The Camp Vamp: Katrina Fox

Commentary on GLBTIQ issues, social justice and some of life's quirks.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Find your fetish

While I'm not particularly hardcore in my sexual activities, I do have a rich fantasy life in which power-play and S/M feature fairly predominantly - whether it's Geena Davis as President Mackenzie Allen punishing her press secretary Kelly for various transgressions in Commander in Chief, or reliving my schooldays where my old bag of a PE teacher, formerly a member of the England Women's Cricket team, gets creative on my arse with various implements.

The 'leather' pride movement celebrates people's various fetishes and indulgences that are generally seen to be outside the mainstream. But it's not all just about PVC and whips, there's any number of things that can be considered kinky - like having sex while listening to The Seekers, as I did this weekend. After digging out some old albums, I was so excited by the protest song 'We Shall Not Be Moved' (currently my song of the week), that my long-suffering girlfriend - used to my occasionally bizarre idiosyncrasies - agreed to my bringing a compilation CD of the group into the bedroom on Sunday for musical accompaniment to our scheduled shagging session (yes, scheduled - we lead busy lives, ok!) . Oh, that's nothing, I hear you some of you say - background music while fucking is normal, even if it is saccharin-soaked, happy-clappy '60s folk pop. Well, that may be the case for songs about knowing you'll 'never find another you', but when you get into 'I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing' territory while licking your girlfriend's nipples, it gets a little out of the ordinary. And trying to enjoy cunnilingus to 'Morning Has Broken' and wondering if you'll come before Judith Durham belts out 'Kumbaya' is, in my books, entering surreal territory (try it if you don't believe me).

Why celebrate kink and fetish, some may ask - why not have 'vanilla' pride each year? Because 'normal' sexual practices aren't attacked so regularly or vigorously by right-wing fundamentalists, as the documentary Inside Deep Throat shows (whatever the 'truth' about Linda Lovelace's experiences in the infamous porn film of the '70s, it is a frightening account of a government censoring sexuality). While the original movie's plot was downright silly (a doctor discovers a woman's clitoris is in her throat and the only way she can have amazing orgasms is to give blow jobs), it brought discussions of fellatio into the open and dissipated shame around the practice. Gay Pride allows same-sex attracted people not to feel shame about their sexuality, and Leather Pride does the same for kinky folk. And no one should be ashamed of enjoying The Seekers…because we're on the road to freedom, people, and we shall not be moved.

We're all mad

What is the definition of 'madness'? When does 'eccentricity' turn into madness and who decides? These are the questions I pondered while walking to Coogee Beach recently, shortly after I interlocked my arm with my girlfriend's in a spontaneous moment and began to skip and sing 'We're Off to See the Wizard'. There was no hesitation on her part to join in immediately with this public display of gaiety. No surprise or embarrassment at her partner's sudden switch from dawdling along, deep in thought to a carefree impersonation of Judy and co on their way to Oz, just a natural and loving impulse to bond with me.

According to the online Brain Dictionary, we are certainly eccentric - displaying 'strange or unconventional behaviour'. But are we mad? Among its definitions, the Brain Dictionary gives the following for madness: 'Excited beyond self-control or the restraint of reason' and 'inflamed by violent or uncontrollable desire, passion, or appetite'. Hmmm…been there.

Maybe we're just lunatics. Lunacy is defined as 'insanity or madness - properly, the kind of insanity which is broken by intervals of reason, formerly supposed to be influenced by the changes of the moon'. PMS anyone? And 'a morbid suspension of good sense or judgment' - ahem…going back to an ex who treats you like dirt…it's not looking good for our mental health - or is it? There are certain clinical criteria to judge 'madness' based on statistical and social norms - among them extreme, unusual, exceptional, deviant, outstanding, odd behaviour (isn't that just a regular Saturday night out?).

But despite society's perception of madness and the stigma often attached to it, some experts believe it's good for us. British psychiatrist Anthony Storr says madness, though causing profound turmoil, can be "an enriching and renewing experience, deepening one's emotional existence". According to Storr, so-called 'mad' people can be unorthodox and pioneering. at the cutting edge of their particular interest or profession, as well as deeply spiritual, full of innate wisdom and compassion, bringing inspiration, hope and empowerment to others. The philosopher Hegel saw insanity as inherent in the soul's nature, having a psychological necessity and providing the soul with an experience that can't be gained in other ways.

