Jun 292014
 
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Catch Me on SEX OUT LOUD with TRISTAN TAORMINO

Where we talk Big, Beautiful Sex, The LA Academy of Sex Education and more!

CLICK HERE

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Catch Me on SEX OUT LOUD with TRISTAN TAORMINOThis week Tristan is live with sex educator, writer, and coach Elle Chase aka Lady Cheeky. In addition to running her popular kinky sex blog and hot tumblr site, Chase coordinates sex ed programming at the newly formed Los Angeles Academy of Sex Education and teaches workshops on her own, including her popularBig, Beautiful Sex: Sex & Body Image” which examines fat-shaming all around us and how it gets in the way of everyone’s sexual confidence and pleasure, no matter what size clothes you wear. We’ll talk sexual communication as well as recommending toys, techniques, and positions.Catch Me on SEX OUT LOUD with TRISTAN TAORMINO

Catch Me on SEX OUT LOUD with TRISTAN TAORMINOJoin award winning author, speaker, sex educator and filmmaker Tristan Taormino as she explores the world of sexuality from every angle on her radio show Sex Out Loud™ on the Variety Channel of the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network. Tristan will interview leading authors, educators, artists and icons and give you an uncensored, inside look at alternative sexual practices and communities. She’ll delve into topics from the popular to the taboo, including sex education and sexual health, erotic fantasies, BDSM, non-monogamy, the adult industry, and more (see a list of guests and show topics). Tristan will answer your questions on the air and share her 15 years of experience and honest, down to earth, sex-positive advice. Open your mind and expand your erotic horizons.

Find more Tristan Taormino at:

TT’s radio show: http://www.sexoutloudradio.com
TT’s sex-positive site (adults only, NSFW): http://puckerup.com
TT’s official site: http://tristantaormino.com
TT’s open relationship site: http://openingup.net
TT on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/TristanTaormino http://www.twitter.com/SexOutLoudRadio
TT on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AskTristan

Subscribe to her monthly Double T Newsletter!

Listen to Tristan Taormino LIVE every Friday on Sex Out Loud Radio

on the VoiceAmerica Network

at 5:00 pm PST/8:00 pm EST

Call in to talk to Tristan and her guests: 866-472-5788

Jun 142014
 
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Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously!
Hanne Blank Believes That Your Body is Already Your Best Body Ever

BY ELLE CHASE – I don’t personally know Hanne Blank, but yet this scholar and author happens to be my body image guru/super-hero. Hanne, a doyenne of the Body Acceptance Movement, and has written two books on the subjectBig, Big, Love: A Sex and Relationships Guide for People of Size (and Those Who Love Them), The Unapologetic Fat Girl’s Guide to Exercise, And Other Incendiary Acts, as well as many books of erotica.

“A survey of college students found that they would prefer
to MARRY 
an EMBEZZELER, DRUG USER, SHOPLIFTER,
or a BLIND person than someone who is FAT”¹

I have done a lot of research for my workshops, lectures, panels and talks on body acceptance, and the dearth of material that supports a positive, loving, non-shaming and totally realistic philosophy dealing with one’s body image is surprising and Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously!disappointing. Hanne Blank is the only writer on body image whose book I was not only easily able to find online, but I also found almost always in stock in brick and mortar chain bookstores like Barnes & Noble. What does this mean? This means that her books are popular enough to stock and re-order.

I think her next book,  52 Weeks to Your Best Body Ever will be as popular as her other two, if not more. As a woman of size, having read her previous books on body image, I believe it’s essential to proliferate Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously!more respectful, intelligent, useful and supportive literature on body-image out there in the world.

In one woman’s informal experiment, it was estimated she was exposed to; 386, 170 negative messages about her body each year (and that’s without watching commercial TV). In fact, one study reports that women alone see 400-600 advertising images about physical appearance a day and, as stated by ‘Body Image and Advertising’ ³

“… by the time she is 17 years old, she has received over 250,000 commercial messages through the media. Only 9% of commercials have a direct statement about beauty, but many more implicitly emphasize the importance of beauty–particularly those that target women and girls. One study of Saturday morning toy commercials found that 50% of commercials aimed at girls spoke about physical attractiveness, while none of the commercials aimed at boys referred to appearance. Other studies found 50% of advertisements in teen girl magazines and 56% of television commercials aimed at female viewers used beauty as a product appeal. This constant exposure to female-oriented advertisements may influence girls to become self-conscious about their bodies and to obsess over their physical appearance as a measure of their worth.

The diet industry earns an estimated $40 billion dollars a year on our collective backs, hammering home that if we don’t look a certain way we are less desirable. For those of us affected by self-loathing, the negative messages we receive daily about our bodies every day from advertising alone feels like a losing battle to fight. In fact, it’s been reported, that;

“In America, overweight women suffer the preponderance of weight-based discrimination. They are not viewed as “normal human being[s] with normal needs, desires, virtues and vices” ² 

That’s not to say that men escape the mission creep self-hatred. In 2006, researchers for the University of San Francisco found that when college age men watched more than the average amount of TV and played more than the average amount of video games, they found those particular men were uncomfortable with at least one aspect of their body, which they directly correlated with having a less satisfactory sex life.

As I mentioned earlier, Hanne Blank is working on her latest book:  52 Weeks to Your Best Body Ever! This is NOT a diet book. This is a book about accepting your body where it is at the moment and loving yourself NOW. Hanne Blank is raising money to fund this book project and there are only 4 DAYS LEFT with a little less than $400 to go to meet her goal. Donating to help get this book finished and in the marketplace is one of the most generous and life affirming, sex-positive, self loving acts you can perform, to encourage not just people of size, but ANYONE with a perceived body image issue they want to conquer.For me, Big, Big, Love serves as a virtual splash-of -cold-water on my face when I notice the negative self-talk nudge it’s way between the neutral and the positive, and I start to feel less worthy. NO ONE should ever feel that their worth is diminished, especially for their outward appearance. Hanne’s new book would make a huge difference to any person who is overwhelmed with self-hate, desperately looking for a book to help assuage his/her loathing. Imagine the feeling of relief someone might have (like I did) when they find this book online or on the bookshelves.

If I were fortunate enough to have the income to get Hanne Blank to her goal, I would do it without a second thought. However, because I’m not able to give financially (yet), I am asking the long-time or casual readers of this blog to donate  (if they have the capacity) whatever their budgets will allow, to help bring a book to marketplace. In a sea of “Bikini Body Workout Plan” (Seventeen) magazines and “The (insert trendy word here) Diet” books, don’t you think everyone could benefit from something to read that actually shows us that we are valuable human beings?

I’ve posted the video explanation for the IndieGoGo campaign below, but I really hope you click on the IndieGoGo site to read the full description and see how awesome this book will be. I hope you feel as grateful as I do, to have the opportunity to have a hand in bringing this book to those who need it.

To donate to the IndieGoGo campaign for

Hanne Blank’s 52 Weeks to Your Best Body Ever!

Click below:

Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously!

 You can learn more about Hanne Blank and buy her books at: www.HanneBlank.com

Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously! Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously! Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously! Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously! Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously! Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously! Hanne Blank says, You have a fantastic body. Seriously!

 

 

 

Glossary:

 ¹ Maine, M. (2000) Body Wars: Making Peace With Women’s Bodies, Carlsbad: Gurze Books.

² Goodman, W. (1995) The Invisible Woman: Confronting Weight Prejudice in America, Carlsbad: Gurze Books.

³ Source: Body Image and Advertising . 2000. Issue Briefs. Studio City, Calif.: Mediascope Press. Last revision was April 25, 2000.

Feb 272014
 
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One of the most undeniable virtues of a true Sacred Seductress is the way she loves her flesh. A Seductress loves every inch of her self: smooth skin, dimpled skin, parts that stick out, parts that just don’t. It is all as beautiful as a sunrise to her. Because of the conviction in her self-love, the judgments one usually makes about a female body seem to slip away when they are in her presence. She is that powerful.

When I say sacred seductress, you might be wondering what I mean.  Who I am talking about is you.  As a woman who teaches seduction, people always assume that I teach things like one-liners and mind games.  Hardly.  These things are not seductive.  They may have an instant effect of fascination or intrigue, but real seduction, true seduction, sacred seduction, comes from a much deeper place: a place of total, unapologetic authenticity. Seductive power and prowess is something we all possess. In my retreats it is never a matter of teaching a woman something new.  It is a matter of giving her permission to remember.seduction is banner

One of the greatest myths we are fed about seduction is that in order to be successful you must achieve a “perfect” esthetic and body. What a crock of shit. A Seductress does not wait around for the “perfect body” to arrive in order to feel and know her full sensual and erotic power.  She understands that sexy is something that lives inside of her, rather than outside.  She sources her beauty from her ability to feel and just be, not how someone told her she should look.  The things she is told she should be ashamed of she flaunts rather than hides.  She treats them like the diamonds that they are: rare, beautiful, and perfectly imperfect.

Body hatred is an epidemic amongst women. We live in a culture that teaches us to believe that she must meet an impossible list of qualifications in order to feel “beautiful.” The tricky thing about this list of benchmarks however, is that there is not a woman alive who could even come close to meeting them all. For every woman who wishes her hips were smaller, there is a woman who wishes her hips were more round. For every woman who wishes her breasts were fuller, there is a woman wishing she could wear t-shirts without feeling self-conscious. It reminds me of the story “The Emperor’s New Clothes.” We are all striving so desperately to be perfect, sexy, beautiful, young; and yet it is this exact desperation to change what is already perfect that makes us all feel so downright ugly.

A Seductress transcends all of this by making the important distinction between true beauty, and learned beauty. Learned beauty is what we do when our sole purpose is to gain the approval of others based on what we have been told is beautiful. When we aim to achieve the beauty we have learned, we are dependent on external validation to convince us of our power and radiance. But a true Seductress knows with every fiber of her being that true beauty is eternal. It never leaves us. It does not change with our outfit or our hairstyle or our age. True beauty means that we need never pause in the mirror and ask ourselves “do I look beautiful right now?” True beauty needs never be questioned. It is a simple feminine truth.

This is a lesson that was not easily learned for me.  As a woman who spent half her life unable to wear short sleeves for fear of exposing even her arms, I have come a long way baby. Everyday I recommit to choosing to see past the bullshit that tells me that unless I walk around in a photo shop pod, I have reason to doubt myself.  I choose to honor, appreciate and revere the temple of my flesh.  I adore my body, and I wish the same for you.

 

Adoration

By Kitty Cavalier

 I adore My Body.

 It is so scrumptious and delicious, I just want to gobble myself up. 

 I love my legs. They are like the most elegant champagne flutes. I imagine that if they were a food, they would taste like ladyfingers drizzled with chocolate and whipped cream.

I love my arms. I love the way they taper delicately at the wrist. I love their shape as I hold onto the subway rail. I love the way my muscles flex as I sway from side to side.

I love my breasts; they are like the ripest plum, hanging on a vine in Tuscany, warm from the sun.

I adore my hips. Their curves, the way I can grab the flesh on the bone. They give me a sense of home, like a crisp, brown Christmas turkey cooked with butter under the skin. Yum.

I love my Belly. I love the roundness of it. I love how authentically feminine it is. I love having it massaged in a warm bath with oil underwater.

I LOVE my shoulders, my clavicle, and my décolleté. My clavicle is like an Olympic ice skater. Graceful, elegant. A perfect ten. My décolleté; smooth like the frosting on top of a birthday cake. My shoulders, like marble pillars in the Sistine Chapel, holding everything together with strength, grace and beauty. 

I love my hair. Like warm amber honey. Smooth, lustrous, sensuous.

I love my face. My eyes, like looking down an endless beach. My lips, like perfect velvet pillows you just want to sink into. My skin, like the creamy froth on top of a cappuccino.

I love being a woman.
I love being me.
In the words of Doris Day, “I enjoy being a girl.”

 

IMG_1263-copyKitty Cavalier is known for bringing mischief to the masses in her signature workshops that teach seduction as a spiritual practice and a way of life. After a lifetime of renouncing the sensual, Kitty experienced an awakening about the true nature of seduction, and now spends her life writing, speaking and teaching about how to use seduction to create a more passionate, purposeful, satisfying life.  A sizzling starlet and gifted teacher, Kitty Cavalier is your go-to girl for celebrating the seductress within. 
You can reach Kitty here:
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red check social media icon google plus

 

 

The Seduction Experience, a 3-day immersion into sacred seduction. 

Check her out. KITTY CAVALIER

Jan 232014
 

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Listen to me on Tristan Taormino‘s SEX OUT LOUD RADIO 

on VOICE AMERICA.

Tristan talked to me about my recent workshop, Big Beautiful Sex at

The Pleasure Chest Los Angeles, body positivity and the future of sex.

CLICK HERE TO PLAY

Also, on the show: Julie Stewart from SportsheetsDee Dennis from Catalyst Con, Lorraine Byerly from We-Vibe and Dean Elliott from Sliquid.

This is Part 1 of interviews Tristan did at the Pleasure Works booth at Adult Novelty Manufacturers Expo, January 11, 2014.

*NOTE: Sportsheets Red Lace Corsette Strap-on ($39.99),  is 60″ around NOT 84″ like I mentioned on the show. However, you can buy some inexpensive, matching nylon webbing very inexpensively online or at a camping or notions store. Attach or replace and you’re good to go! Alternatively, Sportsheets has a “Divine Diva” harness that is basic but great which extends to 82″
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Sportsheets Red Lace Corsette Strap-on ($39.99)

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Tristan Taormino’s books, DVD’s and toys can be purchased at her website Pucker-up, by clicking the link above.

 

 

All products mentioned in this podcast can be purchased at Good Vibrations by clicking the banner above.

All products mentioned in this podcast can be purchased at Good Vibrations by clicking the banner above.

Jan 202014
 
 January 20, 2014  1 Response »
Jan 092014
 

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We were delighted to have sex educator Lady Cheeky at our Los Angeles store last night, teaching her body positive workshop Big Beautiful Sex. She shared her insights about overcoming fat-shaming, building sexual confidence, and finding the toys and positions that work best for your body. The workshop was such a big hit that we want to share the highlights with all of you!

Tips for Learning to Feel Sexy

Remember this: ”The person there with you in the room – they want to be there.”

“To feel better about having sex, you have to have sex.” Notice how confident you are while you’re afterglowing, and bask in that confidence.

Take time to touch the parts of your body that you normally want to hide in ways that feel pleasurable.

If you look in the mirror and think that you look ugly, replace that with a neutral observation: “I have red hair.”

Try going to a Korean spa. Everyone is walking around naked: you get to just be another body.

Notice how you judge other people’s looks. Try to be more compassionate in your thoughts. You’ll train yourself to be nicer to yourself.

Finding Your Favorite Toys

Try a longer toy that gives you some extra reach:

– The Magic Wand Original is an unbeatably powerful vibe.

– The Njoy Pure Wand may look like “a Star Trek torture device,” but it’s everyone’s favorite G-spot/prostate toy.

