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Trans Writer E. Parker Phillips Finds Poetry in He/r Fluid Identity

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E. Parker Phillips conveys a message of nonviolence.

By Liz Tracy

At a Yale writing workshop in 2003, one of E. Parker Phillips’ college classmates said Phillips’ erotic poem reminded them of a Calvin Klein ad. Phillips, who identifies as genderqueer and uses “s/he” and “he/r” pronouns, doesn’t remember the poem itself, only one line from the work about a lesbian sexual awakening: “Love is where we stay in bed and go shopping for hats.” The classmate was trying to humiliate Phillips. But s/he treasures the memory.

“The connection between sex, power, and writing felt undeveloped at a place like Yale,” Phillips recalls. “It made me feel like things weren’t set up for me to have a voice.

“Well, now I fight for that voice.”

At the time, Phillips was studying for a degree in Chinese. These days, s/he’s one of the busiest people in Miami, juggling writing, teaching, performing, BDSM and fetish work, and activism. Phillips cannot be explained simply in a line from a poem or exemplified in a single memory. But though Phillips defies labels, he/r uniquely intersectional message and example has made he/r one of South Florida’s most prominent voices in the queer and literary realms.

Phillips was a queer kid raised by strict parents near the Adirondack Mountains in Glens Falls, New York, a largely white, Republican, rural town. There was a lot of pressure at home to go to a good school. Phillips found sanctuary and joy in playing sports. “I was an athlete before anything else in my life,” s/he remembers.

After graduating from college, s/he lived “on the fringes of literary cultures at Yale and in New York City.” The red state of Florida might not seem like the most welcoming place for a queer writer, but Florida International University’s creative writing program offered Phillips the chance to study with renowned poets Campbell McGrath and Denise Duhamel. There, s/he recalls, “I could learn to embrace how I write from my groin and my heart while also exploring ideas and politics. Miami, and FIU, helped me turn my position as an outsider, once a source of shame, into a place of empowerment.”

Phillips taught at FIU and Broward College while publishing poems in journals such as Voluble (a LARB channel), The Sensations Feelings Journal, Jai-Alai Magazine, and Hinchas de Poesia. Along the way, s/he developed a unique literary style to express he/r layered experiences. “I am happiest at the nexus of language, performance, and physicality,” Phillips notes. “Writing poems is a trans-like state where I am thinking about my body both physically and emotionally, processing my experience in language — consciousness tethered to a sensual world.”

From 2014-’16, the instructor found a less conventional avenue for expressing he/r identity by opening a 1,500-square-foot BDSM commercial dungeon. “Both [kink and poetry] feel like arts of consciousness,” s/he explains. “BDSM, kink, for me brings together making money and art; it is how I have made a living in the past four years.”

S/he now operates out of a private fetish studio in Hollywood, Florida — and not just to pay the bills. “I try to work outside academia so I can deepen my engagement with the world, which affects my voice in poetry. It is not always easy. I probably do too much,” Phillips admits.

In addition to hosting BDSM play parties and a meetup for kinky people titled Miami Munch, for the past six months, Phillips has cohosted the weekly Queer and Trans Yoga class at Agni Miami.

“Poems, BDSM, yoga — these are my lifelines. Sharing these practices with other people amplifies their meaning and helps me push the boundaries of the various forms,” Phillips explains. “When I try to live up to the expectations of what I perceive as the mainstream poetry world, I end up not writing.”

In joining all of these varied pursuits, s/he explains, “If I can focus on bearing witness to my feelings and my body, bearing witness to politics and injustice, I can engage poetry as a vehicle through which I traverse the known into the not-yet-known… Imagining a different, more equitable world is particularly important to me as a nonbinary, genderfluid person.”

Part of imagining that world is changing the words used to describe it. “Language is an ontological problem — a world of ‘he’ and ‘she,’ a binary world,” Phillips continues. “How can we take that apart and build something more livable?… What happens when I share my queer, feminist consciousness with a reader? A change in hearts and minds can happen there.”

The Queer and Trans Yoga class s/he cofounded is another converging of these realities for Phillips. In a hatha class, the teacher focuses on yin — “practicing being versus doing” — according to one instructor. Students hold poses for three to five minutes, and class leaders discuss topics such as self-acceptance, self-love, and coping with rejection. During the class, a reiki practitioner attends to individuals. The class also begins or ends with a poem by a queer or trans author, or a talk by a community member.

“The message we convey is one of nonviolence toward self and others. There is a lot of emphasis on the self and falling in love with the self,” Phillips says.

Those themes will carry into he/r course at this week’s TransArt, an annual event that advances equity for the Latinx and LGBT communities through education. Titled I Talk to My Body, Phillips’ workshop will “look at the topic of the self addressing the body, which we will explore within the context of a queer and trans lived experience,” s/he says. Using works by poets Lucille Clifton, Anna Swir, and Joy Ladin, Phillips hopes to teach students to “make sense of, or even celebrate, a discontinuity between self and body.”

Phillips recalls a recent moment at Queer and Trans Yoga when a practitioner spoke about being queer-bashed by a trusted yoga instructor. The reflection evoked a related yoga practice. Class members were told to lie on their backs with legs in the air, “so we could feel the disorientation the person experienced. It felt like falling backwards,” Phillips remembers. “I really wanted to get up and leave — it was challenging both emotionally and physically.”

But the meaning of the action made it bearable for Phillips. Inversion poses like that lift energy to the throat, s/he explains, renewing one’s voice.

“Learning how to work through discomfort is a hugely valuable lesson for me as a queer person, given the discomfort I face in the adult entertainment industry, in my family, and as a poet,” Phillips describes. “Doing yoga in community and turning the raw, painful stuff of lived experience into something inspiring and shared — that is another act of poem-making too.”

Complete Article HERE!

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You say you want a revolution…

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday. And we have another toy for your bum (or G-spot as the case may be) to tell you about. It came to us directly from the manufacturer, Nexus. This is the fifth product we’ve reviewed of theirs.

You have been following all our Nexus reviews, right? If not, you’re missing out. You can find them all HERE!

Dr Dick Review Crew member, Brad, is here to show and tell.

Nexus Revo  —— $199.99

Brad
Damn, it’s almost been a year since I posted my last review. I had to take a break from reviewing, because I guess I was getting burnt out. The toys offered to me didn’t spark any enthusiasm, so I simply declined the offers. I didn’t want to try to review something that didn’t at least pique my interest.

At any rate, when Dr Dick offered me the Nexus Revo to review I jumped on the opportunity. I’m a straight guy who really gets off on ass play. I make a point of saying I’m straight, because so many people assume if a guy is into his butt hole, he’s gotta be gay. Nonsense! Happily, the days of making that uninformed leap are over. More and more straight guys are discovering their prostate and living to tell the story.

Nexus is one of the companies that is making prostate massage a household word. I’ve turned a number of my clients, I’m a personal trainer, on to their very interesting line of massagers and stimulators.

The Nexus Revo is supposed to represent a REVOlution in prostate massage. And in a way it is, at least it was for me. I am very familiar with the vibrating massagers and the plugs that act as stimulators, but the Nexus Revo is different from all the others. The tip of the insertable end rotates. Very cool! There is also a vibrator in the end that stimulates the perineum too. The small nubs on this part of the toy are soft and pliable. While that’s not a new phenomenon, it is noteworthy.

Nexus is fond of calling the prostate the male G-spot, which makes me squirm. I hate P-spot too. Do we really need these euphemisms? Let’s put our big boy pants on and call it by its name — prostate. Maybe then the guys who don’t know where theirs is, or the pleasure it can deliver, will be prompted to look for it.

The Nexus Revo is the right size for newbies and advanced users alike, anyone can enjoy this toy. Hey, even women wanting to explore their G-spot will get off on this. The business parts of this insertable are made of 100% hypoallergenic, latex free, nonporous and phthalates free silicone. The other parts, the base, where the controller is and battery compartment, are made of plastic. And because this thing is silicone, you can only use a water-based lube with it. And all ass play requires lots of lube

The bumps and ridges of the Nexus Revo make for easy insertion. For all you butt hole novices out there, just insert one bump and ridge at a time. No need to try and insert it all at once. But once fully inserted your ass sphincter will close down on the final notch holding the toy in place. So it sort of acts like a butt plug, for the most part. This makes the Nexus Revo a hands-free stimulator, which I really like. Because I like to tug on my nuts and stroke my cock when my prostate is being pleasured. I liked using it best while lying down on my back or side. The base is pretty bulky, so sitting on it is uncomfortable.

The dual motors are strong and quiet. There’s a single button controller. A single push of that button starts the rotation, a second push gives you a pulse vibe pattern and a third push escalates the pattern and a final push of the button turns the thing off.

I liked the very unique and stylish packaging. Everything, except the little foam cushion at the bottom of the package is made of recyclable paper products. Thank you for being so conscientious, Nexus. There’s even a little black satin drawstring storage pouch included in the box. Very thoughtful.

So far so good.

Now my gripes.

The Nexus Revo is not waterproof. What where they thinking? Nexus could have easily gone the extra mine and made the battery compartment waterproof, but they didn’t. I simply don’t get that. This is a toy for your asshole, people! Those of us who love our holes want our insertable toys to be sanatizable. This one is decidedly not. I also like using my prostate toys in the shower and bath. There’s no way I can do that with this thing. Disappointed!

I also thought the battery compartment was poorly designed. I mean, not only is it not watertight, but it’s made of cheap plastic that I had to struggle with to close properly.

And why is there a battery compartment to begin with? This thing should be rechargeable. I mean battery-powered toys are so last decade. All you have to do is look around at the competition. There are GREEN companies out there that are producing 100% seamless silicone G-spot and P-spot toys that are completely waterproof and rechargeable and they are less expensive too.

What’s up with the one rotational speed option? I wanted to be able to kick it up at least one notch to get myself off when I was close. With the Nexus Revo I get close but there is just not enough stimulation to push me over the edge, if you know what I mean.

Hey Nexus, how can you ask your customers to shell out two hundred bucks for a battery-operated toy, with limited speed and vibration options that is not waterproof? Again, what are you thinking?
Full Review HERE!

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Havin’ us a ball, ya’ll!

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday. And we have another toy for your bum to tell you about. It came to us directly from the manufacturer, Nexus. This is the fourth and last of our review of these unique Nexus products.

You have been following all our Nexus reviews, right? If not, you’re missing out. You can find them all HERE!

Dr Dick Review Crew members, Mick & Chuck, are here to tell you all about today’s toy.

Titus by Nexus —— $62.70

Mick & Chuck
Mick: “We have an interesting prostate massager to tell you about today. It’d called Titus. It’s a the slimmer cousin of the Nexus Excel, which was reviewed here earlier.”
Chuck: “I wonder how they came up with that name. It’s the name of a Roman emperor, ya know. What that has he to do with pleasuring your bung-hole is beyond me.”
Mick: “Yeah, I thought it was an odd choice too, but maybe there’s a method to their madness. Hey, maybe it’s named after the guy who came up with the design; ya know like Titus O’Rilley, or Titus Kawalski. Whatever the reason for calling it Titus we oughtn’t lose sight of it’s curious, yet very effective, shape. It’s curved, it’s ribbed and it’s slim enough for even a novice butt pirate to use with confidence.”
Chuck: “Titus is made of medical grade polypropylene, which is a fancy word for ‘hard plastic’. There also a stainless steel ball bearing on one side of the base. This ball bearing smacks ya right on your taint (perineum) when the Titus is lodged in your ass. The other side of the base is your handle. You use this for inserting and for maneuvering Titus into place.”
Mick: “It kinda works like a butt plug, but it really doesn’t stay in place as well as I would have liked it to. I mean, it’s great if I’m sitting on it, but not if I’m standing up or moving around.”
Chuck: “ I liked the ergonomic shape and the ribbed surface on insertable stalk. The ribbing added some extra stimulation when inserting and removing it.”
Mick: “The thing I like most is the dyno-mite orgasms I have with the Titus. I just insert this puppy, sit down on it, rock back and forth and pull my pud. In no time I’m bustin’ a nut of cosmic proportion!”
Chuck: “Totally! Oh, and it’s waterproof too. So you can lounge in the tub with thing in your hole. I mean come on; every guy winds up playin’ with his willie while he’s having a soak, right? So why not have something massaging your prostate at the same time.”
Mick: “We should also mention that the hard plastic material is nonporous, phthalates-free, hypoallergenic and latex-free. And you can use any kind of lube you want with it. And by all means, do not forget the lube when you’re stuffin’ this, or anything else in your ass.”
Chuck: “Being waterproof also makes it a snap to clean. Soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution. There’s a little tool that comes in the package for popping out the ball bearing for a sanitizing cleaning. This toy is made for sharing, so sanitizing is important. We’ve simply dropped the Titus in a pot of boiling water or popped it in the dishwasher for that total sanitizing effect.”
Full Review HERE!

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GYRO-scope

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Hey sex fans!

It’s our first Friday back from Spring Break, so you know that that means, right? That’s right, it’s Product Review Friday. And we have another excellent toy for your bum to tell you about. It came to us directly from the manufacturer, Nexus.

Have you been following all our Nexus reviews, right? If not, you’d better get with it. You can find them all HERE!

Today we have Dr Dick Review Crew member, Carlos, to do the honors.

GYRO by Nexus —— $97.79

Carlos
I am the proud owner of a growing collection of anal toys, thanks to being a member of the Dr Dick Review Crew. I started my collection back in October of 2007 when I participated in my first review. It was for one of the Aneros products.

I remember being so jazzed about getting a free prostate massaging sex toy. I was kinda new to the whole insertion thing way back when. I also had some problems associated with my enlarged prostate. Over the years, I discovered that regular prostate massage really helped the condition a lot. Now I’m an avid anal toy user. One might even call me a connoisseur.

Today, I bring you news of my newest prostate massager; it’s from Nexus. It’s called the GYRO. It’s not for the novice butt pirate, but if you know your way around your pucker and you’re looking for a bit of a challenge; then the GYRO is well worth your consideration. I like it very much!

