About

Andrea Zanin DSC_4603 as Smart Object-1.jpgHi! Welcome to Sex Geek. I’m Andrea Zanin, and I’m a gender-fluid non-monogamous queer perv intellectual and hedonist. I’m also a PhD student, a survivor of long-term chronic pain and disability, a cancer survivor, a social justice advocate, and a lover of many pleasures: dark chocolate, actual books, wine, tea, leather, documentaries, good punctuation, good manners, fashion, footwear, fountain pens, well-placed curse words, and the company of excellent people.

I started blogging in February of 2005, when I lived in Montreal, and I moved to WordPress in 2007, shortly before moving to Toronto. This blog is where I write about ideas, politics, theories and occasionally books. (Mmmmbooks…) I don’t write product reviews or publish guest posts. In addition to writing here and elsewhere, I teach and do one-on-one consulting work with folks. Feel free to contact me for any of those things at veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca. For more regular updates on my writing, teaching and media appearances, come find me on Facebook or Twitter at @sexgeekAZ.

Read on for my standard bio written somewhat awkwardly in the third person!

Bio

Andrea Zanin has been writing and teaching internationally about BDSM/Leather/kink, power dynamics, non-monogamy and queer sexuality for over a decade, and she endeavours to bring an awareness of privilege and oppression to all her work. Andrea’s writing has been published in numerous books, magazines and newspapers. She co-organizes the annual Canadian leatherdyke weekend An Unholy Harvest (Toronto) and the annual one-day, all-genders queer M/s and D/s event Queering Power (Ottawa), and runs a pervy book club called The Leather Bindings Society. In her copious spare time, she is pursuing a PhD in women’s studies at York University with a focus on Canadian leatherdyke history. Andrea was named Toronto Leather Pride’s Woman of the Year 2014. As a committed hedonist and aesthete, she enjoys eating fine dark chocolate, drinking tea and wearing really nice shoes. Read her at https://sexgeek.wordpress.com or find her on Twitter at @sexgeekAZ.

Quick links

 

54 thoughts on “About

  1. thank-you for the workshop in ottawa last saturday evening. It educated me with steps that i can apply with any relationship with involves dignity and respect in a whole new level of understanding which is deep and profound.

    cheers,
    peter dunnigan

  2. Thanks! It’s a very interesting article… I’ve bookmarked it and I’ll surely end up writing about it here soon. Fascinating stuff.

  3. Hey Andrea! Wanted to let you know I read a few of your posts and throughly enjoyed! Compared to Montreal, I live in a virtual backwater, and reading queer writing is essential to my survival – as is writing my own. Thanks for putting your words out there.

  4. I wanted to email you directly but I could not find your email address on the site for the life of me! 🙂

    I started a social utility, a la Facebook, but for the BDSM/Fetish community and I would love for you if you do not mind to check it out and give me your feedback on the site.

    http://fetlife.com

    I really appreciate it and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    Your Friend,

    John

    P.S. sorry for posting this in your about section… I just could not find a way to contact you.

  5. Hey John,

    My e-mail address is written in such a way that spammers will have a hard time finding it, but it does show up in my Workshops section a few times – just for future reference. And in case anyone else is reading, it’s veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca. Anyway, I’ll take a look at your site and send you a note!

    Andrea

  6. Just wrote a long letter to this site.
    Not into kinky yet just another
    sex-on-film if-i-could guy.
    So now gathering books on
    Poly-lifestyle and ever changing
    rules(they will change) rules tend
    to do that when least expected.

    Getting book titles to buy along
    with personal research.
    Though I’m a columnist at Poor Magazine
    Like being a Vegetarian this will be not
    written about only experienced.
    All Things are not Grist for the mill
    or to be written down.
    Joe.

  7. Third response Hello Ms. A. Zanin.
    Though I’m not kinky, gay, or female
    your site directed me to what was
    needed for youthful elder black male
    in Kinked out S.F.

