TED: Circle of Caring

 

Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 2:50 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Living Dinosaurs

 

True Story: The first thing I ever wanted to be when I was a child was a unicorn. The second thing was an archeologist who specialized in the transition between the Triassic to Jurassic periods of the Mesozoic era. I was like 5.

Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 2:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Be Prepared: Have an Inner Tube

1am. Hurricane Irene. Flooded street.

 

Fuck it, we’ll do it live.

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 3:25 am  Leave a Comment  
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Come Talk About Yourself!

I am a huuuuge believer in community and networking. It is something that has gotten me this far in my life, and therefore deserves recognition and applause.

*claps for each and everyone of you reading this. Yes, you. Right now. Thank you.*

I was recently asked to help with a friend-of-a-friend’s project on the ineffable. What does sub space feel like?

I.am.stumped. I don’t think I have ever experienced something that I would identify as sub space. I’ve had sensations post orgasm tease/denial/forced scene that I could see potentially being called sup space, but I really feel they were more I-just-came-myself-stupid than some mythical (to me) state of being.

But YOU! Yes, you. Ok, maybe not you, but one of you reading has experienced this. Can you help? Tell me what sub space feels like to you. Or Dom space, what does dom space feel like to you? Below is the email sent to me, and feel free to leave your answers in the comments or to email them to me privately, or to comment anon on Formspring. I will not give any of your information out (deviants honor!) to anyone, and you will remain completely anonamous to whom will be using this information. So please help out?

-Samber

http://www.formspring.me/MsSamber

Samber dot Daniels at gee mail

“So essentially I am doing a PhD in understanding the ineffable* experience as it’s produced by aurally led immersive installation art. If you are curious as to what I mean, you can go to my website and have a look at the work I did in 2009: www.noisefornothing.com

I am asking about subspace because the space I am aiming to create/establish for the viewer is similar to sub-space.  I am pretty switch myself and can write about my own experiences, but i would like to see what other people say about their subspace, what gets them there, what it’s like for them etc.  I can create a form if that’s helpful.

Everyone’s anonymity would be guarded with the utmost care and I wouldn’t let anyone know who said what etc.

This is just a small explanation of what I am looking for.

Cheers
*awesome person

Published in: on March 22, 2011 at 1:09 pm  Comments (1)  

I Am a Professional Vagina

When people ask what I do, the conversation usually goes like this:

“I work at several theatres as a stagehand, and I am also an educator for *medical university I work for*”

“Oh really? What do you teach there?”

“I teach the med students how to do specialized exams.”

“Like what?”

*breathe* “I teach them how to do breast and pelvic exams keeping the patients education, involvement, and empowerment at the forefront of the exam.”

“oh”

It usually ends there. Which is kinda where I’m ok with the general public knowing it ends. With people I have any kind of relationship with, or who follow me on twitter, they know better. I am a GTA, or Gynecological Teaching Associate. I teach breast and pelvic exams to second & third year medical students, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, and residents, using my body as the model.

Its a kind of amazing job that I fell into, and it is often the subject of incredible conversations. I get so many different reactions when I tell people about my job. People wonder what kind of person would seek out a pelvic exam; they ask how I have the patience to have students exploring my intimate bits. But the most common thing I hear, is “Thank you”. So many women will tell me their horror stories, and thank me for trying to make a difference.

Of course with an odd job I get all sorts of questions. My personal favorite is when people ask “aren’t you afraid of stretching yourself out/extra mileage/getting loose/him not feeling anything?” I love shutting them down. “I wasn’t aware being ‘tight’ for ‘his’ pleasure was something I should strive for. Besides, its primarily trauma, exercise, and genetics that determine the width and strength of the vaginal muscles.” Ok, I lied. I really hate getting that question, because so many women are concerned about my abilty to please men instead of anything of importance. I am worth more and interested in far more than that het-normative patriarchal bullshit.

But yes, when you teach with your vulva, the world forgets that you have a line of privacy you would like to keep and asks all sorts of inappropriate details about your body, your sex life, you job, and student. Sometimes I tell folks that a question is inappropriate, or if its far out there, I’ll retort back with an equally demeaning, dehumanizing, and personal question about their body/life/privacy. But mostly I patiently answer. I feel I owe it to the world. If these people are willing to be brave enough to ask, I feel I should be strong enough to answer. As an educator it is my job to educate, is it not?

