They specified 20ml of pee. I was like “I have so much more to give”

We have a quiet day, so I’m taking a little field trip to the Hassle Free Clinic.

It’s been a long long time since I last had a sexual health check-up. I think they’re vitally important for most anyone to be aware of, but especially if you’re seeing multiple partners. I would hate to think I was unintentionally transmitting a condition to anyone. The thing is, once you’re engaging with more than one partner, the knock on effects grow exponentially. You’re no longer just worrying about how you’re affecting a partner, but you’re thinking about their partners too. And if your multiple partners also have multiple partners, your responsibility grows. I’ve been lax, and I’ve felt shitty about it for a while. For so long, I didn’t have other partners, so it felt like I could let it slide. That’s less of the case now. While I happen to be using condoms and other contraceptives, that’s still not 100% preventative. It’s been difficult finding the time to drop in, which has been awfully enabling. Sometimes if it’s important, it’s more about making the time. Sex is great, I want to keep doing it and sharing that experience with others, so it only makes sense to check that the experience is all I’m sharing. It’s far from my first checkup, and it won’t be my last.

I’ve never had an issue before, but I think it’d be obnoxious at best to assume I won’t. I want that information to make informed decisions and own any potential conditions I contract. I’m very fortunate that I haven’t been made to feel stigma around my proclivities, which I’m sure is a gendered thing. The last time I came here (which, after signing the drop in sheet, I discovered was 2013! Jesus Christ), the guy was like “you have only had one or two partners since your last checkup, and you used condoms. I’m not sure this is that necessary”, but as a medical professional he did his job anyway.

It’s pretty packed in here right now, and the wait is probably around an hour. In the office staff’s words, it’s quiet at the moment. For years I felt kind of iffy about what my previous tester had said, but I get it. There are a ton of vulnerable people who need this service, and if I have alternative places to go where some of these folks might feel unsafe, then I’m gumming up the works a little. I could go to my GP if I booked an appointment. I mean, I’m not gonna leave right now, but he had a point. Last time I visited I didn’t have a GP, but I do have that option these days. If the system is to work best, I’d better serve it by exercising my options.

If my last checkup was any indication, I’m likely to be asked about my sexual activity. They’ll probably ask about partner genders, and specific styles of intercourse we’ve engaged in. They’ll get me to pee in a cup (and boy oh boy, have I got some urine locked and loaded), and let me know of anything to be aware of. To be totally candid, I’m getting interested in exploring how my attraction to same sex individuals manifests, and it would be cool to gather knowledge of what I should consider. Sure, that know how is all on the internet, but it feels easier to digest when obtaining that info from a medical professional.

Oh geez, I’ve been called already. Hassle Free indeed.

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I hope you have a fucking great time, sincerely

Fair warning, I’m gonna talk about some sexy type stuff today. If that’s not your thing, enjoy the rest of the internet until tomorrow. ‘Cause it’s not like there’s anything sexy on there, right?

I haven’t talked about sex in a long time. Why? I’m not entirely sure. It might be that my parents sometimes read, and gosh forbid they know I’m making whoopee. Really though, that’s not it. Am I afraid of tarnishing my image as an irreverent little scamp who makes puns and talks incessantly about 90s pop culture? Not quite. Am I too busy clutching my pearls to type the word “orgasm”. I’m not. Am I constantly scrambling for topics to write about day by day? I am. This however, is not an act of desparation. I had a couple of chats over the weekend, and I feel like I’ve got some stuff that’s worth hearing for some people.

Sex is weird. People are weird, therefore bringing multiple people together to simulate making more people is exponentially weirder. Also sex is tied up in so many bullshit social morasses that it gets tricky to keep your head above the mire. The muck is fine, sex can be wonderfully dirty, and that’s can be great. Not here to yuck anybody’s yums.

