#SFS17 – Response to the Community & A Few Words From Me.

#SFS17 Statement

We Really Do Try To Be Responsive – #SFS17

#SFS17 – Woodhull Respons to Our Communities: Full Statement Addressing Recent Concerns

We at Woodhull strive, always, to be responsive to the needs and concerns of members of our community. Because of that commitment, we responded quickly to a situation that occurred concerning our acceptance of a workshop for the Sexual Freedom Summit from a presenter who had admitted to abusing someone. That situation has been resolved. The presenter canceled their workshop and will not be attending the Summit. Because of what happened, we are now reviewing our policy for future Summits. We will be sure to include community input as part of that process.

We welcome input from the communities we represent. We don’t blacklist, marginalize, or attempt to censor any detractors. We take concerns and criticisms seriously and try to work with individuals and communities to continuously improve our conference. Rather than censoring, our practice is to engage those who have concerns and we are often fortunate that they partner with us to address the concerns they brought to our attention.

That approach has led us to wonderful collaborations. For example, we are proud to work with a dynamic group of writers who feared marginalization because of their experience at other conferences to create the “Blog Squad” and ensure a welcoming, censorship-free space for all. We established an Accessibility Committee, headed by Crista Anne and Val Orenda, to make our spaces are as accessible as possible. We haven’t been able to make the Summit 100% accessible to all, yet, but each year we get closer thanks to the committee’s efforts.

Recognizing that the Summit was not as diverse on many levels as it needs to be, we launched a program where we partner with a different organization every year to create programming that is relevant and important to their constituents and to make the Summit as accessible to their members as possible. Our first year we partnered with Women of Color Sexual Health Network, this year we are partnering with In Our Own Voices and in 2018 our partner will be SisterSong.

In an effort to provide the highest quality workshops and presentations we can, we reach out to people we consider knowledgeable on the various issues covered by the Summit. Those reviewers volunteer their time, in exchange for a free registration, to evaluate workshop proposals and share their opinions with us. It is not unusual for those experts to be selected because they helped us see a gap we’d missed in a previous year.

We are not perfect, but we get better every year because we do respond to input from attendees and we do learn and grow along with every one of you.

Thank you to everyone who reached out to us, to everyone invested enough in the Summit to hold us accountable, and those of you who have offered to work with us to make the Summit even better moving forward. We are very grateful to you all.

Ricci Joy Levy

President, Woodhull Freedom Foundation

I have more to say on this topic and what is going on around it, but I’ll be doing so as Crista and not as WoodhullCrista.

That being said, it’s 2 am and my brain isn’t at a place where I can articulate my thoughts to the high level this situation demands. Again, if you have questions, comments or want to say something you can do so with or without your name via my Contact page or Reminder; You Can Reach Out to Me Anonymously.

Reminder – You Can Reach Out to Me Anonymously

Reminder - Always be a Unicorn

Reminder Always be a Unicorn

Reminder – I’m approachable & now with greater anonymity.

Over many years I have often heard that I am intimidating. Personally, I believe that is societal programming that makes people uncomfortable with outspoken or opinionated women, not about me the person. Unless you’re aggressively violating my boundaries, abusing my kids or making toxic sex toys – I’m a really friendly & approachable person. Mostly because I like people. One of the reasons I do this work is because the way sexuality is expressed person to person fascinates me. An expression or manifestation may not be my thing or squick part of me, but I am still deeply interested in the how and why.

I like people. A rarity for an introvert, but here I am.

Recently I have flirted with the idea of bringing back comments to this site to be more interactive with my readers as I get back to writing regularly. Quickly I was reminded by many why I disabled them in the first place, that moderation does not bring joy, and I’d probably disable them again within days. Why waste the time?

What I’ve decided on is this reminder that via my contact page you can reach out to me anon, under a pseudonym or as yourself. I will not post them publicly unless permission is granted or that is the writer’s request.

Reasons you may want to reach out to me:

  • I wrote something that touched or helped you (yay!)
  • You feel I missed something in a post
  • Constructive Criticism (As long as the entire message is not YOU ARE HORRIBLE AND FUCKED ALL THIS UP, I really appreciate constructive crit. Makes me a better human, writer, and educator.)
  • Something you want me to cover
  • You’d like to hire me (Good decision on your part)
  • You’d like me to speak at an event, on your podcast, or interview. (The answer will likely be yes.)
  • You have concerns about places I work with and think that my work could improve. (I am ever evolving, ever improving
  • You’d like to give me large amounts of money so that I can devote my time to writing books, posts, presentations and workshops. (Yes, Please.)
  • There is something you’ve wanted to ask or address but haven’t felt comfortable in the past.