 

To read the rest, CLICK HERE

Nov 272013
 
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This panel was presented at the 2013 Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in DC by emotional freedom coach Cathy Vartuli  from, 2013 EXXXOTICA BBW Female Performer of the Year, Kelly Shibari from iconic transgender filmmaker Buck Angel, sensuality guru Elle “Lady Cheeky” Chase from http://www.SmutForSmarties.com, and outspoken sex blogger N’Jaila Rhee from http://www.BlasianBytch.com.

Each person’s sexual self-expression is unique, and requires courage and self-knowledge to experience and embody. Sexuality is an area where the –isms can radically impact our expression and beliefs. Sizeism, racism, ageism, ableism, sexualism and genderism are just a few of the boxes society and conventional media try to put us in. By examining the approaches used to ‘normalize’ us, and understanding our own fears and limiting beliefs, we can regain our power and freedom.

(This copy was re-printed from TheIntimacyDojo.com  Thanks to Reid Mihalko for filming this panel)

TRANSCRIPT

Speaker 1: We’re starting.

Cathy: Thank you all for coming.

N’jaila: Oy!

Cathy: Thank you. Welcome to Where Sex Meets Isms: From Shame to Self-Expression. We want to make sure everybody knows this is being video taped. If you don’t want to have your voice on the video tape, ask a neighbor to ask the question or …

Kelly: Except for Reid’s hand up in front of the lens.

Cathy: We also have a sign up sheet that’s going to be going around. Michelle is passing it around. We did a lot of … pulled together some data and statistics for the research for this, and if you want the PDF and also want to be signed up for our newsletters, you could go ahead and sign up. We’ll be glad to send that to you.

We’ll be going through how -isms effect sexuality and sexual self-expression, and we’ll be talking about sizeism, ageism, ableism, racism, sexualism, genderism and beautyism, but we don’t have time to go in depth into each of these different -isms. We’re going to each share our own expressions, our own experiences as we go through these, so it’s not going to be a comprehensive, like “This is what ageism is,” we assume that most of you have a pretty good idea about that. We want to talk about ways it effects us and our expression and also ways we can counteract it. In the interest of keeping things moving along, we have so much to cover, I will interrupt people if they start getting passionate about something and going on about it.

Kelly: I should have brought my crop.

Cathy: Oh, that would have been great.

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com. I’m a PhD, engineer and I’m a certified Advanced Emotional Freedom Techniques coach who coaches internationally on trauma, shame, body image and sexuality. I’m really delighted to be here with such a fantastic panel.

I have here, Kelly Shibari is currently the only plus size Asian-American porn performer in the U.S. She has since taken her public persona to become a stereotype-crushing figurehead for chubby Asian girls everywhere. N’jaila Rhee is a BBW web model, journalist, pod cast host and sex blogger. She hosts After Dark, a body and sex-positive pod cast on TWiB FM, she’s the author of BlasianBytch.com which was nominated for the Black Weblog Award’s Best Sex and Relationship Blog in 2012. We have Elle Chase AKA The Lady Cheeky, is a sex writer, a sexuality educator, and a sensuality coach who speaks nationally on body image, sexuality, and redefining your sexual self after forty. Did you try to make that attempt …

 Elle: I did.

Cathy: She’s also the creator of two popular award-winning websites, LadyCheeky.com and SexSmutforSmarties.com and finally, last but not least, Buck Angel is a pioneer film maker, inspirational speaker and advocate. He coined the phrase, “it’s not what’s between your legs that defines you.” He’s proven a remarkable insight and a validation for men, women and those who identify as neither, both or other. Buck also plays golf and gets lots of ladies pregnant.

Buck: You had to put it in that … .

Cathy: We’re each going to take a minute or two to show why -isms are important to us. For me, this is really important because for fourteen years I didn’t date and I didn’t have a relationship because I was fat. I absolutely believed that if yo fuck you. I was really lonely those years and I don’t believe that anyone needs to be there. Because Reed actually kicked me out of the … out dating. I worked with him a bit and I was out dating two weeks later and I’ve had more dates in my schedule than I can fit. It’s all up here. My weight hasn’t changed, society hasn’t changed, what changed was up here, and I want everybody to have access to that. I’m so glad you’re all here sharing this, learning and talking about it and sharing it, because we start making a difference when we do that. Thank you.

Kelly: I was going to ask if you’re going to stand the whole time.

Cathy: No, I was just …

Kelly: My story about dealing with -isms is obviously about sizeism, it’s less about racism although I’ve dealt with some of that, but I was born and raised in Japan, so my history with racism is a little bit different. Growing up in Japan, my story has always been about size because, especially as an Asian girl, you’re taught that you’re supposed to be small, petite and quiet and … which is odd and hypocritical because Japan is strangely a very matriarchal society.

It took me having to move to the States and then eventually getting out from behind the camera because I used to be a production designer, art director to getting in front of the camera as a porn performer, to actually accept that my size was something that was positive. It’s interesting when people tell you about society and how they tell you that certain sizes aren’t acceptable for attraction, for success in business, all those kinds of things and I’ve broken every single one of those. Yeah, that’s my story.

N’jaila: Hi, everybody. I deal with a very colorful intersection of different -isms. Obviously I’m a woman of size, I’m a sex worker, a cam model and also I have to deal with racism, not just as a black woman, which I’m obviously … I look black, but I’m also a mixed race woman. I’m black and Asian, hence Blaisan Bitch. I had to deal with a lot of expectations of what that would be and what, like what Kelly was saying, what Asian is to sexuality and what being a black woman, people expect out of your sexuality. Those have been some of the -isms that I deal with.

Elle: Hi. My experience came late in life, when I was forty, I left a sexless marriage. Realized I had never, never enjoyed sex, I didn’t know what the deal was. I went out and I explored and as I explored I had to come into awareness of my body that … I live in Los Angeles. I’m not tan with a little turned-up nose and built like that.

I had to really get okay with myself, and by accepting myself and my size, I went out and dated. It was the most life-affirming part of my life, through sex and through looking for pleasure and really trying to integrate sensuality into every part of my life. I found my self-confidence that really does bleed into every area of who I am. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, damn it.

Buck: Basically my story, it deals with gender and sexuality, being born a female and becoming a man and basically having to deal with not liking myself as a woman for most of my life, shut me off to so much of my life. Then, becoming a man and having to deal with being a man with a vagina was just a whole other -ism, really.

“You’re not a man, you can’t have sex, you have a vagina, you’re supposed to have a cock, you’re supposed to have …” all these kinds of things really affected my self esteem and my desire to have sex because I was completely disassociated with myself and my body for many years, because being told in society that I’m not a man and that I can’t do those things. That said, I finally told the world to fuck off and just reclaimed myself and my vagina.

Cathy: We’re just going to do a free forum if people want to answer. How do you see, we each shared specific incidents in your life, but how do -isms challenge and disempower people about sexual … around sexuality in general?

N’jaila: I guess I’ll go. I know for me, when I first started sex work, I was a dancer. I was working at this club, whenever they had a big girl night, because we’re only a special occasion. The other dancers refused to change in the same room as the big dancers. We couldn’t use their showers, we couldn’t use their makeup room, or anything like that. We had this little store room that they just stuck us in and that was our changing room, there was no privacy or anything. It was very disheartening because here I am, doing the same thing that these other women were doing, and it wasn’t the customers that were saying, “Oh, you have no value,” but it was people I thought would be my ally because we’re doing the same type of work.

I think also, being a performer, it’s always a battle to say, “I have value,” and not, “I have value despite being a bigger woman,” or despite the fact that I am black or despite that I have dark skin or a wide nose. It’s, “I have value because I’m a human being and I should be respected and that should reflect my sexuality.” I think when people are having that struggle, it affects how you value yourself because you’re constantly … it’s like you’re trying to box with God, because you’re trying to make society see your value.

Elle: I think also your body image and so much of your self-confidence, the baseline you get is when you’re growing up, whether you like it or not. For me, my parents never said anything complimentary about my physical body. My dad said I had a nice neck, and my mother said I had nice nail beds. When I’m dating …

Kelly: That should be on your resume.

Elle: It really should be. Nice nail beds.

Kelly: Which now you cover up with nail polish.

Elle: They’re nicely framed by my nail beds. Going on into high school, you’re like, “I have a nice neck and nice nail beds,” no. It’s like, “Wow, I really wish someone would have said, ‘You’re beautiful just the way you are, you’re smart, you’re this, you’re that,’” because you carry it with you and even though you have great days I’m sure and we are … we’re liberated in that way from that stigma ourselves. We still have our bad days, and it always comes back to that. Kelly: I think it’s interesting, especially when it comes to size, because bullying about size is one of these weird society … acceptable bullying because you get it not only from your parents, but even if your parents are telling you that you are beautiful regardless of your size, you as a child, you have a tendency to believe your peers more than your parents, because you think that your parents are always going to be there to protect you.

You have a tendency to go, “Okay, well my friends, at least, are going to be honest with me,” and when those people that you think are your peers and your same age group when you’re in junior high or high school, even younger, and they’re either teasing you or bullying you or downright just being outright mean to you when you were younger, then that eventually just feeds into all of your decision-making skills when you’re older.

That’s exactly what happened to me because I was bullied for the longest time for being the only fat kid in school in Japan. I was a size twelve and then I moved to … literally like moving from Japan to college in the states, and realizing “Wow, not only am I not the biggest girl in the room, most people are…”

Kelly: … about the same size as me and actually then going from having no dates to having a bunch of dates, right? You know how that’s like, it’s like, “Wow, gee, oh I’m pretty.” At the same time, you have all these years of bullying, of being told that when you’re fat, you’re not good enough or you’re unattractive, and then you start making all these decision and you start conducting yourself in a way like, “Okay, if I give it up for free, then I’ll be accepted.”

You have a large number of younger, chubby girls … I’m not really sure about guys because I’m not one … but having sex early because they think that that’s the only way that they can be accepted, and it took me getting older and realizing that it really doesn’t matter your size, it really matters more about the person you are, but it’s really difficult when you’re getting fed that from a very young age.Cathy: You’re not taught anything different. Buck, do you have anything to add?

Buck: Obviously, I had a fucked-up childhood. Being a masculine woman is something that a lot of people deal … in society, they do not like masculine women. I know why, obviously we’re challenging that notion of what it means to be a woman. Masculinity is supposed to be for the male side, so I have to deal a lot with that when I was a child and having to deal a lot with, “You’re very masculine, that’s not, you know, cool, why don’t you act more like a girl?”

I think that it’s really interesting that we have to deal with this masculine-feminine thing so much, that why can’t people just understand that everyone is just parts of those things, and that was really something that I had to deal with on such a level that really … for many years, I just couldn’t deal with myself being a masculine woman and didn’t know really what that meant, that I was transgender or transsexual. I think that the hurting and the bullying came from me, too, because I would fight all the time and I’d be so angry and pissed off at the world, because it wasn’t right, the way I was, it wasn’t the way that you’re supposed to be.

Cathy: I think the isms also create a lot of scarcity. We’re taught in our society if you’re overweight, you’re not sexual, which eliminates two-thirds of the population right there, and if you’re in a wheelchair or you’re disabled in some way, our society teaches that you’re not sexual and if you’re ugly, a lot of beautyism … I don’t consider myself a very attractive person and I grew up thinking that no one would want me, so I was excluded.

We keep excluding people and seeing and looking around and going, “Wow, there’s only three people that I know that are fuckable, so, oh my god, I’ve got to fight for them and I better put her down, and make her feel worse, and maybe if I put them down, I’ll feel a little better about myself. Maybe I’ll somehow inch up the ladder so one of those three people will see me and want to be with me at least once, so I get some self-esteem.” I think when we start …

Kelly: Then you find that they’re no fun.

Cathy: Then their personality comes out. When we lean on the isms, we create our own scarcity and our society is doing that and the media is portraying this because they want to sell us things that makes us thin or paler or look more attractive and it works for them because we’re all scrambling up a ladder that we don’t even want to be at the top of. We do see a lot of that in porn, especially in the early periods of porn … because porn is … as Nina and I both say very adamantly, porn is fantasy, not sex education, but when all you’re seeing when you’re …

Kelly: It’s an interesting study because you see different kinds of porn being viewed by different age groups, and when you’re an 18 to 24 age group, you tend to have … you tend to watch the kind of porn that society tells you you should be watching, so everybody is blond and slender and augmented and are these super sexualized versions of what American society considers beautiful, and as you see people get older and start to be less controlled by what their peer group tells is beautiful, you start seeing a small gravitational pull towards more amateur stuff, more niche products, and stuff as people start to explore and go, “You know, I’m really tired of just seeing the same kind of thing done by the same kind of people doing sex acts that I would never do at home.” Like who the hell does piledriver at home? I’m not going to do double anal at home, why would I watch that?

You see this move as people get older into amateur porn, which is people of size, more natural bodies, more natural sex acts, that kind of thing, and just speaking from a personal experience, most of my fan base tends to be couples where one or both people are of size because … and are older, they’re usually tend to be over 30 because they have a tendency to, “Oh, you’re the approved porn at home because you’re built like her, you’re built like my wife, you’re built like my girlfriend,” and so by watching the porn, I’m not hiding in a basement watching porn anymore, now I’m watching it with my partner because now she doesn’t feel threatened or she doesn’t think that I’m watching a kind of porn that shows people that I’m actually not all that interested in, but that’s what I think I should be watching.

Elle: I think it’s interesting, they did a study a few years ago where they polled college students and majority of the college students said that they would rather marry a drug dealer or an embezzler than a fat person. These are college students who are watching this porn and who have grown up with that as sex education and finding that looking at porn and going, “Well that’s what I should have with my love relationship,” or “That’s what I should have as a intimate connection with another person,” and it makes me sad, because I was 40 before I knew that.

It’s actually as an adult, because of porn, that I found who I was sexually because I was able, as a person who’s an adult who knows about sex education, where babies come from, and safe sex, I could look at it with discernment and find what I like, but had I looked at it when I was 10, which is when most kids start getting exposed to it, it would have completely changed my world view and that’s only because there was no Internet when I was 10. Yes I’m that old …

Kelly: I think we’re all that old.

Buck: I’m older than you [inaudible 00:06:45].

Elle: That’s why it’s so important I think, because I think that people are … as far as all isms go, they’re just afraid of sex. Anyone who is sexual is a threat and that means a black woman, a big black woman, a a [inaudible 00:07:03] girl, a man with a pussy, all of that is very, very scary to people.

Buck: I’m scary.

Elle: You’re scary.

Buck: I own that, I’m totally scary.

Kelly: It’s amazing how happy fat girls scare people.

Elle: Totally!

Kelly: Happy fat girls who are completely okay being naked, they’re like, “What?”

Njaila: I find it makes people angry.

Cathy: Yes, that too.

Njaila: It … because …

Buck: Yes, it makes them angry.

Njaila: … when I was in college, I was a person who was always really okay with their sexuality, like I used to cut class and read sexual textbooks when I was 11, so I knew where my clitoris was right off the bat. My relationship with my body was very like … it’s for me to have fun with. When I would go into spaces with straight sized people and just be myself, I found that they felt like, “Oh why are you making a big scene, why do you always have to be like that?” and I’m like, “Like what, I’m just at the beach running around, I thought that’s what we’re supposed to do.”

