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I went as ’50 Shades of Grey’ to the Kink.com Halloween Party

Because where could this costume be more appreciated than an actual BDSM company?

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My 2nd Porn Appearance! …kinda

I made a big deal about my first appearance in porn, but my 2nd one was out for over a month before I remembered I should post it here. My bad!

Well, I think you’ll actually understand – it’s a bit less impressive. This time I was only a background extra in a bar scene.

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If you look reeeeaaaaally closely, you can see the dark splotch of my brass rat.

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Boom. MIT pride!

Today I was making coffee in the employee lounge when I glanced to my right to see an extremely sexily clad woman walking down the hall towards me followed by camera crew. So I think my 3rd porn performance might be imminent, as long as they don’t cut me out in post. :p I’ll be sure to let you know!

The Wedding of Maggie & Marisa

Yesterday was National Coming Out Day, & in belated honor of that I’m finally posting pictures from a wedding I photographed last November!

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Maggie & Marisa are good friends of mine from high school. They threw this gorgeous purple-and-brown themed wedding amongst the splendor of an Arkansas forest in autumn.

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Arkansas is likely to be one of the last states that allows gay marriage so they couldn’t legally back up the commitment at the time, but yesterday they got a call that their marriage application has been received in Iowa City and they’ll be traveling there soon to make it “official.”

Marisa shared this lovely sentiment on fb:

“I love that I get to celebrate this day (and every day) openly with the person that I love, and that all of our friends and family have been so amazing and supportive of us as we approach both the first anniversary of our wedding day and this next step in our lives together. Signing the papers next week will make our marriage “real” to people in offices who don’t know us, but it was the love of the people around us on that day, both in person and in spirit, that made it real to me.”

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One advantage of a same-sex wedding: You can use the same changing room and help each other get ready.

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The ceremony was supposed to start with the lighting of these candles by the brides’ families, but the wind was extremely uncooperative. It did cause the whole thing to kick off with a very light-hearted note, though.

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The foliage and sunlight created a gorgeous backdrop for the ceremony (although it made the photography & editing rather tricky).

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While the guests helped set up for dinner, I stole the two away for some just-married bridal shots. It caused a bit of a hiccup in the timing, but I like to do these right after the ceremony when emotion is running high.

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The day ended with dinner and, of course, dancing.

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So what’s it like to work for Kink.com? – Part 2!

My latest posts have been rather heavy, so here’s another light-hearted look into office life at Kink.com.

In case you missed part 1, go check it out!

First off, my business card! :)

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aaaaand, the back:

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Fancy, no? Although I personally prefer looking at the cards from Naked Sword. No idea why. ;)

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And while we’re talking about graphics, the Armory has a ton of paintings on display throughout. Most of them are of screenshots from our videos – lots of intricate bondage positions or particularly appealing moments. Here’s my absolute favorite:

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Most of them are way (way) more explicit than this. There’s one in particular that caused me to stop and stare for a few minutes the first time I saw it. Anyone want to guess why?

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Here’s why: It is the most detailed painted penis I have ever seen. (and, um, I’ve seen a lot) Let’s look closer:

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I love how the guy’s chest muscles and thighs are broad swathes of soft color gradients, but every single bump and wrinkle on the dick has been lovingly recreated in oil paint. Even the faces aren’t that detailed.

One painting that’s always popular on the tours is one that was originally rather PG. Here’s what the painting looked like before we had it: A perfectly respectable, if rather dull, painting of a gentleman rider.

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…and after:

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Because I like to end on a SFW note, and to show that it’s not all dicks ‘n whips, here’s a delightful poster that hangs in our customer service department.

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I just did a really not-racist thing, but got accused of it anyways.

Sometimes, like last night, I’ll get called out for racial bias and agree with it and then get very upset with myself.

Sometimes, like tonight, I’ll get called out for racial bias and be like “nope, you’re just an asshole.”

I was walking back from the gym and this guy was approaching from the opposite direction. As he passed he started cat-calling me, and then turned to walk backwards so he was facing me calling “what’s your name, girl? what’s your name?”

I then made the mistake of actually telling him my name. Because, idk, when someone asks a question my instinct is to answer. I should work on that.

