Nov 052014
I’ve never written a blog before, but recent media news about the sexual allegations against Jian Ghomeshi have prompted me to think more deeply aboutideas that this project, this film, have caused me to explore in the last few years. There have been some fantastic articles around the Jian Ghomeshi case and they are easy to access, so I don’t need to cover that ground again.

Personally, I think the most relatable concepts in the whole situation are  secrets, shame & tolerance. Understanding what we, particularly as women, are willing to bear in our sexual relationships and encounters. I know very few, if any, women who haven’t been in an uncomfortable or aggressive or violent or non-consentual sexual situation. When I listened to the interview with Lucy Decoutere and she explained that, even after she was allegedly choked and hit, she went out on another date with Ghomeshi, it made sense to me. I didn’t find it surprising or hard to understand. Thinking back I can pinpoint at least half a dozen sexual situations in my own life that left me feeling “uncomfortable”, some more serious than others.

When I was in highschool I was hanging out with a group of people. We were all at one guy’s house and his parents were asleep upstairs. Everyone else left and I was alone with the guy. I remember he started to tickle me. I asked him to stop, but I remember being really quiet about it because I didn’t want to wake his parents. He didn’t stop, he kept tickling me, he tried to kiss me, he pulled me towards him across the carpet. I recall feeling scared, but also surprised and uncertain. Calling out to wake his parents wasn’t an option, because I knew that would be embarassing – what would I say? What would they do?

It all just felt horribly shameful.

I just wanted it to stop.

Eventually he “let me go” and I walked home in the dark. I remember a sense of relief, a sense of shame, a sense of fear…but I also remember that it didn’t even dawn on me until much later that something actually could have happened to me, that I was really, potentially, in a dangerous situation. It felt surreal. I didn’t tell anyone. It didn’t seem like there was much to tell because ‘nothing happened’.

Years later, in my mid-twenties, I was in a verbally & sexually abusive marriage for four years. One day my husband raped me.
I didn’t want to have sex, I made that clear and he had sex with me by force. By definition it was rape. I remember thinking that, even as it was happening. And when it was over, I had a sense of relief, anger, frustration, disgust, shame…some of it directed at him, some directed at myself. I don’t think I told anyone. Maybe a friend, but maybe not. I certainly didn’t consider going to the police.

What would I say?

What would they do?

Was I prepared to leave that relationship?

No, not yet, (that was still a couple of years away)…so it just became part of the fabric of my life and my lessons – something that happened that day that I would take as much care as possible to not allow to happen again.

I considered myself then, and consider myself now, a strong and confident woman. This view of myself allowed me to not see the destructive and abusive relationship I was in and to not see myself as someone who would be subjected to situations I was unable to handle. So, I just got on with things.

My stories aren’t uncommon or particularly notable.

Ultimately, I’m not as interested in the telling of the stories as I am in the explanation or exploration of what’s underneath them.

The first part of that for me is the question of education, discussion, value.

Even though I, instinctually, knew that violations against me felt wrong, that they were scary or dangerous I understood that I was feeling fear and that what was happening was not ‘right’. I don’t think anyone had ever had really explicit conversations with me about sex, about power, about empowerment, about expectation, about my body, about men, about attraction, about rape – there was so much I didn’t know, so much I was trying to figure out during these interactions, so much I was trying to process. It’s almost like the encounters themselves taught me the lessons and only then could I start to understand what to do with them. It seems really backwards and overwhelming…but also really, really subtle.

In 2011, I started to work on this film INSIDE HER SEX. A huge undertaking, to create a narrative that explores female sexuality and shame in 70 minutes. Part of the reason that this undertaking was so substantial is that I think shame is so subtle and hard to see that to film it is even more daunting.

Recently, I’ve been equating sexual shame to living on a fault line. It runs through us or under us, almost invisible, until the plates shift, something happens and all of a sudden we are shaking, everything is disrupted and the ground below us can’t support us any longer.

Part of the problem is that my shame isn’t your shame. In fact, I may tell you a story about my shame and you may not even see the shame in my story.

My shame may be about masturbation or orgasm or fantasy, but yours isn’t.

You have different shame.

In fact, we run the risk that my view of your shame may result in my casting judgment on you, and vice versa. This idea is well articulated in this commentary piece from today’s Toronto Star by Jia Junaid.

So, how do we have these conversations and when do we start?

How do we start to have clear explicit dialogue about our individual issues and preferences and predilictions without fear of judgment or repercussions?

How do we educate children about sexuality and individuality and empowerment and choice?

How do we teach about consent?