When coming out and into my own as a GTA, I had no idea how much my world would change. I knew I would never receive a medical pelvic exam the same, that I would be more aware of how jaded and inhuman doctors become. I wasn’t aware of how much of a role model and source of comfort I would become for some. I’ve had 40something women ask me questions about their bodies, men ask about things on behalf of their female partners, 30somethings ask what their vulvas are supposed to look like, and dozens of moments when people are about to drop their pants and ask if something is ‘normal’. I’ve had women ask me questions their drs shrugged off, questions about birth control, about body function and arousal, about pregnancy and children. I need to remind them that I am not a doctor, but my thoughts are….

This has been my work for almost three years. I teach students to treat women as humans, to trust women when it comes to their bodies, and to educate them about their bodies so they can become more involved in their own health. My place in the world is to be the liaison between the world of medicine and the world of patient; to know what is medically necessary, and what is inherently offensive to do to a patient. I expect more from my health care providers, put up with less, and give those who I encounter the language to do the same.

It’s a fairly odd job full of bodily function mishaps, nervous hands, faces of awe (and disapproval), but it is my job and my passion. I teach with my vulva, from the heart, for womankind.

-Samber

*note: Above I have used very cisgendered language, and I apologize for any offense this may have caused. When teaching we are to teach as a cisfemale, and the exam is structured around the cisfemale body. There is some minor talk about acceptance and open-mindedness in regards to people who identify anywhere under the GLBTQIA spectrum, but that is a whole other class that sadly I don’t get to be a part of.

Published in: on March 20, 2011 at 12:27 pm  Comments (1)  
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The Thing About Crotch Shots

I love the sexy bits. I am not here to rant about how genitals are gross. I’m here post my opinion on the cock shot. The cock shot; you’ve been accosted by it. you get a message in your inbox from someone you’ve been chatting up and BAH! there’s a shotty pic of an unwanted hard on in.your.fucking.face.

But wait, there’s more!

There’s the profile that is empty sans a sentence or two, and only one photo… what is that pic? RUN FOR THE HILLS ITS A COCK! Or you’re looking through someones profile, nice and happy, oh look, there is a picture of them on the beach -next- what a lovely photo. Oh they went to London, how great for them -next- oh here’s a..GOD DAMNIT! -close-

I did not ask to be assaulted by your junk.

I understand that your personal profile is what you want to put on it. But for the love of Gods I can’t figure out why someone would think putting a photo of their junk up is a good idea? Are there any persons out there who enjoy seeing this? I’m less upset when there are other photos of persons daily life up as well, but I personally lose a little respect for someone if they post a close up of their junk for no other reason than its a close up of their junk.

I am aware that I am bitching mostly about penis havers, and their belief that their penis is a god and must be photographed in a public bathroom with poor lighting and lotsa shadow with shaky hands as fast as possible before they get caught. I have the same issue for those with vaginae, and with those with breasts. I bitch less about them not because I prefer them, but because said havers often DON’T post without a purpose. When their bits are posted its either more than just bits, or its showing off a tie/piercing/enhancement/scene where it is no longer bits for bits sake.

Yes I’m generalizing.

I’ll pull randomly 100 profiles of people identifying as male, and 100 profiles of people identifying as female and show you the results if you like. I assure you, as an avid perver of adult themed social networking sites, the ratio of gratuitous cock shots to tit/cooter shots is crazy. I love seeing photos people post of nudity, of art, of scenes from their kink or daily life. I enjoy genitorture photos, pics of implants or crotch ties… If you did something you’re proud of show it off regardless of if your crotch is in it. There are photos even in my profile of my nude body, breasts, and of play partners nude body. But in all of those shots, the focus isn’t intended to be “OMG TITS!” or “PENIS!” its showing a tie, bruising, or other moments of “look what I did!”

I guess one could make the argument that showing off your crotch for nothing more than a crotch shot could be identified as something you are proud of or something you can do. But really it come off, to me anyhow, as “Puberty treated me well” or as “look, my penis does what it is designed to do”. There really isn’t a level of skill or talent involved in either scenario. So what is your opinion on the (not really) obligatory crotch shot? Like, love, annoyed? Do you have one posted, and why? do you loathe them like I do for other reasons? I would love to hear others opinions on this topic.

-me

Published in: on February 24, 2011 at 12:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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An Analogy, For Living With Permanant Illness

Thank you Ammre,

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing with me The Spoon Theory. Because of this I now have a way to explain to people what my life with Rheumatoid Arthritis is like. It fucking sucks. But like Lucas says, “Don’t let the Man get you down, Joe!” It’s something I live with every day not out of choice, but out of having to. Being uninsured and having an autoimmune disease is bullshit, but it’s my bullshit that i must be reminded of every time it hurts to make a fist, I can’t put on a bra, or the pressure of my weight on my feet is enough to make me contemplate the logistics of strategic bed-wetting. I can now explain to people why I’m fine one day, using a cane the next, and cringing at moving my cane arm the next. I have a reason to show people why I didn’t get something done that anyone should be able to. Thank you.

