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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Jenny on BBC's World Have Your Say

I had the amazing opportunity to take part in the second half of the show yesterday where the topic was, you guessed it, infidelity. You can listen to it here. Would love to hear what you think!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Hateful email cannot always be ignored...

I just received an email that I have to share. I believe it is imperative that we remember that the battle against ignorance and hate still demands our undivided attention.

Feel sorry for her and all of the people involved in the groups she mentions. And, in this season of hope, wish for them they one day they will find love and true acceptance of themselves.

Contact Form Inquiry from:


Name:Sharon Kass
Email Address: infoSRI (at) juno.com



Question:Dear Ms. Block:


The ex-gay movement will prevail.
Homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism spring from faulty bonding and identification with the same-sex parenting starting at age two. They indicate deep-seated gender self-alienation.


See
www.narth.com, www.gaytostraight.org, and www.peoplecanchange.com.


Mental illness is not freedom.


Leftism has corrupted organized psychology.
Propaganda has been presented as science.


--Sharon
Kass
Washington, D.C.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

My latest newsletter


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Sunday, September 27, 2009

The boobs you save may be your own!

I am in serious need of your help. I have signed up to walk 60 miles in three days in order to raise money for breast cancer research. But I have to raise $2,300 by the end of the month. I need your help! If just 100 of you give only $23.00 each, I'll meet my goal. Pretty please... Just click here to donate.

Thank you!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Jenny Block on Nightline - Tonight's the Night!




So, last week, (one week ago tonight, in fact) I took part in a debate about adultery and its relevance in the 21st century. We also discussed the Ten Commandments, the Bible, and whether or not people are born to cheat. What a night!

The debate took place at Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas and included Jonathan Daugherty, founder and director Be Broken Ministries; Cynthia McFadden, "Nightline" co-anchor; Ed Young, pastor of Fellowship Church; Noel Biderman, CEO of ashleymadison.com; and myself. It was an hour and a half long and it was wild. The paper reported that more than 4000 people were there and I'm here to report that only a handful took a liking to me. It was mostly members of the church and they mostly had very conservative views, as you can likely imagine.

The show airs tonight at 11:30 p.m. Eastern. I hope you'll tune in and then let me know what you think. I'm curious to see what the edit looks like. You never know...

For more info, check out the Nightline website.

Hometown Girl

My hometown paper, The Aegis in Harford County, Maryland, did a great piece on the book and my appearance tonight on Nightline. You can read the piece here.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Latest Newsletter

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Jenny Block Wins a Lambda Literary Award for "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage"

New York City, May 28, 2009

The Lambda Literary Awards

What an amazing night!

I was so honored to receive a Lambda Literary Award last night for my book "Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage" (Seal Press, 2008). Thank you to the Lambda Literary Foundation for this wonderful honor.

I was in SUCH shock when they called my name. I had nothing prepared so I did my best to bumble through my thank you's. The evening was so much fun.

(I still can't believe I won!!!)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Sarah, Plain and Tall at the Dallas Theater Center

So, a short while back I had the chance to interview Joe Calarco, the Director of Sarah, Plain and Tall at the Dallas Theater Center. The show, which was fabulous, is closed and the interview never made it to the paper. So I thought I'd at least share it here.

Block: Can you tell readers a little about “Sarah Plain and Tall”?

It’s a beautiful family musical based on the award winning novella of the same name by Patricia MacLachlan. The show was originally commissioned by TheatreworksUSA, a company that producers theatre for young audiences in New York. The version Dallas audiences are seeing is a much expanded and changed two act version.


Block: How did you come to direct “Sarah Plain and Tall”?

Well I had known Julia Jordan, the book writer for the show, for a long time and I had directed readings of a couple of plays of hers. She recommended me for the project, and I had a conference call with Julia and Larry (the composer) and Nell (the lyricist) and we all hit it off and I got the job.


Block: How do you approach a piece like this that is based on a book that is both well-loved and award-winning?

Honestly, you just trust the material. Julia and Larry and Nell did such a brilliant adaptation that I just felt lucky that it fell into my hands. The really stayed true to the spirit of the novella while adding a great deal of dramatic action as well.


Block: What’s the biggest challenge you faced in terms of staging this particular show?

It’s so beautifully written that honestly I never thought of it as a challenge. Yes, there are hurdles such as how do you stage a scene where two characters swim in a cow pond or stage a sequence that takes place over a series of months and takes place in both Maine and Kansas at the same time, but those challenges are what I love most about being a director. It forces you to use all your skills.