I’d wager that socialisation plays into how we feel about sex a lot more than we may think. Sure, the media and advertising shapes a huge amount of our views as to what we find sexy, ways to have sex and what good/bad sex looks like. My guess is it goes a lot further than that. I can’t speak to womens’ experience, but it seems like there’s a gratuitous amount of pressure placed upon image. Hell, I’m listening to a podcast right now where Allie Ward talks to an expert on Beauty Standards (the study of which is called Kalology, apparently). The ins and outs of it are more than a litte absurd, and I’m sure all women know intimately more about the struggle than I do. I’m not here to talk for them. It’s not like men are entirely exempt, and I’m sure Marvel Studios have done wonders in making men feel inadequate too (remember the surprisingly buff Chris Pratt workout pic?). Equality, this is what we’re shooting for, right?

Look at me, vamping like a food blog. What I want to talk about today is partnered orgasm pressure from a male perspective, and how it’s letting us down. Because I don’t think us men talk about it enough. This is also probably gonna be a very het-oriented view. I apologise.

As men we’re often told that our sexual prowess is one of the many things that defines our masculinity. We’re supposed to be virile, dominant, borderline animalistic. Raging horndogs with big ol’ dongs. That’s male sexuality, apparently. If you’re a good partner you fuck good, your partner’s eyes roll back into their head, they cum buckets with ten orgasms, and your sperm is so mighty that your partner instantly has quadruplets. That’s the manly thing to do.

Unsurprisingly, this creates a ton of pressure. Here’s the thing about arousal, it’s all mental. If you’re all stressed about having to be a certain something in the bedroom, there’s a high chance that will affect performance. It’s tricky to get it up and keep it up when you’re anxious about whether you’ll be able to get hard enough. Or if you’ll be able to sustain it. Or if she’ll enjoy it. Or like, what if your dick is weird? Or too small? Or you don’t feel dominant and animalistic? GOOD LUCK, BUDDY.

I’m gonna take the charitable assumption, and guess that whoever I’m talking to wants their partner to have a good time. That most want congress to be a mutually fulfilling, satisfying and pleasurable jaunt. So I’m gonna share something I heard a while back that helped shift my perception.

NOBODY HAS EVER GIVEN ANYBODY AN ORGASM.

It was from famed sex educator and porn star extraordinaire Nina Hartley. She said that orgasms aren’t given, they’re facilitated. You can be the sexiest goddamn entity in the world, you can be physically doing everything you can, you can tap into all your partner’s favourite sensual triggers, and they can still not orgasm. It’s because you’re not making them orgasm, they are.

Remember when I was saying arousal was mental? No matter what you do, if your partner can’t bring themselves to a place where they can let go and access their orgasm, it ain’t comin’. It’s not necessarily because of what you’ve done or haven’t done, but sometimes it’s out of reach for all of us. It happens. Releasing to the point of orgasm isn’t always accessible, and neither does it define the experience. I’ve had many bouts of amazing sex that haven’t resulted in an orgasms, both for myself and/or partners. That hasn’t stopped it from being amazing sex.

Take from it what you will, but the important nugget that I took from this lesson was to get ego the fuck out of there. It’s not about you. The be all and end all is how you can help your partner access a place where they can let go. Any concept of virility or value tied to an ablity to “induce” orgasms is fucked up and unhelpful. Get that shit out of there.

Make your partner comfortable. Ask them what they want. Your “job” is to help them have the experience they’re looking for. They’re connected to their own nerve endings, chances are they have an idea of what makes them feel good. Do you have go to techniques that “always work”? There is no “right” way to do things. Everyone is different. What works for one person doesn’t necessarily apply across the board. Listen to your partner, look for body language and try to interpret what that means. If you don’t know, ask. The socialised notion that we should all “just know” is super fucking harmful, and likely holds so many of us back from more fulfilling experiences. If you’re gonna ruin the moment by showing genuine interest, maybe you both could do better with different people.

