Saturday, December 1, 2012

Beck & Her Kinks Holiday Give Away

Agreeable Agony is participating this holiday season in an awesome holiday giveaway run by the blogger/reviewer "Beck & Her Kinks" We will be giving away a Harry Potter School Kit rope bundle!
Join The Kink
Hosted by the awesome:
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Author's Note: Please see the post labels if you would like to know what triggers this piece might contain before reading it. If you notice something else in the piece that seems like a common trigger that I have not marked, please leave a comment to let me know. I would like the sharing of my work to be as safe as I can make it for my readers.

On her knees, she waits.

She can hear him moving behind her, choosing. The slide of leather on wood, rubber on metal, as he moves things out of a toy box whose contents she knows like the back of her hand, except for the occasions on which there is a surprise. Then, he’ll instruct her to retrieve something from the box, letting her open the lid and discover a new item for pleasure and torment and sensation.

Sometimes when he is moving things, she can tell what is in his hands. The drag of heavy falls that means a flogger with its heavy thud. The light clink of nail tips on their ring. The whisper of rope slipping coil against coil.

Now, she hears a slithering glide of coiled leather. And then the shuffling stops, and she knows what is coming. The crack and burning sting that should not be so amazing and compelling to someone who strongly prefers a heavier thudding pain, but always intensely, inexplicably pulls on some deeper desire within her.

He comes to stand before her. She bends her head and presses a kiss to the whip.

Saturday, November 10, 2012


Author's Note: Please see the post labels if you would like to know what triggers this piece might contain before reading it. If you notice something else in the piece that seems like a common trigger that I have not marked, please leave a comment to let me know. I would like the sharing of my work to be as safe as I can make it for my readers.

In this case, that list is a bit more complicated, as most of it is just in reference/passing, but I've put all of the things I notice in the labels anyway.

There are many kinds of silence.

There’s the silence of anticipation. That is the calm before the storm, the moment between movement and contact, between contact and the physical sensation of the blow. There’s the silence of satisfaction, wrung out and languid, a still tangle of disparate limbs. There’s the silence of stubbornness and desperation, just before need overcomes pride and leads to begging. There’s the silence of companionship, two people slotting smoothly into each others lives and patterns, working at opposite ends of a table on entirely different projects, but still there with each other.

There are other, darker unwanted silences. The silence of shame in the specter of things past that stand in the way of things present. The silence of fear in an unwilingness to speak up and risk rebuke or censure, a terror of facing disbelief. And there are intentionally darker silences that dance on the knife’s edge of what they want and what they are willing to risk. Pleasure and discomfort and humiliation in the downcast eyes and spreading blush of being publicly introduced as someone’s slut. Wide startled eyes staring at the point of the blade, hardly daring to breathe as it comes closer and closer to skin.

Sometimes silence is voluntary, and she is still and quiet out of her own sense of the moment. Sometimes the silence is mandatory, enforced by gag or protocol, “Don’t speak until you’re spoken to,” or “Little girls should be seen and not heard,” where her right to speak is his, and he is choosing to remove it. Sometimes silence is imposed, a hand or a mouth darting it and cutting off whatever she was saying.

There’s something within her that rarely shuts up or turns off. It runs and analyzes, computes and examines, and while it is an inherent and often helpful part of her, it interferes. She spends endless time trying to predict how interactions will go, struggling to parse them correctly in the moment, and picking them apart after the fact. She fucks and she wonders if she is responsive enough, too still, if there’s something more she could do to satisfy her partner. She kisses and she find herself adjusting based on their angles, movements, and responses. She thinks too much. Pain sometimes quiets her thoughts, but often she thinks too much then, as well. She is whipped and she tries to predict the next blow, worries about if she’s too quiet, too loud.  She starts analyzing and stops experiencing.

It isn’t that submission always involves not thinking. Neither of them believe that submission is just shutting off one’s entire brain and mindlessly following orders with no individual will. Sometimes it involves a lot of thinking, about what she wants, what he might want, if there are things she could do to improve in her responses, what to do when he hands her the menu and says “Order me something” while they’re out. But sometimes it does involve not thinking, in an almost trance-like mode of subspace where she can simply let herself react without mentally processing and analyzing the reaction.

There’s a certain quietude in a lot of her submission. When she waits, or he holds her down - not just down on her knees, down on her back, belly exposed, neck bared for his teeth, I yield - but when he keeps her mind down, in that space. Where she has the task at hand and nothing else to focus on for now, or he is controlling what happens and her only responsibility is to take it, or where he is demanding her full focus, dragging that part of her into alignment with the rest of her brain to pay a-bloody-ttention.

And for a little while, there is silence.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The New AgAg Site: Now With Twice As Much Silver

Hello everyone, it's Des again, stopping in to throw out an update that I am really excited about. Most of you, I'm sure, read my last post. In it, I talked about Google Wallet shutting down our account, preventing us from accepting sales through our website. It feels like decades ago that we Agreeables were stymied by The Man. We were but children then, now we're two weeks older, and two weeks wiser, and have a website that is, without a doubt, at least two weeks cooler.

That's right, I'm here to announce the release of our spanking new and improved storefront. Now with 100% less Google. We've started over from the ground up, with a fresh and exciting shopping cart backend. I was adamant that this time around I wanted to start with an open source base, so we built our shop on top of OpenCart. It's not yet perfect, but we're proud of what we've put together so far, and excited to see where we can take this new platform.

Our payment system will start out supporting Paypal, but we may expand to allow other methods of payment as well. We also support cash on pickup, for those of our customers who want to order online, and pick up their product in person.

We know there will be some bugs for the moment. As I write this, I know that the US Postal Service hasn't yet activated our ability to use them for shipping, but that will likely be fixed before the majority of people read this. There are certainly other strange edge cases, and, as with most things, Your Mileage May Vary. If you run into problems, please, use our contact form to let me know, and I'll look into them. In the meantime, please understand that, especially now, this new site is still beta, but we will work out the kinks, so to speak, and whip it into shape in no time.

And so it goes that I find myself up late the night before a convention, hammering away at the latest iteration of a site to go live before the festivities. It's the only way to code.

Now, before I jump back into it, I just want to say, thanks to all of you for building such a great community with us, we hope to have you with us through the next time we get our website shut down.
Be well everyone, hope to see you all at GKE tomorrow!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Google Policies Surprisingly Anti-Sex

Hello everyone, I'm Desmond. I work here with Agreeable Agony as the web designer and editor for the blog. I tend to keep to the shadows, but occasionally feel the urge to speak my mind on sex-positive issues, and wouldn't you know it, there seems to be this mighty-fine blog right here.

I'm sure there are funny stories behind every website. Ours involves a race against the clock, starting the night before a big convention, with the intent of having a working site up before vendors opened the next day. I'd like to think I leveled up that day in html and css. I had a working site up and running, able to accept sales, before 5pm. It wasn't pretty, but it was up, and we've been expanding, and improving on it since.

We're about to go through another serious renovation, one that we'd liked to have put off somewhat longer. In the long hours of the night, I jumped headfirst into Google Checkout, which seemed the best way to get rolling. Google provides the services that make Agreeable Agony possible, notably our email and this very blog. I thought that sticking with the company we'd worked so well with seemed like a good chance. I double checked their content policies, (more on that later) and decided that for the time being, we were within them.

We received an email in the past week, from the Google Wallet team, telling us that due to violations of their Content Policies, they would be shutting off our checkout system if we didn't stop selling the offending items in question. I specify, because they claimed in their email that if we removed the buttons from the specific items that were against policy, they would allow us to continue doing business.

What their email didn't contain was a list of which items they deemed unacceptable.

The non-automated portion of the email we received read the following:

Unacceptable product category: Adult Goods & Services
Please note that sale of Fetish sites or sites that promote ‘play wear’, ‘latex wear’, Sexual aids and device and All sex toys are not allowed through Google Wallet.
Below that, there were some helpful links to their content policies page, which I'll get to in a moment. They describe the sale of Fetish sites, as in web sites or physical locations, perhaps? We certainly don't sell websites. The reference play wear and latex wear, of which we have neither.

