Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tristan Taormino, serendipity & a female ejaculation contest

It's exciting to me when the world feels small, and the universe seems to say, "you are exactly where you should be."

I didn't know attending a G Spot workshop would be so serendipitous and foreshadow events three or nine years later. I didn't think about the next time I would run into someone I met at that Michigan Womyn's Music Festival workshop in the woods. I didn't know I'd start a sex shop with a woman also at that workshop, a woman I wouldn't meet for another three years. I didn't have any sense that it would be nine years until I saw Tristan Taormino in person again. But there are certain times in life when you look back and it seems life shifted just then, in that moment.

In 2000, I attended and worked at Michigan Womyn's Music Festival. I was a baby (bull) dyke (in a china shop) -- a big, empty sponge- absorbing culture, music, traditions, craft, community, sex-positivity, herstory, inter-generational art and adventure. I saw first hand how positive and radical a self-created women's space can be. I loved how women from all over the world taught workshops and shared skills.

I hadn't learned much about sex toys, the g spot or female ejaculation. I had heard of Tristan Taormino, the sex writer and sex advice columnist in On Our Backs. I knew the female ejaculation workshop sounded like the sexiest workshop at Michigan, so if I could only attend one workshop as a worker -that was it. So I went.

I had no buddies beside me, and sat next to a friendly, quiet, middle-aged woman. My eyes were surely big and my world was rocked as I learned how to find a g spot and watched women learn first hand. Literally. It was so radical seeing sexy, gloved volunteers gently show women where to find their g spots. The workshop ended and then began the only female ejaculation contest I have had the pleasure to see. Women won in categories like quantity, distance and single-handed-job. The quiet woman next to me won for speed. Little did I know when I sat down next to her, but she clearly could ejaculate in 45 seconds flat. It was a talented group. The workshop was one of the most exciting experiences for me- not just the live sex demo, but the brilliance of women showing other women new ways to find pleasure. I didn't know it then, but I found my passion...

Three years later and after lots of travels, I found myself living in a share house in Lower Allston in Boston. There I met my best friend and future business partner, Matie Fricker. Sometime in the first year of getting to know each other, we figured out that she, too, was in that crowd of women at Tristan's workshop in the woods. Lo and behold, in looking through my Mich Fest photos, I found one with Matie in the crowd.

Now in 2009, Matie and I are about to host the 3rd Annual Pornotopia Film Festival and Self Serve is almost three years old. It feels like a milestone and a re-connection that Tristan Taormino is coming to be part of this year's festival. It seems the first time Matie and I unknowingly crossed paths was when we both sought out accessible, hands-on sex education with Tristan Taormino. Now we can share her brilliance with the rest of Albuquerque. Full circle.

So glad the stars aligned the way they did.

p.s. I blurred all the faces (except Tristan's) in the Michfest photo. Your secrets are safe with us...

No comments: