Preparing for my Journey to the Frozen North

Posted: February 15, 2017 by Isaac Cross in About Me, Events, Life Log

10:30am Wednesday
15th of February in the year of 2017

With the lovers’ holiday passed, I turn my attention to preparations for my valiant trek to the frozen north. Not since my travels to Anchorage for Northern Exposure have I faced such daunting latitudes. Yet even then, I availed myself of modern air travel, which I have shunned for this journey in favor of my trusty motored carriage.

Leaving the comforts of my home in Denver is never an occasion to be taken lightly. My other recent ventures to the territories of Las Vegas and New York were great successes. Yet, I must not be over confident. There are many dangers on the Northern Biway, not least of which are people who voted for Trump and are still proud of that.

I will have to keep my wits about me.

Upon arrival in the town of Edmonton, in the territory of Alberta, I will seek out a secretive band of revelers said to be observing the ancient festival of Lupercalia. (Which in Rome, would have actually begun today, the 15th of February) If I am able to locate them, as well as decipher the local language and currency, I will attempt to be accepted into the festivities, perhaps by offering knowledge or skills of value to them in exchange for food and a place to sleep.

For example:

Adding Holes: Play Piercing Basics – Saturday morning
Flipping the Switch – Saturday afternoon
Brain Play: The Joy & Dangers of Mind Fuck – Sunday morning

I will depart Denver tomorrow morning and keep studious logs so that others can benefit from any discoveries or observations that I make, even if I perish.

Wish me well, fellow travelers, with luck, I will see you soon.

  • Isaac Cross
    Adventurer, Educator, Smart Ass

What do I do with all these needles?

Posted: February 8, 2017 by Isaac Cross in Advice, Learn Something, Technique

Sharps

Editor’s Note: This is a Guest Post from our island friend Aloha_Adventures. She is not your doctor or lawyer and neither are we at XCBDSM. This guide should not be interpreted as professional medical or legal advice. Consult someone with letters after their name for that stuff. If you would like to hear more about kinky life on the Hawaiin Islands, let us know in the comments or send us a message. Maybe we can convince her to write more. 

Ok, so some of us love to poke and get poked because needles are awesome!!! But what are we supposed to do with them afterwards?

It has been told to me in the past that you could just deposit a sharps container at a pharmacy when you are done. Unfortunately this does not seem to universally be the case for those of us in the state of Hawaii. Some pharmacies do not want to accept back needles they did not sell you (see this article from Hawaii News Now)

So what do we do after the needle scenes are all finished?

The State of Hawaii recommends placing the needles into a solid plastic container with an opening small enough that someone cannot put their hand into it (ex. An empty detergent bottle) and marking the container with “BIOHAZARD”, it is recommended to also mark it “non-recyclable”. When it is about 80% full or less, put a 10% bleach solution in the bottle and let it sit for a bit and then dump the bleach solution down your sink, cap the container and dispose of it in an opaque trash bag (I would recommend a black “contractor” style bag but this is not required).

To my understanding, this also means that you can disinfect your sharps containers with 10% bleach when they are done, dump the bleach down the drain, lock them (using the permanent closing feature) and then just put them in your normal garbage.

Out of respect for public safety, I would recommend that if you know your garbage gets gone through by people looking for recyclables, maybe dispose of your sharps in a dumpster or trash can in an area less likely to be dug through.

While we are talking about sharps, let’s talk about body fluids and risk aware consensual kink. With regards to other sharp objects often used in kink play, vampire gloves with leather usually cannot be sterilized without destroying the gloves, so be risk aware and either only use one pair on one person or be knowledgeable of the risk of some amount of other people’s body fluids (like micro amounts of blood) being exposed to you from implements used on others. These kind of implements causes tiny breaks in the skin which increase the risk of transmission of blood borne illnesses more than simply having someone else’s body fluids on your unbroken skin. I’m not saying don’t do it, I’m saying be aware of the risk involved.

Implement like metal claws, pinwheels and knives that scratch the skin should be sterilized preferably by stronger sterilization method than just alcohol (autoclaving being the best option, cavicide is another option although it does not reduce the risk to zero) before being used on another person or preferably they should be reserved as one set of claws or scratching/cutting implement per bottom. As always, being risk aware is critical to you and your partner(s) personal safety and health.

Let’s all have fun my kinky friends and keep up the pokey fun!


