Treat Yourself: 6 Things You Can Do This May for Masturbation Month

Whether you’re doing it because you’re really horny, or to relieve stress, or maybe just because you’re super bored, masturbation is pretty damn awesome. In fact, it’s so awesome that almost everybody does it AND I’m willing to bet that if you live in a moderately sized city then at absolutely any point in time throughout the day there is likely somebody, somewhere within your vicinity, who is masturbating.

Whether they’re in their 5th floor apartment, in a house a couple of doors down from you, sitting at their desk in their office, or quietly playing in a bathroom stall, it’s highly likely that self-pleasure is happening within just a couple of blocks of you at this very moment.

Let that sink in for a second.

Spider-Man Bates Too

Yet masturbation still remains this thing that we at best don’t talk about, and at worse actively shame, especially in regards to women.

What better time to challenge and question that stigma, while simultaneously enjoying yourself, than this month… which happens to be Masturbation Month!

Though we’re already 12-days in, it’s never too late to join the fun. Here are six things that I’ve been doing, and that I’d encourage you to consider doing too, throughout the rest of May for Masturbation Month:

 

1. Post and talk about it!

A bunch! Ask your Facebook friends what their favorite way to masturbate is, ask about advice for sex toys, talk about why you like to masturbate, share a masturbation story you may not have told anybody yet, and ask others to contribute as well. Or, as you’ll see below, just say that you’re going to be masturbating and see where the conversation goes.

Bating Post

Could just get some healthy chuckles for the super honesty of your statement, or launch a full discussion on any number of topics related to self-pleasure!

 

2. Don’t make excuses about it!

I don’t know about any of you but a substantial amount of the times that I am late for a party, or meeting up with some friends, it’s because I was jerking off before I left. As somebody with a lot of social anxiety, and just anxiety in general, masturbating actually really helps me chill out before I go out to socialize.

Usually, if somebody says something about me being late I’ll make up an excuse like “oh I got a phone call that I had to take”, or “I couldn’t find my car keys”, or “yeah I got stuck behind a really slow driver”, and blah blah blah. But not this month!

This month, if I’m late because I was stroking myself to orgasm, then that’s exactly what I’m going to say. For example:

Friend: “What took you so long!?”

Me: “I was bating!”

BOOM! Simple. Honest. And, who knows, maybe it will start a really great conversation with your friend(s) about how totally ordinary, relaxing, and wonderful self-pleasure can be.

 

3. Try a bunch of new things; or, do a bunch of the stuff you like!

There are endless amounts of masturbation techniques out there on blogs and websites. All it takes is a simple Google search and you’ll have TONS of fun things to try out.

Personally, I’ve made a Masturbatory To Do List for the month; a list of 15 things that I want to do including:

  • Mutually masturbate with my partner (we do this lots already but hey, I’ll take any excuse to do it more!)
  • Edge myself for at least 30-minutes before cumming.
  • Try and attain a hands-free (no jerking) prostate orgasm.
  • Give myself a facial! (I’ve actually never gotten a facial from somebody else before, but I do love cumming on myself)
  • Spend the entirety of one of my days off naked; masturbating or playing with myself as much as I want to.

… and more!

 

4. If you can afford it, buy some new toys or get a porn site membership!

I recently picked up a fleshlight and have been enjoying it IMMENSELY.

If you do end up buying something for yourself, please also consider writing a review about it and posting that to your Facebook page, Tumblr, or any blogs that you may have!

As for porn site memberships, might I suggest the incredibly sexy and super queer positive content such as The Crash Pad Series. Yes, there is a lot of free porn out there, however, when it comes to queer positive, trans and gender diverse positive, body positive, kink positive, hot-as-fuck porn content I can honestly say there is nothing like Crash Pad Series out there.

 

5. Mutually masturbate with somebody!

Seriously, I strongly feel that we do not give enough credit or attention to how great mutual masturbation is. Over the years I’ve masturbated with a lot of people: partners, friends, hookups, and even with complete strangers on webcam. I’ve even masturbated with combinations of the aforementioned!

If you have a partner, mutually masturbating together can not only be fun, it can also help you both communicate your desires better and explore ideas for your sex life. Generally, it allows you both to talk about what makes you feel good, teach each other how to find your pleasure zones, explore some dirty talk, share your fantasies, and share what pornography you like to enjoy. Plus, you can tie in some kink play if you`d like through setting rules and giving directions for how you`d like to watch your partner masturbate. Hot, fucking, dayum!

But mutual masturbation can also be a pretty outstanding experience for you and a friend (or friends)! If you have somebody who you would like to masturbate with, and who you think may be interested in masturbating with you as well, take a chance and broach the topic. Masturbating with a friend allows you both to be naked (or partially naked) in a completely judgement free space where you can share technique suggestions, independently explore your bodies, talk about your body and/or how masturbation makes you feel, talk about toys you like or don’t like, share stories, and encourage each other to enjoy your orgasms.

