Work It! Sunny Megatron: Sex Educator, Weird Tour Guide, Kinky Blogger!

Work It! is a weekly interview series featuring fascinating folks who work outside the traditional 9-5, to amuse, inspire, and light a fire under your butt to start pursuing the career of your dreams.

Name:  Sunny Megatron

Age: 40

Location:  I was born, raised and reside in Chicago, Illinois.

What do you do, in your own words, and how long have you been doing it?
I do a whole bunch of odd and interesting things.  Strangely, all of my work centers around two of life’s most intriguing, misunderstood and mysterious taboos: sex and death.

1. As a Chicago historian specializing in true crime and disasters, I host tours and bachelorette parties for Weird Chicago Tours.

2. I’m a freelance copywriter and social media marketing consultant for adult industry clients.

3. I’m a Sexuality Educator.  Not only do I host Weird Chicago’s Red Light District tours  , I also teach adult sex education/alternative sexuality classes  across the country with my partner in love, work and mischief, Ken Melvoin-Berg.

4. I blog about sex at SunnyMegatron.com. 

5. I work on new product development for adult and BDSM product manufacturers.

6. I help Ken run the Chicago S&M Dungeon he co-owns called The Studio.

A good deal of what I do centers around educating while entertaining so I often proudly call myself an “Edutainer.”

What was your first job?
My first “real” job was working at the record store in the mall in college in the early 90’s. I thought it was the coolest job ever… selling all those cassette tapes!  Looking back I consider myself lucky as a teen.  My family disallowed working while I was in high school.  My job was my studies, period.  At the time it seemed unfair because I rarely had spending money, however, now I realize it was a great decision.  Not having a job allowed me to get involved in extracurricular activities. It also gave me the opportunity to concentrate on women’s and social justice issues so I went to my far share of rallies and volunteered at neighborhood shelters.   Pursuing those interests during my teen years really helped shape who I am today.

What’s the weirdest job you’ve ever had?
My weirdest job was definitely helping out with the family business as a kid.  When I was young my mom sold balloons.  She owned concessions at the now defunct Old Chicago Amusement Park and later became a well known street vendor.   For years she was known as “The Balloon Lady of Lincoln Park,” selling huge bundles of balloons at the corner of Lincoln, Fullerton and Halsted.  Although I wasn’t allowed to work during the school year, I’d help out during the summer at festivals.

The balloon business was surprisingly ruthless! There were street fights with competing balloon vendors, and I’ve been accosted by balloon phobic hobos more times than I’d like to admit.  These “Balloon Battles” would have made a great mini-series or musical stage show!  Regardless, I’ve always felt like I had a little carnie in me growing up, and the balloon business is definitely why.  It probably also explains my clown fetish (this article is a MUST READ- Bianca).

What led to you pursuing your current career? Did you have mentorship or special training for it?
I’ve journeyed three separate career paths that lead me to where I am today.  The Historian part of me started young.  My grandfather was a history professor at DePaul and NorthwesternUniversities.  He authored a number of best selling historical books and did some ground breaking work on the Boer Wars.  To his students he was most known for his engaging lectures on strange and macabre anecdotal history.

My grandfather practically raised me so I grew up hearing gruesome tales about things like H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle and The Chicago Sausage Vat Murder.  My interest in dark, bloody history grew as I got older, prompting me to became a serial killer/murder buff as an adult.  Hosting Weird Chicago tours is a natural fit.  Every one of the stories I cover used to be gory childhood bedtime stories for me!

My sex educator self started young also.  When I took my first college Human Sexuality class, my natural curiosities about sexuality and psychology were finally satisfied.  After agonizing about “what I wanted to be when I grow up” my entire life, I finally found my niche!  I wasn’t exactly sure what types of jobs I could get in a sex related field in 1990.  High school health/sex ed teacher or sex therapist didn’t appeal to me.  The only other exposure I had to anyone in a sex related field was Dr. Ruth.

One day I proudly marched home and declared I wanted to be “a younger, hipper Dr. Ruth!”  I was met with opposition, disbelief and “where did we go wrong!?” reactions from my sexually repressed family.  I didn’t get much support from friends either.