Block: What is it that makes “Sarah Plain and Tall” such a special piece?

This might sound corny but its heart. Nowadays so many musicals have characters that are so blown out of proportion that they seem almost not human anymore. I find it very refreshing that the characters in SP&T are incredible real and human and are totally recognizable to any audience. Their pains and their joys are very real and universal.

Block: Are you ever amazed that bringing such wonderful stories to life is what you get to do for a living?

All the time! I am incredibly grateful that I get to make my living doing what I love to do and I’ve been able to do that for over a decade now. I feel very fortunate.


Block: What’s the best part about directing this show?

It’s one of the “special ones.” It’s a beautiful script and the writers have been incredibly loyal to me over the years. Also half the cast has been with the show since we first workshopped it 8 years ago, and the newer cast members are just as talented and lovely and sensitive. It is a show that has always attracted really good people to it.


Block: Any crazy anecdotes from the rehearsal process you can share?

Honestly no (laugh). It’s been a blissful rehearsal process.

Block: Who should come to see this show?

Everyone. It is a true family show in that it appeals to adults and kids equally for different reasons. And it also appeals to people who just love good theatre. That is why I like it so much. Julia and Larry and Nell have written a very special piece.

Block: Anything else you want to say to potential audience members reading this?

Well, I’ve LOVED Dallas and can’t wait to come back.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Great shirt. Even better cause.


In honor of Gay Pride Month (June), Kenneth Cole is partnering with the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), "the largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans" in a very cool fundraiser. They're selling limited edition t-shirts that read: THOSE AGAINST SAME-SEX MARRIAGE AREN’T THINKING STRAIGHT (OR ARE THEY?) – KENNETH COLE.

Aside from bearing a great message, it is as soft and comfy as can be!

You can get the tee at Kenneth Cole New York stores, Kennethcole.com, and hrc.org for $35.00. 100% of the net proceeds go to the AWEARNESS FUND and HRC.

Plus, during Gay Pride Week, 20% of the evening’s proceeds at the following stores will be donated to HRC:

Los Angeles
June 12, 2009 4-9pm
Kenneth Cole New York Store, Beverly Center

New York
June 26, 2009 4-9pm
Kenneth Cole New York Store, Soho, 595 Broadway

Chicago
June 26, 2009 4-9pm
Kenneth Cole New York Store, Chicago 540 North Michigan Ave

Dallas
June 26, 2009 4-8pm
Kenneth Cole New York Store, Dallas North Park

Kenneth Cole’s AWEARNESS is a not-for-profit entity that supports, empowers and encourages acts of service, volunteerism and social change.



Modern Courtesan Alexa

Here's my latest piece for Quick:

The complete interview follows below.

Pretty Woman: A Courtesan Tells It Plain


When Alexa (www.realprincessdiaries.com) joined my Facebook page, I didn’t know what to think. Under career, it read “modern courtesan/professional companion.” I had never known any sex workers and I had a million questions. Luckily, she was thrilled to oblige. Now living in San Francisco, this twenty-three year old Nashville, Tennessee native (who likes to call Fort Lauderdale, Florida her official home) was full of surprises. She is stunning, witty, and incredibly intelligent. Here’s Part One of our interview. Check back next week for Part Two.


How did you get started in the business?

I spent much of my undergraduate work focusing on women and prostitution and became familiar with the work of high-end escorts. I was working as a dancer to pay my way through undergrad and had planned to continue dancing when I moved to California. When I got here, though, I found that just about all of the strip clubs were basically fronts for prostitution. I figured if I was going to have to service customers like that in order to make money, I'd go into business for myself.



What services do you provide?

Basically, clients compensate me for the time I spend with them, regardless of what we do together.

I accompany clients to business and social functions, go on dates or travel with them, and, in many cases, act as a sexual partner. Within the sexual realm, I can be anything they'd like, from the typical "girlfriend experience" to what is commonly referred to as the "porn-star experience" (very aggressive, physical sex).



How do generally find clients?

I've been fortunate in that most of my clients come to me through word of mouth or referrals from other clients or acquaintances.



Are there certain things you will not do regardless of what someone will pay?

I won't do anything that leaves permanent marks or involves hitting me above the neck. I also won't do anything that involves tying me up or restraining me until I am very comfortable with a specific client. And there are some scenarios I won't participate in because they squick me out or violate my personal ethics.


What is the worst experience you've ever had?

