Dec 152013
 

doughnut smallSex and food are two primal urges with more in common than our basic survival. Who can argue that lusting after one another over a good meal is double the corporeal pleasure? On the other hand, gluttony of either leaves lovers sore and aching when they fail to say “enough” or “slow down” before that final tempting morsel. Denial of both, ‘hunger-strikes’ if you will, keep us bone dry, cranky and starved for nourishment. It’s not a far stretch to say that, for many, their experience of the modern American sexual culture is akin to a binge-starvation cycle.

In a column for Examiner.com, I wrote about the difference between sexual freedom vs. promiscuity; for our purposes here, I submit (no pun intended) that the latter for this discussion treats sexual intercourse akin to junk food. Sex is something to gorge on, consume, and imbibe in abundance. But we all know the consequences of a binge. That booty call may scratch a momentary itch, but is it enough to feed your soul? It’s equally important to point out that prudishness (the equivalent of starvation in our analogy) is also reactive. The message of ‘don’t have sex!’ because it is dirty/shameful/sinful is rooted in fear and misinformation. I am convinced that people are dissatisfied with these choices, and want to improve personal relationships. But first, it helps to understand what our sexual options are.

First, we must clarify the difference of sex between the genitals that scratches a temporary itch vs. intimacy that binds us beautifully to our beloved(s). Wisdom is drawn from one of my favorite mentors, Diana Daffner, a well-respected teacher of sacred sexuality and co-founder of intimacyretreats.com. According to Daffner, there are three types of sex that correspond with the state of awareness we bring to the table (or the bedroom, if you will.)

Getting your groove on with your genitals, heart and soul?
In her blog ‘What type of sex are you having?’ Daffner describes three types of sex using the ancient language, Sanskrit; Tama, Raja and Sattva, “reflect how we live our lives and make love,” she writes. Because I’m not versed in this language, my first (admittedly somewhat irreverent) thought was that the type of sex we are having could easily correspond to a how we show up at the table. Are we junk-foodies, fast-foodies, or soul-foodies when we feed and frock?

Junk-Food Sex
By now, I hope you have a good idea on what junk-food sex is, that is, the kind of binge booty calls referenced above. In the sacred sexuality traditions, this is called Tamasic Sex, and it refers to simple, uncomplicated pleasure, the kind of urges, that once satisfied, disappear.

“Sexual energy is often treated as if it were an itch. The energy begins to stir in your genitals. If you’re fortunate and have a willing lover close at hand, you reach out for them, letting them know of your need. Together, you “scratch the itch”, soon experiencing relief, a delightful release as the tingling intensifies and then dissipates through an explosion of muscular contractions,” Daffner explains.

Sex like this feels good and helps to relieve stress and tension, “still, when it’s over, it’s over. The impending sneeze has reached its climax and become history.” She continues, ”In the lexicon of Sanskrit language, sex which resembles the scratching of an itch can be referred to as tamasic sex. In its benign form, this is sexual coupling that is pretty much restricted to one partner “getting off”.

Daffner further describes such intercourses as limited in real and abiding connection. This isn’t memorable sex any more than picking at a bug bite is a massage. Sometimes, this type of intercourse involves little effort to please one another. I further submit that this kind of contact typifies attitudes of shame and guilt around pleasure vis-à-vis the fantastic and dirty sort of sex that sustains long-term pair bonding (Read my previous column on Fearlesspress.com).

Sure, this basic primal romp serves a purpose: men climax, but as Daffner puts it, “for women, this leads more to bore-gasm than orgasm. She will often fake pleasure in order to hasten the end more quickly.”

Fast-Food Sex
Next on the menu is fast-food sex, the kind characterized by passion, energy and spice. Known as rajasic sex in the tantric circles, this is sex with a goal in mind, i.e., pleasure and orgasm for both partners.

“A loving relationship forms a good basis for rajasic sex. Rajasic couples engage in foreplay, exploring one another’s bodies, touching, sucking, thrusting, manipulating. Fantasy and erotica can provide additional fuel, arousing and stimulating the body through the mind.” (Fan’s of Alphabet Erotica and my Erotica Reviews can appreciate this benefit of Fast-Food, Rajasic Sex)

Daffner further explains that during rajasic sex, lovers are tender, warm and concerned for one another’s pleasure and satisfaction. “Yet, exhilarating as it is, rajasic intensity takes place on a personal level, and at its completion can still leave each person alone with his or her own thoughts and emotions.” That is because, “a rajasic lover is often driven by a need to prove herself or himself, a desire to be a good lover. Failure, or the fear of failure can have dire effects on the ability to succeed in doing so. The dreaded performance pressure can create a downward spiral into unhappiness.”