I didn’t know then it would take me another 15 years to find my own voice and speak freely about my beliefs and sexual preferences loud and proud.  Knowing I didn’t have the support of anyone close to me, I opted for another career — marketing.   Of course, I still kept my Women’s Studies minor so I didn’t feel like a complete sell out!  I ended up working for a large worldwide advertising agency for 17 years.  Although the money was great, I didn’t feel satisfied putting out for “the man.” My work/life balance sucked and I felt unfulfilled every single day.  I was too chicken to make a career change although I fantasized about it often.  All that changed when the economy took a dump and I got laid off.  That layoff was a blessing in disguise as it gave me the opportunity to make the career jump I didn’t have the courage to make on my own.

What projects are you working on currently?
Most of my project work revolves around the sex end of my business.  I am constantly working on new classes, workshop and curriculum ideas with Ken.  It also seems as if I’m always in the midst of one writing project or another, whether it be a copywriting about different types of fetishes, sexy product description website copy, or personal writing for my website or other sexuality blogs.  I do almost always have my nose in a Chicago history book or two as well.

I am stoked about the TV shows Weird Chicago has been involved in this summer.  I just hosted a Red Light District Sex Tour that was filmed for the Travel Channel.  Being my life’s passion is helping people open up about sex, I am beside myself with joy that a Sex Tour is coming to family TV!  It’s set to air in July or August.  I’m curious to see how much of my dirty talk gets censored out in editing! We’re filming a few big name shows for Weird Chicago covering historical and haunted subjects this summer too which is really exciting.

There’s some really cool product development stuff I’m also working on but that sort of thing is top secret so mum’s the word!

What do you love about what you do? What do you hate?
There is so much I love about what I do.  I enjoy helping people become comfortable with themselves.  We’re raised in an environment that allows shame to dictate who we are and what we do.  Many sexuality/BDSM educators I come across lived a pretty open lifestyle most of their adult lives.  It isn’t uncommon to find educators who have always been sexually open or fell into an alternative sexual lifestyle at 18 or in their early 20’s.

I come from come from a different place. I spent the majority of my adulthood ashamed of my sexuality.  That shame was coupled with dealing with abusive, sexually repressed romantic relationships.  I know what it’s like to have a hard time navigating through societal messages about who I should be sexually vs. who I really am inside vs. the expectations my partner has.

I specialize in reaching the late bloomers and folks who have always been curious about alternative sexual practices but need a little encouragement.  Because I’ve “been there” most people find me exceptionally approachable, comforting and able to help pull people out of their shells.  I enjoy helping others find what I did and giving them that little push or nugget of encouragement I wish I had.  People send me e-mails nearly every day thanking me for enriching their lives. There is nothing better than that!

There is very little to hate about how I make a living.  I do, however, hate that in order to do what I love, I have to sacrifice my paycheck and insurance benefits.  I make a fraction of what I did in advertising.

I also love the tour business immensely but people don’t realize how much it takes out of you.  My throat is constantly sore and strained and my feet hurt around the clock.  During the busy season, summer through Halloween, I feel like I’m falling apart!

What do you like to do in your free time to keep your life in balance?
Free time?  What’s that!?  I try to catch a peaceful moment when I can.  Although I work more hours now than I did working for the man, my free time is more satisfying.  I like what I do.  There’s no commute, no need to get dressed up (heck, or dressed!) and I’m happier all around.  I don’t have that “decompress time” at the end of each workday like I needed before.  We also make time for couples date night, family date night and plan a family vacation every summer.

You run tours and teach classes in collaboration with your partner Ken. What is it like to run a business with your significant other?
It’s hard to turn off work mode sometimes.  I used to have a team of people under me at my old job and it’s a challenge to turn the role of “boss” over to someone else.  Sometimes I like to be the one telling people what to do so I have to seek out other outlets to satisfy that part of me.  Occasionally I’ll take the lead on a collaborative project or sometimes I’ll find an ass to beat in my free time (this is where BSDM comes in handy!).   Ken and I do disagree, we’re both pretty stubborn and hard-headed but it’s a real testament to our relationship that we get along and work it out every time.  We’re an excellent team and feel as if sometimes we share the same brain . . . in addition to sharing the same filthy mind!

It’s a great asset to have not only two points of view on things but the ability to bring both male and female energy to our endeavors.  Ken has also been a lifetime kinkster where I have only been involved for a few years which brings a wonderful dynamic to our partnership as sex educators. This especially comes in handy in the sexuality classes we teach together.  It’s part of what makes our workshop experience very unique.   Our blow job class, for instance, takes on a whole new dimension because both of us teach from different points of view.

Another benefit of working in a home office with your partner is pants-less workdays and (consensual!) sexual harassment on the job!

