ellie_nors: (fuck this shit)
I used to think I was one of those few, lucky women who had never been sexually assaulted. In fact, I think I believed it until a couple of months ago. And until I read this piece [WARNING: sexual assault and rape] on Medium last night, I thought it had only happened once.

I couldn't get to sleep last night, thinking about it, and during the day today, more incidents have come to mind. And the thing that bothers me most about it is not what you might think.

N.B. I have made this post public in case reading it is helpful for anyone dealing with similar issues. All comments will be screened. I have first, final, and only say over which comments are posted and which are deleted.

The following is a recounting of all the incidents that are bothering me. They are none of them overtly violent or dangerous. They may nevertheless be disturbing or triggering to you depending upon your own life experiences. Please take care of yourself in choosing whether or not to read the following. )

I am a feminist, and always have been, yet in none of these cases -- none of them -- did it ever occur to me that I could say "Stop" or "No". The thought simply never entered my head. The most that I ever did was attempt to negotiate, either with the assailant, or with myself.

That is what is so disturbing to me: that the idea that I could have any control over what was happening to my own body, that I had any rights over what was happening to my body, was not even part of my world. That those people chose to assault me, whether or not they believed that was what they were doing at the time, is a tiny, insignificant detail next to that fact.

The idea that I have absolute rights and first and final say over what happens to my body is still difficult for me to grasp, deep down, even though it is one I have consciously espoused for all of my adolescent and adult life. I have to pause, think, deliberately choose it. And that is seriously fucked.

I want to be clear: I do not believe this is a personal failing. I know it is a direct result of a culture so steeped in misogyny, so deeply rooted in patriarchy, that a middle-aged, feminist woman can go her whole life without realising that her bodily autonomy is a right, not a vague possibility that needs case by case negotiation.

Perhaps it is a result of the freeze response to threat; perhaps it is a result of a more generalised dissociation due to childhood trauma; perhaps it is a part of how women keep ourselves alive by playing nice with our harrassers and assailants. All I know right now is that it is seriously fucked, and I need to make it stop.

A final example, with some hope. )

So I am making some progress, and I celebrate myself for that. But simply realising how deeply embedded this is within me is so, so tiring.
ellie_nors: (Default)
Portrait artist Natasha Gomperts will be exhibiting in Shepherds Market, an area of London with a long term history of sex work, in late March.
Natasha wants to create a drawn petition for decriminalisation of sex work, made up of hundreds of portraits of people from the sex industry and supporters of our human rights.

Drawings will be made really quickly – it can take from as little as 30 seconds, to as long as a couple of minutes. Natasha will protect your anonymity – pictures can be clearer or more blurred, full face or turned away, as you wish.

Taking part is completely safe, discreet and respectful of your privacy.
You can be drawn over coffee in a café or Natasha can come to you. There’ll also be drawing sessions at several central London locations.

search Drawn Petition on Face Book and Twitter
call 07806 600 041 or email drawnpetition@hotmail.com
ellie_nors: (Default)
Tuesday 31st of March
Speak Out + Stand Up for Sex Worker Rights

2pm at the Eros Fountain, Piccadilly Circus

Workers in the sex industry and their allies are speaking out against the Policing and Crime Bill. This Bill will further criminalise those of us in the sex industry in the UK, whether we work by CHOICE, CIRCUMSTANCE or COERCION.

It criminalises our clients, increases penalties for soliciting and imposes measures for forced rehabilitation. It is based on a lack of evidence about the sex industry, and without taking the views of sexworkers and our organisations into account. The Bill will make it less, not more, safe for us to work, whether as strippers, escorts, working girls, maids or models. It is crucial that the current climate of fear, raids, deportation and arrests be met with solidarity and a demand for justice. It is time to make sure our voices are heard. Join us.

This speak out is called by x:talk, a sex worker-led project which provides free English classes for migrants in the sex industry.For more info go to http://www.xtalkproject.net/.

To add your name to the Speak Out please email: xtalk.classes@gmail.com please distribute this information to all networks.

ellie_nors: (Default)
The Masturbate-a-thon is a fun fundraiser dedicated to supporting sex education and sexual safety. Proceeds benefit the non-profit Center For Sex & Culture and/or your chosen organisation. http://www.masturbate-a-thon.com/

Participate Live! http://www.masturbate-a-thon.com/participateEvent.php

Participate at home! http://www.masturbate-a-thon.com/participateHome.php

Lookee, lookee! The delightful, wonderful, amazing, hot Carol Queen and Robert Lawrence!

ellie_nors: (Default)
"When you only have one or two things that really get you off sexually, it's very hard to change your patterns and embrace safety. What if anal sex without a condom was the only thing you liked? Using a condom could seem like a real sacrifice. But if you get off on 120 different things, it's not such a radical change to still have access to 118 of them." -- Carol Queen, paraphrasing Steven Brown, here.

And anyone can open themselves to really getting off on just about anything... if they want to.

(Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] faithfulreader for the impetus to go and look this up again.)
ellie_nors: (Default)

Music-powered vibrator!! XD
ellie_nors: (Default)
Following a comment by [livejournal.com profile] clotilde and my sitting practice experiences this morning, I've decided I have a new take on slash - its spiritual significance.

My hypothesis: slash is the perfect tool for exploring one's self, one's desires and needs (particularly the desires that remain hidden most of the time) because slash is erotic fiction involving archetypes. Which aspects of one's self need to be reconciled, brought to union? Which are essential to the whole but need to stay away from one another - and how can they work together when required without killing one another? What are the turn-ons and what are the squicks? Does it vary from character to character, universe to universe? What is forbidden, to whom and why? Each of these has spiritual significance beyond whether or not it turns us on - sex is after all access to and emblem of ecstasy, giving oneself over completely to that which is more than oneself, and of union ("Make me one with everything," as the Buddhist said to the hot-dog vendor).

I'm going to think this through a bit more and maybe write a bit on it. Has anyone else got any thoughts?


ellie_nors: (Default)

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