The problem with sex like this is that relationships “cannot sustain the required energy output” to have these sorts of interludes on a regular basis. Real life kicks in, and we grow bored. Bedroom antics are prone to becoming routine, dull and, ultimately unsatisfying because they don’t satisfy our, “hunger for more passion, more intimacy, more something.”

That something else that we yearn for, it turns out, isn’t found in more athletic sexcapades, but in the stillness and quiet of the final level of intimate contact.

Soul-Food Sex
Sex that emphasizes the timeless moments before orgasm, and the continued renewal of energy between lovers is the final experience of tantric intimacy. This Soul-Food sex is characterized by “timeless moments… prolonged experience of delicious and conscious awareness.” That is because “no longer is there a concern for sexual performance. Personal pleasure is expanded to include a cosmic sense of being. Individual satisfaction gives way to the universal presence of love. Spiritual oneness prevails.”

This experience, known more traditionally as “Sattvic sex” is, according to Daffner, “calm and tranquil, and can best be enjoyed in complete stillness. Instead of the headlong rush toward the release of orgasm, there is a continual renewal of energy as it circulates within and between the lovers.”

That something extra that lovers yearn for is found in this “spiritual experience [of] sexual energy, which is honored as the sacred and vital force of life.” Intimacy born of shared pleasure, and of energy exchanged through the heart-soul complex as well as the bodies, introduces lovers to that something extra many yearn for in their couplings.

“There is a sweetness to sattvic sex,” writes Daffner. “And like a well-flavored dessert, the sweetness lasts beyond the moment, permeating the core of your being and refreshing your sense of existence.”

This all harkens to a desire to be more conscious in our lovemaking and love choices. For sure, we can scratch that temporary itch and get off on one another. But if we choose a transcendent path with our beloved, “we partake in a lasting gift of communion that endures and nourishes us on an ongoing basis. Before sattvic sex, we may have been best friends and lovers. After sattvic sex, we become divine mirrors for each other, reflecting our shared ecstasy and bliss.”

That is not to say that couples don’t continue to experience all types of sex in their day-to-day experience. “Sattvic sex is not divorced from the realm of tamasic sex but rises upward from its physical roots into a rarified atmosphere of meditative surrender,” Daffner admits. That’s fancy language for saying what should be clearer for those who have read to this point. A relationship that is rich in sexual intimacy, spiced with variety and a heady dose of slow is much like choosing a balanced diet; a palate that is nutritious and delicious to balance out the occasional binge.

Originally posted September 13, 2010

Dec 132013
 

legal gavel medium (425x283)There are many ways to “come out.” Whether you’re transgender, bisexual, lesbian or gay, polyamorous, kinky, etc, there may come a time when you find it necessary to be more open about the fact that your lifestyle may not fit society’s norms. But for those of us who live in an alternative lifestyle, could coming out risk your livelihood?

In some cases, the answer may be yes.

Federal law protects an individual from workplace discrimination based on race, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, and genetic information.1 Depending on your state, or even town, that list may be more comprehensive and could include sexual orientation and gender identity/ expression.2 Legislation is also underway in many jurisdictions to include sexual orientation and gender identity/ expression to state anti-discrimination laws.3

Even when sexual orientation and gender identity/ expression are not expressly listed in a state’s anti-discrimination legislation, there is caselaw that may allow them to be successful in a claim discrimination on the basis of sex. The landmark case of Price Waterhouse v. Hopkins, 490 U.S. 228 (1989) established a claim for “sex stereotyping,” which may apply where a person’s behaviors fall outside the stereotypical norms of their biological sex and they face an adverse employment action because of it. In this case, the partners of Price Waterhouse believed that Ann Hopkins was too aggressive and too masculine for a woman, and this perception was a motivating factor in her failure to receive a promotion to partner. In other aspects her skills were praised and she had even secured a major contract for the company. 4 The court found that Price Waterhouse impermissibly took Ann Hopkins gender in account when making their promotions decision. Similarly, if a LGBT person can establish that they faced an adverse employment decision based on their failure to conform to gender norms, they may be successful in an employment discrimination claim.

