Good Vibrations Store

The Kiss Me Quick’s Erotica Podcast — And Me

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Earlier this month the most exciting thing happened to me. Rose Caraway, The Sexy Librarian, and her husband and business partner, Big Daddy Dayv Caraway came to my home in Half Moon Bay, where I’ve lived with my husband and Sir for nearly thirty years — traveling all the way from their home in Sacramento, where Dayv set up a sound studio in our living room, while Rose interviewed me for The Kiss Me Quick’s  Sexy Librarian’ Erotica Podcast!

I can hardly express how honored I feel that my erotic journey begun in the mid-70s — and the sex-positive way I’ve chosen to live my life from then on — is deemed inspirational to others, and a story worthy of being told.

I met Rose and Dayv twelve days after suffering a stroke, when I attended the reading of Best Women’s Erotica , Volume 1. The reading, which took place appropriately enough, at the Good Vibrations sex toy store, on Polk Street in San Francisco , was an amazing experience. I was frankly thrilled to realize I was sharing pages in a book with an incredibly  talented, diverse group of female writers, in an outstanding anthology that I have no doubt will make its mark in erotica history.

But the highlight of my experience — aside from sharing a stage with BWE editor, Rachel Kramer Bussel. Jade A. Waters, and my Erotic Reading Circle buddy , Amy Butcher — was meeting fellow writer, Rose Caraway, with whom I felt an instant sense of connection. Although Rachel read my story for me, as the light in the room was too dim for my eyes, I joined the others on stage afterwards for interaction with our audience. I also managed quite nicely by signing copies of our X-rated book with an X placed beside the title of my story, since my left and dominant arm had been weakened by the stroke.

 When the signing concluded, my 74 year-old husband who’d attended the reading with me, chatted with Rose and Dayv, expressing that I’d felt I’d earned the privilege of being there that night, and stroke or no stroke wouldn’t have missed the event for the world.

(In my view, the difference between a coward and a hero is the hero is not stopped by fear, and I’m delighted to report I was not.)

I’m as much of a talker as my Sir is a strong, silent type. I shared a bit about my three-decade long erotic relationship with him. The relationship resulted from a personal ad I placed in the late San Francisco Bay Guardian in late 1983, seeking a husband/Dom/life partner all rolled into one — a first date so dynamic it went on all night. At age 71, I’ve had sufficient erotic experience for a small sex-starved country. (My story in BWE, Two Doms For dinner, was  real-life inspired, as is much of my erotic writing — a pleasure to experience and write about as well.)  

Rose and Dayv expressed genuine interest that I’d written a memoir, now submitted to publishers, titled PERFECT STRANGERS: One Woman’s Journey Through The Swinging Seventies, about being a swinging single mom in an era of unprecedented personal freedom. They also appeared to enjoy our old-time tales of being a BDSM couple back in the 80s, and on into current times. By the time we’d parted company that evening, Sir and I felt we’d encountered a couple  who mirrored us in their obvious love and dedication to each other and their chosen lifestyle. We left feeling we’d just made new friends.

I was thrilled when Rose contacted me soon after, requesting an interview for her podcast about my lengthy sexual history. Even more so when she expressed that my erotically adventurous nature had inspirational value to others, too important not to be shared.

So far I am loving my fifteen minutes of fame. It still amazes me how sadly undervalued erotic pleasure is in our culture. Enjoying the pleasure of the flesh has long been considered a traditionally made domain. But in recent years erotic literature written by strong, self-directed women has risen to the forefront, expressing sexual interaction from the female point of view. I want to shout out an enormous thank you to the Caraways. If my erotic adventures serve inspirational purpose and in any way enriches the body of sexual knowledge existing in the world — then Rose and Dayv’s brilliant and insightful documentation of those adventures has equal value as well.

And I ask you; if sexual delights were not meant to be enjoyed by women, what then would be the purposed of our having clits? 

 

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Lit Crawl In San Francisco Is Almost Upon Us

10/11/15

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.

More details at http://www.litquake.org/event-series/lit-crawl-san-francisco    

Tweet me @dorothyfreed1, Like me on Facebook

 

A Quick Posting to Announce My Next Reading

 

9/17/15

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.

https://www.facebook.com/events/1659638734276714/

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

 

 

May Is National Masturbation Month

5/25/15

I’m a bit late saying so, but in case anyone doesn’t know, May is National Masturbation Month. It began as National Masturbation Day, first observed May 7, 1995 and was later upgraded to a month-long commemoration of what surely must be one of life’s simplest and most universal pleasures. 

