#HisNameIs Buck Angel: The Right to Your Own Identity Online and Off

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Here at Stockroom, we’re really looking forward to playing host to adult star and educator Buck Angel, the self-proclaimed “man with a pussy” in a couple of weeks. On July 11 Buck, along with adult stars Michelle Austin, Morgan Bailey and Tori Mayes, is going to take part in “Trans Talk,” a panel that will talk about the trans identities, experiences, and issues inside and outside of the adult industry.

The Trans Talk panel is especially relevant and important now: As trans visibility is increased by things such as Caitlyn Jenner’s glamorous debut in the pages of Vanity Fair or Laverne Cox gaining celebrity from her role on Orange is the New Black, more people than ever are talking about transgender individuals and identities in public. Unfortunately, just because the amount of talk in the mainstream is increasing doesn’t mean that understanding of trans experiences is keeping pace. It’s an honor for us that Buck Angel and his colleagues are coming to Stockroom to take the talk farther.

Not everyone is so honored to play host to Buck Angel, however. Last week, Facebook shut down his account until he could “verify” his identity in keeping with their “real names” policy.

Buck Angel is my name @facebook so why do you want to #delete me? Just #Google me. #mynameis

A photo posted by Buck Angel (@buckangel) on

Buck is not the first person to face this conflict with Facebook. Not even remotely. Controversy over Facebook’s “Real Names” has been building in the last year among queer, trans, and sex work communities. In San Francisco, a coalition of activists recently demanded that the Board of Directors of SF Pride ban Facebook from sponsoring or marching in last weekend’s parade. SF Pride refused, but it remains a contentious issue in the community, and the board itself was split on the decision.

One of the first things that you learn after spending any amount of time as a member of kinky or LBTQIA communities is that what’s on someone’s birth certificate or driver’s license isn’t really a good indicator of who they are. After spending years among kinksters, you’ll inevitably find that you don’t know the legal names of many of the people you love and trust most in the world. You also come to realize that it’s not important. You know who they are, and how much you can trust them, and the identity that they’ve chosen for themselves means more than what you’d get from the legal name.

The reasons those names are chosen vary as much as the people themselves: For trans people, the name is a statement of identity, chosen to reflect the person that they’ve always felt themselves to be; many refer to the old one as their “dead name,” representing a part of their life that’s behind them. For kink players, it may be a persona that they use in dungeon scenes. For youth whose families don’t support their sexual or gender identities, an online pseudonym is simply a way that they can participate in online communities without being outed.

What all those reasons have in common is that it is not only disrespectful to deny someone the chance to use their chosen name, in many cases it’s dangerous. While Facebook claims that its “Real Names” policy is meant to make the site safer, it in fact exposes many people to harassment and abuse, both online and off.

 

When Buck Angel was born, someone checked a box on his birth certificate that said “female”; he grew up and realized that what it said on that piece of paper was wrong. Other trans people have done the same thing in one direction or the other. Some have decided that neither box suited who they were, and identify as nonbinary.

The difference between us and Facebook is that we realize that Buck Angel is his real name because it’s the one he’s chosen for himself. Acknowledging that is not only a courtesy, but for some, a matter of life and death.   Despite the celebrity of Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner, being trans or queer is dangerous in and of itself. Saying “I am trans” amounts to more than just unchecking and checking a box. Depending on where someone lives and in what circumstances, saying those three words could make them lose everything, up to and including their life.

One of the organizers of the San Francisco protest movement, drag queen Lil Miss Hot Mess, wrote in The Guardian about the reasons that people use aliases:

For many vulnerable users, logging on to Facebook isn’t merely a time suck, but is a way of building safe and supportive communities, sharing resources or planting the seeds of political change. For example, after launching a survey to collect users’ testimonials, our group heard from several transgender users who have used the site in different ways: one person used Facebook as a way of “testing names out to see if they fit” before going through the process of a legal name change. Another wrote us about using Facebook to share pictures and resources to demystify her transition and to encourage friends to “start using [the] new name”. A third disclosed that using her chosen name on Facebook allowed her space to avoid the abuse she otherwise endured in her real life.

As of now, Buck has his account back and is on Facebook again. But his identity has been hard-won, and he shouldn’t have to prove it to anyone.

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We hope that you’ll join us for the Trans Talk panel on July 11 so that you can listen to Buck Angel, Michelle Austin, Morgan Bailey and Tori Mayes speak for themselves.