But what about other alternative lifestyles, such as those who are polyamorous or engaged in BDSM? In those cases, I believe that a successful claim of employment discrimination is much more doubtful. Neither people who are polyamorous or engaged in BDSM are members of a protected class, and therefore it is unlikely that their termination will be seen as unlawful discrimination. In these cases it is important to take a look at your employment contract. Is there a morality clause? Does the contract outline specific reasons why you can be terminated? Or are you an at-will employee, meaning that you can be terminated at anytime for any cause? Does your employee handbook provide any guidelines or procedures for termination, and were they followed in your case? All this information may be useful if you feel that you were wrongfully terminated from your position.

This is not meant to scare you into the closet, but it is important to familiarize yourself with the laws of your jurisdiction and what risks you may be taking. The more people who are willing to be out, the more visible our communities will be and ultimately that will lead to more understanding, acceptance, and protections.

This article is presented for informational purposes only, it is not legal advice. If you have specific questions please consult an attorney in your jurisdiction.

Originally posted September 16, 2010

Feast Your Eyes

 Posted by on December 11, 2013
Dec 112013
 

two shadowsMost of us go through our day to day lives in familiar surroundings. The same home, the same route to work, the same isles to walk down at the same stores; the familiar is all around us. We sit in the same places, and move in the same circles. It’s easy to get lost in the familiar, to not bother to look up since you know what’s right around the corner. While many people might notice significant changes in the weather, you might not bother to look up at the sky.

Allowing yourself to become complacent in the familiar can be a great comfort- but it can also take away ample opportunity for greater experiences- and therefore remove the opportunity for greater enjoyment.

What does your home look like in the light of early morning? How about with afternoon sun pouring through the windows? Have you considered the light quality in your work place? Do you know what “light quality” is? (Different light produces different wavelengths, and those wavelengths have much to do with how we perceive color.)

We deal with art every single day though it’s easy to miss. Every building you see, from the most intricate sky scraper to the plainest garage was designed by an architect. Each aspect, from the foundation to the roof, was composed by someone- to serve whatever purpose was needed. There is an art to functionality, many would argue, so even the simplest structure can be viewed as a work of art. It’s not just the buildings either- everything from hand-woven baskets to the space shuttle have designers, and someone, frequently many people, made each thing. It’s easy to forget that both your building and your laundry hamper were designed by someone, perhaps those items were that designers masterpiece.

Most everyone has plants around them. If not literally in your home, then there is likely a growing thing breathing in carbon dioxide in near proximity. Even the most congested cities have plants breaking through the cracks in the sidewalks; bursts of color amid all the grey. Plants have so much to offer the eyes- not just the brightness of flowers, but details and textures that are so easily missed in impartial passing. Veins in leaves and petals, the velvet on pistils, the many variations of tree bark; casual botany can do more than awaken ones scientific mind, it can arouse ones soul.

What’s the point of all of this? Each and every moment that you’re awake, you have the opportunity to feast your eyes upon the world around you. Not just look around, but really give your visual cortex a feast. What’s the difference between seeing something and really feasting upon it? Intention, of course, and frequently a good doze of perspective helps along the way. Changing the angle that you look at something normal can give you a new sense of what it is. Taking that extra moment to pause and actually study something- be it texture of a wall or clouds in the sky- is an excellent way to give your eyes a chance to do one of the best things that they do- activate the pleasure centers in your brain. Even a “plain thing” such as a piece of paper or a sandwich can be a feast for your eyes.

Take a moment to really look at something familiar from an unfamiliar perspective. Get up close and personal with a wall, lean in close to a plant, just stare at the sky, hold a pencil so close you can see the texture of the wood and graphite. The very next thing that you come close to can become a feast. Dear readers, let me propose that you take a moment with the next item you touch, or come into close contact with. A moment where you can truly see this thing. Let your eyes observe it from angles not familiar, and perhaps uncomfortable. Close your eyes, draw close to the item, open, and let your eyes adjust. Would you recognize what’s before your eyes if you didn’t already know what it was? Is the texture different than what you were expecting? Hopefully allowing your eyes the experience to see something in a new perspective will continue to whet your appetite for the hedonistic delights all around you.

Enjoy Yourself.