I think it’s because people get so many images of if you are fat, then it’s become moralized that it’s something bad, so you can’t enjoy life and be fat, it’s like an antithesis, it just doesn’t match. It’s … I feel like people think it’s the be all, end all of happiness.

I’ve talked to people who … I have a brother who’s trans and I thought “Okay, he’s going to be so much happier once he through this transition, he’s a very handsome man,” but now he’s not happy because he’s like, “Oh, I don’t have muscles, I don’t look like the guy on Men’s Magazine,” and now he wants to get buff so then he’ll be happy and it just feels like … chasing all these isms, it’s just something that steals happiness out of our lives and denies sexuality.

Cathy: Thank you. Why do you think that the isms persist? Why do humans keep excluding others and defining them as non-sexual or non-desirable?

Buck: Education, that’s basically it. People are brain washed and they’re programmed to think this way from day one, we’re all, like I said earlier, this is what a woman’s supposed to be, this is what a man’s supposed to be, this is what sexy is, this is what beautiful is, and we’re just totally programmed, I think, to think that way, and so people like us on the panel and hopefully like you are hope … showing people that that’s not true.

With our work, with my work, I can talk about my own work and really showing that yes, there are men with vaginas, it happens, it’s real, it has totally made people rethink gender, which is a really something pretty hard to get people to get … wrap their heads around. A man with a vagina is the scariest fucking thing, scarier than you girls. It’s the scariest thing that people have had, I think, to really wrap their head around. How is it possible that a man could have a vagina, that’s not … that doesn’t … that’s not what makes a man and that’s not what makes … a woman has a vagina and a man has a cock, it’s just the way it is.I think, education is really one of the main factors in really deprogramming the way people are taught to think about what’s pretty, what’s sexy, what’s this, what’s that, and I think that that’s the first and probably one of the biggest things that I think is one of the most important things in the world that we need to do.

Elle: Yeah, and modeling it when you go out in the world. If I go out for drinks with friends I will always, if it’s appropriate, flirt with the waiter, because this big girl’s flirting with the waiter. You know what I mean? Even if I don’t feel great, it makes me centered into my sensuality because it is an innate part of yourself and that’s why being so connected to your sensuality is so important because you’re born with it and it is … doesn’t matter what you look like, doesn’t matter how big you are, doesn’t matter how many limbs you are, how old you are.

You have that and it is your right as a human being to express it and so when other people see that in you it then becomes okay to have them express it. I have lots of people … friends of mine will come up and say, “Oh I’m so glad I can talk about this with you,” and we’re talking about a clit.

Buck: The scary monster.

Elle: Yes, the scary monster. Everyone’s scared of the clit. Anyway, that’s my experience.

Kelly: I think media also plays a lot into it, and again, a lot of my background comes from comparing media in Japan and media here. When I grew up … when I was growing up, it was in the late 70′s, early 80′s, television in Japan actually had … anything after 11:00pm, because the kids would have been asleep, on national television was sex-positive programming, and sex … and things that made sex fun or nakedness fun, but I also come from a culture that sexualizes and humorizes embarrassment, whether you’re talking about Japanese fetish porn, all the way to the creation of tentacle porn and just things like … what’s the American version, I think it’s called Wipe Out, there’s a game show … that’s based on Japanese game shows.We humorize and sexualize embarrassment in a country where we’re so crowded, you have to learn how to laugh at yourself and to laugh at other people around you, because that mitigates the stress factor that’s already going to be there anyway, whereas American society … especially these days and ever since probably the past 10 years, we tend to celebrate and reward drama.

We have a tendency to reward and celebrate snarkyess and shows like Big Brother and shows like … even Survivor, when it first started out, was all about game theory, but now it’s more about, “What can I do to destroy the other person?” so the game has changed. You have shows like Honey Boo Boo, you’ve Honey … you’ve got shows like … that just … yeah. It’s a show based on Toddlers and Tiaras, this whole little kids pageant shows.

Elle: Pedophilia, you mean?

Buck: I wasn’t going to say it.

Kelly: No, but shows in general that … if you’re somebody on a reality show, but you are the drama person, then you get a spin off, you get rewarded with another show, you get rewarded with more money and fame and red carpet events, you get to go to the Oscars. Nobody … and then the shows that actually do celebrate goodwill and acceptance, things like Secret Millionaire, those tend not to. Those tend to just be like, “Oh, it’s just another show.” They don’t get celebrated, they don’t get all the interviews, and so in a society that celebrates and rewards bullying, it’s very hard to find acceptance.

Cathy: I think the media, too, is not only … it’s the drama, but also, there’s an estimated 300,000 negative images for people of size per year in the media. We’re constantly bombarded, we’re shown that fat people like … I watch … if you just watch an hour of TV and you write down the number of times a fat person is smelly, awkward, stupid, whatever, they very rarely show someone who’s slender and … all the people that are happy and successful are slender and fit, they’re not in a wheelchair, they’re not … very rarely are they someone of color.

Kelly: Usually the butt of jokes on sitcoms and things like that.

Cathy: And if it’s an older person who’s sexual, that’s a big joke, too. It’s constantly reinforced, I think, and they do it because it sells.

Kelly: A good example of that is Miss America. Last … I don’t know, last week … so the fact that she call … she had a thing that said “speak louder” … so Miss America last week … Miss America last week, before she, I think right after she won, she had said that the former Miss America was fat. She was so happy that she was replacing the old Miss America because the old Miss America was fat. There was a little bit of news, there was a little bit of drama, lasted maybe about six hours on media. The fact that the rest of America made fun of her because she was Indian-American, that went all week. Whereas the racist commentary is very public, the sizeist commentary is like “acceptable.” It’s “okay” that she called her fat.

Njaila: It’s sad, because she talks about having eating disorders.

Kelly: Right, so that on top of everything else. But again, you know shows like Real World. When people are younger and they’re watching shows that show all that kind of negative behavior, then all they’re going to do is they’re going to grow up and be that. Because everybody’s telling them it’s okay to be a bully. It’s okay to be an overly dramatic person who only concentrates on the negative.

Buck: Well remember those stickers that everyone used to have on their car, “No Fat Chicks”? You remember those stickers? Wow, like, that’s shocking.

Njaila: They still have them.

Buck: They still have them? Just that alone, it’s incredible that somebody would take a sticker and put that sticker on their car.

Speaker 1: Oh I’m glad they do. Because you know that person [inaudbile due to laughter 01:03]

Kelly: So you can stay away from them.

Speaker 2: You know which car to vandalize.

Buck: Which windows to smash out.

Elle: I think what this boils down to for me at least, is no matter what -ism you have … Because face it, it’s not just women of size. A friend of mine is a size eight and she thinks she’s huge. Not that there’s anything wrong with that–

Kelly: But that depends on what their peer group tells them.

Elle: Right, well usually what their peer group is telling them because people search for power within their system.

Cathy: But even models, they’re airbrushed. They don’t even look like that.

Elle: Right. But what happens is when you get into an intimate situation no matter what -ism you have, you are less able to connect with that partner. Because there’s a third person in the room, and that person is your fear of your -ism, whatever that is. I’ve gone to bed with people and been like please don’t touch my stomach. Because that is the part that everyone would make fun of. And then you’d find a difference when you go to bed with someone who does touch your stomach, and you’re okay with it, and it’s like wow I could have been enjoying that this whole time. Because some people, you know, there’s a pot for every cover, and there are some men who prefer a larger woman. There’s someone for everyone.

Speaker 3: There’s shame about that for them.

Elle: There’s absolutely shame about that, absolutely. And men as it is too, the whole chivalry in dating thing. There’s a whole ism with men.

Buck: Men have body issues too. I have body issues, clearly.

Elle: One million men in this country have eating disorders. And, you know dating for them isn’t easy. Because you know they want to open the door but then someone says to them “I’m a woman I can open my own door.” Ugh, where do manners get … I don’t understand. So it’s very, very, very confusing. It’s just up to us to make it clearer.

Kelly: Yeah size becomes an issue for men as well because there’s a weird kind of bullying that happens with fat boys where they’re told that they’re girls. They’re feminized. There was actually a big article about that a couple weeks ago. Because there’s a heavier mound at the pubic area, it makes your penis look smaller.

Buck: Like a Barbie bump.

Kelly: Yeah, they call it the Barbie bump. There’s photos of naked, large men saying “Oh, you know, he can’t see his penis, so he must not be a man.” That kind of stuff is perpetuated with younger kids and then obviously that gets translated when you’re older.

Elle: Or “you throw like a girl.”

Kelly: Yeah.

Elle: What’s wrong with that?

Kelly: Yeah I throw really well.

Cathy: You have a question?

Speaker 4: Yeah I do. I know that Buck has done some interviews overseas and in other countries. And I would like some perspective from the panel about how the -isms change from which country we go to. And how we can start to change it here using some of those lessons. I’ve gone to the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference two years in a row now and the genderqueer kids are blowing my mind. They’re not even in the picture for this, it doesn’t exist for them. And when it does they push back hard. And that’s a generation behind us that’s really changing things radically.

Buck: But it’s changing things within that community. And the thing is, though, there are -isms within that community, don’t let them fool you. They are awesome and powerful but I will tell you that they also pull that -ism shit within their own community.

Speaker 4: So that’s what we need to talk about.

Buck: Yes. I think what they’re doing is incredible but at the same time they do not respect the other people’s opinions about certain things, such as, for example, myself and my vagina. I’m very proud of my vagina, but they will tell you that it’s not cool that I call myself a man with a vagina. And they will fight back at me. And I’m like why, it’s cool that you call yourself genderqueer. Or “reclaiming words,” right? Such as using the word queer. I’m old-school, I’m from a long time ago where queer was a dirty, nasty word. And it’s cool, I’m all about reclaiming words, don’t get me wrong. But there are some words that some people don’t necessarily think are “good enough” to reclaim, such as the word tranny. So there’s those kind of -isms even within that community, I just needed to throw that out there. It’s an awesome thing, but they’re in their own world. They need to educate the rest of the world as well, not their own world.

Kelly: It’s definitely an -ism I’ve seen within the trans community, because I’ve done marketing and PR … when I’m not performing, I also do PR and marketing … for the transgender film festival. But they want nothing to do with “trannies.”

Buck: Exactly.

Kelly: They want nothing to do with the “porn” version of transgender, which is–

Buck: Derogatory.

Kelly: Right, because in that community it seems to be. And I can’t speak for that community. It speaks less about horomone therapy and changing who you are, and it’s more about plastic surgery.

Buck: And it’s your choice.

Kelly: Exactly.

Buck: It’s like whatever big kind of woman you want to be … I’m sure that happens within the big people community, that same -ism thing. Like you’re not big enough, or you’re skinny now. -Isms happen within communities, I’m sure you realize that. And sometimes that’s even more hurtful.

Njaila: There’s a lot of ableism in the body-positive community.

Elle: You’re being attacked by friendly fire.

 Cathy: Go ahead.

Speaker 5: So I’m looking at some research currently about folks with disabilities who partner with people with disabilities, and kind of what you were talk about, as, for example, a fat person who’s sleeping with someone who’s not fat … however, when people of color sleep with people of color and people with disabilities sleep with people with disabilities and trans folks sleep partner up, etc. there’s the whole concept of isolationism and, you know, you only stay with your own kind. Can you speak to both sides of that story, of having someone that actually gets it be a partner, but then also having that idea that you can’t actually step outside those boundaries to have someone feel uncomfortable with.

Kelly: Yeah, there’s definitely an idea of you’re going to date fat guys because you’re a fat girl. So when a guy that actually works out at the gym, takes really good care of his health, in his own vision of what that means for him, then seeks out a larger woman as a partner, it seems to, like, “why?” People are like “But you take such good care of yourself, why would you be with a fat girl.”

Speaker 5: Well fat people can take good care of themselves too.

Kelly: Exactly, thank you. But it’s also personal preference. Guys and girls who do kind of go to the extreme when it comes to going to the gym and having a chiseled body then seek out a larger male or female partner, that’s their personal choice. But it seems like, again, the peer group goes “Oh, if you’re at the gym six days a week why aren’t you dating another gym rat?”

Cathy: I think that a lot of the -isms is about defining people based on a physical characteristic. And humans are much, much more complex than that. So for me when you ask that question about, you know, is it okay or how should people decide about that, it’s like as long as you’re making a choice and seeing people as people, rather than identifying them as they have a penis or they don’t, or their BMI is over a certain amount. When we start connecting with people as people, then the rest takes care of itself.

Kelly: It’s actually a really good question, because Buck owns Buck Angel Dating, which is a trans dating site.

Cathy: I tried to get my brother to join, but he’s too scared.

Kelly: Is the majority of the people using that site trans, or do you have any like–

 

Buck: Actually they are trans but what’s happening is a lot of gay men are going on that site, actually seeking trans men, which is really awesome.

Kelly: Cisgender gay men or transgender gay men?

Buck: Cisgender gay men, yes. Which is really amazing for me, because I always wanted to open that door for a lot of gay men who felt really weird about being attracted to trans men because again there’s that thing: “I’m a gay man. How is it possible that I can be attracted to a man with a vagina? Does that make me gay?” Like wow think about that question, that’s pretty intense. What makes you gay?

Speaker 6: I want to speak to the elephant in the room, sex and the elderly. Everyone ages, but that kind of ultra ageism.

Speaker 5: There’s a panel tomorrow afternoon.

 

Kelly: We’re coming to that, we actually spent all lunch talking about being old.

Speaker 6: It’s as if we’re invisible. I was in the elevator with you (Kelly) and you were focused on where you were going and I was gazing at you. I’m not trying to point you out by doing that, it’s just like so many people are like that.

Kelly: I tend to travel in a bubble, sorry.

Speaker 6: I usually see that people don’t even look in my direction. The only reason I say that is because it’s just like we’re invisible.

Elle: Can I speak to that actually, just as a woman? I don’t think it has anything to do with age. Really, I don’t think it does. I think what it has to do with is being a woman we are often accosted a lot and made to feel ogled at and sexualized when we don’t want to be. So we automatically put ourselves in a bubble.

Kelly: In my particular case I’m not poly, I’m in a committed relationship even though I’m a porn performer, for three and a half years, I have a tendency to be surprisingly introverted. And so I tend not to go to parties unless I’m invited, I tend to be a hermit because of that. You know that, I’ve told you.

Elle: Yeah.

Kelly: Like the only reason I go out is because you text me and go “you’re coming out.” So if you would have said hello I completely–

Speaker 6: I usually do, but you really seemed like you were–

Buck: But you really think it has to do with your age?

Speaker 6: Yeah.

Buck: Have you noticed a difference since you’ve gotten older that people have reacted to you differently?

Speaker 6: Yes, once I tell them that I’m 66–

Kelly: You don’t even look it.

Speaker 6: Their eyes go low, it’s like becoming invisible.

Elle: You need to read a little Joan Price.

Speaker 7: One of my [inaudible 11:52] partners was 90.

Kelly: Yeah, I’ve done porn scenes with 78-year-old men, so I’m, yeah, I don’t have age issues at all.

Njaila: I actually think there’s a lot of women who seek out older men. When I was in college I was 19, my boyfriend was 53.

Buck: Awesome.

