There is so much I could write about that I hardly know where to start. In the last six months I have gone through a lot of growing and changing. This process seems only to be getting more intense and important as the days go by. This year I went to an amazing and extremely diverse conference called "Queering the Nation," was in Toronto for queer pride week, fell in love with a wonderful boy, came out to my parents, "broke up" with a girl I was dating, fought city council to sign a pride week proclamation, ended up coming out publicly on the local news, started to explore my spiritual side, and above all else I am learning to find out who I really am and where I fit in this world. I am continually learning to reevaluate things and find pleasure in simple things such as a gentle breeze or the sound of a bird passing by. I am spreading my wings and digging in my claws; devouring life. For quite some time, I thought I was immune to what other people had to
say about me. I realized that I hold myself back quite a bit and am learning to explore vulnerability. I am learning how to hold my own and look out for myself.

As all these things are happening I get a bit jumbled. I continually feel myself drifting away from the world of hardcore and creating my own space. I still hold on because I know there are lots of amazing and intelligent people out there who have a lot to offer. I'd like to start off by saying a big thank you to HeartattaCk and all the people who have
gotten in touch with me through my writing. It is always inspiring to hear what other people think. With that said, here is the latest round of rants.

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Not so long ago a boy named Matthew Shepard was killed in the States. He was tied to a fence, beaten with a gun and left to die. He was discovered a while later and taken to the hospital where he died. Matthew Shepard was an out queer college boy and some idiots thought this somehow gave them the right to kill him. This whole incident had me really shaken up. The first thing that came to my mind when I read about this was "that could have been me." This is a hard reality to confront. The even scarier thing is that this happens continually. I have to wonder what was so special about the Matthew Shepard case that the media actually paid attention to it. I would like to take that as an indication that people are beginning to confront homophobes more often, but when I also read about the folks at the funeral with "God hates fags" signs I realize how far we all have to go. If nothing else these incidents should make us fight harder rather than sulk away or remain closeted. Proclaiming that homophobia is bad is not enough, we need to continually challenge homophobia every time we encounter it to ensure that various sexualities are affirmed and celebrated. We all need to share the responsibility of making this world a better place.

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"Political correctness" seems to be the buzzword of the 90's. Conservatives originally coined this phrase in order to downplay the efforts of people who are basically concerned with equality. This phrase has been used in so many different ways that I don't even know what it means. At times "political correctness" makes sense and works to challenge bigotry. At other times it is stifling to the point where people don't know how to communicate and end up ignoring issues all together. This leads me to a few thoughts on language and how we use it.

For example the word "fuck" has all sorts of various uses and connotations. There is this overwhelming tendency to use the word negatively, i.e. "fuck off." This goes hand in hand with phrases such as "you asshole," and "that sucks ass." The way we use these words and phrases is demonstrative of the fact that we live in a sex negative culture. Every time we use "fuck" as an insult or in a negative way we reinforce the thinking that sex and fucking are somehow bad things. As many people will surely attest, fucking can be a lot of fun. The same thing goes for assholes. When we call someone we hate an asshole we enforce the false belief that our bodies are dirty and that asses are bad. As for ass sucking, don't knock what you haven't tried!

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While I'm on the topic of asses I might as well keep ranting. Asses are great! A lot of people seem to shy away from ass play when they have sex. This could be for a couple of reasons, either people are still convinced that asses are horrible or people don't really know how to go about ass play. A lot of boys are afraid to experiment with ass play for fear that they will become queer or "less manly." If that is the case, think about what all this means and take a chance at having fun. If you are a boy learn about your prostate and use it!

There are a few basic things that people should try to keep in mind when playing with asses. Likely the most important thing to keep in mind when putting anything up your ass or someone else's is to use lots of lube. Ass play SHOULD NOT hurt. If it does, you have a few options: add more lube, slow down, try another position or use something smaller. If you are finding ass play to be painful stop and figure out why before you continue. If you are playing with asses be sure to keep what you shoved up there separate from other types of play. Getting shit in mouths, vaginas and penises is not a good thing and can easily give a person some sort of parasite or infection. Don't switch from ass play to other types of play without cleaning first. If you are planning on sucking ass it is also a good idea to make sure everyone is nice and clean. If you see or have any open sores on your ass it is best to avoid ass play all together.

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Almost every dialogue in hardcore about sex and monogamy seems to focus on the negative aspects. We continually rehash our thoughts on rape and sexual violence and in the process we forget that sex can be fabulous. Sexual violence is something we need to confront, but it isn't the only aspect of the sex we have with each other. Sex and relationships should enhance our lives.

From my experiences a lot of people give lip service to the idea of monogamy and act otherwise. For example, after much hesitation a friend of mine recently decided to enter a monogamous relationship. She was fine with having an open relationship but her partner claimed that he wanted monogamy. She finally agreed to have a monogamous relationship with him. It did not help them at all and it turns out that he played around with an old partner of his and lied to her about it.

We are continually fed and believe that in order to have valid, loving relationships they need to be one on one. I think this stems from the fact that our society is so wrapped up in Christianity and we accept the notions imposed on us. We are not given any tools to create effective and loving open relationships and we are afraid make our own. I am in
an open relationship and I don't have any desire to change that. I see no reason to stop myself from loving someone or having a relationship with him or her because I am in another relationship. A cornerstone of any relationship is honesty and I think this is absolutely essential, especially for open relationships. I am finding that the challenge of
having a healthy open relationship to be extremely exciting and rewarding.

If we are to have fulfilling lives we can't shy away from discussing anything. If punk is supposed to be some kind of counter culture, then doesn't it make sense to challenge the sex negativity of our society and examine how we all perpetuate these myths? At the same time, we should also explore and question the motivations behind having monogamous relationships, or open relationships for that matter.

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I have come to the conclusion that porn isn't horrible. I also don't think porn is wonderful. A lot of porn is exploitive but I don't think it is inherently problematic. There is porn out there that has women in positions of power, that has reciprocation, that explores sexuality beyond the missionary position, that isn't all white or all heterosexual, that challenges popular notions of beauty. It just isn't popular. Just because crappy porn is readily available and usually horrible we don't have to write off porn all together. For example, it is easy to find s/m material and there are magazines for all kinds of fetishes and sexualities. Just to give you a small taste of what is out there you might want to have a look at the web sites listed below. If you are interested in fat, hairy queer men check out American Bear magazine or American Grizzly at: www.amabear.com. If you are into queer boys over 30 check out Daddy magazine at: www.charm.net/~ganymede/index.html. If you are into fat dykes check out Fatgirl at: www.fats.com/fatgirl. There are plenty of others out there too. These are just a few that spring to mind right now. Have fun and question your preconceptions! If you don't find porn that interests you there is always the option of making your own which can be fun too!

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As always, I encourage people to get in touch (with each other, ha ha).
The search for some sort of truth continues.

Pursue happiness!