Dear Screaming O,

My name is Ruby Goodnight. Or at least that’s the name that I chose for myself as I started navigating through the sex industry. The name my parents gave me isn’t all too hard to find, especially if you’ve ever received a package from me, or paid me, or just asked. Luckily, my choice to remain semi-anon isn’t due to any life-changing circumstances. But, others I know it is.

In your email to Ricci, you made the claim that “The workshop was recorded with the full knowledge of all participants and without objection”. I was one of those people participating in the session, I was not aware that I was being recorded, with the plan to upload it to YouTube, link it in various press releases, and to be part of a Screaming O press campaign.

I was sat next to some guy who was checking out a camera on a tripod. I had no idea who he was – I just assumed that it was a Woodhull volunteer that was recording the panel for their own PR work. I was never made aware that he was employed by Screaming O. I was never made aware that this recording was for Screaming O’s purposes. I was never made aware that this video was recording the entire session, not just the panel’s initial presentation. I was never made aware that this video was going to be uploaded to YouTube and linked to in all those press releases you sent out. There were no signs noting the recording was taking place, per the policy that Woodhull required you to follow. Apparently, your own PR person who was on the panel was in the dark as well. 

I didn’t have full knowledge, which lead me to be unable to object to it. I did not consent to my participation in this panel being used for Screaming O purposes.

Keep going…I want more…

I love Woodhull. I usually come back with a completely invigorated mindset and a feeling like I’m ready to tackle the world. But that didn’t happen this year. A big ugly rain cloud has been following me around since Friday afternoon, in the form of a session called The Truth About Body-Safe: a frank, evidence-based discussion of what body-safe really means. The session description irked me enough beforehand to send an email asking for clarification of the content. I tried to have an open mind, I really did. But that quickly was laid to rest, so much so that I couldn’t even be bothered to hide my disgust.

And days later, I’m still upset.

Was it the nit-picky vocabulary lesson mixed in with the tone-policing when we were told not to refer to toys as ‘toxic’?

Maybe it was it the moment when someone on the panel said that ‘everything was toxic’ – even water in order to make it seem that the body-safe movement makes a big deal out of nothing?

Was it the outright misinformation about putting a condom on a toxic toy in order to make it ‘safe’?

It could have been the obvious potential for bias, given that the panel was made up of the scientist who was involved in the testing of Screaming O’s toys, the PR person for Screaming O, and a high-school classmate of that PR person who works in the biotech industry?

How about the fact that the presenters on the panel couldn’t even agree between themselves if the flame test used for silicone toy detection was accurate or not?

Or the repeated messages time and again about how washing your toys is all you really need to do make them safe?

And just airing out the stinky ones will make them body-safe.

Maybe it was the fact that they had said that the term ‘body safe’ is just flashy buzzwords used by manufacturers to get sales.

Possibly the complete lack of any discussion on what things other than porosity and toxicity makes a toy ‘body safe’, like flares on anal toys or lube ingredients.

It may have been repeating the myth over and over that body safe toys are overly expensive and inaccessible to those on a budget.

I know that I was upset that not everyone who was in that room knew what they were spewing was complete garbage.

But, I think I figured out what exactly had me so flame-throwingly upset about the session. I feel like they came into ‘our’ space – our gathering that all of us bloggers and educators take part in to make ourselves better – and gaslighted not only our responses and push backs, but the very work we do ourselves. All the hard work we do, all the sacrifices that many of us put our minds (and bodies) through, all that was thrown back in our faces as something to ‘not make a big deal’ about. All the spoons we spend trying to get companies to change their products, and retailers to support the good ones who do. It’s all wasted energy according to them – or so it seemed.

And even after the session was done, the gaslighting continued. They dismissed us, they lied to us, they pretended to care – and it was all in a place we thought stuff like that didn’t happen.

It upset me.

UPDATE Aug 16 2018: On August 16th, YNot published Successful Screaming O Sponsored Body-Safety Panel presented at Woodhull Sexual Freedom Summit which I would assume was a press release from Screaming O. This was the first confirmation that I can recall that Screaming O did in fact sponsor this panel at Woodhull.

