Sarah Elspeth Patterson

Sarah Elspeth Patterson

Masters Student. Sexuality Educator. Bossy Femme.

Recent posts

An Educational E-Card: Later in Life Lube

I am a huge fan of retro e-cards, especially the Anne Taintor-style retro cards that have been “re-written” for humorous purposes. So, I went looking for a card today for my father’s birthday and found (I know, don’t judge me, it just happened to be one of the first Google results, I swear!) and they had a variety of card types that fit the very aesthetic I was looking for: “Retro and Vintage,” a “Gallery of the Absurd,” even a section of velvet paintings turned e-cards. I found this one card, though, that was just as educational as it was funny: Continue Reading →

Narrative Histories: The “I Am A Sex Worker” PSA

In light of the recent outing of former sex worker Melissa Petro, the Bronx PS70 elementary school teacher, and the subsequent public defaming that has followed, I am reminded of the PSA made by the women of Sex Worker Awareness in 2009, entitled “I am a sex worker.” I think what’s so interesting about where we are at, as a society, in regards to sex worker’s rights, is that it’s a very similar place we’ve been at before in our nation’s history, regarding women’s rights, African American’s rights, and (as the marriage debate rages) gay rights: at a place when narrative history is paramount, where people’s stories alone are controversial, radical and worthy of such public scorn. Sex workers are still, for the most part, invisible. This is particularly sad thing to note, in light of the recent demise of $pread Magazine. It takes a very brave few to refuse to be invisible, to speak their peace and have their voice. Continue Reading →

Kama Sutra…Snuggie Style!

Just in time for those cool weather months, authors Lex Friedman and Megan Morrison have released The Snuggie Sutra, a book of kama sutra positions re-conceived for the pop culture enthusiast (and, as Jezebel rightly points out, your average Urban Outfitters customer). The book incorporates the infomercial phenomenon into modernized Kama Sutra positions, designed for the snuggly bunny in all of us (or perhaps even the bit shy). Nevertheless, anything that encourages people to play, laugh and enjoy trying new sexual positions, all while staying warm in the process, is definitely good in my book! And maybe it’s fond memories of the getting stuck under that multicolored tent with my childhood crush, but I happen to love “The Parachute”: Continue Reading →

Former Sex Worker Removed from Job as School Teacher Following Huffington Post Piece

Melissa Petro, an elementary school teacher at Bronx school PS 70 and publicly out former sex worker, was recently reassigned from her teaching position to administrative duty “pending investigation,” following her recent Huffington Post article on the shutdown of CraigsList and her own experiences briefly using the site as a prostitute. In the article, Petro uses her real name and is open regarding her past sex work. Continue Reading →

Sparents, Childless By Choice, and Child Free: Problematic Framings of Women Without Children

From a very young age, I always knew I either never wanted to have children or I simply wanted to adopt. There was always something romantic about the idea of a child and I finding each other through situation, rather than by some biological imperative. It seemed so perfectly modern to me: a woman choosing a child by her own means, rather than purely by situation alone. I knew that if I ever came to want children, adopting a child would be my ideal option. And for her part, my own mother never pushed me one way or the other regarding the having of children. Continue Reading →

Camille Paglia Pans Gaga’s Sexuality

In a recent edition of London’s Sunday Times Magazine, renowned feminist author and social commentator Camille Paglia, known for her love of Madonna’s sexual persona, claims that Lady Gaga isn’t sexy so much as sexually dysfunctional in her image of genderbending pansexuality, going on to say that her artifical eroticism marks “the exhausted end of the sexual revolution” and a death of the sexual symbol. She offers strong opinions on the matter in this extremely candid Op-ed piece. Continue Reading →

Acne Plays with Gender in Their Recent Collection

Swedish fashion label Acne (which stands for “Ambition to Create Novel Expressions”) has teamed up with Madrid-based transgender fashion magazine Candy to release a line of crepe silk and denim button down shirts designed to play with proportion and size, queering the line between men’s and women’s shirts. In a interview with, Acne founder described his collaboration with Candy’s publisher and editor in chief, Luis Venegas, as a perfect match:

“I’m in this business to have fun and to enjoy myself, and I feel that Luis is too. This collection touches on ideas I have always played with when designing for Acne, the tension between male and female and what happens when you shift things around a bit.” Continue Reading →

The G-Spot, The P-Spot: Sex Toys for Multiple Purposes and Genders

I’m all about being inclusive with sexuality, both inside and outside of the bedroom. And nothing is more sexually inclusive, or economically practical, than being able to use your sex toys for different purposes on different bodies. So I’ve compiled a list of toys that can be used both vaginally as well as anally for sexual stimulation: with some boiling in between, of course! Since the g-spot and the prostate are located approximately one to three and two to three inches in towards the belly button inside the vaginal and anal canals respectively, they each respond well to toys with a slight curvature in them in order to apply pressure to the area. An additional bonus with prostate toys is that regular stimulation of the prostate, leading to the excretion of seminal fluid and often, intense orgasms, can promote prostate health. Continue Reading →

Defining Femme Style: An Interview with Johnny Blazes

In the past, the dynamic of “butch/femme” aesthetics amongst queer women has been met with a mixture of negative responses. Some argue that these terms have only served to reinforce gendered standards of behavior (i.e., one partner must be “masculine,” while the other must be “feminine”). Others argue that butch/femme identities only mirror mainstream culture and negate the queer experience. Still more would suggest that when one dresses femme, they deny their involvement with the queer community by “passing as straight.” Yet more recently, “femme” identity has experienced a resurgence as both a political term as well as personal identification, in the form of a social reclaiming. Continue Reading →