I thrive on feedback and as I am exiting the latest depressive episode, I’m looking to reconnect with you. So please, use my Contact Page or use the form I created below. Reach out and let me know how/if you’d like me to respond.

That people read me is an honor and I appreciate all of you who read, follow, RT and support me. <3

 

Crista Anne of the Glitter – A Selfie Celebration

 

Crista Anne of the Glitter – Selfie Edition

Why the need for a selfie post? Not gonna lie folks, today hasn’t been pleasant. My body hurts in a way that most of you *hopefully* cannot fathom, people are being extra – everything distasteful & wrong – online, life stress, brain fog, and I woke up again to find that no one had charged Trump with treason since I last looked at the news.

There have been bright spots of love, but today still required some long ignored self-care. I’ve not put on makeup in a while, so I covered myself in purple, then a thick layer of glitter, and took selfies. Because I can. Because I love that I can change my outward appearance at will to match either my inner self or who I want the world to see.

This is a little of both.

It worked too, I’m feeling better about myself, my ability to control my life, and comfortable in my skin. Makeup can be magic.

Greetings internets, I am Crista Anne and I’m super pretty.

Adventures with OKCupid, here is to hoping that okc has improved..

Subheading: Why am I doing this, I don’t actively hate myself…

Over the weekend I reactivated my okc account (tehpinkness) after a two-year hiatus. Deactivated my account when the madness was kicking into high gear and I truly could not even with people anymore. Then, unable to sleep a few nights ago, my brain decided it would be a fun, or at least interesting, experience to log back in and see who was on these days.

OKC is the worst…

It is and it isn’t. Over the incredibly long time I’ve used the site the quality of folx has significantly decreased, but I’m not entirely sure that is just okc and not everywhere. Internet discourse has circled the drain over that period of time, and after a decade on twitter, I expect the worst from strange dudes. Between those ignorant, absurd, creepy and just foul messages? Between them, I have found some of my most treasured people there. I found V on okc late one night and instantly knew we were similar. That I needed to know them. Years ago I met a cute comic book nerd named Ian, who is my favorite ex and someone I love dearly to this day. Many of my best, longest lasting friendships with too many people to name started off as okc matches. So, I wade through the swamp until I find someone(s) magical.

I found V on okc late one night and instantly knew we were similar. That I needed to know them. Years ago I met a cute comic book nerd named Ian, who is my favorite ex and someone I love dearly to this day. Many of my best, longest lasting friendships with too many people to name started off as okc matches. So, I wade through the swamp until I find someone(s) magical.

Life is changing. I have more freedom, more control over my life and schedule, I am starting to have the ability to have friends again. Friends who we connect over more than the fact that we grew little people at roughly the same time and are not sanctimonious about it. It is within the realm of possibility that I could have a social life again. (Though I barely remember what that is like.)

Because there has to be more than this boat I’m in…

As a verbose motherfucker, my profile is long even though I know 96% of people won’t read it. Being able to tell someone to read my profile, I’ve answered that already, is easier than repeating myself. It also weeds out those who are too lazy to read what I have to say and thus are not someone I have an interest in knowing.

This is the profile picture I’m using ATM. I like that it’s me, and me not smiling.

A few days in and I have a bit to report. My highest matches are folx I already know across the country, a few that I’ve already dated. Dudes who have no business talking to or hitting on me continue to be creepy. Oh, to have the natural confidence of the mediocre white man on okc.

This time on okc I’ve gotten fewer dick pics, and a lot more demands for education because they don’t want to google. So, I will take the time to educate them, but that education will come with an invoice because my time and expertise aren’t cheap. Then I’ll slap on an asshole tax when they come back with how wrong I am, how “stupid” they find respecting people who are different from them, or for being condescending.

I am too old, too experienced and too intelligent for that shit.

Using social justice buzzwords without understanding their meaning is a huge red flag that you’re a predator. JSYK.

Here is what I’m on okc for this time around: I’m looking for friends, looking for people I connect with. I am not meeting people right away, not meeting them until I feel comfortable they aren’t a waste of my time. This has been another great filter for who I don’t want as some dudes demand meeting that night and get threatening when I repeat the already stated boundary. This happens on my schedule or not at all.

