Monday, October 31, 2011

Condom Action Movie!

This is a film by Echo Zen recently posted on Feministe. Echo is a feminist filmmaker and women’s health advocate who works to educate communities and families about health, sexuality and respect. His goal is to someday honor his peers by becoming a champion for reproductive justice, through his work as an educator and filmmaker. 

This film may seem comedic or extreme- where condom smugglers are attacked for distributing banned goods.  But there are those still pushing against basic birth control in the US.  Learn more about Initiative 26 in Mississippi.

Initiative 26 is a ballot initiative that Mississippians will vote on November 8th. The initiative would amend the state constitution to establish legal “personhood” at the moment of fertilization. This could mean the end of access to reproductive health care as we know it.  The stated goal of those behind Initiative 26 is to challenge Roe v. Wade, but it has many unintended medical and legal consequences. 
Initiative 26 could ban birth control. 
This initiative could ban access to common forms of birth control like the pill and the IUD.  The Mississippi chapter of American College of Obstetrician Gynecologists opposes the initiative.  

Initiative 26 could ban in-vitro fertilization.
Leading organizations in the field of in-vitro and other assisted reproductive technologies believe this will essentially ban their work to help families have children of their own.  Those organizations include the American Society for Reproductive Medicine (ASRM), Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART), and RESOLVE, a national infertility group. 

Initiative 26 bans abortion without exceptions for rape, incest, or life of the mother.  
This extreme measure contains no exceptions, leaving women with medically complex pregnancies without access to life-saving treatment.  For women with ectopic or molar pregnancies or unrelated illnesses like cancer, this initiative jeopardizes women’s lives.  Victims of rape or incest would be forced to carry the child of their abuser. 

Mississippians need more access to health care, not less. 
This initiative does nothing to prevent abortions or improve the health of Mississippians. In a state with the highest rates of Chlamydia, gonorrhea, maternal and infant mortality and morbidity rates, we cannot afford to have less health care and family planning in Mississippi.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Made in New Mexico: leather, art, skincare & more

Through November 3 get $10 off locally-made leather Quick Cuffs from Moonlight Creations!  These leather restraints can be used on wrists, ankles, with furniture - there are so many possibilities.  Watch our video for more inspiration.

We at Self Serve love our locally made goodies.  You may not have known, but we have products from over 15 local craftspeople and companies.  Most of our local goods are only found in the shop, and not necessarily online.  Many handmade goodies are one of a kind.

Other local stuff we love:

Skin Care
  • salves from Sarah Haak 
  • Persephone's Goddess Bod bath salts, lip balm, salve & milk bath with handmade box tops
  • CW Therapeutics Massage Oils and scrubs
  • My 505 toys feature suede floggers, paddles and crops
  • Moonlight Creations quick cuffs, floggers and paddles
  • Tony Davis' silver, copper & leather restraints & flower cuffs
Cards & Gifts
  • Handmade blindfolds from Warning Label Creations
  • Letterpress cards from FoxDog Studio
  • Art cards & calendars from Avery Kalapa
  • Erotic art magnets from Unseen Gallery
  • Decals & LGBT pride stickers from W2 Design
  • Handmade Burlesque Pasties from Cookie Fortune
  • Sassy Stickers from Annie O

Leather Bear Tails: The Seeker and the Sought

In all relationships there is a concept called the seeker and the sought. There is one person seeking the attention, affirmation, love, and acceptance of another, and there is another person that is the one that is being sought for those things. Being the seeker on a constant basis is exhausting and if they are not validated in their attempts, or if the emotional energy is not returned to them, they will stop seeking and find other ways to replenish their energy. This may be through an outside hobby like stamp collecting, or it may come in the form of another person entirely. Either way the seekers energy is finite and if continues to not be replenished, it will dissipate and end. Being on the sought end, however, is very invigorating and empowering. Being reminded on a consistent basis that you are a bad ass amazing person and that you are loved, not only gives the ego a healthy stroke, but it also gives a person confidence, and changes how they view themselves and their place in the world. It is very much an emotional high. In healthy relationships the roles of seeker and sought change and switch from person to person periodically. This gives both people the ability to replenish, grow, and become strong.

For example in Master and slave relationships traditionally the slave is the seeker and the Master is the sought. In other words the slave is the seeker of the Masters attention, compliments, and love, while the Master is the one who is sought for those things. But not always. Sometimes, the Master also seeks their slave’s approval, compliments, and acceptance. Masters like being told that they have a lot of skill, that their slaves can’t walk or are tired from sex romps, and that they are the big strong butchie in their slave’s life. I know that I do. It makes me feel good.

