This is pretty much of a pre-blog , blog posting to inform interested parties that my story, The Corset is included in the most aptly titled new anthology, Dirty Dates: Erotic Fantasies For Couples. The editor is Rachel Kramer Bussel and the book is officially out on her birthday, November 10th. Can you imagine the heat rating of a Scorpio book by a Scorpio editor? This is all I’ll say about this for now, since the plan is for the writers to review the book in unison, like happy birthday chorus on the day itself. Please stay tuned and I’ll tell you more then.
I’ll also say that being part of Lit-Crawl was a wonderful experience. We had an audience of about one hundred fifty crowded into Good Vibes to hear us read about Sexy San Francisco, past and present. I hope to be included again is this great in this great literary event.
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Lit Crawl in San Francisco is a mere week from today — that’s next Saturday evening to you — and looming larger than life on my radar screen! I’m delighted to announce my participation in the annual San Francisco Literary Festival, which will span more than three hours along the Mission District’s Valencia Street corridor. The event will feature 101 literary readings and events of all kinds: in bookstores, bars, galleries, restaurants, cafes, community spaces, a bookmobile, a police station, and last but for sure not least, an iconic vibrator store.
Details are as follows: From 7:15 pm to 8:15 pm, on 10/17/15, the Good Vibrations store, at 603 Valencia Street, near 17th, welcomes sex writers identified with the San Francisco sex scene. The theme of the reading is intended to share our takes on the diverse erotic realities in the Land of Oz — otherwise known as our City by the Bay. This second hour of Lit Crawl features, our MC, the incomparable Carol Queen, plus Bay Area writers, Polly Whittaker, Avery Cassell, Jackie Strano, Meliza Banales, Cinnamon Maxxine, and me, Dorothy Freed.
Since I’m. ahem, a mature writer, my reading will be a selection from my unpublished memoir, PERFECT STRANGERS: One Woman’s Journey Through The Swinging Seventies. The chapter I’ll be reading from is a scene from my first visit to San Francisco’s first coed bathhouse and sexual playground, Sutro Bathhouse — and my first experience with three-way sex in a public place. Sounds to me like a good fit for diverse erotic realities. I hope you’ll attend the reading and decide for your yourself.
Here’s a quick posting to announce that I will be one of two Dirty Old Women celebrating life and sexuality by reading erotica next Tues, 9/22/15, at the Octopus Literary Salon in Oakland. This is a fun event in a great little space, with a receptive audience, good food and drink, and easy parking. Click link for more information. Hope to see you there.
As for a lengthier post, that’s going to have to wait until the aftereffects of the very relaxing vacation I just returned from in Palm Springs—the same one where I’m surrounded by family and friends, with little to do but spend five to six hours a day in a swimming pool and decide what I want to eat or drink next. In fact it may take a while for that level of relaxation to wear off. As some of you know, September is my birth-month, so this was in effect a pre-birthday celebration. The actual special day is still forthcoming—and since I’ve long ago decided that the bigger the birthday the bigger the required celebration, this time the party may go on all month.
While on the topic of public readings, I’m honored to say I’ve been invited to read again at the Good Vibrations store on Valencia Street, during Lit Crawl on October 17, where I’ll be reading a section of my unpublished memoir, PERFECT STRANGERS: One Woman’s Journey Through The Swinging Seventies, about a bit of San Francisco sexual history. But more about that later as the time draws nearer. Tweet me @DorothyFreed1
August 26th, 1970 marked the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, granting American woman the right to vote. On that date the National Organization for Women called on women to demonstrate in a nationwide “strike for equality.” More than 100,000 women responded to that call and participated in demos and rallies in over 90 major cities and towns across America, making this the largest, gender-equality protest in US history.
I was among the estimated 50,000 women who marched down Fifth Avenue in New York City in support of the women’s movement and equal rights under the law. Among the leading marchers were women of achievement: Bette Friedan, strike organizer , first president of NOW, and author it The Feminine Mystique; Gloria Steinem, political activist and founder of New York Magazine; Kate Millet, author of Sexual Politics; and straight-talking, peppery, Congresswoman Bella Abzug, tireless champion of women’s rights. I felt honored to be among them.
I was a twenty-six-year-old housewife then, and leaving my husband home with our two sons to join the march was a personal declaration of independence. I’d been married for eight years to a man who espoused equal rights and justice for all — but at home, as the assumed head of our household, he felt entitled to be in charge. He was okay with watching the kids three evenings a week while I went to art school — as long as I did the shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, and the balance of child care, in addition to my schoolwork. But he wasn’t pleased when I joined NOW. Or when I read The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir and began questioning the male/female status quo. Or when I told him he’d be feeding his kids dinner that evening, because I was striking for equality.