It is a hefty bugger, weighing in at just under 10 oz. It’s thick and bulbous and has a rockin’, and I mean that literally, base. It is made of 100% high-grade silicone, which makes it the ideal sharable toy. I really don’t have any one to share mine with, my wife is not into butt play, but maybe you do.

Besides it being nonporous and phthalate-free, it’s so easy to clean and sanitize (a must for sharing). I just wash mine down with soap and water; wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution, or I can drop it in boiling water for a few minutes; or run it through a cycle of the dishwasher. Nothing could be easier. No fuss, no muss, no bother!

You all know that you have to use a lot of lube when inserting anything in your butt, right? Good! Well, in this case, you can only use a water-based lube, because, I’ve already mentioned this toy is made of silicone. A silicone-based lube would degrade the beautiful smooth finish of the GYRO.

Once inserted, the angled head of the GYRO hits my prostate with a bang, and the thick shaft fills me up plenty. As you can see from the shape of the GYRO, it is a butt plug. That means my sphincter muscle closed down on the neck notch of the toy, just before the base. Once in place, I just rock and roll till my heart’s content. It’s good healthy fun.

Like Dr Dick, I’ve become an advocate for prostate self-awareness. I believe that regular prostate massage, like the kind you get with the GYRO contributes to prostate health and vitality in most men. And a healthy prostate, increased blood flow and added muscle control are what makes for powerful orgasms, rejuvenated sexual ability, and stamina, as well as a stiffer cock. And that’s a good thing for men my age. I’m 50 now. So, like we say here at Dr Dick’s Sex Toy reviews; “if a fella can pleasure himself AND do himself some good health-wise…all at the same time; well that just about beat the pants off just diddlin’ just for fun.
Full Review HERE!

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Where the sun don’t shine

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Hey sex fans,

It’s another edition of Product Review Friday cumin your way. And we have a swell toy for your bum to tell you about. It cums to us directly from the manufacturer, Nexus.

Review crew members, Ken & Denise, are here to show you around.

Nexus Excel Prostate Massager —— $57.24

Ken & Denise
Denise: “The Excel is the third Nexus product the Review Crew has reviewed so far. There are more coming up too! You can find all our Nexus reviews HERE.”
Ken: “The Excel has this fantastic shape; is made of phthalate-free hard plastic; and it comes in three colors. We have the black one. I have to say that I am partial to silicone toys; there’s a warmth to them that hard plastic doesn’t have. Silicone toys also have a ‘give’ to them that the Excel surely doesn’t have. But now that I’ve tried both, I can say that the hard plastic, Excel has a charm all its own.”
Denise: “I totally agree. In fact, I was surprised to discover that it was hard plastic and not silicone. It sure looks like silicone through its clear plastic minimal packaging. There is one obvious benefit to hard plastic over silicone; you can use whatever line of lube you prefer, even a silicone-based lube. You can’t do that with a fine silicone toy. And because the hard plastic Excel is nonporous and waterproof, it is easy to clean and sanitize too. This makes it the perfect toy to share.”
Ken: “Absolutely! Also, because you can sanitize it you can use it both anally and vaginally. Of course, never go from one hole to the other without sanitizing it. Denise thinks it rocks as a G-spot massager.”
Denise: “True! But here’s the thing; the Excel package says it’s a G-spot massager, but it also says that the unique stainless steel rollerball stimulator massages the perineum. There’s no way the rollerball comes anywhere close to my perineum when I’m stimulating my G-spot.”
Ken: “Yeah, I was confused by that too. Then we discovered that Nexus uses the term G-spot interchangeably with the P-spot, which is really your prostate. I don’t get it, but maybe I’m missing something.”
Denise: “It’s got to be confusing for many more people than us, right?”
Ken: “If you are new to ass play, you’ll want to keep in mind that you need a lot of lube for any insertions. And you should also know that the Excel is probably not for the anal novice. It’s very light, but pretty girthy. But if you have some practice with anal toys this baby will fill you up. The shaft is just under 4” long, and it has a circumference of 1.57” at its widest point.”
Denise: “The unusual shape of the Excel allows you to wear it like a butt plug. Your ass sphincter closes down on the last ridge of the shaft, which keeps it in place. You should know that this thing doesn’t vibrate or anything like that, so there are no batteries to run down. Rather it massages your P-spot (if you’re a guy) by rocking on it, or walking around with it in place.”
Ken: “Denise mentioned the rollerball stimulator. Well this thing pops out of its hard plastic nest for cleaning purposes. The Excel comes with this little tool to do just that. You can drop the two pieces, rollerball and hard plastic everything else into a pot of boiling water to sanitize.  Or if you’re real lazy like us, you can simply add it to the dishwasher.”
Denise: “My advice is to warm up your ass before using any toy. We like to relax our sphincter muscles with our fingers, before toy insertion. This also keeps me in touch, nu pun intended with my ass, which is a good thing.”
Full Review HERE!

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