They come closest when they reference sexual aids and device[sic], but while much of what we sell is meant to be used in bondage scenes, none of it is inherently sexual. That is to say, the satisfaction in BDSM and similar alternative activities can be based in romantic or non-sexual fantasy as easily as it can be sexualized.

I don't see anything we sell as being a sex toy, and I should know, I used to sell sex toys. We sell devices for use in a highly sense-oriented role play, and what incredible sexual experiences our customers get into with them are purely the creativity of our customers. We encourage creativity.

We encourage creativity, and we try to provide helpful safety information to let that creativity happen (as it inevitably will anyway) safely, and with the best tools available.

So for posting information about safe sex with our products, we have been labelled dealers in "Adult Goods & Services" This is a sort of funny thing to label us, if only for Google's helpful Content Policies (I didn't forget.) They can be read here, but the important definition is as follows:

Adult Goods and Services:
Pornography and other sexually suggestive materials (including literature, imagery and other media); escort or prostitution services
From the very page they linked me to, it would appear that Google only explicitly bans the sale of pornographic media and prostitution services. So now we're pornographers, or maybe pimps, I'm not really sure, it's apparently been a busy day holding all these jobs.

In any case, we at AgAg are rather put out by Google's sudden disinterest in taking a small amount of our money in exchange for letting us sell things on the internet. Not that we wanted to stay with Google forever. I said earlier that I believed we were in bounds for the time being. In the future I'd hoped to switch to a more open source cart manager, effectively to get away from aggressive ToS.

Seems that Google decided to let the shoe drop first, and gave us a 5-day ultimatum. I'll be working hard to try to get something up and running that will work, but we may be unable to accept some sales for a period of time. I'm sorry to anyone inconvenienced by this.

In the meantime, I'm disappointed in Google for their attack on our small community. We've emailed them to appeal their decision, in the hopes to buy us a little time to make the transition. At this point, they have lost our business, small though it is. Even if they sorted everything out right for us, this has shaken our company's trust in the policies of Google.

It is to mend that lack of trust that we believe that Google should amend their policies to explicitly allow sex-positive shops to vend with their system. Until this happens, I urge all online shops to migrate away from Google Checkout, or at least have a backup ready, in case they decide to pull the plug on your site.

Update: We have officially had our ability to make sales cut off. We ask that any customers who know what they're interested in to send us an email, and we'll get back to you as soon as we can keep doing business while we get this sorted out. Sorry to everyone for the inconvenience, I'm working on shoehorning a new cart in without breaking everything in the process.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


Hi! I'm the newest contributor here at Agreeable Agony. I've been writing a series of short erotic pieces recently, and I was asked to share them on this blog. I'll be probably be putting up other pieces in weeks to come, but I thought I would start with one that is particularly relevant to the Agreeable Agony wares.

Author's Note: Please see the bottom of the page if you would like to know what triggers this piece might contain before reading it. If you notice something else in the piece that seems like a common trigger that I have not marked, please leave a comment to let me know. I would like the sharing of my work to be as safe as I can make it for my readers.

There’s something fragile and lovely about the anticipation of the moment. She lies stretched across the bed, limbs spread. The air is cool, but not uncomfortable, and she feels it brush over her skin, eddies of his movement around the room. The cuffs are wrapped around her wrists and ankles, a comforting solid presence, and an anchor. They don’t mainly serve to keep her in place physically - though she can’t move in them, she’d be doing her best to stay still in any circumstance - but they keep her there mentally.

She steadies her breathing, trying to stay as still and relaxed as possible.  The candles glow and sparkle in the even, low light of the room, drawing her attention. They sit neatly arranged, a palette. She lies prone, a canvas. She tries to guess what he will start with, whether he has planned it in advance or will be making decisions as the piece progresses. She tries not to think at all. Does a canvas wonder what stroke of the brush will come next?

She spends a moment feeling silly for coming over poetical about the situation, and that starts to break up the mental quietude she’s been settling into. She tenses and shifts, feeling the cuffs pull at her limbs. Lying spread eagle leaves her open in a way that bleeds into her mental state, and she tries to relax back into it.

He must have seen her fidgeting, because he’s leaning over her, checking her wrists and ankles, running his hands down her arms. “Everything okay, pet?” He asks, and she smiles replying “Yes, sir.”

“Good. You look beautiful like this, and we haven’t even started yet.” If she had been vertical, she would have cast her eyes downward at that, struggling to accept the compliment. Now, she turns her head slightly to the side, but he catches her jaw and turns her head back to look at him. “I’m serious. You are beautiful.” He raises his eyebrows, waiting for her to contradict him. He knows she doesn’t agree with him, doesn’t really see what he sees or believe in her own power or strength. But she tamps the instinct to argue down, and simply says “Thank you, sir.” He smacks her cheek lightly. “Good girl.”

He runs his hand down from where he’d left it on her cheek, over her neck, and down over her breast and stomach. The touch is smooth and proprietary, stopping briefly to pluck at a nipple or circle her belly button. He slides his hand down to cup her sex. She’s shaven smooth for tonight, and it’s the first time that she’s done so for him. His touch feels different on the sensitive skin. He pulls his hand back and slaps her bare pussy, suddenly, and she jerks her hips up towards him with her limited motion.

He steps away from her for a moment, and returns holding a blindfold, and a small ball. The ball, he slips into her hand, folding his fingers around hers and squeezing once. It squeaks loudly. He nods. “You may make noise, but you may not speak. If you need to stop, or pause, or if there’s any problem with the cuffs, squeeze that.”

He slips the blindfold on her. “After all, only people speak. And right now, you’re not a person. Not my bright, individual, quick, lovely bitch.” He brushes a kiss across her lips, her cheek, her throat, before continuing at a whisper, directly in her ear. “You’re just a thing, an object. A canvas, blank and spread out for my pleasure. For me to touch -” he slides his hand up her inner thigh, “- or hurt -” he digs his nails in sharply and she whimpers slightly, “- however I want. But most importantly, you’re here for me to paint. Because that’s what a canvas is for. That’s its purpose. Don’t you want to fulfil your purpose?”

His touch leaves her for a moment, and she knows he’s picking up one of the candles. She loves him so fiercely in this moment, for the fact that he had the same thoughts that she did, or had seen her having them. That he had brought them out of her mind and into the world, where she couldn’t deny the beauty of the notion, couldn’t pass it off as a silly or stupid fancy of her own brain.

The first drop of wax splashes onto her stomach. She almost flinches, but she holds herself in check, not wanting to make the wax move unintentionally. The heat of the melted parafin sinks into her belly. She lets her earlier quietude uncoil again, spurred by his words and the warm, burning sensation of the wax.

He draws a strip up her sternum in between her breasts. This one is slightly cooler, he must be holding the candle further away. She lets that thought flutter away as soon as it crosses her mind. She’s not a person. Canvasses don’t think. She lets the sensations wash over her as he works, pooling warmth in the hollow of her hip, lines of fire up her ribs, a sudden blaze across a sensitive nipple or her bare sex. She can hear herself moaning, but it seems like it is coming from very far away.

As she breathes, as slowly and evenly as possible, and listens to him work, talking to quietly himself or to nobody (really to her, says the part of her that knows that she is a person, but she lets that part sink back down and away), choosing colors and placements, her mind drifts back to his earlier words. And in the quiet of non-existence, of a canvas becoming whatever masterpiece a painter’s imagination and steady hand can invent, she lets herself believe it. Beautiful.

