Tuesday, November 30, 2010

World AIDS Day is December 1st

Peter Rothberg at The Nation points out the HIV/AIDS epidemic is far from over.  World AIDS Day is December 1st.   In the US there are over 1 million people living with HIV and 1 in every 5 people living with HIV doesn't even know they have it yet.

You can act in your community to make a difference and raise awareness.

Get tested free in Albuquerque.  No names, no blood, no cost!

Hear real peoples' stories of living with HIV and living well.

Talk about HIV, AIDS and STIs.  Talk about safer sex, homelessness, ignorance and shame. 

Get support locally.

Donate to make a difference around the world.

You can always get resources and support at Self Serve.  If you want more info about testing throughout the year or who to talk to, just ask us!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Going Down on the Ladies: Intro to Cunnilingus

Tuesday Nov. 30th @7:30 PM to 9:30 PM
$15 at Self Serve
For those who want to go downtown more often, there are skills you can learn to excel in the bedroom and beyond!
  • Oral & Manual Techniques
  • Safer Sex Info
  • Communication Tips
  • Multiple O Skills
  • G Spot Stimulation Tricks
Call the store to reserve you spot and we look forward to seeing you!

Friday, November 26, 2010

CUFFS Meeting: Citizens United for Free Speech

Sunday, Dec. 5th @6pm at Self Serve

Citizens United for Free Speech are holding a planning meeting on Sunday, December 5th. We are going to attend the Albuquerque City Council meeting on Monday December 6th at 5:30pm.

for more updates, friend CUFFS facebook page.


We are grateful for you, our customers and community.  Enjoy our gratitude with more pleasure for less.  Get 30% off any Self Serve purchase this Thanksgiving weekend.  The coupon code is valid online or in our Albuquerque store.

Mention this deal while you shop Small Business Saturday November 27 or use online until November 29 at 11:59 pm.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Molly explains Silicone and Water-based Lube

My Leather Journey

My name is Keli I am a Master identified lesbian in a 24/7 relationship with my slave. We have been together for over 8 years. But I started out quite a different person, and I am amazed where my leather journey has taken me.

When I was 25 I was in a very abusive relationship, which also happened to be my first relationship with a woman. Because she was more dominant then I was and had a strong male energy, I worked hard to fill in the cracks~ I tried everything that I could to please her, I even tried being more feminine. None of it worked~ for me at least.

When I left her, I exploded into who I really wanted to be. I shaved my head, dressed more masculine, and stated to define what I wanted and expected in a partner, and my life.
When I met my slave, things really started to fall into place. I started having a deeper understanding of myself and who I was. Also because she loved my masculine expression I was able to really explore and expand myself. 

When we started dating I was very surprised to find out that she had a dominant before, and that these fantasies that I had been dreaming about were actually to some, an entire lifestyle.
I was very interested in exploring BDSM and leather, and before I knew it so much of who I was suddenly made sense. Over the process of three years I transitioned from a Top to a Daddy to a Master, and she went from a submissive to a slave.  She earned her official collar after three years of training, and we have been very happily learning and growing together.

So that is me and her in a nut shell.

And this blog~ Leather the Journey is about my leather philosophy, process, and experiences. Welcome.

Re-post: Navigating TSA Policies for Trans People and Survivors

There is lots of fear and concern going around since new TSA procedures are quietly changing.  Please read this trans-friendly explanation of TSA policies and familiarize yourself with the requirements and options.  As the blog notes, "If taking to the skies is the only travel option, Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Services recommends survivors familiarize themselves with TSA security procedures to help avoid a potentially triggering incident. While the TSA is tight-lipped about the changes, U.S. News & World Report has a good overview of what to expect when going through airport security."

If you dislike the new security policies or a TSA agent acts inappropriately while screening you, contact the TSA and/or the American Civil Liberties Union to file a complaint.

Always remember other gender non-conforming and transgender folks have traveled before you and will travel again all over the world.  If it's any consolation, you are not alone.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Albuquerque Store SALE

Up to 50% off at the shop through November 29th!

Discontinued sex toys, gifts, LGBT pride stuff, DVDs, toy bags and more are 20% off - 50% off now. 

The Arousing Scent of Pumpkin Pie

This report from my new favorite news provider, WPBF of West Palm Beach, tells of new research on scents that turn men on.  A study published in Medical Aspects of Human Sexuality showed that pumpkin pie and lavender arouse men up to 40% more.

I enjoy the giggling news casters as they report that the study found "nothing turns men off." Among the scents that turned women off? Men's cologne.

