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Head First: Explosive Sexual Healing hurts so … good?


I’ve got a lot of repressed issues, and I came to San Francisco to try to get them resolved. But I never imagined a possible solution to my problems would be to have some guy finger me while his wife does reiki over my naked body and I scream bloody murder. 

But this kind of thing is an option in the Bay Area, and it’s called Explosive Sexual Healing (ESH). The practice uses things like pain, pleasure, breath work, spiritual alchemy, vocal therapy, and g-spot massage to access emotions and trauma stored in the body. The idea is that once these deep-rooted issues are discovered, they can be dealt with and ideally released. 

ESH isn’t more than a few years old and there are only a few practitioners in California. I did a session with Becky and Cory Center — a husband and wife team that got married four months after meeting each other. When they met, Cory had been released on probation from having been in prison for bank robbery for three years, and Becky was transitioning from her life as a math teacher to a spiritual healer. They met at Landmark Forum, they clicked, and now they’re ESH practitioners. 

I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think this practice was weird. But would that stop me from trying it? No way. I was down to sexually explode.

When I arrived at their home office in Alameda, I sat with them at a table in their entryway and we started the Awakening Session — which involved an alchemical card reading by Cory. He pulled out three cards that he drew himself with marker, laid them on the table in front of me, and told me of my past, present, and future. The reading was pretty accurate, but I couldn’t help but wonder if the detailed form I filled out earlier about my personal history and future desires could have aided in his fortune telling.

Next, they gave me a description about what to expect in the session — explaining that there would be both pain AND pleasure. They asked me about what I wanted healed, and I said that I wanted to stop feeling guilty for feeling satisfied with my accomplishments. I also said I wanted to feel like my brain was just as valuable as my body. They then asked me to come up “affirmations,” which were positive statements that I’d like recited during ESH that would reprogram my brain to think the way I want it to.

“They should be as simple as what a child would say,” Cory said. “As long as they ring true for you.”

So after a lot of back and forth, we came up with the basic statements: “I am free,” “I am wanted,” “I am desired,” “I am important.” These are all nice things to think about, but I thought they were a bit too vague to mend anything specific going on in my head.

Next, they led me into their living room where there was a massage table, psychedelic music, and a blue and green peacock painting above the fireplace. I kept my clothes on and lied on the table.

They taught me how to do what they call “the big draw” — which involved me breathing in and out really fast, tightening my body up into a vertical crunch, then relaxing back onto the table. 

After that, I flipped over onto my stomach.

They told me to relax and breathe while Becky did reiki over my body. 

“Something is telling me you’re ready, Krissy,” Becky said. “That doesn’t have to mean anything to you. Just know it’s saying ‘You’re ready. You’re ready.’” 

When I was finally good and relaxed, Cory started to knead his hands into my muscles — and not in an “Ahh that feels good” way, but in an “I’m gonna leave marks” way. I knew there was going to be pain, I just underestimated how much. I clenched my jaw. They made it clear that I could tell them to stop touching me whenever I wanted to, but I wanted to commit to the experience, so I hung in there.

They told me to scream, but I’m not much of a yeller when something hurts — I’m more of a grunter. I let out a few shouts that weren’t quite to their satisfaction. Becky told me to scream louder, so I did until my throat hurt.

After the process went on for many minutes, my body started reacting to the heat, the pain, and the screaming. I felt like the table was vibrating, and my hands kept cramping up into fists from all the stimulation. Becky told me to kick my legs and pound my hands into the table to get the tingles out. It was both terrifying and embarrassing. But what could I do? I wanted my hands to stop cramping. So I kicked around like a child having a tantrum until my fingers relaxed. 

Finally the pain part was over, and I flipped over onto my back. They blindfolded me, then ran their hands over my body and crotch to top off all that pain with a little pleasure. Then they told me it was time for me to go reflect on my own.

They sent me off for a dinner break. I ate a sandwich and sat on the steps of a building outside — feeling really confused and a little lost. I didn’t think it was responsible of them to leave me alone like that for an hour after such an emotional beating. But I was willing to believe it was a part of their strange methods, and I let it slide.

When I got back, I talked to them about feelings and thoughts that were coming up for me – like how I felt kind of high and had trouble writing in my notebook on account of loopy-ness. 

Soon, I stripped naked and was back on the table, face down. 

“Ow, shit,” I said as Cory shoved his elbow hard into my ass muscles. 

“How would you rate your pain right now?” he asked. 

“Ugh, an eight?” I said. 

“Well, your voice is at a three.”

Becky told me to scream as loud as I could. So I sucked in a deep breath and screamed. 

“Your scream is coming from your throat right now,” she said. “Do it from your belly.” 

Becky told me to match her volume, and she started screaming. So we were both wailing while Cory pressed hard into every part of me he could find — even the inside of my crack.

“Who do you want to speak to?” Becky asked.

I said nothing at first because I had no idea.

“Who? It can be anyone,” she said.

“Men?” I was really guessing. 

She told me to shout what I wanted to say to them. Fortunately, I had let go of my shame much earlier on in the session, so I started yelling shit.


The point of this part of the session is to find physical pain held in the body and then release it. And as weird as it was, when I screamed like a banshee and cussed at dudes, the pain actually did stop in my ass — even though Cory was digging into it with his elbow. 

“We moved the pain right out,” he said, a satisfied tone in his voice. 

It was time for the pleasure part.

I got up to take a piss, then returned and lied down on my back, exhausted as fuck. I was blindfolded again and Cory slipped and slid his fingers over my sweat drenched body.

“Finally,” I thought. “Time for an orgasm.”

I was wrong.

It was actually time to endure a 10 minute tease session, where I was getting fingered and brought to the brink of orgasm without being allowed to come. And on top of that, they made me say my affirmations while I was trying to get off. So I was screaming, “I am free!” and “I am wanted!” at the top of my lungs while trying to focus on having an orgasm. Finally, I had one, and it was pretty good (definitely juicy). But then it was time for another 10 minutes of teasing, and they brought me right up to the brink of coming, and then stopped me. I did the “big draw” and collapsed back onto the table. They left me alone for a bit.

After awhile, I slowly sat up, feeling like I’d just slept for three days and like I weighed an extra 30 pounds. 

I went back to the entryway and sat down at the table with them. They were kind and checked in with me and my emotions. I felt high, tired, but weirdly alert, confused, and at the same time, relaxed. I was in glass case of emotion.