UPDATE 2 Aug 16 2018: Later that evening, Woodhull released a statement in relation to unauthorized recording of the Bodysafe panel conducted by Screaming O and published as part of their press release. In that statement Woodhull clarified that Screaming O did not sponsor the panel, stating in part “[…] Woodhull does not permit sponsored workshops, and Screaming O had refused all invitations to actually be a visible sponsor of Woodhull’s 2017 Summit.” The press releases published have since been edited to remove the audio recordings, and edit the language around the sponsorship issue. Why Screaming O would state they sponsored an event without actually sponsoring it us unclear at this time.

Eroticon 2017 Meet & Greet – Ruby Goodnight

Eroticon 2017

Wow – can I tell you how glad I am to finally be writing one of these Meet and Greet posts again? After missing out on Eroticon for two years, I’m beside myself that my bosses at Doxy have provided me with the opportunity to hop the pond and take part in the event that made such amazing strides in my career.

So, without further delays….

NAME (and Twitter if you have one)

The name that I work under is Ruby Goodnight, and my twitter is @RubyGoodnight, but I also use the @DoxyNAmerica and @AfterDarkDoxy accounts for work-related purposes.

What are you hoping to get out of Eroticon 2017?

For this year’s Eroticon, it’s all about connections. After moving from the UK two years ago, I’ve not been able to keep up with the many friends I’ve made that reside overseas, and Eroticon is one place where we’ve always been able to get together and hang out. Being with these folks and seeing their success gives me a buzz that I’ve not been able to find elsewhere. Add on top that some of my fav North American based bloggers are heading over, I can’t wait to just *be* with people. The possible connections to be made with those I’ve not met also ranks up there.

That, and I’m speaking on something I feel VERY passionate about, and hoping to change a few reluctant minds!

This years schedule at Eroticon is pretty full on but which 4 sessions do you already have marked down as ones you want to attend?

Sex Blogging as Feminism and Social Justice: Sarah Brynn Holliday – Sarah is someone who always gets me thinking and pushed my activism side to places it needs to go. So I’m 100% going to this one!

Obscene Text: Free Speech and the Written Word – Myles Jackman – I find myself continually in awe of Miles and the work he does. I’m a proud Patreon of his, and am looking forward to what he can share with the Eroticon crowds.

Hands On Rope Workshop: Djfet – My rope skills are SOOOOOO basic – I need a boost to get me learning again!

A KinkCraft Workshop – Just because I’ve yet to meet the lovely folks at KinkCraft and I want to make some hitty toys.

Tell us one thing about yourself that not many people know?

I can wiggle my ears.

If you made the papers, what would the headline be?

In my somewhat conservative town? “Local woman uses sex toys to purchase new home!”

If you could have one skill for free (I.e. without practice/time/effort) what would it be?

I’m going to have to copy Michael on this one. I wish I could sleep anywhere! You’ve no idea how many airplane rides I’ve been on where I just *wish* I could catch a few winks. So if I’m a zombie the first day of Eroticon, you know why!

Complete the sentence: I love it when…

…my spouse and son tell me they love me. Yeah, I’m a soppy girl.


On Cliques & Gaslighting

I was having a conversation / thought stream on Twitter today, after seeing days and days of discussion on the concept of ‘blogger exclusion’. Specifically, the idea of a ‘clique’, feeling left out, etc. This is something I know me and other folks want to work to fix, and my best way of handling huge issues like this is to break it down into smaller parts.

We talked about the understanding of the word ‘clique’, as it was being thrown around as both a general descriptor and an insult. The consensus was that a clique was a group of individuals that actively, consciously, purposely reject others from entering into their social circle. It was not a catch-all phrase for a group of friends or like minded individuals. Once we got that out of the way, we zeroed in.

I came to the conclusion that we were talking about two sets of individuals in this excluded group. The first group are those newer/smaller/quieter folks who haven’t actively been excluded, but for some reason feel left out. Many attribute this to their own self esteem and mental health, but the overwhelming voice was this group just feels left on the sidelines. I think this would be the easiest group to help – it will take effort that some might not have, but it’s simpler things like encouragement, signal boosting, conversations, etc.