I’m looking for people who share my ideas, my passions, who are also willing to fight. I want somebody who isn’t afraid of me or anyone else, in other words, I’m looking for someone who isn’t afraid of themselves. (Ani lyrics abound in this post) For people who expand my world view, who bring new thoughts to the table. Who make me laugh.

If I find these people or person and the connection moves to something more? That’s wonderful. I’d love that. I’d love a FWB or casual romantic relationship. My life is too full for me to be able to devote the time and energy into a full blown new relationship, but if one organically grows? That would be wonderful.

Would love more fierce femmes in my life. People who make me feel safe.

Basically, listen to Ani’s “Asking Too Much” and you’ve got it.

Will I find anyone before the creepers frustrate me into deactivation? We’ll see, but a Crista can hope. At the very least I expect blog fodder as I state repeatedly that I will name and shame those who egregiously cross lines.

My pain is not polished.

This post was written in October, 2016 – when I was positive we’d have Madam President right now and the “Grab em by the Pussy” tape had just leaked. On this day of protests, strikes, backlash, dudes being absurd man babies because something isn’t about them, and that this horrible monster is president, I’m reposting the piece in full, but you can see the orginal Medium post here.

No, I am not done yet. Nowhere near done.

I am going to continue to dump my intense fury, very raw pain and oh my stars y’all. The disillusionment. I *knew* that sexism would crawl out from under rocks like racism did with President Obama, I’ve been steeling myself for it. Assumed that as I interact with MRAs I’d be ahead of the curve.

I did not see being gaslighted by a large portion of my government, elected officials, writers I once respected, the nominee of the Republican party. I do not use the term gaslighting lightly either. (Few people I know do, but I know I’m facing the trope of the liberal feminist killjoy.) Since Friday I have been yelling at my screens, tweeting at people pleading to stop using victim blaming framing… Read More

Over your shit.

#ADayWithoutAWoman on Ethical Misandry

I’ve started an experiment over the last year, putting more of my angry feminist killjoy over on EthicalMisandry.com / @EthicalMisandry. While the blog is still sparse, the twitter account is quite active and has been a major release / form of self-care in giving way less fucks.

#ADayWithoutAWoman / #WomensStrike

This day, this strike, is a swirling mess of emotions within me – most of which I cannot quantify. These words needed out before I could sleep though, so here is a snippet of the post:

Frankly, it’s weight on my heart. Wee feminist me is still in there, and she wants to walk off anyway.  Go quiet, maybe write all day, and not talk to a single goddamn cis dude for 24 glorious hours.

Okay, that last bit holds for grown me too. I’ve become a lot happier since embracing #FeministKilljoy, #Misandrist & #Ethical Misandrist. I’d love to go 24 hours without hearing a goddamn word out of a single fucking self-described male feminist. That’d make my fucking year.     

Read the rest at EthicalMisandry

There is a lot for me to unpack here, I’m hoping that quantifiable language will come to me before it the day is over. For now?

For now I wear red.

#ADaywithoutAWoman

This is one of the only red items of clothing I own.

Happy VDay – I Have A Concussion

Photo Credit Erin Nicole Metcalf

Happy Valentines Day!

Part of getting better has been deep cleaning our home, as depression robs the desire to do more than the basics for me, so I have a long list of those bullshit cleaning tasks like cleaning baseboards and the darkest corners of the kitchen. A huge one was cleaning and mopping the kitchen floor. Which I did! To celebrate that accomplishment, I moved too fast, my feet slid out from under me, and I went full speed into the wall. My skull met the beautiful wooden door frame, and I now have my first concussion.

Don’t tell anyone I’m posting. I’m supposed to be “resting my brain.”

I’m resting, I swear. Kinda.

HOW THE FUCK DO YOU REST YOUR BRAIN WHEN TRUMP IS PRESIDENT!?!?!

Asking the goddamn impossible.

Though my brain is starting to feel like it’s on fire again, so this post is going to be short. Don’t want it to be short because holy fuck do I have words about what is happening in the world, but oh yeah, this hurts.

I’m pushing through my concussion kitty-ness to be sweet to my loves. Y’all know who you are and y’all know I love you today and every day. <3

No really, I got married dressed as a rainbow unicorn. LIKE A BOSS

To My Partner-In-Everything, XVO, I pick you. I choose this life. Each and every day. Life has been impossibly cruel; life has pushed every painful button, life has tested us in ways that are unimaginable to most others. We’re still here, though; we’ve made it through tests that I wouldn’t have made it through with anyone else.