A few days later Cory called me for a follow-up to check in on me. The two of them recognized that ESH can be jarring, and they were there to make sure I was okay — which I appreciated.

I think the intensity of sensation during the session induced heightened states of awareness which led me to have deep thoughts. Did those deep thoughts help me to stop feeling guilty about being satisfied with my accomplishments? No. Do I feel like my brain is just as valuable as my body? No. But to be fair, to fully heal, you’re supposed to do six sessions, not just one.

ESH could potentially open someone’s mind to new things, and I could see how it would be helpful to a person stuck in a mental or emotional rut. But I don’t think I’d go back for another rendezvous any time soon. I think I prefer a healing experience with more sex and less explosion.

Where are all the vanilla sexuality events?


I moved to the Bay Area this year with the intention of diving head first into kinky chaos. As far as repressed small town chicks go, I guess you could say I’m a daredevil. When I expressed my desire for sexploration to the locals, they had helpful suggestions ranging from fucking a sybian to getting hung from ceilings with rope.

And even though all that sounds fun (a little porny, but fun), I couldn’t help but notice people weren’t concerned with easing me into things. (Where’s the foreplay, guys?) And in all the excitement surrounding sexual possibility, I realized I hadn’t explored good old-fashioned, vanilla sexuality. So I decided to find an event that covered the basics of sexual energy and human connection. Easy right? Actually, no.

It’s surprisingly difficult to find a sex gathering in the Bay Area that doesn’t involve kink, fetish, or some sort of spiritual sex magic. I searched for weeks, and just when I’d about given up hope, I discovered sex educator Elisabeth Bolaza’s SexyHuman Workshop. It was advertised as a singles event, but it wasn’t a matchmaking mixer, and it was the first gathering I’d seen where people weren’t expected to learn how to meditate, grope, or fuck each other.

Like me, Bolaza is a transplant to SF; she moved here from a somewhat conservative town in southern California four years ago. Even though she adores the sex community here, she’s noticed that wild events dominate the scene. She thinks “alternative” events are awesome, but recognizes that most people don’t relate to sexuality that way. If people don’t understand the lure of sex parties or BDSM, they can feel like disempowered prudes in SF’s hyper-sexual community.

“In the Bay Area, there’s a lot of sexuality work being done. For more private folks, it’s a little bit scary,” Bolaza said. “So I’m trying to bring people into that conversation in a way that feels safe.”

So I went to the SexyHuman Workshop with the intention of taking a breather from my outrageous sexploits and getting back to basics.

The workshop was held at The Hub in Oakland — a creative alliance-esque place where you can rent meeting rooms and collaborate with artists. The room where the workshop was taking place had sexy ambiance, with deep blue walls, soft lighting, and a snack table with figs and chocolate covered gummy bears. 

There were less than 20 people in attendance — partly because this was the first SexyHuman event ever and also because Bolaza was cautious and didn’t want to overwhelm anyone with a crowd. The attendees were diverse in both gender and race, but all of them looked equally uncomfortable. Many of them had never been to something like this before despite the fact that they were natives.

To start, Bolaza asked everyone to share why they were there. A 23-year-old copywriter expressed her desire to learn what she wants from sexuality in general. A lady with long brown hair asked how it’s even possible to fit sexuality into her life when she’s so busy. An older gentleman revealed that he’d just gotten out of 22-year marriage and didn’t know what it was like to be sexual outside of a relationship. And a 20-something guy said he wanted to stop being a “love retard” and actually pick up on erotic energy from women when he meets them. 

None of these people seemed like they were ready to try bondage or attend an Intro to Tantra class. They just wanted to learn what sexuality meant for them.

At the beginning, Bolaza got a few eye rolls when she told everyone to pretend to hold imaginary balls of energy in their hands and share them with the people next to them  —  but she was quickly forgiven for that hippie moment when she started her lecture.

Bolaza was wise to the discomfort of her audience and kept the language concise and to the point. She borrowed ideas from ancient philosophies, but kept the words tailored to the everyman and taught the basics.

She talked about how extra stimulation and intensity aren’t actually the keys to orgasm, no matter how much our culture and city may hype up whacky sex positions and fancy vibrators. She explained that men come off creepy when they hit on women because they haven’t learned to connect their minds with their crotches. She even talked about how it’s okay to be attracted to someone, even if the feeling isn’t reciprocated.

All of these ideas may seem obvious to some, but in the discussions that followed, people admitted to never thinking about these things. The workshop only touched the tip of sexuality, and the topics may seem banal to sexual veterans. But to those in attendance, these ideas were brand new — even to those who’ve lived here all their lives. If natives don’t know this stuff, then there’s a need for this kind of education.

I’m not saying that SF doesn’t offer ANY vanilla events outside of speed dating (I’m sure they exist) — but I definitely had trouble finding them. The SF sex culture is so appealing to outsiders like me because it’s supposed to have a space for everyone. Either newbie sex events need better advertising or SF needs to make room for the sexually tame. Let’s add some vanilla to that swirl.


Head First runs on the SFBG Sex SF blog every Thursday. Readers can contact Krissy and view her previous work at www.krissyeliot.com.


Head First: On “dysfunction,” freaking out, and my huge, THC-fueled orgasms


I have very little experience with marijuana — mostly because I’m from a small, East Coast town where such a substance is referred to as “the Devil’s lettuce.”  So when Mathew Gerson, founder and inventor of the THC lube, Foria, offered me the opportunity to test out his new product, I was intrigued. 

Foria is supposed to enhance female sexual pleasure. I’ve personally never had issues with orgasms (I can hump a chair and come), but I was interested to see how some oil could make them feel even better. So I decided to try it.

Foria is THC and coconut oil mixed together. The THC functions as an aphrodisiac that relaxes you, and the coconut oil smells nice and helps to keep the PH balanced in your vagina. On Foria’s website, the product is advertised as an “all-natural plant-based medicinal.” When I asked Gerson about what inspired him to create Foria, he said that 49 percent of women in American culture report some kind of sexual disorder, and he wanted to lend a hand (or two fingers, if you will).

There aren’t sufficient facts to prove that female sexual displeasure is a physical malady, even though medical companies have been trying to sell women bullshit medication for decades (see the documentary Orgasm Inc. for the details on that heinous scheme). I think that if women have problems with arousal, the dysfunction lies in the failings of society (i.e. “pussy pounding” in mainstream porn, religious slut-shaming, etc.) and not in their physical bodies.

