What books have defined you

A friend recently posted a challenge on Facebook — what 10 books have influenced you most.

Here was my reply… I would be interested in yours.

The Great Brain Series (John Fitzgerald) because it made me believe (for a time) that money was the most important thing on Earth; The Alchemist and The Pilgrimage (P Cuelo) and Silent Spring (Rachel Carson) because they made be believe (for a much longer time) that money is very unimportant but other things are; Into him Air (Krakauer) that spoke to my love of adventure and danger that has never left me; The Sword of Shanara (Terry Brooks) because it began a life-long unproductive, geeky, slightly embarrassing relationship with fantasy; The Master and Margarita (Mikhail Bulgakhov) because it made me feel smart and cultured, although in retrospect I can now admit I don’t think I really understood it and is a constant reminder that I’m not as smart as I think I am; Sex Drugs and Cocoa Puffs (Chuck Klosterman) and The Guide to Getting It On (Paul Joannides) because they remind me that life is about fun and frivolity too; and 100 Years of Solitude (G G Marquez) because its just the freakin’ best book ever written.

Innocent Exploration – Playtime

What does a small step into a more sexually adventurous lifestyle look like? This is the theme of a movie my wife and watched last night; and the combination of innocence and sexual exploration by the two lead females (housewives) proved to be super exciting to us. In the interest of sharing….

Last month, I asked readers to recommend high quality porn that my wife and I might like. One of the moves recommended – Playtime (1994) – turned out to be a real favourite for us. It is a softcore movie made in the 90s. As far as adult movies go, it is really well shot and well acted (for a soft core porn, so keep your expectations in check). The themes explored are really interesting and sexy, and play extremely well to the softcore genre.

The movie opens with two (slightly) bored housewives sunbathing topless by the pool of their vacation house. The confide in one another that they aren’t having as much sex as they would like and, as a result, masturbate regularly. As they are describing some of their fantasies, a pool boy arrives and they rush inside. The discussion or masturbation and mimosas had gotten them quite turned on, so one suggest that they retreat to their respective bedroom and ‘deal with’ their pent up desire. The other suggest ‘since we’re going to do it anyway, why not do it together’. They proceed to masturbate side by side on the couch as they watch one another.

This mutual masturbation turns into a regular habit. They find times to sneak away and indulge in their voyeuristic fantasy. It really doesn’t proceed further – no heavy girl on girl and no wild threesomes — just voyeurism. Not to give away the while plot, but they do decide they want to bring their husbands in on their new found interests, but it still stays in the realm of shorting fantasies and voyeurism.

So, why did my wife and I fund this so appealing?

First, we really liked the theme of people exploring their sexual interests and expanding their sexual adventures through ‘baby steps’. This movie did a great job at creating a tension between their emerging desires and their willingness to lose themselves to it. More specifically, they were aware their had unmet sexual desires and they wanted to explore them in small ways, that wouldn’t push them too far and, thereby risk their relationship or challenge their preconceptions about their own sexuality (there was an underlying theme that one of the women was worried she may be gay and wasn’t sure how to process how turned on she got with another women with the certainty that she loved men).

Most porn seems to jump very quickly from innocent flirtation to full on sex in a matter of minutes. We really liked the very slow build and the erotic tension created by the movie. That said, I will admit that my wife would have liked for the sex scenes to move a little beyond the ‘softcore’ by the end. For her, while she really likes the slow build, she likes it to build to something a little more explicit. I think for her, because she likes both soft and harder porn, she likes a movie to build from soft to harder. For many watchers of softcore porn, however, they may like it because it stays non-explicit (this may be a topic for another post – would their be a market for soft and hardcore hybrids)

The second reason we found this movie really appealing – and this may be unique to us – we like watching women pleasure themselves in a way that is clearly them masturbating for their own pleasure (not to put on a show). For me, I love the idea that women are sexual of their own accord and seeing women masturbate for nothing more than their own pleasure is a sexy confirmation of their sexuality and sexual desire. For my wife, watching women masturbate, especially two women together, is an innocent way to indulge and confirm her own bi-sexual interests; she especially likes watching female bisexuality in the context of an otherwise heterosexual relationship – it is ‘relatable’ for her.

So.. if you’re looking for a hot ‘couples friendly’ adult movie, I would highly recommend Playtime (1994). Let me know what you think?

poor persecuted pervert?

An excellent counter-perspective to the blog I posted this morning. Well worth a read.

Sex Geek

There’s a scandal breaking in Canada. It’s about BDSM. Or is it? I’m not so sure.

Short version: Jian Ghomeshi is a wicked popular CBC host, and the CBC just fired him without disclosing why. He’s retaliating with a $50 million lawsuit (unheard of in non-litigious Canada) and a demand for reinstatement. On Sunday, he made a Facebook post which discloses that he’s kinky and about to be defamed by an unnamed ex-girlfriend and several other past dates she’s recruited, who will insist that his behaviour was non-consensual. A couple hours later, I heard about a semi-recent xoJane article by Carla Ciccone detailing some very creepy behaviour on the part of an unnamed “Canadian C-list celebrity” whom many speculate is Ghomeshi. This article has apparently earned her a serious thrashing by trolls. Later Sunday evening, the Toronto Star posted an article detailing their interviews with four women who are remaining…

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Getting Fired for BDSM Lifestyle

“The State has no place in the bedrooms of the nation”. Pierre Trudeau – Prime Minister of Canada – said this in 1967, in support of broad-based omnibus legislation that advanced homosexual rights and eased access to abortion and divorce.