Trigger warnings: Contains D/s, wax play, restraints, honorifics, face slapping, the terms 'pet', 'girl', and 'bitch' as endearments, blindfolds, objectification

Monday, September 24, 2012

"I got hit by a baseball"- Kink and Doctors

Recently I went to my annual physical, and for hours before my appointment I was scheming. I was scheming about what to say to my doctor about a particular scar on my chest.
Many people have scars on them for all sorts of reasons. I have a scar on my nose from when I fell down a flight of concrete steps when I was three. I also have chicken pox scars. But this scar is different; This scar came from an extremely enjoyable scene that my partner and I engaged in approximately six months prior to my appointment, a scene that involved a blade and blood play.

I worried about what to tell my doctor because I know my scar looks self inflicted. Technically it is; it was also consensual and safe. I know that everything I tell my doctor is confidential, and that I should not lie to my doctor. However, blood play is not for the faint of heart; Is there really a need to share specifics with my doctor?

After discussions with many people, I made the decision to not bring it up. If she asked about it, my answer was going to be vague. I decided that there was nothing to worry about in regards to the scar. I was safe about it; the blade was clean, I kept my wound clean. And I don't have a blood condition.

My doctor did find the scar. It wasn't hard to miss--on my left breast--and physicals do have breast exams. She asked where the scar came from and I responded that it was from a cut. She didn't press for any more information, and the physical went on.

I made sure that I wasn't concerned about the cut, and so the doctor wasn't either. I learned that when you present information to people, they will often accept it as you portray it. So as soon as I decided how much I would tell her, I worked on making sure I could tell her confidently.

However you decide to approach kink with your doctor is your choice. I have a kink that many people freak out about, blood play. It is why I decided to not talk to my doctor about it. My decision was based solely on what my kink is. I was and am safe about my kink. But however you decide my advice is to be confident about it.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Availability of Sizes

I've been thinking a lot about something that has bothered me.

Victoria's Secret stopped selling size XL panties in their stores awhile ago. Briefs are the only kind that are available in an XL in stores. When I saw this, I thought: "well, that sucks..." but I figured I'd just order online if it was really a problem. Instead, I think I've decided to just not shop there. I am not sure if I am being silly about it.

I thought maybe the size just wasn't selling. I don't think that's the case though. I mean they're still selling one style of panties in their stores for those who wear XL. It is the style that covers the most and comes in the least amount of colors/fabrics.

I know it's often the case that a store won't cater to certain sizes. Usually larger sizes but not limited to them. I would imagine finding very small sizes may be difficult as well. I can't speak to that myself because I have never dealt with that. But I've seen some of my friends struggle with finding something that fit them and ultimately having to resort to the children's section.

What messages do we get from this? For me, I'm seeing:
If you're a larger woman then you need to cover your body as much as possible or just shop online and don't come in our stores.

If you are a very small woman then your body isn't that of a woman. You're like a child so go to that section.

I realize I am using the noun "woman". I am not doing this to say that men or those who choose neither noun do not face issues when it comes to sizes. However, I've only ever had experience as a woman and in stores that cater to what a women is perceived to be.

Both of these messages suck, to be quite honest. Maybe some women prefer shopping online so it won't be a problem. But what if they don't? What if they can't find and/or afford stores that cater to their size? And not everyone is capable of making their own clothing. So they're left with trying to fit in what is available. Ultimately they are given the above messages. Their bodies aren't normal so their bodies won't be represented or catered too.

It's obvious how detrimental this message can be. Not everyone is able to say "society is fucked up, not me and my body".

I usually like to end my posts with something positive. I don't like complaining and not offering a solution. But quite honestly I don't know the solution. The most helpful thing I've found is to have and promote a body positive attitude for all body types. That includes not catering to campaigns that say something like "real woman have curves". I'm also always on the search for stores that sell a larger variety of sizes and when I find some I tell others about them.

Those things probably seem small but if the majority of the messages we receive are not body positive then I think any small thing to counter that is important and worth while.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Identity and Abuse

Over a year later and I still find myself thinking about the ways in which I was abused. With time I've realized it wasn't just my ex who was abusive but also people in my family. The way my father and one of my brothers treated me, I thought that was just the way my family operated. My mother accepted it and I learned to as well.

Through work with wonderful people I've come to identify as a survivor and not a victim. I don't cry as much as I used to. And I don't blame myself anymore.

I used to think about all the things I lost. These things were never tangible. I can't measure the amount of trust I lost in people. I was never able to show people the ways in which I felt like I was crazy. Feeling incapable of being in a relationship and a worthy partner was something I had to deal with alone because no one else saw it.

As much as I've lost, I've been able to notice the things I've gained as well. This wasn't something immediate nor was it easy. Everything I feel I've gained took a lot of tears and time. Again, these are not  physical things but I notice them daily.

I'm a lot stronger than I've given myself credit for in the past. I'm a person capable of so much. I can love and be loved. And deserve it.

Even though I am at a place where I notice these things I still let myself feel whatever I want. I mean that sometimes I will feel depressed, angry, or hopeless. It's OK. There are no rules or timeline.

Getting rid of the idea that I'm "supposed to be over it" has been the best thing I've done for myself. I'm able to tell people:

  • No, I didn't ask for it.
  • No, I don't seek out dramatic relationships.
  • SM isn't abuse.
  • I stayed for a lot of reasons, not because I wanted to be abused.
  • It's not always easy to leave. 
  • I can still cry or yell about it if I want to.

I know that I can be abused again. As bleak as this sounds I think it's very important to realize. Sometimes it seems as though someone who is abused in multiple relationships is shamed. Being abused once doesn't give anyone special knowledge to avoid it in the future.

Above I said I identify as a survivor. That is my personal choice. I don't think anyone who is/was abused has to use that term. For some, "victim" may feel more appropriate. Some people choose neither which is fine as well.

Telling someone who is/was abused how they should identify seems harmful when so much might have already been taken away from them.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Sinful Smoke

The night is still hot from the bright sunlight of the day. The boards creak, even now, under any weight. At some point the sad porch had been painted a dull neutral tan but now it was more brown and scratched than painted. In the desert, there really isn't much to look at at night. Just more apartment buildings, and small gardens the building tries to keep in one piece. I slip a cigarette between my lips and pull. The paper cracks and burns. The cherry flavor of the filter is crisp on my tongue. My cup is empty, sitting by itself against the railing.

The low groan lets me know he's there and I turn my head. So often, there are comments about the way in which feminine wiles turn heads and melt brain cells. Really, the way he leans against the top of the door frame with one hand, giving me the long line of his body, is practically criminal. I can't read his face; the lamp behind him hides any expression.

I never sleep well with someone else in the bed. Hell, even without the extra body its nearly impossible. I turn back out to the night, believing that if I stare at the stars long enough he'll get the message and go back to bed, and to Jack. He doesn't though. Instead, he curls around me, bringing my hand to his lips and pulling from the cigarette. I would raise an eyebrow but knowing Brendan he'll just laugh and say 'in moderation'. Tonight, I'm not up for the usual games. The way he holds me still makes me uncomfortable. At first it was all in fun, and games. My first love, not fell by the wayside not too long ago. I like to forget the way being held feels. Brendan and Jack are really the first two people I've ever slept next to.

I'd like to say that I'm shaking because its cold, but honestly I don't know what to think. Less than a month ago I met Brendan at a party. Tonight, I've learned new worlds exist. New words exist. Words like Kinky, and Poly-amorous sound more like fairy-tales than diction. It's like I've slipped in the shower and woken up in a porno.

I'd like to remind him that Jack is sleeping in bed, but as her lover, I'm sure he'd know best whether she'll miss him or not. I'm betting not. He could be a killer. They could be using me. I wonder if anything they've said is real tonight or if it's all for the sake of a threesome. I flick the butt of the cancer stick somewhere into the gravel and debate whether to reach again into the pack of cloves on the railing. I lean into him and kiss him hard. If we stand here too long we'll have to talk. "More, Please."