Awesome. Right!?

 

6. Acknowledge and respect that some people really don’t like to masturbate.

Now, as much as I’m here raving about how awesome I think masturbation is, there are some who really, really don’t like it. And that is TOTALLY valid as well.

If you’re talking about masturbation this month and somebody mentions that they don’t care to masturbate, please avoid teasing them or berating them about it. Shaming somebody who doesn’t enjoying masturbation isn’t really any better than shaming somebody who does. Instead, I’d encourage you to seek understanding about why they dislike it.

And no, that doesn’t mean self-righteously suggesting that they are “probably just doing it wrong” or inferring that they are a prude for not enjoying it. That doesn’t mean ignoring that they don’t like it and cramming down their throats a pile of unsolicited tips on how you think they might be able to cum.

There could be any number of reasons that somebody wouldn’t enjoy masturbation and while, yes, some of those reasons may stem from feelings of shame or from how they were raised, or what their religious beliefs are, that is not always the case. Sometimes, people just… don’t care for it.

And if that sounds like you, well, I still hope that you have a most excellent month. You don’t need to masturbate to enjoy May. There’s a lot going on from some really awesome new movies coming out, to a bunch of wicked video game releases, a pile of DVDs/Blu-Rays hitting store shelves, hundreds of new books to read, and a ridiculous amount of new music to jam out to (including Radiohead’s new album!!!). Plus, it is in my opinion that May is also a great month for road trips, travel, picnics, nice walks, checking out some local events going on, and taking in any one of these night sky events.

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Bathrooms and Being Non-Binary

Here I am on an average Monday. My hair is all messy, pulled back into pigtails, and I have visible stubble on my face because I haven’t shaved for 2-days.

I am well aware that I do not “pass”. Even I acknowledge that while I am quite femme in how I dress, I by no means meet the standards or expectations that cis people have of how trans people “should” look.

For those who know me very well, this isn’t surprising because unlike the trans individuals that are regularly featured in bathroom selfies, in trans activism graphics, or throughout news and social media in general, I am non-binary.

If you don’t know what that means, it’s okay. Society is largely fed gender, as well as trans visibility, through a binary lens of striclty “feminine” and “masculine”, “woman” and “man”, or “female” and “male”. Non-binary, genderqueer, or gender diverse individuals, on the other hand, live their lives with gender identities and/or gender expressions that are not exclusively masculine or feminine. They exist somewhere between, or even completely outside of, the gender binary and cisnormativity (the social, political, and institutionally reinforced assumption that all human beings are cisgender, or, wanting to be perceived as cisgender).

Honestly, I have no desire to pass at all. My transition has largely been social up to this point but it will soon include some combination of HRT (hormone replacement therapy), laser hair removal, and/or breast augmentation.

Overall, how I identify and express my gender will continue to be non-binary even as I make the changes to my body that I need in order for me to be happy and healthy in it. It really is that simple.

So, to summarize: while I am rather femme, and my body WILL physically change to have breasts and less body hair, I am not a “woman” or a “man” and I will not identify, or seek to pass, as either of those identities.

I know that all of this is very hard for many cisgender, and even many binary trans people, to understand. But the truth is that I don’t need you to understand. What I need is for you to acknowledge the simple fact that everybody is built differently.

You don’t have to get it. Just respect that I know my body and gender better than you do… and I need to poop.

Bubblegum.png

In fact, everybody needs to poop… except for maybe Kim Jong-Un, who is said not to poop… and who supposedly also talks to dolphins.

But everybody else does and that includes two-spirit, non-binary, genderqueer, bigender, gender fluid, agender, and gender nonconforming people.

Problem is that as cis people loose their collective minds about trans people in public washrooms, trans advocates and activists almost exclusively rely on images of cis-passing binary trans folk as their playing card to (A) convince cis people that trans people are just like them, and (B) convince cis people that trans people are not scary or dangerous.

Meanwhile, non-cis-passing trans people, as well as everybody who identifies between or outside of the gender binary, continue to face profound amounts of harassment and violence in public washrooms. Further, they usually find themselves at the center of the struggle as cis people use them as a reason to keep all trans people out of bathrooms, while advocates and activists seem more concerned with asserting that “trans women are women” rather than showing actual support or solidarity for those who don’t fit the binary.

So, while I don’t speak for all  two-spirit, non-binary, genderqueer, bigender, gender fluid, agender, and gender nonconforming people, here are some things that I need from fellow trans advocates and activists:

 

1. I need trans advocacy and activism to stop ignoring (and making excuses for ignoring) the existence of two-spirit, non-binary, genderqueer, bigender, gender fluid, agender, and gender nonconforming people.