Njaila: I think as a society we do have a lot of media messages that you have to be young and sexy all the time or else you’re worthless. I grew up watching “The Golden Girls,” so I just thought I’m going to be fucking until I die. But I think that the people who came before that, and after that, we’ve come into this society that is obsessed with that “key” 18-35 demographic and it makes everybody else invisible.

Kelly: It is extremely difficult when society tells you that men reach their sexual peak at 18 and women reach their sexual peak in their mid-thirties. Which is not true, at all. But it makes it very difficult for older men and women. What happens once you’ve passed that peak, are you like not allowed?

Buck: Well that’s why you need role models, such as Nina.

Kelly: Yeah, Nina does a great job.

Buck: Who’s been working in the sex industry for so long. (to Nina Hartley in the audience)You’re 54, that is incredible. And you’re an amazing role model. You’re sexy, hot, you can see that, you know, smart. Well who care about smart, but? (laughs) Can I see your tits? I’m just kidding.

Kelly: But there are older men who do have porn careers of their own, both here in the states and in Japan. Dave Cummings is a perfect example of an older guy who, I don’t know how old he is …

Speaker 7: Is he still working?

Kelly: I think he just recently retired.

Speaker 7: But 78 I think it was.

Kelly: Yeah, but 78.

Njaila: Also male performers “last” longer. When you’re in an established career, you have people like Tom Byron, I think he’s been doing it for like 19 years.

Buck: Yeah, but he still has to get a hard-on.

Cathy: You had a question here?

Speaker 8: Yeah, I do. Culturally, I know we put a lot of power in the -ism. And I think individually, just with that last question, a lot of personal power is given to -isms. So I’m wondering if we can talk about your personal practices and processes of empowerment and embodiment. We speak so much about what’s going on in the media and it’s this, and this, and this, but really I think, from my perspective, embodiment and truth, like that’s very personal.

Buck: Right on.

Cathy: That’s beautiful and that was really the next question.

Kelly: I fall into a very interesting response to that, because I do get a fair amount of online bullying. If I do an interview on a radio show or if I’m on Huffpo or whatever, there usually is a certain segment of the population that wants to Internet troll and go “oh, you’re fat” and try to shame me. And my answer has always been, yeah, but I make money doing that. And that’s what people are asking me to do, is perform as a plus-size performer. So, if I lose weight I’ll lose that, so F you (laughs). But unfortunately that only allows me to be a role model for people over a certain age, and my issue is I’d prefer to be a role model for people who have to deal with the bullying when I went through the bullying, which was when I was younger. Unfortunately, as a porn performer I’m not technically allowed to do that. So that’s my sadness, and so hopefully over time I’ll be able to segue into something where I am maybe allowed to speak to younger people. I think part of it is communication and, like you said, role modeling. But I don’t think that I’m past all my -isms. There’s a lot of days I–

Cathy: I feel really good about myself. I get in a swimsuit or I go to a tantra meet up and be naked in a hot tub and be really happy, then one morning I get up and I’m like, “Oh my God! I’m so fat and ugly. How can I leave the house?” It still comes back.

Kelly: I contemplated doing this panel naked.

Elle: There would be no complaints here.

 

Buck: That’s not okay.

Kelly: Again, there’s a camera … there’s consent to that.

Buck: For myself, I really learned how to be positive. My life is all about positivity. I do not let negativity come into my life. When people write me scary emails and they’re going to kill me, I’m the devil and the anti-Christ, it just really makes me realize how important what I’m doing is because I’m touching on something that people don’t necessarily want to think about. For me, that’s a positive thing. I don’t react. Reacting is the worst thing you can do and because I believe that. When you put out positivity, positivity comes back. It’s really simple. I know it’s all wing-nutty and zen, but trust me, it works! That’s how I live my life. Once I got to that level of really understanding that people really are attracted to what I have to say and who I am because of my positivity. If was standing up here all angry, “No! I have a vagina, you have the …” people would just be like, “Hey!”

Speaker 1: Can you do that for us?

Buck: Yeah, what is that? That said, I only think I have many -isms … okay, I have a little bit of body issues. I have to go to the gym and build up my body, that’s my thing that I think that I have left over From, “This is what a man looks like and I need to be very masculine,” but I think other than that, I’m so okay with myself enough to where I would go to gyms all over the world and walk in the gym naked, the men’s gym. People don’t know what to do, which is so powerful. It’s incredibly powerful to have just my vagina out there in front of the world saying, “What?” It’s all about reclaiming yourself and it’s all about loving yourself. There will be -isms in the world forever. The bottom line, it comes back to yourself, sir, and your own -ism about your age. You’re an amazing-looking man. You seem like a cool person. It’s not about your age, dude, you have something going on there with yourself that you just need to be like, “Whatever? She wasn’t interested in you. Go to the next chick!”

Speaker 2: I have an idea that’s why you’re on the panel.

Elle: I think it’s also just coming off of that, Buck, is in that positivity, which is I think is really important for people who are really weighed down with something, anything, but it’s also looking for opportunities, because when you react to something emotionally, the emotion is real, but what sparked it is probably not real.

For me, I was dating someone and we wanted to fuck outdoors, so we went to a swingers’ spa in Southern California and I didn’t even think about it. I went to the door with him and I was all excited and I went, “Oh, wait! I’m 200 pounds, and I’m going to have to be naked.” I don’t know why it didn’t … because I was with someone who just didn’t see my body only. I went in there and I was shaking, upset and so scared, and I just went, “You know what? When am I going to enjoy my life?” I just took off my clothes and the moment I did that and I was like, “Here’s my stomach! My stomach is going like this,” and no one cared. I guarantee you.

Everyone’s worried about their own shit. No one cared! It was one the most freeing thing to have sex with my lover in front of people who are … with six packs, who normally I would have been just intimidated in front of, and didn’t feel like I was worthy enough to do that.

Kelly: That’s the cool thing about nudist communities because … nudist communities, not swinger communities, but nudist communities tend to have a larger percentage of people with normal bodies or natural bodies. It’s funny because I have a lot of friends in Tampa that has a very large nudist community down in that part of Florida, as well as the swinger community.

When the swinger community tries to go and events of the nudist community, it’s weird because they’re not comfortable because they’re used to exhibitionists, but it’s a different kind of exhibitionism, and then they go to a nudist colony and they’re like, “Everybody’s over 40.” Everybody’s got 30-40 pounds on them, but they’re just super comfortable walking around naked, whereas the swingers seem to be like, “Hmm …”

Speaker 1: Even if they can fake it till you make it so inside you’re going, “Oh my God!” but if I looked at you, I’m saying, “Damn! She’s okay with her fine self! Hi! What’s your name?” I learned how to be a stripper. I realized they can’t read your mind.

Buck: Right!

Speaker 1: As you smile and go up there and act confident people could go, “She’s confident!”

Elle: Also, if you’re not feeling confident, you can’t really fake it because you know it up here.

Speaker 1: With posture and smile and people can’t read it.

Elle: You can do all of that, but I think when you look in the mirror, there will be “cougars” around who will say, “Say you’re beautiful!” “I’m beautiful!” I just want to smack them. I don’t feel beautiful, don’t tell me what to feel. I’ll tell you what I will do. What I will tell people to do is look in the mirror and if you can’t say anything good to say, say something neutral. My mother said I’ve got nice nail beds. I think that today. Anything that’s neutral because you will make yourself laugh and it’s true.

Kelly: Now you’re a dirty girl.

Elle: You can’t see that because [crosstalk 00:05:56].

Buck: You can’t help the porn people, it just has to come out.

Kelly: This is the thing with public performers, we have to put on such a positive face all the time and so many of us actually do have insecurities. Sure, 80% of the time, I’m going to be like, “Yay, fat girls,” but 20% of the time when there’s like the hiccup that happens, when something goes awry, like with work or whatever, then all of those insecurities come tumbling down the hill. It’s just very important to know that if you do have a day or a few hours where you’re feeling down about yourself, you wanted to do nothing but cut yourself down, just walk away and not let other people feed into that.

Cathy: It’s really great to have a support group. I have friends that I can call and say, “I’m having a small day. Can you remind me of a couple things that are good about me?” There’s a lot of different things you can build into your system so that, “Okay, I’m having a bad day.” One thing I love is also to look in the mirror … and we talked about this before, just find one part of my body I like, like the back of my hand, the skin is smooth, and be present with that. I had to grow it from just the back of my hand and then gradually, “My eyes don’t really suck!” It was a process over a couple of years to start loving my body more, but we can have a lot of those systems in place.

Njaila: I also learned to deal with things, a lot of times people say, “It’s in your head, how people are thinking about you,” but sometimes you will have to deal with people that are thinking about you. I remember there was an after party at a New York swinger community and my friend really wanted me to go, and I’m very embarrassed to say they don’t let bigger people into this particular club’s events. I’m not allowed to go and it was hard for me to A) have to say that out loud because it’s something that’s embarrassing. Because you’re basically saying, “These group of people don’t think I’m good enough,” and then it was also embarrassing for my friend, who only wanted to go if somebody else would go with her, so now I felt like, “I’m a kill joy because I’m a fat girl.” What I do in those types of situation, I try to remind myself that there’s still work to do in the world to make it better. While it would be perfect in an ideal world that I could go to the swing party, chill and do whatever, not yet. I always look at myself and I always remind myself that I am a sexual subject, not a sexual object, and I have agency and power. While that one club could say, “We don’t think you’re good enough,” I also don’t think that a club that’s exclusionary is good enough for me.

Kelly: I’m very against self-segregation, especially with the plus-sized communities. There’s a tendency to have plus-size clubs, plus-size this and plus-size that. I have a tendency to go, “I want to do anything but that.” I’d much rather go where there are people who also have shapes and sizes and colors, but at the same time when there is a group that says, “No, you’re not invited,” that just gives me creative license to just go make my own because there’s always going to be other people who will like me.

Speaker 3: That was actually a great lead into this question I wanted to ask. Two of you spoke about education and modeling being needed for change, absolutely, but then there’s also on the other side of that, should folks that are fraught with -isms or in marginalized communities, be responsible for having to educate folks and I don’t think they should be.

What can allies do, whether it’s white allies or straight allies or [inaudible 00:09:36] allies or skinny allies or whatever you want to call, what does that look like around sexual … I think we can talk about overall racism and overall sizes. What does that look like as far as sexual freedom?

Njaila: I think it’s very similar overall, like being an ally is listening. I am very annoyed with the tumblr generation, cliqueivism! Everybody is a social justice warrior, but nobody’s actually doing anything. I feel like you could parrot the same talking points that make you an ally, but if you’re not actually listening to the people in the community and if you’re not reacting to what we have to say … It annoys me when I’ll be talking to somebody and I’ll talk about colorism and they’ll stop me and go, “You’re not that dark!” or “You’re not black.” No, this is something I’m dealing with, especially because mixed raised women aren’t supposed to actually look black. I was supposed to be a geisha dipped in tea. I am black-looking. That is something I’ve been dealing with.

If somebody wants to be my ally, I want them to listen to me. I don’t want them to say, “I know your issues, so let me tell you a thing about your life,” that doesn’t work. Also, I feel you could pick your battles. I started a new job, which is very weird for me, because it’s a very vanilla job and they’re greeting me, they’re all talking and they’re talking about my resume like, “She speaks Korean, that is so weird.” It was her fault because I guess they just didn’t put two and two together, it’s like, “Yes, I speak Korean. Half the people in my family are Korean.”

While I think maybe a younger me would have made a scene and be like, “Why the hell shouldn’t I?” I assumed that this person probably wasn’t thinking of it and I’m just going to let it go, not light up this board room. I think it’s knowing your battles. When you do have your … you’re going to make your stand, be able to articulate your point, not a dagger, where you’re accusing somebody, where it was like, “You were a bad person because you said XY and Z and you must now believe this because that’s what you said,” but explain to them, “When you say, it’s strange that I speak Korean, it makes me feel bad as a mixed-race woman, because I feel marginalized,” you should talk about how you feel.

Kelly: Yeah. If you respond to shame with more shame, or anger with more anger, everything just spirals downhill. If somebody comes at you and … anger is so weird in activism, to me, because I see a lot of that with people who are very “Rah-rah, sticks and fire, we’re going to go burn down …” it’s like … .

Cathy: That doesn’t shift anything.

Kelly: That doesn’t help acceptance at all.

Njaila: There’s the Exotica thing where … people were … I guess you should tell what happened, or let me tell what happened. Basically, Exotica has these awards and for different performers. For the BBW performer, it was called, “Hungry Hungry Hottie.”

Kelly: I thought it was totally fine.

Buck: It’s totally fine!

Kelly: It was funny because I’m hungry, I’m a hottie. I could be hungry for penises. I’m just like, you could spin everything in a positive way, but the BBW community really was like, “Hungry, hungry hippo.”

Buck: That’s probably Courtney Trouble.

Kelly: Why?

Buck: Because she likes to do that.

Kelly: It was a bunch of other people, too. When I luckily won, they changed the award to Whole Lot of Love which I was like, “That’s not hot at all. That just makes me want to cuddle and not hot.” Cuddling is fine, but it’s not the same thing. When I went up on stage, I was like, “I really would like to accept the Hungry Hungry Hottie Award.”

Buck: What?

Njaila: There’s a different way, like I said, I didn’t particularly like the Hungry Hungry Hottie because … there’s a bunch of categories in that, that I was like, “Eh,” they had a Hottest Not White Chick.

Kelly: Exotica’s a real tongue-in-cheek, no pun intended, fan-based convention.

Buck: For porn!

Kelly: It’s not about education. It’s a porn fan event and so they had Best Non-White Chick that it was the ethnic award. They had … Who’s your Mommy was the MILF award. TS I love You was the trans award. If you look at the bigger picture, you realized that they were just being tongue-in-cheek with everybody.

Buck: I have a movie called Bucks Beaver!

Cathy: In that case, it might be really good to ask people how they wanted to be supported or if they actually need support around something?

Njaila: If you disagree, you could disagree civilly, like we were talking on Twitter, why you weren’t bothered by it and I was like … I was actually more mad at the Hot Not White Chick one, but that’s just how I feel, like they could have maybe done it in different way that would make the performers want to be part of it, because it wasn’t just that people was like, “I don’t like the name.” Performers were like, “Don’t nominate me for this. I don’t want to participate.”

Kelly: BBW’s were like, “I’m boycotting this,” and I’m was like …

Buck: They’re only hurting the community.

Kelly: Right, you’re spending so many years asking for the mainstream porn community to accept you guys and have a BBW award because we haven’t had a plus-size award category ever, except for Urban X, which is the ethnic award show. I was just like, “Why don’t you celebrate the fact that we even have one?” You and I were able to go, “Okay, we have differences,” and that was that.

Buck: Back to your question about allies, “What can they do?” is they can choose their battles, and understand that we are putting ourselves out there. I’m not saying that everyone needs to go and educate. I am choosing to educate, and I know I’m choosing to take negativity on when I do that, trust me, I’m not, not aware of that, I’m completely aware of that. But, if I’m going to have allies and they want me to work for them, which is what I’m totally doing, and I have no issue about it, and I don’t care that I have 50 allies or 500,000 allies, it doesn’t matter, I’m still going to choose to do this work, but to me, the allies who say they’re your allies, but then they turn around and post that kind of stuff where they takes things out of context that you said and say this and that, that hurts the cause, and so we have to understand our cause is to change the way people think on all of these different levels

Kelly: Negativity and anger, nobody wants to be around that.