The author does not have RA, she has Lupus. Not that it matters, but for the sake of clarity. It also shows that the spoon theory reaches across the board covering both mental AND physical illness. I hope it can help you to understand you ‘sick’ friends, or even give you the words to explain yourself and your ‘sickness. I’ve copied and pasted for ya down below. The original is here

-Samber

 

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 3:21 am  Leave a Comment  

Probably One of the Best Compliments I Will Ever Receive

During a moment of personal distress, a good friend of mine called to calm me the fuck down, cheer me the fuck up, and overall restore homeostasis to my panic ridden brain. When he realized that I was pretty much over my personal drama and was mostly normal, he started questioning my possibly presenting at TEDTalks (which at this point in time was just a mild miscommunication). I explained how that rumor came to be and responded with “I don’t even know what I would talk about on stage for 20 minutes. I have no clue what I’d present”

He said “just go up there and present you. How and what you do that makes you, you. You have an educated heart and it is just part of you. I don’t think its something you’ve ever tried for.” “Um, educated heart?” And so he led me to Gelett Burgess. After some google-fu I was able to find what I believe to be the out-of-print essay that he was talking of. And here it is for you. I am completely astounded that someone feels this way about me, and I hope I can share that glow with others.

-Samber

HAVE YOU AN EDUCATED HEART?

by Gelett Burgess

LAST OCTOBER I sent Crystabel a book. She acknowledged it, and promptly. But two months afterward she actually wrote me another letter, telling me what she thought of that book; and she proved, moreover, that she had read it. Now, I ask you, isn’t that a strange and beautiful experience in this careless world? Crystabel had the educated heart. To such as possess the educated heart thanks are something like mortgages, to be paid in installments. Why, after five years Crystabel often refers to a gift that has pleased her. It is the motive for a gift she cares for, not its value; and hence her gratefulness.

Everything can be done beautifully by the educated heart, from the lacing of a shoe so that it won’t come loose to passing the salt before it is asked for. If you say only “Good morning,” it can be done pleasingly. Observe how the polished actor says it, with that cheerful rising inflection. But the ordinary American growls it out with surly downward emphasis. Merely to speak distinctly is a great kindness, I consider. You never have to ask, “What did you say?” of the educated heart. On the other hand, very few people ever really listen with kindly attention. They are usually merely waiting for a chance to pounce upon you with their own narrative. Or if they do listen, is your story heard with real sympathy? Does the face really glow?

Consider the usual birthday gift or Christmas present. By universal practice it is carefully wrapped in a pretty paper and tied with ribbon. That package is symbolical of what all friendly acts should be–kindness performed with style. Then what is style in giving? Ah, the educated heart makes it a business to know what his friend really wants. One friend I have to whom I can’t express a taste that isn’t treasured up against need. I said once that I loved watercress, and lightly wished that I might have it for every meal. Never a meal had I at his table since, without finding watercress bought specially for me.

Do you think it’s easy, this business of giving? Verily, giving is as much an art as portrait painting or the making of glass flowers. And imagination can surely be brought to bear. Are you sailing for Brazil? It isn’t the basket of fine fruits that bring the tears to your eyes, nor the flowers with trailing yards of red ribbon–all that’s ordinary everyday kindness. It’s that little purse full of Brazilian currency, bills and small change all ready for you when you go ashore at Rio.

There was old Wentrose–he understood the Fourth Dimension of kindness, all right. Never a friend of his wife’s did he puffingly put aboard a streetcar, but he’d tuck apologetically into her hand the nickel fare to save her rummaging in her bag. Real elegance, the gesture of inherent nobility, I call that. Is it sufficient to offer your seat in a streetcar to a woman? The merely kind person does that. But he does it rather sheepishly. Isn’t your graciousness more cultured if you give it up with a bow, with a smile of willingness? Besides the quarter you give the beggar, can’t you give a few cents’ worth of yourself too?

The behavior of the educated heart becomes automatic: you set it in the direction of true kindness and courtesy and after a while it will function without deliberate thought. Such thoughtfulness, such consideration is not merely decorative. It is the very essence and evidence of sincerity. Without it all so-called kindness is merely titular and perfunctory. Suppose I submit your name for membership in a club. Have I done you (or my club) any real service unless I also do my best to see that you are elected? And so if I go to every member of the committee, if I urge all my friends to endorse you, that is merely the completion of my regard for you.

