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!





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?

 





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





Protected: Asking For It

25 08 2010

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penchant in its place

22 03 2010

[lc 21/03/10]
I want to write in defence of scarves. Yes I’m into flagging culture and the things that it represents but I’m worried that flagging culture is going to inhibit femme fashion and limit one’s ability to accessorise. I think that flagging needs to be context specific, like at gay clubs, sex on premise venues and at erotic parties. I want to be able to go down to my local coffee shop and wear my scarves and not worry about being misread as to my sexual proclivities or worry that that kind of information is available to the general public. There has been talk about having a specific knot or the usage of a brooch to symbolise a scarf not being a flag. I’ve also been told I just need to ‘suck it up’ and that if I want to wear a scarf that’s what I have to take on board. I disagree, I think that there are other reasons for wearing a scarf than just flagging and that these need to be accounted and accommodated for (todays bad hair day was a good example).

[gauche 16/08/10]
I think I’m with Max on the strict “no anti-flags” position — for me because flagging never implies consent — but also when it comes to sex acts, I’m suspicious of the fear of being misread. Like the heterosexual anxiety at being misread as queer (An aside: have you noticed straight cis men in dresses are often especially misogynistic? Think The Footy Show.), I think that worrying about whether people think I’m into scat, when if I’m not, is more about some aversion to that which I am (mis)taken for than a concern about any real communication failure.

This is coming from a queer femme who is often read as straight, who has decided I’d rather suck it up than suggest people should be able to read my sexuality from the way I look. (I think Max is writing more on identity and appearances later.) Which isn’t to say that being misread or misunderstood is never a big deal — it can be lethal — but that particular misunderstanding, of phantom flags, of the flag unintended, that’s one I want to embrace.








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