Buck: Especially within our own communities. That’s something that I’m going back to again because to me that something I take really, in a sense, personally, because it’s happened to me so much more than any other, is my own community has eaten me up and spit me out until I got to a level that I am sort of now, and now it’s like oh, wow, but before they would rip me a new asshole every chance they got, which is really strange to me, because my ultimate goal was to change it for everybody, it wasn’t to just be about me and that, It was to change it about everybody so as you can seeI’m very passionate about that ally thing because that’s a very great question and it’s also something that’s very touchy and weird.

Kelly: I think people have a tendency to want to watch drama, but they don’t actually want to be around it, and so if you’re going to be a good ally I would not offer to pick up the pitchfork and the glowing stick, and I would be like okay well what can we do to make something positive?

Buck: Yes, be positive.

Elle: You said something to me when we were doing our Skype where I said, we were talking about this panel and I said “well, I can’t really speak to the trans issue because I’m not trans, but I can speak to A, B and C”, and you immediately jumped in and said, “but you can be an ally, you absolutely can speak about that”, and it completely changed my way of thinking. because this is the great thing about diversity. Anybody can choose what they want to be an ally to. I’m involved in the Milk Foundation in Los Angeles. I don’t identify as gay, but I really believe in it. So, there will always be someone somewhere who’s going to advocate, and that’s the beauty of good will.

Buck: Thank you.

Elle: This is the great thing about diversity, is that anyone can choose what they want to be an ally to. I’m involved in the Milk Foundation in Los Angeles. I don’t identify as gay, but I really believe in it, so there will always be someone somewhere who’s going to advocate and that’s the beauty of good will.

Buck: Totally.

Kelly: It’s also good to see, if you’re good at something, and you can use it to help promote a cause, like say for instance, because I do, PR and marketing, I’m able to like help with free advertising and press releases and stuff for trans events, trans film festivals, that kind of stuff, because that’s something that I feel strongly about. I’m not trans, there’s certain things that I can’t feel like I can do as an ally, but I know that I can use the things that I am good at, and use it to the benefit.

Njaila: I guess also you should make sure the person that your to be an ally to is even an activist …

Kelly: They may not want that.

Njaila: My sibling is trans and he will not have any rainbow flags.

Kelly: We can’t take you dragging and kicking and screaming, going we are going to be your advocate.

Njaila: Sometimes you have to listen to what people say.

Audience: I just want to say I think it’s totally legitimate though to be angry about, not just to accept like oh good they’re recognizing bigger women, finally, but to be angry about something you would consider racist especially if they’re giving you this title and it’s not something that you are choosing to call yourself, it seems like that that’s a legitimate response. Not to settle for oh good they’re accepting us finally.

Kelly: But I think that there’s also constructive ways of promoting the good that’s happening, and not promoting the stuff that’s bad. Yes they’re bring light to certain negative things that are happening in the world, but if you give positive reinforcement to things that are good then people want to do more of that.

Buck: You know change doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes you do have to take those little steps.

Kelly: Like here’s a good example. Just in the past year Exxxotica had their very first BBW award in a mixture of other awards. This year, Nightmoves, which is an adult awards show, just added a BBW category and as a result AVN in January is going to have their very first BBW award.

Buck: I know, awesome.

Njaila: It’s not called hungry, hungry, hump.

Kelly: It’s not called hungry, hungry, hottie, although it’d be okay if it was, for me.

Buck: Just to let you know, I won the transsexual performer of the year at AVN, a first transsexual man ever in the history of the porn industry, that’s changing things, it means they recognize the fact that transsexuals are men and women [inaudible 00:05:02] because I kept pushing at it, yes I am a tranie to. There are transsexual men, there are transsexual women, people didn’t even get it within the porn industry where you think there’s everything in the porn industry; there’s clown porn, [inaudible 00:05:18] I’m like, a man with a pussy? I’m sorry, but clown pron is way more over there, don’t even try it.

Kelly: Because some people are really scared of clowns.

Buck: I know.

Njaila: It’s so important that you put yourself out there to do it, because with my sibling, he was so discouraged when he was going through his transition, he was like, I really don’t know what I’m going to be when this over, and can I function as a regular person, and then he found out about you and he was like, yes, I’ll be okay, I guess.

Buck: Awesome. Way to go, that’s so cool.

Cathy: So we need to wrap it up. One thing I’d like to, like when you were asking about how people say something negative, it really helps me to remember how scared I used to be and that I was very negative about fat people even though I was fat, most people that are saying negative things are coming from a place of ignorance and fear so yelling at them or shaming at them or creating drama isn’t going to … people that are scared don’t learn better.

Kelly: Of course.

Cathy: So if we can calmly talk to them, and assume that they mean well, they just don’t know better, people actually shift a lot faster when we do that. I’d really like to thank everyone so much for being here, for this great panel.

Buck: Awesome.

Cathy: Thanks for making a difference in the world.

Buck: Awesome.

 

 

Nov 272013
 
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This panel was presented at the 2013 Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit in DC by emotional freedom coach Cathy Vartuli  from, 2013 EXXXOTICA BBW Female Performer of the Year, Kelly Shibari from iconic transgender filmmaker Buck Angel, sensuality guru Elle “Lady Cheeky” Chase from http://www.SmutForSmarties.com, and outspoken sex blogger N’Jaila Rhee from http://www.BlasianBytch.com.

Each person’s sexual self-expression is unique, and requires courage and self-knowledge to experience and embody. Sexuality is an area where the –isms can radically impact our expression and beliefs. Sizeism, racism, ageism, ableism, sexualism and genderism are just a few of the boxes society and conventional media try to put us in. By examining the approaches used to ‘normalize’ us, and understanding our own fears and limiting beliefs, we can regain our power and freedom.

(This copy was re-printed from TheIntimacyDojo.com  Thanks to Reid Mihalko for filming this panel)

TRANSCRIPT

Speaker 1: We’re starting.

Cathy: Thank you all for coming.

N’jaila: Oy!

Cathy: Thank you. Welcome to Where Sex Meets Isms: From Shame to Self-Expression. We want to make sure everybody knows this is being video taped. If you don’t want to have your voice on the video tape, ask a neighbor to ask the question or …

Kelly: Except for Reid’s hand up in front of the lens.

Cathy: We also have a sign up sheet that’s going to be going around. Michelle is passing it around. We did a lot of … pulled together some data and statistics for the research for this, and if you want the PDF and also want to be signed up for our newsletters, you could go ahead and sign up. We’ll be glad to send that to you.

We’ll be going through how -isms effect sexuality and sexual self-expression, and we’ll be talking about sizeism, ageism, ableism, racism, sexualism, genderism and beautyism, but we don’t have time to go in depth into each of these different -isms. We’re going to each share our own expressions, our own experiences as we go through these, so it’s not going to be a comprehensive, like “This is what ageism is,” we assume that most of you have a pretty good idea about that. We want to talk about ways it effects us and our expression and also ways we can counteract it. In the interest of keeping things moving along, we have so much to cover, I will interrupt people if they start getting passionate about something and going on about it.

Kelly: I should have brought my crop.

Cathy: Oh, that would have been great.

Cathy: I’m Cathy Vartuli from TheIntimacyDojo.com. I’m a PhD, engineer and I’m a certified Advanced Emotional Freedom Techniques coach who coaches internationally on trauma, shame, body image and sexuality. I’m really delighted to be here with such a fantastic panel.

I have here, Kelly Shibari is currently the only plus size Asian-American porn performer in the U.S. She has since taken her public persona to become a stereotype-crushing figurehead for chubby Asian girls everywhere. N’jaila Rhee is a BBW web model, journalist, pod cast host and sex blogger. She hosts After Dark, a body and sex-positive pod cast on TWiB FM, she’s the author of BlasianBytch.com which was nominated for the Black Weblog Award’s Best Sex and Relationship Blog in 2012. We have Elle Chase AKA The Lady Cheeky, is a sex writer, a sexuality educator, and a sensuality coach who speaks nationally on body image, sexuality, and redefining your sexual self after forty. Did you try to make that attempt …

 Elle: I did.

Cathy: She’s also the creator of two popular award-winning websites, LadyCheeky.com and SexSmutforSmarties.com and finally, last but not least, Buck Angel is a pioneer film maker, inspirational speaker and advocate. He coined the phrase, “it’s not what’s between your legs that defines you.” He’s proven a remarkable insight and a validation for men, women and those who identify as neither, both or other. Buck also plays golf and gets lots of ladies pregnant.

Buck: You had to put it in that … .

Cathy: We’re each going to take a minute or two to show why -isms are important to us. For me, this is really important because for fourteen years I didn’t date and I didn’t have a relationship because I was fat. I absolutely believed that if yo fuck you. I was really lonely those years and I don’t believe that anyone needs to be there. Because Reed actually kicked me out of the … out dating. I worked with him a bit and I was out dating two weeks later and I’ve had more dates in my schedule than I can fit. It’s all up here. My weight hasn’t changed, society hasn’t changed, what changed was up here, and I want everybody to have access to that. I’m so glad you’re all here sharing this, learning and talking about it and sharing it, because we start making a difference when we do that. Thank you.

Kelly: I was going to ask if you’re going to stand the whole time.

Cathy: No, I was just …

Kelly: My story about dealing with -isms is obviously about sizeism, it’s less about racism although I’ve dealt with some of that, but I was born and raised in Japan, so my history with racism is a little bit different. Growing up in Japan, my story has always been about size because, especially as an Asian girl, you’re taught that you’re supposed to be small, petite and quiet and … which is odd and hypocritical because Japan is strangely a very matriarchal society.

It took me having to move to the States and then eventually getting out from behind the camera because I used to be a production designer, art director to getting in front of the camera as a porn performer, to actually accept that my size was something that was positive. It’s interesting when people tell you about society and how they tell you that certain sizes aren’t acceptable for attraction, for success in business, all those kinds of things and I’ve broken every single one of those. Yeah, that’s my story.

N’jaila: Hi, everybody. I deal with a very colorful intersection of different -isms. Obviously I’m a woman of size, I’m a sex worker, a cam model and also I have to deal with racism, not just as a black woman, which I’m obviously … I look black, but I’m also a mixed race woman. I’m black and Asian, hence Blaisan Bitch. I had to deal with a lot of expectations of what that would be and what, like what Kelly was saying, what Asian is to sexuality and what being a black woman, people expect out of your sexuality. Those have been some of the -isms that I deal with.

Elle: Hi. My experience came late in life, when I was forty, I left a sexless marriage. Realized I had never, never enjoyed sex, I didn’t know what the deal was. I went out and I explored and as I explored I had to come into awareness of my body that … I live in Los Angeles. I’m not tan with a little turned-up nose and built like that.

I had to really get okay with myself, and by accepting myself and my size, I went out and dated. It was the most life-affirming part of my life, through sex and through looking for pleasure and really trying to integrate sensuality into every part of my life. I found my self-confidence that really does bleed into every area of who I am. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it, damn it.

Buck: Basically my story, it deals with gender and sexuality, being born a female and becoming a man and basically having to deal with not liking myself as a woman for most of my life, shut me off to so much of my life. Then, becoming a man and having to deal with being a man with a vagina was just a whole other -ism, really.

“You’re not a man, you can’t have sex, you have a vagina, you’re supposed to have a cock, you’re supposed to have …” all these kinds of things really affected my self esteem and my desire to have sex because I was completely disassociated with myself and my body for many years, because being told in society that I’m not a man and that I can’t do those things. That said, I finally told the world to fuck off and just reclaimed myself and my vagina.

Cathy: We’re just going to do a free forum if people want to answer. How do you see, we each shared specific incidents in your life, but how do -isms challenge and disempower people about sexual … around sexuality in general?

N’jaila: I guess I’ll go. I know for me, when I first started sex work, I was a dancer. I was working at this club, whenever they had a big girl night, because we’re only a special occasion. The other dancers refused to change in the same room as the big dancers. We couldn’t use their showers, we couldn’t use their makeup room, or anything like that. We had this little store room that they just stuck us in and that was our changing room, there was no privacy or anything. It was very disheartening because here I am, doing the same thing that these other women were doing, and it wasn’t the customers that were saying, “Oh, you have no value,” but it was people I thought would be my ally because we’re doing the same type of work.

I think also, being a performer, it’s always a battle to say, “I have value,” and not, “I have value despite being a bigger woman,” or despite the fact that I am black or despite that I have dark skin or a wide nose. It’s, “I have value because I’m a human being and I should be respected and that should reflect my sexuality.” I think when people are having that struggle, it affects how you value yourself because you’re constantly … it’s like you’re trying to box with God, because you’re trying to make society see your value.

Elle: I think also your body image and so much of your self-confidence, the baseline you get is when you’re growing up, whether you like it or not. For me, my parents never said anything complimentary about my physical body. My dad said I had a nice neck, and my mother said I had nice nail beds. When I’m dating …

Kelly: That should be on your resume.

Elle: It really should be. Nice nail beds.

Kelly: Which now you cover up with nail polish.

Elle: They’re nicely framed by my nail beds. Going on into high school, you’re like, “I have a nice neck and nice nail beds,” no. It’s like, “Wow, I really wish someone would have said, ‘You’re beautiful just the way you are, you’re smart, you’re this, you’re that,’” because you carry it with you and even though you have great days I’m sure and we are … we’re liberated in that way from that stigma ourselves. We still have our bad days, and it always comes back to that. Kelly: I think it’s interesting, especially when it comes to size, because bullying about size is one of these weird society … acceptable bullying because you get it not only from your parents, but even if your parents are telling you that you are beautiful regardless of your size, you as a child, you have a tendency to believe your peers more than your parents, because you think that your parents are always going to be there to protect you.

You have a tendency to go, “Okay, well my friends, at least, are going to be honest with me,” and when those people that you think are your peers and your same age group when you’re in junior high or high school, even younger, and they’re either teasing you or bullying you or downright just being outright mean to you when you were younger, then that eventually just feeds into all of your decision-making skills when you’re older.

That’s exactly what happened to me because I was bullied for the longest time for being the only fat kid in school in Japan. I was a size twelve and then I moved to … literally like moving from Japan to college in the states, and realizing “Wow, not only am I not the biggest girl in the room, most people are…”

Kelly: … about the same size as me and actually then going from having no dates to having a bunch of dates, right? You know how that’s like, it’s like, “Wow, gee, oh I’m pretty.” At the same time, you have all these years of bullying, of being told that when you’re fat, you’re not good enough or you’re unattractive, and then you start making all these decision and you start conducting yourself in a way like, “Okay, if I give it up for free, then I’ll be accepted.”

You have a large number of younger, chubby girls … I’m not really sure about guys because I’m not one … but having sex early because they think that that’s the only way that they can be accepted, and it took me getting older and realizing that it really doesn’t matter your size, it really matters more about the person you are, but it’s really difficult when you’re getting fed that from a very young age.Cathy: You’re not taught anything different. Buck, do you have anything to add?

