Friday, February 25, 2011

Leather Bear Tails: Understanding Consent

There is so much talk about consent in the leather/bdsm/fetish and kink worlds, and on the surface it seems like it would be a pretty easy thing to understand. The buzz words of the community are SSC which means safe, sane and consensual, and RACK, which I means risk aware consensual kink.

So let’s take a look at surface stuff, two people (or more)enter a leather relationship; and everyone says yes ok, I am good with this or that, and/or no that one thing is my hard limit, I consent to this type of treatment, and I agree to fulfill my part of the deal. Yes we will both hold jobs and all money goes into a collective account, ECT… Two adults looking at what they can and cannot do in a relationship and consenting to agreed upon parameters.

Usually when looking at non consensual behavior that same is also true, it is easy to identify, I agreed to flogging and you used canes, I did not agree to you seeing other people and not telling me about it. I did not get into this relationship with the intention of being the only person working. Those are clear cut lines of consent being crossed. People who cross consent in the community eventually get a reputation of being a dangerous player. Also crossed consent does not apply to just tops; it applies to bottoms as well. This does one of two things, it either draws play partners to them, the partners thinking that they can handle anything~ this applies to both tops and bottoms, or it draws play partners away from them, all depending on what someone is looking for.

So where does this consent thing get tricky? When do the lines of consent become blurred? How about this question~ can a person give consent if they are under emotional duress? For example, a couple is having difficulties in their relationship and one is expressing a desire to leave. So the other one tops harder or more then they are comfortable with because of the fear of the loss of the relationship. Or someone bottoms harder and farther then they want to for the same reason. Can we then say that these activities are entirely consensual? Or have the players bent consent because of their fear?

I have met more than one bottom who felt that they had to play in public with whoever would offer because if they didn’t then they would lose out on other play opportunities. More than once these bottoms felt both internal and external pressure to play with people that were unsafe and did damage. Did the pressure to play compromise the players consent?

A few months back I ran into a person that said that they do not know how to say no, and they were proud of this. If the bottom does not know how to say no, refuses to say no, or refuses to communicate, as far as I am concerned this takes away the tops ability to consent to the scene. If the bottom if triggered in a bad way but does not tell the top, and the top continues unknowingly, this may be going beyond were the top consented to go in the first place.

Crossing the lines of consent can happen to newbie’s and people that have been doing this awhile. It can be coming from the tops side or the bottom side and it can be both blatant and subtle. So stop, think, and be aware that someone giving their consent to a scene may be doing so only partially, and if so, no matter which side of the whip you are on, that is defiantly something you need to know.

If you are interested in play parties, power munches, or hands on workshops in the Albuquerque area, please contact:

If you are interested in an online New Mexico Community check out:
group name: New Mexico Fetlifers

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Brickhouse Chronicles: Happy Hug A Fat Chick Day!

“Rebellion is in the circle of a lover`s arms”- Martin Espada

Given how the average person is now under a constant barrage of the message that what they look like now is not okay and that being fat means you are DOOMED, I think it would be simply fabulous if we had a holiday called "National Hug a Fat Chick Day". A day where everyone turned off their televisions and computers to take a break from their usual routine of fat-bashing, self-loathing, and carb-counting and stopped to hug every fat, fluffy, chubby, curvaceous, stocky, plump, rubenesque, and squishy woman (or guy) they encountered. Everyone deserves a vacation and fatties, fluffies, and squishies everyone would look forward to this one treasured day where people embraced them for the jiggly treasure boxes that they truly are. For one day we wouldn’t be the last picked, for one day there would be no thin actors parading around in fat suits…for one day we would all shine.

If the idea of physically hugging your local jiggly poof is a wee bit too advanced, maybe everyone can start by embracing their own inner fat chick. In other words just take one day to chill out and enjoy a decadent triple fudge sundae, engage in a physical activity because it makes your inner fat chick smile and your muscles sing not because you are under the illusion you’re your body is ugly and deserves to be in pain. Then proceed to engage in a couple of sinfully decadent rounds of carefree, uninhibited sex without trying to cover up the parts of your body that joyously ripple, jiggle, and bounce. And yes masturbation definitely counts! If you're feeling brave, you can even *gasp* get on top or sit on a face or two!

