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Let’s Do Munch!

Hey Yana,
I am totally new to BDSM [bondage and discipline/sadism and maso- chism]. Someone told me about a “munch” happening locally tomorrow night. They found it through the FetLife website and suggested I go. Do you know anything about these “munch” meetups? How safe are they? I am Northampton based, looking to connect with other BDSM folks. Do you have any suggestions on how else I can do this?

— Curious Munchkin

Hi Munchkin!

A “munch” is a public, non-sexual gathering of folks interested in kink and/or BDSM. It’s typically held at a restaurant or cafe where attendees can casually talk. If the munch happens in a private section of the restaurant, topics of conversation may be directed towards matters of kink and BDSM, but if the munch is, say, at the big communal table in the middle of The Roost, topics of conversation will generally be PG-rated.

Most munches have a dress code to protect the group from unwanted attention or accidental outings of members, including no overt fetish wear. (Some munches allow obvious fetish collars for submissives and others don’t — check in with the host.) Despite the no-fetish-wear rule, some munch-goers dress up in what might look like sexy clubwear. In other words, save the latex bodysuit for a play party, and opt for something you might wear to a casual dinner party.

Other common munch protocols include no touching (beyond the socially acceptable handshakes), and that the munch is not a place to pick up a date (take that to FetLife).

This brings us to your question about safety, Munchkin. Something I know about the kink and BDSM communities is that they really value consent. Like, a lot. I myself just attended the Northampton Munch to teach a consent workshop and they taught me more about the topic than any other group of participants I’ve presented to before.

So, if a member of the munch is coming onto you, trying to low-key Top or Bottom to you, or certainly if they are touching you, they are violating both your boundaries and the boundaries of the munch itself.

Common consent language, or “safe words,” in the kink community are “Green” meaning “yes, go!,” “Yellow” meaning “you’re approaching my limit or a place where I want you to stop,” and “Red” meaning “stop!” If a member of the munch is making you uncomfortable you can draw on this language as a tool, and you can and should report the unacceptable behavior to the host of the munch…continue reading…

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Upcoming Workshop! KINK! June 27th. Northampton, Ma.


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KINK: a workshop about kinky sex

A yanatallonhicks.comvvatthefuck.tumblr.com collaboration

Oh My Sensuality Shop, 122 Main St., Northampton

Monday, June 27th

7:30pm

$15

10% off same-night purchases for participants

18+ // Limited seating

>>>>>>> PURCHASE TICKETS HERE >>>>>>

Workshop Description

This demonstrative workshop will cover the essential basics of exploring kinky sex (topping, bottoming, ropes, cuffs, paddles, floggers, sensation play, and how to deliver the perfect spank!) as well as some more advanced practices (gags, collars, role playing, and more) to look forward to or begin playing with.

Going against the problematic version of BDSM portrayed in the blockbuster 50 Shades, this workshop will focus on safer kink practices including consent, negotiation, and aftercare. Participants will leave feeling more confident in their kink practices with the tools and resources to bring kinky sex into their own relationships and sex lives.

Workshop participants will be able to touch and learn about all of these kink products in a clean, comfortable educational space. The workshop presenters will demonstrate certain techniques in a way that is consensual and educational with each other for attendee viewing only (no attendee participation required in demos!).

Nervous? Watch this video about what to expect from a workshop about sex!

 

About the Workshop Presenters! 

11401179_771921860468_9034498346160463912_nYana Tallon-Hicks is a pleasure-positive sex writer & educator living in Northampton, Ma where she teaches consent-based sex education to teens and college students. Read more about her & her work on the About Me page.

This worimage1kshop will be co-taught by fellow local sex educator Deana Tolstunov! Deana is a sex educator and recent Smith College graduate where they studied women, gender, queerness, sex, and art, as well as the intersections of all of the above. They spend their time studying herbalism, concocting their own medicine, teaching workshops on consent, sex, and kink, applying copious amounts of glitter all over their body, and working at Oh My Sensuality Shop in Northampton!

 

>>> PURCHASE TICKETS HERE <<<

Workshop Rules:

This workshop aims to be open to all sexual identities, orientations and bodies & is taught with the belief that our sexual experiences & selves exist on a spectrum. Yana’s workshops work to create a welcoming & comfortable space for all to explore crucial aspects of our holistic, sexual selves such as pleasure, communication, consent & the body.

All participants are reminded to help in the creation of this safe space by refraining from substances & come-ons during the workshop and to use mindful language when asking questions or making comments. Participants who choose not to follow these rules will be asked to leave the workshop without refunding workshop fees.

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Can you be a feminist and like rough sex?

Slapping, choking, spitting — if a woman gets off on a little consensual degradation in the bedroom, does that make her less of a feminist?

Many women who demand equal pay by day and harder spanks by night wake up feeling conflicted (and a little bruised) about their two favorite F-words: feminism and fucking.

Almost every version of feminism has been hell-bent on equalizing power structures and fighting gender-based oppression. But those feminists who are also hell-bent on bending over in the bedroom — using those very same power structures to get off — may be faced with questions about whether or not their political walk matches their pillow talk.

“I love being spat on during sex,” says Zoe, a 28-year-old graduate student I’m sipping espressos with. “The nastier the spit, the better. Does that make me a bad feminist? Do I need to burn all of my Audre Lorde books? Give back my Smith College degree?” She tosses aside a lock of hair as she laughs at the ridiculousness of her own rhetorical questions. I wonder how many times she’s caught a loogie.

Of the 1,500+ self-described “kinky” women Jennifer Eve Rehor studied in 2011, the majority were found to have participated in “at least one of the following activities for their own sensual or erotic pleasure: physical humiliation, deprivation, punishment (physical), breath play, obedience/training, verbal abuse/humiliation, other forced activities and service-oriented submission/domestic service.” They did so in the role of the receptive or submissive partner.

For the record, the dominant partner(s) needn’t be male in these scenarios. Nor does rough sex necessarily imply penis-vagina intercourse. Feminist women can and do experiment with power structures well beyond male-female play.

In the past few years, women have both devoured countless (controversial) copies of 50 Shadesand rallied around Beyonce’s “Flawless” definition of feminist.

But what does this mean for our real, kinky sex lives? How does getting flogged contribute to our feminist ways? How can we create kinky sex lives that are both feminist and degrading instead of just plain degrading?…continue reading on Mashable.com…

 

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Tying to Get Kinky

My girlfriend and I are in college and we’ve done some like really, really basic BDSM: blindfolding, a little handcuffs, and some bondage stuff, but nothing serious. Now we want to do some tying down. What would you suggest?

Like a bad sex columnist, I just watched 50 Shades of Grey for the first time (and never read the book). Like a good sex columnist, I read the countless reviews and critiques of the material, in which many people panned 50 Shades as partner-abusive, non-consensual garbage — which it is. Continued…

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Aftercare is Not a Grey Area

A housewife’s wet dream, Fifty Shades of Grey, hit the big screen this past month — and hit it hard.

The popularity of the book series, and now movie, has caused quite the stir in the practicing BDSM (bondage, dominance/submission, sadism/masochism) community, specifically around the movie overlooking what makes BDSM different from domestic violence, coercion, and abuse; namely, informed consent and responsible aftercare. No matter where you stand (or sit — good girl!) on 50 Shades, this debate has provided a great opportunity to revisit the importance of consent and — as this column will tackle — aftercare. Continued…