Buck: Obviously, I had a fucked-up childhood. Being a masculine woman is something that a lot of people deal … in society, they do not like masculine women. I know why, obviously we’re challenging that notion of what it means to be a woman. Masculinity is supposed to be for the male side, so I have to deal a lot with that when I was a child and having to deal a lot with, “You’re very masculine, that’s not, you know, cool, why don’t you act more like a girl?”

I think that it’s really interesting that we have to deal with this masculine-feminine thing so much, that why can’t people just understand that everyone is just parts of those things, and that was really something that I had to deal with on such a level that really … for many years, I just couldn’t deal with myself being a masculine woman and didn’t know really what that meant, that I was transgender or transsexual. I think that the hurting and the bullying came from me, too, because I would fight all the time and I’d be so angry and pissed off at the world, because it wasn’t right, the way I was, it wasn’t the way that you’re supposed to be.

Cathy: I think the isms also create a lot of scarcity. We’re taught in our society if you’re overweight, you’re not sexual, which eliminates two-thirds of the population right there, and if you’re in a wheelchair or you’re disabled in some way, our society teaches that you’re not sexual and if you’re ugly, a lot of beautyism … I don’t consider myself a very attractive person and I grew up thinking that no one would want me, so I was excluded.

We keep excluding people and seeing and looking around and going, “Wow, there’s only three people that I know that are fuckable, so, oh my god, I’ve got to fight for them and I better put her down, and make her feel worse, and maybe if I put them down, I’ll feel a little better about myself. Maybe I’ll somehow inch up the ladder so one of those three people will see me and want to be with me at least once, so I get some self-esteem.” I think when we start …

Kelly: Then you find that they’re no fun.

Cathy: Then their personality comes out. When we lean on the isms, we create our own scarcity and our society is doing that and the media is portraying this because they want to sell us things that makes us thin or paler or look more attractive and it works for them because we’re all scrambling up a ladder that we don’t even want to be at the top of. We do see a lot of that in porn, especially in the early periods of porn … because porn is … as Nina and I both say very adamantly, porn is fantasy, not sex education, but when all you’re seeing when you’re …

Kelly: It’s an interesting study because you see different kinds of porn being viewed by different age groups, and when you’re an 18 to 24 age group, you tend to have … you tend to watch the kind of porn that society tells you you should be watching, so everybody is blond and slender and augmented and are these super sexualized versions of what American society considers beautiful, and as you see people get older and start to be less controlled by what their peer group tells is beautiful, you start seeing a small gravitational pull towards more amateur stuff, more niche products, and stuff as people start to explore and go, “You know, I’m really tired of just seeing the same kind of thing done by the same kind of people doing sex acts that I would never do at home.” Like who the hell does piledriver at home? I’m not going to do double anal at home, why would I watch that?

You see this move as people get older into amateur porn, which is people of size, more natural bodies, more natural sex acts, that kind of thing, and just speaking from a personal experience, most of my fan base tends to be couples where one or both people are of size because … and are older, they’re usually tend to be over 30 because they have a tendency to, “Oh, you’re the approved porn at home because you’re built like her, you’re built like my wife, you’re built like my girlfriend,” and so by watching the porn, I’m not hiding in a basement watching porn anymore, now I’m watching it with my partner because now she doesn’t feel threatened or she doesn’t think that I’m watching a kind of porn that shows people that I’m actually not all that interested in, but that’s what I think I should be watching.

Elle: I think it’s interesting, they did a study a few years ago where they polled college students and majority of the college students said that they would rather marry a drug dealer or an embezzler than a fat person. These are college students who are watching this porn and who have grown up with that as sex education and finding that looking at porn and going, “Well that’s what I should have with my love relationship,” or “That’s what I should have as a intimate connection with another person,” and it makes me sad, because I was 40 before I knew that.

It’s actually as an adult, because of porn, that I found who I was sexually because I was able, as a person who’s an adult who knows about sex education, where babies come from, and safe sex, I could look at it with discernment and find what I like, but had I looked at it when I was 10, which is when most kids start getting exposed to it, it would have completely changed my world view and that’s only because there was no Internet when I was 10. Yes I’m that old …

Kelly: I think we’re all that old.

Buck: I’m older than you [inaudible 00:06:45].

Elle: That’s why it’s so important I think, because I think that people are … as far as all isms go, they’re just afraid of sex. Anyone who is sexual is a threat and that means a black woman, a big black woman, a a [inaudible 00:07:03] girl, a man with a pussy, all of that is very, very scary to people.

Buck: I’m scary.

Elle: You’re scary.

Buck: I own that, I’m totally scary.

Kelly: It’s amazing how happy fat girls scare people.

Elle: Totally!

Kelly: Happy fat girls who are completely okay being naked, they’re like, “What?”

Njaila: I find it makes people angry.

Cathy: Yes, that too.

Njaila: It … because …

Buck: Yes, it makes them angry.

Njaila: … when I was in college, I was a person who was always really okay with their sexuality, like I used to cut class and read sexual textbooks when I was 11, so I knew where my clitoris was right off the bat. My relationship with my body was very like … it’s for me to have fun with. When I would go into spaces with straight sized people and just be myself, I found that they felt like, “Oh why are you making a big scene, why do you always have to be like that?” and I’m like, “Like what, I’m just at the beach running around, I thought that’s what we’re supposed to do.”

I think it’s because people get so many images of if you are fat, then it’s become moralized that it’s something bad, so you can’t enjoy life and be fat, it’s like an antithesis, it just doesn’t match. It’s … I feel like people think it’s the be all, end all of happiness.

I’ve talked to people who … I have a brother who’s trans and I thought “Okay, he’s going to be so much happier once he through this transition, he’s a very handsome man,” but now he’s not happy because he’s like, “Oh, I don’t have muscles, I don’t look like the guy on Men’s Magazine,” and now he wants to get buff so then he’ll be happy and it just feels like … chasing all these isms, it’s just something that steals happiness out of our lives and denies sexuality.

Cathy: Thank you. Why do you think that the isms persist? Why do humans keep excluding others and defining them as non-sexual or non-desirable?

Buck: Education, that’s basically it. People are brain washed and they’re programmed to think this way from day one, we’re all, like I said earlier, this is what a woman’s supposed to be, this is what a man’s supposed to be, this is what sexy is, this is what beautiful is, and we’re just totally programmed, I think, to think that way, and so people like us on the panel and hopefully like you are hope … showing people that that’s not true.

With our work, with my work, I can talk about my own work and really showing that yes, there are men with vaginas, it happens, it’s real, it has totally made people rethink gender, which is a really something pretty hard to get people to get … wrap their heads around. A man with a vagina is the scariest fucking thing, scarier than you girls. It’s the scariest thing that people have had, I think, to really wrap their head around. How is it possible that a man could have a vagina, that’s not … that doesn’t … that’s not what makes a man and that’s not what makes … a woman has a vagina and a man has a cock, it’s just the way it is.I think, education is really one of the main factors in really deprogramming the way people are taught to think about what’s pretty, what’s sexy, what’s this, what’s that, and I think that that’s the first and probably one of the biggest things that I think is one of the most important things in the world that we need to do.

Elle: Yeah, and modeling it when you go out in the world. If I go out for drinks with friends I will always, if it’s appropriate, flirt with the waiter, because this big girl’s flirting with the waiter. You know what I mean? Even if I don’t feel great, it makes me centered into my sensuality because it is an innate part of yourself and that’s why being so connected to your sensuality is so important because you’re born with it and it is … doesn’t matter what you look like, doesn’t matter how big you are, doesn’t matter how many limbs you are, how old you are.

You have that and it is your right as a human being to express it and so when other people see that in you it then becomes okay to have them express it. I have lots of people … friends of mine will come up and say, “Oh I’m so glad I can talk about this with you,” and we’re talking about a clit.

Buck: The scary monster.

Elle: Yes, the scary monster. Everyone’s scared of the clit. Anyway, that’s my experience.

Kelly: I think media also plays a lot into it, and again, a lot of my background comes from comparing media in Japan and media here. When I grew up … when I was growing up, it was in the late 70′s, early 80′s, television in Japan actually had … anything after 11:00pm, because the kids would have been asleep, on national television was sex-positive programming, and sex … and things that made sex fun or nakedness fun, but I also come from a culture that sexualizes and humorizes embarrassment, whether you’re talking about Japanese fetish porn, all the way to the creation of tentacle porn and just things like … what’s the American version, I think it’s called Wipe Out, there’s a game show … that’s based on Japanese game shows.We humorize and sexualize embarrassment in a country where we’re so crowded, you have to learn how to laugh at yourself and to laugh at other people around you, because that mitigates the stress factor that’s already going to be there anyway, whereas American society … especially these days and ever since probably the past 10 years, we tend to celebrate and reward drama.

We have a tendency to reward and celebrate snarkyess and shows like Big Brother and shows like … even Survivor, when it first started out, was all about game theory, but now it’s more about, “What can I do to destroy the other person?” so the game has changed. You have shows like Honey Boo Boo, you’ve Honey … you’ve got shows like … that just … yeah. It’s a show based on Toddlers and Tiaras, this whole little kids pageant shows.

Elle: Pedophilia, you mean?

Buck: I wasn’t going to say it.

Kelly: No, but shows in general that … if you’re somebody on a reality show, but you are the drama person, then you get a spin off, you get rewarded with another show, you get rewarded with more money and fame and red carpet events, you get to go to the Oscars. Nobody … and then the shows that actually do celebrate goodwill and acceptance, things like Secret Millionaire, those tend not to. Those tend to just be like, “Oh, it’s just another show.” They don’t get celebrated, they don’t get all the interviews, and so in a society that celebrates and rewards bullying, it’s very hard to find acceptance.

Cathy: I think the media, too, is not only … it’s the drama, but also, there’s an estimated 300,000 negative images for people of size per year in the media. We’re constantly bombarded, we’re shown that fat people like … I watch … if you just watch an hour of TV and you write down the number of times a fat person is smelly, awkward, stupid, whatever, they very rarely show someone who’s slender and … all the people that are happy and successful are slender and fit, they’re not in a wheelchair, they’re not … very rarely are they someone of color.

Kelly: Usually the butt of jokes on sitcoms and things like that.

Cathy: And if it’s an older person who’s sexual, that’s a big joke, too. It’s constantly reinforced, I think, and they do it because it sells.

Kelly: A good example of that is Miss America. Last … I don’t know, last week … so the fact that she call … she had a thing that said “speak louder” … so Miss America last week … Miss America last week, before she, I think right after she won, she had said that the former Miss America was fat. She was so happy that she was replacing the old Miss America because the old Miss America was fat. There was a little bit of news, there was a little bit of drama, lasted maybe about six hours on media. The fact that the rest of America made fun of her because she was Indian-American, that went all week. Whereas the racist commentary is very public, the sizeist commentary is like “acceptable.” It’s “okay” that she called her fat.

Njaila: It’s sad, because she talks about having eating disorders.

Kelly: Right, so that on top of everything else. But again, you know shows like Real World. When people are younger and they’re watching shows that show all that kind of negative behavior, then all they’re going to do is they’re going to grow up and be that. Because everybody’s telling them it’s okay to be a bully. It’s okay to be an overly dramatic person who only concentrates on the negative.

Buck: Well remember those stickers that everyone used to have on their car, “No Fat Chicks”? You remember those stickers? Wow, like, that’s shocking.

Njaila: They still have them.

Buck: They still have them? Just that alone, it’s incredible that somebody would take a sticker and put that sticker on their car.

Speaker 1: Oh I’m glad they do. Because you know that person [inaudbile due to laughter 01:03]

Kelly: So you can stay away from them.

Speaker 2: You know which car to vandalize.

Buck: Which windows to smash out.

Elle: I think what this boils down to for me at least, is no matter what -ism you have … Because face it, it’s not just women of size. A friend of mine is a size eight and she thinks she’s huge. Not that there’s anything wrong with that–

Kelly: But that depends on what their peer group tells them.

Elle: Right, well usually what their peer group is telling them because people search for power within their system.

Cathy: But even models, they’re airbrushed. They don’t even look like that.

Elle: Right. But what happens is when you get into an intimate situation no matter what -ism you have, you are less able to connect with that partner. Because there’s a third person in the room, and that person is your fear of your -ism, whatever that is. I’ve gone to bed with people and been like please don’t touch my stomach. Because that is the part that everyone would make fun of. And then you’d find a difference when you go to bed with someone who does touch your stomach, and you’re okay with it, and it’s like wow I could have been enjoying that this whole time. Because some people, you know, there’s a pot for every cover, and there are some men who prefer a larger woman. There’s someone for everyone.

Speaker 3: There’s shame about that for them.

Elle: There’s absolutely shame about that, absolutely. And men as it is too, the whole chivalry in dating thing. There’s a whole ism with men.

Buck: Men have body issues too. I have body issues, clearly.

Elle: One million men in this country have eating disorders. And, you know dating for them isn’t easy. Because you know they want to open the door but then someone says to them “I’m a woman I can open my own door.” Ugh, where do manners get … I don’t understand. So it’s very, very, very confusing. It’s just up to us to make it clearer.

Kelly: Yeah size becomes an issue for men as well because there’s a weird kind of bullying that happens with fat boys where they’re told that they’re girls. They’re feminized. There was actually a big article about that a couple weeks ago. Because there’s a heavier mound at the pubic area, it makes your penis look smaller.

Buck: Like a Barbie bump.

Kelly: Yeah, they call it the Barbie bump. There’s photos of naked, large men saying “Oh, you know, he can’t see his penis, so he must not be a man.” That kind of stuff is perpetuated with younger kids and then obviously that gets translated when you’re older.

Elle: Or “you throw like a girl.”

Kelly: Yeah.

Elle: What’s wrong with that?

Kelly: Yeah I throw really well.

Cathy: You have a question?

Speaker 4: Yeah I do. I know that Buck has done some interviews overseas and in other countries. And I would like some perspective from the panel about how the -isms change from which country we go to. And how we can start to change it here using some of those lessons. I’ve gone to the Philadelphia Trans-Health Conference two years in a row now and the genderqueer kids are blowing my mind. They’re not even in the picture for this, it doesn’t exist for them. And when it does they push back hard. And that’s a generation behind us that’s really changing things radically.

Buck: But it’s changing things within that community. And the thing is, though, there are -isms within that community, don’t let them fool you. They are awesome and powerful but I will tell you that they also pull that -ism shit within their own community.

Speaker 4: So that’s what we need to talk about.

Buck: Yes. I think what they’re doing is incredible but at the same time they do not respect the other people’s opinions about certain things, such as, for example, myself and my vagina. I’m very proud of my vagina, but they will tell you that it’s not cool that I call myself a man with a vagina. And they will fight back at me. And I’m like why, it’s cool that you call yourself genderqueer. Or “reclaiming words,” right? Such as using the word queer. I’m old-school, I’m from a long time ago where queer was a dirty, nasty word. And it’s cool, I’m all about reclaiming words, don’t get me wrong. But there are some words that some people don’t necessarily think are “good enough” to reclaim, such as the word tranny. So there’s those kind of -isms even within that community, I just needed to throw that out there. It’s an awesome thing, but they’re in their own world. They need to educate the rest of the world as well, not their own world.