His lips are hot at my throat, and the night is already warm to begin with. It isn't long before he ducks inside to the bedroom and is back again. He curses at the condom and then again as he first shoves aside my underwear. I know I can say the words they taught me tonight. I can make this stop but I don't want to. I should feel embarrassed but I'm not. We're fucking for the world to see, and he's biting at my neck while wrenching my hands behind my back. I can't breath. I'm off balance, but he's not going to let me go. I'm trying not scream, not to make a sound. He just laughs in my ear and tells me to let the neighbors know if I'm enjoying myself. It's all to much for my brain. I'm answering back to every dirty thing he says and tomorrow I'll feel like a slut and a whore for it. Tonight? Tonight, I can't remember what I'm saying, or tell if that's really my voice answering him.

It's over too quickly and not soon enough. I can't help but watch every corner and pray that no one sees us, or am I really hoping someone does? The full condom gets tossed lazily into a trash can before the tell-tale noise of a zipper lets me know that he's back to being half dressed again. He pets me and kisses me. My knees feel empty. When I stand on tip toe to kiss him; they shake. He inclines his head and pulls me toward the living room again.

I shake my head and motion for the pack next to me. An after sex cigarette is the perfect excuse. Something flashes across his face. I don't know what it means. He and Jack have this whole other language spoken in subtle looks and shoulder shrugs. Instead, I light up defiantly and stare out into the night, pretending like nothing is wrong and like I know what he means. I adjust my panties like I'm not covered in sweat and condom lube.

Hell, even if I am just a toy to them, its nice to be wanted. Even if they are lying and the world isn't full of these words, I can do what I like for the price of my soul. I lost that to a kid with a hard-on for Blink-182, anyway. So, I pull from the cigarette and pretend this is old hat. I try to make smoke rings like my mind isn't going a mile an hour. If I tip my head at the right moments no one will know that I haven't a clue. For Brendan and Jack I can be a wet dream.

I can be a fantasy.

I can be Jet.

No where else in the world matters.

Maybe, just maybe, they aren't lying. Maybe a few words and some rough sex don't make me everything everyone has said I am. Maybe I can be all of these things and somewhere there really are people that believe my desires don't make me terrible. The cigarette is bitter and the light grey smoke puffs into the warm air. The taste of cherries is heavy on my lips from the cigarette filter. At night, the desert is quiet and I'm left with my thoughts and an empty glass.

Seven years later, I don't quite know why Jack and Brendan took me in. I was a little more than a lost child. Nights in New York City are nothing like the warm evenings in Phoenix, Arizona. Brendan and I connected on such a level I swear I could feel him breath when we danced in circle. Jack, well, she was hell on wheels. At seventeen I lucked out and fell into bed with people who taught me what it is to know kink, and sex, and what I wanted. I came to them afraid, lost and alone. I left a growing thing and unashamed.  There is something to be said for park theory. You always leave less experienced partners better than when you found them, or at the very least in the same condition. They did more than that. They woke me up from a nightmare. My first love left me broken; most first loves do. My first real lovers helped me find what it is to be whole. There are a dozen horror stories about threesomes and adults who use young bisexual women. There are tops who abuse bottoms. There are bottoms who manipulate and abuse new tops. The world can be a scary place.  I want my very rare and lucky experience to exist somewhere other than my memory. I hope that my lovers remember the times they were nervous, and worried, and excited and know I did not use them. If I've ever played the part of corrupter, I hope my partners are better for it.  I hope I can continue to remember what it is to be new, to be scared, and to be on the verge discovering everything inside me.

Coming Out Kinky (Republished from ParksDunlap.wordpress)

Dear Parks,
What do you think about being out/coming out as kinky? Any advice or tips on how to navigate being a deviant?
Please visit soon,
Milwaukee, WI
Recently, many of my students and peers have been asking me about  BDSM/Kink, and because of certain popular book called Fifty Shades of Grey, BDSM is now being discussed in a more mainstream way. So lez do it!
(Flag of leather, latex, and BDSM pride)
BDSM, kink, and consensual power exchanges/dynamics are also a part of a lot of people's sex lives, including my own, and I want to represent and provide information about sexuality, all parts of it, with this blog and with my future as a sexuality educator.
So, coming out kinky...
I think it's important, when sharing any information about yourself, that you consider why you want to share that information. Is it because you want to feel politically represented? Is it because you want your loved ones to know what you are all about? Is it because your dad straight-up asks you what the San Francisco Citadel is and why you are going there so often and "'s a nonprofit for sexuality education, exploration, and consent studies" just isn't gonna cut it anymore? (True life.)
Is it because someone sees your marks and is like "Are you okay? Did someone (he, it's always a he) hit you? You don't have to take this anymore. I know a place you can go," and coming out is just a part of assuring others that you are safe?
Is it because you need to out yourself in order to access more information about safety and how-to's, and to find others who have similar identites?
Is kink a political identity for you? Or is it just something fun that you do sometimes in a very private way?
Do you want to come out as kinky?
Are you ready to explain what BDSM is? And why it's not a monstrous thing?
Do you have the support systems  you need to feel safe coming out?
(I should really make a flowchart for this.)
Coming out can be a scary thing. And coming out kinky, well, it's often seen as an over-share. This is because kink, BDSM, and all that jazz are immediately seen as sexual. Kind of like whenever someone mentions gayness anal sex is immediately thought of.
Kink, in my opinion, and in my personal life, is a political identity. So much so that I flag every day.
When you tell someone you are into kink, into BDSM, you may align yourself with power exchange community. You are sharing a part of your identity that may tell others:
  1. How you fuck
  2. How you date
  3. How  you may form your family
  4. That a lot of what you do is actually illegal in most states ('cept New Jersey; you rule, New Jersey)
  5. That with its illegality, you risk losing your job/kids/other important things by sharing this part of yourself with others
  6. That your sex ed did not cover what your sex actually looks like
  7. That you have not been represented in most sexual health books
  8. That you are having queer sex, because the sex that you are having is non-normative, making it queer
You also need to think about how when you come out as kinky, you may be outing partners of yours as well. If you tell someone "I only have kinky sex" and that person knows who you are dating, guess what? You just outed your partner.
So ask your partner(s) first, and discuss how to share your sexuality with others without outing people without their consent.
You will also probably have to have a conversation about consent with most people you come out as kinky to. Because they will honestly and well-meaningly want to know why kink is not abuse.
Kink and BDSM are not abuse because they demand the consent of everyone involved. If there is not consent, it is assault. Not kink, not sex, not play, but sexual violence.
Plain and simple.
(This is not to say that abuse does not happen in the BDSM community, because  it does.)
It's important to focus on the positive aspects of why you love kink. The blog Happy BDSM has a lot of smiles and kink (NSFW).
People will also say a lot of stuff like this:
(Yes, this was one of my internet procrastination projects with one of my best friends. And that is my room. And that is my speculum.)
Sometimes it's also important to keep it simple when coming out kinky. As a friend of mine put it, "This is not a game of shock and awe."
Sometimes I come out by saying that "A partner and pet of mine..."
Or when someone asks me about a bruise, "Everyone involved had a great time," and leave it at that.
A friend in NYC on coming out kinky: "... I often just act like it's a normal part of my life. Because, you know, it is."
Remember that you are normal.
Focusing on the positive, on the caring, on the joy, eye contact, smiles, and intentional planning that goes into BDSM/kink is really important. 
Have resources available for when questions arise. You do not need to be the resource, but you can help guide people in your life to literature and videos that can help them get it.  Here is a link to Clarisse Thorn's BDSM Resources. This is a wonderful resource list. 
Remember that you are not alone. A lot of us love this stuff, live this stuff, find the hardware store a super-erotic place, and get off on dark and perverted stuff. Good luck! Godspeed! May there be wind in your sails and tails on your back.
And let me know how it goes!
 Read more from Parks on their blog:

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Fear and Loathing

About me: I am a kinky, queer, poly, writer and activist named Piper. My level of humility is constantly declining, and I honestly believe the more we can share about ourselves, the more we learn about each other, so I don't hold back when I'm writing. I write about my sex life, not only as a space for myself to grow, but also as a place for others to learn something, too. You can check out my blog here, and below is a recent entry about hard limits.

