Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BirthMarkings: A beautiful Documentary Project

This beautiful short film is a project by Margaret Lazarus.  It is moving to watch.

So much of our lives as women, we battle with our bodies and unrealistic beauty standards all around us.  Lazarus makes the poetic comparison between birth markings on womens' bodies and the effects of nature in our universe.  We are inspired by the beauty of swept sands, aging trees or layers upon layers of rocky sediment, yet the marks of stories and creativity on post-birth bodies are often erased by cosmetic surgery or hidden, and called ugly.

Sometimes, simply the visibility of our beauty and diversity can help us reframe our perception.  May you come away with a fresh perspective on birth markings as well.

From the filmmaker, Margaret Lazarus:
The idea for this project began percolating in my mind when I learned that the fastest growing plastic surgery for women was the post-birth tummy tuck. I started to think about what it means that we want to erase the signs of something so important and profoundly creative as giving birth. I wanted to explore this with women of different ages, backgrounds and experiences. BirthMarkings is a result of this exploration. I saw that so many of us internalized negative messages about our post-birth bodies, but that images of the passage of time, and the impact of physical forces on earth, trees, sand, stone and in space could be seen as beautiful. I wanted to reframe the image of the post birth body in this way. When I talked about this project I was overwhelmed by the number of women who offered to show me their stretch marks and scars and wanted to be part of this film. One of the biggest challenges was to select only some of their stories. Through the making and the showing of this film at festivals and in public spaces, I am continually reminded about how powerfully women are affected by the commodification of our bodies and how important it is to relate what happens to our bodies after we create life to the beauty of the natural world.
Camera/Editor: Sarah Ledoux, Producer/Editor: Renner Wunderlich, Still Photography: Tricia O'Neill

About the Author
Margaret Lazarus is an author and documentary filmmaker. With her partner, Renner Wunderlich, she has produced and directed over 20 films including: the Academy Award winning, "Defending Our Lives"; the groundbreaking "Rape Culture" and twenty five years later, its award winning update "Rape Is"; the original "Killing Us Softly" and "Still Killing Us Softly" which were two of the most widely used documentaries in academia; festival award winners "Strong at the Broken Places," "The Strength to Resist," "Pink Triangles," "The Last Empire," "Eugene Debs and the American Movement," "Life's Work," "Not Just A Job," "Taking Our Bodies Back," and others. She created the UN General Assembly film presentation "Women's Rights: Human Rights." For several years she was a senior lecturer at Tufts University teaching Producing Film for Social Change. She is a coauthor of the chapters on violence against women in the many editions of Our Bodies, Ourselves and has published numerous op-ed pieces and journal articles. She has two sons, whose births began her journey towards "BirthMarkings."

Friday, January 20, 2012

Watch Self Serve TV!

Did you know Self Serve is creating lots of sex ed and sex toy reviews videos?  We've been making more and more clips of how-to sex technique videos, sex toy reviews, and sharing discussions about sexuality issues that matter to us.

We love getting to share information and educate in our Albuquerque store, so we're excited to share with the world online.  Now you can study before you make a purchase!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Looking for Sex Positive Healthcare Providers

Do patients say this about you?
If so, mark your calendar!
Sex Positive Networking Night
Wednesday, January 11th
5-7 pm

at Self Serve Sexuality Resource Center
3904 Central Ave SE in Upper Nob Hill
  • Network with other sex positive healthcare professionals
  • Meet Self Serve co-owners & sexuality educators Molly & Matie
  • Learn how Self Serve can support your patients’ sexual health
  • Schedule a Self Serve visit or training at your office
  • Add your name to our free directory of sex positive healthcare professionals

Call 505-265-5815 or email workshops@selfservetoys.com to register

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

If you have any suggestions to add to the list, please either email sexpositiveabq@gmail.com or call the store at 505-265-5815 with the name, practice and contact info of the person you are recommending.

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

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Self Serve is 5 Years Old Today!

We celebrate our 5th anniversary this month, and we are grateful.

5 years ago today we opened the doors at Self Serve, became a part of Albuquerque's cultural landscape, and became a part of your lives.  We were two women who just moved from Boston, not knowing much about Burque, and we took a chance on a friendly, new city for our little sexuality resource center.

Thanks for making us a part of your story.  While we may have had visits from Zoning or media all too interested in porn, we also have been growing a space where you come and ask us questions and share your stories with us.  You trust us and take steps to improve your relationships.  You have shared your falling in love and breaking up tales.  We have helped you buy your first vibrator.  We have helped you come out... as queer, bi, poly or trans.  You have asked for help.  We have helped you have better sex. Or we've helped you try again after the divorce or being widowed.  We knew you before the baby or before you got married.  We helped you gain back confidence after the positive STI test.  We helped you love your body more - as is.  We told you it's ok.

Thank you.  Thanks for letting us in, and taking those tough steps, for trusting us and yourself.  Sexuality, our desires, our identities can be confusing, challenging and surprising at times.  They are integral parts of our lives, and we're glad we can help you navigate.  We hope to keep spreading the love for years to come.

We feel so honored to be a part of this community - both in the Duke city and online.  Thanks for an amazing first 5 years.

Molly and Matie

p.s. we'll be celebrating with events throughout the month!

Thursday, January 12  7:30 pm
Sex Toy Story Night: A night of over-sharing, laughter and camaraderie
Share your stories of self love, bloopers, embarrassments and triumphs. Prizes for Best & Worst Sex Toy Stories!  $5

Saturday, January 21 

Celebrate 5 years of Self Serve at our Open House Birthday Celebration!
Giveaways & Specials all day! Games & Fun 5-9 pm!

Monday, January 30
The Self Serve community is spreading the love around ABQ
–Details to follow!