Spending two hours with a client and being unable to get him off. For a professional sex worker, that is quite disconcerting the first time it happens.



What is the best experience you've ever had?

I get the most enjoyment out of watching a client's eyes light up when he gets to try something he's fantasized about, like porn scenarios that they are too shy to ask their wives or girlfriends to try. When I tell them yes, it’s like they won the lottery.


Does your family know what you do?

My parents do not know, but I have an older sister who does. I haven't told my parents, not because I am ashamed of what I do, but to protect them from the judgmental idiots who'll think less of them because their daughter is a "whore." My parents think I work for the apartment complex where I live and do computer work on a contract basis.

Do you have a significant other? Does he or she know?

I am in an open, long-distance relationship with another woman (I'm bisexual), who I have been involved with for over three years. She knows and, in fact, I sought her permission first. She was a bit hesitant initially, primarily because of her misconceptions about the job. Now that I've been doing it for some time, she's perfectly fine with it.


Do you have another job as well?

This is my only job. I am also a graduate student as well.


How long have you been doing this?

I started seeing clients professionally in June of 2008, so about one year.



How much longer do you think you'll continue doing this?

I have an exit strategy that calls for me to leave this line of work when I complete my graduate degree next summer. I am saving up the money I have earned and will be using it to start my own business when I return home.



What myths, if any, would you like to debunk for people about your profession?

That escorts are dumb women who can't find another line of work. Many women who work as escorts have degrees, including a substantial number with advanced degrees like PhDs and JDs). In fact, the better educated you are, the more you can make at this.

The higher paying clients want a companion who can talk intelligently, act professionally, and then behave act like a wanton slut when they get home.

There's also the myth that we're all drug addicts. But you can't do this and maintain control if you're strung out on drugs or alcohol, so most of us avoid that stuff like that plague.



What do you have to say to people who think you are being victimized or that you must have experienced some sort of sexual trauma in order to choose this profession?

I explain to them that not only was I not sexually abused, I grew up in what many would consider to be the perfect environment. I had a very loving, supportive family, made good grades, never got into trouble, and was never abused in any way. Sexual abuse is not a precursor to entering sex work.

Is there anything else you want people to know about you or your work?

Sex workers are human beings just like everyone else. We're not what we do any more than any other people are what they do, and we deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect that every other person is afforded.



 



Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Jenny Block and Polyamory on Fox and Friends


Here's the segment I did on Fox & Friends on May 12, 2009. Would love to hear what you think of the show.


Reading in NYC

I'll be in NYC reading with several of the other finalists for the 21st Annual Lambda Literary Awards. I hope to see you there!

Date: Saturday May 30th, 8:30-11PM
Admission: Free--Donations welcome
Location: NYC LGBT Community Center, 208 W. 13th Street, 7-8 Aves
Subways: ACEL123

8PM Doors open for bake sale, book & CD sales

8:30-11

Edmund White: Rimbaud: The Double Life of a Rebel
Honor Moore: Bishop’s Daughter
Jenny Block: Open: Love, Sex, and Life in an Open Marriage
Ron Suresha: Kinsey Zero through Sixty
Christy C. Road: Bad Habits: A Love Story
Rachel Kramer Bussell: Crossdressing
Bobbie Geary: The Janeid
Ann Herendeen: Pride/Prejudice

Monday, May 11, 2009

Polyamory on Fox and Friends

Tune in to Fox and Friends at 6:50a.m. Eastern on Tuesday, May 12. I'll be "debating" with Glen Stanton from Focus on the Family. Wish me luck and let me know what you think!

Monday, April 20, 2009

In The Flesh


It was so exciting to finally have the chance to read in Rachel Kramer Bussel's In the Flesh Reading series at Happy Ending Lounge. You can check out more photos on my Facebook page. And for more information about In the Flesh, just click here. (Photo by Stacie Joy.)

It's Back!

My Amazon sales ranking is back. Thank you Amazon. Am still waiting to hear if everyone else's has been restored as well. I just hope that it was a glitch and that it won't ever happen again.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Amazon has removed the sales ranking from my book #amazonfail

Apparently Amazon is trying to "disappear" certain books. They claim it has to do with "adult" content. But it looks to be targeting GLBT content. Not acceptable. Read more here. Sign petitions. Email and call Amazon at ecr@amazon.com and 1-800-201-7575. Let's not let them get away with this virtual book burning. 