If they have an orgasm? Great. If they have ten? Great. If they have an excellent time? That’s what we’re looking for. If we’re all enjoying sex, maybe we won’t be so scared of whether or not it’s happening the “right way”.

Why do they call them anniversaries, and not birth-dates?

Happy anniversary to us.

Five years is a decent milestone (or kilometregram, for anyone outside North America), so how did we celebrate? Simply, my friends. I feel like there’s definitely been a shifting tide in the relationship in the past few years. It’s probably a very normal and healthy part of most relationships. We don’t celebrate with the same desperate fervour, because it feels less like these situations are finite. Three months in, a year in, three years in, there’s definitely a sense of holy shit, I can’t believe we made it this far. Five years comes with a lot less shock. After three years or so, it’s sorta felt like well obviously, neither of us are going anywhere. It’s not such a crazy idea that we’ve lasted five years, because we’ve both assumed we’ll last a lot longer. We’re used to each other, in that we’re each a huge part of one another’s lives. Her concerns are my concerns and vice versa. We’ll each extend the same considerations to the other in a manner we would to ourselves. Not because we’re especially thoughtful (though she happens to be), but because it feels natural to do so. If this sounds boring or passionless, it’s not. The passion is still very much there, and we haven’t become a homogeneous blob either. We’re both still individuals with very different interests, perspectives and lives, but there’s a point in the middle where that blurs, and we’ve taken on something from one another.

So last night, we didn’t hit the town, rent a hotel and turn the jets up REAL high. We stayed home and cooked. It was fucking great. Because of varying (and often conflicting) schedules, it’s been so long since we had the chance to just spend abundant time together and eat decadent food we prepared. We shat the bed on planning, this can’t be understated. In fact, while declaring that today was gonna be our day to go out and do awesome anniversary things, we’re still kinda cobbling together a plan (as of midday or so). Earlier in the week, she said she wanted to cook at home, and wanted that to include stuffed mushroom caps. Great, I was on board. We tried devising a meal that would work around them, but I got distracted with a Garfield shaped pizza tangent. I’m gonna call her the fuck out for suggesting we arrange corn tortillas in a vaguely Garfieldesque shape and put toppings on. That was a dumb idea and she’s smarter than that. But as it turns out, we arrived at the supermarket yesterday with no ideas beyond the stuffed mushrooms. We cobbled together some notion of the stuffed caps with a roasted garlic brocolli/zucchini “melange” (I don’t really know what to call shit that’s chopped up and tossed together), baked sweet potatoes and baked maple soy salmon. Then ice cream for dessert.

At home I prepped the salmon marinade and chucked it in a ziplock in the fridge. We ruined our appetite with chips and fucked around on our phones, then realised time was slipping away. I hastily pricked some sweet potatoes, slathered them in oil and tossed them in the oven. I realised I’d forgotten to set a timer, so guesstimated they needed another 40 minutes. We kept fucking around on our phones, and time kept marching on. In a panic 20 minutes later, we jumped to action. I chopped veggies, she prepped the mushroom caps (gutting a sausage to get the mince inside for stuffing purposes). I also got distracted trying to make Manhattans. We each had one sip and felt drunk already. It was all kind of a clusterfuck. While everything needed about a 20-15 minute roasting time, we got things into the oven with about 13 minutes left on the clock.

Turns out everything was excellent. The mushroom caps were dense and filled to the brim with umami. The salmon was sweet and soft. Maple soy has long been one of my favourite marinades. Hers came out better than mine. The veggies were light, but flavourful. The sweet potato was soft and buttery, lifting straight out of its skin. We had low light, candles, and whiskey jazz playing away in the background. It was truly special, relaxing and decadent.

Then we had sweaty summer sex, watched Amélie and ate ice cream (though not all together). It was a very happy anniversary.

Heart reacts only, friends

Over five years ago, I met a very cute person at an event. We hit it off, smooched a bunch, then went home with other people.