Think of it this way, when on the job the employees are the seekers and the boss is the sought. If the seekers please the sought then they get attention, approval, a raise, maybe even a promotion. But it is the sought that chooses when, were, if and how this will happen. Another way of looking at it is through family dynamics. In general children are the seekers and parents are the sought, and in both of these examples, abuse abounds. The boss that will not give back positive affirmation and removes resources but continues to demand more and more from their employees, or the partner that demands respect, obedience, affirmation and love, but will not return those things, are all very common.

In Master and slave relationships just like in work and family dynamics, things can become extremely unbalanced. Being sought in any relationship is an automatic position of great power, and being continuously sought, with the expectation of being sought adds to that feeling of control.

Masters that feel that it is their place to be sought and never to seek will slowly (or not so slowly) suck the slave emotionally and physically dry. In the beginning the slave will be able to keep up with the Masters constant demands for attention and energy. Over time however, if the Master remains emotionally needy and greedy, the slave will not be able to keep up, and so the Master will start doing other things to get their emotional fix. Masters will start fights, publicly verbally humiliate and degrade their slave in a non consensual way, and /or play harder or more extreme then before all to get their own emotional needs met. What this does is create a cycle of the slave going deeper and deeper to be able to supply the Master with the emotional energy. After a fight the slave feels bad, so they will emotionally give more, if the Master goes to publicly humiliating the slave then the slave will either give more to get the Master to stop, or the group will join in and the Master will get their emotional needs fulfilled that way, if the Master plays harder or edgier then before, they will use the emotional rush of that play to fulfill their need.

No matter what the action, it all boils down to the same thing.

The constant need of the Master to get their ego stroked and the emotional needs filled through someone else.

If it continues then over time the slave will become emotionally and physically exhausted. Not because they don’t want the Master to have the energy but because in the constant giving without being replenished, they have nothing left to give to their Master, nothing left for themselves and are in essence operating on a base level. At that point they will either continue to exist in their current circumstance, and normalize it, or they will seek outside the relationship for the replenishment of their energies. If the Master is not able to receive any more emotional energy from their slave they may also start seeking outside of the relationship to get their emotional needs met, and the cycle starts over again.

A lot of times we think of the slave’s ability to give as endless. We also tend to think that if the slave is no longer able to give then they are a failure as a slave, and as a person. But the reality is that some things are finite, and energy is one of them. The constant expecting of someone to give is not only unhealthy for the slave but it also creates an unrealistic expectation from the Master.

For relationships to be healthy and successful everyone in them needs to know that they matter, we all need to feel that we are sometimes the seeker and sometimes the sought.

If you are interested in play parties, power munches, or hands on workshops in the Albuquerque area please contact the 20 year organization of AEL at:

If you are interested in an active online community please find:

Group name:

New Mexico Fetlifers

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Brickhouse Betties Hands on Workshop:Tantra for Big Bodies

Greetings Everyone!!

Come join us this month as we focus on tantric breathing and techniques that are geared towards big bodies. In an environment where you can feel free to ask questions, our presenter Stan Alexander will be going over how to position yourself comfortably, the advantages of learning to be in your body, and most of all the art of breathing with a partner, in a class enviorment that is filled with other wonderful people of size.

Bring at least 2-3 pillows and comfortable clothes for comfort and if the mood suits you, tasty snacks to munch on after the workshop!

Presenter Bio:

Stan Alexander has had an interest in altered states of consciousness, and erotic expression for many years. As a result, he has spent much of his life studying how the human erotic experience can be brought to a higher level. As a workshop presenter, Stan has conducted numerous classes on Tantra, Erotic Hypnosis, and Kink. Stan holds a Master of Education in Counseling, as well as being certified as a Clinical Hypnotherapist, Master Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and Life Coach. For more information please go to

When: Wednesday, November 2nd at 7:30 pm
Where: Self Serve Sexual Resource Center
3904 Central Ave SE # B
Albuquerque, NM 87108-1057
(505) 265-5815

Cost: Free!!
Attire: Comfortable

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Haystacks, Fucking, and Needles: Is Sex Work a Cop-out?

Disclaimer: My sex work experience is largely in phone sex, pro-Domme/pro-switch sessions, and fetish video. But, I am going to direct my comments here to the larger world of sex work, encompassing all screen performing, live performing, escorting, and all else that I’m neglecting to list here.

Let’s talk about the world’s oldest profession. In my experience, the societal view of sex work claims it’s easy. Women and men who choose sex work, our culture tells us, are throwing away their education, or should go make something better of themselves, because exchanging sex or sexuality for money is a drag on society, morally corrupt, and a waste of one’s talents. For this blog, we're going to examine the last stereotype—that being a sex worker wastes a person’s talents because it is easy. The implied idea in this stereotype whispers: "You're such a smart/pretty/talented/capable girl; you come from such a good family/religion/socio-economic status; why are you doing this?"