    Polyamory may just work for me in that even if
    I’m no hedonist and like female company
    (That’s the problem being completely staight
    almost no leeway like my Lesbian, Bi, Transexual,
    Trany Bro’s and Sis’s)

    However it there are straight women out here/there
    joining also much quicker than males I won’t feel as
    weird because of this lifestyle change.

    Don’t expect to be part of any fem/male run harems
    just lots of close FWB’s that are older, mature and about
    as for younger wym’s in their mid to late 2o’s, 30’s+
    There’s no dicrimination on my part experienced that in

    dance club/bars where wymyn are actually out with fem
    friends for fun without guys but it sets guys to fail especially
    women are dressed to kill for psychological ego boost.
    Meanwhile like Pink’s song says “It You And Your Hand Tonight.”

    So “gentlemen’s” and dance/bar clubs(unless is pure sex)
    are out not worth the “instant rejection factor”
    Think about if ladies if you don’t want guys to talk to you
    why the dress smoldering hot – so you can say “not him
    suffer all of you dawgs.”

    Been there don’t that can dance well, kind, considerate, and it feels great to dance but ya know its best to conserve my precious energy for someone not playing psych games.
    Polyamory may be a more honest way to meet, greet people,
    have casual sex with one or person(s) we really like and without pressure of committment/relationship drama.

    Because the people we like are all friends and lovers and they have committments/relationships to other friends even wives for male friends and husbands for lady friends.
    Now if we can get the concept of Polyamory Bars less
    sweaty dancing that would help both guys and gals and leave
    the “Having fun with my girls friends, with a room full of horn dog guys” out in the cold.

    Who wants to date “Out for ego boost fems” who aren’t even
    there to be with guys but want to punish ’em for being…
    horny guys? ‘YOUR SLEEPING WITH YOUR HAND TONIGHT.
    Lets get more polyamory places and have less or
    completely eliminate Cock Blockers.

    At least in a Lesbian bar guys know why they’re being rejected. I bet if most straight women acting like the above
    were in the same place with the same additude it would these
    same women being rejected by their fem loving sister’s.

  8. Joseph – Nice to meet you! I’m glad this pointed you in a few good directions. I’m not the best-placed person to advise you on poly things in the Bay Area, but if you go to my blogroll and find Freaksexual, you should be able to leave a comment on his blog and ask that very question. He’s very involved in poly work out there and could surely direct you to the kinds of groups that would be a good fit for you.

    Funny thing, I’m so unfamiliar with the hetero dating / club scene that the kind of dynamics you write about aren’t really part of my world anymore… vaguely familiar stuff from a distant part of my past. So again I’m not necessarily the best person to help you out. But I wish you best of luck in navigating things; SF is a great place to be for all things alternative, so I’m sure you will do fine as you start exploring! By the way, I really appreciate your sense of respect for the queers and trannies out there. 🙂

    Widow Centauri – My “well hung CV”? Hee hee! Thanks for the image, I’ll have to describe it as such from now on! I’m loath to post the whole thing here as it truly is enormous, but feel free to drop me a line and I can send it to you if you’re really that curious – veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca. 🙂

  9. Hi Andrea,

    I would love to attend your workshop on BDSM basics but I don’t see any scheduled in Toronto in the near future. Any other suggestions for workshops. I have experience but my wife would like to learn, hands on how to do a session from someone else.

  10. Hi Houston,

    All I need in order to teach is for a group or store to invite me and take care of the logistics. You can ask at Good For Her or Come As You Are (the two local shops I usually teach at), or ask the leaders of whatever local group you’re a part of, to contact me to set something up. Or you can pull a group together yourself. 🙂 I’m not the only person who does basic BDSM workshops though – do a quick search for The 101s, or for the “So You Want to Be Kinky?” series run by Paul Ciantar. They may have something coming up that would be of interest. Or just check the Good For Her or Come As You Are sites, they run basic workshops on occasion too. Good luck!

