The District of Columbia is a small town.
Despite the quantity of agencies, ideas, government, non-profits, food trucks, and height limitations on buildings, we’re awfully close together. It’s relatively easy to walk across each quadrant, through Rock Creek Park, across the Anacostia, over the Potomac, past McMillan Reservoir, through the Zoo, past the Observatory, into Atlas Theater, up Connecticut Avenue. In my years here, I’ve been at nearly every metro stop and to the end of every line.
Even Shady Grove.
On the metro, I play a “list game” with my partner and the WMATA map, where we list the coolest things we’d seen or done at each stop. Mass at the Basilica at Brookland/CUA, the drum circle at Malcolm X Park in Columbia Heights, the farmers market at Dupont Circle, CPR/First Aid training at Navy Yard, and on and on.
As we’ve lived here longer, the density of interesting places becomes more pronounced. This city has so many details to me, so many restaurants, parks, bars, bus shelters, elementary schools, public pools, and hospitals. This city is my home.
Navy Yard is a very dense place to me. Continue reading
Fall is almost here, my friends. Forget candy apples and halcyon hayrides: we begin the glory days of dumpster diving. It’s cool enough to keep the apples crisp, and warm enough to make the late nights welcoming.
While I wouldn’t call myself a freegan, about half of the food that I eat is “rescued.” Though I have the means to buy the food I need, dumpster diving supports the life I want to live: one of generosity, community building, and obscenely good food. It’s also taught me a few lessons, in cooking, in community, and in the inequalities in our food system. So how, and why, do I do this?
I’m finally unpacking my bags from Transformus.
It was over a week ago, which breaks even my extreme procrastination standards for belated readjustment from travel. But as I unpacked this morning, I started to understand why I let my bags sit undisturbed by my door for so many days. It’s been touched by Transformus, I realized as I unzipped the sides. As I sorted through the gifts I had received, my suitcase seemed like one of those magic bags from the Raymond Feist books. My suitcase is the same weight as it was when I left, but filled with all new items. It traveled through miles of dirt, tumbleweeds, and dust, but its color is still a lush green. Touched.
In the first pocket, I found a new necklace, an unope,ned box of earplugs, three pairs of new sunglasses, a red feather boa, Asprin, a leather Xena-ish top, and so many letters. So, so many letters.
It’s very uncool to say that an event “changed” you. I see my Washingtonian credibility slipping, my ability to impress strangers melting away.
But I do feel changed. Just a little… transformed.
It’s mostly because of you, best friend. And all the things you’ve done.
My mother hates that I shave. As a European, she finds my behavior repellant and confusing. We’ve never had a drag-out fight about it, but it’s always been a point of contention.
“How did I raise such an American daughter?” she says, sighing dramatically. We talked about it once when she walked in on me shaving when I was 17, my feet in the bathroom sink, the surfaces slicked with shaving cream.
“Mom, my hair is different from yours. And I really like shaving.”
“What-ever,” my mom sighed. “It is your body, I suppose.”
If you missed part one, Shave ’em Dry, the point is: I shave as a way to reclaim, feel pride in and own my body, especially all the hairy places that I so cherish. The point of part two: I let my hair grow… for the same reasons. I am really into my hair, whether it’s there… or not.
The second point of part two: I am blessed with smart, wonderful friends, who all told me what they thought about shaving. Some of them work in offices, some in circus (and some in both), some raise families. I highlighted their words as spicy block quotes.
I think of the moment when I decided to stop shaving as both the moment I became an adult and the moment I became a feminist.
We all shave. Or, we all have shaved, or we will shave. Maybe we’re waxing our legs before we go out; maybe we’re shaving our beards in the morning. Maybe twice a week, or twice a month, or once a day.
But we do it.
We shave for ourselves. We might shave for our lovers. And maybe, we might shave to avoid ridicule, judgment, and uncomfortable looks. We shave to showcase our gender presentation. Hair holds our pride, our cultural identity, and signifies our stress level. We shave to fit in, and we shave to bust out. And spoiler: I believe that shaving, or not shaving, can be a great tool for self-expression (both gendered and ungendered). And I wanted to talk about why I shave, why I don’t always shave, and why it’s a choice.
Obviously, because I’m writing this, there’s some explicit language, and I’m gonna talk about nether often-soft-as-a-feather parts. And speaking of, this is going to be a two-part-er.
Here we go.
Into darkness. Continue reading
“So today’s question on “It’s Probably You” is…” Paul looked at the camera, “How can I get my SO to try anal sex?“”
“Man, how CAN I get my partner to try anal?” I replied. “Great question, anonymous internet friend.”
As part of “It’s Probably You,” a video webseries giving advice on relationships, sex, and dating, I gave an unscripted, candid answer (that you can watch here and is NSFW). Afterwards, I considered the question in more depth — how can you have great anal sex with a partner… who might not be initially interested?
So here’s my ideas, in full, on how to have awesome anal sex with your partner. For the first time and for the rest of time. The text is a little racy if you’re at work, but there’s no scandalous photos.
“Winter Fire is like annnnnnny other conference!” I announced.
“Really? Are there name tags and speakers and breakout sessions?” Bambi* said. “Is there a really awkward kinky banquet?”
“Seriously, it’s just like other conventions: mixers on Friday, classes all day Saturday and Sunday, and that first class is sooo sleepy,” I rambled, “There’s mild boozin at the hotel bar, private parties on Sunday. The big difference is that they transform the ballroom, where they’d generally have an awkward banquet, into a dungeon. And there’s orgies, nudity, and whipping, and all the nicest things.”
“Should I go? Is there a beginner track?” Bambi asked, sipping his beer.
And I thought about it, at our table at the bar, thought hard on whether I should recommend Dark Odyssey Winter Fire, one of the biggest and best-run kink events on the east coast.
“Yeah. I think you’d like it.” Continue reading