Kelly: It’s definitely an -ism I’ve seen within the trans community, because I’ve done marketing and PR … when I’m not performing, I also do PR and marketing … for the transgender film festival. But they want nothing to do with “trannies.”

Buck: Exactly.

Kelly: They want nothing to do with the “porn” version of transgender, which is–

Buck: Derogatory.

Kelly: Right, because in that community it seems to be. And I can’t speak for that community. It speaks less about horomone therapy and changing who you are, and it’s more about plastic surgery.

Buck: And it’s your choice.

Kelly: Exactly.

Buck: It’s like whatever big kind of woman you want to be … I’m sure that happens within the big people community, that same -ism thing. Like you’re not big enough, or you’re skinny now. -Isms happen within communities, I’m sure you realize that. And sometimes that’s even more hurtful.

Njaila: There’s a lot of ableism in the body-positive community.

Elle: You’re being attacked by friendly fire.

 Cathy: Go ahead.

Speaker 5: So I’m looking at some research currently about folks with disabilities who partner with people with disabilities, and kind of what you were talk about, as, for example, a fat person who’s sleeping with someone who’s not fat … however, when people of color sleep with people of color and people with disabilities sleep with people with disabilities and trans folks sleep partner up, etc. there’s the whole concept of isolationism and, you know, you only stay with your own kind. Can you speak to both sides of that story, of having someone that actually gets it be a partner, but then also having that idea that you can’t actually step outside those boundaries to have someone feel uncomfortable with.

Kelly: Yeah, there’s definitely an idea of you’re going to date fat guys because you’re a fat girl. So when a guy that actually works out at the gym, takes really good care of his health, in his own vision of what that means for him, then seeks out a larger woman as a partner, it seems to, like, “why?” People are like “But you take such good care of yourself, why would you be with a fat girl.”

Speaker 5: Well fat people can take good care of themselves too.

Kelly: Exactly, thank you. But it’s also personal preference. Guys and girls who do kind of go to the extreme when it comes to going to the gym and having a chiseled body then seek out a larger male or female partner, that’s their personal choice. But it seems like, again, the peer group goes “Oh, if you’re at the gym six days a week why aren’t you dating another gym rat?”

Cathy: I think that a lot of the -isms is about defining people based on a physical characteristic. And humans are much, much more complex than that. So for me when you ask that question about, you know, is it okay or how should people decide about that, it’s like as long as you’re making a choice and seeing people as people, rather than identifying them as they have a penis or they don’t, or their BMI is over a certain amount. When we start connecting with people as people, then the rest takes care of itself.

Kelly: It’s actually a really good question, because Buck owns Buck Angel Dating, which is a trans dating site.

Cathy: I tried to get my brother to join, but he’s too scared.

Kelly: Is the majority of the people using that site trans, or do you have any like–

 

Buck: Actually they are trans but what’s happening is a lot of gay men are going on that site, actually seeking trans men, which is really awesome.

Kelly: Cisgender gay men or transgender gay men?

Buck: Cisgender gay men, yes. Which is really amazing for me, because I always wanted to open that door for a lot of gay men who felt really weird about being attracted to trans men because again there’s that thing: “I’m a gay man. How is it possible that I can be attracted to a man with a vagina? Does that make me gay?” Like wow think about that question, that’s pretty intense. What makes you gay?

Speaker 6: I want to speak to the elephant in the room, sex and the elderly. Everyone ages, but that kind of ultra ageism.

Speaker 5: There’s a panel tomorrow afternoon.

 

Kelly: We’re coming to that, we actually spent all lunch talking about being old.

Speaker 6: It’s as if we’re invisible. I was in the elevator with you (Kelly) and you were focused on where you were going and I was gazing at you. I’m not trying to point you out by doing that, it’s just like so many people are like that.

Kelly: I tend to travel in a bubble, sorry.

Speaker 6: I usually see that people don’t even look in my direction. The only reason I say that is because it’s just like we’re invisible.

Elle: Can I speak to that actually, just as a woman? I don’t think it has anything to do with age. Really, I don’t think it does. I think what it has to do with is being a woman we are often accosted a lot and made to feel ogled at and sexualized when we don’t want to be. So we automatically put ourselves in a bubble.

Kelly: In my particular case I’m not poly, I’m in a committed relationship even though I’m a porn performer, for three and a half years, I have a tendency to be surprisingly introverted. And so I tend not to go to parties unless I’m invited, I tend to be a hermit because of that. You know that, I’ve told you.

Elle: Yeah.

Kelly: Like the only reason I go out is because you text me and go “you’re coming out.” So if you would have said hello I completely–

Speaker 6: I usually do, but you really seemed like you were–

Buck: But you really think it has to do with your age?

Speaker 6: Yeah.

Buck: Have you noticed a difference since you’ve gotten older that people have reacted to you differently?

Speaker 6: Yes, once I tell them that I’m 66–

Kelly: You don’t even look it.

Speaker 6: Their eyes go low, it’s like becoming invisible.

Elle: You need to read a little Joan Price.

Speaker 7: One of my [inaudible 11:52] partners was 90.

Kelly: Yeah, I’ve done porn scenes with 78-year-old men, so I’m, yeah, I don’t have age issues at all.

Njaila: I actually think there’s a lot of women who seek out older men. When I was in college I was 19, my boyfriend was 53.

Buck: Awesome.

Njaila: I think as a society we do have a lot of media messages that you have to be young and sexy all the time or else you’re worthless. I grew up watching “The Golden Girls,” so I just thought I’m going to be fucking until I die. But I think that the people who came before that, and after that, we’ve come into this society that is obsessed with that “key” 18-35 demographic and it makes everybody else invisible.

Kelly: It is extremely difficult when society tells you that men reach their sexual peak at 18 and women reach their sexual peak in their mid-thirties. Which is not true, at all. But it makes it very difficult for older men and women. What happens once you’ve passed that peak, are you like not allowed?

Buck: Well that’s why you need role models, such as Nina.

Kelly: Yeah, Nina does a great job.

Buck: Who’s been working in the sex industry for so long. (to Nina Hartley in the audience)You’re 54, that is incredible. And you’re an amazing role model. You’re sexy, hot, you can see that, you know, smart. Well who care about smart, but? (laughs) Can I see your tits? I’m just kidding.

Kelly: But there are older men who do have porn careers of their own, both here in the states and in Japan. Dave Cummings is a perfect example of an older guy who, I don’t know how old he is …

Speaker 7: Is he still working?

Kelly: I think he just recently retired.

Speaker 7: But 78 I think it was.

Kelly: Yeah, but 78.

Njaila: Also male performers “last” longer. When you’re in an established career, you have people like Tom Byron, I think he’s been doing it for like 19 years.

Buck: Yeah, but he still has to get a hard-on.

Cathy: You had a question here?

Speaker 8: Yeah, I do. Culturally, I know we put a lot of power in the -ism. And I think individually, just with that last question, a lot of personal power is given to -isms. So I’m wondering if we can talk about your personal practices and processes of empowerment and embodiment. We speak so much about what’s going on in the media and it’s this, and this, and this, but really I think, from my perspective, embodiment and truth, like that’s very personal.

Buck: Right on.

Cathy: That’s beautiful and that was really the next question.

Kelly: I fall into a very interesting response to that, because I do get a fair amount of online bullying. If I do an interview on a radio show or if I’m on Huffpo or whatever, there usually is a certain segment of the population that wants to Internet troll and go “oh, you’re fat” and try to shame me. And my answer has always been, yeah, but I make money doing that. And that’s what people are asking me to do, is perform as a plus-size performer. So, if I lose weight I’ll lose that, so F you (laughs). But unfortunately that only allows me to be a role model for people over a certain age, and my issue is I’d prefer to be a role model for people who have to deal with the bullying when I went through the bullying, which was when I was younger. Unfortunately, as a porn performer I’m not technically allowed to do that. So that’s my sadness, and so hopefully over time I’ll be able to segue into something where I am maybe allowed to speak to younger people. I think part of it is communication and, like you said, role modeling. But I don’t think that I’m past all my -isms. There’s a lot of days I–

Cathy: I feel really good about myself. I get in a swimsuit or I go to a tantra meet up and be naked in a hot tub and be really happy, then one morning I get up and I’m like, “Oh my God! I’m so fat and ugly. How can I leave the house?” It still comes back.

Kelly: I contemplated doing this panel naked.

Elle: There would be no complaints here.

 

Buck: That’s not okay.

Kelly: Again, there’s a camera … there’s consent to that.

Buck: For myself, I really learned how to be positive. My life is all about positivity. I do not let negativity come into my life. When people write me scary emails and they’re going to kill me, I’m the devil and the anti-Christ, it just really makes me realize how important what I’m doing is because I’m touching on something that people don’t necessarily want to think about. For me, that’s a positive thing. I don’t react. Reacting is the worst thing you can do and because I believe that. When you put out positivity, positivity comes back. It’s really simple. I know it’s all wing-nutty and zen, but trust me, it works! That’s how I live my life. Once I got to that level of really understanding that people really are attracted to what I have to say and who I am because of my positivity. If was standing up here all angry, “No! I have a vagina, you have the …” people would just be like, “Hey!”

Speaker 1: Can you do that for us?

Buck: Yeah, what is that? That said, I only think I have many -isms … okay, I have a little bit of body issues. I have to go to the gym and build up my body, that’s my thing that I think that I have left over From, “This is what a man looks like and I need to be very masculine,” but I think other than that, I’m so okay with myself enough to where I would go to gyms all over the world and walk in the gym naked, the men’s gym. People don’t know what to do, which is so powerful. It’s incredibly powerful to have just my vagina out there in front of the world saying, “What?” It’s all about reclaiming yourself and it’s all about loving yourself. There will be -isms in the world forever. The bottom line, it comes back to yourself, sir, and your own -ism about your age. You’re an amazing-looking man. You seem like a cool person. It’s not about your age, dude, you have something going on there with yourself that you just need to be like, “Whatever? She wasn’t interested in you. Go to the next chick!”

Speaker 2: I have an idea that’s why you’re on the panel.

Elle: I think it’s also just coming off of that, Buck, is in that positivity, which is I think is really important for people who are really weighed down with something, anything, but it’s also looking for opportunities, because when you react to something emotionally, the emotion is real, but what sparked it is probably not real.

For me, I was dating someone and we wanted to fuck outdoors, so we went to a swingers’ spa in Southern California and I didn’t even think about it. I went to the door with him and I was all excited and I went, “Oh, wait! I’m 200 pounds, and I’m going to have to be naked.” I don’t know why it didn’t … because I was with someone who just didn’t see my body only. I went in there and I was shaking, upset and so scared, and I just went, “You know what? When am I going to enjoy my life?” I just took off my clothes and the moment I did that and I was like, “Here’s my stomach! My stomach is going like this,” and no one cared. I guarantee you.

Everyone’s worried about their own shit. No one cared! It was one the most freeing thing to have sex with my lover in front of people who are … with six packs, who normally I would have been just intimidated in front of, and didn’t feel like I was worthy enough to do that.

Kelly: That’s the cool thing about nudist communities because … nudist communities, not swinger communities, but nudist communities tend to have a larger percentage of people with normal bodies or natural bodies. It’s funny because I have a lot of friends in Tampa that has a very large nudist community down in that part of Florida, as well as the swinger community.

When the swinger community tries to go and events of the nudist community, it’s weird because they’re not comfortable because they’re used to exhibitionists, but it’s a different kind of exhibitionism, and then they go to a nudist colony and they’re like, “Everybody’s over 40.” Everybody’s got 30-40 pounds on them, but they’re just super comfortable walking around naked, whereas the swingers seem to be like, “Hmm …”

Speaker 1: Even if they can fake it till you make it so inside you’re going, “Oh my God!” but if I looked at you, I’m saying, “Damn! She’s okay with her fine self! Hi! What’s your name?” I learned how to be a stripper. I realized they can’t read your mind.

Buck: Right!

Speaker 1: As you smile and go up there and act confident people could go, “She’s confident!”

Elle: Also, if you’re not feeling confident, you can’t really fake it because you know it up here.

Speaker 1: With posture and smile and people can’t read it.

Elle: You can do all of that, but I think when you look in the mirror, there will be “cougars” around who will say, “Say you’re beautiful!” “I’m beautiful!” I just want to smack them. I don’t feel beautiful, don’t tell me what to feel. I’ll tell you what I will do. What I will tell people to do is look in the mirror and if you can’t say anything good to say, say something neutral. My mother said I’ve got nice nail beds. I think that today. Anything that’s neutral because you will make yourself laugh and it’s true.

Kelly: Now you’re a dirty girl.

Elle: You can’t see that because [crosstalk 00:05:56].

Buck: You can’t help the porn people, it just has to come out.

Kelly: This is the thing with public performers, we have to put on such a positive face all the time and so many of us actually do have insecurities. Sure, 80% of the time, I’m going to be like, “Yay, fat girls,” but 20% of the time when there’s like the hiccup that happens, when something goes awry, like with work or whatever, then all of those insecurities come tumbling down the hill. It’s just very important to know that if you do have a day or a few hours where you’re feeling down about yourself, you wanted to do nothing but cut yourself down, just walk away and not let other people feed into that.

Cathy: It’s really great to have a support group. I have friends that I can call and say, “I’m having a small day. Can you remind me of a couple things that are good about me?” There’s a lot of different things you can build into your system so that, “Okay, I’m having a bad day.” One thing I love is also to look in the mirror … and we talked about this before, just find one part of my body I like, like the back of my hand, the skin is smooth, and be present with that. I had to grow it from just the back of my hand and then gradually, “My eyes don’t really suck!” It was a process over a couple of years to start loving my body more, but we can have a lot of those systems in place.

Njaila: I also learned to deal with things, a lot of times people say, “It’s in your head, how people are thinking about you,” but sometimes you will have to deal with people that are thinking about you. I remember there was an after party at a New York swinger community and my friend really wanted me to go, and I’m very embarrassed to say they don’t let bigger people into this particular club’s events. I’m not allowed to go and it was hard for me to A) have to say that out loud because it’s something that’s embarrassing. Because you’re basically saying, “These group of people don’t think I’m good enough,” and then it was also embarrassing for my friend, who only wanted to go if somebody else would go with her, so now I felt like, “I’m a kill joy because I’m a fat girl.” What I do in those types of situation, I try to remind myself that there’s still work to do in the world to make it better. While it would be perfect in an ideal world that I could go to the swing party, chill and do whatever, not yet. I always look at myself and I always remind myself that I am a sexual subject, not a sexual object, and I have agency and power. While that one club could say, “We don’t think you’re good enough,” I also don’t think that a club that’s exclusionary is good enough for me.

Kelly: I’m very against self-segregation, especially with the plus-sized communities. There’s a tendency to have plus-size clubs, plus-size this and plus-size that. I have a tendency to go, “I want to do anything but that.” I’d much rather go where there are people who also have shapes and sizes and colors, but at the same time when there is a group that says, “No, you’re not invited,” that just gives me creative license to just go make my own because there’s always going to be other people who will like me.