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This Weekend: Stockroom’s Summer Rummage Sale

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When we have a rummage sale at Stockroom, you know that it’s going to be different than any other. It’s just that after 25 years of selling the best in sex toys and bondage gear, we have much different stuff to rummage through.

You’re going to get the chance to put that to the test this weekend. Twice a year, we bring out some out some of our best merchandise to sell at discounted prices. Our Summer Rummage Sale is happening this weekend, and we hope that those of you who are in the Los Angeles Area will come down to check it out. Not only are the prices very low, but some of the merchandise itself is very hard to get, even on our website.

Justine Jolie and Syren Latex: Two of the stars of this weekend's Summer Rummage Sale

Justine Jolie and Syren Latex: Two of the stars of this weekend’s Summer Rummage Sale

  •  If you’re a fan of the latex clothing that’s sold by Syren, this sale is definitely for you. We’re going to have lots of high-quality latex on hand, with discounts up to 75%.
  • Adult star and model Justine Joli has been a great friend to us at Stockroom, and she’ll be joining us to add some of the clothing from her own store to the mix, as well as selling 8×10 pictures of herself.
  • It’s going to be a chance to get your hands on some of our rare and one-off designs, such as impact toys made out of alligator hide.
  • Lots of DVDs and books, both instructional and artistic.

Hope that we see you there!

When: Saturday, June 27 and Sunday, June 28. 11 AM – 7 PM both days.

Where: Stockroom Hall: 2809 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd. Located next to our retail store.

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June 20 at Stockroom University: “Sub Space Theory” With Sir Nik

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This two-part class will be dedicated to the theories on what the BDSM community refers to as “sub space.” While covering many other people’s ideas of SubSpace, Instructor Sir Nik will discuss what happens when a sub gets there, how to go about achieving this most sought-after mystery space as well as how to come back from it safely, while leaving a “breadcrumb” trail to go back again and again. Metaphysical techniques will also be shared to illustrate how to go deeper, with thoughts and theories on The Super Subconscious, the Akashic records, the Aperture/Shudder Technique and the Metronome Effect.

Class then segues toward the joys of implement play with emphasis on everyone’s favorite, that good old fashioned spanking. This two-part event will serve both the submissive and the Dominant as you’ll walk away with skills to improve your scenes and lifestyle together… all through approaching subspace through metaphysics and spanking!

What: “Sub Space Theory” With Sir Nik

Note: You can also purchase tickets on arrival if you prefer.

When: Saturday June 20, 2:00-5:00pm

Where: Stockroom Hall: 2809 1/2 W. Sunset Blvd. Located next to our retail store.

About the Instructor:

Sir Nik Satanas has 30 years experience in the world of BDSM. Mentor to many of Los Angeles’ most well known Dominants, Nik still teaches, trains and performs all over the local scene today. He is a founding and active member of The Lair De Sade and Cirque De Sade, and is dedicated to sharing the knowledge of SSC (Safe Sane Consensual) and RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) methods all over the world. Sir Nik was recently featured on Playboy and can also be seen in the French documentary film Sex and Music, produced by Laurent Abitbol.

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June 13 at Stockroom University: “Whips, Paddles, and Floggers, Oh MY!” with Rev Mel

Stockroom University - Whips, Paddles, and Flogger, Oh MY! Sat, June 13

New to BDSM? Maybe your partner asked if you’d ever had a whip, paddle, or flogger used on you, and you had no idea what they were talking about? This class is for you. You will learn the right way and the the wrong way to negotiate the best scene for both of you.

This hands-on class will also share the basic beginning tools of BDSM with an open forum designed with the beginner in mind. Instructor Rev Mel invites seasoned players to join in the conversation and demonstrate how to use some of Stockroom’s wonderful implements.

 

What: Whips, Paddles, and Floggers, Oh MY!Note: You can also purchase tickets on arrival if you prefer.

When: Saturday June 13, 2:00-5:00pm

Where: Stockroom Hall — Located next to our retail store.

About the Instructor:

Rev Mel is a Female Domme with over twenty years in the lifestyle and an ordained minister who firmly believes that religion and hot sex go hand-in-hand. She is a BDSM consultant, educator, and freedom rider. Rev Mel founded The Sacred Realm known as The Church of Perversion and Debauchery (COPAD) in Los Angeles. She has also been teaching the S/m 101 open forum at the Lair de Sade for over 12 years.