What is one of the most memorable moments from your work?
FUCKSAWGATE!  (Links to video news report) Long story short— Ken brought myself and our friends Jim and Faith along to speak during one of his Networking for Kinky People lectures. He was asked to present it to the human sexuality class at Northwestern University.  One fucksaw (a reciprocating saw that has its blade removed and replaced with a dildo to serve as a “fucking machine”)  and a G-spot orgasm later we had news agencies from all over the world stalking us paparazzi style.  It was unreal!

When all was said and done, whether they were in agreement or not, it got people around the globe talking about pleasure and g-spot orgasms.  The most unlikely people started discussing sex in the most unlikely settings.  I had folks telling me, thanks to the NU sex toy demo, their grandmother blurted out over Sunday supper she just had her first g-spot orgasm!  Families were taking my ghost tours and secretly high-fiving me because they were in favor of our demonstration and the need for more candid sex education at the university level. Anything that gets the general public engaged in meaningful conversations about sex is a good thing in my book.

What future projects and long term goals do you have in store?
Long term, Ken and I will continue to develop new workshops and travel to various cities teaching.  Ken is currently working on a BDSM book and I’m in the early stages of assembling stories and resources to inspire and assist kink curious people trying to find their voice.  The new Beyond 50 Shades of Grey series on my blog is just a taste of that.

It is very important to me to continue growing the community of sexually empowered individuals Ken and I have amassed.  Social networking/the internet has been a wonderful way to communicate with those folks so I will certainly continue to focus my efforts there.  More videos and a possible podcast are also on the horizon.  We’re always up to something, so you’ll just have to wait and see!

Sunny wants you to stop hating on 50 Shades of Grey! Watch her talk about it on YouTube:

Like Sunny on Facebook and follow her on Twitter

Read Sunny’s hilariously NSFW Mother’s Day story here. 

Read more Work It! interviews here! 

Comments

  1. haha Balloon phobic hobos sound like the surliest sort.

  2. The video is nonsense and rambling. She makes no solid argument either for or against not hating the book. She spends over 11 minutes successfully looking like a kook who supports kinky sex. Who cares about kinky sex! This book is not JUST about sex. And it’s not the sex that annoys the haters. It’s the fantasy: the woman in the book is under the impression that the man can be changed. Women are reading this and coming away thinking if they liked sex more and experimented more with sex, then they could change their men and somehow become equals. Only a nutcase would call this book anything other than fantasy. No one can change another person. It’s up to that person to change. And if women are getting wet reading it, that’s the point of porn. There is no sex revolution or change in thinking about sex occurring in the world. If that were really happening, there’d be no sex trafficking or women getting murdered and beaten everyday because of sex. This book is changing nothing. It’s simply feeding more ignorance and covering up the true sickness related to sex and relationships: sex is natural and doesn’t need to be kinky or pornographic to feel good. As long as two people love and respect each other and treat each other as equals, sex will be great! This book deflects the issue away from true connections between partners on an intellectual level and focuses on the sex, the sex, the sex, which is the most primitive level of existence and requires zero thought or insight. The book is porn. Treat it that way. It’s not a manual for anything or a gateway to higher thinking or a sex revolution. Get real!

    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t we all just get along and FUCK! As a writer/ kinkster I found Paula’s personal attack on Sunny’s Video blog odd, not true and ignorant. I haven’t read 50 shades of grey and have no desire to, though I did watch the video. Sunny was making an appeal to the Sex Positive and kink community to embrace people and support people that have read the book. Very straight forward nothing more nothing less. Paula took the whole blog totally out of context. I see this a lot in people with strong opposing beliefs of one sort or another on any given subject usually because they are riddled with fear.

    • 1. Who cares about kinky sex? LOTS of people. I specialize in educating people who are vanilla but curious about kink— there has always been an overwhelming number of these folks coming on my tours/attending my classes. Since 50 Shades hit, it’s astronomical! I get e-mails and messages every day from people who have read the book and are looking to incorporate kink into their lives. Just because it’s not your cup of tea does not mean there aren’t people out there who like it. And if being one kinky mo-fo makes me a “kook” in your book, then I’ll proudly be a “kook.”

      2. Yes, there is more about the book than sex. I personally think it sends bad messages about relationships and Christian Grey is a creepy, controlling stalker throughout the book. In a real-life setting he’d classify as emotionally abusive/manipulative. I even mention that in my video. But it’s not the relationship part of the book I’m addressing— it’s the SEX part. Like it or not, many folks who read this are focusing on the SEX—that can’t be ignored. People are skipping through the text just to read the sex scenes!

