar.

And then it came to me. Ribbons.

Daphne Guinness - ribbon flagging

They come in every colour, many fabrics, can be DIY-ed to the hilt (which is, I feel, rather important when trying to achieve a good double-flag or, say, a more unusual pattern like houndstooth), and are highly wearable and very versatile. You can style a ribbon much like a scarf – around the neck, head, wrist, arm – or you can branch out into, say, rosettes, bows, flowers, hat-bands, etc. Also, I really enjoy the process of subverting an ultra-pretty feminine article of innocent haberdashery into something actively sexual and, perhaps more pertinently for the femme identity – often read as straight and, thus, without sexual agency or desire – initiatory. Plus, the possibility of using ribbons as a flagging device extends the reach of female and femme flagging history, which can only be good. There are a bizarre number of scenes in the western literary cannon about women purchasing or wearing ribbons – keep it in mind when reading, say, Pride and Prejudice and you’ll find that white, middle-class women have been ribbon flagging for years. Admittedly their choice is usually limited to the paler tones, but hey, in the cloakroom at a country ball you’d take what you could get.





Protected: Into Blood

23 03 2010

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Suck My Dildo

19 03 2010

BLUE, Light w Light PINK stripe

[alex]: what if you want someone to suck your cock?

[max]: I think you have to be looking male. Or maybe use Lavender?

[gauche]: no no no! you should be able to flag suck my dildo cock if you’re femme slash looking feminine

[max]: Totally. And I hate Lavender. But we have to work with what we’ve got. Maybe Light Blue with Lavender Stripe?

[lc]: Light Blue with Light Pink stripe?

[alex]: I like the drag aspect of Lavender.

[gauche]: Light Pink is dildoes though, that couldn’t be anything else.

[lc]: What about pink polka dots?

[max]: I like the phallic nature of a stripe.








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