Saturday, 31 August 2013

Unpopular Opinions- What is Jamie Oliver missing in his discussion of obesity and poverty?

A fucking lot! In fact the whole media is moralising about parents and weight whilst...well, not really knowing very much.

So you might have heard Jamie Oliver's comments about mothers letting their children eat cheesey chips (the devil's starchy snack) in front of a 'massive' TV. Queue liberal media producing lots of 'fat is bad but um, like poverty' articles. So, as I sit here, an obese woman, claiming benefits, writing this post from my council flat please try and suspend the absolute disgust you must feel towards me for saying- hey Jamie, shadafackap.

Now here are some points missing within the discussion on poverty an obesity-

1. Jamie Oliver is a wealthy man. Just gunna put this out there. He's not a single mother who works a full time job for 20% less than her male counterpart and then goes home to take care of her child. His children are privately educated and have two parents. He is celebrity and a chef. He can afford child care and healthy food not only that but his career allows him time to plan meals and work out their nutritional value.

2. When people are on a lower income they tend to 'stock up' on food that will last. Fresh fruit and veg isn't available geographically or financally to everyone. Also, a lot of food chefs make is high in fat, but cheesey chips is a notably working class kinda meal isn't it? So the problem isn't gormet burgers drenched in oil and creamy sauce with a side of whatever the fuck you do to your potatoes.

3. Um, it might come as a BIG surprise to you (liberal media) but not all fat people are unhealthy. I mean if we examine the 'Obesity epidemic' in America then we can see that people may be bigger, but not that much bigger. The W.H.O says that overweight people 'may' suffer from health problems caused by weight. Not will. Not do. May. And you being slim doesn't qualify you to tell them how to live.

4. Food isn't the only reason people are fat. We work longer hours than we did fifty years ago, we sleep less. That means more stress (that can mean weight gain). And sleeping less can cause weight gain too. So when people use 'health' as a way to concern troll fat people, it makes me think their concern is more about shaming people otherwise they would talk about the whole picture.

5. Poor people are allowed to have massive TVs. If people on benefits want to spend ALL their money on nachos and DVDs to watch on said massive TV, they can. It's no one's job to tell them otherwise. And before anyone starts on 'but my tax money'. No. Your taxes go on roads too, are you going to shout at people use them? Your taxes go on supporting imperialist interventions and paying MPs to fuck you over, but no, wait, someone ate a plate of fucking cheesey chips. Let's not try and lower the price of healthy food, let's not try and get ready meals that are healthier, nah, let's just cry about some poor, fat people eating cheesey bastard chips.

What the comments and the coverage shows is that people aren't really too arsed about improving life for anyone. They want to moralise about people being fat or poor or eating cheesey chips or having TVs.
Boring classism. Boring body elitism. Boring liberal media and boring Jamie Oliver with his boring, shallow opinions.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

To Russia with Love

(If you wish to add your name to this letter please email Please put the subject of your email as 'Russia Letter' and include your name as you would like it to appear in the body of your email.)

We, the undersigned, wish to extend our steadfast solidarity to those suffering under and fighting against the oppressive 'homosexual propaganda' law in Russia. As a community we believe the radical history of our movement shows that change is possible and we remain dedicated to working towards this change.

Many media outlets have reported that the LGBT community is simply concerned about this law as a threat to our athletes. Whilst we do worry for all those travelling to Russia, this is not the whole story. We feel this coverage provides only a superficial insight into our concerns and neglects to recognise our other alignment. Our alignment is to those trodden on by these laws everyday, those who live with the marginalisation and fear bred and normalised by this legislation. It is you, our LGBT siblings in Russia to whom we send our love and support.

To Putin, to each of the four hundred and thirty six individuals who voted through this law we say; your deeds will not be forgotten. The world is watching as you legitimise the oppression of millions of your citizens. For individuals such as yourself who occupy a privileged position in society, you cannot understand the strength found in shared struggle. The link between LGBT people will not be stopped by legislative boundaries, borders or language barriers. You cannot hope to contain it. This link will exist until true liberation of all oppressed groups is achieved.

