Stepping Out of ‘Your World’ to Embrace the World Around You: The Make Them Visible Foundation

Every once in awhile…someone has an idea that inspires…an idea bigger than themselves; an idea, that can truly make a difference. A friend of mine, in collaboration with others, is involved in a movement that I think embodies the spirit of compassion and social change, with a nod to the reality of our cultural obsessions…and I thought I’d share some of their work with you. I think it is necessary and relevant.

The Make Them Visible Foundation (MTVF) raises funding and awareness for homeless shelters and hunger organizations across the United States. The Foundation’s innovative fundraising and granting approach is the first of its kind in our country. It addresses the need for a collaborative movement, where non-profits work together to secure funds and harness change to humanize our homeless neighbors in need.

Our society is obsessed with fictional stories and prioritizes them above real ones. MTVF
launched a social media campaign that pits the stories of fictional TV
characters to stories of real individuals experiencing homelessness. Watch the emotionally
disruptive video that captures the road to homelessness which is complex, often
devastating, and yet, not void of hope.

A series of “episodes” or real stories of 5 individuals suffering from homelessness will be posted to MTVF’s Facebook page. Each story will conclude urging you to invest in a life and change the story. Join our campaign by following and sharing our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/MakeThemVisible.

We believe in leveraging the power of film and media to raise awareness and build advocacy. Check out our Effie Award winning Make Them Visible short film. It’s only 3.5 minutes and will change how you see the homeless.

Stepping out of your own space to embrace the world around you, should be a daily practice.

-Dr.NB

Study Shows…Just Because You’re KINKY, Doesn’t Mean You’re BAD!

4_07 192

Traditionally, “Sexual Sensation Seeking,” (yes that is a clinical term and an actual behavioral assessment scale) has been understood by the mental health community as an undesirable behavior; however, a study published by the Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality (Journal of Human Sexuality, 2013) took a decidedly NymphoBrainiac approach to things and used this scale (the SSS) to evaluate sexual sensation seeking in a more positive light.

Rather than using sexual sensation seeking to predict:

  1. Mental health problems
  2. Sexual dysfunction
  3. Sexual shame
  4. Risky sexual behavior
  5. Sexually transmitted infections
  6. HIV
  7. Teen pregnancy
  8. Prostitution
  9. Sexual phobias
  10. Sexual Violence/Abuse

As has been the norm, these researchers hoped to assess very different and positive characteristics (and correlates) based on sexual tendencies. Their findings showed that indeed those who showed high levels of sexual sensation seeking were also:

  1. Sexually curious
  2. Explorative
  3. And reported a high level of overall life satisfaction

I would say this is a clear “BRAVO” to all my mindful sexual deviants out there!

Viva la NymphoBrainiac!

xxx, dr.c.

mwild2_08_2

Can Power Ever Truly be Exchanged? – BDSM Perspectives

wild4_07b 002

This auto-ethnographic study of first-hand experience in a BDSM “power exchange” (Women’s Perspectives of BDSM Power Exchange – E. Prior; Journal of Human Sexuality, 2013) includes interviews with dominatrixes is really thought provoking; here are some of the findings:

By asking the following question I explore the dynamics of power through the lens of BDSM:

  • What is power exchange in this context? What does it mean and how do women in particular do it and feel about it? Does engaging in SM power exchange affect other areas of their lives?

So then, what is power exchange within the BDSM context? According to the women I interviewed the answers to this question range from a very basic “Just two different people playing a role” or “It’s a give and take” to much more complex answers. Ms. Allison described power exchange from the dominant perspective:

“…essentially what I seek is that surrender, that commitment, that choice to hand the reins over to me, to give me the scepter and for it to be a joyous and willing choice makes it even better… for me the power exchange only has meat to it when it is not required from either party and is a conscious choice to make certain declarations to each other which change the dynamics of a typical relationship” (Interview with Ms. Allison, January 12, 2011).

subjanice and slave barbara described power exchange from the submissive or slave perspective:

“Seductive. (laughs) Very seductive. Power exchange is where you have an agreement that one person is going to lead and one person is going to follow. One person’s going to support the other person in wherever they want to lead totally. One person’s going to agree not to make the other person wrong no matter what they do. You can no longer have that discussion… I think that’s the ultimate power exchange, truly, that you can be with that person and never make them wrong… if you can accept them the way they are and the way they’re not and empower them always, that’s the power exchange that can create miracles… … I think that the true power exchange is to somehow give yourself to that person so that you’re all of a sudden having hot sex in a way that he didn’t really see it coming… and that’s what I do… that’s for me… that’s the ultimate power exchange to renew a person… return them to themselves” (Interview with subjanice, February 8, 2011).

“From a slave’s perspective, total, which is another reason why I am not in a Master/slave relationship, because for me there is one gate… one yes… Total power exchange is merging my needs, my wants, my desires to that of the person I am in service to” (Interview with slave barbara, January 25, 2011).

In my experience as a dominiatrix, I saw it less as an exchange of power and more of a balance, giving up and/or taking, surrendering or submitting, and setting and obeying of rules. The two women interviewed for the study below make it clear that power is not what is being exchanged at all, but control or authority over one’s personal power is what is being given or exchanged.

Slave barbara said:

“One thing that I didn’t say about power exchange that I want to go back and readdress is that when I talk about this aspect and when I teach it I don’t use the word power because it comes back to this issue about whether the slave is a dishrag or not. Slaves that I know are extraordinarily powerful people and what is being exchanged is not power. I don’t give my power away. I can’t. It’s an energetic part of who I am… what I can consciously give away is authority… so what I talk about is authority exchange as opposed to power exchange. What I am consenting to is giving you authority over my power. You better have equal… equivalent amount of power to be able to deal with it because if you don’t I’m in control… so I don’t think we exchange power, we exchange authority… We’re not exchanging power; we’re exchanging authority in a conscious, consensual manner…” (Interview with slave barbara, January 25, 2011).

Whereas Claudia described it in this way:

“In a sexual… the sexual area of course it’s almost similar where generally the person on the bottom is handing a certain amount  of control to the other person in terms of what’s going to happen, however because there’s such a… frequently such a level of negotiation it’s… it’s not so much that the one person has all the power but it’s they’ve been handed the power…  which is I guess similar to the example of the birthday because it isn’t that the birthday person has real control over everybody else they’ve simply been handed the control of the… what will happen next and so I… it’s hard to define power exchange. I’m sure there are several official definitions of power exchange but to me it’s one person or persons has handed control to someone else in terms of what’s going to happen next and for a period of time the person in control is going to be either conducting events or conducting… not even just physical events but maybe even psychological or even what is discussed or what is said in the next period of time.” (Interview with Claudia, January 28, 2011).

Where you agree that power is either exchanges or “taken” or shared I found it interesting (and reflective of my own experience) that these women’s lives (“vanilla” or otherwise) were fully integrated into their psyche:

They used terms like balanced and authentic to describe how there really is no difference for them, no clear demarcation between what they experience within BDSM and what they experience in other social or personal spheres, like home or work. Other women felt that these were very separate for them; what they experience at work or school is very different from their BDSM experiences. I found it interesting though that they still described their BDSM life as being the “authentic” one, and the other facets as being separate or disconnected. This makes room for an argument that for some women BDSM power exchange is not merely fulfilling base human needs for sexual contact or interaction, but is also being used to fulfill and explore the intellectual and emotional needs of those so engaged.

A fascinating look into women’s sexual/relational power perspectives, which I think is relevant whether or not you are a part of the BDSM community…after all isn’t every relationship really just an exercise in power?

xxx

dr.c.

(Image by Michelle Wild for shutterbugbour.com)

People Who Have Sex At Least 4 Times A Week Make More Money: Study

164607_110766292456996_576315362_n

Re-posted via Huffington Post

The next time you consider using the headache excuse to avoid getting busy, think about this: It pays to have more sex. Literally, new research finds.