      3. You say “Women are reading this and coming away thinking if they liked sex more and experimented more with sex, then they could change their men and somehow become equals.” — Somehow become equals??? If you are implying men are superior to women then we clearly come from two completely different worlds. Furthermore, this book is actually inspiring women to experiment with certain sexual practices NOT because their men like it. The book is allowing women to finally be forthright and ask for what THEY want in the bedroom. Women are taking charge of their own sexual pleasure which is a wonderful thing and one that’s been a long time coming (pun?).

      4. “There is no sex revolution or change in thinking about sex occurring in the world. If that were really happening, there’d be no sex trafficking or women getting murdered and beaten everyday because of sex.” — I don’t even know what this means. A change in sexual attitudes does not erase sexual/social injustice. They share no relationship and exist independent of one another.

      5. “Sex is natural and doesn’t need to be kinky or pornographic to feel good. As long as two people love and respect each other and treat each other as equals, sex will be great!” — A. I had non-kinky sex for a good 15 years and it DIDN’T feel good—something was always missing and I felt unfulfilled. My sex feels good when kinky—what you prefer should not dictate what I prefer. B. I have sex with people I don’t love and often times we don’t treat each other as equals (in the bedroom during a sexual scene we don’t—outside of a sexual situation I always treat others as I expected to be treated— with respect.) and it’s GREAT! Just because the “non-kinky, in love, be equals” thing works for you doesn’t mean everyone has to prescribe to that. We’re all different and to each their own.

      6. Yep, the book is fantasy and much of it is soft-core porn. So? Having fantasies is natural and porn is often a great outlet to help us get in touch with those fantasies. Getting in touch with these repressed fantasies (thanks to the book) is helping people free themselves of lifelong shame they’ve carried. Why is anything wrong with that? This is a good thing from my perspective.

      7. “Get real” — I have gotten real and being real is WONDERFUL! :D

    • Paula, I find your criticism of Sunny’s video exceedingly harsh and off the point, but first I would like to address a couple of things in your comment that really disturbed me:
      1) “There is no sex revolution or change in thinking about sex occurring in the world. If that were really happening, there’d be no sex trafficking or women getting murdered and beaten everyday because of sex.”
      Sex trafficking and sex crime have very little- if anything- to do with actual sex or the sexual health of their participants. These things are about money and power. While my personal proclivities to not lean toward BDSM, I understand that BDSM and the relationships of it’s participants are about a power exchange- something altogether different. Linking the two this way is incredibly irresponsible, not to mention outright inappropriate.
      The is a sexual revolution happening: The occurance rate of rape and prostution did not necessarily change when the sexual revolution of the 60’s and 70’s took place, and it isn’t an indicator now. Sunny’s entire point is that our sexual revolution is about acceptance and open communication about alternate sexual lifestyles. People are opening up to dialgue about sex and sexuality like never before, and we should be encouraging it, because it’s healthy. One doesn’t have to personally try or participate in any of the various kinks, fetishes, or other activities to be respectful of those that do, just as one does not need to be gay to treat gay people as equals.
      2) “This book is changing nothing. It’s simply feeding more ignorance and covering up the true sickness related to sex and relationships: sex is natural and doesn’t need to be kinky or pornographic to feel good. As long as two people love and respect each other and treat each other as equals, sex will be great! This book deflects the issue away from true connections between partners on an intellectual level and focuses on the sex, the sex, the sex, which is the most primitive level of existence and requires zero thought or insight.”
      Speak for yourself, please: You seem to be operating on the assumption that kinky sex and intimacy are mutually exclusive, with is very far from the truth. Sex with kink and sex without are both equally fulfilling- for those that prefer one or the other- and this really does just boil down to preference. If you do not personally prefer kink, that is fine, but be careful about assuming that your preference applies to all. You also make a blanket statement that sex requires no intellectual thought: I beg to differ! I’m vanilla myself (though I suspect I may be a bit closer to the kink end of the continuum than you.) There’s absolutely a time and a place for primal rutting, however sex with or without kink and accessories both require intellectual investment and stimulation! Kinkier doesn’t mean disconnected, and it certainly doesn’t automatically follow that it is less personal and/or fulfilling… I agree that “as long as two people love and respect each other and treat each other as equals, sex will be great!,” However, you fail to acknowledge that those two people are also sexually compatible in their tastes, which may or may not include some less conventional things, and how wonderful is it that they have found each other!
      3) a. ” Women are reading this and coming away thinking if they liked sex more and experimented more with sex,
      b. then they could change their men and somehow become equals.”
      To the first part, I say “Awesome!!!!!!” If women are experiencing some sort of sexual awakening after reading this book (no matter how shittily written it might be,) then it’s already lightyears ahead of the drivel that inspired it. If women are suddenly hot and heavily exploring how to be fully free and satisifed by their sex lives and- more importantly- taking back control of their sexuality that’s fucking fantastic. That’s what feminism is all about!
      Which brings me to the second part: This does, I believe, bring women back up to being the equals of men. Men have long had carte blanche to indulge and openly develop their sexuality, and dominated the roles of initiator and referee in bedrooms throughout western history and locale. Why the hell shouldn’t women step up and say, “damn, I want a piece of that pie too!” The character in the book may or may not be trying to change her man (I personally haven’t read it, so I can’t comment,) but she also seems to be exploring what the hell she wants. And that is NOT a bad thing. Ever…
      Bottom line, please do not present your personal opinions as representative of the rest of ours (women, Americans, homo-sapiens, whatever.) If you find kink unnecessary or uninteresting, that is your perogative- present your argument as based on your own personal preferences and then go play over there.
      Sunny is a vastly intelligent, articulate, passionate, and fun human being- if you just don’t dig her speaking style or whatnot, that’s fine too- don’t be a dick and mix inflammatory, name-calling, troll-like comments in with your argument- it’s just fucking rude and disrespectful. Calling her a “kook” and being completely dismissive of her work because you either don’t relate to it or understand it is just plain immature. It’s ad hominem, it’s tu quoque, and it’s LAME.