Aria Ehren wrote: “If visibility is indeed the path to acceptance, then we need visibility that improves the lives of all transgender people. What we’re getting right now falls far short of the mark. The ‘tipping point’ won’t truly have been reached until that occurs.”

If years from now when, perhaps, public discourse has shifted from its current state of outrage to one of acceptance for trans people in public washrooms… but only binary gendered, passing individuals are being accepted by the cisgender and heterosexual majority… than what good has that really done for the trans community as a whole?

Genderqueer Support

Which leads to…

 

2. I need trans advocacy and activism to be intersectional, and to stop reinforcing harmful gender norms and cisnormativity through almost exclusively presenting white, cisgender “passing” trans women and trans men as the standard for gender diversity; or, as the single most at risk individuals in public washrooms.

Ashe McGovern wrote: “For trans people of color, who are generally overpoliced and surveilled, as well as feminine-presenting people who don’t “pass” as men or women, racist, femme-phobic, and sexist acts of violence can feel like an inevitable risk with every trip to the bathroom — or elsewhere.”

In summation: placing white, able-bodied, binary, cis-passing trans men and trans women at the center of advocacy and activism against anti-trans bathroom bills is an immense disservice to gender diverse people experiencing racism, ableism, or more, in addition to transphobia.

We should be universally condemning gender policing under all circumstances, not framing acceptance as white, passing, and binary. Which leads to…

 

3. I need bathroom activism selfies to stop reinforcing the notion that trans people only deserve respect and privacy in binary gendered public washrooms when they visually “pass” as cis enough to be deemed worthy of “belonging in there”.

Ashe McGovern said of bathroom politics selfies: “… these visual tactics reinforce the idea that one can determine by looking at a person in which bathroom that individual ‘belongs.’ This places masculine-presenting women, feminine-presenting men, and nonpassing, nonbinary, or gender-nonconforming people who, like all humans, need to use the bathroom, at even greater risk.”

And that’s a big problem. Rather than saying: “gender policing is wrong and dangerous for everybody,” bathroom politics selfies almost exclusively frame debate around how gender policing legislation is problematic because it affects white, binary cis-passing trans people who are being forced into the “wrong” bathroom. It’s far too narrow a perspective.

The next time somebody brings up a non-passing person as justification for anti-trans bathroom policies or bills, rather than circumventing discussion of that individual take the time to acknowledge that they deserve to safely use the washroom that best aligns with their identity too. No passing required.

Free to Pee

 

4. Most importantly, I need to be able to use the washroom without being relentlessly insulted, harassed, intimidated, or threatened; all because I don’t pass enough to take a dump in any gendered washrooms.

If all of this is starting to sound a little repetitive, good. Please read it again, and again, and again, because I cannot stress enough how important all of this is.

The methods employed so far by most trans activists and advocates are simply falling way short.


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This post was featured on Schmutzie.com’s Five Star Mixtape for May 4, 2016.

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Walking on Eggshells: How Trans People are Gaslighted and Denied Their Anger

Anger. It’s an emotion. People get angry all of the time and, like every other emotion, anger is valid, right? You are free to feel what you feel, vent about things, be mad about the shitty stuff going on, and rant on social media about your favorite sports team losing last night.

Unless you’re trans, or a member of any other vulnerable and oppressed group, of course. You see, there is literally no socially acceptable way for trans or gender diverse people to express anger about anything; especially when it comes to expressing you emotions about the oppression, abuse, discrimination, and/or violence that you face.

Seriously. Try to. Chances are that nearly every single time that you do, in any semi-public way, somebody is going to be there to tell you to “calm down”, dismiss your concerns, minimize your emotions, or outright gaslight you.

Any trans person who has ever written criticism of ignorant or transphobic content on TV, who has made a status post about how pissed they are about being misgendered or deadnamed, or who has expressed frustration in the comments section under any post on Facebook about trans people, will know this. Aside from your insulated circle of friends (this isn’t about those who truly understand and support you), should you say anything about how shitty you feel dealing with the constantly suffocating, ignorant, demeaning, dismissive, invalidating, and dehumanizing crap surrounding you every hour of the day, both online and offline, be prepared for practically nobody having any understanding or empathy for you.

Unfortunately, more often than not you will be swarmed with comments from defensive cisgender people, even ignorant gay and lesbian community members, who simply cannot help but go out of their way to tell you all about how off-putting your emotions and issues are to them; even though those emotions are totally valid in this decidedly anti-trans social climate.

