Tips for subversive sex

In this political and historical climate, great sex can be a subversive, expansive, and radical mode of dismantling socializations and creating alternatives to mainstream drone culture. More and more, the Christian right’s morals and limits are seeping into the larger culture. This nauseating wave of puritanism and conservative values hangs in the air, like the stale salty grease cloud present when passing a McDonald’s. Subtle, toxic, bland, unhealthy, normative. 

Comfort in one’s skin and sexuality, consent, and self-care are an essential backdrop. There is no way to have freeing sex without actively checking in with all partners about emotional and physical comfort and openness. If folks are shutting down, disassociating, or not that into it, then how the fuck can it be any good? Knowing what one wants is not easy, as we are taught very boring and limited sexualities in this culture. Part of what can make sex so revolutionary is discovering what it is we like and pushing ourselves (consensually of course) to and beyond our limits. 

Role Switching

Many of us get stuck in sex roles or sex acts — butch or femme or top or bottom or daddy or slave. Switching up roles is exactly as it sounds; availing oneself the opportunity to receive when previously being the provider; taking turns sucking and being sucked, biting and being bitten, slapping and being slapped, holding and being held, fucking and being fucked. 


Sex can be a stage to play with the fluidity of gender and go beyond binary-gender or sex determined by gendered bodies. This may mean re-learning how to have sex and switching your focus away from genitals and genital contact. There is so much to play with and destroy, pervert, re-name. It is respectful and sexy as hell to ask people what they call their body parts and how they want them touched. When opening-up what we consider erogenous zones, more conversations about re-imagining bodies, gender, society may become possible. This can mean less focus on genitals and orgasms and more focus on nerve endings and what turns them on, and what works on an emotional level for a person. Expansion, re-defining and being aware of people’s boundaries are key in this realm and essential to sex.


Try laughing during sex. It can be diverse; from a coy giggle, to a belly laugh, to laughing at oneself at an awkward moment or just as a way to communicate joy. Laughter is contagious and can put folks more at ease. One may laugh solo or in unison w/ sex partners. Laughing can help relieve tension – so you don’t get get so caught up in your “performance”. Doing sex is goofy and silly and in fact hilarious. There is a myth that we should act a certain way during sex: virile, coquettish, animalistic, blasé, submissive, dominant, alluring etc. Laughing helps hush those “you should be ____” voices. Noise in general during sex is a fabulous added layer to events. Sound can act as a reflection of what is going on and also act as a release for the sensations being experienced; crying, screaming, moaning, gasping are all marvelous additions to this sex symphony. Laughing enhances the intimacy and the experience in general.

Role Play

Adding some drama to the scenario can provide many things: lessen other social/psycho/dramas that folks tend to drum up when the issue of sex arises, keep things interesting and creative, help explore different identities, help approach taboo subject matters, and healing from past traumas. Role-play can be a great way to challenge one’s rigidities and discover hidden perversions in a safe context. 

This can include working up characters in a setting with a plot. It can get intricate with scripts or songs, drag, props or outfits, even a dance routine. Here is where many taboos can be explored. The more the merrier, sillier, nastier. These games could challenge political and social norms in positive and smarty-pantsed ways. Role-play scenarios set up safe consensual spaces for folks to go there consciously, critically, humbly and with an open mind. The important thing here is that everyone is okay with where the story goes.

Books Not Bombs

The Babysitter at Rest by Jen George 

Cruddy by Lynda Barry 

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien 

The Door by Magda Szabó 

Edinburgh by Alexander Chee 

In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje 

Just Above My Head by James Baldwin 

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner 

The Overstory by Richard Powers 

Real Life by Brandon Taylor 

Space Invaders by Nona Fernández 

Stay and Fight by Madeline ffitch  

Turkish Kaleidoscope by Jenny White and Ergün Gündüz 

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler 

Weather by Jenny Offill 

Women Talking by Miriam Toews

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff 

Bruce Conner: It’s All True edited by Frieling/Garrels

Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber 

The Case for Degrowth by Kallis/Paulson/D’Alisa/Demaria 

The Communism of Love by Richard Gilman-Opalsky 

For All the People by John Curl 

Four Futures by Peter Frase 

Freedom Is a Constant Struggle by Angela Y. Davis 

Home Work by Lloyd Kahn 

In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado 

The Man of Jasmine by Unica Zürn 

More Than Two by Veaux/Rickert

On Immunity by Eula Biss 

PRANKS! edited by Vale/Juno

The Spitboy Rule by Michelle Cruz Gonzales 

Steering the Craft by Ursula K. Le Guin

Citizen by Claudia Rankine 

The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers edited by Tim Hunt 

The Selected Works of Audre Lord edited by Roxane Gay 

Singular Pleasures by Harry Mathews 

We Want It All edited by Abi-Karam/Gabriel

Find our previous book lists on the Slingshot website!

In it for the Long Haul

Here are some ideas to consider that may be helpful for radical organizing or for surviving a Thanksgiving dinner with your family, humbly offered by some of the Slingshot Scoundrels (Hear emoji)

Do Research. Issues are multifaceted. Often we don’t invest the time to look into the arguments opposing what we are advocating. It doesn’t hurt to understand these views! And sometimes they are substantial because shit is complicated. The issues on our radar today most likely predate our own existence. There are people already working on solving any given problem. Find them.

Know your enemies. Know your friends. Respect for where people are coming from is a rarity. Maintaining genuine curiosity about other’s perspectives can be hard work! When we get lazy and make assumptions, we often create unproductive conflict and misunderstandings. Not everyone knows what you know and sees what you see. Understanding is an ongoing process for all of us, a direction we head in, and not a final destination we arrive at.

Treat everyone as a potential ally. It’s not easy to set aside our strident views long enough to engage with people who think differently from us. Making change usually means organizing with others, so relationships and connections are key. Alienating people from our work is the quickest way to assure failure. That is to say, patience and humility are essential features of successful organizing.

Don’t Get Caught. Avoid making mistakes that will get you snarled in the legal system. This applies to things done in the heat of the moment as well as much later when things have cooled down. It’s not worth it to get bragging rights or revel in past achievements. Don’t talk about illegal activity. Don’t write about it in emails, texts. Don’t post videos or photos of illegal acts.

Know Your Enemy Pt.2. When you hear “Don’t support corporations,” this also means in the insidious way we become reliant on corporations that try and shape social reality. “Google it” has become synonymous with “look it up”. Challenging them is not only about withholding our money; let’s not hand them our energy, attention, our creative endeavors either. Ask yourself: How else are we giving away our agency and independence to those ugly corporations? How do we use the tools available without unwittingly becoming tools in the hands of capitalists? And most important, what networks & resources out there that are not corporate that need uplifting?

Don’t burn out. Don’t get bitter. Don’t be afraid to act. DON’T GIVE UP.

Make your resistance sustainable —  one-legged stools don’t work. Pace yourself and make sure to keep your life outside of activism healthyThat might look like spending time & energy with family, friends, and the other facets of your world instead of being committed 150% to solving society’s issues. It’s not useful to think in slogans. They may be a good rallying cry, but they make people of conscience seem wooden and two dimensional in actual conversations. That said, this thought does have some currency: “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

This slogan references the martyr complex that seeks to go at it alone and not work with others to solve the issues of the day. Find allies, build trust, practice solidarity and commitment to each others growth as thinkers and doers.


The social issues we engage with can change us in good and bad ways. A lifetime of struggling against an oppressor may make us part of what we struggle against. In some ways, our resistance feeds these beasts. We can over-identify with challenging the status quo and forget that creating something better takes even more effort and insight. This is why wise activists direct some of their energy towards creating what we are FOR. We likely won’t reach that ideal place we are advocating for, and the horizon may seem forever just out of reach, but by being engaged, we can keep walking toward a new reality.

Introduction to the 2022 Organizer

What could the world be like without calendars? Without clocks and cops and money? Without all the hierarchies and artificial categories that detach us from each other and from our connection to the earth? We’re trained into a system that fucks everything up for a few people’s gain. How can we step outside this system? 

Empire, consumerism and oppression feel inevitable, inescapable — permanent. But they are not. The path we are on is not sustainable — not just ecologically, but because the weight of colonialism and injustice is sinking our ship.  We’re on the verge of either catastrophe or maybe swift, radical and positive changes. Who knows? But the status quo? — probably not gonna remain. 

We offer this organizer as one tool to inspire and to conspire.  Born of direct action, it is made by and for people coming from another place. What else are we going to seize and create anew, based upon genuine connection? We need something visionary and forward thinking. What could possibly go right?? What beautiful rad collective experiences are waiting for us? Can we create different ways of being in the world? What would winning look like? Taking up the historical thread of activists, getting beyond paralysis and engaging with the world; that’s what we’re offering this organizer for! Creating visions together informed by our shared vulnerability, grief and solidarity!

This is the 28th year our collective has amused itself by publishing the Slingshot Organizer. Its sale raises funds to print the quarterly, radical, independent Slingshot Newspaper. We distribute the newspaper for free everywhere in the US, often at the places listed in the Radical Contact List. Let us know if you can be a local newspaper distributor in your area. Also please send us content for the paper. Thanks to the volunteers who created this year’s organizer: AJ, Alexis, Alexandra, Amy, Ana, Ash, Bolton, Christy, Clara, Cleo, Coco, Dov, elke, Fern, Forest, Francesca X 2, Gina, HB, Isabella, Jacquelynn, Jemimiah, Jenna, jesse, Joey, Jonathon, Jules, Juhlz, Justin June, Karen, Katie, Kei, Kyle, Lew, Marie, Mariko, Matt, MissZits, Molly, Nadja, Nat, Niki, Noelle, Olivia, Peter, Rachelle, Rachel, Robert, Sean, Sylvia, Talia, Talia, Taylor, Tiffany, Vincent & those we forgot. 

Slingshot Collective

A project of Long Haul

Physical office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705

Mail: PO Box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

510-540-0751 • • @slingshotnews

Instagram/FB @slingshotcollective

Please download our new free Slingshot Organizer smartphone app

Printed in Berkeley, CA on recycled paper


All volunteer collective – no bosses, no workers, no pay.


get involved and check out: and or

DIY mental health Tips

Sometimes it can be hard to know if you’re crazy, or is it the world that’s crazy. Watching while our society destroys itself triggers despair and anxiety. Yet it is possible to summon the courage to stay engaged with the world, survive and fight back. When you’re suffering is often the hardest time to ask for help from others around you — and paradoxically when you need help the most. Feelings exist for reasons — if you repress them too hard, you can miss important lessons they may have for you. While it is impossible to have a list that will apply to everyone’s situation and often situations have to do with class/race/gender, here are some tips you can use when you’re in crisis or to help to care for others:

• Our brains are connected to our bodies so concentrating on physical health can help treat mental distress. Eating healthy food on a regular schedule and getting enough sleep are key. Exercise, dance, biking and physical movement can help. So can fresh air and having a stable, calming place to stay.

• It can help to focus off the crisis and onto what you find joyful until you can gather more resources.

• It is okay to ask for help and it may help to discuss disturbing mental states with others who you trust.

• An important component of mental health is the ability to know ourselves, understand our needs, and be able to talk about them to the other people in our lives. This can be really challenging and can often take guidance from others who have learned how to do it with one another. One tool for creating written documents for communication is called a T-MAP which stands for Transformative Mental Health Practices.

• It can help to have language for mental crisis that feels comfortable and makes more sense than the dominant medical language. Transmission of language often happens in groups.

• Joining a mutual support group of peers listening to and helping peers as equals can be validating, while not necessarily endorsing your feelings. You can form one yourself or join an ongoing group.

• Find a counselor who supports your self-determination. Ask about confidentiality if someone else — such as your parents, boss, or governmental program — is paying for your therapy.

• Drugs and alcohol often make mental health problems worse.

• Psychiatric drugs such as those for depression or bipolar disorder can help some people reduce distress and maintain stability. Other people experience distress and harm from psych drugs and even have trouble withdrawing from them. Figuring out what works for you can be a process because people differ. Check out “Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Drugs.”

• Keep in mind that some current emotional crises may be caused by traumas from the past, which may need to be emotionally and consciously processed in order not to keep recurring.