Originally posted March 15, 2011

D/s Rituals for the Holiday’s

 Posted by on December 9, 2013
Dec 092013
 

sexy female Santa seduces man on Christmas EveDear Sarah,

I’m involved in a D/s dynamic and as the holiday’s approach we’ve decided that we want to make our own non-religious rituals to enjoy. We’re not sure what we should do, but we want to have fun with it, any ideas?

-Signed, Holly

Happy Holidays, Holly!

I think it’s great that you and your partner(s) want to make the holiday season more about your own ideals, ethics, and relationship. If only more people would do that, we might not be barraged with tinsel & carols in mid-September!

Seriously, though, the need to have rituals in our lives is universal. Rituals offer a chance to create sacred space during our normal lives – whether it’s the ritual of putting on a collar, the sacredness of a set-aside day each week to play or perform service, or even the consistency of the first cup of coffee delivered to the bedroom. It’s vitally important that we have those…they give us an opportunity to remember what’s really important to us – our relationships and our own personal ethics.

Just because we’re used to the usual rituals – church or synagogue on the appointed day, the Christmas day brunch at mom’s house, the exchanging of gifts over dinner – doesn’t mean that we have to limit ourselves to them. And as we age and our experiences deepen, we may find that they don’t mean that much to us, anyhow. So how do we create new rituals?

Rituals are born of our personal goals and ethics, so start off with the acknowledgment of what’s important to you as a D/s family. Is it the primacy of your relationship as dominant and submissive? Is it your shared goal of personal growth? Is it your commitment to the service aspect of your relationship? Is it your belief in giving back to your community (geographical or kink)? Make a list of what is important to you…then let yourselves brainstorm.

If your D/s relationship is what you want to celebrate, then perhaps renewing the symbols of your relationship (a blessing of your rings, a new collar, a gift of leather or toys) may be a great option. You may decide to do something together that shows your service to the community – helping serve a holiday meal at a local shelter, or purchasing toys to donate to the local leather club’s toy drive, can be a wonderful way to give thanks to the world that supports your relationship. Have an “orphans” holiday and invite those in the community who have nowhere else to go to join you for a meal.

You can also “twist” the usual rituals to better suit you. Invite your leather family over for a holiday dinner, and have everyone go around the table & say a few words about what they’ve learned about themselves in the past year. Send a photo card to your kinky friends with a photo of your family in their finest fetish wear. Stuff the stockings with pervertable toys that can then be used after the holidays.

And definitely, get fun with it! Require that the submissive ask permission before opening any gifts…then use the ribbons and bows to do some impromptu bondage underneath the tree and take pictures of it for your “family album”! Do a wax play scene on the first night of Channukah – then continue it by using one extra candle for each subsequent night. Role play a visit to Santa, and make your own “Naughty vs. Nice” list. Stay up all night long on the Solstice and tell dirty stories to each other.

Declaring our break from the past expectations of sexuality and relationships doesn’t mean we throw everything out – but it does mean that we can re-examine it from a place of personal knowledge and pleasure, and we can do what feels great. I love that you’re doing this – and would love to hear back from you (and any other readers) who have or are creating alternative holiday rituals!

-Sarah

Originally posted December 15, 2010

Image and Likeness of God

 Posted by on December 7, 2013
Dec 072013
 

Christian Holy Bible with Cross on rosaryHumans are made in the image and likeness of God, according to the Hebrew Scriptures (Genesis 1:27). The Hebrew words selem (image) and demut (likeness) basically mean representation. Some scholars state that the words suggest counterpart as well. God created humans – male and female – to represent God’s Self, to be partners of the divine. What an intimate, privileged relationship! (And one that regrettably has been abused too.)

Life partners – or any partners for that matter – also represent each other. What one person does reflects (positively or negatively) on the other person. In a power dynamic relationship, the obedience of the submissive reveals as much about the dominant partner as it does about the submissive. Also, our relationships, among other things, of course, reflect who we are and who we want to be. If as a submissive I want to be more generous and loving, I will seek out a partner who will help me realize my desire. Partnerships are admittedly not easy, for they require growth, communication, patience, and so many other challenges and virtues; but they allow for some of the most privileged and profoundly intimate relationships known to the human experience.