Three months later, maybe a week after coming out of a tumultuous whirlwind relationship, I ran into the aforementioned cute person at another event. We picked up where we left off, and kept going.

Five years later, we’ve been through all manner of adventures together. These have spanned several continents, the New York justice system, and IKEA while stoned.

In this time, we’ve grown together and learned from one another. It’s no stretch to say we’re both more capable, compassionate and wizened human beings. We’ve had more than our share of problems and issues, but with the shared goal of finding ways to make it work, we really have. We’ve become a solid team, channelling our collective strengths and enthusiasm into making things happen. Our home is a monument to the warm and eclectic, wonderful trashbags we both are.

She’s a kind and emotionally generous partner. She’s absurdly considerate, often taking my needs and wants into account as her own. She’s bright, and covers for the many many times that I miss the obvious. She’s a fucking goofball, who not only tolerates my bullshit, but gives her own back abundantly. She also has the best butt in the world. She’s usually the last person I see before I sleep, and the first person I see when I wake.

It hasn’t always been easy for either of us, but that’s probably what’s made it such a blast.

I love you rainbows, Lioness, and I look forward to tolerating your bullshit for many years to come.

HUMPday is best day

I watched porn in a theatre. It was a blast.

That both is and isn’t reductive. One of my partners’ mutual friends (y’all, I spent at least 30 seconds deciding where to put the apostrophe. THIS IS WORK) bought them tickets to HUMP – Dan Savage’s amateur porn festival, a series of 5 minute curated films of a provocative nature. She suggested I should come too. Failing anything, it’s always great to see said mutual friend (who happened to matchmake this partner and I). He and I go way back. I figured it’d be a fun and sassy night out, watching ridiculous amateur films with a creative twist. I was sold after hearing a highlight from last year’s fest: Dildrone, a copter (cockter?) based superhero who travelled around solving sexual frustration. Silly, right? I expected a Dildrone or two, and oh HUMP delivered.

I thought two things notable arriving at the screening. 1) Looking around, I realised I was totally surrounded by perverts. Wall to wall weirdos. My tribe. 2) I had a ton of friends who organically happened to be going. I don’t think that’s mere coincidence. We were all giggling, feeling slightly naughty. Then the screening started and everyone went silent. Paint Party. A blacklight flurry of naked, painted bodies gyrating. Bodies of all types flowing together in an orgy of colour. It. Got. Sexy. Quickly. The silence spoke volumes, I cast my eyes around and everyone was engaged. Holding my partner’s hand, I could feel her heartbeat rising. I know mine was. The short film finished with a splash of paint faux cumshots. My friends and I turned to one another wide eyed, breathing heavily. Someone piped up “oh, once we find some body safe paint, We Are Doing This.” Ever the engineer. We were all very, very turned on. I straight up expected the festival would be a dorky and/or sweet time, I did not expect to get actively titillated.

The films were excellently curated. Some were funny and inventive (like the music video with googly eyes adorning butts, boobs, peens, pubes etc. You don’t quite realise what a googly eyed covered butt looks like being spanked until you see it), others were sweet and endearing. I fell in love with this short documentary that intercut queer folx talking about their experiences discovering porn through archaic pre-internet methods. It was so endearing and relatable. A selfie stick hiking trip with a couple became a frenzied mash of bodies and sweat, slow motion frond spanking and DUBSTEP. An animated tale, My Cathartic Scene was gorgeous and touching. Beautiful animation set to a voiceover from a woman narrating her experience with extreme bottoming. How she used physical release as a way to let go of trauma was utterly lovely. It’s never been my thing, but it was so wonderful hearing someone relate why a certain sexual activity activated something within them.