Hugging someone makes them tangible, it makes them makes them become a person just like you. Many of us are so busy in our lives that we get into the habit of going into a sort of emotional autopilot when it comes to how we not only how we view ourselves, but other people as well. We forget that we are surrounded by friends, loved ones, and co-workers’ who fit the label of “fat” and it becomes all too easy to dehumanize them and their experiences. I'm sometimes stunned at how intensely some individuals genuinely HATE fat men, women, and children. You see it in blogs, Youtube, Twitter, etc. all the time...the implication that fat people are somehow less than human and therefore deserving of the unrelenting cruelly, scorn and social ostracizing that society places upon them. When you consider the fact that more than half the women in the U.S. wear a size 14 or above, the implication that millions of women are viewed as subhuman is quite staggering.

The ability to conform every fiber of your being to what's "acceptable" is becoming an increasingly valued trait in our society starting from the way one dresses all the way down to something as personal and individual as sexuality and body type. It's okay to be a dyke as long as you're a skinny dyke like on the 'L-Word'. Being black, Latina, Chicana, Indian, and Jewish is long as you don't look too "ethnic" (dark skin, curly hair, dark eyed.) Being skinny is long as you have big boobs. Being a gay man is acceptable as long as you don't act like a flaming sissy. The list goes on.

In a world where everyone seems to be drowning in a sea of self hatred, wouldn’t it be awesome if everyone took a plunge into the softly cool waters of body acceptance and fat pride? Next step: The Million Fatty March!

Be a revolutionary and hug a fat chick. You gotta start somewhere

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Friday, February 18, 2011

New Bullet Vibe Put to Good Use

Warm weather and a vibrating seat, could there be a better reason to get out for a bike ride?

Self Serve has some new bullet vibes in the store; the Mini Goddess (pictured), three-ring circus, and the bottle rocket. They are small AND have pulsation settings. They fit in perfectly to my gel soft cut-out bike seat.

Before you ride off into orgasmic bliss, make sure your bike seat fits properly. Ill fitting seats can cause impotence (for both guys AND gals) over time.

I got this great seat at Two-Wheel Drive, our local super knowledgeable bike shop. Fixed and Free is another local, helpful, friendly bike shop who hooked me up with the best pedals I've ever ridden on. Both shops are a great deal with great service.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

February 22nd: Learn to Get Naked Shamelessly

At Self Serve we talk about pleasure and sex positive empowerment a lot.  Author and Sexuality Educator Pamela Madsen says the biggest obstacle to getting there is body shame.  She points out, "Once we can face our own bodies and accept the beauty of our form in whatever configuration we are in - we can then begin to connect our emotional self to our physical self which is an important step to living a whole life."

It's a big task and a lifelong journey for many people.  We are so excited that Pamela is coming to Albuquerque next week, and bringing her workshop to Self Serve.  She writes and teaches about loving your body as the first step to sexual bliss.  If you are not fully present, how can you maximize pleasure and truly connect with others?  If you can't feel sexy looking in the mirror, how can you rock a strip tease for your lover?  It's all interconnected, and we could all use some help getting there.

Pamela's new book has just been released, SHAMELESS: How I Ditched the Diet, Got Naked, Found True Pleasure…and Somehow Got Home in Time to Cook Dinner.  Join us for a workshop that can help you, too, get naked and love yourself.  You deserve it.  If you're not in Albuquerque, you can still order the book, check out her book tour, and learn on Pamela's blog.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Leather Bear Tails: Red Flags

When people come into the lifestyle and they are new to there own identity there is an overwhelming excitement, suddenly everything that you are has a reason and a name! Because there is a lot of talk about honor and integrity and honestly it is easy to get sucked into thinking that this is some sort of strange Utopian society. Sometimes people are not as cautions as they should be thinking that their new identity can shield them from relationship shrapnel. But it doesn’t exactly work that way; all of the same issues that are in the vanilla world are in our world. However since bdsm and leather relationships also have a physical component there are certainly red flags that apply to people coming into the lifestyle for the first time or looking to play with a new dominant.