Keep going…I want more…

My spouse Em made a big decision a few weeks ago. Coupled with insanely heavy and painful periods, and an increase in gender dysphoria tied to those periods, she agreed that it was time we look into methods to stop her menses. Em is still working through issues surrounding her gender, labels, and whatnot. But, there were two things she knew she wanted. One was that she did not want to start T (that would eventually stop her period), but didn’t want to get any more ‘girly’. The other is that she wanted her periods to stop as soon and easily as possible.

Keep going…I want more…

An update on my brain

It’s been a little over three weeks since I shared this post about my anxiety, depression, and going back on meds. I’ve had some folks DM me for an update, so I thought I’d let folks know how I was coming along.

Keep going…I want more…

It’s been a very long time since I’ve blogged. I miss it. I don’t know if this will be the start of me getting back into the swing of things, or just a one off. But, I wanted to talk about something – about me, really – and hopefully share a piece of writing that’ll help others.

Over the last few months I’ve started to become more comfortable with talking about my mental health. I think part of that is the bloggers and educators that I’ve surrounded myself with since moving back to the US. Folks like JoEllen Notte and Crista Anne are so open about their mental health goings-on, and how they intersect with their personal and working lives, it’s really helped me sift through the layers of shame that I’ve had. That we all work in a similar field and have the same values also helps. So I’m ready to talk about what’s going on with me.

Keep going…I want more…

I’ll start off this post by saying that Amazon is not the best place to get sex toys. I would much prefer it if you found yourself a retailer who you can build a relationship with, that does outreach programs, teaches sex educations classes – a company that gives you more than a sex toy. I don’t buy my sex toys on Amazon. Check out Doxy’s retailers – those are the kind of shops you want to get to know, and who I use.

But I know Amazon is someplace that people go to buy pleasure products. Amazon gift cards exist. Their wish lists are easy to use. As my Twitter friend Ian put it, “The best place to buy food is a decent specialist grocer or butcher. But sometimes you grab a burger.” There can be a lot of scare mongering when it comes to buying sex toys on Amazon. Some of it comes from lack of knowledge about how Amazon works. My hope is to take some of the most heard issues when it comes to Amazon sex toy sales, and do a bit of education myself.

Keep going…I want more…

Ruby Goodnight WoodhullIt’s been about a year since I’ve moved back to the US from England, and part of the adjustment has been getting to know the convention and trade show scene here all over again. The Sexual Freedom Summit had been in my ‘hmm, this looks interesting, I should find out more’ list for a few months. Part of the direction that I’m looking to take my work into – especially when it comes to the Doxy brand – is education and activism. SFS was just that – an intermingling of not only educators and activists, but sex workers, mental health experts, doctors, lawyers, pleasure product retailers and manufacturers, bloggers, students – you get the idea. It is the “the event where everything comes together in spectacular conversations about sexual rights”, as the tagline reads. The focus this year was on sex and aging – an area that I’m eager to learn about and bring to the Doxy table, but I was growing a bit burned out of shows and travelling to teach, and though that maybe I’d add it to the 2016 list.

Then JoEllen Notte, a sex educator and mega Doxy supporter knocked on my email door asking about working together for the event. I knew that JoEllen would be a great ambassador for Doxy, and I could judge through her if the Sexual Freedom Summit would be someplace that I’d want to be a part of – but still thinking next year. While attending the ANME trade show, I got a chance to speak with Metis Black of Tantus, along with Ricci Levi, the executive director of Woodhull, my mind was made. My ‘I’m not going to do any more shows for 2015’ list had grown by one, and I’m amazingly glad it did.

Keep going…I want more…

Sinful Sunday – Rude Americana

It’s been a while since we took part in Sinful Sunday.

So, rather than reinventing the wheel this time around, Em decided to redo a previous post in a 4th of July theme.

Rude Americana

See who else is being sinful on this 4th of July.

Sinful Sunday

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