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Teaching Blowjobs and Bondage in Disastrous Times

Tuesday, April 12 2011 @ 10:08 PM CDT

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by Midori
The Traveling Sexpert

The world is falling apart and I’m teaching fine cock sucking. Am I just playing in the band as the Titanic sinks? My birth nation is having a nuclear meltdown, and I’m carrying on teaching blowjobs and bondage, while fundraising for HIV. Yes, this may seem odd, and I know some may think me uncaring and having poor priorities, but somehow I know this is the right thing for me to do right now.

Editor’s Note: Here in America, many of us have been watching the crisis in Japan from a position of relative safety and security. It’s easy to forget that there are those among us for whom Japan is home, who have family there, or who have lost loved ones in this tragedy. We, at SexIs, are touched by Midori’s column and her determination to carry on and help others. She's making a difference and you can, too, by supporting relief efforts in Japan.

Some day it’ll be discovered that the long lost root of the adage, “The show must go on,” will be some ancient Japanese proverb.

In the mean time I repeat to myself, Gambaranakucha…(I must do my best…)

With dogged determination I have stuck to my tour schedule. I am neither rushing to Tokyo nor hastening my mother back to the States. You would not know from my tweets on @PlanetMidori of the actual state of my internal rattles and shakes.

The Big One hit Sendai — since that night, I’ve taught fifteen of my usual hot-sex or kink classes.

The Big Water hit the Tohoku region — I was busy with four other women organizing Bang 4 The Buck, the biggest women’s play party in Seattle.

The Big Nuke Scare hit — I spend two days merrily leading the Rope Bondage Dojo.


The last few weeks have been difficult. Until recently I’ve not admitted to this. The non-stop coverage of the disaster in Japan is fraying my nerves. Many of you know from my frequent reports from Japan that I hail from there. My mother is still in Tokyo, as are many dear friends. I’m convinced that part of me, somewhere deep in my marrow, feels quivers of every little aftershock across the Pacific. Another part of me, feet planted stoically in rationality, refuses to tremble. That still makes for a shaky internal state masquerading as calm — not unlike the San Andreas Fault, lurking beneath the soil, not too far from my home in San Francisco.

There have been some rocky times lately. Crippling global recession, longest wars in American history, people’s uprising in North Africa and its bloody crack downs, the disaster in Japan, and now we’re dropping bombs on yet another country.

I cannot do anything to undo the disaster personally. I convince myself that moving forward is the only productive things I can do right now. I persuade myself that even the smallest act of ethical citizenship is better than blind panic.


The last time things got super jittery in the world taught me a big lesson.

On September 10th, 2001, I landed in Boston to teach a series of classes at a local sexuality boutique. I was supposed to be teaching in Lower Manhattan that week, but the gig cancelled so I rebooked for Boston. I woke in Boston on 9/11 and watched the second Tower get hit and go down. Somewhere deep in my gut I felt the world tilt irrevocably on some metaphysical axis. (There’s a good track record for me missing disasters, as a decade prior I missed boarding an airplane that crashed.)

People leapt to their death from the Tower, and I could not help or turn away from it. Helplessness gripped my being.

Boston was functionally closed. The bridges and public transit were shut down. The entire nation was in shock. The whole world held its breath. That night I was scheduled to teach a bedroom skills class. I don’t remember what the topic was. I think it was something to do with fun things to do with the man-bits. The shop owner and I debated extensively. Teaching a fun sex class seemed the least fun thing to do at the moment. My work as a sex-positive activist suddenly seemed trite and insignificant. I began to contemplate quitting my career and returning to the Army or rushing down to aid in the rescue work. My friend, the store owner, struggled with similar thoughts. We wondered if it wasn’t disrespectful to the dead and wounded to have an evening of laughter and eroticism. Thanantos was unbearable and Eros seemed unachievable.

In the end we decided to go forward with the class as scheduled. But we offered full refunds for tickets, as we expected not many to show.

We were spectacularly wrong. Twenty-eight of thirty students arrived early and somberly took their seats. Jitteriness and anxiety wafted through room. As I began the class, they all looked towards me with an odd expression of hunger and need. Briefly we honored the loss and honored our fears. Then I launched into to my usual funny business, wise cracks, dirty jokes and practical sex tips. They seemed to laugh extra hard with bigger gusto and determination. So I worked really hard to be extra funny.

For two hours we laughed. I was probably not quite as funny as their laugh would have indicated, but I was probably the funniest thing encountered that entire day. The attendees’ joy and laughter brought me up from gloom and fear. For two hours death lost its boney grip on us. Life and hope came wearing the masks of humor and sex.

Disasters come. They always come.

I can’t bring back the dead. I can’t heal the wounded. But I can let the living snicker to a dirty joke and contemplate lovemaking. Levity has its place in affirmation of life.

So I keep on keeping on.




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