On the surface it seems like such a simple concept and, on the surface, it is. If I say yes, it’s consentual and we proceed. If I say no, we stop. But, I have to wonder if it’s really so simple? What if we haven’t had the education to understand the choices? What if I’m too embarrassed to tell someone that I don’t understand what they are asking of me? What if I don’t know the words they are using or haven’t had sexual relations before? What if I feel pressured or ashamed? What if things get out of hand and I don’t know how to stop them? What if I think saying ‘no’ will put me in danger? Ultimately, I think that there is so much secrecy and shame and fear and haziness around sex and sexuality that we are left fumbling in the dark.

I think we owe it to ourselves and our children to have explicit and direct conversations, to have comprehensive sex education programs available for children and adults. Education that goes beyond explanations about how to make babies and where to find fallopian tubes, education that give people tools to understand and explore their own sexuality in a safe way so that when they are faced with situations where they need to gain or provide consent, they know what that means and what their options are.

Until we stop living on a sexual fault line we will always be waiting for the next quake to hit.

744d7b_197c7517a0df464a821ecf96e792397e.jpg_srz_253_381_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzSHEONA MCDONALD:  A noteworthy producer, director and writer, Sheona has been working in the film industry for fifteen years. She started her company, Dimestore Productions Inc., in Toronto in 2000 and returned home to Vancouver in 2009.

In 2010, Sheona was one of 16 Canadian filmmakers selected to create a short film for the Olympics. Momentum uses live action and animation to detail the strength of a relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter from the beginning of her life to the end of his.

Sheona was nominated for a Gemini award for the writing on a documentary she produced, wrote and directed called Capturing a Short Life for CBC Newsworld. This intensely beautiful and cinematic film explores the issue of infant loss, through examining how parents relate to, and remember their babies who are only here for a short period of time.

In 2011 Sheona finished co-producing and writing a television documentary called When Dreams Take Flight that explores the myths, dreams and obsessions of human beings desire to fly like birds, through following the process of a group of students building a human powered ornithopter. It began airing on documentary Channel in November 2011.

Shortly after When Dreams Take Flight was finished, Sheona started working on this film. Originally called Women & Porn it examined women as the end users of pornography. However, during the course of research and interviews Sheona realized that there was a deeper and more subtle component to the story and Inside Her Sex was born.


Inside Her Sex, is a documentary film by Sheona McDonald about female sexuality and shame. It premieres on Canada’s documentary Channel on 12/14/14 and features, Candida Royalle, Elle Chase and Samantha Allen.

INSIDE HER SEX is a thought-provoking, feature-length documentary that explores female sexuality and shame through the eyes and experiences of three women from different walks of life, each brave enough to chart her own course of sexual discovery.

Through the varied, candid and intensely personal stories of these three women this film will delve to the core of their sexuality to the deep, intimate, explosive, powerful place that is INSIDE HER SEX.

Jul 192014

After Pornified – How Women Are Transforming Pornography and Why It Really Matters

A Book Review, by Lady Cheeky: Originally published on

What do you think about when you hear the word “pornography”?  In the United States at least, that word usually conjures up images of brightly tanned, women on their knees and overly built men with perma-erections in various states of orgasmic euphoria.  Pornography has classically been made by and for a male consumer base summarily ignoring the female audience that was always assumed to not be interested in sexually based entertainment. It’s interesting to note though, that 40 million Americans visit porn sites regularly and 1 in 3 of those viewers are women, (probably more if you figure that a lot of women would be too shy to admit to it).  However, with the ever-increasing demographic of women who enjoy porn on a regular basis this old-fashioned image may need to make way for a new paradigm of pornography, Feminist or “Re-visioned” Porn.

In the new book AfterPornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters (from Zer0 Books) by Anne G. Sabo, Ph.D., Ms. Sabo catalogs  and explains the history and the need for Feminist Porn.

the great thing about porn affecting us is that it can actually have a good effect on us.  Re-visioned and transformed feminist porn proves my point.  Re-visioned porn can change the way we think about and practice sex in positive ways, just as mainstream porn has affected the way we picture and practice sex in negative ways”.

By highlighting and examining revolutionary feminist porn filmmakers and their work, Ms. Sabo delineates how each artist brings their unique vision and aesthetic to their films and how that impacts the world of erotic filmmaking geared toward women.  She also speaks with these illustrious filmmakers, Candida Royalle, Erika Lust and Lisbeth Lyngoft to name a few and interviews them about their vision and their process. Ms. Royalle, for example, outlines (with great sub-categories) two essential elements one must incorporate in a good feminist sex flick:

1. High cinematic production value and

2. Progressive sexual-political commitment.

Ms. Lyngoft also throws her hat in the ring with her must have list, one of which is “To create a powerful female character who is determined and who goes with her desires”. This seems to be the main current that runs through the feminist porn genre; giving the female lead agency over her own body and desires.

