As some of you know, my next book was supposed to be Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous and I had planned to release it in November.
Unfortunately/fortunately (take your pick) in the last month or two my view of what safer sex is has changed pretty dramatically. Which means I have a book about safer sex due to publish next month that I don’t think accurately or completely covers safer sex.
Which means I no longer have a book coming out next month. After thinking about it a bit, here’s what I’m doing instead.
For now I’m going forward with the writing for Polyamory and Kink. I’ve already got a lot of the prep work done and the ideal schedule plotted out and such. While the schedule for Safer Sex just got thrown out the window.
While I’m working on Polyamory and Kink I’ll take some time to review what I have so far in Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous. I’ll be reviewing what needs to be changed, what needs to be added, and generally figuring out what I need to do encompass my new and expanded understanding of safer sex.
When I’m done writing Polyamory and Kink and have sent it out to the editors, I’ll get to work fixing Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous. With luck, Polyamory and Kink will be released on schedule in Fall of 2018, and the revised and expanded Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous will be out the year after that.
Why the big change?
The usual view of “safer sex” focuses exclusively on STIs. But “safety” is a much bigger concept than “not getting/managing illness.” A safer sex discussion to be complete should include things like latex allergies, low-strain sex positions (because throwing your back out is the opposite of “safe”), recognizing manipulation, healthy consent, contraception, and other things I’m just beginning to sort out.
When we reduce “safer sex” to “avoiding STIs” we both reinforce stigma against STIs (by acting like STIs are only thing relevant to sexual safety) and fail to address other important safety issues.
In the mean time, check out the Polyamory on Purpose Guides that have already been published.
I keep saying I’m going to start posting snippets from Safer Sex on my Patreon page. Time to finally get my shit together and do it. For the next several weeks I’ll be sharing sections from Safer Sex for the Non-Monogamous 3 times a week. These will be Patron only posts and the snippets won’t be final drafts. So expect typos and such, but they’ve been through first round edits so the general content shouldn’t change much between now and publishing.
I am, as usually, running behind schedule. But if I can keep on my current pace I can be ready to send the manuscript out my sensitivity editor in June, for an early August publication. So I’m not yet at my goal of a book every 6 months, but I’m getting closer.
Re: the blog.
As predicted, custody shit has stirred up all my mental illnesses, so posting went to hell. Rather than scramble to catch up, I’ll be writing/editing posts as I can and holding them to build back the buffer I lost a couple month ago. Once I have a two week buffer again I’ll resume posting on the website.
And since I mentioned custody shit–let me just say that it is going far better (and fast) than I expected. Court in is two weeks, so fingers crossed!
I don’t know about the rest of the world, but in the US over the past ten years or so, it has become common to speak of “safer sex” instead of “safe sex.” The idea, apparently, is that sex is never 100% safe, no matter how careful you are there is always the risk of getting an STI or someone getting pregnant, and, therefore, it is misleading to speak of “safe sex,” we should always and only speak of “safer sex.”
I’m calling bullshit.
When I was learning to drive I didn’t take a “safer driving” course, I took a safe driving course. The mandatory certificate for food handlers is called ServeSafe, not “ServeSafer.” Neither driving nor food handling can ever be made 100% safe. In the case of driving, because no matter how careful you are, some other idiot on the road can ram into you. In the case of food, because if the spinach came into your kitchen with e coli already on it, no matter how carefully you wash the leaves, someone might get sick from your salad.
In every similar context, American English is happy to use “safe” to mean “making the best effort to be safe.” But suddenly, when it comes to sex, “safe” can only be used to mean “100% without risk.”
Folks, show me anything 100% without risk and I will show you where you are wrong. Life doesn’t work that way. But in the rest of life, we are comfortable saying, “Yes, there is risk, I accept that and do my best to reduce the risk.” The push to use “safer sex” is coming from the same sex shaming viewpoint as the pamphlets at the local anti-abortion place that tell people you should never have sex outside of monogamous marriage or you might get an STI.
Like I said at the beginning, this may be just a US thing. God knows we have sex stigma to spare here. But it needs to stop. Which is why throughout this blog series I talk about safe sex. Not safer sex.
This post is part of the Safe Sex and STIs blog series.