Archive for January, 2015

Rainbow_flag_and_blue_skies Where did Gay pride begin?  Was it with Oscar Wilde and his trial in London?  The Stonewall riots in New York?

Although same sex love is as old as love itself, public talk of it actually started in Munich, in 1867, when an 42 year old lawyer, Karl Ulrich found himself debating whether or not to march into a room filled with German Jurists.  After rousing enough courage to step inside, he spoke.  The assembly heard of the persecution of people with a “sexual nature opposed to common custom”.

Forced to stop his speech, all hell broke loose. But the message rang true for many of his colleagues that day.  One of them, Karl Kertberg, an Austrian writer who opposed absurd sodomy laws and coined the word “homosexuality”, took up the charge.  Then Berlin became the epicenter of the movement when Der Eigene, the very first gay journal in the world, was published from 1896 to 1932 by Adolf Brand in Berlin.

The heart of German Idealism and Romanticism: heroes who steal their freedom and make their own laws – living in their own moral universe – the spirit that fueled the first gay rights movement.  The Berlin police commissioner, for his part, sort of endorsed it by permitting the bars and clubs and theaters to stay open.  By thoroughly documenting every gay or lesbian he could find – he obviously had a nefarious agenda: The Department of Homosexuality (1885) carefully catalogued everyone involved (at least the uptown types).

Through the 1920’s, Berlin still held the gay movement in a close embrace.  The films and songs that emerged from that period led to the Reichstag government’s decriminalization of homosexuality in 1929.  But before the final vote could even take place, the stock market crash’s chaos put the law on ice.

Even in the sciences, the famous German sexologist Magnus Hirschfeld, who was the first openly gay doctor and gay rights advocate.  Unlike Freud’s flawed ideas that sexuality can be mutated and therefore be curable through therapy, Hirschfeld advocated that gayness was biological.  He was also the first one who wrote about transsexuals.  Clearly a pioneer, he founded the Institute for Sexual Science (1919-1933) which was – you guessed it again – shut down by the Nazi’s.

It’s My Call

Posted on: January 27th, 2015 by Madison Lake No Comments

file5041240433770

Okay, so here’s the deal…

I met this guy. Well, we haven’t actually met, but we connected – years ago – two, maybe three. I can’t really remember. It was online. Well, not online as in dating. It was on Twitter. He followed me, or I followed him. I can’t really remember that either. But I answered his call to collaborate on a writing gig. Totally random.

He was looking to partner up with another writer to do a really cool project where the main character of his book would link up with the main character in another writer’s book and there would be a meshing of characters and visions and stories. So we took a chance. We did it. My Liam Irish and his Simony Chiavary became lovers and our stories wove into one in two separate books. It was quite brilliant actually (his idea), and very fun. And did I say easy? It was as if we read each other’s minds.

Since that time we have stayed connected via Twitter, Facebook and email. (what on earth would we do without social media?!) Snippets of his real life story and my real life story have been shared – cautiously. Our paths have crossed several times – online. Currently we are working collaboratively on another project – our personal journeys of grief through one poem.

Although we have never actually met it feels as if a real friendship has been forged – no judgement, no barriers, no expectation. Just trust.

Now, after all this time, he has requested a phone call. A real phone call. He is, after all, a real person. So am I. And really, it’s about time. He’s hinted at it before. He’s sent me his number and I dismissed it, not intentionally, just not thinking too much about it. But seriously, a long time ago was about time to call. Yet somehow I seem to think this clandestine world of ours might be broken into a million pieces – dissipating on the impact of voice. That the spell might be broken. I mean, isn’t that what this unrealistic, ridiculous online lifestyle is all about? It’s the perfect ruse. Hiding behind the screen. Or maybe I’m just reading too much into it.

It’s my call.

 

 

rolling-stones-i-miss-you

Hello and cheers to yet another Monday,

I hope January has been treating you well so far, and if you are snowed in, as I am, I hope you stay warm and weather the winter storms as safely as possible, preferably in the company of your loved ones.  I am having already a second cup of Gyokuro tea today, and trying to focus on editing and writing, which is going more slowly than I would like to, but I am happy to be making a progress and – tomorrow is another day.