  11. Yo!

    Andrea! Whats up in geek blogdom? Just got done learning to use wordpress building a site for Midori’s visit to Las Vegas. I’d love to have your opinion on it.

    http://midrlvwknd.wordpress.com

    Oh yeah, when are you heading back this direction? We still need to hit Zoomanity and Fashionistas!

    Chat with ya soon!

    Mateo

  12. Hello Andrea,
    And thanks for this unique blog. There is a sentence in one of your recent posts when you say you thought Toronto people were all supposed to be hardened and unfriendly. Thank God, we aren’t. I think we should all be proud of our diversity which does come in all colours of “the” rainbow. 🙂
    Jill

  13. Mateo – Wow, sorry, what a terrible delay in noticing your comment. I can’t seem to get the blog link to work, unfortunately, but if you re-post it perhaps I’ll be able to take a look. Also unfortunately I don’t expect I’ll be in Vegas anytime soon, but you never know – I hope to get to Burning Man 2009 or 2010 so maybe we can come by after or before. I’d love to do Zumanity with you (seen it once, but twice or three times wouldn’t be a hardship!) and Fashionistas for sure. *sigh* So much good stuff to do, so little time. Good luck with the Midori weekend, I’m sure you’ll pull it off with flair.

    Jill – Thanks for your kind comment. Toronto people are pretty awesome in my experience, I certainly can’t complain! 🙂 Nice to have you reading.

  14. Hi there, I really like your blog. I was wondering if you might consider putting a subscribe plug-in on your site so I can view it in google reader. I’d like to keep up with your updates.

    Best Wishes From London,
    A

  15. Hi Sex Geek,

    I got turned on to your blog from one of our exhibitors and have thoroughly enjoyed reading them througout today and will more than likely be reading them periodically now that i have found you. I was also hoping to speak to you in person at sometime in the near future but did not find a contact e-mail for you so thought this would be the best place to leave you a message. Please contact me at he e-mail i provided and we can talk more than. Keep up the great work, it’s always nice to see good positive information coming out.

  16. Hi Mikey. Contact info is in the first couple of paragraphs in this section, but you’re not the only one to have missed it, so I’m gonna go make it red! 🙂 Thanks for finding me here. I’ll drop you a line.

  17. Hi Andrea!
    I just read your post on It Gets Better.
    I really enjoyed your positive thinking and nuances. You made my day brighter, thanks!
    Guillaume

  18. Hi Andrea,
    I have a friend who is interested in moving here from the US to complete her doctorate work. Was wondering if you could give her some idea of current costs. You can find her at Shanna Katz on facebook if you are interested in talking to her. Thanks in advance.
    Karen Clenighan Kalinowski
    Sex Educator
    Kandor Inc.

  19. Hi Karen – I’m no expert on what US citizens pay for doctoral tuition in Canada, and it will of course depend on province and type of program (academic vs professional, etc.). But tuition costs are usually outlined on the websites of any given university so if she’s willing to do a bit of leg work she shouldn’t have too much trouble finding that info. I’m happy to be e-introduced to your friend if you like but I’m likely not the best resource for this particular question!

  20. Andrea,

    I enjoyed the article on why rape jokes aren’t funny… and I fully agree.

    I do wonder, however, what you really mean when you refer to the BDSM scene. Isn’t that a bit of an abstraction? I won’t say that it doesn’t exist, but I do think it’s a funky construct. Who is in? Who is out? Frankly, I think it’s a bit like race. We can sort of say that it exists because people believe themselves to belong to groups, but the edges are fuzzy, and it’s pretty damn hard to make statements about fuzzy constructs. How do you really do meaningful, scientific studies? I’d love to see them. I feel that some of the sweeping statements that are made about groups often have little to do with individuals and their unique thoughts, feelings, experiences and behaviors.