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Don Simon at Timothy Yarger Fine Art


I was so excited to be in Los Angeles on Sunday and Monday to visit one of my favorite people on earth - Elizabeth Yochim. Unfortunately, I only got to spend one night, which meant missing Don Simon's opening tonight. He's an artist that Elizabeth turned me on to and she is always right! If you're in LA, you should totally check it out. Get info on the gallery here. His work juxtaposes the environmental with the industrial. My favorite is called The Canopy 1. See the pic above. You can check him out at his website here. Or you can use these Google Searches to find out all sorts of cool stuff about him:

"Don Simon" "Unnaturalism"
"Don Simon" "Grist"
"Don Simon" "Treehugger"
"Don Simon" "Nature 2.0"

The best part is that the exhibit is a fundraiser for Million Trees LA, which is working to plant a million trees across the city where they need them most. You can hate LA all you want. But you gotta love it too!

Would love to hear what you think, especially if you get to see the exhibit.



Thursday, March 12, 2009

Check me out on the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC


I was on NPR this morning! It was a really good discussion, I think. You can listen to it here.



Thursday, March 5, 2009

The Rat Pack Live at the Sands

Finally, a reason to wear wing tips and a fedora again.

There once was a time when Vegas was stylin' and looking sharp was required. Now there's a chance to relive that Golden Era, at least for one night anyway...

The show spent four years on London's West End and invites audiences into an enchanted evening at the ever-famous Sands Hotel with the most famous crooners of our time - Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, Jr. and Dean Martin. A live fifteen piece band and three back-up singers and dancers (Joanne Dalladay, Lucie Florenine, and Nikki Stokes) also perform on-stage in this recreation of old Vegas at its best.

Audiences will be treated to favorites like: "I’ve Got You Under My Skin," "That’s Amore," "Mr. Bojangles," and "The Lady Is A Tramp." The show 's director and choreographer is Mitch Sebastian and the show originated in London's legendary West End before it began touring Europe and then the US. Starring in the show are Stephen Triffett as Frank; Phil Barley as Dean; and David Hayes as Sammy Davis, Jr. The last of whom I had the chance to catch up with last week by phone.

A Portland Oregon native, David Hayes has been preparing for this role for nearly his entire adult life. Though not consciously at first, Hayes followed a career and life path that could hardly have landed him anywhere else - acting, singing, performing stand-up comedy, and studying the masters. David Hayes is Sammy Davis Jr. Okay, not it real life, of course, but instead on-stage in the current touring production of "The Rat Pack."

He's been touring with the show on and off for six years now, and he couldn't be happier. Hayes is a variety performer of the exact same ilk as the three performers in the show. He sings and dances as well as charms and amuses.

Edge: When you think about Sammy Davis, Jr., what comes to mind?

Hayes: I thought Sammy was a dynamic entertainer. He could do anything and he did everything great. He was my entertainment hero. My heroes in life are my parents.

Edge: How do you approach playing a legend like this?

Hayes: When you start out doing anything like this you look at the people, at the past. In this case, it all came out of vaudeville. These were natural actors. They didn't have classes back then. They learned on-stage.

Edge: Did you find the prospect daunting?

Hayes: It's like someone who plays baseball and they get to play for the team that Willie Mays played for.

Edge: Can you even believe this is what you get to do for a living?

Hayes: It's amazing how it's come to this, working with two fabulous performers. And I never thought I'd play the West End of London. I didn't even know what the West End of London was.

Edge: How did you come to get the part?

Hayes: I was looking for a monologue to do and I found this show. We exchanged emails and that kind of thing and I ended up auditioning.

Edge: What were you doing at the time?

Hayes: I had a lot of jobs. Three at the time. I was working at Safeway during the day, teaching acting for five hours after that, and then doing comedy at night. You gotta do what you have to do when you have a wife and kids and a mortgage.

Edge: Is the show scripted?

Hayes: It's scripted to some degree. But there's room for improvisation. We know where we're going. But how we get there, well, we could take a left turn or a right turn. There's lots of leeway for spontaneity. It's all about trust and the love of the two other performers. Someone may sneeze or say something and we work with that.

Edge: What's it like playing Sammy Davis, Jr.?

Hayes: It's really exciting to be able to play a man of his magnitude. I'm honored and humbled.

Edge: What's the trick to making it all work?

Hayes: It's all about the transformation when the hair is right and the clothes and make-up. Being committed to that and to the integrity required. What really makes the magic is the chemistry of the guys. You have to do it with love and trust and respect. And I say that with all humility. It's all about the people and the music and the history.

Edge: What can audiences expect when they come to the show?

