Tag Archives: BDSM

Dr. Eli Sheff – Kinky Sex Makes the World Go Round – Pure Pleasure – Santa Cruz CA – 5/31/17

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If you missed me last time I was in Santa Cruz at Pure Pleasure, you have another chance this May 31 to hear my Unabashed Introduction to Kinky Sex, with a side of Facing Your Squick and Getting Over it.

 

5-31-17 Kinky Sex Makes the World Go Round: An Unabashed Introduction to BDSM

 

 

 

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Community Response to Abuse in D/s Relationships

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I am currently writing a series of blogs on abuse in poly relationships for my Psychology Today blog, and working on a more in-depth blog on abuse in kinky relationships for the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom. Obviously, the topic of abuse in sex and gender minority relationships is really on my mind lately. So when a reader commented on one of my PT blogs and I interpreted the situation the reader described as possibly abusive, I had to stop and think if that was just because I am somewhat obsessed with the topic right now and projecting abuse where there is simply a difficult situation? Or is the situation truly abusive and it just happens that i am already thinking about this topic and the message fell in my lap? Truly, the initial message does not provide enough information to make a call either way, and it would take considerably more discussion to determine the nature of the interactions.

 

The bigger question is how can we tell when something is abusive? It is a complicated question in a shifting cultural landscape where ideas of what counts as abuse have changed drastically in the last 100 years. AltSex communities have developed an affirmative stance towards demanding consent and placing everything else on the other side of a bright line (except for consensual non-consent, which is a different story). Thing is, humans are complicated and their interactions a tangle of mixed viewpoints, self-delusion, good will, and unclear motivations. Not every non-consensual act is abusive — there is an enormous middle ground populated by shades of gray so vast an elephant would be jealous. At it is that middle ground that is most often where AltSex community members and leaders must make decisions about how to deal with the boundary pushers in their midst.

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This is a long way to say that I am interested in your ideas about abuse in AltSex communitiesHow can we tell when something is abusive? How should we deal with it? Who gets to decide? Please comment and let me know what you think.

 

Even more specifically, does anyone know of resources for someone in a D/s relationship that is potentially malfunctioning? My reader described their situation as: “…a mono person married to a poly person, I only feel tremendous pain. It is most definitely not about control since I am the submissive in our M/s relationship.” So far I have recommended  the National Coalition of Sexual Freedom and Fetlife — can anyone think of an especially supportive forum for submissives in trouble on Fetlife?

Below is my response, please let me know what other resources I could offer to this reader.

Thanks!

 

Hi,

It sounds like you have the worst of the mono/poly conundrum happening in your life, and I am really sorry to hear it. Just because your partner wants to be poly does not mean that you have to “put up with it” and stick around in a relationship that gives you only pain and no control. Even as the submissive in a power exchange relationship, you are allowed — even required — to think clearly about your own boundaries and enforce them. A “good” Dom takes care of “their” submissive(s) and that also means caring for their emotional wellbeing. There is a big difference between power exchange and abuse, and it might be that your relationship has crossed that line. If your Dom does not care at all that you are in tremendous pain then you might need to move along and either find your own center for a while and/or find a healthier power exchange relationship.

Please consider checking out the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom’s statement about the differences between SM and abuse at https://ncsfreedom.org/component/k2/item/435-sm-vs-abuse-policy-statement.html

Poly is not an excuse to exploit and abuse people, and if you are feeling that your boundaries have been crossed then please please please take care of yourself. You do not have to put up with tremendous pain and no good from your relationship — you can leave!!!!

Your Dom might be poly by orientation and might really need poly relationships, and that is fine. But it doesn’t mean that is has to be with you if that relationship style does not work for you. It is better to be alone and hopefully find a different partner who fits you better (if that is what you want, a lot of people find they love being single) than to put up with agony.

Also, consider reaching out to other submissives to find out how they handle their emotional interactions with their Doms. If you are not on Fetlife yet, get an account and find a forum for subs in trouble. You can definitely get some support and advice from your online community.

All the best to you,

Elisabeth

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AREWE on March 12 More than Half Sold Out

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The Alternative Relationship Education Workshop Event is less than two weeks away, and seats are going fast.