I don’t know that I can argue that being a sex worker is easy, even for the sake of argument. I do know that not everyone can do it. In my specific fields, women come in and out. As the inimitable Kelly Payne once said, after we’d shot a video with a submissive girl who seemed like she would work out long time and did!, on how difficult it is to find good talent, “It’s like finding a fucking needle in a fucking haystack, right Ser?”

What does it take, then, to be a successful sex worker?

You’d better be able to easily compartmentalize. Whether you are an escort or a PSO, your clients will tell you many of their darkest secrets. They will tell you about who molested and raped them, how they were abused, how crazy their families were. You can probably talk about these things with a few other sex workers you can trust. Otherwise, you will not be able to discuss this horrifying information with anyone. If you cannot easily create separate files in your mind for these clients and their memories and secrets, you probably won’t make it.

You’d better be able to dissociate. This is not to say you should split yourself into several personalities. (In fact, to be a healthy sex worker, you’d better have a strong sense of self, but that’s another post altogether.) It is to say that you need to be able to remove some of yourself from some situations. The man on the phone or in front of you, for example, getting off to calling you a “filthy whore” or a “cruel, heartless Mommy” might disturb you. You have to remember that this client is not talking about YOU. Some clients will ask you to do things that you find repulsive. You decide if that act is worth the money, and if it is, you need to be able to divide yourself from the repulsive action. Some clients will ask you to do things that you find simply dull. You must be able to step outside of yourself and seem interested.

You’d better be able to put up with a lot of bullshit. Whether you are working in a club, on the phone, or in a house, you will deal with assholes. This is no different from any other profession—except you have little to no legal recourse to deal with these assholes. Men will call you at all hours with no intention of spending a dime on your services. Clients will do their damndest to get extra time from you. People will say terrible things to you—and not pay you to say those things. You can’t go to the cops and say, “I told this man to do an enema before his session, and he didn’t, and now I have shit stains on my carpet.” You can’t even report him in any way to other pro-dommes. (Although some “blacklists” exist, they are sketchily updated at best.) You can’t go to the police to report that you negotiated a $90 tip at the massage parlor and the creep gave you only $45. If you freak out every time something like this happens … you won’t make it.

You’d better be able to put up with assholes in your own industry. Again, this is no different from the outside world except … sex workers do not have professional organizations or institutions of training similar to other professions. (This is not to say that we do not have amazing organizations in the sex biz--but we are busy fighting for our right to exist without prosecution and persecution, you know, and that takes a lot of energy.) You will deal with “fellow sex workers” who consider themselves Sex Workers after two weeks in the industry—and having seen one client. You will talk with sex workers who work in one part of the industry and denigrate other parts. Again, these types of situations are not unique to sex work; they exist in every industry. But, it’s not like you can point out to the bitch claiming to be a serious sex worker that she did not finish her degree and has never edited a full book, whereas you have a Master’s degree and 10 books to your name, 7 of which were successful and 2 of which were on the New York Time’s Best Sellers List. Experience in sex work does give one credibility in our own circles, but the outside world is often so shocked by the idea of a “sex worker” that friends and acquaintances will listen to a woman who worked for six months with the same seriousness that they give the twelve year veteran. And sometimes, those listeners will give Ms Six Months more credibility—because she, in their view, “got out of the biz and did something with her life.”

You’d better trust that you are doing something of value. You are. You help people. You give people amazing sexual and/or erotic experiences. You help people accept themselves. Sometimes, we help people learn how to talk to their partners. Sometimes, we help people shuck off shame and engage in healthier lives. Sometimes, we give people over-burdened the one pleasurable hour or two of their lives each week or month. Very few people outside of the sex industry will recognize even an ounce of the above without you talking with them in great detail over extended periods of time. You have to have that faith in yourself—and if you’re lucky, you’ll make a few supportive friends in the biz.

Different sex industry jobs of course require specific skill sets, but the kind of person who tends to succeed in sex work can do--and does--all of the above. I suppose anyone can try sex work, but if those amateurs do not possess the five qualities discussed here, they will not become professionals. Perhaps as with most professions, "being" the profession is easy, but succeeding at it is anything but facile.


What else? Are you a sex worker? What qualities do you think are critical to carving success in the sex biz? I’d love to read and engage with your input.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Leather Bear Tails: Power not taken

In Master and slave relationships the Master has assumed control over all things that connect with their sense of power. Control and communication are thought of as one way only, in other words the Master says, the slave does, end of story. But the reality is that some types of control are a little more complicated then that. Just because the Master has the power does not mean that they should one: take that power or two: that they have infinite power over what happens in the end. Because we are talking about two people in the relationship, some things simply do not work that way. It works that way with robots, cars, and other assorted equipment, but not with people.