I still look over and think you’re the sexiest human alive as you pick your nose. You’re just as enticing, fascinating, and breathtaking as you were all those years ago at the bridge. When you climbed my balcony and gave me That Grin.

No one else understands me as you do, and I couldn’t – wouldn’t – be able to be this unabashedly, shamelessly me, in any other life. I love you. So much.

To everyone who reads this post, I adore you. Even the folks who are reading this to mock. I adore each and every person who takes the time to read my words. Happy Valentines Day to all of you.

Now celebrate with some self-love, for Valentine’s Day needs masturbation as part of the celebrations.

 

Product Highlight: Fun Factory Stronic Eins

Overall, I do not review sex toys. There are so many brilliant bloggers who have every side and aspect of toy reviewing covered – I don’t feel that my voice is desperately needed in those conversations. That being said, after a dozen years in sex toy retail and marketing, I will always have an evangelical love of these products. So, this is not a traditional review. This is me geeking out and loving this product – as well as the company that was wonderful enough to send it to me – Vibrant.

 

While I was on my extended hiatus it was impossible for me to disengage from the wonderful world of sexual products completely, I’ve been thrilled to see that body safe and well-made products have moved to the forefront of bloggers, consumers and manufacturers priorities. I’ve been thrilled to see products hit the market beyond the basics. I’ve been very interested in checking out this product, Fun Factory’s Stronic Enis, especially. We’re all well versed on my deep love of deep and powerful vibration, the idea of deep thrusting action had captured my imagination. Even if it didn’t completely do it for me – I had kept an eye out for a chance that an Enis could appear on my doorstep. Vibrant stepped up to make my dream come true!

 

This picture turns me on

Sex Blogger Failure on my part – I did not photograph the unboxing – and I really should have because even the shipping packaging was elegant. (So elegant I needed to email them to express my appreciation.) Vibrant’s shipping was completely discrete; then you opened the box to find the products well packed with tissue paper wrapping with a Vibrant sticker keeping the paper together. So, should you start to open your box of treasures and suddenly there are prying eyes? The extra step of discretion. This extra step shows how much the folks at Vibrant care about the products they are shipping and your privacy once you receive your order. Did shipping and packaging deserve a full paragraph here? Yes.

Did shipping and packaging deserve a full paragraph here? Yes.

Yes.

Those steps of extra care and respect are everything to me. You can now get quality products at many beautiful places, these additional steps of care and respect? That adds to my brand loyalty before I even get to excitedly open my beautiful new product.

As you’ll see, this pillow is incredibly important to me. Also, I remembered that pictures were part of this job. Oops.

I’ve always loved Fun Factory’s packaging. Working sex toy retail they were one of my favorite brands to merchandise because they stood out from what was the standard at the time (’04ish) all porn models, all the time. Fun Factory’s packaging invites the user in..

Simple. Fun. Easy to slide open – which is a huge benefit for those of us who have trouble with pain, shaking, or range of motion with our hands. From there it is all laid out – fun instruction manual, Stronic Eins itself, and adorable red USB charger. Overall the box is sturdy enough to use for storage, something else that is rather important to me as a consumer.

Out of the box and in my hands, I’m already happy. Nothing about it feels cheap; it has a reasonable heft that I enjoy. If I spend a fair amount of money on a product, I want it to feel sturdy right out of the box, and this gives me that sensation. (Note: I’ve held tens of thousands of sex toys in my lifetime, at this point I have an extra sense of quality from the first touch. You may not care about this nearly as much.)

The silicone end of the toy feels, smells and tastes as it should as body safe silicone. (Yes, I said tastes. I licked the top before using as I’ve had tongue tingling or numbness from faux “silicone” product.) There are no rough seams, nowhere does it feel that the silicone has any imperfections that will catch or pull painfully when used internally.

I love how sleek this looks while still having a touch of texture.

My Stronic Eins arrived with a full charge that lasted through a good 30 minutes of my playing around with the buttons, patterns, thrusting action before any sexual use. I will admit that I did not put the Eins through its paces. Pain levels and life only allowed for a few sessions, enough for me to feel comfortable putting my name on a positive review and recommending it to friends. This new configuration of my life does not allow for anywhere near enough masturbation time, another reason I am not a Professional Reviewer.