1) Be aware of a dominant that wants to tie you up right away. Even if it is a fantasy, once tied up there is nothing you can do if they decide that your boundaries don’t matter anymore.

2) Be aware of a dominant that continues to question your limits. Someone that continues to push your boundaries is saying loud and clear that they really don’t care what you are comfortable with.

3) A dominant that has done “everything”, has all skills and no limits. There are a lot of people there that have a vast amount of experience, but pay attention to the inflated dominant. Everyone has limits, everyone has a skill, at least one that they either don’t do or haven’t done. Oftentimes the “I have done everything” mentality translates to “you should be comfortable with anything that I do, because I am soooo skilled”.

4) Someone who want to keep the relationship secret. Discretion is OK, but over time the secret relationship becomes one were a person isn’t allowed to talk about issues, and if questions arise, being able to talk about what is going on is really important.
5) Someone who expects financial support as part of the submissive duty. Over time, if you know someone and things are working out that way, sure that can arranged. I am talking about that being the immediate expectation.

Red flags go both ways, just because a person is a dominant does not mean that they also can’t be exploited. Something’s for dommes to consider are-

1) A submissive that wants you to play harder or more then you are comfortable with. Dominants have limits to, and if you are new and feeling things out, your limits need to be respected.

2) A bottom that pushes you into an identity that you are not comfortable with, so it can compliment how they identify. I actually see this a lot, and it does more damage than someone accepting what they need to be. If someone is a service top and that is what they really enjoy, pushing them into a Daddy role or a Mistress role can be very uncomfortable and lead to a lot of self doubt.

3) A submissive that wants you to solve their endless list of problems. We all have issues and problems, but submissive's that have a continuous stream of problems, and have the expectation that the dominant should do something to fix them can be problematical. Just because someone is a submissive doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be able to handle their own affairs.

4) A submissive that doesn’t let the dominate relax, and becomes critical when the dominant isn’t “on”. This can translate to a submissive that has a constant need for attention. Although cute in short bursts, over time this behavior is draining, and stops the dominant from investing their time in things that need to be done.

5) A submissive that has consistent issues in the community that they want the dominant to address. Sometimes a submissive will create issues with other people and then ask the dominant to step in. This just causes further conflict. I am not saying that things don’t happen and need to be addressed, but if the dominant is asked to speak to multiple people on a regular basis this might be something that speaks more about the submissive then the people around them.

It is easy to get sucked into the experience of the community, in a lot of ways it is truly different then experiencing other parts of the community, and being able to talk about a person’s fantasies so openly is freeing and euphoric. But there are dangers, and being aware of them is crucial to navigating the community safely.
If you are interested in play parties, power munches, or hands on workshops in the Albuquerque area, please contact:

If you are interested in an online New Mexico Community check out:
group name: New Mexico Fetlifers

Friday, February 11, 2011

Brickhouse Chronicles: Sensualize Me-A Guide for Fluffy People Who Are Tired of Looking For Their Pedestal

“Don’t Knock Big Belly Girls…Good Pussy Needs Proper Shelter.”

-Dancehall artist Pamputtae

My wife loves the skin I’m in….literally. She dreams of the day when I’m locked outside of the house on a summer day and come in three decadent shades darker. On sunny days you will usually find her nudging me outdoors with visions of fat African queens dancing through her head. Two of her favorite teak colored parts on me are my tummy and breasts because they’re the softest part of me and her hands happily gravitate towards them on a regular basis. Hello my name is Eve and I’m a sensually objectified object……and I love it! Now don’t get me wrong, my butchie loves me as a complete and complex person, but it sure feels good to be objectified every now and then. In a world where fat hatred is condoned and championed as acceptable behavior, having someone openly declare that they find me beautiful BECAUSE of not IN SPITE of my fat body (and dark skin) comes across as an act of subversive, sensual, and sexual bravery . I find that a number of proud fluffs and fatties share the same prurient glee in being sensualized because it’s fun, emotionally challenging at times, and extremely erotic.