Breaking down scenes from classic feminist porn films and then dissecting why they change the landscape of the pornographic film business is a unique and fascinating aspect of Ms. Sabo’s book. It’s almost as if the reader is being schooled in sexuality & feminist theory and practice by an intelligent and noted scholar. In fact, Ms. Sabo is an academic-cum-public educator who has researched feminist pornography for over a decade and is a noted expert in her field. The reader benefits from her expertise by covering topics that range from pushing the limits with progressive porn to  music video porn all written with intelligence and aplomb. As a fantastic plus, Ms. Sabo finishes off her book with a healthy appendix of filmmakers, websites, women-oriented sex shops, and progressive sex film awards and festivals to further quell your new lust for more feminist porn.


Ms. Sabo has done her research and it shows in this illuminating and detailed treatise on the re-visioned/feminist porn movement. This book is a goldmine for all sex-positive women and men who at least believe that there is nothing wrong with porn that a little balance can’t fix or even the steadfast feminist who wants to broaden his/her knowledge base on the issues of sexual agency of women in adult film. The casual reader will also find something to take away from this book, a new respect for the women of porn and a newly minted image when they next hear the word “pornography” brought up in conversation.

After Pornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography and Why It Really Matters (from Zer0 Books): is available on AMAZON and AMAZON UK



Jun 142014

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
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:

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!





 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.

May 082014

I got to cross this off of my 2014 wish list!  I love me some Sex Nerd Sandra, (really, who doesn’t?) So when Sex Nerd Sandra called me, and asked if I could come in that afternoon to record a podcast, I had to squelch a nerdy, audible ‘chirp’ of delight.

We recorded 2 shows; one on ‘Big Beautiful Sex’ and another that came from a conversation Sandra and I were having about me taking a break from dating. The other half of this current episode of the Sex Nerd Sandra Podcast is her conversation with brilliant, sex-positive therapist, Kate Loree, LMFT who shares her insightful opinions on dating and making good choices. I learned a lot from listening to Kate, and I know you will too. So, even if you’re sick of me, check out Sandra and Kate’s half of the podcast you’ll be glad you did I promise. :)

Please to enjoy, HERE




For more on Sex Nerd Sandra:                                                For more on Kate Loree, LMFT:

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Mother’s Day Weekend 20% off site-wide sale.


Apr 242014
Originally Posted on  
images-3As usual, I drifted off to the True Crime channel at 3a.m. after stripping for 13 hours straight then L and I slept in a double bed in the Motel 6 off Highway 111 to save some dough. L sleeps exactly like me; I don’t even hear her breathe. She’s stiff and still and silent. We are like a couple of bruised dead dolls slathered with anti-aging eye cream, fantasizing about stalkers and sociopaths teeming in the parking lot below us, after our purses stuffed with stripper bills. But for once, that Motel 6 was quiet.

Our room was hot and stuffy in the morning and the door was stuck, so I used the wall for leverage and pulled hard. Outside, snow-capped mountains towered against a pristine blue sky. Palm trees lined a packed parking lot. I thought I recognized a customer from the club the night before, walking his dog on the lawn. He called me “Humboldt” all night then in a drunken stupor, asked me to be his Valentine.

Stripping has never flattered my real romantic relationships. It makes them look like fat neglect machines, poking holes in my pincushion heart. While guys in strip clubs shower me with easy, unconditional adoration, my real relationships are tense and difficult. Lately, I’ve been filling up my empty wallet and my emotional well with knee-jerk marriage proposals from strangers. I’m not saying it’s right, but I’m grateful to have found Desert Showgirls; at least, my ego is.

L is my stripper spirit guide. She knows where to go and I listen, pack my survival kit and hit the trail. Years ago, she swore by New Orleans, so after a bloody Mongol fist fight broke out at an Italian restaurant (that also illegally allowed us to strip) near Pasadena, I borrowed $200 for a one-way plane ticket and spent the next three years falling madly in love with NOLA and the clubs that embraced me there. Ever since then, I follow L’s lead. The best place to strip in LA is not in LA at all but near Palm Springs in a nondescript strip mall. Desert Showgirls is the Snickers Bar of strip clubs: Generic and dark on the outside, creamy gold mine on the inside. And like most places of ill repute, it’s near an adult video store and shares a parking lot with a suspiciously vacant cigar shop and a very good Mexican restaurant that keeps unpredictable hours.

