I’m unexpectedly more busy than I know how to handle. Between the theory and excellent commentary my post last week is generating and all that I’m doing, I wake up each morning (or, afternoon as the case may be) and don’t know what I want to engage with first. What an incredible turn-around from last year this has been! Here’s a quick rundown of what’s keeping me busy.

Sexploration’s Sex Geek Potluck

Maymay at the mic on Sexploration with Monika.Last night, I had the privilege and the honor to be invited by Monika, host of Sexploration with Monika, to participate in a “sex geek potluck” down at the FCC Free Radio outpost. Moreover, I was even given airtime to talk about some of the events I’m participating in throughout March. I had a great time, and I can’t thank Monika and her party co-organizer cohort, Reid Mihalko, enough for the opportunity. :)

I’ve excerpted the segment of my time on the radio below, but you can listen to the whole show for free all this week.

  • Audio clip and text transcript (15:39) of Maymay and Monika talking about “Remaking Male Submission,” masculinity, and “femdom” porn. Later in the audio, Maggie joins in and the two of us discuss censorship of sexuality on the Internet.

March Events

In March alone, I’ll be making an appearance at the following events.

March 5th — BDSM: Kink Isn’t So Scary

The Western Regionals LGBTQIA Conference this year is being hosted by UC Berkeley, and I’m going to be a panelist on the only one of only 2 BDSM-themed sessions at the conference.1 The panel is called “BDSM: Kink Isn’t So Scary.” (A full conference schedule and workshop listing is also available.) One reason I’m particularly excited is because one of my fellow panelists will be none other than Miss Maggie Mayhem, whom I’ve developed an incredible admiration for over the past few months.

After speaking to the panel facilitators, a UC Berkeley student and an alumn, I’m hopeful that this will be a great chance to humanize BDSM’ers and counter folks who would demonize us. Aside from my niggling objection at the synonymous use of “BDSM” and “Kink” (an objection I’ll surely raise at some point in the panel itself), our panel has been given center-stage in a room with a several-hundred person capacity, stadium seating, and a gigantic projector.

March 6th — Kink On Tap special with Dr. Staci Newmahr

That weekend, I’ll be interviewing the author of the pathbreaking new book, Playing on the Edge: Sadomasochism, Risk, and Intimacy. Dr. Staci Newmahr is a sexuality researcher who holds a Ph.D. in sociology. The book chronicles her experiences in a public BDSM community and is literally the single best exposition on the topic of SM and its relationship to gender, violence, and interpersonal relationships I have ever read. Like all Kink On Tap shows, we’ll broadcast live at 8 PM Eastern, 5 PM Pacific on Sunday evening, and you can tune in live to be given a chance to ask Dr. Newmahr questions.

There’s also a FetLife and Facebook event listing for this show because it’s a “special,” and we’ll be putting the news stories aside for now and engaging entirely with Dr. Newmahr’s amazing work. If you’ve ever wanted a chance to ask a BDSM researcher a question about the community, this is your chance. Don’t miss it!

March 19th — KinkForAll Providence 2

As a fitting climax for Brown University’s Sex Week 2011, the hardworking student organizers at the Brown University Sexual Health Education and Empowerment Council (SHEEC) have once again sponsored a KinkForAll event: KinkForAll Providence 2. Like last year’s KinkForAll Providence, this one promises to be spectacular, only even bigger.

SHEEC has reserved two whole floors of Smith-Buonanno Hall at 95 Cushing Street. Yours truly will be bringing in equipment for a live stream, so even if you can’t make it to Providence in March, you’ll be able to watch KFAPVD2 live online, or follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #KFAPVD2. There are FetLife and Facebook KFAPVD2 event listings and you’re encouraged to RSVP there, but please, please, please also remember to sign up on the KFAPVD2 wiki registration table to help out the organizers in a coordinated fashion. (Furthermore, free Wi-Fi at KFAPVD2 is guaranteed only to those who register on the wiki and email the SHEEC folks ahead of time.)