When I questioned Gerson on the terminology, he said: “I’m not a scientist or a physician. I use [dysfunction] hesitantly. It’s more about dissatisfaction,” said Gerson. “[The word] ‘dissatisfaction’ feels better because it’s more addressable directly, without medical intervention. If you’re dissatisfied, you feel more empowered to do something about it, but if you’ve got a dysfunction, then you feel like you have to go see an expert.”

So the language is sticky. It’s a new company. He’s a nice enough guy. I decided to let it slide… into my crotch.

The first time I tried Foria, I followed the directions to a T. I spread eagled on my bed, applied the smallest suggested dose (four sprays), massaged the Foria into my crotch, and waited 30 minutes for the THC to soak in. Then, I masturbated for 20 whole minutes and… nothing happened. Well, nothing different than usual, anyway.

The second time I tried it, I used six sprays, then masturbated for 20 minutes and… nothing happened. I even squirted four spritzes into my mouth to see if it would take the edge off. I didn’t feel any different and didn’t orgasm any harder. 

I sent Gerson a text to tell him that the Foria bottle was faulty, to which he replied: “Expectations create residual stress in the body that actually inhibit plant medicine from doing its thing.” 

So if I was thinking or worrying too much about orgasm, then Foria would have no effect? Isn’t this product for women who are worried about or can’t have orgasms? 

I was convinced the bottle was shoddy. So in my confident bout of ignorance, I sprayed the highest dose of Foria (8 sprays) into my mouth, convinced it would have no effect.

Let me take a moment to offer you some advice: If you’re a small town chick with little to no experience with drugs of any kind, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES  spray 16 mg of THC into your mouth when you’re alone in your house on a Tuesday afternoon. 


Because you will panic and call your ex-girlfriend who you haven’t spoken to in years and she won’t be in the mood to walk you through a bad high. You will open all of the drawers and cabinets in your house and trip over them in your daze. You will try to eat fruit salad, but because you’re so high, the watermelon will taste like rubbing alcohol. You will freak out and let your brain trick you into thinking you’re having a heart attack (you’re not). And you will keep telling yourself that no one has ever died from pot until you stick your finger down your throat and puke for 10 minutes.

So, yeah, the bottle wasn’t faulty. Hindsight’s a dick, isn’t it? I decided to give the Foria one more go. 

The next night, I sprayed on the oil, waited a whole hour, and then my boyfriend and I had sex. Really, really good sex. And finally… something happened. 

I had a super long orgasm. It lasted around 45 seconds, when usually my orgasms last about 10-15. My boyfriend’s wrist and tongue started cramping. When I finally stopped coming, my abs hurt and I was so out of breath that I told my boyfriend to wait a couple minutes before continuing. So we took a break, and then we did it again. And again. And again. And then I was so tired from having orgasms that I thought I would pass out.

The third try was a charm. 

I believe that all women can have fully functioning orgasmic vaginas with nothing but patience, a loving partner, and a map of the clitoris. But since Foria actually worked for me (eventually) to produce longer orgasms, then I can only imagine how it would help to enhance the sexual experience of someone who can’t come at all. I don’t think that women should permanently rely on a substance to get them off, but I see no reason why Foria can’t be used as a tool to help women begin to connect with their bodies.

Plus, giving people the opportunity to get high off pussy encourages the act of cunnilingus — and Lord knows society needs more practice with that.

New SFBG columnist dives into SF sex culture head first


[Editor’s Note: The Bay Guardian welcomes and presents our new sex columnist, Krissy Eliot, whose columns you can find here every Thursday and in our print edition on an occasional basis, including in next week’s Sex Issue. Enjoy.]

I moved to the Bay Area seven months ago to escape my repressed, small town life on the East Coast and learn what it’s like to live in a sexually liberated culture. I intended to bump elbows and uglies with sex educators and activists and get a job writing about those experiences. I fantasized about becoming a sexual avenger for the oppressed millennial women being churned out of the small towns in America. I came here to make a difference.

And I’ve gotten off to a good start.

I’ve had a stranger stroke my clitoris at an orgasmic meditation conference, attended a lesbian sex party, shared a sexy tale on stage at Bawdy Storytelling, experimented with THC lube, and gone to a cuddle therapy session (and these are just some of my adventures). 

These activities may seem normal to a born and bred San Franciscan, but this place is like another dimension for me.

I lived in rural Maryland for most of my life. Unlike SF, we didn’t have orgasmic meditation or diverse lifestyles. We had churches, liquor stores, and a Wal Mart. I lived in a suburban area that was surrounded by farmland (I’ll never forget the acrid stench of cow poop every morning as I rode the bus through the winding country roads of my youth, Walkman clutched in my sweaty teen fingers).

There were about five black people in my high school, one Asian person, and two lesbians (who were basically the school pariahs). The rest of the students were hillbillies, stoners who loathed hillbillies, or members of the marching band. And no matter what group you belonged to, there was a 99 percent chance that you had conservative, religious parents who believed sex out of wedlock made you a heathen. (Reading the Scarlet Letter in 10th grade reinforced these life lessons). I was no exception to the status quo — with a God-fearing mother and a socially suicidal spot in the marching band’s color guard squad. 

I had no sexual prospects.

That’s not to say I didn’t experiment as a little kid. My girl friends and I were licking each other’s vulvas in my parents’ basement when I was 7 years old — cuddled together on pillows inside forts my older brother built with his Mickey Mouse blankets. I think I realized sex acts were condemned when my brother told my parents that I’d flashed my coochie at his friends. I remember hiding at the top of the stairs, tears running down my cheeks, shaking — as I was called down to the living room where my father was seated on a chair, waiting to bend me over his knee. 

For me, SF is such a strange place not because of the abundance of sex, but because of the blasé attitudes towards it. 

A popular local host and MC told me that none of my ideas on sex would shock anyone because the locals here have “seen and heard it all” and plenty of people in SF already write about sex. An editor of a local newspaper told me that I couldn’t possibly “out sex” anyone in my writing. And while I was sitting in the corner of a bohemian tea party in the city, I rattled off my desire for coital adventure to some hippie who told me that I “possess a curiosity and perspective on sex that most San Franciscans don’t.”