It is hard enough to represent another human person, but how in the world do we represent God, in other words, the Trinity, Agape (Love), pure self-gift? We simply cannot be and/or do what typically is understood about God: omnipotent (all powerful), omniscient (all knowing), omnipresent (all present), etc. We can, however, strive to be who we are: fully human, fully relational. As representatives of a fundamentally relational God, we have only to offer ourselves authentically to others. And the divine shows us a way to do it through the Incarnation: God becoming human, the divine revealed in the life (the relationships, of course), death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. (More on the Incarnation and Jesus in future columns.)

Offering ourselves to another or others is far from easy given the requisite vulnerability, honesty and trust, especially for kinky folk who have heard all too often that we are anything from strange to perverted or even worse. But sharing who we are with another is central to being human, and it is at the core of Catholic living as well. May we represent Love, pure self-gift, with our partners in wonderfully intimate ways.

Originally posted October 17, 2010

“That” Question

 Posted by on December 5, 2013
Dec 052013
 

man peeking up small“So, what did you say you do for a living?”

That question, no matter how many times I’ve heard it, always makes my heart skip a beat. It is not a simple question to answer and only opens up a torrent of other questions inside my head, which causes me to pause. And the pause rarely goes unnoticed. Who doesn’t know how to explain what they do for a living?

My answer depends a lot on those other internal questions: How long have I known this person? What is the context in which they know me? Do they appear open minded? Is an honest answer going to change the way they interact with me? Is this going to out-right freak them out?

My experience of sharing honestly has varied considerably. I have certainly had positive experiences, but I have frequently been surprised by those that I thought would take it in stride but instead become offended, even disgusted. All too often I have felt sad at how the declaration of my career choice has derailed a conversation or friendship that otherwise began very well.

My having moved much more into the education realm has admittedly made my response more palatable to others. Hearing “sexuality educator” is very different than “professional dominatrix.” The individual might not really know what I mean by either phrase, but the former is certainly less intimidating than the latter. Regardless, deciding how to respond to this innocuous – but oh so bothersome! – question remains a difficult decision for me every time.

Frankly, either way I answer feels like I’m going to get screwed (and not in the fun way). If I lie, then I’m not being true to myself; I am not presenting the proud professional pervert that I actually am. I am proud of my life, my accomplishments, and the incredibly intimate and amazing experiences I’ve shared with so many in the kink community. But, on the other hand, if I tell the truth, then I have to see that “look.” The same look that everyone gets, whether they accept/approve of what I do or not. The look that says: “What the F*ck?! Really? YOU?!” The look that illustrates the shocking incongruity: this nice “normal” person does, um, illicit things for a living.

I have lied, many times actually. My usual answer is that I do “website and new media development,” which is both sufficiently vague yet accurate. If they probe deeper, then I say that I own my own business; that I have a tech person that handles the actual building of the sites, and I serve as the PR person and general manager of the business. Um, yeah.

Every time I say that half-truth, my heart hurts for a moment. But sometimes an honest response is just not appropriate given the time constraints (if I’m on an airplane and don’t want to spend the flight giving a kink 101 class). Other times I know that I’m going to be interacting with the person out in the “real” world, and it’s just not worth disturbing their image of me. But when the opportunity presents itself, and I sense that the person who asked the question – the inquiry that has become “THAT” question in my life – might be open to the real answer; then I take the plunge. I say it. And though my heart skips yet another beat, and I can’t help but (still) be a bit anxious about their response, I feel proud that I have stood up and spoken my truth.

Originally posted on October 13, 2010

Dec 032013
 

iStock_000000873577XSmallYou’ve seen The Princess Bride, right? I mean, everyone and their lover has seen it. Anyways, in case you haven’t, here is the important part. This guy uses the word “Inconceivable!” all the time, and most of the time, it’s not quite right. A funny part of the move is when another person says “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

Why the long lead in? Because I feel like accessible is a word that all sorts of people use, and I just want to look at them and say “I do not think that word means what you think it means.”

From a disability centric stand point, accessible is being used more and more commonly. Places say they are ADA accessible, events put accessible on their flyers and more.

However, I’d like to make a few statements about this.

Firstly, ADA accessible has a lot of specifications. Most places that claim to be accessible are not officially ADA accessible. Do you have a handicap MARKED stall in the restroom, with a railing? If not, you’re not accessible by ADA standards. Please don’t say that you are. Now, it’s ok not to be ADA accessible – a lot of smaller locations, especially those in older buildings, can’t get up to that code. However, if you can’t, don’t say that you have done so, as it pisses people off when they show up, and still can’t have the access that they need.