I will be joining a team of local mental health professionals to present a special CEU workshop for Counselors, Psychologists, and Social Workers interested in learning how to better support clients in alternative relationship styles.

Despite efforts to maintain non-judgmental attitudes, most mental health professionals know so little about this area that their responses to clients who “come out” to them can range from off-putting surprise to a disapproval that has anecdotally even done damage to clients, and created barriers to future treatment.  We hope to prevent these experiences by educating mental health professionals in the areas of sexual, gender and relational diversity – specifically alternative relationship structures, considerations of relational attraction, sexual identity, and gender expression.  Presenters have been selected from local professionals with experience in treating these populations, many with involvement and national exposure in the development of mental health standards in this area.

This workshop will have six classes and provide six CEUs to those who attend both the morning and the afternoon sessions. The morning session focuses on information, and will provide 3 CEUs. The afternoon session will cover the practical application of ethical practice with clients in alternative relationships and provides two Ethics CEUs and one general CEU. There will be a lunch break in the middle of the day with a catered lunch for all registered FULL DAY participants.

Please join us March 12th and share with any friends or colleagues who may be interested! For more information and to register, please visit  https://relationshipequalityfoundation.org/workshop-registration/

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Sex Down South Conference Tons of Fun with Sexy Brains

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This first year of the Sex Down South conference was FANTASTIC!!!!!!

Tons of fun, lots of new ideas, great people to chat with, and so many amazing sessions it was difficult to choose what amazing thing I got to learn next. Lucky for us, the organizers plan to do it again next October so start planning now to have your socks knocked off by all of the incredible presenters and attendees.

Some of the highlights:

Tristan Taormino talking about how to make open relationships work

Dinner with Ricci Levy from the Woodhull Alliance for Sexual Freedom

Meeting so many fun new people I can’t even name them all

Seeing some wonderful old friends I had not gotten to see in too long

The absolute best burlesque/spoken word combo I have ever seen

I can’t wait for SDS 2016! Hope to see you there…

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Review of The Game Changer by Franklin Veaux

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Have you ever felt that you don’t fit in, that somehow you are out of step with those around you? Franklin Veaux not only understands, but takes a fresh perspective on creating an authentic life in his poignant memoir The Game Changer, coming this fall from Thorntree Press and available for pre-order here. Forging his own path since he was a teenager, Veaux charts his journey from a misunderstood proto-geek to kinkster-extraordinaire in this entertaining and educational account of disruptive love. Along the way, he explains the fatal flaw in many polyamorous relationships – hierarchies of power and esteem that end up eroding love rather than protecting the “core” couple.

In a remarkably candid tale, Veaux charts the trajectory of his attempts to establish equitable polyamorous relationships and explains the difficulties of sustaining a primary/secondary hierarchy while attempting to explore emotionally intimate relationships among more than two people. His detailed description of the emotional terrain of consensual non-monogamy exposes the joy and despair that can accompany loving outside of conventional boxes. Veaux does not spare himself from his own scorching gaze, and ruthlessly details the mistakes he made while figuring out how to be non-monogamous.

Reading The Game Changer was so thought provoking that it felt like having a deep and roving conversation with a very witty person about what it means to be truly authentic — only without the pressure to be clever yourself because half of it is happening inside your own head. This is a great read for anyone who has questioned the status quo or wondered what intriguing adventures wait on the road less traveled. Daring souls will appreciate Veaux’s frank wit and searing self-critique in this fascinating memoir of unruly love.

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Frolicon Presentations

Frolicon — the South’s and maybe the entire US’s biggest kink convention (DragonCon’s slutty little sister) — is happening this weekend and I am presenting three sessions. Friday from 2:30-3:45 I present The Pleasures and Pains of Unicorn Hunting in the Cancun room, and then again on Friday from 5:30-6:45 I present The Polyamorists Next Door in Cyprus 2. On Saturday I team up with the amazing Rachel Kieran and we present Correcting Assumptions: Distinguishing Between Intimate Partner Violence and BDSM from 4-5:15 in Cyprus 2. For more programming and details on the convention, check it out at  http://www.frolicon.com/

 

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