I have this thing about feet – it’s called a hard limit. But this limit extends outside of scenes and into my every day life. Most people’s hard limits are things you wouldn’t expect to encounter or tolerate outside of D/s play, like objectification, needles, or blood play. But when you don’t like anyone touching or even looking at your feet, ever, it comes up more than just with foot fetishist: pedicures and foot rubs and sandals, oh my.

So, the other night, I challenged myself. I had just walked across the city to get to a rope bomb, and I was ready for some serious rope. I had done a gravity boot a couple weeks before, and was hooked – but I wanted to push it further, and luckily, we were at the perfect spot to do just that. The park we were in had some walkways that rose slightly above the Hudson River, which were lined with heavy steel and concrete railings.  And I had a plan.

Gravity boot, over the railing, just above the water, wearing nothing more than underwear, on a night that couldn’t be more than 55 degrees – this was going to be fun.

Because this was a little more risky than other ties, Mr. Blue and I wanted to make sure we mitigated as many other risks as we could, so when I asked him if I should take off my heels, I already knew the answer would be yes.

He touched my foot, and the rope followed, and I felt my skin spike and a sort of chill run down my spine, but as he wrapped the rope into a kind of slipper, my body relaxed and the rope high took over. I slipped over the edge of the bridge, into darkness and one of the most delicious head spaces I have ever experienced: I was completely relaxed and entirely energized, feeling like I was floating. It wasn’t until the rope was coming off that I even remembered I was barefoot.

I am all for people having hard limits: knowing where your triggers are, and putting a big, red fence around them is great for everyone involved. However, my feet is one limit I am sick of having. It gets broken, made fun of and brushed off more than any other limit I’ve ever heard of. People can’t fathom that talking about my feet, even looking at them, makes my skin crawl, in a way that people wouldn’t even think about pushing if someone’s limit was rapeplay or another edge play or common trigger.

I’m not saying I’m aiming to rid myself of hard limits, but by pushing myself in ways that I know I can (like as a necessary safety component for my dream tie) I am bringing myself closer to being able to manage my triggers in a way that’s healthy for me. And in the end, that’s a big step towards getting a handle on my sexuality.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Countering Negative Body Image

I’m sure we’ve all heard that exasperated sigh followed by a phrase such as: “I look awful. I need to lose weight!” It saddens me each time.  It’s not the fact that they are saying they need to lose weight that saddens me. And it’s not just this phrase. Weight can be replaced with any other physical attribute and if the adjective isn’t awful it’s something just as negative.

The point is there seems to be a commonly held belief that there is always something to change about one’s appearance. Not just change but improve.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to alter one’s appearance for whatever reason. But the idea that one must improve or constantly work on their appearance for fear of looking or feeling awful is upsetting.

As upsetting as it is, it is something I can understand. I have pretty positive body image but it was something I had to work on. Struggling with body image is probably something most people have experienced.

We’re bombarded with images and messages of what bodies should and should not look like. What makes a body good is quite limited while the list of what makes a body bad is extensive.

Good and bad seem like very simple and unfitting words to describe bodies. But sometimes it seems as though that is the way we’re meant to think about our bodies.

I’m not going to write about how the media tells women they have to be thinner and thinner each day. Yes, that message is given along with many others. A lot of these messages apply to men as well but they’re often left out of the research done on the media and how it influences body image. I find this unfortunate. I think anyone’s body image can be negatively affected. And most media images leave no room for those who do not fit into the male/female, masculine/feminine binary.

I remember when I was maybe sixteen and I was worrying about my breasts being too big and not perky enough. I’d often look at images of naked women in an attempt to find someone who looked like me. I needed the comfort of those images to remind myself that I was normal. I did finally find pictures on an obscure website ( It's a website for women to post pictures of their breasts because they too felt like there was something wrong with their breasts.

The pictures helped me and when I read through the comments it seemed to help tons of other women. I found a similar site ( with women worrying whether their vulvae were abnormal. While it was great to be able to find those sites it was difficult to find them in the first place.

In saying that these sites helped remind me that my body was normal I am not saying that bodies in the media are not normal. But the bodies shown to us are of a very limited variety. And oftentimes they’re unrealistic because of the way they are enhanced.

I can go on and on about the negative ways one’s body image can be affected. But instead I think it may be more helpful to consider the ways in which one can counter those affects.

Anyone who knows me knows that I am a bit of an exhibitionist. I love taking pictures of myself and I love having others take pictures of me. It’s something I enjoy because it turns me on but it’s also a way I can express a body positive attitude.

I’ve gotten a few messages from women on Fetlife telling me my pictures have inspired them to take pictures of themselves and love their bodies. By writing this I am not trying to pat myself on the back or boost my ego. But when I get these messages I feel really great. I know how hard it was for me to get to a place where I love my body so if I can help someone else get a little closer to that place then I’m happy.

As a solution to combat negative body image I am not suggesting that everyone should become an exhibitionist. But I do think people should question themselves and others when they hear that exasperated sigh followed by a phrase that describes their bodies as bad in some way.

I also think social media can be a great way to find and create places where all bodies are accepted. There are a ton of blogs, Tumblr and Twitter accounts out there now that attempt to create a space that is accepting of all types of bodies. It makes sense to find alternative forms of media if the mainstream one is only serving a very limited group of people.

However, even then it can be hard to find a place that acknowledges the struggle people other than women face when it comes to body image. Hopefully that is something that will change. I also think there is a close-minded view that only tries to help "curvy girls". This is great but curvy girls are not the only ones who struggle with body image issues.

In countering negative body image I don't think it's helpful to say something like "real _____ have _____". Real men/women/girls/boys/genderqueer folk/trans folk/intersexed folk/etc. have whatever body they have and they're real regardless.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

I'm Not Your Spicy Latina

I am a Hispanic woman. What I am not is someone who wants to be fetishized for that fact. I am not an exotic prize to be won.

My "mix" isn't sexy. I as a person am sexy. Any quality, negative or positive, that I have is not due to me being Hispanic; it's due to me being zepp.

There is no need to address me as mami, muñeca, or any other Spanish phrase. I often wonder if the people who start off their messages to me with "hola" always greet people that way. I'm guessing not since it's usually a message filled with phrases that call attention to me being Hispanic that are an attempt to flatter me. I'm not flattered.

I’m also not flattered by the men who yell “culo” at me on the street. Do they know they’re just yelling “ass”? I think most women have encountered this kind of sexual harassment. But I do notice that when women of color are harassed in this way their race or ethnicity is acknowledged.

Women of color have to contend with both sexism and racism. This racism is usually masked and accepted. I'd argue that it's even marketed especially in pornography. I’ve come across many titles or descriptions containing phrases such as: ghetto booty, yellow fever, and spicy Latina.

I am not going to live up to the idea of the spicy Latina that pornography has created. It's a fact that I am a very sexual person. It isn’t a fact that all Hispanic women are sexual. This kind of generalization of women of color and their sexuality isn’t limited to pornography or even media.

One just needs to take a look at the history of women of color (especially in America) to see how this racializing of sex plays out. Colonizing land usually also meant colonizing the women of that land. They were described as uncivilized, hypersexualized, sexually inferior, and savage. Now contrast them to the image of the pure white women that was upheld. The rape of women of color was then seen as no big deal, from the time Europeans settled in America to the time of slavery and one could even argue to present day. Rape was a part of their subordination.

I am not claiming that anyone who fetishizes women of color is a rapist. What I am trying to do is call attention to the value that is placed on certain bodies. Women of color are exotic and sexualized but they aren’t valued. Take a look at the eugenics movement and sterilization that happened in the early 20th century if you don’t believe me. 

So when people tell me I must be a spitfire or a freaky girl in bed all because of my being Hispanic I am not at all flattered. They’re working on stereotypes created long ago to subordinate women of color and cast them as the inferior “other”. What’s frustrating is people are not aware of these stereotypes and where they came from. No matter how accepted it seems to be, I take it as another way my body and sexuality is disciplined by others and my agency taken away.