My husband shook his head at that. “If you women had to deal with the serious issues men do, you’d stop complaining fast. Well, be home before dark. The streets aren’t safe.”
I sighed. His comments irked me, but I kept silent, not wanting to argue. I kissed my family good-bye and left the apartment., promising to be home before dark.
But how can we be equal, I wondered, if half of us can’t go out alone at night?
Filled with excitement and sense of resolve, I rode the subway downtown. Approaching Fifth Avenue, I looked out at a sea of female faces: women of all shapes and sizes, all colors, all ages, married and single, gay and straight. Some held signs bearing messages: Women Unite! Equality Under The Law! We Are The Fifty-One Percent Minority, I Am Not A Barbie Doll! And the slogan of the day — Don’t Iron While The Strike Is Hot!
“THE TIME IS NOW!” someone yelled, and the mass of women began moving forward. The march monitors passed along that we would be taking the entire width of the street — not the half we’d been allotted by the city — and we surged forward, arms linked. With cheers of victory we took 5th Avenue from curb to curb, unchallenged by the police.
For me, the highlight of the experience was meeting a silver-haired woman. Somewhere along the way we fell into step together. I smiled at her, impressed that a woman of her age would be marching. Linking arms, we walked side by side. The woman told that a half century ago, when she was twenty, she had marched with Susan B. Anthony to win women the vote.
“I was scared to death by my own daring. the woman said. “The world didn’t take kindly to uppity women back then. My family was scandalized and my gentleman friend left me over it. But I marched anyway.”
And in that moment, I realized I was in the presence of a living, breathing, direct link with history — and that this brave woman and others like her had put themselves on the line for something they believed was simple justice for everyone.
I felt overwhelmed with emotion. “Thank you for my right to vote,” I whispered. “I won’t ever take it for granted — or any other right.
Our eyes met. An understanding passed between us. We hugged good-bye when the march ended at Bryant. Intending to head straight for the subway, I began weaving my way through the throngs of women who stood listening to the speaker. In spite of my promise to be home before dark, I felt compelled to stop and listen. My husband was going to have to understand.
The experience of meeting this woman on the march has stayed with me all my life. Portions of this posting have been quotes from my story, The Day I Met The Suffragette, written by the person bearing my real name, and published in the anthology Times They Were A-Changing: Women Remember the 60s and 70s.
So, happy Women’s Equality Day — we’ve come a long way baby, as the slogan for Virginia Slims Cigarettes used to say. But let us not forget our sisters around the world who are enslaved, genitally mutilated, and denied the right to an education, and even the right to show their faces outside their homes.
Let us not forget either, that although Congress officially recognized August 26, 1971 as Women’s Equality Day. the Equal Rights Amendment has still not been ratified in Nevada, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Illinois Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama. Georgia, Florida, North and South Carolina, and Virginia. And that political; and religious factions, committed to stripping women of their hard-won right to choose and so many other rights are hard at work right now; so cast your vote wisely in the presidential election to come.
We’ve come a long way baby, but we still have far to go. @DorothyFreed1
At first I felt terrible about not getting this post out on time. July, 31st is National Orgasm Day, as I’m sure everyone reading this already knows. Curious about the origins of the day, I did considerable online reading about it. For those interested, just type the day into your browser to access articles galore in publications such as: Glamour Magazine, the Daily Mail, the Huffington Post, Feminista Jones at BlogHer — not to mention the informative, and arousing post titled the Big O and a Party Down South, by Cara Sutra, a top UK blog sex blogger and sex toy reviewer on whose site my writing has been featured, and to whom I subscribe.
Still, after all that reading I have to confess to still not knowing how it all got started, but the designated days seems to have been with us for several years now — and really, however it came about, what’s not to love about a day devoted to the celebration of pleasure?
As far as missing the boat on a timely posting goes, I took heart after discovering a plethora of sites about World Orgasm Day, celebrated on 8/8/15. My favorite among these is the site of artist ,Alexander Hirka, whose website proclaims the day as the seventeenth annual, One World Orgasm Day. What a great idea! This very cool site features multiple links: the most interesting one to me being Beautiful Agony: Facettes De La Petite Mort—a pay to view site that offers a generous selection of close-up photo of both sexes in the throes of orgasmic delight.
What a delightful idea (pun intended). In fact, viewing this link took me back in time almost forty years to when as a visual artist involved in creating a series of plaster bandages sculptures of female body parts — I engaged in collaboration with a fellow artist and lover, in casting my own upper body, long flowing hair and all. Since this process called for my being nude and coated with Vaseline, so as not to lose body hair when the bandage was removed, I lay naked on a blanket on my studio floor, while my friend applied strip after strip of moistened bandage over me, and smoothed each one carefully in place. To make a long story short, while waiting for the plaster to dry, my friend became bored and began teasing my clitoris — and despite my best efforts to be still, so as to not ruin my sculpture, nature had its way with me. Moaning, mouth open and shoulders contorted, I erupted into orgasm at the exact moment the plaster hardened — thus preserving my ecstatic moment for posterity. I titled the piece, which unfortunately met its demise years ago, the Plaster Orgasm. This was also the title of my first published erotica piece, in the Tenth Anniversary Seattle Erotic Art Festival, Literary Art Anthology, in 2012. An excellent use of a chance happening, if you ask me.