  3. Ken Melvoin-Berg says:

    Wow, interesting insight Paula, but you are dead wrong in so many ways I can’ begin to count them. However I will give it the old college try.

    Sunny is not a kook and is actually a well respected and sought after TV personality, public speaker, blogger and educator. I haven’t noticed anyone taking an interest in writing about you or your career except for yourself. We teach Sexual Education internationally and have talked about this book and its effects on both vanillas like yourself as well as the BDSM/kink community. All (100%) of the people that have come to our seminars or contacted us have showed a new found interest in kink. Most of them had no idea this stuff was out there. Your opinion is a lone star in the middle of the night. An opinion I have never heard before and hope that the few folks that are as narrow minded and uninteresting as you can keep their negativity to themselves. If there is a kook referencing any of this, it is you.

    This book is about sex, BDSM and relationships. Is the book great (no) but it is a gateway to the kink lifestyle. I’m so sorry for your bleak sex life that kink isn’t part of it, but don’t hate us that do enjoy a little variety and spice with our love life because you have none. That’s sort of pushing us down to lift yourself up.

    To address some of your particular concerns, particularly “Who cares about kinky sex?”: according to Masters and Johnson 10% of all American are involved regularly in an alternate sexual lifestyle but nearly 50% of ALL AMERICANS dabble in kink and thus would find this interesting (unlike your poorly written e-book). Since this book is not fantasy (an unrealistic or improbable supposition) but a look at a fictional relationship between people that could be real, you have also defined yourself as a “nutcase”.

    By the way, if your sexual life requires zero thought or insight, you’re doing it wrong. If you plan on continuing a “career” as a writer, take a class on concise writing, grammar and sentence structure (you had at least two sentences that started with the word “And”).

    Ken

  4. Happy Dave says:

    Can’t we all just get along and FUCK! As a writer/ kinkster I found Paula’s personal attack on Sunny’s Video blog odd, not true and ignorant. I haven’t read 50 shades of grey and have no desire to, though I did watch the video. Sunny was making an appeal to the Sex Positive and kink community to embrace people and support people that have read the book. Very straight forward nothing more nothing less. Paula took the whole blog totally out of context. I see this a lot in people with strong opposing beliefs of one sort or another on any given subject usually because they are riddled with fear.