It seems that the sex scene in SF has taken on air of cockiness. A “we’re the big dogs” point of view. And since I’m a small town pup, it seems people expect me to earn my place in the pack, conform, and fade into the background.

I’m not trying to forge new ground with a freakier sex act (it might literally kill me with the shit San Franciscans do), and I’m certainly not calling myself a sexpert. I’m just want to filter a culture through a fresh lens. Why do the people of SF seem to think this isn’t valuable? Has America’s fabled sexual utopia grown into an old dog unwilling to learn new tricks? Or more importantly — new perspectives?

The fact that the people here seem so jaded makes me wonder if there’s an entirely different sexual dysfunction here — one of boredom or arrogance. Have I escaped one oppressive place to fall victim to another? Has living in a sexually charged bubble over the years caused the locals to be less open to the ideas of outsiders?

I guess I’ll find out.


Readers can contact Krissy and view her previous work at www.krissyeliot.com.

Is Kink breaking up with SF?


Tales of local porn-purveyor Kink.com’s demise were reported early yesterday by Uptown Almanac, whose story, “Freak Flag May Not Fly Forever Over Kink’s Castle,” sounded the alarm. 

“It seems to have become not a question of if, but when there will be no more porn in our beloved Porn Castle,” reporter Jackson West wrote. To the uninitiated, the Porn Castle to which West is referring is known as The Armory, a brick fortress with histroic designation on 14th Street and Mission where the ever-adventurous pornographers at Kink.com film their wonderful smut (a term we use as endearingly as possible).

The planning department document West posted posted to his article show Peter Acworth, founder and CEO of Kink.com, requested the city to convert the basement, “drill court,” second, and third floors of The Armory into office space. The document also shows a need for an environmental review before conversion. (Side note: Gee, wouldn’t you love to be the city worker who had to inspect The Armory? “Hell of a day at work today honey, I was so tied up. Well technically, this guy wearing clothespins was tied up.”) The planning department told the Bay Guardian we could inspect the documents for ourselves tomorrow, but were unable to supply them for viewing today.

So, is it true? Is Kink.com fleeing our quickly gentrifying city?

Not to ball-and-gag West’s reporting, but we went straight to Kink.com owner Peter Acworth, who told us Uptown Almanac’s article is “half-correct.”

Firstly, the conversion of the first floor drill court into office space was a long time in planning, multiple sources (including Acworth) confirmed for us. Kink.com intends to use the space for its community center, as well as to rent to outside vendors.

But Acworth did admit that conversion of the rest of The Armory into office space was a preliminary move to vacate The Armory — but that it’s a last-ditch move he hopes he won’t need to make.


Peter Acworth and Princess Donna. Photo by Pat Mazzera.

“I would still think of Kink.com production moving out as a question of ‘if’ as opposed to ‘when,’” he wrote to us in an email. “This move represents an insurance policy.  If the various regulations that are being considered currently in Sacramento and by Cal-OSHA become law, we will likely have to move production out of California to Nevada.”

The regulations he’s referring to are a statewide version of the recent Los Angeles condom law, AB 1576, Introduced by Assemblymember Isadore Hall, III, (D- Los Angeles), as well as new Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards legally requiring porn actors wear protective goggles to protect their eyes from STDs that may be present in ejaculate.

Kink.com was fined $78,000 by CAL/OSHA earlier this year for workplace hazard violations, according to a report by SF Weekly. Kate Conger writes, “The majority of the fines were for allowing performers to work without using condoms, while a $3,710 portion of the total fine was for additional violations, including improperly placed power cords, an absence of first aid supplies, and missing health safety training materials.”

The AIDS Healthcare Foundation also told SF Weekly they filed violations because, they alleged, two actors contracted HIV in connection with their performances in Kink.com shoots. At the time, Kink.com spokespeople denied the claims had merit.

[Update 8:20pm: Shortly after this story was published, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation published a press release announcing the state bill to mandate condoms in pornography made progress today. From the release: “Assembly Bill 1576, Rep. Isadore Hall’s bill to require condoms in all adult films made in California cleared the Committee on Labor and Employment in the California Assembly in a 5 to 0 vote (with 1 absence & 1 abstention) today and now moves on to the Assembly Arts & Entertainment Committee.

“In the last year, at least two additional adult performers—Cameron Bay and Rod Daily—sadly became infected with HIV while working in the industry,” said Michael Weinstein, President of AIDS Healthcare Foundation. “AB 1576 expands and broadens worker protections for all California’s adult film workers on a statewide basis.”]

For Acworth, the passage of either of the statewide reforms in porn would be too prohibitive to do business in California. He’d then move the whole kinky company to Nevada, as many of his fellow pornographers have already done.

“We hope this never happens and that the new regulations are reasonable, but if it does happen over the coming years, we would like the option to rent out The Armory – or portions thereof – to other users.”

The planning review process takes 18-24 months, so in the short term, everyone can calm down. But for the long term, you’ll know Kink.com is ready to move by watching the progress of statewide porn reforms. If porn actors need to wear goggles in productions, it looks like we’ll say goodbye to Kink.com.

Below we’ve embedded the planning department filing from Acworth, obtained by Uptown Almanac.

Planning Department File on Kink.com by FitztheReporter

‘Venus in Fur’ electrifies at A.C.T.


Good lord, this play is hot, hot, hot. Rave reviews of its run in New York last year — mostly heralding the rise of Broadway newcomer Nina Arianda — gave me pause. Could our own A.C.T. pull off this super-steamy, sometimes-harrowing, consistently enthralling sex comedy without Arianda’s now-famous starpower?

No fear. Sensational actors Brenda Meaney and Henry Clarke stole the audience’s breath away, when playwright David Ives’ perverse 2010 take on novelist Leopold von Sacher-Masoch’s perverse 1870 masterpiece opened at A.C.T. last night. Prepare to be intellectually and emotionally (and even a bit physically) whipped, beaten, and thrilled into submission.

And yes, there will be a touch of Velvet Underground.

The basic story: Thomas (Henry) is auditioning actresses for a play he’s written and will direct, based on Sacher-Masoch’s groundbreaking 19th-century “romance,” Venus in Fur, from which the term “S&M” is derived. A hyperenergetic Vanda (Meaney), one of those wonderfully scattered-but-brassy NYC actress-types, bursts in late and cajoles Henry into giving her a shot.