A strip dancer performs for customers at the Mons Venus strip club in Tampa

Unlike San Francisco, dancing in LA has always sucked. After dropping the drunken girls off at their overpriced apartments in Hollywood, I wondered why I didn’t go put on a skirt and wait tables at Swingers instead. Actually, I knew why. I’m a terrible waitress, but a great stripper. The two jobs are similar but different. Both jobs require being nice to rude, demanding people and having superb listening skills. But, I have no instinct for that perfect balance of timing and attention to detail when it comes to serving food. However, I am acutely aware of other hungers: the desire to be desired and the need to be heard. And In twenty years of stripping, I’ve always been a night girl, never a day shift girl, but now I see the benefit of being the one girl on the floor at noon. Day shift guys are different. They seem sadder, sneaky and more stoned which can attract a strange breed of clientele, like Jerry, the man who cried while I gave him a lap dance.

No matter what time of day, strip clubs invite a heightened sense of suffering and affection, kind of like kissing the hand of someone dying; meeting their suffering head on and dancing with it, like last Saturday, when Jerry cried during our lap dance.

In issue #441 of The Sun, Janna Malamud Smith recalls psychoanalyst Jonathan Lear’s belief that we are “finite erotic creatures.” Meaning, we dangle on a tight rope between our “expansive desire and our inevitable death.” We Strippers shimmy to that tune. We experience the world through erotic movement and connection and that movement is towards our death.

Antonia AcraneAn older dude in a bright red sweatshirt kept calling me “honey.” He followed me around the empty club, so I had to deal with him.
It was about 4p.m. and he was shitfaced.
“Honey,” he growled. “I’m sixty-four years old. I’ve been to clubs all over the world. I saw Jim Morrison perform in public for the first time.”

“Oh yeah? Where was that?”

“The Rainbow Room. He was scared.”

“Scared of what?”

“Performing in public. What’s the matter, Honey. You too cool to dance for me?”

“I’m about to go on stage right now,” I lied. “You like Pink Floyd? Led Zeppelin or the Stones?”

“Oh, Miss Attitude is too cool, huh.”

A petite brunette finally joined me on the floor. I told her Jerry was looking to spend some money. She refused to talk to him. He stunk. He was rude. He was shitfaced.

“I’ll dance for him, so he’ll leave,” I said and pulled him into the VIP area, slightly worried he didn’t have enough cash on him to pay me.

He grabbed my hands when I took his glasses off his head.
“What is wrong with you?” I whispered, my mouth brushed his ear.

“I love women. Been married four times and they always leave me.”

“Why is that?” I asked.

“I cheat. I get bored. I hate women.” Tears streamed down both of his cheeks.

I kept dancing and he kept crying. At the end of the song I said, “I’m not taking any more of your money, Jerry.”

“Keep dancing,” he said, still crying.

“Fuck you, Jerry. Go smoke.” I snatched his cigarettes, phone and his cocktail, his headphones and his wallet.

“Listen honey.”

“Get up. We’re going.” He over tipped me by fifty bucks and I walked towards the door where guys could duck outside and smoke.

The bouncer walked up to us. “Your cab’s here sir.” I kissed Jerry good bye on his wet cheek.

imagesAntonia Crane’s work has appeared in: The Rumpus,, DAME Magazine, Black Clock, SLAKE, Word RiotPANK, The Whistling Fire, The Coachella Review, Phantom Seed, Smith Magazine, Diverse Voices Quarterly and lots of other places. She holds an MFA in Fiction from Antioch University. She wrote a memoir about the sex industry and her mother’s illness: SPENT and is one of the editors of The Citron Review. She teaches Creative Writing to at-risk teens for Write Girl and Woodcraft Rangers. She lives in Los Angeles where she runs, tweets and blogs.  Check her out on … Twitter: @AntoniaCrane  Web:

Mar 222014


  1. When going to a swinger’s retreat, make certain your partner isn’t packing a tiny, leather, Borat-style unikini to wear at the poolside fashion show.
  2. Being “in love” and being “in lust” are both very disparate and different things that deceptively, can seem like one and the same.
  3. Sex is messy. You’ll need a towel.
  4. When dating a married man, never cling to the statistic that 1% of men having an affair will leave their wives for their mistress. Because no matter what he says, for every King Edward VIII who abdicated the throne for the woman he loved, there are 25 Joey Buttafuccos and you’re dating number 24.
  5. Gentlemanly manners, a good upbringing and general social skills should never be underestimated.
  6. Tattoo this Maya Angelou quote on the inside of your eyelids. “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time.”
  7. Though it might seem obvious, always query a date about the circumstances in which he lives. If he resides in a storage facility with no indoor plumbing and a Porta-Potty he cleans himself, chances are you’ll be doing all the driving.
  8. Guys you meet on a fetish-dating site will never care if you haven’t dusted before they come over or the bed isn’t made. Don’t stress it. You’re mother will NOT be turning over in her grave (at least not because your house isn’t spotless).
  9. Cigarettes, role-playing your True Blood fantasy character on Twitter and bucketloads of Xanax are not a new lifestyle regime, they are a red flag.
  10. Contrary to what they may have you believe, the man with a 12-inch dick is not going to be the best sex you ever had. Two words: bruised cervix.
  11. Approximately, one out of every five men you sleep with will be as good in bed as they think, or say they are.
  12. It’s less important to a man what your body looks like than how you feel about it and what you do with it.
  13. This may seem obvious, but never divulge the web address of the erotica and porn blogs you run on the first couple of dates. It sets up unrealistic expectations.
  14. Only wax your vulva if it makes YOU feel better. If your lover suggests he’d like to see you with smooth genitalia, tell him you’d like him to go first.
  15. Going to bed alone at night isn’t nearly as lonely as going to bed next to someone you’ve grown apart from.
  16. When online dating, no matter how hard you work at making your profile accurate, smart, witty and pithy you will always get responses from 23 year old, trade students who wear their baseball caps sideways and think common texting abbreviations are what constitute an irresistible opening email.
  17. Sexual chemistry and passion are inextricably linked, however it can take many different forms, come in many different packages and isn’t always instantaneous. If he doesn’t light your fire after 3 dates, he never will.
  18. Social media is great place to learn how to flirt with abandon.
  19. It takes at least a week to properly seduce a woman.
  20. Never reschedule time with friends for a date. Your friends are your gold. The date can wait.


*Excerpt from my erotic memoir “A View From a Broad”

Jan 172014


I happen to live in Los Angeles where being over a size 8 is a felony. This can be depressing when I am searching for a cute bathing suit or a stylish pair of jeans in a city that considers the ‘norm’ a size 2. At those times I like to remind myself that the average dress size for women across America and the UK is a size 14 and that a size 2 is more an aberration than the norm. However, it’s disappointing to note that at size 14, those average women are also considered “plus size”, labeling them in a category that, in this media ridden age, might send a woman’s ego to the back of the proverbial bus. This size stereotyping (especially in metropolitan cities like Los Angeles and New York City) can compound the list of reasons why single “plus size” woman are intimidated by dating and sex.

I have found that a lot of my single friends complain they can’t find a nice guy or even a good lover. When I suggest online dating, taking a class or going to events to meet a guy, I almost universally hear “maybe when I lose some weight” as the first excuse not to engage. It seems that no matter what we look like, women are always first to dissuade themselves from dating by knocking their perceived physical shortcomings. This kind of dysmorphic thinking doesn’t discriminate it seems, women of all shapes and sizes do it. Though being a “plus sized” woman has its challenges, dating shouldn’t be one of them. In fact, as a plus sized woman myself, I had to get past my own mental lambasting and take a leap of faith, even though at the time I still hated my body. It’s not easy to do but it IS possible.

When I made the decision to start dating again after my divorce, I had to examine my history with my body image. My whole teen and adult life I was lead to believe, through society, other women and some really immature boys, that my body was “less than” because it had more lumps, bumps and curves than the women portrayed in television, film, advertising, fashion magazines (including Seventeen magazine which can be horribly destructive to a young woman’s ego) and the like. Add to that the unconscious conditioning I received from my well-meaning mother and I was set up to fail.

I thought about all the women this kind of conditioning affects, as most women do not have “perfect” bodies and have even less perfect body images. It was interesting to me that regardless of size, all the women I knew loathed portions, if not all of their bodies. Not only does this affect quality of life in general, it substantially affects a healthy sex life. So what can we, as women, do to begin to accept the parts of us that we have heretofore shamed ourselves into hating?