Scottish psychiatrist RD Laing, known for his LSD therapy in the 1960s and his 'anti-psychiatry' approach to mental illness, rather sensibly believed madness to stem from a dysfunctional society rather than the individual, suggesting that people's madness is an attempt at sanity, or is sanity itself, in a world gone insane. Come to think of it, bombing and poisoning the earth, stripping it of its resources and committing mass murder of human and non-human beings all in the name of profit by governments and corporations makes my Saturday night behaviour sound positively pedestrian.

Gay men, however, are completely crackers though - it's official. Another definition of madness according to the Brain Dictionary is 'the name of a female fairy, especially the queen of the fairies, and hence, sometimes, any fairy.' Start waving those wands, boys.

Hello Satan

Apparently, a Vatican university is to offer a diploma course in Satanism. I decided to find out if the myths of ritualistic child abuse, human and animal sacrifice and devil worship usually associated with the religion were true. According to the website of the Church of Satan, they're not. "Satan is an archetype, a representation of certain qualities that the Satanist embodies, including rational self-interest, avoidance of oppressive mentalities, the questioning of all, and a perseverance towards success and human potential." Sounds ok so far.

Some of the nine Satanic statements encapsulated in The Satanic Bible by Anton LaVey, the founder of the Church of Satan, are actually quite appealing. "Satan represents indulgence instead of abstinence…Satan represents all of the so-called sins as they all lead to physical, mental or emotional gratification." High priest Peter Gilmore says: "We see the Christian Church's teaching about sin to be an insidious plot. They named seven deadly sins (lust, pride, greed, envy, anger, gluttony, sloth), which are things that everyone will do to some extent, and thus they made sure that every normal human could be defined as a 'sinner'. Then they set themselves up as being the only way to be saved from these 'sins'. So that is certainly one of the greatest con games in all recorded history." Well, he's got a point. Satanism, however, does have its own 'sins' which include pretentiousness, herd conformity and stupidity.

And while sectors of many religions condemn or forbid same-sex love and marriages, the Church of Satan welcomes people of all sexual orientations into its ranks, and despite accusations of racism and even fascism, which it refutes, the organisation also opens its doors to people from all races and ethnicities. Provided you are "truly beautiful and magnificent" that is.

Yes, like most religions, it has its dodgy side, although in this summary of contemporary Satanism by Gilmore, it's easy to see the similarities with some factions of fundamentalist Christianity: "A brutal religion of elitism that seeks to re-establish the reign of the able over the idiotic, of swift justice over injustice, and for a wholesale rejection of egalitarianism as a myth that has crippled the advancement of the human species for the last two thousand years." In essence, you can't be a Satanist if you're weak, stupid, suffer from constant life failures and self-loathing, and fail to appreciate the works of artists such as Beethoven or Da Vinci. But if you're a woman who feels a bit nervous walking the streets alone at night or a queer person needing a motto on how to deal with potential gaybashers, the 11th Satanic Rule of the Earth may come in handy: "When walking in open territory, bother no one. If someone bothers you, ask him to stop. If he does not stop, destroy him."

Satanism may not be everyone's cup of tea, but in many ways it's no worse or better than other religions. And as Gilmore helpfully points out: "Satan has been the best friend the Church has ever had, as he has kept it in business all these years."

Find out more at www.churchofsatan.com

Unusual sexual practices

There's nothing I like hearing more about than people's sexual habits. So in the interests of broadening my lexicon, I have been studying the Encyclopaedia of Unusual Sex Practices. Most of us will have heard of coprophilia (brown showers) or necrophilia (sex with or sexual arousal from dead bodies), but how about emetophilia (arousal from vomit or vomiting)? Or spectrophilia (arousal from sex with ghosts or spirits or images in mirrors)? Then there's symphorophilia (arousal from arranging a disaster, crash or explosion), and taphephilia (arousal from being buried alive).

Those are some of the more 'out there' practices, but even something like using food in sex play has a name - sitophilia. So if you've ever stuck a cucumber up your orifice, covered your partner in strawberry jam or given a banana a blow job, you're a sitophile. Instead of wasting oxygen using several words, I can now explain my attraction to older glamorous women by telling people I am a gerontophile (mind you, that only covers the 'older' part - how about a glamgerontophile?) Hey, who needs psychological qualifications? This is easy! Like to be watched? Congratulations - you're an agrexophile. Does your pussy pulsate at the sheer excitement of being on the crowded dance floor of your favourite queer club? You've got ochlophilia. And those of you who cut a hole in the bottom of the front of your trousers so you can masturbate in public with less risk of detection (you know you who are), are indulging in the practice known as sacofricosis.

