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A Free Sexuality Workshop, the Perfect Holiday Gift to Yourself!

Listen up, sex-positive feminists!

Starting in January 2012, I’ll be facilitating a workshop of Jaclyn Friedman’s awesome sexuality workbook, What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety.  Of course, the workshop will be free, and we’ll be meeting weekly (likely on Google Hangouts, though I’m open to suggestions there) to encourage each other through the book and through the journey of reclaiming our sexualities.

To participate, you simply need to be willing to commit to a weekly check-in, to doing the exercises in the book, and to being open and honest about your sexuality in a group of strangers.  Easy, right?  Well, maybe not, but everyone involved will sign a confidentiality statement–what’s discussed in the group stays in the group–and we’ll have some safe space rules to hopefully encourage everyone to open up and speak their minds.  Having participated in the initial workshop for the book, I can tell you that it’s a fantastic experience and hey, you might get some friends out of it as well as making progress on your own journey.  You also do need to buy a copy of the book by the beginning of the year.

In the interest of having a diverse group, I’m asking everyone who’d like to participate to please e-mail me the following information to avory [at] avoryfaucette [dot] com by December 23rd:

  1. Name (doesn’t have to be real one), and demographic information you’re comfortable disclosing such as age, race, geographic location, gender, gender identity, disability status, sexual orientation, etc.  Whatever you’d like to tell me–nothing is mandatory here.
  2. Why are you interested in participating?  What do you hope to gain from workshopping this book with us?
  3. What’s your starting point?  In other words, how are you feeling about sex and sexuality right now?
  4. Anything else you think might be relevant.

Radical Reading: What You Really Really Want

For this Radical Reading column, we’re doing something a bit different.  I was lucky enough to be part of the group that workshopped Jaclyn Friedman’s What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety.  This groundbreaking workbook takes the lessons learned about rape culture from the Yes Means Yes anthology and helps the reader take sexuality into his/her/hir own hands with practical guidance on sex, sexuality, and enthusiastic consent.  One of my favorite things about the book is how it breaks down our culture’s sexual scripts and encourages us to define our own sexuality–a skill that few of us are taught otherwise. I’ve invited Jaclyn, and some of the other folks from the workshop, to stop by Radically Queer on the WYRRW blog tour for a roundtable discussion on sexual agency and defining our own sexualities.  


Avory: Thanks so much for stopping by, everyone!  I wanted to start things off by just saying a little bit about my experience with using through the book to help define my sexuality, and hear where you’re all coming from.

For me, what was really useful in going through the exercises is they tend to be open-ended.  At one point, for example, we were asked to just list the things we do and don’t want when it comes to sex.  I ended up listing things I want that seem sort of inane, like being fed by hand, or having my hair petted, or a hand on my throat, and then listing common sexual things I don’t want, like having my breasts touched.  Coming up with that list from scratch was new for me because most of what I’ve learned about sex, even from comprehensive, liberal sources, is that there’s a straight script, or a gay script, or a lesbian script.  As a genderqueer person, no one ever gave me an appropriate script, so part of what I’ve done with this book is thought long and hard about how I define pleasure.  A lot of that has to do with things like food, and sensation, and power dynamics, that aren’t included in traditional “sexual” activities.  I’m still struggling with how to communicate these things to a partner, but it’s a big liberating step to climb out of the box of what’s generally seen as “sexual,” and often based on gender expectations.

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Why My Public Library is Better Than Your Public Library

We already have a copy of Jessica’s (of Feministing) Yes Means Yes on the shelves.  When I leave, can I take my library with me?