Rebecca Jane Weinstein, Lawyer, Social Worker and Author, was told by her grandmother at nine years old that no man would ever love her because she was fat. So started Ms. Weinstein on her journey of figuring out her womanhood on her own. She relates her pilgrimage to satisfying sex in her book Fat Sex: The Naked Truth.  I asked Ms. Weinstein what her advice would be to plus-sized women who are trying to feel more confident sexually. Here is her answer:

“In interviewing the many large sized women I have about body image and sexuality, I have found a common thread.  When a woman feels sexy, she projects sexy, and men (or other women) find her sexy.  This seems almost simplistic, and it is, in a sense.  Perception is everything, particularly self-perception.  What is not simplistic is coming to that realization and then internalizing those feelings.  Women seem to find that place in themselves two ways.  First is personality.  Some of us are just lucky to have an inner core of confidence that has no clear genesis.  It just exists.  But even women who aren’t so lucky to be somehow born with the “I feel sexy” gene, seem to be able to learn to feel sexy.  The key is listening and believing when you are told you are attractive and that someone is attracted to you.  So often we are told such a thing, and every available evidence supports it (like there is a person lying next to us in a bed), and yet we don’t believe it.  We must overcome that disbelief.  It is not easy when all the societal messages tell us fat is not sexy.  But those messages come from disreputable sources – mostly people trying to sell us stuff.  They want us to feel badly about ourselves so we will buy diets and cosmetics and clothing and medical procedures.  Those people are liars.  The ones telling us the truth are sharing our beds and our hearts.  It is them we must believe.  And the truth is, even if there is no one giving those positive messages, telling ourselves works too.  When you feel sexy, you project sexy, and others find you sexy.  It’s not so important how you tumblr_mfma65kGMu1rrgft7o1_500get there, but that you get there.”

She’s right.

I had a lover once with whom I had some of the most erotic, connected, exciting and sensual sex of my life (some of our exploits are detailed on my erotica site and I was considered plus-sized at the time. Though I felt confident that he wanted me, I still didn’t feel comfortable in my body. Still, before our first tryst I panicked about how he would react to actually seeing me naked.  Would he still want me when he saw my overflowing stomach and flabby thighs? I was terrified.

When we first got together I was so ashamed of my physique that I kept my nightie on thinking “maybe he won’t notice my fat.” Though, in contrast to what the little devil on my shoulder was whispering in my ear (“you’re disgusting,” “you should be ashamed to think he wants you”,) my lover couldn’t have been more effusive and complimentary about how seduced he was by my body. He continued to sincerely voice how attracted to me he was, yet I kept that nightie on for two months until I “believed” he was really yearning for me. What in the world did he have to do to get me to believe him? The answer is “nothing.” The issue was with me and my own narrative about my body. I used the shame and the humiliation I took on from others’ opinions about body size during my childhood and young womanhood to inform my ability to receive full pleasure in the moment. What a shame.

Later on in our relationship, figuring a bigger gal was his bag, I brought up the subject of a woman’s body type and asked him if he had always been attracted to plus-sized women. For me, his answer was revolutionary. My lover explained that body shape or size had nothing at all to do with his attraction to a woman. To him, a woman’s physical appeal (among other things like chemistry, personality, intelligence, etc.) was based on how sexual/sensual the woman was. He continued, that when a woman felt she was a sensual being and was confident about her sexuality, that it drove him wild. “I could be lying in bed with a supermodel but if she didn’t own her own sexuality I would be completely limp,” he said. Furthermore, the men he knew in his life felt the same way. He continued by saying that those same men were often frustrated with the fact that women in general don’t own their bodies and often let it get in the way of “letting go and enjoying the moment.”  Again, revolutionary to me. I thought back to when I was praying he wouldn’t notice my fat and thought “Wow. If I were just able to let go and take in that he was having sex with me because he WANTED to and was ATTRACTED to me, I would have enjoyed myself so much more.”  The change needed to start with me.  I needed to give myself a break. If it was true that he found me physically attractive then it was equally true that other men would as well. It was clear, I needed to start accepting my body as is, otherwise I would be living a lonely existence waiting for the day I would be happy with my body and that day will never come. This was evidenced by my smaller framed friends who had a litany of complaints about why men wouldn’t find them attractive. Again, the unrealistic body dysmorphia rears its ugly head no matter WHAT you look like.

Pamela Madsen, who wrote the book Shameless: How I Ditched The Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner says “If you work on embracing who you are – every single day just like a religious practice – things will change in your world.” I completely agree. No more negative self-talk ever.

So here’s the deal I’m not going to tell you to look in the mirror and say affirmations that you’re beautiful and sexy or tell yourself “I love you the way you are;” that’s too big a jump. What I AM telling you is that if you can’t muster up something nice to think about yourself, at least say something factual and neutral like,  “this is the way I look and that’s that.” It’s accurate and at the same time makes you accept yourself the way you are. Once you have that under your belt move on up to “I look pretty good today” etc, but wait until you believe it.  The point being, you are never to put yourself down. And if you can’t compliment yourself, then at least say something objective, something you can believe.