When you make freedom to talk about identity illegal, when you arrest our siblings for their trans* status and sexuality; we see the nature of the society you wish to build. A society in which the suffering of LGBT people is deepened and celebrated. A society that does not allow people to fight for liberation. You wish to maintain a world where neo-Nazis can beat a woman for being transgender without arrest but Pride marches are attacked by police. A society where young people are 'protected' from healthy and inclusive discussions about sexuality and gender, and so are taught to supress and despise their own. It is a society where 'traditional family values' is code for regressive attacks on groups of your choosing. We find your actions vile and unjust. And we refuse to stay silent. When you attack any of the LGBT community, you attack us all. When you deny people the right to fight for their own liberation you only strengthen the empathy shown to them by people who share their struggle, around the world.

To our LGBT siblings in Russia; know that when you march against injustice the spirit of our movement is carried with you. When you are erased by bigotry know that we see you. Within each continent, every country, city, town, there are LGBT people who struggle to fight against the particular discrimination of their government. We believe that we have more in common through this struggle than with those who run our countries.

Let us offer you our strength where yours may falter. Let us offer you our hands to help when yours are tied by institutional  homophobia and transphobia. Should you wish us to boycott the winter Olympics we will. If you want us to march in the streets we will. Should you wish us to publicise the atrocities visited upon you by the Russian government, to speak the names of those killed and detained, to keep their struggle alive; we shall.

Our message to you is simple- we see your struggle, we stand with you and we await your reply.

In solidarity,

В РОССИЮ С ЛЮБОВЬЮ Мы, нижеподписавшиеся, хотели бы выразить нашу непоколебимую солидарность с теми людьми, кто страдает от деспотического закона о запрете так называемой “пропаганды гомосексуализма” в России и борется с ним. Являясь единым сообществом, мы верим в то, что история нашего движения, наполненная событиями, радикально изменившими ход общей истории, показывает нам, что перемены возможны, и мы продолжим целенаправленно двигаться к этой цели. Многие средства массовой информации утверждали, что сообщество ЛГБТ волнуется по поводу этого закона лишь потому, что он представляет собой угрозу нашим атлетам. И хотя мы на самом деле беспокоимся за всех тех людей, которые приезжают в Россию в качестве туристов, это не полностью отражает ситуацию. Мы полагаем, что освещение событий именно в таком ключе является лишь поверхностным пониманием наших забот и игнорирует наши идеи объединения с такими же людьми, как мы, только притесняемые подобными законами ежедневно, живущими в условиях маргинализации и страха, порождаемого подобными законами, страха, который таким образом превращается в обыденность. Это вам, наши ЛГБТ- братья и сестры в России, передаем мы наш привет и выражаем поддержку. Путину и каждому из всех четырех сотен тридцати шести человек, которые проголосовали за этот закон, мы говорим: ваши поступки забыты не будут. Мир следит за тем, как вы легитимизируете угнетение миллионов ваших граждан. Являясь людьми, занимающими превилегированное положение в обществе, вы не сможете понять ту силу, которая возникает и объединяет нас в общей борьбе. Связи между ЛГБТ не будут прерваны законодательными барьерами, границами или языковыми препятствиями. Вы не сможете нас сдержать, как ни надейтесь. Эта связь не прервется до того момента, пока не станут по-настоящему свободными все угнетаемые люди. Когда вы даете себе свободу говорить о том, что какое-то самовосприятие является незаконным, когда арестовываете наших братьев и сестер за их транс-сознание и сексуальность, мы видим, какое на самом деле общество вы хотите построить. Общество, в котором страдания ЛГБТ становится еще более сильным и резонансным. Общество, которое не дает людям возможность бороться за свободу. Вы хотите жить в мире, в котором неонацисты могут избить женщину за то, что она трансгендер, и оставить их безнаказанными, а шествия ЛГБТ подавляются полицией. Общество, в котором дети “защищены” от трезвого и всестороннего разговора о вопросах сексуальности и пола, в котором их учат подавлять и прятать собственную сексуальность. Общество, в котором “традиционные семейные ценности” являются правилом, позволяющим совершать агрессивные нападки на группы людей по вашему собственному усмотрению. Мы считаем ваши действия подлыми и несправедливыми. Мы не будем молчать. Когда вы нападаете на какую-то группу ЛГБТ, вы выступаете против нас всех. Когда вы отказываете человеку в праве на борьбу за свою свободу, вы лишь увеличиваете чувство сопереживания со стороны людей, которые участвуют в такой же борьбе по всему миру. Нашим ЛГБТ-братьям и сестрам в России: помните, что когда вы выходите на улицу в борьбе против несправедливости, наше движение тоже не забывает о вас. Когда вас исключают из общества проявлениями нетерпимости, мы видим вас. На каждом континенте, в каждой стране, городе, селении есть ЛГБТ, которые борются против дискриминации со стороны властей. Мы верим, что у нас гораздо больше общего благодаря этой борьбе, чем у тех, кто руководит нашими странами. Хотим выразить нашу поддержку всем, кому её не хватает. Хотим подать руку всем, чьи собственные руки связаны узаконенной гомофобией и трансофобией. Если вы хотите, чтобы мы бойкотировали зимние Олимпийские игры, мы сделаем это. Если вы хотите, чтобы мы вышли на улицу, мы сделаем это. Если вы хотите, чтобы мы предали известности те зверства, которые совершает в отношении вас российская власть, предать гласности имена всех, кто был убит и брошен в тюрьму, чтобы поддержать их в этой борьбе, мы сделаем это. Мы хотим донести до вас простую мысль: мы видим вашу борьбу, мы рядом с вами и ждем вашего ответа. Выражая нашу солидарность,


