Nov 222010

Question: I am in a long distance relationship and my girlfriend wants to sleep with other people with no emotional attachment. Is it more likely than not that if we tried this, our relationship would tank?

Answer: I’m not going to put a probability on it. Why? Because I don’t know how well you communicate, how your relationship is right now, how long you’ve been long distance, or how you personally feel about consensual non-monogamy. All of these are factors that can and will contribute to how well this will work out.

Step one: Get a copy of Opening Up by Tristan Taormino. You can click the link to buy it, but lots and lots of libraries have it to check out, or one of your friends may have it to borrow. Make sure both of you read it, especially the parts about “is non-monogamy right for you” and the sections about jealousy. Not everyone is suited for non-monogamy, and even those that are may not be ready for it now, or know how to make it fit with their current partner.

Once you’ve read this, think about how it makes you feel when your girlfriend talks about this. Happy that she’s getting more physical needs met? Sad that you can’t do it for her? Angry that she’d consider this? Jealous that she wants to do it? There are tons and tons of emotions that center around non-monogamy; there are no right are wrong ones, but you need to recognize that they are there. Also, look online. Lots of bloggers write about polyamory/non-monogamy — there is even a Poly Podcast. Check out these resources, and continue to talk and communicate with your girlfriend.

You may decide to have her give it a try, and realize it doesn’t work. Then you communicate again, and go from there. You may decide not to try it…but you still need to communicate with your partner. Non-monogamy or monogamy will not break you up or keep you together, but lack of communication most certainly will.


May 182010

Hey you –

Are you in Portland, or the surrounding area?

Come see my FREE workshop tomorrow night.

The details:

Title: Let’s Talk Sex — Navigating Love: Relationship Mapping

Place: Fascinations
9515 SE 82nd Ave
Portland, OR 97266
Time: 7pm

Date: Thursday, May 20th

Cost: FREE


A basic training with resident sexuality educator Shanna Katz, M.Ed (that’s me!) on the basic types of relationships that people have (primary, secondary and tertiary) in their lives, how we can map them, patterns to look for, and what we can get out of these maps when we try to balance life, love, friends, work and more. Also, we’ll talk about polyamory/non-monogamy – its various facets, how to get into it, whether or not it is for you, and most importantly, how we can make it work when there are more than two people involved.

Food and drink will be served, and a free raffle will take place!

This class is in the series of Let’s Talk Sex workshops put on by Fascinations. Like other workshops in this series, they are all free, and 18+.

All attendees will get a FREE $10 gift card to Fascinations, just for showing up!

Mar 142010

What do you get when you cross myself, Oh Megan, Sarah Sloane and more? A plethora of fantabulous sex educators all coming together at Brown University for Sex Week 2010!  I’ll be speaking tomorrow and Tuesday, and the others throughout the week.

Interested in what I’ll be doing classes/workshops on? Want to come out and get some learnin’?

Monday, March 15th

Strap-On 101 w/ Shanna Katz

Time/Location: 12:00pm @ Sarah Doyle Women’s Center lounge (26 Benevolent St.)

Come learn all about the joys and pleasures of strapping it on. Who said harnesses were just for girl-on-girl action? In this workshop, we’ll discuss double-penetration, “pegging,” using harnesses for cuckolding, “femmecock,” and so much more! Ever wonder what the difference is between a g-string and a dual strap? We’ll cover that too! You’ll learn how to properly work a strap-on, contemplate a plethora of positions, and learn about the pros/cons of different types of toys. This class is open to singles, couples and moresomes of all sexes and genders. Never used a harness before? That’s fine – we’ll start with the basics. Plus, everyone will get to try on harnesses with toys to get a feel for the different styles, as well as figure out what works best for them.

SexAbility w/ Shanna Katz (and potentially Marlene Chait, a Brown Post-Doc Research Fellow whose doctoral dissertation is ‘An Exploratory Study About Women with Physical Disabilities: Survey of Their Views on Personal Assistance Services (PAS), Sexuality Education, and Sexual Expression’)

Time/Location: 5:30pm @ Salomon 202

People of all ability levels are sexual beings. Sex is hard enough to navigate and negotiate when one fits in with society’s notions of what a sexual being is, but once you add in the concept of ability, it can become quite challenge. This workshop is discussion-based, and covers issues such as coming out to your partner(s), how to discuss ability levels, new things to try, correct terminology, negotiating sex play (including kink/BDSM play), and much more. Participants are encouraged to share suggestions, trade ideas, etc. Great for people of all ability levels (and their partners) who want to recognize themselves as sexual beings. This workshop hopes to challenge people’s viewpoints, foster discussion and conversation, and open doors towards a shift in the social constructions surrounding sexuality and disability.