But how does she already know the whole script, which hasn’t been released yet, by heart — not to mention intimate details of Henry’s personal life? How does she slip so effortlessly and expertly into the role of her dominatrix namesake in the novel, and eventually take on aspects of a goddess herself? And how is it that Henry, too, channels Venus in Fur’s love-smitten sex slave with such erotic aplomb?

Mysteries and personalities start multiplying as the pair engages in a vertiginous pas de deux, slipping surreally between contemporary arguments about sexism and gender roles and smokin’ hot scenes of 19th century parlor-sex games. Soon it all begins to slip off the rails into a timeless mystery of psychological conquest and mythological lust, with more than a little taste of danger. 

Meaney, lanky and sensuous, and Clarke, tightly wound yet passionate, held the crowd spellbound for an intermissionless, many times hilarious 90 minutes. (Casey Stangl’s ace direction kept things moving swiftly yet with admirable lucidity.) One excruciatingly erotic scene, featuring a pair of thigh-high leather boots, almost turned me straight! Which may well be one of Ives’ points — in the context of human power dynamics and fetish objects, some desires transcend all contemporary sexual categories, and appeal to murkier, more ancient aspects within us.


Through April 13

American Conservatory Theater

Geary Theater

415 Geary, SF.

More info here 


Save your Valentine’s Day date, order a bike-delivered condom


So your Valentine’s Day date is going great, way better than expected, and it’s looking like some hot sex might be where this is headed. But, d’oh, you forgot the condom! What to do? Well, San Francisco-based condom manufacturer L. is now launching a new project to “save your date,” as they say: a condom delivery service.

That’s right, starting on Valentine’s Day, L will have a bike messenger deliver one of its high-quality, socially conscious, sustainably produced love gloves anywhere in San Francisco that you need it, within one hour, for just $5. That, my fellow lovers of lovings, is quite a deal.

“We are rethinking condoms in many ways,” company founder and CEO Talia Frenkel tells the Guardian.

She started the company after working as a photojournalist and Red Cross worker in sub-Saharan Africa covering the AIDS crisis, an experience that lead her to create a condom company that delivers one free condom to Africa for every condom purchased here. Frenkel has also has tryied to innovate with the materials the company uses and the way it markets and distributes the condoms.

That led to her latest idea: “What about how we actually deliver it? More and more, we are living in an on-demand culture.”

So she partnered with bike messenger companies in San Francisco and Los Angeles and voila, condom deliveries. Or as Frenkel put it, “The idea is how do we save people’s dates.”
To order yours, call 213-935-0843, order via the company’s website, or use the cell phone app that is coming soon.  



Sexy events: Fatties rise up


Happy Pride Month everybody! This is neither sexy nor an event in the strictest sense, but anyone who doesn’t kindle to forced body norms should know that we began this week with evolutionary psychology professors tweeting about how fat people shouldn’t even try to get a PhD.

Geoffrey Miller, a University of New Mexico psychology prof had this to say on his Saturday afternoon: “Dear obese Phd applicants: if you didn’t have the willpower to stop eating carbs, you won’t have the willpower to do a dissertation #truth”. Miller reportedly told UNM in response to the school’s concern that the tweet was part of a research project, which doesn’t seem right but who is to say what those social scientists are up to these days.

Props to “hate loss not weight loss” activist and friend of the Bay Guardian SEX SF blog Virgie Tovar for being less than satisfied with Miller’s comment that the tweet was related to a research project he was involved in, and bringing his body predjudice to the attention of her Internet community. UNM is “looking into the validity of this assertion” about the research project thing. 

In other news, someone stole the iPad that belongs to Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis’ girlfriend and now sex tapes starring the two of them are being shopped around to various porn companies. Francis’ lawyer says they’re doing everything in their power to stop the tape’s release. We here at the sexy events column do not condone theft or nonconsensual publication of erotic images. But if you laughed there we understand.  



This big budget ’70s gay porn extravaganza featuring a gorilla suit comes to the New Parkway as part of downtown Oakland sex shop Feelmore510’s monthly Friday night screening series. Expect special effects, sci-fi homage, and a ripped cast over 50 strip-stunners. 

Fri/7, 10pm, $10. New Parkway Theater, 474 24th St., Oakl. www.thenewparkway.com

“Fairoaks Project”

Photographer Frank Melleno’s Polaroids from the Fairoaks Hotel Haight-Ashbury bathhouse between 1977-’79. Play parties, commune living, history galore. Inspiration for all you alternative culture types to start taking snaps of your own, perhaps?

Through June 30. Opening reception: Fri/7, 7-10pm, free. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org

Public Sex, Private Lives

We’re kicking off floozy film fest season here — between SF DocFest and Frameline, there’s roughly a thousand flicks making their SF premiere that center on sexuality themes this month. This documentary on the lives of Kink.com’s domme starlets is a great way to kick it all off. Director Simone Jude is an ex-Kink employee and her access to her subjects unquestionably benefits from a level of trust. Even avid fans will have a lot to learn from this look at a single mom, a bereaved daughter, and a grad student testifying in an obscenity trial — who all make BDSM porn for a living.


Sat/8 and June 12, 9pm; $11. Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., SF. June 15, 7pm, $11. New Parkway, 474 24th St., Oakl. www.sfindie.com/festivals/sf-docfest

“Hot, Healthy, Happy, and Living With Herpes”

Sex educators Midori and Charlie Glickman teach how to live (sexily) with herpes, including ways to break the news to partners, safe sex practices, more.

Tue/11, 6:30-8:30pm, free. Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF. www.goodvibes.com

Dan Savage

The source of Senator Rick Santorum’s SEO problems and the country’s leading voice on progressive sex education comes to the Castro to chat about his new book American Savage.

Tue/11, 7pm, $80. Castro Theatre, 429 Castro, SF. www.commonwealthclub.org

Hot sexy events: Ecosexual gurus want you in boot camp


You could be mistaken, in certain moments of Annie Sprinkle and Beth Stephens’ ecosexuality activism, into passing it off as woo-woo nonsense. In a trailer for Goodbye Gauley Moutain, the two wear “mountain” costumes while trekking through streams, passionately lick the bark of slender trees — one hopes, consensually. They go on hikes with Sprinkle’s large, shiny purse, an accessory far better suited for the couple’s hometown San Francisco, which they have dubbed the “clitoris of the world.”

