Friday, January 29, 2016

Orientation and Gender Identity is Personal

This seems basic but it isn't...
People feel compelled to weight in.
Look at the numerous bathroom laws against trans people not being able to legally use the bathroom of the gender they identify with (the gender they are). It boils down to someone else thinking they have the right to judge an individual's gender identity.
People are furious and angry at people who don't identify with the orientation consistent with their behavior. (>>>referring to a site to hook up "straight men" with gay man)

1) The individual knows best.

2) It doesn't matter if the orientation isn't correct by your definition or by the world's definition.

3) It's not fair... doesn't have to be. (S/he is acting X but doesn't identify as X so gets none of the negatives of being X... I might point out & none of the positives.)

4) We don't know who is questioning or seeking answers through testing label identity. (S/he might do X to prove to themselves or the world they are X and they might be X or they might prove to themselves they are Z.)

5) It doesn't make sense to us. (Doesn't have to)

I've made the mistake of trying to process a friend's orientation with them (because "it didn't make sense to me"). I wasn't doing it to be a terrible human being but I was struggling to make my version of a label fit.

Here's some advice: Just Listen. Process later when you're alone. Usually the person is sharing something very private and maybe very new to them... Just listen.

Person sharing the new information it's very brave of you to share something so personal... but some helpful hints:

1) Don't seek validation from the person you are telling. They might need to built a framework to insert the information you've given them.
2) You have nothing to prove and if you give examples of why you are X... and it doesn't fit their "definition or belief/myths" about the orientation/gender it creates confusion.

3) The reaction you get sometimes has more to do with the person reacting/processing then what you just told them. ((It's not all about you... other people have issues too.))

4) If the person is trying to be supportive cut them a bit of slack... This isn't a made for television movie so they may not have a script.

Orientation and Gender Identity is a personal matter... Just accept.

Hugs, Z.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

BDSM as a Spectrum

Dominant/Master/Top: in control/gives
Submissive/Bottom/Love Slave: is controlled/receives
Switch/Versatile: can play either role

The concepts seem straightforward… until you start to experience/experiment/listen to others/practice/participate...  with people who are outside your particular bubble then you realize BDSM is more of a spectrum.

On one end of the spectrum: there are individuals who think if you walk out of a scene with all your parts attached you weren’t playing hard enough. On the other side there are people whose safe word is “OUCH”.  People who want to live 24/7 and people who don’t.

That’s okay!!! There’s room for all types of BDSM expression.

However, sometimes there are judgments and expectations heaped onto the roles and rules on how they should be executed. Any deviation from the expectations equates to censure (& I’m not talking about the “you’ve been naughty” kind) but someone invalidating you and how you practice BDSM.

Please keep in mind most times, we don’t know what the people in the scene have negotiated or what the people involved had been through or what could be affecting them and what brought them to this moment… yet instead of celebrating their courage for sharing their very secret selves… sometimes we hear criticism.

Here are some favorites: “That’s insane!” “Oh that’s just sugar kink (insert eye roll)” “That’s gross!” “Can’t he take it harder?” “Lame.” “Are they crazy?” “She safeworded already! I can take more…”  

I think some BDSM communities could benefit from taking a page out of the trans community’s notebook: By only speaking for themselves & trying to limit the stereotypic expectations they place on others. Owners/Members/location drive the tone of the club, munch, dungeon, leather bar, playparty. And they can evolve or devolve based on membership… so it can be hit or miss. Don't take one experience as how it is...

I’m a love slave (too broken and have too many limits to be called a sub by most… that’s okay I don’t look for my validation in their direction.) I’ve belonged a dungeon (before it was closed in Philly), I’ve been to munches, sex clubs in Thailand, and have served my love for the last 28 years. I’m not your typical submissive... and I'm here to say: That's okay.

If you read me you know most of my characters tend to dabble in BDSM in varying degrees (got to love author projection!). Last week, I’ve gone into edits with my first BDSM novel Lock & Key.