I am in no way trying to tell people they can’t identify in any way they want. If people wish to fetishize their own race, ethnicity, or culture that is totally fine. What I have a problem with is others doing it to me and the dangers in generalization. In writing this I am also not claiming that white women face no problems. They indeed do but I think women of color face a number of issues that they do not because of their privilege as white women.

Anyone who wishes to read more into the history of sexuality should check out Intimate Matters: A History of Sexuality in America by John D'Emilio and Estelle B. Freedman which is very broad but also informative. Major Problems in the History of Sexuality edited by Kathy Peiss is also a great source with essays as well as primary documents.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Message From Your Craftsman

I've had just about enough...
by Jesse

Dear, sweet my babies...

Over the course of the last two months I've complained on occasion of being unable to confound y'all with a toy. Most recently, I had built a bike tube flogger with 25 tubes in the fall and an additional 8 or 9 in the handle styling. I delivering it to Chained Desires of Mount Vernon confident that no one would buy it. Ever. As I reported, it was purchased within 6 hours of being dropped off, and the customer stated the intention of commissioning a piece with 60 tubes in the fall after training with the piece he bought. I was confused, and pissed...however, I'm done stamping my feet. Not one to give up on a lofty goal, I'm here to issue an ultimatum. I intend to start work on a ultra-doupleplus-no seriously-extra heavy class bike tube flogger. The one-off class name is Centurion Special: The End. Here're some specs:

100 thin bike tubes, halved...cut to ~60 degree angles (total: 200 falls)

Handle stock:
~3-4' tempered hardwood replacement shovel handle (cut from the end to incorp. the tooled curve)

Handle styling:
~3sq.' lead flashing, 10-15 bike tubes for handle wrap (standard spiral), shaping and weighting

The piece will take me some time to complete. In particular, the piece will take me many, many hours to build. The material input will be fucking staggering. If this prospect delights you for some perverse reason, and you feel inspired to ask me how much it will cost, I will simply tell you 'all of the money.' I will only ever build one this size. If someone actually comes up with all of the money, and gives it to me in exchange for the piece, I might never build a toy again. Alternatively, I might say "what? Oh, yeah...fine. You're weird.", complete the transaction and continue whatever I was working on beforehand. It's literally impossible to tell. It's the future. Regardless, the piece will exist (likely just for the purposes of gawking at) by the time AgAg works another conference.

That is all.


Monday, April 16, 2012


Hi, I’m zepp. I identify in many different ways but have found comfort in calling myself fluid, never really settling with one label or category. I’m passionate about sex education and empowerment. I'm currently training for an organization that provides services to survivors of partner abuse. My other interests include giant squids, wearing mustaches, and laughing at the History channel. Oh and I like giving sass and being colorful.

Sometimes I feel as though jealousy is treated like something that is to be avoided and denied. While it is an awful feeling I don’t believe it’s something to be ashamed of. It’s a normal feeling, just an ugly one. What I've learned is that acknowledging jealousy is a lot easier than pretending it isn't there.

For a very long time I believed I could not possibly be poly because I thought of myself as a jealous person. But monogamy didn’t feel right for me. So my route was to just have casual sex. I learned two things from that: 1. I really love sex and 2. Jealousy can affect anyone in any kind of relationship.

Since those two realizations I’ve been in and out of a handful of relationships. The jealousy I felt has decreased over time. I wasn’t actively working on it. Instead I was working on my self-esteem. I can’t claim to love myself 100% of the time – we all have our down days, right? – but I’ve come a long way. I wish I could tell my past self that I would one day learn to accept and love my body. Since that isn’t possible I can only be grateful for where I am today.

Being able to realize that the majority of my jealousy was stemming from my own insecurities was a huge step. It (for the most part) was not related to something my partners did or did not do. This has made me feel more comfortable and happy in indentifying as poly.

All that said I still have moments where I feel jealous. I don’t know why I ever thought poly people were or had to be immune to jealousy. The reason I am writing this now is because poly is a part of my identity but I can still become jealous. And lately I have been feeling that awful, ugly feeling. Even after all I've learned I’ve been denying my jealousy. So I feel the need to call attention to it, remember what I’ve learned.

Like before I know some of it can be linked to insecurity and because I have my down days like anyone else this can happen. I’ve also noticed that I can simply be in a bad mood. I may have had a bad day and am in need of a nap. That is sure to make me feel like crap and thus more likely to get jealous.

There are times where I just need attention. So when I feel like this is the case I will often plan a date or flirt with someone. If it’s attention from a specific partner that I’m looking for then I try to explain to that person that my needs aren’t being met. Maybe it’s a matter of needing more time, play, or a date.

Jealousy of a partner’s partner also happens. This is my least favorite to deal with. But I’ve found it helps tremendously to get to know that person. It makes them more personable and I’ll likely gain a friend. Sometimes I just don’t need to know all the details about what my partner is doing. Someone recently explained they feel similarly and said they believe, “If you need to know, ask. If you need to share, share.” That said sometimes sharing can be fun and hot!

Lastly, I know it’s very hard to get out of the habit of comparing oneself to others. Just because my partner is seeing someone new does not mean I am no longer wanted. And just because my partner comments on how hot someone is doesn’t make me any less hot. I could go on and on. I am intelligent, beautiful, and funny. I need to remember that I am a valuable person and always have something to offer.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

On Invisibility

I am an invisible [person]. I am a [person] of substance, of flesh and bone, fiber and liquids - and I might even be said to possess a mind. I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.

Have you ever felt invisible? Like you can walk down the street and people don't even see you? That they look right through you? That to get attention from anyone, you have to flail your arms in the air and scream at the top of your lungs, "I'M RIGHT HERE! Why don't you see me?!"

I have.

Sure, people see me. They see the unique clothes I wear. They see my tattoos and my mohawk and my piercings. They see them to the point that they sometimes ask invasive personal questions and try to touch my body without my consent when they talk about my modifications or my clothing. They tell me they know someone else who's "goth" or "punk". But that's not the kind of invisible I'm talking about. I don't feel like I completely don't exist to anyone. I'm sexually invisible, romantically invisible.

I identify as Genderqueer. Though definitions frequently vary, a Genderqueer person is a person outside of the gender binary who identifies as some variation of "both" genders or "neither" gender or even a third gender entirely. I express as masculine ("butch") or androgynous most of the time. I don't usually shave my armpits, wear makeup, or wear my hair long. I don't wear feminine perfume or use heavily flowery-scented soaps. I don't carry a purse, preferring instead to use a backpack or messenger bag. Though I often wear dresses and skirts (sometimes even those ever-so-girly "frilly" frocks), my lack of makeup or a feminine hairstyle still makes it so I don't look very femme.

I'm not sure that people know what to make of me. I'm generally regarded by strangers as a cis woman, and often addressed with female pronouns (though I prefer "they/them"). I'm treated by many like a "girl", regardless of my self-identification. And it's hard to convince people otherwise; my rounded facial features and curvy body are hard to disguise with clothing, even with chest binders and baggy apparel. Even when I perform as a drag king, with a bound chest and a suit and a fake mustache, I'm generally read as female. I have made peace with the fact that, short of medical intervention, I will never pass as male. I'm fine with this and more-or-less very comfortable in my gender-neutral self-identification.

But this isn't what makes me invisible. In fact, society is kind of obsessed with the bodies and appearances of women. A simple Google search will reveal within a tenth of a second the plethora of articles and discussions on the objectification of women in the media, and such discussions have persisted for decades. No, it's the frequent assumptions about my sexual orientation that seems to render me invisible to a huge number of people.