Jacques Gonseaux

Tom Mycock, Unite rep, Leicester

Matt T

Tom McCarthy

Mx Geo Leonard

Morgan Millicheap

Jenny Hacket

Sky Yarlett

Yolly Chegwidden, NUS LGBT Committee

Clare B

Dave Sherbert

Rhodri Roberts

Francesca Pirovano

Amy Addison Dunne

Dan Stone

Becca Dye


Dan Conama

Logan Lawson

Morgan Hale

Caroline Leneghan

Alex Louise Wheller

K. Pearse, Liberation Officer at Warwickshire College (Lemington) SU

Kier. A. Sinclair

Senora Nicola Skotudoodah

Lynn- D Fletcher

Lea Howard

Sarah Noble

Emily Rae Fowler

Andi Herring

Matthew S

Naomi B

Rachel Smith

Charley Hasted

K. Marsden

Josh Davies

Rhiannon Lowton

Anna Cat

Martyn Price

Rosie Huzzard NUS NEC, NCAFC NC and PCS DWP Sheffield Young Members Officer

Aaron Booth

Kaylan Hughes

Nick Fischer

Jo Smith

L. Webb

Dan Fahey (Committee for Workers' International)

Rob Young

Sarah Lynn

Lani Baird

Alison Stevenson

Liat Norris

Fran Cowling, NUS LGBT Committee

Shian Streadwick-Augustine-Cain

Elliott Marshall, LIV.FAST Network

Claire Hornby

Michael Stickland

Chua Zhong Xian

Rachel Ivens

Felicity Dowling

Codie Louise Austin

Stephen J. Wright

Matthew Smith

Osman Bhatti

Sarah K

Tina Rawr, Equal Rights

Alex Prestage

Nyssa Blakeley

Gareth Kirman

Kris Bailey

Emma-Jane Samworth

Amelia Bradley-Newby


Emma Pooka

Trish Clinton NUS LGBT Committee Bi* Rep

Aura Willow Hazel

Daria Hopwood

Friday, 23 August 2013

What would your sex map look like?

Newsflash- diverse language to describe sexual preferences isn't limited to the queer community. Who'd have thought it?! Well, a lot of people actually.

In the world of queer I'm used to the discourse of sex. We have a wide and ever expanding set of terms we used to specicfy, negotiate and demonstrate how, who, why, where, what. (E.g. stone femme, stone butch, top, bottom, switch, pillow queen, spaghetti, barebacking, scissoring, rimming and on and on).

And why do we have this jargon? Well it's because we understand that sex isn't simply a do or don't. There's no formula, no plan, no rules to how someone can experience pleasure. The language is amazing and serves a really important purpose. Through it we can understand our friends, ourselves and our sexual partners' needs, wants and boundaries.

But is there a better way to communicate this? Would a diagram help? A nice little up front visual representation of the 'want will won't' system? A sex map!?

In an interview with Seattle Psychology Allena Gabosch stated that human sexuality is a 'globe'. That really struck me, it's an excellent metaphor. And it means we can all 'explore' (if we wish) the varied lands of sexuality, sexual preference and fetish/kink.

I didn't really think about this much more until I noticed (on a few OK Cupid profiles) links to a particular website where you can map your experiences, desires and boundaries. People had theirs right out there for prospective dates to see. And though obviously, open communication between sexual partners will never be replaced, the kink map could prosper where ego and sexual shame prevents communication.