It seems people get off on just about everything. Does booking a holiday so you can get in the car or on a plane and travel do it for you? Hodophile! Compulsive stealing is a condition in itself, but if it also turns you on, you're not only a kleptomaniac but a kleptophile. If you're mugged or arrive home to find you've been burgled and get an urge to have a wank, don't worry, you're just suffering from harpaxophilia. And, if, despite many years of practice and poring over sex manuals, you're still crap in bed, don't despair - there's hope for you yet to find true love. Just join a group for harmatophiliacs (those aroused by sexual incompetence or mistakes) and watch those multiple orgasms roll. No need to talk dirty to these folks either - the occasional 'whoops!' should be more than sufficient.

Polyphonic ring tones

I couldn't help myself. I've succumbed. After moaning about the fact that my new mobile phone which I bought a few months ago had no plain and simple 'ring ring' tone in an earlier column, I've fallen prey to the phenomenon of polyphonic ringtones. I lay the blame partly at the feet of a friend in the UK who emailed me a website called ringtones2go.

Out of curiosity and a desire to be knowledgeable about modern-day culture, I had a surf. It was like taking a recovering junkie to a crack house - the temptation was just too much. If there had just been current top 10 pop songs, I could have resisted, no problem. Not even Blondie classics Atomic and Heart of Glass were enough to push me over the edge and into upgrading to a new mobile that could accept these musical riffs. No, there was more. The theme tune to TV shows Dallas, Cagney & Lacey, Dr Who and Hawaii Five-O, for example, which got me feeling rather too excited, but I bit my lip and resisted. When I discovered 'We're Off to See the Wizard' from The Wizard of Oz, I could feel my inner sensible person crumbling and began to bite my nails anxiously. Black Beauty, Basil Brush and Magic Roundabout caused me to hyperventilate, until finally I stumbled upon the straw that would break the camel's back - the theme song from Rupert the Bear.

As I played the sample, my inner child immediately started singing the words at the top of her voice: "Rupert, Rupert the bear, everyone sing his name; Rupert, Rupert the Bear, everyone come and join in all of his games". Images of Rupert's friends, Tiger Lilly and Badger Bill having adventures in Nutwood darted through my mind like acid flashbacks and sealed my fate into the dangerous and addictive world of polyphonics. I was high on nostalgia, logic nowhere to be seen, as I rushed to the shops in a state of euphoria to get my new phone which would be capable of delivering these melodies whenever I wanted them.

Impulse buying, my girlfriend called it, before mumbling something about mortgages, bills and spending more money than I make. I smiled sweetly and promised not to buy anything else for a while (except for NYE party and Blondie concert tickets and a pair of platform boots from an online store in Texas). Days later and I'm getting sideways looks and smirks from fellow bus and train passengers whenever my phone rings. I look at it as fostering a brief sense of community and bonding - with younger people in that I am 'with it' by having polyphonics at all, and with the 30-somethings who at one time in their lives, also lost themselves in the fantasy world of a little bear who wore tartan. Ooh, I can hear Barbra…"Mammaries…light the corners of my mind…misty water-coloured maaaaamaries." Hmmm, wonder if that comes in polyphonics?
www.ringtones2go.co.uk

Sexual Objects

Most of us have heard of shoe fetishists (heck, a nice stiletto can even get me going if the right chick's wearing it!). But some people find pleasure in all sorts of other everyday objects, the official name for this being objectum sexuality. My favourite is Mrs Berlin-Wall. She's among a group of people attracted to various types of building or construction, such as fences. "For me to be attracted to an artefact, it must be a construction with parallel lines, usually horizontal," she explains. "I do also find other manufactured items good-looking, such as bridges, fences, railroad tracks, gates etc. All these have two things in common: rectangular, the parallel lines and they all divide."

But although she may feel attracted to these items, she feels love for only one - the Berlin Wall, which she 'married' in 1979 and changed her name accordingly. Mrs Berlin-Wall is an animist - one who believes all objects are living and have a soul. I'll let her explain her relationship with the wall: "We've been in love for many years. I was attracted to him ever since he was born. Yes, he is some years younger than me. But neither of us feels that this age difference matters. It was very much a long distance romance as neither of us likes to travel. For much of the time, I had to make do with photos of him and of course seeing him in newspapers and on the television. Like every married couple, we have our ups and downs. We may not have a conventional marriage, but neither of us cares much for conventions. Ours is a story of two beings in love, our souls entwined for all eternity."