Secondly, please take multiple types of disability into account. That’s great that you have an elevator, but if you have to go up stairs to get to it, it’s NOT accessible. Same goes for doorways that are too narrow to fit most wheelchairs. Not accessible. Are you calling your event accessible? To many people, that means that there will be an ASL interpreter for the hearing impaired. If you don’t have one, and it’s a spoken event/lecture, how accessible is it really? Please just stop and think for a second before using that word.

Now let’s look at other definitions of accessible, particularly within the sex positive community.

Accessible can mean affordable. Don’t forget that people of ALL socio-economic backgrounds and income levels deserve to be able to learn about sex education, and/or attend play parties. If all of your events are $30+ (or even $10 with no sliding scale, or way to volunteer to offset the entry fee), you’re excluding entire communities.

How about accessible via public transit? Now, not all cities have public transit that goes all places, but if you live in a city that has pretty good mass transit, please consider that when planning events, or opening new stores/centers/dungeons. Lots of people don’t have cars (or the ability to pay for cabs) , but still are interested in attending events and learning about sex ed. Let’s make sure to be inclusive there.

The list goes on and on. Accessible can mean having bilingual person at events, helping to explain what is going on to people for whom English is not their first language. It can mean advertising in communities outside those that usually get to know about sex education workshops and kink events. In can mean going after under-represented communities to find out what would make an event/class more accessible to them. It can mean many things…but often, I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Originally posted October 5, 2010

What Did You Call Me: Heteroflexible

 Posted by on December 1, 2013
Dec 012013
 

abstract background of a mannequinThis month I decided to focus on one label, so I chose one from my own self-identification.

Until about a year and a half ago, I’d identified as straight for my entire life. I never felt uncomfortable with it, never felt it didn’t fit me. As my sexuality evolved, I began to be attracted to a wider range of gender identities. But I still identified as straight for some time. I resisted being labeled as bisexual for several reasons, and I didn’t see another alternative at first.

Why not bisexual?

One reason was that I felt it was false advertising. I felt (and feel) that putting myself out there as bi would be misleading to potential partners. Another huge reason is that I don’t believe in the gender binary (the concept that there are two and only two genders), and the term bisexual is hopelessly attached to it.

What do I mean by heteroflexible?

I identify as female in every way, and my sexual preference leans strongly in the direction of masculine energy. My partners have primarily been cisgendered (identifying as the same physical gender they were born with) males. But primarily doesn’t mean always. And preference doesn’t mean requirement. My capacity for romantic or sexual attraction is not restricted to partners of one gender identity or sexual orientation by my chemical/hormonal make-up (or by anything else for that matter).

I feel this is a more accurate representation of my sexuality to potential partners. Someone once told me that they liked the term because it told her where my orientation was for the most part, but also that she still might have a chance with me.

In mainstream society, most people likely assume that I’m straight. When asked though, I tend to identify as queer. When I use the term heteroflexible, too many people seem to misunderstand. They tend to think it’s a joke of some kind, or code for something they don’t understand. More people have heard the term queer, and, regardless of whether they share my definition, they feel they have a handle on it.

I’ve also had some outright negative reactions to the term heteroflexible; some feel it’s a cop-out of sorts for people not willing to commit to being bi. At least one person I spoke to felt it was just a way for straight girls to tantalize guys. Interestingly, these criticisms are almost the opposite of each other, but they share the notion that the term heteroflexible denotes some sort of denial or deception.

But I feel this comes back to the fundamental problem with labels as a whole. People automatically insert their own definition of a label rather than discussing the label. As a result, I think it diminishes the extent to which we can share how we have chosen to self-identify. If the term I use holds a completely different meaning to you, then how am I really identifying?

Originally posted October 8, 2010

How The Rabbit Vibrator Has Evolved

 Posted by on November 26, 2013
Nov 262013
 

desireEver since that Sex and the City episode, the Rabbit vibrator has quickly become a girl’s best friend. Yet while the rabbit remains the sex toy industry’s worst kept secret, with all manner of variations and types floating around on the market today, it also demonstrates some of the many glorious enhancements made to our toys in the pursuit of pleasure.