This is because (further complicating things) I self-identify as Queer in orientation. "Queer" means so many things to so many people, but to me it means that I'm primarily attracted to masculine people who run the gamut of gender self-identification, though I'm not exclusively attracted to masculinity and have dated and been attracted to female-identified people, even femmes. Part of the reason I self-identify as queer is because of my gender identity and my gender presentation in relation to my sexuality. To a lot of people, "Queer" means "lesbian", though. And all of that is further compounded by my masculinity/androgyny; I embody a stereotype. I look like a lesbian. Let's face it, as trans-inclusive as we may be, the largest group of people who express as masculine out there in the world is cis gender men, gay and straight alike. That's who doesn't see me, and they're nearly half the world's population. They don't see me because of that sterotypically "lesbian" appearance. I look like a gay woman, so men seem to immediately on sight discount me as a potential mate.

When men pass me on the street, they generally don't make eye contact. They don't give me the "up-down". My OKCupid in-box is usually devoid of messages; I might check it every two weeks to find a single new message. I don't often experience mutual flirting with guys on in bars or at other social gathering places. Men with whom I'll have in-depth and insightful conversations about books and politics and the nature of relationships will go home with feminine women who have barely spoken to them. In strangely the one exception to my perceived lesbianism, gay men will see me as the "pussy" or "girlfriend" of a male friend in gay men's spaces, not as an attractive person they'd like to sidle up to (or even "cruise"). I'm stuck in "friend zone", and I've grown convinced that it's because I'm butch. Maybe I'm bitter, maybe I'm "butthurt"...but on a daily basis, as I walk the streets of my city, I feel neglected and invisible and undesirable to the greater majority of the people I find attractive. I feel...ugly...just being myself. What else am I to conclude but that a large number of cis men don't seem to see me as a viable sexual or romantic option?

A guy who works at a place that I pass by every day on my way to work had been smiling and waving at me for months. I finally worked up the nerve to give him my phone number, and never heard from him. He no longer smiles and waves at me, and instead always seems to have his back to me when I pass by. I suppose there could be any number of reasons, but I have to wonder if it's because he's found out that this masculine dyke-looking girl actually had a crush on him and wasn't just waving to be friendly. Another guy constantly referred to my hairstyle as "dyke spikes", and was interested only in having casual sex with me, but not with being seen with me in public. He found it entirely appropriate to whip out his genitals on my couch and invite me to give him oral sex, but not to hold my hand on a date in public or kiss me. Another guy, whom I met online and exchanged flirty messages for several weeks, coincidentally met me in person when he ran into me at a nightclub while I was dressed in a masculine vest and without make-up. Most of my profile pictures were of me in makeup. He seemed genuinely grossed out by my appearance and awkwardly avoided me the rest of the night, preferring to canoodle with a scantily-clad girl on a couch in a corner. Even someone with whom I've had a remarkably intimate friendship for nearly a decade seems to disregard me as a potential romantic partner; he selects conventionally beautiful feminine women as partners, admitting that he does so due to social pressure. We've had an emotionally and sexually intimate relationship for ten years that is probably far healthier than most of his "official" relationships, and yet...I'm don't seem to be worth having as a partner because of what other people might think. Examples could continue ad nauseum.

It's not all bad, and I'm not trying to whine about it (though I'm sure someone out there will believe wholeheartedly that I'm a giant whiner). My appearance seems to curtail some of the aggressive street harassment that my more feminine friends experience (though my life is not entirely devoid of "Hey, baby!" and catcalls as I walk to work each day). I get far less creepy and solicitous messages from would-be Romeos on OKCupid and other social networking websites. But, nonetheless, I feel like I'm stuck in gender limbo; not feminine enough to attract straight men, and not masculine enough for gay men.

For a long time in my life, I did express as far more feminine far more frequently. I spent time dabbling in High Femme and amassed quite a collection of sky-high stiletto heels and figure-hugging dresses. And now they languish in my closet because I just don't feel like wearing them. (And around that same time, I would often poke fun at my mother whenever she got her "Man-hair" done at the local barber. Yes, I made fun of my own mother's perceived lack of femininity because I was uncomfortable with my own gender expression. How totally shitty of me!) Anyways, I sometimes wonder that if I dusted those girly clothes off and wore them out to an event with friends, if some straight guy might actually ask for my number instead of ignoring what I'm saying to check out the girl across the room. And it's not just straight men; since I don't "pass" as a guy, gay men don't usually see me as a guy. I get just about as much attention from straight men as I do from gay men (though on rowdy Saturday nights at my favorite Leather bar, I get heaps of requests from gay men to talk about my breasts, for some reason). It's happened dozens of times to me, where a straight guy I'm attracted to will hit on every feminine girl in the room regardless of the quality of the conversation he has with them, but we'll have a great conversation but there will be either zero sign that he's attracted or zero follow-through on any amount of superficial flirting.

Femme lesbians also report frequent feelings of invisibility in society. They feel that when people think of lesbians or represent them in the media, they nearly always appear as sterotypical "butch dykes" or as pornified and idealized "lipstick lesbians". Another frequent portrayal is that of a femme who comes out as a lesbian, only to end up with a cis gender man by the end of the story. Femme lesbians are absolutely mis- or under-represented in culture and society, and I can empathize with that. How many television characters are there out there who present as butch women and are attracted mostly to butch cis men and are positive, sympathetic, or heroic representations of just such an identity? I can think of very few: Coach Beiste on Glee, Michelle Rodriguez's character in GirlfightLinda Hamilton's turn as Sarah Connor in the first three Terminator movies, maybe even Trinity in the Matrix trilogy, maybe a few others. And even then, a large number of these masculine women are still assumed to be lesbians off the bat by audiences.

And we can't forget femme male-identified people (which, somehow, seems to include any man who isn't overtly hypermasculine) who are attracted to women are invisible too. A male friend in college who wasn't as masculine as the other guys we knew was frequently labeled as being gay because people said he didn't "seem masculine enough to be straight." At that point, I had never met a man who wasn't hypermasculine but was also straight, a demographic that some sexologists are now referring to as "Queer Straight". But these men are also invisible because of their perceived sexual orientation in relation to their perceived gender expression, just like femme lesbians or masculine women.

Look, I'm not asking or expecting to be beating men off with sticks. I get that people are attracted to whatever physical qualities they happen to find attractive. I get that. I argue, instead, that maybe we should re-examine how we automatically lesbian-identify those butch people who read as female and are actually attracted to men.

Basically, the crux of my writing is this: people assign sexual orientation by appearance. They decide whether or not you're socially acceptable as a partner, compatible for a relationship, and what kinds of things you like to do in the bedroom, merely by how you look to them. People disregard and dismiss anyone who doesn't fit into the mold of what they're "supposed" to like. It effects me on a daily basis, and it hurts. We all have things we're attracted to, but it seems that masculine people who seem obviously female become sexual pariahs of a sort, along with feminine straight men and feminine lesbians. So basically (shocker!) masculine straight men and feminine straight women (because masculine gay men "don't exist," right?), the axis of that fiction known as the gender binary, are supported as the only legitimate ways to be attractive to people.

And it sucks. For everyone. For all the guys who deny themselves an awesome partner and accomplished lover in me and others like me. For every woman who "friend zones" a not-entirely-hypermasculine guy who would treat her like a queen. And for every feminine lesbian who just wants people to not assume that she's interested in men simply because she's wearing a dress and heels.

I don't have the answers to any of this. I just want to get it out there that we exist, those of us who defy the gender presentation/expression norms and feel less desirable because of it. And maybe, just maybe, someone else who feels invisible will read this and they'll feel like they aren't so alone in feeling like they're not really there at all.

Please note: I'd like to apologize for essentializing certain identities for this essay. Obviously, I understand the many flavors of sexual identification. This article is about some very essentialized feelings I have about my gender, orientation, and expression and how it relates to the world around me. This is not an absolutist argument; there are exceptions all over the place. But this article is based on my pervasive, predominant experiences. If you're confused about any of the vocabulary I've used in this article, there's a great resource available through Erin Houdini's Really Awesome Trans Glossary. I believe that all of the terms I've used are defined there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

New Photos, and Customer Action Shots!