Pierre Trudeau would be rolling in his grave this morning, as news roles out that the state-funded CBC radio has fired it most popular host – Jian Ghomeshi – as allegations of his BDSM lifestyle begin to surface. Apparently an ex-partner has gone public with allegations that she was in a BDSM relationship with Ghomeshi and has hired a freelance author to tell the tale. To get in front of it, Ghomeshi admitted all on Facebook last night – calling it a 50 Shades of Gray-type relationship.

The CBC’s immediate reaction – Ghomeshi’s out! Fired!

This reaction seems crazy for a number of reasons:
– Ghomeshi was incredibly popular and initial Facebook and twitter response to these allegations have been supportive and overwhelmingly “its none of our business what he does in his sexual life”;
– Ghoemshi brought an edge to CBC that that cautious, stodgy CBC had long sought;
– CBC has an admired reputation for tolerance and liberal perspectives.
– Most importantly, this seems incredibly un-Canadian. It is unheard of here for people to be disciplined at work or fired for sexual behaviour. I have honestly never heard of it, outside of sexual criminal behaviour.

And in that vein, if it comes out that Ghomeshi’s activities were non-consensual. That his story of a consensual BDMS relationship were false and this was actually old fashion sexual abuse…. well, then I take this all back.

But until then … firing someone for what they do, consensually, in their private sex life. Not in my Canada.

Is It Cheating?

http://bisexualexploration.wordpress.com had a good post asking for people’s views on what is, and what is not, cheating. It got me thinking about (i) what I would consider cheating and (ii) is there an accepted definition of cheating. Here are the conclusions I reached

1. What I consider cheating has evolved significantly over time. I used to believe that some acts were, for everyone, cheating. I now realize that cheating is, and always was, sexual behaviour that was outside of the agreement I had with any particular partner.

2. Cheating is completely subjective and open to negotiation. As crazy as it sounds, if I agree with my partner that checking out another woman is not acceptable in our relationship, then I guess that violating this would be cheating. I can’t imagine both parties agreeing that this would be cheating, but who am I to judge what two consenting adults agree is OK and not OK for them. Similarly, if having sex with others is agreeable between a couple, then that would not be cheating.

3. Therefore, there is no definition of cheating, just as there is no definition of ‘fairness’ It is the product of a negotiations, and for a relationship to be healthy, a couple has to be able to have this negotiation, make reasonable compromises and accept the terms of those compromises.

Terrorism In Canada

Canada has a big decision to make.

Today at least one gunman shot and killed a reservist guard and then got into the Canadian Parliament Building and shot off up to 30 rounds. Details are still sketchy but what is known is that terrorism (likely domestic) has reached Canada.

And now Canadians must decide how to respond.

The twitterverse is, of course, full of speculation that Canada will change forever – much as our southern neighbours have post 9/11. We will become more paranoid, more scared, more security conscious.

Maybe/maybe not. A few brave voices are standing up and pointing out that we have a choice.

One very respected journalist has suggested that, tomorrow, thousands of Canadians should gather on Parliament Hill and in the Parliament Buildings (to which we have open and public access) – unarmed and unafraid — to claim it, to protect it, and to say a giant fuck you to the people who did this.

This event was terrible. And for those of us in the capital region it has shaken us – our kids were win lockdown in their school all day and both my wife and I work in buildings that were locked down.

But we will recover… quickly. Like all things Canadian, our response can be reasoned, rationale, and moderate. I sure hope so!

Why So Hard to Fund Raise for Ebola

What makes a ‘perfect’ disaster… or a ‘terrible’ one? I’ll give you a hint – The Haitian Earthquake was near perfect. The Ebola outbreak in Africa was awful.

And my ‘perfect’ or ‘awful’ I mean, of course, fundraising potential. The Haitian earthquake relief efforts raised over $9 Billion. Ebola, so far is closer to $30 Million. The American Red Cross received $486 Million for Haiti; so far it has raised less than $3 Million for Ebola.

How is this possible? They are both disasters of the worse magnitude.. worthy and in need of major financial response.

Why is Ebola apparently un-fundable, yet Haiti such an easy sell?

The Podcast Planet Moneyhad a brilliant economic explanation. In terms of incentivizing people to donate money, Haiti was the ‘perfect’ disaster. Why?

1. It had a specific, high visibility, photo-op-able start – the earthquake!
Ebola, on the other hand, started small and crept up.. and continue to creep up. There was no ‘launch date or event’

2. Money donated would be seen as creating something good – a rebuilt Haiti
For Ebola, funding would be to prevent more ‘bad’ as oppose to build something ‘good’.

3. Haiti was in a region that people could relate to – tons of Americans have been to the Caribbean.
No one ever goes to West Africa.

Ebola is, in a nutshell, the toughest kind of disaster to raise money for. Sad. For what its worth, as soon as I finished listening to this explanation I rushed online and donated 500$ to Doctors Without Borders – something for us all to consider.