  5. Whitney K says:

    Paula, what was the point of your comment? I was unaware that Sunny was required to make any argument or prove any point in her video. She was giving an opinion and loose critique of a book that deals with a subject that she is an educator of. Most importantly, she was supporting individuals reading the book for whatever reason their kinky or not-so-kinky hearts desire.
    For argument’s sake, I am going to assume that you read the interview that preceded Sunny’s video. With reading this interview (for a page that you chose to come to or at least stay on and read), you are aware of her background, sex-related occupation(s), support for the BDSM community and her obvious personal feelings on the subject matter. My question now is, why do you feel the need to name call her and put her down?
    Sunny comes across in the interview and video as articulate, educated and non-judgemental. Funny how your comment made you seem the complete opposite in all respects. Now, you can say I’m also name calling and putting YOU down and I would have to agree. I am. I have no personal ties to this interview or video yet I am personally offended that you felt the need to put your two cents in about how you thought Sunny was a “kook”. Did you miss the miss the part where Sunny openly admits she makes a living educating people on kink and BDSM? How in the world does this make her a kook?
    “As long as two people love and respect each other and treat each other as equals, sex will be great! ” is a prime example of how you know nothing outside your tiny little box (pun intended) of fairytale sexual relationships. You seem like maybe you’d benefit from one of Sunny and Ken’s workshops. You made no valid point with your comment but to prove the theory that opinions are like assholes. If cookie-cutter sexual relationships are your thing or work for you, kudos. More power to you, but don’t put down others for what they are into or what works for them. Your whole theory of it being porn if it gets you wet is the dumbest thing I have ever heard. I dare you to try to say that you have never just had that “ahhh” moment that had nothing to do with “porn” or nudity or obvious sexual situations. I would go as far as calling you a liar and calling for your handover of your woman card.
    In short, your comment was offensive, arrogant, dangerous and shallow. I’m not advising you to go buy some nipple clamps and spanking tools, but I am advising you to not leave comments all over the internet just to hear the click of the keyboard as you type. Opinions, assholes…You get what I’m putting down. I hope

  6. Obviously none of you watched the video. It makes no sense. 11 minutes of ranting, heavy breathing (but you like that), the word “Fuck” for “Fuck’s” sake (not in terms of the act, so who’s the rude one), and no direct point. I’m not here to defend myself or my comments because they were honest and based on the video provided. So, instead of attacking my response (like politicians enjoy doing to each other), why not put together a more organized and thought-provoking vlog. I DON’T care if she’s respected by people. Aren’t we all to a degree? I don’t need to respect her point of view unless it’s shared in a sensible way and resonates with me.

  7. And not respecting her point of view is not exactly what I meant. I don’t need to agree with ANY of her point of view. Isn’t that one of the points of putting yourself out there for people to challenge you? People disagree with me ALL the time, but I refuse to attack the person (like so many of these commenters have done to me above and soon below, I’m sure.) She created a video. She speaks. I watched it. I wasn’t convinced. I shared why I wasn’t convinced. I called her a Kook because she doesn’t come across as an established and well-respected journalist (sorry, I’ve never heard of her before yesterday.)

    • @Paula-

      Why don’t you give us some insight into your vanilla sex life? Personally, I just don’t understand it. I know it’s effective for procreation and continuation of one’s genetic heritage, but aside from that, it’s boring and uninteresting to me. Perhaps you could enlighten us as to why it’s such a great and magical thing for you.

      • How do you deduce that my sex life is vanilla based on my criticism of the video’s failed attempt to get the haters to stop hating? Hahahaha! Just because I think the video fails to make its case, shouldn’t be an indication of what I do or do not do under the sheets. Read my comments again. I disclosed NOTHING about my sex life. Hahahaha!

      • While it is true that you don’t come right out and say “I am vanilla,” it is the impression that I got from your initial post. I didn’tt base my assumption that your sex life is vanilla based on your criticism of the video, I based it on your statement “As long as two people love and respect each other and treat each other as equals, sex will be great!”

    • I watched ALL of Sunny’s video and understood very well that it was intended to be her personal opinion that the storm of trash-talk and controversy surrounding the popularity of the book, 50 Shades of Gray, is counter-productive, and that people in the kink community should be offering to steer kink-curious folks in a more informative direction if they don’t approve of the book- YOU seem to be the one who has missed that. If you find the kink-fetish-bondage concept irrelevant, then you easily could have chosen to move on in your reading, as it was not the topic up for debate. Instead you chose to disrespectfully deride a noted educator on the basis of her involvement in a community you clearly have contempt for, and that is why you’ve got a bunch of angry responses on your hands.

      It is absolutely your prerogative to disagree with her opinion. However you attacked her in the very manner you are decrying by having called her a kook, put down her field, and- in your last two comments, again- poked fun at the kink community: quote, “It makes no sense. 11 minutes of ranting, heavy breathing (but you like that).” I interpreted that as deliberate goading.