I started writing Lock & Key because a number of my Pretty ones (=Facebook friends) have shared with me their experiences in a BDSM-type relationship where the lines between discipline and abuse were blurred. (Before my love I had a very negative relationship as well). Also I find the invalidation distressing. People who have limitations need a Master with creativity that allows them to be their most submissive self in a safe environment not censure for being a "bad sub".

I’m of the mindset BDSM can be and should be more than the typical scene we see portrayed: a Master beating a tied up sub and then getting sucked off. No judgment… that’s a perfectly acceptable scene… and some people on the spectrum would be satisfied by that… others not. I tend to want more...

I want to examine the misunderstandings of BDSM. Here are a few that come to mind:

*All subs are submissive to all dominants… (Just because you’re dominant don’t expect me to drop to my knees. You’ll get the same respect I’d give anyone else but you’re not mine so nix the expectations.)
*Submissives are 24/7 meek & silence. (The world is a big place. I’m sure there are quiet subs though I haven’t meant any not on vocal restriction)
*Master is always right. (All people have the potential to being wrong...)
*You can tell whose into BDSM...
*Subs needs don't matter.
*Everyone into BDSM goes to clubs, wears leather and collars.
*People into BDSM have a history of abuse (some do some don’t)
*All pain is bad.
*If s/he/they say they're a Master they are… (if wishes were dreams…)
*BDSM is abuse…
*BDSM can NEVER abusive
*All Submissives crave to be treated like a doormat and get off on being used…
*Masters are all alpha males 

I see BDSM as a power exchange: the gift of surrender for the appreciation of the beauty in doing so. Other people view it as something else... 

If we can accept BDSM is on a spectrum maybe we can open our minds to allow others to express their BDSM side their way. I believe there's more than one way to sub/top space.  

Hugs, Z. Allora

Thursday, January 14, 2016


I think it's important to acknowledge the connection between sexism & homophobia. In many ways society still devalues feminine things and people. Take a look at your own behavior/thoughts... it might surprise you.

Hugs, Z.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

What Can You SAY?

Someone makes a homophobic/transphobic comment/joke.

You're horrified but is it your place... and if it is what would you say?


The same way I hope you wouldn't stand for racist or sexist jokes/comments I'd hope you'd stop or correct someone saying something homophobic/transphobic.

To quote the 17 year old who sat next to me in PFLAG yesterday:  "Kids are dying because no one is speaking up." 



Here's some suggestions:

1) What do you mean by that?
It's simple and puts the person spewing stupid comments back on the spot. Usually it will end there... and yes it might be uncomfortable but not as bad as a kid hearing the negativity unmet with a response of that's not okay.

2) That makes me uncomfortable when you say that...
This works alone or after the jackass spewing nonsense decides s/he can justify her/his position. This is a simple statement and brings it back to basics... Does the speaker of hate want to continue knowing it's making someone standing right in front of them uncomfortable.

3) That makes me uncomfortable because I have friends/family in the LGBT community/ or I'm part of the LGBT community.
You only want to say this if you feel comfortable sharing this information.

Why Speak Up?

1) Education
By taking the time and risk you are setting an example of what is acceptable behavior. 
2) Kids
Within hearing distance they will feel supported and less alone.
By educating an adult you possibly help someone down the path of acceptance.
*** Keep in mind many people don't know they are spewing hate/perpetuating negative concepts/diaglogues***

3) It's the right thing to do
Sometimes silence is taking for agreement. You DO NOT want to agree with something against your principles.
4) You are giving courage to others to speak out.
Usually after I make such a comment others come up to me and say thank you. You're probably not as alone in your thoughts as you think. 
5) Makes the world a better place.

I know not everyone is in a position to address each and every negative comment one hears but consistency helps set boundaries and raises standards. Do what you can. 

Feel free to add your script of how you handle negative comments. 

Hugs, Z.