People who have sex four times or more a week earn higher wages than their less-sexually active colleagues at a statistically significant level, according to a discussion paper from Nick Drydakis, a fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor, a private, independent organization focused on labor market research.

To come up with the findings, Drydakis, who is also an economics lecturer in the business school at Cambridge, England-based Angila Ruskin University, analyzed a year-long survey of 7,500 Greek households. The survey asked the representative sample respondents how many times they had sex per week, whether they were employed, how much money they made and how many hours per week they worked, among other questions.

But before you rush to go between the sheets, it’s important to note that Drydakis’ findings don’t indicate that more sex directly translates into a raise. Instead, the study found that the two factors are correlated. See, people who have frequent sex tend to be happier, have higher self-esteem, better reasoning ability and are less likely to be depressed. Other research has found that workers with health problems tend to make less money due to limited productivity and in some cases, discrimination.

So to recap: More sex makes you healthier and happier. And happy, healthy people tend make more money.

Another factor may explain the positive correlation between more sex and higher wages. People who make more money are often more desirable in the dating market, which means they likely have more sex. Drydakis acknowledges this possibility in his paper, but laments that there isn’t really any literature out there directly addressing this theory.

Regardless, the positive relationship between sex and more money exists, his research claims, and workers between the ages of 26 and 50, tend to get higher financial returns on their sexual activity. But it doesn’t matter if you’re gay or straight, you get the same wage returns on your investment in sexual activity. So everyone have at it.

“I knew I was different…” – When Being a “Man” Means Being LESS of a “Man”

“I knew I was different. I thought that I might be gay or something because I couldn’t identify with any of the guys at all. None of them liked art or music. They just wanted to fight and get laid. It was many years ago but it gave me this real hatred for the average American macho male.”

(Kurt Cobain)

splash

I write a lot about women’s sexuality on this page, not because I think that men’s issues are lesser, rather I don’t understand men’s issues as well as I do women’s…I am, after all, a woman. However, there are times when second-hand experience leads me to conclusions that I think are worth discussing and the above quote highlights one:

Maleness

(as defined by our society)

is necessarily an exaggerated caricature.

arnold-big-chest-400

And the effects of this personality-overlay can be all encompassing. Men’s very person(ality) has become a construction of expectations that are as far out of reach as those placed on women in our society; some of which include, but are not limited, to the following:

Have a big dick.

Make money.

Buy a “nice” (read: expensive) car.

Fuck lots of women.

Never look like/be a “fag”.

Act macho.

And, last but not least…Beat-up other men up who threaten any of the above.

But what if all of that is a facade, simple rhetoric, and masculinity is as much female as it is male? Here is the catch…When men realize the truth of this, conflict arrises…

If I am not that, and I am this:

Creative.

Artistic.

Loving.

Compassionate.

Artistic.

Then who am I?

color-0069_bw_logo

Today, men’s ability to integrate both (what are stereotypically) masculine and feminine aspects of their identity (sexual and otherwise) is consistently challenged, and even hampered, by society’s expectations…and yet that integration is completely necessary to maintain healthy relationships with their romantic partners and ultimately to attain happiness.

Yet…In order for this occur, a radical shift in thought and self-concept needs to happen, one where gender stereotypes no longer exist, so that we may begin to understand each other as well as ourselves as integrated, complex, and dimensional individuals who reflect ALL aspects of humanity and not simply those determined by out genitalia.

And here is the ultimate question, men…Are you ready for THAT?!?!

xxx Dr.C.

(photo credit to shutterbugboudoir.com)

My Sexuality: “I was like, am…?”

I was like, Am I gay? Am I straight? And I realized…I’m just slutty. Where’s my parade?

(Margaret Cho)

cho_as_bettie_page

Myster and I saw her this weekend in the Village…and it reminded me of how much I LOVE the way she conceptualizes her sexuality, as a part of her person/personality/character/self and not simply a label to be pulled-out when called upon…a true womanist in my opinion! Love me some Margaret Cho!