"My point, aside from remarking that both Tolkien and Le Guin are arguing that escape means hope, and hope is one of the great virtues of fantasy, is what Tolkien says at the end of the passage: they are confusing, not always by sincere error, the Escape of the Prisoner with the Flight of the Deserter. Because I think that’s exactly it. The denigration of “escapism” comes from an implicit belief that it is brave and necessary and heroic to face “reality,” where “reality” is grim and dark and nihilistic (“solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short,” as that tremendous pessimist Thomas Hobbes puts it), and that if you turn away from that “reality,” you are a deserter and therefore a coward."

— Katherine Addision (aka. Sarah Monette) on “Of Better Worlds and Worlds Gone Wrong (via adribbleofink)

(via zombiekittensandmadscientists)

"Look, without our stories, without the true nature and reality of who we are as People of Color, nothing about fanboy or fangirl culture would make sense. What I mean by that is: if it wasn’t for race, X-Men doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of breeding human beings in the New World through chattel slavery, Dune doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the history of colonialism and imperialism, Star Wars doesn’t make sense. If it wasn’t for the extermination of so many Indigenous First Nations, most of what we call science fiction’s contact stories doesn’t make sense. Without us as the secret sauce, none of this works, and it is about time that we understood that we are the Force that holds the Star Wars universe together. We’re the Prime Directive that makes Star Trek possible, yeah. In the Green Lantern Corps, we are the oath. We are all of these things—erased, and yet without us—we are essential."

Junot Díaz, “The Junot Díaz Episode" (18 November 2013) on Fan Bros, a podcast “for geek culture via people of colors” (via kynodontas)

Let em know dad.

(via kenobi-wan-obi)

I think the next time someone gets confused as to possibly why people were hoping Katniss would be portrayed as nonwhite, this quote above is why.

(via thelouringlady)

(via zombiekittensandmadscientists)


And while we’re on the subject, I’d like to say a few words about escapism. I hear the term bandied about as if it’s a bad thing. As if “escapist” fiction is a cheap opiate used by the muddled and the foolish and the deluded, and the only fiction that is worthy, for adults or for children, is mimetic fiction, mirroring the worst of the world the reader finds herself in.

If you were trapped in an impossible situation, in an unpleasant place, with people who meant you ill, and someone offered you a temporary escape, why wouldn’t you take it? And escapist fiction is just that: fiction that opens a door, shows the sunlight outside, gives you a place to go where you are in control, are with people you want to be with (and books are real places, make no mistake about that); and more importantly, during your escape, books can also give you knowledge about the world and your predicament, give you weapons, give you armour: real things you can take back into your prison. Skills and knowledge and tools you can use to escape for real.

As JRR Tolkien reminded us, the only people who inveigh against escape are jailers.


— Neil Gaiman, from theguardian.com (via thensiur)

(via bemusedlybespectacled)

"Fantasy is escapist, and that is its glory. If a soldier is imprisioned by the enemy, don’t we consider it his duty to escape?…If we value the freedom of mind and soul, if we’re partisans of liberty, then it’s our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!"

J.R.R. Tolkien (via dedicatedfollower467)

WOW, that’s an extraordinary sentiment. Wow!

(via gailsimone)

(via gailsimone)


masturbation is an aid in situations in which you have sexual needs but no outlet. You may be between partners, or your partner(s) are far away or you may be in the difficult situation of practicing abstinence while having human urges that you want to act on. In these cases a little self-love is the easiest way to ease the pressure.

Now, I would be remiss if I talked about masturbation without talking about fantasy and porn. After all, those are the main aids people use when masturbating. Plus, I am astounded by the number of advice columns in which someone is freaking out because they found out their partner has fantasies/watches porn. It’s time to set the record straight.

If you discover that your partner is watching porn, you should not take it as a sign that they are not attracted to you or don’t find you sexually satisfying. Porn is a common indulgence, and is just one of many ways of getting aroused and getting off. I know multiple people who use it as a way of getting themselves in the mood prior to seeing their partner. So, if you find out your partner likes porn, don’t panic (you might even find you like watching it with them). The only time to be concerned is if they are neglecting your relationship or their other responsibilities to watch porn



I’ve been seeing a number of letters to advice columnists lately (although I was seeing a lot of them at the time of this column, so maybe there is some sort of baseline level of this question) about whether or not masturbation/watching porn is “cheating.”  This was/is my response to such queries.

"As with any fantasy, there is a conversation that needs to happen before a role-play can become reality. Let’s say that you have a Sherlock Holmes-based fantasy. Before you don your deerstalker, you need to feel out your partner’s thoughts on that scenario. Do this prior to being really in the mood, just so there is no pressure on you or them. Try a phrase like, “Honey, would you be willing to play Sherlock Holmes tonight?” If they say no, don’t pressure them. If they say maybe, talk about a way to do it that you’d both enjoy. If they say yes, then go for it."


My advice on how to broach the topic of a new roleplaying scenario.  With apologies to A.Conan Doyle

Aggie column time!  I had to use this column to mesh together the topics of masturbation, fantasy, and porn so it ended up being a brief overview of my thoughts on all three.  Lucky me, they go together easily.  I do recommend, if you can access it, reading the academic paper about feminist made porn that I cite in the article.

Side note:  I have a friend who still occasionally greets me by shouting this article’s title.

One of the columns I’ve been writing for “The California Aggie.”  I’ll be posting some more (out of order) on here from time to time. 

The column was originally supposed to be a “Dear Abby” style, with people asking questions and me providing answers, but due to a lack of questions I had to take a different approach.

  Just a note, I’m a sex positivist.  Meaning that I think, as long as something is consensual and safe, you should go for it.  So that’s the perspective my columns are written from.