Make it Work Outside the Box: Relationship-Mapping & Communication w/ Shanna Katz

Time/Location: 8:30pm @ List 120 (64 College St.)

Description: Communication is key, but how DO we communicate? More importantly, how does communication change (or not) once we break the boundaries of what are considered “traditional relationships”? In this workshop we’ll talk about the different styles of communication, the languages of love, types of non-verbal communication, why communcation is so important, and how to adapt all of this for kinky AND vanilla relationships. We’ll gain an understanding about the basic types of relationships that people have in their lives, how we can map them, patterns to look for, and what we can get out of these maps. Finally, we’ll talk about polyamory/non-monogamy – its various facets, how to get into it, and most importantly, how we can make it work when there are more than two people involved. Bring paper, pen, and an open mind. We will be raffling off two Tantus toys at this event, so make sure you arrive early and get a seat!

Tuesday, March 16th

Feminist Pornography (Out For Lunch) w/ Shanna Katz

Time/Location: 12:00pm @ LGBTQ Resource Center (3rd floor Hillel, at 80 Angell St.)

Are you one of those who has wondered exactly what it is that makes porn “feminist” or “sex positive?” Join us as we talk about definitions of pornography and obscenity, and how sexual pleasure can be recording in a feminist and sex positive way. We’ll discuss current companies who identify as sex positive, and what separates them (or not!) from current, mainstream pornographic productions. By the end of this talk, everyone will still have formed different opinons, but will be more educated as to what this sex positive porn movement is.

Feb 182010

I don’t know what is is about this week, but lots of people have been talking about some of the ‘nilla hate that goes on in the kink community.  First, there was Lee Harrington to who mentioned on twitter that vanilla is a valid and delicious flavor (both in food and sex).  Then Mollena got up on her rockin’ soap box, and wrote this excellent post on anti-vanilla bigotry.

This has always been something that bothers me, and it is not specific only to the kink community.  Marginalized groups and minorities have started to become bigots towards the “traditional” and the majority.

Example A: Lesbians/dykes who tell straight identified women that they “just haven’t come out yet” or who joke about converting them to be dykes.  Yes, lots of people haven’t come out yet, but not all straight women are lesbians. No matter how much we want it to be. And it is offensive to tell a person that their orientation isn’t valid; and that goes for straight, gay, bisexual, queer, asexual, etc.

Example B: People who are poly/non-monogamous telling other people that ALL of monogamy is a social contruct, and that everyone is really inately non-monogamous and that monogamous people are doing it wrong.  Just because one group has to struggle in being outside the norms of society (being non-monogamous), and it works perfectly for them does not mean that it is not ok to be the norm. Acceptance for ALL methods of relationships please.

Example C: Partially from Mollena, partially from my experience; kinky people/those in the BDSM community who use vanilla like a perjorative term.  “God, we were being all pervy and then this vanila person made us stop doing our thing” or “They SAY they’re vanilla, but they just don’t know what they’re missing.”  Some people are not kinky. AND THAT IS OK. They have fun, exciting, arousing, satisfying awesome sex with no kink. And I know people who are kinky as heck, and have really bad sex (according to them).  Ergo, fabulous sex is not based on how kinky you are.  So we do we pretend that there is something wrong with not being kinky?

Then even within communities, we create levels of how kinky we are. I’ve been told by some people that I’m extra super kinky because I like to do fire play and light people up.  I’ve been told by other people that I’m really not kinky because I don’t identify as a top/bottom, Mistress/submissive, and I choose not to live the lifestyle 24/7  or have power based relationships. So I’m either really kinky or really not kinky. How come I can’t *just* be kinky with out putting levels on it?

In understand that there is an inate need to make our wants/needs/identities/kinks the best, especially if we’ve been oppressed as a community. However, the answer it NOT to do it by telling others that they are wrong. That just perpetuates the binary and is stupid. The end.