Back Pocket Flagging Guide!

4 04 2011

That’s right folks, we’ve put together a little printable back pocket flagging guide for you to take out on the town. No longer will you have to hijack someone’s smart phone in order to figure who’s flagging what. Enjoy!

  1. click the link below
  2. find a colour printer
  3. press print
  4. trim the edges
  5. fold it up
  6. hit the town

Back Pocket Flagging Guide

Thanks  to Melbourne Leather Pride and the {also} Foundation‘s take care {out} there project for their assistance and support with printing. Pick up a hard copy at Melbourne Leatherpride events and from this weekend!





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





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25 08 2010

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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.





Straight Flagging?

10 05 2010

Do straight people flag?

Hanky coding originally was a way of queer people identifying each other, but it’s better not to assume the sex-gender of who’s flagging or who that flagger is seeking; there’s no reason why straight people can’t be flagging hankies these days. Flagging is about inviting questions, and the more straight people who aren’t offended by being hit on by queer people (but rather are open to conversations about sex and sexuality), the better.

But there is a history to straight [anti-]flagging that has potential to be played with [contrary to popular belief, there is not one but TWO straight flags]:

  • A ring on the left fourth finger means married
  • A ring on the right fourth finger means committed (not married)

As you can see, ring symbolism has been used not so much as flag but an anti-flag. Ring flagging doesn’t have to flag ‘straight’ – on the contrary, ring flagging could be a way to break down straight/queer (flagging) divides.

[posted by max 10/05/10]

– – –

Similar concept and an antiflag is the MsTaken ring and it’s accompanying video.  The idea behind is that if someone undesirable is hitting on you, then you can get out your MsTaken ring and tell them that you are married.  It even comes with a key chain to hide your ring/flag in.

[lc 20/05/10]

Jay Wiseman in SM 101 proposes hets flag general kink interest with a “black leather ring, held together with a single rivet” on left or right as appropriate.

[gauche 10/08/10]








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