      Then you say, ” I don’t need to respect her point of view unless it’s shared in a sensible way and resonates with me.”

      I understand that you corrected your phrasing to indicate you meant “agree with” in place of “respect,” but I still find your defense of your behavior hollow: Because you don’t agree, or because her point of view does not resonate with you does not give you a free pass to be disrespectful. YOur own arguments have been far from sensible or organized, therefore I posit that you a pot calling a kettle black, when you know fuckall about the kettle…

  8. Having watched Sunny’s video after reading the comments from “Paula” put an interesting spin on how I perceived the video. I paired the objective and intelligent woman I was watching against the critical commentary. The result shed more light on the possible origins of the criticism than on the commentary in the video. It is interesting to note that Paula’s commentary is structured (consciously or not) to support the perspective that good sex is based upon a two-partner relationship. Although not outright stated, it is clear that the she considers monogamy to be essential to good sex. She also sets up the dismissal of a contradictory perception of sexuality by attempting to invalidate Sunny as a “kook” within the first two sentences. The summary of her commentary dismisses perspectives that differ from her own as lacking a thoughtful or insightful component. I would challenge this assumption and would offer the writings of Anais Nin as a counter.

    In short, the criticism comes across as a weakly veiled attempt to defend a personal view of sexuality not through an evidence based analysis but through attributing unsubstantiated conclusions to alternative perspectives on sexuality. I would suggest that there may be a need in the commentator to invalidate alternative perspectives on sexuality in order to validate her perspective. This is not an uncommon reaction to proposed alternative perspectives in general, but it is commonly a reaction based on emotion and often lacks thoughtful analysis beforehand. This type of reaction is often defended with an offense of suppositions offered as facts. This leaves the target of the reaction with the choice of expending energy in deconstructing a variety of arguments or ignoring them. While the deconstruction of each argument is relatively easy due to the weak nature of their construction, the attack is effective by volume. It is essentially an attack of quantity rather than quality.

    While I do defend the right of the commentator to hold her own perspective and to offer her comments in a public forum, I would suggest that she should be more accepting of criticism that counters her own for the same reason even if the manner of criticism offends her sensibilities. I would also suggest that she refrain from offering conclusions based solely on personal perspective rather than on accumulating data to support her conclusions.

    All of this aside, the commentator lost focus on the critique and instead focused an attack on the critic. There is no acknowledgment of the consideration taken by Sunny to discuss what is, in her opinion, of value as well as what is not of value in the book. Instead, she used the critique of a book to launch her own diatribe on the problems she sees as inherent in perspectives on sexuality that are not in line with her own. A worthy discussion to be had, but not at the expense of someone who deserves no challenge to her credibility.

    • Sorry. I mentioned nothing about monogomy or polygamy. I think my words were “love and respect.” If you read monogomy into it, those are your emotions attaching themselve to those words. The video lacked thought and structure. That was my criticism. I was hoping to get insight about why I should have a different or adjusted opinion about everyone’s support for this book as something other than porn for women. I didn’t get it from the video. Plain and simple. Not based on emotions in the least. (But I was a little put off by the use of “Fuck” in the video because I had to put on my headphones so my son didn’t hear it.) It is what it is. Stop trying to analyse why I disagreed. Her point was not made. This was a vlog, and I commented on it based on my expectations and my immediate reaction to my expectations not being met. Wow! This is hilarious to me that so many people are getting so worked up over my reaction and making so many assumptions about ME when I have shared zero personal preferences. You can’t even tell if I’m gay, straight, or bi from my comments, but that won’t stop people from making an assumption, I’m sure. :)

      • Interesting. Attack the singular assumption referenced in my argument as the basis for dismissing the criticism as a whole. Then move on to loosely defend the value of your criticism while simultaneously deflecting the objection to your lack of thoughtful analysis and establishing the fault for your inability to alter perception on the focus of your attack. Follow up with a taunt to raise emotions thus potentially interfering with a thoughtful response. Well done, Paula. Very well done.

      • A person can only take so many personal attacks until they begin to attack in return. I’m done. Peace!

  9. Whitney K says:

    Paula, Sunny’s WHOLE point of creating this video is to explain why she feels 50 Shades of Grey is important in this day and age. She is not asking you to agree with her. She is not condemning people who are not into kink. Sunny is, from what I gathered, just letting people know why SHE, an educator in this very subject, thinks that people should look past this poorly written book and focus on the subject matter.