Watch the amusing clip here:  Classic Thanksgiving Dessert A Turn-On, Study Says - West Palm Beach News Story - WPBF West Palm Beach

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Transgender Day of Remembrance & Events

Every year on November 20th, people around the world remember those killed due to hatred and ignorance.  In our binary and sometimes tragically hateful world, transgender people are murdered simply for being who they are.  Transgender Day of Remembrance is an important time to remember these victims.  It's also a time to raise awareness about transgender issues and celebrate peoples' lives.

A recent op-ed in the Weekly Alibi discusses the significance of the Transgender Day of Remembrance and lists events in Albuquerque this week.  

If you don't know much about gender identity and transgender peoples' experiences, you have an opportunity to attend an awareness panel Friday, Nov. 19 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Metropolitan Community Church of Albuquerque, 1103 Texas Street NE.

You can also learn from our sex ed links online.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Rockin' Sex Ed from MTV

I like this guy.

It's rad that MTV with all its pregnant-teen-mom shows has hip and accurate sex ed info online!  I'm down to see rock stars giving sane advice about safer sex.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

It's MOvember! Grow it out for men's health

I just learned about the awesome movement of Movember.  Every November men around the world grow their moustaches for men's health awareness.  Yay for healthy testicals and prostates!  Boo cancer! 

It's not too late to start growing yours and spreading the word.  I also recommend prostate massage for a healthy body!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The big reveal!

Our new website is almost ready!  Enjoy this sneak peek!

You know you can't wait.  You'll enjoy faster navigation, easier menus, easier class sign ups and a big sale of the week!

Albuquerque's Mayor is listening. Speak up!

We have sadly canceled our show Pornotopia CENSORED: Cirque de Sex due to recent intimidation and unclear, selectively-enforced zoning regulations in Albuquerque. 

Last Friday, Matie and I, co-owners of Self Serve and Pornotopia organizers, met with the Tito Madrid, of the Albuquerque Mayor's office, and Matthew Conrad, head of Albuquerque zoning enforcement.

The good news is that the lines of communication are open with the City.  The bad news is that we came out of the meeting with the same confusion we walked in with.  Mr. Madrid promised he would meet with Mayor Berry, the head of Planning and the head of Zoning and get back to us within a couple weeks.  We are hoping the Mayor's office helps clarify what in fact qualifies as adult amusement in Albuquerque, and artists and performers will still have the freedom to perform in the theaters and venues they choose.

Make sure the Mayor's office in Albuquerque hears your concerns.  If you want the right to seeing some pasties, porn, or even an erotic poetry reading, dance, art gallery displays or film once in awhile,* let our city officials know.

Do you want your art & culture judged appropriate only by the discretion of our zoning officials, or do you want your free speech to really be free and protected?

*They all could be cited as illegal based on Albuquerque zoning code, if performances take place outside limited adult-amusement zones.  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Thank you, Dan for hearing our pain

We are grateful to you, Dan, for empathizing.  Thank you for telling your readers about the scary anti-sexiness happening in our city.  As Seattle enjoys a weekend of amateur porn on the big screen, Albuquerque is rid of sexy performances.  Freedom of speech in the U. S. of A. anyone?

As Dan suggests, tell Albuquerque's Mayor Berry if you want the right to seeing some pasties, porn, or even an erotic poetry reading, dance, gallery opening or film once in awhile.*

Do you want your art & culture judged appropriate only by the discretion of our zoning officials, or do you want your free speech to really be free and protected?

*They all could be cited as illegal based on Albuquerque zoning code, if performances take place outside limited adult-amusement zones. 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pornotopia CENSORED Show Canceled in Albuquerque