Rev Mel is also the founder of BDSM Pride Day and the TSR Peoples’ Choice Awards, a live broadcast from Hollywood, CA. As host of The Rev Mel Show, she has interviewed Jay Wiseman, Venus De Mila, Guy Baldwin, Midori, Nina Hartley, Hudsy Hawn, Mistress Melissa and many other outstanding leaders in the BDSM Community. The Rev Mel Show is live on Monday nights at 8 PM PST on TSRnetwork.com, your place for Live Kink TV.

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June 6 at Stockroom University: Intro to BDSM With Sir Rucifer

stockroom-intro-to-bdsm-facebook-headerWhether you are brand spanking new, or have dabbled in those various shades of play, this class will teach you the basics of BDSM. Tasks such as planning and executing your first scene will be discussed. This course also includes practical hands on examples of proper and safe spanking, basic flogging and implement use, plus simple rope techniques to help get you started on your kinky journey!

What: Intro to BDSM with Sir RuciferNote: You can also purchase tickets on arrival if you prefer.

When: Saturday June 6, 2:00-5:00pm

Where: Stockroom Hall -Located next to our retail store.

About the Instructor:

We are pleased to welcome Sir Rucifer back to Stockroom University. Rucifer is a Lifestyle and Professional Dominant with over ten years experience in the BDSM community. A passionate teacher and lecturer, Rucifer has spoken at colleges all over Southern California. Recent appearances incude DomCon, AdultCon and The Lair. Rucifer is currently the only Resident Male Dom at The Dominion in Culver City.

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May 30 at Stockroom University: “Total Sex” With Nina Hartley

Stockroom University Total Sex with Nina Hartley, Sat. May 30

Have you ever struggled to reconcile your desires with your politics? Do you long to make peace with your transgressive fantasies so you can bring them to life? Do you wonder if you’re “normal,” or how to find other people like yourself? Would you like the thought of “sex” to conjure feelings of happiness instead of anxiety?

Join veteran sex educator, adult star, sex positive advocate, and nurse Nina Hartley as she shares the basic tools and principles she used to gain sexual mastery, confidence, and satisfaction. Learn how to communicate with your partner in a hands-on workshop complete with whips, paddles, cuffs, collars, and canes. This class demonstrates how the toy in our hands becomes a tool of personal expression like the brush of a painter, the bow of a cellist, or the feet of the dancer.

What: “Total Sex” with Nina Hartley
Note: You can also purchase tickets on arrival if you prefer.
When: Saturday May 30, 2:00-5:00pm
Where: Stockroom Hall -Located next to our retail store.

About the Instructor: Nina Hartley, RN, has been an avid consumer of porn since the Golden Age and started her award-winning career in adult entertainment on stage in 1982 and on screen in 1984. She has had the longest continual career of any woman in adult film history and remains active in front of the camera. A fierce advocate for the notion of sexual freedom as a fundamental human right, Nina sits on the board of the Woodhull Sexual Freedom Alliance. She regularly speaks around the country, using her nursing degree to educate people about the importance of sexual sanity, literacy, pleasure and health.

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Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” Shows Off Syren Latex’s Designs

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In the three days since Taylor Swift’s new video “Bad Blood” hit the Internet, it’s been viewed almost 30,000,000 times. That’s only counting the official version, not the various mash-ups, annotated versions, parodies, and unofficial uploads that are already filling up YouTube.

The appeal goes way beyond the usual show-business hype. Take a look at it below, and you’ll understand. It takes its cues from the best of the superhero movies that have come out in the last decade or so: the action is fast-moving and elegant, the sets are beautiful, and the costumes are sexy as hell. We have to not-so-modestly admit to being proud of our part in helping with that last bit. Watch that first fight scene, and you’re watching the handiwork of Syren Latex’s designers in action. Literally.

That first scene features Swift in the persona of “Catastrophe” beating up bad guys while wearing our Newmar Basque latex dress. A word of caution: no matter how much pride we have in our craftwork, we wouldn’t expect any of our clothes to survive a ten-story fall out of an office building. Or the person wearing them, for that matter. Even we have our limits.