At her and Stephens’ upcoming performance series at the Center for Sex and Culture (June 13-16, 20-23), Sprinkle tells me “we talk dirty to plants, get naked in piles of dirt, and we do group wedding vows to the Earth.”

But ridiculous times call for equally ridiculous measures. My amusement quickly cycled to fear and then anger when the purpose of the partners’ trip to Stephens’ childhood home was revealed by Goodbye Gauley Mountain: mountain-top removal. A gent in an American flag button-down (didn’t those used to be for hippies?) proclaiming “global warming is a hoax,” shots of mountains literally being blown up for mineral extraction.

Goodbye Gauley Mountain, Stephens’ and Sprinkle’s feature-length crusade against mountaintop removal

Suddenly, no amount of single-hued art weddings seem to be enough, because what else is working against environmental degradation (certainly not our President.) Why not activate our erotic selves, when our rational selves have done all of nothing to stop our unceasing progress into Waterworld?

“We are serious about our environmental activism, but have a lot of fun with it,” feminist porn pioneer and general force of good in the world Sprinkle wrote to me about the upcoming “ecosexual bootcamp” at CSC, entitled Earthy.  

You might want to join them — they’ve proven in the past that they can do this kind of thing rather well. The partners put a ring on their engagement with the earth seven times over the course of 2005-2011, getting married to each other and to Gaia, each time in a different location with a different, extravagant color palette for their artistic nuptials. 

Sprinkle hopes that the eight-night run will give San Franciscans a chance to discover their own ecosexuality. “Bottom line we want people to have more pleasure in their lives,” writes Sprinkle. “And at the same time, get the Earth more love. I know that sounds hokey. But it’s true.” 

The performances will feature audience vows to the earth, a bonfire, lots of naked, and interactive opportunities. Sounds better than reading another depressing Internet article, and might resonate somewhere deeper than your RSS feed.

Earthy: An Ecosex Boot Camp Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org June 13-16, 20-23, $12-25 sliding scale


Sex Worker Art and Film Fest

As mentioned in last week’s paper, the fun continues this week at the biennial fest celebrating and raising awareness for our beloved sex workers. This week you can catch a full day of sex film programming at the Roxie (Sat/25), a spa day for sex workers (Sun/26), and much more. 

Various times, venues, prices. www.sexworkerfest.com

Cunt *an opening

Graphics by Boy Young

Tbh, SF drag’s quiet storm hasn’t told me that there will be sexual happenings at the debut of their new performance piece at The Lab. That being said, nothing Dia Dear does — whether it’s luxuriating thisclose to nude dressed in a wig and Frank Ocean’s “Pyramids” at Some Thing’s Tiara Sensation pageant or minimalist, guttural interpretations of R&B jams on video — is not beyond sexy. Tonight is a performance, tonight is a party. Whatever, it’s Dia so it’s gonna be cute. 

Sat/25, 10pm, $7. The Lab, 2948 16th St., SF. www.thelab.org; www.diadear.com


There are times when I think it would be more direct to title this column “what is happening at the Center for Sex and Culture this week”, such is the high-quality output coming from that particularly well-connected sex institution in town. This week is no different — the lauded, long-running annual public masturbation event raising sex-ed awareness takes place allll over the Center. Last year, Courtney Trouble made a movie about it if you’re looking for jack-off inspiration. 

Sat/25, 7-11pm, $30. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.masturbate-a-thon.com

Ducky Doolittle

She’s a certified emergency room sexual assault counselor, has appeared on MTV, and explores the meaning of race, gender, and class within sex activism with her spot-on writing. This week, sex educator Ducky Doolittle will also be offering her knowledge at the Bay Area’s various institutes of sensual ed. Sat/25 and Mon/27, she hits the Armory for a class on pleasuring the him’s of the world. Sun/26, she’ll be at the Center for Sex and Culture (see?) expounding on the art of girlgasm.

Sat/25-Mon/27, Various times, venues, prices. www.duckydoolittle.com

Hot sexy events: Aliens, etc.


You will have to excuse the few weeks that your sexy events column has taken off — our Day-Glo phalanges have been so atwitter over tonight’s extraterrestial sexuality event that every thing else has just seemed… of this planet, shall we say. Check out my interview in this week’s newspaper with Strange Attractors co-editor Suzie Silver, by the way, for talk of sensual delights outside the Earthly realm, including beings comprised mostly of scrotal tissue — and head over to Center for Sex and Culture to see the video and performance lineup of UFO couplings that Silver has put together.

Still, the sex culture train rolls on. Here’s so more hot-and-heavy happenings around the Bay this week: 

“Ask a Ho: Question the Real Professionals”

Gonna go ahead and say that we’d be a lot healthier about sex as a society if we let the pros talk a little more loudly about the subject. Apparently Oakland sex shop Feelmore510 feels the same way — Shannon Williams of the Sex Worker Outreach Project facilitates this Q&A journey into the lives of the pros. Bring your best queries, because you gotta think that these folks are gonna be a lot less squeamish about answering your questions about sex than say, Dr. Phil or your “cool” roommate.

Tue/14, 7-8:30pm, $5. Feelmore510, 1703 Telegraph, Oakl. www.feelmore510.com

Perverts Put Out spring fling

Unthaw, it’s almost summer goddamn it. But the PPO crew is taking you through the rites of spring tonight, with dirty readings by the Guardian’s own Sex-Positive Parent Airial Clark, Jen Cross, horehound stillpoint, Virgie Tovar, and more, hosted by the fingers-in-everything Dr. Carol Queen. 

Sat/11, 8pm, $10-25. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org

“How To Create An Effective Online Profile – And How To Write Messages That Will Get Good Responses”

If you’re anything like us, you spend more time scoping people’s online ramblings and photo albums than you do IRL cruising. Lesson: you should probably shape up your online profiles if you want to get laid with minimal footwork, ‘Net junkies. Today’s workshop with M. Christian is a class on how to get sexy through words, pics, and clicks. Attend to learn how to be cute-not-creepy with your online come ons, and some Internet etiquette so you’re not FLAMING when all your online paramour desires is sweet, soft pings. 

Tue/14, 7-10pm, $20. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org

“Spanking, Paddling & Pinching: An Introduction to the Sensual Side of Pain”

Does rough play get you all hot and bothered, but you’re still hesitant to jump into BDSM without a little primer first? Good thing you live in San Francisco, because you’re welcome to come down to Good Vibrations for this one-off class taught by kink expert Pepper on safety rules, safe places on the body to apply impact, and the psychological underpinnings of sexy pain. 

