I’m really disgusted by the fact that once again, Canada is hunting those adorable baby seals. What is the fucking point? Does anyone really need seal fur that much? I doubt it.
Do your bit to stop it here.

Five Questions With… Josey Vogels

Josey Vogels is the author of the nationally syndicated relationships column My Messy Bedroom and the dating advice column Dating Girl. She has published five books on sex and relationships – the most recent is entitled Bedside Manners: Sex Etiquette Made Easy. Her fourth book, The Secret Language of Girls, has been published in several languages and was made into a documentary. Her website – — is visited by thousands monthly and she is a popular speaking guest at universities and colleges across Canada.
josey vogels
1) I was a little amazed at the ‘revelation’ of She Comes First – considering women have been basically saying the same thing as Ian Kerner (the author of She Comes First) did, for years. Why do you think it took a guy to say it before anyone seemed to listen?
It’s funny, I felt exactly the same way. In fact, this is what I wrote in a column I did about the book: “That Kerner comes off as the Neil Armstrong of oral sex is a little insulting when you consider how many women (several of whom he refers to throughout the book) have been saying for years that intercourse alone doesn’t cut it for the ladies when it comes to orgasm. But the fact that Kerner is on a mission to turn men into enthusiastic cunning linguists like himself is a welcome one. Because, clearly, they aren’t listening to us.”
I think sadly, the fact that it was a man made the mainstream media take notice. It was truly a bizarre thing. I thought it was interesting how though also how Kerner’s language in the book was very “male” which again, might have made it more palatable for a media that likes that kind of male authoritative approach to things.
As I wrote at the time:

She Comes First may have indeed changed the focus from intercourse to oral sex but it’s still all about male performance. Kerner’s just shifted the pressure from the penis to the tongue. He even describes the tongue as the best “tool” for the job.
In fact, at times, with all the references to hoods and shafts and some rather creepy technical illustrations, She Comes First, reads more like a car manual than a guide to becoming a good lover. So while Kerner now describes himself as “happily married and able to make love successfully” (wonder what a good cunnilinguist pulls in these days?), being a “successful” lover isn’t just about having a skillful tongue — though that is, of course, welcome. It’s about knowing how to stimulate a woman’s mind, to make her feel amazing and sexy in bed and out. I’m all for improving your technique. But like a good mechanic, a good lover doesn’t just know how to operate the machinery, he knows how to make it purr.”

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Worried Like This Forever

I’m generally having a problem with the way things are going these days, what with the South Dakota bill and the news that the US Government didn’t only fuck up New Orleans and the other areas that got hit by Katrina at the time but are continuing to fuck it up now, & that Paul McCartney is trying to keep people from beating baby seals to death. It’s the last one that got to me the worst – I mean, didn’t we highlight how barbaric that crap was like 20 years ago? I was almost surprised to find out it’s still happening; I thought Canada was cooler than that. Then Megan delivered the news that increased air travel – accelerated by cheap fares – will eventually guarantee that we can’t see the stars.
I keep hoping we human beings take ourselves out before we wipe out every other species that calls this planet home.
But something Sandy posted made me feel a little better:

I sometimes feel so weighed down by everything that is so wrong, and so bad, about how we humans treat each other and the world.
I worry.
I worry about an all-out, probably nuclear, war between the Muslim world and everyone else. I worry about bird flu. I worry about resistant strains of bacteria (and would everyone PLEASE quit using “anti-bacterial” soap, you’re making the problem worse, and gaining no benefit in the meantime). I worry about overpopulation and food and water supplies. I worry about the crazy rise in the incidence of all types of cancers in our country. I worry about plastics and pesticides and volatile organic compounds. I worry about all the no-money-down mortgages and credit card debt that people are getting into and not out of. I worry about the incredible, collossal amounts of waste in every aspect of our fat American lives. I worry about how stupid and sinister our government is, and how just plain stupid we citizens appear to be. I worry about the dubious role of huge corporations in society. I worry about children whose parents are mean to them. Now too, I worry about the demise of astronomy as we know it. I’m not being facetious. I care about all of this stuff.
My husband even worries about living on the East coast, downwind of all the air pollution in the rest of the country. I don’t go quite that far. But if we moved to the west coast, I’d probably worry about missiles from North Korea.
There’s no automatic healthy dose of “fuckit” attitude in my life anymore, that feeling that used to kick in when the world looked too cruel. All I can do these days is limit the amount of news I take in. (Ah, parenthood. It takes away some humor, for sure; thank God it installs some new kinds as well.)
One thought that eases my mind a bit is that people have worried like this forever… and life continues, and it’s mostly really, really good.

Thanks, Sandy.

Trans for $200, Alex

Tonight “Trans” was a category on Jeopardy, and there wasn’t anything about transvestites or transgender or transsexuals. Trans-Canada things, and Trans-Continentals, but no trans as in gender.
Sometimes I wonder how out of touch I am these days.