Once a Master takes control they also take responsibility for making sure that whatever it is not only happens but they are aslo responsible for the end result as well. Sometimes however, Masters take on things that they shouldn’t. There are processes out there that by their very nature should belong solely to the slave, for example if the slave has an illness, is struggling with addiction, or trying to work through abuse issues. If the Master takes control of those things, then the slave ceases to have a say in or an emotional attachment to their own personal struggles, and can remain detached from the process as well as the outcome. Over time what happens is that the slave doesn’t actually have to deal with their own issues, instead they just have to deal with the Master managing those issues, and those are two totally different things.

For those of you that don’t know I am a nurse. I can easily say that just about every day that I go into work I get the same report. It may be a different patient, but it’s the same story. Patient with kidney failure on dialysis, blind, infection in right foot, amputated left foot, all due to complications from noncompliance with diabetes.

So to say the least, diabetes has and always will, scare the crap out of me.

So four years ago when the DR gave my slave that diagnosis, I was stunned, shocked, and full of panic. Not just because I knew what challenges she would face, but because of what that meant for my life as well. So I did what I thought was right, I took over everything. I found her diet information on the internet; I printed out daily diet sheets, got her DR's and diabetic teaching appointments, filed her labs sheets, and made sure she got her labs done. I even started poking her finger for her for her daily blood sugar reading. It is not that she wasn't willing to care for herself , or vested in making herself better , or able to get better, , she was. It was more that I needed that control, and I thought that if I could do it, I could make it go away.

I found though that not only did I take over all of the doing, I took over all of the emotion as well. I was angry, frustrated, and scared and because I was all of those things, she could not be. When I would have a particularly bad day at work because of a non compliant diabetic, I would get angry at her. I took her blood sugar numbers personally, because I felt that I had control over her and the situation so when her blood sugars were high, I would get upset. When I was tired, or distracted, I would forget to check her sugars, or ask her about her carb count.

I knew that if there was not some control over this disease process that we would spend the rest of our lives in one hospital or another. That the dream of me retiring and us traveling like I had always wanted, would disappear in a maze of infections and surgeries and dialysis. The whole thing made me miserable, exhausted, and testy, to say the least.

So one day I stopped. I just stopped.

I couldn’t take control of it anymore, the fear over the outcome became too much.

And then something surprising happened. Slowly, over about a week or so, my slave started owning her own disease process.

It was then that she started taking her own sugars, recording her own carb count, and going to the DR on her own. I got to leave it alone, and let her feel everything that she needed to feel about her own body and what was happening to her, because ultimately that’s who it was happening to, her and not me.

I still fear the outcome, that can’t be helped, but I have removed myself from the all powerful role of Master organizer and replaced it with the much healthier role of Master cheerleader. Some things just need to belong to her, not just for her, but for me to.

We all have personal journeys; these are processes and things that happen to us that are uniquely ours. Sometimes, Masters think that if they can just get their hand in there, that the journey will be different for someone else, better, easier, and that the Masters control can determine a better outcome. But in the trying it is easy to forget that for someone to truly take ownership of their own journey; they also have to control the road.

If you are interested in play parties, hands on workshops, or power munches in the Albuquerque area please contact the 20 year organization of AEL at:

If you are interested in an active online community please find:

Group name:

New Mexico Fetlifers

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Help us create a sex positive health provider database!

Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center is compiling a free directory of sex positive health professionals in the Albuquerque metro area.

If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please either email or call us at 505-265-5815 with the name, practice and contact info (if available) of the person you are recommending. If you stop by the store, we have forms you can fill out, as well.

Feel free to sing the praises of someone who was happy to help you without judgment or prejudice.

Your community will thank you.


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Curvy Carnival is This Saturday!!!

The Brickhouse Betties is proud to announce our third annual Curvy Carnival where this year’s them is:

Curves in Space! Going Where No Curves Have Gone Before!”

Everyone who is fat positive and body positive is welcome so come in your best Sci-fi gear and come join us for all of the fat positive and curve embracing fun!

This year’s Cabaret of Curves’ will be hosted by MC Tony Carson and feature:

Bellydancing by Maria Chavez

Live Blues by Sin Limite

Stacia Chanel DeVue

Juggling by Peter Gregg

The Curvy Carnival just wouldn’t be the same without our fabulous vendors, games, and booths featuring:

Self Serve

Custom fantasy and body positive artwork by the Unseen Gallery

Handmade leather and fetish gear by Tease

Curvy Girl Photo shoots

Flirting Board



Free Door Prizes

Our Annual Costume Contest!

Come in your best Sci-Fi attire to win prizes for:

Best UFH (Unidentified Fat Hottie!)- Male and Female –*Trans and Drag Inclusive*

Best UFHA (Unidentified Fat Hottie Ally) - *Trans and Drag Inclusive*

When the Festivities Begin: Saturday October 22nd from 5:30pm to 8:30 pm

Where the Festivities Are: Exhale Bar and Grille 6132 4th Street Northwest

How much to get in: $5.00

Why the Festivities: Because Curves’ Are Out of This World!

We can’t wait to see you there!!!