    To me… the root of the problem still lies in the socialization of gender and sex. If somehow we can shift the dialog away from masculine versus feminine to agentic versus communal/nurturing… such that these dimensions are orthogonal to sex… we’d be doing generations to come a favor. In other words… while it may be true that there are sex-linked traits and sex-linked behaviors (as a product of evolution), to label them this way isn’t informative and may perpetuate sex links after their usefulness has evaporated. This is related to your article… in the sense that dominant sexual behavior is agentic where submissive behavior is low in agency. I suppose that a dom could be agentic and nurturing… or not… as the two dimensions are orthogonal. A submissive could be low in agency and highly nurturing… or not. This is a much richer representation than this pathetic dom-masculine, sub-feminine link.

    If we can begin to allow people to describe behavior in a more accurate, satisfying way… we may ultimately find that they are more able to explore and realize their sexuality, without many of the stigmas that go along with gender. That is: I don’t think there’s necessarily a need for people to describe sex as agentic or communal, but I do think that if we begin to conceive of behavior in these terms in general… if we decouple these qualities from sex by extracting the gender construct… in the long run, women and men will be freer to be who they really are both in and out of the bedroom (or kitchen, or bathroom floor, etc.) I do not feel that there’s anything wrong with “kink”; it’s nothing to be ashamed of, unless it’s truly harmful to others. Experienced in its proper context, it can be quite healthy. People need to be more in touch with themselves and their motives… and not driven by playing roles in fitting with their biological sex.

    It’s OK for a woman to be “submissive” and a man “dominant”… just as it’s OK for a woman to be dominant and a man submissive. There’s no reason that these orientations should be linked to sex. I’m not sure that the blame is to be laid, thus, on the BDSM scene… whatever that is (if it even exists as such)… but on the society that shapes sexuality, of which BDSM is just one manifestation.

    Do you agree or disagree? What are your thoughts?

  21. Andrea, I love your blog. I added it to my blog’s blogroll and I hope others visit your site often to read some very astute, insightful and thought-provoking posts. Keep up the good work. Race Bannon

  22. Not sure how to contact you other than here, but wanted to say thanks for the amazing workshop on Impact Play in Halifax on Saturday. It was totally not what i expected, but it turned out to be so much better! I totally did expect a technique workshop, but this was so much better. This should precede any technique workshop, and i’m glad that for me, that was the case. 🙂

  23. So excited to have found your blog via a search for 24/7 D/s! I just offered it to my followers on my D/s Tumblr blog. I know it will do many a lot of good. I plan to spend many happy hours here.

  24. Pingback: Webanews
  25. In
    if trans women aren’t welcome, neither am I
    you spoke to all cis-women about the true nature of transwomen…….we are women in our heart and mind….just born with the wrong container. Any where a woman is accepted, we should be accepted . It only means that we are women inside and you should expect us to act and love and feel as a woman. It does not mean we are better or beautiful or smarter or kinder or ….anything else. It just means our gender is female. The type of woman , good or bad, that we are is for you to determine as you know us personally. A chance to prove we are who we are is all we hope for.

    Andrea , thank you for trying to de-myth the prejudice in the cis-female world about transwomen.

    Sarah

  26. I hope whatever health problems you had are over. You are an inspiration to me as a intelligent transfemale, and lesbian, who found out late in life that I always was female. Your ability to let a person be who they feel inside is exactly what transgender people so desperately need, in order to find someone to love and be happy.
    You are my fearless hero! I wish I knew you personally. It would be so great to talk to an intellectual woman about gender identity.
    Sarah