Hey guys, wanted to poke our collective head out of our collective burrow to point out some of the shiny new photos we've got up on our homepage. Both are pretty shots of our products being used (rather enthusiastically) by some of our customers. We've done a bit of creative editing, since they're on our front page, but what we'd really like are action shots of our products for their respective pages.

Rather than fussing with countless stock photos, or continuing to pretend we know photoshop,  we're hoping to pull our community together to help show our products in their natural environment. If you have purchased any of our awesome toys, and want to help us out, send us your photos using our products, and if we like them, we'll post them on the pages showing off that product.

Any photos can be sent to, please include how, if at all, you would like to be credited. Also, we cannot post any pictures that are pornograpic. Agreeable Agony reserves the right to edit any photos sent to us before posting them to our homepage.

Looking forward to hearing about how everyone likes to use our toys.
Also, we added a cute little squid.

~The Agreeable Minions

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Chef's Whites: Sex and the Culinary Tradition

Hey guys, Desmond here, with a few thoughts I had earlier while watching Iron Chef...

I love to cook. With that in mind, it makes sense that I have many friends who, likewise, love to cook. One thing I often hear from friends is how much fun it can be to play in the kitchen. Perhaps it's the excitingly dangerous tools on the wall , the sensual heat of the oven, or the memory of exotic and spicy meals from days gone by. Whatever leads to this piqued interest, I find no shortage of friends, kinksters and otherwise, who find the idea of getting down and dirty in a well stocked kitchen a fantasy worth retelling.

For those of you who don't know me, it's important to mention here that I engage in D/s play. I identify as a Dom, and am rather proud of that fact. I love to wield power, and control those who wish to be controlled. I also think the kitchen can be one of the most exciting rooms in the house. My interests in the kitchen, however, are far from the ideas that I have heard time and time again. My interests are in the fascinating dynamic between the Chef and their Sous Chef.

Brigade de cuisine is a term used to describe the division of duties in a professional kitchen, creating a militaristic hierarchy, featuring the Chef at the top. Every single person in a well trained kitchen staff is working as an extra hand of the chef. Without them, he would not be able to create the elaborate dishes he is tasked with serving up. Without him, they would lack strong direction and leadership. If he gives an order, they are there to carry it out exactly to his liking, as they have come to learn by working with him. The best kitchen crews have spent years learning how to work with and for their chef.

Directly below the Chef sits the Sous Chef. In the absence of "Chef", the sous chef can often act in his place. For a lower line cook to disrespect their sous chef is tantamount to disrespecting their chef. Sous Chef is not a position without power, it is a spot reserved for the best of the best, with the most rewards, but also the most responsibility. It is, without question, still a subordinate role to the Chef.

The strong D/s dynamic between the Chef and Sous comes by necessity. Every second the sous spends questioning the chef is a second lost, so unwavering loyalty is demanded. They must trust each other completely, knowing how each works so as to best gauge timings of dishes. Chef needs to know that their Sous will get the jobs they delegate without needing to check in. The Sous, on the other hand, needs to know when it's appropriate to get the Chef's go-ahead on a particular piece of a dish, and when to use their own better judgement.

A chef holds absolute authority. If something is not done to their liking, it will be redone, and they don't care if you just spent an hour reducing those caramelized onions, how dare you waste an hour of the chef's valuable time, not to mention the onions. The mutual reliance on skill and efficiency between the two makes for one of the tightest bonds in the kitchen.

These facets of the relationship make me wonder why, when so many of my friends enjoy sex in the kitchen, more of them don't act out this sort of RP fantasy. People play with military scenes all the time, and this is not much different. With the exception of the skills required, which can be learned, there is not a very high barrier to entry, and it's arguably one of the most useful fetishes to learn to efficiency.

Spend an hour in the kitchen learning how to work with, and not just around your loved one. Find roles to fill and carry them with pride and confidence befitting them. Kitchen staff, like militia, come from a proud heritage, and to play their roles, you need to be a little willing to work along the way. But at the end of the night, you've got two playmates, wound-up from an hour of D/s that can be as intense or relaxed as you'd like, and a whole romantic meal between you and throwing your lover down right there on the kitchen floor. Say what you will about the delay, but sometimes waiting is worth it. And if it's not, dinner won't mind being left by itself for a bit while the chefs get frisky.

My friends can keep their old standby sex on the counter, I'm going to button up my whites and start barking orders. Now, where's my Sous Chef with that hollandaise?

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Intro's and Breaking News

Intro’s & Breaking News:

Snarksy here! Some of you may know me through other names, but I am glad to now be gracing the Agreeable Agony blog with a monthly (or more) dose of McSnarkerson charm.  Hopefully I don’t bore you to tears.....unless you are into that, :P.

In past lives, I have written and blogged a decent amount, both for a few research projects (which are currently still “in the lab” but will likely be shared here in due time) on BDSM & social justice issues, as well as with my grown-up-person name for some more mainstream NGO’s.

My interests are myriad, but I specifically am passionate about repro-justice, education, sex-education and progressive activism, and this will likely be reflected in my blog posts.  

I love making spreadsheets, black-tea and teensy modicums of social change.  Below I’ve re-purposed an older blog (also online at
), for your reading pleasure.  Feel free to comment, and I shall be back around in the near future!


Breaking News: Women Can Be Independent and Intimate

(Things you never knew until you googled “polyamory.”)

Since the beginning of October I have been working as a super-part-time research assistant, helping a professor track down some sources on polyamory from blogs and news articles online.  Rarely am I paid for something quite so entertaining.  Most articles are written by poly-folks or friends and cover relatively mundane issues (child-raising, meeting the family, etc.) We won’t talk about those.  Rather, today I want to present you with some pure gold.  If you already knew that women can be independent and intimate, never fear.  Here is some more internet magic*.

  • “Why Homosexual Behavior Is More like Consensual Incest and Polyamory than Race or Gender” - Part 1
  • One writer’s thoughts on Rick Perry and Mormons: He thinks they are polyamorous space-cadets (!?)
  • “Rael, leader of the International Raelian Movement, has sent an open letter to Tiger Woods urging him to”.... divorce and enjoy polyamory.

Of course, no discussion of all these crazy liberal sex whores would be complete without a healthy dose of “wtf, gay people.” Courtesy of ABP (sadly, not the over-priced pastry shop, but rather the Associated Baptist Press) I learned that the real issue with those queer kids was that they wanted to destroy marriage. Which marriages, you ask?  (No, what...why would you ask that?) “...any kind of marriage,” the not-pastry (dammit, I love pastries) “press” tells us. “They want to define marriage out of existence.”  Wow! Who knew news could get so newsy?

Even some of the poly-folk have jumped on board the crazy train.  One women repeatedly implored us to recognize that she was not a slut with a revolving door of partners.  Because clearly the best way to promote consensual non-monogamy is to bitterly separate yourself from non-monogamists.  Others want to make sure we know that polyamory is never about sex, only about a poly-fidelitous (wiktionary says this is a word, so back off!) smug sense of superiority over the entire world.  And who knew swingers could be such sell-outs? (Damn suburbanites and their over-developed sense of entitlement to privacy and discretion!)

Overall my take-away here is that 85% of the internet has no frackin’ clue what polyamory is, but somehow has concluded they are superior and since the other 15% are so boring and normal everyone will skip them to learn about Rael the Raelian leader.  (That article was apparently half-written by a computer, so even the AI are up in our shiz now.)  In the mean time, I am left alone with my internet at night to resent those slutty poly-jerks whose underpants are filled with sex.  No fair! How come they get to get laid and cause a precipitous decline towards incest and beastiality?

*(I am not linking these because I do no want to promote traffic to their insanity, however, if you’d like to know more leave a comment and I will get the info out. However, just throwing “polyamory” into google blogs or news search will introduce you to an untold array of wonders.)