Trans Rockers

On Saturday night, after seeing our very own Penny play a gig at Galapagos in Williamsburg, a bunch of us from the MHB Boards went to the Trans Rock Music Explosion at the Bowery Poetry Club.
And there, with a lovely gathering of trans and non-trans alike, a few bands that had trans members (from one to all, depending on the band) they rocked their hearts out. I didn’t get to see all of them, since we weren’t there from the start, but I did get to see Temptress, Vibralux, and Lisa Jackson + Girl Friday.
Temptress were fun, a bar band with three women on guitar, bass, and drums, and an MTF lead singer. (One of my friends commented after they were on that there should be a law about trans bands doing more than one song from Rocky Horror, which – there should be.)
Vibralux came in all the way from Kansas City. They reminded me of the New York Dolls in some ways – at least in terms of makeup application and slutty clothes. But they rocked – I have to give them that much. They had the energy of a midwest band in NYC, amped up with “we’re in New York!” attitude. They were a blast, and their song “Play with Balls” amused me. (The lyrics went something along the lines of “girls aren’t supposed to play with dolls/ no, girls, play with balls!” which was slutty and funny at once.)
But, Lisa Jackson. She is getting a little angrier in her lyrics and stageshow – a turn I like very much – but her older songs, like “Beautiful Freak” and “Fabulously Done” are still close to my heart. (The lyrics to “Fabulously Done” are reprinted as the very last page of My Husband Betty, because I like them so much.) She’s what the trans-movement needs, and it’s almost pathetic that the trans conferences haven’t lined up to book her for every single trans conference in North America. She is a one-woman anthem, a powerful singer, and a great musician. To be honest, – and I don’t say this lightly – Lisa Jackson is the first tranny I’ve ever seen that made me think, “it’s good to be a chick.” Which is no small compliment, coming from me.
Any of these bands are worth checking out, and all of them are worth supporting.
(These events get announced – and people plan to go – via the MHB Boards as well. Folks are free to join us, or at least can come knowing there’ll be a contingent on hand.)

Independence Daze

Yesterday I got an email from a CD up north who had this to say:

I wondered today if you are aware that yesterday (June 28/05) the Canadian federal parliament passed an amendment to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms allowing for same sex marriage rights across the country? The vote was 158 yes to 133 no with several members from each side of the house voting against their party position.
Marriage is a provincial jurisdiction in Canada and 6 out of the 10 provinces had already legalized same sex marriage in the past 2 years anyway as a result of losing supreme court challenges based on constitutional rights arguments. This newly passed bill amends the Canadian Charter to reflect that and redefines the definition of marriage to include more than just the union of one man and one woman. This makes Canada the 3rd country in the world to have legalized same sex marriage laws. The issue is still out on protecting religious rights as certain churches are against same sex marriage and of course will refuse to preform them regardless. I never saw that as an issue myself since churches could always refuse to marry anyone they wanted based on their religious views. The new law doesn’t attempt to change that from what I can see. You never did have to be married in a church for it to be considered legal so this law is not forcing any church to marry anyone it chooses not to because of its religious beliefs. I just gives people the right to legally marry and enjoy the rights that entails. This argument was still a major one many anti-gay people used to try and oppose the passing of this new law.
A (married) CD in Vancouver, BC, Canada

and before I had time to put this up, and thank Canada for having the wisdom those of us below them don’t have, Spain went and legalized same-sex marriage as well.
It saddens me, that this weekend when we break out the flags and the hot dogs and the cold beer, that America hasn’t worked this one out yet – and not only hasn’t worked it out, but is steadily building a backlash against same-sex marriage, like in Ohio, where they’re now working on preventing GLBT folks from adopting children.
But it strikes me that this weekend, Canadians do really have an independence day to celebrate (today, July 1st) while GLBT Americans look longingly to the north.

Rape Crisis Center fights judge's order to talk about woman it counseled

Rape Crisis Center fights judge’s order to talk about woman it counseled
Last Update: 05/08/2005 2:46:35 PM
By: Associated Press
SANTA FE (AP) – A New Mexico judge has ordered two rape crisis center workers to reveal information about a woman they counseled. But rape crisis center operators say the order is alarming.
Operators say if they can’t guarantee confidentiality, victims won’t turn to them for help.
The Albuquerque Rape Crisis Center is asking the state’s Supreme Court to overturn the order issued by state District Judge James Blackmer.
The woman says she was raped in January 2003 by a former boyfriend.
The man’s public defender, Sophie Cooper, says she wants conversations between the center workers and the woman disclosed.
She says the center workers played an important role in convincing the woman she had been raped.
The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case Tuesday.
Reported by KOB-TV, and thanks to Lynne for bringing it to my attention.

Upcoming Events

Betty and I will be doing a few interesting events this coming February and March that I’d love for people to join us at, and to say hi if they’re attending.
February 18th – 20th we’ll be in Phoenix, AZ, at the Glitz Ball. I’m doing one workshop, participating in another, and will also be the Banquet Speaker.
On Tuesday, February 22nd, I’ll be moderating a forum of crossdressers for Yale’s Trans-Week. It’ll be called “Part-Time Ladies.” The Yale Daily News did a nice piece about my presentation last year.
On the weekend following Trans-Week, February 25th – 27th, I’ll be presenting a workshop on trans-sexuality at the all-kink inclusive Dark Odyssey. Betty & I had a great time at this event last fall, and are excited about going again. This year, with the privacy afforded by hotel rooms, I’m hoping to see a lot more trans-couples attending. The remarkable Kate Bornstein will also be attending, and it will be wonderful to see her again.
The very next weekend, we’ll be going up to Burlington and the University of Vermont. David Houston, an anthropology professor, has asked me to speak to his class; they’re reading My Husband Betty as part of their “kinship and identity” coursework.
While I’m in Burlington, I’ll also be participating in the Translating Identity Conference on March 5th. I’ll be doing a workshop on trans sexuality, as well as teaming up with FTM partner Jill Barkley for a caucus on partners’ rights. I’m very much looking forward to meeting Leslie Feinberg, whose Stone Butch Blues is a seminal work (and which I recently recommended as part of my reading suggestions for Book Television in Canada).