Here’s a pretty great summary of how it tends to go much of the time [from Jessica U, creator of Manic Pixie Nightmare Girl]:

Manic Pixie 01

Express your frustration in any tone whatsoever and you’re told to “calm down”, “stop focusing on the negative”, “just ignore it”… EVEN THOUGH this shit is everywhere, in nearly every environment, and is literally impossible to ignore.

Call out harmful information, ignorance, or transphobia in any form of pop culture (including movies or television), to any degree at all, and you will immediately find people making excuses for it. People telling you that “you’re reaching”, “reading into it too much”, “getting worked up over nothing”, “always so negative”, and just “making everything about you and trans people all the time” (even when that content is EXPLICITLY about trans people and is also blatantly disparaging).

So, you’re just expected to take it all. All the uneducated comments, the demeaning remarks, the microaggressions, the misgendering, the deadnaming, the blatantly transphobic remarks, and, of course, the “allies” complaining about you, or trans people in general, complaining about trans issues. Should you dare to get mad, feel anything remotely like anger, or tell somebody how shitty it is that they took the time to rant about how tired they are of trans people speaking up about things… well then. Rest assured that they will have no qualms pointing out how you are  “crazy”, “psychotic”, a “bitch”, “giving trans people a bad name”.

Because, of course, your expression of anger is obviously reprehensible, right? It’s undignified. Even other trans advocates say so:

“Pointing out that there are a vocal minority who are dead-set on disrespecting transgender people, [Brynn Tannehills] asked her audience to remember the silent majority of cisgender (non-trans) people who have undecided or open minds, but may only ever meet one out trans person in their lives. Though it may not be fair, many such people base their impressions of the entire transgender community on a single interaction — and Tannehill urges fellow trans people to make sure it’s not an angry one, despite the many things trans people can feel rightfully hurt about.

‘As long as we stay calm,’ Tanehill told her audience, ‘we retain our dignity.'”

Fuuuuuuuuuuck that noise.

Meanwhile, Dudebro McGee is swearing up a storm about about how pissed he is that the season finale of Walking Dead isn’t showing who got killed by Negan until NEXT season and everybody is all “Yeah! Fuck the Walking Dead! This is bullshit! RAWR!” In a completely unrelated thread elsewhere on Facebook, Broseph Bro is flipping out about how appalled he is with the performance of the Edmonton Oilers and sure enough in comes the unified outrage of “Yeah! Fuck the Oilers! What douchebags! This is bullshit!”

Then you get to an LGBTQ page, with a post calling out the painfully misguided and actually pretty transphobic Powerpuff Girls’ episode about Donny the *Unicorn (fixed), and the outrage is there too… but not in an unified way standing against the obvious bullshit of this episode. No no. There you will find the masses of outraged people who are tired of trans people talking about issues. There you will find the chorus of  “Ugh, shut up already! Stop whining! There’s more important things so stop bitching about everything!”

Should you be trans and make any effort to call out the invalidating, demeaning, dismissive crap going on then brace yourself… for the ire of fake allies and even members of the greater LGBTQ community are coming and they are not with you. You will find very little in the way of any empathy for you, other trans people, and the hurt trans people experience from the ways they are depicted in news media and popular culture. Instead, you often find very specific and high expectations for how you should speak, feel, and respond to things around everyone else.

It’s textbook tone policing.

tone-policing1.png

 

You have to walk on egg shells. You have to be constantly mindful about not angering, frustrating, confusing, or annoying cis people through expressing your own emotions. You have to bottle it all up.

You know, kinda like in an abusive relationship. Because that’s what all this is.

Abuse.

Daily abuse from society, news media, social media, radio, television, film, politicians, public figures, religious leaders, celebrities, coworkers, strangers, maybe even friends and family in your life right now who consistently hurt you; but you are too afraid to say anything about it because any time that you do they flip it all and paint you as the villain. The unreasonable one. The overly-sensitive one.

You DON’T have to take any of it. If you want to vent about all the deadnaming, harassment, and misgendering that is pissing you off, then fucking go for it. Your anger is justified. If you want to scream and yell about the transphobic shit thrown out to the masses by major television shows or movies, do it. Your anger is justified. If you are tired of everybody excusing bigotry and ignorance and you want to call that behavior out for the bullshit that it is, then let loose the rage. Your anger is justified.

Don’t keep it in, letting it fester and eat at your mental wellness. Learn about abusive behaviors, such as gaslighting, to recognize when it’s happening to you in your daily interactions. Don’t deny yourself any more agency than everybody else has already taken from you.

And if people don’t like your valid, justifiable expression of anger over any one of the countless, overwhelming instances of transphobia, cisnormativity, disrespect, gaslighting and social abuse that you have to deal with every goddamn day?

Too. Fucking. Bad.

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