But I digress. There’s still another day devoted to orgasm, and my personal favorite,which is World Orgasm for Peace Day, complete with the compelling slogan, Come Together. This special day is celebrated on the winter solstice, 12/21 each year. So pick your day or better yet, celebrate them all. Come one, come all and let’s make this troubled world a more peaceful place.
I’ll be doing my part. How about you? @dorothyfreed1
I recently learned that Ashley Madison, the high-profile internet site catering to married people interested in having discrete affairs was hacked. For those not in the know, this site claims a hefty thirty-seven million members and sports the slogan, “Life is short. Have an affair.” It also claims to safeguard their secrets.
And now it seems the group of hackers who go by name theImpact Team are demanding a total shutdown of Ashley Madison and its legion of adulterers, or else… Supposedly included in exposed information are email addresses, usernames, passwords, birth-dates and zip codes — not to mention sexual preferences and proclivities. Oh my… all those secrets. Imagine the inner turmoil, the gut-wrenching fear of those with so much to lose if their identities were outed — and wouldn’t there be one huge messy puddle all around the world, should those secrets be spilled?
This hack follows a similar event earlier this year when sexual tastes and preferences of over three million people were at risk after the dating site, Adult Friend Finder, was also hacked, and information leaked. And here you and I thought we had problems when our email address books are hacked and we get mail with weird links to click that we hustle off to spam.
Curious, I spent the morning reading a variety of views about the hacking. According to a piece by Joe Kovacs, published 7/22/15, on WND DIVERSIONS — an obviously open-minded site featuring a right-to-life message and a quote by Billy Graham — one unlucky Massachusetts man defied the thirty-seven million to one odds, and his name, profile ID, home address, email address, and list of preferred sexual fantasies were publicly identified in the hacker’s terrorist style manifesto, as a chilling example of their willingness to made good their threats Another person from Canada was named as well. One Catherine Cooper, who self-identified as a mom of two, expressed in her impassioned Daily Mail piece, on 7/21/15, that infidelity is inexcusable and Ashley Madison members, one and all, deserved to be exposed for the cheaters they are. Dawn Michel states in her 7/27/15 examiner.com piece that Ashley Madison is a site created to support bad behavior and instant gratification, and deserves what they get. Not to be outdone, Christian evangelist, Franklyn Graham posted a message from the bible stating, “be sure your sin will find you out.”
John McAfee, influential commentator on cyber-security issues, in a 7/23/15 piece in the International Business Times, proclaims the AM hack as the death knoll of secrets — focusing less on its sinfulness than on the weakness of its security system, he found the hacker’s date fascinating, revealing cheater by profession and sex. According to him, topping the male adultery list are doctors, police officers, lawyers, and real-estate agents, and topping the female list are teachers, soccer moms, nurses, and real-estate agents — and claims it should be no surprise that in the US, Washing DC tops the cheater list by percentage of population by a wide margin.
At this point I should reveal my own opinions about Ashley Madison, based on my taking advantage of their free female membership almost two years ago — with my husband’s full knowledge and agreement. My profile requests a dominant, kink-friendly, non-bisexual, friend-with-benefits, fifty-five and over with a pass from his wife. I was contacted by a surprising number of men in open relationship, as well as many claiming single status and seeking no-strings fun with a married woman and her spouse. I also received responses from twenty and thirty-somethings, many with cock shots included, even though my profile states that graphic photos will be instantly deleted — and men whose erotic interests were so different from mine, I wondered if they’d read my profile at all.
Over time, my AM experience yielded considerable back and forth email communication and photo exchanges with viable possibilities. This resulted in a handful of in-person meetings, and fewer still, encounters in-the-flesh. Willingness is one thing — but chemistry, as anyone in the dating world probably knows is damned hard to find. We did finally meet a hot man in a polygamous relationship, and in my age range who lived twenty minutes away. We met, we clicked, we shared dinner and fantasy a few times a month for over a year, until his move to another state. Six months later, this man appears to be the apex of what AM has to offer. I plan to retire my membership on its two-year anniversary late next month.
All in all I’d say there are a plethora of lonely people in this world, many of them married and not all of them hound-dogs, seeking no-strings affairs with willing partners for a variety of reasons, not all of them reprehensible. As Ashley Madison chief executive, Noel Biderman, stated, “Like us or not this is still a criminal act.”