Today I am feeling nostalgic and playing good old Rolling Stones.  For you below is one of my all time favorites, I Miss You.  I really do…

Stay warm, and be cozy!
Love,
Madison

human-vs-robot-12

Its 2015 and the future is now!  If you haven’t already found love and sex and all the good things that go with it, chin up!  It seems possible that you’ll be able to fit it into your busy schedule.  It seems likely that robots will replace a few jobs in the next few decades.  The idea of virtual sex has been around since the early 90’s – that cliched “interactive” sex with machines that was supposed to evoke and create real emotion without the interruption of a real person – the fictional place where you can satisfy any kink you might have – in total privacy and without doing harm to anyone.  Customized sex has been a fading dream for several decades – but how could it ever mirror the human emotion of the real thing?  If you can generate the perfect mate, what will happen to our declining population?

Maybe we have been thinking about it all wrong.  The merging of socializing and technology has escalated in recent years.  Not only have we customized our personal spaces (real and virtual) down to the finest details, but the internet is fast becoming an actual place.  And more and more it is this place that we want to spend our idle hours.  In Spike Jonze’s Her, we saw a portrayal of a man lost in love’s and companionship’s new virtual realm.  Social media and sexual media have traveled way past the sex ‘addiction’ finger pointing.  How immersive will the tech become?

That pioneer of new media – Facebook – has recently purchased the rights to immerse us even more, by buying the most advanced virtual reality tech – Oculus Rift – for 2 billion dollars.  They obviously see the potential of virtual reality to connect the billions of their current users more deeply than before.  And although L.A.’s booming porn industry is scrambling to get in on the opportunity, how long will it be until we can get our loved one off from across the globe?    Won’t we still long for the real thing?

One forward thinking Dutch company is betting on the change.  Although in its early stages, Kiiro consists of a pair of devices that try connect 2 lovers over long distances and through technology, help them have sex.  Sex-toys that work in real-time are known as ‘tele-dildonics’ which aim to make our virtual connections a more intimate and tactile domain.  So far, this is the best we can do.  Yet in light of the hacking scandal that distributed personal images of famous starlets, how far will the imagination seek?  Will we one day scan digital copies of ourselves that float around in a virtual world, where anyone can do what they like with it?   If this is the case, the transformation has certainly already begun.

As tech drives breakthroughs in the possibilities for connections, the older generation falls back on its all-too-familiar worrisome rants.  But the idea that kids today are somehow more isolated and selfish as a result of new technology is shortsighted and hypocritical.  Rather than isolating themselves, this generation is simply doing what was done in previous generations:  allowing technology to make breakthroughs in the way we hook-up.  The same wave of technology that drove the sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll era of the so called ‘sexual revolution’ is driving this movement too.  To call it time-wasting or addictive is simply agist.  Technology is an expression of who we are and what we want – in the office and in the bedroom.

1377035664cdzon

Deciding to put energy into finding a companion this new year has made me consider the ways in which we go about meeting that special someone. How much of our behaviour in the mating ritual is ingrained in us by the way we were raised (our generation) and how much is based on personality?

For example, even though it’s 2015, I still find it challenging to approach a man I am interested in. Is it because I am shy or is it because I was raised to let the man be the one to make the first move? On the other hand, many men I’ve dated get offended if I offer to pay for dinner or drinks, yet I enjoy paying my share, especially if I was the one to recommend the place. I’m not a stickler about it but why should ‘the man’ be expected to pay for everything? And this is just the half of it.

I wonder if things are different in same sex relationships and if these issues even exists. I wonder how many dating twenty or thirty-something’s ideals are skewed by these types of issues?

I’m no expert, but n the year 2015 I’m surprised at how little our behaviours have actually changed. I’d love to explore this subject. What’s your view?