Not My Thing But Wow was a running theme. An extreme bottom slut video had a master command his slave to go food shopping, then one by one slather himself with the ingredients by a river. It was physically nauseating, such a mishmash of flavours. A true textural nightmare. Raw eggs, chocolate sauce, coffee grounds, alfredo and pasta sauce, all slathered across this little porn piggie’s body. I mean, he took to it with wild abandon, which was awesome to see. I noticed my body’s tension release as he stepped into the river to wash off. Another featured rosebudding, there was extreme anal gaping and some impressive fisting. I’m not here to kinkshame anyone, it was fucking great to see them getting what they loved.

As a big bunch of pervs, I think we all left feeling inspired and uplifted. Also, goddamn if it didn’t give us some ideas…

It sure felt weird to say the word “slave” so many times in a night

I went to an interesting party last night.

One of my friends is a pro domme. It’s pretty cool hearing her stories of weird and wild clients, their extremely specific kinks and how she fulfils them. It’s a cool job, and she’s a rad person. Knowing her, I’m sure she’s fucking ace at it too. She’s got a very let’s get down to business attitude, which I’m sure carries over to her work. She was throwing a play party last night as a housewarming celebration. Her and her boyfriend just moved into a new place together, and she wanted to show it off. With good reason. It wasn’t until I arrived in the elevator that I realised their place was a penthouse suite, emphasis on the sweet. What a gorgeous fucking place. Large lofty ceilings, a walk in closet by the entrance, soft close drawers and all the modern conveniences. The lighting was vibrant and atmospheric, plus they had an ENORMOUS balcony. As in, they’d set up a big tent structure and it didn’t even take up half the space. Beautiful view that opened up to central Toronto south of Carlton. The deck snaked around with a thinner strip that was still a reasonable size for someone’s entire deck. I don’t know if you can fathom how large it all was. There were secure fixtures that window cleaners could attach to. Giving the tour, she casually mentioned “oh these are great. I was thinking of chaining one of my subs up to one and leaving them outside overnight.” She sees the world in a different way than most of us do.

A unique experience was meeting her slave. I’ve never met a domme’s slave before. He was an older gentleman, maybe 40 years old or so. Had a maybe something European accent? I checked in with her about how to talk to him, if I could treat him as a normal person. Instinctively, I feel weird about treating people as lower status. I’d usually rather bolster people up, y’know? She said it was totally fine, I didn’t have to be mean to him. I could be, if I wanted, but all that mattered was that he did what she said. We were looking around the kitchen for a cork screw, and came up with nothing. We chanced asking this dude and not only did he find it instantly, he naturally grabbed the bottle and opened it for us. Something dangerous clicked in my head and I thought oh geez, I could get into this. He’d been walking around the house dressed in a corset and panties, and my friend commanded him to go into the bedroom and change. I went in to see what was going on. This guy pulled a myriad of outfits out and lay them on the bed. Maid outfits, chokers, electric collars, harnesses, an assortment of panties and pantyhose. Friends stood around and debated what he should wear for them. He started stripping down, and I asked him if he minded chatting while he prepped. He said it was totally fine. I told him I had a ton of questions, but if anything ever got too personal, that he had no need to answer it.

I asked how long he’d been doing it. He said that it came to him over time. Little acts of service, etc. He found that in relationships he’d really enjoyed doing things for partners, but in the bedroom it started taking on a whole new sensation. It was the role playing aspect that lit something inside of him. The idea of giving himself over to almost a higher power really turned him on. This was his first time as someone’s slave, and it sounded like the whole thing was a holiday for him. He’d specifically come from overseas after meeting my friend on the internet, and was temporarily her live in slave. I asked what it was that moved him, and like anyone with a serious kink he responded that when he did things from a position of lowered status, it stirred something in him. He felt a kind of thrill, a flutter inside that drove pure pleasure. That actual sexual release didn’t have quite the same resonance as being denied. That there was something perverse in it that delighted him. I asked if there was some kind of slave rivalry, like aspirational behaviours or anything. He said that he didn’t know of any tension or competition between slaves, but personally he reached new highs with increased acts of degradation. That each time it passed a new threshold, he felt a kind of pride. I asked what the most challenging or debasing thing he’d done was, and he replied that honestly, coming out as a slave at parties or public spaces was huge. Incredibly challenging, to wholeheartedly embrace the role and perform.