Curious about the rules in other states? Here’s a guide.

This is a general guide to all sorts of items and how they are supposed to be disposed of in Hawaii.

HIV testing and information (I recommend not disposing of your needles through non-profits as it may take away funds from people with actual addiction issues).

Know your status, free testing for HIV and other STIs is available through the state of Hawaii at the Diamond Head Health Clinic.

What Does Education Mean To Me?

Posted: February 6, 2017 by Isaac Cross in Learn Something, Philosophy

8-point-star FullColor and Text

A few months ago, I published the culmination of many years of work, detailing my core beliefs and guiding principles. I said, then, that I was going to expand on each of the items listed there and it’s time to start working on that. I will be posting a long series of posts talking about the central values and ideals that I try to live by.

EDUCATION - 1

Principle: I will willingly share my skills, knowledge, and experience with others.

Background

I first entered the public kink community in 2006, just after turning 21. I would have joined much earlier, but at the time, everything in the Denver community was restricted to people over 21. So before we were old enough to attend events, my partner and I based our play off of what we were able to find on the internet, which was mostly porn. It turns out, that is not the most reliable source material. As a result, there were a number of injuries, some of them were relatively serious.

So when I was finally able to enter the community, I became very passionate about education and very vocal about lowering age limits at events, especially educational things. I want to prevent others from making the mistakes that I did.

At the time, there was an educational group called SKALES which offered weekly classes with local teachers. I attended SKALES classes for many years and met many of my early mentors and role-models there.

In 2009, I was at a basic rope bondage class. As everyone was practicing, I was doing a hair-bondage trick I had picked up elsewhere when someone asked me to show them how to do it. As I talked them through the method, some others gathered around and started following along themselves. This was, in a way, the first time I had taught kink. After the class, one of the SKALES organizers approached me and said that she thought I should teach a class and asked what I would like to teach. I expressed that I didn’t think I was ready to be teaching, but she insisted. A few months later, I taught my first formal class on the topic of negotiating scenes.

About a year after that, I was invited to teach at a conference for the first time. Now, six years later, I am running a major educational organization in Colorado, and have taught at over a dozen conferences and many other venues across the US, and have even had the opportunity to teach internationally.

The Principle

I will willingly share my skills, knowledge, and experience with others.”

While I have done a lot of work developing original ideas, new techniques, and styles of play that are unique to me, I could never have done any of that without a base of knowledge and a network of individuals who continue to inspire and challenge me. I will always endeavor to pay that forward.

I also believe it is our obligation to do what we can to prevent injuries and other negative outcomes, including stigma, resulting from BDSM activities. Education is the single greatest way that we can serve that end.

However, just because I am committed to education, does not mean that I believe it should always be done solely out of the goodness of my heart. At the end of the day, I have bills to pay, and if I am going to take a week off of work (unpaid) to travel some distance at some expense to present classes that I have spent countless hours developing, I do expect to be compensated for that. I often offer what I know for free when I am able to (this website, for example), but we cannot expect educators in our community to go broke in service to the rest of us. If we value good education, we should be willing to pay for it, provided that appropriate measures are put in place to ensure that those who truly can’t afford it are still able to access those resources, as well.

What I’m Doing

I teach workshops on everything from practical kink skills to more obscure and tangential concepts like providing mental health support for your peers. As I write this, I am sitting in a hotel in Las Vegas where I just finished teaching classes for their “Sin in the City” conference. I’ll be back in Denver for a week or two, then I leave for Canada for another conference. Last year, I traveled more than ever before, including teaching for the Rome BDSM Conference in Italy.

In addition to traveling the country (and now, the world) teaching about kink and alternative relationships, I have been focusing locally on basics. I led the new member orientation at my local kink club twice a month for years and still teach a longer kink 101 class monthly, as well. And while it’s not something I keep track of, I also do a lot of one-on-one instruction.

But the work I am most proud of is founding the Colorado Center for Alternative Lifestyles, an educational charity which has drastically increased the availability of education both in Denver and across the state.

What You Can Do

Even if you’ve only been in kink for a short time, you likely have information that others would find valuable. Look for opportunities to help others, even if just to tell them about parties or other local community events. If you are coming into the community with pre-existing knowledge about psychology or building construction or any number of other fields, that information may be useful and interesting to others. You can share that by writing about it on fetlife or sending it to websites (such as this one) as a guest post submission. Reach out to local education/discussion groups and ask if you can lead a discussion or teach a class on something you know a lot about.