It is like salt– “It’s what makes potatoes taste bad, if you don’t put it on.” Must you dance with all the wallflowers, then? I don’t go so far as that, although it would prove that you had imagination enough to put yourself in another’s place. All I ask is that when you try to do a favor you do it to the full length of the rope. Don’t send your telegram in just ten carefully selected words. Economize elsewhere, but add those few extra phrases that make the reader perceive that you cared more for him than you did for the expense. No one with the educated heart ever approached a clergyman, or a celebrity, or a long-absent visitor with the shocking greeting:”You don’t remember me, do you?” No, he gives his name first. No one with the educated heart ever said, “Now do come and see me, sometime!” The educated heart’s way of putting it is apt to be, “How about coming next Wednesday?”

And strongly I doubt if the educated heart is ever tardy at an appointment. It knows that if only two minutes late a person has brought just that much less of himself. Truly nothing is so rare as the educated heart. And if you wonder why, just show a group picture–a banquet or a class photograph. What does every one of us first look at, talk about? Ourself. And that’s the reason why most hearts are so unlearned in kindness. If you want to enlarge that mystic organ whence flows true human kindness, you must cultivate your imagination. You must learn to put yourself in another’s place, think his thoughts. The educated heart, remember, does kindness ‘with style’.

Published in: on January 12, 2011 at 2:43 am  Leave a Comment  

Introduce Yourself

Whenever I am asked to introduce myself, I have a difficult time walking the fine line between who I am, and what I do. Only recently am I starting to believe that I have been lucky enough to chose things that define who I am. How most people are more than their job, I have created an eclectic resume of self growth with the gigs I have chosen in my life. I guess I should start from the beginning?

Hi. I’m Samber. This name was given to me by my chosen family. It is a combination of my birth name and my name given to me at adoption. I am 27, and live with the family of my best friend of going on 15 years. Unlike most people I’ve met, I’m looking forward to getting older. I already have my 30th birthday planned :). I am a west coast transplant living in central NJ. My mother tells me that my birth parents were Scottish and Irish. My adopted parents are Irish, Scottish, and Polish. My birthday is in September, but I’ve been with my family since December of ’83. My Mom calls me her Christmas Miracle. We moved out here when I was still pretty little, and have been in Central NJ ever since.

I was raised some combination of Lutheran and Irish Roman Catholic. As in I was raised Catholic, but taught by my Lutheran mom everything about the church. I was never confirmed. My whole life I couldn’t imagine that this ‘one twroo god’ guy made this amazing gift called earth around us and expected us to stay inside a building we made to talk to him. Around the age of 12 I discovered Wicca. And I was all zOMG THEY GET IT!!! So I became a Wiccan. Then I discovered it was not for me. I felt like they had some of it right, but not all of it. Skip ahead a dozen years and several glances at religion and I am now apprenticing to be a Druid High Priestess.

My resume is pretty impressive. I worked daycare at a christian exercise class in the basement of a church, worked in a fish store cleaning the fuckers, dealing with crabs and catching  caught fish in the mornings when the boss came in. I can peel shrimps like a mofo now. I’m a massage therapist by trade, and have retail, barista, waitress, customer service, tow truck driving, receptionist, paintball gun fixing, and grocery bagging skills to rely on. Fuck yeah I’m well rounded. Currently I work as a stagehand and as a health care educator for UMDNJ. My life is kinda awesome.

I’m shamelessly pro-choice and actively fighting for womans/gender/sexuality/racial rights. I camp a lot, I recreate history for 2 weeks out of the year, and run a burner camp in DE 2 weekends a year. I try to be a good person, and people seem to think I am, so I guess my plan is working. One of my many nicknames is Momma, for my unending desire to help, mother, nurture, and feed everyone I care for.

I’m an orange haired, kinky, queer, gender fluid fatty who loves themselves and what I do.

Published in: on January 6, 2011 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Seeking Advice

Regardless of my slacking on posting a detailed description of the many jobs I do, the one in question now is my work as a GTA. I have decided this is far too long to tweet about, so if you followed me from twitter, fan-tastic.

Lets Brief You on Exactly What This Means I Do:
I am a stunt cunt. A professional vagina. On a more professional sounding note, I am a Gynecological Teaching Associate. I teach med students, nurse practitioners, physicians assistants, and friends how to perform breast and pelvic exams using my body as the model. In turn we educate them on proper verbiage, technique, and ways to empower and educate their patients. This means that I am constantly allowing myself to be attacked by shaky inexperienced hands for the sake of medicine and safety of future patients.