The 'attack' on her 'husband' by 'frenzied mobs' in November 1989 when the Wall came down still affects her deeply. "Only one word adequately describes my feelings - tragedy! I wish the fall of the DDR [former East Germany]. had never happened, simply because it meant a personal tragedy for me and for the Berlin Wall, which should be easy enough to understand. It's wrong to attack the Wall because of human stupidity and disrespect for objects. It's wrong to ship parts of him to the USA and other places. The Berlin Wall is a German being and it's beyond all forgiveness to treat him like they have done. I still can maintain the marriage with the Wall, even if he isn't what he used to be in his prime. I will always love him."

Isn't she fabulous? Well, it's given me food for thought - come to think of it, my front gate's looking's rather pretty.

Attraction

After pondering obsessions in a previous blog, I got to wondering why people are attracted to others and what particularly it is about certain physical attributes that turn us on. Why is it that my hormones are thrown into disarray at the sight of Debbie Harry's cheekbones, or Joan Collins' lipglossed red lips? Why does the oestrogen practically bounce off the walls whenever my girlfriend puts on 80s make-up?

My Scottish gay friend Martin who's lived in Sydney for the past four years is another Blondie geek fascinated and attracted to Debbie but not in a sexual way. He came up with a theory in answer to my first question. "Debbie's face is a perfect example of a loveheart-shaped face. If you start from the tip of her nose and follow a line up around her arched eyebrows and round her cheeks and finally to the bottom lip, it's a perfect loveheart shape-there must be some deep psychological implications there," he explained earnestly. Yeah, I know we both need to get out more.

Explaining Joan's lips of course is easy: they are the ultimate vagina. Red, glistening and soft, leading to a moist, dark, mysterious place. It sounds a bit Freudian, I know, but all those games we play as young children sticking our fingers into each other's mouths and sucking them (other people do do that, don't they?) leave longlasting impressions on an easily corruptible mind.

My friend Konny, a German lesbian in her mid twenties, shares my fascination with and attraction to older women (and yes, she needs to get out more too). She told me that although she is "crazy about tits", they have to be part of the whole person. "If I like the tits, it's because it's 'her' tits," she said. "If I'm crazy about the thing between her legs, then it's only because it's 'her' thing. I don't want to see, touch or whatever anything between the legs of just any woman." I'm inclined to agree with her, although I'm not going to make any sweeping statements about it being a chick thing and guys being more likely to get turned on by isolated body parts. But on flicking through Penthouse once in a while, I'm not particularly excited at the close-ups of pink bits and buttock cheeks unless I find the model attractive, which is rare (Nancy Sinatra's nude shots in a 1995 edition of Playboy being the exception - her boots were made for walking and she can walk all over me in them anytime!).

Other friends told me they found legs, arms, abs, hairy chest, breasts, butt, fingers, neck, eyes, lips, teeth and back of the head a turn on, although none could offer an explanation why - apart from Konny who mentioned something about breast-feeding and mothers - at which point I got a little scared.

Obsessions

I recently watched a cable TV interview with UK lesbian comedian Rhona Cameron on Parkinson. She was describing her schoolgirl crush on a teacher and said it reached 'stalker' proportions. Apparently she would follow the teacher everywhere and was so besotted with her that she would look longingly at the pool of oil the older woman's car had deposited in the schoolyard. I'd been indifferent to Cameron until then, but after that confession, I liked her instantly and could totally relate to her experience.

When I was at school, aged 12, I'd follow certain sixth-form girls (17-18-year-olds), hiding around corners peering at them. Eventually I was hauled off to the headmistress and asked to explain my behaviour. I merely shrugged and said I didn't know. My punishment, bizarrely enough, was to be forced to spend a week with the very sixth-formers I'd been stalking. I had to sit with them in assembly, eat lunch with them and sit in their common room during break periods. What kind of trip my headmistress was on, I have no idea. If the plan was to humiliate me, well I guess it worked in a twisted sort of way - mixing feelings of embarrassment with hysterical excitement is a surefire way to turn a girl kinky, not put her off other chicks.

But it doesn't just stop at schoolgirl level for some of us. In my 20s I managed to persuade the (straight) contemporary dance teacher I was obsessed with to rent me a room in her house. I was convinced she was 'the one', that we'd fall in love and live happily ever after once I took her to see Desert Hearts at the cinema. Naturally I was devastated when she got a boyfriend not long after. Hearing them have sex for the first time produced feelings of ecstasy followed by despair. I cheered myself up by putting salt in his milk the next morning. Then there was the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art student to whom I regularly delivered copious amounts of flowers (who needs money for food when you can thrive on high emotion?) and who a few years later had her 15 minutes of fame by being splashed across the UK tabloids when she had an affair with a prominent politician whose toes she apparently enjoyed sucking (jeez, I know how to pick 'em).

Even now as a 30-something in a long-term relationship with a wonderful and glamorous older woman, I still have my obsessions. Now it's Debbie Harry. In my jam-packed life of work, writing and performing, instead of a relaxing drink with friends, my downtime consists of gazing longingly at pictures and videos of the blonde singer and experiencing an intense stomach-churning, chest-pounding, pussy-pulsating thrill. Some might say I need therapy, but I've got this column instead. Fortunately for me I live with a psychotherapist (no one else would have me). So I asked my girl (aka Dr Tracie O'Keefe) for her expert opinion on obsessions.
"Generally people obsessed with iconoclastic idols are trying to supplement something that is missing in their own life," she said. "There's a difference between fantasy and fanaticism for most people, but for the stalker, they are unable to understand the boundaries between reality and fiction."

Whatever - I'm with Rhona on this one.

Here comes the bride

Ever since I was a small child and forced to traipse along to endless weddings of cousins, half-cousins and neighbours, I knew it wasn't something I wanted to do myself. I didn't clamour to catch the bouquet - the cry of "you're next" was akin to being sentenced to prison in my young mind. Nothing much has changed, except I do come over a tad nostalgic whenever I hear Hi Ho Silver Lining or Rhinestone Cowboy, and I do rather miss the opportunity to do the Hokey-Kokey. But I need no excuse to don a big frock and look pretty - I don't need a special day to do it. As for children, unless they are furry, have four legs, a tail and miaow, I'm really not interested.

When my best friend Mandy in the UK, a truly independent, wanton and free spirit if ever there was one, emailed me a few weeks ago to tell me she was getting married to her long-term boyfriend, I felt a sick feeling in my stomach. Fortunately Mandy's eccentricity was greater than her desire to conform to notions of normality and she sent me a second email after the wedding which went as follows: "Lovely wedding (apart from mother-in-law who is very pissed off and not speaking to us). Only had two weeks notice so everything was quite mad. Exchanged battery and light bulb instead of rings, wore black (including trilby) and body glitter, walked down isle to the sound of two super jet aeroplanes, left to go to fetish club Torture Garden, had a chocolate wedding cake with label that read 'this product may contain nuts', and danced to You make me Feel Mighty Real by Sylvester."

But, personal reservations aside, there's nothing like a government telling me I can't have something to make me annoyed and want to fight for the right to do it if I do ever want to. I'm particularly annoyed with John Howard for passing the amendment to the Marriage Act, deeming marriage suitable only for heterosexual couples. This means my girlfriend and I will never be able to get ourselves a couple of Russian mail-order brides. If my email box is anything to go by, there's a melee of Slavic beauties just waiting to make us happy by keeping house and cooking meals, just as a good wife should. The Mail Order Bride Warehouse at http://www.goodwife.com says so. I clicked on the site's link to 30-year-old Mariya. Her vital statistics sound impressive but I'm a tad concerned about her marital status - she's divorced which doesn't augur well. I move onto Nataliya whose English is described as 'bad' and then Julia whose current occupation is rather disturbing - "housewife". But there's Lene and Ludmilla, both pretty young blonde students as well as several other girleys who can apparently speak English satisfactorily and have rather nice breasts to boot.

On August 13, I shall be joining lesbians and gay men throughout Australia to in the National Day of Action for Same Sex Marriage, organised by Community Action Against Homophobia (www.caah.org.au) because I will not be condemned to a lifetime of domesticity. I want the right to order my bride now.

Suckatorium etiquette for girls

For those of you unfamiliar with the details and rules of this deliciously titled phenomenon, I enlisted the help of my friend John in explaining it to me. "They're small one-person cubicles with oval-shaped holes in the wall about 10-15 inches high and 3-5 inches wide for anonymous sex," he says.