Now, this version definitely isn't perfect. It only details kink and some of the acts it has on it are pretty gimmicky. And some I'd never heard of, for instance 'the jelly donut'. But it's a start. I'd love to see a version of this that takes into account not only fetish, but sexuality and relationships. There are some things I think shouldn't be on the map too, for instance the island of non-consent? (I'm not talking about agreeing to forgo consent and having a safe word). Non-consent isn't sex for any person involved.

That aside, the concept of the Human Sex Map is excellent. And it really demonstrates how diverse sexuality and sexual preference is. But would you be willing make yours public?

(If you have any queries, suggestions or funny pictures of cats please get in touch via facebook or by emailing me

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

(Belated) Sexy Sunday- Sex Positive Profile- Xander Prestage

1. Name- Xander Prestage

2. Occupation- Student

3. How do you self-define?-
Queer, PanHomoAsexyMess

4. What does the word sex mean to you?-
Straight in at the deep end! For me sex is a connection shared between people, using their bodies. I like to keep the whole concept as loose and fluid as I can because each time I have sex it is so individual and unique.

5. What does the sex positive movement mean to you?-
Being sex positive, for me, means not being shamed into silence. It means promoting a healthy discourse between partners, parents, children and friends, refusing to acknowledge that sex happens and the massively diverse range of emotions and consequences it brings to people's lives is a mistake.

6. Quick Fire
Sweet or savoury-I'm a starters kind of guy, savoury.
Book or film-BOOK!
Rainbow or glitter-Tasteful Rainbow.
Unicorns or dinasours-Dinosaurs, I think.
The Smiths or The Clash-Emotions vs Angst? Ahhh can't choose.
Lights on or off-Mood lights, fuck yeah.
Candles or fairy lights-Fairy lights, round the headboard (see above ;) )
Cuddles or love letters-Cuddles
Porn or literotica-oooooh, morally and politically erotica, realistically - 'good' porn
Online dating or set ups-Set me up!
Cats or dogs-Not even a competition, caaats
Spongebob or tigger-Tigger, just for the tail.

7. What's your favourite sex posi resource?- My favourite resource has to be Laci Green's YouTube channel. She presents a range of issues in a really well delivered way. I see her channel as a gateway to sex positive resources. My favourite video of hers is probably her discussion of virginity as a social construct.

8. Your perfect date? (If money were no object)-
Mine is cheap as chips anyway! Never mind the money. It has to be a night round an open fire in the woods, blankets and all the other relevant panoply. Then adjourning into a canvas tent for cuddles.

9. What was your sex ed like in school? Good points/bad points? Marks out of 10?-
Ha! Urm, all I can remember is drawing penises and labeling them, although we did one interesting, if nothing else, activity - washing line up, classmates take it in turns to place gestures or friendship/relationship on the washing line with stranger at one end and life partner at the other. Then have the class break out laughing when handjobs gets put closer to the stranger end than shaking hands... sadly it wasn't so and I shook far more hands than I got handjobs throughout my school career. 4/10

10. What's your wildest sexual experience?-
Threesome happened, MMM. WILD NIGHT.

11. At what age did you start masturbating?-
Urrrrrm, I was a late bloomer and this actually was a pretty big source of anxiety for me. I didn't hit puberty whilst other guys had to shave daily. 15?

12. What are your political views?-
Anarcho-Socialist sort of thing.

13. Who is your sex idol?-
Hmmm, Jake Bass - Porn Star. Get's to know his scene partners for a couple of days, is always safe, bit of an alternative look with the tattoos and plugs, and the gifs on tumblr...

Love to-Aggressivley kiss.
Sometimes will- Rim.
Uncomfortable with- Fisting.

15. What is your sex motto?-
I don't know if I have one set in stone really, I just like to enjoy myself. If you can't laugh about the sex you are having you probably aren't ready to be having it.

16. What is your true passion in life?-
People, I love people. As cliche and vapid as it sounds. I study linguistics and I love the Sociolinguistics, the study of language and society does stuff to me. If you can talk good language and gender theory you may as well kiss me now.

17. You send one sex positive message out into the word in 7 words, what is it?-
"Porn is not a healthy representation of sex"

18. Do you believe everyone has a kink? If so what's yours?-
I don't really know to be honest, I'm pretty vanilla. I like a bit of biting and gentle scratching, although have had some more vigorous experiences (not complaining at all!). Also, showersex; yes please.

19. How do you define you relationship status at the moment?-
Hmmmm, a monogamous work in progress? It's a really hard one to define for me.