An Open Letter to the People of Albuquerque:
We, the organizers of the Pornotopia film festival,  regret to inform you that as of today all Pornotopia events are cancelled indefinitely.
For the past 3 years, we have brought beautiful, raw, healthy expressions of adult sexuality to welcoming audiences. And, for the past 3 years the City of Albuquerque has attempted to limit, censor and persecute our constitutionally protected speech.
This year, in an attempt to defuse this ongoing conflict and comply with the City’s onerous zoning requirements, we voluntarily elected to postpone our annual film festival. Instead, we have spent recent weeks putting together a non-pornographic celebration of sexuality and the 1st amendment under the title of Pornotopia CENSORED. As planned, this one night performance consisted of burlesque, drag, torch songs, film clips and risqué comedy sketches, all highlighting the power and importance of open, uninhibited speech in a free society. Each act in Pornotopia CENSORED was deliberately designed to meet the letter of the City’s highly restrictive interpretation of its own zoning regulations.
However, when it comes to Pornotopia, following the rules is not enough. Over the past few days, the City’s Planning and Zoning Department, apparently in coordination with other City agencies and departments, has conducted a campaign of bullying and intimidation against all those associated with Pornotopia CENSORED. Veiled threats have been made against the Sunshine Theater (the planned location of Pornotopia CENSORED) and against our performers. The City made it clear that both Zoning Enforcement officers and Special Investigations Divisions officers would attend the performance in number, and that these officers would find a way to shut down and silence an event focused on the importance and power of free speech. The Sunshine Theater was threatened with citations for permitting “adult entertainment” under an obscure provision of the zoning code which the City has never before enforced, and which it conveniently overlooked when similar events were held at City-run venues. The performers scheduled for Pornotopia CENSORED were threatened with potential citations for violations of the City’s business license requirements, even though to our knowledge no band, DJ or dancer at any other Albuquerque club has ever been required to meet such a requirement. Attendees, staff, and the Sunshine Theater itself were implicitly threatened by statements that Special Investigations Division officers would be specifically targeting the Pornotopia CENSORED performance for potential violations of New Mexico’s draconian alcohol service laws.
Even if these various citations ultimately proved to be groundless, the costs of fighting the foreseeable legal battles would bring financial ruin to the individuals and small businesses targeted by the City.
Under these circumstances, Pornotopia CENSORED simply cannot go forward. We cannot ask our supporters and our performers to risk legal and financial dangers of this magnitude. Pornotopia and Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center have always focused on promoting the beauty of adult sexuality in a safe, protected environment. The City’s actions have cast a shadow of fear and intimidation over the entire performance. Since we can no longer provide a safe space for our friends and allies to create their art and express their sexuality, we believe it is better to cancel the performance, conserve our resources, and move forward in our continuing efforts to bring an uninhibited, unashamed, sex-positive voice to the cultural and social landscape of Albuquerque.
Having made the agonizing decision to cancel our constitutionally protected and erotically charged performance, we now turn to you, the people of Albuquerque. We ask you to consider what our city is losing by having Pornotopia silenced. We ask you to consider if this is the type of city government you want, one where a relatively minor city bureaucracy has unchallenged authority to determine what you can say, and where you can say it. The City has threatened to interpret its zoning provisions as broadly as possible. Under that standard, every burlesque performance, every R rated movie, every sexy song, every naughty dance, every bikini contest, in fact every public expression of sexuality, can be silenced. Using your tax dollars, the City can transform itself into a puritanical utopia.
If you have a better vision for our City, or for yourself, your sexuality, then we ask you to join us. As a first step, we encourage you to sign and deliver the attached short letter to Mayor Berry.  We also ask you to speak up about censorship and fight for free speech in our city!  Spread the word, share this blog post and don't let zoning and intimidation threaten the sexiness of Albuquerque.
Thank you,
Molly, Matie, the Pornotopia organizers and the community of Self Serve
Mayor Richard J. Berry
PO Box 1293
Albuquerque NM 87103

Dear Mayor Berry,
I SUPPORT PORNOTOPIA! (and you should too!)
I am writing to show my support for free speech in Albuquerque! The City’s zoning code has now driven Pornotopia’s constitutionally protected speech from theaters and clubs in Nob Hill and from downtown Albuquerque. Between the zoning code, the fire code and other building regulations, the City government has essentially banned the Pornotopia Film Festival from the City limits. This ban on adult speech and adult sexuality attitude limits the diversity of ideas in our city. Prohibiting free speech under the guise of zoning also hinders the economic activity of the City’s small businesses.
I am asking you to show your support of free speech by reconsidering the City’s current definition of “adult entertainment establishment.” At the very least, I am asking you to show your dedication to the fundamental principles of democratic government by supporting an exemption procedure which would allow the City to consider reasonable, short-term exemptions from zoning regulations.
Do what is right. Support Pornotopia!
Name _____________________________
Address ___________________________

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A letter to Dan Savage: Share your righteous anger with us

Pornotopia Film Festival fan, organizer and friend of Self Serve asks one of our favorites, Dan Savage, to hear our story of censorship in Albuquerque.  Elisa sent this letter to Dan, and her message is so important, we wanted to share it here:

Dear Dan,

I have been a fan of your work for more years than I can remember, and I have always appreciated your humor and direct approach to advising a variety of people in some…let’s just call them “interesting” situations. More recently, I have come to appreciate your righteous anger, especially since it is directed at deserving targets.