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Syren Latex's Newmar Basque Dress

Syren Latex’s Newmar Basque Dress

Catastrophe’s ally-turned-nemesis, Arsyn (played by Selena Gomez), is wearing Syren’s Garbo Blouse, a piece that we love because it’s a great combination of Old Hollywood style with modern fetish materials. The consensus around the Stockroom offices is that the metal briefcase that Arsyn slugs Catastrophe with looks suspiciously like the one our Agent Noir Neon Wand Kit comes in. If that were the case, the whole story becomes easier to understand: It’s one of our most beloved products, and certainly worth fighting over.

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Syren's Garbo Blouse

Syren’s Garbo Blouse

Finally, there’s a beautiful shot of Destructa X (Ellie Goulding) brandishing a huge rocket launcher while wearing Stockroom’s PVC Waist Cincher. While neither Stockroom nor Syren carry the rocket launcher, we have to admit that it makes for a great accessory.

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Swift’s  team came to Stockroom and selected some of our finest clothes during production, and we have say that we’re delighted to see what they did with them. A lot of creativity and hard work goes into Syren’s clothing, and even though we’re a business, not all of that labor can be counted in dollars and cents. “Bad Blood” with all its vigorous eroticism and bold heroics, depicts some of the things that we love most about the clothing we make, and we’re honored that Taylor Swift and her creative team were able to capture that in their video.

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May 23 at Stockroom University: “Edge Play — Toying With Risk,” with Sunny and Ken

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We are pleased to welcome back Stockroom University Educators Sunny & Ken! Join them in a serious look at risk taking behaviors while examining how to be as safe as possible in any scene. Risk assessment, safety, health, negotiation, and consent will all be covered as well as how to set up , design, and execute abduction and interrogation scenes. Armbinders, body bags, hogties, straitjackets and Stockroom sensory deprivation gear will be utilized during this course.

What: Stockroom University: Edge Play — Toying With Risk
Note: You can also purchase tickets on arrival if you prefer.

When: Saturday May 9, 2:00-5:00pm

Where: Stockroom Hall -Located next to our retail store.

About the Instructors:

The superheroes of sex ed, married couple Ken Melvoin-Berg and Sunny Megatron are partners in every sense of the word. In addition to co-producing Showtime’s Sex with Sunny Megatron, they initially gained recognition writing and teaching about everyone’s favorite subject: SEX. Some of their sell-out workshops include: BDSM 101; Prostate Milking for Beginners; Ethical Non-Monogamy; Sex Toys 101; ZAP! Electric Play: Wands, TENS & More; G-spots & Squirting; and How to Give a World Class Blow Job.

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The Irresistible, Erotic Allure of Corsets

Woman with black hair, kneeling and wearing corset.

From The Illustrated Master of O. Image by Fernando.

Jacqui, dressed in her “work clothes” – a black cotton garter-tank that covered all but her most private real estate (which still bore traces of O’s recent dressage work) and opaque black stockings to match – dug her black stiletto pumps into the carpet and strained at pulling O’s already compressed waist in a bit further.

“That’s it if you’re interested in breathing,” Jacqui declared.

Jacqui posed her in front of Marie’s tall rolling mirror, a big smile spreading across her face as O stared at the transformation.

“I think it’s pretty spectacular myself,” Jacqui said.

She wasn’t wrong. The corset took O’s narrow middle in a good three inches, exaggerating her breasts, hips and buttocks even further. With only the faint contrast of her brown leather collar and cuffs and her nude high heels, O appeared to be sculpted entirely of gleaming flesh, Jacqui having oiled her exposed areas lightly before wrestling with the cincher.

Her proportions were so extreme she resembled an unpainted mannequin. O was going for that effect. Though never fully satisfied with her appearance, she was at least grateful for her rigorous exercise, light diet and regular lacings. In profile, the impact was even more arresting.

“Well,” O conceded, “at least it’s comfortable.”

Jacqui threw her hands in the air. “You’re insane! I’d be passing out about now.”

“You just have to breathe from your diaphragm,” O explained, “and it’s good for you in reasonable doses. Helps take the weight off your spine.”

Unconvinced of the practical benefits, Jacqui admitted that the look was, literally and figuratively, breathtaking. To underscore the point, she stole a kiss and copped a feel.

“Steven’s going to want to fuck you the minute he walks through the door.”

O smiled wickedly. “That’s just what I’m hoping.”