In use? At first, I giggled a bit as I found the intensity level I wanted to start with and the Eins looked like it was thrusting its way towards my vulva as if it couldn’t wait to dive in. (No worries Eins, lots of folks feel that way too.) As a mainly clitoral stimulation person, that’s where we started out. Sensitivity to my clitoris and outer labia has returned from the #OrgasmQuest days, using the tip on my clitoral hood was a sensation I’d not had from a sex toy before and gave me a surprisingly quick orgasm off the bat. (Remember: my baseline is that of being easily orgasmic, which is where my body is now.)

If I bless something with my rainbows, you know I mean it

Internally, in concert with the Sutil water-based body glide that feels on the thicker side of water-based lubes, the Stronic Eins is fun. It’s the first product with patterned stimulation that didn’t make me furious. Though some were more odd twitch and others were “Oh, hey, yeah – that’s…yeah..okay..we can work with this..” before working me towards an orgasm. Towards, but without external clitoral stimulation, I was unable to hit orgasmic. Now? You pair the Eins with a flipping Rechargeable Magic Wand?

My eyes started rolling back in my head from memory alone.

Yes, Let’s talk about sex, please. Also – adorable lube!

Yes! Let’s talk about sex. Thank You Vibrant Sticker! Mainly – who should pick up a Stronic Eins and who should probably keep shopping.

Plenty of my #BlogSquad friends had negative feels about this product; I do not. Certainly isn’t for everyone, but very few toys reach that kind of quality of design *cough* Pure Wand *cough* that almost everyone finds pleasure with the product. This is an investment in pleasure product in my mind, something that I’d show to experienced sex toy and vibrator connoisseur. Someone who is looking for something different regarding internal stimulation, someone who has a G-Spot that is easy to hit and enjoys repeated pressure as much as or over vibration. Someone who enjoys the patterned stimulation, or is at least open to giving the pattern a try.

You might want to keep shopping if you’re someone who is just starting their collection and do not have something for extra external vibration/stimulation. If a luxe product is beyond your budget or this is your first luxe sex toy because people’s responses with the Eins is so varied. I want you to get all the bang for your buck.

Quick Wrap-Up: The Stronic Eins is waterproof, rechargeable with a click charge and USB cord, offers a pulsing, thrusting sensation instead of vibration, is made of body safe silicone, easy to clean with a warm washcloth and mild soap, and is a sex toy that both amuses and pleasures me. Vibrant has a beautiful and easy to comprehend run down of the features on their beautifully designed site.

Thank you to my loves at Vibrant for sending me this wonderful toy that will be a regular part of my personal sex life. You’ll be hearing a lot more about this new company from me from here on out.

 

 

 

 

Holy Shit This is Personal

I’ve been posting again, as you’ve probably noticed. Trying to get my words back, trying to get back into the particular personal mindset that used to be so natural to me as a Professional Oversharer. It’s hard. It’s so much harder than I thought. To be fully and painfully honest – I’ve been utterly unreliable with writing. For a bit, flat out cannot do it. My mind says “Of course you can write that – it’s a blog post you could do in your sleep.” Which is mostly true, my experience with writing simple blog posts is so vast I should and could do basics in my sleep.

The problem is that when I start to get into sex blogging – reviewing, writing out basic tips and tricks, talking about my sexuality – PTSD kicks my ass. As I type, my brain goes “Are these words going to end up in court again? Is this the review that is entered into evidence of you being unfit? How will this be used against me?” 

By the time my brain hits that last line, I’m sobbing at my computer until I close it and then put my head on it to cry more. (I didn’t use to be a crier, but the last two years have changed me so much.) It’s hard to face that one of the things you love most, that a skill and tool that used to be so healing and freeing now fills me with pain, dread, fear and panic.

My loves at Vibrant – a new company that I am so in love with and so euphoric to support alongside the other folks who are Doing It Right – have been beyond kind and patient with me. I’ve been writing a very simple product highlight for almost two weeks. Taking so long because I have to stop and cry. Stop and calm the panic down. Stop and remind myself where I am in my timeline. That it is okay, I can do this again, that period is over.

You can be you again. You can be opinionated and openly sexual. You can write and share and be vulnerable again.

The next tab over is the Product Highlight that’s done, editing it now, crying. Writing this stream of conscious post about how scared and panicked I am is somehow far less scary. Putting up this picture of me crying, because I want to be vulnerable and soft online again – is far less scary. The last two years hurt me, but I am going to push through and get this back. Because I need this. I need to be able to do and write posts, reviews, sexuality rants. That is all part of my core now.

Just gotta cry it out first.

Crying Crista, being vulnerable again

Getting better is really hard. Really, Really Hard.