What prompts this letter is not so much a sexual problem, rather a problem with sex or, more specifically, the depiction of sex. I am one of the organizers of Pornotopia, an erotic film festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico started by the amazing ladies of Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center.

Pornotopia was conceived as a showcase for porn that is healthy, tender, raw, beautiful, and real, where pleasure is paramount and everybody gets off. We highlight independently produced porn, and we aim to please our hetero-, homo-, trans-, and just plain sexual audience.

For its first three years, Pornotopia ran a three-day program at the Guild Cinema in the Nob Hill section of Albuquerque. Before the first film ran, the festival and the Guild were threatened with citation for violation of zoning codes. Despite the Guild’s previous incarnation as a full-time adult theater, its current status as the town’s only independent movie theater was not congruent with the exhibition of adult entertainment.

The ACLU has been valiantly fighting for our right to an exemption to these zoning codes for this less-than-1%-of-the-year event. So far the zoning commission has argued that 10% of the city is appropriately zoned for our festival—except that this magical 10% is primarily warehouses and car dealerships and heavy industrial areas. For a multitude of reasons—not the least of which includes public safety mandated fire codes—these “appropriate” areas are not conducive to the needs of a film festival.

Our dedicated committee spent more than nine months scouring the city for a space that could legally and practically hold Pornotopia. When we finally found a downtown theater that simply needed an exemption to allow adult entertainment, we were told BY THE ZONING OFFICE it should be a simple process.

It was a mere month before the event that a third call to zoning yielded a big fucking hiccup.  A “downtown corridor revitalization” overlay prohibited even the possibility of an exemption for any venue downtown. This gentrification plan was already in play when we first contacted zoning and got the “should be a simple process” answer, but no one in the office seemed aware of its existence until we were ready to sign contracts.

We are only so grateful that the brakes were slammed on prior to signing contracts. And because we aren’t in the habit of bending over and taking it up the ass without a sufficient amount of lube and foreplay, we are holding a “Pornotopia Censored” event at our downtown location with live Burlesque/Boylesque, drag, and comedy performances in lieu of the actual film festival.

The Pornotopia 2010 festival is ready to roll when we find an appropriate home. At this point, it appears that home will be outside city limits. We could take the festival underground, or offer it online with the rest of the wide world of internet porn. But our purpose in holding Pornotopia in a public space is to remove the stigma of shame, to show how porn can educate and enlighten, and to take back the good name of porn and perverts everywhere. To step back into the alleys and shadows means to accept defeat, even if we are grudgingly allowed to show the films in this setting.

We never set out to be porn crusaders or to start a sexy revolution, but here we are on the frontlines of the fight for freedom of speech, and we’re looking for allies. No one is saying this isn’t porn; it’s hot and heavy hardcore fuck action, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. But we have a right to make this available to a consenting, adult audience, and our rights are being violated.

From one open-minded, sex-positive, fellow porn festival organizer to another, would you be kind enough to use your mighty forum to bring attention to this travesty of justice? We want to shine a national spotlight on our city’s restrictive zoning, shaming them as they would like to shame us. You can find more information at www.pornotopiafilmfestival.com, www.selfservetoys.com, or contact me at ptopiavolunteer@gmail.com.

Sincerely and passionately,

Elisa McGovern

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pornotopia Censored: Dress Code Tips!

Going to Pornotopia Censored: Cirque de Sex this Saturday night in Albuquerque? We want to have the hottest, most legal audience ever!

What does one wear that's apropos for a show about sex and censorship? We are all for looking sexy and decent. If you want to practice tasteful- or even tasteless- but decent dress, here are some guidelines courtesy of the City of Albuquerque.

According to the City of Albuquerque's decency regulations, do not expose the following:
  • female breasts with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple
  • the human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering
  • covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state
Now you know the word turgid!

Monday, November 1, 2010

On Psychology Today blog: Women DO Watch Porn and it's Okay!

Psychologist David Ley offers a healthy perspective on the not-so-scary reality of adults enjoying porn. He makes the critical connection between government regulation of sex information and entertainment and the unnecessary shame of enjoying it in our society. Thanks for the refreshing take on it!

Pornotopia's Plight at SexIs

Tina of Sex Is Magazine summed it up pretty well. She writes of the zoning conundrum in trying to host Pornotopia Film Festival 2010. Isn't it lovely when we can see Jack Ass in 3d at most major theaters, while Pornotopia remains unfit for any location in Albuquerque?