End of one era, start of another

Well, I’ve been delaying this announcement for a while, but I suppose it’s finally time to break the news. Due to a number of reasons, I’m sad to announce the end my online talk show, Sex Brains & Money. It’s been something that’s been on my mind for a while now, but after a very difficult summer, I’ve made the decision not to come back this fall, and to put the show on an indefinite hiatus. There’s always a chance I might re-launch the show at a future date, but right now, I don’t have any plans for any new episodes, and with a number of upcoming changes on the horizon, it’s probably best that I focus on other things for now.

But it’s not all bad news! Those “other things” I mentioned above? They include the new-and-improved version of TalkingSports.TV, with my co-hosts Marty York & Josh Rimer! We’re debuting at our new venue in Woodbridge on Tuesday, October 1st, so come by Charley Fitzwhiskey’s if you’d like to check out the first episode of our fall season! We’ll be doing an NHL preview to launch the 2013-2014 season, and we’ll have guest interviews with people like Wayne Gretzky, Pat Quinn, Bill Watters, and on our Wednesday show, John Leclair and Darryl Sittler! I’m very excited to talk some sports with the guys, and watch the Leafs Season Opener at the bar with a whole bunch of Leafs fans!

Also, after our successful Autism Art Auction last April (which was also the final episode of Sex Brains & Money, though we didn’t know it at the time) the McIntosh Family and I have decided to take our efforts to the next level, and we’ll be launching the Art For Autsim Project in early October. We’ll still be holding the Autism Art Auction next April, albeit at a different venue and on a much larger scale, and we’ll also be expanding our scope to other areas: we’ll be holding benefit concerts, improv nights, and providing other opportunities for people with autism to show off their artisitic talents while raising funds for our Autism Crisis Centre. It’s a cause that’s very close to my own heart, and I’m happy to be putting my efforts towards something I truly believe in.

Lastly, I’m working on one more project that I can’t tell you about just yet, due to its top-secret nature… But I promise you, it’ll be my most risque, titillating project yet! Stay tuned for more details… 😉

Anyways, thank you so much to all the people who have helped make Sex Brains & Money so much fun – the people who joined me for interviews, the production team of David Grossman and Lior Khananev, and the people at the AllTalkTV.com Network who were such a joy to work with. And, of course, all the people who tuned in to watch the different segments and offered feedback on how to make things better. I’ve had a great time doing this and I’m excited for what the future holds! Thanks again. 🙂

Turning Words Into Action: The Autism Art Auction

At the beginning of Autism Awareness Month, I wrote about the need to incorporate families into the treatment of people with autism. My hope was to illuminate the fact that services for people with autism, while improved, are still lacking in many areas. As Autism Awareness Month comes to a close, and we move into May, it’s time to go beyond the usual paradigm of raising awareness, and start taking action.

Raising awareness is often a good first step, and functions well as a means to an end – but it cannot be viewed as an end in itself. Activism simply does not end with the sharing of a Facebook post, or a retweet; it’s great to tell your friends that something is important enough to share with them, but it’s virtually meaningless if it doesn’t lead to further action.

My friend once referred to this phenomenon as “slacktivism” – and pointed out, quite rightly, that it can actually be counterproductive. Once you’ve shared a status update or a link, you might feel that you’ve already done your part, which absolves you of the responsibility to do anything more. But until you’ve put genuine time and effort into helping a cause, you really haven’t done much. In fact, if you feel that sharing a link has lifted the burden of action from you, then you’ll actually be even less likely to contribute to a cause when it matters most.

To that end, the Ontario Autism Coalition, in collaboration with the AllTalkTV.com Network, launched the First Annual Autism Art Auction last week. We have raised awareness about the need for a crisis centre and crisis-specific services, in hopes that it would encourage the government to act; until they do so, we will attempt to raise the funds ourselves. We encouraged people with autism to donate their various works of art, which we are now auctioning off to raise funds for our crisis centre.

We will continue to accept donations and bids until Saturday, May 4, and we encourage you to visit the website for the Autism Art Auction and bid on a piece from one of our amazingly-talented donor artists. By doing so, you will be simultaneously rewarding creativity and helping an important cause, while making a meaningful statement that shows you truly care about improving services for people with autism.

The famous quote attributed to Gandhi doesn’t say to “share the status update of the change you want to see in the world.” The quote tells us to BE that change, which involves so much more than simply sharing it on social media. If you can’t go beyond the virtual realm and actually do something about it, you really don’t care that much about it at all.