Tue/14, 6:30-8:30pm, $20-25. Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF. www.goodvibes.com

Main Street’s sex club: Eros celebrates 21 years in business


A few things that you may not know about Eros, the 21-year old sex club with the unassuming, rainbow-flagged façade that stands across the street from the Castro Safeway strip mall. One: it is hosting an art show on Thu/11 open to all to attend (perfect for female-identified folks interested in checking out the space, or at least the front room). Two, boundary-breaking trans-cis male porn is made there.

“Transmen were not being reached out to with the safe sex message,” says Eros’ owner Ken Rowe, a snuggly looking bear sitting on a leather couch in the club’s comfy front room. T-Wood Pictures, the club’s in-house porn company, now shoots new content once or twice a month with varying combinations of trans and cis men.

New elliptical machine!

Another point of fact: “The original founders wanted this to be a community center sex club,” he says. Co-founder Buzz Bense wanted a “Main Street sex club,” says Rowe. “Not with neon lights going ‘LIVE BOYS.’ They wanted it to look respectable, shame-free. Now we’re much more like a spa — we’re a traditional bathhouse. It’s not dark and dirty, poppers wafting through the air.”

Eros opens at noon seven days a week, and the first few hours of the day management promotes it as more of a “sex-positive day spa,” says Rowe.


Today, male-identified customers can take yoga and tai chi classes before hitting the club’s sauna, showers, and steam room. Elliptical machines sit nearby us, the club’s newest attractions. Community groups like Homobiles hold business meetings in the space. Potted plants sit happily on a cute little smoking deck on the other side of glass sliding doors.

A licensed massage therapist provides much-needed muscle work to customers, which was especially important back in the early days of the club, when the Police Department was in charge of licensing massage therapists in sex clubs (that duty has since been transferred to the Department of Public Health, though SFPD still must approve licenses.) Eros is the only sex club with a licensed massage therapist, to the best of Rowe’s knowledge, in Northern California.

“They wanted the club to be about more than just sex, they wanted a space where you could learn about safer sex in a non-threatening manner. You know, without being jumped on,” Rowe tells me.


One of Loren Bruton’s “Bathhouse Men”

Loren Bruton’s drawings line one side of the common room, aggregations of the Eros clientele that he sees every day as the club’s general manager. Eros hosts a yearly staff art show, an event that reflects the overlapping communities of artists and sex workers in the hyper-expensive Bay Area. This week, a reception will be held to celebrate Bruton’s collection that doubles as a birthday party for Eros’ decades of community involvement.

“I like that I can be myself here,” Bruton says. “It’s nice to have a sense of community someplace that is sex-positive. I wanted to represent that this is a diverse group in terms of age, race, sexual identity.” For a club that’s spent years reworking our vision of what a Main Street business can be, the renderings make for perfect poster children.

“Bathhouse Men” Eros birthday celebration

Thu/11, 7-10pm, free


2051 Market, SF


Kink.com beloved in Pope land! Local porn site among top downloaded in Vatican City [UPDATED]


A local anti-BDSM porn activist emailed me tidings of Flash magazine’s Guatanamo-themed Coachella party this morning as proof that “Kink.com’ s influence is spreading, albeit interrupted by the sex-negative Philistines of Coachella.” Leaving aside the well-worth-it debate over the role art and nightlife have in political parody and the fact that torture in fact, existed well before Kink founder Peter Acworth (it wasn’t called the “Kinkquisition,” darling), I would say this is about 8,000 times more convincing proof that Kink.com is winning hearts and minds, should you need proof of such a thing.

According to Torrentfreak (and helpfully elaborated on by Fleshbot) the local BDSM site is responsible for two of the 13 most-pirated downloads in Vatican City. No, not top porn downloads, the most-pirated files, period.

Yes, for while Love Actually came in at #6, a scene featuring Lea Lexis and Krissy Lynn on “lezdom bondage” Kink site Whipped Ass followed close behind at #8, and #13 was occupied by Tiffany Starr and Sheena Shaw on the TS Pussyhunters site. 

We’re putting out the feelers to Kink to see how news of their influence in — and being robbed of revenue by — the world’s most flamboyantly attired country is being recieved by the company, stand by for post updates. 

UPDATE: Acworth has released a statement that implies the Vatican will espace legal action from the website:

While we don’t support theft of content, in this case we’re happy whoever he (or she) is is enjoying our movies. Our mission is to demystify BDSM and celebrate alternate sexuality. This is different from the Catholic Church’s mission which has (traditionally) been to shame anyone who deviates from a sexuality that isn’t procreative. We figure whoever is downloading these movies is feeling a fare amount of shame as it is, so we’ll let this one slide.

Read Acworth’s full statement here, featuring more Kink-Church comparisons like, “what is subspace if not a way to exorcise demons?” 

Hot sexy events: Nerd boobs, Bill Gates’ condom quest, and the Sheagle = landed


Hey, dudes who don’t like condoms, has Bill Gates got your back or what? During the same month that the Pope Emeritus reincarnates as a wall of condoms, the tech bajillionaire has donated the change he found in his couch ($100,000) to the Global Health research foundation Bill and wife Melinda founded through their foundation to developing a rubber that feels better on penises.

Yes, we know, yet more money that focuses on male reproductive health. But for those who regularly find themselves in contact with penis-bearers, the promise of never hearing another “but I can’t feeeel it with the condom on,” will be a definite boon to that largest of sexual organs: our brain, which non-scientifically speaking, shrivels up and dies a little from so much whining in bed. (Also, penis bearers? Golf claps for science, but in the meantime you might benefit from not jerking it so damn hard. Try a Fleshlight.)

Chat about the politics of sex research, or forget about politics altogether, at this week’s sexy events:


A night presented by the female-identified kinksters of San Francisco, but open to attendees in the newly (more or less) re-opened space of this beloved leather bar. The monthly party will benefit a different female-identified organization — this month it’s the SF girls of Leather, who rad work you can read about in this Guardian cover story on their cute kink from a few years ago. 