At that point he started walking towards me again and was all “hey, you know, let’s talk girl,” at which point I flipped into ‘holy shit get the hell away’ mode and sped up, saying “no, I gotta get home.”

He did promptly give up (phew. they don’t always.) but said loudly as he was turning away “I see, you don’t talk to black people.”

At which point I, being still just a little bit keyed up and sensitive from last night, turned around and yelled “no, I don’t talk to STRANGERS” and then kept walking. He started cussing me out at that point, but I was too far away to really hear, thankfully.

I don’t care what race you are, you do NOT get to make me feel guilty or ashamed for not wanting to talk to you when the only thing I know about you is that you make suggestive comments to women on the street. I have zero obligation to talk to you, and you have no right to expect it or accuse me of racism when I don’t.

I assure you, I attempt to escape as fast as possible 100% of the time when a stranger tries to chat me up on the street.

You, sir, are just a sexist asshole.

I just did a really racist thing, and I’m fucking pissed at myself.

I was exiting the front door of my apartment building tonight, and there was a young man on the other side. As I went through he moved to go through the open door behind me, but without thinking about it I stopped him and said “um, is there someone you can call to get in?…”

He rolled his eyes and moved back towards the call box, and as I walked away I could hear him mutter “Yeah, alright, happens all the time, I know I’m black.”

And then I was like:

Fuck.

FUCK.

Yeah it’s official building policy never to let anyone piggyback when you go through that door (it’s Oakland, after all), but how often do I actually stop people? Really fucking rarely, that’s how often.

I always think I’m going to, but usually my insecurity about making other people upset with me leads me to just look busy, move really quickly, and hope it shuts before they can get through.

But this time I saw a young black guy who looked a tad scruffy and disheveled holding a crumpled Burger King bag, and some part of my mind went “hey, this time you should probably enforce that rule.”

Fucking christ Clare, seriously?

There was no conscious thought process before this happened, no moment of decision, I just found myself doing it and then walking away and then he said that and I realized “wow, what I just did was really fucking racist.”

I’m super angry with myself right now. Especially after I watched this awesome video today (found on Upworthy) encouraging white people to use their own racial privilege to combat racism.

 

 

I’d love to think that in a moment like this woman describes where I see discrimination happening I would realize it and step in and say something, but there was no “see it happening” or “realization” moment tonight, my mind was thinking about something totally unrelated and my automatic reaction was to stop this young black guy from getting through the door.

And I… I don’t know how to change that.

It feels like the only way to change my automatic reactions is to constantly be on guard about the racial implications of what I’m doing, but if that was all I devoted my mind to I’d never get anything done and it would take me forever to make decisions. I’m already hyper-vigilant about gender issues, so much so that it paralyzes my decision making sometimes and I wish I could just not care about it for a little while. I’ve never felt so lucky to be part of only one commonly oppressed group; if I had to deal with Intersectionality on a daily basis my head would explode.

Obviously for the next few days I’m going to be critiquing my reactions to people and looking for similar automatic responses I may have, but that will fade as the rest of my life overwhelms me and consumes my brain power, and next time I go to take the trash out maybe I’ll do it again.

What I am really glad about is that he made that snarky murmur and I heard it, because otherwise I probably wouldn’t have given it any additional thought.

If you, dear reader, have any ideas on steps someone can take to change automatic racist patterns of behavior I would love to hear about them.

Waves at Super Long Exposure Look Like Magic

I stayed at San Elijo State Beach, just a little north of San Diego, for a night on my recent vacation. They have a lovely beach that’s very far from any major light pollution, so I tried out some really long exposure shots of waves.

The results look like colorful, cloud, wispy bursts of magic under the waves. Or maybe I’m just a nerd. Either way, super pretty.

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I took my cats on vacation in an RV and no one was hurt

I just got home from a week of driving down the California coast, seeing the sights and relaxing on the beach. It was a very last minute trip – I reserved an RV, secured a spot at what campgrounds I could find, then threw some random supplies in the back and took off.

I also brought my two cats with me.

When I told my friends of this plan, some thought I was crazy. Well, ok, they all thought I was crazy, but some were more optimistic about the idea than others. One in particular (you know who you are) reacted with a dropped jaw and a blunt “that’s a horrible idea.”