Sex Brains & Money, episode 9

After a far-too-long winter hiatus, I’m delighted to be back with the AllTalkTV.com Network as the host of Sex Brains & Money! We’ve moved to a new studio (Fitzgerald’s Public House in The Beaches) and I decided to start the second season in the same way we started the first – with Terri-Jean Beford as my guest!

First, I had to do a bit of housekeeping, and talk about BonBon’s absence:

Followed by Terri-Jean reading a passage from her second book, “Bondage Bungalow Fantasies”:

Terri-Jean also stuck around for another segment, where she told us about the upcoming Supreme Court hearings regarding the sex work laws:

Finally, I closed out the show with a few more details on the Supreme Court hearings:

Check out the episode and let me know what you think! 🙂

When the “Spirit of Giving” Overcomes the “Spirit of Getting”

When I was growing up, I really enjoyed Christmas. I loved tobagganing in the park down the street, having a big fire in the fireplace, and of course, having two weeks off from school. But as I got older, the so-called “Christmas Spirit” started to wane, and eventually disappeared altogether. It was replaced by strong feelings of disdain towards the commercialization of the holiday, and a general malaise would overcome me every year. I couldn’t stand the sound of Christmas music, I hated fighting for parking spots at the mall, and anxiety over whether I had purchased appropriate gifts for friends and family became overwhelming. In a nutshell, I really started to hate Christmas. It became a symbol of greed and consumption, rather than a joyous holiday event.

As another December dawned last year, I found myself dreading the holidays once again, and I agonized over “what to buy” for my family. Should I get my dad another tie he’ll never wear, or another tool he’ll never use? Should I get my mom some more scented candles that she’ll never light, or more exotic bath soaps to display on her bathroom counter? Will my brothers and I pick out random stores to buy gifts cards from, or will we do the same thing as we had before – exchange generic and impersonal Christmas cards with exactly the same amount of money in them? The whole exercise seemed so pointless and so painful, I was all but ready to give up on it completely.
Continue reading

Sex Brains & Money – Episode 8

Great episode today! BonBon the chocolate lab puppy is getting so big, I don’t think I’ll be able to have her in my lap anymore. But she was a wonderful Santa’s Little Helper today, while I was talking about how a friend of mine helped me rediscover the holiday spirit last year, by encouraging me to give money to charity instead of buying pointless gifts for friends and family:

Also, an interview with a client! Christian decided to join me today to talk about how he started visiting escorts, and what he likes about seeing sex workers:

Next, an interview with Helen Lee of The Living City Foundation, talking about her organization’s holiday gifts, and the importance of supporting local causes:

Finally, I closed out the show with a little bit more about giving to charity during the holidays:

Sex Brains & Money – Episode 7

I’m still under the weather today so I’m only going to upload one segment for now, but here’s my rant about why the S.213(c) Communicating Law is such a problem, and why we should start reframing the way we view street-based sex work as nothing more than a different business model with a different form of advertising/marketing. Love to hear feedback, let me know what you think! 🙂

Edit: Here are the other segments, including a new feature called “This is your brain on Sex” with Leo Ferraro, as well as a great interview with the sexy Ottawa-based escort Cleo Catra!

Sex Brains & Money, episode 6

Phew, just wrapped another episode of Sex Brains & Money, and I have to say, I’m pretty tired after this very eventful week. I’m going up north with my partner and puppy this weekend, and I think I’ll just stay off the computer for the next few days and relax. I’m really happy with the way this blog is going so far, but I know that if I spend too much time thinking about it, I’ll end up obsessing about it all weekend, and I won’t be able to enjoy myself.

Anyways, here are the four segments of today’s episode (instead of our usual five; the guy for the Brains segment got really sick yesterday and had to withdraw) – feel free to email me at nikki@alltalktv.com to let me know what you think! 🙂

First segment, featuring BonBon the Puppy: Nikki opens the show and introduces the topics for today’s episode

Continue reading

New episode of “Sex Brains & Money” – Friday, September 28, 12pm EST

Hey everyone, we’re going to be going live with another episode of Sex Brains & Money at 12pm EST on Friday, September 28. We’ll be joined by Stephanie Bell from OutSportToronto, to discuss the Yunel Escobar situation and how it reflects on homophobia and misogyny in the sports world, as well as a couple of womens’ rights activists to talk about Motion 312.

Tune in to www.livestream.com/alltalktv to watch, and send in your questions and comments to @MsNikkiThomas on Twitter. We’ll also have the recorded segments on our website, www.sexbrainsmoney.com, by the end of day on Friday, for everyone who couldn’t tune in to the live broadcast.

Lastly, I think my special co-host from the last episode, BonBon the Puppy will be joining us once again – tune in and check us out!