  27. Let’s talk about Sexuality

    Interview Request to Andrea Zanin

    My name is Pedro Marques. I live and work in Portugal and I’m the owner of a blog (https://vamosfalardesexualidadeblog.wordpress.com/) that talks about issues related with sexuality. On my opinion, there is a general gap in the promotion, disclosure and awareness of eroticism, sexuality and pornography, Portugal included. And a great prejudice concerning this areas. This project that I presente you is called “Let’s talk about Sexuality”.
    In the blog you can find essays/texts about sexuality, some events, text analysis, problems like genital mutilation, petition sharing, interviews to actresses/actors of the pornographic industry and to their producers, interviews to sexologists (who talk about relevant topics in sexuality), interviews to organization managers who fight against prejudice. In the interviews that I made to my previous project – Genesis For Pleasure – I had researchers from Sex Lab, sexual therapists, sexologists, BDSM, polyamory, sexual toys, pompoir and feminine sexuality experts.
    The main goal of this project is, therefore, to reunite interviews conducted to several and different entities linked to areas such as sexuality, eroticism, prostitution, pornography, caresses, LGBT movements, movements for sexuality and others, promoting at the same time the work of many professionals linked to these areas and, above all, to show that sexuality is something natural, important and that it should be a part of everybody’s life in healthy and respectful ways.
    The questions of the interview are sent through e-mail/facebook. After being answered by the interviwed, they are resent to me. It’s important that all this process is quick.
    The interviews will then be placed in my blog and Facebook and eventually a book will be published (with the agreement of the interviwed people), if the project comes to be known in the way I expect it to be.
    Therefore, I would like to invite you to take part in this project, given the admiration that I have for your work; so I’d like to know if you’re available to grant me an interview. It would be such an honour and privilege!
    I reiterate that all the people involved in this project are important, and without them, all of this would be impossible to achieve.

    I’m grateful for your attention and I will be waiting for your answer.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    My best regards.
    Pedro Marques
    Let’s talk about Sexuality

    1. Hi Pedro,
      I’d be more than happy to do an interview by email. Thank you for your interest! You can send me your questions at veryqueer3 at yahoo dot ca and I will do my best to answer them quickly. Best of luck with your project! 🙂

  28. I just read ur 24/7 piece looking for information b4 making a decision to let my dom collar and own me. I finished and was left feeling very enlightened and educated and even more optimistic than b4 i read it.
    But one thing that was not specified in it that is a big factor in my D/s relationship is a long distance factor… we live in different states and have never met in person but we do want this to become a 24/7 relationship…
    How do u think this will work out? Any thoughts or maybe experience, advice you can offer would greatly be appreciated…
    Ty

    1. Hi Danielle,

      Thanks for your comment! Having done quite a lot of long-distance D/s, I can tell you two things from that experience: first, it is possible, and long-distance can even be a source of creative inspiration for interesting ways to enact, live and feel your D/s. And second, it can be very challenging, in some ways much more so than in-person, as well as emotionally riskier. And that’s based on my experience doing it with people I had met and had substantial relationships with in person, and from whom I was separated by distance due to various circumstances.

      While I know plenty of people do D/s in an online-only way, I think that works out best when it’s done in full mutual recognition of its limitations and risks. It is very easy for the intoxication of D/s to get very intense and ungrounded when there’s no physical in-person reality to back it up and solidify the connection. For instance, I know more than one person who’s gotten involved in online D/s only to be terribly dropped. In one case, the dominant turned out to be married and cheating on his wife – a liar and a coward not worthy of anyone’s submission. In another case, the dominant was really just having fun, thinking it was all role-play, and he ghosted when he got bored, leaving the submissive feeling worthless, non-consensually mindfucked and heartbroken. Of course trust can be broken in person as well, but without the physical, tangible reality of bodily cues and contact, you are left without a lot of the instinctive, signal-reading information you need to be able to make informed decisions about how vulnerable to let yourself be.

      My recommendation would be that you and your dominant both commit the time, effort and resources to meeting in person at least two or three times before you decide to invest in a 24/7 dynamic that involves ownership. Go slow! If it’s really right for you, there’s no reason to rush, no deadline or hurry. And I would strongly suggest that you have honest, raw conversations about what ownership means to both of you if you don’t have realistic and reasonably concrete plans to live close enough to see each other regularly. Actual, as opposed to role-played, ownership is a huge, real-life commitment that will affect every facet of who you are and what you do. Value your own worth highly enough to require at minimum a few in-person meetings to get your relationship grounded in physical touch and make sure he smells right to you before you give this person everything you are.

      Best of luck in all this!
      Andrea

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s