Also, did you notice our nifty KFAPVD2 graphic icons? I love ’em. ;)

March 21st — On Dichotomies: Breaking Binaries and Why That’s Empowering

After KFAPVD2 on Saturday at Brown University, I was honored to be invited to lead a seminar called “On Dichotomies: Breaking Binaries and Why That’s Empowering” at the Rhode Island School of Design’s Queer Student Association. Readers following KinkForAll closely will recognize the kernel of the seminar from last year’s event in Providence. The RISD seminar will be a long-form discussion of the same material, featuring a facilitated Q&A after the slideshow.

The QSA set up a Facebook event page for the seminar (and I made a FetLife event listing, too). I’d be thrilled to see some familiar faces from KinkForAll Providence 1 in the audience, but I’m equally excited for the opportunity to hear from people I’ve never spoken with before. Even if you can’t make it to the RISD campus for this event, please share it amongst your friends. :)

March 22nd — Remaking Male Submission: Confronting Sexism in BDSM

While I’m in Providence, I’ve also been invited by Megan Andelloux to lead a workshop at The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. I proposed a workshop called “Remaking Male Submission: Confronting Sexism in BDSM,” which is both personally and professionally challenging for me but which I’m very passionate about. Here’s the description as cross-posted on Male Submission Art:

Oscar Wilde once said, “Everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power.” In this interactive seminar and slideshow, we’ll examine the nature of sex and power by exploring common cultural depictions of sexually dominant women, and especially submissive men. Join maymay, a sexually submissive man himself and curator of the crowd-sourced erotic photography blog MaleSubmissionArt.com, to tackle deeply-held beliefs about gender and challenge assumptions about “kinky” sex. Just how prevalent, or lacking, is imagery of submissive men? Further, does the existing imagery really offer an alternative to mainstream sexual stereotyping, or does it actually serve to reify the—pun intended—dominant paradigm of male power? Is the public BDSM subculture a haven of free expression, or simply another cage of rigid gender roles dressed up (often literally) in different clothes?

Naturally, I’ve made Facebook and FetLife event listings for this event, too, and would appreciate your help in spreading the word about this workshop in particular. Since the topic matter here is so close to my heart, I’ve found myself hitting wall after wall of self-doubt, questioning and second-guessing myself time and again. I’m exceptionally nervous about this workshop because I believe that if I get it wrong, I’ll be excommunicated from the BDSM community and no one will care. If I get it right, I may still be excommunicated, but at least I’ll get people thinking. And, surprisingly, I still care about the community, despite my anger at it—a fine line to walk.

March 26th — Anti-censorship best practices for the sex-positive publisher

I’ll be leaving Providence the same week I arrive in order to fly to Atlanta, Georgia for the inaugural Atlanta Poly Weekend conference. There, I’ll be leading another all-new workshop called “Anti-censorship best practices for the sex-positive publisher,” which will focus on practical things laymen (not technical specialists like me) can do to protect their online presence against incidental as well as intentional censorship. The workshop will offer minimal foundational theory using real-life examples to help sex-positive publishers connect the dots between technical issues and their own work. In other words, this is the counterpoint to my warnings to technologists that sexually vocal Internet users are the first—but never the last—casualty of Internet censorship.

(As an aside, I am still looking to share my hotel room with someone the night of Sunday, March 27th. If you’re going to be participating in the Atlanta Poly Weekend conference, or know someone who is, and you’re in need of a hotel room for the evening, please email me or cross-post my request for a roommate to your favorite Atlanta-area local polyamory mailing list on my behalf. I can hardly afford this travel right now so splitting the costs of a hotel stay is welcome. I don’t snore or anything. Promise.)

Future public speaking and activism opportunities

One of the reasons this is possible is because I’ve started to get approached by university professors, campus student groups, community organization programming committees, and others who are seeking public speakers, guest lecturers, or workshop facilitators to fill their calendar. I’m immensely flattered by all the recent offers and I regret that I haven’t the funds to fly everywhere I’ve been invited. However, the invitations are encouraging and given the opportunity to continue jet-setting around the country to nurture sex-positivity and sexual freedom, I’m going to do it.

On that note, if you or your organization has an interest in booking me for an engagement, please get in touch! If you think someone you know might be interested, please send them to my “Things I’ve done” page so they can become familiar with me and my work quickly and easily.

My life is only as good as my connections to the good people in it. Please help me fill my life with goodness, and help me help fill others’ lives with the same. :)

  1. Thanks for pointing out the other, Nikola. []