These baby health care providers stare intently, touch, poke, prod, and penetrate all of my female bodied bits. And I show them patience as they learn, telling the how much pressure is appropriate, why using your patient as a leaning post is a less than stellar idea, and why I want them to change their gloves between scratching their eye and putting it inside me.
I love my job. With a large part of my heart.

What I do pays well. It does because this is a very invasive exam, that we as GTA’s need to stay in control of. The rates vary on which group I teach with, and probably what part of the country you’re in, but in my experience to teach breast and pelvic to a group of 3-4 students is $125-$175 for about 2 hours. I have done these sessions for less before, but on *my own terms*.  Which is what I need your advice on today.

Lemme Show You Part Of The Dark Side:

At one of the universities I teach at, there is a terribly named week called “sex week”. This is when all of the 2nd year students get submersed in STI’s, male pelvic exams, and female pelvic exams. My first year working sex week the breast and pelvic exams were taught separately. I was in the breast room. At the beginning of the sessions I was told I’d have (not enough) time to teach how to do the exam, 4 students per session, and 3 sessions to be taught for an established price. What I got was a rotating door of students, no breaks, and no session starting on time or with the same number of students in the room as when it ended. By the end of the “sessions” I had taught 34 med students how to do a breast exam. Not the agreed upon 12, thirty-fucking-four students. For the same price as before. It was non negotiable. Strangely enough I didn’t know I should be upset about this more than I was at the time.

As I sat at home in a terrible head space holding my aching snack trays I wondered why I felt so used, filthy, disgusted, and powerless. I questioned if this was a job I was cut out to do, and seriously debated quitting. I took a shower and sat under the water until it dawned on me; I was taken advantage of. In every sense. Not only did I not get the surroundings I agreed to, I got almost 3 times the amount of students I was prepared for, and paid less than I felt my body and knowledge was worth for 12, let alone 34, inexperience hands on my business.

Something About It Gets Better & Things Never Really Change:

It has been almost 3 years since that day of shittery. Things have changed at that university, however I am still always wary about any work I pick up there. I have become more knowledgeable, experienced, comfortable and confident in myself, my work, my education, and my body. Sex week 2011 is coming up in a couple of weeks. I know this because I signed up for it in September. I received an email from the boss-monster that I was working all 7 session, as I was one of the first to sign up for it. About 4 days later I received an email, same boss-monster (BM), asking all of the GTA’s working sex week for their opinion on a dilemma. BM wants us to all get as much work as possible but does not have the budget to put us all on at our normal price. So would we rather ALL work every session for 50 bucks less a session, or keep our already assigned schedules in place. I thought this was a no-brainer (At this point I hadn’t even read the email telling me i was working all of the dates.I assumed I was just on a bunch) and that all the folks would work the shifts they were told from the get-go.

I and 3 others have responded. I was the first, saying I am not in favor of the change. the other three voted in favor. Under the belief that there will be 6 students a session, and the GTA’s would switch after three. What this means is that we would get to see our co-workers ways of teaching (which is awesome because you get to learn new tools for teaching, and help them in their problem areas) and all get the same amount of work.

These sex week sessions are taught a little different. Instead of 2 hours to teach a pelvic exam to 3-4 students, we now have 90 minutes to teach 3-5 students how to do breast and pelvic exams. To save on time and not terrify the students (they do this again 3rd year) we teach a very watered down exam focusing on how to communicate, palpate, and insert stuff. So the GTA’s are still getting the same amount of touch, just spending less time on the explaining the why’s behind stuff.

The dilemma:

I’m in a really shitty financial place. I cannot afford to turn down work. Working sex week at either rate means my 2.5 bills are paid in full, or 5 bills can get paid something. This is a lot in my world. At the same time, that whole victim-powerless-used head space is not something I ever want to put myself in, especially for money. How can I teach empowerment if I myself am feeling disempowered by being forced to let you touch my body for less than what I am worth at any other day in this venue. Should I feel this is OK because I am teaching the students in less time, and in less detail? Or should I feel enraged that my BM with my best interest at heart thinks I’m OK with letting her save a couple bucks while the same number of hands touch me, the same number of specula get put in me, and the same number of students leave the room stunned and impressed?
I need the money, but do I need it at the risk of feeling cheapened and disgusted with my physical and mental self?

I understand that ultimately the decision is mine to make. But I have thrown this back and forth in my brain for at least 4 days now with no conclusion. Give on the fiscal front, be at peace in my survivors skin. Or allow myself to be discount goods so I can pay my phone bill.
I welcome your sage-like wisdom.
-Samber

Published in: on December 20, 2010 at 2:53 am  Comments (5)  
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