Well, for the first day I thought she might have been right.

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As soon as the RV started moving, Molly crawled under the driver’s seat and started crying pitifully. Sara was also screaming, but she didn’t stay put – she was climbing around the cab, and I had to continuously shove her away from my lap and the controls while also remembering how fucking awkward it is to drive a giant box down a crowded highway.

There was also one moment of sheer panic when she stepped on the passengers side window control, and it was almost all the way down with her peering out before I realized and could roll it back up. Eventually she joined Molly under the seat.

My first campground was only 2 hours away, and thankfully after a couple hours of staying parked and settling in they came out and started to explore. Very, very cautiously.

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The next morning I had breakfast with Molly chewing on my toes, just like at home. It restored a lot of my confidence.

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From then on, they got more comfortable with every day of driving. Molly kept her spot under the drivers seat, but she didn’t cry any more. Sara gravitated to the sleeping loft, huddling up under the blankets, which is where she sleeps a lot at home. She seemed fairly content there.

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At night they both slept up there with me so I got to wake up to cat butt in my face, just like home. Honestly, that alone made the whole ordeal worth it. :)

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You might have noticed they’re both wearing collars – I put them on a week before we were scheduled to head out, and the condition of their coming along was that they not try to wrangle their way out of them (all my cats when I was growing up were experts at getting out of their collars). Amazingly, they both did a bang up job although Molly was very fond of chewing on her tag. (I probably should have expected that) They’re both micro-chipped, but I wanted a more immediate way for someone to know they’re mine in case they escaped.

Both collars are leopard print – Sara’s is purple, Molly’s the standard beige – which I continue to find hilarious.

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I didn’t try to get clever with any of their cat equipment, I just brought all their stuff from home – their normal scratching post, food bowls, nap bed, and litter box. Honestly the litter issue was what I was second-most worried about (other than them getting away) but because it was the same one they’re used to they had no issues with it.

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I could provide more commentary, but all you really want is more cute cat pictures, isn’t it? Yeah, that’s what I thought. :)

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That’s all, folks. :)

Genetic Baldness in Transgender Men

Today I stumbled across this lovely article on BuzzFeed titled “Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Transgender People But Were Afraid To Ask.” It’s a good article, but certainly nowhere near “everything” I’ve always wanted to know.

I recently had an amazing chance to ask potentially stupid or unintentionally insulting questions about transgender issues: Kink hosted a “transgender awareness day,” and had speakers from the SF-based Transgender Law Center give us a presentation followed by an open invitation to ask them questions.

One of the speakers was a delightful chubby bear transman. He had a big bushy beard and charming round glasses and body hair absolutely everywhere, except on top of his head.

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(this isn’t him. This is Buck Angel, arguably the most famous transman, and also quite bald.)

My question was: If you’re genetically female, how did you go bald?

This was based on two basic facts that made up my understanding of genetic baldness:

  1. Women don’t go bald.
  2. The baldness gene is passed through the mother, so if you want a hint at your potential baldness look at your maternal grandfather.

Well, it turns out that scientifically these really boil down to:

  1. The baldness gene is carried on the X chromosome.
  2. The baldness gene gets activated by testosterone.

#2 gets italics because that was the big “ah-hah!” moment for me. People born genetically female don’t lose all their hair even if they carry the baldness gene, because their bodies don’t produce enough testosterone to trigger it. But a transman who undergoes hormone treatments gets a giant spike in their bodies’ testosterone levels, which is easily enough to activate the gene.

Actually, what this means is that transmen are more likely than biological men to go bald! Since they have two X chromosomes, they’ve got twice the chance of carrying the gene in the first place.

Now you know. :)

I’ll end with a nekkid picture of Buck Angel because a.) he’s awesome, and b.) I need to test my SFW RSS filter again. :p

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Whoops! Sorry, RSS followers. :\

I thought I had my RSS NSFW filter operational again when I posted that incredibly graphic list a few days ago.

I was wrong. :(

Sorry about that. I’ll avoid any more obscene posts until I’m completely sure I’ve got that fixed.

To make up for it, here’s a completely SFW picture of my cat being extremely cute.

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