Attend as many classes as you can, too. Look for what’s missing or things you disagree with or have strong feelings about. Those are the topics that you can use for a class of your own.

Do Research. Having accurate, reliable information is critically important, especially for those just starting out. You can help. Too often, people teach based on their own intuition or best guesses. While your experience is certainly valid, you have to account for the possibility that you are the exception, not the rule (or that there IS no rule). Reach out and determine if your observations are consistent with others’. Also, depending on your topic, there may be actual scientific research available. As kink becomes more accepted, professional researchers have begun to explore the topics of alternative sexuality and relationships and a lot of good information is available to those who look for it.

Finally, ask a lot of questions. Explore new ideas and share them with others. But always remember to give credit. (More on that when I write about Authenticity)

Emailing Me

Posted: February 6, 2017 by Isaac Cross in Uncategorized

For whatever reason, the email I have set up for this website is being bad these last few weeks.

Please use XCBDSM@gmail.com until I can get Cross@XCBDSM.com back up and running.

Why Do We Kink?

Posted: January 9, 2017 by Isaac Cross in Learn Something, Philosophy

I have been involved in the public kink community now for about 11 years. In that time, I have spent countless hours discussing and debating the nature of what it is that we do, and why it is that we do it. And I have found that there are, generally, a few group of viewpoints on the subject. Many people are a mix of more than one of these. Read the rest of this entry »

Is this your first time?

Posted: October 21, 2016 by Jordyn in Uncategorized

My first time skiing: I fell down (a lot).

First time snowboarding: I fell down. A lot.

First time cooking: I made a grape and black olive salad… Thing. It was beyond awful. My next couple attempts weren’t great either (inedibly salty falafel).

First time I picked up a violin for school: I sucked. A lot. It was also terrible.

First time I masturbated with a toy: It was super scary and I wasn’t able to get inside myself. Read the rest of this entry »

Over this last weekend, I had the opportunity to address the Rocky Mountain Rebellion Convention in Salt Lake City. The theme of the event was “Rebelling Against Shame”. Below is the content of that speech, as well as some additional information.

~~~

[Full Text of Speech]

I joined the kink community on July 16, 2006. In the years since, I have lost track of the many parties, classes and social events that I have attended, but I do know that this is my 26th conference. In that time, many dates stand out, but few more than an evening in November of 2013 when I received a call telling me that a friend in the community had committed suicide.

Across the US, in any given year, 1 in 4 adults will struggle with a mental health problem, but because of stigma, lack of availability, and other factors, only a small percentage will seek help. The good news is research tells us that the prevalence of these issues in the kink community are lower than the general public. However, when people in the kink community do face a mental health challenge, they are far less likely to seek help, largely because they do not believe that their lifestyle will be understood or respected.

In culturally isolated communities like ours, SHAME LITERALLY TAKES LIVES.

That’s why I wear a pin on my vest for suicide awareness and prevention. It’s why our organization in Colorado is working with the NCSF and supporting their Kink Aware Professionals (KAP) list, and it’s why I have spent a huge amount of my time for the last year working to train individuals within the community to recognize the signs of a mental health problem or crisis and offer appropriate assistance. Because in a community like ours, no one should ever have to make or receive that phone call.

The National Behavioral Healthcare Council has set the goal of reaching one million people trained in Mental Health First Aid by the year 2020. I am personally working to see that at least one thousand of those are people within the kink community.

You can help by going to MentalHealthFirstAid.org and finding a class near you. If there isn’t a class near you, CALL ME and I will come and facilitate one.

For everyone who has been lost and for everyone who can still be helped, please do your part.

Thank you.

~~~

National Mental Health First Aid
Utah Suicide Prevention Coalition
MHFA Colorado

The other States in the Rocky Mountain region (Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana) currently do not have a dedicated site for information on local classes. If you live in those states, or any other in the country, you can visit the national website so search for a class near you.

~~~

I am a certified Mental Health First Aid Instructor. I am authorized to provide this training anywhere in the United States. If you would like to organize a MHFA training for your area, please feel free to contact me.

XCBDSM@gmail.com

~~~

Thank you to all who approached me after the speech offering resources, connections and assistance. I hope to be in contact with you all soon. If you don’t hear from me, please reach out to me.