Ways to Contribute to Hurricane Relief

photo of a white-passing person's hand holding a pencil against a blank piece of white paper; a brown box is at left middle with white text: "Ways to Contribute to To Hurricane Relief" and "Chronic Sex"

One of my favorite companies, Good Clean Love, is donating part of their sales this month to help Hurricane Harvey survivors:

Good Clean Love is doubling our monthly donation cycle to offer 20% of all our web sales for the months of August and September to help bring food, clothing and hope to those who have lost everything. We are also going to send hundreds of bottles of Balance Wash, and maybe some lube too.

I highly recommend their CaraGold lube with CBD oil in it. You can check out my review here.

Other ways you can help Houston survivors:

Florida (some overlap with above):

People often forget other countries hit by these hurricanes. Let’s not do that.

What you want to do is focus on donating to local charities or those doing grassroots work. The American Red Cross, for instance, does not give the money they receive, either directly or through in-kind donations, to the actual people in need. They’ve even messed up so far for Harvey relief. Likewise, fundraisers on Facebook use a company called Network For Good – which can take months to give the money to the organizations. Other versions of the Red Cross are okay to donate to from what I’ve read.

Last updated Sept 22

Help a Sex Blogger Rebuild from Harvey

Vikki wears a leotard with a ruffly off-shoulder top - she has a pinkish bow in her hair and is also wearing black heels; she is in front of a building with colorful paintings; a purple box has yellow text on top "Help a Sex Blogger Rebuild from Harvey"

Earlier this summer, I stumbled upon Victoria. She blogs at Pretty Pink Lotus Bud. Despite being newer on the scene, she has hosted the Summer 100 Blog Challenge. This helped to bring sex bloggers together in a way where we can talk about rates, issues, blogging, and more.

I didn’t manage my 100 posts over the summer here but have enjoyed taking part.

She’s working so hard to create change and was starting to take off. Then Hurricane Harvey hit. Needless to say, she’s lost so much over the last few weeks.

In order to help Vikki get back on her feet, the amazing Dangerous Lilly has set up a YouCaring page. If you are a sex blogger, educator, or in the industry and donate $25+, both Lilly and Ducky Doolittle will set up a link to your site.

Regardless, Vikki – a single mom with three kids – needs help. Please donate if you can, and share.

Help Tell the World: #PatientsHavePower

Clara Health logo with black text underneath "#PatientsHavePower"

I am proud to announce that we are official participants in the Patients Have Power campaign run by Clara Health (who runs the Breakthrough Crew!).

This campaign is a Boston based initiative aligning the world’s epicenter of healthcare around one message: Patients Have Power. The movement is comprised of patients, caregivers, allies, nurses, doctors, researchers, members of the healthcare workforce and anyone and everyone who believes in patient power all around the world.

I believe patients should be empowered with the knowledge and resources they need to hold the ultimate power in their healthcare journey and are proud to say that we live the mantra: Patients Have Power.

Interested in getting involved? Show your support by participating in the following:

Declare your support: Join our #PatientsHavePower campaign on Twitter. Click to tweet.

Join the Thunder: Add your voice on Thunderclap to help the message spread! Register here.

Twitter Chat: Join the #PatientsHavePower chat on Thursday, September 7 at 3:00 PM EST.

Patients Have Power Signs: On Thursday, September 7 take a picture of yourself holding up a Patients Have Power sign and share on social media.

Nice cream social & card making: Swing by Mother Juice Kendall Square on Thursday, September 7 between 12:00 and 5:00 PM for vegan ice cream and card making for hospital patients. RSVP here.

What BDSM Can Teach The Chronic Illness Community

beige block on left side of square and right side has a photo of a feminine person with a black mask over their eyes and they are sticking their left pointer finger in their mouth, showing off their tongue and simple band on ring finger; on left, beige text in various black text boxes: "What BDSM Can Teach The Chronic Illness Community"; black text at middle "chronic sex"

BDSM (Bondage/Discipline and Dominance/Submission and Sadism/Masochism) winds up being very misunderstood.

People who don’t quite understand the whole scene think all sorts of things about those who are into it – it involves creepy anonymous sex with everyone and abuse, etc. Even health care professionals don’t get it, except some really great ones.

One of the things that many don’t know is how central consent is to the scene.

A LOT of conversation happens around these issues. People discuss sensations, actions, inactions, words, and more. Aftercare, which I’ll touch on later, is also discussed. These negotiations can take a few hours or a few minutes, depending on familiarity with each other, the scene, and other factors. It’s almost always longer when people first start playing together, though.

Checklists to go over what might be on your yes/no/maybe list are plenty and you can check out an example here.

Code words

Code words or safe words are something people usually know about BDSM. A safe word is a way to stop a scene/playtime. This can have varying stages, which is why I’ve written code words here.

You have words that can completely stop and mean we move right to aftercare. You may have words that ask for things to stop and for a check-in. You might also have words that signal you’re having a damn good time. It all depends on the negotiation process and those involved.

I use code words/phrases all the time. In fact, a lot of us do but don’t always call them that. We may say we are out of some unit of energy or running low on battery. When I was able to hike, the hubs and I came up with a term that would signal I needed to turn back. Since we’re history nerds, we used ‘bingo fuel’ which was the point where pilots only had enough fuel to get back to base and needed to turn around.

Even something as simple as saying “It needs to be a pizza night because I can’t cook right now” can be a code phrase.

Aftercare

BDSM can be very emotional, not unlike how some of the chronic illness/disability sexual experiences. Aftercare is a must.

It looks different for everyone but can include treating potential wounds, tea, snuggling, a check-in call the next day, and more.

Interested in learning more?

If you would like to explore what kinks may be right for you, you can take this test or check out the checklist I mentioned above. Before you get into the scene, you may want to check in with education-based sex shops in your area to see if they know of any events or classes. You can create an account on Fetlife to see what might be happening in your area as well.

I highly suggest reading more about BDSM before you get involved, though. It can be really great. Additionally, you may want to visit Lady Sophia, a dominatrix and sex educator in Chicago, who offers classes on various aspects of BDSM.

Peepshow Toys: Summertime Blues Site Wide Sale

Our friends at Peepshow Toys are running a great sale for Labor Day starting today through the 4th.

The more you spend, the more you save!

Use BLUES10 to save $10 off any order over $50.

BLUES15 saves you $15 off orders over $75.

You can save $20 off $100+ orders with BLUES20.

Save $50 off orders over $220 with BLUES50.