What Affirmative Consent Looks Like
It’s been really excited to see the progress of California Senate Bill 967. If it gets signed, it will require all universities that receive financial aid to use a standard of “affirmative consent” in disciplinary hearings about sexual assault. In a nutshell, it shifts things from “did anyone say no?” to “did everyone say yes?” […]
When Good Intentions Meet Bad Behavior
I recently posted Learning to Ask on Fetlife (one of the most widely-used social networking sites for the S&M scene), and it quickly received a lot of comments. Many of the folks who responded shared that they face a lot of challenges with asking for what they want, or that it took them plenty of […]
If You Don’t Let Them Know, How Will They Find Out?
There’s a curious pattern I’ve seen a lot of people (including myself) do in close relationships. We often expect our partners, friends, and family members to appreciate the things we do for them without our having to tell them what we’ve done. I understand the impulse. Sometimes, it feels like telling people what I do […]
Unavailability Isn’t the Same as Rejection
There are a lot of reasons our sexual desires and interests don’t always match up with those of our partners. Changing tastes, medical or mental health challenges, busy work schedules, stress and juggling different demands, and simply having different libidos can make it hard to find a common ground. In both my personal life and […]
What Does Pushing Boundaries in BDSM Mean?
In some of the (mostly online) discussions I’ve seen around BDSM & kink, there’s a sticking point that seems to come up over and over. What does it mean when people say that they get turned on by “pushing boundaries”? I think this is worth unpacking because there are at least two different meanings to […]
I Don’t Respect Your Beliefs
You might be surprised to hear me say that I don’t respect your beliefs. But let me explain what I mean by that. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of speaking on a panel with Greta Christina, Maggie Mayhem, and Chris Hall on the topic of sex & atheism. One of the topics […]
Intentions Don’t Matter: On Making Amends
I’ve been thinking a lot about amends lately, for a variety of reasons. I’m now firmly in my early 40’s and I’m able to look back on some of the patterns of my life. I’ve also had several conversations lately with different people about the processes of apology, amends, and reconciliation. And the topic has […]