Also, how come I just noticed that almost all of the video’s that I love, almost all of the YouTube channels I subscribe to, are by white people, and mostly white men? No hating, Green brothers, I love you guys. But you get what I’m saying?
Good bondage tutorials can be hard to find, so I’m happy I can always feel confident referring people to Twisted Monk. Not only is he one of the most popular and well-known sellers of rope (in different colours too, check it out!), his how-to video’s on bondage are really good.
Amazing stills. Seriously, pause at any moment and Twisted Monk will have some cool expression or funny gesture. I’ve used his video’s a lot when I was learning bondage and I’ve cried laughing. His wife always looks beautiful and collected though, no idea how she does that.
The video’s are easy to follow, well made and as safe for work as bondage videos can be. Just people in clothes and a cool guy explaining how you can tie your babe up so you can do the naughty.
All the basics you need to get started. You honestly won’t need much more than the single column tie, double column tie, chest harness and hair tie. Combine them and you can tie almost anything you can think of. If you really want to learn more you can always buy the dvd or visit a bondage class in your area (search Fetlife for events!).
You’ve probably heard of Kesha, she’s an American singer and songwriter with a wild and kind of ‘raunchy’ image. Her lyrics are usually about partying, getting drunk and sex (“don’t be a little bitch with your chit chat, just show me where your dick’s at”) and it’s obvious that her image is constructed for her by her management. Young sexy women singing about rough sex just sells very, very well.
Kesha has now sued her producer for sexual and physical abuse, you can read some of the horrible details of her allegations here. I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that young women in the music industry are vulnerable to abuse. Personally I believe fame is a damaging thing and would be worried if my child (or anyone I love) would become part of such an industry. But although many people are passionate about women in the media, and everyone knows that women in the music industry are more vulnerable to abuse from both management and customers, not a single person has proposed criminalising the industry.
“Heavy-handed restrictions on women would hurt women, not protect them. To make it illegal for women to be musicians and pop stars would be abusive and unfair in itself” says Noah Berlatsky in this great article. “Reducing violence against women shouldn’t come at the expense of cutting women off from professional opportunities and potential income. But sustained prejudices and stigma against sex workers prevent us from seeing that the same is true when talking about sex work.”
Yes, women in the sex industry are vulnerable to abuse. But just like marriage, the garment industry and the music industry, the answer is not to restrict women’s rights or criminalise marriage, buying clothes or listening to music. It’s actually stronger human rights and worker rights that combat abuse. The complete opposite of criminalisation.
Growing up in the Netherlands I got some relatively good sex education. Obviously there was a lot that needed improvement, it was mostly reproductive biology, and sexual diversity was just a paragraph in one chapter telling us that some people are gay and that’s fine too. Still, I remember when I was around 11 years old my teacher got pregnant and asked the class if anyone knew how that happened – nervous giggles everywhere of course, but we all already knew about the penis in the vagina and the sperm reaching the egg and all that. In secondary school we were taught about safer sex practices, that masturbation was normal (including a really, really awkward movie with a girl underneath a sheet touching herself) and what all the body parts were called.
We’ve improved a lot. Children as young as five get comprehensive sex ed, which now includes a lot of focus on consent, feelings, relationships and communication. I love this movie where they discuss what you can do when grandma wants to kiss you and you don’t want that.
But I think John Oliver of the Last Week Tonight Show did an even better job. “Lube is your friend… trust me”. Every child needs to see this!
Ashley Madison is a dating website for people who are already in a relationship and are looking for a new person to have a sexual relationship with. Obviously a lot of their members are looking to cheat, so when hackers got into the website’s database and threw all of their members’ information out in the open, this eh, got lots of people in trouble. And the response has been remarkably.. cheerful.
The Scarlet Letter [..] chronicles the life of a woman who is found to have committed adultery; as punishment, she is forced to stand before her village with the letter “A” attached to her dress. The intent is to forever publicly shame her for her moral transgression.
Busybodies sitting in judgment of and righteously condemning the private, sexual acts of other adults remains one of the most self-satisfying and entertaining — and thus most popular — public spectacles. It simultaneously uplifts the moral judges (I am superior to that which I condemn), distracts them from their own behaviors (I am focused on those other people’s sins, and thus not my own), and titillates (to condemn this, I simply must immerse myself in the tawdry details of their sexual acts). To see just how current is the mentality driving the scarlet letter, observe the reaction to the Ashley Madison hack.
It’s hard to overstate the devastation to some people’s lives from having their names published as part of this hack: not only to their relationships with their spouses and children but to their careers, reputations, and — depending on where they live — possibly their liberty or even life.
Adultery [..] “is a moral misdemeanor,” something the law does not even punish. To destroy someone’s reputation and life over it is so wildly out of proportion to the actual transgression.
None [..] of us [should] cheer when the private lives of ordinary people are indiscriminately invaded, no matter how much voyeuristic arousal or feelings of moral superiority it provides.
I was having coffee with a sex worker when a Taylor Swift song came on. “Oh, I just love her” she said. “So classy, not like some other young artists who use their sexuality to make money”. I’m afraid the irony was lost on her, but it shows how deep our cultural aversion to sex really goes. Even sex workers don’t like women who sell sex.
I first noticed Miley Cyrus when she got a short haircut and the internet exploded. We’d seen Britney Spears shave her hair when she went through a rough time, and my heart went out to her then. Just imagine being Britney, the pressure to be this perfect, girly, virgin, sexy little girl-woman, the world’s madonna-whore complex dumped on your shoulders, I think I’d crack in a day. But it was different with Miley. It felt like a statement, it felt like navigating, it felt like she was shedding the image and trying to become herself.
Miley gets hated on because she shows what we fear most: female sexuality. Active, explicit, in-your-face sexuality. Women are expected to be passive and receptive. Sexy, not sexual. A woman’s worth is still decided based on her modesty, even the quality of our culture is measured by how well-behaved ‘our women’ are. Sexual women are seen as a sign of decline.
And lately Miley Cyrus has identified as gender-neutral, as fluid-sexual, using her fame to actually help people who are in a less privileged than herself, and I’m a fangirl. I mean no, using black women as props is not acceptable. But among all the long-haired, pink-cheeked, virginity-saving, boner-arousing ‘girl next door’ types she’s… I don’t know. I’m loving seeing a young woman publicly figuring out who she is, coming into herself, navigating the bullshit thrown at her.
So Amnesty International has voted to back decriminalisation of sex work! The foundation is that countries “review and repeal laws that make those who sell sex vulnerable to human rights violations”. Beautiful. It’s such good news for sex workers’ rights and human rights in general. Some really good articles have been published so I’m just going to link to some and say “YAY!” a little more. I love that Amnesty had the courage to (finally) take a stand on this.
Melissa Gira Grant wrote a good piece for The Nation on the now accepted proposal by Amnesty International. It’s an easy to read article, packed with relevant information and links to resources.