• When you’re depressed, it may help to realize that the depressed feeling will eventually pass and your life will begin to seem meaningful again later. Depression inhibits your ability to perceive and understand the world correctly. Depression is often a lack of feelings and a lack of connection to feeling. Your perceptions of loneliness, un-lovability, and hopelessness are not accurate when you are depressed. Avoid making drastic decisions such as hurting yourself when you are unable to correctly perceive reality.

• Distracting yourself from depressed or anxious thoughts can help: listening to music, making art, washing dishes, or doing a project alone or with others.

• Many communities have 24 hour a day crisis hotlines or crisis centers. Call 800-SUICIDE if you’re thinking about killing yourself or 800 646-HOPE to reach a rape crisis line for survivors of sexual violence. Warning: if you call and say you want to kill yourself police may arrive at your door.

• For anxiety, try to remember to breathe. Practicing meditation may also help you relax.

• Acupuncture or massage can be ways for others to give your whole self some gentle attention.

• Ecopsychology is realizing nature and wilderness are our greatest healers. Spend some time outside the city to get centered and get away from pollution which is in itself mind-altering.

• If you have a loved one in crisis, the most helpful thing is to make it clear that you care and be there to listen. They may not be able to call or ask for help — it can be very helpful to keep calling them every day or two to check-in, even if they don’t answer the phone or seem to want help. Sometimes it is okay to want to be alone so don’t be too pushy. Just make it clear that you care. It’s also import to get support and advice for yourself. Caring about someone who is in crisis is in itself a big challenge.

• Social change: Actually address the stressful factors in your environment. Revolution can heal.

• If someone is having delusional thinking or expressing violence related to mental issues, these suggestions may not be enough and it is okay to reach out for professional help.

Introduction to the 2021 Organizer

At a time when the global capitalist system is broken and is failing, regular people create their own structures based on different values, with different heroes, different priorities and using different tools. We offer you this organizer as our humble contribution to that process. Perhaps you’ll fill its pages with marches and assemblies — but we hope also bike rides, compost turns and dance parties. The struggle for liberation requires rage and hard work, but also slowing down and stepping out of the rat race. It requires a do-it-yourself, handmade approach, not the cold standardization of smartphones and robotic industrialism.

The alternatives we demand aren’t captured by any single movement, organization or slogan.  We need them all. We don’t want things to go back to normal, normal wasn’t working! We can’t afford to retreat into our subcultures and our comfort zones. We gotta be brave and have the challenging discussions — and help those who are frozen to find courage to act. To the system’s death, greed, and endless heaps of plastic, let’s respond with rebellion, collectives, defending natural systems and love for human and non-human life in equal measure.

It is through joy and rage that we can lay foundations for a new world because rejecting the structures that are killing us goes beyond institutions — it also involves reworking what’s in our heads and hearts.

These pages recall those who fought before to inform and inspire our struggle now. We dedicate this year’s organizer to all of you on the front lines fighting for racial, climate and social justice!  To get the knee off the world’s neck, here and everywhere.

This is the 27th time our collective has amused itself by publishing the Slingshot Organizer. Its sale raises funds to print the quarterly, radical, independent Slingshot Newspaper. We distribute the newspaper for free everywhere in the US, often at the places listed in the Radical Contact List. Let us know if you can be a local newspaper distributor in your area. Also please send us content for the paper. Thanks to the volunteers who created this year’s organizer: Alexis, Alina, Amy, Ana, Basson, Bernadette, Bernard, Breydon, Carolita, Clara, Cleo, Dov, elke, Fern, Francesca, HB, heri, Isabel, Isabella, Jacquelynn, Jenna, Jesse, Joanna, Jonathon, Kaino, Katie, Kei, Korvin, Kylie, Lew, Lydia, Mango, Marcela, Marie, Mark, Nadja, Rachelle, Rick, Robert, Sasha, Talia, Tula, & those we forgot.

Slingshot Collective

A project of Long Haul

Physical office: 3124 Shattuck Avenue Berkeley, CA 94705

Mail: PO box 3051, Berkeley, CA 94703

510-540-0751 • • @slingshotnews

Please download our new free Slingshot Organizer smartphone app

Printed in Berkeley, CA on recycled paper


All volunteer collective – no bosses, no workers, no pay.