The next step would be to start to become more comfortable in your body sexually as it is right now. Whether you’re plus-sized or not, I highly recommend you read the aforementioned book  Fat Sex: The Naked Truth by Rebecca Jane Weinstein. She’s plus sized, smart and has the experiences to back up what she preaches. Her book will feed you stories of women (and men) who feel the same or worse about their bodies and will inspire you.  Reading the stories of how others achieved their positive body image and started enjoying sex will help you get used to the notion that there are other people out there (perhaps even larger than you are) that have found their inner sex gods and goddesses.

There are also a plethora of body image and sex positive websites at your fingertips. One of my favorites is Betty Dodson and Carlin Ross’ website that has a wonderful DVD called Bodysex Workshop. This DVD teaches women not only how to feel good about their sexuality but shows REAL women with REAL bodies “taking care of business” (if you know what I mean.)  Other validating websites to check out: I Feel Myself which feature women from all over the world masturbating to orgasm. It’s liberating watching women of all shapes, sizes, colors and backgrounds enjoying the sexual pleasure that is their right. Pamela Madsen’s blog Being offers Pamela’s words of wisdom on the spiritually based “sacred sexuality movement” and body image.

tumblr_m5asknvCUc1qeuufeo1_500If you are feeling frisky, even the porn world has something to offer. The multitude of amateur porn online also affords us the opportunity to watch women who look like us engaging in hot sex.  There are even porn sites dedicated to plus sized nude models like (my favorite) London Andrews and very popular plus sized porn star Kelly Shibari. There’s also “feminist porn” (also known as women’s porn or couples porn) brought to us by pioneers in the field like Candida RoyalleErika Lust and Tristan Taormino. This type of porn is made by women for women (and men) who enjoy a more sensual story and a focus on the woman’s pleasure as well as the man’s. Checking out this kind of porn might make you feel more a part of “the club” than traditional porn where the focus is mainly on the man’s gratification while they screw thin women with fake boobs (not that there’s anything inherently wrong with that).

Poor body image doesn’t doesn’t have to be debilitating. Your sexuality is part of who you are as a woman and human being and the plus sized woman should take steps to start empowering herself as an erotic, sexual being every woman should, really. If we can divorce our self-loathing (while we work on it, of course) from our sensual selves, then dating or sexual expression doesn’t have to be tied into body image and as a result, we can work on accepting ourselves while at the same time experiencing sexual pleasure.

Since I have accepted my body “as is,” not only have I had no problem finding men that find my me and my body sexy but I’ve been allowing myself to have some of the best sex of my life. I have come to understand and believe that sexual pleasure is not just meant for the “beautiful” and the “hard-bodied,” it’s a natural enjoyment that is your right as a human being. So take back that right. Ignore the messages from people, agencies and corporations trying to make you feel “less than” and take back control of what is inherently yours.


© Copyright 2014 Elle Chase/Lady Cheeky All rights Reserved. Written, Sept. 2012

Jan 172014

Maggie Mayhem

This list and it’s original title “50 Things I’ve Been Meaning To Say About Sex” originally appeared on on November 8, 2013.  If you don’t know who Maggie Mayhem is, you should – in my opinion she is one of the great minds of the sex-positive movement. I loved this list so much I wanted to share it with you. Read them.  Print them. Memorize them. Share them with everyone you know and visit her site and her Tumblr often.  So, with permission from Miss Mayhem here is a re-print of “50 Things I’ve been Meaning to Say About Sex. by Maggie Mayhem”   xo LC