20. Where can we see more of you?-

(I'm hoping to run a sex positive profile each Sunday to give sex positive activists a chance to talk about themselves and offer networking opportunities and have fun with nice people.

LGBT News in the last 7 days

So I'm trying out a few different ideas on here this week. One of them is a round-up of news on certain topics from the last seven days. Let me know what you think; do you like this format? Would you prefer more insight into the stories? Have I missed any news you think should be here? You can either contact me on facebook, comment on this blog or email me

1. Section 28 Returns in Academies
It emerges this week that several academies have retained or adopted policy to 'ban the prommotion of homosexuality in classrooms' in the style of Section 28. The '80s called- they want their regressive legislation back.

2. Athletes Kiss in Protest to Russia's Anti-LGBT Law
Yeah, fuck you, Putin.

3. People in Northern Ireland join activists around the world in protesting Russia's law

4. and the Miss World host quits over it, too.

5. Radio host thinks 'The Gays' and their insistence on human rights is oppressive.
I fully believe that with a bottle of this woman's tears, the rainbow flag and the right incantation; I could summon an army of Aggressive Homosexuals.

6. The Mysterious Case of Nikoli Alekseev
The facebook account of a prominent LGBT activist in Russia was vanished after some uncharacteristic statuses and some strange and worring pictures were posted on it.

7. (Massive trigger warning for transphobia and violence) A Russian transwoman is stripped and beaten in public.
Horrific story, horrific incident, beware that images are included in this article.

8. Queerfest in Canada
Looks pretty awesome. The article has a comment section at the bottom with one phobic contribution. Sigh.

9.Puerto Rico takes steps forward in LGBT inclusion
You Go Glen CoCo.

10. Gay Porn company to give all profits to help the LGBT community

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Sexy Sunday- Communication and Negotiation Resources for Sex & BDSM.

So lately I've been thinking about sex and BDSM and why the two are so massively misrepresented in the mainstream media. Sex is either not spoken about or taken as something to be 'performed well'. Kink and BDSM get a worse deal, either being represented as something only engaged in by people who are in some way emotionally unhealthy (show me a person who is wholly emotionally healthy? Like, come on!) or worse yet, it's depicted as a '50 Shades of Grey' nightmare. Don't get me wrong, I understand that dubious consent is A Thing in kink erotic literature, where we have the narrative view of each characters' secret desires (still problematic in cases), but that's not BDSM.

Anyhoo, what seems to be missing in the dialogue on sex is the idea of negotiation. (Sex isn't just going to be perfect and awesome the first time without any verbal communication.) And what the kink and sex positive community do really well is; communicate and negotiate.

When I talk about negotiation I don't mean 'How can I get my partner(s) to do a thing they hate?'. I mean outlining and navigating a space where all those participating feel comfortable enough to engage and recognising that this space isn't a permenant fixture. One of the greatest things a person can do for themselves is recognise that sexuality, and sexual tastes can change. Right now you might be a lesbian sadist. If these factors shift or your boundaries move in the next however-many-years-you-live don't be too hard on yourself.

So, today, from the comfort of my bed, whilst wearing possibley the least sexy item ever (a onsie) I'm bringing you some resources. All I ask is that you give them a chance. You may not feel BDSM is relevant to you, and it might not be, but the skills of negotiation and communication are necessary for everyone.
Happy Sunday.

1. The Sex Positive Movement
(A series of videos from Seattle Psychology with the director of Seattle's Center for Sex Positive Culture. There are about seven at 10 minutes(ish) each.) These videos are important, they detail that sex positivity isn't about always being all 'Yay for sex!!' but that it's about understanding. And that sexual shame is not conducive to building healthy relationships with people or sex/kink.

2. Five Golden Rules for BDSM *TW* abuse
(Video less that 10 minutes) Laci Green discusses the difference between BDSM and abuse and outlines five rules that are pretty useful for any activity that requires intimacy or sex.

3. A System for Negotiating Sexual Boundaries
(A video less than 5 minutes) from Sexplanations that details how to negotiate and outines a system for communicating boundaries and interests.

4. Rules and Boundaries
(A short article) on things to be learnt from the sex positive community. This article isn't just about sex but also physical contact and affection with friends. It's only downfall is the continued use of the word 'girls'.

5. Negotiating Sex- Why not to keep quiet
(Video, about 5 minutes) I only found these two recently, but they're brilliant. They answer questions and dispell myths and talk about sex really openly. In this video they talk about the sensitive nature of negotiating sex and how one of them once suffered in silence because of fear of doing so.