Big enough for a pussy to be pressed up against one end and for fingers and/or tongue to come through the other? I enquire. John reckons so - yay! Anonymity is the key though and suckatoriums usually observe a strict no-talking rule. Hmmm. So how do you signal to the other party what you want? "Hand signals are en vogue," John explains. "You "signal" someone through a hole by pointing your two big fingers through or at the hole, kinda like hitch-hiking. That's the signal for the other party to put their pecker through." I wonder how this can be translated for chicks. How to communicate to a girl that you want her fingers rather than her tongue, and if you want her to concentrate solely on your clit, penetrate your pussy, or both? Poor John can't answer that one.

Ok, once you've had your turn, is it expected that you'll swap over and reciprocate? "There's no hard and fast rule. The other party can stick around for their turn, or just rack off. They usually rack off."But isn't that rude?"No, in fact it's de riguer."What if you realise you're not going to come, even though she may have been tongueing or fingering you for five or ten minutes solid? Surely if you just stop and walk off, the other person might feel insecure that they weren't good enough?"Insecurity doesn't exist," John insists. "If it does, then what the hell are they doing in a suckatorium? Shit happens - just try someone else."

Wow, it's a whole new world of rules and social graces, isn't it? I have an idea. How about taking along a series of pre-typed (so your handwriting isn't analysed and recognised) notes of what you'd like done and to do and just post them through the hole? John's not convinced. "The boys wouldn't go for it at all, but the girls...maybe."

Studying lesbians

What fun it must be for academics to use up hundreds of dollars in their research studies to come up with conclusions about people based solely on their sexuality. Among the latest "findings" is the little gem that lesbians get turned on by watching lesbian, gay male and heterosexual porn, in contrast to gay men who are aroused almost exclusively by male erotica, and straight guys who prefer girl-girl action. In other words, dykes don't care who's doing the fucking, as long as someone is.

Well, I shall sleep better at night now that this little known fact has been made official and will even appear in a scientific journal.Then there's the study conducted at the University of Texas, which claims that lesbian and bisexual women don't hear as well as straight chicks. But, every cloud has a silver lining and you'll no doubt be pleased to know that our hearing is more sensitive than our gay male counterparts and heterosexual men.

According to this amazing piece of research, the reasons for this are that there are subtle differences in the way the brain and central nervous systems develop in lesbian and bisexual women. And not only is our hearing inferior to our straight sisters, our hands are different too, it seems. In fact, the researcher in New Jersey who measured finger ratios in gay women found that their hands resembled those of straight men. In spacial awareness tests lesbians also tend to perform more like men than heterosexual women, she concluded.

Well, that's it then - I'm not a real lesbian. My hearing is fine, I have pretty little hands, I get lost all the time and have to turn street maps upside down to face the direction I'm travelling to get back on track. My world is shattered.

Designer vaginas

Even the lesbians are at it now. Plastic surgery, that is. But it's not only mini-lifts, boob jobs and liposuction that are becoming more popular with previously PC sisters of Sappho. No, it seems that a bit of nip and tuck in the nether regions is now all the rage too. Procedures available include Designer Laser Vaginoplasty (DLV) which is the "aesthetic surgical enhancement of the vulvar structures" (otherwise known as chopping off bits of your downstairs lips) and even a G-spot injection. Yes, girls, you can now have collagen pumped into your fanny to plump up your hotspot and give you better orgasms.

But surely this is just for the straight girls, I hear you ask? I decided to find out and contacted Dr David Matlock of the Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation Institute of Los Angeles. He told me: "Lesbian women are particularly interested in our DLV procedures. The most common is laser reduction labioplasty." Why, you may wonder, would any dyke in her right mind want her pussy pulled, snipped and rearranged? Dr Matlock said it's a matter of aesthetics. "One of my lesbian patients told me, 'doctor you have to understand that we are interested in oral sex and we want things to look good.'"We know that every new trend starts in Hollywood and Dr Matlock was keen to point out that in his Beverly Hills practice, he has "a significant number of celebrities, and this includes lesbian celebrities."Naturally he wasn't giving out any names but he did mention a lesbian comedian who wanted "the little man with the oars (clitoris and labia minora) taken care of."