  1. There is no easy set of steps for giving or receiving pleasure.
  2. There is no finish line.
  3. Your triumphs and your traumas will impact your sexuality.
  4. Sex itself can be a source of triumph and trauma.
  5. Hydration really does make a difference.
  6. There will be plot twists.
  7. Your sexual preferences may not match your needs or opportunities for pleasure.
  8. Sometimes the most skillful application of touch won’t do what a single caress or glance from someone you are centered upon can do.
  9. It’s more than active or passive. You can be actively-passive and passively-active in sex.
  10. You may summon something you weren’t prepared to receive.
  11. You will experience cognitive dissonance.
  12. You are more beautiful than you know.
  13. You are not entitled to your partner’s sexual backstory. It’s their choice to share.
  14. It’s fucked up to make someone feel bad about their body and how it works.
  15. Take time to breathe.
  16. Sometimes you will be terrified.
  17. Humans have sex for reasons that include but are not limited to pleasure or procreation.
  18. Be prepared for fluids.
  19. You will shed many sexual skins over your lifetime.
  20. Blood sugar really makes a difference.
  21. Using sex as a weapon is when you unilaterally commandeer someone’s body for your use, not when you are soliciting sexual attraction.
  22. Feeling fascinated or attracted to someone does not entitle you to their time and attention.
  23. Things may not meet expectations.
  24. Orgasms are just one piece.
  25. No one else is an authority on your sexuality.
  26. Sometimes you will be confused.
  27. Sometimes you will find ecstasy in the orgiastic, sometimes in the ascetic.
  28. The power of sex to hurt and to heal demands our respect.
  29. Sex is more than what we will ever say about it.
  30. There is no default state of sexual consciousness.
  31. You will find times when words will utterly fail you.
  32. What your body does may not be congruous with your desire.
  33. Context is key.
  34. Sex can be both a source of empowerment and dis-empowerment.
  35. The experience of another may offer wisdom or perspective but it might not be applicable to your life.
  36. An orgasm does not always mean pleasure.
  37. You may run into people who treat you as an inferior version of their projection of you.
  38. There are many different motivations to have sex.
  39. Implemental sex is neither greater nor lesser than non-implemental sex.
  40. The hottest thing in the world might not turn you on anymore.
  41. The value placed upon any given sex act or object is relational rather than intrinsic.
  42. Random causes should not be confused with essential facts.
  43. Your props of sexual summoning will change over time.
  44. Sexual union on non-physical planes exists.
  45. No element of sex is compulsory.
  46. Consciously changing your breathing patterns will change your experience of sex.
  47. Sex can be an instrument of knowing.
  48. Sexual definitions will fail to contain their referents.
  49. There’s really no such thing as an expert on sex.
  50. I don’t endorse everything I’ve said or thought about sex, not even this list.



Jan 092014


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

Dec 112013

Originally published on 12/4/13

We have a real problem with our sex educators and writers getting booted off of sites like Facebook and LinkedIn, and having their funds frozen by processors like PayPal, because of these companies’ refusal to touch the erotic. Specifically, perceived status as a (current or former, as PayPal clarified to me in a phone call) sex worker or association with erotic materials (such as an erotica Tumblr; let’s not even start on porn) is license to shut down our educators.

This is being unevenly applied. If you’re a male sex educator, or are commonly read as masculine, you are less likely to have this issue because of the false assumption that men aren’t sex workers. (Male sex educators and sex workers still have this issue, to be clear.) If you’re a female sex educator, or are perceived as one, you are more likely to be assumed to be a sex worker.

If you’ve thought that working strictly as a sex educator meant that sex worker stigma wasn’t your issue, let this be a wake-up call. Unless we take pleasure out of sex education – which is a losing game – we will keep having our platforms knocked out from under us due not only to discomfort with sex, but discomfort with the erotic pleasure principle, and with the possibility of sex work.

Educators such as Nina Hartley, Buck Angel, and Jessica Drake use porn as a platform to reach many who might not otherwise seek out sex and pleasure education. Lots of sex educators have backgrounds in the erotic professions that inform their work as sex educators. When we’re too scared to defend sex work, because it’s not our battle, because there’s a legal gray area we’re scared to touch, we’re saying it’s okay to let the sex workers – our front-line sex educators – take the bullets as long as we get to play the game. And we get to play the game only as long as we play it safe.

Playing it safe means being afraid to show what it is that we’re teaching. Playing it safe means we can’t make our material too erotic or explicit or we’ll lose our billing. Playing it safe means knowing our client needs to see a sex worker but being afraid to make the referral because of what it might mean for us professionally.

We all do it. And we can all be braver. Because it is our fight. Sex work is under assault because it’s both sex and work. When we work in sex, however we work in sex, we brush up against that stigma. If we want sex to be taken seriously on our watch, we have to commit to standing up for access to sex education and health, for pleasure, and for treating all of the sexual professions with respect.

images-2Sabrina Morgan is a sex worker’s rights advocate as well as a sex educator and relationship coach. Fascinated with the places where society and sexuality intersect, she began practicing kink-focused work in 2005 and has been speaking and presenting workshops on dating, sexuality, and the intersection of sex, gender, and human rights issues since 2009.

Her work as a professional switch allowed her to work with others’ sexuality in a very personal way, giving her a deft sensitivity to the needs of those exploring new facets of their sexual selves and an understanding of the importance of sex and relationship education for adults.

A firm believer in continuing education for all adults exploring sex and relationships, she has presented at SXSW, the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit 2013, Toronto’s Playground Conference 2012 & 2013, CatalystCon East and West 2012 & 2013, Momentum 2011 & 2012, BIL 2012, the San Francisco Sex Worker Fest, and Sex 2.0 2009 & 2010. She offers group workshops, distance classes, and has shot educational videos for both Kink Academy and Passionate U.

Individual and couples’ coaching is available through her site.

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