–From Master of O by Ernest Greene

If there’s a single object more directly associated with fetishism than the stiletto heel, it has to be the tight-laced corset. A stern bulwark of steel (originally whalebone) boning and sturdy laces, it not only configures a woman’s appearance, but also constrains her movements, making it a wearable instrument of bondage. Limiting flexibility at the mid-section, it imposes an upright posture that presents the chest in full glory while thrusting the backside outward.

As men and women alike became obsessed with reduced waistlines, corsets became more extreme. They increasingly constricted breathing, producing dizziness and even fainting during carnal exertions. Thus, they function in this form as both a mobile bondage device and an instrument of erotic asphyxiation. At the height of the corset’s most punishing period – the end of the Nineteenth Century –waist reductions of four inches or more were not uncommon. The legendary Ethel Granger tightlaced her waist down to a gasp-inducing 13 inches by the early years of the twentieth century. To this day, The Guiness Book of World Records lists her as the smallest tightlaced waist every recorded, while the record for the smallest waist on a living person now belongs to Cathie Jung, who can lace down to 15 inches.

Predictably, fashion appropriates fetish just as fetish appropriates fashion. Corsets can be seen adorning the youthful figures of style vamps who have adopted them as outerwear in various colorful fabrics, not to mention leather and latex, on the dance floors of nightclubs all over the country.

Stockroom's Collette Corset

Stockroom’s Collette Corset

However, a thriving sub-culture of old-style corset enthusiasts persists. Models like Dita von Teese — who can get down to a sixteen-inch waistline doing up her own laces — have been elevated to iconic status. Thanks to them and their admirers, the modern practitioners of the corsetiere’s traditional art remain very much in business.

Just like the skyscraper heels and seamed stockings with which they’re often paired, genuinely constricting corsets that give no quarter to comfort or convenience continue to enjoy a secret life as fetish confection. The public more often sees the less severe forms in music videos and on the racks of trendy retailers. However, many a fetishist owes their interest to a first glimpse in such a seemingly vanilla setting.

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While they may wax and wane in popularity as club wear, the corset’s position in the bedroom remains as secure as the garment itself, ever a totem of femininity and the passions it inspires.


Ernest Greene is a writer, producer and director whose body of work comprises over five hundred adult titles, including Tristan Taormino’s Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and Jenna Loves Pain.
His first novel, Master of O, is available in trade paperback and illustrated editions from Stockroom.
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May 13 – May 17: Stockroom Goes to DomCon LA!

DomCon LA 2015 Banner

This coming weekend is a big one for anyone in the SoCal area who’s a big fan of D/s play: DomCon Los Angeles is celebrating its 10th anniversary at the LAX Hilton. Of course, we’re going to be there. The Stockroom offices are swarming right now as we get everything ready to put our best (and kinkiest) faces forward for the weekend.

Come meet Stockroom University Headmistress Hudsy Hawn at booth #155, directly outside Classroom A, and take the opportunity to get an up-close look at our best fetish gear. We’ll have The Strap, the debut entry in our new collaboration with Jane’s Addiction guitarist Dave Navarro, both in its standard version and the new gold-plated version.  Check out the video below with Skin Diamond to see The Strap in action.

We’ll also have: selections from the JT Signature Line; electro erotic toys like our famous Neon Wand; and Stockroom’s patented Bolero Straightjacket.

If you don’t want the hassle of packing all of these cool toys and kinky clothing and getting them past airport security, any orders placed at the booth will receive a 20% discount and free shipping.

Ernest Greene & Nina Hartley

Ernest Greene & Nina Hartley

We’re also very proud to have Ernest Greene and adult film legend Nina Hartley coming to the booth for daily signing sessions of Greene’s acclaimed erotic novel, Master of O, published this year by Daedalus Publishing. In addition to the standard paperback edition, we’ll have copies of the new illustrated version which includes over forty gorgeous, full-color pictures by the internationally-acclaimed erotic artist Fernando. Come by and see why Margaret Cho says that Master of O is Sexy, decadent, powerful and fun — exactly what you want in a date and in a book!

Also, don’t miss out Friday night, when Hudsy Hawn tells the story of her decade-long journey from vanilla to kink in a performance of  The Mermaid Diaries — Beneath the Covers at Sanctuary Studios LAX. It’s a funny, inspiring, and sometimes heartbreaking story told one song at a time. The show goes from 9-10:30 PM on Friday night, with a free shuttle from the hotel starting at 8:45.

It’s going to be a very full weekend, and we hope that you’ll be there to enjoy it with us.

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