Bedroom Bound!
The notorious Jack Rabbit (alongside the Vibatrex Rabbit Habit and Jessica Rabbit) vibrator is really the original, and some might argue, best of the rabbit vibrators around. It is often considered the archetype upon which most rabbits stem from. Yet this little critter is no small feat on the evolutionary chain.
Featuring a vibrating pearl shaft and iconic phallus shape, the Jack Rabbit favoured a realistic head and shape. Everything your man has and more – as demonstrated by the fun little rabbit shaped clitoral arm! Made primarily of jelly rubber, good old Jack was controlled by a separate attached remote control. These were dual operated and not unlike the wired remotes regular users of egg vibrators will likely be familiar with. To use your Jack Rabbit, a push of one of two buttons was required, controlling either the deliciously rotating shaft and vibrating rabbit ears.
The standard size of this rabbit was around seven inches and more than enough to keep you bound to your bedroom without a set of fuzzy handcuffs in sight! The original Jack Rabbit still has many ladies screaming its praises today and is still a best seller for many industry giants such as California Exotic Novelties or Trinity vibes. These rabbits are a must for any newcomer to the brand and still popular today.
Bathroom and Beyond!
The Jack Rabbit might have been hitting the spot for more than a few of us however, the popularity of this bunny has taught us a lot about diversity. It is no secret that we ladies are as diverse as the men we date. So, gradually, rabbit developers began thinking outside of the box…and even outside of the bedroom! Which leads us to the next stage of our rabbit evolution: how our bunnies learned to swim!
The waterproof rabbit was developed to enable easier cleaning of rabbit vibrators and, more importantly, spice up bath time as well as our sex lives. These updated rabbits came with a slightly longer shaft, inbuilt push button controls and, best of all, came water tight and ready to go. These water babies also upped their game a little, offering more varied vibrating speeds and rotating controls than the original. This addition was so popular that, even today, many modern bunnies such as Love Honey’s own Happy Rabbit Range or the LELO range come ready for bath time.
Moving up in the world
At this stage, our free-roaming rabbits had a whole new world of possibilities to explore. Still, rampant rabbits continued to evolve, most notably in the different types of materials which became available.
Therefore, the next evolutionary stage in the rabbit chain was arguably the luxury and allergen-friendly silicone rabbit. Silicone is usually associated with high end rabbits these days, though actually has far more uses than a smoother, seamless texture. Containing no phthalates, a preservative found in some sex toys, or latex, silicone is the number one choice for sensitive rabbit users with allergies to either.
These toys are also typically non porous, though a little firmer than jelly rabbits. What this particular development meant to rabbit users was that the texture was smoother, the shaft often a little sturdier and a cheaper, water based lubricant was required. In fact, the use of silicone has become so popular these days that you needn’t spend too much to get your hands on one. For example, Bondara, Love Honey and Ann Summers’ own ranges provide silicone sex toys for half the price of more upmarket brands. It really does depend on what you look for in your toy.
Size Matters!
‘One size fits all’ is generally not a phrase we women like to hear, is it ladies? Shirts, skirts, coats, dresses all come in different sizes for different girls. So, why shouldn’t our top drawer bunnies?
And indeed they did and still do! For size queens, came the bigger rabbits, typically between ten and twelve inches in total length, such as Ann Summers’ The Big One.
And for your handbag? Mini-rabbits such as the Ocean BiMINI deluxe. Coming in at around five inches only, these mini rabbits were developed for travel and mobility.
What’s your flavor?
Rabbit vibrators have not stopped there, however. They come in a range of designs, shapes and even uses. In much the same way that most of us go gaga over ice cream or chocolate, each of us has our favourite flavour. The rabbit is no different.
The main attraction of the rabbit was, and still is, it’s dual stimulation properties. However, what toy manufacturers have started to do now is centre their toys towards more specific erogenous zones. So, while you may find a rabbit focused on the power of vibrations, you may also find those which curve up to the G-spot or into the clitoris for more focused attention.
The rabbit’s manoeuvrability as a sex toy has very much paved the way for the types of stimulation we enjoy. So much so that there are various designs and, dare we say it, even mutations of this bunny. In fact, some rabbits, such as Ann Summers‘ Three Way, have even gone so far as to grow an extra limb to include anal stimulation. Some bunnies have become more streamline, favouring a sleeker, more ergonomically designed body, doing away with rabbit ears altogether for a firmer clitoral stimulator. The Fifi by Je Joue and the LELO Ina 2 are both great examples of this. In much the same way that you might ask ‘Ben and Jerry’s’ or ‘Carte D’or’, you may very well scrutinise your bunny in the same way! What’s your flavour, what works for you?
Revolution of Evolution!
What this has essentially done to our toys is bring out the best bits, the bits you love and applied them to many-a-rabbit everywhere. You can also handpick extras, rechargeable, waterproof rabbits not only tailored to your sexual needs but to everyday requirements as well. And, with the cheapest of these retailing at around £7.50 (see the Tracey Cox Supersex mini rabbit), your budget.
So there you have it, the evolution of the Rabbit. Why not get in on the action, pick up your ideal bunny and join the revolution!
Marie Crawford is the founder of www.rampantrabbitheaven.co.uk – A website dedicated to the Rabbit Vibrator including reviews, guides and the latest deals.  You can also find Rampant Rabbit Heaven for regular updates on all things Rabbit.