    We live in a day and age of sexual repression. 50 Shades of Grey has blown the top off this subject. You don’t have to like the subject or lifestyle but you should appreciate a book that opens up peoples minds to at least acknowledge that BDSM actives/lifestyles exist. This book is a simple story told about a subject that so many people are ashamed of.

    By the way, Sunny did have a direct point, “stop hating on 50 Shades of Grey”. She said that a few times. Sunny listed many reasons why people should not hate on the book. I’m confused as to how you missed this. Most importantly, if you didn’t like the video why did you not turn it off? So you could cut down and argue just to argue? Where was the heavy breathing and “fuck” for fuck’s sake? She had an 11 minute video where the very few times she said “fuck” were used as sentence enhancers. That’s what cuss words are for. They help express a view more dramatically. She’s not talking about making love, so the use of the word fuck is completely appropriate. You are a negative nancy. Plain and simple.

    • Then she should close comments if she doesn’t want people to share their reaction. This whole attack on my comment is a bit absurd. And it doesn’t change my opinion about my expectations of the video being unfulfilled. Sorry.

      • Paula, I respect your desire to share your opinion. However, please be aware that Ms. Behaved is a Sex Positive feminist website that is tolerant of all consensual lifestyles, and that we often do run material related to sexuality and alternative lifestyles. The title of this post might have indicated to you that it would cover material of an adult nature (and we posted NSFW warnings when we shared it on Facebook and Twitter). Please don’t complain that Sunny dropped an F Bomb in her video, it should have been pretty obvious from the nature of this interview that it might not be something you want to watch with your kids present, or at all, if adult language and themes bother you. It is not Sunny’s responsibility to sanitize her videos in case children are watching- it’s your responsibility as a parent to make sure that the kids are out of the room before watching a video with overt sexual themes. There are ways to share your viewpoint that are not inflammatory or needlessly judgmental of other people’s lifestyles, and we generally encourage our commentors to keep things respectful and dialogue-oriented (which means, you are free to express a dissenting opinion as long as there is a sense of mutual respect, and that means no name-calling.) Sunny is not a “kook” as you put it, she’s a well-known, highly intelligent and respected member of the Chicago feminist and sex education community, and a loving and compassionate friend to many people, which is why you may have noticed a lot of folks are rushing to her defense. While it’s fine for you to disagree with her statements in the video, it’s not cool to trash her here- we chose her as a featured interviewee for a reason. If you don’t like Sunny’s views, you don’t have to watch her videos! Problem solved.

  10. Whitney K says:

    Frankly, no one cares whether you are straight, gay or bi. That has nothing to do with any of our comments to you. Sexual orientation has nothing to with sex positive lifestyles.

    • Okay, Whitney. So am I or am I not for a sex positive lifestyle? (If you answer this either “yes” or “no”, you base it on an assumption and on NOTHING I revealed about myself.) Thanks! :)

      • Whitney K says:

        I am not interested in whether you are for or against a sex positive lifestyle. That personal bit of information is not relevant. I never once mentioned that. I did however assume, through your comment, that maybe you have a fairytale romance view on sex. Which is fine and dandy. As long people are consenting adults, I give zero shits what someone does in their bedroom or wherever they choose to do it in. My annoyance comes from you calling someone a kook for no good reason. Why would she close her comments? Trust me, she went to bed last night not crying because you didn’t like her video.

  11. This is why I MUST post commenting etiquette guide. It’s fine to express a dissenting opinion and disagree with others, but it should be done without disparaging one another and stooping to personal attacks.

    I haven’t read 50 Shades, but it’s opened a dialog that’s empowered people to try things out of their comfort zones. I am not a member of the BDSM/kink community– I’m as vanilla as it gets, but I’m not offended that people engage in and enjoy lifestyles that differ from mine. Different strokes for different folks, ya’ll.

  12. I follow Msbehaved because I am interested in her subject matter. I don’t follow because I expect to agree with everything or everyone. I follwow over 100 blogs and disagree with commenters daily. However, I have never been judged so rudely on ANY other blog based on a few sentences. Again, I learned nothing I expected to learn from the video. I commented. Was attacked in return. I should have simply left the comment on the YouTube page, it seems. It’s clear most people on this blog are judged by their lifestyle and feel the need to be defensive about it. I attacked the video not you or your lifestyle. For pity sake. It didn’t deliver what the title suggests it will deliver. Period. Wow!

  13. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyways, I’m definitely happy I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

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