Wed/27, 8pm-2am, free. Eagle, 298 12th St., SF. www.sf-eagle.com

“Bling My Vibe” awards ceremony 

When Good Vibrations contacted me about crafting an project from a vibrator for their March art contest I said: sure. And though every time I’ve been back to see it proudly installed in the Polk Street store’s gallery/education space there’s been a class going on, I have nothing but the utmost faith that the room full of Conehead vibes, vibrators fashioned into magical steeds, and Ninja Turtles vibes (HuffPo has a nice slideshow if you’re curious) is an uplifting experience. Today, the top crafters take home gift certificates so that they can continue to make sweet projects with Good Vibes gear.

Fri/29, 6-8pm, free. Good Vibrations, 1620 Polk, SF. www.goodvibes.com

Nerd Nite at the Lusty Lady

SF’s only co-op strip club welcomes sci-fi freaks tonight. Lusty dancer Pandora wrote us in an email that the Lusty theme nights are all about costumes: “Well, as much as you can costume and still be naked, which as it turns out is quite a bit. 😉 Sometimes music or activities like naked Twister, naked light saber battle. naked karaoke. Pretty much anything fun, and put naked in front of it.” Check out this video for more on why the peep shows and VIP booths here rock:

Fri/29, 8am-3pm. The Lusty Lady, 1033 Kearny, SF. www.lustylady.com

Spring Breakers 

“Why you acting ‘spicious?” The ATL twins, James Franco Gucci Mane, Vanessa Hudgens, blatant perversion of typical crime movie gender roles — Harmony Korine’s latest cult classic is the sexiest film of 2013 and you should see it before you get secondhand sick of the catchphrases. Which reminds me, “spring break 4eva.”


Various Bay Area theaters

Goodbye Gauley Mountain screening and dinner

Feminist porn pioneer Annie Sprinkle and partner Beth Stephens premiere the couple’s documentary on their ecosexual relationship with the Appalachian mountains and the crusade to stop destructive mining practices. Come early for the pre-screening vegan Appalachian dinner.

Trailer Goodbye Gauley Mtn: An Ecosexual Love Story from Elizabeth Stephens on Vimeo.

Sat/30, dinner 6:30pm, screening 7pm, $10-100. Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission, SF. www.sexandculture.org

Trouble down under: SF indie film banned in Australia


Cuddle porn, banned in Oz? The Australian Classification Board took exception with auteur Travis Mathews’ tender look at life and love among gay men in San Francisco — which included explicit sex scenes. Film fanatics at the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, Sydney’s Queer Screen, and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival will be missing out on Mathew’s work — I Want Your Love was scheduled to screen at all three this year.

Look, James Franco is sad too. “This seems really silly,” the actor says, wearing an absolutely interestingly patterned t-shirt and blonde head of hair in the video statement below. “I don’t think we’d be having this conversation if he’d made a very violent film.” Franco and Mathews recently collaborated on the film Interior. Leather Bar., inspired by the 40 minutes of S&M footage excised from the 1980 Al Pacino film Cruising:


Just as it did in 2010 with Bruce LaBruce’s gay bloodbath LA Zombie, the Classification Board deemed I Want Your Love‘s sexual content “gratuitous.” The term struck a chord with I Want Your Love‘s supporters, who may fail to see the connection between their film’s depictions of real-life gay sex and LaBruce’s necrophiliac plotline/erect zombie prosthetics.

“This is movie about gay life and relationships,” wrote the president of local gay porn company Naked Sword, Tim Valenti, in an editorial for Huffington Post that will be posted later today (we are sneaky/his press person sent us the op-ed text early-like.) Naked Sword produced I Want Your Love. “If we wanted to just sell sex, we could have made another porno,” Valenti writes. “But where’s the challenge in that?”

You can check out I Want Your Love on the Naked Sword website. Here’s Marke B.’s review of the flick from when it screened at the 2012 Frameline Fest

I Want Your Love (Travis Mathews, US, 2011) Local director Travis Mathews’ first full-length feature — produced by porn impresario Jack Shamama and the good, pervy folks at Naked Sword — is so beautifully shot, edited, paced, and true to life for a certain young, scruffy, artsy fag demographic (not to mention brimming with explicit sex scenes) that you probably won’t notice that hardly anything happens plotwise. A cute performance artist named Jesse, played by one of our top performance artists also named Jesse, is getting ready to move back to Ohio due to those all-too-familiar San Franciscan money woes, but maybe also to forge some deeper connection to life. That’s about it. The true joy here is seeing most of the Bay Area’s gay underground arts scene nailing peripheral roles: Brontez Purnell hilariously steals the movie, cute naked gay boys abound, and the whole thing really does come off as a lovely West Coast boho version of last year’s UK indie hit Weekend, with more fog and condoms.

More on what consent means for BDSM porn: A performer speaks out


Having sex for money can change the dimensions of the kinds of acts you’re willing to explore. That’s a fact in a porno landscape that rewards greater physical punishment with greater paychecks (as it should.) But if BDSM porn performers aren’t doing it all purely for their own sexual gratification, how do we define consent? Where does pushing boundaries become abuse? The question seems really important, especially for those who would defend the existence of BDSM porn to dissenters of all stripes

My article in this week’s paper that explored the question of the definition of consent for for-profit BDSM porn (although really, the arguments are the same for all kinds of sex work) was too short. Hey, save trees and all that. But performer Maxine Holloway pushed beyond the limited ink I could give to her comments to expand on her thoughts in an essay posted to her blog last night.

It reads, in part (paragraph breaks my own): 

As models we want to perform well, we want to push our boundaries, we want to look sexy and desirable on film, we want to get paid, and we want to be hired again and again.

As a director you have deadlines, budgets, employees and profits that you are responsible for. Each party has their own pressures.

But it is important to recognize who has more power in the situation. You can be responsible with power and you can also abuse it. In a working environment the boss has more power.

This does not mean that models have no power, it just means that they have less. The boss has the funding, the ability to rehire you, give a good or bad reference, further your career and money making ability. And they often have a slew of other models that would love to take your place.

It is a models responsibility to learn about our boundaries and capabilities, to communicate our needs and use a safe word.

And is the production company/director’s responsibility to communicate expectations clearly and to create an environment where the models truly feel comfortable changing something, slowing down or saying no. 

And it goes. Definitely worth a read.

I would be remiss if I failed to point out this amazing poem by Bay Area sexworker and sometime Kink.com performer Coral Aorta, excerpted by Holloway at the end of her post (and double-excerpted here):

the priceless one

who is always

worth their price