Speaker 3: That was actually a great lead into this question I wanted to ask. Two of you spoke about education and modeling being needed for change, absolutely, but then there’s also on the other side of that, should folks that are fraught with -isms or in marginalized communities, be responsible for having to educate folks and I don’t think they should be.

What can allies do, whether it’s white allies or straight allies or [inaudible 00:09:36] allies or skinny allies or whatever you want to call, what does that look like around sexual … I think we can talk about overall racism and overall sizes. What does that look like as far as sexual freedom?

Njaila: I think it’s very similar overall, like being an ally is listening. I am very annoyed with the tumblr generation, cliqueivism! Everybody is a social justice warrior, but nobody’s actually doing anything. I feel like you could parrot the same talking points that make you an ally, but if you’re not actually listening to the people in the community and if you’re not reacting to what we have to say … It annoys me when I’ll be talking to somebody and I’ll talk about colorism and they’ll stop me and go, “You’re not that dark!” or “You’re not black.” No, this is something I’m dealing with, especially because mixed raised women aren’t supposed to actually look black. I was supposed to be a geisha dipped in tea. I am black-looking. That is something I’ve been dealing with.

If somebody wants to be my ally, I want them to listen to me. I don’t want them to say, “I know your issues, so let me tell you a thing about your life,” that doesn’t work. Also, I feel you could pick your battles. I started a new job, which is very weird for me, because it’s a very vanilla job and they’re greeting me, they’re all talking and they’re talking about my resume like, “She speaks Korean, that is so weird.” It was her fault because I guess they just didn’t put two and two together, it’s like, “Yes, I speak Korean. Half the people in my family are Korean.”

While I think maybe a younger me would have made a scene and be like, “Why the hell shouldn’t I?” I assumed that this person probably wasn’t thinking of it and I’m just going to let it go, not light up this board room. I think it’s knowing your battles. When you do have your … you’re going to make your stand, be able to articulate your point, not a dagger, where you’re accusing somebody, where it was like, “You were a bad person because you said XY and Z and you must now believe this because that’s what you said,” but explain to them, “When you say, it’s strange that I speak Korean, it makes me feel bad as a mixed-race woman, because I feel marginalized,” you should talk about how you feel.

Kelly: Yeah. If you respond to shame with more shame, or anger with more anger, everything just spirals downhill. If somebody comes at you and … anger is so weird in activism, to me, because I see a lot of that with people who are very “Rah-rah, sticks and fire, we’re going to go burn down …” it’s like … .

Cathy: That doesn’t shift anything.

Kelly: That doesn’t help acceptance at all.

Njaila: There’s the Exotica thing where … people were … I guess you should tell what happened, or let me tell what happened. Basically, Exotica has these awards and for different performers. For the BBW performer, it was called, “Hungry Hungry Hottie.”

Kelly: I thought it was totally fine.

Buck: It’s totally fine!

Kelly: It was funny because I’m hungry, I’m a hottie. I could be hungry for penises. I’m just like, you could spin everything in a positive way, but the BBW community really was like, “Hungry, hungry hippo.”

Buck: That’s probably Courtney Trouble.

Kelly: Why?

Buck: Because she likes to do that.

Kelly: It was a bunch of other people, too. When I luckily won, they changed the award to Whole Lot of Love which I was like, “That’s not hot at all. That just makes me want to cuddle and not hot.” Cuddling is fine, but it’s not the same thing. When I went up on stage, I was like, “I really would like to accept the Hungry Hungry Hottie Award.”

Buck: What?

Njaila: There’s a different way, like I said, I didn’t particularly like the Hungry Hungry Hottie because … there’s a bunch of categories in that, that I was like, “Eh,” they had a Hottest Not White Chick.

Kelly: Exotica’s a real tongue-in-cheek, no pun intended, fan-based convention.

Buck: For porn!

Kelly: It’s not about education. It’s a porn fan event and so they had Best Non-White Chick that it was the ethnic award. They had … Who’s your Mommy was the MILF award. TS I love You was the trans award. If you look at the bigger picture, you realized that they were just being tongue-in-cheek with everybody.

Buck: I have a movie called Bucks Beaver!

Cathy: In that case, it might be really good to ask people how they wanted to be supported or if they actually need support around something?

Njaila: If you disagree, you could disagree civilly, like we were talking on Twitter, why you weren’t bothered by it and I was like … I was actually more mad at the Hot Not White Chick one, but that’s just how I feel, like they could have maybe done it in different way that would make the performers want to be part of it, because it wasn’t just that people was like, “I don’t like the name.” Performers were like, “Don’t nominate me for this. I don’t want to participate.”

Kelly: BBW’s were like, “I’m boycotting this,” and I’m was like …

Buck: They’re only hurting the community.

Kelly: Right, you’re spending so many years asking for the mainstream porn community to accept you guys and have a BBW award because we haven’t had a plus-size award category ever, except for Urban X, which is the ethnic award show. I was just like, “Why don’t you celebrate the fact that we even have one?” You and I were able to go, “Okay, we have differences,” and that was that.

Buck: Back to your question about allies, “What can they do?” is they can choose their battles, and understand that we are putting ourselves out there. I’m not saying that everyone needs to go and educate. I am choosing to educate, and I know I’m choosing to take negativity on when I do that, trust me, I’m not, not aware of that, I’m completely aware of that. But, if I’m going to have allies and they want me to work for them, which is what I’m totally doing, and I have no issue about it, and I don’t care that I have 50 allies or 500,000 allies, it doesn’t matter, I’m still going to choose to do this work, but to me, the allies who say they’re your allies, but then they turn around and post that kind of stuff where they takes things out of context that you said and say this and that, that hurts the cause, and so we have to understand our cause is to change the way people think on all of these different levels

Kelly: Negativity and anger, nobody wants to be around that.

Buck: Especially within our own communities. That’s something that I’m going back to again because to me that something I take really, in a sense, personally, because it’s happened to me so much more than any other, is my own community has eaten me up and spit me out until I got to a level that I am sort of now, and now it’s like oh, wow, but before they would rip me a new asshole every chance they got, which is really strange to me, because my ultimate goal was to change it for everybody, it wasn’t to just be about me and that, It was to change it about everybody so as you can seeI’m very passionate about that ally thing because that’s a very great question and it’s also something that’s very touchy and weird.

Kelly: I think people have a tendency to want to watch drama, but they don’t actually want to be around it, and so if you’re going to be a good ally I would not offer to pick up the pitchfork and the glowing stick, and I would be like okay well what can we do to make something positive?

Buck: Yes, be positive.

Elle: You said something to me when we were doing our Skype where I said, we were talking about this panel and I said “well, I can’t really speak to the trans issue because I’m not trans, but I can speak to A, B and C”, and you immediately jumped in and said, “but you can be an ally, you absolutely can speak about that”, and it completely changed my way of thinking. because this is the great thing about diversity. Anybody can choose what they want to be an ally to. I’m involved in the Milk Foundation in Los Angeles. I don’t identify as gay, but I really believe in it. So, there will always be someone somewhere who’s going to advocate, and that’s the beauty of good will.

Buck: Thank you.

Elle: This is the great thing about diversity, is that anyone can choose what they want to be an ally to. I’m involved in the Milk Foundation in Los Angeles. I don’t identify as gay, but I really believe in it, so there will always be someone somewhere who’s going to advocate and that’s the beauty of good will.

Buck: Totally.

Kelly: It’s also good to see, if you’re good at something, and you can use it to help promote a cause, like say for instance, because I do, PR and marketing, I’m able to like help with free advertising and press releases and stuff for trans events, trans film festivals, that kind of stuff, because that’s something that I feel strongly about. I’m not trans, there’s certain things that I can’t feel like I can do as an ally, but I know that I can use the things that I am good at, and use it to the benefit.

Njaila: I guess also you should make sure the person that your to be an ally to is even an activist …

Kelly: They may not want that.

Njaila: My sibling is trans and he will not have any rainbow flags.

Kelly: We can’t take you dragging and kicking and screaming, going we are going to be your advocate.

Njaila: Sometimes you have to listen to what people say.

Audience: I just want to say I think it’s totally legitimate though to be angry about, not just to accept like oh good they’re recognizing bigger women, finally, but to be angry about something you would consider racist especially if they’re giving you this title and it’s not something that you are choosing to call yourself, it seems like that that’s a legitimate response. Not to settle for oh good they’re accepting us finally.

Kelly: But I think that there’s also constructive ways of promoting the good that’s happening, and not promoting the stuff that’s bad. Yes they’re bring light to certain negative things that are happening in the world, but if you give positive reinforcement to things that are good then people want to do more of that.

Buck: You know change doesn’t happen overnight and sometimes you do have to take those little steps.

Kelly: Like here’s a good example. Just in the past year Exxxotica had their very first BBW award in a mixture of other awards. This year, Nightmoves, which is an adult awards show, just added a BBW category and as a result AVN in January is going to have their very first BBW award.

Buck: I know, awesome.

Njaila: It’s not called hungry, hungry, hump.

Kelly: It’s not called hungry, hungry, hottie, although it’d be okay if it was, for me.

Buck: Just to let you know, I won the transsexual performer of the year at AVN, a first transsexual man ever in the history of the porn industry, that’s changing things, it means they recognize the fact that transsexuals are men and women [inaudible 00:05:02] because I kept pushing at it, yes I am a tranie to. There are transsexual men, there are transsexual women, people didn’t even get it within the porn industry where you think there’s everything in the porn industry; there’s clown porn, [inaudible 00:05:18] I’m like, a man with a pussy? I’m sorry, but clown pron is way more over there, don’t even try it.

Kelly: Because some people are really scared of clowns.

Buck: I know.

Njaila: It’s so important that you put yourself out there to do it, because with my sibling, he was so discouraged when he was going through his transition, he was like, I really don’t know what I’m going to be when this over, and can I function as a regular person, and then he found out about you and he was like, yes, I’ll be okay, I guess.

Buck: Awesome. Way to go, that’s so cool.

Cathy: So we need to wrap it up. One thing I’d like to, like when you were asking about how people say something negative, it really helps me to remember how scared I used to be and that I was very negative about fat people even though I was fat, most people that are saying negative things are coming from a place of ignorance and fear so yelling at them or shaming at them or creating drama isn’t going to … people that are scared don’t learn better.

Kelly: Of course.

Cathy: So if we can calmly talk to them, and assume that they mean well, they just don’t know better, people actually shift a lot faster when we do that. I’d really like to thank everyone so much for being here, for this great panel.

Buck: Awesome.

Cathy: Thanks for making a difference in the world.

Buck: Awesome.

 

 

Nov 192013
 
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This made me cheer a little in my mouth.

Burlesque Dancer, Amanda Trusty, depicts her body image journey through her art and makes us all a little bit

better for it.

On November 22, 2013, Amanda will be interviewed on The Today Show in New York City at 8am EST. Her

viral burlesque video to Katy Perry’s Roar has been featured on Huffington Post and Jezebel. Watch the powerful statement she makes (in the above YouTube video)

photo

Continue to follow Amanda’s popular blog on eating, performing, and what it’s like to live in a body controlled by the entertainment biz here: Trust Me, I’ve Been There

Oct 152013
 
ashley0043

imageedit_2_6414370942-1

ashley0043

“THANK GOD ASHLEY MANTA MOVED TO CALIFORNIA FROM PHILLY.”

I’m not certain there’s a day that goes by where that sentence doesn’t leave my lips.

I had the good fortune to be on a sexuality and body image panel with Ashley Manta at CatalystCon West last month. Enthusiastic and eager she brought an exceptional skill-set and work ethic to the ta

ble, as well as a sense of humor and a vast compendium of knowledge.

Wise beyond her years, Ashley Manta is a sex-ed phenom. Erotic Hypnosis anyone? With a certification in hypnosis, Ashley’s your gal. Erotic hypnosis whilst discussing Shoepenhauer? Ashley has a Masters in Philosophy, so you’re covered.

Active in the Los Angeles sex-positive and Sex Geekdom communities, Ashley  advocates for a well-informed, sex-educated public, particularly around herpes awareness, body image issues and sexual abuse .

She also bakes a mean cupcake with buttercream frosting.

Like most sex educators, Ashley has a ton of toys (She has to. It’s her JOB). I asked her to pick five favorites and a lube and this is what she gave me:

 Five Sex Toys …

1. Fun Factory Stronic Eins – This toy actually thrusts! It’s a powerful silicone insertable and at the very top of my wish list! It curves slightly at the tip to reach the g-spot and the thrusting motion give the g-spot a pleasant massage that is both pleasurable and relaxing.

2. Tantus Juice - You can’t go wrong with Tantus toys, and this one is no exception! It has a gradually increasing thickness that is both pleasurable and non-threatening for beginners. Love it! As with all anal toys, this should be used with copious amounts of lube. Think you have enough? Use more.

3. Lelo Siri – I love this clitoral vibe. It’s great to use during penetrative sex because it can fit securely between two bodies without being unwieldy. Plus it’s silicone. (Are we noticing a trend? It’s true – I am a silicone addict)

4. Njoy Pure Wand – Taking a quick departure from silicone toys – I LOVE this toy. I had never enjoyed g-spot stimulation until I tried this toy. The combination of shape and the weight of this toy is fantastic! It feels delicious as you insert it, and once it’s in, everything you do feels great! Seriously: thrust it, twist it, vibrate it, whatever you do, this toy will provide pleasure.

5. Bandit Dildo – Made of incredible VixSkin (if you haven’t tried this material, you’re missing out!), this toy has a deliciously realistic feel. It’s also a good size to fit into most harnesses (I love the new Tantus line of harnesses that have velcro side closure and deliciously supple leather that looks AND feels sexy!)

 and a LUBE …

Sliquid - I avoid any lube that contains Glycerin or Parabens. That takes a lot of them off the table, unfortunately. Thankfully, the entire Sliquid line is glycerin and paraben free. Their anal lube doesn’t use any desensitizing agents (pain is there for a reason!) and their flavored lubes are sugar free so that they won’t cause yeast infections. This line is great quality and affordable. I love them all!

CIMG5780

Fun Factory Stronic Eins

Unknown

Tantus Juice Plug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lelo Siri

Lelo Siri

Unknown-1

Bandit Dildo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NJoy Pure Wand

NJoy Pure Wand

Sliquid

Sliquid

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Ashley Manta:

ashley0043

Ashley Manta is a sex positive feminist and sexuality educator. She works as a staff writer on topics of sexuality, relationships, and empowerment for the online magazines Evolved World and Kinkly. She is a regular contributor for the Herpes Opportunity, a website and forum that provides support for people living with herpes. She currently sits on the Board of Directors for Voices, Incorporated, a non-profit designed to support survivors of sexual violence. She is also the West Coast Advisor for the Women’s Circle Project, a non-profit geared toward empowering women to become tomorrow’s leaders. Her mission is to empower others and foster personal, relational, and sexual growth. Through one on one coaching, workshops, and hypnosis for stress management, confidence, and motivation she endeavors to help others take control of their lives and make progress in their personal journey.

You can contact Ashley at:

Email: Ashley@AshleyManta.com

Twitter: @ashleymanta

Website: www.AshleyManta.com

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