I’ve always thought that people leaping head first into the stuff that thrills them is amazing. That so often we’re afraid of the stuff that bubbles under the surface. Our hidden shame, or what we’re too afraid to ask for. There’s an admirable kind of courage to obtaining what it is you truly desire, and deciding what you’re willing to give up in order to get it. I don’t see myself becoming a live in slave anytime soon, but it was pretty fucking cool getting to meet and chat with one.

My friends, it only got more interesting from there, but I don’t kiss and tell.

So you tied a ribbon? Take a bow why don’t ya?

Egads, my brain is swimming after I filled up on Bulgogi stew. Too much food has made me groggy. Let’s get some good ol’ stream of consciousness going here.

I went to a Vintage Prom last night. It was a fun event, with an overabundance of good lookin’ folks and even better lookin’ clothes. Some serious style. I arbitrarily decided that I’d be Prom King by the end of the night. Turns out The Secret is wrong and I wasted a wish. I can put Prom King back on my bucket list. I did have a few drinks, and during the Prom King/Queen prize-giving, I cheered avidly for a dude who made his own costume. It was a pinstripe mobster ensemble, and while it looked a little dorky, it was pretty cool that this old dude had put it all together himself. He didn’t win, but as he walked past through the crowd I congratulated him on the effort he’d put in. By his own admission, the ribbon on his hat was the only thing he’d made, and by “made” he really meant he wrapped it around the hat. Do you ever get those moments where you immediately want someone out of your sight so you can try to forget about them? I instantly internally turned on the guy, feeling as if I’d wasted all of my cheering on a charlatan. Alas, you can’t take something like that back, so I once again congratulated him and wished him a good night. Secretly, I kinda hope he didn’t.

I walked on the subway this afternoon and heard a woman barking orders. “Someone stand up, give up your seat.” She shouted. A dude complied, and the woman pointed to an older woman and indicated for her to sit down. Again, “someone else, there are still more people who need seats.” A younger woman left her seat. It happened again, and again. She was marshalling people old and young alike, arranging them like Tetris blocks. It was intriguing to witness. I was travelling a single stop, so I was already standing by the door. It’s rare here in Toronto that people will a) take initiative, but b) care if someone asks them for a favour. The riders who were already sitting didn’t much seem to mind vacating their spots, though the standing folks in need felt almost sheepish about accepting the help. It was an unusual, but likely beneficial request.

A friend of mine last night said that one of her pals had asked if I was available/interested. It gave me pause as I considered. Did I want to be potentially set up by a friend? I’m often pretty picky, and feel kinda weird about friend based matchmaking. She continued “my friend is a guy.” Once again, I thought about it. I haven’t been on a date with a guy. I have no idea how dating other guys works. It’s something I’m definitely not closed off to, but I’m pretty clueless when it comes to knowing if I have a type, what calls to me in a male partner, etc. It’s rare that I feel sexual chemistry with dudes, but at the same time it could just be a matter of a lack of experience leading to an inability of understanding what I’m attracted to.

I get the feeling like my standards are inexplicably much higher for guys than gals. Like, past experiences have indicated that I’m more desirable to guys seeking guys than gals seeking guys. Maybe that has something to do with it, I feel like I have more cred with fellas. Does that actually translate into substantive social capital? I’ve got no fucking idea. It’s a whole new world. What kind of guys would I even want to date? I always thought it’d be neat to date a guy with similar tastes, so we could just hang out, play games, watch things and have sex. Lather, rinse, repeat. I get the sense that overall queerness is pretty rife in geeky circles. Maybe I just need to open my eyes and look around.

Even if my food coma is pushing them shut right now…