When it comes to appreciating physical features about a person that mainstream society tends to overlook at best, fetishizing and sensualizing are two completely different emotional entities separated by one main factor……emotional investment. As a proud member of the leather community, I can definitely appreciate the merits of fetishes. We all have them. However, within the fat community, being fetishized can definitely be a mixed blessing especially when a number of the fetishizers’ themselves are still in the closet about being fat admirers’. A lot of my MTF trans girlfriends’ and I used to laugh about how fat chicks and transgirls’ were everybody’s favorite “afterhours and behind closed doors treat”. Laughter to hide the pain bonds like nothing else. I’m not saying that I’m not aware of the level of scorn that society holds for those who desire partners’ with beautifully big bodies and how hard it can be to stand up to the judgment of your peers, but it’s hard enough for most fluffs and fatties to deal with their own internalized fat phobia much less that of a partner’s as well. Enter the art of sensualizing. Being sensualized by someone means that you are the object of admiration by someone who is out and proud about their preferences for your juicy goods no matter what society has to say about them. Being sensualized means that something about you inspires poetry in the eyes, lips, heart, and libido of your beholder because to them you are that poem. Being the object of sensualization means that you are put upon an erotic pedestal by someone who understands that desire is a sacred and unique thing for each individual and not dictated by what society says they should be turned on by. Being sensualized is awesome!

So okay, now you’re all hot and bothered and excited about the idea of having someone (or many people) sensualize your brains out, but where do you start? Well the first and most important person to sensualize you has to be you. I know that you’ve probably heard this a million times, the adage that “you can’t love someone else until you love yourself”, but it’s doubly true for finding the person/people that you want to love or fuck (I am a Scorpio…lol) you in the way that you know you’ve always desired and deserved. So whether you want to be fetishized and/or sensualized, here’s a couple of fun self-sensualization activities to get you started:

1) Sensualization Self Image Scavenger Hunt: This exercise can be applied to whatever features that you want to be desired for but were afraid to ask. Look for images of people with the same features as you that are depicted in a beautiful and/or erotic light and create a collage with them. This activity starts you on the journey of learning to look inward for a sense of beauty without belittling the beauty of others.

Be warned, depending on the feature that you’re looking to glorify, you might have to do some creative searching to find images that are beautiful and positive but it’s worth it in the end. When I worked on my first collection (do as many as you need honey!) , I wanted to focus on glamorous images of curvaceous dark skinned women with sub-Saharan African features. It took me weeks to get a decent collection, because it just wasn’t done in mass media.

2) Self-Sensualization Photo Shoot: Now that you have a collection of images that inspire you to love you, take your newly found muse and do a photo shoot. If money is a concern, find a trusting friend to loan you a digital camera and learn to take your own pictures, or better yet have the friend take them for you. Play music in the background that makes you feel beautiful and set up a sensual snack bowl to pamper yourself during and after the shoot.

3) Dress the way you want to see yourself: This was the best self-empowerment advice that I ever got from an online femme idol of mine and it still holds true. Instead of dressing up your online avatar, dress yourself up and find a reason to go out and feel beautiful. I wanted to be seen as a princess so I saved up my queer pennies and bought a flowy dress. I’m pretty geeky and shy so the only places I felt comfortable going to were the library and aromatherapy store, but I felt great!!!

Desirability, and sensuality are viewed by many as unattainable because they fall into the easy and sadly inevitable trap of listening to what the ever fickle media, fashion, and society tells them is beautiful. Learning to sensualize yourself helps you realize that you are a creature of beauty fetish or not.

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