Pretty Boy

 Posted by on November 23, 2013
Nov 232013
 

Boy Girl signpostRecently I was told that I am “not allowed” to “be a boy” if I’m going to cosplay feminine characters (or archetypes), nor am I allowed to be gender queer if I ever present as anything other than masculine or androgynous. Additionally, I was told that I am “abrasive” if I ask someone (kindly and in good humor, I might add) not to call me “sister” or gently correct them on the pronunciation of my name (e.g. Julian, not “Julia”).

Fortunately, the first occurrence happened in a somewhat loud social setting and they found themselves distracted rather quickly. In the second case, the person in question decided to approach me while I was working to try to explain how they “don’t really pay attention to such things” and how I was being “abrasive” by asking them not to call me sister or, for that matter, lady or girl as those terms are incorrect. I tried to explain that this information is readily available, via Facebook for example, and they tried to tell me how they did not have time to read things.

In the first instance, I was especially hurt. I thought that person knew me, but as I have learned recently with several long acquaintances, that is not the case. In the second instance, I was- at minimum- annoyed. Overall, I am not pleased that anyone in my acquaintance feels I “have to fit” into one box, and I’m “not allowed” to venture out of it.

Telling someone they “cannot” is almost always wrong. Trying to shove someone into a box is wrong. Forcing heteronormative behavior on any living being is wrong. Forcing a gender binary paradigm on anyone is wrong. Asking questions is welcome.  Please do ask for clarification. Telling anyone who they are or that they don’t have the right to explain when you are incorrect is more than abrasive, it is ignorant and insulting.

As a thirty-three-year-old person who has spent a significant amount of time learning, questioning and considering very strongly who I am, I would say I have done the work. Yes, I was assigned the sex female at birth. I enjoy being female and my body is androgynous enough (particularly when I’m at my preferred weight) that I don’t feel the need to change anything significant in relation to my presentation. I consider myself blessed that I do not suffer from body dysmorphic disorder, and I am usually fairly comfortable in my own skin.

I started identifying as a gentleman at age seven. I was in a beauty pageant and was almost a Boy Scout. My best friends in school were almost always other guys, and they generally considered me one of them. My first real boyfriend was also my first girlfriend, and I was his first boyfriend. I’ve identified as a Leather boy (and a Sir) since 1999. I came out as queer that same year. I enjoy doing drag and my specific interest at the moment is in the Gothic Lolita genre. I’ve been a Goth Kid since high school, and my look is inspired by the dandies of the Victorian era, classic vampires, Anime characters, and hot people in black lipstick.

If someone comes to me and asks if their shoes make them look like a mod or a rocker, I’ll happily give them my opinion based on my knowledge of the fashion of that era. Whether or not the shoes where technically designed for a male for female body is rarely in question. “How do you want to present today?” is a phrase that is thrown around with my companions during the outfit planning stage for events. A question I wish people asked more is “What pronouns do you prefer?” because wearing a pair of saucy heels does not make you a lady any more than wearing a top hat makes you Fred Astaire.

I have done the work to know who I am, and I am not confused by this. There’s no reason for you to be confused either. I am a Julian, you are a you. If I want to know more about you, I will ask. You are welcome to do the same. If you address me incorrectly, I will let you know. If you insist on trying to fit me into your heteronormative gender binary box of ignorance, I will decline the invitation.

Even in an era of text messages, Tweets and emoticons, we still have time for civility. So take a moment to consider what you’re saying: Are you asking someone something you are curious about, or telling them something that you want to be true?

Enjoy yourself,

Julian