And while any side effects of injecting bovine collagen into your beaver are as yet unknown, don't be surprised if a new variant of BSE pops up in the future. Watch out for MCD - Mad Cunt Disease, and remember, you read it here first.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

I've created this blog, because even though as a journalist I spend my days writing articles, columns etc, I can't always say exactly what I want to in the media, so this is where I can unleash whatever comes to mind, without censorship. I created the blog today after reading Penny Arcade's blog (www.pennyarcade.tv). Penny is a New-York-based performance artist who's been around forever - in fact, as her own site proclaims, she invented the artform! I'd heard of Penny from years ago, even before I moved to Sydney from my home in London in 2001, but hadn't seen her perform. Last year, I had the pleasure of interviewing her for SX, the weekly arts, news and entertainment magazine for the GLBTI community that I write for in Sydney, and Slit, Australia's glossy sex, politics, porn and culture dyke magazine.

Out of all the people I’ve interviewed who come under the ‘artist’ or ‘celebrity’ category, Penny was easily the most forthcoming and enthusiastic. I know people are wary of journalists, and with good reason – my own girlfriend has been the victim of press treachery on more than one occasion and I wouldn’t trust the majority of journalists as far as I could throw them either, even though I am one – but when I emailed Penny a bunch of questions, on subjects including feminism; the demise of the GLBTI community and ‘queer’ as it allowed itself to be marketed into a homogenised, bland brand empty of all style; the rise of consumerism and the ‘morass’ of celebrity culture, she fired back a series of no-holds-barred lengthy responses, plus more in an hour-long telephone interview, which I found both refreshing and exciting. See www.katrinafox.com/sampleswork.htm for the two interviews with Penny, and you’ll see what I mean. She not only gave me food for thought in terms of her views on various issues (especially the failure of feminism due to women betraying each other), but the very fact that she’s spent the past 30 or so years saying exactly what she thinks and not towing the party line or playing it safe in order to ‘get on’ and achieve ‘fame’ in the mainstream was probably the most inspiring aspect for me. It’s a rare quality these days – people really prepared to call things as they are, stand up for their beliefs and be passionate about them, whatever the consequences. Everything is so safe – politicians have used the ‘war on terror’ to terrorise their citizens and media into keeping quiet and ‘plodding along’, and those who make a stand and try to make a difference are branded ‘terrorists’ (see the story of the SHAC 7 at www.shac7.com).

As well as Penny, I’ve derived huge inspiration from my girlfriend, Tracie O’Keefe (www.tracieokeefe.com) who turned 50 last year. When she was younger, she experienced a huge amount of discrimination, being a transsexual woman, and as she’s gotten older, she no longer takes it, she’s become a fighter. If someone fucks with her, she comes right back at them, through the courts or whatever. She says it’s to do with maturity. It seemed like a theme was emerging for me this past year, since only a few months after interviewing Penny, I also got to interview Diamanda Galas (www.diamandagalas.com). I had only 15 minutes with her, which wasn’t nearly enough time to get into anything propertly, but even so, she talked about how, as you get older, you are less able to put up with ‘garbage’ – “you reach critical mass in your fucking 50s and you're like, over it” were her exact words (see www.katrinafox.com/diamandagalas.com to read the interview). Body Shop founder Anita Roddick momentarily inspired me by saying similar things, before selling out big time and selling the Body Shop, which prided itself on championing ethical consumerism and campaigning against animal testing, to L’Oreal one of the largest manufacturers who have spent years conducting vile, cruel tests on animals for their product ingredients. I recommend boycotting the Body Shop while it remains under the ownership of L’Oreal.

More recently I interviewed Camille Paglia for LOTL, Australia’s national lesbian magazine (www.lotl.com). Again, here was another full-on chick not afraid to call things as she saw them, no matter how unpopular it might make her with certain factions in society. Talking (and in Tracie’s case living) with all these fabulous women has had an effect on my sensibilities, as a person and as a writer. In among the ‘safe’ features I write for magazines has to be other pieces that come from my passion. I managed to do this two weeks ago in an article I wrote for SX, on a radical vegan agenda for the queer community (read it at www.katrinafox.com/radicalvegan.htm). I didn’t care whether I’d get hate mail or if people who previously liked me were offended - they wouldn’t really be liking ‘me’ anyway, just some surface perception of who they think or would like to think I am, and at the end of the day that’s a lie, and I’m sick of lies – from governments, people, corporations, media. Until now, I’ve been inspired by and admired the women mentioned above (and some men who I haven’t yet mentioned but will in later blog posts) but not brave enough to do as they do, talk the talk, walk the walk. Until today. The gloves are off, the mask is off and I’m about to find out if, as the cliché goes, the truth really will set me free.