Kink in exile

Notes from a kinky nomad

Archive for the ‘Books’ Category

Hello new year!

Well hello there 2013.  We’re 7 days into the new year and I still don’t have a resolution except my usual “be less responsible.”  (I was a 16 year old with a retirement savings account, I can stand to rein it in a bit.)  Thus far I spent a good chunk of the year being home sick and generally relaxing.  Today was going to be a productive evening…

But then I found Rachel Kramer Bussel‘s Suite Encounters on my bookshelf and then…I was thinking about the travel I’d done in 2012 and re-reading some of my favorite hotel-themed stories.  I actually got this book initially because I was traveling so damn much it seemed like a good fit for my lifestyle choice of airports and hotels, but was really surprised at just how much I liked it.  I guess I don’t expect to find stories of female dominance in books not specifically marketed as such, but Suite Encountered included a handful of stories featuring great take-charge ladies in a really casual, matter-of-fact sexy way.  It’s really nice to come across things as explicitly role queer are Night School in a piece of mainstream(ish) pornography, and the “I know what I want” frankness of the ladies in Selfish and Special Request is also a welcome change.  If you’ve got some business travel coming up, check this out!  (It’s available on Kindle if you’re shy…)

So yeah, I was gonna be productive, maybe actually catch up on some blogs, or figure out what I want to do this year, but maybe I’ll just curl up with a good book…

Written by kinkinexile

January 7, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Posted in Books, fun stuff

Before it was the last bastion of male domination, computer programing was women’s work.

“Free blowjobs for hackers.”

“I could really get my hands on those machines….”

“You can help us with the art!”

“Don’t worry your pretty little head about it!”

I got an email earlier today inviting me to Naked Girls Reading, an event where naked women will read science fiction on a stage to an audience.  I tried really hard to think that sounds like fun.  I like science fiction, I like story time, and I like going to social events with the person who sent this to me…but this just didn’t sit well.  Finally it dawned on me…Naked Girls Reading makes women an accessory in the geek world – clearly and firmly removing them from the category of core consumer, and placing them in that of perk.

Technology is a strange place to be female.  On the one hand women in STEM careers make $0.86 to the man’s dollar…not perfect but better than the national average of $0.77, and I’ve heard a number as high as $0.94 for computing technology in specific.  On the other hand, it’s clearly a male dominated field.  The numbers are so stacked against women that tech companies start looking like the boy’s locker room, and as I learned in my post-grad-school job search, I am the diversity.  The tech sector behaves as though women in its ranks are a new addition –  “You are the last bastion in IT, boys. Hiss it through your teeth. Shut up, b****.” [Christensen, at Dell’s summit in Copenhagen] – this is blatantly untrue.  We can all talk a good game about Ada Lovelace, but thinking about the start of computing as we know it, I’m more into Betty Jennings, Betty Snyder, Fran Bilas, Kay McNulty, Marlyn Wescoff, and Ruth Lichterman [these ladies did the bulk of programing on ENIAC, btw].  Before it was the last bastion of male domination, computer programing was women’s work. More alarming is the fact that the gender gap in computer science is actually becoming greater over time even as women overtake men in college degrees overall.

KC, maker of the awesome Defcon creeper cards puts it bluntly: Defcon is hell for women.  She’s right, every year I consider going to Defcon, look over all the awesome social hacking that will be talked about, get offers of crash space and travel buddies, and ultimate decide it’s not worth it because everything I have ever heard about DefCon has made it abundantly clear that this is a drunken, dick waving, boys club.

What gives?

What could possibly make it ok for someone to walk up to Maymay at a SF hacker space and ask about free blowjobs? In 2012?  How the hell does something like the Open Source Boob Project take hold, even briefly? This sounds like a racy episode of Mad Men, not something that would happening 2012.

Naked Girls Reading is trying to be funny – genre porn for the slightly socially awkward, maybe even a safe sexy thing for women to attend, but ultimately it perpetuates the myth that a geek woman is a mythical creature never found in nature.  It positions science fiction as intended for men and it positions women as treats and sexual objects.  Maybe our ongoing acceptance of these assumptions is what creates a female-hostile environment as maymay describes in his open letter to HOPE9 organizers.

I do love science fiction, I just wish it was as easy to get naked boys to read it to me as it apparently is to get naked girls to do it…

Written by kinkinexile

July 13, 2012 at 8:10 pm

Posted in Books, community, politics

Book review: The New Topping Book

Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy do it again. Easton and Hardy revised the Topping book originally published in 1994, updating it to include a wealth of information about the BDSM community which has truly come out of its shell in the internet age.

I’m a huge fan of this pair. They bring decades of experience together with common sense, humor, spirituality, and a passion for what they do to create one of the best introductions to BDSM that I have ever read. To be sure, the Topping Book is not a technical manual, nor does it set out to be. Instead, it tackles the emotional and phycological issues involved in BDSM from a top’s perspective.

The New Topping Book provides an overview of everything from ethics in BDSM, to toys, to meeting others all peppered with stories of scenes from Easton and Hardy’s past. Again and again I found myself wishing that some of their pearls of wisdom could be printed in 42pt font and posted on the dungeon wall. They even address my biggest pet peeve: real tops, true bottoms, and kinkier than thou egos saying, “…the only criterion for good play is: did everyone get what they wanted from it?”

Easton and Hardy commit to a politically correct use of pronouns switching from “he” to “she” if not in mid-paragraph than certainly in mid-page. Though this is a definit imporvement over the earlier he/she, I expected it to make the language cluttered and hard to follow. However, I found that I didn’t notice the switchy pronouns nearly as much as I expected to, and I think most readers will mentally insert whatever is appropriate to them anyway. The pronoun issue is a hard one, and I applaud Easton an Hardy for seeking a solution that is as elegant as it is socially progressive.

In short, this is a great book and I would highly recommend it (as well as its companion: the New Bottoming Book) to anyone entering the scene. And with more advanced sections on the topics such as shadow play, public play, and long term d/s, I think Easton and Hardy’s work would be applicable even to more advanced players.

As always, please feel free to check out the sex toys store. You can also find BDSM and Fetish products, or go directly to The New Topping Book

Written by kinkinexile

January 16, 2009 at 12:02 pm