Hayes: It's a history piece. If they did it, then we do it. Like having the musicians on-stage. They did it. So we do it. It's a re-enactment of Vegas. It's a feel-good show. You'll be transported back to the sixties when it was safe to drink and smoke and eat red meat. It's a politically incorrect show. It was 1960 not 2000.


The Rat Pack Live at the Sands

Majestic Theater

1925 Elm Street

March 4 -8 at 8:00pm with matinees at 2:00pm on the 5th, the 7th, and the 8th.

Tickets start at $12.00 and are available at ticketmaster.com, dallassummermusicals.org, or by calling 214-631-2787

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Paperback is Officially Out!

You have to see this very cool postcard that my friend Lorraine Bryda at hatchstudios.com designed for the release of my paperback.

Check out my postcard and "join me" in my travels on the virtual highway!

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Big Happy Family Redux

Uh, yeah. So, I just realized I never even told you about "One Big Happy Family: 18 Writers Talk About Polyamory, Open Adoption, Mixed Marriage, Househusbandry, Single Motherhood, and Other Realities of Truly Modern Love." It's this fabulous new collection of essays edited by Rebecca Walker  (yes, she is Alice Walker's daughter), which opens up with a piece I wrote called "And Then We Were Poly." The book is receiving rave reviews. Publishers Weekly loved it and so did Kirkus, which gave it a starred review. 

It's a book about what it means to be a family. And let's just say that more than one of the essays made me cry and all of them made me proud to be a part of such a ground-breaking work. 

One Big Happy Family

The reviews are rolling in and they are looking good! Here is one from the Dallas Morning News that gave me a very nice shout-out. And here is a mention I received in the Dallas Voice. (You have to scroll down past the very handsome Tyson Beckford. I know, it was hard for me too!)

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Upcoming Appearances

I hope you'll come see me in Richmond, Virginia next week at the Science Museum of Virginia. I'll be speaking on a panel about the art of self-promotion. I'll also be signing books, so come and get a copy or bring yours along and I'll be happy to add my John Hancock. Get all of the details here. 

I also hope you'll come see me in DC next Saturday night. I'll be reading at Georgetown University with the amazing Tristan Taormino and then dancing the night away all because of the new fantabulous DC Group called Whole DC.  It's a Sex-Positive Community Center and Boutique that is just getting underway. It really is a terrific new venture that is long overdue in the DC area. Check them out here. Get more info about the weekend's events here. 

Can't wait to see all of you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

AVN Porn Awards

Here's part two of my report from the AVN AEE and Awards Show - Naked Ambition - including the red carpet! Be sure to leave a comment at the site and let me know what you think. And don't forget to email me your questions. I'll be answering as many as I can in my column. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Naughty Gifts on Sale

I'm a big fan of Valentine's Day. I know, I know. Hallmark has usurped it and it's been commercialized to the hilt. Still, I love all those ribbons and roses. Of course, I like the less cutesy side too, which is why I wanted to let you know that Eros Boutique is offering 20% off everything they sell until Valentine's Day.

Shopping secrets deserved to be shared...

 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Don't Blame It On Rio...Blame It On Rumor

I have been a bad girl when it comes to HuffingtonPost.com, not writing nearly as much as I should. But I am trying to get back on track. Here's my latest piece about my fantabulous trip to Rio - Don't Blame It On Rio...Blame It On Rumor.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

60 Minutes Seeking

I'm talking to 60 Minutes in Australia about doing something with them and they are looking for other people involved in open and polyamorous relationships to be a part of the segment. The producer tells me that, "We are really keen on giving an accurate portrayal of what life is like for people involved in these relationships." If you think you might be interested in talking to them for either research purposes or to be on the show, please email Glenda Gaitz at ggaitz@nine.com.au. They are especially interested in people living in Australia. 


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Ask me...

My column this week features reader questions and what I hope are helpful answers. Check it out. Let me know what you think and send me your questions for the next installment.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Porn Awards - I'm going!

So, I'm headed to Vegas in the morning for the Adult Video Network Expo and Awards Show. Ona Zee has very graciously invited me to join her at her table at the Awards Show. I'm really looking forward to meeting her. For a preview, check out my column in this week's Quick - "And the winner is..."

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Resolve to Have Hotter Sex in the New Year

My new Quick column is out. And, actually, I have a dining piece in this week's issue too. Let me know what you think about my twist on the classic tradition of making resolutions about what you plan to do in the new year. "Do It Better By Not Doing These."