The day and then month was introduced by the San Francisco based sex-positive retail store, Good Vibrations, in the wake of the dismissal of U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Joycelyn Elders, by President Bill Clinton, for suggesting at a World AIDS Day presentation, that masturbation, as part of human sexuality, should be included in sex education curriculum.  Since Elders unjust firing, Good Vibes has held annual events to serve as public health education programs about the promotion of safer and healthier sex , and to increase awareness and de-stigmatize the practice of masturbation — which is, after all, the ultimate in safe sex. A Masturbate-a-thon will be held May 30th at SF’s Center of Sex and culture, as a fundraising and no partner sex event, providing participants an opportunity to enjoy one’s self, and one’s exhibitionist tendencies. The act, however, must be done alone, since assistance by another counts as partner sex. 

Thinking about this takes me back to my own life as a masturbator. I recall fondly the time I spent fondling my girl-parts in the family bathtub — sloshing about in the warm soapy water until I was wrinkled all over — or until my mom broke my rhythm by rapping on the bathroom door, demanding to know what on earth I was doing in there for so long.

Interestingly, as pleasurable as the feeling were, I don’t recall bringing myself to orgasm back then. The first memory I have of experiencing a no-doubt-about-it, knock-my-socks-off orgasm was at sixteen, when I got off using the vibrator my mom kept by her beside, one day when she wasn’t home. It was one of those old-style, gun shaped instruments, with a thick, screw-shaped metal shaft fit over the metal part. It  was marketed in those days as a neck massager, and knowing my mom, that may be what she used it for. But for me, somehow the the loudly buzzing instrument found its way between my legs, igniting a sweet, intoxicating heat greater than any positive sensation I knew existed. I almost passed out as an unexpected orgasm ripped through me. After that I recall some lengthy experimentation with the various attachments. They were all good but the broad flat one became my favorite.  Back then, being young and bursting with estrogen, I came repeatedly until I was limp with satisfaction.

After that enlightening afternoon I had a new best friend for life — particularly after my teenage marriage and consequent discover that penile penetration, although highly pleasurable just didn’t get me off.  Unfortunately, my first husband was rarely patient enough to bring me to orgasm with his hands or mouth. If not for the trusty vibrator I bought myself and used in secret, I might have gone high and dry. It wasn’t until the mid-70s after moving to San Francisco that I discovered Good Vibrations, the first sex-positive store for women I’d been to in my life. Back in those pre-HIV awareness days the store featured a tiny try-out room — and as long as female customers kept their panties on, we were free to discover the vibrator that best suited us. I remember entering the room with a possible selection and emerging weak-kneed and a Hitachi Magic Wand girl for life. I’ve worn out a number of them over the years, using them alone and with partners and have loved every moment of doing so.  tweet @DorothyFreed1

Lit Quake: Do You Come Here Often? Or Is This Your First Time?

10/20/14

I’ve never attended the Lit Quake Festival in San Francisco before. Last Saturday evening was my first time.

And what better way to dive into this iconic literary experience than as a participant — joining writers, Jen Cross, Amy butcher, Horehound Stillpoint, Anain Bjorkquist, Seeley Quest, and Erin M, at the Good Vibrations Store on Valencia Street, where we teased our audience by reading hot bits from our stories in Sex Still Spoken Here — a new anthology of stories and poems from the Erotic Reading Circle, co-edited by Dr. Carol Queen, Jen Cross and Amy Butcher.

My story, The Gambler, is a semi-autobiographical tale, inspired by a hot erotic encounter I had with a professional gambler, whom I met at Bay Meadows Race Track back in 1977 — when I was a girl of thirty-three.

The receptive audience of perhaps one hundred, steamy story enthusiasts filled Good Vibrations to overflowing, making it the largest group I’ve addressed to date. I’m pleased to report I felt entirely comfortable standing before them, and the most relaxed I’ve felt at a reading thus far. So relaxed, in fact, I even ventured to lift my eyes from my page as I read, to engage in eye contact with audience members — beginning with my husband, always the friendliest face in the crowd and always there to support my endeavors.

I’m also getting a sense of pacing my words and pausing at strategic points during a reading to let my words sink in. I don’t think I’m imagining that my story was well received. Afterwards audience members stepped up to congratulate me on my reading, and I was asked to sign newly purchased copies of our anthology. And as my husband and I left Good Vibrations and joined the Lit Crawlers heading up Valencia Street, several people called out their congratulations on my offering.

Virgin experiences are so exhilarating, don’t you think? Before ending this post, let me offer a huge than you to Carol Queen, co-facilitator of the Erotic Reading Circle and founder of The Center of Sex and Culture, for inviting me to participate. Sorry you were down with the flu, Carol, and missed out on the evening. But rest assured we did you proud, and thank you again for the opportunity. Reading is in my blood now. What better way to celebrate a published piece than to read it in public? I hope to do so again at Lit Quake next year with a new story — with many more readings at other venues to come between now and then.

In the meantime, I invite you to come hear me read my latest story and bring a story or poem of your own, to the Erotic Reading Circle, at the Center of Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street, in San Francisco, from 7:30 to 9:3o PM, on the fourth Wed of each month.